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Spirits of the Bayou: Sanctuaries, Cemeteries and Hauntings

by Deborah Burst

“Literature that creates an authentic sense of place can be difficult to find. A writer who can capture the real spirit of a place is even more rare. Deborah Burst is such a writer, and her Spirits of the Bayou does justice to one of America’s most historic and hauntingly beautiful settings, South Louisiana.” C. E. Richard, author of the book Louisiana, An Illustrated History and the companion documentary Louisiana: A History, produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

Deborah Burst adds another book in her continuing series of Louisiana’s Sacred Places. Her fourth book, Spirits of the Bayou: Sanctuaries, Cemeteries and Hauntings brings to life both the historic and artistic landscapes of New Orleans and coastal towns of South Louisiana.

One by one, each chapter unlocks the doors into ancient houses of worship, probes the eerie shadows of cemeteries and delves deep inside the bayou’s haunted legends. It’s a compelling gallery, a rarity in the literary world with both the magic of her words and the emotional flavor of her photographs.

Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries and Voodoo

by Deborah Burst

Foreword by Mona L. Hayden

A first in a continuing series of sacred trails through Louisiana…

Louisiana’s Sacred Places blurs the lines between the sacred and the profane. Author Deborah Burst combines her love for art, history and architecture into a poetic trail of churches, cemeteries and Voodoo ceremonies.

Explore Louisiana’s most solemn and revered locales. From New Orleans’ most telling portraits of eternal architecture to St. Roch Chapel’s chamber of miracles with relics of pain and suffering. Burst brings readers inside Voodoo ceremonies with vivid photography and a detailed history on the religion with interviews from New Orleans’ own Voodoo priestess, Sallie Ann Glassman.

Moving north along the cypress bayous learn the mysteries of the Creole tradition in lighting the graves on All Saints Day. Follow the trail west along the muddy Mississippi where country chapels whisper tales of survival against the river’s mighty floods. Inside the Feliciana Parishes, nineteenth-century mansions are rife with tales of Civil War casualties laid to rest under the scenic weeping oaks. Burst ends the book with some dark humor in how New Orleans celebrates its dead with jazz funerals and post-mortem parties fit for a king.

Southern Fried & Sanctified: Tales from the Back Deck

by Deborah Burst

Celebrating a decade of writing and photography, Deborah Burst has combined some of her most prolific work and talents of southern storytelling in her third book, Southern Fried and Sanctified: Tales from the Back Deck. Like life itself, each page brings tears, laughter, and the kind of adventure only the south can bring.

Five chapters in all, the book begins with some of her fondest travels. Poetic trails from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast states with shrouded bayous, jungles of bearded oaks and beaches flush with seashells and stingrays. Then a rolling picture show of Georgia, South Carolina and roaming the mountainsides of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.

The Friendly Folk chapter introduces the kind of people you never forget. From a Tennessee farm boy realizing his dream, to WWII vets sharing stories of sacrifices and heroism. In the Country Confessions chapter, Burst reveals some of her most personal reflections with tales of those youngin’ days, the dark side of writing and the erotic beauty of nature.

Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans

by Deborah Burst

Foreword by Anne Rice

From New Orleans to the Northshore, stately churches, grand cathedrals and rustic chapels act as coffers for generations of history and devotion. Dedicated to deep-seated traditions, and Louisiana’s allegiance to its European roots, the state is divided into parishes rather than counties. Follow Deborah Burst as she explores the defiant spirit of early parishioners battling disease, pestilent weather and economic depression in building their heavenly havens…


St. Tammany Parish Madisonville Library
1123 Main Street
Madisonville, LA
Thursday, October 20, 6-7:30 pm
Speaking/Photo presentation

Conundrum Books
11917 Ferdinand St.
St Francisville, LA
Saturday, October 22, 1-3 pm
Signing, discussion, rolling photo presentation

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church
Fun Day fundraiser
8594 East Main Street
Houma, LA
Sunday, October 23, 10-3 pm
Book signing, 20% goes toward restoration fund

St. Tammany Parish South Slidell Branch library
3901 Pontchartrain Drive
Slidell, LA
Thursday, October 27, 6-7:30 pm
Speaking/Photo presentation

Louisiana Book Festival
State Library of Louisiana
701 N 4th St
Baton Rouge, LA
Saturday, October 29, 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m
Speaking/Photo presentation
State Capitol, House Committee Room 6
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing, 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m

New Orleans Book Festival
City Park, November 12
Speaking event, Stage 3, 11:30-Noon
Signing at noon

Maple Street Book Shop
7529 Maple St
New Orleans
Saturday, November 26 (Local Saturday, weekend after Thanksgiving)
Signing & discussion, 1-3 pm

Barnes & Noble Mandeville
The Village Shopping Center
3414 Highway 190 Suite 10
Mandeville, LA
Book signing & discussion
Saturday, December 3, 11-1 pm

What others say about Deborah Burst

“Delightfully vivid bringing to life all the favorite haunts of the lively spirits both living and dead.”

Anne RiceLauded author of gothic fiction, Christian literature, and best known for The Vampire Chronicle featuring Lestat

“Deb Burst is as much a New Orleans fixture as Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and an ice cold Hurricane at Pat O’s. You can see her passion in every word she writes and every photograph she snaps. She is a true renaissance woman.”

Mark A. NewmanFormer Editor in Chief, Southern Breeze Magazine

“Deborah Burst sees things (and knows things) about New Orleans that most people don’t. Here, she reveals the stories behind some of the region’s most memorable structures.”

Lee FroehlichPlayboy Magazine Managing editor

“I’ve admired Deb Burst’s research, writing and photography since she was an undergraduate student at Tulane University and Preservation in Print was the first to publish her stories about historic architecture and neighborhoods. Hallowed Halls will definitely be the bible about Louisiana houses of worship”

Mary FitzpatrickEditor Preservation in Print Magazine

“Bells chiming, steeples beckoning, and stained glass glimmering… Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans offers an exclusive tour of these historical structures. Deb captures these iconic treasurers and their majestic beauty in both her prose and photos.”

Mona L. HaydenEditor/Publisher, Louisiana Road Trips Magazine

“I personally believe we bury our dead above ground because it’s easier for them to get out at night and walk around the city. In her book, Deborah has captured the true essence of the Voodoo religion, and the souls of New Orleans both living and dead.”

Sallie Anne GlassmanVoodoo Priestess of New Orleans and author of Vodou Visions, An Encounter with Divine Mystery

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