The dark, impenetrable bayous of Louisiana are filled with secrets that can never be revealed and mysterious forces that can never be understood. Nightmares live there. Jessica LeJeune left Louisiana, but she brought some of those mysterious forces with her--and now she's being called back home to her Cajun roots to confront a destiny she could not escape and a curse she might not survive.
Jessica's younger brother, Todd, has descended into a world of madness. His shattered mind is now the plaything of unimaginable evil, an unstoppable entity with cruel plans for Jessica and Todd. But Jessica is not alone in her battle to save her brother's sould. For deep in the misty bayous, in an isolated wooden shack, lives the one person who is their only hope....
|File size:||377 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Deborah LeBlanc is an award-winning, best-selling author and business owner from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is also a licensed death scene investigator, has been a paranormal investigator for over twenty years, and is currently the house clairsendium for the upcoming paranormal investigation television show, Through the Veil. She served four years as president of the Horror Writers Association, eight years as president of the Writers' Guild of Acadiana, and two years as president of Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter. In 2007, Deborah founded Literacy Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy in America’s teens. Deborah also takes her passion for literacy and a powerful ability to motivate to high schools around the country. For more information, visit www.deborahleblanc.com and www.literacyinc.com
Read an Excerpt
By Deborah LeBlanc
Copyright © 2004
All right reserved.
Eli swung his feet over the edge of the swaybacked porch and
dangled them over the murky water. He gazed down the length of
a westbound slough to the horizon. He loved the swirling hues
of sunset over the Atchafalaya. Violet and tangerine, milky
pink and rust, the colors brought him peace, something he
All around him swamp creatures gave voice to the dying day.
The resonating, high-pitched uhmmmp, uhmmmp of baby
alligators, the deep, hollow grunts of bullfrogs, the chitter
of insects too numerous to count, and the splash, gurgle of
croakers and mullets slapping against the surface of the
water. A family of nutria scurried across a nearby grassy
island while a loggerhead turtle, as big around as a dinner
plate, settled lazily over a floating log. Overhead a barred
owl screeched noisily from a tupelo, and herons and egrets
swooped and glided around Eli's small shack toward their
He watched and listened with a heavy heart. All of his life
Eli had felt as much a part of the bayou as any one of these
creatures. Now all that was changing. Lately he didn t feel
part of anything. Not the swamp, not even the human race. He
felt used up, spent. He barely slept anymore. His dreams,
which seemed to be growing more horrid over the last three
months, barely allowed him two hours of rest a night.
Eli drew in a deep breath and dipped a toe into the water.
While he watched the ripples slowly widen and spread toward a
cypress tree, he heard the faint whine of an outboard motor.
He cocked his head and strained an ear to gauge its distance.
Two miles, maybe two and a half, which meant the boat was just
outside Fosey Point, a finger inlet normally clogged with
floating mats of water hyacinth. Hundreds of jagged cypress
stumps jutted up through the hyacinth like old rotted fingers.
It was a boater's nightmare, and few attempted to cross it for
fear of propeller damage or never finding their way back. This
one, however, sounded determined, drawing ever closer, which
could only mean Johanson was headed his way.
Eli dropped his head wearily.
Thin and seemingly older than moss, Johanson had been a part
of Eli's existence for as long as he could remember. Although
the man lived inland, he showed up at the shack every so often
in his beat-up skiff and had been doing that since Eli was
five years old. Back then, Johanson would bring supplies in
from town, then take time to teach Eli about the swamp. They
would hunt and fish and most importantly talk, something Eli's
mother rarely did with him. Johanson wasn't his father, that
much Eli knew because the old man had told him so when he'd
asked. The two weren't even related. Eli had always been too
afraid to question Johanson further about why he came around
if they weren't blood kin. Maybe the man felt sorry for the
young woman and boy who fended for themselves in the swamp
without help from anyone. Eli didn't know and really didn t
care. So what if Johanson's reason for coming was pity? He
just never wanted the old man to stop visiting.
Although their relationship continued to grow and strengthen
over time, it had taken on an abrupt change after Eli's
twelfth birthday. Eli woke up that particular morning
expecting to find an apple propped on the foot of his cot, the
usual birthday gift from his mother. Instead, he discovered
his mother sprawled across the floor, ten feet away, dead.
When Eli had gotten up enough nerve to get out of bed and
investigate, he found bluish-green foam pooling onto the floor
from her lips and a half-empty can of drain cleaner near her
body. Saddened, but not surprised that she d taken her life,
Eli had waited a few hours before dragging the petite woman's
body out of the house and onto the porch. He rolled her body
into the water and allowed it to float away. It didn't go very
far because of the tangle of water lilies and tree stumps, so
he'd just watched her caramel-colored face bob up and down
until the cloudy waters swallowed her.
Soon after Eli left the watery grave, he went to a nearby
island to check on nutria traps. Normally his mother ran
ground traps, and he ran the water traps and catfish lines.
Now, with only himself to depend on, he'd have to learn how to
Eli's first ground trap lesson nearly cost him a foot. Still
thinking about his mother, he'd walked across the line run
without paying proper attention and wound up stepping into a
trap that had been hidden under a blanket of moss. Fortunately
the contraption had been old and rusted, and when the metal
teeth snapped around his foot just above the ankle, it
punctured skin and muscle but didn't crush bone.
After an hour of struggling with the trap, Eli finally freed
his foot. The moment it was released, an overpowering urge to
spit on the wounds came over him. So he spat ... and the
puncture wounds closed instantly. For some reason Eli was
never able to explain, he had been no more surprised by the
healing than he had been about his mother's death. What did
surprise him, however, was what followed.
Excerpted from Family Inheritance
by Deborah LeBlanc
Copyright © 2004 by Deborah LeBlanc.
Excerpted by permission.
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.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I very much enjoyed Deborah LeBlanc's first novel. Family Inheritance takes that old Southern fiction standby - madness, and spins it into a tale of terror.Jessica LeJuene's drifter brother is hospitilized forcing her to return home to Louisiana. Meanwhile a mysterious swamp=dwelling healer is battling with a demon and is seeking Jessica out for reasons he does not quite understand.The book opens with an eerie scene of two girls who've managed to dare each other into paying a visit to a gris gris man to see if he can determine the sex of the pregnant friend's unborn child.The scene was very well written and evocative. Throughout the book Deborah LeBlanc managed very well to capture the atmosphere of Louisiana's bayous and small towns.Her characters could use a little work. Two of the main characters (Jessica leJuene and her brother Todd) were handled pretty well, but the other characters were fairly sketchy. Not bad really and this is only a first novel.Dialog also was sort of spotty at times, but she did a great job relaying the Cajun accents to an outsider like me.I think she also handled Todd's unstable mental state very well. Reading his chapters could be very nonsensical and frustrating, but in a good way.The story flows along nicely, revealing bits and pieces here and there. Many I had already figured out ahead of time, but others were a surprise. It culminates in a well written and exciting ending, though I did have a gripe about a character having knowledge from out of nowhere simply because it was needed to bring a story to a close.Overall, Family Inheritance was a fun, slightly shaky first novel. I enjoyed it and will continue to read her books. And can I add it is so nice to see a female horror writer from that part of the country that isn't dealing with endless series or erotic vampires?
Ms. LeBlanc does a wonderful job of capturing the look and feel of Louisiana in her writing. Being from Louisiana myself I could easily picture the shacks on the bayous, but no matter where your from I think you can imagine it. She just does THAT well with her writing.I recognized a lot of folklore throughout the story that has been passed on from generation to generation and I'm glad to see someone who was able to capture that and make it into a book we can all enjoy. The story was full of mystery! I was interested and excited! It didn't take me long to finish because I just didn't want to put it down; it's one of those stories that really pulls you in and keeps you reading. If your into a little bit of superstition, some paranormal, and some serious dark mystery then I recommend that you check out this book!
From the first page to the last, Family Inheritance is a page turner. You certainly have to leave the light on for this one!! Or as we say down in the bayou, 'dat some scary stuff'.
Ms. Leblanc has had an incredible start as a new author, to say the least. Just when you think you're going to put it down, the story pulls you in further. Would love to see it as a movie. Can't wait for Part 2!!
It took me about three weeks to read this book, because it just didn't keep my attention. After getting into the book about halfway I got interested in it. In the end, it turned out to be a decent book. Not anything great, but it'll do.
Gripping! Filled with spine-tingling chapters, this is a page-turning novel you will not want to set down! Seasoned just right, this is better than gumbo!
When I finally got my hands on this book, I read it in ONE day! It is a non stop thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This is a tremendous accomplishment for a new author. I can't wait to read Deborah's next book!!
A great accomplishment for a new author. I got my hands on this novel this weekend and read it ONE day! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and couldn't put it down. There are thrills from the very beginning that escalate throughout the book. It kept my heart pounding and my leg bouncing the whole time. This is a must read for all psychological thriller fans!! I can't wait to read her next book!
We start this story with a pregnant woman and her friend going to a witch doctor in the Louisiana swamp to figure out the sex of the unborn baby. But something goes terribly wrong. Flash forward 30 years to the present. Eli is a swamp rat that has some healing properties. He takes the evil spirit Maikana from those affected by it, which means he takes a part of the spirit into himself until it is eventually worked out of his system. Something goes terribly wrong and he is partially possessed by the spirit and knows he has to get to a woman that is plaguing his dreams. Somehow they are connected. Jessica LeJeunne just got promoted to Manager at the plastic factory she works in. but is suddenly hit with a strange headache and hearing voices in her head. She also learns that her brother was found behaving strangely and was sent to the local mental hospital. Todd, Jessica's brother is possessed by the spirit Maikana and is trying to kill himself. Basically it comes down to Jessica and Eli trying to get together to balance the powers of good and evil between the two of them while at the same time save Todd. I think there was potential to this story. But I was getting tired of all the fighting everyone was doing with themselves instead of getting to the point and saving those that need saving. Don't get me wrong, it was a good book, there was good possibilities and twists and turns to the story. But this is one book that I could have done without.
This is a exciting, breath-taking,and a 'keep you on the edge of your seat' kind of book. This coming from someone who doestn't like to read. A friend of mine told me to read this book, that it was so good and that she couldn't put it down. I told her I didn't like to read because when I read a book I got bored with it and wanted to fall asleep. She said not with this book, I'll bet you $50 bucks that if you read this book you won't be bored and you'll actually like it. Well, nevertheless, I bought the book, and well lets just say my friend is $50 bucks richer. I'd really like to see this book as a movie!
¿Family Inheritance,¿ by Deborah LeBlanc, is both a terrifying tale of suspense and screams and, at the same time, an affirming story of sibling devotion against all odds. On one side of the climactic battle of good and evil are Todd Guidry and his elder sister, Jessica Guidry LeJeune. Instrumental to the climax of the story is the elderly Eli, a swamp-dwelling ¿rasaunt¿ or healer. On the other side is the demon Maikana, which has possessed Todd Guidry and driven him mad, sending the man to a psychiatric facility. How the siblings are drawn into the web of hatred and lies woven by Maikana, how Jessica LeJeune confronts the demons in her own soul, and how the power of faith and love still triumphs in steamy bayouland is the direction of this novel. LeBlanc has taken her own south Louisiana roots and developed a novel which snares us into her own web of storytelling brilliance. The situations, which may seem alien or utterly impossible, are made totally real to the reader. The journey into her own past as an abused child, protecting her younger brother, brings Jessica LeJeune into the forefront of literary characters blessed with strength, love, and power. The honesty of the character, coupled with her determination to help her stricken brother, rings true with every page. In a book where over-the-top horror could have been a temptation, LeBlanc has imbued her horror fiction with a heavy dollop of family, friends, and relationships, which removes it from the potboiler category and sets it on a higher plane of quality. The creation of the malevolent demon Maikana is a thorough tour-de-force for the author, obviously steeped in folk Louisiana traditions and tales of terror. Likewise, the character of Eli and his primitive beginnings as a local faith-healer is drawn from the life of south Louisiana where such healers are rare and treasured, though generally shunned and misunderstood members of a community. His own journey of determination to seek out Jessica and make possible not only Todd¿s healing but also the unexpected conclusion of the story, one worth every moment of this page turner.