Voodoo in the Bayou

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Sample Chapter

Remy Renquist wants to discover the mysterious treasure her great grandmother has left behind on her island in the Louisiana Bayou. What she didn’t expect to find was that the property is now inhabited by the biggest, grouchiest man in the swamp! She also didn’t expect to find herself attracted to such a golden bear of a man, or that he would take an instant dislike to her and her determination to fulfill her self-imposed mission of discovering the secrets of the old voodoo priestess she was named after.

Cork Renoir is bone weary, disenchanted with the music business, and determined to find peace and solitude in his bayou paradise. But when a frustrating and annoying pipsqueak of a girl disturbs his commune with nature to hunt for treasure, he sees red. And when he is forced to become her guide and protector, he is sure she has deliberately set out to annoy him, and he is determined to straighten her out with a few well-deserved trips across his knees.

Mystery, enchantment and voodoo are in the air, though. Will it weave its spell on the young couple as Remy finds the answers to the past buried on the property?

Disclaimer : Voodoo in the Bayou is a wonderful mystery that takes place in Louisiana swamp country. Complete with a resident ghost and all sorts of strange happenings, it also contains adult spanking, so if this is not to your liking, please do not buy this book.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Bayou-Brandy-Golden-ebook/dp/B01JD7IMZA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/voodoo-in-the-bayou
Bn: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/voodoo-in-the-bayou-brandy-golden/1124223255?ean=2940156887132

Sample Chapter

Chapter One

The morning mist hung low and heavy like a white shroud over the piece of Louisiana Bayou that Cork Renoir had carved out for himself. The stocky, sunburned, ex-jazz player leaned back and stared broodingly into the shifting mists. The spirit of the bayou was enveloping him as it always did, healing and soothing his tired soul.

As he lifted the steaming mug of bayou mud to his lips, a literal cacophony of sound erupted. It shattered the eerie morning stillness and sent birds screeching from the trees in a mass exodus of feather flapping fiends.

Cork’s sandaled feet hit the deck as he leaped from the rusted metal chair, sending it crashing backwards and sliding off the small dock into the Bayou. With a muttered curse, he spared it an angry glare, making a mental note that someone was going to go fishing for that chair.

It was his favorite chair!

It had also been his dad’s favorite and his grandfather’s.

Someone was going to pay all right—and that someone was drifting out of the mist, bringing the heavy metal racket that modern artists pawned off as music, closer to him. That god-awful blare was a poor substitute for the rhythmic and harmonic cadences of jazz!

Cork lifted his rifle and aimed it at the offending box with the loud speakers screeching. “Step aside,” he bellowed at the obviously feminine figure kneeling in front of the boom box. She held a knob in her fingers as if she were puzzled as to how it had come off.

The tall black man with the pole in his hand that Cork vaguely recognized as Augustus suddenly sprang into action. “He’s got a gun,” was the frantic cry as he grabbed the young girl and threw her to the floor. “Duck, Miz. Remy!”

Cork fired one shot into the middle of the enormous boom box, and the harsh, strident cords ceased instantly, leaving his ears in the blissful silence of the soothing bayou once again. The small aluminum skiff bobbed wildly as the two humans on board lifted their heads and peered over the twelve-inch edge, their eyes wide with fright. As the current brought them into the dock, Cork found himself staring into the most fetching pair of light blue eyes he had ever seen—eyes that were quickly darkening with anger as the fear that had swamped them slowly receded.

Remy Broussard stared up at one of the biggest men she had ever seen. The man had biceps as big as her thighs! His powerfully muscled legs were not as sunburned as the broad shoulders and bare arms in the blue tank top, but his face was dark red as if he had spent many hours in the sun.

And he was covered with so much blonde hair that he looked like a golden fuzzy bear. However, the expression on his square-jawed face was anything but warm and fuzzy.

In spite of his dangerous demeanor, Remy’s impetuous nature rose to the occasion, and she didn’t stay tongue tied for long.

“You—you shot my stereo! How dare you shoot my stereo! That stereo cost me over three hundred dollars, you imitation of a Neanderthal! This is going to cost you, mister, just wait and see!” She scrambled to get to her feet in the moving craft and shot a glare at the cowering Augustus who was supposed to be her guide and protector.

“Be careful, Miz Remy,” he whispered, his eyes sliding from her back to Cork. “Dat man done look dangerous!” His soft Louisiana accent mirrored his fear.

Of course, the man above them certainly was intimidating with that rifle in his hand, but Remy figured if he wanted to shoot them, he would have already. As it was, the only casualty they had was her stereo. She had brought it along, hoping to intrigue some of the swamp animals into coming closer out of curiosity, so she could photograph them. She wondered if she had been gullible when the shop had sold her the CD, promising her she would have all kinds of wonderful wildlife photos if she set this up and lay in wait for them.

Somehow, the station must have gotten changed when they loaded the stereo. When she had jumped and grabbed the volume knob after hitting the power button, it had come off in her hand. She had been in the process of trying to put it back on to shut off that horrendous racket when Augustus had thrown her to the floor. Now her poor stereo lay in pieces on the bottom of the boat, and someone was going to pay! She glared up at the man standing above her, hands on her hips, indignation covering her like a cloak.

As the skiff bobbed against the end of the dock, Cork reached down with his powerful right arm, covered in so many freckles they blended as one, and lifted the small, impudent figure by the back of her jean shorts.

“Let go of me, how dare you! ” Her strident protest accompanied flailing arms and legs as she scrabbled thin air for something to hold onto until she landed on the dock, sprawling unceremoniously at his feet.

“Ummph,” she grunted when she hit the wooden planks. Quick as a wink, she was on her feet, her riveting eyes spitting lightning bolts as she faced him down, albeit from her diminutive height.

Cork stared belligerently down at the irascible female, his jaw set in his famous ‘bulldog’ imitation, his sandy hair lifting gently in the early morning breeze. Soon, the combination of the rising sun and the bayou breezes would burn off and blow away the hanging shroud of mist he enjoyed waking up to, thereby revealing the bayou in all its humid glory.

And this sassy slip of a woman with her short chestnut hair, shaved at the back of her slender neck, and gold hoop earrings was the cause of him missing his daily ritual with nature.

“I dare what I please in my home,” he growled. “And right now, you are interrupting my commune with nature with that insane imitation of music. The music world should be collectively ashamed to put up with that hideous racket, let alone allow it to be labeled music.”

He leaned down and grabbed the back of her jean shorts again and spun her around. “And furthermore, you caused my favorite chair to land in the bayou. Now, you are going to go get it for me!” With that, he propelled her off the side of the dock and down into the greenish water that lapped against the pilings, ignoring her screams of outrage. He folded his massive golden haired arms and watched as she splashed and sputtered in the water.

“I can’ t swim,” she screamed helplessly, trying valiantly to stay on top of the water. The man had caught her completely off guard. What kind of a beast threw a lady into the bayou? Besides, she only knew how to float a little bit, never having learned how to swim. He was going to kill her for sure, and no one would even know what happened to her! She sputtered on murky green water; sure she was going under any second as her arms began to get tired.

This is it, she thought. I’m going to die—right here—at the dock of my great grandmother’s old voodoo grounds. Now I’ll never find out if there really is a treasure. A sharp command penetrated the fog of fear that surrounded her, causing her to stop thrashing abruptly.

“Stand up!” Cork rolled his eyes and shook his head at the panicky young woman. She stood up then, her hair hanging in short strings about her face and a piece of moss clinging to her cheek in the breast deep water. She looked fearfully around and tried to hoist herself up on the dock, but he stood in front of her, blocking her progress.

“Oh no, you don’t. You’re not getting out of there until you get my chair.” He pointed at a spot next to her.

Remy felt incredibly gauche and stupid as her feet hit the mud on the bottom, and her anger at this brute of a man increased tenfold. “I don’t see any stupid chair, and I’m not looking for it, either.”

She turned and began to wade out of the water, headed for the shore about four yards away. She wasn’t going to put up with this kind of treatment; she didn’t care if he shot her! That is, if an alligator or a swamp moccasin didn’t get her first. He certainly wouldn’t care, she was sure of that.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” he said silkily, enjoying her unease when she turned to glare at him. He kept a sharp eye out to make sure there were no gators around—not that they could normally get past his underwater fencing, but he was always aware anyway.

“Why not?”

He gave a sharp whistle, and a huge dog appeared out of the mist and stood staring at her with baleful eyes. “Because Old Joe guards my dock, and no one gets on land that I don’t approve first.”

Old Joe must have been half Doberman, half God-knows–what, because he was the ugliest dog Cork had ever seen. He seemed to have adopted Cork, however, so he fed him regularly and let him stay. No one got near the shore without Cork hearing the bay of Old Joe resounding across the bayou.

Remy gasped in fright, turning pale at the sight of the monstrous dog. Legend in her family had it that Argonaut still existed, that he had never died. They said his immortality was born of an ancient voodoo ritual performed by her great grandmother and that he was there to guard her treasure.

Remy eyed the dog warily and then she turned back to Cork, a decided gleam in her eye. For now, she would keep her secret, but soon—soon she would come back and play her grandmother’s flute for Argonaut. It said in her grandmother’s diary that it always soothed the giant beast.

“Okay, so where’s this dumb chair?”

“That’s better,” he replied smugly. “Once you return my chair, I’ll let you up.” He pointed once again to the spot where the chair had slid off the dock.

Shading her eyes, Remy peered down into the murky water in front of her. Seeing nothing, she kicked her leg out, feeling for something with her foot. When it touched something solid, she took a deep breath and bent her knees, lowering herself into the water and reaching down with her hands. Finding the back of the chair, she grasped hold of it and brought it to the surface. Holding onto it with one hand, she wiped the water from her face and stared doubtfully at it. “Is this what you wanted? I can’t imagine anyone wanting to rescue this piece of junk!”

“Don’t insult my chair,” he ground out, taking it from her. He sat the chair on the dock and then bent down to grab her hands and pulled her straight up and onto the dock. Her weight was nothing compared to some of the alligators he had wrestled. His eyes narrowed as the water sluiced off her body, revealing the rounded contours of her breasts, even the dark aureoles of her nipples through her white cotton shirt. At least the cut-off shorts she wore weren’t see through, but they did outline the contours of her curvy butt cheeks and set off her long, tanned legs. Muttering a silent oath, he hustled her into the skiff the black man was holding against the dock.

“Now, you can get the hell out of here and quit bothering me,” he said gruffly. He shoved the craft away from his dock and stood up, ignoring the outraged protests from his unwanted visitor.

He had picked up his gun and nestled it beneath his arm when he heard her call him.

“Hey you…you’ll be hearing from me!” She shook her fist at him as the skiff moved out of reach. “I’ll be back, and in the meantime, kiss my ass!” She turned and dropped her shorts, revealing a lovely creamy bottom outlined in red briefs.

Cork laughed mirthlessly at her audacity. “If you come back here, I’ll blister that ass until it’s the same color as those panties,” he yelled back. He turned and headed up the dock, patting Old Joe on the head as he passed him. The dog was stiff as a board and didn’t respond to the caress in his normal fashion. Cork inspected him, curious as to his reaction. The black animal’s gaze was steady on the spot where the skiff had disappeared, his ears cocked intently as he seemed to listen to the departure of the young girl and her guide. He growled when he heard the strident tones of the female drift back through the mist, and Cork nodded in assent. “I feel like growling too, boy, I’m with you there. That is one noisy, bothersome specimen of the female persuasion.” He patted the dog’s head again and chuckled as he turned toward his cabin. “She did have a nice ass, though, not to mention other parts.”

Near the cabin, Cork threw off the tank top, picked up an ax and began to work on the dead tree that had fallen during the last storm. Nothing like a little hard work to keep bitter thoughts at bay…and he had a few.

Mostly though, he was just plain tired. Tired of the rat race that had been the music business. As much as he had loved being a jazz musician, he had abandoned his dream last year and bought this overrun piece of bayou, intending to retire permanently. He was just starting to feel that his emotions, which had grown numb with the commercialization of his trade, were finally starting to heal. Here, in the soul-searching isolation of the bayou, Cork Renoir was slowly coming back to life.

A few hours later, Cork was sitting on the dock once again, enjoying a cold beer when he heard the sound of a boat making its way into the labyrinth that led to his place. He watched, grinning as the gray-haired man with powerful arms so like his own appeared, handling his boat with all the experience of a life spent shrimping on the bayou.

“Hello, Dad, what brings you over here today?” He took the rope thrown to him and tied it off on the piling as his father nimbly jumped onto the wooden planks.

A lazy grin spread across the features that were not unlike his own, just older. Piercing blue eyes gazed at him as Pierre softly drawled in his Cajun accent. “Heard you had a visitor this morning.”

“News travels fast.” Cork shook his head with a grin. Nothing was a secret in the bayou – not between the people anyway. The bayou herself never gave up her secrets, though, and that made her all the more mysterious.

“You know who she is?” Pierre took the proffered beer that his son retrieved from a bent up cooler of ice and took a long drink. He hitched up the stool next to Cork’s chair and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Nope…don’t know, don’t care.”

They sat in companionable silence, each staring into the mysterious waters of the bayou.

After finishing his first can of beer, Pierre eyed the old chair Cork was sitting in. “I see you managed to steal my favorite chair again.”

Cork grinned. It was a long-standing joke between father and son. The chair made its way back and forth between the two homes, but neither one ever saw the other take it. How it got back and forth, neither one was willing to reveal. He leaned back in the old chair, eyeing his father as it creaked beneath his weight. “That visitor you mentioned sent it into the bayou this morning, but she was kind enough to retrieve it.”

Pierre took a long swig of his beer and stared skeptically at his son. “Yeah, I heard about how accommodating she was.” A grin twitched at the corner of his lips. “You always were a hellion, Cork.”

“Seemed fair,” Cork replied with a chuckle.

His father stared into the swirling green waters again, looking as if his thoughts were a million miles away.

Cork knew his father well enough to know something was on his mind. He also knew he wouldn’t tell him until he was ready. There was no rushing the folks of the bayou – they did things in their own good time. It was this slow, methodical approach to life that had been sucked out of Cork when he left. The hectic role of life on the road, a different bar or concert hall every night, and women who wanted to rip the shirt off his back had wrung the life right out of him. It felt good to sit here in the sunshine with nothing more to do than sip a cold beer, enjoy his sparse company and work on his cabin. He had all the money he would ever need, invested well. He had slowly begun to get his soul back from the dark hell that had claimed it.

“Got something to discuss with you,” Pierre said, reaching for another cold beer. He took his time opening the can and dropping the tab in a tin can on the dock.

Cork nodded. “Figured as much.”

After a few more minutes of swamp staring, he finally turned to Cork. “That little gal that was here—she’s Roberta’s granddaughter.”

Cork’s ears perked up with interest. “Do tell. That little slip of a thing? I thought she and Perly lived in Chicago.”

“They did—they do. But Remy is here visiting her grandmother for the summer. She’s never even been in the bayou before, so this is all new to her.”

Pierre looked suddenly uneasy, and Cork knew he wasn’t finished. He waited, a little more impatiently this time. His dad was leading up to something, and he was sure it had to do with his little piece of paradise, but just what it was, he didn’t know. No one had lived on this property since Roberta’s mother had died.

Rheims Renquist, bayou voodoo priestess, had owned this land and died on this land. The property had stayed in the family, but no one had dared to live here—that is—until Cork bought it. Before him, no one had wanted to touch it. When he had approached Roberta with an idea to buy the property, she had agreed.

The remoteness had appealed to the inner core of Cork and his need to get away from the mainstream of society. He had ignored all warnings concerning the land and spent last summer clearing the area and building a cabin. The old shanty that Rheims had lived in was back in the woods always from the cabin, and Cork had left it alone. Not that he believed in black magic, per se, but coming from the bayou himself, he had a healthy respect for those who did.

Old Joe had appeared the day after he completed his cabin enough to move in.

“It appears that young Remy has found something in Rheims’s old diary, something the rest of the family missed.”

Cork leaned forward to listen, his vivid blue eyes alight with interest as he watched his father. “And what might that be?”

“A treasure map,” replied Pierre. And it appears that Rheims cast a spell on her dog. A spell that would make the animal immortal so he could guard her treasures.”

Cork was skeptical. “That old rumor about treasure being out here has been floating around for years. People have looked all over the place and never found anything.”

“There has never been a dog around either—until now.” Pierre looked pointedly at the big black dog sleeping in the sun. “Where did he come from?”

As if aware he was being discussed, Old Joe lifted his huge head and stared at Pierre with a disconcerting gaze, his eyes never leaving his face. When a low growl sounded in the dog’s throat, Cork and his father glanced at each other. Cork felt the hair on the back of his neck raise up.

“And what about Mad John’s tale?” Pierre went on, studying the dog that was studying him.

Cork shifted uneasily. “That old ghost story has been floating around for ages too. Most likely Old John had one beer too many when he was treasure hunting.”

“Well, drunk or not, he still swears he saw the ghost of Rheims Renquist out here.” Pierre took out his pipe and a bag of tobacco and tamped some into the end of it. Lighting a match, he puffed on the pipe as he lit it, the scent of cherry-flavored tobacco surrounding them.

He pinned Cork in his gaze, his eyes the same blue as his son’s. “Anyway, I told Roberta you would keep an eye on Remy while she’s here.”

Cork mentally shifted gears, trying to fill in the gaps between treasure and ghost dogs to babysitting. His father had a disconcerting habit of expecting a person to know what he was winding up to without ever filling in the gaps in between.

“Wait a minute…are you saying this Remy wants to treasure hunt?” At his father’s nod, Cork expelled a breath of exasperation. “No! She is not coming on my land to treasure hunt! That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not having my now-peaceful existence disrupted by a sassy, not spanked often enough, little rabble rouser that loves heavy metal!”

Pierre chuckled and drew a drag on his pipe. “There’s more, son.”

“Don’t tell me it gets worse!” Cork groaned at his father’s nod.

“Roberta is worried because there are rumors floating around now that there really is a treasure and that Remy has come back to claim it. This dog here seems to substantiate that rumor, and you know what happens if people believe there might actually be something here.”

“No, enlighten me,” Cork replied sarcastically, envisioning his peaceful summer going up in flames as he spent his time guarding his land and trying to keep shovel happy treasure hunters from tearing it up! He knew full well what greed did to people! This was getting worse by the minute!

“That’s not all,” Pierre said succinctly, ignoring his son’s obvious distress and frustration.

“What now?” Cork yelled the question and ran his hand distractedly through his sun-bleached hair.

“Roberta asked if you would accompany Remy around your land and protect her from any unscrupulous people who might try to take advantage of her, not to mention the dangers of the bayou itself. She is worried for Remy’s safety, her being new to the bayou and all. She doesn’t want anything to happen to her while she is in her care.”

Cork stared at his father, his frustration complete. “And I’m supposed to do this because the land used to belong to Roberta, and because she’s your friend, and you want to do her a favor, right?”

His father nodded, his eyes gleaming with amusement. “Can I count on you, son?”

“Who’s going to protect me?” Cork muttered, even as he nodded his head in exasperation. He couldn’t turn his father down, though he badly wanted too. “But I’m warning you, and Roberta, too. That mouthy little brat has obviously missed some much needed spankings, and if she gives me any trouble, I’ll remedy that situation in a heartbeat.”

“Fair enough, I’d say,” chuckled Pierre, standing up. “What’s for lunch? You got anything good?” He sniffed the air appreciatively as the smell of fresh boiling crayfish wafted from the open door of the cabin. With a hearty slap on his son’s shoulders, the two men headed up the dock.

It was well after 1:00 pm when Cork decided to lie down for a nap. His father had helped him devour the pot of crayfish, red from the boiling water, and then took his leave. Pierre had still been chuckling at Cork’s complaints when he climbed in his pirogue and pushed away from the dock.

It was a lazy afternoon, and a buzzing fly droned above Cork’s head as his eyes drifted slowly closed. He was just slipping into a nice dream where he had a creamy set of red, satin covered buttocks over his broad lap when a shrill scream pierced the calm afternoon air. With a muttered oath and a sinking feeling in his stomach, he grabbed his rifle and headed out the door.

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