Midnight on Julia Street

Midnight on Julia Street

by Ciji Ware


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402222726
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 08/01/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Ciji Ware has been an Emmy-Award winning television producer, reporter, writer, lecturer, and radio host. A Harvard graduate in history, she has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books, including the award-winning Island of the Swans. She and her husband of three decades live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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.
How revolting!
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?

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Midnight on Julia Street 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Cb21 More than 1 year ago
Picked up this book just for something to read and couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i couldn't put it down. the story was suspenceful, well writen, and worth the time to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish I had read this book prior to visiting the magical city of New Orleans. The book is a great mixture of history, romance and mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great, light mystery/drama read. Love the history of new orleans throughout story. Great descriptive writing. Nice amount of romance, nothing too smutty. Overall, lovely read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was very dull.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Double tap the family trees at the beginning and they will enlarge on the Nook! Much easier to read. Discovered this by accident. Ciji Ware is a very good writer. Haven't read this yet, but loved Cottage by the Sea and Return to Splendor.
gl More than 1 year ago
Largely set in present day New Orleans, Midnight on Julia Street follows the gutsy, independent and stubborn tv news producer Corlis McCullough as she starts yet another new TV production job. Corlis has great instincts but she's a bit like a terrier - she doesn't give up on a story and isn't one to cave to politics or her networks' affiliations. This has held her back in her career and repeatedly gets her into hot water. To add to the mix, she bumps heads with King Duvallon, an enemy of sorts from college. King and has frat brothers had poked fun at Corlis when she wrote for the college paper. Corlis had retaliated strongly and gotten King expelled. Decades later, the two find themselves somehow on the same side. Their truce, new friendship and possible romance heats up Midnight on Julia Street. The novel gets even more interesting with Corlis's new ability to see into the past. She somehow finds herself transported to New Orleans in the 1800s and her visits help her to piece together parts of a long forgotten mystery. The novel isn't really paranormal, the trips to the past add to the storyline and act as a device to teach us about the main characters' relations and to reveal clues a mystery from the past. Midnight on Julia Street is a fun read. My one criticism is that I found Corlis's voice - especially in her internal monologues - a little annoying. That's just my personal opinion and I realize other people might connect better with the lead character. Overall, Midnight on Julia Street is a fun escape. ISBN-10: 1402222726 - Paperback $15.99 Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (August 1, 2011), 512 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. I loved the strong leading lady. Corlis has more talent that meets the eye. She is honorable, and very dedicated to her job. The history of New Orleans is wonderful, makes you really love the city and it's people. Her leading Man King is strong, beautiful, intelligent, and, rich! What a hot combo. This is a great book! I will be reading more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read... bought it as a daily deal book.. I loved it.. It has it all, romance,suspense,history . It was fabulous. My first read by this author, but definately not my last !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars... It took me a long time to get started and I don't know why! But about 1/3 of the way through, I was hooked and wanted more! I think I was having a hard time going back and forth between the present and the future. I enjoyed the mental images of New Orleans and the history.I also liked the tension between the two main characters, Corlis and King. In the end, I would read it again and may read the next book, On The Veranda.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written and holds your interest. Characters are described extremely well & the story line is very believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book begins wifh two family tree charts that are presumably important. These cannot be read on a nook because they are too small.
celticlady53 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Another great novel by Ciji Ware!! A story that takes place in New Orleans in the past and present with a no nonsense reporter, Corlis McCullough. King Duvallon is the head of the preservation society that is trying to stop developers from tearing down a block of historic buildings. It seems that these buildings were built in the 1800's and have a history all their own. As Corlis investigates the history of these buildings she is taken back and sees the past through the eyes of an ancestor. She is also very much attracted to King but there is definitely a conflict of interest and she knows she needs to keep her distance but finds it a difficult task. This is a story filled with the history of New Orleans not only before Katrina but also during a time when almost half the people there in the 1830's are "free people of colour" and that a lot of people in the city are related one way or another no matter what the race. Ciji Ware weaves a believable tale of past and present colliding with love, lust, swindlers, blackmailers and a mystery that needs solving. I have yet to read a book by Ciji Ware that I did not like. I highly recommend it. Ciji Ware is the author of A Race to Splendor, Wicked Company and Island of the Swans to name a few.
BrokenTeepee on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I must start by saying that I ADORE Ms. Ware's works. Having said that, Midnight on Julia Street is my favorite so far. Corlis McCollough is a TV reporter that has some trouble keeping a job; she lost her latest because of failing to get an OK before running a report on a wedding gone bad. The bride gave the groom the heave-ho at the altar. The bride's brother is an old nemesis of Corlis' - King Duvallon. Corlis always tells the truth in her stories and King appreciated that since the groom did the bride very wrong so King gives Corlis a lead to a new job.King is passionate about preserving the old buildings in New Orleans. He shows Corlis the beauty of the past. That past shows itself to Corlis in unexpected ways. It appears that her distant relatives and King's were entwined and she and King need to rectify misdeeds done to be able to right those wrongs.I love time travel novels and while this isn't time travel per se it does have elements of moving between past and present. Add in one of the most amazing cities in the US and a delightful romance and the book is a perfect summer read. Or anytime read for that matter. King and Corlis are fun, feisty characters that have a past in more ways than one. They work well together against "the bad guys" that want to destroy what makes New Orleans well, New Orleans. Of course, this book takes place pre-Katrina. I found myself turning pages late into the night. I have been to New Orleans and fell in love with the city so I can understand the passion the preservationists have for its old buildings. 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.
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If you're looking for a good mystery, romance, or historic thriller, keep looking! This fails on all fronts. by aj west
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bongie More than 1 year ago
Boring and dull novel set in New Orleans that goes back to the l800's. This is a long book and I started to skim to get thru .  
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