No. I’m not dead, but my brain might have gone on hiatus.

You know how sometimes life gets in the way of everything else? Then before you even realize what happened, months have gone by as you’ve muddled through the minutia that clutters up day-to-day life.

Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean…I’m talking about the boring crap that everyone has to deal with, just so they can actually live.

…Laundry (quite possibly my worst enemy), work (the kind that actually pays the bills), housekeeping (Four children and three dogs, need I elaborate?), school activities (with my children, which is most often pretty fun, but time-consuming nevertheless), marriage/relationship (this I don’t mind, if you know what I mean…*wink,wink*), family time (always a good time of course, my little monkeys freaking rock)…

Well anyway, you get the point. That’s a lot of crap. Every. Day.

I’m not whining, don’t get me wrong, and I’m not here to excuse my prolonged absence. I’m actually here because I feel guilty as hell that I’ve pushed back the release date for the sequel to Control for so damn long! You see, I’ve finished the book with the exception of the final few chapters, but I’m stuck and it’s driving me slap-ass crazy. I know what I want to happen, but for some reason, I can’t get the words out. I just stare at the screen like a fucktarded mess.

So, I had this great idea *insert optimistic grin* to upload the book on Wattpad so that I can go ahead and share it with you guys!! Good plan, right? Yep, I thought so! 

But wait!! Before you click on the link, I need something from y’all. Not much, just a comment or a vote here and there, to let me know I’m on the right track, and hopefully kick my ass over the block my sad little mind has created. Maybe I’m just a needy little bitch who needs a few encouraging words, I don’t know, but I’m not too scared to beg. ;P

Now that is out of the way, you may click on the link and read to your little heart’s content!!

Control Book cover

Just in case you haven’t read it already, here is the link to Control, the first book in the Soul of Voodoo series:
 
 
 
Finally, click the kick ass cover image to read Power, Book Two in the Soul of Voodoo series! 
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Hello, M.C. is not available to take your call…

Hello. 

I hope you are doing well, I know it’s been a while since we last spoke.

I’m really sorry.

I’m not avoiding you, I swear…in fact, I’m doing this for you!  

You see, I’m in a writing frenzy right now. What that means is that I wake up at chicken o’clock and write until dark-thirty, with a few breaks sprinkled in for flavor. The fact of the matter is, I’m spending lots of quality time with my tufted velvet writing couch.

I’m also having a little trouble differentiating between reality and fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my alone-time with Andre and Lance, but my hubby isn’t finding it cute anymore when I compare him to my ‘boyfriends’…

To be honest, the biggest issue that I’m having is that I am a horribly impatient person and I’ve never been particularly good with secrets. So, as I’m writing and living this story in my head, I am dying to tell everyone else about it!  I know I can’t…I need to finish it, edit it, and publish it…so now the frenzy is even more frenzied!

I want to finish so you guys can join me in my little fictional world! 

So anyway, I might not be making much sense for a few weeks, but trust me when I say that it’ll totally be worth it. 🙂

Oh yeah, the good news is that if the frenzy stays frenzied, then I’m hoping to have Power ready for publishing in about a month.  There is also a pretty good chance that you will get another excerpt pretty soon.

I am so bad with secrets, dammit.

A Glimpse of Power, (The Soul of Voodoo, Book 2)

BEFORE READING, PLEASE BE AWARE: 

Contained within this post, is the entire first chapter for 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 contains MAJOR spoilers… trust me, you do not want to read this chapter before reading 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 1

I was sitting against the wall, halfway undressed and curled tightly into a ball. Even though I had hung up the phone several minutes ago, I remained paralyzed by the strength of desire that flooded my system the moment I heard Andre’s ringtone play on my cell.  I felt a tear roll down my cheek as shame completely washed over me. My head remained bent down over my knees when I pulled them tightly against my naked chest. I couldn’t look up yet, I was terrified of the disgust that I knew would be in Lance’s eyes.

What the fuck is wrong with me?!

I was exhausted and I could feel my calm façade draining away under this new onslaught of stress. Although I wanted to shut them out, memories from the evening began to flood my consciousness.

The phone had rung just after midnight… only three hours since I walked through a rip in time that may or may not exist in the dining room of Bistro NOLA. Three hours since Andre had to be sedated in order to keep him from hurting me as well as himself, because of some crazy-ass voodoo curse. Only two hours since I nearly allowed my soul to be stolen by a giant, bloody, evil spirit…two hours since Lance nearly died while saving me.

He didn’t die, because my love healed him. What the fuck is wrong with me?!

I had given Lance my heart and soul, and I was trying like hell to give him my body, until the stupid phone rang. Another tear fell as I bashed my weak psyche for going on hiatus while my traitorous body hopped straight out of Lance’s bed to answer Andre’s phone call.

I felt like I was coming apart at the seams. We are not meant to love two people at once. Well, maybe other people could, but I could not. I thought that I had figured it out; I thought it was the difference between love and lust.

I wish it were that easy.

A fat tear dripped from my eyelashes to land on my tightly clenched hands. I longed to find the bastard who had placed a curse on Andre and me. I was going to make the son of a bitch pay for ruining what had started as the perfect relationship. For over three years, and multiple lifetimes, I had wished for and fantasized about a relationship with Andre. Finally, we had been happy; the memory of his laugh echoed in my mind causing a fresh wave of pain mixed with desire to crash over me.

The desire was nearly intolerable. My naked breasts ached and my nipples burned as sensitivity in every nerve ending heightened to an unnatural degree. I moaned and pulled my legs in tighter. The curse should have been weakening, but it felt stronger than ever and I held no power against it.

It continued to ramp up, and even though I had hung up several minutes previously, I could hear Andre’s voice whispering in my ears. He was repeating one phrase; the words crawled, like a swarm of bugs, across the surface of my brain. The creepy sensation worsened, and I could feel them burrowing in, shutting everything else out.

The words repeated, getting more insistent and jacking up the volume, “I am coming for you Cecelia, find a way to get away from him and come to me…I am coming for you Cecelia…I AM COMING FOR YOU CECELIA…”

“NO! NO! NO!” I shook my head vehemently, trying to shake it out before it could burrow any deeper.  The voice, Andre’s voice, felt strangely amplified. It had power, it compelled me, and it was magnifying the desire…but it felt unclean.

Tainted.

The thought shot through me, forcing my neurons to begin firing under my own control again, and I screamed, “That was not Andre!”

My head flew up and my gaze immediately connected with Lance’s bright blue eyes, noting the fear that rose like a shadow over the crystalline depths. He was still there with me, close enough so that some of his warmth began to leech out, coating my skin and soothing me. I started to calm immediately; his fingers brushed against my skin, I shuddered and gasped as the last shred of tainted desire washed out in a painful rush.

“Cecelia, are you okay,” his voice rolled over me like warm gooey fudge, a delicious coating of comfort and love that might hold even more healing power than the beignets at Café du Monde. His hands stroked my bare arms gently, and I watched as the shadow of fear melted from his eyes, replaced by a flicker of passion. I threw my arms around his neck and flung myself against his chest in a crushing hug.

“I’m fine now, I’m fine,” my lips brushed against his ear with my harsh whisper. “That wasn’t Andre, Lance, it couldn’t have been. It didn’t feel right, the desire was there, but it was tainted and nasty feeling.” I buried my face into his neck, needing the connection with him to keep the desire away; it clung to me like a greasy film over my skin.

His hands stroked up and down my back, comforting me, while he murmured against my hair. I didn’t want to move from that spot but I knew that whatever had been on the phone was coming for us…soon. I pulled back slightly, so that I could look up at him as we talked, but froze at the sight of his face twisted in pain. His eyes were clenched shut and his beautiful lips pulled into an agonizing grimace. The tips of his fingers began to dig into my back, clenching my skin tightly.

I was terrified that the residual pain from the tainted desire had somehow transferred to him, worsening because he wasn’t the intended target, or maybe he is the target.

My voice was urgent when I demanded, “What’s wrong? Are you hurting?”

His eyes cracked open and he looked at my face, the pain was still there; he opened his mouth to tell me what was going on, but hung his head down before speaking. My thoughts were becoming more and more frantic.

Oh, shit! The pain is so bad that he can’t even hold his head up.

He groaned loudly and rolled his head back on his shoulders. He stared at the ceiling and I watched the muscles convulse along his neck as he attempted to swallow. I ran my hands along the exposed column of his throat, wanting to soothe him, but he only groaned louder.

The words rushed out of my mouth, I was borderline hysterical, “Lance, please! Tell me what is hurting you! I can’t stand seeing you like this!”

He brought his head back down to look in my eyes. I searched his face for some indication of what was happening, but just as I realized that it wasn’t pain I saw in his expression, his hand closed over my naked breast.

His grin was appalling.

“Boy, I cannot think of a worse time for that little maneuver. Jackass,” I scowled at him but couldn’t stay mad. After all, his hand was on my breast, and he began to massage gently.

One of us has to rein it in. It is the absolute worst time to get freaky!

I gently moved his hand away from the magical tatas and crossed my arms over them, trying to dampen their hypnotic draw. Covering my breasts seemed to be working, but Lance was not excited by my success.

“Cecelia, I am either going to start growling or crying like a baby if you don’t move your arms,” he said, already growling.

“We have to get our clothes on, An…”

He cut me off with a hard kiss, and then picked me up and carried me to the bed. He never broke the kiss as he lowered me to the bed and moved his body on top of me.  Desire began to build between us and I got lost in his kiss for a moment before I pushed him back enough so that I could turn my face aside and yell out in frustration, “I’m serious, Lance! Whoever just called my cell phone is coming to get me…here!”

Finally, something besides my boobs got his attention.

He looked up at me and questioned, his eyes still glazed with desire, “Huh?”

Yep, that’s my man. I’m sooo lucky.

I pursed my lips and shook my head in mild disgust.

“Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

I quickly scooted off the bed and grabbed my clothes. Turning away from him, I put on my bra and tee-shirt, and then I turned back to face Lance. His eyes were starting to brighten; I could almost see the wheels in his head crank back to life.

While he rubbed the heels of his hands into his eyes, I glanced down at my breasts in wonder.

These things are dangerous!

“Okay, give me a minute,” he said and then sighed heavily. “Don’t ever take your shirt off again,” he said, while glaring at me. “Unless you’re planning to spend the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours in my bed, or shower, and maybe on the floor.”

He started to walk away but swung back around and pointed at me, spearing me with a hot look before growling menacingly, “…and definitely against the wall.”

He walked into his bathroom and I stood frozen, listening to the water run for almost a full minute before he shut it off and walked back into the room. His hair was wet and standing out at odd angles where he had been roughly running his fingers through it. Big, fat, drops of water rolled languidly down the hard planes of his face to drop into the soft sprinkling of hair on his chest where they hung, suspended and sparkling, like tiny jewels.

UGH! Now, all I can think about is licking all of those sparkly little droplets off his

Yep, I jumped him. I mean, literally jumped him. I threw myself into his arms and wrapped my legs around his waist, slanting my mouth over his and driving us both bat-shit crazy in the process.

He didn’t even step backward when I launched myself at him; he simply caught me and kissed me with as much gusto as I had kissed him. I had no doubt that we could and would have had sex in that exact spot without him breaking a sweat, except a tiny little woman had appeared out of nowhere, tugging on my shirt, and then smacking his ass (although I think she just did that because she wanted to).

“Come down!”

She was screeching at us and rambling in Cajun too fast for me to pick up, “You felt dat darkness, shaa?”

That got our attention. I pulled back just enough to give him a little smile while he let my legs slowly slide down his body. We had matching expressions of frustration as we turned to look at Mrs. Broussard.

She looked from Lance to me, then walked up and popped us each on the forehead, muttering, “Couillon!”

She walked around to the French doors in the front and peeked through the glass panes, as well as each of the windows before turning back to look at us and gasping loudly while she crossed herself.

“You done did it, shaa,” she whispered in awe.

She ambled forward slowly and once she reached us, laid one wrinkled hand on each of us, just above the breastbone. Her eyelids fluttered closed and she began chanting, singing an old French lullaby that I remember my Mamere singing to me as a child. The sound of her voice was soothing, reminding me of home, the ease and simplicity of childhood, and for a few precious minutes, letting me forget the crazy voodoo shit.

The sudden cessation of her singing, along with the quick movement of her eyelids as they flew open, dragged me back into the crappy reality of our unwanted predicament. Her eyes locked onto mine and her cloudy blue orbs stared deeply into my own. It wasn’t too long before her gaze started to get creepy, almost as if she was reading something behind my eyes.

I opened my mouth to say something, but before I could utter a sound, she grabbed my lips and squished them closed. Her tiny fingers were warm and strong as she squeezed my lips together. My nerves, which were already frazzled, finally snapped and I pulled out of her grip then clutched my throbbing lips.

What the hell?!

My voice lowered menacingly, “Mrs. Broussard, you need to believe me when I say that if those dried up digits come near my mouth again, I will bite them off and use them to make my own damn voodoo spell.”

I glared at her while I rubbed my mouth. I had started to calm down until I heard the unmistakable sound of Lance trying to cover up his deep chuckle. Very slowly, I turned my head toward him and deepened my glare, grunting at him in frustration. In his defense, he was making a valiant effort to contain his laughter until Mrs. Broussard started cackling. I rolled my eyes at them both and let my head fall back on my shoulders briefly before I turned away from them.

It suddenly struck me that we had not cleared up the issue with (the fake) Andre’s phone call. I swung around to face Lance, curious to know how he could be so nonchalant. He knew what was coming; he knew that we were going to have to battle that thing again…soon.

He was looking directly at me, and although there was a smile on his lips, his eyes were cloudy with emotion.

He’s worried about something. How did I miss that?

“Hey, I almost forgot to ask, what did James say when he called?”

His worries visibly amped up at my question, but I assumed he wasn’t going to leave me waiting too long since he started to answer, “Well, that’s the thing…”

Oh, shit. He is tugging at his hair; this is not going to be good.

“It was about Andre,” he took a deep breath and looked at me.

It was obvious that I wasn’t going to like what he had to say, but nothing could be worse than the silence while he stared at me uncomfortably.

“Lance,” I growled.

“Andre had a seizure about a half-hour ago. James was there and was able to keep him safe, and alive, but…he is in a coma.”

Okay, I was wrong. That is much worse.

“What?”

My voice cracked, and when it broke, so did I.

The shock and subsequent pain in my chest was so severe that I collapsed. I didn’t cry, I didn’t even blink. I just lay, crumpled on the floor, struggling to breathe. My unfocused eyes stared at the ceiling, but I could see, out of the corner of my eye, the blurry shape of Lance when he crouched beside me. The next thing I knew, he held my limp body curled up tightly against his chest and moved to sit in a large chair where he held me and silently stroked my hair until the shock faded.

My breathing started to normalize and sensory information flooded my system in waves: the warm tingle of Lance’s hand as it rhythmically stroked my hair, the cadence of Mrs. Broussard’s voice as she moved around the room chanting, and the sweet smell of some type of flower or herb.

I blinked slowly and rubbed some moisture back into my eyes before looking up into Lance’s concerned face. I reached up and touched his cheek softly, then ran the tips of my fingers across his frowning lips.

“Your delivery sucks,” I said with a wistful smile. “It hurts, my heart, I mean. It hurts really badly.”

“I know you l-lo- care for Andre. I’m sorry for shocking you like that,” he said in a strained voice.

I sighed heavily and said, “Lance, this whole situation is so fucked up right now, me getting all emotional isn’t going to do any of us any good. The thing is…I think the pain is from something deeper than emotion.”

I had paused to collect my thoughts; I wasn’t sure exactly how to explain my feelings for Andre without sounding like an absolute flake. I didn’t have much experience dating and I certainly never had two men interested in me before. I had loads of guy-friends, but partying and dating are two completely different things. I always hated the girls that would string two guys along, playing them against each other, and getting off on their angst.

I knew what I had to say was going to be painful, but it was the only way I was going to be able to function, at least until we got this voodoo thing worked out.

This voodoo thing is more than a mild scheduling conflict, Celie. You better start taking it seriously…and stop thinking in second person perspective, it’s just weird.

“I have the feeling that the shit in the courtyard is going to seem like a tea party compared to what we are going to be dealing with.”

He opened his mouth to speak, but I covered his lips with the tips of my fingers to prevent him. I couldn’t afford to get distracted, I needed to say everything while I had the mental fortitude.

“I love you, and I want to be with you forever. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have shared my soul with you, right? There is no your soul and my soul anymore, they are truly joined forever.”

He started kissing my fingers and his blue eyes were putting off an obscene amount of heat, it took him a total of four seconds to turn me into a panting, hyper-aroused, ball of sex.

“BUT…”

Okay, I need to settle down. That was a little loud.

I continued in a softer tone, “But, this thing between Andre and me is more than just a curse. I’m talking about physical pain, real pain, not just emotional heartache.” I released a heavy sigh and forced out the words that I knew would bring him pain, “I am connected to him and it isn’t going to just go away.”

“What are you trying to say, Cecelia? Are you in love with Andre?”

He was glaring at me; I expected to see pain, but he wasn’t hurting. He was just plain pissed!  His body was stiff, but his touch remained gentle.

I’m going to lose him, the thought crippled me and the tears that I had withheld earlier, started pouring down my face.

Crying is never pretty, but this was beyond ugly. This was fugly-crying. I turned into a leaky, snotty, mess in less than a minute. Apparently, the strain of the night had finally caught up with me. I was tired of trying to be practical and rational, and I was really tired of being pulled in a million different directions.

“I’m just saying that I can’t handle all of this voodoo crap and be worried about hurting your feelings or Andre’s feelings at the same time! I barely know my ass from a hole in the ground right now.  Clearly, it is not the best time to talk about feelings! Can we PLEASE just get through this shit first, and then we can talk about my stupid-ass feelings? We can talk about them until we puke if you want!”

I think it was my expression of disgust as I emphasized the word ‘feelings’ that finally broke through Lance’s anger. His look of shock melted away, replaced by a deep belly laugh, during which he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his chest for a tight hug.

“That is why I love you,” he said softly and kissed the hair at my temple. “Only you would get mad because I want to be respectful of your feelings.”

I didn’t really know what to make of that statement, so I just stared at him stupidly while he leaned in and placed a soft kiss on my unmoving lips.

“Cecelia, relax. I understand what you are trying to say, and as usual, I’m amazed by your courage.”

I looked up at him to see if he was mocking me, but was shocked to see true admiration reflected in his expression. My eyes became glassy but I refused to start ugly crying again. One episode was plenty, thank you.

“For what it’s worth, I agree with you,” he said with a crooked smile.  Our eyes met for a long moment before he let out a soft breath and grabbed my hands, wrapping them up in his own. His large, calloused hands were able to cover mine completely in a warm and protective cocoon.  I felt a calm come over me, my muscles relaxed for the first time since I heard the infamous Nelly ringtone that alerted me to Andre’s phone call.

“We need to focus on what is immediate; there will be plenty of time for us later. You won’t have to remind me again.”

He dropped one of my hands and weaved our fingers together on the opposite one. After a moment, he lifted me from his lap and moved to stand side by side. Hands clasped together, we turned toward Mrs. Broussard.

“Yah! Now we ready, boo,” Mrs. Broussard clapped her hands together loudly and began bobbing her head as she looked back and forth between the two of us.

“What do we do now? Are we in danger here,” Lance asked Mrs. Broussard.

“Non, shaa. It’s good, the house is. Ça c’est bon, fo’ true.”  She started tugging at my shirt again, pulling us around the house, “Come see.”

While Lance and I…okay, mainly I, had a little emotional breakdown, Mrs. Broussard had been busy.  She was very proud and beamed at us both as she showed off the little leather pouches that we would carry to ensure our protection. Apparently, they contained a lovely combination of ingredients including the whiskers of a pig that was killed in a sacrificial ceremony, as well as a tiny bone from a human foot.

Well, isn’t that just grand? My life has taken such a pleasant turn.

I was grateful for the combination of protection herbs that were also part of the sachet, particularly after noticing that they had a sweet smell.  I sniffed the pouch and recognized it as the sweet, flowery odor that was softly perfuming the whole house.

Mrs. Broussard explained that the fragrance was from an herb called Angelica, which is very important in making protection spells like the gris gris sachet, as well as ‘uncrossing’ spells. I translated for Lance as she explained that the ‘uncrossing’ spell she performed would rid the house of any bad spirits or evil gris gris.

She had already told me about a protection spell that she had weaved around Lance’s for the past several weeks, so she wasn’t really concerned about our safety while we were on the property. She only decided to perform the ‘uncrossing’ after she felt something sinister testing the boundaries of her protection spell.

“Maudit diable,” she had whispered.

I shuddered slightly at her words and Lance squeezed my hand gently in response.

Cursed devil?  It was here.

“What is it? What did she say?”

“Maudit diable means, cursed devil,” my voice was flat as I spoke. I turned and looked into Lance’s eyes as I voiced the question that left me frozen in fear, “How did he get out of the fountain?”

Everything was happening so fast, I was losing track. I thought back to the events of the day and shook my head in disbelief.  The feeling of helplessness had started to fade as I listened to Mrs. Broussard explain about the protection spells. I was feeling more confident, but as my confidence began to reemerge, so did my anger.

I pasted a huge smile on my face and asked with fake enthusiasm, “Can we just talk about the fact that our lives have gone to hell in a hand-basket over the past twenty-four hours? Oh, and as a bonus, the evil blood-dude that tried to kill us earlier, yeah, it is adapting! Awesome!! What’s next, zombies?!? ”

“Coooowee, sha! Don’t make play with the zombies!”

I looked at Mrs. Broussard sharply, then back at Lance to see that his expression was a mirror image of my own. Before I could say a word, however, he smacked his hand over my mouth.

“I’m sorry Celie, I just can’t risk it.”

I pinched his hand and then glared at him as he jerked it away from me. “I’m not an idiot. I know when to shut up,” I said testily

“Ça va bien. Let’s see for how long, huh boo. We don’t need no more guigne, ya heard?”

I decided that it would be in everyone’s best interest to go ahead and change the subject, if there was going to be more bad luck, or guingne, I was not going to be blamed for it. I didn’t want to have to deal with it either.

What I did want was to figure out how we could break the freaking curse. Also, I needed to see Andre…no, I wanted to see Andre, and I did not want to wait another minute.

 


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Et Voila! I hope you enjoyed it!!

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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