Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Evening with Allen Whitley - Tuscumbia, AL

It is old news that I am an Allen Whitley "groupie". I have joked recently that I even follow him across the South for signings. (although I actually showed up in Alabama first) Olivia Wright, the Head Pulpwood Queen of the Heart of Dixie chapter was able to get Allen set up several different signings in Alabama and Mississippi this week to promote his new book Where Southern Cross The Dog. She and I drove into Tuscumbia, Alabama...hometown of Hellen Keller and blues musician W.C. Handy, for Allen's first official book signing at Cold Water Books (a building dating back to the 1800s).

After a successful night of selling and signing books, Allen, Olivia, our friend Merry, and I walked around the block to a quaint Italian restaurant called Frank's Italian for a celebratory dinner. We enjoyed the bread, pasta, and wine until it was obvious that the waitress was eager to turn the table. Today, Allen is signing more books in Tupelo, Mississippi (the birth place of Elvis).

Jewell Parker Rhodes Signing - Baton Rouge

My sweet friend and author Jewell Parker Rhodes will be signing her new children's book Ninth Ward at Barnes & Noble in Baton Rouge on September 28, 2010! She had been scheduled to attend the 2008 and 2009 Shreveport Book Festival but was unable to attend. She is author of the Marie Laveau series that includes Voodoo Dreams, Voodoo Season, and Yellow Moon with a 4th book on the way! Laissez les bons temps rouler dear Jewell, the Red River Queens will see you in September!


Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. She doesn't have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya's visions show a powerful hurricane--Katrina--fast approaching, it's up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.

Ninth Ward is a deeply emotional story about transformation and a celebration of resilience, friendship, and family--as only love can define it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Katrina Documentary On LPB

Tonight, July 22, on LPB (channel 11 for Comcast users) a new documentary about the Katrina aftermath 5 years later will be airing at 10:00pm, called New Orleans: Been In The Storm Too Long. Tavis Smiley's website has a plethora of interviews and videos to accompany the broadcast.

In addition to revisiting some of the people Smiley and Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme have been chronicling all along, the special contains new interviews with Ellis and Branford Marsalis, “Treme’s” John Goodman, Wendell Pierce and Allen Toussaint, Ruby Bridges and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, among others. (

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 2010 RRPQ Meeting-Recap

I'd like to start by thanking the wonderful ladies who ventured out to Columbia Cafe last night for our July meeting! I think we all had a wonderful time and as always, enjoyed an exciting meal. The Southern Belle Peach Salad was to die for!

We began the meeting with could we not? Ha! I created card stock book marks to share with everyone as well as a slip of information about August's book selection Zeitoun by Dave Eggars. If you weren't able to attend the meeting, on the top left corner of this page, you can click to print your own book marks as needed as a pdf file! Feel free to share them with your friends!

This month new member Wanda joined us. She is a friend of Suzie's and, as it turns out, she was once in a quilting club with Leslie! Welcome to the club Wanda (her birthday is the day of the next meeting, wink wink)!

Before we began talking about the July book selection, I talked a good bit about an article I read in the current issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine (you can pick one up at Barnes & Noble or you can click here to read the online version). The article is titled Grace King, Le Petit Salon by Mary Ann Wilson. It talks about a popular literary club that began in New Orleans in 1924 with members such as Kate Chopin, Sherwood Anderson, George Washington Cable, Lafcadio Hearn, Dorothy Dix, Tennessee Williams, and even Eleanor Roosevelt. In the 1800s, early 1900s, clubs of this description were not called "book clubs", but literary "SALONS". The salon in New Orleans eventually bought a cute little house that became the home base for the salon. Ladies wore their finest, furs, chiffons, crepes, gloves, etc. At the meeting, we longingly talked about what kind of "home base" we would aspire to have for ourselves and that when winter time comes, we would like to dress in our finest (furs, pearls, etc.) for a lady-like tea or something of that description.

We also discussed Girlfriend Weekend 2011. The theme is "it's all about the book" and each chapter is encouraged to come dressed as characters from a book of their choosing. We have started a list and will be open to suggestions for the following months so as to narrow down and make a choice closer to GF Weekend.

As for the book The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship, we all seemed to agree that the characters were petty and juvenile. None of us enjoyed reading a book of argumentative letters that seemed to drudge up our own past skeletons in our closets. On August 31, same place, same time, we will discuss the book Zeitoun by Dave Eggars (now in paperback) as well as The Year Before the Flood by Ned Sublette, and Yazoo Blues by Shreveport favorite John Pritchard. The staff at Columbia Cafe has offered to make us all Hurricanes to sip on during our meeting! So don't miss it!

P.S. All members will have the opportunity to share any book-related news, read anything they have written lately (even if it is a newsletter or journal entry), so if it's important to YOU, then it is important to our "Salon".

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Allen Whitley's MS-AL Book Tour!

Join Austin, Texas author Allen Whitley, a Pulpwood Queens favorite, as he treks across Mississippi and Alabama promoting and signing his new novel Where Southern Cross The Dog! Click on the bookstores below to find out more!

Cold Water Books - Tuscumbia, AL - Wed. July 28th - 4:00-6:00
(I will be at Cold Water Books that evening if anyone needs more info about the Red River Pulpwood Queens!)

Reed's Gum Tree Bookstore - Tupelo, MS - Thurs. July 29th - 12:00-1:30

The Little Professor - Homewood (B'ham) AL - Fri. July 30th - 12:00-2:00

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 2010 RRPQ Meeting - Tomorrow Night!

Just a reminder that the next Red River Pulpwood Queen meeting will be Tuesday night (July 20) at6:30, Columbia Cafe in Shreveport.

We will be discussing the novel The Recipe Club. See you ladies there...with crowns on!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lunch With The Editor - Has Been Cancelled

Lunch with the Editor event at the Ouachita Parish Public Library set for Friday (July 23, 12:00pm) has been cancelled due to Editor/Author Dr. Janet Allured ill health. She was to discuss the book Louisiana Women while guests enjoy a Cajun jambalaya lunch.

The Red River Pulpwood Queens hope Dr. Allured can make a speedy recovery so that we can visit with her at some other point in time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Green's The Word For Pulpwood Queen Judy Christie

Red River Pulpwood Queens' own Judy Christie is on the verge of launching the second book in her Green series. First it was Gone To Green, now we have Goodness Gracious Green with a third book on the way for 2011! Visit Judy's official website to sign up for her exciting newsletter! You can pick up a copy of Judy's Green books at future Red River Pulpwood Queen meetings or at these events:
  • Saturday, August 7, 10:30 a.m. -- 1 p.m., Barnes & Noble in Shreveport. Launch of “Goodness Gracious Green.”
  • August 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Book signing, Rosewood Gifts, Stonewall, La. with Lenora Worth, inspirational romance author and dear friend!
  • Keynote speaker for state 4H leaders, August 18.
  • Louisiana Conference, United Methodist Church, Women Clergy, retreat leader, August 31. “Cultivating My Leadership from the Inside Out – God’s Good Way for Life & Ministry.”
  • Sept. 4, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Book signing, The Book Merchant, Natchitoches, with friend and author Christa Allan.

New! Listen To Book Festival Authors

Just because the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge and the Author Author book festival in Shreveport have had to close their doors, it doesn't mean that you can't listen to some of the best recordings of the 2009 guest authors! From Rick Bragg, Charlaine Harris, Chef John Besh, and more.

Simply click on Author Audio on the top left side of the home page. Then scroll down to find the audio player that you are interested in listening to. (Sometimes the play button can be a little irritating, so be patient with it. You may need to refresh the page before going on to the next audio clip)

I hope you enjoy this new feature and if you have any audio or video you'd like to share, just send it my way!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

5 Years Later, More Great Reads

Just like the Saints winning the Super Bowl or the oil spill crises, Hurricane Katrina is an event that Louisianans are not likely to ever forget. We are leading up to the 5 year anniversary of this natural AND man-made disaster this August. So it is only fitting that the Pulpwood Queens book club pays its respects by reading some of the outstanding bodies of work that capture the essence of human tragedy and rebirth.

My friend and author Tom Piazza (he is also one of the writers for the HBO post-Katrina series Treme), posted a fantastic article link on Facebook that discusses book clubs' selections for commemorating the Katrina anniversary. To be specific, the article lists some essentials of a Hurricane Katrina library:

- City of Refuge by Tom Piazza (historical fiction)
- 1 Dead In Attic by Chris Rose (non-fiction)
- Nine Lives by Dan Baum (non-fiction that reads as fiction)
- Zeitoun by Dave Eggars (the Pulpwood Queens August selection, now in paperback)
and more...

I plan to attempt to put together a full Katrina reading list for the August meeting for anyone who wants to explore the topic further.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

LA Road Trips Magazine - Buzz On B&B

For the July issue of Louisiana Road Trips magazine, I decided to use my column Peculiar Jaunts to share my experience travelling across the state line to Queen Kathy Patrick's bookstore/salon Beauty and the Book. While there I met a wonderful new Southern writer Allen Whitley (see older posts) from Austin, Texas. He will soon be signing books all across Alabama and Mississippi to promote his new book Where Southern Cross the Dog. You can pick up signed copies at Beauty and the Book.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Food & Fiction: July Book Selection

The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship

Find out your food and friendship personality...Take the quiz!

THE RECIPE CLUB is a “novel cookbook,” a deliciously funny, touching story of friendship, loss, and the ties that bind—with more than 80 recipes that keep the plot cooking. Compellingly readable, this heartfelt story celebrates the resilience and power of women’s friendships. It’s a charming pastiche of e-mails, hand-written childhood letters, third-person narration, photographs, illustration, and more than 80 delicious recipes. (official website)

“Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting
that a new world is born.”
—ana├»s nin