Sunday, October 14, 2018

New books for fall

USA Today bestselling author and Louisiana wannabe Ellen Byron, author of the Cajun Country mysteries, has just released "Mardi Gras Murder" (Crooked Lane Books). I'm in the process of reading this latest installment — loved the previous books — so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out Byron's website and visit her at the Louisiana Book Festival on Nov. 10, 2018, in Baton Rouge.

Beth D'Addono
, a New Orleans wannabe who moved to the city and immediately became one of its own, has published the second edition of "100 Things to Do in New Orleans Before You Die." She has a book signing at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans.

New in paperback
“The House That Sugarcane Built: The Louisiana Burguieres” by Donna McGee Onebane (University of Mississippi Press) traces the generations of Louisiana Burguieres and its sugar empire from the Civil War to the 21th century. Onebane is a folklorist and a member of the English department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was the director for the Library of Congress Veterans Oral History Project in Louisiana and Louisiana Voices.

"The Floating World" by C. Morgan Babst (Workman). “Set in New Orleans, this important and powerful novel follows the Boisdoré family . . . in the months after Katrina. A profound, moving and authentically detailed picture of the storm’s emotional impact on those who lived through it.” —People. Babst will be in conversation with author Anne Giselson at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, at Octavia Books in New Orleans.

New editions
Pelican Publishing of New Orleans has published the ninth edition of “Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans” by educator and longtime tour guide Joan B. Garvey and novelist and historian Mary Lou Widmer. The book is edited and updated by Kathy Chappetto Spiess and Karen Chappetto, containing additional information and a new foreword by Barbara Robichaux, board president of the New Orleans Tour Guides Association.

Continuing works
Kelby Ouchley, a former biologist and manager of national wildlife refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has published “Bayou-Diversity 2: Nature and People in the Louisiana Bayou Country” with LSU Press. The book follows “Bayou-Diversity,” a journey through Louisiana with historical and cultural narratives and personal anecdotes. The title comes from bayous combined with diversity, what the author claims is “the variety of all living things in a place of bayous with their integral watersheds that encompass the whole of Louisiana. To a greater extent, it is the stories of every affair of natural history in the state…” Ouchley’s other books include “Flora and Fauna of the Civil War: An Environmental Reference Guide” and “American Alligator: Ancient Predator in the Modern World.”

Mary Ann Sternberg continues her history of one of the state’s most dramatic roads in “River Road Rambler Returns: More Curiosities along Louisiana’s Historic Byway,” also by LSU Press. Sternberg takes another trip up the River Road, sharing stories such as iconic plantation homes saved from the wrecking ball, the Bonnet Carre river control structure and the truth behind the Sunshine Bridge, once called the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Sternberg is a freelance writer who focuses on Louisiana history. She is also the author of “Winding Through Time,” a portrait of historic Bayou Manchac, and the children’s book, “Gilly and Bloo.”

This month from LSU Press
"Cammie Henry and Her Circle at Melrose Plantation" by Patricia Austin Becker. Henry was the mistress of Melrose outside of Natchitoches and during the first half of the twentieth century influenced the plantation’s legacy in dramatic and memorable ways.

"New Orleans: The Underground Guide" by Michael Patrick Welch, which shows visitors how to experience the Big Easy like a local, looking past staples like beignets and Bourbon Street to reveal a city bursting with contemporary and experimental art, genre-busting DJs, international cuisines, and even kid-friendly activities.

"Jefferson and the Virginians: Democracy, Constitutions, and Empire" by Peter Onuf examine the ways in which Thomas Jefferson and his fellow Virginians—George Washington, James Madison, and Patrick Henry—both conceptualized their home state from a political and cultural perspective and understood its position in the new American union.

"How to Tell If You Are Human: Diagram Poems" by Jessy Randall

"Country House: Poems" by Sarah Barber

"My Studio: Poems" by Clarence Major
"The Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans: A History" by Scott S. Ellis

New from UL Press
"Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation" by Joseph Abraham (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press).
Why do we attach ourselves to demagogues and mountebanks? Why do we defend even their most obvious hypocrisies and lies?
Abraham believes the answer is found in the history of civilization. Despite our romantic traditions, kings and conquerors were not the wise, virtuous leaders that we have imagined. They were the most vicious criminals in the history of humanity. And for the past 10,000 years, anyone who disagreed with them faced ruin and death.

“Nasty Water: Collected New Orleans Poems” by James Nolan (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press). James Nolan, a fifth-generation New Orleans native, is a widely published fiction writer, poet, essayist, and translator. His eleventh book, Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy, won the 2018 Next-Generation Indie Book Award for Best Memoir. His fiction includes You Don’t Know Me: New and Selected Stories(winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Gold Medal in Southern Fiction), the novel Higher Ground (awarded a Faulkner/Wisdom Gold Medal), and Perpetual Care: Stories. He has been the recipient of an N.E.A. grant and two Fulbright fellowships, and has taught at universities in San Francisco, Florida, Barcelona, Madrid, and Beijing, as well as in New Orleans.

“The Windmill Chaser Triumphs and Less in American Politics” by Bob Livingston.

Robert L. Livingston Jr. is a founding partner of the Livingston Group and a former Republican member of Congress from Louisiana. Prior to his 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Livingston practiced law and served as a prosecutor at the federal, state and local levels. A graduate of Tulane University and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Now on shelves and online (in alphabetical order)
"A Cajun Journey” by C. Marshall Turner
The book chronicles a St Mary Parish family escaping an abusive situation. After trekking through perilous swamplands, and being rescued by a mysterious stranger, they settle on Attakapas Island. There, they restart their lives, find new love, and new opportunities. Turner is the pen name of Meredith Brown who was born and raised in south Louisiana, graduated LSU and proudly served 20-plus years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including two combat tours in Iraq.

“An Easy Death” by Charlaine Harris, the first book in the Gunnie Rose series (Saga Press).
New York Times bestseller Harris captivated us with her Sookie Stackhouse novels and her latest Midnight Crossroad trilogy, among others. This new series centers around on a young gun-slinging mercenary, Lizbeth Rose.

“Beckoning Candle” by Randy Willis.
Willis’s latest is a sweeping family saga that spans four centuries. John Willis and William Bradford were both born in England in the 16th century, both were Separatists because they separated from the Church of England, ruled by a king. They were later contemporaries in the small village of Plymouth Colony, in the New World—America. Generations later two of their descendants would fall in love. Willis is the author of “Twice a Slave,” “Three Winds Blowing,” “Louisiana Wind, “The Apostle to the Opelousas,” “The Story of Joseph Willis” and many magazine and newspaper articles.

“Blood Communion” by Anne Rice (Random House).
The Vampire Chronicles continue with a riveting, rich saga–part adventure, part suspense–of Prince Lestat and the story of the Blood Communion as he tells the tale of his coming to rule the vampire world and the eternal struggle to find belonging, a place in the universe for the undead, and how, against his will, he must battle the menacing, seemingly unstoppable force determined to thwart his vision and destroy the entire vampire netherworld.

“But Not Forlorn” by BJ Bourg (ebook).
Book seven in the Clint Wolf mystery series.

“Cajun Chameleon: A Novel” by Jimmie Martinez (The Lisburn Press)
Raised in 1960s segregated South, New Orleans-born Jax Badeaux believes separate is equal. But when his Indian cousin is demeaned for being a redskin and his best friend is revealed to be black passing for white, his social conscious awakens. New Orleans native Martinez is the author of “The Battle for New Orleans-The Casino Wars” and “Rigged,” and was awarded the Editor's Choice from iUniverse for his novel “Righteous Road.” The former New Orleans policeman, chief administrative officer for the City of Kenner and co-founder and CEO of a civil engineering firm is now retired. 

“Campaigns and Hurricanes: The Definitive Guide to Presidential Visits to Mississippi” by John M. Hilpert and Zachary M. Hilpert (University of Mississippi Press).

“Crusader Without Violence” by L.D. Reddick (NewSouth Books), the first biography of Martin Luther King Jr. "An invaluable contemporary resource now wonderfully available again for a new generation of students of Dr. King's life,” wrote David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize winner and author.

“Death by the River” by Alexandrea Weis of New Orleans and Lucas Astor (Vesuvian Books).
Set along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River and involving family secrets and a woman who must stop a psychopath.

“Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson (Simon and Schuster)
“Vigorous, insightful.” —The Washington Post
“A masterpiece.” —San Francisco Chronicle

River of Secrets: A Wallace Hartman Mystery (Wallace Hartman Mysteries) by Roger Johns.
When a controversial politician is murdered in cold blood, Baton Rouge Police Detective Wallace Hartman struggles to find the killer amid conspiracies and corruption.

"Spirit of the Witch" by Deanna Chase.
The book is the third installment of the Witches of Keating Hollow series.

Upcoming Book - Oct. 23
“Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles: An Alphabettery” by Becket (Random House).
The book contains an annotated cosmology of Anne Rice’s Vampiredom from A(kasha) to Z(enobia)–all 15 books of the Vampire Chronicles detailed by a longtime Anne Rice reader and scholar. Illustrated by Mark Edward Geyer.

“Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking” (Little, Brown). 
Co-authored by award-winning journalist Jennifer V. Cole, and foreword by Emeril Lagasse, "Chasing the Gator" is filled with time-honored traditions, experiences, stories, recipes and Toups’ dynamic personality.
Smith earned an M.A. and M.F.A. in creative writing from McNeese in Lake Charles and is the author of “The Land Baron’s Sun:  The Story of Lý Loc and His Seven Wives” (UL Press), which won the Indie Book Award for best poetry collection published in 2015. His novel “The Land South of the Clouds” (UL Press) earned second place for multi-cultural fiction for the same award in 2017. He currently resides in Ruston teaching literature, composition, and creative writing at Louisiana Tech University since 1999.

“The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering” by Elizabeth Heiskell (Southern Living).
From the Southern Living arbiter of Southern food and lifestyle, and caterer, TV personality, and cooking teacher Elizabeth Heiskell, comes this revamp of the number one best-selling Southern Living cookbook of all time, Southern Living Party Cookbook (1972).

Oct. 30
Dunbar is a former Peace Corps volunteer, teacher, coach, and principal. He has worked with schools in all but three states, and his musings on education and other topics have appeared in numerous publications, including Teacher Magazine, Independent School, Middle Ground, School Administrator, Edutopia, Pacific Standard, and The Lens. A graduate of Duke and Tulane, he currently lives and coaches in New Orleans.

A native of New Iberia, Schexnayder earned his Bachelor of Fine Art degree from LSU and has since worked as an artist, author/illustrator and art teacher. He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, has illustrated over half a dozen children’s books and has been the official Louisiana artist of many state festivals and events. He owns an art gallery in New Iberia. For more information, view his website at

Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.

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