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Release Day Spotlight & Giveaway (US/Int): Looking into the Heart of Constantine, a troubled telepathic rock star

Release Day Spotlight & Giveaway (US/Int): Looking into the Heart of Constantine, a troubled telepathic rock star

by davincikittieSeptember 10, 2013

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 new

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.

Find it online at… Amazon | B&N

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 #1) by Barbara Manajem

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

Taste of Love and Evil (Bayou Gavotte #2) by Barbara Manajem

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 onlineAmazon 

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.

Connect with Barbara online at her website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway (US/Int)

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Love it, have it!
Sounds fun
Thinkin' 'bout it
Bleh, no.
About The Author
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for Sue has been shamelessly pimping book boyfriends since 2010 and has won several blogging awards with GraveTells. Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at
  • erinf1
    September 10, 2013 at 5:37 am

    no… no special sensory activities… thanks for sharing!

  • Melanie Rovak
    September 10, 2013 at 5:41 am

    More than once in my life I have know something was going to happen before it did. I used to sleep in the basement of my parents house and the only phone was upstairs in the kitchen. It was the middle of the night and I thought I heard the phone ringing so I ran through the basement and up the stairs to find the phone wasn’t ringing at all. I turned around and got halfway down the stairs when the phone actually started ringing! Another time quite a few years later I was going on a haunted bus tour with some friends. The night of the tour I had a terrible feeling and told my friend I thought the bus was going to break down. They thought I was nuts and convinced me to go on the tour. Sure enough about a half hour in the bus broke down and we were stuck for an hour until another bus could pick us up. That’s just a couple examples and I know they are not crazy important premonitions but still a bit strange and I am always wondering what I will “know” next.

    • September 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Wow, Melanie, that’s spooky! Your premonitions sound fascinating. I wonder how the knowledge of what will happen gets into your mind before the event actually takes place. Maybe one day we will find a scientific explanation for this sort of ability — or maybe it will always remain mysterious. 😉

  • Liz S
    September 10, 2013 at 6:43 am

    No special senses for me, but your book certainly sounds intriguing! Thanks for the contest.

  • martha lawson
    September 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Nope, no specail abilities at all!!

  • Natasha
    September 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t have any special senses.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Susan W.
    September 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I have no special abilities but my sister-in-law does. She tends to have dreams before a major medical event happens with a family member. All she has to say is “I had a dream and we need to go” and her hubby gets the car ready. She’s not been wrong that I know of. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • felicia sidoma
    September 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I really don’t have anything special but I think having that feeling. some call it women’s intuition. I think all people have it. Man or women.

  • Kai W.
    September 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I dream of events that yet to happen. The problem is that I have never been to these places until I catch a scene from the news that matches the way I dream it. I have been dreaming these things since I was little. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away and didn’t get a chance to tell me about it so I have no control. My grandmother talked to ghosts and could see the future.

  • September 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I get hunches and feelings sometimes that are so strong I feel physically ill if I don’t do whatever my feeling says I should. Several times it seems to have helped us avoid serious accidents or bad choices and my Dad has experienced it as well. Doesn’t happen often, but I pay attention when it does!

    Barbara, thanks so much for being our guest! It’s lovely to have you back and I can’t wait to get to know Constantine better, especially after his scenes in Tastes of Love & Evil!

    • September 10, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Davincikittie, thanks for mentioning your hunches. They sound scary but very, very useful. I wonder how often these abilities run in families? Probably most often, like so many traits.

      Thank you so much for having me here! I hope you enjoy Constantine’s story. 😉

  • Mary Preston
    September 11, 2013 at 4:24 am

    I wish that I did have some kind of ability. How cool would that be!!!

  • bn100
    September 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    No, don’t think so

  • September 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks so much to Barbara Monajem for being our guest today and for the generous giveaway. Thank also to everyone who came out to chat about this pretty interesting, slightly frightening, topic!

    Congratulations to Felicia S. on winning her choice of Bayou Gavotte books from Ms. Monajem!

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