Stephen G. Michaud
Maryland (formerly Texas)
Award-Winning Investigative Journalist and Bestselling Author of Robert’s Story: A Texas Cowboy’s Troubled Life and Horrifying Death
Pub Date: September 2022
Genre: Biography/Elder Abuse/Texas Ranching
Publisher: Coyote Publishing LLC
Page Count: 384
ABOUT THE BOOK
An astonishing Texas tale that’s stranger than fiction and primed for a docuseries or reality TV.
Tired, disoriented, and confused, Robert East was no match for the “wolves” when they arrived.
Robert East loved his older brother Tom but always resented his favored role in the family cattle business based at their San Antonio Viejo ranch near Hebbronville, Texas, just north of the Rio Grande.
Tom was a figure to be reckoned with, a cattleman with ambitions to supplant their uncle Bob Kleberg, head of the enormous King Ranch, as the leading cattle raiser in Texas. Robert, by contrast, was a cowboy who cared little for what occurred beyond the San Antonio Viejo’s main gate. Handsome and ornery, with no head for business, he nevertheless chafed in his brother’s shadow until 1984, when Tom died young of a heart attack.
Suddenly, Robert was the new and untested patron of 250,000 acres of East Family ranchland―and the majority owner of the ocean of natural gas pooled beneath East rangeland.
Robert’s contentious nature drove the Easts into bitter intra-family legal warfare that persisted for a decade. He lost his beloved sister, Lica, to cancer, and as old age advanced, he found himself alone and isolated on a remote ranch with only an unreliable foreman and a scattering of vaqueros and other workers for company.
The physical wear and tear from decades of working cattle on horseback began to show. Robert’s knees gave out, and he developed serious cardiovascular problems. His doctors prescribed pain pills, sedatives, and medications for his chronic depression. In 2000, drillers hit the most productive gas well in the U.S, if not the world, on East property, making the old man suddenly and spectacularly wealthy beyond his comprehension.
Soon enough the “wolves” began to circle, and Robert’s grotesque final days were at hand.
For more, visit robertstory.com
- You’ve written about outlaws and criminals from Ted Bundy to a rogue Trappist monk named Brother Leo. How does Robert’s Story fit into your true crime book shelf?
- What attracted you to the story?
- What’s the major challenge in writing such a complex family saga?
- Elder Abuse Month
- Father’s Day (gift guides)
- National Day of the Cowboy- July 22
- National Estate Planning Awareness Week - October 16-22
“Michaud has written a work immense in research and interview disclosure. The interspersed short side tales of sadness, humor and insight into the East family psyche make them all the more accessible and human. Despite the inherent quirks, peccadillos, cussedness, and flat-out ego - this is ultimately the story of family. Because of the unimaginable amounts of land and money at stake and because one man, Robert East, became potentate of a post he little grasped and ultimately blundered, Michaud has unveiled an epic story of worlds colliding under the illuminating magnifying glass of yet another larger-than-life Texas saga.”
—SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
“Robert’s Story: A Texas Cowboy’s Troubled Life and Horrifying Death proves once again that when it comes to crafting gripping, real-life tales of dark, inhuman schemes, nobody does it better than Stephen G. Michaud. After reading about the abominations inflicted on dying Texas rancher Robert East, you may have trouble trusting anyone again. It’s typically great storytelling by a master writer.”
—JEFF GUINN, author of The New York Times best seller, Manson
“Robert’s Story tells the tale of a Texas rancher who never aspired to be anything other than a real, true-to-life cowboy. Nearing the end of the trail, he finds himself awash in a sea of serious oil money and literally doesn’t know what to do with it. He learns too late that his medical and legal consultants, estate planners—even his foreman—snarling wolves and circling vultures cloaked in benign business suits and Stetsons—have plans of their own. Stephen G. Michaud has once again displayed his signature ability to join engaging prose and sense of story with meticulous research into a read meant for lovers of Western lore.”
—CALEB COKER, author of The News from Brownsville
“Robert’s Story is a timeless tale of folly, duplicity, and greed. A descendant of the cattle baron Richard King, Robert East was an extraordinarily wealthy, but mercurial South Texas cattleman. This page-turning account describes how human coyotes betrayed Robert’s trust, destroyed his health, and conspired to steal his fortune.”
—WALTER E. WILSON, Captain, USN (ret.), author of Civil War Scoundrels and the Texas Cotton Trade, The Bulloch Belles, and co-author of James D. Bulloch: Secret Agent and Mastermind of the Confederate Navy
“Get ready for a Texas family saga set on a stage of millions of dollars’ worth of livestock grazing on sprawling ranchlands the size of some small countries. Toss in diabolical forces plotting to rob a dying man of his fortune and proud legacy, and you’ve got Giant on steroids. Author Stephen G. Michaud has crafted a well researched and finely written tragedy the Greeks would most certainly envy.”
—CARLTON STOWERS, two-time Edgar winner and inductee into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame
“Stephen G. Michaud tells the story of Robert East, his family, and their ranches in compelling detail. Overcoming the reluctance of the region’s seigneurial families to disclose their internal differences, Michaud recounts the remote landscapes, plain manners, dynastic families, and rigorous work ethic that characterize the borderlands of deep South Texas. He shows how wealth, rather than rewarding lifetimes of hard labor, contaminates and corrupts relationships of loyalty and trust. This is a powerful book, made more so by the economy and incisiveness of Michaud’s writing.”
—STEPHEN FOX, Fellow, Anchorage Foundation of Texas
“The emotional, psychological, and legal manipulation Robert endured, and which the East family suffered, is a real tragedy.”
—LLOYD J. JASSIN, New York City-based publishing and entertainment law attorney
Pub Date: May 17, 2022
Genre: Memoir / Christian Inspirational
Publisher: She Writes Press
Page Count: 304
ABOUT THE BOOK
In the age of social media, what does it mean to connect through a hand-written letter?
True Story: When Amy Daughters reconnected with her former friend from camp decades ago, Dana, via Facebook, she had no idea how it would change her life. Through social media, Amy learned Dana’s son Parker was at St. Jude battling cancer–devastating news, but what else do you do besides comment an “I’m so sorry,” nowadays?
But more than a comment happened, Amy woke up in the middle of the night and felt called in a way she couldn’t fully explain to write handwritten letters to Dana–someone who through time and distance, had become nothing more than several hundred other faces on her Facebook account.
When Parker died, Amy, not knowing what else to do, continued to write Dana. Eventually, Dana wrote back, and the two became pen pals, sharing things through the mail that they had never shared before. The richness of the experience left Amy wondering something: If my life could be so changed by someone I considered “just a Facebook friend,” what would happen if I wrote all my Facebook friends a letter?
A staggering 580 handwritten letters later Amy’s life would never be the same. As it turned out, there were actual individuals living very real lives behind each social media profile, and she was beautifully connected to each of those extraordinary, very real people.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A native Houstonian and a graduate of The Texas Tech University, Amy W. Daughters has been a freelance writer for more than a decade — mostly covering college football and sometimes talking about her feelings. Her debut novel, You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story That Never Happened (She Writes Press, 2019), was selected as the Silver Winner for Humor in the 2019 Foreword INDIES and the Overall Winner for Humor/Comedy in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Awards. An amateur historian, hack golfer, charlatan fashion model, and regular on the ribbon dancing circuit, Amy — a proud former resident of Blackwell, England, and Dayton, Ohio currently lives in Tomball, Texas, a suburb of Houston. She is married to a foxy computer person, Willie, and is the lucky mother of two amazing sons, Will and Matthew.
- Lost Art of Letter Writing – The deliberateness of a letter, honest, believable and genuine, more than Social Media could ever be. Bringing back the beautiful connection of a hand-written letter.
- How can we teach our younger generation to value a pen & stationery?
- The stages of grief and how to remain a constant and connected friend experiencing the grieving process.
- The power of prayer and finding purpose.
- The evolution of friendships and connections due to social media.
- Work from home and the disconnect it creates–how letter writing can bring back more meaningful relationships.
- Women in Sports – Amy is a decades long sportswriter–a position with its own trials and tribulations as a woman in a male-dominated field.
- Read a New Book Month
- National Letter Writing Day – December 7
- National Christmas Card Day – December 9
- Self-Love Month
- Universal Letter Writing Week – Jan 8-14
- Hunt for Happiness Week – Jan 15-21
- International Boost Self Esteem Month – February
- Month of Hope; Day of Hope – April 5
- World Health Day – April 7
- Tell a Story – April 27
- Trauma Awareness Month – May
PRAISE FOR DEAR DANA
“Dear Dana is an inspirational memoir about caring for friends near and far by reviving a lost art.” — Foreword Reviews
“. . . a captivating study regarding writing letters to friends and rethinking how people successfully bond in the modern world. An intriguing and inspiring exploration of different forms of communication.”— Kirkus Reviews
“This is a book for anyone who wonders about the differences between a Facebook friend and a Real-Life friend and who yearns to see a person’s real life behind their Facebook image. It is also about the power of prayer and the abundance of kindness in our world. But ultimately, it’s about connection and how we are all connected when we come from love.” — Rivvy Neshama, author of Recipes for a Sacred Life: True Stories and a Few Miracles
“Captivating . . . I laughed and I cried as I followed the pleasures of real mail, and the lesson hit home: Whether written or spoken, our words matter. They have the power to illuminate someone’s darkest day.” — Laurie Buchanan, PhD, author of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth and The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace