Sunday, December 8, 2013

'Someone Else's Love Story' by Joshilyn Jackson a fun, heartwarming tale

            “I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K” is the opening line of “Someone Else’s Love Story” by Joshilyn Jackson, her latest in a long line of humorous and heartwarming Southern fiction.
            Shandi Pierce ends up pregnant at a young age, but is not sure how she got there, chalking it up to a possible frat party in her teen years. She lives with her mother in the Georgia mountains raising her three-year-old genius son Nathan, otherwise known as Natty Bumppo, until her father offers them both a chance to advance (Shandi to college, Nathan to a special school) in Atlanta. On the way to their new life, Shandi stumbles into a Circle K holdup, and falls hard for William Ashe who gallantly steps between her son and the man with a gun.
            Like the title suggests, Shandi imagines the meeting as destiny, the beginning of a romantic love story, but it may be someone else’s love story, with destiny having other plans.
            I’m a fan of witty, quirky Southern-style humor and Jackson captures this genre — if there is one — with aplomb. If you’re looking for a fun story about searching for what we want in life when life has other plans, don’t miss Jackson’s latest.
New releases
            Dennis Ward will release and sign copies of his historical fiction novel, “Mademoiselle Gigi,” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Cite des Arts, 109 Vine St. The novel, based on the life of Gisele “Gigi” Carriton, begins with her frightening years as a Jewish teenager during World War II in her native France. Carriton moved to Lafayette in 1946 after meeting an American soldier and lived here until she died in 2008. Ward’s other artistic work about Carriton is the play, “Chez Gisele,” which spotlights Carriton’s gay cabaret nightclub, Chez Gisele, in Lafayette during the 1960s to 1970s. In addition to the booksigning event Saturday, Ward will read a short segment from the novel.
            Sally Ann Roberts and Eric Paulsen, WWL-TV anchors in New Orleans, have published “Your Power is On! A Little Book of Hope” with Paulsen serving as photographer. The book seeks to remind readers that even when life is at its most difficult, the spirit of grace lives within all things. Roberts’ sister, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, wrote the foreword for the book.
            “Livestock Brands & Marks: An Unexpected Bayou Country History” is the current book by Chris Cenac and Claire Domangue Jollier, an illustrated book that documents the brands and marks of southeast Louisiana pioneers. The book was nominated for a Louisiana National Endowment Award.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, 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