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
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!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Creeping Out of Retirement

Last summer, I had reached a point where I just felt my career was stagnant.  I wasn't moving ahead, writing was becoming a chore instead of something I loved, and after numerous years, it wasn't fun anymore.  My health was failing and I just didn't want the stress any longer.

So I retired.

I sat back, relaxed, read again (as I had next to no time to read while I was writing), and I spent time with my kiddo.

It was great.

I loved it.

And then the voices in my head started to talk.  No, I'm not insane.  Ask any writer and they will tell you about the voices.  Our characters are just as real to us as our friends and family, and they only shut up when we get their stories out on paper.

After several months, a story I had already written three years before finally started screaming.  I'd sent it out to a couple large publishing houses after I'd written it, but they passed.  I knew it was "the one", the story I loved too much to do it half-assed, so I left it to sit, collecting cobwebs.

The characters in the story weren't happy about that.

So, after a lot of soul searching (and a few kicks in the ass from my author friends), I pulled the manuscript out and dusted it off.  Spent several days, long hours in the chair at my desk, cleaning, tweaking, rewriting, adding, and making it shine.

It felt great working on it.  And it's time for it to get out to the world.

Coming late March 2015 is HIS VOW.

This novel is my baby.  I love this story so much I can't even begin to explain how happy I am it will be released -- or how scared I am that it will be released.

It is my first IR/NA Paranormal Romance and hopefully you'll love it as much as I loved writing it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Guest Blogger - Miranda Marks Abducted to Oz

I really enjoyed this fun romp through Oz.  If you're truly familiar with the story and you like some heat in the pages, I think you'll love this sexy mfmm menage. - AOH

Great-grandma Dorothy’s tall tales of Oz were much more honest than Dani ever could’ve expected.

Captured by the Wicked Witch, Dani’s dragged out of Nowhere, Kansas kicking and screaming. She’d been craving adventure, but this wasn’t what she had in mind—especially when the witch plans to use her as bait before killing her.

Lane, Tinan, and Brody had been searching for their queen—the descendant of Princess Ozma and the true ruler of Oz—but the witch got to her before they could tell her the truth. The three have to work together to bring Dani to safety, and help her defeat the Wicked Witch in order to save Oz.

In order for her powers to awaken, the three men have to claim Dani and make her theirs, but will Dani choose them and save the land she thought was simply a fairy tale?



Dani glanced up and Tinan still watched them from the end of the bed. She pulled from the other two men, crawling over Brody to get off the bed. Walking to the end, she reached the front of Tinan’s pants and cupped his hard cock. “Why aren’t you coming to bed?”

His jaw tight, he turned to stare at her. “Is this really what you want? You told me otherwise not all that long ago.”

Tinan’s question stopped her short. He was offering her an out, a way to put on the breaks, no matter how her body raged. The fact he was willing to forego his need for her only made her want him all the more. “I ache.”

“I know you do. But fully answering that ache means you’re tying yourself to us forever,” he answered. “We can help ease your need and allow your head to clear.”

“And open her to the witch’s wrath,” Lane said from the bed. “Her only protection is to bind herself to us.”

Brody agreed. “She doesn’t know the lengths the witch will go to end her life. A life with us is better than none at all.”

“But it has to be her choice,” Tinan roared. “She’s caught in the clutches of the mating call. She can’t think clearly, and I won’t take advantage of her. And I won’t let you two, either.”

Some of what Tinan said made so much sense, but the throbbing of her body took over. “I don’t care,” she moaned. “Just make it stop.”

Lane pulled her back into the bed, drawing her back between him and Brody. Both men alternated kissing her and fondling her body as Tinan finally climbed on the bed. He stopped between her thighs, glancing up at her before lowering to lick between her folds.

Monday, July 21, 2014

My First RWA Conference

Aliyah Burke and I are more than likely up in the air, flying from our home state of Virginia and on our way to San Antonio Texas for my very first Romance Writer's of America Conference.  I'm more than a little nervous, but after we attended RT in New Orleans this May, I'm feeling a little more confident and truly excited to meet more authors and learn a thing or two.

And the Riverwalk!  I can't wait to see San Antonio.

Hopefully we'll take a lot away from this trip and get ready to see lots of SA pics on my Facebook page as I share this adventure with you guys.

Let's see where the muse takes me this adventure :)