Best of Texas Book Award: Plain Roots by Becki Willis

Now she’s caught in the quicksand of a shocking discovery, and she’ll risk everything—including her life—to uncover the truth.

Plain Roots by Becki Willis has received the 2019 Best of Texas Book Award for Mystery.

B. Alan Bourgeoise, founder and director of the Texas Association of Authors, point out, “Readers of the exceptional titles selected for the Book Awards would agree that they are winning reads and top-tier selections in their categories. By any measure, the distinguished books from this year’s forty-eight winners are of stellar quality. Readers will love to fall into the pages and climb out with the greatest of satisfaction.”

This is the seventh year for TxAuthors to select winning titles written by Texas authors for the Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children’s Books. The association has members from throughout the United States and is not limited to Texas writers.

The winners from this year’s contest will receive their prestigious awards at the Celebration of Authors Gala in San Antonio on July 27, which is part of the Fourth Annual Authors Marketing Event.

Plain Roots

Taryn Clark thought she’d outgrown the need to find her birth mother. She thought that a successful career and a comfortable life in the city were enough to be happy. Did she really need to know about the woman who had given her away?

But dreams are resilient. An accidental discovery awakens old yearnings of belonging to a family, of being part of something bigger than herself. Finding the brief, ambiguous note from her birth mother is enough to unfurl the ribbons of hope still binding her heart.

Her quest takes her to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and the heart of the Plain community. Aided by her unique eye color, a healthy dose of luck, and the private investigator she hires, Taryn finds her birth family easily enough, but finding the truth is another matter. In all her musings, she never imagined a scenario where her mother might be Amish. She never imagined that the fabric of her life might be a patchwork of faith and fear, stitched together with a dark family secret.

Taryn is determined to trace her roots, even if it means digging in the mud to do so. Now she’s caught in the quicksand of a shocking discovery and the consequences of choices made, almost forty years ago. She’ll risk everything—including her life—to uncover the truth.

From the award-winning author of Forgotten Boxes and The Sisters, Texas Series. Readers say this is “her best yet!”

Becki Willis

About Becki Willis:

Best-selling author Becki Willis loves crafting stories with believable characters in believable situations. Many of her stories stem from her own travels and from personal experiences. (No worries; she’s never actually murdered anyone).

When she’s not plotting danger and adventure for her imaginary friends, Becki enjoys reading, antiquing–aka junking, unraveling a good mystery (real or imagined), dark chocolate, and a good cup of coffee. A professed history geek, Becki often weaves pieces of the past into her novels. Family is a central theme in her stories and in her life. She and her husband enjoy traveling but believe coming home to their Texas ranch is the best part of any trip.

Becki has won numerous awards, but the real compliments come from her readers. Drop in for an e-visit anytime at, or

Review by The International Review of Books:

A touching story about a young woman, Taryn Clark, desperately looking for her roots and finding them in a very odd but beautiful place.

However, someone wants her to stop looking – and this person seems to know a lot about her biological family. As she uncovers the sad and horrific events of the past layer by layer, texted daily threats become more vicious and it’s clear that Taryn and her newly found family are not safe.

She enlisted the services of Bryce Elliott, a private Investigator, because she thought it would make her search quicker. She didn’t think she might need protection.

(And maybe Bryce isn’t as cold and rigid as he appears once she gets to know him better – after all, the whole town seems to want to play matchmaker…)

As the past is revealed, Taryn realizes her roots are far from perfect, and that that is okay, it is just how families are. There is a quotation the author used and this sums up what I think we all feel. It is attributed to Taryn’s biological mother, “God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle, God helps us handle what we are given.”

This is an easy and informative read, and I found myself totally immersed in the novel although I’m more of a thriller fan. I especially appreciate the research the author did on the Amish community. Quite often whilst I was reading about Taryn’s family, I thought how the so-called “Plain” people can teach the rest of us a thing or two about life.

On the whole, I was impressed with the clean read, and would definitely read books by Becki Willis again.

Please click HERE to find Plain Roots on Amazon.

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