I’m guest blogging today and talking about KREWE OF SOULS, my Louisiana 3rd book in the Southern Ghosts Series. Click here to read the guest blog, and grab your copy of KREWE for 99 cents while the sale lasts :)
Break out the banners & champagne!
Today, Nov 18, is release day for KREWE OF SOULS (a paranormal suspense about Mardi Gras, mayhem, and murder). This one is Book #3 in the Southern Ghosts Series and yes, there will be more. At least 10 in the series, so stay tuned. I’m typing as fast as my fingers will let me (along with my brain, who occasionally needs a night off to watch NCIS and The Walking Dead…)
Well, we are almost there! On 11/18, at one minute after midnight, anyone who pre-ordered KREWE OF SOULS should get their book on their devices to start reading! I do hope everyone enjoys the story :)
So, as a last Mardi Gras Custom, I’m going to talk about Carnival and Mardi Gras time in Louisiana. No other state behaves quite like this, because here’s the thing. Schools are out for a week. Work is off for 3 days, typically. Sometimes a week, depending on the employer :)
Yes. You read that right. Kids are on vacation from learning, studying, etc. all for the sake of parades, booze, and boobs being flashed in the streets. But nah, seriously, it doesn’t have to just be this wild and crazy French Quarter event. Many suburbs of NOLA hold parades that are more family friendly. When I was a teen, I went with my church group. We had a big tent with snacks, had a big sleepover the night before, and then spent all day at the parades for Fat Tuesday.
The day before Mardi Gras is called Lundi Gras, and there are customs and features for that celebration as well. I wish all states would get off work and school for such a celebration, but alas, only in Louisiana will you see such a cool feat.
So put on some music, raise your glass, and enjoy the KREWE OF SOULS on 11/18!
Today, we are 6 days away from the release of KREWE OF SOULS!!
Yesterday, we talked about King Cake – Read yesterday’s post about king cake.
Today’s Mardi Gras custom is Parade Floats. This theme ties in heavily with KREWE OF SOULS, where the main character’s family is involved in a float-themed competition that’s a bigger rivalry than college football is in the Southern USA. I always have to qualify and mention USA, after a reader in South Wales informed me that for my book title, NO GRITS NO GLORY, that grits there is slang for men’s underpants! In the Southeast USA, it’s more like polenta or cream of wheat. Two totally different meanings! But I digress…
I am assuming everyone has been to some form of parade. Floats go by, sometimes there are bands marching as well, or sometimes (as in New Orleans) there is a parade for a funeral where men dress in black and play music all the way to the cemetery (what they play is called a dirge).
According to Wikipedia, the term parade “float” came about because the first floats were actually barges that were towed along the canals by parade marchers on land. Sometimes, floats were propelled by oarsmen who were not visible to the crowds, but this method of using floats in the water was eventually terminated due to high drowning (as well as capsizing) incidents.
This practice gave way to land floats being towed by horses (the animals also towed the caskets for the funerals of those who drowned, so this custom did indeed evolve over time). This eventually gave way to the parade floats we know of today, which are self-powered truck beds or pulled by motor vehicles.
Each Krewe is different. A Krewe is a group of people who form an organization for each parade. There are many Krewes in New Orleans, small and large, and the people in the Krewe pay dues as well as pay for their own throws/beads which they toss from the floats during the parades. Krewes often hold annual fancy dances or balls, along with other social events throughout the year.
Krewes choose a theme for the parade floats. Every Krewe is different. In 2013, the largest Krewe in New Orleans (Krewe of Endymion) decided to pay homage to Ponchartrain Beach, an amusement park which closed in 1983. Every float depicts a specific ride or attraction at Ponchartrain Beach, and the music comes from the float. You can watch a few minutes (or the whole thing at 7 minutes long) here on youtube. I love this video because I remember going to Ponchartrain Beach as a kid, and I was heartbroken when it closed.
To give you an idea of how ornate the floats are, below is a photo from the Krewe of Orpheus: