In a time and place where women are bred to be lambs, Arose has the soul of a tigress.
It is 1693 on the isle of Jamaica, and twenty-one-year-old, Arose Du Mouchelle, is the mixed-race heir to a sprawling sugar plantation. From an old gypsy, she receives a matriarchal heirloom: the Gem of the Red Spirit. She spends years in exile, learning its secrets and mysteries, the most important of which is the ability to enter the Astral Plane. In exchange for her powers, Arose must act as the sentry between this dimension and her world, forcing back the creatures held captive there.
Morel, a voodoo Priestess, covets the Gem. Taking hostage Arose’s family and the port town, she attempts to force Arose to give up the powerful amulet. Morel’s plan is to rule over the evil creatures imprisoned in the Astral Plane, unleashing them upon the rest of humanity.
While evading Morel’s henchmen Arose collides with Captain St. James a notorious pirate, whom she has already met in a vision. Leary of him at first, he gains her trust after he aids in her escape. She is knocked unconscious and wakes to find she has been had – both he and the opal gone. However, even if she recovers the opal she’ll have a bigger decision to make: keep the opal and doom her family, or give it to Morel and let the world fall into a demonic wasteland.
She crouched on the ledge of a dune. The dying sun’s embers lit the sky just before the night arose.
The previous hours of her day were difficult and tiresome. She wasn’t sure if her queasy stomach came from her boiling blood or the fact she hadn’t eaten since morning. The day’s close did give her some relief from the evil Voodoo and treachery, which followed her since that afternoon. Still her troubles would not simply end because the day did. In the guise of her alter ego, Evan, she could fool anyone. She had perfected a manly swagger. But, no matter how drunk she got in the pub, her troubles would remain. “He” would be on the hunt for her, ready to pounce, like a feral animal on his prey.
Arose held a polished dagger up to the sunlight, to inspect the blade’s oily sheen. A jewel-encrusted fleur-delis adorned the pommel, glinted in the late evening sun. The same symbol of French royal heraldry decorated her family’s coat of arms.
With a flick of her wrist, the perfectly balanced blade spun from her hand, flipped once, and pierced the sand between her feet. She retrieved the dagger and pursed her lips. Specks of sand flew from the swirling calligraphy of the monogram engraved on the shaft: NDM—Nessarose Du Mouchelle. The “N” made her shake her head. She preferred instead the name “Arose,” as her father called her, or even “Rosie” reserved for those who knew her well enough. Her youth had consisted of tussles with those who played on her name, giving her cruel nicknames like “Nessy” or “Pesty.” She’d grown to hate it.
She traced the monogram with the tip of her finger and clucked her tongue when she saw the smudges left behind. Her breath came out as a steamy puff on the cold steel. Arose wiped off the droplets with her sleeve and checked the razor-fine edge for nicks.
With a gentle whoosh, she slipped the blade back into its sheath built into her thigh-high leather boot. Swollen eyes from earlier tears prickled, tempting her fingers to rub them until their yearning was happily satisfied. She would be much happier staying in her room with a cool cloth rinsed in lavender water, but the entity invading her home made it impossible.
She had to search for the man who could help her save her family and the dragon who taught her everything. Never having met the man, seeing him only in a vision, she would know him by his aura and his scent, consisting of iron, cedar and citrus fruit and she knew his name: St. James, Captain St. James.
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Andrea is a dreamer and scribbler, whose work embraces her strong matriarchal heritage. She hopes her writing will instill in her readers the idea that a woman can find their independence while keeping homegrown values.
Still living in her childhood home, Andrea can hear the voices of her past. She has relied on them to tell her stories. “My mother always said I would find my way. I never knew what she meant until after she passed. Then her voice came loud and clear, and I used it to write this book,” she says.
As a child, Andrea was a fervent closet reader. She would take her readings and write her own versions of how the book should have ended, most times being happier with her alternate ending. In the fourth grade, her teacher assigned a book report to the class. Andrea gave her the report and included various alternate endings. Her teacher immediately enrolled her in a creative writing class. Thinking this was a punishment she asked her teacher why. Her teacher explained that if she did not like how the stories ended, she should make up her own. Andrea’s mind, now given permission to take flight, began a lifelong love of writing.
Wife of 25 years and mother of three children, she had dedicated her early life to helping her family business grow. She now works for the city of New York. Five years ago, she found herself in the hospital with an injury after a simple trip home from work went awry. Not used to being idle, six months in a wheelchair gave her the time to write. It was there her mind was once again allowed to wander.
Starting with her vivid imagination she scrolled through pictures of her honeymoon in Jamaica, her mind went back into the past. Not her past, but the past of others who could have lived in a large mansion at the top of a hill covered in sugar cane. She stepped into a world with vivid colors and magic. Having already developed a polish to her writing abilities while gaining a B.A. degree with a dual major in Marketing and English Literature, she wrote what she saw and what she heard as if someone whispered in her
Andrea’s hard work and long hours has paid off. Upon completion of her manuscript, she described feeling the same whoosh she felt when she delivered her children into the world. She is thankful she can bring her work to her readers.
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