Sunday, November 3, 2013


Welcome everyone! I thought I'd talk a little bit about my new release, THE DARK BOKOR. It's confession time. Honestly, I never thought I'd write a zombie story, ever! They're usually a little too gruesome for me. But when my friend and fellow author Persephone Jones talked so enthusiastically about hers, I simply couldn't resist and had to try my hand at one of my own.

But what could my theme be? I just couldn't do the standard zombie eating people story. I started thinking about Halloween and all the scariness that goes with it, all those things that go bump in the night. And then I remembered all the creeping fear I felt while watching movies about Hoodoo down in Louisiana, especially The Skeleton Key. Ah ha! I wondered if I could write something involving a little Hoodoo magic and conjure up some real live living dead of my own.

I started with my sexy hero Jesse in an office building listening for zombies. Right away Matt showed up, an Orleans Parish detective who is also searching for zombies. I didn't have too much of an outline for this story. I just let my two men go and followed where they led. I had a lot of fun researching the Hoodoo culture and uncovering their spell for creating zombies. It's a fascinating and terrible kind of magic and I was able to work it into my own type of zombie apocalypse.
Hope you enjoy!
The Dark Bokor

When it comes to the dark weavings of hoodoo magic, only a few can survive.

It's started. Bodies have been found in the French Quarter, torn limb from limb. The undead have been seen walking. For Detective Matthew Rieves, this is the worst news he can imagine. Having spent his entire life in Orleans Parish, Matt's no stranger to the bizarre. Though, despite the growing evidence, he still has a hard time believing in the occult. But when two hoodoo bokors vie for supremacy, it's the innocent civilians that pay the price.

For Jesse Dalembert, he'd left New Orleans to sever his ties with hoodoo. But when a friend is brutally murdered by the bokor's zombies, he returns, falling at once into danger and into Detective Rieves's bed. With their lives on the line, their simmering attraction flares into a passion they can no longer deny.

Working against time, can the lovers find a way to stop the hoodoo war, or will they fall victim to the dark magic, maybe becoming zombies themselves?

"Don't move."
Jesse froze, heart pounding in the semidarkness as an arm like a steel band clamped around his chest, holding him immobile against a hard body. A warm exhale fanned his neck, sending a not unpleasant shiver through him. The man drew in a breath, nose nuzzled at his nape, and heat pooled instantly in Jesse's gut. Shit. Had it really been that long since he'd been in someone's arms?
The cold voice in his ear thawed with a slight laugh. "At least you don't smell like them. That's something."
Jesse's pulse leaped, and his gaze darted around the small office, searching the shadows. "Are they here?"
"No." A hand tangled in his shirt, jerked him around to face his captor. "But I know your voice. Just who the fuck are you?"
Jesse blinked at the dark eyes raking over his face. He couldn't see much in the faint light seeping through the closed window blinds. The man had strong features, classically handsome, with a twist of humor to the full lips that had Jesse moistening his own, though he'd have to stand on tiptoe to reach them.
The man swore under his breath and hauled Jesse toward the windows. "Can't see a thing..."
The blinds went up, and Jesse winced as yellow streetlight flooded the room and stung his eyes. He would have laughed at the man's yelp of surprise if disgust hadn't immediately swept the attractive face. "Jesse Dalembert? What the bloody hell... Who sent you?" Matt held up a hand. "Wait, don't tell me. If you're here, it must have been Andre Marques. Where's he keeping his skinny ass these days?"
Jesse winced as pain tore his chest, though he'd expected the question. "Dead. Ripped apart in his hotel room on Bourbon Street night before last. Animal attack, they've concluded. Right."
"Shit. I've been out of touch these last couple days. Sorry. I know you were close." The genuine regret in Matt's voice eased the ache tightening Jesse's throat. The man sighed. "Come on, let's get out of here. Clearly, we have things to discuss."
Jesse nodded, unable to meet the detective's probing gaze. He wasn't about to parade his grief for the man's curiosity. They'd met on a shared case a few years ago, and their work brought them together now and then. But though he'd always felt a strong attraction to Matthew Rieves, he certainly didn't want the detective's pity. After a silent moment, Matt muttered an oath and crossed the room to the outside door. Jesse followed, senses alert to any noise in the darkness. The creatures could be swift and absolutely deadly.
A shudder passed through his slim body. He'd met a bokor's zombie only once before, as a child. His grandmother had taken him to the cemetery late one night to witness the darker side to the powers he'd inherited. He'd watched from behind a tree, stunned, as the hoodoo witch dug up a grave. Candles flamed in a circle around her as she chanted in a low key.
The man she pulled from the coffin surprised him, but Grandmother clamped a hand over his mouth before he could make a sound. His body seemed healthy, but Jesse could sense the empty mind, waiting to be filled with the bokor's commands. She'd pointed to a man he only then saw, tied to a tree, a symbol painted on his chest in something dark. He thought it was blood. Without a question the dead man stumbled to his victim and began to tear at his flesh with his hands. Jesse couldn't look away, horrified by the blood and screams that tore the night apart.
Recalling that night, he instinctively grabbed Matt's arm to stop him at the door. "Maybe I should go first."
Dianne Hartsock

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