Welcome to Tuesday Treat and your treat today comes from the talented author Haley Whitehall. Lovely to have you visit Haley and thanks for sharing an excerpt from your latest release, Alpha’s Voodoo.
Alpha’s Voodoo Spotlight
I’d like to thank Daisy for hosting me today. It is so exciting to have a new romance release. Alpha’s Voodoo is the first romance I’ve published in almost a year. I’m starting a new chapter in my life, so I guess it is appropriate I’m also venturing into a new genre. Well sort of. Alpha’s Voodoo is my first paranormal historical romance. It is the first book in the Bayou Pack series, so there will be more wolf shifter fun to come!
Are curses real or merely imagined?
Violet Creed is a colored New Orleans debutante. She was brought up with servants and a strict set of rules regarding propriety, and her papa never approved of her interest in Voodoo. One night she sneaks out of the house and attends one of Marie Laveau’s gatherings—where she loses her virginity and her reputation. Turned out by her papa, Violet is destined for a life on the streets until Madam Dawn saves her.
Cursed to live as a wolf shifter, Mark Afton is a wealthy lawyer and heir to the Bayou Pack. Unfortunately, he can’t take over leadership from his uncle without a mate. Wanting to escape his mother’s endless matchmaking attempts, he accepts Madam Dawn’s invitation to sail on the maiden voyage of the Southern Rose and enjoy the pleasurable company of her ladies.
One of Madam Dawn’s recent hires catches his attention. He is drawn to Violet immediately. Could she be his mate or is their attraction merely Voodoo?
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Excerpt of Mark and Violet’s First Meeting:
“Unfortunately, some of my girls were not able to handle the paddle wheeler’s constant motion.” She shrugged. “They stayed on shore to keep the place running and I just got me some new girls.”
Before she had finished talking, he’d already cut his eye on the fresh faces. One woman in particular caught his fancy.
Sitting in the corner, she didn’t exude confidence and feminine prowess like the others. Her shyness intrigued him. She looked a little out of place. Was she a virgin? Her nervousness was palpable.
Madam Dawn only employed experienced women, yet she looked like she’d prefer to be anywhere other than the steamer’s parlor.
Mark recognized some of the other men in the room. They all had fortunes to spend and one thing on their minds. Several owned plantations and he knew Mr. LeBlanc owned a gambling hall. He didn’t trust any of them to behave themselves.
His attention returned to the woman in the corner. She took slow steadying breaths, her slender fingers entwining in the folds of her dress. The desire to be with her instantly took on a whole new need. He had to claim her first to save her from the less gentlemanly customers.
Madam Dawn put a hand on his arm. “I see Violet has caught your attention.”
Mark wetted his lips. She was named after a flower. Lovely. “Yes.”
“Violet, I’d like to introduce you to someone.” Madam Dawn waved her over.
The young woman hesitated, blinking as if she couldn’t believe her name had been called.
“Yes, dear,” Madam Dawn said, her voice dropping to a soft cajoling tone.
Violet stood, gathered her lavender skirts, and timidly approached.
“Violet this is Mr. Afton. Mr. Afton, this is Violet.”
Mark smiled and raised her hand for a kiss. She neither stiffened nor melted under his touch. He watched her closely trying to determine her emotion. Perhaps indifference?
If she was trying to ice him over so he’d pick someone else it wasn’t going to work. He didn’t mind a woman playing coy. Actually, his inner wolf liked the added challenge, making the conquest all the more satisfying. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Violet.”
Finally, she offered a hint of a smile. “How do you do, Mr. Afton?”
The steamboat whistle blew and they began moving away from shore. The abrupt movement caused Violet to fall forward into his arms.
“Have you been on a steamer before?” Mark asked.
Violet dipped her chin. “Yes.”
He ran his thumb gently across her chin and then raised it up with his fingertips. While she might think it polite for her to keep her gaze lowered he much preferred to look into her deep hazel eyes. “I have too, many times. But never with such a beautiful companion.”
She opened her mouth; her forehead suddenly wrinkled and then she pressed her lips together.
“I take it you have chosen your company for the day,” Madam Dawn said.
“Yes, thank you,” Mark replied curtly. Not for the day, for the entire voyage his inner wolf wanted to add, but he kept that thought to himself.
Ever since he’d come of age, his wolf had been eager to mate. He supposed it was nature’s way of ensuring the pack survived, but he had yet to actually claim a woman as his. Sleeping with them was one thing, but bringing one into the pack was a separate matter.
He hooked arms with Violet and escorted her out of the parlor and to his stateroom. Holding her head high, posture impeccable, she walked with elegance and grace. A true colored southern belle. That was what set her apart from the other women. She wasn’t an experienced tart. Why had she recently entered the whoring profession?
Where to Find Haley Whitehall
About the Author
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
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