1. What I know of New Orleans and its history has all been from mostly historical novels set in the city and environs so here is what I think it is like: It has always seemed mysterious, lush, culturally rich, diverse, and tenacious.

    I love that this latest book is set there during the time of the war and also marries it with Jane Austen’s characters and novels. Living five miles from a northern War of 1812 battlefield peaked my interest in this war possibly more so than some others that America has been engaged in. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of the book.

  2. The last time I visited New Orleaans was for my tenth wedding anniversary, and I’ve now been married for 31 years. My longest-lasting memory is of the restaurant ‘Galatoires’ where I had soft-shell crabs for the first time. At that time, the men were required to wear ties, and no reservations were accepted. Did it survive Katrina?
    I’m looking forward to your upcoming trilogy!

    • Leslie, I love you! Galatoire’s Restaurant is my favorite place in New Orleans, and I dare say one of the best restaurants in the world. It survived Katrina and is better than ever. Ties are no longer required, but gentlemen must wear coats downstairs after 6 pm. Don’t worry — their are a number of unused waiters’ jackets hanging by the front door, in case one forgets. Reservations are accepted for the upstairs dining room, but the place to eat is in the main room downstairs, were it is first come, first seated.

      Galatoire’s makes an appearance in CRESCENT CITY.

  3. I have never been to New Orleans but it is on my bucket list! When I think of it, though, I always think of the pictures I have seen of the French Quarter architecture, the food, and the wonderful jazz music!

    Thanks for the exccert and the giveaway

    • What is interesting about the French Quarter architecture is that it didn’t exist during THE PLAINS OF CHALMETTE. All the galleries were wooden. After another fire in the Quarter during the Victorian era, people started using Spanish wrought iron instead.

  4. Thanks or the excerpt. I really enjoyed it. I have never been to New Orleans, but would like to visit some time. I always picture it as being a very active, alive city with lots of energy, mystery and excitement.

  5. I was born and grew up in NOLA. I currently live just 30 minutes outside the city. I love Jazz Fest and our food. Our restaurants, from Commander’s Palace, to the smaller venues of Clancy’s, Lillette’s, and Le Petite Grocery showcase our local farms and the amazing seafood. Being able to make a rich seafood gumbo anytime I want or create a hearty pot of red beans make me grateful for where we live and all that is available. But most of all, New Orleans is us, the people who give our city its true joy and makes us unique. Y’all come see us, ya hear?

  6. I have been to New Orleans many a time
    and loved it. Commander’s Palace is my
    very favorite restaurant, but I could survive
    on Cafe du Monde coffee and beignets! Jazz
    Fest is my favorite event/attraction.

    Thank you for the excerpt and a happy,
    successful New Year to you.

  7. My experience of the city was just after Katrina. My husband was one of the many volunteer relief workers that arrived soon after. The devastation to this beautiful jewel was hard to see. Thank you, Jack, for a glimpse into the history of such a vibrant city and a family that we already love – the Darcys.

    • We Louisianans will always remember and love the thousands of volunteers who came down to help us and our neighbors in Mississippi. Come on back! New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast is better than ever!

  8. Our appetites are whetted! I can just hear the different accents of the various drawls! I have yet to visit New Orleans but I imagine a city full of warm spicy scents, glorious colour and rich soulful sounds. Thank you for the chance to win her story!

    • Various drawls, Carole? Well… you have to understand that New Orleans is really NOT a southern city, in the way that Atlanta or Nashville or Memphis is a southern city. We don’t have a southern accent. New Orleans don’t have a Cajun accent, either. “The Big Easy” gets it wrong. The main characters in “NCIS New Orleans” get it wrong.

      Strangely enough, Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” gets it RIGHT. People tell me HBO’s “Treme” got it right. New Orleans Creole accent is tough because it’s so light.

      Yats from da Parish? Cajuns from da swamps? Dem’s whole ‘nother thing, cher!

  9. Thank you for this excerpt Jack. I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of your book so pleaae do not enter me in this give away. Thank you for your generosity.

  10. I have been looking forward to this book for awhile. Since I live just 75 miles north, I’ve been to Nola many times. Still my fav is cafe du monde. Love the coffee. As for restaurants Court of two Sisters .

    I saw the devastation . We are forever grateful to all the volunteers that come to rescue this great city and his citizens.

    It is by far the most unique city in the US. The best food, the best people, the best experiences of past and present.

    Laissez les bons temps roulez!

  11. My one and only visit to New Orleans was in early June 1980. I would say Commander’s Palace was our favorite restaurant (though we never had a bad meal anywhere in the French Quarter). Cafe au lait and beignets (sp?) remain a favorite. Really looking forward to this new series, Jack

    • Mardi Gras is what you think it is, and not what you think it is. Except for the Quarter, it is VERY family friendly. Like everything else about New Orleans, it’s complicated. You’ll learn more about Carnival in NOLA in CRESCENT CITY.

    • Eclectic describes NOLA perfectly. Everyone loves to visit. But to live there, you must accept the place as it is, warts and all. Because it ain’t changing. There’s a new saying in NOLA: Be Nice or Go Home.

  12. I must say that my ideas of New Orleans have come from movies and tv, but it has been fun getting the real tidbits from you over the laast couple years. I have enjoyed all your books so far and am looking forward to this new series. Thank you for the giveaway.

  13. Absolutely loved the excerpt from your new book. I’ve been to New Orleans many times and enjoy the architecture of the French Quarter. Love Antoine’s and visiting Jackson Square. In my younger years I even experienced Mardi Gras, and I can say for me, once was enough. The history of this city is fascinating. While my state, Missouri, has two well known French cities, they are nothing compared to New Orleans.

  14. What you think New Orleans is like in one sentence:

    NOLA isn’t just a place – it’s a melting pot of people, who all appreciate good food, good jazz, good friends, and good times.

    With accents. XD

  15. I haven’t visited New Orleans. This charming, unique and wondrous city filled with fascinating historic buildings, culinary delights to tempt the palate and music that moves your senses, all this and more.

  16. I’ve never been to New Orleans. I would like to, yet I have the feeling I might be a little intimidated by it! It seems to me like it has a spookiness underneath all the colorful festivity. I do know that some of my favorite vampires live there! lol

    Thanks for the excerpt! (I wish I remembered more of my US History!)

    • Vampires — jezze! If Anne Rice didn’t bring so many lovely tourists to NOLA, we’d probably kick her out. JUST KIDDING!

      The only bites you’ll get in the Crescent City is from the mosquitoes.

  17. Thanks for the excerpt – I’m really looking forward to reading more from the interesting glimpses you’ve given us (and, frankly, to get a history lesson on a period of history I probably learned in high school but have forgotten!). I’ve been to New Orleans once, 20 years ago, now, and we tried to see a little of everything then, including a riverboat tour, a streetcar tour, and I remember we drove out to Destrehan plantation to take a tour. I think one thing that I think of the most about New Orleans is the architecture and those amazing ironwork patterns on the balconies.

  18. I absolutely love that this is going to be a series! Well, I’ve been to Nawlins twice and I loved Commander’s Palace. $0.25 martinis at lunch plus the best shrimp etouffee I’ve ever had. I was tipping back to the St. Charles trolley so full I couldn’t even think. Ahhh memories.

    • Commander’s Palace in any other city in the world would be proclaimed a National Treasure. In NOLA, there are those who claim there are at least a half-dozen places better. I’m not one of them. We LOVE arguing about food!

  19. New Orleans is a combination of historic, cultural, culinary and fascinating beauty and jazz, zydeco which cannot be replicated anyplace. It weaves a spell upon the visitor from which we cannot escape.

  20. The architecture which reflects the uniqueness of this amazing city, the scents which waft from the many restaurants, the music that is alluring and the atmosphere that is warm, wonderful, and welcoming.

  21. My parents were there long ago. They loved breakfast at Brennan’s and A Court of 3 Sisters. I managed to get cookbooks for Antoine’s and Brennan’s.One day I hope to get there.

  22. Been to New Orleans 3 times. Twice for a meeting where I didn’t leave the hotel for 2 days except to go to the airport to come home and the 3rd time I spent about 8 hours in the LSU ER with pneumonia. The ER had only been open 1 week since Katrina and it was like an ER back when I was in nursing school. Charts on clip boards. No IV pumps. No blankets and no where for family to wait. They sent my husband back to the hotel and there I was. My husband sent me home the next day on the only flight we could find. So for 3 trips I can’t tell you a thing about New Orleans and I haven’t been back and I ‘m afraid to go. I love the history of this time, though and look forward to reading about your city.

    • I’m sorry for your experiences, Maggie. Prior to the storm, LSU/Charity had one of the best trauma centers in the US. They are rebuilding an amazing medical campus now. Just so you know, the Ochsner Clinic (now the Ochsner Medical Center) is a pioneer in cardiac and cancer care.

      So, I can safely say you can come back down safely.

  23. I have never been but imagine it to be colorful and noisy but laid-back, indulgent and smooth. I am not sure if that is an accurate description, but it works in my head.

  24. I have to only name ONE favorite restaurant?! Jack, you are too cruel. But if it has to be one, it’s Drago’s in Fat City. Stu’s favorite place as well 😉

    • Drago’s! Chargrilled Oysters! The best! It’s my son Sean’s favorite restaurant, too.

      And for those of you who won’t try Chargrilled Oysters, well, that just leaves more for me, Sean, Stu, and Candice.

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