Category Archives: New Orleans

Happy New Year!

Where better to celebrate New Year’s Eve than in the ultimate party city, New Orleans?  The setting for my upcoming novel, Crescent City Lies, NOLA is the ideal city to ring in 2017.

The Audubon Zoo and the Louisiana Children’s Museum hold events for the entire family. The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade, which proceeds through the French Quarter is fun for all. You can also enjoy the festivities from the deck of a riverboat or a balcony in the French Quarter, or at one of the many fabulous restaurants scattered across the city

My favorite way to welcome the New Year is the celebration in Jackson Square. An annual tradition with music, the traditional fleur-de-lis drop, and spectacular fireworks show called Symphony in the Sky,  the heart of the French Quarter is the place to welcome 2017.

new-years-fleur-de-lis

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If you’d like to peek at the New Year’s Eve Party in the French Quarter, visit the Earth Cam which broadcasts 24/7 from Bourbon Street!

http://www.earthcam.com/usa/louisiana/neworleans/bourbonstreet/?cam=bourbonstreet

bourbon-street-new-years

Sources:

http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/seasonal/newyears.html

 

Halloween in the Crescent City

If there was a holiday more suited for New Orleans, I don’t know what it could be. Hoodoo and voodoo and the Krewe Boo, all join forces to bring the Halloween spirit to the Crescent City.

My novel, Crescent City Lies takes place in late spring and early summer, but I can only imagine how my main character Emeline Drake would enjoy the Halloween celebration. Second, only to Mardi Gras, All Hallows Eve is fun for both little ones and adults alike.

From outlandish costumes – really, who better than the good citizens of NOLA to make costumes – to tours of the haunted French Quarter or other parts of the city, New Orleans is the place to be for All Hallows Eve.

Visit a Voodoo shop, join in a street party, enjoy the music and food of the most haunted city in the US and catch the Krewe Boo parade full of scary Three-D props constructed from paper mâché and fiberglass.

I think I’ll write another novel set in New Orleans during Halloween. What better time of the year for a good murder mystery in the Crescent City?

Go Saints!!!

saints-halloween

Location, Location, Location

I’m often asked what is so appealing to me about New Orleans and why do I set so many of my stories in New Orleans or Louisiana, Cresent City Lies being one. After all, I’m from South Carolina, a beautiful state with its own vibrant culture and uniqueness. It also has faults as do all places, but we’ll dwell on the positive for now.

When deciding on a setting for a story, I seem to be drawn to the flavor of Louisiana. Nothing like the sultry summer heat in the south, where life slows down, and the humidity rises. The spicy aromas and comforting palate of Cajun food and the smooth sounds of New Orleans jazz are alluring and set a mood that seems to touch my writer’s passion. Wicked antagonists, flawed heroes, and enticing strong women seem to belong in the bayou or the French Quarter.

In reality, I love the beach. Ribbons of sand lapped by waves, air tangy with salt, majestic pelicans soaring against a cornflower blue sky. My heart lies on the shore, rejuvenated by the sun’s heat. My soul rests in the bayou.

At the moment, however, I live in a beautiful place called Spann Hill in southern Kentucky. As you can see from the image below, one taken from the front porch, not a bad place to be. At least, there is water nearby, even has a dock on the huge pond.

I suppose we choose where we want our stories to unfold for lots of reasons. My thoughts always seem to be on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the Battery in Charleston, or an Atlantic beach in Florida. All locations to stir the imagination. Let those places you love spur your stories.

spann-hill

Look for my first novel, Crescent City Lies, to be published in Fall, 2016.

The Muffuletta!

** The Muffuletta **

Have you ever eaten a Muffuletta sandwich? If not, then you’ve likely never visited New Orleans. There is nothing more unique or tasty in the Crescent City.

Emeline Drake, the main character in my novel, “Crescent City Lies,” gets a hankering for one of these delicious sandwiches. A hankering that reopens her past and changes her life.

Yes, the sandwich is that good.

A friend who lives in New Orleans regaled the story of the Muffuletta during a visit. The sandwich was created by the owner of Central Grocery, an Italian market located in the French Quarter. The origin of the name is unclear. It may have been named for a customer or for the baker who created the round Italian bread (the unbelievably delicious bread) used.

There are many places in New Orleans to find this iconic sandwich, but none beat the Central Grocery.

(http://www.centralgrocerynola.com/)

While Central Grocery does mail order, it can be pricey. From the blog “GumboPages,” here is a recipe shared with the blogger by New Orlean’s cook and cookbook author Chiqui Collier. The olive salad recipe is a closely guarded secret by Central Grocery, but this recipe according to Collier comes from the creation of the original muffuletta.

From Collier: “The recipe for the olive salad is the exact way it was given to me. It makes over a gallon, but since your comments indicate that you love it, I’m sure you won’t want to cut it down. It stores very well in the refrigerator for many months and makes great gifts along with the recipe for the sandwich. It does appear in my cookbook, “Cookery N’Orleans Style.”

The Muffuletta

For the olive salad:

• 1-gallon large pimento stuffed green olives, slightly crushed and well drained
• 1-quart jar pickled cauliflower, drained and sliced
• 2 small jars capers, drained
• 1 whole stalk celery, sliced diagonally
• 4 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
• 1 small jar celery seeds
• 1 small jar oregano
• 1 large head fresh garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 jar pepperoncini, drained (small salad peppers) left whole
• 1 pound large Greek black olives
• 1 jar cocktail onions, drained

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and mix well. Place in a large jar and cover with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 Crisco oil. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours before using.

For the sandwich:

• 1 round loaf Italian bread
• 1/4 pound mortadella, thinly sliced
• 1/4 pound ham, thinly sliced
• 1/4 pound hard Genoa salami, thinly sliced
• 1/4 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced
• 1/4 pound Provolone cheese,sliced
• 1 cup olive salad with oil

Split a muffuletta loaf or a loaf of Italian bread horizontally. Spread each half with equal parts of olive salad and oil. Place meats and cheeses evenly on the bottom half and cover with top half of bread. Cut in quarters. Enjoy!

Serves four timid dieters, two hearty New Orleanians or one incredible maiale.

http://www.gumbopages.com/food/samwiches/muff.html

Enjoy!!!!

muffuletta-sammies-square-3

Some Sunday Jazz…

A lazy late summer Sunday afternoon is just asking for some real New Orleans jazz. The city is synonymous with the tones of a sultry saxophone, the tinkling of piano keys and the driving tempo from a bass or drums. No matter the variety of the sound from Dixieland, or smooth, to Zydeco jazz music flavors New Orleans as much as a bowl of spicy gumbo.

A fictitious French Quarter bar, the St. Honoré’s Bar and Grill, located on the famed Bourbon Street plays a pivotal role in my novel “Crescent City Lies.” The protagonist, Emeline Drake, stops in for the bar’s infamous muffuletta sandwiches (apologies to the Central Grocery which does have the best!) and stumbles into a past she had put behind her. The bar is also known as a favorite of locals who love jazz.

Take a step into the world of jazz with this video consisting of music from te 2015 New Orleans jazz festival.

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Published on Aug 14, 2015

New Orleans and New Orleans Jazz – best of New Orleans jazz music for New Orleans jazz festival 2015 and New Orleans jazz fest 2015. This New Orleans jazz band and New Orleans jazz & heritage festival 2015 playlist is composed and recorded by jazz musician David Lewis Luong.

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