Five Things from Jane Yellowrock’s POV (originally from a Bitten By Books interview of early 2012, adapted for BLACK ARTS.)
Jane Yellowrock here. My world is pretty dangerous. In fact, if you knew just how dangerous, you might not visit the party capitol of America. I’m not talking about Las Vegas. Not talking about New York or LA. I’m talking about New Orleans, the home of Leo Pellissier, Blood Master of the City, and about fifty other titles that give him the right to govern most of the Southeastern US. But hey, his power base is in the French Quarter. He runs his city with an iron hand and if you cause problems, you might just disappear. I know a lot of his own kind who did just that after the most recent vamp war. Well, maybe insurrection might be closer to the truth. Or maybe civil war, though there was nothing civil about it at all. It was a bloody, vicious vamp battle that wiped several clans off the map.
But I have to admit that New Orleans is a totally cool kinda place. Soul, Blues, Reggae, Zydeco, Cajun folk, and R&B can be heard live on every street corner. Artists painting and drawing in the streets and in ateliers (that’s attic studios for the non-NOLA folk). Jewelry, dance, mimes (who are kinda weird. Just sayin’), clowns, (ditto on the weird), street performers of every kind are everywhere. Very cool place! And dangerous. Vamps make it dangerous.
So. The writer has asked me to give a list of the Top Five Things to Bring to New Orleans. Easy peasy.
5. Cool clothes. I don’t mean cool as in stylish, though that helps. I mean cool as in lightweight. When I first got here I was wearing jeans. Did. Not. Work. Trust me. It was spring and it was hot. Bring some lightweight cotton stuff. Silk tanks. Thin woven pants. Sandals. In fact, I recommend lightweight clothes even in winter. The writer is writing the eighth in the series featuring me, and it’s winter. But hey. Not cold like the Appalachian Mountains, know what I mean? So, lightweight jackets, sweaters. Boots, natch. Think HOT both in terms of weather and in terms of style! Think bright colors, if you are human. I’d never wear pink, myself, but it’s a great color for the city. Shell tones. And the colors of water in the sunlight—teals, greens, blues. Tia, one of Katie’s Ladies, told I look great in the reds and oranges of carnelian. Maybe she’s right.
4. Dancing shoes. I mean, come on. You gotta dance, right? Personally I like the Royal Mojo Blues Club in the French Quarter. The house band, while it no longer features Ricky-Bo LaFleur, is always topnotch. They have a wicked good guitarist and now play some Bonamassa, and the lead singer sounds a lot like Beth Hill, rough and grinding. I can dance all night to her vocals. Last week, they had a Neville Brother drop in to play with the band. Yeah. Really. Even the band was surprised. I danced until I was ready to drop. Radically cool!
3. Blades. Preferably silver-plated, at least eight inches long, though I like mine longer. I don’t do the whole katana or long sword thing. You need space to draw and use a three foot sword, and it takes time to make a cut. Vamps are fast, know what I mean? I don’t have time to draw back and swing forward unless the vamp is already staked and I am just administering the coup de grace. Twelve inches is a good blade length. Eighteen can be better when you’re trying to keep a vamp at fang’s distance. It might be more like a short-sword, but it does the trick to increase your reach without hampering you in a fight in tight quarters.
2. Stakes. Vamps, right? Gotta have stakes. Three kinds: sterling silver, silver-tipped ash wood, and ash wood. Plain, no silver, on the last one. Sometimes you need to incapacitate a vamp, not kill the blood-sucking fiend, and silver poisons them. It’s a slow death, if you get them with silver stake, and don’t decapitate them. If they get a good feeding from a master vamp they might live. Then they’ll come after you, so remember—staking is good, but it isn’t always permanent.
1. Enough money to stay a while, because once you get here, you won’t want to leave. You’ll be drawn back again and again. I managed to snag a freebie house, provided by the vamps who hired me. And I negotiated with Katie of Katie’s Ladies. . . wait. You gotta read that in BLACK ARTS. SO can’t share that. Sorry! But the city can be really expensive, especially if you stay in the French Quarter. And where else do you want to stay, right? You can book a room in a hotel on St. Charles Avenue and take the street car to the Quarter. Yeah, that works. But the best place? The Quarter, hands down.
Hey – come visit. I’ll make you some good tea and show you around. We can go dancing, all night and then eat in my fave breakfast joint. If you’re lucky, you won’t need the stakes or the blades, and you’ll wear out a good pair of dancing shoes.
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who always takes care of her own — no matter the cost….
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace.
Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.
Available January 7, 2014
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