I just signed the contract, so I can announce. New books Coming!!!
In July, Raisonne Curse, will enter the world.
I placed my southern Gothic trilogy with an editor I knew would put her heart and soul into these books with me. Holly Atkinson at Samhain LOVES the area these books are set and she LOVES dark, Gothic romance stories like this.
I wrote a rough of this proposal before she became my editor on the Beri O’Dell books and had set it aside. But through conversations, I just had this feeling, you know? (Okay, her many trips to the area with lots of photos helped. <g>) So I asked my agent to send her the proposal and her response was AWESOME.
So, I’m announcing the sale of The Brothers Bernaux trilogy with Samhain Publishing. The first book is called Raisonne Curse. These are dark, sexy, paranormal romances set in the deep south about brothers who can break curses but at a great cost to themselves. (Yeah, yeah, me and my sibling themes–but they are brothers this time!) Yes, they are a bit sexier than my Beri O’Dell books and of course, my young adult trilogy. 😉
Here’s a sneak peek of the moment Elita Raisonne first sees Pryor–part of the proposal that snagged my editor’s interest.
The Bernaux brothers still lived in their eight-generation family plantation, deep in the bowels of the Atchafalaya Basin. Elita could have driven, but the fastest route was by water so she hitched a ride with her Ma’man’s latest man friend, Tooter, on his twenty foot fishing barge.
Tooter. Her grandmother was dating—or rather, having sex with —an old fisherman named Tooter. Elita couldn’t stop grinning about it.
The old man eyed her from underneath a baseball cap stained dark brown from the swamp. Long, scraggly salt and peppered hair stuck out from underneath the hat, blending in with the beard that ended mid-chest. His two boys, both in their early twenties already showed matching signs of gray. They welcomed her aboard but didn’t offer small talk.
A couple of miles down the marsh, Ma’man’s gumbo kicked in and Elita understood the old man’s nickname. She stayed upwind for a good hour, baking in the sun and hoping for stands of giant oaks for stolen moments of shade.
She pulled out her cell phone to try and find a number for the brothers, but frowned at the lack of signal bars. Stupid, cheap phone. Before she could put it back into her pocket, the boat abruptly slowed and her phone went flying. Right into the swamp.
“Sorry,” Tooter yelled.
He didn’t stop so she could find it. Would have been a pointless endeavor anyway. Once the swamp took something, it rarely gave it back.
Gritting her teeth, Elita eyed the approaching dock. Now that she was here, the craziness of her situation made her want to turn back around. What was she thinking just showing up at this house to ask for a hex removal?
Tooter brought the boat to a stop and his quiet boys both jumped onto the swaying pier and held out their hands to help her over. She smiled her thanks and turned to their father. “Do you mind waiting here a few minutes while I see if they’re here?”
“Pryor’s here. Always is.” Tooter tugged on the bill of his cap. “We’ll swing back by later and pick you up.”
His sons got back onto the boat and started untangling fishing line.
“Wait!” She stepped closer to the edge of the dock. “How much later?”
“Hours. Dropped folks off here ‘fore and un-hexin’ takes time.”
She frowned. “I don’t even know if this Pryor will help me.”
With that, Tooter restarted the noisy motor and steered the boat away. Elita stood, mouth hanging open. She was stuck. Thoroughly. Without even a cell phone to call for a damned cab.
She turned and looked at the old plantation, taking in the French colonial house built on brick pillars for floods. Small, leaning outbuildings dotted a gravel path that led all the way up to the Bernaux’s back door. She knew one of the buildings had probably been a milk house, another a blacksmith. Two or three would have been slave houses. One sat pretty close to the pier. It had a nice, wide front porch with huge oaks shading the building. Wild honeysuckle dotted bushes to the sides.
This had been a hell of a place in its time.
From the looks of the scaffolding lining the back of the house, the brothers were restoring it. Fresh white paint covered a good fourth of the walls.
Walking up the path, Elita was breathing in the thick, citronella scent of magnolias when she tripped on a thick root that seemed to come out of nowhere. She hit the ground hard. Sun-scorched gravel bit into her palms and dug into her jean-clad knees. Crying out, she tried to sit up fast, to get her burning hands off the ground, and felt the pull along her wound just as something wet soaked the back of her T-shirt. She rolled onto the cooler grass. Reaching back, she felt along the four-inch stitched gash over her right kidney.
Blood covered her fingers when she brought her hand back around.
Gravel crunched and she looked up, then nearly swallowed her tongue when she saw the man headed her way. Long, lean and shirtless, he walked toward her with long strides. Sweat glistened on one of those ripped abdomens she’d only seen in movies, and colorful tattoos started on the right side of his chest, cupped his shoulder, and wrapped his muscled right arm. Chestnut hair, short and spiked, showed blonde highlights in the glaring sun. He wore small, dark sunglasses.
“Bienvenue chez nous.”
His voice, deep and melodious, sent the oddest shiver down her spine. Then she focused on his words. He’d said welcome home. Like she lived here, which was just weird. Or maybe it was welcome to our home, she wasn’t sure which. Surprise lifted her eyebrows. He was most definitely under forty—possibly younger than she—so the French was a shocker. The older people around here always peppered their speech with French, but the younger generation had mostly dropped the habit.
She held her breath. Watched the ripple of muscle in his jean-clad thighs as he moved with a lazy grace that stole the moisture from her mouth.
This man was walking, talking, bad boy sex and he strolled toward her with a crooked grin that let her know he already had corruption in mind.