Elysian Fields Preview, and Bloggers Wanted (and Ideas!)

We’re beginning the countdown to the start of the Elysian Fields tour! The book will be released on August 13, and there will be tour stops galore, all with different content. There will be an amazing tour grand prize, and some little prizes along the way to keep it interesting.

I’m also trying something a little different this time, as regular readers of this blog will know: flash fiction set in the Sentinels world.

If you’re a book blogger and would like to have an original piece of flash fiction (in the 500-word range, if I can actually write that short) as part of the tour, please email me here. Note that Elysian Fields is currently available on NetGalley if you’re interested in reviewing. Having read Royal Street and River Road is not necessary, but will make things more interesting. Royal Street is $2.99 in ebook form from all retailers through the first week of August.

Here’s how the flash fiction will work: I as the author retain the copyright. The blogger will have exclusive use of it for 30 days, after which I can reissue the stories individually or as a collection, or toss them in the trash bin, depending on how awful they are!

As a reader, you can tell me what to write! Today, I’m issuing my first call for ideas. Please leave comments with writing prompts. If I use your idea, I’ll give you credit for the prompt!

What situation would you like one (or more) of the Sentinels characters to encounter? Does one of them catch another one doing something, um, interesting? It can be any character or combination of characters from any of the books. It can take place at any time period, but the setting is restricted to Southeast Louisiana or the Beyond. If it’s a character who is killed in one of the books (no spoilers here), I will set it prior to death…the exception, of course, being our friends from among the historical undead, particularly our favorite undead French pirate.

I think it will be fun! I might go insane. It will either be brilliant or horrific, and I’m giving it 50-50 odds right now.

So…to get the ideas churning, how about a scene from Elysian Fields? In this scene, DJ has a secret, and Alex wants to know what it is….

       In my dream, a man called my name, softly at first, then in a shout. He needed a big serving of shut-the-hell-up. 
       I cracked one eye open, discerning a bear-shaped hulk standing in my bedroom doorway. The elven staff was in my hand and pointed toward the bear without my realizing I’d grabbed it. 

       “DJ, put the staff down.” The bear spoke in Alex Warin’s deep baritone. 
       Groaning, I sat up and rubbed my eyes with my non-staff-wielding hand. Even my freaking eyeballs hurt. Then the horror came back to me. What the hell was I going to do? 
       As soon as I stuck the staff back in its holder—a vase that had begun its life in the late 1800s as a pattern glass celery dish—Alex stepped inside the room and glanced around. Seeing nothing amiss, he walked to the bed and looked down at me, a suspicious frown etching a little worry line between his eyebrows. His unkempt dark hair, always on the shaggy side, made me suspect he’d gotten home late and just rolled out of bed himself. He had the makings of a scruffy midday shadow, which pushed my sexy-as-hell buttons.
       He pinned me with a decidedly unsexy glare. “Well?” 
       Loaded question. He looked like a man who’d arrived here with a purpose, but surely the need for an update on a crime scene wouldn’t have put that intense look on his face. “What’s up? I was sleeping. How’s Denis Villere?” 
       Denis was the most cantankerous merman I’d ever met, and he liked me almost as well as I liked him, which was not at all. As punishment for causing part of last month’s merman drama, his clan had been consigned by the Elders to an isolated corner of the Atchafalaya Basin. They were already stirring up problems with the local weregators. 
       “Denis sends his love.” Alex sat on the edge of my bed. “But I’m not here about that. Jake called.”
       Oookay. Time to tread carefully. “What did he say, exactly?” 
       “Not a damned thing. ‘DJ needs you at the Gator.’ Nothing more, and then he hung up on me. I get to the Gator and Leyla says you left a note for her that Jake might not be in.”
       Alex stretched across the bed, and propped on one elbow. Those long-lashed eyes that could simmer like melted chocolate and turn me into mush— not that I’d admit it to him— hardened into squinty orbs as he gave me a once-over.
       “Like what you see?” 
       He reached out and put a hand on my left shoulder. The warmth of his skin seeped through my thin sweater. At six-three and at least 240 pounds of solid muscle, he had ample body heat to share even without his shapeshifter genes. 
       I could pretend he was getting romantic, but I knew better. He was trying to intimidate me.
Alex, Alex, Alex. That never works. You should know that by now.
So…did you win a book this week? If so, please email me at suzannej3523 at gmail dot com with your info. 
In the monster Reader’s Choice contest on Wednesday, LESLEY D won, and chose Viral Nation.
AURIAN won the first Reader’s Choice contest, and chose the first book in Pamela Palmer’s Vamp City series.
Congrats to both of you, and thanks again to Jillian Stone for dropping by to chat this week. The prize for her post will be part of her blog tour.
Stay tuned this week for a new Reader’s Choice contest, a couple of honest-to-goodness book reviews  with a bit of a spin. Jake Warin will be reviewing one book, and DJ’s friend Eugenie the other. 
Now….start tossing out those flash fiction ideas? I’ll be taking them each Sunday for the next three weeks, but surely today you can think up a bit of trouble for Jean Lafitte to get into?
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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).

6 thoughts on “Elysian Fields Preview, and Bloggers Wanted (and Ideas!)

  1. ah time for flash fiction ideas well here are mine^^

    1) Jake is drunk and tell Jean Lafitte how Alex became pink.
    2) Rene accidentally borrow Alex’s car
    3) Jean win a “relooking” and discover a new pirate style more modern ( like the cover on the novella^^)surprising DJ
    4) the first time DJ met Gerry

    that was the first ideas i came with when you told us about your project^^ which i’m sure will be a success!

    • oki for Jean here are some more but i’m not that inspired i guess^^
      5)Jean enters an establishments he ignored being a strip bar
      6) The first “deal” Jean had with the mermen
      7) Jean, diplomat, sent to make the first contact with a “new” kind or group of supernatural
      8) Jean being caught driving a stolen car
      9) A night, jean and dominic discuss the past.

    • Ha! These are great, Miki! I’m imagining all kinds of scenarios with these. (Actually, I think Jake would enjoy telling Jean about Alex turning pink–he wouldn’t even have to be drunk!)

  2. Flash Fiction Prompt:
    “Satchmo” a Sentinels of New Orleans flash-fiction:
    The setup:
    D.J. goes to the Green Gator to see Jake Warin after receiving a very strange call from him.
    When she arrives she is greeted by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald performing “I Wants to Stay Here” from their album, Porgy & Bess. The patrons of the Green Gator think they are an impersonation team going by the stage name Porgy & Bess, D.J. knows better . . . . . .

    Your mission, Suzanne, should you decide to accept it, is to finish the story.

    Maybe later we get Louis and Ella doing a little scat.

    • Oh, that’s a fun one, Roger! I can imagine Louis popping over with all kinds of folks, now that I think about it. I’ll have to do some reading up on Ella 🙂

  3. O I won! Thank you Suzanne!
    I have no inspiration for writing ideas, but I do like Miki’s idea of putting Jean Lafitte in close contact with modern things. Has he been to McDonalds or something like that yet? A drive through? A themepark?