Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A musical and visual link to "L'Inked"

Recently, I published "L'Inked" on Amazon.  I had an online book release party on Facebook where I posted pictures of the characters of the book and suggested music for you to enjoy while reading it.  I'll re-post it all here so that you can not only visualize the faces of the story but you can listen to the tunes that will take you into the scenes as well.

I will start off by showing you the characters of the story and telling you a little about them...

Marc and Cassie Matthews met in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  They went back two years later for their honeymoon. It was a honeymoon that they would never forget...

They spent their days together, a blissful beginning to a happy marriage.

They spent their nights celebrating Mardi Gras among the other revelers.

Every day, they fell more and more in love.  They were oblivious to the fact that their lives will soon be turned upside down.

They found a quaint little tattoo shop.

They decided to get matching tattoo wedding rings.

Voodoo Queen Madame Cloutier cursed their tattoos, binding Marc and Cassie together forever.  Literally.  With the 'Unity Bond', the couple must be faithful and trusting or they would suffer great agony and then certain death.

A voodoo zombie seduced Marc and broke the bond between husband and wife.  Pain would be their constant companion in this life and the next unless they found a way to reverse the hex.

The first person to offer them assistance was Dodger LaRue, a jazz musician who had also been cursed by the powerful Voodoo Queen.

Then, they sought help from the Voodoo Museum, where Dominique Delacroix was very firm in her belief that the couple's lives would never be the same unless they perform an Uncrossing.

They met Mariah, the proprietress of a voodoo gris-gris shop where they obtained the necessary items for the Uncrossing.

They performed the Uncrossing Spell but they soon learned that a curse still lingered, one that kept them bound to the city of New Orleans forever.  They realized that the only way that they could leave was to enlist the help of another couple.

Greg Walsh

Gwen Walsh

But the curse still lingered...

Cassie was seduced by a voodoo zombie.

Would they finally be released from the curse or would their Mardi Gras honeymoon become a Voodoo nightmare?

Buy the book in the U.S. HERE or in the U.K. HERE

An excerpt from the book:

“Come, my goddess.  Your chariot awaits.”
Almost true to his words, there was a horse-drawn carriage waiting by the curb.  Cassie’s heart quivered when Marc took her hand and helped her step into the buggy.  She was so completely enchanted by the fairy-tale encounter that Marc had planned for their last evening together that she hugged him while the carriage moved forward.
Not wanting to break the embrace, yet yearning to feel her lips upon his, Marc pulled far enough away from Cassie to stare into her eyes while the street lights illuminated them with sparks of visible bliss.  He memorized her face, a face bathed in pure splendor while she stared back at him, clearly filled with adoring emotion.  He moved his head closer to her until his breath was upon her upturned lips as he whispered, “I want this night to last forever!”
Against her will, a tear slipped from Cassie’s lashes and melted into the heat of the skin on her breast that the fabric failed to cover.  She dared not move in order to wipe away the evidence of her passionate response to Marc’s romantic gesture.  Instead, she concentrated on his lips that moved as if in slow motion toward hers.  Her heart pounded erratically while her mind reeled with ecstatic anticipation until the warmth of his kiss sent her into a whirlwind of elation, and electrifying sensation of pure, dizzying desire.
Her arms encircled his neck, pulling him closer so that she could merge her body to his as if they were one entity, as she was certain they were meant to be.  With her breasts pressed against his muscular chest, Cassie clung to Marc while wrapped in his powerful yet tender arms.  Entranced by the way his lips gently caressed hers, undulating against the sensitive skin of her hungry lips until she increased the intensity of their kiss. 
As if he’d been waiting for that very moment, that not-so-subtle invitation to take the encounter one step further, Marc groaned with yearning as he moved a heated hand toward her breast.  Pausing while covering that perfect mound with his palm, he allowed her ample time to protest.  When she responded with roving fingers that ascended, urgently searching for the ripples of muscles on his shoulders, he parted her lips with his tongue.  Passing her teeth, seeking its mate within her mouth and upon finding its partner, his tongue frolicked with hers while simulating the very intimate dance that their bodies longed to enjoy. 
Just when they thought their kiss would last until their lives ceased, the driver announced, “Brennan’s Restaurant!”

A collection of songs that will take you to New Orleans...

Marc and Cassie danced to this song in their hotel room

This song describes Cassie's struggle with accepting love

One of Marc's favorite songs

One of Cassie's favorite songs

A little bit of zydeco, straight from Louisiana

I call this the tattoo girl song

Here are a few videos about New Orleans, voodoo, and Mardi Gras...

Sadly, Six Flags New Orleans, which I mentioned in the book, was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina swept through the city

Just for grins...

I hope that you enjoyed this video and musical tour through New Orleans.  Now, all you have to do is buy the book and then come back here to fully experience the sensual thriller that is "L'Inked".

For U.S. purchase, click HERE or for U.K., click HERE

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

That Voodoo that you do

I love it when I learn something through research.  In my latest thriller/romance novel, I researched Voodoo in New Orleans.  I discovered that it is closely knitted with the Catholic religion.  I read that the slaves, who were brought to Louisiana where Catholicism was forced upon them, adapted their culture in order to appease the authorities.  The slaves began to use images of religious saints as a means to continue their voodoo culture.  Today, there are more statues, candles and other personified items with the image of Catholic saints than there are African imagery.

Even now, there is no conflict between Catholicism and Voodoo.  In Voodoo, the role of the spirits is separate from that of God, whereas the saints share the same role in a Catholic’s life.  Voodoo, it seems, has always been very liberal in accepting and assimilating aspects of other spiritual beliefs. 

Take St. Peter, who stands at the door to Heaven.  His Voodoo counterpart is Legba, the guardian to the gateway to the spirit world.  Aida Wedo, the primary female Voodoo spirit, is their version of the Blessed Virgin. I find it very fascinating that the culture is so adaptable and that those who practice it persevere in keeping it alive despite the changes around them.

When I was a child, I believed that Voodoo was evil and scary, involving blood, snakes, zombies and chicken feet as the movies and books had portrayed.  Well, that part is true.  But most of the black magic Voodoo is kept underground and out of sight.  In fact, until the ‘Seventies, there were authentic voodoo gris-gris shops in New Orleans in plain sight.  Now, there are shops that cater those who are interested in the religion.  Whether or not they are authentic and not just tourist traps, one can only speculate.  

The religion was used for positive practices as well.  Like in the Catholic religion, there were spirits for protection and good will.  Erzulie Dantor, patron of unwed mothers, protector against domestic violence and patron of lesbians in the Voodoo religion reflects that of the Catholic Madonna.     

I found myself delving into the similarities of both religions by reading several websites and becoming quite interested in the information that was offered.  In the bibliography of my upcoming novel, you will find a list of these websites to peruse as well. 

I am one to weigh each side of the scale before making any decision on which way to vote.  Being a Christian, naturally, I will still practice Christianity.  But, as a teen, our church was thoughtful enough to expose us to different religions.  As Ambassadors, we visited a Jewish Synagogue and several other religions and learned about their beliefs.  The reason for this, our Youth Counselor told us, was that we were all created by one God and that we should embrace our neighbors no matter what their religion. 

So, I embraced the Voodoo culture, if only for the few weeks of research.  And now, hopefully, I have portrayed it accurately in “LInked”, my thriller/romance novel.  It is due to be released in October, in time for Halloween.  I have incorporated Black Magic, giving the story some heart-stopping moments, so be warned!  Don’t worry.  I’ll hold your hand, in the virtual sense, of course.  I might even embrace you! J

Cover design by yours truly using images from these two websites (and a few of my own):  &

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I’m not 50 Shades of Green (with envy)

I keep hearing the buzz about the E.L. James trilogy.  The e-books are flying off the virtual shelves and into digital devices everywhere.  Instead of seeing faces, I see the paperback version with that grey tie or the mask or better still, the handcuffs staring at me.  Or there are 50 types of tablets that display the spicy scenes that are rocking the readers’ worlds.
My friends ask me, “Did you read 50 Shades yet?”
I answer, “No.”
“Are you going to?” they ask.
Again, I reply, “No.”
“Why not?” they ask.
“I don’t need to.”
This answer is given because I don’t need to be seduced by words on a page or a screen.  And I have two very good reasons why the Fifty Shades Trilogy is not on my reading list.
  1. I have written a sensual thriller that could rival the threesome.  You can buy it HERE if you are in the U.S. or HERE if you are in the U.K.
  2. I have a very attentive husband who could write his own version of the secret seductive pleasures that no woman can resist (which is why I tell people that he is the model for my male characters)
Although I probably will not read her books, I applaud Ms. James in her success and wish her all the best.  I don’t discourage anyone from reading the trilogy.  In fact, I hope that you enjoy every luscious syllable.  I just hope that after you have read it and you are looking for something else to read, you will find my books interesting.   
So, go ahead, finish reading that trilogy and come on back to the worlds that I have created.  The scenes are a “shade” lighter on the spice but they are still full of adventure.  I look forward to (gently) rocking your world!      
Scroll back up for a nice selection of worlds created by me J

Friday, April 27, 2012

Becoming Brianna

As I hold the paperback copy of Enchanted Heart in my hands, I realize that this is a bittersweet time for me.  I am so happy that I have finally accomplished my dream of being published (and in print). But at the same time, I am sad that my son Brian is not here to celebrate with me.

You see, he was my biggest fan.  When he was nine years old, he sketched the cover picture to the novel that I had been working on.  I still have that novel tucked away in a box with his drawing proudly displayed on the top.  I’ll probably never publish the book that I had had titled Return to Paradise. It is too precious to me. It was his and mine and I am not ready to share it.
When I was sending out endless copies of my work to publishers, agents and other media, he would ask me “Are you in print yet?”  He would hurry to the mailbox to see if I had gotten an acceptance letter every day after school.  And when he would see that I had gotten another rejection letter, he would say, “Don’t give up, Mom. It will happen.”

After he graduated from high school and started college, I sent Golden Dreams to an agent and he would come home for the weekend and ask, “Any news?” I’d have to say,”No.”  And he would repeat his mantra, “Don’t give up, Mom. It will happen.”

In November of 2005, I signed with an agent who promised that my book would sell quickly. I was so excited to tell him when he came home from college for Christmas in his freshman year.  He gave me the biggest hug. I can still see the proud smile on his face.
Unfortunately, he was killed in a horrific house fire just a few days before Christmas.  He had gone to a friend’s house to spend the night along with some other boys.  The fire started while they were sleeping and Brian died along with two other beautiful and passionate young men. It was such a hard time for me.  And as the years crept by, the pain was only lessened by my undying love for my son and the knowledge that he is watching me with that huge proud smile of his and whispering in my ear, “See, Mom? I knew it would happen!” I just wish that I could hear his living voice saying those very words…

This is why I have taken his name. I will be forever Brianna in honor of him. His name will be on every story that I write and every poem that I pen.  
Now, as I hold the paperback copy of Enchanted Heart, I see his name (my name) and I cry with both joy and sorrow.  I thumb through the printed words and whisper to him, “We did it!” As I cradle the book in my arms, I say, “I never gave up!” And with a heavy heart, I utter, “I wish you were here to see it.”

But, he is, I tell myself.  He is in my heart and his memory influences so many things in my life.  My drive to succeed is purely due to his encouraging words, which meander in my mind like breaths of blessed inspiration.  I still won’t give up even though I finally have a book in print.  I won’t give up chasing a dream that is beyond a loving child’s hopes for his mother to succeed.  Now, my dream is immortality.  I want his name, even though it is the female version, to live forever. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Grandma Was Green

I am a little bit Irish, on my Dad's side. The other side is pure Cherokee.  But they all had stories to tell, which is probably where I inherited my ability to weave an interesting tale.  My Dad's mother, Grandma Ruby was the best storyteller of all! We would sit on her porch swing on hot summer days in Corpus Christi, Texas and she would tell me all about her childhood, with a little embellishment, of course. Sometimes, she would make up a story and keep me mesmerized for hours.  One day I told her that she should write a book and she asked, "Who would want to read it?" I replied, "I would! I love your stories." She took a deep, decisive breath and rocked the swing with her foot for a moment before she said, "I don't think that what I have to say justifies killing a tree."

The truth is, her stories are priceless, at least to me.  I would never have pursued a career in writing if I had not been exposed to her storytelling early in my life.  So, in honor of Grandma Ruby, I interject a tidbit of her life into my own stories. I might model a character after her or bring to light a certain scene that depicts one of her adventures.  But every word that I write is dedicated to her.

Someday, trees will be sacrificed in order to placate the many readers who prefer my novels in the physical form.  For now, I have them in e-book format.  I wish that Grandma Ruby had been exposed to this new way of publishing because she might have been more apt to publish some of her awesome stories.  So, it is up to me to pass on the tradition of telling them, even if they come from my own inventive mind...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dedication to a fellow author

Today, I learned that a fellow author and friend has passed away.  I was very saddened by the news, mainly because we had lost touch over the past few months.  Although I saw her posts on Facebook and "liked" or "shared" her links, we didn't interact the way we used to on the forums where he first met.  I am saddened that I was not able to tell her goodbye or that I am very proud to have known her.  What is most sad is that her wonderful work will end with the awesome books that she had written and there will be no more.

I dedicate this post to my friend, Linda Evans, a great writer and an even greater person.  You will be truly missed.

For those of you who did not know Linda, here is the bio from her author page.  I hope she does not mind that I copied it and pasted it here so that others will know the woman who touched so many lives.

   "L.C. Evans began her writing career with short stories and essays before branching out into novel writing. More than a hundred of her stories and humorous essays have been published in such magazines as Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Woman's World, Horse Illustrated, and Ladies Circle among many others. Over the years Ms. Evans has won awards in writing contests and has kept busy honing her craft by taking writing courses and attending writing seminars. She was recently a featured presenter at the Carolinas Writers Conference in Wadesboro, North Carolina. After traditional publication of Talented Horsewoman, the first of her Leigh McRae horse mystery novels, Ms. Evans decided to take control of her career by trying her hand at indie publishing.
"All this means," she says, "is that I pay for my own editing, proofreading, cover design, formatting, and all the other publishing expenses. However, I also get complete control over my books, and that means I can keep the price low. Readers on a budget will still have access to my books. I care deeply about all of my readers and I take great joy in the many fan letters readers send me."

Please help me honor L C Evans by purchasing her books so that her name and her undeniable talent will live on.

Here are the links to her books
  The Witness Wore Blood Bay

We Interrupt This Date

My Planet or Yours?

Talented Horsewoman

Please join me in honoring a wonderful woman and a talented author by making her books #1 bestsellers.

Love you, Linda! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My New Cover

Before Christmas, with JD and Pame's help, I designed the new cover for Enchanted Heart.  I am very pleased with it.  Here is what I came up with.

While I was at it, I designed my author card which I place in stacks or tacked to bulletin boards around the surrounding cities and counties.  I have friend who travels the country that does the same thing for me.

Oh, and I made my book marks to give away at book signings.  I'll keep you posted on the locations and dates.

I'm so excited about meeting all of you in person!