Monday, July 30, 2012

'Deadlocked' headed toward series finish

          Charlaine Harris’s latest Sookie Stackhouse novel “Deadlocked” deals with the usual “supes” or supernaturals, including fairies, werewolves, vampires and demons — all those wonderful characters that spawned the popular “True Blood” series on HBO. But as the series heads to its conclusion next May, Harris appears to be wrapping up a few storylines while continuing to leave many others open to keep us waiting with anticipation.
             In this her 12th novel in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series, our favorite telepathic is still hosting her fairie cousins and dating Eric the vampire with a few enemies always lurking around the corner, not to mention a few men who carry a torch for the young north Louisiana girl. When a dead woman shows up in Eric’s front lawn while the vampire King of Louisiana is visiting, a girl Eric has had his teeth into only minutes before, Sookie’s world becomes even more complicated.
            If this sounds involved, you’re dead on, pun intended. After a dozen books in the series Harris has her work cut out for her to bring readers up to date, particularly for those picking up No. 12 as their first book. But the supernatural world of Sookie Stackhouse with all its interlocking storylines and fascinating characters pulls you in and keeps you guessing until the very last page.
            It will be interesting to see how the series concludes next year, and who, if any, Sookie picks as her love interest.
            For those of you wishing to read Harris’s series, I suggest beginning with book one. It’s a fun series but so much more satisfying when read in order.

LSU releases
            LSU Press has published several new books in the past few months. Here are a few of note.
            A lengthy examination of Newcomb College of New Orleans in essays has been compiled and edited by Susan Tucker and Beth Willinger as “Newcomb College 1886-2006: Higher Education for Women in New Orleans.” The college originated as H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College in honor of the daughter of founder Josephine Louise Newcomb. The school was the country’s first degree-granting coordinate college for women, became known for its pottery and art curriculum and educated thousands of women. The book concludes with the merging of Newcomb into Tulane University in 2006.
             “Illegal Sex in Antebellum New Orleans: Brothels, Depravity and Abandoned Women” by Judith Kelleher Schafer of New Orleans explores cases of prostitution before the Civil War with information derived from the city’s First District Court and newspaper accounts.
            Claude F. Oubre’s “Forty Acres and a Mule: The Freedmen’s Bureau and Black Land Ownership” has been reissued with a new foreword by Katherine C. Mooney. First published in 1978, the book details American Reconstruction and the struggles of black families to acquire land and how the Freeman’s Bureau both helped and worked against them. Oubre was a professor of history at LSU-Eunice and the coauthor of “Creoles of Color in the Bayou Country.”
            Clayton E. Jewett edits “The Battlefield and Beyond: Essays on the American Civil War.” Topics include race and warfare, Confederacy leadership, despotism and Confederate defeat, Reconstruction and the New South and memory and the American Civil War.

New releases
            Chad Guidry and Yvette Naquin have published “Louisiana Through My Lens,” a hardbound coffee table photographic journey through the swamps, bayous and lakes of South Louisiana. The self-published book sells for $35 plus shipping and handling. Visit
            Sandra Hill began her Cajun-inspired romances in 1999 with “The Love Potion,” a lusty love story between a woman who creates a love potion and the bad boy Cajun who accidentally swallows it. The book has been reissued by Avon and will be available Tuesday in paperback.

Book events
            The Writer's Guild of Acadiana will host the 2012 Lafayette Louisiana National Poetry Slam Team at 7 pm Tuesday at Barnes & Noble Bookstore Lafayette. This is a fundraiser as the team heads to the 23rd Annual National Poetry Slam.           

Cheré Coen is the author of “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at