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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: Midnight on Julia Street by Ciji Ware

This is a good story with lots of interesting historical details.

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402222726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402222726
    Genre:  Time Travel, Historical Fiction
    My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Product Description:
This “stand-alone” prequel to A Light on the VerandaA Light on the Veranda is a romantic novel of intrigue and suspense set in modern-day New Orleans with echoes of nineteenth century Louisiana, when Cotton was King.  Corlis McCullough, a take-no-prisoners TV journalist, late of Los Angeles, and her former UCLA nemesis, King Duvallon, an historic preservationist with deep roots in the Crescent City, are an unlikely pair to join forces to save a beautiful Greek Revival building with origins linked mysteriously to those of their own ancestors during the Golden Age in the Big Easy   Both must grapple with the unlikely concept of “genetic memory,” a force that appears to be intruding on their lives and thwarting any chance for ultimate happiness.
Review: There is a wealth of history mingled with a good contemporary romance.

Corlis is a truth reporting journalist.  She has come to New Orleans after losing her position in Los Angeles for exposing too much in her reporting.  She is about to report a big society wedding but ends up reporting the couple’s devastating break up instead. While at the wedding she runs into her college nemesis, King Duvallon.

King is an historic preservationist activist who isn’t afraid to step out for his cause even though it might endanger his bid for tenure as a history professor. He is intrigued to find Corlis reporting in his city. When Corlis once again loses her job King helps her get another position with a station that isn’t afraid to report the truth.

King and Corlis have a rough history but that doesn’t stop the attraction and chemistry between them. Corlis has to keep in mind that he is a news source and she wants to keep her journalistic integrity.  King doesn’t always understand Corlis’ position and their relationship is a struggle while he is battling the greedy developer who wants to tear down some historic buildings to build a modern hotel.

Meanwhile Corlis is getting some real historic data on the block of buildings from an unusual research source. She is being transported back in time to her name sake’s historic events in the 1840s.  On different visits she sees a Southern society wedding, a quadroon mistress, a funeral, a plantation ball and other settings that are described with wonderful detail.  Although the trances are frightening, they are also fascinating. Can she find documentary proof to support her visions and reveal the important historical background of the buildings?

My undergrad work was in journalism so I liked that the heroine is a strong investigative reporter who insists on reporting the facts and the truth. I also enjoyed the rich historical descriptions, and some surprising details, of the buildings and society that encompass the entwined lives of the whites and blacks in New Orleans.

I really like time travel stories and I liked the trigger that the author uses in this story. There is also a character who helps Corlis to cleanse her home from built up energy of past lives. That was new to me and I found it to be an interesting concept.

The writing flowed well although I felt there were some minor editing errors which hopefully were caught before the final release. The romance is warm and lovely as just one aspect of the overall story.  The book is on the long side but the richness in detail made this okay for me.  If you enjoy historical fiction, especially history of New Orleans, I recommend this as an enjoyable read.

I received this book from Sourcebooks for an honest review.

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* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on September 30, 2011. (This month's book giveaways will all end on the 30th except for Friday Picks, SBB or other special posts.)
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
The WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED between October 1 and 3. Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

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