biracial, Chicklit, daughters, diversity, Drama, family, fathers, Fiction, friends, ghosts, Indie Author, manners, mothers, Multicultural, Paranormal, supernatural, women

Danielle’s Halloween

Here’s a fun treat. This is a prequel of sorts to the yet unpublished third book in The Body Hunters series. Call it a Halloween treat! Enjoy!

“I promise honey, this is going to be the best Halloween/Slumber/Birthday party ever.” Danny’s mother, Julianna happily announced as she hung the Happy Birthday banner.

The Labouleaux family’s living room had been set up as party central with everything a six year old little girl could want at their party; every six year old girl except Danielle Labouleaux. Danielle or Danny as she preferred did not understand the need for all the hoopla surrounding her birthday. She’d practically begged her mother not to invite any of girls in Danny’s first grade class other than her two best friends.
“Not it’s not!” Danny protested. “The other girls in my class hate me.”
Julianna beamed a smile down on the daughter who was her spitting image, except for her golden eyes and golden complexion which was inherited from her father. “Honey, they don’t hate you. They just haven’t taken the time to get to know you. That’s what this party is about; getting to know your classmates and making friends.”
“Whatever.” Seeing that her mother still wasn’t listening to her, Danny stalked off in search of the candy she’d been forbidden to eat.
Danny was different, she knew that. First and foremost, she was psychic, able to communicate with ‘ghosties’ as her Grandmere called them. That fact was a secret that only she and Grandmere shared. Her grandmother warned that Danny would become a powerful psychic, because she was chosen to be born on November 1st, or what was called The Day of the Dead. The Day of the Dead was when the veil being the living world and the spirit realm was lifted. On that day, Danny would be a beacon for those ghosts who craved attention and wanted to pester her with their selfish requests. As she got older, the ghosts’ would be more and more demanding for her attention.
Danny also had a stronger connection to the spirit realm than most psychics, even those born on November 1st. Just a few months ago, she underwent emergency surgery to correct a heart defect. While she was on the operating table, the doctors lost Danny for several minutes before they were able to revive her. This phenomenon deepened her connection to the spirit plane.
Unlike the kids at the school whose parents were either both white or both black, Danny’s father was black and her mother was white.  She first noticed that her parents were different during Open House when the school year first started. Though her parents didn’t seem to be aware of it, Danny saw the stares and the whispers from the other parents. She put it in the back of her mind, until the kids in her class started to tease her about her parents, calling her an Oreo.
After punching her classmate Jasmine’s lights out on the playground, Danny went home with the question of why they would call her a cookie. Her father, Marcel Labouleaux lovingly pulled her into his lap as he and her mother told her the fairy tale of how she came into being.
They explained how her mother, the beautiful, violet eyed princess, defied the wishes of her rich family and eloped with the handsome Creole man she’d fallen in love with. Much to the young couple’s delight, Julianna had a bun in the oven. When Danny asked how her mother got the bun in the oven, Marcel quickly changed the subject, recommending that she not get into any more fights.
“It’s getting late, Danny. Go upstairs and put on your costume.” Her mother advised. “Your guests will be arriving soon.”
“But mom!” Danny protested.
“Do what your mom said.” Marcel commanded in his booming voice, just walking in from the market with refreshments for their overnight guests.
Rolling her eyes, Danny made a point of stomping up the stairs as loudly as possible. She’d be glad when this night was over.
The costume she’d picked out was draped across her bed. It’d been a knockdown drag out brawl, but Julianna finally relented and let Danny pick out her own costume.
No frilly pink princess costume for Danielle Labouleaux. She knew that she wanted to be a superhero, but not Wonder Woman or Supergirl like the girls in her class. Danny wanted to be a superhero that looked like her, so she showed her mother of picture of Storm from the X-men cartoon.
Proud of her selection, Danny put the white wig over her dark hair and hopped into the black jumpsuit with the matching cape. Liking what she saw in the mirror, she started hopping on her bed, the black cape billowing around her.
“Danielle! Your guests are starting to arrive!” Julianna called from downstairs.
Exhaling sharply, Danny slowly descended the staircase, meeting the familiar and friendly faces of her friends, Emma and Felicia. Emma was a white girl with dark brown hair pulled into pigtails. Felicia was a black girl with freckles and braids. Emma’s costume was a bloody zombie princess, while Felicia was disguised as a glamour girl, with a tiara and feather boa.
They squealed and giggled like little girls do, frolicking through the house. The three best friends played to their heart’s content, until the five invited girls from their class started to file in with their blankets and sleeping bags. Fresh from an evening of trick or treating, they were still in costume.
Julianna, ever the gracious hostess whether the guest were young or old, had plenty of Halloween treats and activities planned for the girls. The party went well, with Danny’s classmates enthusiastic about the Halloween games. The girls’ nastiness toward Danny was temporarily forgotten as they stuffed their faces, danced to silly songs and competed for Halloween themed prizes.
After the festivities were over, the living room was set up as the girls’ campsite with an assortment of kid friendly Halloween movies playing on the television. The girls changed out of their costumes and into their pajamas.
Tammy, the alpha dog of Danny’s tormentors at school pointed at her as she buttoned the top of her pajamas.
“Look! The Oreo is about to turn into Frankenstein!” Tammy’s horde of flunkies giggled as Danny hastily finished buttoning her top.
The zipper scar that bisected her chest was what remained after Danny’s life saving surgery. Getting teased about it was almost a daily ritual at school. She’d been following her father and Grandmere’s advice about using her words, not her fists, but she was nearing a breaking point.
“Leave me alone!” Danny shouted back.
“Oh, Frankenstein gonna cry.” Tammy mocked, bringing her balled up fists to her eyes. “Wah, wah, wah. Crybaby! Are the Oreo’s tears made of cream filling?”
The other girls laughed at the amateur comedienne.
“I said knock it off!” The infamous Labouleaux temper was ready to break free.
 
“Oreo! Oreo! Oreo!” The girls in Tammy’s clique chanted.
“How about you take your heart out so we can see it, Frankenstein?” Tammy jabbed again with her sharp words and her pointy finger into Danny’s chest.
She pounced on Tammy like a jungle cat. The assault took the bully by surprise as Danny pummeled her from one end of the living room to the other. The pink Barbie play tent Marcel had erected so the girls could pretend they were camping collapsed under the weight of the grappling duo. The other girls screamed trying to get out of the way for fear of being the next victim of Danny’s fury.
Having heard the girls chanting ‘Oreo’, Marcel and Julianna were already on the way to the living room, knowing there was trouble. Expecting to find their daughter outnumbered and in need of a rescue, they were stunned to find her holding her own.
“Take it back.” Danny growled, slapping Tammy’s reddened cheeks.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I called you an Oreo!” Tammy wailed.
Despite his urging his daughter not to fight, Marcel felt a little fatherly pride that she’d given the bully exactly what she was looking for. He pulled Danny off Tammy and into his arms.
“Enough, Danny, enough.”
“I tried to use my words, but I couldn’t help it.” She sobbed, tears falling on his neck. “They wouldn’t stop calling me names.”
“I know, sweetie, Daddy knows.”
Julianna turned her motherly rage on the five instigators. “Is this how your parents taught you to behave? You come to Danny’s house, eat her food, play her games, and you mistreat her? What kind of spoiled brats are you?”
Danny’s enemies flinched under Julianna’s glare, muttering apologies.
Danny was still clinging to Marcel’s neck. “I’m about to start calling their parents because I’m about one minute from whupping their behinds myself.”
One after another, Marcel called the parents, pulling no punches about their children’s racially charged behavior.  Upon their arrival, some of the parents tried to defend their children’s antics, blaming Danny, but Felicia and Emma were there to provide their eyewitness account of events. The parents then went from defensive to super apologetic.
“You know racism is learned in the home. It’s a shame that kids pick that up from their parents.” Marcel remarked dryly to one mortified mother, who hastily dragged her towheaded daughter out the door.
“So I guess the next thing is to wake up with a cross burning on my lawn.” He matter-of-factly stated to a humiliated couple as they whisked their daughter away.
“Give me that candy!” Marcel snatched a bag of treats from one girl on her way out the door with her shame faced mother.
After the antagonists were gone, Marcel left to take Emma and Felicia home. He’d already called their parents, who expressed concern for Danny. Marcel thanked them for their worries and let them know he’d be dropping the girls off shortly. Before leaving, they gave Danny a supportive hug.
“Are you mad at me, mama?” Danny asked as Julianna tucked her into bed.
“Mad at you? Why would I be mad at you?”
“I ruined the party.”
Julianna sighed, sitting beside her on the bed. “I’m not mad at you. Who I’m mad at are those atrocious little snots and their equally atrocious parents!”
Danny giggled at her mother’s version of harsh language.
“I can never be mad at you, my love. Now go to sleep, sweet dreams.” Julianna kissed her on the forehead.
“That’s horrible.” Cassie cried out as Danny continued her tale.
It was over twenty years after that fateful birthday and the two best friends were sitting across the kitchen table from each other. It felt like a lifetime had passed since then, Danny’s parents and her Grandmere lost to her over the years. The now adult Danny went to the coffeemaker for the carafe and refilled their mugs.
“Dad was pissed. He was so aggravated with the situation that he joined the PTA.”
“Why would he join the PTA? What would that have to do with anything?” Cassie flipped her blond hair over her shoulder.
“He joined the PTA so he could have an excuse to see those girls’ parents every few weeks.” She laughed. “My dad was very ornery and he couldn’t resist an opportunity to make those parents feel even worse.”
Cassie joined in the laughter. “What about Tammy and her goons?”
“I never had problems with bullies after that. They didn’t even cause me any problems in high school, so I guess they learned their lesson.”
“I know I learned mine.” Cassie and Danny weren’t always friends in fact they started off as bitter enemies. Having been the recipient of a Danielle Labouleaux beat down, she didn’t blame the bullies for not bothering her again.
“You know I’m still sorry about that.” Danny said remorsefully.
“I don’t know why. I was acting like a stuck up biotch and I deserved it.” Cassie acknowledged. “I still don’t understand why you don’t want to have a birthday party. So what if you had to beat up Tammy?”
“Like I said my birthday being on The Day of the Dead leaves me vulnerable. After that ruckus during the slumber party, I fell asleep and woke up to dozens of ghosts reaching out to me.”
“Yikes!”
“Exactly. Dealing with my gift is hard sometimes, even as an adult; imagine turning seven years old and having ghosts fighting for your attention. I woke up screaming and luckily Grandmere was there to calm me down. On my birthday, spirits are drawn to my raw emotions, so she taught me a few exercises to keep them at bay.”
“Danny, I’m so sorry your birthday is so traumatic.”
“It’s no big deal. Now you know why I don’t celebrate my birthday. It’s just too much drama and too much of a hassle. So don’t bother planning a birthday party for me. I’ll be just fine.”
“When was the last time you actually celebrated your birthday?” Cassie asked out of curiosity.
Danny shrugged. “It was the year before Grandmere died.”
Cassie was horrified. Danny’s grandmother had been gone for close to ten years.
She watched as her friend dumped the contents of her mug into the sink and left the kitchen. Visions of streamers, balloons, and birthday wishes took root in Cassie’s mind, despite her friend’s protests. She was going to give Danny a birthday extravaganza whether she liked it or not. She just needed a partner in crime and she knew just the man to help her.
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black women, cultural awareness, cultural understanding, daughters, life lessons, manners, Multicultural, women

Women of Color on Television

I don’t have to have to tell you that there are a multitude of bad stereotypes out there concerning women of color. Those bad stereotypes are only perpetuated by what we see in the media. Just five minutes ago I turned the channel past MTV and there’s somebody’s daughter twerking in a pair of Daisy Dukes for the entertainment of some dread locked rapper with a gold grill. We’re assaulted with those negative images on TV of the Housewives fighting over a man who isn’t worth two dead flies and the ghetto girls in the videos gyrating for fame and a couple dollars. What about the toothless street urchin who can barely string two words together who seems to be a magnet for a local news microphone? Somebody finds these shows entertaining for some reason so they continue on, season after season. To me the bad behavior is cringe inducing and I can’t stand it.

I can honestly say I’ve never considered twerking and never will. I’ve never bitch slapped another woman or been asked to leave a restaurant because I’m getting loud. Getting into a hair pulling and shouting match over some trifling man just isn’t in the cards for me. I’ve never lived in Section 8 housing or used food stamps. None of those images reflect who I am as a black woman and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. But like in most cases, those who make the most noise get the most attention. So the Hip Hop wives and Video Vixens are thrown into the forefront, even though they don’t represent the majority of us.

That’s why I find some of the new women of color on television to be refreshing. It’s a breath of fresh air seeing Scandal’s Olivia Pope do her thing, even though she is a deeply flawed character. She’s educated and about her business and I’m pretty sure twerking isn’t in her agenda. This fall season we were introduced to Abby Mills the female counterpart to Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow and there’s also Sasha and Michonne from The Walking Dead, who also break the popular mold. Hoping that Hollywood or whoever runs the show is paying attention, I go out of my way to watch these shows. Hopefully they’ll get the point that there is more to us than cat fights and gyrating body parts.

 

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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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Chicklit, Fiction, Indie Author, Multicultural, Murder, Paranormal, supernatural

Aiden Stone FBI Agent

Please enjoy another short story on our hero from The Body Hunters and The Body Hunters: Paradise Denied.

The Body Hunters by Raven Newcastle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009X971ME/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_N6xQrb13R6TGQ …

The Body Hunters: Paradise Denied by Raven Newcastle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CODG81Q/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_r7xQrb0RWBN1N … … the fun continues in the sequel.

The chorus of a thousand cicadas surrounding him, child predator Chester scrambled through the marshes of the Florida Everglades.  He was covered in swamp muck and the stink of his own fear, rivers of sweat pouring down his body. His heart jack hammered against his ribcage. Pushing through wild grass and reeds, the police bloodhounds howled at his back like the hounds of hell. He could feel the jaws of the law slowly closing in on him.

He wouldn’t be caught, he couldn’t. Chester may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he knew he could not let the authorities catch him. He knew what happened to men like him in prison. With his scrawny physique, there was no way he’d survive life in prison with muscle bound inmates with a penchant for taking their frustrations out on child killers.

Chester slipped into a grey puddle, while the FBI helicopter hovering over his head like a hawk lost track of him.  He nervously pulled himself out of the marsh as discreetly as possible, mindful of the gators that resided in the area.  He turned his head to his left to see the flashlights belonging to police and Feds getting closer.  Chester escaped down a path through the brush he’d been familiar with since he was an adolescent.  He smiled to himself as he eluded his pursuers.

FBI Special Agent Aiden Stone was separate from the pack of law enforcement agents, tracking his quarry on his own.  A walking mountain of solid muscle, Aiden was six foot four, his skin the color of damp Hawaiian sand, a compromise of his native Hawaiian father and his biracial mother’s heritage.  A grinning skull that symbolized his time with the Marines was tattooed on his right bicep. Ocean blue eyes inherited from his Irish maternal grandfather were wide and searching the area for the child murdering beast. Dressed in his Kevlar FBI vest, t-shirt and jeans, Aiden large hand clenched a plastic charm bracelet that belonged to Chester’s latest victim.

After the sixth child murder, two weeks ago by this particular serial killer, the FBI was called in to investigate. Tracking serial killers was Aiden’s specialty. Along with the usual detective skills required by the Bureau, Aiden was also blessed or cursed with another set of skills; he was a physical medium or psychic. By touching an object belonging to a victim, he was able to access the memories attached to the item.

Through his psychic forensics, Aiden was able to obtain evidence linking Chester to the brutal crimes. With a warrant, they entered Chester’s seedy apartment, finding all the evidence they needed to convict him, but before the suspect could be arrested he’d attempted to abduct another victim that very morning. Luckily the grade schooler knew all about ‘stranger danger’ and was able to get away. The incident sparked a county wide manhunt for Chester who’d vanished into the Everglades after a high speed chase.

Aiden kneeled, his black Timberland boots squishing the mud under his feet as he ran a hand over his close cropped hair.  Closing his eyes, he squeezed the bracelet a little tighter in his fist.  Like a television that needs an antenna, he saw static at first and then the picture in his head started to make sense, but still with interference.  He closed his eyes tighter, hoping that would make the image easier to decipher.

In the spirit realm, the place between life and death, Aiden opened his eyes.  What he sees is still grainy, but he’s able to see the original owner of the necklace; a seven year old girl with brown curls, still in her Disney Princess pajamas and bare feet, the charm bracelet on her wrist.  They’re standing in the Everglades and the little girl is pointing to a barely visible path and a triangular shaped boulder.  A small cabin can be seen in the distance.

He took me down there.” The child informed him.

Aiden nodded, looking down on the child. “I’ll take care of this.”

The little girl nodded her understanding and Aiden’s blue eyes snapped open in the real world.  The image of the path the little victim pointed out is burned into his memory.  In minutes, Aiden located the triangular boulder and headed down the path.

Chester has just reached his destination, nearly tumbling down the hill to the small shack where his rusty pickup truck is parked out front.  It would take the police hours to locate the ramshackle cabin where he takes his young victims and has his way with them before dumping their broken bodies in dumpsters or roadside ditches.  By the time the cabin was discovered he’d be well on his way to Mexico. He shoved open the door, ready to change into a clean set of clothes before making his escape.  The cabin contains ‘trophies’ from his young victims, connecting him to each of the child murders over the past five years.

While Chester was in the back of the cabin changing, Aiden stealthily entered the premises, his flashlight and Glock handgun aimed in front of him.  His flashlight falls on the ‘trophies’.  A toddler’s Crayola red tricycle, a pair of tiny patent leather shoes, a child’s backpack, and several other items belonging to victims are scattered throughout the large room.  Beside each item stands the ghostly, semi-transparent form of the corresponding victim.  Seven little victims filled the cabin for Aiden’s eyes only, including the owner of the charm bracelet who was standing directly behind him.

Pulling a relatively clean shirt over his red hair, Chester stopped in his tracks upon seeing the FBI agent in his hideout.  Aiden levels his Glock at Chester’s chest.

Aiden’s baritone voice echoed in the nearly empty cabin. “Chester Drummond, you are under arrest.  I want your hands on top of your head NOW!”

Chester’s eyes shifted from left to right as if considering his options.  He became skittish and antsy, like a cornered animal.  His eyes are aimed at the front door, his body poised to move.

Aiden didn’t miss a beat. “I said get your hands on top of your head!  On your knees NOW!”

Instead Chester screamed, leveling a large plank of wood at Aiden.

The ex-marine easily blocked the attack with a large forearm, putting the perverted killer on his back.  Aiden stood over the twisted killer, weighing the option of putting a bullet in his skull and ending things right here and sparing the taxpayers the cost of a trial. He was an FBI agent after all and he could make up any excuse he wanted as to why he had to shoot the suspect.

“Kill me. Please kill me!” Chester pleaded, his dirty grey eyes wide with fright as he looked up at Aiden.

Aiden had nephews and the things this animal did to innocent children sent chills down his spine. Leaning heavily on the side of vigilantism, Aiden considered pulling the trigger, but the appearance of Chester’s ghostly victims stayed his hand, the children were watching his every move. Sighing heavily, Aiden shouldered his Glock and slapped the cuffs on Chester.

As he was leaving the cabin with Chester in tow, FBI and police swarmed the area, having gotten the call from Aiden before he entered the premises.  Aiden escorted the predator to other agents who took him off to a Bureau issue Suburban. 

Aiden walked over to his superior officer.You may want the Crime Scene Unit to go over the cabin.  It looks like he has trophies from his other victims.”

The older man nodded. “The forensic team is en route.  Good job, Agent Stone.  How did you find him?”

Aiden shrugged “Just a hunch I guess.”

Looking back to the cabin, he saw the ethereal forms of the seven little victims, who quickly dissipated into the night.

 

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Author, biracial, cats, Chicklit, Chihuahua's, cultural awareness, cultural understanding, diversity, dogs, felines, Fiction, Guide Dogs, Indie Author, Labrador Retrievers, Labradors, Multicultural, Turkish Angoras, Uncategorized

Dogs by any other name….

Does my Labrador Retriever know that he is? do my Chihuahua’s know that they are just that?  At what point do we go from being proud of our culture and ethnicity to ethnocentrism? That we devalue all others and exclude people and other ways of life.

The line is fine and easily crossed. Those of us who are blessed enough to live in melting pot areas of the country like I am, that can find Arabic bakeries and Asian markets along with Polish and Italian meat markets, Soul food restaurants, Mexican restaurants, Indian food and everything in between (My taste buds should never get bored) have an opportunity to enjoy many cultures without ever having to get on a plane. Now you would think that with all these ethnicities I live in a utopia where everyone gets along. Yeah, no! I have heard phrases like ‘marry your own culture’ and witnessed people who will not talk to you because even though they are living in the land of a really humongous statue that says ‘Bring me your huddled masses’, huddle only with their own. Birds of a feather…….

My Labrador is yellow and weighs 80 pounds. He is a retired Guide Dog for the Blind. He is smart, playful and loves to…you guessed it….retrieve. He still tries to Guide on occasion forgetting that he is retired and I am not blind. So I wonder what is his culture? Guiding was taught to him so that is not part of his culture, that was his job. Maybe  retrieving, killing and destroying toys is part of his true culture. (hover your mouse over the pictures)

brooks (2)

Brooks the ex-Guide dog toy destroyer

My Chihuahua’s were there first and Brooks had to adjust to their way of life, much like the Chi’s had to adjust to feline culture when they arrived. The Turkish Angora’s (Yes we are a multiracial feline/canine household) showed the then 1lb puppies the ropes and how things were done in their feline Arab American household. They grew up speaking cat and had an overwhelming love of them even though cat was not in their DNA.

Cat culture

Cat culture

Brooks never got a chance to learn the ancient and honorable feline culture from the elder statesmen of the feline tribe since all the cats have passed on, but the Chi’s have done their best to educate and depart the time-honored feline knowledge and culture of their feline Arab American brothers and sisters to him. Sleeping anywhere he pleases is one of his favorite adopted cat culture activities he’s learned.

Now Chihuahua’s it’s been rumored are not descendants of wolves but from Fennec foxes from Mexico. An interesting theory because that would mean over the many years Chihuahua’s have been human’s pocket companions we have been forcing a domestic canine culture and silly clothes on a native desert animal. Sound familiar in human history? Do my Chi’s tolerate domesticated wolf culture, sparkly shirts that say grrrl power or tuxedo t-shirts for the boy Chi, or do they pine for the desert life of their ancestral homeland? That would explain the burrowing in blankets and sunning themselves in 90 degree temps while their much larger canine companion enjoys air conditioning. Labs are after all from Newfoundland not as the name might imply Labrador, where colder temps are normal.

bindi cheech

Psst! We’re actually foxes!

fennec fox 2

Yo no soy un perro! (I am not a dog!)

My 4 legged household companions can teach us all a lesson in diversity and getting along. Enjoying and learning from each other’s differences and recognizing that we all share in one universal culture, human culture. We all want ultimately the same things, family, faith, love, a nice place to live and enough to eat, a bright future for our children and to be able to carry on our legacy through them, plus small dogs to dress up. Be proud of who you are and the heritage you came from, take the positive lessons of your ancestors and the good things of your culture and move them forward, share them with others and enjoy the diversity and history of another. Mix it up a little, I’m a firm believer in once you learn about it, you end up respecting it and your world is a richer place for it.

Then again maybe I’m being Pollyanna. (an excessively or blindly optimistic person.)

Part of Chihuahua culture is staring, giving off subliminal messages till you give up the coveted object. Something they learned from their feline Arab American upbringing.

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biracial, Chicklit, Drama, Fiction, Multicultural, Paranormal, Romance

Danielle Labouleaux’s Fight

Here’s another excerpt from our book The Body Hunters  in this scene our heroine, Danielle Labouleaux is having dinner with her fiance’s coworkers and their wives.  Let’s just say these women don’t exactly welcome her with open arms.  Enjoy!

         

              Danny could see she had started chipping away at the ice queen’s cool facade. Something akin to hatred blazed in the woman’s eyes. Cassie, sensing her friend was now at a loss for words, continued the conversation.

            “I absolutely love that dress. Who are you wearing?” Cassie inquired innocently.

            “Alexander McQueen.” Danny responded rolling her eyes. At this point she wasn’t even trying to conceal her annoyance with the fifty questions.

            “What about your shoes?” Tricia asked regaining her voice now that Cassie seemed to have her back.

            “Christian Dior.” Danny could feel that they were working as a tag team, but she had no idea where this attack was going.

            “You must feel so lucky being engaged to a doctor.” Tricia began. “He can buy you all those nice things. You’re living in that beautiful mansion in Sheridan Hills. It must feel so good for a woman of your background to be able to afford the finer things in life.”

            Save for Tricia and Cassie, every mouth at the table was wide open in shock. Danielle pinned both the women down with a stare.

            “I don’t know what kind of ideas you have about me.” She began, sipping from her glass of water. “But, I am nobody’s kept woman. My dress, my shoes, everything I own is mine, paid for with my money, from my job. I’m not sitting around waiting for Gerard to hand me an allowance.”

            Cassie turned beet red while Tricia continued to glare. They were all saved by the ringing of a cellular phone. Everyone at the table checked their pockets or evening bags for the source of the ringing. Thankfully the phone was Danny’s, which was strange since she didn’t get many phone calls save for Stephania or Gerard. She scrunched her nose at the Washington Area code displayed on the caller ID.

“It’s me.” She said holding up the phone. Thank you, Jesus. “I’m sorry, but I really have to take this.  It’s probably WORK!” Excusing herself from the table, she talked to a waitress who pointed her in the direction of the ladies room.

            The ladies restroom was truly elegant with a separate sitting room, complete with a loveseat and comfortable chairs plus makeup tables. Beyond the sitting area was the restroom. Danny checked the lavatory for occupancy, skipping over the one with the Out of Order sign. Satisfied that she was alone, she redialed the Washington DC phone number.

            “Hello.” A baritone, male voice answered. “This is Special Agent Stone.”

            “Agent Stone, this is Danielle Labouleaux. I received a call from you a few minutes ago.” She responded, leaning against the marble bathroom sink.

            “Yes.” He returned in that late night radio host voice. “I’m working a cold case and I was told you could help.”

            “My help? Agent Stone, you must be mistaken. I’ve been gone from the Bureau for years.”

            “I understand that ma’am, but there is a murder I’m working on and Special Agent in Charge Lucius Johnson recommended that I contact you if I needed any help.”

            Danny was outraged. Lucius had a lot of nerve giving her number out to total strangers. “I’m sorry Agent Stone, but Lucius was mistaken. I’m no longer with the Bureau. I work as a consultant, but that’s all. I won’t be able to help you with your case.” She disconnected the call, shaken that the Bureau would try to contact her after all these years.     She didn’t even realize that Tricia, Cassie, Sarah, and Melissa had joined her in the ladies room. It was true;  wolves really do roam in packs Danny mused. She headed for the exit, but Sarah barred her way, folding her arms and staring her down.

            “You think you are so smart. Just because you’re fucking a rich, white doctor doesn’t mean you’ve moved up in the world. You’re still garbage you poor little gold digging nigger bitch.” Cassie was blatantly all in Danny’s face and invading her personal space.

            Amused, Danny cocked her head to the side. “Oh, it’s gonna be like that?”

            Cassie and her comrades were participating in what grand mere used to call ‘selling wolf tickets’. They were basically making a bunch of noise and racket, trying to scare a reaction out of her. Of course, Danny wasn’t the least bit intimidated. She had gone toe to toe with some of the most vicious gang members in New Orleans. No way in hell was she the least bit afraid of these silicone-inflated bimbos.

            “Yes, ‘it’s like that.” Cassie imitated her slight southern accent. “You think you’re so smart. Always having a smart answer for everything, trying to make us look stupid.”

            “You girls make it so easy.” Danny quipped, providing them a curtsy.

            “It’s about time you learned your place.” Tricia said. “The only thing you’re fit for is cleaning toilets.”

            “Go back to the ghetto where you belong.” Sarah added, more than likely trying to fit in with the queen bees.

            “We’re gonna teach your black ass a little lesson.” Cassie threatened.

            As if on cue, Tricia grabbed Danny’s left arm and Melissa grabbed her right. Danielle had a premonition that things were going to end badly, and not for her. If the scene weren’t so childish and ridiculous, it would be hilarious.

            “Where’s your smartass comments now, huh? You think you’re better than us?” Cassie punctuated the question by pushing Danny in the middle of her forehead with her finger. “Just because you’re sucking Gerard’s dic…..”

            Danny snapped.

            The former FBI consultant thrust her head forward, head butting Cassie across the forehead. As Cassie gripped her head in pain, the heel of Danny’s shoe shot out like a blade, taking aim at Melissa’s toes, which were unprotected by her sandals. Screaming, Melissa forgot all about the arm she was charged with holding. Her arm freed, Danny drew it back, sending her elbow right into Melissa’s gut, dropping the woman like a sack of potatoes. Disbelief dawned on Tricia right before Danny grabbed her by her face and shoved her into the wall back first, sending the woman careening into the wall mounted paper towel dispenser and an innocent trash can. Before Cassie could regain her senses, Danny grappled with the woman, kicked open the door to the out of order bathroom stall and dunked her head in the filthy, clogged toilet.

            Seconds later, Danny was back to her senses and virtually unscathed. She dragged Cassie out of the toilet by her hair, leaving the woman sobbing and sopping wet with filth on the bathroom floor. Surveying the damage she’d done, Danny went to the sink to wash her hands and used an alternate paper towel dispenser to dry them. Stunned, Sarah still stood, blocking the doorway. A sinister look from Danny was all it took to move her the hell out of the way.

            “Lesson One, ladies.” She said with her back turned in the doorway. “Danielle Labouleaux is not the one with whom to fuck.”

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Drama, Fiction, Indie Author, Multicultural, Murder, Paranormal, Romance

Aiden Stone’s Introduction

Excerpt from The Body Hunters

Aiden Stone’s muscular calves begged for mercy as he pushed back against the leg  press, but he gave no quarter. The sled-style leg press was killing him, sweat  pouring down his brow and face soaking his gray-colored tee shirt and matching  shorts. Fire burned from his solid calves all the way to his muscled thighs, but  it didn’t bother him. It was a good burn. After a few more reps, he decided that  he’d had enough punishment for this workout. After mopping his sweaty brow with  the end of his tee shirt, he realized he had an admirer.

      A pretty blonde with a pixie cut had been watching him since he  had entered the workout room. She had tried her best to look like she wasn’t  watching him, but being a former Marine turned FBI Special Agent, being watched  was one of those things he couldn’t miss. Matter of fact, he had seen her  watching him for the past few weeks around FBI Headquarters.

“How you doing?” He asked while wearing a wicked smile across his mouth,  as she moved up and down the elliptical machine. His hands were gripping the  towel around his neck.

“Good. How about you?” She returned breathlessly, a coy smile working  across her face.

“Not bad at all.” he returned, eyeing the way her breasts in the tight  fitting leotard bounced in time with the machine’s rhythm.

     They took a few minutes talking shop, and Aiden managed to charm  the essential stats out of her which of course staring into his eyes she gave up  freely. She had been an agent for two years investigating white collar crime at  the New York FBI headquarters. She was in the midst of tearing down a massive  ponzi scheme operation. She was headed down south to see if she could gain any  mroe traction in her investigation. The Bureau shipped you where you needed.  Such was the life of a special agent.

Aiden and the female agent made plans to go out to dinner if their  schedules allowed, maybe even going back to her hotel room for a little bedroom  aerobics he hoped. Neither of them was looking for anything serious and that was  just the way he liked it. She would be leaving in a few weeks, and he wouldn’t  have to worry about the awkwardness of sleeping with a coworker, even if she did  work in a completely different division. He wasn’t about to let a woman get  under his skin, and he wasn’t looking for any kind of a steady girlfriend. He  was having too much fun being on the loose.

    Aiden was a player, of course, but that didn’t mean he hated women.  Being the only male child in a family of three sisters, his parents had taught  him how to cherish and respect the female gender. He loved women and enjoyed  spending time with them, but he wasn’t the fall in love and make an ass out of  yourself type. Over the years he had made several friends with benefits, and  they still remained friends. At nearly thirty-five years old, he was beyond the  love thing with the buying flowers, romance and the unicorns farting rainbows  shit.

    With his looks, Aiden was never for want of female company. His  ruggedly handsome visage was attributed to his mother, who was a combination of  African American and Irish genes and his father, a native Hawaiian surfer dude  from the big island of Hawaii. He was six foot four with the solid musculature  typical of island natives. He looked like he should be twirling fire knives at a  luau wearing nothing but a loin cloth. Frequent visits to the gym kept his  physique in prime shape, giving him a rippled body. His eyes were as blue and  intense as the waters that surrounded the island where he was born. Skin the  color of damp Hawaiian sand covered his body, and he kept his naturally straight  dark brown, bordering on black, hair cropped close to his head.

After tormenting his body at the FBI Headquarters fitness center, Aiden  stood under the hot spray of the locker room shower. The water felt good against  his slightly sore muscles as he thought of home being under the waterfall  letting the droplets run down the full length of him head to toe. Emerging from  the shower with his skin still steaming, he wrapped a towel around his waist and  proceeded to get dressed in front of his locker.

    His former Bureau mentor and ex-partner Steve Sims complained, “Damn  it jackass, would you please put some clothes on!” He was changing out of his  own workout gear. “You’re making the rest of us look fat.”

Aiden laughed heartily, pulling his black polo shirt over his head.  Permanently cynical, Sims had been the one to show Stone the ropes when he  joined the Bureau. The FBI veteran had been a special agent for ten years and  like Stone had retired from the military.

“I told you, give me one month as your personal trainer and you’ll need  a bat to keep the women off you.” Aiden said.

I need another woman like I need a hole in my head. I got a daughter in  college draining my bank account, and I have a wife who can’t stay the hell out  of the mall. Yet for some strange reason I’m happy. Go figure! Fat and happy!  Ha! You’ll find out one day though.”

“I don’t think so, Sims. You know how I am.” Aiden strapped on his  holster and Bureau issued Glock 23 pistol. “I do my thing and I’m in the wind.  It wouldn’t be fair to the ladies to not share all of this!” He ran his hand  down his body like he was showing off a new car at an auto show.

“Just wait kid. Someday some woman is gonna get your knickers so twisted  you won’t know which way to turn!” Sims zipped up his blue dress pants and  tucked in his off the rack white collar button down shirt.

Aiden shot him a look saying he didn’t believe a word he said. “Sure,  Sims. I’ll see you around. Alright old man?”

“Yeah OK ladykiller! Keep that nose of yours clean,  kid.”

www.amazon.com/Raven-Newcastle

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