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I arose, knowing that I would sleep no more that night until I had captured the scene in words. My eyes read the lighted dial on the alarm: three o'clock. Thus began the nightly task of transcribing the tale told by the voices that would not let me sleep. And thus was born Embrace the Boogeyman.
The tale introduced me to the world of Fayre and the five Nyx sisters who have survived 3,000 years of separation following a horrible attack on their youngest sister, Astraea, the Nightstar of the Nyx. I also met one of the most horrific creatures I have ever encountered in life, in film or on the printed page. The tale also introduced me to a great Viking warrior, Kith the Bold, and to a twentieth century hero, Kirth Naran, who is, of all things, a rock idol. And that is where the story begins, in the twentieth century, on a lonely stretch of road outside New Orleans at the bewitching hour. Sylvian DuClair is lost. alone and working hard at not being afraid.
Excerpt from Chapter One, Embrace the Boogeyman
Night closed around Sylvian DuClair as she stole from the solitary car parked on the deserted parish road. Ghostly shadows floated overhead. A breeze whispered through the pines, rippling the dark, indistinct foliage of the live oaks and cypress giants surrounding her, then stilled, chilling her with its absence.
Her nails scratched and jabbed the size-five jeans she'd wiggled into hours ago on the floor of her apartment. Her forehead furrowed, pressing her finely arched charcoal brows into a straight line. She stepped tentatively away from the automobile and paused, hesitant to close the door. Every caution she'd learned in her almost twenty-five years begged her to jump back inside, lock the doors, and remain secure until first light.
Shaking off the tremor threatening to overwhelm her, she chided herself sharply, yet silently, for the stillness felt unwelcoming to the spoken word. There are no boogeymen...
Sylvian soon learns that the world is far stranger than she had ever imagined and that her life is in jeopardy. To read the full chapter, click here.
For now, we shall leave our young heroine to the night and what awaits her, say goodbye to West Texas with its dramatic sunsets and magnificent clouds as well as to the view of magnolias and bougainvillea outside my window and turn our attention southeast.
New Orleans' French Quarter is unlike any other place in the United States, and I'm eager to show you some of the faces and places that captured my "camera's" interest. I thought we'd begin, as so many visitors do, at Jackson Square. Please join me on a mostly pictorial stroll through the diverse worlds of the Vieux Carre...
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Note on Gary Bernstein: In late 1999, Mr. Bernstein, in concert with photographer Monte Zucker, founded www.Zuga.net--the leading photographic portal on the Internet. More than 200 international celebrities are among Mr. Bernsteins clients, and his photographs have graced the covers or pages of nearly every major magazine. Since 1977, he has written monthly columns for numerous magazines. The author of 3 best-sellers for Price, Stern, Sloan/Putnam; a hardbound compendium of Mr. Bernstein's work over the past 3 decades, entitled Portrait Hollywood, was published in 1994. Another of his books, The Glamorous World of People Photography, was released in late 1998.