Friends of the Library welcome authors to luncheon
The Belton Journal

Friends of the Belton Public Library held their 18th annual Book & Author Luncheon at the Belton Church of Christ on Saturday. A silent auction was held to promote the Lena Armstrong Public Library by raising funds for technology, special books, periodicals, and non-budgeted amenities. The Friends are still in the process of tabulating the amount raised for the library.
Mike Anderson was Master of Ceremonies for the event and was also presented with the Friends of Friends award for his commitment to Friends of the Library over the years.
Three local Texas authors, T.K. Lukas, Michael Donahue, and R.E.Burke, are advocates for promoting literacy in period times, cultural, or field of study, through imaginative, and creating writing. T.K. Lukas authored the book, “Orphan Moon”. Orphan Moon is a cross between western fiction, historical fiction, and suspense. In her book, Lukas explores the times of the Pony Express, and the roll of women in the post-civil war error. In her novel, she narrated the main character, Barleigh Flanders, as a strong-willed young woman, 19 years of age, who masquerades as a young boy to ride for the Pony Express. A Pony Express help wanted poster read; wanted—young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 per week. Orphan Moon, a novel set in 1860, Barleigh Flanders is a young woman who fights to regain her life after losing everything when her family is massacred. Lukas says that as it turns out, what we know about the Pony Express is actually very little and the stories, while rooted in fact, are also layered in fiction. Lucas throws her hat into the tail of myths that keeps the Pony Express running. The Pony Express crossed the rugged lands, more than 1,800 miles in 10 days, from Texas, to Missouri, to California. The Pony Express operated for only 18 months between April 1860 and October 1861. It became synonymous with the Old West. In the era before electronic communication, the Pony Express was the thread that tied East to West. Lucas’s real-life experiences and world travels expands her imagination that she pours into everything she writes. At some point in her novels, as an equestrian lover, the presence of horses is always made known.
Michael Donahue is the author of “Where the Rivers Ran Red-The Battle of Little Big Horn and George Armstrong Custer.” In his narrative of the book, Donahue described a man with long, strawberry blonde hair, that was under a big floppy hat. The man wore a military uniform, with black polished boots up to his knees. He just described George Armstrong Custer. Donahue is uniquely qualified to examine Custer’s record in the Indian wars. His 30-plus years as a seasonal ranger at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument make him as knowledgeable as anyone about the history of Indian battle’s. He describes the landscape that played a role in Custer’s Last Stand. There are countless books on George Custer, his Civil War battles, and his death near the Little Bighorn River, better known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” Donahue is the first author who writes about the Indian fights of George Armstrong Custer, with a detailed look at all four of Custer’s fights with the Indians in one comprehensive volume. Author and artist, Donahue is Chairman of the Art Department at Temple College. He received his B.F.A., M.A., and M.F.A degrees in Art and History from Stephen F. Austin State University. He was awarded the title of Piper Professor for being one of the top 10 professors from all Texas universities and colleges. His book is over 378 pages with historic photographs, original maps, and seven never-before-published photographs. Donahue’s writing style is descriptive and visual. As a narrator of his book, he captivated the tense moments, with descriptive language, thought-provoking morality dilemmas, and is very knowledgeable about George Armstrong Custer’s battle with the Indians. Donahue has won numerous awards and researched Indian battle’s for over four decades. He is a nationally recognized painter whose work has been featured in over 50 regional, state, national and international exhibitions. His oil paintings can be seen by appointment at the Loose Chippings Studio and Gallery in Belton. He can be contacted at or by calling (254) 298-8570.
Author R.E.Burke, narrated his series of books in “Buddy the Globetrotter.” A series of nine books, Buddy is named after Burke’s own dog, who was a Maltese. The series of books are narrated by a dog, “Buddy the Globetrotter,” who has been to all seven continents, and all 50 states. Burke is a retired pediatrician and is well-known locally for his newspaper travel articles. His inspiration to write comes from his love for educating and being educated. Burke pursues photography in his world travels with his wife, Bonnie. He is lured by the mystique of major ecosystems, and how their inhabitants survive. Burke is an author who travels the world to do research. Through his travels, he finds inspiration for his books and stories. Burke has been a part of the many cultural experiences, explores diverse locations and topics, and turns his journeys into stories for his dog Buddy to narrate. His aim is to inspire pre-teens and advanced readers to imagine travel to some of the most special places on Earth.
The luncheon meals were served by Belton High School National Honor Society students.