Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Halloween Blog Hop!

For the Halloween Blog Hop, I am putting up an extra scary and a sexy excerpt from my recent release, In The Devil's Snare!


Deep in the untouched bayou of Louisiana, Rafael Astier finds himself stuck in the infamous Broussard plantation with a vampire that is centuries old. With no way out, he finds himself in a sticky situation, and it isn’t the summer’s heat that is causing it.

Esais La Bauve is both handsome and strong willed. He’s everything Rafael has ever dreamt about. Attraction quickly turns to desire, and matters of the heart become both heated and complicated. The decision to love or to flee is taken from him when he is thrust headfirst into the past of the Broussard family. If he wants to make it out alive, he’ll have to trust in Esais, one of the living dead.

Will Rafael be able to trust in a man that whispers promises too good to be true, or will he succumb to horrors of the plantation’s tortured past?

Scary Excerpt:

The driver looked back in the rearview mirror at him as he dropped his voice to a lower volume. “Just be careful in that house.” 

Instantly his gaze snapped to the driver and affixed on the reflected image of the gaze of an old man shown in the rearview mirror. 

“What do you mean?” 

The driver shrugged a little. “It’s called La Château du Diable for a reason.” 

A certain feeling of ill anxiety that was hard to shake overcame Rafael as he repeated the name. “The palace of the devil.” 

“The one and the only,” the driver quipped.
“What’s the story behind of it?”
There was a long gap of silence, as if the driver was trying to decide whether to tell him or not, before he sort of reluctantly began speaking.

“If Starling asks why you’re quitting, you didn’t hear a word of this from me, got it? It’s traditionally known as the Broussard Plantation. Plans started to form for the plantation in the 1810s by way of funding from a wealthy French family, the Broussards. It wasn’t until 1853 that the plantation was completed, and in the spring of 1855 became fully functional. 

“Édouard Broussard was the master of the house at the time that the plantation rose into its full glory. He had inherited the plantation and a small fortune a few years prior to the completion of the estate when his father died. He had two sons, Luc and Matthieu, and one infant daughter named Èlise. Broussard’s first wife had died during childbirth in the unfinished house. I guess technically that was the first victim that the Broussard plantation ever saw.

“A few years after the plantation started returning his investment, Broussard remarried to a woman known by the name of Odette Duson who belonged to a wealthy family in Saint Martin. Everything went well for a while. The wife was unable to bear Broussard any children of her own. It was rumored that she was cruel to the young of his first wife when they weren’t in the eye of the public out of resentment from it. You know, some women that can’t have children turn real bitter. Broussard’s first wife was said to be a pretty woman, so I don’t guess it was easy raising them. 

“The Broussards had been arrogant in thinking that a town would spring up near them. Since any civilization in Bayou Chene was limited at the time, they started a little community of their own on the property. A lot of Odette’s distant family would come and stay with them, along with patrons of wealthy families from all over the state. Bayou Chene might have been a little place, but the Broussards were well known. 

“Seeing as things were moving so fast, a lot of slaves were needed to fuel the ambitions of the family. Édouard had eight brick mason slave quarters resurrected. He fit two families to a house, and at times, there were as many as ten slaves in one living space. During the war, the slave quarters were used as holding cells for Confederate prisoners. The Union was said to keep twenty-five in one house. A lot of the poor bastards suffocated to death. 

“The Broussards used slave labor to turn almost one thousand acres of woodland into cotton fields. The profit from the cotton eventually allowed them to expand the plantation to include almost twenty buildings. They had the eight slave houses, a blacksmith’s forge and workshop, a plantation store that sold the goods made on the lands, a mock slave hospital, a gin barn, a livestock barn, a garden atrium, riding stables, a guest cottage, and of course the main house. The retreating Union soldiers burned down a good portion of the estate, but that’s part of why I guess they have hired you.

“When the Broussard Plantation was in the height of its prime, it was considered a cultural hubbub for Creole of color and African Americans. It was a community center, you could say, for the black slaves that worked and lived on the land. The treatment of the help wasn’t always so good, so I guess they tried to focus more on their community rather than lamenting what was happening. Luc and Matthieu were known for their cruelty when it came to punishing the slaves. There were several leg stocks built on the premises that were used for public humiliation. 

“At one point in time there was a legend going around that there had been an overseer of the slaves at the Broussard place that would take the slaves into the basement of the mansion, which was used for curing meats, and would torture them for his own enjoyment. They say that the slaves rebelled against the overseer and killed him. They then cured him and fed him to the Broussard family. The legend goes that the Broussard brothers overheard two slaves talking about it. In a rage, Luc and Mathieu killed every slave on the plantation. Strung them up in the oak trees. 

“The blacks didn’t go easily though, and the new slaves that were brought in didn’t forget. They started working in voodoo symbols into crosses that were made in the blacksmith shop, etched in the bottom of glasses that were used to preserve jams and jellies, and on the back of headstones that were used for some of the local deaths in the town. Any slave that was found using voodoo was killed on the spot. 

“Near the beginning of the war, the slaves had enough. One of the female ones that worked in the kitchen baked a cake for a luncheon Odette was hosting with her family. Édouard and the boys ended up having to step out to take care of an emergency with the livestock before dessert had been served. The cake was poisoned with oleander leaves that had been steeped in hot water. It killed everyone that ate a piece. 

“The corpses of Luc, Mathieu, and Édouard turned up a few days later. It looked like some kind of rabid animal had gotten a hold of them. Well, only half of Broussard’s body did. The top half was missing and it was only the bottom half they found. No one has ever found his upper body. Makes you wonder what in the world ever happened to it.

The people whispered that the slaves had used voodoo to have them killed, but we don’t know how true that is. When the war was over and the slaves were free, the Broussard Plantation fell into financial ruins and was eventually abandoned. It fell into the hands of the state, I guess. 

“I don’t think they much bothered with it. When Bayou Chene was shut down, they didn’t need to worry about it. I guess those engineers just expected it to get washed away. A lot of people looked for it, but those that lived in Bayou Chene wouldn’t even talk about it. They say that whatever evil those slaves conjured still haunts the grounds. 

“There were a lot of people from out of town that would go up there to give themselves a good scare, and they would never come back. If they did come back, they contracted the sickness and died a few days later. The people of Bayou Chene called the Broussard place cursed, and I am inclined to believe them. 

“My brother and I were born and raised in Butte LaRose. It’s a town that borders that bayou. We saw some strange stuff and heard some even queerer stories. 

“If I were you, I’d tell Starling you want a ride home.” 

Sexy Excerpt: 

Esais’s dark, pitch-black lashes fluttered groggily. The thought materialized in Rafael’s mind that the handsome vampire was trapped in the same sluggish stupor as he. He didn’t think that vampires slept. What need did they have for it? Just about that time Esais remembered what the other had said. He had some of the same characteristics as a human.

“Good evening,” Rafael murmured warmly to the still quite sleepy vampire.

Esais lethargically responded by leaning in and planting a tender kiss upon his lips. Rafael could not stop himself from sliding more closely to Esais’s chilly body and hastily returning the kiss. After last night’s revelations, he felt so connected to the other in a way that he had never before felt with another man. Rafael now had an intimate understanding of the other male. His tender lips pressed to Esais’s with a force that was to be reckoned with. Even though he knew now what Esais was, he could not supersede the strange attraction that he had to him. Maybe what the vampire said was true, that they were destined to be together.

Sparks flew between them when they kissed. Rafael could feel icy electricity blazing through his veins and building in his extremities. The searing lightning flowed back into his core and pooled in his loins with such intensity that his body trembled. Mercilessly the hunger built within him, and it screamed for Esais’s affections. Within moments, his twitching cock was pressed uncomfortably against the zipper of his pants. Rafael flushed a little at how quickly he was becoming aroused. Still yet, he pressed in closer to the vampire and continued their kiss.

Rafael’s body nestled nearer to that of Esais’s. Though the bed was a queen-size one, the two were pressed against one another so close that they might actually begin to inhabit one body. They were forced so tightly together that Rafael did indeed mildly wonder if their very souls might merge together. The space between them seemed to evaporate like freshly fallen dew off of blades of grass on a hot summer’s morning. The vampire’s arm was thrown over him, holding him tightly as their mouths osculated with unrelenting need.

Esais’s strong hands ran over his chest, caught on the hem of his shirt, and dragged it off of him in one fluid motion. Rafael did nothing to resist the act whatsoever. In fact, he arched his back upward slightly off of the bed so that the other would have an easier time in taking it off of him. His dark and probably needful eyes fluttered shut as he felt the vampire’s haunting senses hotly running over his body. Soon enough, he felt Esais’s body slide atop his own and force him back against the mattress with the weight of his convincing body.

The feeling of the Roman’s hearty weight atop of his was delectable to Rafael. Even Marcos had not been so masculine. He felt as if he was with a real man, someone that had been hardened by years of a rough life. He could feel Esais’s stiff erection pressing against the strong curve of his hip. The vampire did nothing to stop this and rather it would seem that he did the opposite. Those agile predator’s hips gave a languid roll against his own. Rafael’s tender moan filled the room as their bodies were so harshly rubbed together. The stiff fabric of his jeans was encumbering him in a way that was most unpleasant. He whined for release.

Esais was merciful and leaned back some so that his hand could wedge its way between their hungry bodies. His agile fingers popped open the button of his pants, tugged down the zipper, and slid both the jeans and his boxers right off of him. Rafael, though his mind was becoming clouded with hunger, thought it oddly beautiful how elegantly the man moved. He was sure that Esais would have been a sight to see in battle. It was no wonder that his graceful agility had gained the interest of the Hortulani.

Rafael hissed lightly as his cock sprung into the cool air of the shared living quarters. His half-lidded eyes gazed ravenously up at the vampire that was pinning him down. He shivered weakly as he felt Esais wrap his skilled fingers about the thick girth of his cock. The vampire’s fingers stroked along his underside, flitted against his circumcision scar, and finally teased along the tender base of his head. It felt so good to have someone take control of him. Marcos would have never done something like this.

“You could always feel like this, if you were mine,” the persuasive voice of his vampire lover crooned into the tan shell of his left ear.

Those cold fingers slipped down low and touched along his inner thigh. His meticulously careful fingers ran up the length of his inner leg. They moved with skill and poise up along the inside of his thigh and toward his hip. Rafael’s knees slid slightly further apart as his heels dug into the plush cover of the duvet.

His throat worked so hard as he swallowed. His heart was pumping at a frantic staccato in the strong cage of his chest. There was a graze of danger in the closeness of their bodies that drove his pulse to the apex of its limits. Rafael could feel a certain thrill of the threat that innately came with being with one of Esais’s kind.

There was a breath of frigid air snaking down his collar. Gravity tugged the other to a slight inward lean. The vampire’s voice erupted with a rumbling purr. “Well?”

Rafael was too stunned to even fathom a response. His hips twitched as Esais’s dangerous fingers slowly curled about the entirety of his stiffness and gave it a languid stroke from his base to the very tip of his length. The slightly icy component of the other’s gingerly guiding touches caused him to cry out in pleasure. Esais leaned in closer and reached to brush some of the hair at the base of his neck with the back of his knuckles. His nose grazed a patch of exposed skin just beneath his ear. His touches were gentle, soft, and slow. Yet, Rafael knew that his affections held purpose within them.

He leaned into the touching and closed his eyes. A shaken breath escaped his kiss-bruised lips.

“You aren’t playing fair, mon cher,” the obviously flustered Creole stammered out. Usually he was the one in control of situations like these. He had never been on the receiving end of such endeavors. Now more than ever he could feel his nerves flaring. Here he was, pinned beneath the vampire as if he were the man’s blushing bride.

“Are you telling me that you want me to stop?” Esais asked in quiet whispers that licked salaciously along the curve of his neck. Rafael thought that he might faint.

“No, I don’t, but I do want you to start playing fair,” he said in a voice that was less confident and more breathy than what was normal for Rafael. His chest rose with the swell of his breath.

“Oh, is that so? I play for keeps, Rafael. There is no point if I am not in it to win,” the vampire purred in response. It seemed that Esais was being careful not to overwhelm him too quickly. The vampire touched him with such tenderness it made Rafael wonder if the other thought he might break beneath him.

Still yet, the hand that had wrapped about his cock and was giving him a lush fondling held such dominance behind it. Rafael was trapped between the tenderness and the overwhelming urge to submit to the vampire. Everything that Esais did was pushing him further and further toward the cliff of his desire. There was not going to be any hope for his mortal soul if things continued at this rate. He was sliding down a slippery slope, and Esais was ushering him along all the faster.

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