Friday 27 August 2021

Love In A Time Of Hate by Matthew Langdon Cost BLOG TOUR @MattCost8 @RandomTTours #LoveInATimeOfHate #BookExtract


A young man from Maine fights for social equality in New Orleans after the Civil War while pursuing a serial killer, becoming enmeshed in voodoo, and falling in love. 

Much like Louisiana's famous gumboLove in A Time Of Hate: New Orleans During Reconstruction is a spicy dish of varied ingredients. The main theme is the struggle for social equality between Whites, Blacks, and Creoles, but flavor is added with the subplots of politics, voodoo, murder, love, and hate. 

New Orleans becomes a literal battleground as carpetbaggers, scalawags, Creoles, and recently freed slaves fight against the entrenched southern plantation notion of white superiority.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.

Extract from Love In A Time of Hate 

July 30, 1866

Emmett Collins watched in helpless trepidation as the mobs below threatened to erupt into violence over the precise actions he was participating in at this very moment. It reminded him of that

hushed lull seconds before the rebel yell had echoed across the way and Confederate soldiers had come spilling out in a frantic charge. Perhaps New Orleans was not yet ready for Black suffrage, he thought with mounting apprehension. What would General Chamberlain do in this situation? He’d probably stride out into the melee and sternly talk sense into the horde, but that wasn’t in the bailiwick of an eighteen-year-old from rural Maine washed up on the shores of New Orleans after four years of war. He’d been in the South for almost a year now, but still didn’t understand the politics and the culture of the people. He felt like he’d gone to a foreign country without knowing the language.

The Special Convention at the Mechanic’s Institute on Black suffrage had immediately experienced complications when its members fell short of a quorum due to threats of violence and intimidation from Conservative Democrats. The sergeant-at-arms had fought his way out to the street through the mass of white protestors in front of the building to go in search of the necessary representatives. It was then that a rising crescendo surging down Burgundy Street signaled the arrival of the Black former Union soldiers come to support the convention. The thirty-eight appointees in attendance, predominantly white, almost entirely from the north of Louisiana, crowded to the windows overlooking Dryades Street, while the gallery of over a hundred, mostly Black, audience members remained seated.

As the cavalcade of approximately 200 Blacks reached the end of Burgundy, there was the slightest pause as they regarded the waiting crowd across the wide Canal Street. This thoroughfare had originally been designed with a waterway running down the center, a notion still unrealized, and had instead become the unofficial dividing line between two territories, one home to white supremacy, the other to Black equality. With an intake of breath, the marchers squared their shoulders and began to traverse this no-man’s land, many wearing the blue uniforms they’d earned fighting for freedom and unity. Shoulder to shoulder, these former slaves and soldiers marched across the street to show their resolve in gaining the liberty and equality they perceived to be their due. Why couldn’t they have just stayed home, Emmett wondered, asking under his breath? What good would they accomplish arriving en masse and in uniform at the most delicate moment of this convention, the seating of those whose purpose was gaining the right to vote for Black men?

Over the years, Matthew Langdon Cost (aka Matt Cost) has owned a video store, a mystery bookstore,
and a gym. 

He has also taught history and coached just about every sport imaginable. During those years—since age eight, actually—his true passion has been writing. I Am Cuba: Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution (Encircle Publications, March, 2020) was his first traditionally published novel. Mainely Power, the first of the Mainely Mysteries featuring private detective Goff Langdon, was published by Encircle in September of 2020, followed by book two, Mainely Fear
(December, 2020), and book three, Mainely Money (March, 2021). Also forthcoming from
Encircle Publications are his Clay Wolfe / Port Essex Mystery series: Wolfe Trap, Mind
Trap, and Mouse Trap ; as well as his new historical fiction novel, Love in a Time of Hate.

Twitter @MattCost8

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