Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday Ebook Spotlight: Butler's 'Infinite Us'

Eden Butler is a writer of many talents, editing and writing fantasy, mystery and contemporary romance novels. Plus she’s the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate, so how’s that for cool?

Butler’s latest book is “Infinite Us,” what bestselling author J.A. DeRouen calls “a gripping story of the roots that define us, the hardships that test us, and the healing power of love and acceptance. It's a testament to how far we've come and how very far we have to go.”

Here’s the book description:

Nash Nation loves zeroes and ones, over-sized monitors and late office hours. He’s too busy taking over the world to make time for relationships—that is, until his new neighbor Willow O’Bryant barges into his life, and now Nash can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t the first time she’s interrupted his world.

Then, the dreams start. And in the dreams—memories.

Memories of a girl named Sookie who couldn’t count on love or friendship, never mind forever. Memories of a library and a boy called Isaac and secrets made in private that destroyed his world.

The memories seem real, but who do they belong to?

When Nash and Willow discover the truth, life as they know it unravels.

The bridge between this life and the next is shored up by blood and bone and memory. Sometimes, that bridge leads to the place we’ve always wanted to be.

“Infinite Us” is only 99 cents to download today, the book’s launch day, at the following online booksellers:

KOBO: http://bit.ly/2nWycgx





Louisiana Book News is written by journalist Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. The first two books in her award-winning series are FREE as ebooks! For more information and to sign up for her newsletter visit www.cherieclaire.net.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

America lost another hero this week in James Gabour

James and Ruth Gabour, center, with author
Christee Gabour Atwood at right
Being an author sounds glamorous but there are days when you wonder why you started in the first place. The Alexandria Mall was one of them.

Bookstores plop you down in front of the store when signing books and most of the time you’re either scaring customers or helping them find Cinnabon. On this particular Saturday, when it was clear the town was at some other function and the few who wandered out to the mall were of the “Where is the bathroom?” kind, I was feeling pretty low. I hadn’t sold one book and I was 15 minutes away from ending my two-hour twiddling of thumbs.

James and Ruth Gabour of Pineville, parents of my good friend and author Christee Gabour Atwood, took the time to come out to my signing, buy two books and keep me company until the shift ended.

Here’s the cool part. James and Ruth owned and operated the Pineville News and Patriot-Tribune newspapers from 1958 through 1969, then continued with Gabour Printing Company, the longest continually run business in the City of Pineville. Since we were all writers and editors, we talked shop and I loved every minute.

I was honored to have been at James Gabour’s 100th birthday party, which occurred just before Ruth’s death in 2014. Jimmie Gabour died last week at age 103. He was a long-time volunteer at the Pineville Senior Citizens Center, Grand Marshall of the Pineville Christmas Parade in 2012, honored to be a recipient of a Quilt of Valor in 2016 for his military service and a member of St. Frances Cabrini Church since 1956. He has been featured in numerous interviews, including an Oral History Project by the VA Medical Center in Pineville and a video by the World War II Museum in New Orleans.

What a treat to have known them both.

Their daughter, Christee, is an author of wonderful humor books, including “Journal of a Midlife Crisis” and “In Celebration of Elastic Waistbands: Episodes of Imperfection, Insanity and Occasional Enlightenment.” She talks about her parents in both and relates the joys and challenges of taking care of elderly parents but with heart and soul. You’ll laugh and cry at the beauty of it all. I highly recommend both books.

So long James and Ruth. We’ll miss your contribution to the newspaper world.

In more news
I was sad to learn that Maple Street Book Shop of uptown New Orleans will close June 17. The bookstore has been a stable of Maple Street for the past 53 years and I spent many days, when living in New Orleans, perusing its bookshelves. Owner Gladin Scott told the Uptown Messenger that technology was a prime reason. Students who used to buy books at the store now get them online. The store was founded by Mary Kellogg and Rhoda Kellogg Norman and one of its longstanding mottos was “fight the stupids.” Good words to live by, especially in these trying days. Keep reading!

In better news — the American Writers Museum, funded by retired executive Malcolm O’Hagan, opened on May 16 in Chicago, offering multimedia exhibits, displays and other interactive displays.

In case you didn’t know, there’s an American Women Writers National Museum in Washington, D.C. Glad we came first in something.

In other news, the memoir “Growing Up in Lake Charles” by Katherine Krause Blake, Katherine Maloy Newell and Jeanette Plauche Parker has been selected for the 2017 Best of Lake Charles Award in the Stores and Shopping category.

New releases
This week marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, and Memorial Day approaches. N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss offers a firsthand account of the Pacific War with “Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway” with naval historians Timothy and Laura Orr. Kleiss fatally struck two Japanese carriers and one cruiser, the only pilot from either side to land hits on three ships during the Battle of Midway. Kleiss worked on this book for years with the Orrs but passed away at age 100, the last surviving dive-bomber pilot to have fought at Midway.  In a starred review, Library Journal calls the book “A standout autobiography for anyone interested in bravery, courage, and first-person accounts of military heroics during World War II.”


James Nolan turns from novel writing to memoir in his latest book, “Flight Risk.” Nolan, a fifth-generation New Orleans native and award-winning author, holds nothing back as he relates escaping from the mental hospital his parents committed him to in 1968 and his later “flights” from experiences overseas and then Katrina. Andrei Codrescu said of the memoir, “Flight Risk graces New Orleans with one of its most enduring literary portraits. There’s suspense and beauty on every page.”


Alys Arden of New Orleans, author of “The Casquette Girls” saga, continues the young adult tale with “The Romeo Catchers.” Tormented by the fate she condemned her mother to, and by the lies she’s forced to tell to cover it up, main character Adele scours storm-ravaged New Orleans for the truth about her family’s magical past. But every turn leads her back to the one person she’s determined to forget. Arden will read from and sign copies of her books at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.

Yvette Johnson traveled to Mississippi to uncover the true story of her grandfather and why he was murdered — a case that became the basis for the documentary “Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story,” which the Los Angeles Times called “a powerful personal portrait.” Johnson has since published a memoir titled “The Song and The Silence: A Story about Family, Race, and What Was Revealed in a Small Town in the Mississippi Delta While Searching for Booker Wright.” Publisher Weekly said that Johnson in her latest book, “brilliantly constructs a complex and empathetic look at racism in the South.”

Lynn Frierson Faust, known as “The Lightning Bug Lady,” has spent decades researching these bugs and has published what her publicist claims is the first comprehensive firefly guide for eastern and central North America, “Fireflies, Glow-Worms, and Lightning Bugs.” Sounds like a great resource for the upcoming hot nights.

Book events
The Faulkner’s Society’s Readathon will be from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Featured authors of new novels include James Nolan (“Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy”), Brenda McClain (“One Good Mama Bone”), Johnnie Bernhard (“A Good Girl”) and Sanem Ozdural (“The Dark Shall Do What the Light Cannot”). RSVP at faulkhouse@aol.com. Nolan also reads from and signs copies of his memoir “Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.

An adult creative writing group has been formed by Emily Shotwell, author of “Blackbird Summer,” and it will meet from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Zachary Branch Library, 1900 Church St. in Zachary. Pre-registration is required; call (225) 658-1840.

Dorothea Benton Frank signs her latest book “Same Beach, Next Year” at noon Wednesday at Square Books in Oxford, Miss., and at 6 p.m. Friday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans. New York Times bestseller Frank was born and raised on Sullivan’s Island, S.C. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

A free fiction writing workshop will be Thursday and Friday at the Alexandria Museum of Art in Alexandria. Sessions on both days are from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Novelists Ashley Weaver will lead the first workshop on Thursday. Billy Fontenot, editor of Louisiana Review, will lead the second workshop on Friday. Interested parties should contact either Bernard Gallagher at bernardg@lsua.edu or Eric Alai at Ealai@lsua.edu.


Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Ebook Spotlight: Comeaux's 'Gold Rush'

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren't any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she's a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. When she's not writing, traveling, or calculating taxes, you can find her feeding her television addiction.

Her latest book is “Gold Rush,” in which ice skater Liza Petrov is working toward her ultimate  prize - Olympic gold. She's stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path, until she meets Braden Patrick.

Braden makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?

According to Comeaux, this book is perfect for fans of coming of age romance and authors such as Kasie West, Stephanie Perkins, and Miranda Kenneally.

“Gold Rush” was recently nominated for InD'tale Magazine's RONE Award in the Young Adult: General category.




Louisiana Book News is written by journalist Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. The first two books in her award-winning series are FREE as ebooks! For more information and to sign up for her newsletter visit www.cherieclaire.net.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Upcoming events for budding writers, book lovers

Want to write a book but just can’t find the time or place? How about learning the craft? Here are some upcoming events that might assist you in your goals.

How about a month of uninterrupted solitude in the heart of New Orleans? The New Orleans Writers’ Residency is taking applications until June 1 for a four-week residency July 10 through Aug. 7 in the New Marigny neighborhood just outside the French Quarter. The retreat — which will be given to several writers — will include lodging, airfare up to $500 and a stipend of $200 per week to cover food and entertainment. For more information, visit www.neworleanswritersresidency.org.

The Walker Percy Weekend — with lectures, panel discussions, speakers and other writing-relating activities such as craft beer, cocktails and bourbon — will be June 2-4 in St. Francisville. For information, visit www.walkerpercyweekend.org.

If you write Christian fiction, you don’t want to miss multi-published authors DiAnn Mills and Winnie Griggs presenting the “Second Annual Aspiring Writers Workshop” from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City. Cost is $30 by May 26 or $40 at the door. The event is hosted by the Louisiana chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Hear numerous authors speak about the craft at the Reader’s Lounge Book Exhibit and Author Panel from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. July 22 at the Epps Public Library in Lake Charles. Authors scheduled to appear are Sierra J.D., Toye Morris, Dionda Fugitt, Denisha Hardeman, Jamie Mayes, Remona G. Tanner and Debreka Handy. There are a few author panel spots available; authors interested in participating should contact Sierra at Destined Eloquence Publishing LLC by visiting their website, www.destinedeloquence.com.

New Orleans Storycon will be Sept 15-17 and includes a host of authors, including special guests Charlaine Harris and Christine Feehan, plus panels, tours and book signings. Tickets are on sale now but will be non-refundable after May 15. For information, visit http://nolastorycon.com.

Found books
I recently participated in a press trip from Nacogdoches to Natchitoches along the El Camino Real, or the old Spanish road when Texas was under Spanish rule and Natchitoches was the French frontier. Along the way I discovered some interesting books and authors. At The Bosslight bookstore in Nacogdoches, owner Tim Bryant has penned several books, including the Dutch Curridge detective series. He was named one of the Top Five Texas Authors of 2014 by BookPeople in Austin. Bryant, who once lived in New Orleans while he performed in a band, has a new book coming out in November from Kensington with a character who hails from New Orleans. In Natchitoches, I met Sandra Prud’homme Haynie who has published an impressive family tome titled “Legends of Oakland Plantation: The Prud’hommes of Natchitoches Parish.” The book dates back to 1719 when Marie Catherine Messelier Picard arrived in Louisiana at the age of 14. She married Jean Pierre Philippe Prud’homme, a soldier at Natchitoches, and the rest, as they say, is Prud’homme history.
           
Bike Ride
The Iberia Parish Library Main Branch will host horticulturist Jim Forest for a guided bike tour through New Iberia from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. Forest will discuss the ancient oak trees of New Iberia. Helmets are required and children must be accompanied by an adult. The bike ride begins at the Main Library located at 445 E. Main St. in New Iberia. Date is subject to change dependent upon weather conditions. For more information, or to register, call (337) 364-7024 or visit Iberia.Evanced.Info/SignUp. 

Tulane exhibit
The “Art of the Book” exhibit, showcasing 16 pieces including an old-fashioned radio box enclosing a Hank Williams CD collection and a set of cards depicting the lexicon of New Orleans, is on display now through May 31 at Tulane’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library in New Orleans. The exhibit includes tunnel books, which are diorama-style artworks that create a 3-D image using cutout images placed one behind another.

Book events
Beyond Black History Month Lecture Series features historian and author Dr. LaGuana Gray of the University of Texas at San Antonio who will speak about African-American women’s lives and labors at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Main Lafayette Library.

James Nolan discusses and signs copies of “Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Maple Street Books of New Orleans. He will also read from and sign the memoir at 7 p.m. May 25 at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.

The Faulkner’s Society’s Readathon will be from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at the Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter of New Orleans and include Nolan. Other participating authors of new novels include Brenda McClain (“One Good Mama Bone”), Johnnie Bernhard (“A Good Girl”) and Sanem Ozdural (“The Dark Shall Do What the Light Cannot”). RSVP at faulkhouse@aol.com.


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Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuesday Ebook Spotlight: Campbell's 'California Gold'

On sale today, just in time for Mother’s Day, is the boxed set of the “California Gold” trilogy by Glynnis Campbell. Separately the books cost $14.98, but the boxed set sells for $7.99.

Campbell is an award-winning, best-selling novelist who lives in Los Angeles and if you’re wondering how this relates to Louisiana, she’s a dear friend of ours and a fabulous writer. Here’s the description of the books:

These are chronicles of the Old West--of the native people who lived on the land for generations and the pioneers who came from all over the world in search of riches…the struggle to survive in a land without laws…the strange bedfellows that resulted from the clash of cultures…and the common language of the heart that spoke of a love more precious than gold.

Book 1: NATIVE GOLD - A rebellious artist becomes a Gold Rush mail-order bride, but when fate makes her a widow, she's tempted by a fierce native in whose arms she discovers a forbidden love.
 
Book 2: NATIVE WOLF - A half-native's plans for vengeance backfire when he falls in love with the woman he kidnaps, who finds being stolen by a handsome savage a breathtaking adventure. A posse may be hot on the trail, but she's not so sure she wants to be rescued.

Book 3: NATIVE HAWK - A half-native gambler on the run tangles with a spirited Italian beauty who takes his money and steals his heart, but the scheming young miss can't resist the handsome gunslinger, even when she learns he's a wanted man.

Campbell is also participating in a giveaway featuring 80 historical romance authors. Follow her on BookBub and Amazon for a chance to win a large collection of novels as well as bookstore gift cards, plus a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet to the grand prize winner. 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here.








Louisiana Book News is written by journalist Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. The first two books in her award-winning series are FREE as ebooks! For more information and to sign up for her newsletter visit www.cherieclaire.net.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mona Hayden of Louisiana Road Trips magazine reviews 'Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana'

A previous column mentioned the new “Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana: An Identification and Reference Guide” by Jeff Boundy and John L. Carr. This week, Mona Hayden, publisher of Louisiana Road Trips magazine, offers a review of the LSU Press book.

“This invaluable guidebook will teach you to identify and appreciate the complex behaviors and habits of Louisiana’s 147 amphibian and reptile species, including endangered species. With over 780 photos and about 150 maps, the content has been written and organized for casual observers and herpetologists. From salamanders and snakes to frogs, turtles and lizards, if a cold-blooded species is found in Louisiana, it’s also found on these pages. There’s even an alligator and eight non-native species that have found their way to Louisiana. The authors have described each species in detail using identification keys and drawings. By thoroughly researching and documenting the extreme biodiversity of our state, this one book is all encompassing and should be on the bookshelves of anyone who enjoys the outdoors.”

New releases
It’s argued that French and Spanish assistance during the American Revolution turned the tide for the American colonists. Author Larrie D. Ferreiro insists so in the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It.” The author discusses the odds against an American victory, with the colonists having no navy, few arms and little money with which to wage a war against the powerful British military forces. According to the author, Spain and France provided the Americans with what in today’s dollars would be nearly $30 billion in financial assistance, as well as 90 percent of all the guns the colonists used. The two nations also sent thousands of soldiers.

Meet the Author
Lynne Olson will discuss “Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War,” and how London became a refuge for the governments of six occupied nations when Nazi Germany took over their lands, Tuesday at the World War II Museum in New Orleans. The event begins with a 5 p.m. reception, following by the 6 p.m. presentation and 7 p.m. book signing in the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. This program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Register for this event online or by calling (504) 528-1944 x 412. The event will also be presented as a live stream on the museum’s website.
  
Book events for May 7-13
The University of First Presbyterian presents a two-night writers series titled “A Poet’s Perspective with Darrell Bourque” on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport. Tuesday night will be a meal and presentation and Wednesday “A Writer’s Workshop.” For more information, call (318) 222-0604 or visit fpcshreveport.org.

Sheryl Sandberg, best-selling author of “Lean In,” will discuss her latest book, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” in conversation with political strategist Mary Matalin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans. This is a ticketed event; visit www.gardendistrictbookshop.com.

Beyond Black History Month Lecture Series features historian and author Dr. LaGuana Gray of the University of Texas at San Antonio who will speak about African-American women’s lives and labors at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Main Lafayette Library.

Mary Kay Andrews will discuss and sign “The Beach House Cookbook” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Octavia Books of New Orleans.  

George Graham will sign copies of his cookbook, “Acadiana Table,” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at The Kitchenary, 456 Heymann Blvd. in Lafayette.
           
Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.