Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bad JuJu by Dina Rae

A Haitian 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.


He began his weekly chores with Esther Muddraker. She was the only neighbor who had him shop for her groceries. He let himself in her double-wide trailer, started a load of laundry, and joined her for breakfast. The woman could not drive and could barely walk because of her crippling arthritis. The grocery store was only a twenty minute hike, and she needed a few bags to last her through the week.

“Well, you’re here earlier than usual. It’s only seven. You usually sleep in. What’s wrong?” Esther asked. Jake turned away as his eyes filled with tears. “You know I’m about one step away from calling the police on that S.O.B. You and that poor little girl don’t deserve this.”

“What do you do? He’ll get what’s coming to him. Trust me.”

“Ain’t that the truth. God has His own kind of justice,” Esther added.

God, Bondeye, Papa Legba, Damballah…It didn’t matter anymore. All Jake knew was a higher force would help him with retribution.

“Jake, here. This is my list and here’s some money for the groceries. You keep whatever is left.”

Jake looked at the hundred dollar bill. “Mrs. Muddraker, this is twice of what you normally give me. I can’t take this. I know you’re not rich.”

“Shut up and take the money. I have more things on my list this time.”

Jake gladly accepted, but thought the extra cash was given out of pity.

“Oh, and by the way, not being nosy, but you should be glad you didn’t see what went on last night. That guy living with you…”

“T.J. He’s Leah’s brother. Didn’t see him on the couch when I left this morning. Sometimes he spends the night with Mona, his ex-girlfriend, who he’s trying to get back together with,” Jake answered.

“Well, I’m not one to gossip.” Jake smiled at Mrs. Muddraker. She loved drama and was known for being in everyone’s business. “Okay, maybe I’m a little too observant. But I don’t think that woman, Mona, wants him back. I think it was her that pulled up to the trailer around seven last night and dumped out a few Hefty bags of his stuff in front of your uncle’s and then honked her horn. I couldn’t hear, but I saw what looked like an argument right through that window. Then she peeled out of here. He stayed outside in the cold with your uncle and his stuff, making calls, drinking, smoking…and then he loaded the bags into that clunker he drives and left. I think your uncle went with him. Are they back?”

“Don’t know about Pete, but T.J.’s gone. And you never know, Mrs. Muddraker. You could have it all wrong. He might have gone to his old house and his girlfriend welcomed him home with open arms. They had a romantic evening, renewing their relationship. She realized what a catch he was and how he almost got away. Let’s see, no job, no potential, no brains, no money…”

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. In the spring of 2013 her latest novel, Halo of the Nephilim, will be released. 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.



Bad Juju:

The Last Degree:

Halo of the Damned:

The Last Degree:

Halo of the Damned:

Dina Rae is going to be awarding one random commentor this prize

Be sure to follow the tour and comment often for more chances to win!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting this tour!

Mary Preston said...

When a spell backfires - watch out. I'm loving this.

Playing with fire here!!


Andra Lyn said...

Sounds interesting :)

I've never really read anything about voodoo but I'd love to give it a try!

andralynn7 AT gmail dot com

Shannon R said...

I've never read a book before based around voodoo, sounds really interesting

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

BLCSDina said...

Thanks for having me on your blog! And thanks, everyone, for the wonderful comments. Dina RAe

Anonymous said...

thanks for the chance to win
hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Chelsea B. said...

Aside from how awesome this book sounds, I've been on a huge YA kick lately, so this book is really calling to me!


bn100 said...

The premise sounds interesting