Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Prince of Conjurers by Laurie L. Bolanos Creates Life for the Phantom...After...Christine! And...With Bolanos You Get Lacour!

Between you and me, at that moment, the small strain of humanity that runs in my soul overpowered my own wants and desires. Her happiness mattered more than my own. And I let her go.
When I set her free. I meant it. I had wanted to die. However, it did not take long for bitterness to take root in my heart. Die for love of her? I think not! She is mine. The life I wanted was disappearing with the golden-haired, perfect-featured vicomte...
It angers me how they rejoice in my timely departure. The relief in their embrace. The passion of their kisses revolts me. I want to kill them both!
But, I am a patient man.
"Leave Paris," their soft voices agree. Start their lives over, sail away. Passage to La Nouvelle-Orleans. I hear the word faintly as they believe they leave me to my endless slumber...
I will remain a man of my word.
Raoul may continue to have her heart, but I will have her immortal soul. I will collect what is mine. It belongs to me... I am the Prince of Conjurers.

Prince of Conjurers

By Laurie L. Bolanos

Like the author, I, too, had much empathy for Eric, the man who lost Christine in The Phantom of the Opera... So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read an alternative story about his life. One that picks up when he is thought dead and Christine and Raoul have ran off to be together... It is a quite plausible story that weaves in the main theme of The Phantom, but, clearly, takes off into a truly remarkable fantasy that uses reincarnation as the dominant theme... I thoroughly enjoyed it from cover and cover and highly recommend it for your consideration!

Eric heard the plan of Raoul, to move to New Orleans, and immediately started thinking... Eric, no longer the Phantom follows them. Now to be the Prince of Conjurers... The breadth and scope of the novel is, however, far more than I could have imagined and swirls like smoke in the air as time loses all meaning, readers are thrown into visions, or actual movement, into recent and the far past...

For now, Eric is in New Orleans, set on getting Christine away from Raoul, even if he has to kidnap her! He has already started his plan...

And with New Orleans, I am thrilled to offer the music of Barry Lacour from his latest CD "Heads-Up," to take us into the mood and setting of New Orleans, Louisiana...
His plan was genius.
Christine would be left alone most of the time, without anyone around to interfere. Nothing prevented him from the greatest, most magnificent endeavor, as if for once in his wretched existence, he was accepted into the greater design of life and it approved of his intentions. The way was being made clear for him with very little effort. He could not ask for more.
Well, maybe just a little...

In the year 2009, however, there is a lovely young woman who has just moved into a new home and is renovating the place herself. She is happy to be able to knock out walls, get her hands dirty, hammering and mumbling under her breath, "You low-down dirty dog!", as she pictures her ex-husband's face...then her ex-best friend Monika with whom said ex-husband was now living! Monika's betrayal hurt the most since they had been friends since high school.
She couldn't stop the memories from resurfacing. Her stomach churned at the recalling of Marvin Gaye's seductive voice drifting down the stairs from their bedroom. Marvin Gaye had always been a sign that her husband wanted her. She had assumed Simon must have called her office and found she had left for the day earlier than usual.
With her pulse racing, Julie climbed up the stairs, kicking off her shoes. It had been at least two weeks since they had made love. She pictured him waiting in bed for her as she took off her belt and headed for their bedroom.
"Hello, Baby," She pushed open the ajar door, posing seductively.
The rest of the memory came as snapshots. Messed up bed. Sheets hanging over the edge. Two wine glasses on the nightstand. Empty bottle lying on its side. Two sets of clothing crumpled on the floor. Running water in the bathroom. Muffled laughter. Her heart racing. Difficult breathing. Dread crushing her soul. Marvin Gaye singing on...

The novel begins to move back and forth between 2009 and 1898. Julie continues working on her home, absorbing the atmosphere of New Orleans, refusing to have her palm read by a local named Star, while meeting and becoming friends with a gay neighbor, while she demands that he keeps his lovers out of her apartment!

In the meantime, Eric is following Christine, even spying on her in their new home, and even following them to the opera, where he projects his whisper to her ear whispering, "Sing for me..."

Eric has purchased two different homes, one of which was called "The Devil's Mansion," where he plans to keep Christine. He goes to great expense to create an internal suite of rooms that look like a complete home, including interior sunlight... The remainder, exterior parts of the home, have...traps, traps to keep anybody else out...

Soon, he starts searching...for a vessel in which he will place Christine's soul... Enter Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen...and Naomi, a child-woman he has purchased from a Bordello, who he has selected to be the vessel... The only thing is that Marie wants Naomi for herself... As a virgin she would bring in much money...but there is much more behind her desire... Eric quickly marries Naomi so there will be no way that she can be claimed by anybody else...

"I have noticed the other
ladies decorate their 
 I thought you
might like these." The
brooches sparkled in his
hand as they reflected the
light in the room.
"Ooooh," Her eyes grew
big. "Those are for me?"

Eric leaned back in his carriage, hands behind his head with a satisfied grin that felt permanently etched on his face. The girl had accepted...
His reverie broken, Erik entered his house. Behind his closed door, he felt invigorated. The new day, the events of the past few hours, wiped away all fatigue. He ascended the stairs two at a time to his greenhouse of the roof. He wanted to work on his herbs. Marie's potion would have to be altered to suit his needs. He wasn't looking for a zombie, but a means to still the mind and body long enough to summon Christine's soul into it.

Unfortunately, one man, who had loved Naomi from her home town, would not give up so easily...

I should mention that Eric has learned much about the use of makeup materials which he uses to hide the scars on his face, ridding himself of the mask.  He has assumed a new name, Monsieur de la Croix... Quickly he is recognized as a man of means and becomes well known in the French Quarter... And then he took the big step... He sent Naomi to Christine's home, offering Naomi to help her--Christine was pregnant! Eric was enraged, until he learned that she had given him Eric's name...surely she still loved him... 

I would not even attempt to share about what that connection brought about, other than to say that Naomi and Christine became friends...

The man hesitated a moment then stepped closer to Armando, extending his hand. "My name is Heath."
Armando eagerly grabbed the man's hand, the multiple gaudy bracelets on his wrist jingled as they shook." Charmed, I'm sure."
"I couldn't help but admire your bracelet," Heath said, releasing Armando's hand. Armando stretched his arm out, turning his wrist up. "You like?"
Curious, Julie leaned over to get a look. Sure enough, among the many tacky pieces of gold costume jewelry was a dull silver bracelet with small silver balls and a silver charm. On the face of the charm was a complicated braided pattern of silk-like material in dark and light browns.
"Se-ma-j," Julie bit through clenched teeth, her voice elevating with each syllable. "What is he doing with my bracelet?"

As Julie is working on her home, she finds two things at two different times...and she meets a man in whom we could be interested. Unfortunately, he had been the one to notice a bracelet she'd found when it had been taken by her next door neighbor's friend. Shall we just say, she made quite a fuss about it. Then realized that she had totally lost control...and Heath had seen it all! While he still expressed interest in seeing the bracelet, she thought that was all that he was interested in... Still she did learn much more and realized that the bracelet was probably very valuable. Whenever she had a chance to see Heath, she happily agreed....

Meanwhile, interestingly, Eric finds that he is quite attracted to Naomi and feels he has made a great choice for the future. What he was surprised at, though, was that she was so kind and gentle and responded to him in a grateful, but, most, loving manner. He found himself responding to her--until he would catch himself realizing that she was not Christine. And Christine was His!

Then with rising dread, she remembered the ritual, the phone call, the darkness, and Heath worried by her side. He wasn't by her side now. The only sound she heard was the wood-burning fire.
Though her mind panicked, her body continued its slow, even breathing undisturbed by her emotions. This is not a hospital. Where am I? The more anxious Julie became, the more she felt the heaviness of her body...She heard a door slide open and footsteps. She inwardly held her breath although her body kept on breathing steadily. This is crazy! She willed herself even harder to wake up. Fight it! Fight!...

"Christine, I have missed you." The man's voice sounded pained.
Julie opened her mouth to speak. Nothing came out. Her tongue felt thick and clumsy. She kept trying. She was determined to set the record straight.
"Not Christine." Her voice was a dry, rasping whisper.
The man leaned closer to her, and his breath warmed her ear. "What did you say?"
"Not Christine. Julie, Juliana Francois..."

Do you believe in reincarnation? Well, whether you do or not, be prepared for the longest line of reincarnated souls you may have ever experienced or read of! By the time I was coming to the conclusion of the book, I was amazed at how the book was ending--not only a surprise, but a thoroughly satisfactory one! But don't let me get ahead of things...because when voodoo is involved, sometimes it results in "Who Do?" You see at exactly the same time that Eric was working to conjure Christine into Naomi's body, Julie, in 2009, was working to learn about her own reincarnated past! You guessed it, Julie wound up in Naomi's body instead of Christine!
The secret pocket door slammed into place by the force of Erik's rage. Impossible! What trickery was this? The woman wouldn't have the ability to lie to him in her altered state, so he knew she spoke the truth. He paced the hall outside the chamber in fury. He wanted to charge into the room and shake the answers out of her, answers that would come because she was in no condition to respond to an interrogation.
A sudden rush of understanding gripped him like a vise. Now, not only did he not have Christine, but he had lost Naomi also. What had he done?

And that is where I shall leave you! The conjurer has gotten someone he hadn't conjured! Julie finds herself in 1898, inside of the woman who had once lived and held her soul. And all I'll say is that's when the fun begins for readers as a 2009 outspoken independent female meets male chauvinist Eric with an obsession for Christine, another woman, even though Julie, in Naomi's body, is now Eric's wife! Yikes! I loved it!

But that's just the beginning! How do you undo voodoo? 

Eric stood back within the wooded area on the north side of Congo Square. He had just spent an hour gazing through Christine's windows, watching her with her son and her husband. He had to be sure she was Christine and not Naomi. And she was, in every way, confirming for him that Naomi must be wherever the stranger had come from...

With expertise, the voodoo queen unraveled the reluctant snake that tried its best to stay anchored to her body and handed it over to a waiting follower. "See to it Zombie is put in his cage," she commanded. The crowd watched in utter silence as the man hurried away.
"Behold!" Marie called out while opening her arms to the crowd. "Even the son of the Devil seeks my counsel." A rise of whispers shot through the spectators. Encouraged by their reactions, she grabbed Erik's hand and raised it high into the air with her own. "I alone, Queen of Voodoo, can bring solace to the Prince of Darkness." Erik snatched his hand back with a scorching look, while Marie kept hers up to the level of her eyes.
Eric narrowed his eyes and hissed loud enough only for her ears. "My noose would find its mark around your neck, witch, if that was what I desired...

"I don't fear you," she sneered. You have sought me out, not I you."
He let his face harden. "Only to make you fix your sabotage..."

Dare you enter the world of Voodoo, conjuring, reincarnation, immortality, obsessed love, and more? Will Eric ever find the fulfillment of the love he had once felt for Christine, only to have her feelings ripped away by another man? Wow, you can't possibly imagine the answer given by Laurie L. Bolanos! Brilliant! Bravo to Bolanos, as well as her father, Barry Lacour... who has added to the mystic bounty that readers will find in Prince of Conjurers! Enjoy!


Laurie L. Bolanos lives below sea level in a small cottage on the edge of a city shaped like a bowl. When given the opportunity, she doesn't mind hopping a few states over to enjoy Gulf breezes and to dip her toes in the ocean. She likes to take long walks on the beach, sip the occasional piƱa colada, and soak in the rays of the sun. No matter the venue, her preference is to be barefoot. However, she will bend to social expectations and don a pair of shoes when necessary. She enjoys attending a monthly drumming circle at which she was, in fact, told she has a "natural ability." Loving the vibrations of the drum, she has also invested time with tuning-fork therapy, although she has not yet been certified in the art. Laurie comes from an Italian family and can prove it with her DNA results from 23andMe which has confirmed that she is 40.4% Italian. Other nationalities need not feel left out as she also has French, German, British, Irish, Iberian, Balkan, Sardinian, Scandinavian, Ashkenazi, Middle Eastern, West African, and Yakut ancestry, proving by her very existence that we are one world and should not be divided by race.
Laurie L. Bolanos was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to parents who are devout readers and passed that love on to her. In fact, she kept files on people throughout her childhood insisting that she would need the information as one day she would write a book. She graduated from Archbishop Chapelle High School in Metairie, Louisiana and went on to graduate from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana with a BA in English. She was an LPN for twelve years before returning to Delgado/Charity School of Nursing, graduating as an R.N. in January of 2006. She continues her nursing career while writing in her spare time. In between working and writing, she reads. There is nothing like the journey a good book can provide.

1 comment:

  1. The painting of Marie Laveau in this article was painted by my late brother Charles Gandolfo. It hangs in my museum: The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. You took a photo of it where it hangs without permission. You don't even bother to mention, or give credit to us. You are a thief.