Red Dress Ink, August 2003, 12.95, 304 pp.
The Heartbreak Hotel in New Orleans has a colorful past and an even brighter present. It used to be a bordello until one of the working girls was murdered there and the madam closed it down. Now it is a refuge for the drag queens and the broken hearted who have no place else to go or need a haven. The ghost of a woman who was murdered there haunts the jaunt, but to Georgia Ray Miller it is simply home.
She was brought up there by her grandmother Nan and Georgia makes her living singing at weddings and other events but whose dream is to be a blues singer. The only thing holding Georgia Ray back is herself because she is afraid she doesn't have what it takes to make it in this world and she doesn't want to leave the security of friends and family. It will take a very special man to enable her to leave her nest.
Erica Orloff captures the essence of New Orleans from fun craziness of the French Quarter to the racism of other sections. There is a lot of racy, bawdy humor in DIARY OF A BLUES GODDESS but it is done in good taste, especially the scenes with the drag queens. The heroine grows and changes as the book progresses so that the reader sees her metamorphosis from a scared girl to a bold woman. Her Prince Charming is a man who loves her praying in the background that she will recognize him.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner