Wednesday, March 30, 2022

THE QUARTER STORM by Veronica G. Henry tour


Publisher ‏ : ‎ 47North (March 1, 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 287 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1542033918
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1542033916


“…this hits the sweet spot of eschewing overdone tropes while retaining the familiar elements that draw fans to the genre. Readers will hope to see more of Mambo Reina.” ―Publishers Weekly

“The Quarter Storm conjures up an intriguing mystery that draws readers away from New Orleans’s famous tourist spots for a story filled with twists, turns, and unexpected discoveries that will leave them eager for more. Because there’s no better sleuth to handle a murder in New Orleans than a Vodou priestess.” ―Nicole Glover, author of The Conductors

“Henry gives us a captivating mystery full of fantasy and African traditional religion, as well as a bewitching investigator, rooted in her faith, dedicated to her community, and dogged in her pursuit of the truth.” ―Eden Royce, author of Root Magic

A practitioner of Vodou must test the boundaries of her powers to solve a ritual murder in New Orleans and protect everything she holds sacred.

Haitian-American Vodou priestess Mambo Reina Dumond runs a healing practice from her New Orleans home. Gifted with water magic since she was a child, Reina is devoted to the benevolent traditions of her ancestors.

After a ritual slaying in the French Quarter, police arrest a fellow vodouisant. Detective Roman Frost, Reina’s ex-boyfriend—a fierce nonbeliever—is eager to tie the crime, and half a dozen others, to the Vodou practitioners of New Orleans. Reina resolves to find the real killer and defend the Vodou practice and customs, but the motives behind the murder are deeper and darker than she imagines.

As Reina delves into the city’s shadows, she untangles more than just the truth behind a devious crime. It’s a conspiracy. As a killer wields dangerous magic to thwart Reina’s investigation, she must tap into the strength of her own power and faith to solve a mystery that threatens to destroy her entire way of life.

You can purchase The Quarter Storm at the following Retailers:



Sophie scooted back off the edge of her seat and sat up bone straight. She didn’t speak immediately, and I was happy to wait. I charged by the hour for certain charms and rituals, after all. My schedule for that day—and the next, for that matter—was clear as a saint’s conscience. So I let Sophie sit there and fill the easy silence, fiddling with her thumb ring for as long as she wanted. She pulled it off, then on, then off once more before she set it on the table.

Finally, she met my eyes. I was surprised by the intensity of this little wisp of a girl’s gaze. “I need a poppet, a spirit doll,” she said and then added, “I think.”

Another lovesick child. A young woman wearing the pitiful expres- sion Sophie wore always meant a love spell. I withheld the sigh that wanted badly to escape my throat. “Tell me what you’re looking for, and I’ll tell you if you need a poppet or something else.”

Sophie looked around the room, and I got the distinct impression she was trying to decide how much of her story to tell me. “This room feels, I don’t know . . .” She rubbed her hands up and down her arms. “Spiritual. I can feel it more here than . . .”

She didn’t finish her sentence. More spiritual than the shop down- stairs from where she lived, perhaps? Was that why she’d chosen to come

to me? I guessed if the boyfriend or husband lived there, too, it might have been a little too close to home.

“It’s my boyfriend.” She placed her hands flat on the tablecloth. Her short nails were painted a bright red. Sophie was a study in contrasts. “I need him to love me. To stay with me.”

The college degree crammed in a box at the back of my closet pro- claimed me an expert in marketing, but to my clientele I was a seasoned psychotherapist, training be damned.

“‘Need’ is a strong word. Since you’re here, I’m guessing something has happened that has given you the inclination that your feelings for him aren’t mutual. Sometimes, endings are just the beginning you need. Toying with the natural order of things can have unexpected conse- quences. You sure that’s what you want?”

Typically, at this point, there would be tears. Some denials. A fit or tantrum. Sophie Thibault smiled. A wicked sight, more a tooth baring than anything. And the goddess Erzulie roiled, tugging at the water in my body, turning it ice cold. She didn’t trust the girl. Goose bumps erupted along my arms. I needed a sweater, maybe a pair of gloves, but didn’t dare get up in the middle of the consultation. That would’ve been untoward.

“Men don’t know what they want.” Sophie suddenly sounded twenty years older. And people said I had an old soul. “We have to show them. Guide them. Only problem is, other women always get in the way of the work you’re trying to put in.”

I didn’t point out that I, too, was a woman. Or that perhaps the other woman who was interfering with her boyfriend may have had the same thoughts about her. But that other woman wasn’t paying for the andouille sausage that would go into tonight’s jambalaya. “The question you have to ask yourself,” I said, “is if this man wants to be somewhere else, do you truly want to compel him—”

“Yes,” Sophie said without hesitation.

“You have to consider how you’ll feel.” Little Sophie was going to get the speech whether she wanted it or not. “Compelling a man to stay

with you sounds good until you realize that without the compulsion, he might be somewhere else. I’ve got to tell you that many of my clients feel that it isn’t worth it in the end. As long as you’re paying me, I have the right to give you my advice. Far as I’m concerned, sitting in that chair, you’ve already solicited it. And if you want my advice, I’d say let the man move on if he wants.”

Sophie studied her nails, then thrummed her fingers against the table. She’d still have to pay my consultation fee, even without the poppet. That would at least get me some whitefish. When she finally answered, I wasn’t surprised.

“What do I need for the poppet?”

“The Law of Contact dictates that we need something connected to your boyfriend. I construct the poppet from simple fabric.” I indicated the bales of cloth that I used for such things poking out of a basket in the corner. “That is, if you want me to construct it from scratch. Or you can buy one of the premade and I can fill it in later.”

Sophie’s eyes traveled to the wall on her right that held rows of premade poppets. She turned back to me and shook her head. “No, I want to have one made from scratch.”

Smart girl. “We’ll make a follow-up appointment. I need a personal article from your boyfriend. Hair, a nail clipping, or something like that.”

Sophie tilted her head and watched me for a moment. Had she changed her mind? Then she pulled her purse over her head, rummaged around inside, and removed a small silken pouch. She pushed it over

toward me with the tip of her index finger. She’d already known.

I undid the tie and looked inside. A few strands of straight blond hair sat nestled atop a pile of dirt. My heart raced, but outwardly I remained calm. What type of spell was this girl hoping for?

“The dirt?” I asked to see if she’d tell me.

“It’s from his plant. It’s about the only thing he tends to in the apartment. He loves that plant more than me. Waters it, clips back the leaves, even sings to it when he plays his guitar. Figured you needed

something personal, and for him, it doesn’t get much more personal than his snake plant.”

From a plant, huh? I didn’t voice my suspicion that she wanted something more nefarious. Hell, maybe I shouldn’t have even been suspicious. “You want to wait or come back?”

Sophie slipped her phone from her purse. “I’ll wait.”




That there was more to this girl than met the eye was a given. That it was none of my business allowed me to cast the thought out of my mind and focus on my work. I took the emerald-green fabric Sophie had selected, retreated to my workspace, and drew the blue curtain behind me.

Poppets could run the gamut from straightforward to convoluted. The variety my new client needed fell on the relatively simple end of that spectrum. Everything began with the initial construction. Some in the priesthood used wax, or clay. Unless specifically requested, however, I preferred the natural feel of a hardy quilting fabric.

I premade poppet husks in what could only be called a vaguely human shape: a head and torso, two arms and two legs. I stitched the two halves together, leaving one side open so that the doll could be customized according to need.

Next came the stuffing. My go-to was Spanish moss, but cotton would do in a pinch. In a small glass bowl, I tossed in ground Adam and Eve root, a teaspoon or so of crushed rose petal, and a pinch of sugar. After mixing this up with my fingers, I added the hair that Sophie had given me. I left out the dirt. Could have been from a grave for all I knew. As I sprinkled the mixture onto the moss, I searched my mind for just the right psalm and whispered the words: For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song. May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us.

Photo Content from Veronica Henry

Veronica Henry was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has been a bit of a rolling stone ever since. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She is a graduate of the Viable Paradise Workshop and a member of SFWA.

Veronica is proud to be of Sierra Leonean ancestry and counts her trip home as the most important of her life. She now writes from North Carolina, where she eschews rollerballs for fountain pens and fine paper. Other untreated addictions include chocolate and cupcakes.

Veronica's debut novel, Bacchanal, is out now and available at bookstores and libraries everywhere.

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