Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blog Marathon: The Heroes and Heroine of River Road

Welcome to today's Holiday Blog Marathon entry, where I'll be talking about the heroine of my latest release, River Road, and the men in her life. (Because who can make do with just one?)

ABOUT THE BOOK: River Road, by Suzanne Johnson. Nov. 13, 2012, Tor Books.
Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a weregator.
     Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.
     It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.

Is it a standalone book or part of series? River Road is the second in the Sentinels of New Orleans series after Royal Street, but it can stand alone.

Hero/Heroine (or Protagonists): The heroine of the series is a wizard named Drusilla Jaco, aka DJ. She has several guys rotating in her sphere, but I can’t tell you who she ultimately falls for, or I’d have to kill you!

What do they look like? DJ is 28, with honey-blond hair that’s just below shoulder-length and has some curl to it. She has blue-green eyes, is 5-4, and slim but curvy.

Alexander Warin, her partner, is 30 years old, 6-3, 240, with dark brown hair that’s always a little too long, chocolate brown eyes, impossibly long eyelashes, and a crease to the left side of his mouth when he smiles.

Jacob Warin, Alex’s cousin, is 32 years old, 5-10, with sun-streaked blond hair, amber-colored eyes, and dimples deep enough to dive into.

The pirate Jean Lafitte is 232 years old, give or take a decade, but looks about thirty-two. He’s 6-2, broad-shouldered, with dark, shoulder-length hair, cobalt blue eyes, a scar on his chin, and a French accent that makes DJ forget the good sense God gave her.

Oh, and none of them are exactly human.

What is their favorite food and drink? These are New Orleanians, even the pirate, so they like anything with seafood or made with a roux. DJ’s fond of oyster po-boys, while Alex and Jake prefer shrimp and gumbo. Jean Lafitte likes a good brandy and something made with crab. DJ’s favorite drink is a Pimm’s Cup, preferably from the Napoleon House, as well as Abita Amber beer. Alex likes Abita Turbo Dog. Jake likes Four Roses bourbon.

What are they likely to wear to a formal event? (Would they even go to a formal event—why or why not?) 
Alex’s idea of formal wear is a pair of khakis instead of his usual black combat pants, plus a better grade of weaponry. Jake’s not much better. That leaves DJ and the pirate. They recently had a dinner date during which they time-traveled to 1850 New Orleans and ate at the original Antoine’s. DJ wore a short black, off-the-shoulder mankiller dress with five-inch Manolo Blahniks (Jean lied to her about there being other modern women in 1850 New Orleans, as it turned out, and she was quite the spectacle). Jean wore fawn breeches with dyed-to-match boots, waistcoat, and a navy cravat and short jacket. He was très élégant.

What are they afraid of? DJ has lost a lot of people in her life, so she’s afraid of giving her heart to anyone who will leave her or die on her. Alex is afraid of his mother, and is man enough to admit it. Jake is afraid of losing control and killing someone. Jean Lafitte is afraid of being forgotten (the historical undead are kept alive through the magic of human memory).

If given orders --what is the first reaction? DJ: Why?
Alex: Yes, sir (or, if you aren’t authorized to give him orders, he might shoot you—always a viable alternative)
Jake: Sure, whatever.
Jean: Assurément. (Then he'll do whatever he wants.) 

What is their favorite color? 
DJ: teal.
Alex: black.
Jake: copper.
Jean: blue. 

What do they consider romantic? DJ: Kissing, cuddling, watching old movies.
Alex: Huh? (Gets a deer-in-headlights look.)
Jake: Dinner and wine and music.
Jean: Spending time with my Jolie.

What keeps them apart? DJ’s abandonment issues; Alex’s sense of duty; Jake’s fear of losing control; Jean has no idea but if he could figure it out he’d get rid of it.

Comment to win! I have a signed copy of River Road and your choice of t-shirt (signed or not—your choice): “Honorary Member, Sentinels of New Orleans Prete Squad” or “Property of the Penton Vampires, Penton, Alabama…For a good time, call Aidan, Mirren, or Will (especially Will).”


SandyG265 said...

I've enjoyed this series and am looking forward to the next book.

Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks, Sandy! I'm finishing up final revisions on book three, Elysian Fields, over the holidays!

Rashda Khan said...

Loved DJ & her men in first book, and can't wait to read this one & the next :)

Also, loved the characters' responses to "what do they consider romantic" question. Had me laughing...of course, I'm rooting for Jean (Come on, he's a pirate!)

Roger said...

Very interesting post, Q&A. Today has been a very fun/funny tour. I am team D.J. Our scrappy little wizard. Still time to buy books for Christmas.

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Rashda...I wasn't very nice to Alex with that question--LOL. And in the third book he does one of the most romantic things ever :-)

@Roger...Thanks for following the stops again today! These were fun ones, I think :-)

Christina Kit. said...

I love the scene with DJ and Jean entering the restaurant with the wrong fashion sense:))

Also very cool answers to being given orders:)

Awesome character interviews:)

ccfioriole at gmail dot com

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Thanks, Christina...there's a section of the third book featuring Jean and DJ that you are going to love. It involves corsets and a trip to an 1815 pirate hideout!

Christina Kit. said...

YAY! Can't wait:))

Steph from said...

I would think that Jean Lafitte's favorite colour would be the gold, mais non.
Actually for a pirate that would be favorite: substance, gift (to receive), and his favorite movie, wait for it, Goldfinger! But, it must be a good movie, non?

Do historic undeads have to eat?

Suzanne Johnson said...

Ha, Steph--I think you're right. Jean's favorite color would HAVE to be gold! (Darn. Wish I'd thought of that!)

saintceleste said...

I just KNEW Alex was the tallest! :)

miki said...

^^ not sure jean would prefer the color gold ^^ he would prefer the real metal^^ and he looks good in blue

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Celeste--Oh yeah, it had to Mr. Alpha!

@Miki--LOL. That's why I picked blue. It's the color Jean wears when he wants to get DJ's attention. He KNOWS he looks good in it!

Katy Holder said...

I've loved the series so far-I don't think I'm going to survive waiting until August for the third book.

Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks, Katy! I'm hoping to have a Jean Lafitte novelette up this spring to help tide people over. August does seem like forever!

Martha Lawson said...

I have got to get these books! They look awesome and take place in my favorite city of new orleans!! I'm going to put them on my ever growing wish list, in case I'm not lucky enough to win! Thanks for the chance.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks, Martha! These are definitely New Orleans kinds of books--good luck in the contest!

M.V.Freeman said...

I *love* your characters...I think they are fabulous! :D

I love how distinct they all are...I need to read faster..

Pamela Mason said...

I'm commenting to win! Because I Want These Books!
And I love the name Jolie... there's nothing more cajun than Jolie Blonde. I hear accordions playing now...

Moriah Densley said...

Ha. Love those t-shirts. And I've loved all your releases this year -exciting year! Hoping you'll keep my TBR pile filled in 2013 <3

Naima Simone said...

Suzanne, finding out who she ends up with just might be worth the painful death that follows! LOL!

Steelerlady2379 said...

Hi Suzanne, I would love to win River Road!!! And again, can not get enough books lol.... :)
Happy reading and writing*

Lynn K. said...

Aw, Jean's favorite color is blue (like mine! ;p). Thanks for the fun Q&A, I haven't read the books yet but the character's personalities shine so brightly. :)

celeste_fiore at live dot com

Suzanne Johnson said...

@ Mary...I keep saying that too. I need to read faster. I think I'm going to have a Southern Magic read-a-thon over the holidays!

@Pam...Having Jean Lafitte call DJ "Jolie" was my homage to the Cajun National Anthem. Love Zachary Richard's version best!

@Moriah...Thanks, my friend. We shall keep each other busy reading next year!

@Naima...LOL. Well this is a series, of course, so you never know if the "happily for now" will last, especially if I can get the publisher to take a book four :-)

@Teresa...You're right--never too many books!

@LynnK...And some of these characters are bigger "characters" than others (winks at pirate)

Readsalot81 said...

Bwahahaha @ Dj's response when given an order. That was my brother and I growing up. "Why?"

Thanks for the wonderful tour Suzanne. It's been very fun!

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Readsalot...Thanks for following along this month. It has been fun!

donnas said...

Im really enjoying the first book. Already looking forward to 2 and 3.

Liz S. said...

This series is awesome! I can't wait for book three! I hope DJ and Alex hook up. The other guys are great, but I think Alex is best for her. Thanks for the contest!

bn100 said...

I enjoyed the interview.


Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks, @donnas and @bn100!

@Liz...Looks like we have another member of Team Alex!

Mary Preston said...

Count me in for RIVER ROAD Thank you. It looks fabulous.


Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks, Mary!

JenM said...

DJ and Jean's dinner date sounds like it was pretty wild. I guess I need to read the book to see for myself.