Friday, December 14, 2012

Muddy Grave by Jessica Tastet

Besides from the occasional dead person, life in Barbeaux Bayou is pretty normal. That is until resident traiteur Raleigh Cheramie stumbles across a local dead girl and the top suspects are the people closest to her.

To complicate her life further, an old flame sweeps into Barbeaux with his own hidden agenda. Complicated turns to deadly as Raleigh gets closer to the secrets buried in the muddy grave.

Jessica Tastet

An avid reader, Jessica Tastet began writing in the sixth grade. The result was a mystery story she promptly shared with all her family and whoever else she could convince to read it. Born and raised in Raceland, Louisiana, near Bayou Lafourche she uses the places and people of her childhood to create the backdrop of her fictional South Louisiana town in her Raleigh Cheramie series.
Presently, she resides in her hometown with her two children where she surrounds herself with good books and family.
Muddy Bayou is Jessica Tastet’s first book. She is currently working on the second book in the series, Muddy Grave.
Connect with Jessica at 
Twitter: @JessicaTastet 
Guest Post
Write what you know. A piece of advice many writers have heard at one time or another. Interestingly enough, it is this piece of advice that got me into trouble during my early writing experiences.

My first stories involved white pieces of paper that I folded in half, used a ruler to draw lines, and then hand wrote stories that I numbered and labeled Forever Friends. I was nine years old, and I wrote myself as the main character that solved whatever childish mystery my nine-year-old imagination could dream up. But by ten, I wanted to accomplish something more than a short story. So I set out to write my first book. What does a ten-year-old write about though? What they know, of course, mixed in with as much creativity one can muster in terms of a mystery. (Obviously, I’ve been stuck on the genre for awhile.)

The street I lived down became the setting of this book, and then I peppered it with characters based on the people I knew. Of course, I took creative leeway with these characters. The neighbor who I didn’t like became the bad guy. The one that I did like became the good guy. I exaggerated the characteristics that annoyed me. It was the early lessons of developing characterization for future stories.

I was extremely proud of all 128 pages (though now I would never let it outside of that container it is packed away in). In my sense of accomplishment, I allowed everyone to read it. Everyone I knew that is, which equaled my neighbors.

Hence, the tiny bit of trouble that ensued after the story’s unveiling. Apparently, many of my “characters” didn’t like how they were portrayed. My father asked me if I thought he was as mean as the father character in the book. Several childhood friends were angry, and we stopped speaking for awhile as girls of that age are bound to do in all the dramatics of that age.

Needless to say, when I wrote my next book at fourteen, I’d learned how to cleverly disguise the people who inspired my characters by mixing traits of different people into one character.

In a way, I still write about what I know. But it’s more about what I intentionally know. I seek out interesting places and experiences so that I can write about the life of South Louisiana authentically instead of play into the stereotypes. The fictional town of Barbeaux Bayou is a conglomeration of the places of the bayou where I’ve lived. As well as a cast of characters that are based on the people I’ve met throughout my years here. No one character is a real person. Thankfully, the people in my life have come to understand that. Otherwise, they might get offended when they get killed off as part of the impending mystery.

I will confess that the character that comes closest in real life to a true person would be Paw. But even then, I took the best parts of my papa and gave him a strong male presence in the story. If my Paw were still alive, I’d probably still trail behind him in the garden, but I don’t think he’d mind his appearance in the book. He’d probably laugh and ask me to pop him some popcorn, so he could sit and listen to me tell him about it.


He grunted, then cleared his throat. He studied his thumb thumping on the folder. “Okay, for argument’s sake, let’s say I was going to believe you…” He cleared his throat again. A pained grimace crossed his face. “Can you connect to her and tell us cause of death?”

Raleigh laughed. She couldn’t help herself. Wasn’t that always the question? It would make life so much easier. “Sorry,” she cleared her own throat. “You mustn’t be from Barbeaux Bayou.”

His eyebrows rose again, and danger darkened in his eyes. “What does that have to do with it?”

Raleigh figured she had better give him a break before she ended up spending the night in a cell. When people visited the bayou, they should ask for the tour guide. It would save everyone involved trouble. “Look, I’m not psychic. I don’t have a party line to the dead that I can pick up at anytime. They come to me.”

My Review
...will be forthcoming

Also from Jessica Tastet

Muddy Bayou & Muddy Grave can be purchased at Amazon by clicking on the icons below.

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