Author, biracial, Chicklit, Drama, family, Fiction, ghosts, indie authors, Murder, mystery, Paranormal, Romance, supernatural, supernatural, women, writing

Excerpt from The Body Hunters: Paradise Denied-Meeting with the Cartwright’s

Here’s an excerpt from Book 2 in our series, The Body Hunters: Paradise Denied. In this snippet, our psychic detectives Aiden and Danielle meet with the grieving family of Jason Cartwright. Enjoy!

The JTC Technology Corporation campus occupied several hundred acres of San Jose real estate. The driver dropped Aiden and Danny off in front of the company’s headquarters. For a few seconds they stood gaping at the sharp inclines and daring angles of the building’s structural design which looked like some futuristic spacecraft from a science fiction movie. Security officers awaited them as they stepped into the expansive five-story complex. After signing the two of them in, giving them guest badges, and taking Danny’s laptop out of her messenger bag and giving it a once over before giving it back to her, they were allowed to pass into the lobby.

Stepping into the headquarters was like entering a time machine into the future. The building’s interior consisted of polished chrome, black marble and mirrored glass. Twin, glass enclosed elevators were located in the middle of the first floor, while a staircase that looked more like a glass art sculpture offered access to all levels of the building. The sun was nearly blinding, reflecting off the polished tile floor of the lobby. Since it was around lunch time, the atrium was hectic with activity. Mixed among the mundane sea of neutral office attire were what Danny assumed were the more relaxed creative geniuses in their brightly-colored classic cartoon and superhero T-shirts.

A man, no older than thirty of Asian descent was standing in the lobby near a large bronze sculpture of a hand holding a globe. His thin body was pretty much built like a stick figure, his polo shirt and khakis a couple sizes too large, hanging off his lanky frame. The smile he greeted Danny and Aiden with was as inviting as a bathtub full of ice cubes.

“I’m Carter Wu, lead software developer for JTC Technology. Welcome.” He said boringly as if they were stopping him from doing more important work. “If you come with me, I’ll give you a tour of the facility.”

“I thought we were supposed to meet with the Cartwright’s?” Aiden spoke up as they started to follow.

Carter sighed and rolled his eyes, his tone of voice condescending. “Unfortunately, their board meeting is running a little late. By the time our tour is over they should be ready for you.”
Carter didn’t sound very enthused to be doing what some would consider babysitting. With as much heart as an automaton, he gave them the abridged history of JTC Technology.
The company started in Boston, where Jason Cartwright a technological prodigy, was attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT at the age of fifteen. He had programmed his first computer operating system at the age of sixteen. That same year, with his parents insistence he had started JTC Technology out of the family’s garage.

Eight years later JTC was a highly successful Fortune 500 company. Though they were successful in the private sector with their computer programs and consumer gadgets, the bulk of the company’s profits came from their contracts with the United States Defense Department. JTC did everything from create simulators where military recruits could enact crucial combat situations to supply electronics military personnel used on the battlefield.

They were given a full tour of the grounds, which included the Research and Development building located east of the main complex and the programming wing where computer programs were born. With the tour completed, Carter took them to the fifth floor of the headquarters where the board meeting was just ending. Sullen-faced board members were filing out as they approached

“Your guests, sir.” Carter snidely announced to Tim Cartwright, CEO and the victim’s father. “Would you be requiring anything else?”

Tim seemed to narrow his eyes on Carter as if silently reprimanding him and his unpleasant attitude. “It’s alright, Carter, we can take it from here.”

Dismissing the software developer,Tim took Danny’s hand in his own and kissed it. Aiden glared. He didn’t approve at all! Jealousy reared its head in him, and all he could do was to keep glowering at the man. Tim Cartwright failed to notice.

Tim smiled widely showing off a set of teeth worthy of a tooth paste commercial. He was rakishly handsome, the type of man who only looked better with age. He was a few inches shorter than Aiden. His height and wide-shouldered build hinted at a previous athletic career, evident in his stance and the graceful way he moved. His dark hair was surrendering to gray with strands of silver mixed throughout.

He led them into the conference room where Barbara, or Barbie as she liked to be called, was waiting. She and Tim looked to have coordinated their attire, both of them dressed in black power suits. With the shake-up at the company and with their son the brainchild missing and presumed dead, Danny assumed they were trying to keep up a united front for the stockholders.
“Thank you so much for coming.” Barbie welcomed them, offering them a seat at the oblong mahogany table. She took a seat at the table’s head with Tim to her right. Introductions were made all around with the Cartwright’s insisting on being addressed by their first names. Danny and Aiden also offered their condolences.

“Do you have a picture of Jason?” Danny asked.

Reaching into his jacket pocket, Tim produced a picture of his son and slid it across the table to Danny. Jason smiled back in the photo which apparently was taken on his graduation day from MIT since he was wearing his cap and gown. He was a good looking kid, a scrawny carbon copy of his father.

“Is it OK if I keep it?” She asked.

“Of course you can.” Barbie said with a nod.

“We really hope you can help us.” Tim’s jovial expression had softened, his hands clasped in front of him. He looked to be on the verge of tears, worry lines creasing his brow.

“We’ll try our best, Tim.” Danny sincerely offered.

“You two come highly recommended. What is your experience with cases such as this?” Barbie asked.

“Well I worked with both the New Orleans and the New York Police Department along with my brief experience with the FBI as a consultant. I also worked as a contractor with the Federal Government solving cold cases.” Danny said, offering her references.

“I served with the Marines for three tours in Afghanistan. After that I worked with the FBI for two years in their Criminal Investigation Division.” Aiden informed them.

“You were the one with Cassie when she was kidnapped by Gerard right? Weren’t you his fiancée?” Barbie asked Danny. Upon hearing Gerard’s name, she took a deep breath to answer, but Aiden spoke up before she could get a word out.

“Yes, she was, and I was the agent that rescued them.”

“Well then it looks like we’re in good hands.” Tim observed, nodding to his wife. “Hopefully you can help us track down that woman our son was fool enough to marry.”

Danny looked confused. “I thought we were also trying to locate your son? He’s still missing isn’t he?”

Frowning, Barbie waved her hand indifferently. “At this point it’s more of a recovery operation than a rescue. The authorities were only able to recover two bodies from the yacht’s wreckage. They say we may never find Jason’s body.”

“You try to protect your kids, but sometimes they just won’t listen.” Tim hid his reddened eyes with the palm of his hand and started bawling. Supportively, his wife clenched his other hand.
Vengeance blazed in Barbie’s eyes. “Whatever it costs to find that murderous bitch, we’ll pay it. We’ll give you access to our private jet, and we’ll provide you a company credit card to cover any expenses you may incur. Whatever you need, name it and it will be provided to you.”

Danny and Aiden considered the offer to be quite generous, and they were able to come to agreeable terms with the Cartwright’s as far as their fee for their investigative services.
Curiosity got the best of Barbie. “Tell me, you two are working together, but are you lovers as well?”

Danny gave a sharp intake of air, the sound similar to someone suddenly letting the air out of a balloon. “What?”

Aiden stepped in for her, his tone stern and reproachful. “With all due respect, whatever our relationship is, it’s between us. Danielle and I have worked well together in the past, and it will in no way affect how we work on finding your daughter-in-law.” Just because they were rich and paying for their services didn’t give them the right to pry into their personal lives.

Barbie apologized profusely. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend or be so forward. Since that business with Gerard and hearing that you were her rescuer, well there just seems to be a certain kind of chemistry between the two of you.”

“Please don’t mention that monster’s name again. It’s over and in the past now.” Aiden said.

“Please accept our apologies. I can see that would be a very horrible memory. We didn’t mean any harm, right honey?” Barbie nodded in agreement with Tim’s statement.

“Apology accepted, Now if we can get down to business let’s just focus on finding your daughter-in-law.” Danny changed the subject and opened her laptop ready to take notes. “What can you tell me about her?”

“She’s a gold digging, white trash bitch. How’s that for a start?” Barbie spat venomously.

“Ah OK, let’s start with where did she and Jason meet?” Aiden clarified the questioning.

Barbie turned to Tim, and he shrugged. “I think they met when she was still married to Jason’s friend. What was his name?” Tim snapped his fingers repeatedly as if it would help him remember. “What was his name…Winston? Eric Winston. I know for a fact Eric met her at a strip club where she was performing.”

Danny and Aiden exchanged a look. They weren’t privy to that particular nugget of information.

“She was a stripper?” Aiden asked.

Tim nodded grimly.

“She killed him, you know. Shot that poor boy to death and left him in the woods. The animals had devoured him before his body was found.” Barbie informed them, snatching a handful of tissue from a nearby box and blowing her nose. “My poor son. We don’t even have a body to bury. I swear she’s going to pay for what she did.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss.” Danny offered, patting Barbie’s hand.

Barbie sniffled and dabbed at her eyes. “It’s OK darling.”

Tim had since composed himself. “She killed the Winston kid on their honeymoon. Good kid that he was. Jason felt sorry for her and offered to pay for Amanda’s legal defense. The prosecutors didn’t have enough to bring her to trial so they dropped the case. Next thing I know Jason is hanging around with this girl, and last week we find out they’ve eloped.”

“Eric didn’t put her in the will as his beneficiary so his family contested her inheriting his millions. She didn’t follow through with the legal battle because she got her hooks in another rich victim; my son.” Barbie said.

“I think the wise thing to do is start where it all began and track her from there.” Danny said to Aiden. “It’s only been a few days. She hasn’t gone that far.”

He nodded, turning to the Cartwright’s. “You said they eloped to Hawaii?”

“Yes. They were secretly married two days before the boat explosion.” Tim said.

“Jason and the girl used our private villa in Hawaii before the explosion. The police weren’t able to find any leads there and have given it the all clear. You two are welcome to use it. I’ll have it prepared for your arrival.” Barbie said, taking her smart phone and rapidly sending a text message.

“That’s fine. It may take a day or two, though” Aiden agreed. “We need to get back to Georgia, touch base with our government contacts and go from there.

After another twenty-five minutes of ironing out the details and arrangements, both of them caught the waiting Town car back to the hotel.

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Author, Chicklit, friends, haters, Indie Author, life lessons, Uncategorized

Haters in Disguise

“Yeah, I’ve got this new project I’m working on that I’m really excited about.” I say, not able to hide my huge grin.

“Oh really? What’s that?” My friend narrows her eyes and takes a sip of her coffee.

I proceed to tell her all about my new endeavor as an indie author. I watch as her expression goes from curious to something akin to amusement. After I finish my story she pummels me with questions about what I’m working on, all of them with a negative slant. After her interrogation she redirects the conversation to focus on this magical project she’s working on, which she never mentioned until I mentioned mine. Of course her project is way better than mine in every way possible. In the mean time I’m seriously starting to second guess myself. After we part ways self doubt is nagging at me and I’m starting to question my project.

If you’re doing anything outside the box, I’m sure you’re run into people like that, sometimes even in your inner circle. They humor you, sometimes giving you a pat on the head and a Scooby Snack. They think you’re so cute with your delusions of grandeur and dreams of success. As they’re talking, you feel your enthusiasm for your project begin to wane. You trust these people since they’re supposedly your friend and they only have your best interests at heart. They wouldn’t steer you wrong would they?  Don’t fall for it.

Recognize them for what they are; a hater in disguise. Because they’re wearing a friendly face, it’s hard to identify these creatures for what they really are. Your friend couldn’t possibly be a hater, could they? Oh they may be polite and nice about it, claiming to just be looking out for you, they are your friend after all. The fact still remains that they want to stop you in your tracks. Sometimes it may be just outright jealousy that you’re on a path to pursue your dreams and they’re stuck in the same rut. It may that they hate change and want to keep you confined to the safe little box. They may be afraid that with your new project you won’t have the same time available to devote to your friendship. Whatever the case may be, as long as you’re not doing anything illegal or that can hurt you or someone else, don’t let these human roadblocks stand in your way.

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Drama, Fiction, Indie Author, Mental Health, Uncategorized, writing

Passive Agressiveness and The Art of Writing Drama

The term passive-aggressive is defined as the “unassertive” expression of negative sentiments, feelings of anger and resentfulness. So instead of verbally or physically expressing frustration or anger — or even simply saying “no” when asked to complete a task — someone described as passive-aggressive might simply act agreeable but then not follow through with completing the task.

 

I am a classic passive aggressive. My entry into this world was filled with drama having been born early and with the umbilical cord around my throat. I joke and say I was trying to leave before I even arrived. Ok,  not really funny but that kind of humor is what has gotten me by all these umpteen yrs. I was supposed to be dead and if it weren’t for 1 pediatrician that had refused to give up I would have been. My drama doesn’t end there. My mother for reasons speculated but ultimately unknown killed herself in a most dramatic fashion 1 month before my 1st birthday. my brothers witnessed all the drama and aftermath that shaped their lives forever. My father could only mentioned it when he was drunk. In all my baby pictures and there are not a lot of them, she is never pictured holding me.

Now before you get out a tissue and give me a bunch of ‘awws’ please don’t. My aim in telling you all this was not for pity. I’m over it in a lot of ways except the eternal questions that will haunt me forever and even that’s ok, it’s supposed too. No, I told you this so you know how my passive aggressiveness started and why it is I think it makes for my love of writing drama.

My co-author Joi recently decided to write the drama of a 4 way argument of our characters in book 4 of our series we are writing now. She told me by the end of the day she was utterly exhausted having the arguments in her head and having it with each character telling her what they wanted to say. If you’re a drama writer I dare say you’ll understand that statement.

Now I am the one who usually handles this and even though, yes it is exhausting , it is also where I live. It gives me the ability to take out the hidden aggression buried deep in my psyche and release it on an unsuspecting audience. I want to tap into anger? I only have to look no farther than into a ready stream of memories of my childhood.

Here’s the weird part. I love to write drama, I want you to feel the thrill of the roller coaster ride of emotions that ensues when you know something big is going to take place. I want you talking back to the characters, yelling at them how mad you are at their actions and words. I want you to believe they and all their problems and triumphs really exist, but I can’t watch it neither on television or in the movies. I watch Scandal on the edge of my seat eating Tums. I recently saw an ad for a new movie with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney where they are in deep shit in deep space. I have to change the channel till it’s over. The ad also has the nerve to say you can enjoy the movie in 3D. Are they serious? I would have a heart attack!

Now if anyone reading this is a psychoanalyst or just psycho, please feel free to comment on the weirdness of that. Just keep it clean. I would also like comments on your feelings on writing drama. What do you tap into? Where do you go to bring it out and bring it to life on paper? How do you feel after writing a scene that is argumentative drama and what do you do to get yourself back to a normal emotional state?

Looking forward to your comments and here’s wishing you good mental health.

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Author, Chicklit, Indie Author, life lessons

Writer’s Kryptonite

Chances are if you’re a writer you’ve been afflicted by it. No matter how well you write, you’ve got a weakness, your writer’s kryptonite.

Some writers have issues with the ‘there’ family. You know, there, their, and the distant cousin they’re. Others have issues with the it sisters, it’s and its. I know what mine is, though I try to get work through my problem. You see my issue is then and than.

I can put the definition of each word in front of me and I still get it wrong 75% of the time. Sometimes my Word program will catch it, sometimes not so much. My poor little brain just can’t get wrapped around the difference. I’m only human so oh well and I never said I was perfect.

My coauthor Von pointed that very fact out to me yesterday. She had a lengthy conversation with our editor, Reggie who’s working through Book 3 in our series. When Reggie came across a particularly hot scene, it had my sticky fingerprints all over it because of my misuse of than and then. Von laughed at me and I happened to point out her kryptonite which is wave and waive. When you’re coauthors with somebody and you’re reading and editing the other person’s work, you have a tendency to pick out their weaknesses.

I’m not worried about it, I’ll overcome my kryptonite someday. I did the same thing with the bought and brought boys not too long ago.

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Author, Chicklit, Drama, Fiction, mystery, Paranormal, supernatural, supernatural, Uncategorized

Building a Hero

When we went about creating our hero for our first novel, The Body Hunters, we wanted him to be different. The white guy with the unruly hair and the roguish countenance had been done to death and we were tired of the sparkly vampires. Our guy had to be exotic and a man all his own. When Danielle saw him for the first time, we wanted her to be like ‘Whoa!’. I wish I could get a mental picture of what our readers fantasize about when they read about him. I know who we looked to for inspiration when we created him.

Like Danielle, Aiden is psychic, what we call a physical medium who can access the memories stored in objects. Danny may be a prodigy with her abilities, having been formally trained by her Grandmere, but Aiden needs work. She has to teach him how to use his new found psychic powers.

Our male lead had to be an alpha male foremost. It would suit him well since he would be Danielle Labouleaux’s friend, lover, confidant, and protector. Making him a former military man was no question, which would eventually lead to his career as an FBI agent. Though Danielle or Danny as we call her is headstrong and feisty, he needed to be her voice of reason during her emotional crisis.  He’d give her so much leeway to misbehave, before reigning her back in.

We also needed him to reside on 64 Gutter Lane. A hero is no fun without the bad boy edge, so Aiden definitely has a one track mind that runs right into the gutter. His flirtatious comments always make Danny blush and make for some fun banter and situations between the two.

Though he may sound like the perfect man, we also wanted to ground him in reality.  Aiden isn’t perfect, in fact he’s far from it. He’s bad with money and spends it like there’s no tomorrow. He also has a bad temper and can sometimes be a slob. That’s where Danny comes in to help him where he’s weak, while he does the same for her.

Our readers gravitate to him like bees to honey.  Though we wanted women to love our hero, we didn’t think they’d love him to the point of taking his side in arguments and blaming Danny for all their problems. In creating Danny’s soul mate, we may have just created a monster. I’m pretty sure that Aiden Stone would be happy with that.

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Author, Chicklit, Drama, Fiction, Indie Author

Cassandra and Dominick Hopkins

Here’s a backstory of  Cassandra and Dominick Hopkins, supporting character’s from The Body Hunters.

Cassandra Hopkins walked to her door in the sweltering hot Phoenix sun, fresh from a day at the salon, She had the works, nails, hair, massage. Feeling refreshed she bounded into her spacious home she shared with her plastic surgeon husband Dominick. He is a short somewhat partially balding 38 year old black man and she genuinely loved him. Dropping off her bags in a nearby chair, she flitted to his home office to see him sitting behind his sparse desk looking over paperwork. Her long blond hair cascaded down her cheeks as she bent over to lean in for a kiss from him. His breathe smelled of alcohol. It was four pm. He’s been drinking for probably at least two hours now. She held her tongue about it knowing to say even the slightest thing about his drinking would at this point spark another fight that would end with him leaving in a fit of rage and disappearing for an all night bender.

“Would you like dinner honey?” she tried to hide her outward disgust at his inebriated state.

Dominick stood up from the desk and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close to him burying his nose into her neck.”No, I want you.” he slurred into her ear.

‘Great’ she thought to herself , ‘at least it’s a horny drunk and not angry drunk’ she knew if she acquiesced to his demand for sex he’d fall asleep soon enough and at least he wouldn’t be roaming the streets of Phoenix. He’d missed a lot work  lately and she knew it would be a matter of time before he would be fired from the Beautiful Image Spa and Surgical Center. She also knew if it wasn’t for Dr. Gerard Wolfe looking out for Dominick, he’d already been fired. She led Dominick down the hall and into their bedroom.

Staring into her vanity mirror wearing just her robe, she wondered why she even bothered getting her hair done, It was in complete disarray from his drunk sloppy lovemaking. ‘It wasn’t always this way’ she thought to herself as she dabbed the corners of her misty eyes. She left a sleeping Dominick softly snoring face down on the bed. ‘Good, at least he’ll sleep it off at home.’

Wandering into her vast kitchen, she made herself a light snack. Ever since her stomach bypass surgery years before, with her loose skin hanging, she sought out a plastic surgeon to have it removed. She had found a fresh new doctor Dominick Hopkins. she stuck with the several small meals a day routine careful not to over stuff her now tiny stomach. She reminisced about meeting young Dr. Hopkins for the first time, she herself a young woman with low self esteem. He too had his own self esteem issues, feeling like an outcast at the hospital he worked at, they, over the course of time became friends and when her surgery was over, he purposely transferred her case to another doctor so he could ask her out. Theirs was a deep love and genuine caring for each other.

They struggled financially first seven years of their marriage. His student loans alone would take decades to pay off and were higher than even their mortgage on their small home. Sitting on the bar stool at the kitchen island, she was picking at her salad with her fork when her mind raced back to when their lives changed practically overnight.

Dr. Gerard Wolfe entered into their lives like a whirlwind. He was a cranio facial specialist and had a passion for helping children with facial deformities overseas. He visited the hospital Dominick worked at, giving a seminar on the latest facial reconstructive procedures. Dominick had an immediate man crush and apparently Dr. Wolfe saw potential in Dominick as well. Dr. Wolfe offered him a chance of a lifetime, two years of donated service to Angel Faces organization that Dr. Wolfe headed up in exchange for real world experience and international travel, plus the payoff of all his student loans, Cassandra and Dominick could hardly believe their ears. Dr. Wolfe was one of the foremost cranio facial/plastic surgeons in the U.S and had a stellar reputation to boot. He was also a monied east coast blue blood. It took all of five minutes for both of them to say yes to the good doctor at a very upscale dinner in New York. Thus began her transformation from plain Jane to high society. While Dominick was away for his two year stint in the backwaters of the world. Cassandra was given a generous living stipend from Gerard while she acquainted herself with the arm candy society wives and girlfriends of the other doctors from the organization. She soon found herself planning charity banquets and events  for Angel Faces and becoming well known around the country club set in both New York and Phoenix.

It was a good life. One of promise and hope, maybe even children some day, Dominick even talked about adopting some of the poor unfortunates he worked on when he was home for a small break from his travels. When he was home he could talk of nothing else but his work and how much he’d learned from his experiences overseas. His confidence was growing immensely and Cassandra couldn’t have been prouder of him.

‘Where did it go wrong?’ she wondered as she put her dish in the sink and sat on the blue plaid family room sofa, ‘Huh, family room’ she mused. two years after his overseas stint and still no family, no adoptions, not even a hint from him he wanted children anymore, not even a dog. Gerard though was as good as his word. He paid all of Dominick’s loans off and eventually moved them out to Phoenix. A new spa was opening up that would cater to the wealthy for vanity plastic surgery and also continue on their good works by flying in the children and their families from impoverished areas to their state of the art surgical center. Dominick would spend his days removing laugh lines and crows feet as well as fix cleft palates and other deformities.

Mindlessly flipping through channels, she couldn’t concentrate long enough to even care about a program long enough to watch it. Her self narration and remembrances haunting her. Dominick hoped that with the move he would be made partner in the spa. He wasn’t and this was eating away at him. Hadn’t he shown Gerard his utmost loyalty? She also tried to go above and beyond with the charity work. The fact that Dominick was pushed aside for partner and consigned to the sidelines dealt a serious blow to his confidence, Gerard had told him he needed him on the front lines and the face of the spa, not in the boring closed door meetings. Dominick submitted to this role not wanting to bite the hand that kept he and Cassandra in their new lifestyle.

What a lifestyle it was. New cars, clothes, money, the house, all the trappings that were feeling like a prison to her. The only smart thing Dominick did was invest in some rental properties in Phoenix for an alternate income at her insistence. They had a property management company running the properties until very recently. She curled her legs underneath her and brought a lightweight blanket up to her chest as she laid on her side on  the couch as she remembered the day after her infamous fight with Danielle Labouleaux, Gerard’s fiancee, she had said some very awful things and deep down new that using the ‘n’ word on the girl was way over the edge but she couldn’t stop the tirade. She felt like a demon had taken over her body and mind and  she knew she deserved the beat down and ass kicking she received from the girl. Dominick was beyond hurt and couldn’t believe that of all people, his wife would stoop so low. She knew she used it out of an insecure place. Danielle Labouleaux was a threat. Not only was she Gerard’s fiancee, she was everything Cassandra felt she wasn’t. Smart, confident and naturally good looking with her beautiful light brown skin, golden eyes, and perfect figure. Even Dominick in a drunken stupor  prior to the fight told her how Danielle could make any man horny at just the sight of her and that he’d do her in a heartbeat if she wasn’t engaged to Gerard.. Something no wife wants to hear.

After much apologizing and tearful begging of forgiveness to Dominick, he punished her by taking away her credit cards and selling her prized two seater 1960 Austin-Healy BT7. He also put her to work by firing the property management company, making her do the paperwork and collect the rents if she wanted any spending money at all. She agreed to his terms with all the submissiveness she could muster hopefully avoiding any talk of  a divorce. Her society friends had already abandoned her once the story got around.

It was getting dark and Dominick was still sleeping it off in their bedroom. She decided to get up and try to do something constructive. The ex-management company had sent over all the leases and paperwork for the rentals. She figured now was as good time as any to go through it and acquaint herself with her new world of rents and leases. Sitting back at the bar stool she thumbed through several leases coming across the leases of the storefront building with the four apartments above it just inside the city proper. She sat back reading the documents out loud to herself. Apartment 1a. Primary renter Angel Mendes, other occupants Julia Mendes (spouse). Apartment 2b Primary renter, George Harrady, other occupants none. Apartment 3c. Primary renter, Lucius Johnson, other occupants Danielle Labouleaux.

“What the fuck? ” she screamed out loud then putting her hand to her mouth she peered down the hall hoping she hadn’t awakened her dead to the world husband. She held the lease in her shaking hands. It was dated around the time Danielle had moved from New York to Phoenix after Gerard had proposed. ‘Now what would a newly engaged girl need an apartment for and who in the hell is this Lucius Johnson?’ Cassandra thought as she grinned evilly to herself.

“Caught you know bitch!” Cassandra said as she picked up her IPhone.

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Author, biracial, Chicklit, diversity, Fiction, Indie Author, Multicultural, Paranormal, women

Constructing Danielle Labouleaux

When we started writing The Body Hunters we wanted to create a believable heroine and one you could easily imagine as your best friend.  Out the window went the whiny damsel in distress archetype, who can’t think without a male present or the weak female being dominated and controlled by the male ‘hero’.  Our girl is strong, confident, and smart.  She can ask for help, but she can definitely handle things on her own if need be.

When we conjured her up within the depths of our imaginations, we kept in mind those butt kicking females from movies and literature.  Danielle or Danny has a gift, the ability to communicate with the dead, which she uses to help people who’ve been wronged. She’s independent, feisty, and doesn’t dumb herself down to fit in with the crowd or current trends.  She’s also got somewhat of a rebellious streak and likes to do her own thing regardless of what anyone has to say on the matter.

Along with those good traits, Danny is deeply flawed and she doesn’t always make the best decisions. The girl has issues to say the least and she’s far from perfect.  She’s scarred both on the outside and on the inside, like a lot of real people. She’s biracial, white and Haitian-Creole, which couldn’t have been easy growing up in New Orleans and it’s something that we’ll touch on in the third book of our series.

As our series has progressed, we started to pull back the layers to reveal why she behaves the way she does.  I don’t see her dysfunctional qualities as imperfections, but something that makes this character all the more human and believable.  She’s a fun character to write, so hopefully you’ll enjoy her as much as we do.

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