From the Publisher
"It's a book you can read and cheer with triumph and have your heart race with anxiety until the very end - will all work out? Read the book and find out for yourself" - Broken Teepee
"Ciji Ware is a master at giving her readers historical romance mixed with various other elements." - One Book Shy of a Full Book Shelf
"Overall Midnight on Julia Street is an exceptional novel that manages to combine both modern day and historical elements to create one fascinating read." - Laura's Reviews
"I greatly enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. Ms. Ware brought New Orleans to life for me. I could imagine the streets and the people very easily for both the modern and the historical story lines. It makes me want to visit New Orleans even more that I already did. I want to see the locations she has mentioned in person, not just through Google." - PonyTails Book Reviews
"I did like it and do recommend the book to historical fiction fans and romance fans alike. " - Romance Fiction Suite 101
"Another great novel by Ciji Ware!!" - Celtic Lady's Reviews
"As I came to expect, the historical research shines through as we easily slip between the past and present." - Under the Boardwalk
"The story of the past I found very heartbreaking. I know virtually nothing about the history of New Orleans being a 'Yankee' and all so it was nice to learn about a new place and time period, and I felt that Ware captured it very well." - Readin and Dreamin
"Ware's ability to draw the reader in and hold their interest to the very end is amazing!" - Debbie's Book Bag
"Midnight on Julia Street is laced with history and can not be tied down to being just a romance, it's so much more than that. This book is actually a Mardi Gras celebrating New Orleans past with blaring trumpets for all to discover." - aisle b
"My primary requirement in a book is a good story. Midnight on Julia Street by Ciji Ware is a great one." - Linda Banche and Her Historical Hilarity
"An interesting book about a truly fascinating city and a rich cast of characters" - Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
"The many novels by Ciji Ware are among the best in the historical fiction genre. Midnight on Julia Street is unforgettable entertainment." - Historical Novels Review
YA-A well-researched and entertaining novel set in present-day New Orleans with flashes back to the city in the 1830s and `40s. Corlis, a capable television reporter, must present both sides in a fierce battle to raze buildings of historical significance. This is difficult as she falls in love with the leading preservationist. She is surprised when significant smells transport her back in time to watch related scenes of her female ancestors several generations back. The earlier Corlis struggles ethically and physically while her greedy husband and his conniving partner use blackmail, swindles, and love to try to gain property held by free African Americans. In the 1990s, many of the same families in the town, both white and African American, are still present and owning the same businesses. Some of the white families don't realize that they have black ancestors, and it becomes clear that, just as it was in the pre-Civil War days, everyone in New Orleans is related, somehow. The complex plot with intricate family relationships and cultural politics will restrict this romance novel to sophisticated readers. An excellent introduction to the role of African Americans in historical America.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
The trouble with weddings, Corlis McCullough concluded, was that the invited guests could never be sure if they were about to witness the beginning of a wonderful life or the end of everyone's fond illusions-including the bride's.
Corlis slammed the door of the news van and stared up at the venerable Saint Louis Cathedral, its three slate-clad spires silhouetted against the New Orleans night sky. Another day in the Big Easy. Another cream puff story. Another chance to blow her cool over the sorry state of television journalism. And a golden opportunity, after twelve years, to run into Kingsbury Duvallon.
For once in your life, McCullough, don't shoot yourself in the foot!
She glanced quickly around the deserted plaza that fronted the large church. At this pre-dinner hour, Jackson Square was devoid of its usual street performers, chalk artists, and tarot card readers. In the center of the gated park, Old Hickory sat astride his bronze horse, keeping silent vigil over the mighty Mississippi pulsing along its banks two hundred yards distant. The river churned with paddle-
wheel sightseeing boats, the Algiers ferry, and freighters riding low in the water as they plied their way toward the Gulf of Mexico, a hundred miles downstream.
That old, familiar feeling had begun to gnaw in the pit of Corlis's stomach.
Candlelit nuptials. An evening wedding. How chic.
She'd started to hate weddings, and she especially hated attending this one. The situation that faced her this unseasonably sultry December evening was the one she'd been dreading from the moment she'd arrived from Los Angeles two months earlier to go to work at WWEZ-TV in the fabled Crescent City. However, there was no ducking this assignment.
With a sigh she advanced with her news crew across the expanse of stone paving toward the church's arched entrance, neatly avoiding tripping over the scuffed boots of a wino who was apparently sleeping off the effects of letting the good times roll.
Within minutes Corlis, along with her cameraman and sound operator, was ensconced in the balcony that overlooked the historic structure's vast interior. The seasoned reporter put her mind to the task of calculating the best way to cover this so-called Wedding of the Season-a marriage ceremony that would join two of New Orleans's most prominent old-line families.
Soon, however, Corlis began to calculate her own margin of safety. She sternly reminded herself that associate professor of architectural history King Duvallon was merely a groomsman in this wedding tonight. He was also the brother of the bride. At the moment there was no sign of the Hero of New Orleans, celebrated everywhere for putting a stop to misplaced bridge and highway projects, condo complexes, mini-malls, and other scourges threatening this southern city's hallowed and revered architecture. Despite Corlis's duty to cover this wedding in the French Quarter, there was absolutely no need for her to get up close and personal with anyone tonight, especially King.
Just dodge this bullet, baby. You can't afford to get fired one more time.
The church's pillared interior was suffused with the golden glow of twinkling lights from two rows of chandeliers that hung from the barrel-shaped ceiling. Parallel lines of eighteen-inch tapers-each ivory candle attached to a pew-marched down the center aisle of New Orleans's famed landmark. The pungent smell of incense collided with the sweet scent wafting from banks of fragrant red and white roses and abundant pine boughs that had been deployed everywhere as part of the Christmas wedding theme. In fact, the bloom-filled church served as a vivid advertisement for Flowers by Duvallon, the firm owned by the bride's family, and the only florist ever recommended to bereaved customers by the groom's family, founders of the prominent Ebert-Petrella chain of funeral homes.
This merger must have been in the works since the bride and groom were in kindergarten! Corlis thought with a glance around the cathedral.
"Virgil," she addressed her cameraman, "give me lots of wide shots and some good cutaways of the altar, the flowers and candles attached to the pews, and some closeups of the priest. Oh, and be sure to hold tight for a good long while on the groom, Jack Ebert... and on Daphne Duvallon... that sort of thing."
"Yes, boss lady," Virgil replied patiently. "When do you want to do your lead-in and the stand-up?" he added, carefully placing his video camera on its tripod and tightening the screws.
"After the ceremony," Corlis replied. "Let's record an intro and maybe a bridge in front of the church just before we head back to the studio, okay? When the guests leave for the reception, I'll stay up here and write the copy while you go down below and grab what you need of the wedding party during the family picture-taking."
Good plan, McCullough. Keep your distance from the almighty Professor Duvallon.
Virgil Johnson raised his shaved, ebony head from the camera. Then he arched an eyebrow and shrugged agreement with a change of logistics that even she knew was completely out of character for her. When had she ever, in the two months they'd worked together, not been standing right next to her camera operator, breathing down his neck to make sure he got every damned frame she was going to need when it came time to edit?
She turned to address sound technician Manny Picot. Her news crew, who'd been great work companions since the day she started her new job, had shared the rumors that the new cameras due to arrive at WWEZ any day now would have built-in, high quality sound, eliminating the need for a separate sound operator-which was a pity, as Manny was as good as any guy Corlis had ever worked with in LA.
She smiled in his direction. "Be sure you record a nice long stretch of organ music so we can lay it under the action and my voice track, okay?"
"Yeah... gotcha," Manny mumbled behind his thick black mustache that bespoke his Hispanic-African ancestry.
Mellow sounds of classical organ music resounded throughout the cavernous space as five hundred of the bride and groom's nearest and dearest continued to file into the church with help from an army of groomsmen.
Corlis glanced down at the best watch she'd ever owned. Seven thirty-five. She had purchased it during her heady days as a well-paid, on-air consumer watchdog in Los Angeles. Exactly one week prior to the day she got fired, she'd plunked down an outrageous sum and then was promptly axed for graphically reporting the amount of air pumped into various brands of ice cream. Did she know that her former television station's biggest grocery chain sponsor was the worst offender?
Did she overrule the twenty-three-year-old kid on the assignment desk and do the story anyway, despite his warnings that the ad department would kill her?
Did she get fired for telling the truth at a moment when she could least afford to?
Had she shot herself in the foot that time, too?
So, what else was new?