The St. Charles Streetcar
By Jaye Wells
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, chances are good you’re familiar with the St. Charles streetcar. It runs from Canal Street deep into the heart of the Garden District. Tickets are cheap and it’s a great way to see some of the city’s landmarks without wearing out your feet.
For more than 150 years, the streetcars have run the same route—past Lee Circle, Loyola, Tulane, Audubon Park, and many other landmarks of the Garden District and Riverbend.
There’s something both charming and anachronistic about a streetcar in today’s society. It’s not a high-speed train—you don’t get anywhere fast. There’s no air conditioning and the windows are old and quite often stuck. I guess it’s sort of like a time machine back to an era when everyone wasn’t in such a hurry and took time to enjoy the scenery.
In my book, GREEN-EYED DEMON, the characters use the streetcar to get around sometimes, but no major scenes took place on one. So when it was time for the characters to revisit New Orleans at the beginning of BLUE-BLOODED VAMP, I knew the perfect setting for the first scene.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One of BLUE-BLOODED VAMP (out June 1):
The streetcar’s wheels hissed against their tracks, signaling a stop. Frowning, I squinted out the windows, trying to see how many more until we reached First. But the trolley hadn’t stopped at an intersection. Instead, it had squealed to a halt in the middle of the grassy median that held the tracks. I looked around to check if any of the other passengers had pulled the emergency stop cord.
The birthmark on my left shoulder suddenly itched and burned, like a warning. That’s when I realized all the other passengers were unnaturally still. Two old ladies near the front leaned toward each other with their mouths open. One had a hand raised in midair to make a point, but it didn’t move.
My gaze swiveled toward Adam. His head was bowed like a man at prayer. His hand was still on my thigh, but he wasn’t moving either.
I shook his shoulder. “Adam?” I whispered.
Nothing. I waved a hand under his face.
“Shit.” I turned and looked at the other passengers—the middle-aged dude with his much-younger mistress, the gangly teen with headphones glued to his ears, even the streetcar operator—everyone, frozen. A quick glance outside the windows revealed that every car and body on the street had gone still as well. It was as if someone had hit a universal pause button.
So why was I still mobile?
I’m incredibly excited that I get to incorporate the streetcar into the tour I’ve put together for AAD NOLA this summer. We’ll ride the streetcar into the Garden District and visit several real settings that appear in the Sabina Kane series. It’s going to be a blast!
After several years as a magazine editor and freelance writer, Jaye Wells finally decided to leave the facts behind and make up her own reality. Her overactive imagination and life-long fascination with the arcane and freakish blended nicely with this new career path. Her Sabina Kane urban fantasy series is a blend of dark themes, grave stakes and wicked humor. Jaye lives in Texas with her saintly husband and devilish son. For more about her books, please visit her web site. Also find Jaye on Twitter and Facebook.
The epic conclusion to the amazing Sabina Kane urban fantasy series.
Sabina Kane is on the hunt. Her prey: Cain, the father of the vampire race and the one who murdered her family and her friends. Unfortunately, Cain is hunting Sabina, too.
The one man who holds the key to defeating Cain is, of course, Abel. A mage with secrets to spare and, hopefully, the power to match it. Unfortunately, for Sabina, he's in Rome and may not want to be found.
Sabina sets out for Italy with her friends, Giguhl and Adam Lazarus, to track down the only man who can get her the revenge she hungers for. But will he help her or oppose her? And just who is Abel, really? Worst of all, when Sabina figures out the goddess Lilith has a plan for her-she realizes this trip is getting deadlier by the minute. As they say: when in Rome-SURVIVE.