For the next few weeks, we will be hosting authors from Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge, an anthology that takes place in the enchanted Chateau Rouge Hotel in New Orleans. You will get to see the first reactions and setting from different perspectives as the characters check-in. This week, Jolie St. Amant and Carrie Dalby will be sharing some of their short story, “Revelry’s Requiem”. So, sit back, have a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!
On the Front Porch with “Revelry’s Requiem”
Chateau Rouge wore a crisp gray façade, decorative wrought iron balconies servicing the three floors above the entry. Claudio received a few choice looks from passersby before a doorman stepped aside for him.
The pale blue, cream, and gold Grecian style could not disguise what Claudio had learned to recognize as dark spirits within a beautiful setting. Whispering a prayer, he passed his bag to the hand with the suitcase so he could do the sign of the cross. The women sitting on the couches in the lobby stared at him—the men with them nervously adjusted their collars.
Touching the cross he wore about his neck, he approached the desk.
“Bienvenue. Welcome to Chateau Rouge … Father.”
He met the azure gaze of the brunette behind the desk and pushed aside his thoughts of Eliza Melling. “Grazie, signorina. I am here to meet Valentino De Fiore.”
An amused laugh escaped, her words cutting it short. “Excuse my candor, but I don’t think a confession will save our young guest.”
Claudio met her red-lipped smile with one of his own. “That does sound like my cousin. I am here on a social visit not business, though I am always happy to assist in that regard. I am well versed in blessing buildings.”
Her laugh shifted the loose hair bun on the back of her head. “That will not be necessary, but thank you, Fath—”
He offered his hand. “Claudio De Fiore. Do not feel you need to use my title if you are not of my faith.”
She accepted his handshake with her small, cold grip. “Josephine Jacobson, owner of Chateau Rouge. Valentino did set a reservation for a Claudio De Fiore, but do not feel pressured to stay if my establishment is not to your liking.”
A door across the lobby swung open. Ragtime tunes being pounded out on a piano filled the elegant space, accompanied by the high keen of a violin. A couple danced through the lobby to the beat that quieted when the door swung shut. As they came to a halt by the elevator, the man’s hands roamed down her hips.
The proprietress cleared her throat. “The merrymaking in the lounge, if you couldn’t tell, is supplemented by your cousin this evening. He has made himself very much at home during his stay in New Orleans.”
One of the men on a couch stood and kissed his companion’s hand. He gave a curt nod to Claudio and a mumbled farewell to the owner as the sounds from the bar surged into the room once more. A middle-aged man gave chase to a feisty redhead. They bypassed the elevator cage and went directly for the stairs. The second man in the lobby took one more look at Claudio before rushing out the front door.
Claudio watched the retreat with an amused smile. “It appears my staying in your establishment has the potential for being bad for your business. If you would like to ask me to leave, I will understand.”
Smiling, she shook her head. “Do not worry about me, Mr. De—”
“Claudio. Business will be the least of my concerns this Carnival. Besides, it would be next to impossible for you to secure a room anywhere else in town this week.” She took a key from the rack behind her desk and held it out before him. “You are most welcome. Your room is on the fourth floor, number 408. Valentino’s room is across the hall.”
Want to read more? Check out Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge, available on most platforms.
Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/bpOMw9
Jolie St. Amant fell in love with all things New Orleans after reading Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Now, a frequent visitor to the Crescent City, she can often be found getting inspiration from ghost tours or sipping cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. Her Chateau Rouge series is set in a magical hotel in the heart of New Orleans.
Social Media Links:
A.L. Vincent’s Boonies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/425463904324654/
Carrie Dalby, a California native, has lived in Mobile, Alabama, since 1996. She’s published several non-fiction articles in national and international magazines, served two terms as president of Mobile Writers Guild, worked as the Mobile area Local Liaison for SCBWI from 2012-2017, volunteers with Metro Mobile Literacy Council events whenever possible, and helps coordinate the annual Mobile Literary Festival. When Carrie’s not reading, writing, browsing bookstores/libraries, or homeschooling, she can often be found knitting or attending concerts. Find links to all her social media accounts and more on her contact page.