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The Secret in Mossy Swamp by Rita Monette

The Secret in Mossy Swamp

by Rita Monette

Giveaway ends June 19, 2017.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Bonfires on the Levee

...A Louisiana Tradition

By Rita Monette
author of louisiana lore

Every year in south Louisiana, there is an interesting tradition that was started over a hundred years ago: The bonfires on the levee.

During this event, over one hundred 30-foot-plus tall wooden bonfire structures are built along the Mississippi River levee near the town of Lutcher in order to light the way for Papa Noel (Cajun country’s Santa) on Christmas Eve. These bonfires, doused with a flammable liquid, are all ignited at the same moment at 7 p.m. (CST).



The old folks in the area, that still participate in this event, tell us that long ago before the Levee's were built, the bonfires were lit to help light the way for friends and family that came to visit on Christmas Eve. And for the sake of the children, to help light the way for Santa.

The fires were traditionally built in the shape of crude pyramids or "tepees", and it is only in recent years that the builders have gotten very creative. Newspapers and television stations have increased coverage each year until these bonfires have turned into a competition between their makers, each attempting to design and build the most original and the biggest. 

It is a site to behold to anyone that wishes to join in. There are even special sternwheelers, paddle boats, or river boats that offer bonfire cruises down the Mississippi River.













Today, each family or street of families come together and start building their structures usually during the Thanksgiving break from school. And when the time comes for the festivities, they enjoy in their lawn chairs, the bonfires, fireworks, and a pot of gumbo.

You will always see the displayed pirogue with Papa Noel being pulled by his special alligators, led by Alphonse.






















Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pierre Part, Louisiana






I’ve spent the last few weeks in my home state of Louisiana, promoting my books and visiting relatives.

While there, I visited my brother in the small town of Pierre Part, Louisiana, which also happens to be the home of Troy Landry of the Swamp People TV series, and where my series, The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends, begins. No, Nikki is not kin to Troy—at least I don’t think so. 

The town is about as Cajun as anywhere in Louisiana. Folks there make their living in the bayous, where crawfish, crabs, and alligators are plentiful.

However, I came across one man that makes his living gathering old cypress and turning it into artistic creations. His name is Adam Morales. He says he is blessed to be able to see things in the old remains of cypress trees. Here are a couple of his creations.








Many folks in Pierre Part still live in houseboats, just like they did back in 1956 where my stories begin.


Last month was the release of book two, The Curse at Pirate’s Cove, which is set in the nearby town of Morgan City, and in the Atchafalaya Swamp, where Mr. Morales collects the cypress for his artwork. 

Follow Nikki and her friends as they find an old pirate ship in the swamp, encounter some ghostly pirates, and end up lost in 1814 in the largest swamp in the United States.


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