Please give a warm welcome to Mary Ann Loesch, Author of Bayou Myth.
The Voodoo Terms of Bayou Myth
I have a strange fascination for Louisiana.
I think it's because they have such a melting pot of cultures going on there. You may have heard of the word Creole. That means a language that blends from many influences. It's an accurate word for Louisiana!
My young adult novel, Bayou Myth, takes place in the bayous of Louisiana and also deals with the subject of voodoo. A lot of readers have asked me what certain terms in the book mean and so that's the nature of today's blog post.
My main character, Joan, is a sixteen year old voodoo priestess in the making. She has mixed feelings about it and often gets frustrated when her grandmother pushes the subject on her. Of course, it doesn't help that her grandmother has been dead for over a hundred years! She was the legendary and infamous, Marie Laveau.
A voodoo priestess is someone who practices and guides others in voodoo rituals. And yes, you there are many voodoo priestesses practicing today--not just in Louisiana either! Marie Laveau happens to be one of the most famous though, and the stories about what she did for her followers are wild and crazy!
Sometimes Joan refers to a gris gris bag. This is pronounced gree gree. It's a little bag that has items in it meant to bring luck for certain things like getting more money, staying healthy, and of course, love.
A veve is a type of drawing that can be found on the wall above an altar or in a gris gris bag. These symbols represent the different loas (spirits) in voodoo. They are often intricate designs, and I've even seen a few on T-shirts in New Orleans. Joan's favorite is the one that represents her own grandmother, Marie Laveau.
The crossroads are powerful location for magic in voodoo. In Bayou Myth, a local dancehall sits in the middle of where a crossroads once used to be and Joan believes it to be a spot full of spiritual energy. One of my favorite voodoo tales is that of the musician Robert Johnson who wanted to be the best blues player ever. He went to the crossroads, made his petition to the spirit there, and was granted his wish.
Some people think it's the devil at the crossroads, but voodoo lore says that isn't true. It's actually Papa Legba, a powerful loa who grants favors--with conditions!
In writing Bayou Myth, I've tried to keep the flavor of Creole alive and well! I hope you enjoy the book! Here is the synopsis:
Dave, weren’t always being interrupted by her dead Grandmere, the legendary Marie Laveau. After all, it’s hard to make out with your best friend when your grandmother is watching! But when you come from a long line of voodoo priestesses with dried gator heads decorating the wall of their huts, normal doesn’t come easily.
When Joan witnesses the brutal sacrifice of a child to a tree Druid, she learns her Grandmere’s scandalous past has come back to haunt those living in the present. Hera, a vengeful voodoo priestess is determined to use the residual energy of Pandora’s Box to revive a sleeping voodoo god and declare war on the descendants of Marie Laveau, especially Joan. Suddenly, Greek myths are being re-enacted all over town, and Joan has her hands full trying to sort it all out. With the approach of Samedi’s Day—the voodoo day
of resurrection—Joan must learn to accept her destiny in order to stop the approaching threat to her family and friends.
Excerpt:A teenage girl stood in the hazy glow. Unlike the other spirits, her form held solid. I got the sense that she drew energy from the surrounding spirits. Her lowered head made it so I couldn't see her face, but the style of dress she wore dated back at least a century. Not surprising, really. Monte Parish could trash its roots to the late 1700’s.
The ghost lifted her head. Her eyes were empty sockets and rotted flesh hung from her face revealing bone. She watched me, and the hatred pumping from her aura sucked my breath away. Her head moved as if she were looking at Dave. A sly smile formed on what remained of her lips, and the hatred crawling in the air multiplied. She moved towards us with an unsteady gait. The closer she got, the sicker to my stomach I felt. She meant to harm Dave. But not because he’d done anything to her. It was because he belonged to me. Though she never said a word, her intentions spilt off her and my psychic conduit picked it up.
“Let’s go. We need to leave right now.”
“What’s wrong?” Dave asked, but he complied with my request and closed up the tailgate.
The girl continued our direction. She raised a hand, and the sleeve of her dress slid back. Even from the distance we were at, the long white scar on her arm could be seen clearly in the moonlight. She pointed a finger at me.
You saw…the words hissed across the cemetery, raising goose bumps on my arms.
As many of you know I am a huge fan of Mythology, so I couldn't wait to dive into this book. Not only does this book have Greek Mythology but it mixes it with Voodoo and it blew me away. I totally became engrossed in this storyline, so much so I didn't want to take time to eat and prayed my Kindle's battery would hold out so I could finish it. I read this none stop and I still want more.
Joan is a typical sixteen year old for the exception that her Grandmere is none other than Marie Laveau. Which I found totally fascinating. I have heard the myth's regarding Marie Laveau but never read a book with her in it and I just couldn't get enough. Even when the author mixed Greek and Voodoo, I thought I might have gotten lost but I didn't. She did a fantastic job weaving the myths together.
The characters were well written and the story flowed well. There was a lot of twists and turns in this book as well, which is another thing I love when I am reading a book. I can't figure what is going to happen next.
I have nothing bad to say about this book, I loved every minute of it just wish it didn't end. I will definitely read more from this author. I hope maybe we might see more of Joan, Dave and the rest of the characters in the future.
5 out of 5 stars(honestly if I could rate it higher I would)
Free this week , get it while you can !!
Mary Ann Loesch is an award winning fiction writer from Texas. Her urban fantasy, Nephilim, was published in July 2011 by Lyrical Press Inc.
An avid blogger for All ThingsWriting(http://www.allthingswriting.blogspot.com)
(http://www.allthingswriting.blogspot.com) and Loesch’s Muse (http://
Mary Ann has also contributed stories in the horror anthology, All Things Dark and Dastardly. Her latest book, Bayou Myth, was released in June 2012. While she loves dirty martinis and cuddling with her dachshund, she loves fan mail even more! Contact her through her website at www.maryannloesch.com.
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