Who is Queen Tessa?
In the mid-1600s, a beloved queen named Tessa ruled one of the chief tribes in the South African sub-continent. She’d been born blind but had become such a skilled negotiator and facilitator that she united several divisive clans during her early rule. While European settlers attempted to conquer the area, she led her tribe to victory for many years. Queen Tessa had a talisman she claimed the gods had bequeathed to her when she’d gone on a spiritual walk through the coastal mountains. She fastidiously wore the twelve-inch figurine around her neck, and according to legend, a golden nectar inside a hidden chamber protected them from the ruthless invaders. One day, Queen Tessa left on a mystical journey to ask the gods for assistance to defend her people from the new weapons being used to hunt them. During the walk, she was kidnapped by a group of mercenaries who’d banded together to conquer Tessa’s tribe. They savagely beat and burned her body. Before killing the treasured queen, the vandals drained her blood and replaced the nectar in her talisman with some of it. The governor of the largest colony, who’d been the mastermind behind the plot, sent the talisman back to Tessa’s tribe with a message that they had lost the war and it was time to surrender.
The man’s eyes ignited like firecrackers when he regaled us with the story, as if he believed in its magical history like children did Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. “Queen Tessa told her daughters that this would happen one day. She could often predict the future, a gift the gods had bestowed upon her with the original talisman. Knowing minimal opportunity persisted to protect her people, Tessa placed a dark curse on the figurine before the colonists killed her.”
“Got it… so what exactly is this curse?” I asked, all ten toes curling with trepidation.
Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney
About Legally Blind Luck
Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
7th in Series
Independently published (April 15, 2021)
Gumshoe – A Next Chapter Imprint
Paperback: 295 pages
Digital ASIN: B08R347N84
Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.
Someone has discovered a cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Unfortunately, it has already changed hands and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim, and it appears he might be next on the avenger’s list.
Can Kellan protect the talisman’s true heir and prevent the killer’s nefarious plan? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery – via legal means or blind luck.
About James J. Cudney
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.
Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others, and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.
Websites & Blog
Next Chapter: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney
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