Tag Archives: michele zurlo

Cajun French: Cousin

I know, you’re probably all like “She’s going to teach us how to say something we already know?” Nope. I promise, there’s a different way to say this word, but before we get to that, I have a few announcements to make.

First off, I’d like to announce the winner of Michele Zurlo’s giveaway. Wyndwhisper! You’re the lucky winner of the Daughters of Circe trilogy! E-mail me at danica(dot)avet(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll hook you up with Michele. Congrats!!

Secondly, the giveaway is still open for the 4th book in my Veil series, Ain’t No Bull. Just leave a comment here telling me if  you like the remake Marilyn Manson made, or tell me about your big dream and you’ll be entered to win! The winner will be announced tomorrow on Fantasy Man Friday.

And last, but not least, today is my first day blogging with the gee/k/ink crew. I’m kind of nervous because um, they’re like uber cool. It’s like being invited to sit at the popular kids’ table back in high school…which um, never happened, so you can imagine my trepidation! I think I played it cool though, so if you’re feeling nice and all, stop by to say “hi”!

Now we can get to today’s lesson. Phew. Y’all still here? Okay then!

Jillian Chantal had asked me how two Cajun men would address each other a few months ago and I had to ponder on this a bit. Most of the time, I hear “pahdnah” (partner) or “brah” (I’m sure y’all know this one). However, it didn’t feel right. Then I happened to overhear an older Cajun man speaking to someone on the phone. The minute I heard him say it, I knew it was the right word.

Cousin (pronounced koo-zahn soft n) is a term of address for male friends or male…well, cousins, LOL. Cousine (pronounced koo-zene) is the feminine form of the word. I’ve never heard cousine, but cousin I certainly have.

If you’re writing male Cajuns who interact with each other, you do not want to have them call each other cher (sha). I mentioned this before.

Cajun men are laid back and affectionate at times, but they’re very macho. They have this sense of arrogance that I can barely begin to explain. If you watch Swamp People, you’ll probably notice that all of the men tend to think no one can do the job as good as they can and they’re very vocal about it. No one can cook as well as they do. No one can hunt as well as they do. (You get the idea) That’s the typical mindset here. Most are naturally macho, so to have one Cajun man call another cher is like calling another man “love” or “sweetheart”. It just doesn’t work unless they’re in a very intimate relationship.

So back to cousin. It’s a casual term, thrown out in a greeting to form a quick bond. Like calling someone cuz. Example:

Hey, cousin! Comment ca va?” (translation: Hey, cuz, how are you?)

In addressing a female, you would use cousine instead.

So, do you think this is something you can use in your writing or everyday life? And I told you it wasn’t pronounced the same! Tsk.

*If you have any questions about Cajun French, or culture, feel free to e-mail me at the address noted above.*

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Guest Blogger: Michele Zurlo

Please give a warm welcome to the lovely and talented, Michele Zurlo! (Giveaway details at the end of the post.)

I’ve long thought women got the short end of the stick where history was concerned.  I find it difficult to believe that women all of a sudden became forces of nature for short bursts in the late 1800s, the early 1900s, and again in the 1980s.  History presents a bunch of housewives sitting around who suddenly decide they want the right to vote or they want equality in the workplace.  It can’t have happened like that. 

I think women have always been a strong force.  Pioneers, immigrants, and farmers weren’t just men.  They were families made up of both genders who worked equally as hard to forge lives.

History also isn’t kind to the losers. Rarely are two sides presented.  We see the Pilgrims coming to Plymouth Rock, but no word about the people who already lived there.  I grew up reading romances about Lords and Ladies, but the part about the oppressed and uneducated serfs was completely glossed over.

With that in mind, I became fascinated with the idea of Circe who survives in the historical record as a spoiled brat sorceress from the Odyssey who threw a fit when Odysseus wanted to leave. She put a spell on him and turned all the men into pigs.  He had to overcome her ‘evil’ and return home to his wife.  The Odyssey was full of tales of his female conquests, but the point of the voyage was to return home to his wife.  I came away from reading that incredulous that Circe got a bum rap when he was obviously the pig in the relationship.

Then I began thinking of the What Ifs.  What if Odysseus lied?  What if Circe was a good person who was the victim of a grave injustice?

So I took that premise and ran with it.  Here’s the mythology I developed:  Circe, the daughter of the sun, lived in paradise with her four lovers and their sixteen daughters.  The Sun, upset his daughter took human lovers, condemned her to only have female offspring.  Circe took it in stride, as did her lovers. 

When her daughters grew up, they pined for loves of their own.  Eventually, shipwrecked mortals washed ashore. Those who survived fell in love with the daughters and lived peacefully on the semi-mythical island.

Because these men were adventurers by nature, they weren’t content to stay forever on an island paradise.  One day, Desiree’s three husbands built a boat.  They sailed out to sea and inadvertently revealed the existence of the island and of the magical women who resided there.

The sailors, aghast at the very idea of a powerful woman, invaded the island and killed all the inhabitants.  Circe’s last act was a desperate curse to save her family.  Her lovers were charged with watching over their daughters.  To Soren, she gave shapeshifting powers.  He became a werewolf and took responsibility for their daughters’ husbands.  Caiden became a ghost so he could keep track of their daughters’ spirits as they went through the cycle of death and reincarnation.  Teigh became a shadow man with one foot in both worlds.  He bridged the span between werewolves and the reincarnated witches, often helping soul mates find one another.

The daughters endured a cycle of reincarnation where they were charged with finding their soul mates.  Once thirteen magical souls reunited, and Circe found her men, then the curse would be broken and immortality would be restored to them all.

Time and desolation took their toll.  3000 years later, only two daughters remained.  In the first book, Torment, Torrey finds Shaden, her soul mate.  Though memories of their previous lives are supposed to return once she grows up, something goes wrong and Torrey is left with no memories.  Shaden, gifted with the extra long lifespan of a werewolf, has already found her once this lifetime.  His brother, cursed with a compulsion that drives him to seek and take power, killed Torrey in her previous incarnation.  Shaden must help her remember their love so they can be together.

Torment buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/torment

Torment buy link from Amazon for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/3p7yvug

In the second book, Desiree, the title character has the opposite problem. She remembers too much of the tragic past, and she allows it to color her perception of what she needs to accomplish. She finds her three husbands, Marius, Demetrius, and Flynn, and seduces them.  Her goal is to become pregnant and achieve the thirteen necessary magical souls through her daughters.  Throughout this installment, the history of how the curse came about is revealed.  Marius, Demetrius, and Flynn were the adventurers who caused the problem in the first place. She has to find it in her heart to forgive them, and she must forge a new relationship with them that will stand the test of time.

Desiree buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/desiree-michele-zurlo

Desiree buy link from Amazon for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/6jzn98u

In the final installment of the trilogy, everything is set to rights. Riley, introduced in the Torment as Torrey’s half-sister who was kidnapped by Shaden’s power-hungry brother, stars in this one.  After a decade on the run, Soren, Shaden’s brother, finds her in time to save her from a mugger.  He announces his rehabilitation and his dedication to loving her. Their union triggers a visit from Teigh, known to werewolves as the Shadow Man.  Riley recognizes him, but she doesn’t remember him.  He is the first to call her Circe.

Riley, Soren, Teigh, and Caiden must overcome the final obstacles keeping them apart in order to break the curse that’s held them in limbo all these years.

Riley buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/riley

Riley will be available in all eBook formats in late July/early August.

This trilogy was fun to write and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.  Drop me a line at Michele.zurlo91@yahoo.com to let me know what you think.

In other news:  Yes, Justin, the first novel in my new series, Safe Word: Oasis, has a green light from Loose Id.  It’s scheduled to come out this fall. 

Here’s an overview of the plot: Unhappy in her marriage, Trish contacts Oasis, a fantasy-fulfillment service, and asks for a man who will make her the center of his life.  Her husband spends all his time working, and he feels like a familiar stranger.  Justin doesn’t know how to recapture what he once had with his wife.  When he stumbles upon her request for a Dom who pretty much looks and acts just like him, he resolves to be the man who fulfills his wife’s dream.

It’s a sensually sweet and sexually scorching look at how to rekindle a romance that’s gone a little stale.  It’s also a return to my BDSM roots.  Readers who have written asking for more books in the Awakenings series will love Yes, Justin because I bring that same sense of character and depth of emotionality to the pages of this story.  While I’m not ruling out another Awakenings book, I am focusing on this new series right now. 

To celebrate the recent release of Riley and the conclusion of the Daughters of Circe series, I’m giving away one set of this trilogy to one lucky person.  That’s right, one person can win Book copies of Torment, Desiree, and Riley.  Just share your opinion on the most courageous thing a woman [real or fictional, famous or not] has done to earn your respect or admiration.

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Fantasy Man Friday

I have a very special guest on Monday, so y’all need to stop by. Michele Zurlo, author of the Daughters of Circe books, will be stopping by for a guest appearance. She’ll be giving away e-books of her trilogy, so be sure to comment for a chance to win!

Also, my 4th Veil book is being released on Wednesday next week and I’ll be giving away an e-copy of Ain’t No Bull. It’s going to be a week of giveaways and much hotness, so prepare yourself!

The good thing about this week, is that it’s over. Yup. It’s finally Friday and it’s time for another gorgeous Fantasy Man. There are some things in the work for a very special Fantasy Man Friday, but until I know for certain, I’m keeping it a secret for now.

So, there’s nothing to do for the next eight months when I start gearing up for the first FF&P Conference in New Orleans, the Silken Sands Conference in Pensacola, and RT in Chicago next year. Oh yes, I have to plan these things a year in advance. So if you’re attending any of those three conferences, hit me up and we’ll chat!

Now for the best part of my Friday posts…the Fantasy Man. Rar. I was thinking I needed a man wearing his underwear and that’s all…then I remembered I had this little hottie on my hard drive.

I could totally go home today and have this taking up space on my sofa and be happy about it. You know what I mean? In fact, I might have to hire a guy like this to do just that. Of course, he’d have to take out the trash, cut the grass, watch the dog, clean litter boxes, check my oil, and be prepared to keep my bed warm, but I don’t think he’d mind too much. What do you think?

Happy Friday y’all! Have a safe and fun weekend!

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Filed under fantasy man friday