Author Kris Norris knows one very important life lesson. Flattery gets you everywhere. Especially in the ALBTALBS world. :D No really though – she actually read through other posts! Incredible! So everyone pay attention, and answer accordingly, please!
First off, thanks so much for having me stop by. This is an amazing blog and I have to say, I’ve had a blast reading through all the other posts and reviews. Just one thing…now I have to come up with something remotely interesting to say…and quite frankly, I totally suck at blog posts. I don’t quite understand why people think that because I write books, I’m naturally good at writing other things…‘cause yeah, it’s so not true in my case. But I’ll give it a go.
When I was asked to do a post, the main themes folks seemed to be interested in were, of course, New Orleans. After all, this is all revolving around Authors After Dark and with it being in the heart of Louisiana this year, it seems only natural that both authors and readers are gearing up for a hot time in the Big Easy. And what’s not to like—clubs, cemeteries, and my favourite…voodoo.
I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’ll admit, most of my knowledge on this ancient religion has been via Hollywood. Who doesn’t remember Live and Let Die…not to mention a myriad of other movies, all sprouting forth their perception of voodoo. Even Scooby-Doo has a terrifying time in the Bayous of New Orleans, with cat shifting voodoo priestesses. So, I decided to do a bit of research on the subject and find out the skinny on all things voodoo.
Voodoo, or Vodou, or Vodoun as it has been known, originated some seven thousand years ago, just after Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, when the slave trade between West and Central Africa began. The bringing together of varied peoples resulted in a combining of thoughts and practices, which eventually evolved into Voodoo as we know it today. (Okay, this is insanely simplified, but you get the picture. It wasn’t one belief system that created this fascinating culture but a number of different beliefs that melted into one, unifying experience.)
As far as New Orleans goes, the Voodoo religion dates back about two Centuries, to a time when West African slaves arrived. But without a doubt, the most famous icon of Voodoo in the Big Easy is Marie Laveau, who, in the 1830s, became the first commercial Voodoo Queen, declaring herself Pope of Voodoo. It is said she held voodoo rituals behind St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans’ French Quarter shortly after attending mass at the church. On an episode of Ghost Adventures, the lads even go to an old plantation where the spirit of Marie Laveau is said to haunt the slave barracks. Witnesses say they often hear rituals in the night and see evidence of voodoo practices being held on the property. Marie, herself, is fabled to have lived to the ripe old age of 120, with some believers claiming she lives yet today. Though most believe her body rests in an unmarked tomb in Saint Louis Cemetery number 1 (where I plan to go on a tour and where my next book takes place).
For many, voodoo is a black art, used to curse those who have wronged someone. (Trust me when I tell you I could use a few voodoo dolls, myself:) But I was surprised to discover that most voodoo practices are actually for positive measures. People seeking wealth, true love or healing potions are the main constituents in voodoo and those who practice the ancient arts make a point of separating themselves from the darker side of the religion (insert Darth Vadar’s heavy breathing here).
So where does this leave us? Well, for me, I still plan on visiting a voodoo shop and talking to those who have intimate knowledge of the craft. I mean, where else will this type of opportunity arise? And yes, I plan on purchasing a voodoo doll or two (hey, I could use a true love doll… just saying) and who knows, maybe I’ll be able to cast a spell on all who enter the conference which draws them to my author table and compels them to have me sign a copy of one of my books…yes, this is where my evil laugh resonates through the air…if nothing else, I should have a few wild stories to tell after.
Now in the spirit (lol, see what I just did there… yes, I am masterful) of having a fun time visiting here, I’d love to give away an ebook copy of my newest release. Now it’s not quite a voodoo, scare-your-pants-off book, though it is an erotic historical piece that is guaranteed to involve pants coming off :D (yes, I did it again.)
Anyway, the book is entitled Coyote Blood. I’ve included the blurb below. Thanks again for having me here and I hope to see lots of you in New Orleans…I’ll be the one with the dried chicken foot and gris-gris bag.
US Marshal, Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Kade, isn’t your typical desert flower. She’s as tough as any man and takes her job seriously. So when a prisoner she’s been sent to escort back to Durango escapes, she’s determined to track him down. She doesn’t want help, especially when it comes in the form of a gunslinger known only as Everett. The man is more than mysterious, but he can track fugitives better than anyone she’s ever met. Now if she can only get her heart to stop racing every time he smiles, they just might catch their prey.
Coyote shifter, Everett, is hell bent on catching his prey, only it’s not Jacqueline’s fugitive. After years of roaming the wilds of Mexico, he’s finally come home to a life that was taken from him. He never thought he’d meet his mate, or that she’d be a gun-toting Marshal, but he can’t deny what his inner animal already knows.
A dangerous chase through New Mexico might unite them, or it might destroy Everett’s last chance at reclaiming his humanity.
All joking aside – I really enjoyed this post. Definitely a new topic, and not something you really think of. Despite the fact that we’ve seen a few posts on N’awlins! So what do you know about Voodoo? Ever thought about it? Or you know – questions for Kris, if you’ve read her before, conferences, the usual. Really, I’m game for everything. ;)
Maybe because I’m not the one who has to answer. :P Remember! One lucky commenter wins Coyote Blood!