Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tuesday Ebook Spotlight: Crescent City Chronicles

Dr. Judith Lucci is the author of the Alexandra Destephano Series, a series of medical thrillers that take place in a fictitious world-class hospital in New Orleans. The main characters are Alexandra Destephano, a nurse attorney who is legal counsel for Crescent City Medical Center(CCMC) and Jack Francoise, a dedicated, gnarly, unyielding NOPD Commander who covers the 8th Precinct and the French Quarter. In addition, there’s dashing surgeon Robert Bonnet, Alex's ex-husband, and her best friend and psychiatrist Monique Desmonde.

For only $.99 cents, Lucci is offereing a “Medical Thriller Box Set” featuring books one through three of “The Crescent City Chronicles.” They are “The Imposter,” “Chaos at Crescent City Medical Center” and “Viral Intent.” Check it out at Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

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, June 25, 2017

Connelly goes 'Into the Hurricane' with new novel

There was movement in the Gulf and tropics this past week, so hello Hurricane Season. Coming out Tuesday is the young adult novel “Into the Hurricane” by Neil Connelly, an author who weathered five hurricanes while living in Lake Charles and uses that experience for this action-packed story. Max and Eli are two teens who find themselves at the lighthouse on Shackles Island, a barrier outpost off the Cameron Parish coast. A category five hurricane is approaching but both are on a mission, one to scatter the ashes of her father from the top of the lighthouse and the other to face the fate of his sister’s death. Time is running out, for the bridge to the mainland closes in hours, and other island residents pose both harm and safety. Will Max and Eli make it off the island, and if not, will they survive the storm? I’ll leave the ending to readers, but offer this hint, you’ll feel like you’ve been through a hurricane after finishing this book.

Water’s wrath
One thing hurricanes have taught us in the last 100 years is that wetlands, barrier islands and the ecosystems they represent are vital to protecting Louisiana residents.

“Ain’t There No More: Louisiana’s Disappearing Coastal Plain” by Carl A. Brasseaux and Donald W. Davis spotlights the neglect of our coastline and the result of man-made flood control measures in aiding to the erosion of Louisiana’s coast. Louisiana has lost a land mass roughly twice the size of Connecticut and its shoreline erodes at the rate of five to 30 feet a year. This gorgeous book by the University of Mississippi Press, filled with historic photos and maps, examines efforts to harness the Mississippi River, the role of agriculture and industrialization and what the future holds. Brasseaux is the former director of the Center for Louisiana Studies at UL-Lafayette and a former Louisiana Writer of the Year. Davis of Baton Rouge has been involved in coastal-related research for more than 40 years.

Another University of Mississippi Press book detailing the Mississippi River and efforts to reign in this beast is James F. Barnett Jr.’s “Beyond Control: The Mississippi River’s New Channel to the Gulf of Mexico.” Barnett insists that even with the US Army Corps of Engineers Control Complex at Old River, which keeps the Mississippi from emerging through its historic channel and heading down the Atchafalaya Basin, the river will one day change course. Barnett lives in Natchez and is author of “The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735” and “Mississippi’s American Indians.” He is the retired director of the Historic Properties Division of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Ava’s Place
Baton Rouge author Emily Cogburn has followed up her charming debut novel, “Louisiana Saves the Library,” with “Ava’s Place,” a story also set in Saint Jude, a small South Louisiana town filled with colorful people. One is newcomer Ava Olson who juggles a part-time newspaper job while raising three young children on her own, She meets Ford, a café owner and a single dad who must bring his daughter to New Orleans on weekends to share custody with his ex-wife. The two hit it off until Ava gets a call to move to the big city for a new job, not to mention an important news story. Cogburn will sign copies of both novels from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Barnes and Noble Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge.

NOTE: Connelly, Brasseaux, Davis and Cogburn will be speaking at this year's Louisiana Book Festival Saturday, Oct. 28, in Baton Rouge.

Book events Jun 25-July 2
Mary Emma Dutreix Pierson will read from and discuss her new book of poetry, “New Orleans: City of My Heart,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon in Metairie. The book consists of more than 40 poems composed by Pierson during the past decade. Pierson is a retired speech and language pathologist, with more than 30 years of teaching experience in the Orleans Parish School System. She has performed in more than 50 ballets and operatic ballets in the Greater New Orleans area, is a weekly reader at the Maple Leaf Bar open mic poetry series and has been a member of the New Orleans Haiku Society since its inception. She has chaired the spring poetry festival of the Louisiana Poetry Society for the past 20 years.

Former U.S. ambassador and White House aide Frank Lavin presents and signs "Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II," following his father's World War II experience at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Octavia Books of New Orleans. The book is based on his father’s personal letters, official military history, private papers and more.

The New Orleans Literary Takeover, hosted by Victoria Christopher Murray and RsShonda Tate Billingsley and featuring six local and nationally known authors, will be Thursday through Saturday in New Orleans. Authors and their books are: Murray and Billingsley, “A Blessing and A Curse;” Charron Monaye, “Stop Asking for Permission and Give Notice: Guide to Living Unapologetically;” Dr. Scharmaine Lawson-Baker, “Nola the Nurse” children’s series; Christine Penn, “Girl, Stop Trippin’;” Diana Riley, “Cooking on Purpose: Life Lessons Learned From the Kitchen;” Kristina Eaton, “W.O.M.B. Sister Chronicles Vol. 1” and “20 Inspirational Stories About Life and Resiliency;” and Malena Crawford, “A Fistful of Honey.”

The Festival of Words hosts an evening of “Music & Mic with Songwriter Robert Kindrick” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Chicory’s Coffee & Café, 219 E. Martin Luther King Drive in Grand Coteau. Kindrick is a songwriter and spoken word artist. The free event suitable for all ages will be followed by an open pic. For more information call Patrice Melnick at (337) 254-9695 or email festivalwords@gmail.com. 

It’s Family Movie Day beginning at 1 p.m. Friday at the West Ouachita Branch Library. Friday’s movie is “Flubber,” appropriate for all ages. Visit www.oplib.org for more information.

Emily Cogburn will sign copies of her latest novel, “Ava’s Place,” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Barnes and Noble Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana authors Courtney and J. P. Sloan discuss and sign their books, “Of Scions” and “Menand The Curse Mandate (Dark Choir #3),” respectively at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.

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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cookbook Thursday: For the love of corn

Looking for a great Fourth of July recipe? How about a cookbook proclaiming our love for all things maise? “I Love Corn” by Lisa Skye is a small book full of recipes from roasted corn wontons and fresh corn gazpacho (most great items to include in a summer picnic) to more elaborate entrées such as roasted duckling with mustard greens and sweet corn pudding. The recipes hail from chefs Daniel Boulud, Pichet Ong, Dan Barber and Martha Stewart, to name a few.

Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad
6 medium-size ears fresh corn, boiled or roasted (about 4 1/2 cups)
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped coarsely
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped coarsely
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped coarsely
1 scallion, sliced on the rings, chopped on the greens
1 tablespoon green olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 2 lemons (or limes, or one of each)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Slice the corn kennels off the cobs into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to mix. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, and serve. If you like heat, substitute minced jalapeno peppers for the scallion, or add some of your favorite hot sauce for a kick. You can also add chopped clinatro for extra flavor.

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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lineup for National Book Festival announced

The Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden recently announced the authors who will be appearing on the Main Stage at the 2017 National Book Festival on Sept. 2, 2017, in Washington, DC.  The lineup includes David McCullough, Diana Gabaldon, J. D. Vance, Tom Friedman, Condoleezza Rice and David Baldacci.
Joined by The Washington Post’s book editor Ron Charles, Hayden talked about the authors and shared some festival updates before a live audience, including the news that all of the Main Stage author presentations will be shown live on Facebook the day of the festival.  
Below is a link to the video:
More information about the National Book Festival can be found at www.loc.gov/bookfest .

The above information was provided in a press release by the Library of Congress.

Four authors to talk about their new children’s books

Note: This event was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Cindy but will be rescheduled.

Four New Orleans authors who have written children’s books will discuss them and talk about the unique process of creating children’s literature at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 21, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. This event is free and open to the public and registration isn’t necessary.

The authors are: 
Kathy Schrenk, “A Dog Steals Home”
Zach Stewart’s life has never been more complicated. Between preparing for the arrival of his baby brother (“the little lizard”) and keeping up with the baseball team, Zach can hardly catch his breath. All he really wants is to adopt a puppy, but his parents insist that the timing isn’t right. In order to prove that he’s responsible, Zach decides to do his final research project on the animal shelter. Zach is sure that he’ll not only get the dog he wants but also prove to his team that he’s the best choice for pitcher. Everything is going perfectly—until Audrey, a girl in his class with a tragic past, disappears without a trace. Zach knows he is the only one who can find Audrey and convince her to come home. He might have to put his new puppy and his baseball career on the line—but he might hit a home run anyway.

New Orleans native Kathleen Schrenk has been pursuing her passion for volunteering since 2001. She received her bachelor’s degree in speech and language pathology from Louisiana State University and went on to work as a speech therapist and classroom teacher. Following Hurricane Katrina, Schrenk worked actively with volunteer groups to replant marsh grass in City Park and to restore sand dunes on the coast. A founding member of NOLA City Bark dog park, Schrenk also serves on the Louisiana SPCA board and is a member of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators.

Dalt Wonk, “The Laughing Lady”
“The Laughing Lady” is the fantasy villain in this children’s book. She lives in the Fun House with her fiancé, Boss Bones, a dapper (and greedy) skeleton. Florence, the little girl who is the hero of the tale enters the Fun House to save her pet Cockatoo, after the Laughing Lady steals it.
Florence, whose real father died several years ago, has a problem. Her mother wants to marry a rich man that Florence hates. Amid many adventures, Florence and her friends (including a shy skyrocket) discovers the answer to her real life problem. The book is accompanied by full-color illustrations.

Dalt Wonk was born in New Jersey in 1942. He attended Bard College, where he graduated with a B. A. After living a decade in France and England, he set sail on a cargo ship for New Orleans, where he has lived ever since. Wonk is a poet, a playwright and an illustrator. His plays have been produced in New York, London, Munich, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and New Orleans. His musical collaborators in theater have included Charles Neville (of the Neville Brothers), Julius Hemphill (of the World Saxophone Quartet) and Alvin Batiste, the late New Orleans Jazz composer.

Del-Rio Gardner, “A Promise Fulfilled”
Each day, Azyria prays for God to use her as a blessing. She feels that she is too young to make a big difference, but she knows God's grace reaches a lot farther than she can. Mrs. Jay recognizes God using the unlikely incidents to bless his people, so she prays for a small reminder that God loves her. When Azyria's kind deeds inspire others in the community to do the same, everyone is blessed, and Mrs. Jay realizes that a promise has been fulfilled.

Del-Rio Gardner is the owner of Divine Intervention Publishing located in Kenner. She says her goal is to write children’s books that will inspire children to love their community, to bring about change in the world. Gardner has a series of books coming out: Storytime with Jazzy the Giraffe and the Crew. The first book of the series is titled The Story of Creation and is told by Jazzy and her friends. This book also contains a bonus story titled Beauty and the Butterfly.  

Vernon Smith, “The Littlest Streetcar” 
Small and clunky, sandy and dull, Charlie is the smallest streetcar on the tracks in New Orleans. All the other cars are big, bright, shiny, and popular, and they leave sad little Charlie behind. They have jobs to do and they are much more important than the dusty, squatty car—or are they? When calamities strike, it’s Charlie who stands tall and finds his purpose. As he overcomes obstacles and fixes things, his confidence soars and Charlie realizes that he is an important part of the streetcar family. Being different makes him special.

Louisiana author and illustrator Vernon Smith based this story on the oldest New Orleans streetcar, NORTA 29. Built in 1896 and the last of the FB&D cars in existence, NORTA 29 is still in use today, traveling the tracks making sure the bigger cars can run safely. A graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Smith received a BFA from the University of New Orleans. He provides marketing artwork for businesses in both independent and corporate arenas through his studio, MacFearsome Comic Squares. Smith’s work is featured on GeeksOfDoom.com and ComicsAlliance.com. He has worked on several comic-book series, including his own “The Adventures of Dexter Breakfast” and the successfully crowdfunded Hide.

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at 504-889-8143 orwcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.

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.