So, my pretties…we’re about nine days from the release of Elysian Fields! How did that happen? It has seemed like forever since the book was written, but I’m SO excited to see what people think of it because it’s my favorite so far. It’s a darker book than the previous two, because the stakes are getting higher. It also ramps up a big, overarching storyline rather than being self-contained like the first two books. It also is planting its feet firmly in urban fantasy while (I hope) keeping its romantic playfulness. This is not going to morph into a romance series, however. That is Susannah’s territory and she guards it jealously !
Yes, Susannah will have an announcement soon but things in the world of publishing are slow. Soon…soon…
In the meantime, I have some cool posters to give away today. And a scene snippet from Elysian Fields…
In this scene, DJ and her new BFF, merman Rene Delachaise, have gone to the French Quarter to question the owner of a New Age shop. He’s a Green Congress
wizard like DJ, but also is a registered necromantic wizard—he can summon and control the dead. DJ’s trying to learn which necromancer in town is controlling the 1918-era undead serial killer known as the Axeman of New Orleans:
A bell chimed over the door when we entered the shop, and a middle-aged man dressed in a hippie-gypsy purple tunic with embroidery looked up from behind the counter. “Be with you in a minute—just look around.” He resumed a conversation with a young woman asking about the different ingredients and cost of an herbal concoction to banish negative spirits from a house she was buying.
Rene and I wandered the narrow, crowded aisles, studying the assortment of candles and pouches of herbs that promised everything from cash windfalls to true love to fertility. I saw nothing that warded against ax-wielding dead guys…or creepy prete neighbors.
I hadn’t told the necromancer I was coming. Not so long ago I would have considered it a breach of etiquette to drop in unannounced. Call me jaded, but now I figured the less warning people had, the less time for them to devise lies and subterfuges. They might slip up and be honest.
“Any of this stuff real?” Rene held up a sexual potency tonic.
“No way. It’s illegal to sell real magical potions and spells and, besides, I lived inside your head for a couple of days, remember? You don’t need any help in that area.” Sex and money and food—welcome to the life of a merman.
He took a step closer to whisper. “Never done it with a wizard, though, babe.”
I elbowed him in the ribs and laughed. “Don’t even think about it.”
Since Mr. New Age wasn’t paying any attention to us, I picked up a few of the herbal pouches and held them to my nose, deciphering the scents. Some of them—love potions, pouches to attract wealth, and Rene’s sexual potency tonic—were obvious fakes unless our necromancer had stumbled upon some secret not yet known to wizardkind.
I sniffed at a pouch that promised protection. I could isolate the bergamot, eucalyptus, heather. Common herbs. No aura of magic came from the pouches.
“Can I help you find something?”
New Age Guy came from behind the counter and approached us with a friendly lift of the eyebrows. The goodwill faltered as he got closer. “Have we met?”
I glanced around to make sure no one else was in the store. “Are you Jonas?”
I held out a hand, which he looked at a second before shaking his head. “Sorry, I don’t do
handshakes. Nothing personal. Too many germs.”
Too bad. I’d found handshakes a harmless way to do empathic mental patdowns of new acquaintances. “No problem. I’m DJ Jaco, the sentinel for the region. I need to ask you a few questions.”
His wizard’s energy and nervousness spilled out unchecked. “I’ve had this shop open for almost six years. Your predecessor cleared it with the Green Congress. I don’t sell anything illegal here.”
I held up my hands. “Wait, wait, wait.” I didn’t give a crap what he sold in his shop to gullible tourists unless the potions were real. Then we’d have to talk. Later. “I want to ask you some questions about necromancy.”
Jonas’s eyes widened, and he turned to Rene. “And you are?”
The mer crossed his arms over his chest, which highlighted all the smooth muscle packed into those wiry limbs. “I’m her bodyguard.”
I rolled my eyes. Rene was having way too much fun.
Yes, DJ and Rene’s adventures are like a buddy movie. Stay tuned for more. I love these two together (but no, no, no romance, so don’t even go there–I don’t want to mess up a good friendship).
Now…interested in one of the posters pictured on this page? They’re not huge–18×24 inches. Leave a comment and let me know which one! I can sign it or not, whichever you prefer.
Finally….did you win a book this week? If you see your name, please contact me at suzannej3523 at gmail dot com with your mailing info. [A note for your privacy—I do not keep mailing addresses.]
The winners of the Hailey Edwards, Candace Havens, and Celia Breslin tour prizes will be handled by the blog tour host, so stay tuned for those. Winners will be notified via email.
Congrats to LYNN K – you won the $10 gift card for participating in Shop Talk this week. Let me know if you’d like the card from Amazon, BN.com, or another retailer (doesn’t have to be a book retailer).
Congrats to MARISKA, who won this week’s Reader’s Choice contest. You were waffling between EARTHBOUND and INDELIBLE, so let me know which one you want!
Back tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice contest.