Genre: Historical Romance with a dash of paranormal and a hint of mystery
Book: A Haunting Desire from The Haunting Series
Julie Mulhern always wanted to be a writer. She spent her childhood creating pen names and dreaming of exotic, mysterious, romantic places. To that end, she went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (because, when you’re from the Midwest, the South is both exotic and romantic). There she earned degrees in politics and French. She even spent a year living in Paris. But the Midwest beckoned and she returned home. Now she lives with her husband, two daughters and a dastardly dog. It might not be exotic or mysterious but it is romantic.
Julie is a 2014 Golden Heart Finalist
The denizens of 1902 New Orleans’ red light district aren’t strangers to sinful, violent acts–but, the freshly eviscerated men found in the gutters send a collective shudder through the crescent city.
Trula Boudreaux, madam of Storyville’s most exclusive brothel, is more afraid of her growing attraction to the Yankee sent to investigate the murders than the murderer. Trula is prepared to risk her life to protect her business and keep her girls safe from the killer prowling the steamy streets. But is she willing to risk her heart?
Loner Zeke Barnes is torn between duty and a new-found passion for a mysterious temptress. His was a seemingly straightforward task – catch a vicious killer and escape the city’s sultry heat. When partnership with local police proves to be of no value, he is forced to rely heavily on the city’s most alluring lady of the night.
Together Trula and Zeke investigate the city’s dark, ghostly underside. But can they learn to trust the spirits and overome their haunting pasts?
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1
New Orleans, Louisiana
Monday, October 6, 1902
Go to Marie Leveau’s tomb. Find the woman who can tell you about voodoo. She has what you need.
It didn’t matter if Zeke Barnes had better things to do than melt in the heat of a New Orleans’ afternoon. The instructions were clear. So he waited.
The tombs crowded near, some as bleached and crumbling as old bones, others spruced up with a fresh coat of paint in honor of the newly dead. Winged angels, fat-cheeked cherubs, praying children, a woman bearing a striking resemblance to a Roman goddess, and a group of shepherds watched him from the roofs with unseeing eyes. Zeke ignored them and searched for bits of shade. It was October; morning frosts should powder pumpkins, ruby or gold maple leaves should dance in an afternoon wind so brisk it brought color to his cheeks. He should need a heavier coat and the possibility of an early snow should be the topic on everyone’s lips. Instead humidity puddled in his lungs. He was drowning in a sea of hot, wet air.
A trickle of sweat meandered down his temple. He scowled at the ghost of a pretty young woman. Her cloudy eyes rounded and she scurried away like a frightened rabbit, whispering to the other phantoms, “He sees me.”
Hers was the only voice in the deserted cemetery. A wisp of a wraith didn’t have the answers he needed. William had promised a woman, one who’d help him find the murderer stalking the district. One who’d meet him next to Marie Leveau’s solitary tomb.
He was here. Sweating. Thirsty. With the grit of a near sleepless night scratching his eyes.
The woman was nowhere in sight.
With a silent apology to those who rested within, Zeke leaned his shoulder against the whitewashed side of an oven vault. He needed answers. Soon. Someone with political power had pulled enough strings to bring him to New Orleans to track a vicious killer. Until he caught the murderer, he couldn’t leave, couldn’t escape this ghost-infested, mosquito-ridden swamp masquerading as a city.
The late afternoon light faded to lavender, the very air tinted with dusk. Zeke exhaled. He’d give this fool’s errand one more minute and then he’d leave. He had better things to do than watch ghosts promenade.
Where the hell was she?