The book is free on Kindle at Amazon.com if you have Select.
Published in History
The book is free on Kindle at Amazon.com if you have Select.
Raquel Clairvoux has been living with the legend of the Swamp Witch, Angelique Clairvoux, all if her life. When three young men come to St Martinsville, Louisiana looking for the legendary treasure, Raquel must explore the history of her family and how it has evolved over the centuries, as well as, the fact that the matriarch of the family was a mullato slave woman born on Martinique. She and the treasure hunters learn about the stories of other men over the past century, who have triggered the curse of the Witch and her treasure.
Raquel stood, shivering silently in the shadow of the giant cypress, as the screams of the last young man echoed through the unnaturally quiet swamp. The light from the full moon overhead reflected brightly on the mow silent and settling pool of quicksand, lthe last grasping hand, sinking from sight.
She had followed the three young men from the cafe where she worked in St Martinsville, Louisiana. She'd been eavesdropping on their conversations over the past few weeks when they came in to make plans to search for the Witch's treasure that was supposed to be hidden somewhere in the swamp. They'd gotten Raquel's attentionwhen she'd heard them mention the legendary Swamp Witch, Angelique Clairvoux. It was a particularly touchy subject with Raquel, as her name was also Clairvoux and the witch in question was supposed to be a distant relative.
The three had first come into Le Petit Paris Cafe about a month ago, one of them a large African American about twenty two, was loaded down with books, papers, and maps that he'd laid out on the table top of the first booth by the window. The other two, white grunge types aboutthe same age, piled into the seat across from him and one of them yelled to her for coffees all around. When she brought over the coffee she could see, as she filled their cups, that the maps were old and of the local swamp around the Bayou Tesche. The nerdy one had marked up the map with red pen, and she noted the words 'A. Clairvoux home' scrawled to one side of the map. Further in on the map nwere other big red X marks.
There were several local men who advertised themselves as Angelique Clairvoux experts and took treasure hunters out into the swamp on supposed excpeditions. Thus far, no treasure had ever been found, and several of the men who'd gone out into the swamp had never returned. Raquel just rolled her eyes. More treasure hunters who'd heard the legends about Angelique Clairvoux's fabled treasure, hidden out there in the swamp. It was almost a Parish industry. She knew hunters had even gone outinto that swamp and never come out again. There had been many searches sent out over the years and no bodies had ever been recovered. Everyone who grows up around the swamp knows that it doesn't give up its dead that easily. Between the gators, wolves, coyotes, and other scavengers out there, nothing is usually left to find except maybe a flashlight or phone if it happens to land on dry land, and there isn't much of that out there. However, all those disappearances just added to the Angelique Clairvoux fare. There were stories of weird laughter in the woods and sightings of strange lights in the night. But if a bunch of fools wanted to go out traipsing around the swamp in the dark, who was she to stand in their way?
According to the legends, Angelique sits gaurding her treasure with a burning lamp at her side, and lures would be thieves in with her sultry laughter. Raquel wrote all that nonsense off to swamp gas and night creatures. Nonetheless, the stories brought business into the town that was sorely needed, so she just shut her mouth and let the business that was Angelique Clairvoux be.
It did bristle her a bit that the pictures in the tourist brochures always showed Angelique as a milk faced Reese Witherspoon type done up in Antebellum curls when she knew it should have been more of a Halle Barry type. Angelique Clairvoux was a mullato woman, part white and part black.
Raquel had grabbed the group's attention one night when the cook, Danny, had yelled from the kitchen, "Hey, Clairvoux, your order's up!" The next time she'd passed by their table the nerdy one had grabbed her wrist and asked, "You related to the Clairvoux witch?"
"I am a Clairvoux Witch!" She'd replied and moved on.
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I was born in Benton, Illinois, a small town in the southern part of the state. My mother was from that area but my father was from Glen Allen, Alabama. I grew to love the South and read and studied much of her history. I started reading at an early age and writing also. I was one of those kids who wrote stories during class and passed the pages back until the whole class had read the story. It drove my teachers crazy. All except for one, Miss. Margaret Hughes, who encouraged me to write and to read. She often lent her Saturday mornings to drive me eighteen miles into town where there was a Public Library, where I could check out books, well above my age level and beyond those available in our small school library. In high school I was given an assignment in a History class to write a history of the place I lived. My family lived on a small self-sustaining farm outside Akin, Illinois. The population was probably pushing a hundred, but I went around town and interviewed older folks that I knew from Church and compiled a goodly bit of information about the town from those who knew it. My History teacher was so impressed with the paper, she turned it over to the County Historical Society to be put on public record. That was when I discovered my love of research, as well as writing. In my thirties I moved to California from Illinois and began a very successful costuming business catering to Renaissance and Medieval re-enactors. Again, I used my research skills to recreate costuming appropriate to the period. In 2009 I suffered a stroke that forced me to give up my costuming business, but gave me the time to write. I spent hours on my computer doing research and writing Historic Fiction. I am currently working on a Series called The Soiled Dove Sagas about prostitution in the cow towns and gold mining towns of the Old West. I recently wrote and received a contract offer from Etopia Press for an Erotic Romance, Sweet Rewards, set in southern Louisiana in 1874. It should be available latter in 2015. I currently live in the Phoenix area and Prescott, Arizona will be one of the locations featured in The Soiled Dove Sagas.