Monday, October 24, 2011

Louisiana Book Festival returns!

This Saturday marks the return of the Louisiana Book Festival on the Capitol grounds in Baton Rouge. There will be dozens of authors speaking on a wide variety of subjects, with books for sale afterwards, plus children’s activities, food, arts and crafts, book vendors, and Louisiana author James Wilcox will be honored with the Louisiana Writer Award.
            Best of all, the festival is free.
And I will be speaking about gris gris bags based on my book, “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.”
            In addition, five “WordShops” creative writing seminars will be taught Friday by successful Louisiana authors.
For information, visit
Volunteers are needed to help make the festival a success, and duties range from escorting authors to monitoring workshops and discussions. To volunteer or for more information, visit 

Get Your Mojo Working
            I will be speaking about my book, “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the South Regional Library. Titled “Get Your Mojo Working,” I will discuss the history, culture, and lure of gris gris or mojo bags. Materials will be provided to participants to make a mojo bag; however, attendees are encouraged to bring their own special ingredients, such as herbs, stones and tokens. 

Roger Debuts
Jacklyn Sonnier Hirshberg of Lafayette owns an expansive garden filled with ponds, flowers and a variety of creatures. One of them was a small frog she named Roger. The author of “Nicky the Swamp Dog,” a bestseller for local Acadian House Publishing, Hirshberg decided to make her Roger famous. In “Roger, the Tree Frog,” also published by Acadian House, Roger feels good about himself living at a nursery in town because he believes he has a name. Other tree frogs look up to him because of this. When a woman arrives and buys the plant he’s sleeping on, Roger ends up in a Lafayette home with a host of creatures who also have names. Suddenly, Roger is no longer the big man on campus. As Roger meets the creatures of his new home, he earns new friends. And the lady who inadvertently brings him to her house purchases tadpoles so he will not be lonely. In the end, Roger realizes that friends come in all sizes and shapes, sometimes having buddies of your own kind helps and every new experience, however unsettling the change may be, leads to a better understanding of the world. “Roger the Tree Frog” is a delightful book with photos of the actual tree frog found in Hirshberg’s back yard (along with her other creatures). It’s a valuable moral told in a sweet tale that kids of all ages will love.

Ebook News
Rosemary Smith of Lafayette’s novel, “No Earthly Boundaries,” has been released by Inkwater Press. The book follows a World War II veteran who returns to Butte La Rose to find his girl has married someone else and he can’t make a living hunting, fishing and trapping the way he had expected. He meets a childhood friend who became his true love and discovers an aircraft from another world, forming a friendship with the odd pilot, Sacam. The book is available on in soft cover and e-book format.
The electronic version of Warren Perrin’s “Acadian Redemption: From Beausoleil Broussard to the Queen’s Royal Proclamation” is now available for electronic readers through online bookstores.

Festival of Words
Former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque  will teaches a poetry writing workshop, “Memory, Dream, and Ancestors — finding the poems you didn't know you had in you," from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Arnauld LeDoux Library on the campus of LSU-Eunice. The workshop is free for students and a $10 donation is requested for the general public. Registration required; call Gerald Patout at (337) 550-1381. This workshop is offered through a partnership between the Festival of Words and the Friends of the Library Opelousas-Eunice.

'Louisiana Reflections'
   The Historic New Orleans Collection will host a book signing and lecture for fine art photographer Joseph D’Antoni on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 533 Royal St. in New Orleans. D’Antoni will discuss and sign copies of the newly released “Louisiana Reflections” (Royal Oak Press) at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited; for reservations call (504) 523-4662 or email D’Antoni received his undergraduate degree from UL, a master’s degree from LSU and a doctorate from the University of Southern California.