“When I woke, Hayden hovered over me. I was outside, lying on the hard gravel of an unpaved country road.
“What purpose does this serve?” Luke spit as he leaned against the front of the truck.
“Quiet. She just needs some fresh air.” Hayden was kneeling down beside me, his body so close I could feel the sweet heat of his breath as he spoke. I didn’t want to move, but I couldn’t ignore the reality of the situation. I was being kidnapped and heading deeper into the swamp, where it was likely my body would never be found. The alligators would eat my remains, and soon there would be nothing left of me. I could see the headlines in the fictional newspapers in my head. I didn’t hesitate to think out an escape plan. Before I knew it, I was on my bare feet taking off in the other direction. I didn’t think about the alligators that were likely in the water next to me. I just knew I had to get to the main road.
“She’s running away?” I heard Hayden say in a surprising tone.
“Go get her!” Luke yelled from behind me. “
New Orleans has always been a place of intrigue and mystery; the setting of endless vampire and ghost stories. Some are more real than you may think. I wanted to tell Madame Lalaurie’s story and the history behind New Orleans most haunted mansion. It plays a brief, but dark, role in my novel Hurricane but there is a truth behind it.
When writing, I tried not to do extensive research on the house on Rue Royal. I wanted to use only information that I myself had heard growing up, making it a true ghost story.
Importance is not in the details, rather how the story is told. Of course, today I do know more about Lalaurie and the mansion on Royal Street than perhaps I would have liked to. It all goes back to the 1800’s. 1140 Royal Street was the tallest and most beautiful house at that time. Three stories high, it had a big wraparound porch on the second level; perfect for celebrating Mardi Gras activities. But, there would be no fun in that house. It was a house filled with horror. In the late 1830’s Madame Lalaurie was a socialite. To those who were her guests, she was described as kind, and charming. But to her servants she was anything but. She would severely mistreat them; beat them- she even threw a young girl off her third story balcony. One day there was a fire in her home. As the town people came to help her retrieve her valuables, they made a gruesome discovery in the attic. The servants had been beaten up and chained to the floor. After the townspeople made the discovery, a mob had called for Lalaurie’s blood. By that time, she had fled. Some say she was reportedly laid to rest in France, while others claim she never left. You can still visit the house today - if you dare. In the market for a new home? Lucky for you, the house is for sale. Its previous owner, Nicholas Cage, recently foreclosed and the house is now bank- owned.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog and I hope y’all will check out my novel Hurricane; the first book in a brand new series.
Thanks for stopping by Jenna-Lynne!!
Hurricane is a paranormal romance novel for young adults. It follows Adriana Alexander, a high school teen whose dreams predict the future. When her dream of two mysterious brothers attending her school comes true, she makes it her goal to figure out the brothers’ secret. What she didn’t predict was that the brothers would kidnap her on the eve of Hurricane Katrina. The book chronicles the trio’s evacuation from New Orleans, complete with a touch of voodoo and a vengeful ghost, and Adriana’s eventual return to the devastated city she loves. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity.
About the Author: Jenna-Lynne Duncan graduated from the University of St. Thomas with degrees in Political Science, International Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. Hurricane is her debut novel and she is planning a series. She welcomes those to contact her through her website (http://www.Jenna-Lynne.com). Email | Website | Book Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
To purchase Hurricane: Divertir Publishing | Amazon | B&N
“We’re not alone.” Luke let out what sounded like growl. He pulled me closer with his arms. “You ready?”
A tried to force a swallow and nodded.
“Whatever it is, we’ve disrupted its plan, and it’s not happy about it. Listen to me, Ana. You need to go back to the car immediately. I’ll take care of whatever it is. Go now.” Luke disappeared beside me and I didn’t hesitate to think about how I was alone in the dark swamp. My legs took off under me, faster than ever before. The adrenaline pushed me harder and faster. ‘Whatever it is’? That can’t be good. That definitely can’t be good. My heart was racing but my breathing remained steady. Should I be worried about Luke? No, surely he can handle whatever’s out there. I stopped running. Looking in both directions, not knowing which path to take. I had to listen to him this time. To stay out of trouble and meet him at his car. But the energy that was flowing through my veins told me otherwise. I felt like I could take on whatever was out there. But I didn’t want what happened last time at Club Skye to happen again. There would be no Hayden or his parents to bail me out this time. I was still wearing Luke’s shirt and it saddened me. I looked one final time in the direction Luke went and started running toward him. I ran for a few minutes with the darkness enclosed on me. Fear prevented me from stopping, a high kept me going. Luke’s black t-shirt clung to the sweat forming on my body and I slowed to a fast walk.
“Luke?” I whispered knowing I didn’t need, or want to, yell in order for him to hear me. Seconds passed with nothing but the sound of locus’s and bullfrogs. But then even those quieted and it was pure silence around me. I whispered his name again. I heard footsteps behind me. My heart was frozen in my chest. Luke.
“There you are! I have been looking for you, are you all right?” I turned around to find him, shining my flashlight in every direction. There was nothing. Nothing but dead silence. I turned in each direction, always hearing footsteps behind me. Maybe I just didn’t know where they were coming from. “Luke, it’s not funny.” The sound of the footsteps got closer. My ears were ringing and skin burned from a painful chill. “Luke!” I yelled tearing my vocal chords as I started to run. Yes, I definitely had to run. I ran as fast if not faster than before, the footsteps trailing me. Getting faster, catching up to me. Getting louder and louder as they hit the ground, sounding like a horse trot on hard pavement. Something stung my back in one sharp movement and I fell face first to the ground. I turned on my back ready to face whatever was after me. I felt the ground around me with my hands, hoping by some stroke of luck that the flashlight had just turned off but not broken. Warm liquid rolled down my face. It was too thick to be sweat.
I sat up feeling the gash on my forehead and cringed at the pain. My breathing heaved as I waited for whatever was in front of me. Nothing was there until all at once something dark and heavy was on top of me. I kicked it off me with such force I heard its friction against the ground. I should run but I didn’t. I knew it would just come after me again. I had to stop it but how? Was it man, animal or something other entirely?
I stood up preparing to find a something I could use as a weapon. The shadow rose taller than me and split in two? There were now two things on either side of me, surrounding me.
In what felt like hours passing not seconds, I flashed back to Halloween night at Club Skye… I pictured the Hybrid, a pig’s head and a man’s body, even more disturbing then I remembered. The pig head craned its neck to the side, its black empty eyes boring into mine. The corners of its repulsive mouth drew up into what appeared to be a smile. A satanic smile. My whole body shuddered. Luke was there. He pushed me forcibly behind him.
His body was tensed and positioned in a crouch. His broad shoulders blocked my view of the hideous creature. He was protecting me that night but I had no one to protect me now.
I should fight the two dark shadows approaching me. I should never give up. I would never let them kill me so easily. But I was frozen. Frozen in the past. Locked in the memories of just one of the many times I would almost die.
A gush of wind, one after the other blew past and the dark shadows were gone as far as I could see. A new presence came with the wind and I knew that the shadows hadn’t just left, they had fled. This was getting out of control and fast. The sounds of bugs and nighttime creatures returned and I knew I was alone for the time being. “Luke!” I called out to him again. Where was he? I knew he could hear me. Why did he have to believe in me so much, this was a stupid idea. I had wished Hayden was here, he would know just what to do. I felt the ground with my hands working my way over to the trees. I dug through the cold mud pulling up a promising branch I could use if necessary and started moving once again to find Luke. I had debated whether to walk or run. Running didn’t pan out too well last time but as I heard the impeding silence around me again I knew it was my only option. Before I could sprint away, I felt a hard, angry arm around my waist and I was lifted into the air. I still had the stick in my hand and prepared to use it until I realized what, or who, had caught me.
“Drop the twig, Ana”
“Hayden?” The combination of his touch and smell brought back all the familiarities at once.
He didn’t answer. I let out a slight squeal as I was thrown over his shoulders. Hayden felt like a rock underneath me. “Hayden?” I pleaded for some sort of response and when I didn’t get one I changed my tone. “Put me down! We have to find Luke.” Wrong words. Hayden tensed slightly at my comment.
I heard footsteps in front of me, and I quickly panicked.
The footsteps slowed “Whew!” Luke. “All I have to say was what the f—“
“Shut it, Luke.”
“Geez, somebody came back from Texas cranky. Ana is that you?” I slumped against Hayden’s death grip, my mind running through everything that happened in the last ten minutes. I had lost Luke, came close to death, and Hayden came back early from Texas. “Damn. I thought I told you to go back to the car!”
“And you expected her to comply. “ Hayden scoffed sarcastically.
Hayden dipped down and picked up the keychain I had dropped earlier. The adrenaline that ran through my body now eased, leaving me a headache from the extra blood that shot through my head. I winced.
“Are you ok?” Hayden and Luke said simultaneously and I felt Hayden’s head snap in the direction of Luke. There was too much tension in the air. I dreaded when I would have to answer questions about what I was thinking to go along with something like this. Even though it wasn’t Luke’s fault, Hayden would blame him anyway.
“I’m fine”. I finally answered.
When we got to the gate I only saw one car and wondered how Hayden got here.
“Where’s the truck?” I mumbled.
“It’s already at home.” The lights on the car flashed as it was unlocked it.
My head throbbed again as Hayden sat me down in the back seat.
“I’m driving.” Hayden said as a command to Luke.
Luke threw up his arms in surrender. Not even he wanted to push Hayden any farther tonight.
“Hayden…” I started as we pulled away from Lafitte.
“Not now, Ana. I’m not ready to talk about this now.” His jaw muscles clenched.
“Why the hell not?” Luke butted in, obviously deserting his previous position of not pushing Hayden. “You can’t shelter her from the underworld forever. She needs to know.
Has to know. She saved the guys life for God’s sake. This could be something.”
My eyes shot up. I had been able to change the future?
“We are not doing this now.” Hayden said through his teeth.
“Whatever, man. It was amazing. She was amazing. Think about it, now we don’t have to go hunting later. How lucky did we get that that thing, or things, weren’t human.”
Hayden froze at Luke’s last word. But his emotions quickly changed into something else.
Anger? Jealousy? I didn’t know. “Are you really that stupid? You could have got her killed! I know you’re all bent on destroying your own life but leave my girlfriend out of it. You say you love her but then you put her life in danger. If you truly loved her, you would leave her alone. She is with me. Whatever you are trying to do to prove otherwise is not working and is going to get her killed!”
“Don’t start with me. Yeah, yeah we all know your sob story. Well who the hell cares you’ve been waiting a 100 years for her, she is my true One and you know I will never, can never, stop trying to make her love me.”
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