Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

(Let the good times roll!)

I’m originally from a small town in Oklahoma, so I didn’t grow up with Mardi Gras. In fact, all I knew about it was what I had seen on television. That, of course, meant Bourbon Street and all its debauchery. The Sin City of the South.

I had wanted to visit New Orleans, though, ever since I read Interview With the Vampire. I fell in love with the town from Anne Rice’s description, and her own passion for the Crescent City. So, when I had my first chance to go, I jumped on it. It just so happened it was during Mardi Gras, and one of the biggest parades, Endymion.

That was twenty years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Well, maybe not yesterday, but definitely not like its been twenty years. I can feel the warm sun on my face. Smell the scent that is so New Orleans, a little of earth and a little of trash. (It was Mardi Gras). We walked the Quarter that day, and I was amazed. I was astounded that so many people could fit into one street.

I think this small-town girl’s eyes were open wide all-day long. (It was Mardi Gras.) Everything you see on television is true. But, I loved every minute of it. In my life, I had never experienced anything quite like that.

And then, the sun went down, and the parade started. I stood there, neon green alien cup in one hand, the other hand raised to catch whatever they were throwin’. The floats were breathtaking, all lit up like the Vegas strip, with celebrities on them and everything. Ian Ziering, from Beverly Hills 90210 just happened to be on one float and I think I swooned just a little. Maybe it was Ian, maybe it was whatever was in the alien drink, I don’t know. (It was Mardi Gras.)

At the end, neck heavy with beads, I’m sure my grin was as bright as the lights on the floats. The memory still makes me smile.

Twenty years later, I’m living right in the heart of Cajun Country and I still love Mardi Gras. There’s something about it that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s the joi de vivre, the excitement of the catch, the anticipation. I’ve ridden in parades, and I actually rented an apartment for years because it was near the parade route. Have I been back to New Orleans? Many, many times. Have I been back for the parades? No. I much prefer the laid-back atmosphere of Lafayette.

Fat Tuesday is coming up, so that means it’s once again, time to laissez les bon temps rouler!

Peace!

I’m out!

A Boonie New Year’s Eve

Mark Twain

I love New Year’s Eve, there’s something about saying goodbye to the old and ringing in the new. It’s no surprise that I have scenes that take place during this time of the year. This is one of my favorites, one from Running on Empty. Enjoy!

New Year’s Eve

Grace and Gabe walked into Snapper’s. Carly’s eyes lit up as she saw the two come in. She hurried from behind the bar to envelop them in hugs.

Joey came in the bar through the swinging wooden doors that separated the bar from the kitchen area. “Grace!” He, too, came around from behind the bar to shake Gabe’s hand, then he hugged Grace close. He left his hands on her arms so he could take a good look at her. Seeing her happy, the anger in her face gone, he smiled and hugged her close again.

“Austin’s been good to you,” Carly said.

Grace smiled and looked at Gabe. “Yes, yes, it has.”

“Did you text Ryder? What about Em and Noah?”

“They’re all coming,” Grace said.

Emily and Noah were the first to arrive. Then Ryder. Soon they were all gathered around the corner of the bar. The guys were playing pool, and Carly, who had ended her day shift, had taken charge of playing the jukebox. It was all like old times.

Cheech, as they all called him, approached the girls who sat in the corner, surrounded by whichever guys weren’t playing pool at the moment. Always the protective barrier.

“Hey, ladies,” he said. “Wanna hear some music?”

“Would love to,” Carly said, “but I have an idea. Why don’t we get Gabe and Grace to play a few? Would you guys do that? We’d love to hear y’all play.”

Gabe glanced at Grace, who nodded. “I’ll go get the guitars,” said Gabe.

“I’ll hook up the sound system,” said Grace.

Gabe stepped out to get the guitars and gear. Ryder set down his pool cue and came over to her.

“You look good, Grace,” he said.

“I feel good,” she said.

He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. He took his black cowboy hat off and shoved it on her head. “Good.”

She leaned in and rested her head on his chest for a moment. Then looked up at him. “Thank you,” she said.

“No thanks necessary. Now, get that ass up there and sing. We’ve missed that voice.”

Grace and Gabe made quick work of the equipment and soon were sitting on the makeshift stage of Snapper’s.

“First up, we’re going to play an original song that Gabe and I have been working on. You guys are going to be the first to hear it,” Grace said into the mic. She motioned to Gabe, and he began to play.

After a few chords from Gabe’s guitar, Grace began to sing, “Deepest are the wounds without a scar at all.”

It was a slow song. Emily grabbed Noah and they headed to the area in front of the band that was used as a dance floor. Carly grabbed Joey. And Ryder, not to be left out, found Allison.

Grace’s eyes met Gabe’s, and she smiled.

Want to read more of Grace and Gabe’s story? Buy Running on Empty on Amazon.com.

Link: http://a.co/fD4jCzj

 

Must Read Monday 12/11

Must Read

Guilty Condolence

By: Kimberly N. Dean

gckd

Synopis:

Sarie Anna and Jasen Riggins seemingly have it all. Sarie is the front woman of the number one country rock band, Carolina Fierce, and Jase is their head of security. But, Jase is also a co-owner of Anserve Inc., a private contracting company for the government. Black ops, totally expendable.

When a mission goes south will Jase be able to conquer his demons, or will Jase and Sarie be lost in a Guilty Condolence.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Guilty-Condolence-Sometimes-Have-Fall-ebook/dp/B01N784PQ4/

About the Author:

Kimberly Dean makes her home in the suburbs outside of Atlanta, GA. She is married with three sons.

An avid writer and reader, Kimberly enjoys novels in all genres and states that her favorite authors are Lexi Blake, Lexi Buchanan, Nicole Edwards, and Nora Roberts.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Kimberly is a baseball mom. Her favorite MLB team is the New York Yankees, and her favorite players are Tyler Austin, and the Molina brothers, Bengie, Jose and Yadier.

 

Author Links:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-N.-Dean/e/B01N97O4IA

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16104385.Kimberly_N_Dean

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/kimberlydean03/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kimberlydean03

Have an author you’d like to nominate for Must Read Monday? Check out my FB page on Share the Love Saturdays!

https://www.facebook.com/ALVincentAuthor/

Must Read Monday 12/4/17

Must Read

#1 Fan

By: Andrew Hess

ah#1

Synopsis:

Living the life of an aspiring author is tough. Nothing written is ever good enough, everyone’s a critic, and no one believes the dream will work. Evan Taylor takes on all of it as he struggles to make himself known. He’s on the verge of being the next big thing when he meets Sara Reed, his biggest fan. Her love took him by surprise, making life on the road more difficult. With books being Evan’s life, will they cost him the love of his life?

#1Fan

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/8hs0ic6

Have an author you’d like to nominate for Must Read Monday? Check out my FB page on Share the Love Saturdays!

https://www.facebook.com/ALVincentAuthor/

Must Read Monday 11/27/17

Must Read

Promise (Coeur du Bayou Trilogy) (Volume 1)

By: Lisa Coots

promise

Synopsis:

The small Louisiana town of Cypress Point promises a fresh start for Claire Hebert and her lovable Great Dane Rosie. On the run from a monster, Claire hopes the new job and new town will help her escape her past. Her free spirited friend, Serena, and the friendly folks next door keep her hoping and dreaming of a better tomorrow. Fate takes a hand — with a little help from Rosie — throwing Claire into the arms of sexy Sheriff’s Deputy, Evan Bertrand. Sparks fly, but instincts steer him away from his parents’ crazy neighbor and her trouble making canine. Will the chaos surrounding Claire be Evan’s undoing, or will their passion live up to its promise? Mysterious happenings hint at the secrets held in Serena’s house, and warnings of a dangerous reunion threaten to spoil Claire’s promised tomorrow. On Halloween night, during a violent storm, Claire’s monster returns. Can Evan, with the help of a ghostly presence, help her overcome her past once and for all?

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/5Pa3lH2

Have an author you’d like to nominate for Must Read Monday? Check out my FB page on Share the Love Saturdays!

https://www.facebook.com/ALVincentAuthor/

Ghost Hunting in Galveston

IMG_20171123_093615

I’m a big fan of ghost tours. I’ve taken several in New Orleans in the past. And I’ve visited the Myrtles Plantation. I love the stories of the history of the towns and houses of Louisiana. Being a geek for ghosts, when I found out that Galveston was reputedly one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., I had to go check it out.

On the tour, our guide was extremely informative. I learned so much about Galveston’s history, including the fact that the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte once had a base there. I’ll definitely be researching more on this.

One of our stops was the Hutchings-Sealy building (pictured above). When the hurricane of 1900 hit, the water was so high that it reached the second floor. A school teacher there would step out on to the ledge and grab people as they floated by, dead or alive. The teacher ended up passing away from fever soon after.

People have reported seeing the teacher in pictures, and as a ghostly figure at the top of the stairs. She’s also been heard weeping, and even calling out worker’s names in the restaurant that now inhabits the first floor.

I took several pictures the night of the ghost tour, but nothing appeared in those. However, when I went back the next morning, I decided to take a few more. Why not?

I snapped a few of the doorway in the middle, the one without the arch. Then, went about my merry way, as there is a lot to see on Strand Street. Also, it’s been my experience that for whatever reason, images don’t appear until later. Why this is, I have no idea.

I was scrolling through later, and had to stop and do a double take. There was an odd spot of light near the bottom of one pic. When I enlarged it, it resembled a face. Excited, I sent it to a ghost loving friend of mine, and she sent back, “Do you see this?”

That wasn’t the only face.

All in all, we counted at least six.

Chills, I tell you. I got the chills. It was by far one of the creepiest pics I’ve taken on one of these trips.

20171123_094409-1

Original Picture

Screenshot_2017-11-23-17-00-39

Close Up Shot

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Others

Are these faces of people past or merely smudges on glass? For all I know it could be fingerprints and my always over active imagination. Who knows. Will I be doing more ghost tours in Galveston? Definitely, I didn’t realize there was so much history in this small town that was once one of the biggest ports in the U.S. And don’t forget the ghosts! 🙂

Peace!

I’m out!

Additional Resources:

https://www.hauntedrooms.com/8-haunted-places-galveston-tx

https://www.galveston.com/ghosts/

http://www.galvestonghost.com/

Must Read Monday 11/20/17

Must Read

The Boss’s Daughter

By:

Jennifer Bates

boss

I am marked by the Black Rose, the symbol of my father’s cruelty and arrogance. It’s a stain that will never wash out, the same mark all those girls carry—the ones who keep turning up dead.

My father, underboss for a powerful crime family, killed my fiancé, then told me he’d see me dead too. The only reason he didn’t kill me right then and there was because he wanted me to suffer first.

But he will never break me.

I ran away. I survived. Those other girls…they weren’t so lucky.

To stop the murders, I’ll have to go back and give my father what he wants. Me. My blood.

And then there’s Hunter…the only man I want, and the only one I can never have. If he finds out who I am, everything I’ve fought for will fall apart.

There will never be a knight in shining armor to rescue the girls of the Black Rose. I’ll have to do that myself.

The blood of the Family runs in my veins, and I will not go down without a fight.

Amazon Buy Link:  http://a.co/6h7Muxm

ARC Request Form: http://bit.ly/2z5M1yQ

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