Sunday, June 5, 2016

'Living Large' explains how to exist small

            Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell didn’t set out to live in a small house — known by today’s trend as “tiny houses” or “small houses.” She had built a lakeside second home on family property for weekends and vacations but realized the potential of less debt, less maintainence and a lifestyle in the country. The accidental undertaking gave her a new appreciation for sizing down. She began writing a blog, “Living Large in Our Little House,” documenting her life, both ups and downs, in her 480-square-foot house in the Ozarks.
            Now, Fivecoat-Campbell has published a book that includes this history, plus information on the tiny house movement, showcasing others who are living large, advice on downsizing, achieving sustainability and much more in “Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet with Six Dogs, a Husband, and One Remote — Plus More Stories of How You Can Too.”
Fivecoat-Campbell admits their house wasn’t large enough for their lifestyle so they built a separate small office and a large garage for storage (they own a boat and live outdoors as much as possible), and that’s what makes the book special. She insists that small is a relative term and the amount of square footage a person may need varies. For instance, downsizing from a 2,000-square-foot house to 1,200 may be a small house for you.
If you’re thinking of going small, Fivecoat-Campbell explains all the intricacies of making the move in this valuable resource. Her personal stories of living the “American Dream” prove that we don’t have to keep up with the neighbors, nor expand into McMansions in order to be happy. Less is better, she insists, which just might be the new American Dream.
Of note: One of the cabins mentioned in the book is that of Sue Smith Moak, who was born and reared in Monroe and lived in Lafayette in the 1980s.

New releases
Linda Joyce lives in Atlanta but brags about her Cajun roots. Her latest novel is “Behind the Mask,” a romance set in Louisiana at a Twelfth Night party. Joyce’s debut romance novel, “Bayou Born,” book one in the Fleur de Lis series, is a 2014 RONE Award finalist and her second novel, “Bayou Bound,” won first place in romance from the Southeastern Writers Association. "Bayou Beckons" (Fleur de Lis book three) was named "Best of 2015" for Contemporary Women's Fiction from Authors on the Air Global Radio Network and is a 2016 RONE Award finalist.
            Mykisha Mac has a new three-book series set in New Orleans, titled “Hate That I Love You,” an “erotic tale of love, lust and infatuation.” In this his ninth novel, Kelly LeBlanc finds herself in love with uncommitted jazz musician Bradley Dubois. When Kelly turns to a Tulane Medical Center doctor, it’s then that Brad takes notice and tries to win Kelly back.
Cat MacDiarmid of Lafayette has published the first two books in The Broussard Witches series under the pen name of Essie McDee — “The New Witch in Town” and “To Charm a Witch.” The “spicy, romance/mystery” series follows three siblings — Emile, Solange and Etoile — who are witches and live in a fictitious Louisiana town based on Lafayette.
 
Book news
Marlene Trestman discusses her book “Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin” (LSU Press) at noon Wednesday at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Trestman is a former special assistant to the Maryland attorney general, where she started her 30-year legal career in 1982. She has taught law at Loyola University of Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business & Management, where she earned her MBA. A former trustee of Goucher College, she currently serves on the board of Goucher’s Prison Education Partnership.

Conferences & awards
June 10 is the early bird deadline for the 2016 Berries, Bridges and Books Writers Conference, to be June 25 (with a social the night before) at the First United Methodist Church of Ponchatoula. Speakers include Deborah Lynne, Wayne Norwood and Joyce Crotchett, among others. The cost is $40 and includes meals, $45 after June 10 and at the door. For more information, visit www.creativemindswritersgroup.com.
Submissions are being accepted for the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. There are prizes and cash awards in every category with a grand prize of $8,000, a review in the Midwest Book Review, a press release from Writer’s Digest to be sent with a copy of your book to 10 major publishing review houses and more. The deadline for entries has been extended to June 6. For more information, visit www.writersdigest.com.

Book events
John Hart will sign copies of his latest novel, “Redemption Road,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
The summer exhibitions at the Paul & Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum will open with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the museum. The exhibits include “Kate Clark: Mysterious Presence,” in which the artist uses the centuries-old technique of taxidermy to sculpt humanlike facial features with wild animal hides; “Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere,” by photographer Richard Sexton that coincides with Sexton’s book of the same name; “Depictions of Louisiana: From the Permanent Collection of the Hilliard University Art Museum” and “Condition Report: Preserving our Community’s Art Collection.” 
            Local author Sarah Guillory will discuss and sign copies of her young adult book “Reclaimed” at 7 p.m. Friday at Barnes & Noble Lafayette.
            Boo Macomber, a native of Abbeville, teaches her own style of Cajun cooking at the New Orleans Cooking Experience and has taught cooking in Lafayette, in addition to penning her own cookbook. “In the SoFAB Kitchen with Boo Macomber” will be noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in New Orleans.