Sunday, May 19, 2019

Metairie Library to screen 'Pan Am Flight 759'


"Pan Am Flight 759," a new documentary by filmmaker Royd Anderson, will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. The free screening is part of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Jefferson Parish Historical Society. The filmmaker will be present at the screenings.

Pan Am Flight 759 crashed less than one minute after it took off on a stormy afternoon from New Orleans International Airport on July 9, 1982, killing all 146 people on board and eight people on the ground. The Boeing 727 jet plowed into south Kenner’s Morningside Park neighborhood. At the time, it was the nation’s second-deadliest crash.

Pan Am 759 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Miami to Las Vegas, with a stop in New Orleans. At the time of Flight 759's takeoff on July 9, 1982, there were thunderstorms over the east end of the airport. Microburst wind shear caused by that afternoon's powerful thunderstorm was blamed for the catastrophe, with the plane rapidly losing altitude almost immediately after taking off. The crash helped spur the development of sophisticated equipment incorporating Doppler radar to detect wind shear.

Royd Anderson specializes in documentary films pertaining to tragic events in Louisiana that he says are overlooked by historians. In 2006, Anderson wrote and directed the documentary The Luling Ferry Disaster for his master's degree thesis project in communication at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The film recounts the story of the worst ferry disaster in U.S. history in which 77 lives were lost.




Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Two new children's books for spring


Last year, budget cuts eliminated this column from the Gannett newspapers in Lafayette and Monroe but the blog continues! I’ve been amazed at the continued support from readers, authors and librarians and I thank you wholeheartedly.

However, because I must fill that financial gap left behind by the loss of newspaper income, I’ve not reviewed books as much as in the past. But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in sharing the great news from Louisiana authors and authors writing about Louisiana. For those of you who have sent me books, thank you and I promise to get the word out. For those of you who wish to have your book mentioned in this column, please send information to cherecoen@gmail.com.

Here are a few new children's books to consider this spring:

Children’s books
Lenore Weiss, who once lived in Louisiana and is now enrolled in the MFA program at San Francisco State, has just released “The Glimmerine,” an urban environmental fantasy for middle-grade readers. The heroine is 10-year-old Leah who has been labeled the school weirdo because she talks to something hidden inside her backpack. But Leah doesn’t care how much she’s teased. She has other friends.

You can read more about the book and purchase either an ebook or paperback at Amazon.

Kimberly Willis Holt, National Book Award-winning author of “My Louisiana Sky” and a writer with ties to Louisiana, has a new chapter book for ages 8-14. 

“The Lost Boy’s Gift” follows nine-year-old Daniel who moves across the country after his parents’ divorce. Despite his sadness for leaving behind friends, his new home on While-A-Way Lane provides him with fun adventures with Lemonade Girl, a hopscotching mailman and Tilda Butter, who helps Daniel find his way.

Read more about the author and her books here.



Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Casey Cep signs ‘Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee’ at Garden District Book Shop

If you missed watching the intriguing story of famed author Harper Lee’s desire to write a true crime novel at CBS’ “Sunday Morning” on April 28, 2019, it’s all based on a new book by Casey Cep. And the author will be visiting New Orleans this week, discussing and signing books from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 12, at Garden District Book Shop.

Here’s the book’s description:
The Rev. Willie Maxwell was a rural Alabama preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. 

Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted — thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own “In Cold Blood,” the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research 17 years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case.

Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

If you want to learn more, be sure and watch the "Sunday Morning" episode by clicking here.





Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Three authors to discuss works Thursday

Louisiana authors Ingrid Green Adams, Vivian Collins and Hilda Miller will discuss their new books at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

Ingrid Green Adams, Is There a Doctor in The House?
Green says hers is a book of healing inspirational poetry. It contains five sections of poetry about the healing processes “in our own homes, schools, hospitals and doctor offices, workplaces and churches.” Each section contains eight poems for a total of 40 poems. Adams is the author of four books of inspirational poetry: Of Spirit and Truth, As I Ponder of Days Gone By, From the Mouths of Babes, and Get Right or Get Left. She is a 1983 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Southern University at New Orleans. She retired from the Department of Homeland Security as an Intelligence Research Specialist in 2003. Adams is the owner of Green’s Consulting Company specializing in motivational speaking. 

Vivian Collins, Why Not a Woman?
Pastor/evangelist Vivian Thornton Collins says she wrote the book “having experienced her own share of life’s difficulties. She says she has a unique message for hurting wives and mothers everywhere. She teaches a bible study in her home once a month and has an hour-long radio program every Sunday night. She has ministered in Nigeria, Ghana and Togo in Africa, in the Holy Land, in most of the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, and in many parts of the Caribbean.

Hilda Miller, Loving Someone Behind Bars
Devastated when the father of her four small children drowned while swimming in Lake Pontchartrain, Hilda Miller-Jones struggled to survive. A few years later, she met up with a man she had gone to grade school with and had a crush on--Hank Miller. He was home from the Marines and seemed to be the perfect match for Hilda's needs – a husband for her, a father for her young children and a provider for the whole family. Little could she know that their passion would end in divorce, and 30 days later, Hank would be convicted of murder and sentenced to fifty years in prison. For the next twenty years, Hilda went on with her life, trying to do her best to raise her family and further her own career. But then Hank began calling and didn't stop until she agreed to see him in prison and, she again fell madly in love with him and remarried him--in spite of the shackles that bound him.




Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Mississippi Vegan – Southern food with conscience

It might sound like an oxymoron but Southern vegan makes sense. Think of our moderate climate that allows us to grow a variety of fabulous vegetables and fruits. While we Southerners tend to focus on the meat end of things, there’s that smorgasbord of biscuits and gravy, macaroni and cheese, peach cobblers, greens and cornbread dressing. And yes, some of those dishes must be altered to be considered vegan, but these days with all the alternative ways to add dairy and protein to meals, Southern vegan can be as easy as a hot knife through butter.

Timothy Pakron celebrates his Mississippi roots and love of Southern cooking in a gorgeous cookbook that will erase any doubt you might have in eating Southern vegan in “Mississippi Vegan: Recipes and Stories from a SouthernBoy’s Heart” (Avery). Pakron doesn’t dwell on the lack of meat but rather the nostalgia of growing up along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and enjoying Cajun, Creole and Southern dishes. To write the book, he enlisted family and friends and calls to his mom.

“The majority of these recipes stem directly from my childhood, dishes that I can only remember in my mind,” he writes in the introduction. “But others pick and pull from what I’ve learned throughout my life, allowing me to introduce something special and unique.”

Pakron’s hope is that readers will look beyond the vegan.

“Although it may sound literal, as I am from Mississippi and I am vegan, this creative endeavor is about more than a specific location,” Pakron writes. “It’s a constant celebration of delicious food, memories, and pride in growing and sourcing local produce. It’s an exploration of nature and a constant search for beauty that exists in this world.”

Are you still doubting the vegan part of the equation? Don’t. There are recipes for gumbo with barley sausage and gumbo z’herbes, blue spice basil pesto pasta, garlic cheese grits with vegan cheddar, mirliton corn bisque and a host of delicious desserts and cocktails, the photos as enticing as the recipes.

Check out the book's trailer here.


Pakron writes the blog “Mississippi Vegan” and his Instagram feed contains many of his gorgeous photos. Before devoting himself to the culinary arts, Pakron spent time as a fine artist and freelance photographer in Charleston and New York City. He currently lives in New Orleans.




Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.