Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday's ebook spotlight - Cauchemars!

Today’s spotlight is close to my heart because when I was writing my collection of ghost tales  “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana,” I learned more about the creepy legend of cauchemars. In Cajun Country, a cauchemar is a spirit that rides on your chest or back during the night.

“In a 1985 article in The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, the late folklorist Dr. Patricia Rickles of Southwestern Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette), described cauchemar as ‘a nightmare spirit that chokes and suffocates people in their beds,’” I wrote in the book. “Rickles claimed that numerous people she had interviewed over the years believed in them, including one who felt its presence in the university dorms.”

I mentioned cauchemars because a dorm resident at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette had experienced just an occurrence. Talk about scary.

Recently I discovered that Alexandra Grigorescu has written a novel titled “Cauchemar” which intrigued me. I have not yet read this book but wanted to pass along the information because 1. It’s close to Halloween and 2. It’s available for download for $4.99.

Here’s the book description: “Gripping, fast-paced, gorgeously written, and with unforgettable characters, Cauchemar tells the story of 20-year-old Hannah, who finds herself living alone on the edge of a Louisiana swamp after her adopted mother and protector dies. Hannah falls in love with Callum, an easy-going boat captain and part-time musician, but after her mysterious birth mother, outcast as a witch and rumored to commune with the dead, comes back into Hannah’s life, she must confront what she’s been hiding from — the deadly spirits that haunt the swamp, the dark secrets of her past, and the nascent gift she possesses. Like the nightmares that plague Hannah, Cauchemar lingers and haunts.”

If you read the book, please comment on your thoughts. I’m dying (not a good word to use) to know.

And if you’re interested in why I included this creepy legend into “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana,” my book is available as a download for $9.99 (and is in print, published by The History Press) at bookstores everywhere.

Louisiana Book News is written by journalist Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. The first two books in her award-winning series are free as ebooks! For more information and to sign up for her newsletter visit www.cherieclaire.net.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Restore those papers at Restoration Roadshow

In light of the historic flooding in August, The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is collaborating with several local institutions and conservators to host the Restoration Roadshow, an event to provide the public with free consultations on how they can preserve their flood-damaged belongings. Experts will be at the Mall of Louisiana (inside near the entrance of Dillard’s) from noon to 4 p.m. today to advise individuals on restoring their damaged paper documents, frames and mirrors, furniture, glass and ceramics, jewelry and metals, paintings, photographs, and textiles. This will be the second time that The Historic New Orleans Collection has presented a Restoration Roadshow; the first events were held in the greater New Orleans area in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and were widely attended.

Book events for Oct. 16-23
Dixie Poche discusses her book, “Classic Eateries of Cajun Country” at the Friends of the Lafayette Library Annual Author Dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Petroleum Club. Her book is an anthology about 40 of French Louisiana’s pioneering eateries. She will share stories of these classic restaurants, meat markets and bakeries as well as discuss some traditional Cajun food customs like boucheries. The cost is $25 and reservations must be made by calling Bobbie at 984-8661 before noon on Oct. 25.  
Newbery Honor Award winner and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt discusses her children’s books with a question and answer period to follow from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Monday at South Regional Library and will discuss the process of writing a book in “My Life as a Writer” from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Main Library in downtown Lafayette.
            David Billings will discuss his book “Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in United States History and Life” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Octavia Books in New Orleans. Also at Octavia, Troy Gilbert, Billy Solitario and Chef Matthew Mayfield sign “On the Coast: Mississippi Tales and Recipes” at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Rebecca Hazelwood and Ken and Jenni Anderson will read as part of the Thursday Night Reading presented by the UL-Lafayette English Department, EGSA and Sigma Tau Delta at 7 p.m. Thursday at Poets, 1043 Johnston St.
            Deborah Burst will sign her latest book, “Spirits from the Bayou,” at 6 p.m. Thursday at the St. Tammany Parish Madisonville Library and from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Conundrum Bookstore in St. Francisville.

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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday ebook spotlight: Kathleen Walls

When I first met Kathleen Walls on a travel writer’s trip, I knew where she was from the moment she spoke. Since we’re both from New Orleans, we had to do that “Where’d you go to school,” “Who’s your mama?” thing.

In addition to travel writing, Kathleen publishes a host of books, many of them travel related. But she has two books out in print, ebook and audio forms at Amazon and iTunes that have a Louisiana connection. “Under a Bloody Flag” and “Under a Black Flag” revolve around character Dan Fitzgerald who flees St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, after finding out his slave, Andre, is his half-brother.

“Dan and Andre go to Kansas but the war brings Andre back to New Orleans,” Kathleen explained. “Dan and Andre both spend part of the book in Shreveport at General Kirby Smith's headquarters. Don't want to give away the ending but that brings both Dan and Andre and their wives back to St. Bernard.”

Here’s the description for “Under a Bloody Flag,” which continues with “Under a Black Flag”:

In Kansas and Missouri, the War Between the States started long before Fort Sumter. Daniel Fitzgerald, a Southerner who tries to settle Kansas and leave behind his tormented Louisiana roots, soon finds that in Kansas Territory you have to take sides or die. Taking sides doesn’t lessen the chances of a violent death, it just determines who is going to try and kill you.

For Massachusetts-born Rebecca Styles, who comes to Kansas to insure freedom for slaves, the choice is easy. Or is it? When she meets Daniel, she is forced to take a new look at all the ideas she took for granted, like all Southerners are evil and all abolitionists are good. 

Daniel’s half-brother and former slave, André, knows his first loyalty belongs to his friends and family, not a lofty ideal, but he can’t sit by and do nothing when injustice stares him in the face.
Throw into the mix all the larger-than-life characters who played a part in the sectional violence which led the nation into its bloodiest war and you have a novel with all the drama of the era. You’ll meet James Lane, John Brown, JEB Stuart, Robert E. Lee, Joseph Shelby, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, and the other men and women who have shaped this nation into what it is today. 

Louisiana Book News is written by journalist Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. The first two books in her award-winning series are free as ebooks! For more information and to sign up for her newsletter visit www.cherieclaire.net.