A Late Summer Bloom
Witches Of The Bayou
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Date of Publication: 2/6/14
Number of pages: 188
Word Count: 58k
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
A young witch, destined to be queen. A traveler destined to love her and an evil warlock desperate to claim her.
When Julien Beaumont meets Giselle Jareau, the naïve, young witch is nothing more than a nuisance. A mere inconvenience. But the inkblot on his arm disagrees. As their relationship develops, his tattoo begins to fill in. Could it be fate or something more sinister?
On an old, decrepit sugar plantation, in the heart of the Louisiana Bayou, the defender of the covens and the queen to the royals engage in a battle of wits. And as Giselle falls in love, Julien tries desperately to change the course of their destiny.
Julien paced the length of the master suite. Ineffective in his plans to sway Giselle to trust him caused him much frustration. Maybe she doesn’t like to be yelled at. Covering his eyes with the heels of his hands, he tried rubbing away the self-induced headache coming on. Out of options and close to giving up, he needed to clear his mind. What was it about her that had him on edge all the time? Julien had to clench his fists every minute he was around her to remind himself of the anger. Otherwise, he found himself wanting to kiss her, protect her. And each moment he spent with her, it was getting harder to control. He had to fight it. It could cost the covens the war. He had to stay on the straight and narrow yet—something was pulling at the corners of his mind.
Julien thrust his balcony doors open and gust of cool air rushed inside the warm room. His eyes narrowed in disbelief as he stared out at the grounds of his estate.
Walking out onto the balcony for a good look, Julien couldn’t believe his eyes. The alley of oaks danced gloriously in the wind, their branches no longer drooping toward earth, but standing tall, in salute. His eyes scanned the grass, noticing its deep green hue. Shoots of honeysuckle could be seen making their way up toward the sun. As if the flowers knew what he was thinking, a soft breeze carried with it their scent. A smile, true and confident, emerged on his face. It was her presence. It had to be.
As he took in the beauty of a long dead past, he caught a glimmer of the dark-haired beauty walking on the path to Chantilly’s garden. Hmm. What’s she up to? He went back inside and changed into jeans. He slipped a white cotton tee-shirt over his head and headed down the stairs. Looking around his once decaying home, he realized it had been rejuvenated. Julien ran his fingers over the railing, the wood felt smooth and rich. There were no holes in the walls, no peeling paint, no cobwebs. The silver shined so bright, he could see his own reflection. Two days later and it was good as new? It has to be her.
Outside, he took in his surroundings. Were his eyes deceiving him? Anxious now to see Giselle, he walked toward Chantilly’s garden. Along the way, he heard her humming. It was a beautiful melody filled with warmth and joy. And it renewed his hope, for he now believed Giselle was indeed, the tenth power.
If only she believed it.
Standing in the gardens, he watched her lean over, inhaling the fragrance of each blossom. When she got close, the blooms stood taller, more vibrant in her presence. He couldn’t help but smile at her innocence as it hit him square in the gut. She really doesn’t see it. He watched her run afinger over an old wooden sign, its words unreadable.
Julien cleared his throat. “My sister’s garden.”
Her head snapped up, eyes wide. He jerked his chin toward the sign. “It’s supposed to say, my sister’s garden.”
Giselle cast her eyes away. “I’m so sorry about Joyal.”
Just hearing her name fired up his nerves, but he remained steady, discarding the unwelcome reminder. “No, I meant my sister, Chantilly. This garden was her gift to me.”
She smiled and he realized it was the first time he saw her show happiness.
She tucked her hair behind her ear. “It’s enchanted.”
He chuckled. “Yes, it is.”
About the Author:
Cherrie Mack grew up in Flushing Queens NY, the youngest child of six. The city’s diversity gave her a great appreciation for many different cultures and lifestyles. After love finally claimed the girl from the city and dragged her to the suburban madness of Long Island, she settled into a quiet life with her new husband. Two children and one mini-van later, the family found themselves moving towards the sunny skies of Florida where they currently reside. With her focus still very much on her family, Cherrie squeezes in time to write. The publication of her debut novel, Ache of Desire has given her the confidence to allow her to spend more time writing.
One year and four books later, Cherrie has continued to flourish. With multiple series in the works, there’s no slowing down for this up and coming author.
A member of Romance Writers of America, Cherrie is slowly spreading her wings as a romance author. Look for her books at all digital bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, ITunes, Nook and many more.
Author facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CherrieMack
Readers often ask me where my book ideas come from. Most of my stories come out of nowhere, triggered by a song, a memory or a dream (daydreams included) However, A Late Summer Bloom, the first in my Witches Of The Bayou series was born on a family vacation. New Orleans was the place--and any trip to Louisiana wouldn't be complete without exploring its outskirts. Louisiana always screamed paranormal to me. And an out-of-the-way stop in Baton Rouge was just what I needed to stoke my imagination. It was here, at Oak Alley Plantation, that the story of Julien Beaumont and Giselle Jareau came to life. Walking along the alley of oaks at twilight was an experience I'll never forget. It was just me---all alone. My husband and kids were at the lovely cottage on the grounds when I decided to set off on my walk.
As I walked amongst these amazing trees, my mind went to work. In the time it took me to meander amongst nature, my story had been written. Well, the basics anyway. And I couldn't help but feel I had been there before, some other time, long ago perhaps? Could that be possible? So here's where my story, at least from my perspective, get magical.
When my family decided to stretch out and get comfortable in the cottage, I immediately dropped my purse and grabbed my camera pining for an adventure. Alone. (Hours in a car with two kids will make you crave to be outside with the bugs. Trust me on this one.) Anyway, I started to snap some pictures of the grounds, the house, the trees, ya know the usual snapshots. It was when I walked along the side of the mansion that I aimed my camera and took the most fabulous picture. The angle was good and I just happen to just catch the sidelight as it went on (dusk was at hand.) I thought I was being quite artistic. Proudly, I moved on. After some time outside alone, the loud sounds of the bugs seemed to chase me back to the cottage. It was just as well, nature called and I had to use the bathroom.
Unable to wait, I rushed inside. Knowing me the way he does, without a word, my husband pointed in the direction of the bathroom. After I took care of business I noticed something strange. Inside, there was a small sitting area with a mirror and a few wall hangings. It was then I saw it. The picture I took minutes before hung in a frame on the wall in my cottage bathroom. The EXACT picture. The angle was the same. The light was on and the time of day looked to be the same. They were the same! I ran to show my husband who explained it away as a coincidence. But I'm not so sure. Magic? Something more? I choose to believe it is. After all, who couldn't use a little magic in their lives?
Can you use a little magic? In my new series, A Late Summer Bloom—Witches Of The Bayou, both male and female witches are gifted with something special when they come of age—a talent that sets them apart. If you could be a character in my book, what special gift would you choose?