Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Tour: Lalin Bonheur by Margaret O. Howard

About the Book

Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.
But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.
Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin's protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.
The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it's what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.

Author Bio
Margaret O. Howard is a writer and former dancer, who grew up in the Deep South and currently walks the gulf beaches of Florida every morning, She adores her two sons, three rescue cats, cool weather, travel, photography, ballet, books, and mermaids. Her novel, Lalin Bonheur, is set in the city of voudou queens, New Orleans. You can visit her at margaretohoward.wordpress,com, Margaret Howard Trammell on Facebook, or @howardomargaret on Twitter.

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Book Excerpt

 We’ve only been at this place near Bayou Sara for five days, but already our prospects for the future have improved. My Etienne is very smart. 

He did go to see the lady, Madame Nanette she’s called, at her plantation. And what he learned there will give us both a chance to start our new lives. First off, the lady needs a man who knows the market business for her sugarcane. So anxious, she is, to have some help with this that she doesn’t need a list of references. I’m sure his charm and handsome face make her decision much easier. My love is tall with dark hair, deep brown eyes, and creamy, glowing skin. 

Etienne will work for her on trial at Bon Aimée. If she likes his progress, he’ll be the new manager for her plantation business. 

While he’s there, she tells him that her young son, not yet twenty, has a strange illness, which makes him very weak. It’s this story that interests me. I may find a place for my skills, too. Herbs and powders I have with me. And in the woods and fields around these farms, I can find more plants to supply me with my treatments. If I can heal her son with my magic, then I’ll be in favor with the lady of the big house. Etienne has told her of my cures, so today I go to meet Madame Nanette.

Above the treetops, pale blue spreads against the bank of clouds. A good sign for me, it is. Clear skies always bring me power. Madame Nanette has given Etienne one horse to use. It’s lucky that he knows this skill, as many city boys don’t learn to ride. But for me, this experience is new. 

“Let me handle the horse. She’s a gentle animal. No need to worry.” 

She whinnies, shakes her mane, and looks at me with big round eyes. He boosts me up, and I must share the saddle with him. I straighten my long skirt, trying to wrap it tight around my legs. His warm body pressed against me gives comfort, as the horse trots on along the path toward the river road.

I laugh now with relief that I haven’t fallen off, but as she breaks into a gallop, I grip Etienne’s knees with all my strength. “Pray slow down!” I cry. Still, we continue at the same speed. 

“Merci,” I say, when he wraps one arm around my waist and holds reins with the other. The wind blows curls free from my tignon, but I dare not raise my hands to tuck them back. Bouncing in this saddle will surely give me blisters.

Luckily the ride’s not too long. We slow to a trot again when we approach the big house. Live oaks shade the narrow carriage trail. The plantation homes aren’t so very different from the mansions on Esplanade. Perhaps they’re wider and, with the grounds spread out for miles around them, they seem enormous.

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