It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. But I’ve been super-busy writing and finishing up Whickering Place and running it past beta readers. I’ve also been doing a little bit of traveling.
Despite my obsession with vampires, I had never been to New Orleans until this past April. My husband’s mother is actually from Louisiana, and I had in-laws down there I’d never met. People had told me that New Orleans either gets in your soul or it doesn’t. I didn’t have high expectations going in. I figured it would be a big dirty city, and I’d already been warned about the dangerous places that we simply couldn’t go.
Well, now, I can honestly say New Orleans is at the top of my Cities to Visit Frequently list. I’m not sure my first trip to an American city has ever had such an effect on me. From the moment we drove into the French Quarter, I felt like I was on a movie set. The preservation of the buildings, the energy of the people walking around, the smells, the sounds—it actually felt like we’d entered another country.
It was especially fortuitous that my husband’s aunt and cousin live in the city, and they acted as tour guides, making sure our first stop of the day was lunch at Antoine’s. A prix fixe menu for $20.00, plus 25 cent lemon drop martinis? It doesn’t get much better. Top that off with a batch of café diablo and a top-to-bottom tour of the old building by a veteran server, and we were set for the rest of the day.
We were blessed to stay at the Hotel Monteleone, right in the Quarter, within walking distance of everything, and complete with a carousel bar off the lobby.
We basically ate our way across the city, with a few city tours and ghost walks thrown in. Of course, I’ve always been an Anne Rice fan, and my husband’s cousin is an even bigger one. He showed us the Garden District, her old house, and the nearby above-ground cemeteries that New Orleans is so famous for.
By the way, shameless plug for Andre LaSalle, who is a very talented artist, welder, and actor, and I urge you to check out his work on Andre’s Alchemy. Very cool stuff.
Of course, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Boutique du Vampyre. One of the few dedicated vampire stores in the U.S., this small but chock-full boutique boasts vampire-themed books, clothing, and jewelry (many items are made by local artists), and as you check out, you will be given a card to access the vampire speakeasy (complete with secret phrase you must say before being allowed entrance). Although we were leaving that day, and I did not get to go to the speakeasy, I will certainly be paying a visit when I return.
So expect book three of the Legacy of Darkness series to take place in The Big Easy. Parts of the book are already in the works, and you’ll hear more about that in the future. Also, book two of the series, Whickering Place, will be available July 30. I’ll be posting quite a bit about that over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, Carpe Noctem!