Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Guest Blogger: Lyn Lejeune

The year after Hurricane Betsy in 1965, I enrolled in college at the University of New Orleans and had to take a two-hour bus trip on the New Orleans transit line from St. Bernard Parish out to Lake Pontchartrain. I hated trigonometry, and did not think it would help me escape my life near the Mississippi levee or the constant smell spewing from the Domino sugar plant. So I usually ended up at the downtown public library, then later I would head to Jackson Square for a couple of Jax brews. That public library was my sanctuary and worlds of adventure opened up for me through the pages of a thousand and one books. I started reading from the end of the alphabet and arrived at “V” before I realized that I would have to live many lives to read all of the wonderful books. After Katrina, I decided to finish THE book, start The Beatitudes Network- Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans (http://www.beatitudesinneworleans.blogspot.com/) and donate all royalties from sale of The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the libraries. The Foundation gladly gave me the 501c non-profit tax number and my publisher arranged for the royalties to go directly to rebuilding the public libraries of the City That Care Forgot, The Heavenly City, The Big Easy. At http://www.amazon.com/ the Foundation is listed as the co-author, so readers may be assured that royalties flow directly to NOLA when The Beatitudes by Lyn LeJeune is purchased.

The Beatitudes Network is now part of a global campaign called The Blue Book Campaign to Remember New Orleans. Imagine this: the great seeing eye camera from Google Earth focuses in on a man and a woman and a child each carrying a blue book. It is The Beatitudes, the symbol of the written word; it is their signal to the world that words and books must be preserved and cherished so that humanity, good humanity, will continue to exist. The phenomenon captures the media….instead of a bracelet they CARRY A BOOK; THE BLUE BOOK CALLED THE BEATITUDES. Soon, thousands, no millions, carry the book in support of the written word. People are sending messages on cell phones, iPods….You, you, my friends will make THE difference.

Here’s The Beatitudes: Social workers Hannah “Scrimp” DuBois and Earlene “Pinch” Washington have just started their own business, Social Investigations, to solve the murders of ten foster children in New Orleans, Louisiana. The NOPD, the Catholic Church, and local politicians has sidestepped clues that point to those who hold great power, hampering their investigation.

As Scrimp and Pinch discover more evidence, they realize that they are dealing with a force that crosses into the realm of the paranormal. They are thrown into a world much like Dante’s purgatory. Soon they link the murderers to a secret organization called the White Army, or La Armee Blanc, centered in New Orleans, but rooted in medieval Europe and the Children’s Crusades. Each clue leads to a beatitudes, the characteristics of those who are deemed blessed; the pure of heart, the persecuted, the merciful, the sorrowful the peacemakers, the meek, the poor in spirit, and those who hunger and thirst after justice. By the time the eleventh child – the sacrificial child-goes missing, Scrimp and Pinch are determined to prevent his death.

Racing against time and the threat of an approaching hurricane, these two bold, no-nonsense women work together to restore hope and bring closure to a city battered by sin.
As we say in Cajun country, Que le bon Dieu vous benit – may the good God bless you!

No comments: