This is NOT a parody. These are nine separate short stories inspired by our trip to New Orleans last October. The only connection between the stories is the city in which they're all set...and three words we thought it would be fun to include in each one.
Over the next three days, we'll be posting blurbs, excerpts and pictures of some of the main characters from each of our stories. And we'll be giving away books! Two copies each day. To enter, just leave a comment. We'll pick winners from comments left here and on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/the9NN
And now, let the good times roll...
Ash Wednesday by Meg Benjamin
Blurb: Maggie Beaulieu is a woman with a mission—an errand for her late Uncle Claude that brings her from Houston to New Orleans’ famous Moon Walk beside the Mississippi. Only she’s the family screw-up. Can she actually do the right thing for once or is she doomed to failure? Derek Bartel sees the sad-eyed beauty standing above the river bank on his way home from his nightly gig as a street musician in Jackson Square. Is she really suicidal, or is he letting his memories of the past get in his way? And what can he do to help? Derek’s soft heart ends up entangling him in Maggie’s mission, which involves a perilous climb down to the Mississippi and an encounter with a grumpy cop. Now can he convince this visiting Texan to give NOLA more than a single night?
Maggie stepped back from the edge of the walk and felt a quick stab of uneasiness. A man was watching her a little way down the sidewalk. He carried something, and she strained to see what it was in the dim illumination from the street lights along the walk.
Looked like an instrument case of some kind, maybe a violin. Her shoulders relaxed. Nobody who played a violin could be threatening, could he? Unless he was actually hiding weapons in the case, like some Philharmonic Jack the Ripper or something.
Letting your imagination go a little crazy, right Maggie?
The man took a cautious step closer. “Good evening,” he said. “Nice night.”
Maggie nodded carefully. “Yes, it is.”
“Are you looking for someplace in particular? I live around here—I might be able to help.”
He looked a little like a poet, although Maggie wasn’t sure she’d have thought that if he hadn’t been carrying the violin case. His hair curled over the top of his collar, brushing his eyebrows in front. She couldn’t be sure of the color in the dim light, but it looked reddish brown. Brown eyes too, as far as she could tell. Tall. Slender. Long tapering fingers that were probably really good for playing the violin.
And other things.
Stop that. It wasn’t like she was here for a relationship. She had Uncle Claude to think about.
A girl, a vampire, a dungeon, a love spell...or then again, maybe not. Either way, this is a love story that could only happen in New Orleans.
Excerpt: Out in the street, warm night air caressed Rene’s skin and teased his tastebuds with a mélange of scents and flavors—bourbon, brown sugar, crawfish boil, dark coffee, rum—trivial things for which he had no longer any use. Ah, but there had been a time, he could still remember it, when he’d found them enjoyable, when such simple pleasures had the power to satisfy all his appetites. The sultry-sweet sound of a sax floated on the breeze and up ahead he could see a young couple dancing together on the banquette. They look happy, innocent, in love; for a moment, he envied them that. Once, he had been just like them—before time and loss had twisted his soul. The pleasures he craved now were darker, hotter, more intoxicating and far more dangerous. Like the pleasure of mastering Zirondelle Doucette.
Bourbon Street Blues by Skylar Kade
Alexa, Baron, and Stephan will return in late 2013!
“Eat, Alexa.” Baron offered her a forkful of something that looked delicious and smelled divine. “It’s not magic, but it’s so soothing you’d swear the pastry chef was a Voodoo priestess.”
Her lips quirked in a smile and she took the fork. True to his word, the cake melted in her mouth in a sweet, salty, chocolate explosion. “What is this?”
Baron took a bite and washed it down with a sip of his bourbon. “Chocolate pecan crunch cake. My very favorite.”
So there you have it. Check back on Saturday and Sunday for more! And don't forget to leave your comments below...