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The #Voodoo Queen’s Shanty ~ ~ ~ Come for A Visit, Stay for A Lifetime

Book Trailer Release!

 

On the edge of the swamps lives the Widow Paris, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. A blue-eyed slave of White Raven Estate, Jasmine le Calais, must brave the swamp after the Hourfor to retrieve her daughter from the clutches of Widow Paris. The Caribbean drums have quieted for the night and mist hangs in the humid air.

As Jasmine, terrified, creeps closer to the Voodoo Queen’s shanty something rustles in the saw grass!

Is it an alligator — or the legendary yellow-eyed swamp monster, Loup Garou?

~ ~ ~ ~

(an excerpt from Chapter 7 – Jasmine Visits the Voodoo Queen)

From the depths of the swamp  the hoot of an owl announced her journey. She held her breath. It hooted again, calling out from the spooky depths of the pine woods. The warning traveled deep into the swamps and was mimicked by other owls. It was a different noise that caught Jasmine’s attention—the slap of a paddle out on the water. She stood perfectly still and turned her eyes to the gloomy waterline. She stopped breathing and listened. Silence all of a sudden, complete silence; no katydids chirping, no drone from the cicadas. The only sound Jasmine heard was the deafening roar in her ears. Her heart pounded, her throat constricted to the point where a scream would not have been possible. She wanted the sound to be a paddle hitting the water, but she involuntarily whispered, “Loup Garou.” Even better it be a swamp witch than the beast, Loup Garou. Jasmine’s eyes darted from right to left. Please! Please don’t hurt me! Stone cold silence prevailed. Torturous nothing. She stood waiting to be torn apart by Loup Garou, trying desperately to push out of her mind the vision of the beast with its sharp fangs and its glowering yellow eyes. If attacked she hoped she would die in the first swipe of the creature’s talons. I’m going to die, she whimpered. Damn Zömbi for not bringing Josie back to me so we could get on our way back to Corbeau Blanc.

If the angry swamp monster was going to pounce, with drool hanging from sharp fangs she wanted her death to be instant. She imagined its yellow eyes burning into her skin as it fixed on her—and her fear. She waited, crouching, and listening.

~ ~ ~ ~

#Ghosts of White Raven Estate.
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“In The Company of #Ghosts” My #Blog

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

USA/Kindle: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

UK/Kindle:  Ghosts of White Raven Estate

iBooks: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

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FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And my ghost stories at  . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 

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A question was asked on Facebook, “Which creature from the paranormal world do you prefer?”.  Well of course my answer was ‘Ghosts!’ But before you leave a comment extolling the virtues of your Fave creature, let me explained the versatility of ghosts over some of the other creatures lumbering around Supernatural Scenarios.

Ghosts are so elusive.  Sasquatch and Black-eyed kids are also elusive, but can they be conjured? All signs point to ‘No!’, so they lose out on this and other elements of my subjective comparison of Creatures.

Lonely? Ghosts make their presence known.  Plates rattle, pots and pans move about. Why, have you ever heard of a vampire jingling your car keys mid-air when the house is empty of everyone – but you?  No Creature will reassure you that you are not alone more suddenly than a ghost!

Ghosts vividly re-live The Past with you – they are, well – sentimental Creatures. Ever experience a Residual Haunting?  Zombies have long-forsaken The Past by the time they are lurching toward their next meal – just ask Dan O’Brien! Which brings me to my next point:

Zombies can handily eat you out of house and home after they have chomped off the hand that feeds them – your’s!! (And vampires will bleed you dry)  A ghost in the house will not increase your grocery bill. – or your heating bill, for that matter.

Ghosts are interactive in many cases – they will seek out your company, react to your thoughts, understand your needs – they are . . . well . . . sensitive. Look how devoted Sam was to Molly (Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze) in the 1990 devotional of a ghost who fully understood the needs of his woman.  Speaking of Sam and Molly:

Need a bed mate?  Choose ghosts!  Ghosts are much more trust-worthy than vampires in the bedroom department. My preference is the midnight incubus, but being versatile – ghosts also come in the succubus variety, according to author Gladys Quintal.

I’m not saying that ALL ghosts have sterling qualities and the makings of a BFF  Lover – there are exceptions!  Just ask Charlie Sheen who played a Wraith in the Winner-of a-Movie from 1986.  Actually, ghosts come in all kinds of ‘bad boy’ varieties!  I mean, if you want a goon to settle the score on an earthly foe, I’d choose Demons – who live in the same afterlife neighborhood as wraiths, but I believe are a touch more difficult to rid oneself of.

Red-eyed Beast from my collection, The Ghost Chaser's Daughter.

Red-eyed Beast from my collection, The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter.

So, to sum up, why did I choose Ghosts as my preference-creature on a Facebook poll?  Loyalty, Sensitivity, Presence, No-drain-on my economy, Imaginativeness at bedtime.

Now You! Which Creature-category from The Beyond strikes YOUR fancy?

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myBlog ‘The Page 69 Test’ Applied to #Ghosts of White Raven Estate

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

USA/Kindle: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

UK/Kindle:  Ghosts of White Raven Estate

iBooks: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

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FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And my ghost stories at  . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 

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Authors and bloggers this week are discussing ‘The Page 69 Test’ – described here by Beth Groundwater.   Basically the test is to read page 69 of any novel and determine if it is the book you want to be reading — much like — according to Beth, music lovers ‘test’ a CD, album, etc. by listening to Track 7.

So! Let’s try the test-du-jour on Ghosts of White Raven Estate .  Here’s page 69 of my latest novel:

Scene:

Widow Paris is proposing to Father Vivenzio that she become Victoria’s companion-of-sorts after the priest has abducted Victoria from (Corbeau Blanc translated to: ) White Raven Estate.  The Voodoo Queen’s ulterior motive, as we will find out, is to insinuate herself into the young woman’s estate:

Let’s listen in as Widow Paris (Marie) has just asked Father Vivenzio (Giorgio)  if Victoria’s beloved cat, Bon-Bon has been delivered to the cottage where the abducted heiress is being held:

Father Vivenzio:  “Yes, [Bon-Bon was delivered] yesterday afternoon. They’re inseparable, the angel and the she-devil.”

Widow Paris chuckled, “So, she’s now happy?”

“Victoria? Wonderfully happy,” he stated sarcastically.

“Well, maybe my plan will help make things more tenable for the mademoiselle.”

“I’m almost afraid to ask, Marie.”

“Don’t be. As I said, it involves money, and it involves opportunity.”

Father Vivenzio pushed his chair back from the desk.

“Comfortable, Giorgio? Ready?”

He nodded, as he picked lint off the sleeve of his robe.

“Giorgio, don’t feign disinterest. It doesn’t become you.” She watched the priest pick up his wine glass and wet his lips. “Now, listen. Mardi Gras is less than a week away. I think it would be beneficial for me to have the company of a beautiful, little white mademoiselle for an afternoon. She could join me on a shopping trip to D.P. Scanlan. Wouldn’t that set Chartres Street on fire?”

“Victoria? You want Victoria to join you on your flirts and – err – business ventures? That is what you want?”

“Of course. She’s such a beautiful little head turner, after all. Can’t you imagine how our gentlemen benefactors would be drawn to the prim virginity of such a lovely creature? I love the idea of the two of us sipping tea at Antoine’s after visiting some of the shops on Decatur Street.”

“Good luck. I could barely get her to cooperate in coming here. Correct that – she did not cooperate – barely or otherwise. Why would she want to cooperate with your devious plan?”

“Because we would propose it to her in the most glorious manner.”

“I’m not at all convinced of the upside to this plan, Marie.”

Widow Paris glared across the desk at the priest, “Alright, let me spell it out for you. She wants out! For God’s sake can you imagine being under house arrest at a convent? The horror of it all makes me shudder. The prim devotion, the prayers, the lack of fashion!”

“Alright! I get it!”

Marie noticed that while the priest refilled his own wine glass, none was offered to her.

“What do you think? A little outing?”

After a few moments time he responded. “Hmm, well maybe. Let me think about it.”

“Giorgio, what’s there to think about?”

“Marie, let me ask you this . . .if you spent time with Victoria would you be able to determine the power behind the poltergeist at Corbeau Blanc. If I’m to manage the estate—in Victoria’s behalf, of course—I need to find a way to control the, uhm, situation.”

[and this is were we turn the page. I hope you enjoyed this peek of Page 69 and that, for you, ‘Ghosts of White Raven Estate’ passes ‘The Page 69 Test’.

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#Ghosts of White Raven Estate . . . and . . . NEW #Book Trailers!

Ghosts! ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

Ghosts! ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

USA/Kindle: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

UK/Kindle:  Ghosts of White Raven Estate

iBooks: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

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FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And my ghost stories at  . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 

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This has been ‘book trailer’ week at A.V. Harrison Publishing and I’m excited to show You the results!

First of all though, let me announce a BIG Switch in the title and design for my NaNoWriMo novel 2012. Same synopsis, New Orleans poltergeists and apparitions tangle with Haitian Voodoo as Forces from ‘The Other Side’ wrestle over the riches at White Raven Estate in New Orleans’ Garden District.

New title! “Ghosts of White Raven Estate”. New Design! [Thank you Kathi Humphries Design and New Media].  Book trailers that I’ve produced and am thrilled to Premier here on my blog:

#1  –>  click! to view ‘A Classic Ghost Story’  book trailer:

#2  –> click! to view ‘NEW Book Trailer: Ghosts of White Raven Estate’

I’m keeping them both — but which one do YOU prefer?  Let me know!

Polldaddy will keep our tally!

Come back and see if YOUR choice is leading!

~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~

On Amazon ~ Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~

a NaNoWriMo 2012 winner!

1853 New Orleans  ~
The frenzied drumbeats of Voodoo ceremonies vibrate over the city of New Orleans following the 1853 Yellow Fever epidemic.  Ghosts now roam the near-empty halls of White Raven Estate, where nearly all of the members of the wealthy Calais family have died.
Father Vivenzio, an opportunistic New Orleans priest, with VERY close ties to New Orleans’ Voodoo Community scurries back and forth from his parish to White Raven Estate where supernatural forces thwart his attempts at skimming the riches of the estate from the two surviving members of the Calais dynasty–ingenue Victoria Calais and her French-Canadian grandmother.
Frustrated by his inability to gain control over his supernatural nemesis, and hounded by crows, and wild dogs that roam the cemetery across the street from the Calais’ Garden District estate, the priest calls on Widow Paris – New Orleans’ Mambo Queen.
Destiny meets with Death in a carriage-race finish as Faith, Voodoo, and Supernatural Forces collide during Mardi Gras 1853.
☆ Actual Voodoo Spells revealed!
☆ Action and Mystery on every page!
☆ A Beautiful Mambo Queen!
☆ A Death-defying Carriage Race!
☆ Revenge – served New Orleans Hot!

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Chapter 6: “The Mambo Hut” #Ghosts #Free Read

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks are Sold!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks are Sold!

USA/Kindle: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

UK/Kindle:  Ghosts of White Raven Estate

iBooks: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

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FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And my ghost stories at  . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 

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Thank you for finding your way to the blog of ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’. As you may know I am running serialized blogs of my most-recently published eNovel, “Ghosts of White Raven Estate”. I have skipped over Chapter 5 because of the adult content. So! Enjoy ‘Jasmine and The Mambo Queen’, Chapter 6.

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Chapter 6

Jasmine Visits the Mambo Queen

The palmetto fronds scratched Jasmine’s skin as she snuck along the trail leading to Widow Paris’ shanty. Her legs itched unmercifully. Jasmine looked over her shoulder imagining that someone was following her, but only saw the outline of weathered oak trees adorned with Spanish moss that swayed back and forth, fanned by the night air. An eerie yellow, pock-faced, moon followed her–its menacing glow casting long shadows. Crickets chirped, and gators lumbered along the banks of the bayou that night – as they did every night. The musky smell of rot and roots hung in the air as Jasmine glanced around as frightened of her surroundings as she was intimidated by her situation. Jasmine had never been to the home of the Mambo queen at night.

Torch fire from flaming spears set in a circle in front of the shanty flashed heavenward. The outline of the shanty was partially blocked by pine boughs. Rats scurried and snakes slithered across the dried mud in front of her. Step by careful step Jasmine moved forward fending off palmetto fronds and tree branches. Wisps of wind cooled the back of Jasmine’s neck.

From somewhere the hoot of an owl announced her journey. She held her breath. It hooted again, calling out from the spooky depths of the pine woods. The warning traveled deep into the swamps and was mimicked by other owls. It was a different noise that caught Jasmine’s attention—the slap of a paddle out on the water. She stood perfectly still and turned her eyes to the gloomy waterline. She stopped breathing and listened. Silence all of a sudden, complete silence; no katydids chirping, no drone from the cicadas. The only sound Jasmine heard was the deafening roar in her ears. Her heart pounded, her throat constricted to the point where a scream would not have been possible. She wanted the sound to be a paddle hitting the water, but she involuntarily whispered, “Loup Garou.” Even better it be a swamp witch than the beast, Loup Garou. Jasmine’s eyes darted from right to left. Please! Please don’t hurt me!  Stone cold silence prevailed. Torturous nothing. She stood waiting to be torn apart by Loup Garou, trying desperately to push out of her mind the vision of the beast with its sharp fangs and its glowering yellow eyes. If attacked she hoped she would die in the first swipe of the creature’s talons. I’m going to die, she whimpered. Damn Zömbi for not bringing Josie back to me so we could get on our way back to Corbeau Blanc.

If the angry swamp monster was going to pounce, with drool hanging from sharp fangs she wanted her death to be instant. She imagined its yellow eyes burning into her skin as it fixed on her—and her fear. She waited, crouching, and listening. The seconds ticked by. Then she heard a second splash further up the banks and wondered; why am I still standing here unharmed? Jasmine then chuckled at her good fortune. Loup Garou had moved along. She wiped the tears from her eyes, “Lawdy, that was close!”

The katydids took up their song again. Now if only the hum of the cicadas would quiet down so she could reassure herself that indeed the creature was making its way back up the shore away from her. But the cicadas would only be silent if the heat lifted – and that wasn’t going to happen.

Jasmine was now within sight of her destination. As she tiptoed closer a board on Widow Paris’ porch creaked. The noise sent a second shock of fear through her body. She held her breath and peered toward the shanty. A man stood on the porch peering out at the darkness, ready to charge any intruder. She watched him crane to see beyond the bright cast of the torches into the shadows where she hid. “Zömbi,” she whispered. With relief she remembered back to the first time they had met. She was seventeen at the time, years ago. He was now at least twice her age.

* * *

That day at the open-air market was as clear in her mind as if it had happened yesterday:  “Miss Sophie? Is that you?” his rich baritone voice boomed out over the crowded stalls, calling for the attention of her mother. The year was 1840 and Sophie d’le Blanc had been showing her how to select ingredients for the Calais family’s meals.

Jasmine stood aside as he rushed toward them parting the masses of servants and slaves with his stride. Her momma handed her the bushels and packages she had been carrying and held out her arms welcoming the powerfully built man.

“Rasmussen! Oh, my goodness! Look at you dressed all fine and dandy! You’ve stepped up right nicely, haven’t you?”

“My name’s Zömbi now, Miss Sophie. I changed my name when,” and his brash laughter startled those around him who had been disinterested in the raucous exchange until then, “well, when I changed my face. Didn’t you know that?”

“Hmm, that was a bad stretch, wasn’t it – Zömbi?”

He nodded. “Yes’um. It surely was. I’m a carriage driver for a rich widow-lady now.”

“Really now? Are you?” Sophie looked up at Zömbi, shielding her eyes from the morning sun.

“Yes, I most certainly am.”

“How old are you, Zömbi?” Her mother took his hands and leaned in, looking deeply into his eyes.

“Oh, I’d say I’m more’n thirty–maybe,” he surveyed the crowded stalls. “It’s been sixteen years since Mr. Hawkins sold me, Miss Sophie.”

“Hmm. I guess it has been. The only measure of time I have is my sweet little Jasmine, here. Well, not really little no mo’, cause she’s growin’ up faster than a weed.”

Jasmine remembered the terror she felt over the impending introduction. She looked down at her calico dress and bare feet and jostled the packages her mother had handed her so that she could pat her hair. Zömbi appraised her and that look of appraisal stuck for going on fifteen years.

Their age difference making no difference to either one of them, Jasmine and Zömbi jumped the broom at a celebration in Congo Park not long after that introduction. The ceremony was kept a secret from the Calais household, “No reason to bring up Zömbi and all that nasty past, Jasmine,” her mother wagged her finger in warning. “That is, if you don’t want to be separated—or sold.”

Zömbi’s commanding voice brought Jasmine back to the present, “Who out there in those weeds? You want trouble, or you gonna make yo’self known?”

“Zömbi! It’s me!” Jasmine hurried on toward the shanty and stepped into the light of the torches. “Call our daughter out. What’s the matter with you?”

“Jazzy?”

“Don’t you start that cuddle talk. Josie and I gotta’ long ways to walk before dawn. You know the trouble I’ll have if Mr. Boulware discovers I’m not back!”

At that moment Widow Paris stepped onto the porch, backlit from the lanterns placed around her front room. “Jasmine? Is that you, honey?”

“Yes’um. I’m here for my daughter Miz Paris. We needs t’ be gettin back now.”

“Well, I’m pleased you’ve found your way to my doorstep, Jasmine,” Widow Paris extended her arm, sweeping it toward the door in a welcome. “Come in for a little spell, and join the congregation. So you won’t be late for your chores we’ll have Zömbi take you and Josie back to the Calais’ in the carriage. You can rest on the way.”

“Yes’um.” Jasmine stepped around the vèvè and up onto the porch assisted by Zömbi who pulled her close.  They walked through the doorway of Widow Paris’ home together.

* * *

“Shh,” Widow Paris cautioned Jasmine as she entered, “Iwa is with us. We are trying to reach Bondyé.”

Wide-eyed, Jasmine nodded and looked around at the others who had gathered after the celebration. They sat crossed-legged in a semi circle facing the altar.  Josie was sitting off to the side in the semi-darkness, her eyes closed. Some of the worshippers were staring straight ahead; others rocked back and forth humming. Jasmine picked a spot next to Zömbi.

She matched up one person to each of her fingers. There were not quite enough people to fill the fingers on both hands. Besides herself and Josie; Zömbi and Widow Paris; there was Sarah, Atabel, and Edgard. They seemed focused on Josie, but Jasmine couldn’t determine why.

“The séance has not begun,” Zömbi leaned over and whispered into her ear. “Shh,” he advised, although she had not said a word.

She nodded and settled in, picking out the trinkets and other objects on the altar as her eyes adjusted to the candlelight thrown by the white tapers. One shiny charm, placed among the beads and burning candles caught her eye—an amethyst in a silver setting.  She thought it looked familiar, but decided her suspicions not possible. Although it looked like the ring worn by Miss Victoria, she decided her impression must be the result of fatigue and a night of celebration.

A bullfrog belched a deep, repetitious rumble that Jasmine had not heard as she crept toward the shanty. She found the refrain soothing as she relaxed into the call while the mauby gourd was passed around. The stir she had created by stepping through the brush toward the shanty was settling down outside. As she took her swig the sweet root that tasted strongly of rum, burned her throat. She passed the gourd on to Edgard who looked down at her but continued to rock hypnotically. His gnarled fingers wrapped around the neck of the gourd. His thumb was missing—from a machete accident, she’d heard. He balanced the gourd in the cradle of his hand and drank hungrily. The congregation was silent up until the moment Zömbi picked up the agogô and began the entrancing rhythm of the campana. The bells would call Iwa to them. Over and over, the same five-beat pattern, as the congregation rocked back and forth.

Minutes ticked by as the white candles that circled the altar burned down. She heard a whispered prayed off to the side. Oh, all-powerful Iwa, we call on you. Keep hidden from us trials and misfortune. We offer what is now yours, your cigar, and your liquor. In return keep our church safe from any calamity that may wish to cross our path.

In unison the worshippers hummed their assent, and the prayers continued around the room as the single drum beat of the agogô continued.

* * *

It was two or three hours past midnight when Jasmine narrowed her eyes and peeked at her surroundings. Widow Paris’ boa constrictor had wrapped itself around the beam in the far corner of the front room, leaving the worshippers to their conjuring. She stifled a yawn and stared into the flames of the candles. Their wax had spilt over creating puddles on the white altar cloth.

Jasmine felt as though she were still entranced; her only reference to the real world was the repetition of the agogô beat outside the shanty. She was carried far away before she realized that Josie had begun to slap her thighs. Softly at first, rocking all the while, her head thrown back. Jasmine brought herself slowly back taking notice that while she was in her own trance, Zömbi had moved.  He was now sitting behind Josie.

“It might be Ogoun, we’ll see,” whispered Widow Paris. “Ogoun,” was what her congregation whispered in agreement.

The surroundings were unnervingly quiet when Jasmine finally woke up. The earliest beginnings of morning would come within an hour or two. She looked around at the worshippers. Five members of the church were sprawled out on the bare floor, sleeping in a tangle of limbs as gossamers of smoke hung in the air. Jasmine looked around for Widow Paris and saw that she was sleeping under mosquito netting in an alcove at the back of the shack. Thick pillar candles burned on either side of her bed. Her snake had moved along the beams and now wrapped itself around the corner beam above Widow Paris’ bed. It was the first time Jasmine had seen Mambo without her characteristic headwrap. She was beautiful.

“Zömbi,” Jasmine shook her husband awake. With his eyes still shut he reached for her hand and patted it, smiling.

“I’ll get Josie. Let’s get you back,” he reassured her.

As they trundled the fifteen-year old into Widow Paris’ carriage, Zömbi asked. “Were you there? Iwa appeared.”

Jasmine shook her head and climbed into the passenger compartment.

“What did he say?” She whispered.

“You’re going to be free—you and Josie. Mambo said that was his message.”

“That’s not possible, Zömbi. Unless she and I both die.”

* ~*~ *

I hope you’ve enjoyed THIS peek of ‘Voodoo Vision’. If you’d prefer not to wait to find out what happens next, full edition copies are available at: 

Ghosts of White Raven Estate  ~ on Kindle

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ on Nook

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ on Smashwords for iBooks

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How ‘White Raven Estate’ Became The Setting for my Newest Novel

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks are Sold!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks are Sold!

FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 
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Ghosts of White Raven Estate  ~ on Kindle

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ on Nook

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ on Smashwords for iBooks

•*¨* ♠ ☆•*¨* ♠ ☆•*¨* ♠ ☆

House of the White Raven – La Maison du Corbeau Blanc – is the setting for my newest novel ‘Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits’. 

Originally the New Orleans Garden District mansion where heroine Victoria Calais overcomes her rivals was christened, ‘the House of Calais’.

However, there is little intrigue or magic in naming the manor after the family and I mourned this fact as my novel moved toward its publication date.  Even in the hours just before I released ‘Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits’ I was still pondering an alternative name for the estate that ancestral spirits would not leave.

In their reluctance for Victoria’s ancestors to depart  it helps that the Calais Cemetery and Mausoleum is situated directly across the boulevard from the Calais manor! At exactly the right moment (as the author) I could conjure any number of Calais ancestors to skim over the graveyard’s lush lawns and back into ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’ – which they do each time that Father Vivenzio comes to call!

Throughout the novel I torment Victoria’s enemies with crows and ravens – hmm – for some reason my psyche thought this was just right; but how to ‘tie it all together’ for the reader?

The Calais family members – at this point in the telling — are white Europeans. But I woke up one morning as the last draft of the novel was approved, deciding emphatically that the Calais home should christened ‘The House of The White Raven’ – or in French, ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’.  My own ancestors are French Canadian and I loved the autobiographical tie-in with my beloved characters.

In the novel, antagonist Father Vivenzio notes (derisively) that the ‘House of the White Raven’ was financed from the coffers of Victoria Calais’ ancestral grandfather in the late 1600s. To leave the mystery open to interpretation the priest does not specify the exact source of the wealth or how it was derived.

La Maison du Corbeau Blanc ~ The House of The White Raven

La Maison du Corbeau Blanc ~ The House of The White Raven

Deciding that I liked the ring of ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’ I set about researching the significance of the White Raven [Corbeau Blanc] and was even more convinced that my intuition had guided me to an appropriate alternate name for the Calais family estate.

You see, Dear Reader, there are many myths about the raven – and happily many directions an author can go in while devising a prequel as to how the manor came to be named after the white raven.

Some of these myths are contained in Native culture, some in biblical scripture.

* The White Raven as Grandson – in the Tinglit tribe (Alaska) the White Raven is born, in human form, to the daughter of Old Man Grandfather. The relationship between Victoria and her ancestral father figures is made apparent as they come back from the grave to assist her in overcoming her adversaries. (But how would have a French-Canadian 1600s grandfather have come to an association with a Pacific Northwest tribe?)

* The Raven as Trickster and Transformer – If Victoria’s great-grandfather had transformed himself in some way – say from lowly ship crew to wealthy New Orleans liqueur proprietor – and because he is White – he could have used ‘The White Raven’ as a double-entendre.

Additionally, the raven has significance in Bible scripture:

* The Raven as the first animal to depart (and never return) to Noah’s Ark – because scripture does not define a role for the raven, as it does for the dove; Victoria’s great-grandfather (who never returns to his ancestral European home) could logically choose this animal to symbolize his flight from  . . .  France . . . or Sicily, or?

Maybe he was Sicilian and had a French wife; or the converse.  Maybe he encountered – or married – a Native American woman for whom the mythological raven held countenance. Will the process of creative writing make him a shipmate, or a frontiersman?

So, over the next year, as I pen the prequel to ‘Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits’, I will have to devise a journey by which the patriarch of a French Canadian family comes to name his 1660s estate ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’.

I see Sambuca, Sicily; Nantes, France; and Montreal, Canada in my literary journey.

I hope that you will be along for the trip!

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Update: Voodoo Vision ✬ PUBLISHED! ✬

Emily Hill's LATEST novel, slated for release Halloween 2013.

Emily Hill’s LATEST novel, slated for release Halloween 2013.

Hello! Thank you for stopping by to check on how the ‘Voodoo Vision’  is coming along!

Update: ☆  Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits ☆ is NOW available on Kindle, NookSmashwords, and iBooks.

☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

14 SEPTEMBER 2013 Post:  I’ve been very busy this month getting my new novel, ‘Voodoo Vision’, ready for my friends (and I hope YOU will become one of my friends and sign up to follow my blog.)

‘Voodoo Vision’ will release on Smashwords and Nook by 15 October 2013 – just a month away!

I am STILL re-writing, editing, and flourishing ;D with the help of my amazing writing coach, Linda Hope Lee, and my Perrinville Ladies!

Agghhh! So much to do!   Here’s what I’ve FINISHED (take a peek at the links)

YouTube – 4 FlashAds similar to this one!

★ Promotions Poster – for my Announcement eMailer

★ 57,863 words of Excitement, Betrayal, and Haunts!

★ A Gorgeous book cover – Thank you, Kathi Humphries Design and New Media

★ A Pinterest Board for all of my Muses!

Cast Board – what DOES Zömbi look like??! (AFTER he tattoos his face!)

Here’s What NEEDS to be done:

☆ YouTube – Full Feature eBook Trailer

☆ Final, Final embellishments – more Voodoo and spells, please!

☆ Upload to Smashwords!! [which has an INSTANT upload feature for your Kindle!]

☆ Guest-Blog Hop Appearances!

APPEARANCES SCHEDULED!

★ Victoria Taylor-Murray will be interviewing me on her Celebrity Tour (OMG!)

Susan Noble [Into Another World] will feature an excerpted Chapter 1 of ‘Voodoo Vision’

★  Dan O’Brien  [The Dan O’Brien Project ] will run Chapter 2 of ‘Voodoo Vision’

Hunter Shea [Hunter Shea Author] will run Chapter 3, entitled ‘Before The Epidemic’

★ We will skip over to the live-links as we finish Chapter 4, Unfortunate Girls, on THIS blog spot! ;D

★★★ PROGRESSIVE BLOG HOP [29 October through 03 November]  ★★★

What I have in mind is my guest appearance on THREE author-friend’s blogs.

Each appearance will feature ‘An Author’s Note’ and a chapter of Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits!

Readers will ‘hop’ from one blog to the next as they read the first 10,000 words of ‘Voodoo Vision’.

★ 1) Chapter 1 ~ 1853 New Orleans’ Garden District: Someone is Watching

★ 2) Chapter 2 ~ Where the Bones Are Buried

★ 3) Chapter 3 ~ Before the Epidemic

★ 4) Chapter 4 ~ Unfortunate Girls

info@AVHarrison-Publishing.com

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Filed under Books by Emily Hill, emily hill, ghost adventures, ghost hunter, ghost stories, ghosts