Monday, October 21, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019


I had a fabulous time at Lit Crawl-SF on October 19 reading with my partner, 
author Christine Volker

I read an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Betrayal on the Bayou, which is planned for release in early 2020.

As is usual in my writing, many stereotypes are sure to be challenged, dissected or just outright destroyed, and in this book, the fictional town of Tassin is just one of them.

Many at Lit Quake said they are looking forward to the rest of the story.  Here's hoping you feel the same!


Excerpt from the upcoming novel
 Betrayal on the Bayou
Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte

Copyright©2019 by Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte

In March of 1865, the Union Army attacked Fort Ravare.  The battle was fierce with several casualties on each side.  A little more than two months later, in May 1865, the Union Army took Fort Ravare and declared victory.   A group of about one hundred Union soldiers took to the roads on horseback and on foot, marching through the small towns along the way, drinking, stealing cotton and damaging property.  When they reached the town of Tassin, a line of horse- mounted Tassin residents, armed and ready for battle, met them at the entrance.

Marie scanned the arriving troops and finding the one with the most stripes she addressed him directly.

“Stop, please.  Do not come any further.”

Her command was met with laughter from the soldiers.  The Tassin line took a step closer.  Now facing each other with only a few feet between them, the tension was palatable. 

“What is this place?” the striped soldier asked.  “And who are these people who do not seem to know what has happened here?”

More laughter erupted from the soldiers.

“This is the Tassin Valley and you have arrived at the town of Tassin.  Nothing has happened here.”

“And Miss Lady, who might you be?”

“I am Marie Tassin.  This is my town.”

“Your town?  A female with an entire town?”

“Yes, kind sir.  That is correct.  And you and your men look like you could use a drink and a bath.  We are happy to host you as you make your way home.”

Striped soldier was taken aback by all of what he had just heard.  These were not your normal southerners, he thought.  There was something different here.  He was not afraid of it and at the same time he was not comfortable with it either.  But he was intrigued.  After the countless battles he had fought and death he had witnessed, he was more than happy to feel an emotion other than fear or aggression.  He was the first to dismount.  Marie followed.  As they walked toward each other striped soldier removed his hat,

“I think my men and I would like that very much.”

The parties at the Monarch and Kingsland hotels lasted for three days before the soldiers, clean, fed and happy, prepared to leave Tassin. 

Striped soldier mounted his horse and called his men to attention.  He thanked Marie and her hotel workers for their unforgettable hospitality.  Before he turned his horse to leave, he said to Marie,

“You know, now that we have won the war, you are going to have to free your slaves.”

“Oh, you mean the colored people at the Monarch?”

“Yes, they won’t have to work for you anymore.  They are going to be freed.  This is a nice town. I am so sorry.”

Marie hesitated as if she wanted to reply, but just then Vanessa came up behind her and tapped her on the back of her shoulder. She handed her an envelope.  So happy to see the ill-mannered, disgusting soldiers finally leave, and knowing things could have been worse for her and the town, Marie had almost forgotten.

She walked to the striped soldier and handed him the envelope. 

He opened it to find an invoice addressed to the union army for three days of expenses in the town of Tassin, due and payable.

The striped soldier smiled, tipped his hat to Marie and with his band of men, slowly road out of town.