Another Peek at Power, (The Soul of Voodoo, Book 2)

BEFORE READING, PLEASE BE AWARE: 

This post contains excerpts from my upcoming book, Power, Book 2 of The Soul of Voodoo Series.  

If you have not read the first book, entitled Control, you need to be aware that this  chapter excerpt may contain spoilers…I do not recommend reading it before you have read Control.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

*This excerpt contains adult content and adult language…lots of adult language.

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CHAPTER  TWO

I cursed my stupid luck when I realized that it was past one in the morning, we wouldn’t be able to see Andre until visiting hours at nine. Frustration and disappointment weighed heavy on me, but rather than pout about it, I decided to use the time to figure out how I could leave the safety of the house and how I could get Andre back to normal.

“Mrs. B, are the gree gree sachets strong enough protection for me to leave the house and visit my bo…uh, friend in the hospital?”

She looked from me to Lance and her smile faded a little.

I am such a giant turd.

I had to stifle the urge to pinch my own head off, not that I could. Unfortunately. Instead, I squeezed Lance’s hand and brought it up to my lips to brush a quick kiss across his strong fingers. He chuckled at the gesture and softened his stance slightly.

I couldn’t keep freaking out over every little slip, this situation was about to get crazy complicated, so whether I liked it or not, it was time for both Lance and me to get thicker skin.

“Yah, y’all be protected. Y’all protectin’ each other now, huh shaa?”

She placed one hand on each of our chests as she spoke and her wrinkled face split into a huge grin. I felt warmth seeping into me from the contact with her hand and glanced down to where it rested. A glow had appeared underneath her small hand and I watched in amazement as it gradually brightened, showing the silhouette of her frail bones.

I looked over to see Lance watching the same phenomenon on his own chest. He looked away from the power display and our eyes met. In the second that it took to register our shared confusion, the glow released a flash and I saw Mrs. B tumble backward.

“Whoa!”

Lance’s tone was soft as he questioned, “Mrs. Broussard, are you okay?”

Lance and I pulled apart and immediately fell to the floor beside Mrs. B’s trembling form. I had seen her fall, and although falling is never graceful, I had to admit that she did it well. She didn’t fall so much as roll backward, like a turtle rolling on its shell.

She lay flat on her back with one thin arm flung over her eyes; her body continued to tremble slightly. I wondered if the flash could be some type of electrical current that we unknowingly produced as some freakish byproduct from merging our souls.

Lance gently tried to move the arm that was covering her face; she had begun to wheeze slightly. As he was slowly lifting her arm away from her face, the wheezes turned into cackles and I let out a breath as I realized that she wasn’t truly hurt. She was laughing her ass off!

Lance’s brows knit together in a tight frown, “Mrs. Broussard, you scared the ever-lovin’ crap out of me. I thought you were hurt.”

“I’m glad you aren’t hurt, because I have to say, that was pretty damn cool,” I proclaimed.

The cackles had died down and tears of mirth were leaking out of the corners of her eyes as she cracked them open to look into Lance’s worried face. She patted his cheek softly and grabbed his hands to use as leverage while she struggled to her feet.  Just as she had calmed enough to speak, and finally answer some questions, the front door flew open to reveal James, looking like crap on a cracker. His face was slack and his body drooped in exhaustion.

“Honey, I’m home,” he said loudly as he stumbled forward a few feet and slammed the door closed.

No sooner than the words had exited his mouth, he fell back against the door and slid to the floor. His eyes were already starting to droop and I knew we wouldn’t be getting any information for the next several hours unless we could drag it out of him before he passed out.

I watched his eyes close heavily and felt anxiety start to bubble up; I didn’t want him to pass out until I had a few answers. I needed to know more about what had happened with Andre. I couldn’t stand envisioning him alone and broken in a hospital bed.  I had healed Lance but didn’t know how or understand why, I needed to figure it out so that I could heal Andre as well.

“James! Wake up heifer!”

He cracked his eyes open and chuckled at me, mumbling something that sounded a little too much like, “tramp” before his lids started to droop again.

“Why you don’t give him a little juice, huh shaa?”

“Uh, sure, if you think that will help,” I responded. “Lance, do you have any juice? I guess orange juice would be best…”

“Mais non! Use your power,” she snapped at me. “Couillon!”

“Okay! Damn, you don’t have to be so bitchy…”

I stomped toward the door, frowning and muttering under my breath, “…call me a dumbass one more time…”

I squat down next to James, unsure of what to do, so I grabbed one of his big hands and held it between both of mine. Nothing happened, but I would be damned before I asked Mrs. B for help.

Her attitude was wearing on my nerves and as grateful as I was for everything she had done, I needed a break from her. I was becoming agitated; it felt as if her eyes were burning a hole in the back of my neck.

After a few more seconds with no change, I decided that it probably wasn’t working because my mind was busy directing a multitude of negative thoughts toward the wrinkled old crone who stood behind me.

I closed my eyes and imagined myself as I pushed the negative thoughts away and locked them up behind a heavy door. Once I had removed the distraction, I focused on the warm hand that I held, noting the weight of it and the calloused ridges along his knuckles. I felt a slight tingle along my palms and I smiled as they began to glow softly.

I felt a burst of pride when James’ eyes opened after only a few seconds.  After a minute, he pulled his hand free, sat up, and then leaned back against the door. His pleased expression faded into wary confusion as he stared at me with narrowed eyes.

“Damn, ho! How did you get so strong so fast?”

He suddenly shifted his gaze to Lance, and his mouth dropped open. His eyes widened comically as he shifted them back and forth between Lance and me. He was speechless for the moment, but I knew it wouldn’t last long.

Lance grinned and stated jokingly, “I think you broke him.”

I scooted back quickly and covered my ears, Lance’s statement snapped him out of his bug-eyed trance and it was only a matter of time before the squealing started.

“OH. MY. GAWD!!”

Lance and Mrs. B. flinched at the sudden verbal explosion.

Heh, heh, heh, I totally called it.

“You porked her!!”

“Porked? Really, James?”

I could have been talking to a piece of pork, for all it mattered. James was in the zone, so I just sat back and got a little more comfortable while I waited for him to get it all out.

“OH MY GAWD!! You banged Buff McHunkypants!! Is he ‘Buff’ all over, Celie? Can I call him Buff Thickchubbypants now?”

Oh my, I think that might be his best one yet.

I turned my head to look up at Lance and had to stifle a giggle at his expression of shock. He looked slightly queasy as his mouth fell open and the color drained from his face. Mrs. B, on the other hand, looked positively gleeful! I didn’t even attempt to cover up my giggle as I watched her gawking at his pants while she surreptitiously scooted toward him.

“I’ve always heard that everything is bigger in Texas, Celie. Is it? Huh? Is it, Celie,” James questioned conspiratorially and nudged me with his elbow.

He then turned his face toward Lance again and finally shut up as he took notice of what Lance was wearing…or, more specifically, what he was not wearing. I felt a little sorry for him as he began stuttering, I knew exactly what James was thinking and nodded in silent agreement.

Yep, Lance is truly magnificent.

He had turned slightly, the top button of his jeans was unbuttoned and the waistband hung precariously low, revealing the upper curve of his muscular buttocks.  I sighed heavily as I visually followed the curve of his back, finally reaching the wide expanse of his shoulders.

The muscles of his shoulders bunched as he unfolded his arms from across his chest and dropped them to his sides. Three sets of eyes flew to his abdominal muscles to ogle them shamelessly as he tensed in embarrassment. I could hear James’ unsteady breathing beside me and smiled as I realized I sounded the same. My fingers twitched involuntarily as my tactile memory recalled the heat of his golden skin and the springy texture of the light brown hair sprinkled across his chest.

I tried, without success, to tear my eyes away from him and focus on something else…anything else. Unfortunately, my eyes chose not to get on board with that plan. Instead, my gaze merrily followed the narrow path of hair down his chest as it dissected the muscular ridges of his abdomen, and then disappeared underneath the worn zipper of his jeans.

“Prrrrrrrrrrr.”

Uh, what was that?! Please tell me I did not just purr!

I looked around and pretended that nothing had happened, only relaxing after I felt sure that I had been successful. I took a deep breath and turned, making eye contact with James who offered me a gentle smile.

I returned the smile, glad to see that he had finally settled down. I had a pretty good idea how to kick start my healing power, but I needed to know exactly what happened when Andre had his seizure. A coma was significantly more serious than fatigue, so I would still need some direction from him and probably Mrs. B.

“James, I need to know…”

I stopped talking as he held his hand in front of my face.

“Hold that thought,” he said as he hopped up and walked through Lance’s house into his kitchen.

He had been gone a moment before I heard the refrigerator open and the clinking sound of dishes, and then he was walking back toward us, carefully balancing a small plate in between his large hands. I looked at Lance questioningly but he simply shrugged and raised his eyebrows, appearing equally confused.

I wondered briefly if James was working on some kind of spell, but my confusion turned to discomfort as he drew near.  He set the little plate down right in front of me and I felt my stomach knot as I looked at the little saucer of milk.

Son of a whore!  He heard me, dammit.

“Here Celie, I thought you might be hungry,” he said as he softly stroked my head. “Good kitty.”

“Just shut up, you really don’t have much room to talk.”

James smiled broadly and shook his head in agreement, “I know… All I can say is, damn!”

I stifled a giggle and started to stand up, reaching out for Lance’s hand when he offered it. As soon as our hands connected, he lifted me straight up into his arms and pulled me tight against his chest in a basket hold. I blinked up at him curiously, but he ignored me and turned toward Mrs. B.

“Mrs. Broussard, why don’t you and James head over to your house and fill each other in on what you know of our history,” Lance stated calmly.

“Uh, Lance,” I asked slowly, drawing out the sound of his name. “Are you going to put me down anytime soon?”

“Nope,” he replied succinctly, and then continued to speak with James and Mrs. B.

“I’m through playing Scooby Doo with this shit, so here is what we are going to do…” his voice was polite but firm as he took charge.

I stared up at him in amazement as he began to compile a comprehensive list of questions he wanted answered before we headed to see Andre at the hospital. His voiced rolled out, smooth and confident, as he listed generic concerns, and then broke them down, identifying where we needed background information to complete specific tasks. Mrs. B and James wore twin expressions of rapture as they listened to him, their heads bobbed in unison as he identified his expectations.

He was the definitive leader, gaining control over a situation that had been uncontrollable thus far. I didn’t hesitate to jump on board as he spoke, but that didn’t really surprise me, I had complete faith in him and his ability to handle whatever curveball was thrown at us.  My mind wandered back to through our relationship and I marveled at the level of trust I had in him after such a short time. Still, I never questioned it and I knew instinctively that I would never need to.

“First thing that we need to do is get Andre back on his feet, he’s part of this and we need him,” his arms tightened around me imperceptibly, but his face remained impassive while he substantiated Andre’s connection to our future.

“I think I’m correct in assuming that there is more to this curse than we had originally thought?”

After receiving simultaneous nods from James and Mrs. B, his brows knit together in a small frown of concentration and he quieted for a moment.

He is so freaking sexy.

I felt a blast of heat and a sultry smile slid across my lips.

My eyes traveled slowly over his face, lingering on the firm lines of his mouth. As I stared, the corners deliberately tilted up into a smirk and I gasped, feeling the heat pool in my belly before burning a path straight south, causing me to wiggle around in his arms.

“Alright, that’s enough for tonight. We should get some rest if we want to be at the hospital for visiting hours.”

Mrs. B and James headed for the front door, I vaguely listened as they discussed what they would start working on, and where James would sleep for the next several days. We had all agreed to stay here until we understood a little more about what was going on and what we could do about it.

Mrs. B had already walked out, but James turned around to blow me a kiss before following her. I laughed at his gallantry and blew him a kiss in return as he turned toward the door.  However, before he made it through, Lance called out to him and waited while he turned back with an expectant look on his face.

“I just wanted to clarify a couple of things. The change that you noticed between Cecelia and me, is due to the merging of our souls,” he stated as if it were the most normal thing ever.

James’ look of shock was priceless, but I actually worried for his health and well-being after Lance’s next bombshell.

“Also, I did not bang Cecelia; you don’t bang someone who makes your soul sing.” He cocked his eyebrow up and grinned, showing off his dimple as he added, “However, you can rest safe knowing that I’ll be making her body sing be tonight.”

Without saying another word, Lance turned and headed toward the bedroom.

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Yeah, yeah, I know. You hate me, right?  You know what they say…you can hate the game, but you can’t hate the player.  😉 

Amazon May Think I’m Cheap, But I’m Not Giving It Up For Free!

Screw you Amazon, nobody calls me cheap and gets away with it…I’m classy, dammit!

You know, I have put up with quite a bit from Amazon without complaining. I’m a pretty easy-going gal,  I tend to take most things in stride. So when my ranking goes from 50,000, or so, to 250,000…I shrugged my shoulders and kept plugging away. When Amazon refused to post several reviews from people who genuinely read and loved my book, I muttered a few choice remarks about ‘Big Brother’ and whatnot, but I have too much on my plate already…so I let it go.

Your ranking doesn’t mean jack, you bastards! I’m way too awesome for your crap scale anyway.

This, however, is beyond comprehension…and I’m not taking it lying down, or bent over. Why do I bother to set a price for my book when, without my knowledge or permission, the marketing geniuses at Amazon offer at a 67%  discount.

Am I not even worth a measly $2.99? People pay more for a freaking Happy Meal!

Okay, it’s not going to win the Pulitzer or anything, but the grammar is impeccable (this time) and it is positively  lousy with literary devices. Not to mention the plot; seriously, the plot is crazy good…I promise, I designed it myself. Oh well, screw it…if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

For a limited time only (I have no idea how limited), buy Control for only $.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*God, I feel dirty.

Q&A Session on Control, (The Soul of Voodoo, Book1)

1. What is the title of your book?  

Well, I guess I’ll humor those who are visiting this site for the first time 😉

My book is titled, Control.

2.  What is the genre and age rating?

After much deliberation, and frustration, I have created a brand new genre for Control

It is a Paranormal Romantic Comedy and it is definitely for adults, it isn’t an erotic novel, but it is pretty damn steamy and my characters are known to throw a few four-letter words out every now and again!

 3. Give a brief synopsis, using your own words. 

Okay, this is the hard part…

I like to describe Control as more than you see on the surface. Yes, it is a Paranormal Romance. No, it isn’t like other Paranormal Romance novels. It has that extra  je ne sais quoi, that makes it a little bit different. Actually, that isn’t totally true, because I do know what makes it different. It is comedy, fun, a light-hearted, and easy going attitude that makes you wonder not only what might happen next, but how are the characters going to respond this time?

It is about love and lust, friendships, and family, and it is about anger, hatred, and pure evil. There is magic, both good and bad, that is layered throughout the story. It is not overt, it doesn’t grab you and smack you in the face…it is subtle and it weaves through the story, implanting its mark on your subconscious. When it is finally revealed to the characters, it hits you with an AHA, I KNEW IT! Followed closely by an all-over body shiver of fear.

Everything is not as it seems in New Orleans and my little group of voodoo warriors aren’t prepared for battle, or love for that matter…

4.  Is it part of a series? Is the series completed? What made you decide to do a series rather than an epic?

Yes, Control is the first book in the Soul of Voodoo Series. I’m currently working on the second book, entitled Power, and hope to have it ready for publishing in the next couple of months.

I decided to go with a series rather than an epic novel because each novel marks a dramatic change in the lives of the characters, so dramatic in fact, that I might have to create another genre for Power…nah!  Seriously, I wanted to thoroughly develop the characters and their relationships before throwing them into the “mumbo-jumbo voodoo shit”, because once it gets going there won’t be time for out of control card games or powdered sugar wars…

5.  Visually describe your main character and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

Cecelia Milonas is more what I would call exotic looking than she is beautiful. She has a mixed cultural heritage that gives her a light olive skin tone and dark brown hair. Her eyes are almond shaped with a slight upward tilt and they are defined as hazel-green, the color of olives. She is very short, but not overly thin…more curvy, like a belly dancer. She is not into typical girly things, and tends to dress and wear her hair in ways that exemplify her free-spirited approach to life.  She loves to have fun and is extremely impulsive, often putting fun before everything else. However, she is smart enough to know when to get her work finished, and most of the time, she manages to pull everything together at the last minute.

She doesn’t have many girlfriends, having been raised with three older brothers, she does not know how to relate to other girls. She doesn’t like to play mental games with other people, she is honest and outspoken to a fault!  She is pretty easy-going and gets irritated with people who are overly dramatic (like James, they bring out the best and worst in each other).

Oh, yeah…she loves music and reading, and being in her own head. Free-spirited to the core! I don’t have an actual picture, but I imagine her looking like a cross between a gypsy and a hippie, but modernized.

6.  What are his or her biggest faults? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?

Her biggest fault is her impulsivity, which gets her into some really bad situations. She knows that she has a problem with impulsivity and distractibility, and tries to maintain strict control over her behaviors…but when she slips…Oh Lawd!!

Another thing that causes problems for Cecelia is her tendency to be illogical in a way that is incredibly logical…sounds convoluted but everyone does this at one time or another. It is when you want something, but you know it may not be the best thing for you, so you rationalize the hell out of it and then go for it anyway.

Excerpt:

“His eyes were the color of arctic icebergs, just as they dipped under the freezing waters. I would have expected his eyes to feel cold as they touched on my skin. They did not. I felt warm, comfortable, and very content. Damn, but that man has some beautiful eyes, I thought, and suddenly I felt the hum as it fluttered a bit in my belly.  It had faded away as he left for the evening, and I had almost forgotten the feel of it. As we had sat together, talking and laughing, the hum buzzed between us. There was no longer any discomfort and no fear, only an odd sense of recognition.

Okay, I thought, jumping back to the present. There it is again, how can I recognize him? Maybe I have seen him around campus; I rationalized.

Then again, we had spent hours chatting like old friends. I cannot remember ever having that much fun with a man who was not:

  •       a.) dating me
  •       b.) trying to get in my pants
  •       c.) family
  •       d.) homosexual

Obviously we are not dating, he isn’t family, and I’m 99.99% sure he is not homosexual. James would have stuck around longer and flirted more, he is exactly his type. So nope, he is not gay. That only leaves one; he was trying to get in my pants. It could be possible, but it would be hard to get in my pants without asking me out or asking for my number. Maybe it was his intent initially; he seemed as surprised as I did with how easily the conversation flowed between us. I sighed at the memory of his voice, wishing I could hear it again; it was deep, rich, the voice equivalent of hot fudge on a warm, gooey brownie.

His laugh, my thoughts were tumbling over each other as I replayed the hours in my mind, he has the most wonderful laugh. His full lips, that always seemed to turn up at the corners, had spread to show perfect, white teeth. His laugh caused his arctic blue eyes to twinkle and his long, thick lashes would tangle together at the corners. The coup de gras, however, was the deep dimple in his cheek. I loved making him laugh. Like a little child, I felt proud every time I made that dimple appear.

So yeah, I could admit that I found him to be as gorgeous as Andre, but in a totally different way. Andre was ethereal in his beauty, he was elegant and perfect, while Lance was an amalgam of all things earthy and masculine, the beauty of man.

I like him, I admitted to myself, but he does not melt my panties. Only one man can be the panty-melter. Content with my conclusions, I felt more comfortable in reliving the pleasant memories of the evening. The smile on my face was brighter than ever.”

7.  What are his or her best qualities? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?

Cecelia does many things well and is generally likable, but I think her best qualities are the things that make her a good person.  She is incredibly loyal and caring, often putting the happiness of others before her own.  With this loyalty comes integrity, she would never compromise her beliefs or herself, and she would never compromise the trust that another person has placed in her. She is no wilting flower, that is easily swayed by every man’s attention…and for that, I love her!

Excerpt:

“The wonderful man had made me Eggs Benedict, remembering that it was my favorite, after a conversation we had had over a year before. The thoughtfulness of that act reminded me of so many considerate things he had done for me over the years, things I could now see for the gestures of caring that they were meant to be. The eggs had chilled slightly as we christened his kitchen wall, but he was able to heat it expertly before plating it and serving it to me. My mouth watered as I raised the first forkful to my lips. I took a moment to smell the amazing aroma while I held it poised and ready to move into my hungry mouth, but his sudden words stopped me.

“You’re wearing my shirt again, Cecelia.”

My mouth fell open in disbelief. I grinned at him, declaring, “You have got to be kidding.”

His look said he was not, “Will you go get my clothes from last night? They’re still in your bedroom.”

“Nope,” he said with a smirk.

“Wha…? Oh, you’ll pay for this, you turd,” I growled at him, glaring as he continued to smile at me.

Fine, I thought, standing to walk around the table. Let’s see what he thinks of this…

I still had my bra on and I had pulled on his briefs again, but he hadn’t commented on them, thank God. I walked around the side of the table so that I could face him as he leaned back against the bar. His body was on glorious display and the son of a bitch knew it. I smiled with saccharin sweetness, sliding my hands up the edges of his shirt, as it fell open to allow glimpses of my very limited clothing. Spreading my legs slightly, I jerked the edges open and let it slowly slide down my arms to the floor. I heard his gulp when it hit the floor, but I never paused as I spun and walked straight out the French doors into the courtyard, heading toward the doorway that led into the kitchen of the restaurant. The stairway up to my apartment was just inside that doorway, and I said a quick prayer that I would make it up my stairs without running into anyone.

I heard Andre laugh deeply after a moment and I stumbled to a halt, smiling at the sound of a laugh that I had never heard from him. In that moment, my anger melted. I thought back to my insecurities of the night before and mentally flipped them off. I give him THAT, I thought with a smile. He is playing, laughing, sleeping late, and cooking for me. I will gladly play these games with him; he is long overdue. Besides, we both know it is unlikely for anyone to be here this early.

 Famous. Last. Words….er, thoughts.”

8.  Is there a romantic interest for your MC (main character)…or maybe more than one? Would you describe it as antagonistic, angsty, steamy, romantic, and or loaded with sexual tension?

Control has a love triangle, that isn’t really a love triangle…yes, that sounds bizarre. The fact is, one of the love interests never really identifies himself as a contender, it is merely implied. That probably doesn’t clear things up too much, huh? Oh well, I told you it isn’t really a triangle…it is way more twisty.

Describing the romantic element, hmmmmm. Yep, all of the above (particularly that steamy part)!

9.  Visually describe the romantic interest(s) and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

Andre St. Clair, Panty-Melter Extraordinaire…

*Oh, I want to give you fair warning, this nickname appears frequently…because it is his NICKNAME!  Damn, people, the concept is not that freaking difficult to grasp! If you don’t like it, too damn bad. I could have given him the nickname Dre, chef, or something else equally as stupid and no one would bat an eyelash…well, suck it up people, this isn’t highbrow literature.  

Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest… Andre *she says with a sigh*.  Andre is breathtakingly beautiful. He is tall, lean, and muscular, with deeply tanned skin and eyes as green as spring grass. He has longish hair that is the color of midnight, thick and wavy, that falls across his forehead. He is the master of the ‘hot gaze’, and he is fond of stalking Cecelia and ripping off every pair of panties that she owns.  He is passionate, caring, and a little rough behind closed doors…*she says with a Grinchy smile*. In essence, he is chocolate covered sex on a stick. Yummy.

          Lance Bradley…

Lance is golden, earthy, and he positively oozes manliness, *she fans herself*.  He carries himself with the relaxed grace of a cowboy, and the confidence of a man that knows the effect he has on women.  He is muscular with deeply defined muscles that were developed by years of hard work on his family’s cattle ranch as well as swimming competitively for many years. He has a golden tan, and light brown and gold streaked hair that is often disheveled from running his fingers through it. His eyes are piercingly blue with long, thick eyelashes that tangle together when he laughs. He is dynamic, easy-going, very playful and fun.  He keeps his passion hidden behind a noble exterior, but when he is pushed to release it…Whoa!  He is blistering hot.

10.  Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?

Without a doubt, I love James and had an absolute blast writing every scene that featured him. He is completely hysterical and you truly never know what to expect from him. He is an incredible and loyal friend, but is full of mischief and irreverent humor at everyone else’s expense.  I’ll let you in on a little secret too, he is based almost entirely on a couple of my close friends. 🙂

Excerpt:

I opened the door and walked straight into an outstretched hand holding what looked like a little piece of mangled lace. Oh. My. God. He found my torn panties on the stairs…I will never hear the end of this.

“Puh-lease tell me that fine man ripped these from your body and ravished you on the stairs!” James squealed. “Did you quiver with need when he pierced your loins with his manly shaft?!” His voice had risen to an ungodly level.

Oh Lawd, I thought. I glanced quickly out the window to see if any passersby had gathered for his performance.

“Ummm, James. You have to shut up now. Your voice is shrill and I’m bleeding from my ears.” I said dryly. I knew the level of his voice would rise in direct proportion to my level of discomfort; I was trying desperately to appear unimpressed.

He responded, in a much more normal voice, “Well, you’d better start spilling, sister. Otherwise I’m going to fling open those French doors and very loudly recite the sonnet that I composed to your Va-J-J this afternoon.”

I was momentarily stunned by his odd announcement and told him as much, “Let’s just talk about the fact that you composed a sonnet to my vagina, shall we?  You are sending off some major stalker vibes, which is odd because you’re gay. You ARE gay, right?”

He narrowed his eyes at me and waved his hand in the direction of his ‘muse‘, “I don’t want any part of that thing. I just want to honor it for being the only known thing in existence to be touched by the dick of a god.”

My mouth fell open and before I could formulate a response, my bedroom door opened to let out the tousled, shirtless, god in question. Apparently our resident god was amused, because the jackass was smiling; that genuinely joyful smile that I had never seen before today. I thought about kicking his godly jewels, until I remembered how much I liked them. He turned that smile on James, and for a blessed few minutes, James was speechless. Halleluiah!

11.  Were any of your characters inspired by people you know or have known?

Yep.

Oh, were you expecting more?  Well, I’ll say this: all four of my children appear somewhere in the book, my husband provided quite a bit of inspiration (character inspiration, not dirty-girl…pervs),  a couple of friends were my inspiration for James, and I think I’ve mentioned before that I think the humor is genetic!

12.  Post a short excerpt (1-2 pages max) that you think that readers will love…

Excerpt:

“So, after refusing to go with the dynamic duo to the jam session, I sat alone in my apartment playing solitaire, again. I had been on a particularly good round when I was startled out of my thoughts by a tapping on my French doors, which was odd since there was no access to them except through my apartment. I walked over to look outside, and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw Lance standing below my balcony ready to chunk another piece of gravel at my window.

I opened the door before he could toss the little rock, “Hey Romeo! Do I really have to tell you how old-fashioned, and borderline disturbing, it is to find you throwing pebbles at my window?”

Before he could respond, I looked down at him indignantly and noted, “I thought you were going to The Four Horsemen with your new bestest friend, James.” I could not help but feel a little tingly knowing that he was here to see me, instead of going out with guy friends.

“Well,” he said with a big smile. Stupid sexy dimple. “I changed my mind; I was hoping to hang out with you for a while. Can I come up? I brought barbeque and I’m willing to share. But I get all of the pickles.”

“No way, no deal. You split the pickles 50/50 or you can just take your barbeque totin’ ass on home,” I retorted. “I don’t do pickle bargains. I’ll get my fair share and if you aren’t careful, I’ll grab yours while you’re not looking.”

I realized how bad that sounded as soon as the words left my mouth.

He was carefully holding back his laughter as he asked, “Ummm, we are still talking about food, aren’t we?”

“Oh, shut up. There is an entrance to the courtyard in the little alley on the opposite side of the restaurant. I’ll meet you down there to unlock the gate. You better have lots of food, because I’m starving,” I stated honestly. I love good food and I’m not ashamed of that fact. I might have more of an hour and ten minutes, instead of a plain old hourglass figure, but I am not going to turn down barbeque and great company over a few extra grains of sand.

Besides, I must be doing something right considering the company I keep, I thought, smirking at my sarcastic arrogance.

I didn’t bother to change clothes or try and pretty myself up; I don’t know how, but I knew that Lance wouldn’t really be the type to even notice that I was wearing wrinkled gym shorts and an old Grateful Dead tee-shirt rather than cutesy yoga pants or some shit like that.

The worn bricks of the courtyard felt cool and spongy as I lightly skipped over them to open the gate for Lance. He had a giant bag of food that smelled incredible.  “Mmmmmm, if that tastes half as good as it smells, I will love you forever,” I murmured huskily.

He just chuckled and followed me into the courtyard. Once we emerged from the little alley, he stopped and looked at the courtyard in awe. He walked around for a few minutes, silently studying everything. I could see his many thoughts written across his face as he wandered the shadowed pathways. As much as Andre was a part of the garden, Lance seemed too large among the overgrown greenery. He was like a warm breeze with no room to move among the verdant leaves and flowers. My imagination placed him in a wide-open field filled with something golden that would wave along with the winds. My overworked imagination started to annoy me as I then pictured him dressed as a Roman soldier, a la Russell Crowe in Gladiator, all golden and oozing manliness.

Snap out of it you little harlot, I thought to myself.

“I’m going to head upstairs with the food, but you’re welcome to hang out and pick some flowers if you want,” I teased.

His snort of laughter made me smile; I had forgotten how much I loved the easy banter that we started at The Four Horsemen. Rather than trying to one-up each other with sarcastic comebacks, we tried to make each other laugh with witty observations or cleverly worded remarks. My smile was bright as he caught up with me…until he snatched the bag of food and ran upstairs.

I didn’t run after him, instead I grabbed a beer from the cooler that Andre keeps stocked with a few food samples and a random assortment of beer samples. I had sweet-talked one of our liquor salesmen, Charles, into leaving me an extra six pack of Abita Strawberries when he made our delivery the day before. I popped the top and slowly walked upstairs to watch his victory smile fade quickly as he saw me with only one beer. I smiled sweetly before I took a long pull from the bottle.

“Man, that was refreshing,” I said, still smiling. “I called out to see if you might want one, but I guess you didn’t hear me. I have some milk in the fridge though, just help yourself.”

“That is just hateful, Cecelia,” he looked so hurt that I almost felt guilty. I was just about to head down the stairs to get the rest of the six-pack, but I was reminded of a funny scene from one of our favorite movies…

“It looks like you could use a cool one, Clark,” I said waiting for his knowing smile before handing him my half-finished beer and then turning to go downstairs for the rest. His beautiful laugh followed me all the way down the stairs, setting off the hum that danced along my awareness, connecting us in some way I could not explain.

I quickly grabbed the beer, wanting to hurry back upstairs to see if he felt it as well. It intensified as I climbed the stairs, peaking at the top when I rounded the corner to stare straight into his eyes.

“Should we just ignore it and enjoy the night,” he questioned calmly. “Because, I have to be honest, I was looking forward to just hanging out, eating a good dinner, and then maybe laughing and talking for a while. If whatever this is…” he waved his hands around, opening his eyes wide as he spoke, “…is going to ruin the fun thing we had going, I’m game for ignoring it.”

He could not have said anything more perfect if he had spent weeks trying to prepare. My smile was gigantic and my heart swelled as I nodded, “I’m game for ignoring it.”

We heated up the barbeque sandwiches and ate them as we sat on the floor around my coffee table where I taught him how to play double solitaire.

For the next several hours, we played double sol, talking trash and getting more and more rowdy with each passing hour. As the youngest of four, and the only girl, I was highly competitive and had no problem admitting it, or rubbing someone’s face in it…or maybe even making up a little victory dance to celebrate it.

Lance was just as crazy competitive as I, and he was quickly getting fed up with my current winning streak. So when I stood up to do my victory dance after my fourth straight win, Lance leaped over the table, pushed me over onto the couch and rubbed the cards in my face while I laughed hysterically, calling him a loser the whole time.

We ended up tangled on the floor, covered in cards and laughing until our stomachs hurt. As the laughter started to fade, the hum that we had successfully ignored all night came back in full force, stealing my breath and making me aware of the heat between our bodies as we lay tangled together on the floor.  The hum didn’t dance along our skin as it had previously, instead it shot straight into us, throbbing and pulsing hungrily. We shot apart at the exact same time. After a few minutes of simply staring at one another while we tried to catch our breath, he sighed deeply and stood to leave.

“This was honestly, the best night I can ever remember having, Cecelia. So, I’m going to leave on a high note,” he smiled softly.

I walked him to the gate through the courtyard and let him out, neither one of us saying a word. The hum was now buzzing just underneath my skin, but with each step he took away from me; it seemed to twist into me, leaving me aching. I walked upstairs, suddenly weary, my energy completely drained. I looked at the cards on the floor sadly; feeling like all joy had been ripped away from me. I dragged myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth and then fell in bed, not even waking when Andre climbed in beside me during the night.

I hope you have enjoyed this little sneak peek into my twisted little mind…if you want more of Control, you can purchase the book for only $2.99 at Amazon!!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or right here on my blog so that you won’t miss any news about The Soul of Voodoo series, and Power, the soon to be released, second book in the series!!

Me, looking properly wistful and sincere...

Me, looking properly wistful and sincere…

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Check out this review of Control, from A Reader’s Review Blog!

Check out this review of ‘Control’, from A Reader’s Review Blog!

Many thanks to Caroline at A Reader’s Review Blog, for the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious review of Control, (The Soul of Voodoo, Book 1)!!

Yep, that’s right. I said, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and I meant every syllable!