Friday, June 06, 2014

#Giveaway! An Eagle Shifter, a Vampire Shrink, and a Psychic Army Ranger Walk into a Bar

And that's pretty much the blurb for ALLEGIANCE, the fourth book in my Penton Legacy series, which comes out on Tuesday June 10. YAY! Throws confetti!

I can take no responsibility or blame for this book because a strange phenomenon occurred during its writing. One of my characters took it away from me.

Now, you writers out there know what I'm talking about. Characters, as if they exist independently of we who theoretically created them, will often take over a scene and twist it in a different direction or do something we didn't expect or tell some secret we didn't know. It's a really bizarre thing that might relate to mental illness or stress. I'm not sure.

Anyway, this is the first time a character just flat-out STOLE a book from me. *Robin Ashton, I'm looking at you.*

Robin, who was supposed to be a minor character, walked into her first scene naked. "You can't do that," I told her. "These are vampires, they don't know you, you're 5-2 soaking wet, weigh less than my right leg, and you have to wear clothes when you wander out of the woods."

She told me, in no uncertain terms, where I could go. I knew then she was going to be trouble. BUT I prevailed. She wore a tank top and jeans.

"You're going to surprise them when you walk out of the woods, and it'll be funny because they don't know that their new recruit, Ashton, is a woman. Just be nice; you need to make friends with these guys."

She slinks up to the 6-foot-8 Scottish behemoth vampire who's head of Penton security, the man known as The Slayer, and announces. "I am your worst f***ing nightmare."

The scene went downhill from there, and included much cursing, punches being thrown, blood spilled, and TMI all over the place. She was the only one who ended up on her feet.

Okay, I thought, maybe she got it out of her system. No permanent harm was done. We can move on to the next scene I had planned, which did not involve her.

And then she spotted Cage Reynolds, my British hero, who was a psychiatrist in his human life before being turned vampire during World War II. He was minding his own business, standing in the shadows and marveling that this fierce little woman had the nerve to take on The Slayer.

Uh oh. I knew that look in her eye. She wanted him.

Darn it. I had plans for him. "For crying out loud," I told Robin, "Cage is trying to sort out this mess of a relationship with a married woman he's carried over from the last book. He can't deal with you."

"I can do things that will make his head spin," she said, watching him with predatory interest. Did I mention that Robin is a golden eagle shape-shifter? She is a predator by nature.

"Cage isn't roadkill you can swoop down and consume," I said reasonably. "You're already friends-with-benefits with Nik, the sexy Greek-American Army Ranger. Isn't that enough?"

"I wonder what it feels like to be fed on by a vampire?" she said, ignoring me. "I'm going to find out."

I don't know exactly at what point I gave in to the inevitable and just let Robin dictate the rest of the book. So don't blame me; blame her. I'm off to find more cooperative characters.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed audiobook of ALLEGIANCE. Who's your money on--the eagle shifter, the psychic Army Ranger, or the vampire psychiatrist?


Cari Hislop said...

You've sold me! I'm off to buy your book. Being currently addicted to Vampire romances (a sub genre I have rechristened Virpance) your book sounds brilliant!).

I know what you mean about pesky characters doing what they freaking well like. I've given up even considering myself a writer. I'm just channelling a crowd of nutters from an alternative universe who've pegged me for a sucker! Yeah! They're right. Whisper the beginning of a story (or reveal a few hints about an interesting hero) and I have to keep mauling the keys to find out what happens. To add insult to injury they wind me around their fingers - I swear I love them all - even the evil psychos. I don't know what that says about me. Probably nothing good.

Cari Hislop said...

It took me about ten minutes to figure out it doesn't come out till the 10th! ;) I've put it on my wish list.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

And I think that blurb was kick-butt!

You have my attention!

Carla Swafford said...

Love that post! So funny. You go, girl. Ashton, not you, Suzanne. Sorry.

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Cari...I fall in love with my characters, too. And sometimes it's the evil ones I love the most (hear that, Quince Randolph?). I'm not sure what it says about me, either!

@Author R.'s either an interesting book or the first line of a very bad joke!

@LOL, thanks Carla. Robin Ashton won't listen anyway so don't worry about talking to her :-)

miki said...

î'm bettin on robin, she could be underestimated and she can play dirty is needed^^ ( i don't see cage going hard on a female either)

Suzanne Johnson said...

Ha, Miki--you have Robin right! And Cage too--he's basically afraid of her at first because she's so unpredictable. :-)

bn100 said...

eagle shifter

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Louisa Cornell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louisa Cornell said...

Oh my money is on the eagle shifter all the way! These boys are so confused by her they don't know whether to wind their butts or scratch their watches! This is such a good damned series and so much fun!

Nancee Cain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancee Cain said...

My money is on Robin, hands down. I can't wait to read this one!

Alicia Coleman said...

I love Robin! Now if I can only get some of my characters to be so bold. Does she have any friends with her attitude?.. I can't wait until this book is released.

Martha Lawson said...

The psychic army ranger! I can't wait to get my hands on this one. I love these books!

mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com

Suzanne Johnson said...

Aw, thanks, Louisa! (and you're right about the guys. They may have fangs but they're clueless). :-)

@Nancy and @BN100...Yep, have to agree with you. My money's on Robin as well.

@Alicia--thanks! You know, it's funny, I was afraid my editor would come back and say no, this woman is way too far over the top. Everybody loves her. Which makes me think I probably self-censor my characters more than I should.

@Martha--yay, a Nik fan! I love Nik. Next book is his.

dawn wigand said...

I haven't started this series yet, but I am looking forward to it!!

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Dawn...Hope you have a chance to check it out! (If you win the drawing on Sunday you can always elect to get the first book in the series.)

SandyG265 said...

I haven't started this series yet. My boyfriend says I have to get through some of my TBR pile before I buy any more books.

Rashda Khan said...

Love, love, love your Penton Legacy stories! And my money is, of course, on Robin the Eagle shifter! She sounds uber cool :D

Wishing you many fans and sales with this new release!

Doctor's Notes said...

I really need to start this series. Awesome excerpt.

Pamela Mason said...


Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks to everyone for the comments. And congrats to


who won the book! Email me at for details.