Tuesday, August 14, 2007

U2's "Walk On"

I dare somebody to name a better song than that.

And it means a lot to me. Right now. In this lovely, damned blessing of a city.

"Home...hard to know what it is if you never had one . . .."

1 comment:

scrimp said...

Yes, a blessed city and this is what I'm doing!

THE BEATITUDES- a paranormal mystery - New Orleans noir



Thank you for taking the time to read about my book, The Beatitudes and The Beatitudes Network, aimed at rebuilding the public libraries of New Orleans. I received your name and address from the Sisters in Crime Book Club Database.

When I entered college, I took a two-hour bus trip on the New Orleans transit line from St. Bernard Parish to Lake Pontchartrain. I hated trigonometry, so I headed to the downtown public library and then to Jackson Square for a couple of Jax brews. The public library was my sanctuary. After Katrina, I decided to write THE book, donate all royalties to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the libraries, and start The Beatitudes Network. I give you and NOLA The Beatitudes…

The Beatitudes is a paranormal thriller (this is New Orleans after all!). Social workers Hannah “Scrimp” DuBois and Earlene “Pinch” Washington start their own business, Social Investigations, to solve the murder of foster children in New Orleans. The NOPD, Catholic Church, and politicians have sidestepped clues. Pinch and Scrimp know they are dealing with paranormal forces that lead to The Beatitudes and the murderers. Each chapter of the book is named after a beatitudes: The Pure of Heart, The Persecuted, The Merciful, The Sorrowful, The Peacemakers, The Meek, The Poor in Spirit, They That Hunger After Justice.

You may read more about The Beatitudes and The Beatitudes Network at www.beatitudesinneworleans.blogspot.com. Here you will also find recipes, excerpts from the novel, news about New Orleans, the world, publishing, and see a list of Beatitudes such as authors Julie Smith, Alafair Burke, Ken Bruen, James Lee Burke, Sara Gran, and others who are supporting this effort. Any book club that purchases and discusses The Beatitudes will be listed as a Beatitude. A Beatitude is someone who acts in the interests of others.

Besides telephone, email, and onsite appearances, I am also available to speak with your group either in person or by phone or via email to help with the answers from my author’s point of view. As a special added feature, for books groups of fifty or more who hold an event for me and purchase the book, I will demonstrate how to prepare my famous chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, all the while talking about the book and libraries. Now that’s an act!! I am booking now for events/appearances/conference calls with dates beginning November 27, 2007 and into 2008. Email: lynlejeune@cox.net, telephone 828-226-3246. Merci mille fois – thanks a million.

Here are some Book-Group Discussion Questions:

To what extent do the chapters, each named after a beatitude, provide clues, move the story forward, and help Pinch and Scrimp find the murderers of the foster children.

In what ways do the beatitudes teach Scrimp (Hannah) about herself and the world in which she must live after she discovers that she is a Gran Met, a voodoo priestess?

Why did the author chose Dante’s Purgatorio (the second book in The Divine Comedy) as the underlying parable for TheBeatitudes? What does the author mean when she has the dead priest, Father Delcambre, say “purgatory is diluted by time?”

How does Scrimp use her visions to solve the murders?

Why is Pinch murdered with a sword from the famous Cabildo Museum in New Orleans?

Why did the author choose foster children as the la Armee Blanc’s (The White Army)
victims? And how do the characters that run the White Army explain the historical context of The Beatitudes, particularly when the real history of the Knights of the White Camellia is considered?

What is the significance of the little African American dwarf, n’est pas juste? How does his name, literally translated, as “I am not justice” explain one theme of the book, namely, that life is made up of many roads of contradiction and each individual must find his/her own correct path?

Why do Scrimp, Pinch and n’est pas juste travel to Scrimp’s old home out in the Cajun countryside? What are they looking for?

What are some underlying themes in The Beatitudes that pertains to you and your faith? Consider these ideas: free will vs. fate; hope vs. cynicism; good vs. evil; the self vs. the greater good.

What is the story about in the end? Why did Scrimp have the following words inscribed on Pinch’s headstone: SHE WAS THE ENEMY OF ALL CRUELTY?

My short stories have been published in literary journals such as Big Muddy: A
Journal of The Mississippi River Valley (East Missouri University), The Bishop’s House
Review (Duke), The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Nantahala, Milestone,
Identity Theory, Our Stories and Stone Table Review. I have also published articles in
such journals as Mystery Readers International. I am recipient of the Paris Writers’
Institute Scholarship for study in Paris, France and a Fellowship for study with the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was also a finalist in the William Faulkner Novel-In-Progress prize. I studied writing at Skidmore (where I worked with Mary Gordon and Marilynne Robinson), Duke, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

Again, that lynlejeune@cox.net or 828-226-3246.