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Authors: Erica Orloff

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary

Diary of a Blues Goddess

BOOK: Diary of a Blues Goddess
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Erica Orloff

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43



resides in south Florida, where she enjoys spending her free time with her extended "family" of friends and relatives, as well as several unruly pets. She confesses to being virtually tone-deaf, but does adore jazz music and the blues, particularly the music of Django Reinhardt.

Erica is also the author of
Spanish Disco
, as well as the upcoming
Divas Don't Fake It
. She can be reached at her Web site,



First edition August 2003




A Red Dress Ink novel


ISBN 0-373-25032-0


© 2003 by Erica Orloff.


All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


® and TM are trademarks. Trademarks indicated with ® are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Canadian Trade Marks Office and/or other countries.


Visit Red Dress Ink at


Printed in Canada



Dedicated to my father, Walter Orloff, who taught me about jazz.



I'd like to, first and foremost, thank my father, Walter Orloff, who provided advice, ideas and historical background about jazz and the blues.

As far as I am concerned, he is the world's greatest jazz expert, and his extensive—some would say exhaustive—record and book collection helped greatly, as did our e-mails and conversations. I'd especially like to thank him for reluctantly giving up several of his Django Reinhardt albums.


I must, as always, acknowledge my wonderful agent,

Jay Poynor, who remains my greatest supporter.

We talk daily, and it truly helps to know he is in my corner at all times. "Darlin', you're my Luv."


Thank you to Margaret Marbury, the best editor I could imagine. When I decided to take the tone of this novel in a different direction, she was not only supportive but excited. Thank you. I look forward to our collaboration for many years to come.


What would I do without Writer's Cramp?

Pam, Gina and Jon. Thank you for giving me discipline as a writer—and wine. Let's not forget the wine.


Thanks to my friends Pam, Nancy, Cleo and Kathy for being such totally cool women. In the immortal words of Miss Bella: "You rock."


I acknowledge the late Viktor Frankl for giving my life philosophical meaning.


Thanks to my mother.

Whenever I felt like procrastinating on finishing this book,

I called her, which was daily. And she happily obliged.

But then would tell me to get back to work.


Finally, to Alexa, Nicholas and Isabella. You can't possibly imagine what inspiration you are. To J.D., for



"All I know is when I sing the blues, the notes are like tiny shards… proclaiming how my heart is broke in a million pieces."

—Irene "Honey" Walker


Chapter 1


I live in a house with a dead prostitute.

More precisely, I live in a house with her spirit. At least that's what my grandmother, Nan, thinks.

New Orleans is filled with spirits. We're so used to them, we don't give them a thought. Mist-filled cemeteries are tourist attractions, and houses on St. Charles have ghosts. Halloween is more important than Christmas—at least to the drag queens. Voodoo priestesses still practice their art, and superstition is interwoven through our lives as much as the bayou and crawfish.

Our house in New Orleans used to be a brothel and has been in my family since 1890. My grandmother ran the brothel briefly, until Sadie Jones was murdered over sixty years ago. A customer with an obsession for the redheaded whore with the alabaster skin and green eyes stabbed her in an upstairs bedroom. He'd been wordless, with the vacant-eyed look of a man possessed, and my grandmother has never forgiven herself for not turning him away. Another customer, a senator with a handlebar mustache, who enjoyed the brothel every Friday night, shot the murderer dead with a pistol and a single bullet as the man ran outside. My grandmother cradled Sadie's head in her lap as the young woman took her last breath. After that, Nan closed the brothel, married my grandfather, who'd been her most faithful customer, and set about becoming one of the more colorful characters in New Orleans, a city known for colorful characters.

When I was eighteen, I came to live with my grandmother in this house with twenty bedrooms. I soon found out that the spirit of Sadie had opinions on the opposite sex. According to Nan, if she felt you were making a big mistake with a man, she would slam the door of the bedroom in which she'd been murdered. If she approved, the house was at peace.

Considering my track record over the last ten years, there's been a whole lot of door-slamming in New Orleans,

Chapter 2

BOOK: Diary of a Blues Goddess
12.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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