Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

Midnight Bayou, Nora Roberts, 2002

My favorite quote: “From this nice, safe distance, I’ve realized I actually like my family.”

Notable characters: Declan Fitzgerald, the handyman; Lena Simone, the bar owner; Miss Odette, Lena’s grandmother

Most memorable scene: The tragedy of Lucian and Abigail in the beginning. That’s what drew me into the story and it remains my favorite part. For me, the rest of the book never quite lived up to the intrigue and drama of that opening sequence

Greatest strengths: Atmosphere 

Standout achievements: Manet Hall, the newly-restored plantation home, was such a vivid part of the story that, for me, it almost stole the show

Fun Facts: In 2007, TIME named Roberts one of their 100 Most Influential People 

Other media: 2009 TV movie starring Jerry O’Connell, Lauren Stamile, and Faye Dunaway

What it taught me: This is going to sound rude, but it’s true: some of the dialogue here is super cringe-worthy and it taught me what NOT to do — specifically in conversations between male characters. At one point, manly-man number one makes manly-man number two turn around so he can compliment his ass. I’m sure that happens but in this context, it was just really awkward 

How it inspired me: This book captures the South in a real way and made me want to visit. I did, much later, and I have to say that as far as setting goes, Nora Roberts nailed it. Well done

Additional thoughts: Though more formulaic that I generally prefer, the reincarnation aspect of this book intrigued me, and over all, I enjoyed it. I just don’t think I’m a fan of this genre. For me, romance makes a nice garnishing, but as the main ingredient, it gets bland

My rating: 3.5 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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