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The Crossroads By Annie Rose Welch
I am so happy that Annie wrote up a guest post for us here today on Not Everyone’s Mama!
I know how important music to Annie while she is writing and I thought with my love
of music as well that it would be neat to give each of the characters their own song.
Scroll down to see what song Annie chose for each of the characters! Thank you Annie!
How do you get there, darlin’? Well, na’, you start by taking Brighten Place. Follow that road all the way down to Marigny Street. After you travel a little distance you’ll come to an old Red Dirt Road, and that road will take you even further, to Lotus Blossom Lane, but you’ve already been that way. Na’ you’re exactly where you should be, darlin’. You’ve arrived at The Crossroads of your life.
Gabriel Roberts is the most famous movie star in the world. He has everything one man could ever want. He has everything except the one thing he feels will fulfill his purpose and complete his life.
Raphael Rose is dying of pneumonia. As he waits on the waning clock of mortality to chime, he has a story to share. One of star-crossed lovers he has never lost hope for.
Two doors down, Madam Catalina has her own story – a shocking past, a love of a lifetime left undone.
Locked behind the doors of Charity Hospital during Hurricane Evangeline, the tangling of souls has unraveled and left each of them at the crossroads of their life. And in the end, whichever road they chose will lead them home.
GUEST POST FROM ANNIE ROSE WELCH:
A SONG SAYS IT ALL
I was thrilled when Heather asked me to chose a song for each of my characters. The Saving Angels series revolves heavily around music. Gabriel is a guitar player, Michael a piano player. Layla is a singer, and her family rallies around music. Eva is from New Orleans, and even though she can’t carry a tune, music resides in her heart; she loves to dance.
I don’t believe there was a word written in this series that wasn’t written to some kind of music playing in the background. So, you can probably understand why I thoroughly enjoyed doing this. Even though some of my characters are so complex it was hard to pick just one, I found that I was surprised by the final choices.
I listed the songs in order of characters— they each have a song, and one song that represents them as a couple (<3).
Gabriel Roberts: Wanted Dead Or Alive, Bon Jovi
I went through so many songs to find “the one” for Gabriel. He is one of the most complex characters in the series; to call him contrary is an understatement. Eva mentions it in Marigny Street, and it sums him up quite nicely: nothing makes sense about him. I went through many musicians– Otis Redding, Van Morrison, B.B. King, just to name a few. But there was something about this song that just fit him. The name Gabriel Roberts was bigger than Gabriel, and people wanted him regardless of how they could get him.
Evangeline Chenier: She Talks To Angels, The Black Crowes
Ah, this song is perfect for Eva. She’s mysterious, and does indeed talk to her Irish angel, as she calls Gabriel—through dreams. This song portrays sadness, and the love between a mother and child that was lost, along with other things. This song could have very well been written for Eva.
<3 Gabriel & Eva’s song: A Song For You, Ray Charles
Michael Roberts: Blaze of Glory, Bon Jovi
Michael’s song was the easiest to decide. I knew it was his song from the moment he came alive on the page. It’s mentioned in Red Dirt Road, and this is why Willie and the band started to call him Young Gun. He came in like a blaze of glory. It also goes to show, in some miraculous, musical way, the dynamic between Gabriel and Michael. One artist, two different songs.
Layla Hill Roberts: This Is Me, Faith Hill
Layla, oh, Layla. She makes no apologies for being…. Layla. I have always admired that about her. She was honest about who she was, her weaknesses, her faults, and even though she always tried to better herself, she was never too hard on herself for being her. As the songs says, and Layla would say… “All of my impurities are right here on my sleeve.”
<3 Michael and Layla’s song: If I Should Fall Behind, Faith Hill (Bruce Springsteen also has a fabulous version!)
Daniel Roberts: Danny Boy, Celtic Women
Daniel was born during a different time. He was a wide-shouldered, big hearted, brawling man. This song couldn’t be more different than the aura surrounding him. But it was a song his mother used to sing to him, and it turned out to be true. It’s a good representation of who he is. It balances him.
Eliska Lanigan: The Portrait, James Horner
Eliska was so ethereal to me, that when I began writing her story, I knew the music playing in the background didn’t need any words. I found that they complicated an already complicated situation. She was magical, and had a sort of mermaid presence. James Horner produced this melody for the movie Titanic. To me, this is Eliska’s theme song. I get tingly when I hear this score; it instantly brings her to the forefront of my mind.
<3 Daniel & Eliska’s song: Rose, James Horner
Raphael Rose: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Louis Armstrong
I loved writing Raphael’s character. As a writer, you never know who your character truly is, until the story gets rolling. I loved that Raphael loved old Satchmo (Louis Armstrong), and he would stroll down an Italian dirt road, graveling his voice, hearing the bitter rise of the horn, just bopping along to wherever the day would take him. He had soul, and you can’t ask for much more in a character, because then they truly become real.
Madam Catalina was a little Italian honey. She would do her cleaning to such opera classics as this one. The scene in The Crossroads, where she beats the soiled rug to this song, is one that I will never forget. I felt like I really got to see her that day, clearly, without any reservations. She was unguarded during that scene, and it is true what the song says: her sun was shining!
<3 Raphael and Catalina’s song: Come Rain Or Come Shine, Ray Charles
She searches my eyes and then clears her throat. “You look hungry.”
“It’s easy to see you are.” She nods toward my chest. “You got the pendant. I always knew he would protect you and lead you back.”
I pull and twist at the pendant of St. Gabriel around my neck. “You…you…”
She smiles and I remember something I never remembered knowing in the first place. It all fits into a place—a place I’ve been, but can’t truly remember. “You are cake and ice cream; sugar and spice and everything nice. And when you smile, you make me feel how the world looks when the sun shines through a foggy day,” I whisper.
Her eyes grow wide and she blinks. “You remember?”
I’m suddenly overwhelmed. My head feels light and I’m sweating so much, I’m sure there’s a puddle underneath me. What kind of love spell has she cast on me? I extend my hand out to hers. She takes it and again, I feel like a new man. Her skin, I am willing to wager, feels exactly like a lyrical, floating dream would.
“I have to go,” I say.
She nods and as my hand pulls away from hers, my heart cries out in agony. I start to run, but before I can get far, I hear her call my name. I note what a strong accent she has, committing it to memory, so I never forget one detail about her. It’s slow, soft, entrancing, almost hypnotizing. It’s not Layla’s soft southern drawl, but one that is very distinctive to this area, and I’m in love with its romancing qualities. The way the words seem to sing out of her mouth instead of tumbling out is soulful and unique. And it’s nothing like what the movies try to portray. They should be sued for defamation of character.
“Gabriel—it was very…” She hesitates. “It’s been out-of-my-head surreal to meet you.”
I clear my throat. “Out-of-the-head surreal, indeed,” is my brilliant response, just before I sprint toward the doors that lead to the stairs.
The only working exit in the building.
The Saving Angels series by Annie Rose Welch is turning into my all time favorite series. We first met Gabriel and Evangeline in Marigny Street. By the end of Marigny Street I didn’t know whether to throw my iPad across the room or lovingly stroke it as it had lovingly given me this beautiful story. The Crossroads continues on with their story and with that merges Raphael Rose’s and Madame Catalina’s story.
When I was reading along and first realized that the woman Raphael was so taken with was Madame Catalina, tears started forming in my eyes. If you have read the rest of the series, you know who Madame Catalina is and you know how important she is to Layla, to all of us as we have come to love her.
I cried no less than three times while I was reading it. Some were happy tears, some were tears of heartache, The Crossroads was just such an emotional journey for me.
We get to know Gabriel more in The Crossroads, more as a person, as someone who has flaws and isn’t this perfect heartthrob that we knew him as in Marigny Street. I loved that. Seeing him get angry and seeing how stubborn he could be just made him more real in my eyes.
Evangeline. I adore her. I would almost say that Gabriel is my latest book boyfriend, but it this series, this book, is so beautiful, it almost trivializes it to say that about him, plus in my eyes, there is no one meant for Gabriel more than Evangeline. Even just saying book boyfriend about him takes something away from them for me. Oh how I want these two to have their happily ever after. I’m almost scared to read the final book because Annie Rose Welch has a way of pulling the rug out from underneath me right when I think she is going in one direction. Maybe I should blame her, I shall lay it on the characters as they whisper to her which way they want their story to go.
I don’t want to just gloss over Raphael and Catalina’s relationship with the one sentence above. Their relationship is central to this book. It is beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. Somehow as you read, both you and the characters are having these “aha” moments. These moments where you to start to understand the role fate plays in our lives, even from before the time we were born. Events that line up, people that cross the paths of other people, all of these are integral to the story that is our lives now.
I absolutely adored The Crossroads. If you had asked me to pick a book from the series that was my favorite up until this point it would have been Marigny Street. Even though I love all of the other books and the characters so much, that book, the beginning of Gabriel and Evangeline, has been my favorite. Now, The Crossroads is. I loved reading about Raphael and Madame Catalina. I loved seeing this human side to Gabriel, and I loved to see how the stars started to align. Amazing. Just an amazingly beautiful novel that I think everyone should read.
Thank you so much for my copy of The Crossroads. I will cherish it like I do the other books in the 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).
For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie’s website:www.annierosewelch.com
Not Everyone’s Mama