Sunday, October 25, 2015

Plenty of spooky new books in time for Halloween

There’s a Facebook page that goes with this column and I use it to announce book events and promote great new books. Through Facebook, I also had the pleasure of meeting Ellen Byron of Los Angeles, who loves Louisiana (the love affair started when she was a student at Tulane) and uses our state as the setting for her cozy mystery, “Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery.” Library Journal named it the “debut mystery of the month” and Publisher’s Weekly said, “ Byron’s debut brings energy and verve to the cozy.” I’m so looking forward to reading it and you should too and help Byron’s dream come true. Her hope is to someday retire and spend a month a year in Lafayette and “just tootle around the state.”
Byron is a native New Yorker who lives in Los Angeles and spends lots of time writing about Louisiana, including the second book in the series, “Crawdeaddy.” Her TV credits include “Wings” and “Just Shoot Me” and she’s written more than 200 magazine articles and published plays include the award-winning “Graceland” and “Asleep on the Wind.”
For more information, visit
Michael Murphy, author of “Eat Dat New Orleans,” returns with paranormal tales in “Fear Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Voodoo, Vampires, Graveyards and Ghosts of the Crescent City.” Murphy, a native of Ohio who has lived in New Orleans since 2009, explains the city’s aboveground cemeteries, its love affair with vampires, its over-achieving status as haunted city and its voodoo heritage. There’s also a handy listing of mediums, tarot readers and haunted hotels and bars, plus personality profiles of the some of the city’s paranormal experts and a foreword by Anne Rice.
I (your blogger Chere Dastugue Coen) will sign “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana,” a collection of Acadiana ghost stories, along with my other books — “Exploring Cajun Country,” “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History” and “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets” — from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble Lafayette.

Literary Week
It’s a great week for book lovers.
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective hosts an evening of oral history, songs and poetry featuring poet/songstress Angie Joelle and Donald Milton who will share personal stories. The program begins at 7 p.m. at Chicory’s Coffee & Café in Grand Coteau.
            Words and Music, A Literary Feast in New Orleans opens Thursday, Oct. 29, and runs through Nov. 2. For information on the festival that includes paranormal fun this year, visit
            The 12th Louisiana Book Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, on the grounds of and inside the Louisiana State Capitol, Louisiana State Library and the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge. They still need volunteers; call (225) 342-4996. For information, visit
            The Heart of Louisiana’s annual Fall in Love with Romance Readers’ Luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, and feature keynote speaker Diana Rowland at Juban’s restaurant in Baton Rouge. Author Lori Leger will emcee.

Book events Oct. 25-31
Writers’ Guild of Acadiana meets at 7 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month at Barnes & Noble Lafayette. The meetings are free and open to the public.
Richard Campanella discusses his book about the work of Del Hall, “The Photojournalism of Del Hall, 1950s-2000 — New Orleans and Beyond” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Octavia Books of New Orleans. Also at Octavia this week, Kaija Parssinen reads from and signs “The Unraveling of Mercy Louis” at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Ellen Gilchrist signs “Acts of God” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.
Photographer Judi Bottoni and Carnival expert Peggy Scott Laborde discuss their latest book, a collection of photographs and essays titled “New Orleans Mardi Gras Moments,” as part of the Coffee and Conversation series, at 7 p.m. Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.
            Dr. Camesha Hill-Carter of Shreveport, author of “I Dare You: 31 Days To Fire Up Your Potential And Live Your Destiny Now,” will be recognized by Distinguished Readers Book Club at 1 p.m. Saturday at the West Shreveport location of Shreve Memorial Library.
            Friends of the Ouachita Public Library Book Sale will be 9-3 Friday and Saturday at the West Ouachita Library, 188 Hwy 546 in West Monroe. This is the last book sale for 2015.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “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 also writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire, “A Cajun Dream” and “The Letter.” Write her at