Louisiana Book News by Cheré Dastugue Coen

Published Sundays in The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette and Monroe News Star of Monroe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My 'Cajun Embassy' series now online everywhere

            I’m thrilled to announce that my new contemporary romance series, “The Cajun Embassy,” is now available through all online bookstores under my pen name of Cherie Claire. 
            The Cajun Embassy series follows three Columbia journalism coeds homesick for Louisiana who find comfort at school in a bowl of Cajun gumbo.
In each book — “Ticket to Paradise,” “Damn Yankees” and “Gone Pecan” — these dedicated friends make their way into the world and find that love — and a good gumbo — cures everything. Each book also has a gumbo recipe attached.
            To introduce readers to my series, "Ticket to Paradise," the first book in the series, may be downloaded FREE. You can learn more, view recipes and access online bookstore sites at www.cherieclaire.net.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

New Louisiana releases, book events this week

Ten years before Henry Wadsworth Longfellow publishes his epic poem, “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie,” he meets the Appleton family while touring Switzerland and begins the courtship of 19-year-old Fanny Appleton. There’s more than an age difference between the two; Longfellow is widowed and pursuing a career at Harvard College and Fanny comes from a family financially above Longfellow’s. The two share a love of literature, however, and become friends although Longfellow wishes for more. In time, however, the romance blossoms, making up “Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton” by Josi S. Kilpack.
When Ken Ilgunas worked as a camp dishwasher near the Arctic Circle, he decided to walk the length of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that crosses eight American states and two Canadian provinces, then write about it in “Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland.”
Music writer and cultural historian Roger Hahn outlines several Louisiana musicians along with the Louisiana Hayride and Preservation Hall in “The Sounds of Louisiana: Twenty Essential Music Makers,” illustrated by Chris Osborne. There’s jazz great Louis Armstrong, songwriter and musician Allen Toussaint, the king of zydeco Clifton Chenier and newcomer Hunter Hayes. Contemporaries Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys represent Cajun and Jerry Lee Lewis spotlights rock ’n’ roll.
H.R. Sanderson of Calhoun, a retired teacher from the Ouachita Parish School System, has published several books in her career: a science fiction book for middle school readers titled “Riddles of Nifiter” and “Oh Those Chinaberries,” released by Lighthouse Christian Publishers last year. Her latest book is the novel “Habakkuk’s Triumph,” set in north Louisiana and published by Tate Publishing.
Bill Loehfelm’s “Let the Devil Out,” is the fourth book in his Maureen Coughlin mystery series. The New York Times says of Maureen, “She finds herself wrestling with ethical issues that fictional cops, especially fictional female ones, rarely talk about, leaving that stuff to real-life cops — and smart guys like Bill Loehfelm.” The author will be signing copies of the book from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Octovia Books in New Orleans.
Nguyen Van Chanh of South Louisiana has published his experiences on discovering a full life, one of peace, inner freedom and joy in “Embracing Salvation: Actualizing Inner Peace, Joy and Freedom to Have a More Abundant Life.”
Daniel H. Usner, the Holland N. McTyeire Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, has published “Weaving Alliances with Other Women: Chitimacha Indian Work in the New South,” published by the University of Georgia Press.

Book events
Richard Sexton, author of “Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere,” published by the Historic New Orleans Collection, will offer a slide lecture Friday at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus. The event will be moderated by the exhibition’s curator John H. Lawrence, who also serves as director of museum programs at The Historic New Orleans Collection, and will feature panelists Dr. Lena Suk from the ULL Department of History and Dr. Jay D. Edwards, professor emeritus of anthropology at LSU. The museum's galleries will remain open throughout the event. The free event begins at 5 p.m. with a welcome reception with light refreshments provided by Café Habana City, followed by a 6 p.m. panel discussion and book signing.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stephen King to highlight National Book Festival

Stephen King will open the Main Stage of the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival with a presentation and recognition by the Library of his lifelong work promoting literacy. Tickets will be required for the King presentation but they are free and will be issued electronically beginning Sept. 14 at the Library of Congress website at loc.gov/bookfest for more details.  
The National Book Festival will be held Sept. 24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Tickets are not required for other presentations or activities at the festival.
The King presentation will be from 11 a.m. to noon on the festival’s Main Stage, which will be located on the third floor. There will not be a book signing.
“Due to Stephen King’s popularity, we anticipate the volume of interest will exceed seating capacity,” said festival co-director Guy Lamolinara. “A ticketed process will make for the most orderly and fair opportunity for Mr. King’s fans to see this presentation.”
Seating will be first-come, first-served. Ticket holders must be seated by 10:30 a.m. Holding a ticket does not guarantee entry.
There is a limit of two tickets per person. Accessibility accommodations should be made no later than Sept. 19 by calling 202-707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov. ASL services are offered at all book festival presentations.
Other authors slated to appear on the Main Stage are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (12:30-1:30 p.m.), Shonda Rhimes (2-3 p.m.), Bob Woodward (4-5 p.m.), Raina Telgemeier (5:30-6:30 p.m.) and Salman Rushdie (7-8 p.m.). Tickets are not required for these presentations. 
Activities on the exhibition floor, including book sales, begin at 9 a.m. and other festival stages will begin presentations at 10 a.m.  A complete schedule will be available atloc.gov/bookfest.
            For more information on National Book Festival authors and schedule, visit loc.gov/bookfest.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. She is also the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Travel down John Hart's 'Redemption Road'

           John Hart’s “Redemption Road” rolls through the Southern countryside, twisting and turning into secrets, betrayal, violence and despair. It’s a road worth traveling, a non-stop voyage that will have your fingers white upon the steering wheel until the very end.
            Someone’s abducting women in this his latest thriller, and we get a glimpse of the murderer’s point of view as the book begins. Thirteen years prior a woman named Julia Strange was found murdered in an abandoned church and local cop Adrian Wall took the rap. His colleague, Elizabeth “Liz” Black, knew in her gut that Adrian was innocent but her efforts to find proof failed.
            As Adrian is released from prison 13 years later, a tortured and broken man, Julia’s son is set on revenge and confronts him in a bar. Meanwhile, Liz has charges of her own after brutally killing two men in a current abduction case. And then another woman’s body is found on the church altar, in the same pose as Julia Strange.
            The storylines weave in and out, constantly providing new insight into all of the cases, the author showing us a host of suspects as Liz works feverously to clear Adrian’s name once again and keep herself out of jail. Time is of the essence, as well, as forces come down on them both, so readers really do feel as if they are speeding down a road to redemption.
            Best-selling author David Baldacci said that, “John Hart can flat-out write…read this novel. And then go back and read all of his others. He’s that good.”
            He is that good and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

Louisiana Writers Retreat
Want to get away for a long weekend to write and think? Join Shift Key’s Jan Risher for the Louisiana Writers Retreat July 28-31 at Lake Cotile in Boyce. The retreat will feature unstructured writing time, facilitated writing workshops and nightly readings at two lake houses and will include accommodations and meals. The retreat also includes sending up to eight pages to an outside editor for feedback/edits and one-on-one sessions. The cost to attend is $435; email Risher at jrisher@goshiftkey.com for more information.

Book awards
Two Baton Rouge authors — M.O. Walsh and Greg Isles — won the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Winners are: The Great Santini Fiction Prize: “My Sunshine Away” by Walsh; The Prince of Tides Literary Prize: “Above the Waterfall” by Ron Rash; The Beach Music Mystery Prize: “Bull Mountain” by Brian Panowich; The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize: “The Bone Tree” by Greg Isles; The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize: “Soul Food Love” by Alice Randall; The Death of Santini Nonfiction Prize: “Dispatches from Pluto” by Richard Grant; The Water Is Wide History & Life Stories Prize: “Jacksonland” by Steve Inskeep; Poppy’s Pants Young Adult Prize: “Mosquitoland” by David Arnold and Poppy’s Pants Youngster’s Prize Winner: “Serafina and the Black Cloak” by Robert Beatty. You can read some of these books reviewed at my blog, LouisianaBookNews.blogspot.com.

Faulkner Society
Two authors will discuss and sign their books from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at the Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter of New Orleans. John Gregory Brown, a native of the city, will discuss his recent novel, “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere,” and Richard Grant will discuss his new memoir, “Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta.” The event is free and open to the public; RSVP to faulkhouse@aol.com.

Book events
Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble, a month-long celebration of pop culture with special events, will run through Aug. 7 at the Lafayette store. At 7 p.m. Friday the store hosts a Star Wars night with trivia, bingo, giveaways and more. Pokemon takes over beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday as the store celebrates 20 years of Pokemon with games and photos.
Paula Hutchinson will sign her books from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Between the Lines Bookstore in Baton Rouge.
            On Saturday, Barnes & Noble will launch new tokidoki back-to-school and stationery product lines, which will be sold exclusively at all Barnes & Noble stores nationwide. To celebrate its arrival, Barnes & Noble Lafayette will be giving away free limited edition character trading cards and buttons Saturday, while supplies last. Also on Saturday at the store, Manga artist Camilla d’Errico arrives at 7 p.m. and there will be activities, cosplay and giveaways.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ann Benoit spotlights New Orleans seafood restaurants in latest cookbook by Pelican Publishing

Ann Benoit and photographer Thomas Fortier Dalferes spotlight the cuisine of the Crescent City in “New Orleans’ Best Seafood Restaurants,” published by Pelican Publishing of New Orleans. A daunting task, to say the least. There’s Acme Oyster House, Deanie’s Seafood of Bucktown, Borgne of the John Besh restaurants, Morton’s in Mandeville, Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House and plenty more. Each spotlight comes with photos and a recipe.
As many restaurants are included in the book are those that are not. And for every restaurant known to most people, residents included, are those you may not recognize. Or maybe I’m being too ambitious to consider a book of this title would have every one of my favorite New Orleans restaurants. (That’s the problem, dear readers, with a cookbook reviewer from New Orleans.)
It’s a lovely cookbook penned by the award-winning Benoit, with nice restaurant write-ups, recipes and photos. Heck, the recipe for Pascal’s Manale Restaurant’s barbecue shrimp is worth the price alone.
            Benoit has also published “New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants” as well as “Broussard’s Restaurant and Courtyard Cookbook,” both of which received the Editor’s Choice for Top 20 Louisiana Cookbooks for Great American Eats — Amazon's Favorite Cookbooks Coast to Coast.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tuesday book spotlights: Discounted and free ebooks

If you love ebooks, you'll be happy to learn about several that are discounted or free. Here are a few favorites of mine:

Once Upon a Bride: 6 Captivating Historical Romances from 6 Beloved Bestsellers
Fall in love with six grooms-to-be as you escape to medieval Scotland, 17th century England, 19th century America, Georgian London and the high seas in this outstanding anthology.

About the Authors
GLYNNIS CAMPBELL is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure romance. She loves to play medieval matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where women are stronger than they look!
LAUREN ROYAL is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her “truly enchanting” humorous historical romance novels have earned raves from reviewers including Publishers Weekly, who calls her “an impressive talent.”
JILL BARNETT has more than 8 million books in print. Published in 23 languages, her work has earned her a place on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.
CYNTHIA WRIGHT is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her "addictive" novels have been hailed by Romantic Times as "Romance the way it was meant to be."
CHERYL BOLEN, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has written more than 20 novels, mostly historical romances, several of which have won Best Historical awards.
ANNETTE BLAIR is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. At forty books and counting, she's published cozy mysteries, bewitching romantic comedies, and award-winning historical romances.

Louisiana Longshot by Jana DeLeon (A Miss Fortune Mystery, Book 1)

CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever—in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out of play. Unfortunately, she hasn't even unpacked a suitcase before her newly inherited dog digs up a human bone in her backyard.

Thrust into the middle of a bayou murder mystery, Fortune teams up with a couple of seemingly sweet old ladies whose looks completely belie their hold on the little town. To top things off, the handsome local deputy is asking her too many questions. If she's not careful, this investigation might blow her cover and get her killed. Armed with her considerable skills and a group of elderly ladies the locals dub The Geritol Mafia, Fortune has no choice but to solve the murder before it's too late.  

And don’t forget Emilie, the first book in my Cajun Series, is always FREE.

Emilie Gallant and her Cajun family have traveled to Louisiana in search of their father, separated thirteen years ago during le grand dérangement, the brutal exile by the British from their Nova Scotia homeland. The last thing Emilie has on her mind as she enters the rugged bayou country is marriage to her longtime companion, Lorenz Dugas. Beautiful but stubbornly defiant, Emilie worshipped Lorenz as a child but having to fight to preserve her family has built a wall around her heart. But Lorenz is equally determined and his passion will prove that their love cannot be denied. As they make their way across the untamed Louisiana wilderness, hoping to reunite the Gallant family, Emilie learns that love has a way of healing all wounds — even in the most unusual places. 

Please remember, 99-cent and free Kindle books are gifts from authors. You can show your gratitude by leaving reviews on the websites where you downloaded the books. And of course buy their other books.