Monday, December 17, 2018


THE SHELTERING PALMS by Preston Howard, Fictional Autobiography/Historical Fiction/Satire, 519 pp., $19.99 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)


Preston Howard

Preston Howard Press

Pages: 519

Fictional Autobiography/Historical Fiction/Satire

Renowned police labor lawyer, Preston Howard, reached a watershed in
his life—a forced retirement from the firm he built from the ground up
and a cancer diagnosis. These two events made him take a step back and
reflect over a life that had at times been hilarious, irreverent,
self-mocking, eerie and even a bit, make that, quite lewd.

A family of unique characters guided the lawyer’s formative years: a
bourbon-swilling, brilliant yet flawed grandfather who mentored the
young lad in matters of religion, politics and the quest for knowledge; a
psychic mother; an oversexed nanny; an aunt and uncle who fought on the
front lines of integration; and a fire-balling uncle who got his
fifteen minutes of fame in The Show.

Preston Howard first made his mark as a crime-fighting attorney
representing the Tucson Police Department. Then he spent over forty
illustrious years as a labor lawyer working with police officers and
union leaders and handling the gamut of fascinating, high-profile cases
across the country and even in other countries.

His many tall yarns might be viewed by some with the greatest
suspicion, but his story-telling is undeniably first-class, witty, and


“The best book I’ve ever read about lawyers, cops, and unions.” Bob Helpert, Tucson, Arizona


Link to book on Amazon:

Link to B&N:

Link to Kobo:

Link to Apple:

I USED TO BE SOMEBODY—when Preston Howard walked down the street,
kings and queens would move off to the curb. Okay, so that bit of paraphrased
hyperbole, courtesy of George Thorogood, might qualify as excessive, but for
sure, when I rode into town, mayors, city managers, and police chiefs became
more than a little queasy over what kind of wrath I might bring down on their
As senior partner at the highly successful Austin
labor law firm of Howard, Diamond, and McGowan, I was invariably the oldest
person in any meeting. My partners and co-workers would refer to me as “gramps”
or “pappy;” one of them commented that I surely must have been around to vote
for Hoover in 1928. If I had actually been alive back then, my vote likely
would have been for Al Smith, not that my ballot would have been of any benefit
to the man.
I did have the satisfaction that sometimes when my
colleagues were not trying to get my goat with the “old man” references, they
would call me “Obi-Wan.” At least my long and productive career had earned me
Alec Guinness status as an all-knowing legal Jedi knight.
A few years back, I began to acknowledge that the
passage of time had worn me down. My work ethic started to diminish; my
instincts, always on target before, sometimes failed me; and to their
considerable annoyance, I became increasingly testy with colleagues. My partners
urged—tactfully at first and then more impolitely—that I go out to pasture.
What an irony: I hired this bunch of ungrateful bastards, and then they had the
gall to start pushing me aside.
So as I began to seriously consider retirement two
years back, The Fates turned my life upside down and made the decision easier
to finish up my career. The cancer diagnosis and Social Security eligibility
hit me in the gut less than two weeks apart.

Preston Howard spent his entire career working on behalf of police
officers, representing them under adverse circumstances, negotiating
contracts to improve officers’ benefits and working conditions, and
training police union officials in the art of leadership. He has written
numerous books and lectured not only in this country but abroad as

His latest book is the fictional autobiography/historical fiction/satire, The Sheltering Palms

Website Address:

Facebook Address: Preston Howard – Author

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