Stone Motel, Fix Me a Plate, Motel Confessionals, and 120 HIAS Stories



MOTEL CONFESSIONALS (Working Title) (Manuscript in Progress)


STONE MOTEL – MEMOIRS OF A CAJUN BOY (April 2020, University Press of Mississippi)

To purchase a signed copy of Stone Motel – Memoirs of a Cajun Boy, contact the author at: ardoinwriter [at]

Available at These Booksellers:

Barnes & Noble
University Press of Mississippi

Press Coverage for Stone Motel

Here’s a review from the Clarion-Ledger in Hattiesburg, Miss.

“Tigers in Print” feature in LSU Alumni Magazine, Summer 2020

A roundup of Literary Louisiana, Spring 2020

Article from Darrel LeJeune in the Lake Charles American Press

From Forward Reviews

Online review from writer Laura Leavett
Darrel’s story in The Ville Platte Gazette.
Front page of the Mamou Acadian Press

And in other media:

Blog: What does Page 99 reveal about “Stone Motel”?
Blog: An interview with the author about his book and his dog.
Website: recommendations for new books.
Podcast: Overflowing Bookshelves, Dallas Woodburn
Podcast: Oh F*uck Yeah!, with Ruan Willow

Me, holding my new book, April 2020.

Book Jacket Blurb for Stone Motel

Summers, early 1970s: My siblings and I helped run our family’s little roadside motel in a hot, buggy, bayou town in Cajun Louisiana. The stifling, sticky heat inspired us to find creative ways to stay cool and out of trouble. When we were not doing our chores – mowing acres of thick grass, scrubbing motel-room toilets, plucking chicken bones and used condoms from under the beds, handling a colorful cast of customers – we played canasta, an old ladies game that provided us with a refuge from the sun and helped us avoid our violent, troubled father.  

I was successful at occupying my time with my siblings and the children of families staying in our kitchenette apartments but was not always successful at keeping clear of my dad, a man unable to shake the horrors he had experienced as a child and later, as a soldier. I learned as I matured that Daddy had reserved his most ferocious attacks for me because of an inability to accept a gay or, to his mind, “broken,” son. It became his mission to “fix” me, and my mission to resist – and survive intact. I was aided in my struggle immeasurably by the love and encouragement of a selfless and generous grandmother, who provides my story with much of its warmth, wisdom, and humor. There’s also suspense, awkward romance, naughty French lessons, and an insider’s take on a truly remarkable, not-yet homogenized pocket of American culture.