Sunday, February 26, 2017

Celebrate Carnival with Louisiana guide

Brian J. Costello loves Carnival. Years ago he invited me to experience a New Roads Mardi Gras; Costello is the historian of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library Historic Materials Collection and was 2009 king of the New Roads Lion Mardi Gras. I’m a Carnival connoisseur so I happily accepted and experienced yet another Carnival celebration outside New Orleans, my home town. Costello branches out his Carnival expertise in his latest book, “Carnival in Louisiana: Celebrating Mardi Gras from the French Quarter to the Red River,” published by LSU Press. The book begins with New Orleans, naturally, and then includes sections on Acadiana, Southeast Louisiana and Central and North Louisiana. He tackles traditional parades, satirical parades, the Cajun courir de Mardi Gras, spontaneous street parties, Carnival balls and much more. It’s a comprehensive book that showcases the diversity of our state, its varied culture and traditions showing up in a statewide free party that attracts the world.
           
Make Some Noise!
A group of Baton Rouge high school wanted to make some noise last fall, so they did. “Make Some Noise IV! A Baton Rouge Youth Poetry Anthology” features the poetry, prose and short stories of 75 Zachary High School students. Nearly 100 Zachary High School students submitted their work focused on the flood, the police shootings in Baton Rouge, social awareness, race and relevant personal issues that they face. The anthology is edited by poet and author Terry A. O’Neal and available in print and electronic editions in stores and online at Amazon.com. 

Global South
The keynote speaker of the April 6-8 Deep South in the Global South conference will be Dr. Anouar Majid, author of “We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades against Muslims and Other Minorities,” at UL-Lafayette. Majid’s talk will be “Specters of the Global South” and will be held at 8 p.m. April 7 at the Petroleum Club.

Publisher’s Weekly said this of Majid’s book: “Majid draws much-needed comparisons between events leading to atrocities like the Spanish Inquisition and present attitudes and trends, including growing disdain for Muslims in Europe and Hispanics in the U.S. Further, he shows how nations are strengthened by the acceptance and integration of the foreign (as is the trend, following initial xenophobic fits, in the U.S.), while cultural expulsion and/or cleansing hurts people and states (as in Germany’s post-WWII ‘occupation and dismemberment’). With this intriguing historical analysis, Majid sounds a clear warning against the West’s latest slide toward cultural scapegoating.”

The DSGS Conference is an interdisciplinary conference exploring humanity’s interactions with and responses to an increasingly globalized world. Guest speakers include photographer Brooke C. White, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Rebecca Snedeker and authors Anthony Wilson, J. Bruce Fuller and John McNally. Early registration to the conference is ongoing until Tuesday by visiting http://dsgsconference.weebly.com/registration.html.

New releases
Eric Wowoh, a Liberian refugee who lived in 11 different refugee camps throughout West Africa and who was educated at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette upon arrival to the United States, has published a book of his experiences, “Return of a Refugee.” Because Wowoh realized the value of education, he returned to Liberia to create a school through his human service non-profit Change Agent Network. The book follows his story, of his trauma and separation from family for 20 years, and how now he still believes in humanity, goodwill and God. For more information on the book and program, visit http://www.canintl.org/.

C.E. Richard has published “Land's End: Field Notes from the End of the World,” with photos by Frank McMains, a collection of essays about Louisiana's coastal erosion. The Faulkner Society of New Orleans selected the book published by McFarland Press as runner-up in the nonfiction book category for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Prize in Creative Writing. Last year, a portion of the book’s essays and photos were released by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation under the title “Coastal Sketches” to mark the 10th anniversary of Katrina and Rita. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/cerichard2015/.

Book events
Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop of New Orleans honors Dr. Seuss’s Birthday from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5. There will be free Dr. Seuss goodie bags (while supplies last), games, coloring and storytime. Costumes are encouraged.


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.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Robicheaux festival lineup announced

Literary detective Dave Robicheaux, created by author James Lee Burke, is coming home to Iberia Parish with his second festival. The official Dave Robicheaux's Hometown Literary Festival: Celebrating Storytellersfrom Iberia and Beyond will be March 31-April 2, 2017, in New Iberia's historic district and around Iberia Parish.

Friday kicks off with "Tin Roof Throwdown" featuring cooking demos by Cane River Pecan, Konriko Rice Mill and Tabasco. That afternoon, guided Dave Robicheaux motor coach tours start participants off with lunch at Dave's favorite diner, Victor's Cafeteria, and then a tour around Iberia Parish to visit locations like New Iberia's Main Street, the Teche Motel, Iberia Parish Courthouse and the Bayou Teche. Writing workshops for aspiring authors will also be held.

Friday night gets moving with "Bayou City Jam," a pig-roast party at the Shadows-on-the-Teche, where a jazz band will serenade guests as they dine on the grounds of this National Trust plantation home. Saturday starts with the Neon Rain 5K Run, followed by a University of Louisiana at Lafayette Academic Symposium featuring Burke scholar Patricia Gaitely, and an author/publisher roundtable. Iberia Performing Arts League actors will perform reader's theater of a Dave Robicheaux novel. Award winning Southern writer Margaret Wrinkle will also give a presentation that afternoon.

At "Eat With Clete" there will be live music and Cajun delicacies in Bouligny Plaza. Books Along the Teche will hold an author fair and book signing along Main Street. Bourée lessons and a tournament will also take place. The Friday motor coach tour of Dave's favorite haunts will be repeated on Saturday, complete with lunch at Victor's.

On Saturday evening "Black Cherry Boogie" will showcase Cajun food and music for a good ol' fais-do-do. Grab a drink and stroll down Main Street to see why Dave Robicheaux always wanted to come back home.

During the weekend, the Grand Theater will show several free screenings of "In the Electric Mist" starring Tommy Lee Jones.

On Sunday, Batiste's Bayou Teche Adventure Boat Tours will launch out of New Iberia City Park. The afternoon will culminate with a free Symphony Sunday in the Park featuring the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra under the live oaks of New Iberia's City Park.

For more information, contact Cathy Indest, (337) 298-7964, cathy.indest@lhcgroup.com or visit DaveRobicheauxLiteraryFestival.com and Facebook.com/DaveRobicheauxLiteraryFestival

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday ebook spotlight: Eden Butler

Eden Butler is an editor and writer of fantasy, mystery and contemporary romance novels, not to mention that she's the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate! She attributes her genealogy to the reason why she breaks rules and drinks rum. 

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrow-esque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football. 

Butler is the author of the “Thin Love” series, the latest of which, “Thick and Thin (Book 3),” was published late last year with book two, “Thick Love,” published in 2015. 

You can download the first book in the series, “Thin Love,” for only 99 cents! And there’s plenty more to enjoy from this author, who states on her author page that she is “currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana. Please send help.”



Louisiana Book News is written by journalist Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances under the pen nam

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Literary events to honor Black History Month

 There are several special literary events happening this week in honor of Black History Month.

A film viewing and discussion of “Frederick Douglass: When the Lion Wrote History” will begin at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, in the Betty E. Smith Nursing Building, Room, 212, on the Grambling campus.

American journalist, syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate and author Roland S. Martin will speak at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Grambling’s T.H. Harris Auditorium. He’s the author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith,” “Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America” and his latest, “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.”

The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana will host Dr. Rachel L. Emanuel, coauthor of “Images of America: Scotlandville,” at noon Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the State Library’s Seminar Center, 701 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge. Located in the northern part of East Baton Rouge Parish, Scotlandville was once a rural village and entry point for the slave trade and home to a cotton plantation. It became the largest majority African-American town in Louisiana. Scotlandville’s history is intricately tied to the historically black Southern University and A&M College, relocated on the Mississippi River bluff in 1914. The event is free and open to the public; registration is not required. Attendees are invited to bring brown bag lunches and come and go as their schedules allow. Books will be available for purchase from the author.

“Her Space, Her Place: Lasting Influences of Black Female Narration” is the topic of the lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. at the Ernest J. Gaines Center in the Edith Garland Dupré Library on the UL-Lafayette campus. Speakers include Mona Lisa Saloy of Dillard University and Jo Davis-McEllgatt of UL-Lafayette. The speakers will discuss the literary impact of black female authors. Davis-McEllgatt will also be speaking on “What is the real root of our anger” at 7 p.m. in UL’s Moody Hall, Room 103, on behalf of the UL Lafayette Black Women's Leadership Association. She will reference productive rage in Audre Lorde’s “Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.”

‘Looking for Voodoo’
The Jeanerette Museum will present the history talk, “Looking for Voodoo,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the museum located at 500 E. Main St. in Jeanerette. The talk suitable for adult audiences will explore the culture associated with the history of African diasporic religions by author Jeff Anderson, the William R. Hammond Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Anderson’s book, “Conjure in African American Society,” examines black magical practices from colonial times to the rise of modern spiritual supply stores. In 2008, he finished a second book, “Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Conjure: A Handbook,” which he followed by editing the “Voodoo Encyclopedia” in 2015. Anderson’s current project is a study of Mississippi Valley Voodoo. For more information on the free event, visit JeaneretteMuseum.com, call (337) 276-4408 or email JeaneretteMuseum@yahoo.com.

Conferences
The North Louisiana Storytellers & Authors of Romance will host their annual conference March 3-4 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Shreveport. Industry professionals attending will be Candace Havens, senior executive editor, Entangled Publishing; Emily Rodmell, editor, Harlequin Love Inspired Lines; Kristy Hunter, The Knight Agency and Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency. For information, visit http://nolastars.com/conference.

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival will be March 22-26 throughout New Orleans. For more information, visit www.tennesseewilliams.net.

The Walker Percy Weekend, a festival to celebrate the Louisiana novelist’s life and work, will be June 2-4 in St. Francisville. Percy was born in North Carolina but spent much of his life living and writing about Louisiana. For more information, visit http://www.walkerpercyweekend.org.

Ouachita Parish Library
The Friends of the Ouachita Library Book Sale is always held the last Friday and Saturday of the month from January through October, and proceeds help fund activities and programs at the library. This month’s sale is Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25, in the meeting room of the West Ouachita Branch.

Book events
Sergio Poroger discusses and signs “Cold Hot: A Visual Journey” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.

Carole Cotton Winn will visit her hometown of Rayville to sign copies of “My Darling, A World War II Scrapbook” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Rhymes Memorial Library and at 5 p.m. at the Richland Parish Library.


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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday Ebook Spotlight: O'Neil De Noux


New Orleans author O’Neil De Noux is exploring a new genre with his paranormal secret agent novel, “Lucifer’s Tiger.” The book is up now on Kindle Scout where readers may enjoy the opening scenes for free and vote for the book to be published by Amazon. 


Here is a brief rundown: IT IS 1936 and the world is on the brink of war – An American agent with special talents tangles with Japanese agents frantically searching for a mysterious stone called the Blaer. Murder quickly follows as the American stumbles across a vivacious brunette who needs rescuing. Or does she? She has her own special talents. The chase is on from southern China through steamy India to a lost island in the Arabian Sea. What diabolical plan do Nazi scientists have for tigers in this deadly game of cat-and-mouse in the realm of the ultimate predator? The tiger.

To read the opening lines to “Lucifer’s Tiger” and vote, visit https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/783BJVSMZLQX.


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 romances series are FREE as ebooks and for Feb 14-18 her new paranormal mystery is FREE to download! For more information and to sign up for her newsletter visit www.cherieclaire.net.