Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the perfect locale for a treasure hunt.
When it coincides in the year of the Luperci festival, the magic
world is turned upside down, and the feast of forgiveness turns into
a fight of wickedness. This Mardi Gras festival is like non ever seen
before or will ever see in the future.
Experience sibling rivalry at its finest as two sisters square off against
each other for control of the book of roots. Unite with our hero,
George Genois, as he is drawn deeper into the realm of magic
and the forces of good and evil. If he thought his adventures with
Mamuska and Ophelia were harsh before, then he is in for an even
wilder time with these sisters. Each sister wants him as an ally, but
George is interested in righting a wrong done only to him. Does
George get his revenge?
|Publisher:||Toplink Publishing, LLC|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||942 KB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
A Small Corner of Mt. Olympus
It was a picture perfect day in the eastern corner of Mount Olympus. Giant white clouds lazily drifted pass each other flashing peeks of a brilliant blue sky in between each cloud puff. The sun's rays provided welcomed warmth to the residents from the previous night's chill. It was otherwise, a beautiful, serene day in the region of the demi gods, with the exception of a heated conversation that ensued between Ayida, goddess of the demi gods and mother of the great serpent god Dumballah, and Mamuska, the voodoo high priest of the swamp. Mamuska always went to Ayida for guidance. Usually, she was supportive of his activities, but this time she was angry with him and argumentative. Nothing he could say would improve her disposition.
"You can't take her back to the ssswamp with you." Ayida hissed. Her serpent traits were more pronounced when she was upset, and right now, she was not happy with a number of issues in the demi god's world. Mamuska's insistence of taking Ophelia with him was adding to her discontent.
"Ophelia isss uncontrollable, essspecially in the mortal world. You promissssed me you would control her and you have not fulfilled that promissse," Ayida replied.
"I-I know," Mamuska said, "I really have tried to rein her in, but she has ways of making me do what she wants." He held his head down and shook it from side to side.
"If allowed to accompany you, ssshe will only bring more unwanted attention to usss. We can't have that. All of the magical creaturesss are under a watchful eye right now. Thisss isss too sssignificant of a year for the magic world. We ssshouldn't have to deal with her ssshenanigansss, too. Ssshe mussst ssstayhere." Ayida said softer now but still forceful enough to get her point across, but Mamuska was determined to sway her to his way of thinking. Without much thought or concern for his own safety, he continued.
"You know I have to go back. Look at me. I am weak and I need to be rejuvenated. Only Dumballah and his wife Aeida Weido can make the exchange when I am in this depleted condition. Ophelia can help speed up the process if they don't want to spend too much time down there among the humans. We won't have to be there for very long. Once the transfer takes place, we will return here, to our celestial home where you can keep an eye on her."
Before Ayida spoke again, dark clouds lined overhead, a crack of lightening flashed through the sky and low sounds of thunder rumbled through the air. Her long, silky white hair flew out and around her head and face with the rhythm of the wind. The sky-blue eyes that once looked at him in admiration were now turned into dark, black pools of fury. Mamuska knew he had pushed too hard and had angered her beyond control. He decided to remain silent before she unleashed her full power on him. When she finally spoke, the cloud that was her home began to dissipate.
"YOU are allowed to return to the mortal world, but your wife, Ophelia, must remain here with usss. No further discussion and NO negotiation. I am unyielding on this point."
The words were said with such force and vileness that even Mamuska began to shake a little. Ayida flew away from him before she did something she would regret later. She had always liked Mamuska, but he was weak when it came to THAT woman, and it disgusted her. It would take some time but she would reveal her true self to him and when she did, he would be free of her forever.
With a heavy heart, Mamuska returned to his piece of heaven and his devoted wife. Not too far from Ayida's home amid the gently floating clouds and a brightly lit sky, Ophelia sat relaxing and enjoying one of her quiet moments on Mount Olympus. She saw the turbulence that was stirred up not too far away and knew his meeting was over. Her beloved would soon be home. She anticipated he would be uneasy after that meeting and had a cup of herbal tea waiting for him when he arrived. He looked drained and tired. It must have been some meeting to make him look this weary, she thought. Without saying a word, she pointed to the cup of tea resting on the table opposite her and returned her gaze to the wide-open space. Thankful for the silence, Mamuska took a seat next to her and ran his finger around the rim of his cup before he picked it up and took a sip. He felt so guilty that he couldn't look at her.
Is there an easy way to tell her? He thought. He picked up the cup and pretended to take a sip of the refreshment, and then he put the cup down again. He glanced at his beloved wife sitting next to him and thought how lucky he was to have her in his life. There was no life for him without her in it. How can I leave her here? She is my rock. I need her by my side. She looked so beautiful and innocent sitting there staring at the sky, but looks were deceiving. Beautiful, definitely, but innocent, well that was another issue. He lowered his eyes to his cup again. There were no leaves left in the bottom of the cup for him to read. Did she anticipate bad news from the meeting and remove them before I could read them? Maybe she read them already and knows the answer but is waiting to see if I will tell her the truth. Ugh!
He couldn't imagine what she was thinking sitting so serenely. But, her tranquility would not be long lived once he told her of his current situation and the decision not to include her in his travel. He had better say something soon or she would pry into his inner thoughts and find the truth before he could gently break it to her. He cleared his throat in order to speak, but instead he softly sighed, reached for her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. When she looked up at him, he smiled at her half-heartedly.
Although Ophelia could read his thoughts, she didn't want to invade his privacy this time. Besides, he looked like he was on the verge of saying something woeful and she wasn't in any mood to deal with bad things. The day started out pleasant and she wanted that feeling to last as long as possible, but this lengthy brooding was getting on her nerves.
Restraint! Control! She said to herself to stay focused. She would wait until he was ready to discuss whatever was troubling him. Smiling sweetly at him, she welcomed the touch of his hand and gave it a soft squeeze in return. He looked at her with love-filled eyes and it made her heart ache to see sadness hidden in his gaze. Impatience mounted until it finally got the better of her.
"What is troubling you my dear? You have been out of sorts for days now." Pouting like a child not getting its way, she continued.
"I can't stand seeing you this way. It can't be that distressing. Just, tell me!"
That was the most loving, comforting tone Ophelia could muster. Why waste time with polite conversation when she could get what she wanted using her favorite tool, magic?
He shook his head only slightly to clear his thoughts, trying to avoid the inevitable. As he looked up at her again, he was met with an impatient stare almost on the verge of vexation. Her serene countenance had changed. Better get to it, he thought, before she explodes.
"This is the year of the centurial creole moon, when the entire magic world comes out to take advantage of its powers. There is no better time for me to rejuvenate than this year and during the pre-vemal equinox." He paused, not sure whether to explain what that was or to wait for her to ask, but when she didn't respond, he continued.
"It has been a century since we were last in our earthly home in Louisiana." And the repossessing ceremony, he thought but before he could finish his statement, she blurted out.
"Are we going home?" Excitement exuded all around her and she began to fidget. Her eyes lit up in anticipation of his answer.
"You have preserved your new body very well. But I fear this body that I took on has not been nearly as kind to me. My powers are not as strong as they could be, and this body is weak. I need ... we need to return to our home in the swamp so I can rejuvenate." He didn't feel good about lying to her, but he was too exhausted for another battle on this topic. He would figure out a plan that would keep her in this home while he was away, just not right now.
Ophelia jumped up from the table, excited about the news. Absorbed in her own plans, she completely ignored her despairing husband.
"I can't wait to be in the swamp again, to enjoy the anonymity and respect that our mystical position commands from the locals." Objects floated pass his head into her hands. She inspected each one as if she was looking for something in particular. In a casual tone, her conversation continued.
"It's not that our time in this immortal world hasn't been great, but I really love being among the mortals. I feel so alive there. When do we leave for home? I have much to do in the way of preparation for the journey." She asked.
With eyes bulging almost out of their sockets and the ligaments in his neck strained to their limits, he shouted as the objects continued to fly pass his head.
"No magic! No magic!" The sternness in his voice brought her back to the present. She looked puzzled but remained quiet, waiting for a continuation or explanation of his outburst. He refused to make eye contact with her, and she could tell he had something heavy weighing on his mind. She decided not to pry into his private thoughts less she learns something she really didn't want to know.
She looked so happy. He didn't have the heart to tell her she was forbidden to return to the earthly world. There had to be a way for him to sneak her out of this home without Ayida 's knowledge. It was just a short trip. They wouldn't be gone long and he just couldn't refuse her anything so trivial. He would find a way to take her with him.
It took a few moments to gain his composure, but he was satisfied with his decision. When he spoke again, it was less emotional but more determined.
"No magic, my dear. Please. No magic."
Louisiana – 1925 two days before Mardi Gras
Ophelia looked around their earthly home. Everything appeared to be just as it was when she and her husband left it over a hundred years ago. Glad to be back among the humans, she immediately began making plans to find a new body to possess. This one was a century old and frankly, she was tired of gazing at that reflection in the mirror. Change was always better, she thought. It kept the romance alive in her marriage and more important Mamuska in check with her desires and wishes.
Standing at the back of the little room, she was able to take everything into view at once. This was home to her not that pristine, colorless palace that Mamuska wanted her to call home. She brushed her hand over the shelf of the cupboard at the back of the hut and was surprised to find no trace or print where dust or grit would have been displaced from her action. The hut looked well-kept, probably too clean to her, for not having someone living in it for years. Perhaps this was the result of her husband planning ahead for their trip. She smiled sweetly and mouthed under her breath, he thinks of everything.
She glanced at the fireplace and noticed it was exactly as she had left it. The iron kettle for boiling water still hung over the now dead embers. The wood pile next to the hearth hadn't been replenished. Odd, she thought, he readied the hut for their return but forgot to bring in wood for the fireplace?
"Hmm," she hummed, but continued to inspect the room looking for other signs of a possible intruder. A strange feel came over her. Her skin began to crawl as she slowly regarded everything in the room. Suddenly, her eyes flew up to the ceiling at the space directly above her head, but there was nothing physically present. She was sure she had sensed something possibly hovering over her head. Just then, Mamuska walked into the room his arms filled with kindling and logs. He gave her a quick smile and went about his business of placing the logs on the grate to build a fire. Hiding her feelings of discomfort, she gave him a loving smile then walked to the dark room at the back of the hut.
Every day, for the past five decades, George spent his time searching for a way out of this harsh place, the swamp, and back to civilization. And, every night he spent in the swamp, he lost a little more of his humanity until the line between George, the human, and George, the beast, became very thin.
As fate would have it, Saturday before Mardi Gras, was his lucky day. He stumbled upon the hut, in the clearing, near the water's edge where he first met the old man and woman. He was filled with excitement because he knew where he was now. George was certain he had visited this spot a couple of times during his many explorations of the area but this time it was different. This time, it revealed its true identity to him. Not far from the hut, he could see the road that he had taken, too. Everything just magically appeared.
He eagerly ran to the road. To his surprise, some of his trail markers were still there but hidden under the brush. It took him most of the day but the markers guided him back to the city. Darkness came quickly this time of year. He arrived on the edge of town just at dusk. The trail ended behind an old shotgun styled house. Dilapidated shutters partially covered the windows. Paint peeled in strips along the sides of the house and the detailed art carved cornices were missing parts of the design. The house appeared to be abandoned and a perfect place to take refuge.
Once George relaxed, the Luxican stirred. Satisfying its hunger became the primary focus. There was an abundance of its favorite meal, essence of human beings but George needed to be careful not to bring unwanted attention upon them. He waited until night was fully upon him before he allowed the complete transformation into the light beast. Under the cloak of darkness, the Luxican could swiftly move about. It hunted in nearby alleys and along the swamp's edge until it was full.
Once it was satisfied, it returned to the house and rested under a large over grown honeysuckle bush. There was not much space between the bush and the fence, but it was cozy and provided ample enough shelter, and a perfect hiding place. It was a reminder of the tight quarters of its crudely made home in the swamp. It had spent the last hundred years there and didn't know any other place as home. But George, the human, spent the entire time looking for a way out of the swamp and back into civilization.
Time passed quickly, but time had no meaning to it once it was in this transformed state. It had been resting under the bush since it returned from feeding and had no idea how long it had been there. Off in the distance, a faint ringing sound roused its attention. The only thing it could see was a small light traveling with the sound toward him. The Luxican remained motionless. Waiting and watching, the light came closer and closer. The light stopped just shy of the bush and twinkled brighter as it called to the Luxican. The sound was various clicks and clacks and pings made from the rapid beating of the wood nymph's wings. The Luxican was able to clearly understand the meaning of each sound.
"Come out. I won't hurt you," the little voice spoke but the Luxican didn't move.
"We have been waiting a long time for you."
The Luxican moved out from under the cover of the bush not wanting to get too close to the shape but wanting to get a better view of it. It looked around for another figure but didn't see one. It looked around the yard as if looking for someone before he spoke.
"You said WE, who else is with you?"
"No one right now but my name is Airie, and I am the nocturnal version of the witch who lives here. She has been cursed and there are three of us that inhabit this space, but not all at once." She giggled and the sound was pleasing to the Luxican. "You will meet the other two women tomorrow. The prophecy states that you will come to help break this spell." She paused to take a breath. He was about to ask a question when she stopped him.
"It's late and you need a place to rest. All of your questions will be answered by the witch in the morning. Now, follow me."
She swiftly flew over the fence and into the yard never once looking back to see if the Luxican was following her. The Luxican was hesitant but agreed that it needed a place to reside in the city and it was in no position to actively seek a residence. So, it floated over the fence after her maintaining a safe distance if it needed to make a hasty departure.
Excerpted from "Creole Moon – The Book of Roots"
Copyright © 2015 Suzon Tropez Holmes.
Excerpted by permission of Toplink Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.