Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Orleans hotel hosts book event for Renee Harris, author of 'Royal and St. Louis'

            Lafayette native and LSU Law School graduate Renée Harris Austell and Robin Gohsman have co-authored a thriller set in New Orleans titled “Royal and St. Louis.” To celebrate the book’s release, the Omni Royal Orleans in the French Quarter (621 St. Louis St.) will offer a meet and greet with Austell at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the hotel.
            Austelle, whose family is of French descent, received a post-graduate scholarship from CODOFIL to study French in Belgium, and later advised the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Human Rights, Democracy and United Nation Issues. The book launch will coincide with New Orleans’ Bastille Day celebrations.
             In the book a main character, Tucker Hamlin, stays in a balcony suite overlooking the Louisiana Supreme Court building, experiencing the sights and scents of the French Quarter. “Royal and St. Louis” takes readers from the streets of Paris to New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans, with pivotal scenes at the Omni Royal Orleans and nearby landmarks.
            The book is available for download at and at For information on the hotel, visit

New releases
            Out this week from James Lee Burke is “Wayfaring Stranger,” the New Iberia native’s 35th book. The Denver Post calls the novel, “A sprawling thriller drenched with atmosphere and intrigue that takes a young boy from a chance encounter with Bonnie and Clyde to the trenches of World War II and the oil fields along the Texas-Louisiana coast.”
            Edward Reed of Fenton, who attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now UL-Lafayette) and worked for NASA leading up to John Glenn’s first space voyage, has written a memoir titled “I Remember When.” The book is available through Tate Publishing, Kjuntales Bookstore in Abbeville and at Barnes & Noble Lafayette. For more information, visit
            Another Louisiana memoire out now is Robin Roberts’ “Everybody’s Got Something: A Memoir.” The anchor on “Good Morning America” grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi, but attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.
            Joseph Boyden, who divides his time between Northern Ontario and New Orleans, sets his latest novel “The Orenda” in the Canadian wilderness 400 years ago when Native Americans and Europeans first meet. “The Orenda illuminates the shadowy moment of our inception as a country,” the National Post said of the book. “It forces us to bravely consider who we are. ‘The Orenda’ is much more than a timely novel. It is a timeless one; born a classic.”