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

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

 

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!

For the latest news on the Jolie St. Amant books, be sure to follow me on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/JolieStAmant/

A House Divided, by Deborah Leblanc

ahdA House Divided

by: Deborah Leblanc

Book Synopsis:

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana’s largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story, clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as it is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family- a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house, including a mother who will destroy anyone who keeps her apart from her children.

My Review:

5 STARS!!!

I saw Deborah LeBlanc at a writer’s conference, and knew I wanted to read one of her books.  How could a ghost hunter not have a great paranormal novel? I picked up A House Divided, and once I started reading, I could not put it down.

First, I love books set in south Louisiana written by local authors. LeBlanc does a great job of capturing the local color and character of Cajun country. Her characters feel like people I would meet while standing in line for groceries.

Second, the storyline moved at a perfect pace. I was able to read this book in two days, its flow was so smooth. I kept turning pages wanting to see what was coming next. The story was also unique. Haunted house stories can become clichéd and predictable, and this book was neither.

The story is about a house that is literally split in half. A local contractor purchases the huge house and moves it to another town. In the process, he divides the house into two sections. Each has an apartment on the top floor and a business on the bottom. Lara and Tawana, take one section and open a beauty salon. Matt Daigle opens a new location for his successful café. Soon after opening, the euphoria of new beginnings is replaced with fear. Waking up one morning, the inhabitants of the house find flocks of dead birds littering their yards. And that’s only the beginning…..

What happens later is a journey through a family’s history that will leave one of the characters reeling.

I give this book five stars for a flawless Southern ghost story.

Buy Link:

Link: http://a.co/bOXqOdD

Running on Empty-Lafayette Excerpt

Running on Empty officially releases Tuesday! In this excerpt, Grace and Gabe take a trip away from Bon Chance, and visit Lafayette, La for Festival Acadiens. This festival celebrates local Cajun music, and is actually one of my favorite festivals. It was fun to write this scene, and I loved being able to share this event with my readers.

The sounds of the fiddle and accordion rang out from the multiple stages set up in the Lafayette park, and the spicy scents of Cajun cooking filled the air. Festival Acadiens was underway. Locals had set up colorful tents and canopies around the perimeter of the park, most sporting the red pepper Ragin’ Cajun mascot. They were an oasis to rest and cool off after spending hours of dancing and drinking in the hot October sun. Kids tossed footballs back and forth. Couples lay on blankets spread out on the grass.

Gabe snagged a music schedule and they found a place away from the crowd to look it over. Grace pointed out bands she wanted to see, and they put together a schedule for the day.

“Geno Delafosse plays in half an hour. You want to go ahead and go to that stage? I know he draws a crowd,” Gabe said.

“Sure,” she agreed.

As they approached the stage, Grace saw that Gabe had been right, there was already a small crowd beginning to gather. Some had already begun to dance to the music playing from the loudspeakers as the band set up.

“Want something to drink while we wait?” Gabe asked after they found a good spot off to the side of the stage.

“I would love something. How about a lemonade from one of those spots we passed earlier?”

“Sounds great. Wait here, and I’ll be right back.”

While she waited, she took in the sights and sounds.She didn’t go to Lafayette often, but always loved it when she visited. The people were friendly. They’d start talking to you in line at the grocery store, and before long, they knew where you were from, where you were going, and who your family was. Several people had already nodded to her in greeting as she stood there waiting for Gabe to return.

She tapped her feet to the lively beat, unable to resist. “Wanna dance, cher?” The guy standing in front of her appeared to be in his sixties, face leathery from sun. He wore a gimme hat from a local oilfield company. He was about a foot shorter than she was and absolutely precious. Grace nodded and took his hand.

A Mardi Gras Themed Take-Over!

mardi-gras-takeover

Join author A.L. Vincent and six other authors for a Mardi Gras themed take-over on Sunday February 19th from noon until seven (CST). It’s a multi-genre event too, so there’s something in it for everyone one. Come on down and laissez les bon temp rouler (let the good times roll)!

Author Lineup:

12:00-1:00 A.L. Vincent
1:00-2:00 KM McFarland
2:00-3:00 Tanya Sands
3:00-4:00 Debbie DeLouise
4:00-5:00 Amy Holmes McClung.
5:00-6:00
6:00-7:00 Natalina Bell

https://www.facebook.com/events/1280766961983668/

Can’t wait to see you all there!

 

Carnival Confessions: A Mardi Gras Novella

Carnival Confessions: A Mardi Gras Novella

By: Cherie Claire

cc

Book Synopsis:

Attorney Cameron Reed is not too pleased to be paired off in a court case with Stephanie Bertrand, a New Orleans socialite whose privileged background is vastly different from Cameron’s bayou upbringing. But when Cameron overhears Stephanie’s boyfriend asking another woman out, he feels it his duty to tell her of her fiancé’s betrayal.

Wearing a mask and sneaking into a Mardi Gras ball, Cameron plans to inform Stephanie of her boyfriend’s tryst but never gets a chance. Instead, a tipsy Stephanie delivers a confession. Not only is she not dating the man in question, she is secretly enamored with Cameron. And because Cameron does not return the feelings, she plans to take a job in an Atlanta law firm.

Like the wild Mardi Gras festivities, Cameron’s world turns upside down at the news. But how can he make amends to the woman he nicknamed “Deb” for debutante, and convince her to remain in New Orleans — and hopefully in his arms.

My Review

When Cameron overhears Stephanie’s boyfriend ask another woman out, he feels he needs to let her know. He sneaks into a masked Mardi Gras ball that he knows Stephanie will be attending to tell her. What he doesn’t count on is Stephanie confessing to him that she has a thing for a co-worker. She’s attracted to Cameron! And she’s leaving New Orleans to take a job with another law firm. Cameron now has to figure out how to let her know that he also has feelings for her. Can he convince her to stay?

Carnival Confessions is a sweet and short Mardi Gras love story. Cheri Claire does a great job at capturing the essence of Carnival season. It’s very PG with no love scenes, and that’s okay with me. It’s a quick read of 7,500 words, its something you can pick up and finish in one day. I definitely recommend it to those who like books set in the south.

Buy Link:

http://a.co/33zBrpp

Against All Odds

Music always plays a big role in my novels. It inspires scenes, lines, and even entire story lines sometimes. One day while I was driving, “Against All Odds” came on the radio and I got the chills. This was Grace and Gabe’s song. I knew I had to incorporate this song into my book. This excerpt is that scene. I’ve also included the YouTube link to the song for your listening pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy!

from Running on Empty

Back at the Redbird Inn, later that afternoon, Gabe slid the piano cover open and ran his fingers along the smooth, worn, black-and-white keys. He had learned how to play music here with Grams looking on and listening. He played a few notes to get a feel for the instrument again. As he played, his mind drifted back to high school when he and Grace would sit here practicing whatever song they were working on at the time.

Automatically, his fingers started playing the old Phil Collins song “Against All Odds.”

He sang softly as his fingers traveled over the keyboard. He had convinced her to sing the song as a duet for the prom, hoping she would see how badly he was crushing on her. But she never had. She had left for New Orleans soon after that to attend the University of New Orleans on a music scholarship. He and Bennett moved to Austin, where there were more opportunities for musicians trying to make it big.

He sang quietly, still playing the old song, hoping Grace would take a look at him now.

“You’re still hung up on Grace, aren’t you?” Glinda asked from the doorway.

Gabe stopped singing, but not playing, his fingers still as restless as his mind.

“I am.”

She smiled and came to sit beside him on the stool. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. I saw her on the beach this morning while I was fishing.”

“And?”

Gabe thought of the dark circles under Grace’s eyes. “I don’t know, Grandma. Something seems different.”

“Like what?”

“It’s a look in her eyes. I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Grace is a tough girl. She’ll make it through whatever it is. She does have that soft side though.”

He laughed. “Grace? Soft?”

“She is, Gabe. Look at her with Ryder, or Joey, or that crazy dog of hers. She doesn’t love easily, but she loves with all her heart when she does.”

He nodded and, suddenly feeling uncomfortable, was quiet.

“Gabriel?” Glinda asked, patting him on the knee. “Since you’re here, how about you help me out with some repairs around the place? A little hammering and nailing might be what you need to keep that mind of yours occupied. We can give Noah a little break.”

He smiled and mentally shook off the past. “Of course, Grams. Just let me know what you need.” He slid the piano cover shut and followed Glinda into the kitchen.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/32Ea9P3