Monday, May 4, 2015

I've Fallen in Love -- with New Orleans!

Royal Street View
I just got back a couple of weeks ago from my second visit to the French Quarter.  I apologize about my delay in posting some goodies from my trip, but I caught a wicked case of the crud on my way back and fought that for a week.

Anywho -- all crud aside -- I am ready to move.  New Orleans continues to fascinate me like no place I've ever been.  

Jazz Band playing in Jackson Square
I'd already started writing His Vow before my first trip -- but I went back and tweaked descriptions and added more details afterwards as I really wanted to bring the city to life.

Now that I've started outlining and writing His Vengeance, Ghosts of New Orleans 2, I figured I needed to go back and immerse myself in the city once more to ensure I got things right.  Hard work, hmm?

OMG -- the FOOD.  Crabcakes covered in Etoufee... YUM
It was also my mom's 66th birthday, so I brought her and my 19 yr old along for the journey, so I could show them all the wonderful things I loved on my first trip.

If you've never been -- GO!  Between the old charm, the food, the music, and just the overall vibe of the city, it just can't be beat.

Of course -- I couldn't make a stop without going to see Marie Leveau's tomb once more.  We made our trek to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on our second day in the Crescent City.  

The picture on the left is of Marie's newly whitewashed grave -- it once looked like the other two, with XXX marked on the tomb and many offerings to the Voodoo Priestess in hopes of gaining her blessing.  The tomb on the right is believed to be Marie's daughter and fellow priestess -- it is said they looked so much alike, people couldn't tell them apart and that some of the things attributed to Marie, might have been her daughter.  The tomb on the bottom is of Bayou John's -- a Voodoo priest who was a friend of Marie's and often did rituals with her down in the bayous.






Now one of the main reasons I wanted to head to the cemetery was that Marie will be a character in my next book, His Vengeance.  Lucien is up next -- for those of you who've already read His Vow.

For those of you who haven't?  Here's more details on my first IR Paranormal Romance, Ghosts of New Orleans, Book 1:



I’ll return for you. I vow it. 

When Cami DuBois winds up on a Manassas battlefield, she stumbles across Confederate re-enactors too deep in character. One of the men looks at Cami and she feels an instant connection, a familiarity she can't ignore and a lust she doesn't want to. Until he vanishes before her.

Left in limbo, Christophe Sinclair is bound by his vow. Promising to return to his love after the end of the Civil War, he’s overjoyed to have his Camille back—and to truly have her in his arms again is his singular focus.

Christophe’s tie to Cami is strong, one that might defy the rules of space and time.

If the Voodoo Gods allow it. 



 BUY HERE:


Excerpt

“Is it polite to point a weapon at a lady?” Jasmine smiled widely as she spoke.

Slightly lowering his weapon, the man eyed her closely. “What’re you doing out here? There are a few thousand men converging for battle. You need to seek refuge.”

“Jasmine, they’re just re-enactors. Leave them be,” Cami said, feeling uneasy.

The leader’s eyes swung to Cami after the last syllables dropped from her lips. His dark stare roamed over her, and a look of utter shock took over as his jaw slackened and his eyes widened. His uniform made her nose wrinkle as she glanced over him once more. He was quite handsome, even with the silly goatee and handlebar moustache he wore, although his overgrown beard was filling in around that from lack of upkeep. Make that stunningly handsome, even with all that facial hair and the rebel costume. He was all male, and her body reacted to his steely glare, even with her misgivings. There was a light in his eyes that pierced through her very soul and made her crave to grow closer, touch him, and crawl into his embrace.

His eyes raked over her from head to toe and back again, and she felt heat flooding her in response. Her nipples pebbled against the thin cotton dress she wore. Her body swelled, even with the cool air around her, and she felt a throbbing in her pussy. Cami wanted to jump up and run into his arms.

Am I insane?

“Camille? What’re you doing here?”

A chill moved down her spine. No one had called her Camille in years, not even her own parents. It was usually reserved for when she was in serious trouble as a child. Hearing it now made her uncomfortable, especially considering her emotional reaction to him. “Do I know you?”

“Camille, it’s me, Christophe. Has the war changed me so much?” He stepped closer to her, the air getting colder as he approached.

The war? Was he so deep into character that he couldn’t get out of it? Or was he simply crazy? “Christophe, I’ve never met you before. I don’t know who you are.”

“Ma Belle, it’s me. Your love. How’d you get here?” Christophe moved another few steps closer, a smile stretching his handsome face. Her heart began to beat harder again as his gaze locked with her own and she felt drawn into his enchantment. “I don’t know how you got here, but I’ve missed you so.”

He walked to her and pulled her close with one arm, lowering his gun away with the other. His embrace was ice cold, yet it warmed her through and through. Cami sighed as she melted into him, her brain fuzzy. She tried to rationalize what was happening, but her thoughts were drowned out by the emotional response of being in his embrace again.

Again? She’d never met this man, let alone been in his arms. 


Saturday, April 11, 2015

His Vow Blog Tour

With the recent release of His Vow, I've jumped on the blog tour bandwagon to try and get the word out...
I'm also giving away prizes -- Amazon Gift Cards just to start -- as well as a Kindle Fire 7 at my release party on April 24th!

Want to enter to win?  And check below to join the party and get your chance for that Kindle!


Increase your chances to win the Kindle by buying a copy of His Vow -- you can find it here:


Once you've purchased your copy, head to the link at the bottom for the release party and follow the directions inside to earn additional entries into the drawing.




Also, check out these blogs this month to enter for cool prizes:


4/5-Ebooks Galore - review http://nkuhnebooks.blogspot.com
4/7-Sweet N Sassy Book A Holics- guest post http://sweet-n-sassy-book-a-holics.blogspot.com/
4/8-2 Bibliophiles Guide- promo 2bibliophiles.blogspot.com
4/9-LBM Book Blog- promo http://lifebooksandmore.blogspot.com
4/10-Books Are my Friends, come see why- guest post http://booksaremyfriendscomeseewhy.blogspot.com/?zx=4defaa2be440b43e
4/11-All the Bookish Love- review, guest post http://bookishlove.wordpress.com
4/12-Words Turn Me On- guest post http://wtmowordsturnmeon.blogspot.com/
4/13-Dreamer Talks Books- promo http://cometomefantasy.blogspot.com
4/14-A Bit Bookish- promo http://www.abitbookish.com 
4/15-Fiesty Girls Book Blog- guest post http://feistygirlsbookblog.blogspot.com/?zx=1f15cabd34014dd0
4/16-Bayou Book Junkie- Guest Post http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com/
4/17-Ebook Addicts- promo http://ebookaddicts.net
4/18-Indy Book Fairy- promo paranormalbookfairy.blogspot.com
4/19-Amanda's Book Blog- promo http://amandahigelmire.blogspot.com
4/20-Booklover Sue- guest post http://bookloversue.blogspot.com
4/22-Midnight Angel Book Heaven- promo www.facebook.com/midnightangelbookheaven
4/23-Spreading the Word- promo spreadingtheword319.blogspot.com
4/25-Shelly's Books- promo http://booksshelly27.blogspot.com/
4/26-A Book Addicts Delight-promo http://abookaddictsdelight.tumblr.com
4/27-Sappphyria's Steamy Reads- promo http://saphssteamybooks.blogspot.com/
4/28-Literary Nook- promo http://literarynook.com
4/29-Romance Junkies- review http://romancejunkies.blogspot.com/
4/30-Dowie's Place- promo www.dowiesplace.com
5/1-Sandra Love- review, interview http://authorsandralove.blogspot.com/ 
5/2-Cu's Ebook Giveaways- review http://www.cusebookgiveaways.weebly.com
5/3-Traci Hayden- promo http://tracihayden.blogspot.ca
5/4-Literature Litehouse- promo http://literaturelitehouse.blogspot.com/

Release Party Kindle Giveaway -- https://www.facebook.com/events/1389951501326613



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Orleans Bound!

In two weeks, I'll be returning to New Orleans.  I'm taking my mother this time, to celebrate her 66th birthday.  The kiddo will be coming along as well, which only adds to my excitement.  When I went to the French Quarter for the first time myself, there were so many things I wanted to share with them and couldn't.  Now I'll be able to show them all those things and see even more myself.

Cafe Du Monde, anyone?  My mother has already said we need beignets for breakfast every morning.  I'm inclined to let her have her way.  I can already see me gaining twenty pounds on this trip between the etouffee and the beignets.

Of course, the trip is also for research.  I've started the follow-up to His Vow, His Vengeance.  This story is even more centrally located in New Orleans, so what better excuse to have to return to the city I've fallen in love with?  I added my experiences from my first trip into my first book, adding to the true feel of the city.  Now I want to re-energize that vibe so it can find its way into the second.

New Orleans gets into your blood.  At least it did for me. Hopefully my family feels the same, because I doubt this trip will be my last to the Crescent City.  I hate humidity, but love the city so much, I wouldn't be against considering a move.

Lastly, I'm hoping I catch a glimpse of the ghost of Marie Laveau this time around when I go to her tomb.  She showed up in my dreams a few nights before and took my story in a while other direction, earning her a starring role in His Vengeance.  She was only supposed to be a bit player --- but how can the Queen of Voodoo be a bit player anywhere?


If you haven't picked up a copy of His Vow, you can check it out here:

I’ll return for you. I vow it.

When Cami DuBois winds up on a Manassas battlefield, she stumbles across Confederate re-enactors too deep in character. One of the men looks at Cami and she feels an instant connection, a familiarity she can’t ignore and a lust she doesn’t want to. Until he vanishes before her.

Left in limbo, Christophe Sinclair is bound by his vow. Promising to return to his love after the end of the Civil War, he’s overjoyed to have his Camille back—and to truly have her in his arms again is his singular focus.

Christophe’s tie to Cami is strong, one that might defy the rules of space and time.

If the Voodoo Gods allow it.


BUY HERE

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A History of Placage in New Orleans

Free women of color during the pre-Civil Ware era.
The history of pre-Civil War New Orleans is vastly different than the history most of us were taught in grade school.
But then, it isn't the first time history has been white-washed for the educational system.
When researching information for His Vow -- I stumbled across troubling some information but I didn't want to ignore the past in my tale, but turn a bit of a spotlight on it.  We can't move ahead and right wrongs if we ignore what's behind us.
New Orleans has always boasted of a swirling mix of nationalities, and this has been apparent since its time as a French colony.  A mingling of all races was commonplace early on in the city's history, more so than anywhere else in the South, much of it thanks to a system called plaçage.
Plaçage was a system instituted under Spanish and French colonies prior to the Louisiana Purchase due to the lack of European-born females in those colonies.  The males would obtain a common-law wife of color as a “placer” for the European-born female he was expected to marry later. (In other words, a man wasn't expected to keep it in his pants until he could find what polite society would call a "suitable" woman.)  These women were called placeés.  They were either free women of color, or would be freed in order to become a placee, Often, these women would bear the men children and raise their family together.  At times these relationships would continue on after the man married a white female, setting up two separate households.  Sometimes, the men would remain in the plaçage relationship without ever marrying another, content to live his life with his common-law wife and their family.  
The system continued after the Louisiana Purchase and was quite prevalent in New Orleans prior to the Civil War.  Wealthy white Creole males, men of European descent who had been born in New Orleans, would often attend what were called Quadroon Balls, a social soiree where a man could look for available placees.  A female was considered "quadroon" if she was the child of a white father and mulatto mother, or a "quarter" black.  Of course, a mulatto was considered to be any person of equal mixed heritage.  Today the terms mulatto and quadroon are understandably considered by many as offensive and I only bring them up in a historical context.
An upper-class of mixed-race people emerged in New Orleans during this time frame.  While white society did not acknowledge these women as true wives, they were considered as good as wives to the Creole people of color and treated with immense respect within the African America community.  The women were often given their own homes, dressed as finely as any lady of the day, and often had slaves to attend to them.  The men set up house alone or with their white wives in another home nearby, while others still lived with their placage wives and family. 
Ladies outside one of the last Quadroon Balls
These men also spent tremendous amounts sending their children to France to be educated (guilt, perhaps? Hmmm...) as it was illegal to educate a person of color in America at that time, creating a highly educated group of Creole people of color and setting the foundations for the beautiful merging of people and cultures that has become the New Orleans of today.  Sadly, many of the highly educated POC returning from Europe were not allowed to practice their careers (many attorneys, doctors,educators, etc.) anywhere but in the African American community.
In 1857, it became illegal to emancipate a slave and it set a whole class of people into turmoil as to what their statuses would become, as some free people of color were enslaved again as laws in some areas were grandfathered in.  Once the Civil War was over, the South was a whole new world and the plaçage system fell out of favor as few men still had the kind of wealth to support two separate homes and families, and a person of color became the focus of their hatred as the fall of the South was rested on their shoulders by ignorant, bigoted people incapable of looking inward.

His Vow opens in 1861, just as Louisiana joins the Confederacy during the downward slope of race relations in New Orleans.



I’ll return for you. I vow it. 

When Cami DuBois winds up on a Manassas battlefield, she stumbles across Confederate re-enactors too deep in character. One of the men looks at Cami and she feels an instant connection, a familiarity she can't ignore and a lust she doesn't want to. Until he vanishes before her. 

Left in limbo, Christophe Sinclair is bound by his vow. Promising to return to his love after the end of the Civil War, he’s overjoyed to have his Camille back—and to truly have her in his arms again is his singular focus. 

Christophe’s tie to Cami is strong, one that might defy the rules of space and time. 

If the Voodoo Gods allow it. 


Friday, March 13, 2015

Pre-Order for His Vow Now Available

The Un-Retirement commences shortly.  His Vow is now available on pre-order!

I’ll return for you. I vow it.

When Cami DuBois winds up on a Manassas battlefield, she stumbles across Confederate re-enactors too deep in character. One of the men looks at Cami and she feels an instant connection, a familiarity she can't ignore and a lust she doesn't want to. Until he vanishes before her.

Left in limbo, Christophe Sinclair is bound by his vow. Promising to return to his love after the end of the Civil War, he’s overjoyed to have his Camille back—and to truly have her in his arms again is his singular focus.

Christophe’s tie to Cami is strong, one that might defy the rules of space and time.

If the Voodoo Gods allow it.

Pre-Order Here


His Vow arrives March 25th, 2015!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blog Tour - Knockin' Boots by Desiree Holt

Welcome Desiree Holt to my blog!  She's just released Knockin' Boots, a sinfully seductive western menage -- which you've just got to read.  And one reader will receive a bundle- 4 Valentine’s stories from Desiree -- just comment below!

I was given a review ARC to read and I have to say this story is full of heat.  It's a nonstop erotic ride!  Five flames for sure...

For years, Dan and Kylie Franklin have searched for someone who can fill in all the missing blanks in their situation. When fate brings Clint Gorman into their lives, the instant attraction runs hot and deep. After a night of intense, sweaty sex, there’s no doubt he’s the one for them. But when Clint’s past comes to light, they’re forced to decide whether or not the connection they felt is enough to keep the three of them together.







Buy Links:



“So.” Kylie waited while Dan dropped onto the extra-long couch then sat on his lap and turned to face Clint. “Dan said you were traveling the country and happened to stop in Whistling Creek.”
“That’s right. He was kind enough to invite me to lunch, and it seems we hit it off.” To his total shocked surprise.
“No definite destination in mind?” she asked.
“Uh-uh.” He paused to take a long swallow of beer. “Wherever the bike takes me.”
“I’ll bet you’re enjoying it. Doesn’t he look like it, honey?” She glanced at Dan, who was stroking her bare shoulder and arm.
“Sure does.” He brushed her hair aside to trail kisses down her slender neck and bit gently at the place where it joined her shoulder. Clint saw a little tremor skate over the woman’s skin. “But I got a feeling he might have a better time here with us. At least for a little while.”
She shifted her gaze to Clint again. “I’m assuming Dan explained our situation to you?”
“He did. And I sure can understand it. Some things are difficult for people to accept.”
“In case you think we’re nuts, putting it out there like that,” Kylie told him, “Dan’s very good at reading people. He’s had to be, over the years, as we try to find a third for our, let’s say, social activities. We made a few mistakes early on, so we’ve learned to be extra careful.”
“And to trust our instincts,” Dan added. “I got a very good feeling about you from the moment we shook hands.”
Clint took another swallow of beer, letting the chilled liquid slide down his throat and hopefully cool his body that seemed to be heating up again very quickly.
“I’d just as soon let the two of you take the lead. But I’m not shy about asking if something pops into my head.”
“I don’t know if Dan mentioned it, but I do have a secret wish.” Kylie looked at Dan, who nodded. “We would love to find someone to move in with us permanently. Of course, that would be asking an awful lot.”
“Yeah?” Clint tried not to show his surprise. He’d been in a lot of one-night ménages. Sometimes even two-night encounters. But a permanent one? Would that ever interest him? He gave the other man a questioning look. “And you’d be okay sharing your wife on a regular basis?”
Dan drained the last of his beer and set the empty on the little table beside the couch. “Hell, yes. I mean, I know there would be a lot of logistics and specifics to work out, but if we could find someone on our wavelength, someone we both wanted to include, that would be the ideal.”
“But that’s just a dream, you know?” Kylie leaned into her husband. “Today, let’s enjoy each other. I’m more than ready”
      “Sounds good to me.” Yeah, he was more than damn ready, too.    


Author Bio:

Desiree Holt has lived a life of excitement that brings the color to her writing. She was a summer fishing guide, a summer field hand where she was one of only three women working, a member of a beginning ski team that skied in competition (and no, no broken bones!). She spent several years in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio, and is published by four different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”


Follow Desiree:

Author Website
Blog
Twitter
@desireeholt
Facebook
desireeholtauthor, desiree01holt




Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Un-Retirement Begins Soon!

Three more weeks until I am officially un-retired.

His Vow is edited and ready to go... and releases on March 25th, 2015

This story was nearly FIVE YEARS in the making.  I had the idea come to me right after I finished writing The Lottery (which turns five as of September!) and I was scared to write it.

It is a bit of an odd-ball tale.  My first Interracial Romance, it has Confederate ghosts, the Battle of Bull Run, Northern Spies, New Orleans Voodoo, time-travel, and is just a whirlwind of action and a ton of heat.  How does one categorize all that?

It took me two years just to finally write the story.  Another year to try the rounds of submissions.  Another nearly two years after that of the story collecting dust on my computer. In the mean time, I had "retired." Meaning, the book world just felt too overwhelming and I was considering a fresh new start with a new pen name some day in the future. Or to just stay down and out and be the reader I love to be and never seem to have the time to be when writing.

A few authorly friends kicked my butt and made me release this story. In three weeks, we'll find out if they were right!