There was a time, a few years ago—back when I lived in New Orleans—when I enjoyed almost nothing more than taking a detour on the way home from work and driving through uptown. Being a California native, the centuries-old architecture in the city always awed me. We never had that kind of history back home. My favorite route led me straight to Audubon Park, weaving through tree-lined streets whose pavement had been battered by eager tree roots and the soft Louisiana soil.
Audubon Park is this beautiful place nestled in Uptown directly across from both Tulane University and Loyola University and bordered on two sides by stately mansions. The more I drove past the park in the evenings and the more time I spent reading in the grass on weekends, the more story ideas came flying at me. Eventually the idea began to form and though it was a rough start, Anomaly was born.
The city shaped the story and the characters and so I’d like to share some of my favorite things from the book and the city with you:
** click photos for credit/links
Audubon Park- Uptown New Orleans between Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue at the river bend. Audubon Park plays a major role in Anomaly. Not only does Eliza’s room face the park and she walks through the park to get to campus each day, but its eerie feel in the evening lends itself to a variety of nighttime vampire escapades.
Loyola University New Orleans: 6363 St. Charles Avenue- next to Tulane University and bordering Calhoun. Loyola is a small university with a strong service-minded mentality. Eliza is a legacy and a fourth-generation Wolfpack. Despite her family’s longtime affiliation with the university, it is her older sister, Kate’s, civic involvement, that has given the family its notoriety on campus.
Luke’s House: 4717 St. Charles Avenue, between Valance and Bordeaux. Arguably one of the largest and definitely the most gothic-looking mansion on The Avenue, Luke Conrad’s home is the headquarters for The Guard—a secret society of vampire warriors.
Atchafalaya Basin: A large bayou west of New Orleans. Known for its never-ending waters and creep factor, Atchafalaya Basin is one place you don’t want to end up alone at in the middle of the night.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1: 1427 Sixth Street, between Washington and Prytania in the Garden District across from Commander’s Palace. Lafayette Cemetery is a beautiful piece of history set in the center of one of New Orleans’ most prestigious neighborhoods. Because of the soft land (New Orleans used to be all bayou), Southeastern Louisianans don’t bury their dead below ground (they’ll wash up in bad weather) and instead opt for above-ground tombs/crypts. Thanks to the sweltering tropical climate, family tombs can be used and reused again and again (about once a year the crypt is ready for a new casket) as the heat speeds up the decomposition process. Eliza’s family has had their family tomb in Lafayette No. 1 since the Landrys moved Uptown (despite their proud French heritage.)
Angelo Brocato: 214 N. Carrollton Ave., across from City Park (best gelato in the city!) Though the popular Creole Cremery is Uptown and close to Eliza’s home and both her primary school and her university, it’s Mid-City’s Sicilian gem that Eliza and her longtime friend and former beau, Jeff Rousseau, prefer. Sneaking away from classmates and family members, the pair have enjoyed many a sugar cone of Stratiacella at the quaint marble tables in the back of the store.
About Anomaly by J.C. Emery:
The Birthright Series
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Left Break Press
Date of Publication: 4/19/2013
Number of pages: 310
Word Count: 81,000
Cover Artist: Gonet Designmaly
How far would you go to save your sister?
Life as a college senior is stressful enough. Between mid-terms, stupid boys, and a rare blood condition, Eliza Landry is just trying to figure out what normal is—whatever that means—when she discovers that vampires aren’t just a thing of legend.
In a matter of moments, her life changes forever when she and her older sister Kate suffer a vampire attack which leaves Eliza with two puncture wounds on her neck and an allergy to sunlight. But she’s still human, or at least she thinks she is. It doesn’t really matter—her main concern is that her sister is missing.
Sorrow turns to obsession, leading Eliza to piece together the puzzle of that terrifying night. Even stumbling upon a millennia-old vampire assassin named Luke Conrad who either wants to kiss her or kill her (she can't decide) cannot deter her.
When bodies start piling up and one of them is supposedly Kate, Eliza and Luke set out to discover who is behind the attacks. Soon, Eliza is drawn into the dark and dangerous world of the undead, with no guarantee she’ll make it out alive, and no doubt that she won’t like what she finds.
ABOUT J.C. EMERY
As a child, JC was fascinated by things that went bump in the night. As they say, some things never change. Now, as an adult, she divides her time between the sexy law men, mythical creatures, and kick-ass heroines that live inside her head and pursuing her bachelor's degree in English. As it is for most writers, finding balance is a challenge. JC is a San Francisco Bay Area native, but has also called both Texas and Louisiana home. These days she rocks her flip flops year round in Northern California and can't imagine a climate more beautiful.
With the support and encouragement of her parents and sister, JC set out to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up. Most days, the jury is still out; however the thing that stuck with her no matter what she pursued was her love of the written word.
JC writes adult, new adult, and young adult fiction. She dabbles in many different genres including science fiction, horror, chick lit, and murder mysteries, yet she is most enthralled by supernatural stories-- and everything has at least a splash of romance.
Find J.C. Emery Online:
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