Sarafina’s Visit

sarafina shot reducedThis morning when I sit down to my computer, I wonder, as I do often, what to post for this week. Last week I was at Killer Nashville and enjoyed my vacation and meeting some wonderful people.

Then…the knock on the door.

“Ignore it,” I think and whoever it is will go away.

Another knock. I get up and answer…and wish I would have followed my first thought. But…on second thought, who knows what would have happened had I ignored a voodoo priestess? Oh my!

Anyway, I back away slowly and let her have control of the keyboard. I just hope it’s not hexed.

Voodoo Child Banner 851 x 315The Voodoo Priestess Sarafina is one of the main characters in Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising. Here she shares an entry from her personal journal, dated just before the book’s events transpired.

The Private Journals of Sarafina: Voodoo Priestess

My name is Sarafina, and like my ancestors I am a Voodoo priestess, or, to use the proper term, a mambo. Each day I strive to follow my ancestors’ teachings and honor their memories. Our beliefs probably seem very strange to you, so I will try to explain them and help you understand.

When you think of Voodoo you probably picture barbaric pagans, dancing wildly while sacrificing chickens to strange, frightening spirits. On the surface some of this is true. I myself have sacrificed many chickens and goats, but I’m as skilled with a knife as any butcher so they do not suffer. These animals’ lives are not wasted because we dine on them after the ritual. My chicken stew is considered the highlight of any gathering. Do you still think we’re savages? Sarafina has seen your massive factory farms where chickens are raised and slaughtered. I would never subject a living creature to such cruelty. I suppose the truth is in the eye of the beholder.

We believe there is only one god, called Bondye, so we are not pagans. We symbolize god as a rainbow, and the earth as a serpent, and man dwells between the serpent and the rainbow. I believe this phrase was used as the title of an adequate book, which became a very silly movie.

God (or Bondye) is very busy providing you with air to breathe and rich soil in which to grow food and does not have time to listen to your pleas for modern luxuries like a new donkey or a bicycle. But God created the multitude of Voodoo spirits (or loa) as agents to communicate with humanity. If you were a Catholic you might call them saints. 

But these spirits are no saints; they smoke, curse, drink, dance and even have affairs—our beloved Baron Samedi does all of them! Because of these character flaws they are willing to forgive our human shortcomings. Are you beginning to see how pragmatic we Voodoo followers are? Did you know there are over fifty million of us?

The origin of Voodoo is a long journey, but sadly it was not a journey we chose to make.

Centuries ago, white merchants explored the islands of the Caribbean where they found vast fertile lands where sugar and coffee could grow in abundance. Deeming these islands to be a gift from God, they slaughtered the natives and conquered the land.

After that conquest they needed new workers to grow and harvest their bounty. And so they reached out to Africa, where my ancestors were taken as slaves and forced to work the fields, growing sugar and coffee under the hellish tropical sun. Over half of these slaves died from disease, starvation and brutality but for only a few pieces of silver they were replaced with new captives.

The only thing my ancestors carried from their homeland was their beliefs, a rich tapestry of unwritten religions honoring nature and the spirits of the earth. The slave masters declared our beloved spirits blasphemous and forced the slaves to worship a new Christian god. But my ancestors questioned how these white slave masters could worship a god who preached about love and mercy while showing no such love or mercy to their slaves. My ancestors got around this problem through syncretism; substituting the image of a Catholic saint for one of our spirits. So when slaves honored Baron Samedi, the spirit of the dead, they would use a statue of Saint Martin de Porres. To this day, many Voodoo and Santeria altars include statues of Catholic saints.

So my ancestors secretly clung to their old beliefs, and over time the African tribal religions merged into one rich spiritual tapestry. This blend of faiths was given the African name Voodoo, meaning spirit.

The practice of Voodoo fostered hope and courage among the slaves. But our secret ceremonies did something more. They quietly harnessed centuries of pent up rage and turned that anger into power. On the island of Fantomas Voodoo believers cried out, “No more!” and united to take revenge on the slave masters. Of course, the Voodoo spirits approved and used their powers to aid them. How else could shoeless men and women armed with farming tools have driven out the mighty empires of France and Spain?

These newly freed people continued to practice Voodoo in their secluded island world. It is a blessed land where past, present, magic and reality walk hand in hand.

Most Voodoo priests including my ancestors chose the path of light, spreading love and hope among their people. But there were other priests, known as bokors, who chose the path of darkness, evoking the dreaded Baron Kriminel to inflict pain and death on the innocent. For centuries these two opposing forces fought a silent battle for the souls of the people until the powers of light banished the bokors into hiding. Let us pray they do not return.

Unfortunately Sarafina the bokors and Baron Kriminel do return with terrifying consequences in the new book Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising. Available on Amazon.

CoverZombie Uprising

Voodoo Child

Book One

William Burke

Genre: Horror/paranormal with Action/adventure

Publisher: William Burke

Date of Publication: June 17th 2016


Number of pages: 333

Word Count: 96,000

Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor

Book Description:

The forces of darkness are out to destroy mankind… Too bad they never reckoned on facing Maggie Child!

Army chopper pilot Maggie Child has a reputation for being fearless, professional and, above all, rational. But when she’s shot down over Iraq her well-ordered life spirals into a paranormal nightmare. Alone, wounded and surrounded by hostile forces, Maggie is rescued from certain death by a demon straight out of Dante’s Inferno. Then, barely alive, she’s abducted by a private military corporation conducting insidious medical experiments. Her escape from their covert hellhole lands her on a Caribbean island where an evil voodoo spirit and a psychotic female dictator are conspiring to unleash an apocalyptic zombie plague. Then she uncovers the most terrifying secret of all—her own destiny. It seems a Voodoo oracle has ordained her the only warrior capable of saving humanity from a supernatural Armageddon … whether she wants the job or not!

But saving the world isn’t a one-woman job, so she teams up with a trio of unlikely heroes—a conspiracy obsessed marijuana smuggler, a Voodoo priestess with an appetite for reality television, and a burnt out ex-mercenary. Together, they’ll take on an army of the walking dead, with the fate of humanity resting in their eccentric hands.

Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising is the first novel in a new horror series packed with supernatural thrills, rousing adventure, dark humor, Voodoo lore and plenty of zombie stomping action. But a word of warning; don’t shoot these zombies in the head … because that just makes them mad!

It’s the legions of hell versus Maggie Child … and hell doesn’t have a prayer!

Book Trailer:

Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising by William Burke is a fast-paced horror novel with quirky characters…Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite

William BurkeAbout the Author:

After two years of ghostwriting, William Burke has released his first novel VOODOO CHILD, Book One: Zombie Uprising. It’s the first installment of a new horror series chronicling the exploits of Maggie Child and her Voodoo priestess partner Sarafina as they battle to save the island of Fantomas from the wrath of evil Voodoo spirits.

The author was raised on a diet of late night creature features, comic books, Mad magazines and horror stories. As a result every volume will be packed with eccentric characters, dark humor, chills, zombies, ghosts, monsters, military hardware and plenty of stuff blowing up.

Prior to writing Voodoo Child he was the creator and director of the Destination America television series Hauntings and Horrors. He has also written scripts for two Cinemax television series, Forbidden Science and Lingerie, which he also produced. He has also written magazine pieces for Fangoria and the Phantom of the Movies Videoscope among others.

William began his film and television career as a perfectly respectable video engineer at the venerable United Nations. Budget cuts shifted him to becoming a production manager and assistant director on an array of New York based indie films. With that experience under his belt he relocated to Los Angeles where he eventually produced sixteen feature films and two television series for the Playboy Entertainment Group. After years of producing T&A extravaganzas, kickboxing epics and gangster rap videos, he created a self financed television pilot entitled American Mystery Tour. Canada’s CTV picked up the series under the title Creepy Canada, which was then re-titled Hauntings and Horrors in the USA. Since then he has successfully produced three series for HBO/Cinemax as well as documentaries and other … stuff.

After hundreds of hours of film and television production he is basking in the freedom of the written word, where small budgets and giant egos are only memories. He lives in Toronto.

If you enjoyed the first adventure please visit where you’ll find lots of interesting information about Voodoo and military hardware, along with excerpts from Sarafina’s personal diary AND, as a gift to readers, the author will be serializing a prequel novella

Author interview video:

Author interview and book trailer video:


Tour Giveaway

4 $10 Amazon eGift Cards

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