Happy Sunday! I’ve been sitting on this one a while, waiting for the official OK to post it…but since Mel S (thanks, Mel!) found it on Amazon a couple of days ago, well, here it is!
It’s my favorite of the UK covers. I like the moody coloring, and the abandoned amusement park in the background is perfect since some of the book’s major scenes take place in the old abandoned Six Flags New Orleans, which flooded badly during Hurricane Katrina and has been caught up in litigation ever since.
The other major settings in Elysian Fields are:
1) DJ’s house and Alex’s house. They’re next door to each other, in uptown New Orleans. DJ’s house is a camelback built in the 1870s. It’s patterned after the house that was next door to mine in NOLA. Alex lives in a true New Orleans shotgun house, and is patterned after a friend’s shotgun–they’re called that because they’re long, one-room-wide narrow houses with one room opening directly onto the next. You could fire a shotgun from the front door, and the shell would go straight thru the house and out the back door. Land in NOLA tends to be narrow and deep–I lived in a Victorian side-hall cottage, and my lot size was 40-feet x 120 feet. That was wider than most because I actually had off-street parking, which is a premium in uptown NOLA. Here’s a shotgun. Just about all of the houses in this part of the city are raised on piers (which is one reason it didn’t flood as badly during Katrina), have steeply pitched roofs, nice Victorian gingerbread trim and millwork, and the “three-bay” front. The opening on the left is the front door; the other two are floor-to-ceiling windows with hurricane shutters that can be closed when a storm approaches and opened wide during the day to allow breezes through and to serve as additional doors–remember, most of these babies were built way before air conditioning!
2) “Plantasy Island,” Quince Randolph’s nursery and landscaping business, catty-cornered from DJ’s house and across from Eugenie’s. We’ll get a look inside the store for the first time; Rand lives upstairs and the nursery is on the first floor.
3) “L’Amour Sauvage,” which is the city’s elegant vampire bar, located in the French Quarter on Chartres Street. I took the name from a line from Zachary Richard’s song “Un Coeur Fidele”–“l’amour sauvage, promesses cassees, farouche desire”–savage love, broken promises, fierce desires. Back before the days of street signs, the streets in the city were marked in beautiful tiles inlaid into the sidewalks. Most have been pilfered or broken, but there are a few still around:
4) Elfheim. Yes! We finally meet the Elves in Elysian Fields. Elves are…different. Mostly, we get to see the interior of the Synod’s place of meeting, which I based on a cabin in Pine Mountain, Ga., that I went to a few years ago. It’s probably the only connection Pine Mountain, Georgia, will ever have to Elves!
5) Old Barataria. Jean Lafitte’s home in the Beyond. These swamplands south of New Orleans is where Jean had his empire, including a fine house on Grand Terre Island. Here is a drawing of his house, which we visit in the book:
So, that’s your tour of major settings in Elysian Fields! Now….did you win a book this week? You know the routine…if you see your name, please email me at suzannej3523 at gmail dot com with your mailing info…
HOLLY BRYAN won her choice of John Mantooth’s The Year of the Storm or a mystery book from my TBR mountain. Choice of print or digital.
REBE won a $10 gift card to her online retailer of choice for participating in this week’s solicitation of guest blog and character post ideas. (A major THANK YOU to everyone who posted ideas–we had some great ones!)
NATALIA J won a copy of Jill Archer’s Fiery Edge of Steel.
CARL SCOTT won this week’s Reader’s Choice contest and picked Dance of the Red Death. Choice of print or digital.
Back tomorrow with a new Reader’s Choice!