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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway: Bayou Blues by M.M. Shelley

Cover Artist: Michelle Marquez

Description:

Sixteen year old orphan, Ava Lopez, has returned to New Orleans, Louisiana, just as a dark entity has taken residence in the bayou.

Not only does Ava have to discover who or what is taking its victims from the Quarter, and leaving their remains in the Bayou. She will also have to maneuver her way around a new school and deal with a new bodyguard.

Ava will have to uncover the mystery before she becomes its next victim. 

GUEST POST

As I started working on my series A New Orleans Mystery series I knew that I’d combine the story with Martial Arts. I have been studying Tai Shing Pek Kwar for almost eight years and before that I’ve studied San Soo Kung Fu. My first day of class, I knew absolutely nothing about fighting; I didn’t even know how to make a proper fist, I was awful! I did a lot of falling that day, the one good thing was that at least I learned the proper way to land without hurting myself. There is a technique to it, you see, if you are pushed and knocked down you’d thrust your arms out and keep your head up and try to relax as you fall. By having your arms extended out you slap your palms against the ground thereby preventing your head from knocking into the ground. 

Spending so many years around Martial Artist I discovered that the really great ones are the most humble. In fact you wouldn’t know they were grandmasters or masters, as they present such a demeanor you’d think they knew nothing of Martial Arts, but the moment you’d see them move you’d know that they have spent years training and dedicating themselves to their art. If you were to watch them do a demo you would see that their movements would be made with such ease and with such precision that you’d stand in awe. 

I have had two Kung Fu teachers, the first one was Richard Ramirez who I learned San Soo, in La Puente, California. He’s now retired. And Tai Shing Pek Kwar from Grandmaster Jim Muse Furtado, in Whittier, California. These are two very unique styles and I have used them both in scenes for both Murder on Mars and Bayou Blues. In fact I plan to use them in all four books in this series. 

Thank you so much for hosting me on this tour for Bayou Blues A New Orleans Mystery!

EXCERPT



TOUR SCHEDULE

Prologue

It had been at least three years since he had left New Orleans, Louisiana and Auguste Cheval still wasn’t sure if he had made the right decision in returning. It didn’t feel right, yet he no longer had the option to stay away. His father had skipped out on him again leaving him no choice but to live with his uncle Prosper Cheval. 

Uncle Prosper was absolutely crazy. He refused to live in town preferring instead to live out in the Bayou. Auguste had to make the long trek from town to his uncle’s shack each and every day, to and from his high school. Auguste attended Ben Franklin, in part thanks to his social worker, who for some reason or another seemed focused on making sure he stayed the course. His social worker Phillips believed that Auguste had the grades and the drive to excel at school; a school where nearly everyone excelled at one thing or another. 

The only issue Auguste had was that a normal life could never be in the cards for him, but he wasn’t about to tell his social worker Phillips just why that was. How could he even begin to explain it?

As Auguste headed deeper into the Bayou he ventured down a narrow pathway that was nearly completely covered over with knee high marshway cordgrass. Auguste had taken the long way home as he was in no hurry to return. His uncle Prosper probably wouldn’t be there, more than likely he was out checking on his traps. 

A slight sound came from his left. Something heavy was pushing through the marshway cordgrass, but Auguste couldn’t see what it was. So he waited. He didn’t want to move any further until he could see it clearly. In the light of the fading sun, Auguste held his breath as he waited to identify what moved in the cordgrass. In spite of the fact that the sun had reached the horizon, the air remained hot and humid enough to cause his clothes to stick to his body. 

A man in his early forties rolled out of the cordgrass falling right in Auguste’s pathway. The man rolled until he was on his hands and knees, he lifted his head high up in the air, his chin tilted skyward and his eyes closed. He smelled the dry stillness in the air. His eyes opened and he quickly shifted toward Auguste. His eyes locked in on Auguste and his head made a rather sharp movement almost like a wolf finding the scent of his prey. 

As the man’s eyes focused sharply on Auguste, a deep low growl escaped his throat. The eerie sound was so disturbing that it caused Auguste to feel ill. As the man leaned onto his back legs ready to pounce on Auguste, a wolf jumped out of the marshway cordgrass and latched onto the man’s throat, dragging him onto the ground and ripping at his flesh. 

He tried to fight back, sinking his teeth into the wolf’s coat, but to no avail as the wolf tore fiercely away at him. The man screamed out in pain against the assault. Sudden silence signaled that the man had given up the fight. His body grew limp as his life began to ebb, leaving him unable to endure anymore.

The wolf turned and shifted toward Auguste, it took a step towards him with a giant paw. The wolf had an unearthly presence as its paws were large and sunk into the earth with each heavy step. Its head was slightly larger than the rest of the body giving it a disproportionate appearance. The wolf’s green eyes looked like they had seen centuries of war and chaos and were filled with a sadness that tore at Auguste’s heart. In spite of his feelings, Auguste found the hint of darkness lurking beneath the wolf’s demeanor disturbing. It was a darkness that wouldn’t think twice about attacking Auguste and harming him, just as it had killed the man without hesitation.

Auguste held out his arm as if to prevent it from coming any closer. As he did so, the fading sunlight illuminated the scar that ran from the outside of Auguste’s elbow to the inside of his middle forearm. The wolf sniffed at him before taking another step; then, as quickly as it had appeared, it turned and ran back into the cordgrass leaving behind the lifeless body of the man it had just killed for sport. 




About the author:

M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, wordsmith and dreamer. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in everyday life. M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration.


23 comments:

louisamay29 said...

sounds like an interesting read

nurmawati djuhawan said...

i love the cover and the blurbs..thx u :)

Kah Cherub said...

Thnak you for the giveaway. Your books sounds really mysterious.

sandybook said...

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Read Book said...

Bayou, whenever that word is mentioned I scare the bleep out of myself:) Just by reading the little tidbit of the story I know your book will do well. By the way kungfu is the best martial art form, graceful yet effective. Good luck!.

M.M. Shelley said...

Thank you all for the great comments! I hope you add Bayou Blues to your reading list and please let me know what you think! :-)

Starbreeze said...

I loved the excerpt - I'd love to read. I'm curious about that wolf...

collenga said...

Sounds like a very exciting book! I love murder mysteries!

Roselle Torres said...

Thank you so much!!! :)

Cheryl R said...

Reading the guest review made me think of how much my husband likes to watch Ip Man, he bought them on google play and he watches them all the time. Its fascinating how they can take out a whole bunch of folks!

ShainaJo said...

whoaaaaa, what a gorgeous book! :O

Aurelia Evangelaire said...

Hi and thank you for the giveaway :)

Zemira said...

I'm always on the lookout for books set it (to me) unfamiliar places. I don't know much about New Orleans, but I'd like to.

Bella Boo said...

This sounds really good, I like where it takes place and the fact it has a dark inatity.... spooky sounding and that makes New Orleans a perfect setting, thank you for the giveaway.

Juana said...

I would love to read this book. Story sounds like an A+ read.

jmesparza821 at gmail dot com

Laura Thomas said...

Can't wait to read this!!!!

Ana Pereira said...

Thank you so much for the giveaway!

Maidenveil said...

New Orleans! I love this setting!

Skye Rivers said...

Sounds like a very interesting book!

gemiinii said...

Cant wait to read this book, Thanks for the giveaway

ana12e said...

Thank you!

Jen Barnard said...

I really enjoyed reading about how you add your personal experiences with martial arts into your books, great excerpt too.
jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

CCAM said...

Hmmm the poetry of Kung Fu and fantasy... sounds interesting.. I'm curious now...