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New Orleans nights are as intriguing as the lives of three friends raised together on the city's streets. Lifelong solidarity has seen each man through difficult times, but challenges still lurk in the Big Easy, where love is complicated–but worth any struggle.
Skeeter Harwood Still Pays for an Old Mistake
Despite the onset of summer, Doctor Fantôme's Sanctuary of Voodoo in the French Quarter sends chills through psychologist Daphne Brookes. This is tourist voodoo, meant to shock and titillate. Daffy is fascinated by the man behind the counter, but less fascinated by the shop. One of her teenage clients may be under the influence of someone there.
Easy-going portrait artist Skeeter Harwood is briefly filling in for the shop's owner. Skeeter is more than the maverick people usually see. The man who sells caricatures on Jackson Square has caught the eye of a gallery owner in New York, and now he can create the art he really wants to--if he's willing to make the leap.
Skeeter must make another leap. He and Daffy have met before, and their latent attraction ignites immediately. Still, before they can move forward, Skeeter has to tell her the truth about his past. And Daffy, who has specialized in short-term relationships, must now face the reason why.
As Daffy and Skeeter delve deeper into the world of voodoo, danger is all around them. They must find a way to stop the exploitation of Daffy's client. But as they do, will they be able to overcome their own difficult pasts to find a future they can share?
As an avid reader, some books stand out for me, and I never forget them. Are you surprised that as an author, the same is true? If we've written dozens of books, some retreat as pleasant memories, but others remain front and center in our imaginations.
In the case of the New Orleans Nights series, two characters remained front and center for me, Skeeter Harwood, who was important in both Lady of the Night and Bayou Midnight, and Daphne (Daffy) Brookes, who substantially enlivened Bayou Midnight. It was clear to me and to the many readers who wrote at the time those books were first published, that Skeeter's story should have been next. And who else as his romantic interest than Daffy?
Unfortunately Skeeter had past history my publisher didn't like. And so the word came down from on high that I couldn't write his story. With no room for argument, I moved on.
Time passed and independent publishing took off. About the same time, I got my rights back to Lady of the Night and Bayou Midnight so I could publish them again. As I readied them, Skeeter re-emerged, the last of three men who'd grown up together in New Orleans and remained loyal friends. How could I publish the first two books without the third? It was like inviting two best friends to a wedding and telling the third he couldn't come.
I sifted through my filing cabinet and found an outline for Night Magic, Skeeter's story, along with three completed chapters I still loved, a folder of notes, and two research volumes. How could I resist?
The truth is, all the chapters, outlines and notes were a gift, but when it came right down to it? I wanted to tell Skeeter's story. In my heart and imagination, Skeeter had not found his happy ending. And he deserved one.
Welcome Night Magic and Skeeter's story at last. And welcome to New Orleans Nights, complete at last. Visit the seamier side of The City That Care Forgot, the bayous of Southern Louisiana and the underworld of New Orleans voodoo. Most of all welcome to the stories of three men whose friendship never wavered.
While the first two books were updated and revised, and Night Magic was written in the same time frame, all the books are still set before Hurricane Katrina, which changed the city so drastically in August 2005. This is the New Orleans I remember and love so well.