Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Suzanne Johnson
Date of Publication: November 2, 2015
Number of pages: 278
Word Count: 55,000
Cover Artist: Robin Ludwig Designs
French pirate Jean Lafitte is tall, cobalt-eyed, broad-shouldered, and immortal. What’s not to love? But New Orleans’ most esteemed member of the historical undead is headed for trouble. He’s determined to reclaim Le Diligent, his gold-laden schooner lost at sea in 1814 and recently found at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office might beg to differ.
New Orleans wizard sentinel DJ Jaco and her merman friend Rene Delachaise can either lock up their friend Lafitte or join him on a road trip to Cajun country in order to save him from himself. Terrebonne Parish—not to mention its jail—might never be the same after the events of the all-new novella Pirateship Down, presented here along with a collection of urban fantasy stories and essays.
Wizards and Cajun merfolk, sexy shapeshifters and undead French pirates. Welcome to the world of the Sentinels of New Orleans in this collection, along with a little Louisiana lagniappe. No previous knowledge of the series required!
Available at Amazon
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series for Tor Books, including the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award-winning Elysian Fields. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is author of the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, including the 2013 Holt Medallion winner for paranormal romance Absolution, as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series, including Lovely, Dark, and Deep, 2015 Holt Medallion winner and 2015 Booksellers Best Award winner for romantic suspense. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, and loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, uptown New Orleans, all things Cajun (including a certain Cajun merman named Rene), and redneck reality TV.
2. Do you have a dream cast for your book?
Not really. I always imagined DJ, the heroine of the Sentinels of New Orleans series, as looking sort of like actress Emilie de Ravin, but I’ve never found the proper Jean Lafitte. I usually find models whose names I don’t even know to use for visual references. If I run across a photo of someone whose look I find interesting, I put them in my “potential cast” folder!
3. How do you handle writer’s block?
I’ve spent most of my career in journalism, either as a writer or editor, so I’m very deadline-driven. If you have a deadline, writer’s block isn’t a luxury you can afford. I’ve learned to push through them and get the words on the page. It’s impossible to revise if there’s nothing written. I set my deadline (or my publisher does), divide my word count by the number of days I have, and do my best to hit a daily word count. If I fall behind, I make it up on Sundays, which are the only day I have free of the day job or family duties.
4. What inspired you to write this book? I was frustrated that my publisher was waiting almost two years between releasing the novels in the Sentinels series, so I wanted readers to have something inexpensive to read between when PIRATE’S ALLEY came out in April 2015 and when BELLE CHASSE is due out in November 2016. The stories aren’t tied to the series, though, so anyone can read them, and it’s fun to be able to write from the points of view of other characters, although the title novella is from DJ’s POV. Most of the stories are funny—only a couple with cousins Alex and Jake are totally serious.
5.What’s the hardest part of being an author?
For me, right now, it’s holding down a full-time day job and also committing to being a full-time writer, which means not just writing multiple books a year but also doing all the marketing and promotion that comes with it. I work about 14 hours a day, seven days a week. I don’t sleep much, and consider Marie Callender my personal chef! It’s still the most wonderful, rewarding thing in the world, being able to write books. I’m shooting toward leaving the day job in a couple of years so I can truly write full time.
The door opened, and he strode into the room, sending my empathic senses into overload with the force of his outrage. I closed my eyes and tried to squelch the urge to bray like a donkey, because the source of his anger was obvious.
They’d taken away the cord he used to tie back his shoulder-length, wavy black hair, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was his fluorescent orange jumpsuit with Terrebonne Parish Prison stamped on the back. The suit was tight across his shoulders and baggy across his hips, obviously not tailored for the pirate’s athletic build, and the pants were three inches too short and flashing bare calf. He wore short white athletic socks someone had scrounged up for him. Obviously, his pirate boots had been confiscated. It wasn’t an outfit designed to please a man as arrogant and aware of his good looks as my undead pirate.
Jean shifted his commentary from his guard to me. “Drusilla, a grievance must be made against these ruffians and thieves. They have stolen my clothing and given me only this…this….” He ran out of words.
“Ugly-ass orange jumpsuit?” I offered, always ready to help Jean with his command of modern English.
“Oui, exactement. I demand that you obtain my release, tout de suite. And you must know, a woman who allows her husband to remain in such conditions for an entire evening must face reprimand.”
I leaned back in the chair and crossed my arms. “And you must know that, in this day and age, should a man reprimand his wife too much, said wife might leave her husband to enjoy a longer time in his prison cell wearing his ugly-ass orange jumpsuit.”
The guard who’d accompanied Jean into the room listened to this exchange with no expression. Now that Jean and I were both in silent mode, he leaned over to fasten the handcuffs to a ring on the center of the table, which forced the irate pirate to sit down.
“You got half an hour,” the guard said. “I’ll be right outside. If I hear or see anything through that door that I should not hear or see, visitation will be ended. That includes shouting, moving of furniture, excessive use of profanity, or sexual activity. Do you understand?”
I nodded. “Not a problem.” I had a confusion potion with Jean’s name on it in my shoe, and I wasn’t afraid to use it.