*Need to earn more money from your blog? Check out SocialSpark and Escalate Network
*Sponsored Tweets is how I get paid on Twitter.
If an Amazon link is in a post, it is an affiliate link. Other relationships will be stated if there is one.
If you have shopping to do on Amazon, click on their logo below. It won't charge you anything, but it helps keep this site up and running and pays for the giveaways I do here and on my Facebook page. Thank you!
Author Annie Rose Welch is taking over here at Not Everyone’s Mama today!
I am grateful and honored that she wrote this post and sent along these
pictures to be exclusively shared with you all, my readers.
When you are done, scroll down and enter the giveaway!!!
Enjoy a taste of New Orleans through one of my favorite authors, Annie Rose Welch
Once upon a time, when I imagined myself writing a post, I imagined I would be in New Orleans. I’d be sitting at a table in Café Du Monde, listening to the call of passing ships chugging along with the Mississippi River, while a light breeze swept through the air, bringing with it soft jazz music.
It would have been a steaming hot August day. A day that would make you feel like you just stepped out of a shower because the humidity would have been so muggy and heavy.
But as most things go, what I had imagined and what actually happened were worlds apart.
I was born and raised in New Orleans. I’m a DAT girl. I speak with a New Orleans accent and cook with the flair that is known to that area. Years ago I decided to take an adventure, and that journey took me to California. And even though I enjoy being here, it is not home to me.
The last time I went home was in August 2013. I had big plans. I wanted to sit there amongst my people, take it all in, and share this place I call home with all of my readers. I wanted them to see New Orleans the way I see it.
I wanted them to learn about the culture, the history. I wanted them to hear the music playing in the distance. I wanted them to taste the food, really feel the heat—both in temperature and in the spice of the food. But never let the knock- offs fool you. (I’ll probably catch flack for this. But whenever you see “Cajun” on anything, unless it is a well-known brand that you know and trust, don’t trust it.) Despite what the rest of the world tries to make you believe, we do not overly spice our food. We like to taste our food, not just levels of “hotness” that will make your lips swell up to massive proportions. (Will Smith in Hitch, anyone?)
Instead of me being able to share all of those things with my readers, with you, I ended up not writing anything at all. My days were filled with family and friends I hadn’t seen in ages. My nights were spent rocking on the front porch, enjoying the smell of freshly fallen rain, really feeling the humidity, as it seemed to expand from the downpour.
I was disappointed at first. I mean, what better place to write than from the heart of it all? But what I hadn’t realized then, and I do now, is that you can take me out of New Orleans for years and years, and I can still describe her like I am sitting in her kitchen. I can still taste the food, feel the humidity, and feel the beat and pulse of her rhythm from millions of miles away.
Because New Orleans lives in me.
Plain and simple. No matter where I go in my life, she is always along for the ride. And when my journey is over, she will lead me back home. She does time and time again.
My history belongs to her streets. My culture belongs to the family members who started their lives there in the 1800s. My heart belongs to New Orleans—when I speak, her unique way of phrasing things flows out. My tongue is trained with her accent.
From the way we say, “Let me ax you somethin’.” To the way we ask you how you and your family are doing by saying, “How is ya mom’n’em?”
I am very much a product of my surroundings. And I always will be.
This is the first time I have shared these photographs from my time in New Orleans. I had hoped to add these beautiful photos to the post I had dreamed of writing at Café Du Monde. I’m just thankful these pictures made it, unlike my dream to write something from New Orleans, and I’m able to share them with the world.
Beignets from Cafe Du Monde. There is no place in the world like it.
Order a set of three and a cafe au lait, while you watch the world go by, and your world will be set right.
Blue Crabs. Don’t let them fool you— they may be small, but they pack a flavorful punch.
If you’ve never had these beauties, give them a try! Paired with the perfect seasonings—c’est bon!
This fella lives at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. He is one of my favorites.
I know most people would fear alligators, and I am no exception, but I think they deserve respect.
They’ve been around since prehistoric times. They’re smart.
So, if you’re ever in the area, please stop by and tell him that Author Annie sent you!
This is the world renown French Quarter. (The above pictures)
We spent a day there, walking around, enjoying the beautiful city we call home.
This is a picture I took one evening while we were driving in the car.
This wasn’t taken in New Orleans, but in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Just about an hour from New Orleans.
But I love this picture. I think it really captures the spirit of the Gulf Coast.
Thank you so much Annie for sharing those pictures with us and for writing the post! I feel honored that you let me share your pictures on my blog. You are such an amazing talented writer and I feel blessed to call you friend! <3
Now I must share Marigny Street and Red Dirt Road, just in case you haven’t been to my blog and missed my other posts about it. (I seriously love this series so much.) You must read these because here very shortly Lotus Blossom Lane is being released. I cannot wait. I have been bugging Annie forever to let me read it. It is almost here!
Do you believe in the power of dreams?
Way down south on Marigny Street in the heart of New Orleans, the land of Catholic intersessions, purgatory, and supernatural superstitions, young Evangeline Chenier dreams of a radiant boy who saves her from a storm. She takes the dream seriously – in her family, dreams are sometimes more than dreams. Sometimes they foretell the future. Sometimes they create it.
Years later, Eva is no longer the same wistful girl but a hardened woman who no longer believes in dreams. Losing faith in her gift, she becomes lost in a nightmare of emotion, mourning her son, separating from her husband, and stewing in a dead-end job. And then fate brings her an unlikely surprise: one of the most famous movie stars in the world, Gabriel Roberts.
Caught by something in his eyes, Eva agrees to show him the real Big Easy on his last night in New Orleans—an evening that turns into four dreamy days spent recapturing lost faith and discovering a love neither expected. Realizing Gabriel is the boy from her childhood dream, Eva must leave everything behind—her husband, her family, her history, and the beautiful city she calls home—and gamble it all for the dream that has saved her on MARIGNY STREET.
The Saving Angels Series continues…
A new cast is introduced, while journeys already taken start to merge with the present, leading you down the old Red Dirt Road.
Death has always seemed just one step behind Layla Hill, taking almost everyone she’s ever loved. After she loses the love of her life, Layla vows to never love again—how could she, when she’s a death magnet?
Trying to outrun fate traveling with her uncle Willie and his band, Layla meets Michael Roberts, a beautiful Irish boxer as gentle on the piano as he is brutal in the ring. He proves as relentless in life, fighting for a place in her world even as she pushes him away, trying to protect him from her killer tendencies.
But neither foresees the sinister presence waiting for Layla at the end of the Red Dirt Road.
Life after Yuma was blissful for Layla and Michael. After the old Red Dirt Road, their journey seemed to be moving them in the right direction, leading them to Ireland. As the road to happy ever after leads them down Lotus Blossom Lane, years of entombed history starts to reemerge. What has been exhumed will not only shock them, but change the course of their lives forever. And who is waiting for them at the end of the Lotus Blossom Lane, one of the biggest and brightest stars in the world, will bring them to the next road in the Saving Angels Series.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.
When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. She currently (still) resides in the big shake (although her southern roots are calling her home) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).
Not Everyone’s Mama