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The Charlotte Grace Series
The Charlotte Grace series, in many ways, is a love letter to New Orleans. I am a southern girl and, while I’m not a Louisiana native, I am a graduate of Louisiana State University. I spent four and a half glorious, formative years in Baton Rouge with many a trip into the heart of a city I love.
Now, some of you may ask why New Orleans? Some of you may think you know why a young adult would want to live around a city of excess. But here’s the truth. I have family roots tied to New Orleans and LSU. I recently learned that my family once owned one of the oldest and premiere, touring cemeteries in the city. While Mardi Gras is quite the display of excess of all kinds, I have family in many of the Krewes. But it’s the diverse culture of the city that drew me in. Voodoo and witchcraft. Vampires and ghosts. The ultimate playground for the undead of any kind.
Which is what brings us back to what this has to do with my book. Throughout the series you’ll follow the lives of Charlotte Grace, Wesley Breaux, Olivier Cheval, and Paige Lochs. Yet, New Orleans is almost a fifth character. You’ll experience a Mardi Gras Ball and Christmas. You’ll eat at Café Du Monde, Brigsten’s, and Coop’s Place. You’ll get the feel for modern living in a plantation and in the Garden District. Key scenes take place at many historic locations throughout the city, from The Saenger and Fritzel’s to Southern Oaks Plantation and the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
For me, New Orleans was the only city who could host this story and hopefully inspire your imagination to believe it.
by PM Briede
“Death is only the beginning.” You hear that all the time. Maybe it is, for the soul who passes on. But what about the ones who are left behind?
I lost my husband unexpectedly in a tragic accident and now have to move back to my childhood home in New Orleans. Thank God for my friends Wesley and Paige. I’d be absolutely lost without them. As I pick up the pieces of what is left of my life, we settle back into our old routines. That is until I hire Olivier to work for me. Now my world is once again turning upside down as the people I’m closest to, old and new, shed the skin of what is familiar and ultimately redefine the nature of our relationships. Couple all of this with the return of my debilitating headaches and ominous dreams of green fire, and well, I’m just at a loss.
What do you do when what you thought you knew turns out to be wrong? What do you do when you find out you can’t trust the people closest to you? What do you do when you keep trying to move forward but life keeps getting in the way? And given all of this, how am I supposed to figure out who Charlotte Grace is now?
PAIN! It was the only thought I had. There were voices but they were muffled even though they were loud and angry. It was as if their volume kept me from being able to understand anything other than that someone was present. But they didn’t matter. All that mattered was the pain.
It surrounded me. It crushed me from the outside. It pushed on me from the inside. The muscles in my body were so tense I thought they’d shred my bones. My head felt as though it was going to explode. I wanted it to explode! If it was gone I couldn’t experience this pain.
Something hit me, knocking my eyes open. Through the fog I could make out the carpet of my bedroom. I must have fallen out of bed. I haven’t had that dream since college. That eerie green fire that engulfed me. It’s the only thing I ever remembered about those dreams. But I was more than familiar with the aftermath. The throbbing headache that no pill could cure. The only remedy? Sleep.
But this time it was different. This time my entire body was throbbing as if I’d run a marathon I hadn’t prepared for. There was a pain in my chest that turned my stomach. I crawled into the bathroom and made it to the toilet just in time.
I don’t know how long I laid in my bathroom. After losing my stomach I didn’t have the energy to move. Normally after the dreams I’d roll over and find sleep quickly. The next time I woke up I would be good as new. But the effects of this dream lingered. That was until a voice pulled me out of my misery. “Charlotte!” my mother-in-law called. I couldn’t answer. She found me quickly. “Dear God! They said no one reached you yet!”
I opened my eyes and saw her panicked, tear-stained face. Something wasn’t right. I tried to ask after my nieces. No words passed my open mouth.
She helped me sit up. Once she was done talking I wished she’d never found me. “Charlotte, he’s gone.” I didn’t need clarification even though she gave it to me. The truth was written all over her. My chest suddenly felt empty. The facts didn’t matter. I knew it in my soul. “Giles is dead.”
I am a lover of all things artistic. I grew up surrounded by the performing arts both as a spectator and performer. That love of creation and design is the fuel for my writing now. Being able to create and entertain is a dream come true.
The imagination is a powerful thing, able to take you places you never dreamed. I write realistic fantasy. The idea of the possible having impossible explanations fascinates me. That idea is the driving force behind the Charlotte Grace series.
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