Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Catch Worth's romance while you can

    Writing romance novels is a lot more complicated than people imagine. There’s no formula, no outlines to follow and it’s not something easy to do.
    Take Harlequin books, for example. I once met a woman who wanted to write something “fast and easy” and thought Harlequin would be a good fit. She also imagined they would be easy to sell and she could quit her day job once that happened.
    Unfortunately, all of the above are myths. Nothing is fast and easy to write, nor quick to publish. Being a published author of romance novels myself, I can honestly say it’s a tough, tough business. And outside of James Patterson and J.K. Rowling — and a few others — most writers have day jobs.
    The reason I bring this up is that Lenora Worth of Louisiana has a new Love Inspired Suspense novel from Harlequin. “The Diamond Secret” takes place in New Orleans and concerns a treasure hunter, an antique shop owner and a mysterious diamond. The book is in stores for August and when Aug. 31 rolls around, will be gone. That’s another unfortunate reality about romance writing; the books don’t stay on the bookstore shelves very long.
    Here’s some more facts — Worth has written 32 books for three different publishers and is contracted for four more. In 2006 she received her 25th book pin from Harlequin. Her books have won both regional and national awards and she now has more than 1 million books in print.
    You won’t see Worth’s book highlighted like Patterson and Rowling so unless you’re on her mailing list, an avid romance fan (and there are millions) or read my column, you might never know her book is now available. So hurry to your bookstore before the end of the month and support a local writer doing well. 

New releases
    Tom Wooten of New Orleans has published “We Shall Not Be Moved: Rebuilding Home in the Wake of Katrina,” a narrative nonfictional account of recovery in five New Orleans neighborhoods.  Walter Isaacson, who writes the foreword, calls the book, “A moving portrait of a city’s struggle to rebuild. It is not an account of Katrina per se. . . . Rather, it is a story of the arduous endeavor residents have undertaken in New Orleans. . . . Every bit as gripping and important as tales from the storm itself.”
    Cooper Iris Books has published an ebook, “Disposable Girl, A Story of Bullying and the Quest for Acceptance,” written by Nancy Rust. The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online stores.
     Thirteen-year-old Khalif Aziz of New Orleans has written the first science fantasy-adventure book in “The Magikh Series.” Aziz’s first installment, “The Black Phoenix,” is now available through
John in the news
    Elton John included the Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council of Lake Charles in the singer’s recently released book, “Love is the Cure.” John discusses the beauty of South Louisiana, as well as the dedication of the Council in the book.
    “There’s something magical about Southwest Louisiana. Cypress trees frame the haunting bayou. Flooded rice paddies and lonely prairies without a house or a living soul for miles,” he writes in “Love is the Cure.”
    “It’s one of the most rural places in America, and as much of rural America, there is a quiet but deadly AIDS crisis that has been simmering for decades.”
    The American Press of Lake Charles has a full story on the book and his mention of the Council at

Book events
    Ron Thibodeaux will sign “Hell or High Water: How Cajun Fortitude Withstood Hurricanes Rita and Ike” at 6 p.m. Monday at the Vermilion Parish Library in Abbeville.
    Marie Bookman will sign her Katrina-inspired book of poetry, “Breach of My Heart,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Maple Street Bookstore in New Orleans.
    Margaret Simon of Lafayette will sign copies of her young adult novel “Blessen” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Saint Street Inn, 407 Brook Ave. in Lafayette. Dinner will be served during this time it’s a great chance to enjoy this lovely new restaurant, as well as this outstanding book.
    Cornell Landry will be reading and signing his latest book “The Tiger and the Honey Badger Take on the Zoo,” illustrated by Sean Gautreaux, at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Maple Street Bookstore in New Orleans. Also at Maple Street Bookstore Saturday will be historical fiction novelist Katherine Howe, author of the New York Times-bestseller “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” at 6 p.m. She will read and sign her newest book, “The House of Velvet and Glass,” the story of a young woman poised on the cusp of the 20th century, torn between loss and love, driven to seek answers in the depths of a crystal ball. I reviewed “Deliverance Dane” last year, found it a fascinating read and you can view this review on my blog at
    Angus Woodward will discuss and sign copies of “Americanisation: Lessons in American Culture and Language” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and Cajun historical romances under the name of Cherie Claire. She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at or visit her blog,