Monday, August 31, 2015

A Match Made in Heaven: A New Release and the Readers Luncheon

I have a novella due to the editor tomorrow, so what better thing to blog about than a new release, right? Then it hit me that this book, PIRATESHIP DOWN and Other Stories from the Sentinels of New Orleans, should be hitting the virtual shelves about a week before the wonderful folks of Southern Magic, the Birmingham RWA Chapter, hold the annual Readers Lunch on November 7.

About four years ago, I saw a note on an email loop that writing coach extraordinaire Margie Lawson was going to be doing a workshop for the Southern Magic chapter in Birmingham. I made the three-hour drive, never dreaming I was going to meet kindred spirits who'd welcome me even though I didn't live in Birmingham and didn't, at the time, actually write romance. I was awaiting publication of the first book in my Sentinels urban fantasy series and had a paranormal romance in the planning stages, but they welcomed me and I knew I'd found a writing home even if I can't make it to meetings on a regular basis.

So this year, on Nov. 7, I'll be hosting a table at my fourth Southern Magic Readers Lunch. Every year, they get bigger and more awesome. This year's speaker is author Darynda Jones, with welcoming remarks from my friend, author Lexi George. AND I'd love it if you'd come and sit at my table! You can save $10 on a ticket by registering by the end of do it already! Did I mention there is an amazing lunch and a huge book-signing afterward? Click here to register, and I hope to see you there.

In the meantime, how about a sneak peek at PIRATESHIP DOWN? In this scene, the undead version of 19th-century French pirate Jean Lafitte has convinced heroine DJ (a wizard) and their mutual friend Rene (a Cajun merman) to drive from New Orleans to the wilds of southern Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, so Jean can claim the remains of his schooner that sank in 1814 and whose ruins were recently found. They aren't quite sure how this is going to work, but I can guarantee that whatever plans they make, the presence of the unpredictable pirate will ensure that chaos reigns!

I made it to Houma before having to use force. Once I’d finally gotten Jean off the topic of panties, he’d proven curious about the world flying past the passenger-seat window of Rene’s obscenely jacked-up black pickup.
He wanted to know about interstates and how they differed from other roads.
He asked about various types of vehicles and demanded to know why they had names like Rogue and Renegade but no one had a Privateer.
            He was fascinated by the 18-mile-long Atchafalaya Basin bridge, second longest in the U.S. behind the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain, and waxed philosophical on how long it would have taken him to cross the massive swamp back in his human days.
            He wanted to know how fast, exactly, Rene’s truck would go. Thank God the merman refused to demonstrate.
             The tunnel that runs beneath the Houma Canal was almost our undoing.
            “We are driving an automobile beneath the water?” Jean stuck his head out the open window and studied the tunnel roof zipping past us overhead. “I wish to pass through here once more, Rene. We must do this now. Tout de suite.”
            Grumbling, Rene indulged him, turning around and going through the tunnel the other way, then doing it all again.
            “I wish to walk through it,” Jean said. “This is a most wondrous thing. We must do this now.”
            “No.” Rene kept driving through the semi-urban sprawl that was Houma, the last town of any size before we drove into the wilds of southern Terrebonne Parish, aka The End of the World As We Know It.
            Frowning, Jean did his spoiled toddler impression and reached across me to grab the steering wheel.
            “Get him off me, wizard. Make yourself useful.” Rene slapped at Jean’s hand and whapped me in the head instead.
I gave Jean a quick zap on the arm with Charlie, and he looked at me as if I’d killed his puppy. Jeez.
“Sorry, I shouldn’t have done that,” I said, and meant it. I should’ve just beaten him over the head with the staff instead. I didn’t normally use my magic thoughtlessly, and the fact I’d zapped him in such a knee-jerk way told me how much healing I still had to do, mentally as well as physically. My nerves were raw.
            Any lingering awkwardness was dispelled by Rene who, hearing a familiar set of guitar chords on the radio, turned it up full blast and began singing Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off" at the top of his off-key merman lungs. Jean and I looked at each other in mutual horror.
            “Roll up the window before we get arrested for disturbing the peace!” I yelled at Jean over Rene’s warbling about “haters gonna hate.”
            Rene’s joyous caterwauling effectively killed all conversation when he segued into “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

And there you have it! In case you need a audio, click the video above. 


Sullivan McPig said...

I would so go on a road trip with Rene and DJ. I don't trust Jean though, so I'd conveniently forget him at the first stop.

Nancee Cain said...

Can't wait for this book! And to see you at the luncheon!

Roger Simmons said...

Would love to go on a road trip. Waiting anxiously for the book. Thanks.

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Sullivan. Yes, Rene would be MUCH more fun on a roadtrip. Well, Jean would be fun, but I'd know he would get me in trouble eventually.

@Thanks Nancee--can't wait to see you too!

@Roger. Not too much longer!

miki said...

It would be a real adventure to go on a road trip with them but with good assurance i would be all for it ^^
Between Rene and jean i'm sure i wouldn't get bored

Melonie said...

I would totally go on a road trip with them! Never a dull moment, and I would get it all on video. I'd probably need a vacation afterwards though lol

Liz S. said...

I would definitely go on a road trip with Rene, Jean and DJ! It would be a blast! Just think of all the snacks and junk food to introduce to Jean! Can't wait for the book.

bn100 said...

would go on a road trip

AquarianDancer said...

I'd LOVE to go on that road trip! There would be non-stop adventure.