I’m thrilled to announce that my paranormal mystery series starring New Orleans ghost sleuth Viola Valentine is now published and available at all online bookstores under my pen name of Cherie Claire. The first book in the series, “A Ghost of a Chance,” is currently free to download. The second book, “Ghost Town,” takes place in several Louisiana small towns, including Lafayette and two loosely based on Cotile Lake and Breaux Bridge. Print versions will be available soon and the third book in the series launches on Valentine’s Day, 2018. Stay tuned.
Needless to say, I’m very excited.
I’ll be speaking about the Viola Valentine series and the trials and joys of independent publishing at Berries, Bridges & Books Literary Festival on Saturday in Ponchatoula.
Want to learn more about the series. Visit my website Cherie Claire or read author Cynthia Woolf's interview with me here.
If you haven’t noticed by now, summer has kicked in bigtime. Which means it’s snowball season! Megan Braden-Perry takes readers on a delightful tour of snowball heaven with “Crescent City Snow: The Ultimate Guide to New Orleans Snowball Stands,” published by the University of Louisiana atLafayette Press. Granted, this will likely only appeal to New Orleans residents, but this colorful little book might be a great one to pick up on a trip to town. Because snowball stands are not created equal, and you’ll learn who creates what and why by reading this handy book. I must admit, I immediately went to Sno Shak, my old neighborhood snowball stand on Jefferson Highway in Old Jefferson, where I used to indulge in wedding cake snowballs with my kids. Memories such as those are scattered throughout the book, making it a heartfelt read as well as a guidebook.
Mona L. Hayden, publisher of Louisiana Road Trips magazine, offers this review of “Garden Legacy” by Mary Louise Mossy Christovich and Roulhac Bunkley Toledano. “The latest publication from The Historic New OrleansCollection, ‘Garden Legacy,’ is a handsome and sturdy volume that spans three centuries of New Orleans garden design. ‘Garden Legacy’ features 80 specific properties that uncover
horticultural appeal as well as cultural significance of that era. Included among the well documented text collected from extensive research and memoirs of early Louisiana settlers and naturalists are period maps, drawings and prints. This isn’t a collection of perfect blossom photos but an education in concept and design. ‘Garden Legacy’ is a treasure of information and visuals for horticulturists, historians, designers and home gardeners that are sure to appreciate the beauty and history on every page. Both active preservationists, the authors have successfully collaborated to offer a timeless book that will have a special place to anyone with Louisiana roots.
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. For more information, visit www.hnoc.org or call (504) 523-4662.
Last week, Shreveport author and filmmaker William Joyce published “The Leaf Men,” “George Shrinks” and “Rolie Polie Olie.”
Hitting bookshelves Tuesday is Joshilyn Jackson’s “The Almost Sisters” and Bill Loehfelm’s “The Devil’s Muse,” the latest in his series featuring New Orleans cop Maureen Coughlin. Loehfelm discusses and signs his novel at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.
Not so new releases
If you’re an avid reader you know the old expression, “Too many books, too little time.” This is twice as applicable to book reviewers and columnists. Here are some books that have crossed my desk since the year’s beginning, and one I simply missed.
Craig A. Bauer, professor of history at the University of Holy Cross in New Orleans, explains Louisiana’s sixth largest city in “An Untraceable Country: The History of Kenner, Louisiana.”
South Louisiana librarian Sam Lollar published his debut novel last fall titled “Tallulah Bankhead Slept Here.” The book centers around a boy’s coming of age party in 1967 in El Paso’s Rancho Sonora Motel, near Juarez, Mexico. Tallulah and Jayne Mansfield are there, along with a lot of other colorful characters and goings-on.
Timothy David Jones, who lives in Mexico but grew up in Louisiana, uses a troubled young veteran “seething in the repressive culture of central Louisiana in 1971” as the centerpiece of his novel, “Booth.”
In the missed category is “Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street” by award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia who introduces two bottle cap dancers, brothers Randy and Rudy, as they keep the unique city tradition alive. The children’s book is illustrated by Damian Ward.
Sarah Mlynowski, Jodi Lynn Anderson, Adele Griffin and Morgan Matson are traveling the South on a “Hot Summer Nights Tour” and on Tuesday Elizabeth Kahn, library media specialist for Patrick F. Taylor Library of New Orleans, will moderate a panel starting at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books of NewOrleans. Mlynowski is the author of several books including the “Magic in Manhattan” series. Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of “Peaches,” “Tiger Lily,” “The Vanishing Season” and the “May Bird” trilogy. Griffin is the author of many books for young readers, most recently “The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone,” and Matson is a New York Times bestselling author.
Bill Loehfelm signs “The Devil's Muse: A Maureen Coughlin Novel” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.
Roxane Gay, author of the New York Times bestseller “Bad Feminist,” signs “Hunger” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Jewish Community Center in New Orleans. Local author Maurice Carlos Ruffin will introduce and interview Gay. To participate in the event, you must pre-order the book from Octavia Books ofNew Orleans.
The Creative Minds Writer’s Group of Ponchatoula presents the 2017 Berries, Bridges & Books Literary Festival from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Ponchatoula Community Center. The keynote speaker is Chris Smith of the Jefferson Parish Library speaking on “What the Library has to Offer Writers.” For information, visit https://www.creativemindswritersgroup.com/.
Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at email@example.com.