Saturday, January 17, 2015

Prosecco Pink

Today Traci Andrighetti joins us to talk about her new novel set in Louisiana. You can see Traci's drinks with reads post about her last book here.  

Prosecco Pink was inspired by a 2013 visit to Oak Alley, a fabulous nineteenth-century, oak tree–lined sugar cane plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. I’d already been to Oak Alley twice before, but this time I returned with friends from Rome, Italy. And I’m so glad I did. Seeing the historic home through their eyes convinced me that a plantation would make an intriguing setting for a mystery.

As we followed our tour guide through the Greek Revival–style mansion on the property, I tried to imagine each room as the scene of a murder. At first I thought my victim just had to die in the home’s creepy parlor, but when we went upstairs to the last room on the tour, I knew where I wanted the crime to occur: in the master bedroom.

Why? At Oak Alley, this bedroom is known as “the lavender room” because of the color scheme selected by the last owner of the home, Josephine Stewart. And since I had the word “pink" in my title, I decided that I would have a “pink room” at my fictitious plantation mansion. By the way, I named it Oleander Place because the oleander is the official flower of the city of New Orleans and because it’s one of the most poisonous plants in the world. 

I also chose this room because many have claimed that Josephine’s spirit still resides there. That gave me the idea to have my plantation home haunted (allegedly) both by its original owners, Knox and Evangeline, and the owner’s black sheep brother, Beau, a pirate who was the right-hand man of the notorious Jean Lafitte and who was desperately in love with Evangeline.

The best part? With the pink room as my setting, a historical legend involving star-crossed lovers, and a plantation full of poisonous flowers, I had lots of possibilities for a murder—actually, more than one murder. So, who was the first victim? A beautiful blonde cosmetics CEO named Ivanna who was found laying dead like Sleeping Beauty in the pink room. To find out who killed her and why, and who else had to die, you’ll have to read Prosecco Pink...