The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell- Now available in paperback
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Romance Novels by Loraine Despres

Southern Novels by Loraine Despres


I just last night (or rather this morning at 2:00 a.m.) finished "The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc"-- just wanted to let you know I LOVED it!!! I could not put it down for a minute! You captivate your readers and keep them enthralled with every single turn of the page. Now that I have been introduced to Belle, I would like to read the book about her as well. (I am SO glad the man PeeWee killed was NOT Parker, as I was afraid of throughout the book and am so glad that Sissy and Parker finally got together!) Also, hurray for Clara!....when I read she was the senator.....yes, it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for writing such an amazing, truly wonderful book which helped to pass away the time during this terrible heat spell we are having. I am one of your newest fans!

Sue Rosinbum (another Southern Belle)
Nashville, TN

Dear Loraine,

I found your novels thrilling. I read "Sissy LeBlanc" and then immediately headed out to get anything else by you. I turned up with "Belle Cantrell" and I was mesmerized once again by your mastery over so many areas, whether they be political, social, geographical or just plain mental.

The rules that these ladies in your books follow are those that every American girl, whether Yankee or Southern Belle, should know and abide by.

I hope that you write more novels equally as enchanting as these. Thanks!

Dear Ms. Despres,

I just have to I read The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc a while back, and picked up The Bad Behavior later. I was blown away by both. You are an amazing author and seem to have an uncanny insight into the mind of a typical southern girl. Sissy LeBlanc's character was almost a kindred spirit to me. I actually came to this website in hopes that you had penned another book which would be ready to read this summer! I don't want to rush you...but please hurry and give me more!!! haha! This Mississippi girl is waiting on the edge of her seat for your next masterpiece. Thank you so much for sharing your work with us all.

Jennifer P.
Oxford, MS

I finished "The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell." Wow! What a good read! As I approached the end I couldn't put it down. Also, I know what a great amount of research it took to write all this, especially the period details such as what had been invented then, and what had not. I hope someone will decide to make this into a movie and hire you to write the script. You've already got some great visuals, and Belle is so colorful.

Good luck with all.

Janie Spataro
Santa Monica, CA

Dear Loraine
I discovered THE BAD BEHAVIOR OF BELLE CANTRELL to be a fascinating and a memorable reading experience. What inspired you to write the book? Good success with your future writings and endeavors. Have a wonderful day.


Dear Ms. Despres
Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your books. I'm almost through with "The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell", and I've already gone to the library to get "The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc". They are great reads!!!!!

I love the references to old-time songs. (I'm only 49...but I grew up with 20's and 30's type music). It was also fun to read about a Crow-Elkhart car because I live in Elkhart, Indiana!

Even though I'm reading them in the wrong order, it will be chronologically correct. I can't wait to finish one and begin the other! Please keep up the good work. Can't wait to read more of your books. You are a wonderful story-teller!

Jan Mast
Elkhart, IN

I just finished reading The Scandalous Summer of Sissy and Bad Behavior. I just wanted to say how very much I enjoyed them both. You are now my favorite southern author, I laughed outloud so much, hell I'm still laughing. Thank you for sharing your talent, I look forward to your next book.

Tonia Spears
Heflin, AL

Dear Ms. Despres
I just loved your book (even though I'm a Yankee)! It was so beautifully written, so funny and tender and interesting. I will be sure to get the others. I just loved Belle...what a wonderful character! Congratulations on such a great story. All the best.

Kristan Higgins

I am an avid reader. I found your book, "The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell", by accident. My 2 year-old picked it off the shelf and handed it to me. I read it in less than 2 days. I love historically correct fiction. I went out and got your 1st book immediately after and was voracious with the read, as well. I am in a mom's book club. Our group gets a bit crazy with the book discussion. Would you mind helping with questions? I would greatly appreciate it. My birthday is coming up - this would be a wonderful present for my pregnant self. And I would be able to tell the group I received the questions directly from you. (Was I using southern guilt? ha ha) I would appreciate any help and look forward to your next book. Thank you.

Donna Plunkett
Needham, MA

Ms. Despres
I just finished my Christmas present, Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell. I loved it. I love books set in L.A. I am from northeast MS. I have told every women that I know about the first book and I'll be sure to tell them about this one. Thanks for providing those hilarious "Rules". I hear my grandmother's voice every time I read one. I look forward to any future books. Thanks

Ashley Mansel

Well, I just got done reading the Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell, I have to tell you...I couldn't put it down. I am a person who probably has read six books that were novels or whatever. Three books I read because I wanted to. My Mom bought me this book at Costco and said "how does this look?" I thought it looked like fun, and anything with a title like that should be something great. I was reading it during one of the hardest times in my life - my grandmother was dying. I am in pain from something that I will have to live with the rest of my life. I was reading your book and it gave me hope that no matter how bad things are, there is something good on the way. It was hilarious and well just a great book! Just keep them coming and I will keep on reading. I am just now starting the scandalous summer one! Oh, it has been really good so far. Thanks again....come to Orlando some time!


I just finished reading 'The Bad Behavior of Bell Cantrell" and I absolutely loved it! I've always had a bit of an interest in history and this book just brings that era in the south to life. Your characters are so detailed and I've never been so enthralled with a book before I read 'The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc'. Honestly, reading that book this past June has gotten me into reading again. I haven't touch ed a book for years before that book and I haven't stopped ordering them since. The first thing I did was pre-order this new novel. Thank you so much for getting me back into the imaginative world of novels again - and please say you're working on your next installment of the Cantrell family saga!

Emilee Bates
Hershey, PA

Hey there
You have GOT to write more books. I read "Belle Cantrell" and "Sissy LeBlanc" the "wrong" order...which turned out to be chronologically correct. Loved, Loved, LOVED them!!! Please keep 'em coming!!!!


The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc - Southern Romance Novels by Loraine Despres
Reader Feedback
Southern Romance Novels by Loraine Despres

Click here to read fabulous feedback from the Chapter-A-Day Book Club

Hello Ms. Loraine
I'm writing this email because I just bought another copy of SS of SL. I read this book about two years ago I believe. I have bought it for family members and friends, and I still continue doing so. Back when I read your wonderful book, I emailed you and asked if you were going to write a continuing part of this book. You wrote back and said that you were working on it. I have kept my eyes open for it, but now I wonder if you meant The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell. Could you please let me know when ever you get a chance. Thank you.

P.S: Thank you for allowing us your email, so many authors don't provide their readers with any way to ask questions about their book, again thank you so much.


I loved this book so much, in fact, it is now my favorite book of all time. I have been looking for more, more, more on Loraine Despres. I have ordered The Southern Belles Handbook and The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell, and am absolutely delighted that Ms. Despres had written more books linked to Sissy. Fabulous writing, great story lines, I saw in my mind everything that was written, felt what the characters felt, all of my senses were in use while i read this book. And that was good enough to read twice, probably a lot more in my lifetime. I was hoping there was a movie out that I missed somewhere, but no! Maybe sometime in the future? I'd be the first in line. :) Looking forward to many more books from Loraine Despres! Thank you, Loraine!

Stephanie Apodaca Romo

I was given your book as a birthday gift from my sister-in-law. She and I love "southern belle" fiction stories. I plan to e-mail Oprah about it today. It MUST be made into a movie. I adored this book and read it in 2 days. I haven't been able to stop thinking about Sissy and her humor, bravery, and determination. Thank you for such a wonderful experience! I can't wait to read Belle's story!

Bridgette Farrar

Not many books make it to my "keep and read again list". This one will. I couldn't put it down. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!!

Marilyn H.

Dear Loraine:
I belong to a book club in Hot Springs, Va. We have just read The Scandalous Summer of Sissy Leblanc... I cannot wait to hear the reactions to the book. I could not put it done. You get to the heart of so many issues in this book. Girl being robbed of their innocence, bigotry, racism etc. My list goes on and on... I am now one of your new fans. I cannot wait to read your next book.

Mary Adderton
Hot Springs, VA

Loraine...during the summer I get into my "reading"mode...I took your book along with 3 others on vacation. I enjoyed it, hoping to find another, but see that your new book won't be out until October. Keep up the great work! Can't wait until October!

Sherri Pensler
Miami, FL

I loved the book, SSoSL. Badass. My grama gave it to me to read while I visited her and I didnt put it down for two days.

Growing up in the south, I could visualize everything in the book, it was nice. I really wish it would become a huge movie, so I could buy it on DVD and watch it all the time. :) Keep writing some awesome stuff, you've got a fan for life.

Leslie T

OMG! I just finished reading this book and I did not want it to end! I could not put it down and want to say that it is on my list of favorites now....Thanks and will be looking forward to more books by you :)


Fabulous! I loved the excerpt and am eagerly awaiting the rest of the book!

Jennifer Horowitz

I loved every minute of this book. Sissy exemplifies the potential for different life paths that exist for all of us. Unexpected plot twists kept me constantly amazed, and I laughed outloud at Sissy's internal advice. I couldn't put the book down and recommend it highly!

Ellen Steigman
Jewish Enrichment Director
JCC New Orleans
5342 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 897-0143 x 135
(504) 897-1380 fax

Being a Southern Belle from Texas I LOVED the book, the story, the charaters and the setting. Hell, I'm damn near in love with Parker myself! Would love to see The Southern Belle's Handbook in print! I have recommended to all my friends and anyone else who will listen!


An absolutely wonderful book! I have been passing around my book to everyone to read! And they all love it. I am anxious to read more from Despres. Very engaging writer.

Jeannie Martin

I finished The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc a few weeks ago. It's fantastic!!! From the moment I began to read, I just devoured that book! The plot and the characters are so compelling. I even began casting the movie in my head; I think Ashley Judd would be a great Sissy, and I would be an excellent Betty Ruth! ;) When is your next book hitting the stores? I can't wait!


Loved that Bourree(sp?) bit the dust...I just didn't like the way the pilogue jumped so far forward. I was just enjoying the book so much that I wish you had written another 30 pages or so and filled in more of the gap. Just me being selfish!!! Do you have anything new in the works? If you have a mailing list, please put me on it! Again, really enjoyed the bookl I've passed it along to a best friend (we've swapped books for years) and assured her she will love it.


Dear Ms. Despres:

I just finished your book, "The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc" and I absolutely loved it! What a great treasure! It reminded me of a lot of my "southern" upbringing and many of my relatives. Thanks for writing such a great story! I'll keep my eyes posted for your next work!

Kelly Burich

I very much enjoyed this fun, summer read. Sissy is a wonderful character. I found myself laughing out loud in some parts. It also gave me many things to think about! Love it!! Thanks.


I am currently reading your book and savoring it slowly. I only allow myself to read 10 pages a day so that it won't end so soon. I haven't read a book in a long time that I have been this excited about and I do read a lot of books. My friend is in the bookselling business and I am going to be attending the Book Expo in New York with her next month. Please tell me you are going to be there because I would really love to meet you and have you sign my book!! I looked on your schedule and there was no mention of it.

I'm sure you are busy working on a new book, so I don't want to take much of your time, but I would love to hear from you!

Ginger Williams
A Southern Belle

p.s. - I love all of your rules and live by some of them daily. My friend is getting a divorce and I frequently quote her Rule #100!

Loraine, Having just finished your book, I felt compelled to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I live with 3 men, my Husband and 2 teenage sons. I have always wanted to be sure to be the Queen of my Castle. I have written down many of your rules for reference and to feel a renewed sense of "power". Being the only woman in my household can be a challenge! All my "boys" enjoyed teasing me about the title. "Are you sure you can handle all that scandal mother?" I shall work at being more like Sissy! Thanks for giving me an enjoyable reading experience! I look forward to your next novel.

Joan Schepers

Thought the book great. The setting and characters remind me of a movie that is only playing here in Palm Springs called "Sordid Lives". It has played here for months to sold out houses. Why it is only here I don't know. So, maybe you can turn this book into a movie. Good luck and thanks again for writing such a wonderful book.

Hal Francis
Palm Springs, CA

I LOVED IT! Its 3 am and I just finished the fabulous summer voyage with Sissy and company! I just wanted to say that this book is awesome and appeals to even the citiest of city girls..I think I am going to convert and become a Southern Belle..I'd like to catch my own PARKER! Great book..write some more!

Lisa DeVito

This was such an amazing book! I absolutely devoured this book, staying up late to read and now I am wishing that it wasn't over yet! I, too, like other readers, nearly fell in love with Parker! This book was so well written and I would enjoy reading more about the characters as they moved to Boston and the experiences that awaited them there. Hint, hint, a sequel would be wonderful!! Thanks a lot for such a wonderful story!


I just finished reading "The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc" and I must say I enjoyed every minute of it. Is there any chance it will be made into a screenplay? I think it would make a wonderful movie as well.

You really kept my interest peaked the whole time, I couldn't put it down (even at 3am when I knew I needed to sleep!) I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done. I wish you a wonderful career in writing.

I think I'm going to reread the book and highlight all of the rules for future reference. You should have an appendix in the back that lists them all in order.

Thank you for this wonderful treasure.

Your fan, Deborah Danielle
Jacksonville, FL

Dear Loraine,
Thank you for being such an entertaining guest recently on my show. The people that make up the part of the world you created in your book really had heartbeats to them. Since you have had the visual to help in what you did in the past, your work with this novel stands out even stronger since the visual is left up to the reader. I'm already looking forward to your next work and hope we'll get to talk again.

Chris DeBello
Morning Host, WNNJ-AM
Chris DeBello Show

Hi, Wow, what a book. I enjoyed every page. I could see Sissy walking down the street to meet Parker, and all the church ladies and that Peewee. Wow what a book.


One word to describe "The scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc" - F A B U L O U S!!!! Keep'em coming!

Vickie Reynolds

I LOVED IT!!! I have a very hard time staying asleep at night so my husband suggested that I read before going to bed (so I could stop thinking about work). Well, I still wake up in the middle of the night only to get back to reading the "Scandelous summer of Sissy Lablanc". I laughed outloud and adored her and her rules.


I found your book quite by fluke at Barnes & Noble just before Christmas and just recently completed it. Loved it; it was a hoot! I bought another copy and passed it on to a family member and have recommended it via e-mail to many of my Southern friends. Can't imagine anyone who has lived in small town south between 1940 - 1960 not getting some laughs from your work, unless, of course, they are total prudes or serious "church ladies". Keep the humor rolling.

Brenda Davis

I want to thank you for your email back it is very appreciated to find an author that lives in Louisiana that can make a book very interesting and hard to put it down.... I took a bath and the book was with me, when I went somewhere I had to wait, the book was with me, every free moment I read the book I just could'nt put it down. . I really would like to know if the nest book is going to be a sequel to last book.


I love the book and I will be buying the new book when it comes out. I use quotes from The Scandolous Summer on my online diary. http://blushingcece.diary

Nicolette McClure
April 3, 2003

Dear Loraine, I have just read your feedback from your website about your novel "The Scandalous Summer of Sissy Leblanc", and all I have to say is that all of your positive feedback does not do you justice. I read a lot, and I'm very particular about how a novel makes me feel. It usually takes me about a couple of month to finish a novel, with life always getting in the way of finding time to read, but I finished your novel in less then a week. As soon as I was done I went to the bookstore to see what else you have written, and to my disappointment, I could not find anything. I know that you new book " The Southern Bells Handbook" I coming out this May but, I sincerely hope you have plans to write more novels about scandalous summers of southern bells in the late 50's. I don't think I could ever truly be satisfied with any other author's novel in this particular category. I guess what I am asking is, do you have any plans for another novel? If you don't, then I am pleading with you to reconsider. It would be a shame for all the women who read and loved "The Scandalous Summer of Sissy Leblanc" to only be limited to this one sensational story. I would be eternally grateful if you would respond to my letter.

Your devoted reader,

It's a good testament to a book when you lend the novel to your best friend and she asks to keep it a while longer because she wants to write down the "handbook." I love 'Sissy' and she rates as one of my all time favorite books (up there with East of Eden). I read a ton (as anyone with an English degree should) and I get foggy on many of the plot lines, but I can literally look at my bookshelf and see the spine of 'Sissy' and laugh with the memories...thank you for writing such a marvelous novel! I am very much looking forward to your next endeavor!

Take care,

Dear Mrs. Despres, I am an English Major at Texas A&M University and for my summer and winter breaks I always look for novels that I get to pick and enjoy. I found your book at Target after skimming through MANY...and yours caught my eye. I read it in three days! I am from a small town in Texas and cannot begin to tell you how at home your novel made me feel. I felt as though I was back home on my very own porch. My roommates are waiting in line to read your book; I felt sad to give it to them, but I knew I couldn't deprive them of your wonderful rules! I now own a copy of the Southern Belle's Handbook and I carry it with me everywhere I go. Thank you for making my summer break feel "scandalous".

A TRUE Southern Belle in the making

I just LOVED this book!!! Being from a small town in Tangipahoa Parish I know exactly what a Scandalous Summer is! Thank you Ms Despres for writing such a Wonderful book! I am a huge fan now and I am looking forward to any more books that you may write!


Dear Loraine:

I'll try to keep this short, as I know you probably get tons of emails. But I just had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed reading The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc.

One night I went to Barnes and Noble in search of some good reads. Being a writer as well, I tend to write more than I read, but promised myself that I would try to read at least one book a month. I selected five novels that night, yours among them because it looked interesting (I love things about the south and southern belles) and also, truth be told, it was on the buy two get one free rack.

I read the other two first. The first one I didn't enjoy much. The second was a little better, but I was losing faith in my selections. I took a deep breath when I finally got to yours. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it the best of the three (save the best for last, right?), but it was the most entertaining, satisfying, well-crafted story I had read in a while. I really liked the way you played with time. How we begin in present day, go back to when Sissy was thirty, then when she was a teen, back to thirty, back to present day. As I was reading, I remember asking myself, "Is the author going to explain this? Is this going to all come together?" It did.

I'm not in the habit of writing to people to tell them how much I enjoyed their work. I think its "groupie-ish." But it's safe because you're a fellow writer, right? Anyway, I am a fan now and saw The Southern Belle's Handbook in Barnes and Noble. I plan on buying it.

I am not published yet. Currently I have an agent and am in the middle of submission to publishers. Hopefully one day we'll be featured on the same Barnes and Noble three for the price of two table. It would be an honor.

Rachel Remick



What a great book! I couldn't put it down. My husband, a self proclaimed non-reader, even picked up this book and read a page or two because he was curious. I really am looking forward to more books from Ms. Despres.

Mandy Skogebo

I loved this book, and I just couldnt put it down. I think it shows us all that you never know what can happen if you just let it. I cant wait for Loraine's next book. Hopefully it will have a character as wonderful as Sissy.

Judy A.

Dear Loraine, I loved meeting you, and thanking you personally for creating Sissy LeBlanc. I just want you to know what a great influence Sissy has been on my life. She is not a victim; rather, she is a take charge lady who does not let any situation get her down. Not a complainer, she looks to conquer with her upbeat attitude and her rules for a Southern Belle.

You and Sissy have become my models for how to transform what could be a depressing or upsetting time. I am now stopping to think before those moments that could become a time to feel victimized. Rather than getting angry or fighting back, I think about Sissy's ability to control herself and the situation. She is a positive force, without being militant. What a change from that which is so dominant in our society! An optimist, Sissy finds the good, the happy and the upbeat at all times.

I loved that you brought in the many social issues of the time, (so many of which are still important) without dwelling on them. Sissy's handling of them is terrific.

I look forward to your next book because I know it,too, will be upbeat as well as entertaining. Thanks again,
Betsy Weinstein

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Southern Literature by Loraine Despres