Release Day Spotlight & Giveaway (US/Int): Looking into the Heart of Constantine, a troubled telepathic rock star
Please help us welcome Bayou Gavotte series author Barbara Monajem back to GraveTells!
First off, I suppose I should apologize because neither the hero nor heroine of my new book in the Bayou Gavotte series is a hereditary vampire. For a blog at GraveTells, a vampire seems almost obligatory. Um…sorry, but I had no choice. Heart of Constantine is (duh) about the gorgeous, sexy, telepathic, vigilante, half-Navajo (enough adjectives?) rock star, Constantine Dufray, and he’s not the least bit interested in vampires, except as friends.
(DVK note: Totally A-OK here, Barbara! We fangirl over our rockstars just about as much as we lust after our vamps!)
When the story opens, Constantine’s life is in crisis. He has lost control of his telepathic mind, he hates being celibate but can’t risk a relationship, and someone is systematically trying to destroy him. Somebody has to come to his rescue. She can’t be a vampire, but she has to have some unusual ability. Otherwise, she would be no match for Constantine, who has enclosed himself in layers of secrets. He has a few friends who know quite a bit about him, but nobody penetrates all the way to his core. He needs a heroine who can dispense with most of the layers in short order.
That’s why I gave her the ability to read auras.
Let me backtrack a little. I have synesthesia, a neurological condition where one kind of stimulus automatically activates another. It’s fairly common (1 in 23 people, according to Wikipedia) and manifests itself in different ways. In my case, letters, numbers, days of the week and months of the year, are all associated in my mind with certain colors. So are people to some extent. (Learn more about Synthesia here…)
I think the association of colors with people is what got me interested in a heroine who reads auras. I didn’t want something as simple as red=anger, green=envy, blue=melancholy. True aura-reading must be more complex and interesting than that. Marguerite, the heroine, sees auras in terms of both colors and patterns which fluctuate according to people’s moods and emotions. She has become very good at reading people. She sees right through Constantine’s many layers of façade—right down to what he really feels at any given moment. Imagine a disconcerted Constantine! (If you’ve read the other two books in the series, you’ll know what I mean.) He doesn’t stand a chance against Marguerite (and of course she falls for him).
Heart of Constantine
Bayou Gavotte Series #3
Vigilante Native American rock star Constantine Dufray has hit rock bottom. His telepathic abilities have spun out of control, and destructive rumors about him run rampant. Some are true—he caused a violent cop’s suicide, and telepathy destroyed his marriage—but he didn’t poison his wife, and he couldn’t have caused riots at his concerts, killing his fans…or could he? Now an unknown enemy is trying to frame him for rape and murder.
Aura reader Marguerite McHugh finally gets a close encounter with the mysterious star, but it’s nothing like she expected. When Constantine finds her after she’s been drugged at one of his shows, she’s pulled into his quest for the truth. As dangers mount and murders pile up, Constantine and Marguerite are forced into an ever more intimate relationship. Only by facing their fears and working together can they unmask the killer before more innocent people die.
Read an excerpt
Setup: Constantine is helping Marguerite tidy up after her house has been ransacked. Someone is trying to frame him for rape and murder, and he wants to make sure she isn’t the next victim. She is far more concerned about the unsettling effect he has on her.
“I refuse to be responsible for any murders I don’t commit myself,” Constantine said. “Therefore, I need to protect you.”
He stilled the broom. “Go take your shower while I clean up.”
No big deal; he wouldn’t imagine her naked and wet only a few feet away. He’d think about that sexy new riff he’d written the other night after watching Marguerite and her dog from the bayou. He’d been thinking about toppling her into the water and taking her then and there.
Marguerite stared as if he’d gone out of his mind. “You want me to take a shower.” Pause. “While you’re in the kitchen.” She threw up her hands. “Thinking about me wet and naked!”
“I’m not—that is, I won’t be—” Christ. He was babbling. What had happened to being Zen about sex? She was just another woman, and being horny shouldn’t reduce him from total control to incoherence. “I didn’t telepath anything. What are you, a mind reader?”
“No, of course not.” She averted her eyes. “I just know.”
He pounced on that. “How do you know?”
“I just do.”
Well. It might be fun to find out what went on in that honey-blond head, behind those hazel eyes. “It doesn’t matter what I’m thinking. I’m attracted to a lot of women, but I don’t act on the attraction. You’re a fan, and you have a skewed idea of me.”
“No,” Marguerite said, “you are skewed.”
He couldn’t help but grin. “True, but you can take your shower. I swear upon my honor and all that’s holy, I will not come on to you.”
“Fine,” she said. “But has it never occurred to you that I might come on to you?”
About the series
Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil
Bayou Gavotte Series #1
Being irresistible sucks. Ophelia Beliveau learned that at puberty. When her friends grew breasts, she sprouted fangs as well. The effect on boys was even more dangerous.
Ophelia’s peril has only increased. As a woman, there’s been only one solution, but she can’t avoid men forever. Solitude satisfies no craving, and now her self-imposed exile must end. A vandal has destroyed her garden. A web of blackmail and murder is being woven across town, with Ophelia at its heart. And then there’s Gideon O’Toole, a detective sworn to uncover more secrets than she thirsts to bare…
Find it online at… Amazon
Tastes of Love and Evil
Bayou Gavotte Series #2
Rose Fairburn is on the run. Her vampire nature can’t protect her from everything, especially not herself. Now, when she should be worried about escaping her past, she can only think about one thing. Her kind can’t live without blood or sex. Love they must forego.
Jack Tallis can slake her thirst. Tall. Handsome. Trustworthy. And not a man alive can resist a vamp’s allure. But…
Jack can. And he has other secrets, like why underworld hit men are on his trail. Why love suddenly seems possible.
How he can vanish into thin air. The shadows hide mysteries darker than Rose can even dream, and all will be revealed in the fetish clubs of one strange Louisiana town….
Find it online… Amazon
About the author
Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she’s writing historical and paranormal romance and mystery for grownups. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.
Barbara Monajem is giving away a free copy of any one of her Bayou Gavotte books with today’s post! To enter to win, leave a comment below answering Barbara’s questions then fill out the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
Are there any amongst you? If so, tell me how your synesthesia works. Any aura readers? I’d love to know more about the real thing. Any telepaths? Any other odd abilities you’d like to discuss? Good luck!