Monthly Archives: December 2014

Christmas in New Orleans with Author Camille Faye!!

xmas in nola

Photo courtesy Chris Wieland

My family took a trip to New Orleans during Christmas of 2008. While I was there I fell in love with the culture of this unique city, so much so that I dreamed up my novel Voodoo Butterfly while I was there. I, literally, had a dream about my main character and her NOLA world. Read on and I’ll tell you more about that AFTER I take you through what Christmas in New Orleans looks like.

Grab a Drink

Where else in the world can you walk down the street and see: street performers, costumed partygoers, otherworldly characters like vampires, jazz musicians, fortune-tellers, and perhaps even a ghost? You’ll probably want to grab a drink just to help you deal with the initial culture shock that the French Quarter can deal you. On my trip, I tried a famous Hurricane from Pat O’Brien’s [LINK] which is a cocktail with rum, more rum, a splash of juice, topped off with more rum, a cherry and orange garnish.

Christmas Caroling in Jackson Square

I tell you what, there’s something totally freeing about walking around in public with an open container. Legally. When everyone’s doing it, you can really get into the spirit of things. In fact, everyone showed up for Christmas caroling in Jackson Square with their cups of liquid holiday cheer. People spilled out of the gardens in the center of the square with a cup in one hand and a lit candle and song sheet in the other hand. Some song sheets did catch fire, but it was probably just the wind. Looking back…wind, open flames, booze, and song sheets are probably not the best combination. But caroling in front of St. Louis Cathedral is one of my favorite memories of my time in New Orleans.

Papa Noel Bonfires

Papa Noel Bonfires in Cajun country (3)

Another favorite memory actually did require the fire department to be on hand. We took a Papa Noel tour on Christmas Eve that brought us into Cajun country to see the lighting of massive bonfires. On one of these tours you get to not only see these massive pyres lined up for miles, but you get out of the bus and walk up and down the levees where they are constructed. And, you guessed it, everyone is having a party.

A long time ago, Cajun children worried that Papa Noel (i.e. Santa Claus) would not be able to find their homes for all the nightly fog that blankets the swamplands. So families built bonfires to successfully lead Papa Noel through the swamp as his eight feisty alligators pull his pirogue (reindeers will not do in the swamp because the alligators would eat them).

Papa Noel Bonfires in Cajun country (7)

These bonfires also represent generations of family pride and craftsmanship since the best structures take several weeks of careful planning and construction. Most structures are built into two-story tall pyramids, but some take the shape of castles or houses. After generations of perfecting their technique, families build them so well that the vertical poles that hold up the structure will remain intact as the horizontal timbers and inner kindling burn down to the ground overnight.

Magic and a Dream

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that while I visited New Orleans, I had a dream that inspired Voodoo Butterfly. The first flash was of a woman who was walking the streets of NOLA at night, hoping that someone would attack her because the moment they laid a hand on her they would change from evil to good. The second flash in my dream showed me a vision of Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans completely covered in monarch butterflies. As a story itched in my mind, I decided to make that character inherit a voodoo shop. The only problem? She would know nothing about voodoo or her secret power at the start of the novel.

About Voodoo Butterfly:


When twenty-five-year old Sophie Nouveau inherits her grandmother’s voodoo shop she knows nothing about voodoo. Or her family’s history of Mind Changers who have the power to change evil people good. To complicate matters, someone doesn’t want Sophie in New Orleans and sends a series of death threats to scare her away from her new enchanted life.

Tipped off by her grandmother’s ghost, Sophie realizes her mind changing spell’s been missing one magic ingredient: true love. If Sophie cannot experience transformative love, she cannot make her spell work, and she will be powerless to fight back when confronted by the one who wants her dead.

About the Author:


Camille Faye lives in Missouri, loves on her family, and writes during the baby’s nap time. She grew up in a haunted house, which sparked her fascination with the paranormal. Before becoming a writer, she reported for an NBC affiliate and taught writing at universities in Missouri and Illinois. She found the muse for her debut novel, Voodoo Butterfly, during a family trip to New Orleans where she dreamt of a woman who had the power to change evil people good. The Northwest Houston RWA named her novel, Voodoo Butterfly, a 2013 Lone Star Contest finalist. Camille’s stories are inspired by her travels to 27 countries and counting! Follow her journey at

Voodoo Butterfly is available on for $2.99. It’s free for some people, so check your Amazon membership perks (Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime).
Camille Faye | Author
Voodoo Butterfly | Available on
Experience love, purpose, and the paranormal in New Orleans.
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Spotlight On


Thursday Thread with Author Patricia Hudson!

Today’s featured author is Patricia Hudson, who has written the novel, Love on the Double T.


Love on the Double T by Patricia Hudson
Western Romance
Buy link:


Molly Mckintock has had enough! She and her daughter, Joanna, escape the terror of an abusive husband and flee to the Double T Ranch in Oklahoma. Never did she expect to fall in love with the handsome rancher who offers her protection, but Joe is everything a man should be. He’s kind, trustworthy, and passionate. The day they kiss in his office, the way he groans with desire, the longing in his eyes tells her all she needs to know.
But eventually, Molly’s violent past catches up with her in this suspenseful romantic thriller. Will her estranged husband reclaim his most prized possession, or will love on The Double T conquer all!


Molly ran her fingers across the worn leather halter as she opened the closet door. How could she not? It hung from the doorknob and had for eight years. The sight and feel of its frayed seams and dull buckles brought the memories flooding back—her beautiful thoroughbred, Daven, flying over the jumps, her younger self perched on his back, the cool wind on her face, a sense of invincibility soaring through her.
When he died, she walked away from horses and never turned back. It was only when she had to get into the darned closet that the vision crashed into her mind, reminding her of a better time. She could move the halter, but some part of her wanted to stay connected, couldn’t bear to erase that part of her life.
With Joanna to care for, she didn’t have much time to remember her past. Her days were filled with the usual things mothers of seven-year-olds do . . . carpooling, Girl Scouts, play dates and nagging to get homework done. It was left to her to do the parenting. John had no interest in being a father.
Molly dragged the vacuum cleaner from the closet. John would be home soon. She’d been busy with errands all day and hadn’t had a chance to run the vacuum. She doubted that he cared, but if she didn’t get it done, it would be one more excuse for him to berate her. There was enough without her adding to the list.
She called into her daughter’s bedroom, “Joanna, ten more minutes and lights out.”
“Mommy, please, I want to finish the movie,” Joanna whined.
Molly didn’t answer. Focused on her chores, her palms sweaty and her heart racing, she buzzed through the rooms. It dawned on her that she hadn’t started dinner yet, and John would be home any minute. Leaving the vacuum in front of the closet door, she rushed to the kitchen.
She shoved the pan of pork chops into the oven and grabbed a bag of potatoes. Scraping away the peel with shaking hands, she caught her knuckle with the razor sharp peeler. Sucking the blood, she rummaged through the cupboard for a vegetable. John hated canned vegetables, but she had no choice tonight and seized a can of corn, emptying the contents into a saucepan to heat.
The front door opened. Dear God, she hadn’t put the vacuum away and dinner would be at least another hour. Heart pounding, she grabbed a beer and went into the living room to greet him.


Twitter: @authorPHudson

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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Thursday Thread