Voodoo, romance, and zombies...
An old bokor mentors two teens in the dark arts. Their spells backfire.
Lucien Nazaire flees his Haitian homeland and meanders around the United States for decades. He settles in a Wisconsin trailer park filled with elderly tenants. He meets Jake and hires him for odd household jobs. As their relationship progresses, Lucien invites the boy into the world of Voodoo. Jake LaRue lives in foster care with his abusive uncle. The Voodoo lessons give him a sense of power within an otherwise helpless situation. Despite his loner status, he instantly connects with Henry, his only friend in high school. Henry Novak has Asperger’s Syndrome. He fixates on historical events, most recently the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Like Jake, he becomes passionate about the dark side of Voodoo. They learn how to cast spells on those they hate and lust, leading up to dire consequences. Months after the Haitian earthquake, Henry convinces his family to volunteer for the island's reconstruction. Their mission turns into a nightmare when he mysteriously walks off of the campsite. Bad Juju is a balance of horror, romance, and literary fiction intended for adults and mature teens. The plot uses research involving the Voodoo religion.
Queen Tutt says, "The writing is truly brilliant not with just the plot of the story, but with the different elements the author combined into this amazing story. 5 stars
Mallory Anne-Marie Haws of Mallory Hearts Reviews says, "A conglomeration of interwoven lives, histories, present events, psychology, possession, and divergent viewpoints melds together to form a cohesive and engrossing entirety. 5 stars
Tee Loves Kyle says, "She has a gift for writing and she knows how to bring a world together and keep you there riveted to your seat until the very end." 5 Stars
Ophelia Julien from Windy City Magazine says, "Fans of teh dark-and-roses type of fiction will enjoy curling up with Bad Juju..." 5 Stars
Nancy the Avid Reader says, "Dina Rae is one author to keep an eye on." 4 Stars
My Cozie Corner says, "fantastic read where religion and science some together." 5 Stars
Do You Know Your Zombies? With the so-called zombie apocalypse approaching, one must be educated about the different kinds of zombies before prepping for defense. First, there is the most common and believable-the human that turns into a zombie because of mental collapse, disease, infection, and/or radiation. They stagger around dazed and confused and cause panic to others. Then there is the man-made monster kind or the kind Hollywood and horror authors like me tend to capitalize on. Zombie interest continues to fascinate the world. Jeffrey Dahmer drilled holes then poured acid down his victim’s heads in hopes of creating his own zombie. His madness didn’t work. Can man make his own zombie? Are these monsters real? According to Wade Davis, author of The Serpent of the Rainbow, zombies are real. They are a product of the Voodoo religion. He was originally hired by a pharmaceutical company to find out about the drugs Voduists used in their death rituals. He believed that datura also known as zombie’s cucumber was a plant that could medically make one who ingested it appear to be dead for a certain length of time. Sounds like the stuff Juliet used to fake her death. Could Shakespeare known about the magical zombie-making plant? Datura or sometimes Cimora, a close relative of Datura’s, eventually wears off but leaves the victim in a state of confusion, highly susceptible to the art of persuasion. Presto! A zombie slave is at the captor’s disposal. Mr. Davis didn’t just find his datura flower, but witnessed zombie phenomena as he immersed himself within the Haitian culture. Bad Juju is a unique blend of horror, romance, and fantasy. Besides The Serpent and the Rainbow, I read volumes of other Voodoo material and watched hours of TV specials. Some of the terms I learned can be found below: Bokor: A wizard who practices black magic, a zombie maker. Loa: deity/spirit Ghede Family: A family of loas known as the spirits of the dead. Three barons rule the family. Baron Samedi is the loa of resurrection. Baron Kriminel is the most feared loa associated with cannibalism and souls. He’s honored on The Day of the Dead. Baron LaCroix is the loa of the dead and sexuality. Poppet: Voodoo doll Ti-bon-ange: “little good angel” The part of the soul that represents a person’s individuality. Gros-bon-ange: “great good angel” Part of the soul that is collected into a reservoir of the Cosmos or spirit world. Baka: Voodoo spirits in animal form. Loup Garou: werewolf Djab: a devil Dessounin: Death ritual that separates the gros-bon-ange from the body. Bizango Society: Secret society of Vodouists. They have Freemason-like qualities such as aprons, secret handshakes, oaths, hierarchy, and symbols. Legend states they change into animals at will. They are known for stealing black cats and boiling them to death for Voodoo services. They drink each other’s blood from a human skull chalice.
Dina Rae is a new author here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her three novels, Halo of the Damned, The Last Degree, and Bad Juju weave research and suspense throughout the plots. Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character. Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs. Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories. She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and radio programs. When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs.
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Ends Dec 15th