Rougarou (Loup Garou) – The Cajun Werewolf

 

Here in Louisiana we have our own were-wolf like creature who stalks the swamps.  The Rougarou is a beast who people have described as having the head of a wolf and body of man.  It is believed that if one is bitten by the fiend or even stares into his evil gaze, they will be transformed into this walking nightmare themselves.  The only cure for this ghastly curse is for the victim to keep his condition a secret for a week and a day.  If the individual manages this feat, then both they and the rougarou who attacked them will be freed from the monstrous form.

Legend says that the best way to protect one’s house from the rougarou is to place 13 small objects in all the windows and doors.  Apparently, the creature can only count to twelve and will have to start again becoming so preoccupied that he doesn’t noticed the coming dawn.  Once the morning approaches, he will be forced back into the swamp to hide form the sun.

French Catholics have often used the tale as a caution to young ones who want to break lent, as it is said that anyone who breaks lent for seven years will be turned into a rougarou. (I think I may be in trouble!!!)  How’s that for a reason to eat meat on Fridays?

Hope you enjoyed a little insight into our very own shape-shifting legend.  Here’s a Halloween surprise for all my readers and fans:

Magia Rising will be FREEEEEE! on Amazon 10/31/12-11/2/12!  Hope you enjoy! Tell your friends and Happy Haunting!

Magia Rising Link

  Blurb:

New Orleans is teeming with warring witch clans. Their world goes unnoticed by
the people of the city,unseen by the masses. Nixon was one of those people,
oblivious to the battles brewing around him. That is, until his eighteenth
birthday.

Abandoned and on his own after the deaths of his parents…he’d
grown used to being alone. Now he’s discovering strange powers, learning secrets
about his ancestors, and falling for the wrong girl–or is she the right one? In
this new world he can trust no one…even the dead tell lies. Friends are
enemies, and enemies hide the truth. Who can he trust? What’s real and
what’s illusion?

 

 

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Author of:  The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Becoming Jolie & Magia Rising

Coming Soon:  Musical Scares and Black Water Bayou

Free Read! The Awakening Chapters 5 & 6

I abandoned my blog for a few days, but I remember to post the next couple of chapters of the Awakening for you guys!  Hope you are enjoying!

Chp 5 & 6

 

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

 

Ghost Stories #6 – Haunted Schools!

I get a ton of hits on my ghost stories, so ya’ll must be enjoying them!  This week we are talking about haunted schools.  This is just a sampling as there are a ton of haunted campuses across America!  Makes you wonder if high school sucked because of adolescence or if it was the ghosts!

Pleasant Hall – LSU – Louisiana – There have been numerous murders and suicides or at least rumors of such in this formers women’s dorm.  These deaths have spurred ghost sightings and plenty of strange happenings over the years.  The most famous story is of room 312.  The story goes that a young woman shot her boyfriend in the face after an argument, thinking he was dead she ran up to her dorm and killed herself.  According to people who frequent this building, the woman still hangs out in the halls and particularly this room!

Lambertville High School – New Jersey – The school is now abandoned, but was first established in 1854.  It closed in the 1950’s after a fire.  Many brave souls have wandered the halls since the place closed and returned with frightening tales of the supernatural.  Creepy chalkboard art appears in one of the abandoned class rooms.  The screams of a little girl has driven people out of the building along with the sounds of moving furniture and footsteps.  It is said that at exactly midnight, you can hear the laughter of children through-out the school.  Some believe these are the ghosts of the children who were killed in a fire.

Nixon High School – Maryland – The school was built in 1965 and sometime during the 1980’s a teacher who was there preparing for the new school year was repeatedly stabbed to death.  She was later found in the bathroom down the hall.  Students report a presence in the bathroom and slamming doors.  Teachers have said they see the teacher walking the halls in the afternoons after the kids have left for the day.

Northside High School – Indiana – In 1927, despite the warnings of a local indian chief, the  school was built atop an indian burial ground.  People claim this chief still haunts the place warning people of the sacrilege that was committed there.  The apparition of a teenage girl is seen in the gym by dozens of students every year.  A janitor who died in the basement will working is still heard and seen there, and a construction worker who was killed during the collapse of the stage haunts the auditorium.

Nixon High School – Texas – IN the 1970’s a jealous boyfriend decapitated his girlfriend who was on the school’s dance team.  Witnesses have seen her headless spirit wandering the school and hear the sounds of the spurs on her boots.

With all of this activity on our school campuses, it’s a wonder we ever get anything done!  My high school wasn’t haunted that i know of, and I’m pretty grateful because being a teenager was hard enough!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu and The Mulligan Man published by Astraea Press

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Free Read! The Awakening Chapters 1 And 2

Okay so honestly my hope for my blog is to give something to my readers.  I want there to be a reason that you stop by to hear me talk about my crazy cat or the kids or some ghost story I want you to hear.

I wanted to create a gift for the people who read my stories and love them. So here’s the dealio – I have several works in progress!  I need to work on all of them eventually and this is a great way to get going on this one while I work on some of my other ones, so I’m trying something new!

One of the manuscripts that is sitting on my laptop waiting to be worked over is  a stand-alone, paranormal fiction novel called The Awakening.  I’d like to post FREE chapters once a week and let you follow along as I do the first of many edits on it!

Here are my requests (You knew there was catch right?)

1.  Don’t be too critical it has not been truly edited.

2.  Don’t hate me if I change the name and feel free to make suggestions as we get further into the story.

3.  Share my blog with your friends so they can read along and comment too!

4.  Follow me so you know when I post new chapters!

That’s it!   That’s all I’m asking!  At the end of this little experiment, I will edit the heck out of it and publish it on Amazon and Create Space.  In between chapter posts I plan to entertain you with my nonsense!

Hear are Chapters 1 & 2:  Chapters 1 and 2

I really hope you enjoy!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man published by Astraea Press

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie – from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Ghost Stories #5 – The Haunted Roads and Streets of America

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of haunted roads. What could be creepier than cruising down the street and seeing an apparition?  Here are a few roads and highways across the country you may want to check out when you’re out on ghost hunting adventures.

Hwy 666 – This highway runs through Utah, Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico.  In 2003, the highway was renamed Route 491, but the name change hasn’t stopped the rumors that this could be the true highway to hell.  People driving along this stretch of road have reported headlights that come up behind them at great speeds.  When the driver pulls over to let the vehicle pass, it vanishes before their eyes.

Some believe the highway was built on indian burial grounds.  Native American tradition teaches that once a medicine man passes away, he can become a skin walker and transform into various animals.  These animals have been known to dart out in front of vehicles, and it is believed they are issuing a warning for the travelers to end their journey on the highway.

Many people have witnessed a pack of dogs deemed the hounds of hell here.  These beasts can run as fast as the vehicles they are chasing and have the power to shred tires.  Perhaps the scariest of all the claims is that people simply disappear on this road, sometimes leaving their cars and belongings behind.

Archer Avenue – Chicago – Archer Avenue runs through the City of Chicago.  it is said that the ghost of a young, blonde girl named Resurrection Mary roams this street near Resurrection Cemetery.  A man once picked the girl up and danced with her all evening before giving her a ride home.  Near the cemetery she darted from his car and disappeared just before the entrance to the graveyard.

 

 

 

Boy Scout Lane – Wisconsin – It is said that in the 1950’s a scout troop was murdered here by their troop leader while on an overnight camping trip.  People who travel this road have seen the ghostly apparitions of bloody children.  Another variation of the story claims that one of the boys dropped a lantern and the boys were burned to death.  Reports of screams and smoke are rampant in this area.

Clinton Road – New Jersey – The story here is that a boy was playing on a bridge and fell over and drowned.  It is said that he will appear if you drop a coin into the water below the bridge.  Some claim he has pushed some visitors over the side of the bridge.

This road also boasts sightings of phantom vehicles, headlights with no car attached, and a ghostly Camaro driven by a blonde girl who reportedly died in a crash on the road.

 

 

Highway 11 – Alabama – Lonnie Stephens was falsely accused of killing his girlfriend.  The real killer was eventually found, but not before Lonnie escaped from a chain gang and was hit by a car trying to hitch a ride along this highway.  His ghost is often seen with arms outstretched pleading for someone to stop and give him a ride.

And of course, you knew i’d have to include a road from my home state!  There are many haunted roads in Louisiana and maybe I’ll dedicate an entire blog to them.

Canal Street – New Orleans, LA – Canal street at City Park Avenue once marked the outer limits of the city.  The most intriguing aspect about this locale is that this is the place where thirteen cemeteries converge.  Just beyond this spot is part of the roadway that used to be The New Basin Canal.  When the Irish and German immigrants who built the canal died during its construction, they were buried right where they fell.

The list of supernatural encounters in this area is long and includes:  spirits of the dead walking hand in hand; disembodied voices who speak to those at a nearby bus stop; the ghost of a young girl who runs directly into oncoming traffic; ghostly funerals that pass through the closed gates of the cemeteries; and many other restless spirits who approach both the locas and tourists.

Have you ever experienced a ghostly apparition along a highway?  Share your story with us!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of:  The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu & The Mulligan Man published by Astraea Press.

Coming Summer 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Ghost Stories Part II – LaLaurie House – Royal Street New Orleans

The Lalaurie House is located in the French Quarter on Royal Street.  This story is pretty gruesome and not for the faint of heart, for sure!

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Delphine LaLaurie and her husband took up residence in the house in the 1830″s.  As soon as they moved into the house, they became darlings of the New Orleans social scene for whom they hosted lavish events at the home.  The lady of the house, Madame LaLaurie, was described as sweet, gracious and easy to get along with, and her husband was a highly respected business man.

Even though Delphine was well liked, when the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau, started doing her hair, they became fast friends.  It is believed that Marie was instructing Madame on the ways of Voodoo during their time together. 

Delphine LaLaurie kept a sizable group of slaves to help her run the house.  At first, nothing seemed awry, but then gossip began to spread about the Madame’s abuse of her indentured servants.  The people of society ignored these claims, until they saw Delphine chasing a young slave girl through the house, a chase which culminated with the girls death on the cobblestone three stories below.

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The death was deemed by law enforcement to be an accident, but the incident set off a chain of events that later exposed the woman’s dark side.  An old slave woman angered over the death of the young girl set fire to the house.  It is said that when firemen came to put the blaze out, the old maid ran out to them begging them to “set the poor souls in the attic free”. 

That day upon inspection of the attic a horrific scene was found.  Dead and half-dead slaves, men, women and children were chain to the walls having suffered various forms of torture.  Some of the slaves were forced to stand for days or weeks with their heads and arms in the stocks.  Their eyes were gouged out, tongues removed, mouth and eyes sewn shut, and ears and noses cut off. Soon after the fire a violent mob grew calling for Madame LaLaurie’s blood, but she escaped from the city in a horse-drawn carriage before they could find her.  The home was renovated many times over, but no one ever thrived there for any length of time.  In the Twentieth century, it was converted to apartments, but not long ago it was under renovations again. 

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There are documented incidents of people both seeing and hearing the ghosts of the tormented slaves.  People also see the servants who were still working on the day of the house fire, and they go on about their daily chores as though they are still alive.  Running along the corridors, slamming doors and shouts are heard often, throughout the house. 

As people pass down Royal Street they have seen the ghostly spirits peering from the attic windows and heard their tortures moans.  Next time you are in the French Quarter on Royal Street, check out the old house and let us know what you see.

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, and The Mulligan Man published by Astraea Press.

Coming 2012 – Becoming Jolie – from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

 

 

 

A Day In the Life…Pass it on.

I stole this idea from the blog of Kimberly Kinrade.  I enjoyed hers so much I thought yeah, we should all do that!  The question that I get asked most as a writer is…”How do you have time?”.  If you read Kim’s blog you will see she doe  A LOT.  I don’t have nearly the projects she has going, but I do work full-time! 

The whole point behind this is that if you WANT to do something you can find time to do it.  I think that 99% of moms are  super moms.  You may not be writing books, but how many things did you volunteer to do at the school this year?  How many friend’s weddings/birthdays/christenings/retirement parties, did you help plan? 

So here it is, a day in my life!  I’d love to read yours:

6:00 AM – alarm goes off – Keith is long gone by now so I roll out of bed and stumbled towards the kids room where I flip on the light and rip the covers off of them.  Baby girl will inevitable swear she didn’t sleep and a twenty-minute argument ensues.  If I give up and leave the room they will get dressed, so I do.  Back to my bathroom to dress, then feed the animals, pick up all the trash the kids left all over the house and scoot them out the door.

7:00 AM –  Kids have been dropped off and I start my hour commute to work.  This is usually when I catch up with my best friend or call my Dad.  Sometimes I have literal conversations with said BFF and others we are talking about characters in my latest work in progress.

8:00 – AM  Sign in at JOB – I go through all my outstanding work, check renewal dates, scream, cuss and cry.  This goes on until Noon when I finally get from behind my desk.  (Now we all know that in here somewhere you get a call from the bill collector, the kid at school that forgot their project, and your husband who wants you to keep a mental list of things to pick up at the store – go Blackberry!)

Noon:  Grab a bite to eat and walk around with a notebook jotting down ideas for blogs, my WIP, or books that I’m helping my friends critique.  Sometimes I get to sit down and write and at this point I do it long-hand, in a notebook, as people walk by and say,  “What ya doin?”

1-4:30 – More Insurance work.  Every now and then I get to slip in a blog or read a chapter for a friend and do a quick critique.  In the mean time, I’m jumping on and off Facebook because you have to keep up with the readers, bloggers, reviewers, and fans.  I try to share something, say hello, and make sure my reviews/blogs/etc, posted.  Facebook will suck you in and so will Twitter!

5:00 PM Home – Hour and half commute home if there is no wreck on the Interstate! Thank you Lord, Keith cooks!  Homework check and a quick episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, unless of course Keith gets the remote then we are watching Two and Half Men reruns. 

6:00 PM – The kids have generally lost interest in me by now and are on computers and cell phones.  I get to write for about an hour!

7:00 PM – Facebook sucks me in for 30 minutes until I peel myself away and go make sure everyone is bathed and hang out with Keith for a bit.

8:00  PM  Write blogs for the following week, send review request off to bloggers, try to check my publisher’s websites and do some critiquing.

9:00 PM Must hang out with Keith.  Kids are usually in bed (ours or theirs).  We watch some show about hillbillies with no teeth that make moonshine in the mountains.  Keith is snoring by 9:45.

10:00 PM – Until  – I get to write again!  I usually write between 10 PM and whenever.  I try to get in bed by midnight, but if I walk in the kitchen and the dishes need to be done or there is a pile of laundry that needs to be folded it may be later.  This is the worse time to get sucked into Facebook so I try to stay away!

Finally! Bath and sleep only to hear the alarm go off again before I’m really sleeping.  As Kim said in her blog, this doesn’t account for sick kids, laundry day, family night, time with friends, and the unexpected things that happen every week. 

The truth is, if I’m not doing something 24/7, I’ll go insane…so I was thinking about going back to school….Hmmm.  🙂

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, The Mulligan Man & Deja Vu – published by Astraea Press

Coming Summer 2012 – Becoming Jolie – published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Misused and Abused…Words That Is!

Okay so there are several words we all tend to misuse and abuse!  I feel it is my duty to stand up for these words and champion their proper usage.  After all, if I don’t make a statement who will?  Tee Hee

1.  Adverse – unfavorable                      Averse – reluctant

2.  Accept – receive                                 Except – excluded

3.  Affect – influence                              Effect – bring out

4.  Allusion – indirect reference          Illusion – false impression

5.  Capital – city or money                   Capitol – building

6.  Elicit – bring out                              Illicit – unlawful

7.  Immigrate – go into a country      Emigrate – exit a country

8.  Principle – basic truth                   Principal – head of school/sum of money

9.  Than – Comparison                       Then – time

10. There – specified place    Their – possessive pronoun   They’re – contraction for they are

11. Lie – recline or rest                       Lay – put or place

12. Set – place or set                           Sat – seated

13. Who – person                    Which – not a person           That – things or class of people

14. Supposed to:                                Keep the “D” at the end!  (Not suppose to)

15. Used to:                                         Keep the “D” at the end! (Not use to)

16. Toward:                                         No “S” at the end

17. Anyway:                                         No “S” at the end

18. Couldn’t care less                        Make sure it’s negative (not could care less)

19. Chest of Drawers                         Not Chester Drawers

20. For all intents and purposes    Not for all intensive purposes. 

 

Cheers!!!

Monique O’Connor James

Twitter:               mjames13

WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com

Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511255176

Author Page:      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monique-OConnor-James-Author/151581321573144

 

Ashley Godeaux Poetry Selection

I’m always astounded by beautiful poetry.  My cousin Ashley can produce the most haunting prose and I’m a little jealous.  Here is a taste.

If I had just one wish it would be…

To rewrite fate, understand destiny,

And wake up with you next to me.

If I had a chance to borrow time,

I promise you the sun would always shine above your head.

The sound of your laughter can awake the dead and force them to spring anew from their eternal bed.

Love is an addiction one that has to be fed in order to survive,

I feel like a hornet trapped in a bee’s hive.

As I stare into the mirror,

I no longer fear her.

The image that reflects through the glass…is enough to make me forget the past.

This is something to cherish…something I’ll  take with me until I perish!

This is  something I know will last…

And as time progresses it moves so slow when you’re not here,

I miss you…that’s all I know.

Just like a petal that’s fallen from a rose,

I love you, and that’s all I suppose is true.

I’m thankful I stumbled upon you…

Time is the only thing that I long for and it’s all that I fear.

All I want is to have you near.

I walk outside and stand on the front lawn,

And stare up at the evening sky,

I stand there looking up at the sleeping moon,

I know I’ll see you soon….the sun’ll rise in an hour,

And I’ll be consumed by the sparks of a meteor shower…our star is shining bright,

I’ll fall asleep with you on my mind tonight.

The writer in me can’t help but dream…

I am living proof that not everything is as it seems.

So there’s no way to justify your means by which you live,

Love is a risk you just have to take,

Sometimes you just have to put everything at stake!

🙂 ashx

Enjoy,

Monique O’Connor James

Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Publicity Package

So you wrote a novel.  Now what?  One of the things you will need to do is market your book.  Part of marketing requires you to send your book and information about yourself to bloggers, reviewers, interviewers, etc. 

The process can be made a bit simpler if you prepare a publicity package before hand.  This way when each person asks for these items you will have them all in one place. 

Attached each of the following in a separate document and place in a file on your computer:

Author Bio – Give the readers a little personal information about yourself.  They want to get to know you!

Photo –  Yes your readers want to see what you look like! Your relationship becomes more personal when they can put a face with the name.

Book Blurb – Set up a document with a blurb about each one of your books.  (The back cover blurb works perfect for this).

Cover Art –  Save each of your covers into a separate file.

Excerpt – Save an excerpt from each book into separate documents.

How to connect – Create a document with all the information about how to connect with you on the internet: email addresses, facebook pages, twitter accounts, etc.

Buy Links – Create a document with information/links on where to purchase each of your books.

ISBN – Create a document with your ISBNs.

Trailer Links – Create a document with each of your book trailer links.

If you have these items saved on your computer, you will be able to easily access them when the information is requested by a reviewer or blogger.  You may consider creating a document also, that has frequently asked questions and answers.

Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com