It's so great to be back and blogging regularly at the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers. Life has been hectic and full to bursting since I last posted. I thought I'd take the easy way out and begin today with an excerpt from my latest book, Valentine Voodoo. I must admit to giving into temptation and naming the hero of this book after one of my favorite football players although the poor fella had a baaad year in 2009. Go Eli!

Eli and Stephanie didn't speak as they made their way back to the main lobby, but the silence between them this time proved neither oppressive nor uncomfortable.

A hypnotic, rhythmic drumming vibrated through the wooden floor and the walls and traveled through his veins to throb low in his stomach. The cadence escalated, the beat acquiring a tempo that accelerated his heart and provoked sinister images of the little boy riding the tricycle in the movie The Shining rounding corner after corner, and Jack Nicholson's spine-tingling cry of “Heeeeere's Johnny.”

They rounded a corner and halted.

Incense and the aroma of coconut oil smeared the smoke-filled room.

A man the size and height of an NBA player and dressed in African garb—a long, flowing robe of scarlet and onyx—dominated the center of the room. He wore a red Kufi cap on his bald skull. Arms lifted to the carved ceiling, he brandished a massive ruby heart that pulsed rhythmically, a deep rumble vibrating through the room as the numerous tiny veins entwining pink tissue clamped and pulsated when the organ contracted.

Five women in similar dress, all topping six feet, circled the man. They wore their hair in spectacular cornrowed weaves intertwined with tiny green beads, and sported numerous strands of necklaces of the same hue and texture around their necks.

“What the hell?”

“Banda drumming,” Stephanie explained. “It's part of a voodoo ceremony. There are different types of drums and beats associated with different spirits. Banda drumming is associated with Baron Samedi.”

“Who?”

“Did you see Live and Let Die?”

“Is that the Roger Moore Bond with Jane Seymour that begins with the funeral in New Orleans?” The slithery sensation at the back of his neck intensified. Eli massaged the knotted tendons, to no effect.

“Baron Samedi is the evil guy in the cemetery at the end,” Stephanie stated.

“That guy holding the heart's supposed to be Baron Samedi?”

“Maybe not Samedi himself, but he's a houngan asogwe, a high priest,” Stephanie hissed as she shuffled closer. “That's a voodoo heart.” Her fingers clamped his forearm, the nails digging into his skin. “Those women are priestesses, or mambos.”

His gut's alarm bells clanged, and some primordial instinct Eli couldn't control had him hankering to hurry Stephanie out of the room, to whisk her back to the safety of the city and the hotel. He gritted his teeth.

Stow it, Gallagher; stop the melodramatic overprotectiveness.

Which idiot in marketing conjured this sure-to-backfire publicity stunt?

“Promo,” he murmured, curling an arm around her waist. “The title of the film is Valentine Voodoo.”

“The movie's strictly PG, Eli. It's meant for the under-ten crowd. Our hearts are friendly and cute. That isn't,” she retorted, angling a chin at the houngan. “The visuals are incredible, though. I want to take a closer look. What are those women holding?” she asked, squinting and peering at the nearest voodoo female.

"Cloth dolls with our faces," he answered.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt!

Cheers,

Jianne Carlo

10 comments

  1. Mary Ricksen // May 13, 2010 at 4:17 PM  

    You know how much I like the imagery. You are amazing! Every book is better than the last. Just imagine if you wrote 20 books! Heck, you'd be like Nora Roberts, but much spicier!

  2. Judy // May 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

    Intesting...very interesting. I don't know much about voodoo but have always been fascinating. You had good tension in the excerpt. Have fun with it and lots of success!

  3. Judy // May 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

    oops! don't know what happend to the first interesting...did it have something to do with your voodoo????

  4. Judy // May 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM  

    Now I'm getting spooked. The word is happened...

  5. Jianne Carlo // May 14, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

    Judy, you are too funny. And Mare, thanks as always. You're doing a tremendous job as FRW secretary!

    You make minutes interesting,

    Cheers,

    Jianne

  6. Mary Marvella // May 14, 2010 at 10:21 PM  

    Nice way to get back into the grove! Welcome back to blogging action. Voooooodoooooo, scary stuff. good scene, girl.

  7. Joanne // May 15, 2010 at 9:44 AM  

    Welcome back to the Pink Fuzzies, Jianne. I admit I know little about voodoo. Best wishes for great success.

  8. Patrice // May 15, 2010 at 12:22 PM  

    Joannne, Nice to see you back.
    I didn't know you wrote suspense - very cool! Great excerpt. Love your writing. And good luck with this - it sounds intriguing.

  9. Nightingale // May 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM  

    I enjoyed the excerpt very much. I'm hooked! You have a dynamic voice.

  10. Mona Risk // May 17, 2010 at 10:45 AM  

    Welcome back Jiane. Graet bookcover and excerpt. I don't know much about voodoo. It so good and it scared me.