Mar 4, 2017

#Booktour ----> Lalin Bonheur


About the Book

Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.
But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.
Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin's protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.
The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it's what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax. 




Book Excerpts
EXCERPT ONE

Etienne watches me drinking from the calabash, my giant gourd. The libation to the spirits I pour onto the courtyard stones. My feet shift, spirits pass through me. I twirl in waves of motion, never breaking the rhythm of my dance. Breathing fast, I lift my body, spinning on my toes. He stands in the darkness near the doorway, passion in his moonlit eyes, not knowing that I see him. My wide skirt swirls above the candle circle. Watch me dance, my love, I whisper. Now my feet lift high and pound the stones like flying mallets, while candle flames lick my toes. 

A tangle of bedclothes is spread across the four-poster in my boudoir. Only hours ago we rolled on that mattress, making the canopy rattle. He does love me, that I know. And he’s seen my talents with the magic. His devotion sends the voudou pumping through veins. 

This café au lait woman, his octoroon mistress, dances full out. But soon my body will be melting, shrinking, and that he’s never seen. My spinning stops, my skirt ripples as I stand before my altar praying to the saints. My candles flicker. The power’s in me, and just like that I see the flames turn blue. My skin tightens, bristles. I’m sinking now. Breathe, breathe, I say to myself. I’m down, I’m down.

It’s too dark for Etienne to see what’s happening to me, but his eyes widen as my form changes in the shadows of the yard. He watches from the open doorway of my parlor and then rushes through onto the courtyard stones. He stands tall in his finely tailored suit. But the mist rises around me, so that I am hidden. At this moment I am changing, rising up on my haunches.

“Lalin,” he calls, “Lalin, where are you?”

I sit, still and elegant, and then lower my head to lick my midnight fur and wipe my whiskers with a paw. But Etienne stumbles in the mist, swaying in the darkness as he trips over my candles and falls on the stone floor. But magic makes him sleep, distorts his memory, and gives me time to find my answers.

I have much to learn this night when I travel in my feline shape. And this is how I know what happens in the back streets and secret hideaways in our New Orleans.



EXCERPT TWO

In this year, 1830, life here in the Creole Quarter of my city can be elegant. The French aristocrats live high. They do no labor. No, they leave all that to those that come from Santo Domingo or some black folks from lands across the ocean in Africa. They call us people of color, quadroons or octoroons like me. Our papas, they are white men, sometimes from France or Spain. But we are free people. Still there are some who are slaves to French Creoles. It’s not a happy thing, but I give my magic to all who wish to have it.

About us women, we’re lucky there’s no labor for us. No, when we are sixteen years or so, we get picked to be a mistress for these fine gentlemen like my Etienne. Creoles, those French or Spanish people, are the first in their families to be born in this country. These folks have white skin and say they have no mixed blood for themselves. There are French Creole girls, too, but they don’t like us so much. Guess I know why that is.

The men say we are beautiful. Features so fine and some of us almost blond like a French Creole girl. But my hair is black with no curl in it. My skin is what they call café au lait. When Monsieur Legendre, Etienne’s papa, saw me, he said, “You have good taste, my son. A jewel set in gold, that girl is. The loveliest of all.”
 
When I hear him say it, I feel I’ve just swallowed a tiny bit of sunshine that sends sparks all through my body. My life begins to blossom right in my head.

They have the big coming-out party for us, a Quadroon Ball. And we get introduced to society, which means these Creole gentlemen get to choose us for a lover—not a wife, mind you. But they take good care of us. Buy us a house and anything we need. And some quadroons even have babies with these men. Me, I don’t want that. I devote myself to him, but also to my magic. A Creole wife may someday give him children, if he wishes.

At my first Quadroon Ball long ago, I see Etienne from a distance. Then I catch his eye and he comes to me like I have conjured him. We make some small talk, and he wants to dance with me, so we waltz, making giant circles on the ballroom floor. He whispers in my ear, and I feel his breath on me. This man is the most handsome I’ve seen anywhere. Tall, he is, with broad shoulders stretching seams along his waistcoat. Deep brown eyes give me hints of a fierce emotion flowing through him. One strand of his dark hair falls across his smooth forehead, as he lifts my fingers to his lips. A smile, he has, to melt my heart. He is indeed the most perfect gentleman. 

Then he asks me, Please to come on the balcony with me. I cannot resist. There, leaning against the railings, we share our first kisses. Mon Dieu, I say to myself, I hope this man will want to keep me. And it all comes true. He did make his choice that night.

His papa called on my mama the next day to make all the plans. Then I got my small house with fine damask drapes and silk dresses ordered from Paris. Many things I have now. Monsieur Legendre is happy, too, that he’s giving his son the pleasure palace, which is me. 

Many Creole men take care of two families for their whole lives, the quadroon mistress and later the married wife. Some few will leave their mistress after they marry; this will not happen to me. We have been in love for one year. Every night he comes to me.
 * * * *


EXCERPT THREE
Lalin Bonheur
 
Three men carrying a wooden box, weave through the crowd. Carvings cover the wood. I remember Grandmam had one like this. I clutch my amulet. St. Michael, give me your control.

While I spin among them, dancers vibrate, faster, faster, writhing, as the drummer’s hands blur from his heated motion. I slow my turning, breathing hard, almost panting. Watch them place the box in the center of all the dancing feet.

As I approach the wooden box, the shouts rise. Taking long breaths, I reach to lift the lid and look inside. 

“Erzulie, Blessed Mother, help me,” I whisper to her. 

And somehow she gives me strength, controls my fear. She’s the one who makes my arm move inside the box. I could not do this without her strength.

“The Zombi, the Zombi,” the crowd screams, as I lift it. It coils up around my arm. That’s what they call this snake that winds and curls across my shoulder and around my neck. I feel it, slick and cool, sliding slow against my skin. Not to fear, not to fear, I tell myself, and watch this creature swing its head side to side, tongue flickering so fast in contrast to its slinking motion. 

St. Michael, our Legba, is in control now, and, with Erzulie’s help, he makes this crowd be mine. Many fall to their knees at this moment. I hear words rolling off my tongue. These words make no sense, I think. Only saints can know their meaning. Still the people listen like they understand. I feel myself sinking to the ground, but my eyes still see the crowd. The serpent lurches off my shoulders, and people scatter, scrambling over roots and vines, running for the trees.

Papa Lamba steps into the candle circle. Sweat shines on his forehead. I watch him as I lie limp on this dusty ground. He scoops up the snake like it’s his pet and lifts it high above his head. 

“The Zombi,” he calls, “the great Zombi.” Then he drapes the creature over his shoulder, kneels beside the box, and slowly slides the serpent back into its home, it’s power now in our control. My head fills again with thoughts of Etienne, and I pray for his devotion. I can wish no evil for his bride. All such desires beget only trouble for my own.

 
EXCERPT FOUR

 We’ve only been at this place near Bayou Sara for five days, but already our prospects for the future have improved. My Etienne is very smart. 

He did go to see the lady, Madame Nanette she’s called, at her plantation. And what he learned there will give us both a chance to start our new lives. First off, the lady needs a man who knows the market business for her sugarcane. So anxious, she is, to have some help with this that she doesn’t need a list of references. I’m sure his charm and handsome face make her decision much easier. My love is tall with dark hair, deep brown eyes, and creamy, glowing skin. 

Etienne will work for her on trial at Bon Aimée. If she likes his progress, he’ll be the new manager for her plantation business. 

While he’s there, she tells him that her young son, not yet twenty, has a strange illness, which makes him very weak. It’s this story that interests me. I may find a place for my skills, too. Herbs and powders I have with me. And in the woods and fields around these farms, I can find more plants to supply me with my treatments. If I can heal her son with my magic, then I’ll be in favor with the lady of the big house. Etienne has told her of my cures, so today I go to meet Madame Nanette.

Above the treetops, pale blue spreads against the bank of clouds. A good sign for me, it is. Clear skies always bring me power. Madame Nanette has given Etienne one horse to use. It’s lucky that he knows this skill, as many city boys don’t learn to ride. But for me, this experience is new. 

“Let me handle the horse. She’s a gentle animal. No need to worry.” 

She whinnies, shakes her mane, and looks at me with big round eyes. He boosts me up, and I must share the saddle with him. I straighten my long skirt, trying to wrap it tight around my legs. His warm body pressed against me gives comfort, as the horse trots on along the path toward the river road.

I laugh now with relief that I haven’t fallen off, but as she breaks into a gallop, I grip Etienne’s knees with all my strength. “Pray slow down!” I cry. Still, we continue at the same speed. 

“Merci,” I say, when he wraps one arm around my waist and holds reins with the other. The wind blows curls free from my tignon, but I dare not raise my hands to tuck them back. Bouncing in this saddle will surely give me blisters.

Luckily the ride’s not too long. We slow to a trot again when we approach the big house. Live oaks shade the narrow carriage trail. The plantation homes aren’t so very different from the mansions on Esplanade. Perhaps they’re wider and, with the grounds spread out for miles around them, they seem enormous.


Author Bio

Margaret O. Howard is a writer and former dancer, who grew up in the Deep South and currently walks the gulf beaches of Florida every morning, She adores her two sons, three rescue cats, cool weather, travel, photography, ballet, books, and mermaids. Her novel, Lalin Bonheur, is set in the city of voudou queens, New Orleans. You can visit her at margaretohoward.wordpress,com, Margaret Howard Trammell on Facebook, or @howardomargaret on Twitter.

Links

Amazon (Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/Lalin-Bonheur-Margaret-O-Howard-ebook/dp/B01N5RJK5G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486920223&sr=8-1&keywords=lalin+bonheur
Amazon (Paperback): https://www.amazon.com/Lalin-Bonheur-Margaret-O-Howard/dp/161798194X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1486920223&sr=8-1
Purchase the book from these bookstores:
www.mfbooks.us/  and www.midtownreader.com 








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Mar 3, 2017

#HoppingBloggers The Lucky Day Giveaway Hop!! - ends 3/18

Your Lucky Day

Welcome to the Your Lucky Day Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!
Co-Hosted By: Everyday Life
  Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!


Enter below for a chance to win my giveaway for winners choice of either a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 CASH via Paypal!!











LISA-QUEEN OF RANDOM claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed

Mar 2, 2017

Burned ---- Release and book tour Giveaway!



Burned
By Kimberley Patterson
Genre: Suspense, Mystery

Pay attention to the signs that are all around you,” Sarah's mother used to say. Sarah never listened until her world turned upside down in the wake of her mother’s death. When sifting through the fiery ashes, signs begin to appear, giving her the feeling that the accident was less of an accident and more of foul play. While Sarah struggles to understand the images haunting her dreams, she finds herself losing a grip on reality.
Based on true events, Sarah unravels the mystery surrounding her mother's death, and, in doing so, uncovers an internal darkness capable of murder. 
Goodreads * Amazon



Horses were one of my first loves, and writing soon followed. As a child, I spent hours writing poems, and short stories (about horses). My parents realized that I was horse-obsessed and decided to buy me one after taking riding lessons for two years. I think they hoped that all of the hard work, and hours spent mucking stalls would help me give up this expensive hobby. They were wrong. Writing is still a passion of mine, although now I primarily write fiction. My first novel, Red Rock, was published in 2010, and big surprise, there are horses in it. My second novel, The Three Month Plan was released August 2013.
Other Loves: My family, yoga, skincare and makeup, sushi, and raising money for pediatric cancer. I have two rescue dogs and would have more if there weren’t zoning restrictions. I’m always trying something new, as I tend to get bored very easily. Thankfully, my love of driving around with the gas light on fuels some excitement. I love novels with happy endings, and am a hopeful romantic. My latest obsession is browsing Netflix, and I can name all 50 states in alphabetical order in under 30 seconds. Do I feel a wager coming on?
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Amazon

Feel free to buy it on Amazon here













LISA-QUEEN OF RANDOM claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed

Mar 1, 2017

#Bookrelease Sunday Love



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Smart and sexy Elise Donovan has made a career of fixing things. With a reputation for being the best in the business, her team is often pulled into front page headlines that need to be handled. After being away for six weeks attempting to repair a company just coming through a hostile takeover, time with her team at a luxury retreat is all she wants right now.  

It’s no secret Reid Beckett is a serial player who only plays by the rules in business. At a retreat to announce the merger with his best friend’s company, his inability to stay away from the spunky brunette who is soon to be his employee has him questioning if rules really are made to be broken.

Vying for leverage Elise and Reid find themselves battling over who runs things in the boardroom and in the bedroom. Struggling to relinquish power for trust in their relationship, will they be able to leave the rules behind to find their Sunday loves?

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KJ is a novelist, hot tamale-addict, and an abolisher of grammar. When not writing, you can find her reading at the beach, exploring New York City, or hanging out in her hometown of Memphis, TN. In 2016 she published her first novel, Taylor Made, which made Amazon's Top 100 Romance, as well as the sequel, Taylored to Perfection. In 2017 she will be releasing her latest novel, Sunday Love, and is currently working on her next project.

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LISA-QUEEN OF RANDOM claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed

#Booktour Tattooed Angels



Rebirth
Tattooed Angels Trilogy Book 1
By Valerie Willis
Genre: Urban Fantasy

High school life is almost over, but Hotan's life as an immortal has only just started...
Already struggling with a mountain of hardships, Hotan is just trying to get his diploma as his mother had always insisted. Friends know if he's not at home or at the club playing in his band, you can always find him thinking at the old broken down church. Basking in the moonlight, Hotan finds himself under attack by an immortal named Geliah, the element of Fear. Talib, the element of Judgment, interrupts the fight, furious that Geliah would force Hotan to awaken his own abilities and immortality. Normally when pulled out of the reincarnation spell, an immortal would remember whom and what they were, but he is not the Hotan from the Past. Walk beside him as he struggles to keep his chaotic life in order as he tries to break the secrets of his own element, Rebirth.


Judgement
Tattooed Angels Trilogy Book 2

Talib and Hotan find themselves facing off with the element of Death, Iapetos. Failing to take him out, Talib's life starts flashing before him. As he experiences thousands of years, things that were once forgotten begin to emerge. Will he find the answer in his past in time to aid Hotan?


Valerie Willis, a sixth generation Floridian, launched her first book, Cedric the Demonic Knight, at the start of 2014 on Amazon.com. Since then, she has continued to add to The Cedric Series, a high-rated Paranormal Fantasy Romance Series. This series features an anti-hero who finds himself dragged away from his revenge on his maker by both love and the onset of a larger threat. She pulls in a melting pot of mythology, folklore, history and more into her work with a remarkable amount of foreshadowing that makes reading her books a second time exciting. Rebirth is the first book in her Teen Urban Fantasy, the Tattooed Angels Trilogy, where the main character struggles with social issues with the complications of turning immortal. And if fantasy isn't your cup of tea, head over to her Blog for some "Val, Tell me a Story" posts featuring true, hilarious, and sometimes bizarre, life events from recent to old.




















LISA-QUEEN OF RANDOM claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed
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