Some time ago, it was suggested that the authors of Bienvenue Press get together and write a book in which all of the stories were set in the Chateau Rouge, the fictional hotel in my series of the same name. Those plans started to come to fruition when we had planned to attend an event together next month in New Orleans.
I felt a little weird about writing my own story in my own hotel for this particular project, so I was just going to sit back and see what these other talented writers had in store for my characters. Plans changed, obviously.
I have had a thing for Claudio de Fiore in Carrie Dalby’s Possession Chronicles Series since book one, Perilous Confessions. He reminds me so much of my own character, Alcide Santiago, the dark and mysterious head of security at the Chateau Rouge. So when she suggested Claudio come pay a visit to New Orleans, I was all in.
This was my first co-write, and although I was a little nervous at first (these are my babies), it turned out to be a truly fun experience and I’m very pleased with the final product.
Here’s a little sneak peek!
From “Revelry’s Requiem” in the Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge anthology.
When Claudio passed through the lobby, he looked to the front desk. A man clad in all black stood beside the proprietress like a demon in men’s clothing. They both watched the priest so he smiled before stepping into the gaiety of the bar.
The dark paneled room was alight with swaying bodies, chatter, the clink of glass, and music. The upright piano was played by a man with garters over his white sleeves and a jaunty straw hat set crooked on his head. Valentino perched on top the tall piano, legs kicking to the ragtime song as he fiddled along. Beside him, a buxom brunette in a skirt much too short for the frigid temperatures outside sang in a clear voice.
Claudio made his way across the room, creating a trail of silence before he stopped beside the piano.
“Claudio!” Valentino jumped to the ground and embraced him with one arm as he kissed his cheeks. “Why did you not leave off the coat and collar before joining me?”
His eyes swept the bar’s occupancy before answering. It was lessened by half a dozen men from when he entered. “Why did you not inform me where you were residing?”
Valentino ran a hand through his chin-length, black hair and grinned. “I can assure you this hotel is better than the one the orchestra put me in when I first arrived. I found Chateau Rouge my second week here and moved in immediately.” He set his violin and bow on the now silent piano and helped the singer to the ground. “Cogino, meet Ivy. She has the voice of a songbird.”
Her gray eyes were as arresting as her figure, but Claudio felt the danger she presented before touching her cold hand. She leaned in for kisses—the hallmark of Valentino’s seductions always included making his women accept and give Italian greetings.
“I have never been so close to a priest before. You smell delicious.”
“It is lovely to meet you, Ivy.” Claudio’s hand went into his pocket to rub the crucifix. “It appears my vestments in a brothel are more inspiring than a Sunday sermon.”
“Such weaklings! They need to be content with their actions to enjoy them fully. No regrets, no guilt.” Valentino waved a dismissive hand before banging it on the piano. “Begin, Winston, I want music while I drink with mio cogino. Did you not bring vacation clothes, Claudio?”
He narrowed his eyes at the twenty-year-old. Ivy placed a hand on Claudio’s shoulder and ran it down his sleeve—bringing back memories of his lost love, Eliza.
“You’re about the same size as Alcide.” She smiled and turned to Valentino. “Surely the head of security would loan a few things for the cause of protecting the guests from their own beliefs.”
Valentino’s bravado faded. “You better handle that, Ivy.”
“Happily.” She nipped his neck before sashaying out of the bar.
“Is she not glorious?” Valentino nudged Claudio toward the now empty section of stools along the far counter. “I can no longer remember the names or faces of those girls in Mobile. Mere children compared to Ivy. She is perfect. I hope to join her for eternity.”
Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge
Release date May 12, 2020
Pre order for 99 Cents!
Welcome to the Chateau Rouge nestled in the heart of New Orleans. While Josey Jacobs checks you in to the elegant hotel, which was once one of the French Quarter’s most talked about bordellos, you may realize everything is not what it seems.
Spirits here do not Rest In Peace.
Drinks disappear from the bar. The apparition of a woman flickers at the corner of your vision. Bloodthirsty creatures prowl the halls. No two visits are ever the same, and guests will forever be changed by what transpires.
Grab your room key from the desk and brace yourself for four unique stories told from within these enchanted walls:
“Revelry’s Requiem” by Jolie St. Amant and Carrie Dalby
(A Chateau Rouge and Possession Chronicles Crossover)
Danger arrives at Chateau Rouge during the 1911 carnival season in the form of an Italian violinist, Valentino De Fiore. Seeking to flaunt his fame, Valentino sends for his cousin, Father Claudio De Fiore, to visit from his small Louisiana parish. The instant Claudio arrives, he feels powers of darkness closing in around Valentino. In over their heads with the arrogant violinist and a young vampire who loves him, Josephine and Alcide must turn to Selena Prosperie, the oldest vampire in New Orleans in hopes of bringing secrecy back to their establishment. Can the vengeful immortal control the situation without unleashing her fury on the De Fiore cousins?
Book Link: https://books2read.com/u/bpOMw9