Halloween in New Orleans

14725615_10207772380936109_4982261725266056866_n“Look at all this. Isn’t it delightfully vulgar?” Ivy gestured to the Halloween decorations. Skeletons wrapped in fake cobwebs were adorned in black and orange Carnival beads and top hats. The party never stopped in New Orleans. Not even when you were dead.–“Dream a Little Dream of Me”

I love New Orleans. In fact, I’m not sure the word “love” adequately describes the emotion that I feel for this town. There’s just something about the way the town simply vibrates with life that appeals to my soul. I can spend hours walking through the French Quarter. The sounds of the street musicians, the sights along Bourbon Street, the smells of the awesome food, all awaken my spirit. 🙂

14713569_10207778512529395_3778491770161948992_nSpeaking of spirits, one of my favorite times to visit this amazing town is during Halloween. New Orleans goes all out for this spooky holiday. Bourbon Street decorates with witches, goblins, ghouls, and of course, vampires. The Krewe of Boo is a parade with floats that throw beads (of course), candy, and other treats to people on the streets. I have been lucky enough to attend a couple of times, and it’s always a blast.

It’s no wonder that I would start a paranormal series set in NOLA. The writing possibilities are endless. That Voodoo That You Do, set in a haunted hotel in New Orleans, is the first in the Chateau Rouge series. This collection of novellas is set during Halloween weekend and has many enchanting surprises.

I’m very excited to say that the next novella, “Casting My Spell”, will be included in the Shadows and Sorcery boxed set that will release in May. In this story, we will meet Mina who was returned to the Chateau Rouge for one reason; to win the heart of the man who stole hers over two hundred years ago. Come Hell or high magic. 🙂

lyn forester - bookbub free booksYou can pre-order Shadows and Sorcery today and get “Casting my Spell” and 23 other stories for only 99 Cents! With your pre-order you get over ten bonus stories to sink your teeth into. That, my friends, is a deal you just can’t resist.

To pre-order, click the link below:

Buy Link: http://books2read.com/u/31xpew

 

Want to satisfy that craving for the spirited side of New Orleans before this box set comes out? Check out the first novella in the series, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and meet the characters of the Chateau Rouge. It’s also only 99 cents or free on Kindle Unlimited.

Dream (2)Josey Jacobsen has survived losing her true love…twice. When Archer Grayson walks into her life a third time, Josey must choose between letting him go or taking one more chance on love.

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2DGcbxu

Once and For All

“How hard must I try
To put my dreams aside
And open your eyes so you’ll realize
Once and for all

That the fear, the Fear is worse than the fall…”

-“The Fear is Worse Than the Fall”– Leauxco

Two local bands are featured in Running on Empty when Grace and Gabe take a road trip to Lafayette. Those bands are Destination Sanity and Leauxco. When it came time to plan a release party for ROE, I asked Neil Ray if his band would like to come play for the party. And they did.

All the Boonie books are titled after songs, “Tangled up in You” is a song by Staind. “Running on Empty” is a popular song by Jackson Browne. I had already started the third novel in the series, but had tentatively titled in “Everything Changes”. That’s also by Staind, and I was definitely feeling like two songs by the same artist were a bit overkill.

During the evening, Neil Ray, the lead singer, says, “Alisha, you need to name one of your books after this song. When he started singing, I knew then that “The Fear is Worse Than the  Fall” would be the inspiration for Carly and Joey’s story. It describes perfectly what is keeping the two lovebirds apart. Fear, plain and simple. It also plays into Carly’s constant search for her fairy tale ending. Will Carly get her happily ever after, “once and for all”? Well, we’ll just have to see about that.

Once and For All 

Chapter One

Excerpt

Saturday September 27th
4 days until landfall
Bon Chance, Louisiana
Carly Devereaux rolled over in bed, one eye opening to see the time on the clock on her nightstand.

The red light shone 10:00 a.m.

She groaned and started to get up. Sammie, her fat and ancient weenie dog thumped a heavy tail under the blankets. Probably hoping to get another half hour or day of sleep.
Carly pulled the sheets back, “Come on lazy. We have to get up. We have a party to get ready for.”

Carly managed Snapper’s, the bar and grill that she owned with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Joey. They had opened it a couple of years ago, after their younger brother, Benjamin had been killed in an oilfield accident.

Tonight was a big birthday party for Tessa, one of the bar’s regulars and Carly needed to be there to make sure everything was ready. She had already decorated, but there were a few last minute things to take care of. Jello shots to make. Extra beer to stock. The food, her roommate Joey would make. She was a hot mess in the kitchen. But, Carly would need to make sure there was adequate plates, silverware, etc.

As she thought about food, she smelled bacon cooking. Her stomach growled. Sammie, who was still half under the blankets, flopped around and stood up.

Carly laughed and patted her on the head, “Yeah, that bacon gets you going every time, doesn’t it?”

A hearty ear flop was her answer.

Carly picked the dog up and placed her on the floor. She did a little dance around Carly’s legs as they walked to the door.

The tip tap of the dog’s feet accompanied Carly’s footsteps as she walked through the house the she and Joey had shared since she returned from Biloxi.

She reached the open kitchen that Joey and her brother, Noah, had remodeled recently, and her heart started doing that weird flutter thing it had been doing for the past few months.

Her friend, her best friend, Joey, was at the stove wearing only pajama pants. His hips swayed slightly to the Cajun music playing on the streaming radio station. His hair dark hair was rumpled. When he turned and he flashed that dimpled smile at her, she had to look away to keep herself from throwing herself in his arms.

Instead, she crossed the kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee.
Sammy, that bitch, trotted over to Joey and placed a paw on his bare foot. She rolled over on her back, kicking her tiny legs up in the air. She was rewarded with a tummy rub and piece of bacon.

“C’mon Sammy, let’s go out,” Carly said as she walked over to the door. She opened the door and the dog pranced out. Carly carried her under one arm and held her coffee in the other hand down the steps of the raised house. She plopped down on the bottom step, and looked out at the gulf while Sammy sniffed around the grass.

Carly couldn’t see the water from where they were, but it was a short walk.

“C’mon Sammy,” she said, and the little dog took off, ready to go on an adventure.
Reaching the beach, Carly plopped down, her coffee mug still in hand. She continued to sip while Sammy along the water’s edge, nose to the sand, looking for something. Carly had long ceased wondering what the dog was on the hunt for.

The heavy clouds were shades of gray and navy blue. It was hard to see where the clouds ended and the water began. White surf churned and splashed against the sand.

A storm was brewing.

Carly frowned and took a sip of her coffee. A cold breeze blew off the water, and she shivered.

She thought of Joey and her reaction to him in the kitchen. The same feelings she’d been fighting for months now.

The ocean wasn’t the only thing in turmoil.

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and

 

 

 

Tangled up in You

“How long has it been since this storyline began…”

“When did you start writing?”

It’s one of the questions I get asked most when I tell people I’m an author. The real answer, is that I started writing when I was in the ninth grade in Linda Riggs’ class. I’d sit in the back and write my stories after I had finished my English classwork. My first novel? A really, really, bad story I called Summer Love. It was about a girl going to summer camp and finding her first love. I kept that manuscript in a box for I don’t know how long. But after a few moves, it’s history.

I wrote off and on after that. I never finished anything. I’d start one idea, play with it, work on it, and then another idea would hit and I’d abandon that one. One day, I just simply stopped writing altogether.

About ten years ago, I met someone who would become a great friend of mine. I was hanging out one night at a place I used to like to go to. We talked about writing, and he wrote me a poem on a bar napkin. I told him I’d write a poem back, and I did. A really horrible one, I’m sure. Today, I don’t even remember what it was about.

It did spark something in me and I started playing with words again. I found out about this thing called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I set out on a journey to write a novel in thirty days. I didn’t make it. But, I did start this wonderful story about this girl named Carly, this guy named Joey, and the Redbird Inn.

I set that story aside, but I never really forgot it.

A couple of years later, I was bartending and a friend of mine brought me a newspaper clipping about a story contest for a writer’s conference. All I had to do was write the opening scenes of a novel. That seemed easy enough. It was only a couple thousand words. So, I did it. I started the story of a woman who was tired of her alcoholic husband and the damage he was doing to not only his life, but hers as well.

I sent it off. Went to the conference. And won third place. I was ecstatic.

And motivated enough to finish the novel. I titled it Crossroads.

I finished this one, but it wasn’t the end for this story. I re-wrote it. Submitted it. Recieved rejection after rejection. I eventually put it away and started the second novel.

In 2014, I decided to give it a try one more time. If nothing happened this time, I was going to quit. I dusted it off, literally, and read through it again. I sent it out to some readers who had some pretty tough words for me. I was going to have to rework it. Again. Determined, I learned everything I could about story structure and mapping. I made a huge poster on my wall and moved the scenes around until it flowed. That poster is still on my office wall.

As I worked on it, I would listen to music. Every time that Aaron Lewis’ “Tangled up in You” came on, I would think that if Emily and Noah had a song, that would be it. When I started submitting the novel again, it not only had been completely redone, it had a new title as well.

I participated in PitMad on Twitter that summer. A publisher I’d never heard of before, Limitless Publishing, liked my Tweet, and I guess you could say that the rest is history. The story that started so many years ago, finally found a home.

And I haven’t quit writing since….

Cheers!

I’m out!

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/0d6mJGU

 

Holding on to Someday by K. Leah

Holding on to Someday

By: K. Leah

“An amazing debut novel from author K. Leah. A heartfelt, heartwarming story that would make a fantastic Hallmark movie! Clara and Brady are a sweet couple you can’t help but cheer for.”

kleah

Synopsis:

Clara had it all planned out… graduate from college, get married, find her dream job and start a family of her own. When she met Drew during her senior year of college, she was certain he was the Prince Charming she had been waiting for, the one to complete her fairytale life. Turns out life had different plans.

Now a single, middle-aged workaholic, Clara has poured herself into building her career, and those dreams of finding love have taken a backseat to her success. She’s been holding out for someday, but when that day finally comes… will she follow her heart or will fate step in yet again?

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/dJ82yqB

About the Author:

K. Leah is a writer of sweet romance. She is a hopeless romantic who loves a happily ever after. She grew up in the South and wears many hats including being a wife and mom, and she also likes to dabble in graphic design.

www.kleahbooks.wordpress.com

Follow K. Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter @ kleahbooks

 

 

A Boonie New Year’s Eve

Mark Twain

I love New Year’s Eve, there’s something about saying goodbye to the old and ringing in the new. It’s no surprise that I have scenes that take place during this time of the year. This is one of my favorites, one from Running on Empty. Enjoy!

New Year’s Eve

Grace and Gabe walked into Snapper’s. Carly’s eyes lit up as she saw the two come in. She hurried from behind the bar to envelop them in hugs.

Joey came in the bar through the swinging wooden doors that separated the bar from the kitchen area. “Grace!” He, too, came around from behind the bar to shake Gabe’s hand, then he hugged Grace close. He left his hands on her arms so he could take a good look at her. Seeing her happy, the anger in her face gone, he smiled and hugged her close again.

“Austin’s been good to you,” Carly said.

Grace smiled and looked at Gabe. “Yes, yes, it has.”

“Did you text Ryder? What about Em and Noah?”

“They’re all coming,” Grace said.

Emily and Noah were the first to arrive. Then Ryder. Soon they were all gathered around the corner of the bar. The guys were playing pool, and Carly, who had ended her day shift, had taken charge of playing the jukebox. It was all like old times.

Cheech, as they all called him, approached the girls who sat in the corner, surrounded by whichever guys weren’t playing pool at the moment. Always the protective barrier.

“Hey, ladies,” he said. “Wanna hear some music?”

“Would love to,” Carly said, “but I have an idea. Why don’t we get Gabe and Grace to play a few? Would you guys do that? We’d love to hear y’all play.”

Gabe glanced at Grace, who nodded. “I’ll go get the guitars,” said Gabe.

“I’ll hook up the sound system,” said Grace.

Gabe stepped out to get the guitars and gear. Ryder set down his pool cue and came over to her.

“You look good, Grace,” he said.

“I feel good,” she said.

He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. He took his black cowboy hat off and shoved it on her head. “Good.”

She leaned in and rested her head on his chest for a moment. Then looked up at him. “Thank you,” she said.

“No thanks necessary. Now, get that ass up there and sing. We’ve missed that voice.”

Grace and Gabe made quick work of the equipment and soon were sitting on the makeshift stage of Snapper’s.

“First up, we’re going to play an original song that Gabe and I have been working on. You guys are going to be the first to hear it,” Grace said into the mic. She motioned to Gabe, and he began to play.

After a few chords from Gabe’s guitar, Grace began to sing, “Deepest are the wounds without a scar at all.”

It was a slow song. Emily grabbed Noah and they headed to the area in front of the band that was used as a dance floor. Carly grabbed Joey. And Ryder, not to be left out, found Allison.

Grace’s eyes met Gabe’s, and she smiled.

Want to read more of Grace and Gabe’s story? Buy Running on Empty on Amazon.com.

Link: http://a.co/fD4jCzj

 

Must Read Monday 12/11

Must Read

Guilty Condolence

By: Kimberly N. Dean

gckd

Synopis:

Sarie Anna and Jasen Riggins seemingly have it all. Sarie is the front woman of the number one country rock band, Carolina Fierce, and Jase is their head of security. But, Jase is also a co-owner of Anserve Inc., a private contracting company for the government. Black ops, totally expendable.

When a mission goes south will Jase be able to conquer his demons, or will Jase and Sarie be lost in a Guilty Condolence.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Guilty-Condolence-Sometimes-Have-Fall-ebook/dp/B01N784PQ4/

About the Author:

Kimberly Dean makes her home in the suburbs outside of Atlanta, GA. She is married with three sons.

An avid writer and reader, Kimberly enjoys novels in all genres and states that her favorite authors are Lexi Blake, Lexi Buchanan, Nicole Edwards, and Nora Roberts.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Kimberly is a baseball mom. Her favorite MLB team is the New York Yankees, and her favorite players are Tyler Austin, and the Molina brothers, Bengie, Jose and Yadier.

 

Author Links:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-N.-Dean/e/B01N97O4IA

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16104385.Kimberly_N_Dean

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/kimberlydean03/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kimberlydean03

Have an author you’d like to nominate for Must Read Monday? Check out my FB page on Share the Love Saturdays!

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Must Read Monday 11/27/17

Must Read

Promise (Coeur du Bayou Trilogy) (Volume 1)

By: Lisa Coots

promise

Synopsis:

The small Louisiana town of Cypress Point promises a fresh start for Claire Hebert and her lovable Great Dane Rosie. On the run from a monster, Claire hopes the new job and new town will help her escape her past. Her free spirited friend, Serena, and the friendly folks next door keep her hoping and dreaming of a better tomorrow. Fate takes a hand — with a little help from Rosie — throwing Claire into the arms of sexy Sheriff’s Deputy, Evan Bertrand. Sparks fly, but instincts steer him away from his parents’ crazy neighbor and her trouble making canine. Will the chaos surrounding Claire be Evan’s undoing, or will their passion live up to its promise? Mysterious happenings hint at the secrets held in Serena’s house, and warnings of a dangerous reunion threaten to spoil Claire’s promised tomorrow. On Halloween night, during a violent storm, Claire’s monster returns. Can Evan, with the help of a ghostly presence, help her overcome her past once and for all?

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/5Pa3lH2

Have an author you’d like to nominate for Must Read Monday? Check out my FB page on Share the Love Saturdays!

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Must Read Monday 10/30

I finished this book last week and I couldn’t wait to blog about it. It really is a must read. You laugh, you cry, you cheer on the main characters, and you identify with them. I highly recommend this book by Lori Leger.

Running Out of Rain

by: Lori Leger

lorileg

Synopsis:

Eventually, all storms break for a little sunshine.

Dr. Cynthia Ellender is devastated when her husband of thirty-three years dies suddenly. A revelation at his funeral leaves her bitter, angry, and determined to leave Oklahoma for good. Maybe a move back to her hometown in south Louisiana is just the right prescription for the good doctor.

John Michael Ferguson has weathered some serious storms in his fifty-three years. At sixteen he lost a sister, and at thirty-nine, a wife. Now, he’s forced to watch his mom lose her battle with Alzheimer’s. A chance meeting with “Cyn” has the semi-retired businessman wanting to bury his past and look to the future. Armed with questionable advice from his wise-cracking, seventy-seven year old father, he vacates the “widower’s bench” to re-enter the dating world with his old classmate.

RUNNING OUT OF RAIN is a mature love story that proves just because there’s a little silver in the hair doesn’t mean the pump isn’t primed for passion.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/faeuTL2

 

Cover Reveal!

SeDream (2)veral years ago, I started writing my first paranormal romance book. I’m in love with all things New Orleans, and the town and ghosts go hand in hand. I started writing, or playing around with an idea that I called That Voodoo That You Do. I even entered it into the same contest that Crossroads (later to become Tangled up in You) won first place in. I won again in the paranormal category so I decided to keep it going.

I signed with Limitless Publishing to publish Tangled up in You. Then Running on Empty. Then Catch and Release. You see a trend? Voodoo got pushed to the back room of the voodoo shop.

I never forgot about it though, and sometimes when I would hit a wall with writing, or simply need a break from the serious story lines, I’d pick it back up and write a few lines, or an idea or two.

A few months ago, I decided to try my hand at self-publishing. And I knew just the project I wanted to put out there. My paranormal. I dusted it off, did some research, and decided to release the books as a series of novellas that will eventually be combined into a single book.

Dream a Little Dream of Me is the first installment that will release next month. I hired the awesome Ashley Byland from Redbird Designs to create this simply stunning cover. What do you guys think? Gorgeous, huh? Makes me want to don a little black dress and dance the Charleston.

The Jolie St. Amant? That’s still me, just a little spicier. 🙂

It’s been an exciting and scary journey so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product. I’m even more thrilled to see what the readers have to say about it. It’s such a different tone, story, and theme than the Boonie books. Speaking of the Boonies, I have some news on those characters, but you’ll have to wait until next time. 🙂

For now, here’s to new projects!

Peace,

I’m out!

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