Free Read! "Chenoire," a Novelette from the World of ROYAL STREET

Welcome to my world, where magic lies hidden behind the layers of everyday life, where wizards guard the barriers between modern New Orleans and the world Beyond. Except, of course, when something slips through.

That’s the world behind Royal Street, the first in my new urban fantasy series that will be released in April 2012 by Tor Books.

And that’s the world behind Chenoire, an original novelette set in the world of Royal Street–a world into which a young biologist enters with no other ambition than to rent a boat for the day.

Welcome to St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, where all is not as it seems.

If you like Chenoire, I hope you’ll let me know! (Yeah, okay, if you don’t like it you can let me know that as well.)

by Suzanne Johnson

The man outside Baronne Boat Rentals in Delacroix, Louisiana, aimed a mouthful of mahogany-hued tobacco juice in the vicinity of Grace Sims’ left foot. Joe Michoux was weather-beaten, wrinkled, and thinning on top, but his blue eyes pierced like razor wire. “You come from up north for dat reality show? ’Cause I ain’t got no boats. Gotta call ahead if you want a boat.”
       Grace took a deep breath and exaggerated her accent until it sounded as if she’d walked off the set of Gone with the Wind. “Mr. Michoux, I called last week and reserved a boat. Remember? The ornithologist from Auburn University?”
       His brow wrinkled.
       “I study birds.”
       At least she used to, before everything fell apart. She’d spend hours examining the delicate structure of a feather, the way light reflected off its vanes and shaft to deepen or enhance its color, or how the bird’s diet affected the pigments in its beak and feet.
       Joe squinted at her. “You done paid for it?”
       “No, but you said come by and you’d have one for me. Grace Sims.” She’d always heard gritting your teeth was unhealthy. Sometimes it was called for.
       “It’s gator season–all the boats been rented.” Joe shuffled off the pier and back inside Baronne headquarters, a one-room wooden rectangle painted an eye-gouging shade of yellow.
       Scientists had been thick as mosquitoes in Louisiana since the oil spill, which is why she’d planned ahead, for all the good it had done. Boats came at a premium these days, and while she’d never really thought about how one might go about hunting an alligator, apparently it involved boats. 
       Grace didn’t buy the boatless song-and-dance. She’d seen two perfectly good skiffs tied to the pier, and she intended to get one. 
Click HERE to continue….
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

19 thoughts on “Free Read! "Chenoire," a Novelette from the World of ROYAL STREET

  1. Love it so far! Racing off to read the “click here” part!! But from what I’m reading it sounds like I may have to wait to read the conculsion– WAHH!!!

  2. Suz,
    As usual GREAT! But definitely not usual. Next friday is a looonnnggg way off. Looking forward to the next installment.

  3. OMG! Who ever reads this short story, I have to tell you, Suzanne nailed it!

    I know these people… I know these places. I fish there. I have a camp there. You couldn’t have painted a better picture, Suzanne.

    And the moment Rene left her on that little island of grass – I was thinking are you out of your mind, Rene! Gators, hello! lol

    I (((so))) can’t wait for the series to come out…

    Loved it.

  4. This is terrific Suzanne. You have a wonderful voice and really pulled me into the story. I am really curious, have you lived in Louisiana or are you from there? You capture the rhythm of speech as I would imagine it to be beautifully.

    I’ll be back for the next installment for sure.

  5. Wonderful descriptions. Felt like I was there. Absolutely cannot wait for next installment. What a wonderful storyteller.