The origin of the curse I created for WHO DO, VOODOO? dates back to 19th century New Orleans, an era when voodoo doctors and priestesses held secret moonlit rituals on river banks, and threw all-night orgies in the mansions of Louisiana politicians. Creole servants sold gris-gris from the kitchens of New Orleans’ wealthiest citizens. Cuckolded husbands snuck into graveyards to collect dirt for revenge spells on cheating wives and their lovers. And in the French Quarter, Callia—a half-French, half-Haitian, young mother desperate for money to feed her children—sold the powerful spells she secreted out of the mountains of her Haitian homeland. The spells Callia exchanged for money came with a sinister threat: death to the client who exposed Callia as the source of the voodoo. Callia passed her cursed spell book to her daughters, and they to theirs, until the female-to-female lineage brought the spells to 21st century Los Angeles.
In this excerpt from WHO DO, VOODOO? Liz Cooper, a down-to-earth psychologist with a cynical view of the supernatural, encounters Callia’s spirit at a séance:
Madame Iya’ rocked back and forth, shaking a small brass rattle. “We humbly ask you to send the spirit of our beloved Sophie to join us.” A full minute passed then Madame Iya’ spoke again. “Sophie is here.”
A candle popped. Shadows flickered on the walls outside of the circle. A draft swept across the floor and flickered the flames of the candles. I thought I saw a shadow move behind Jimmy and Tawny. I brushed away the sensation that someone else was in the room with us. I tensed up.
“Nola. Sophie wants you to publish her spell book.” Madame Iya’ let out a deep sigh. “She wants me to help you complete it.”
Linda’s body went rigid. She clenched her hand over mine and began to rock. She spoke in a deep and insistent voice; a voice I didn’t recognize. “No. I don’t want that. My secrets have to be protected. There will be danger. No.”
“What are you talking about, Linda?” Nola said.
Linda stared across the room. “Linda’s not here, my treasure.”
“Who are you?” Nola’s words came unsteady, searching. “Sophie?”
“Not Sophie. I’m Callia.”
The back of my neck tingled. Who was Callia? Linda gazed around the circle. She stopped when she got to me. Her face had changed: the softness drained from her features. She looked tired, older. Her eyes were vacant. A small terror edged my rational mind aside. I had a fleeting sensation that someone else’s eyes were staring at me from Linda’s face.
“You have to keep my secrets safe and with my family. Your question is answered inside.” She held her eyes on mine. “Promise me.”
I nodded warily, not knowing what she meant. “I promise.”
A door down the hall slammed shut with a force so hard it rattled the windows. Tawny screamed. I jumped.
WHO DO, VOODOO? is the first novel in Rochelle Staab’s thrilling new Mind for Murder Mystery series features no-nonsense Liz Cooper, a Los Angeles psychologist forced to embrace the occult to clear her best friend of murder.
When Liz Cooper’s friend Robin Bloom finds an unusual tarot card tacked to her front door, Liz writes it off as a prank. Robin refuses to ignore the omen—her late husband drew the same card, the three of swords, in a reading the night before he was killed in a car accident. As more cards and darker threats appear, Liz realizes someone very dangerous is upping the ante.
Liz turns to her brother’s old college roommate, occult expert Nick Garfield. As Nick leads her into the voodoo community to locate the origin of the deck, she can't ignore their attraction to each other. Then a woman is found murdered and Robin becomes the prime suspect. Determined to clear her friend, Liz joins forces with Nick to unravel otherworldly secrets and seek help from beyond—or risk being outwitted by a cunning killer.
PRAISE FOR WHO DO, VOODOO?
"The first in the Mind for Murder mystery series set in Los Angeles grabs your attention from the start with creepy tarot cards, voodoo priestesses and cursed spell books. A fresh and entertaining premise for a new series that is cleverly plotted and executed." —RT Reviews (4 stars)
Let Staab's debut cast a spell over your readers with its spirited pace, likable heroine, and Los Angeles backdrop. VERDICT: Staab sets her fairly sophisticated blend of the occult in a flashy West Coast locale for great escape reading. Fans of Juliet Blackwell and Rebecca M. Hale will get a kick out of this one. ~ Library Journal
"A spellbinding blend of voodoo and tarot traditions, Who Do, Voodoo? is a superlative supernatural mystery." ~ Cleo Coyle, author of the national bestselling Haunted Bookshop and Coffeehouse Mysteries
11/11 Get Lost In A Story http://getlostinastory.blogspot.com/
11/13 Lipstick Chronicles http://thelipstickchronicles.typepad.com/
11/22 Seeing Night Reviews http://seeingnight.blogspot.com/
11/23 Dollycas's Thoughts http://dollycas.blogspot.com/
11/25 Pensfatales http://www.pensfatales.com/
11/28 Mysteries & Margaritas http://www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com/
12/13 Jungle Red http://www.jungleredwriters.com/
12/28 Under the Tiki Hut http://underthetikihut.blogspot.com/
11/12 Book signing at Mysterious Galaxy/Redondo Beach, CA with Linda O. Johnston
11/15 WTMJ-TV/Milwaukee “Morning Blend” on-air interview
11/15 Book signing at Mystery One Bookstore in Milwaukee
11/26 Meet & Greet, 12-4p, Barnes & Noble/Westside Pavilion/Los Angeles
Rochelle Staab, a former award-winning radio programmer and music industry marketing executive, blended her fascination with the occult and a love for mystery in WHO DO, VOODOO? the first novel in her Mind for Murder Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. BRUJA BROUHAHA, the second novel in the series will be released in August 2012.