New Orleans is a city steeped in mystery and rich culture. A place where signs such as this are the norm. So naturally, when I was looking for a setting for my novel about witches, New Orleans seemed a perfect choice. During the developmental phase, I scoured the internet for all I could find to get a feel for this beautiful city. But street view and Google images could only get me so far. Ultimately I decided I would get a much better feel for it if I actually went there. So, after completing my first draft of The Curse of the Bruel Coven, I set out on a research trip with two of best friends. In January of 2014, we landed at the New Orleans airport and the smell of the Louisiana Bayous quickly filled the cabin of the plane. We had arrived! We got in our rental car and crossed the Mississippi, heading for the French Quarter. The Cornstalk Hotel We stayed at the Cornstalk Hotel. Built in 1816, it’s listed on the National Historical Register. It gets its name for the cast iron fence in front of the building added in 1840 by the owner for his wife, an Iowa native who had become homesick. It is located on Royal Street, a street that certainly lives up to its name, lined with art and antique shops and is great for window shopping. The hotel is also known for being one of the most photographed hotels in the French Quarter and we soon became well aware of that during our many comings and goings. The inside of the hotel is exquisitely decorated with antique furnishings, similar to how I envision Grand’Meres house. The view from the balcony of the Cornstalk.