Linda Joyce on Mardi Gras… and an Excerpt from Bayou Bound

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Mardi GrasThe month of March is rolling in like a lion. Soon spring will arrive and tame the roaring beast. However, it’s always warm down south on the bayou. Let’s go Bayou Bound!

So much happens in bayou country in March. Mardi Gras is March 4th.

Ash Wednesday is March 5th, which marks the start of Lenten season. Then comes the St. Patrick’s Day Parades.

New Orleans is my home town. By day, the city is a gentile lady. She waves her floral fan in the Garden District and lifts her hooped skirts to show off her French Quarter lacey ironwork designs while blues music floats on the breeze as the Old Man, The Mississippi River, glides by.

At night, Spanish moss casts eeriness. Dark streets protect that which only moves in the shadows. “Clomp Clomp” from horse-drawn carriages whisks you back to the eighteen hundreds. Yet in the twenty-first century, you can have your fortune told outside of the double doors of St. Louis Cathedral, where we mix a bit of mystical with our religion.

The bayou whispers sensually. You can resist the call, but that’s not the reason you came. Be like the river. Go with the flow. And your experience shall be like no other.

Now for an excerpt from Bayou Bound

Biloxi rang the doorbell once more and looked at her watch. Eleven p.m. Late, but she guessed Nick would be awake, after all, the gas porch lights were still lit.

perf5.000x8.000.inddShe peeked through the side window next to the door. No Nick. Her arms ached from toting the heavy pot. If she didn’t put it down soon, she’d drop it. Taking a step back just beyond the welcome mat, she bent over to place the pot on the porch and the door opened. Bare feet appeared.

“No need to bow, though it is a nice touch, chèr,” Nick chuckled. “They say a man is king of his castle, but I don’t require formal gestures.”

She grunted. “Ha. Ha. Greta sent over a pot of seafood gumbo. It’s heavy, so get your butt out here and pick it up, Your Highness.” She pushed past him, walked through the open door, not bothering to look back to see if he grabbed the pot or not, though she’d bet money he would. Greta’s cooking was his gold standard.

Her boot heels tapped on the wooden floor. She walked into the living room and into the strains of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s guitar playing magic. The melodic hum created an intimate atmosphere. She couldn’t have prevented her reaction to the soul-searing sound even if she wanted to. Flames in the fireplace danced a faster beat. Immediately she was at ease.

She removed her boots before stepping onto a wool rug. Its plushness cushioned her feet, tempting her to remove her socks and dance around. Two leather side chairs flanked a red brick hearth which faced a brown suede couch. Lamps that looked like sculptures of branches with pinecones perched on matching side tables. A large wooden chest, the top of which had seen better days, sat against the couch to make room in front of the hearth for a pile of large pillows scattered on the floor.

Amber liquid in a cut glass tumbler looked to be Nick’s chosen company for the evening.

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you, you’re not supposed to drink alone?”

No response. Where had he disappeared to? When she turned, he stood before her. He’d moved too stealth-like with no socks or shoes or boots.

“I only drink with others.”

“There’s only one glass.”

Nick grinned widely. His eyes twinkled and his dimples promised mischief. He spun her around, wrapped her in his arms, and pulled her back against his chest. “It’s you and me now,” he whispered.

His husky voice sent shivers through her.

“We can sip from the same glass.”

It wasn’t what he said, but the way he said it. Every nerve stood at full alert. She squirmed and tried to wiggle free. Nick held firm and strong. After a minute, she gave up. She liked it right where she was.

“Nick?” she asked cautiously. “How much have you had to drink?” She sniffed. No odor of overindulgence.

“I have only just begun.”

He released her and turned her quickly to face him. She staggered a step before catching her balance. His hands steadied her at the shoulders, then moved to embrace the sides of her neck.

Her breath hitched. She closed her eyes the minute his lips touched hers. Her arms wrapped around him. She clung to him tightly.

The heat of his body radiated through his soft flannel shirt. The hardness of his chest matched the steel strength in his arms. Hard, well-formed thighs pressed against hers. His was a body any woman would want. Anytime.

Yet, her brain screamed “no.” Her heart wavered on “maybe.” Her body shouted “yes!” Without a doubt, she wanted him.

A deep sigh escaped from her lips. Did she just moan? It had been so long, so long since the last man she’d allowed to conquer her. And she really liked this man, and wanted his kisses to take them further.

He nipped at her bottom lip. She gave in to desire. She trusted him. Somehow, he’d racked up lots of trust-points in only a few weeks. They could be friends with benefits. No strings attached. Right?

Giving over, she turned her full attention to him. His mouth seduced. Hands explored. Her hormones raged, triggered by his masculine scent.

He must have read her tremble as “yes.” His lips never left hers when his fingers unbuttoned her blouse. A slow agonizing strip. Once undone, he slid the silk open. Slowly her blouse fluttered off her shoulders. The warmth from the fireplace was nothing compared to the sear of his touch against her skin.

Starting at her bra strap, he traced a line down, then stopped at the V of her cleavage. Heat from his touch shot to her gut, then moved lower. Tension built in places she’d ignored for a long time. Balancing with one hand on him, she wrapped a leg around his and longed to be tangled up with him. On the floor. On the pillows.

She needed…Nick.

When he looked into her eyes, she saw lust. Desire. And…

Shaking her head, to clear it, she looked again. Intense desire, like the one building within her, could produce a mirage, same as when someone wandered lost in the desert for too long. There couldn’t be anything more between them. As long as he satisfied her growing ache, she didn’t expect more. She could live with a temporary illusion of love.

Nick tugged at her blouse until the sleeves pooled at her wrists. Turning her around, her back rested against his chest and hardened body. Chest. Arms. Legs. Manhood. All pressed against her while her arms hung limp at her side.

He explored her bare stomach like he was reading braille. Light feathery touches caressed. The exquisite tease was pleasure and pain. Her head lolled against his chest. When the sensations became too intense, she clenched her legs together out of need. Her blouse might cuff her hands, but they were still able to grasp. She reached for Nick, feeling her way. When she grabbed his inner thighs, he harden more.

“I swear, Nick, if you’re just teasing me, you are going to die.” Her voice came out in a hoarse whisper.

Chèr, I told you. I play for keeps. I don’t say anything I don’t mean.”

“Well, darl’n, you better get to provin’ it.”

 ** ** **

Want to know what happens next? I promise you, Nick doesn’t disappoint.

You can pick up Bayou Bound exclusively at Amazon right now.

Now here’s a peek into my New Orleans:

Favorite Local Cocktail: A Sazerac

Favorite New Restaurant: Restaurant August by Chef John Besh

Favorite Historical Restaurant: Commander’s Palace.

Favorite Pralines: The Praline Connection

Favorite Po’boy: Johnny’s

Favorite Blue’s Man: Tab Benoit

My list of favorite things about New Orleans continues. What would like to know? Where to buy handmade items by local artists? Jewelry? Clothes? Souvenirs? Cemeteries to see? Music venues? I’m happy to answer. Just ask me what you want to know. Who knows? I might be in the mood to give a little lagniappe. What’s that? It’s what we call “a little something extra for free” in New Orleans. In my case, that little something extra would be a gift of an eBook of Bayou Bound.

Where can you find me?



Facebook Author Page

Twitter: @LJWriter


Fresh Fiction:


Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Let the Good Times Roll!

Linda Joyce

About Linda Joyce

Linda_Joyce_0342Linda Joyce is an award-winning author born on Christmas Eve in Biloxi, Mississippi. Her Louisiana family’s roots run deep, and they’re intertwined with her Japanese heritage. Her vagabond childhood afforded her a variety of travel opportunities. Now she lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their three dogs: General Beauregard, Gentleman Jack, and Masterpiece Renoir.

Linda penned her first manuscript while living in Japan as a U.S. Air Force dependent. Her classmates lined up at recess to read her latest pages. During high school in Florida, a literary magazine published her poetry. In college, she worked on the school’s newspaper as a reporter and learned layout and design.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Linda holds a Bachelor of Science in Management. She worked in corporate America, earned the Senior Claims Law Associate professional designation, and completed Six Sigma Green Belt training.

Linda is a self-professed foodie and has the kitchen of her dreams. She enjoys painting when she can fit it in. She and her husband, Don, love college football. They frequently go RVing, and at last count, they’ve traveled to twenty-one states with “the boys.”

Happy reading!

  • Lori Leger

    Mais cher, I think I’m gonna like me some Nick…il est chaud!

    • Linda Joyce

      Mais cher, we’ll share. hehe.