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Sugar Doll's Hurricane Blues

Clarion Review (5 Stars)

Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst disasters in US history. Though it may be hard to imagine positive events emerging from this tragedy, the mega-storm has inspired creativity in all artistic fields. Sometimes it takes a devastating act of nature to bring out genuine emotions and buried truths. No longer complacent, victims seek answers and resolutions in every area of their lives, not just through the recovery of material losses.

Sugar Doll’s Hurricane Blues is set against the entertainment backdrop of New Orleans and steeped in the hidden recesses of its musical history. Aspiration fuels the ego-driven personalities that forsake all to achieve their goals in a nightclub district immersed in sultry sex and heady romance. Kalua Lauber fills her work with realistic details that bring to light the danger and attraction of this notorious city.

Sugar Doll is a woman with a gift. Her extraordinary voice has propelled her down a path taken by only a talented few, but a difficult childhood spent estranged from her mother tarnishes her sterling career, and only the power of love can brighten it. Remy Gaudeaux has that influence, but before Sugar Doll can find her happily ever after, she must contend with the Marsalas family. This crime ring is under the control of Tony Marsalas, a menacing man with sex appeal and charm. Yet not even the harm they intend can surpass the shock of Hurricane Katrina as it hits the unprepared citizens of New Orleans.

Lauber is a writer and teacher who grew up in Buras, a small rural community in lower Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans. She holds a degree in speech and theater from Louisiana State University and a master’s in English and secondary education from the University of Phoenix. Lauber has performed as a stand-up comedian and resides in Glendale, California.

Through the preliminary darkness of the storm and the light of the overwhelming aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Lauber’s novel explores the depths of the human heart in its struggle to reclaim honesty and dignity. Her sophisticated romance presents a down-to-earth portrayal of existence in a big city fraught with tension and unrest. The novel’s literary tone will draw mainstream readers as well as romance connoisseurs.

Julia Ann Charpentier