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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Celestial-Blue-Skies-Maggie-Collins/dp/069202347X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398824637&sr=8-1&keywords=celestial+blue+skies
Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/celestial-blue-skies-maggie-collins/1119365514?ean=2940149550692

In Belle Place, Louisiana, where the sugarcane grows a mile high to the bright blue sky, Celeste struggles with her mentally ill mother, Tut, and works with her grandmother Maymay to hold the Creole Bastille family together. Celeste has bigger dreams for her life, and is falling for the handsome and wealthy Vashan. But, when Tut runs away to live with the man she met working in the sugarcane to escape her reputation as the town whore, Maymay fears that Celeste will end up like her mother. And just as things are finally looking up for Tut, her past returns with violent, tragic results. Will Celeste end up like her mother, or will she redeem her family from the hoodoo curse that haunts them? And will she find love with someone from a culture just as exotic as her own?
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Maggie Collins was born and raised under the clear blue skies of Loreauville, Louisiana. She majored in English at the University of Louisiana and later earned a Master's degree from the University of New Orleans. An excerpt of this novel was published in "Louisiana Cultural Vistas" and was a 2009 finalist for the worldwide William Faulkner William Wisdom writing contest. She is a Center for Black Literature fellow and an Educational Diagnostician. She lives with her two sons and wonderful husband




 Praise for Celestial Blue Skies

Reviews Maggie Collins’ mesmerizing novel takes us deep into the hearts and minds of a Louisiana creole family struggling to maintain their dignity and traditional values within an uncompromising world full of poverty, superstition, and intolerance. Celeste, the main character, must navigate through the rigid cultural code demanded from her family as she strives to transcend the bad reputation her mother has acquired in the community. She soon learns that those demands, although at times brutal and suffocating in the hands of her grandmother and matriarch, Maymay, come from a source of genuine love and caring. The values she learns from her family are what eventually guide her towards a stronger sense of self and a better, self-fulfilling life. A fabulous read, full of engaging complex characters and fascinating situations, Celestial Blue Skies, invites us to consider that at times the only type of love that can help us survive is an exacting, fierce one.

 --J.L. Torres, author of The Accidental Native and Boricua Passport Editor Saranac Review

Maggie Collins writes about real people who live on the page. Celeste Bastille is a young woman who will win the reader and stay in her memory. Most of the characters are as vivid as Celeste and they are a family. As much as you want Celeste to find happiness in her own life, the family needs her. Collins weaves a tale as intriguing as the folktale that is the basis for the book. Celeste earns her Celestial Blue Sky. ~ Lee Grue, Editor, The New Laurel Review


 It isn't often that I get to visit Creole homes in southwest Louisiana and just listen. I like to tell my friends here in Europe that New Orleans is a city of tribes who are more or less friendly to one another. Within the black community there are tribes with complex differences, within the white community there are tribes. But the tribe I love the most is the tribe of the heart. Ms. Collins is surely part of that. Celestial Blue Skies is a book of the heart. It describes a Creole family in southwest Louisiana some few years ago, with the authority of an insider. I found myself peering through watery eyes a number of times. Truthful books touch you that way.

 ~ Gordon Walmsley,  Editor, The Copenhagen Review

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Maggie Collins writes about real people who live on the page.Celeste Bastille is a young woman who will win the reader and stay in her memory. Most of the characters are as vivid as Celeste and they are a family. As much as you want Celeste to find happiness in her own life, the family needs her. Collins weaves a tale as intriguing as the folk tale which is the basis for the book. Celeste earns her Celestial Blue Sky.

Lee Grue New Orleans poet and author
Publisher of the New Laurel Review



Lee Meitzen Grue is a Louisiana poet and fiction writer, who often writes about New Orleans culture and music. Her published books are: Trains and Other Intrusions: Poems; French Quarter Poems; In The Sweet Balance of The Flesh; and Goodbye, Silver, Silver Cloud, a collection of New Orleans stories. A spoken word CD with jazz accompaniment "Live! On Frenchmen Street" was released in 2000. Performing with jazz or reading without accompaniment, Grue has appeared in night clubs: The Knitting Factory in New York, Snug Harbor, and True Brew in New Orleans. and at literary festivals: The Tennessee Williams and Faulkner Festivals, and Jazz Fest in New Orleans. As a Visiting Writer, she has conducted seminars and performed her work at La Universidad de Barcelona in Spain; at Librairie, an English language bookstore in Paris, Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa at an international symposium on “The Literature of Place" She has translated the work of Mexican poet David Huerta as part of “Bridging The Gulf”an exchange of four Mexico City poets and four new Orleans poets. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship; prizes in poetry and fiction from Deep South Writers; The Associated Writing Programs; and A PEN Syndicated Fiction Prize, Grue has taught at Tulane University, Westminster College, and Xavier University. She is the former Director of The New Orleans Poetry Forum and The First Backyard Poetry Theater and long time editor of The New Laurel Review. Grue is a member of The Authors Guild and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Women. 

www.leegrue.com









It isn't often that I get to visit Creole homes in southwest Louisiana and just listen. I like to tell my friends here in Europe, that New Orleans is a city of tribes who are more or less friendly to one another. Within the black community there are tribes with complex differences, within the white community there are tribes. But the tribe I love the most is the tribe of the heart. Ms. Collins is surely part of that.Celestial Blue Skies is a book of the heartIt describes a Creole family in  southwest Louisiana some few years ago, with the authority of an insider. I found myself peering through watery eyes a number of times. Truthful books touch you that way.


Gordon Walmsley
author of Daisy, The Alchemical Adventures of a New Orleans Hermaphrodite
editor of The Copenhagen Review (www.copenhagenreview.com)

Gordan Walmsley, an internationally acclaimed poet, is author the new poetically constructed novel, Daisy, The Alchemical Adventures of a New Orleans Hermaphrodite, published in October, 2013 in Denmark as a limited edition. The book, written partially in prose, partially in verse, has been described by Lee Froehlich, Managing Editor of Playboy, as the "undaisiest of daisys." Gordon grew up in New Orleans ane was graduated from Princeton University and Tulane Law School and has been writing poetry ever since. His latest book of poems Echoes of a River, Poems of New Orleans and Beyond, was published in Ireland by Salmon. The Irish Times wrote: “Walmsley’sspirit of compassion and empathy shines through the pages. The shorter echo poems that are placed like waves in the volume lend a visual interpretative layer that helps the collection in imparting more complex readings ("something can arise / from a wave that falls / among the sounding words". Gordan is married to a Dane and has been living in Denmark for many years. Apart from writing poetry, he edits www.copenhagenreview.com which features a span of excellent writers from relatively unknown aspirants to Nobel Prize winners. He has translated a number of poets from German, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, including Tomas Transtr├Âmer, Inger Christiansen and Katarina Frostenson.