Posted in excerpt, Spotlight, Texas on May 7, 2016

HTBAT Banner

how to be a texan cover



Andrea Valdez

Illustrated by Abi Daniel


Genre: Texas Customs / Social Life / Humor

Publisher: University of Texas Press

Date of Publication: May 3, 2016

# of pages: 208, 58 B&W Illustrations

Scroll down for Giveaway!



There are certain things every Texan should know how to do and say, whether your Lone Star roots reach all the way back to the 1836 Republic or you were just transplanted here yesterday. Some of these may be second nature to you, but others . . . well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have a few handy hints if, say, branding the herd or hosting a tamalada aren’t your usual pastimes. That’s where How to Be a Texan can help.

In a friendly, lighthearted style, Andrea Valdez offers illustrated, easy-to-follow steps for dozens of authentic Texas activities and sayings. In no time, you’ll be talking like a Texan and dressing the part; hunting, fishing, and ranching; cooking your favorite Texas dishes; and dancing cumbia and two-step. You’ll learn how to take a proper bluebonnet photo and build a Día de los Muertos altar, and you’ll have a bucket list of all the places Texans should visit in their lifetime. Not only will you know how to do all these things, you’ll finish the book with a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a Texan and even more pride in saying “I’m from Texas” anywhere you wander in the world.


Purchase from University of Texas Press

UT Press Social Media sites

Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Tumbler


Get Big Hair

Texas women may not have invented big hair, but they realized long ago the allure of the coiffed crown. Just consider Ann Richards, who made it her trademark and declared an official Big Hair Day in 1993. The style is powerful yet elegant, bold but surprisingly down-home. As Gail Huitt, the former governor’s hairdresser, who has been a stylist in Austin for forty-three years, points out, “Nothing is worse than a big-butted woman with a little head.”

Though the look never fell flat here, hair-up-to-there periodically sees style revival across the country. Jessica Simpson, the Texas-born-and-bred blonde bombshell, released a line of clip-on extensions in the 2000s; infomercials for the Bumpit, a leave-in volumizing insert, once dominated late-night airwaves; and Vera Wang has requested that her models wear modified beehives for her runway shows. Thankfully, you don’t need tons of hair to have big hair (Richards had baby-fine strands, Huitt says); all you need is a can–or three–of hairspray and a fine-toothed comb and you, too, can have the kind of ‘do that inspired this incredible Texas-ism: “the taller the hair, the closer to God.”

Valdez Excerpt #1 Image


Some hairdressers swear by dirty hair–the scalp’s oils are like a natural hair product–but Huitt recommends starting with freshly washed locks. Wick away moisture with a towel, and then apply a volumizing product at the roots.


Flip your hair upside down and blow-dry completely with a diffuser attachment, which creates even more volume. Using the pointed end of a rattail comb, part the hair about two inches back from either your hairline or bang line.


Back-comb the sectioned hair at the roots and spray each teased piece with a(n) (un)healthy dose of Aqua Net hairspray. Continue parting, teasing, and spraying your way back toward your crown. Gently smooth out the top with your comb.


Curl and pin the ends if desired. Set the hair into an impenetrable helmet by fogging down the ‘do one last time. “After that, don’t touch it,” says Huitt. “As soon as you put your hands in your hair, you break the fragile bonds of the product–or a fingernail.”

Excerpt from How to Be a Texan: The Manual by Andrea Valdez (c) 2016 by Andrea Valdez. Used by permission of University of Texas Press
Illustrations by (c) Abi Daniel. For more information visit

about the author


Andrea Valdez by Abi DanielA native Houstonian who has worked for Texas Monthly since 2006, Valdez is the editor of She has written on a wide range of subjects, including more than forty columns on activities every Texan should be able to do, which provided the inspiration for this book. She also helped Texas Monthly launch The Daily Post and

Follow on Twitter







May 3 – May 17, 2016

HTBAT Giveaway Image

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out these other great stops on the tour!

5/3       Country Girl Bookaholic — Promo
5/4       It’s a Jenn World — Review
5/5       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books — Author Interview #1
5/6       Forgotten Winds — Review
5/7       StoreyBook Reviews — Excerpt #1
5/8       All for the Love of the Word – Page Preview #1
5/9       Book Chase — Review
5/10     Margie’s Must Reads — Guest Post
5/11     My Book Fix Blog — Author Interview #2
5/12     Books and Broomsticks — Review
5/13     The Crazy Booksellers — Page Preview #2
5/14     The Page Unbound — Promo
5/15     Hall Ways Blog — Review
5/16     Byers Editing Reviews & Blog — Promo
5/17     Missus Gonzo — Review

lone star lit life

Blog tour services provided by

lone star book blog tours