Happy Sunday! A reminder: I’m announcing all giveaways on the last Sunday of the month now, so for September, that will be Sunday, Sept. 28. I’m running behind with mailings, as usual, but I think having a monthly chunk instead of a steady trickle all month long will help me keep up.
Today, I have a new snippet from Pirate’s Alley, but first, if you missed it, I also have JACKSON SQUARE up as a free read through the end of the month. Some folks in New Orleans who are involved in planning the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans had found it on Google and were looking for it, so I put it back up for a couple of weeks. Although I had to warn them that, while I do a TON of research for my books, this is fantasy!
Also today, I’m visiting with Melliane over at Between Dreams and Reality, talking about a few of my favorite New Orleans stories–some true, some legend–and giving away books. Go ahead and enter even if you have the Sentinels books, and if you win, you can substitute a UK edition or one of the Susannah Sandlin books or audiobooks.
Let’s see, what else is going on…oh! I will be a featured author at Authors After Dark 2015, which will be held on August 12-16, 2015, in Atlanta, with Sherrilyn Kenyon serving as mistress of ceremonies. Hot ‘Lanta is a pretty inexpensive city to travel to, so I hope some of you can make it. This is a great convention, with a high ratio of authors to readers and a limited attendance, so there’s a lot of chances to chat and get tons of freebies. It’s by far my favorite con because of its small size and the chance to get to talk to readers. I’ll also be hosting a table at the Bump in the Night Masquerade Ball. Eek. A costume! Whatever shall I go as? Maybe a pirate wench? (Well, THERE’s a photo op I don’t wanna see!) And there’s a rumor that I might be doing a “mini event” with Mina Khan and some other authors.
And isn’t that a cool promo box at left? Designed by the fabulous Robin Ludwig, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in 2012 at my first Authors After Dark, held in New Orleans.
Okay, let’s have a snippet!
DJ is having a conversation with Alex, and trying to cover for her friend Jean Lafitte without out-and-out lying to him. If you aren’t a “Lord of the Rings” movie fan, there’s a particular scene where Gandalf the wizard, played by Sir Ian McKellen, is trailing his companions across a stone bridge, fleeing the balrog, a fiery monster of the deep. He lets his friends get ahead of him, then turns to face the monster that is chasing them. He plants his tall staff on the ground and bellows, “You shall not pass!” This becomes a symbolic scene for DJ at several points in this book, this being one of them….
“I guess while you were napping, Lafitte trotted back out to burn down L’Amour Sauvage,” Alex said. “Unless you know of an alibi. I’m sure he has one.”
I looked up at Sir Ian, his wizard’s staff raised above the bridge at Khazad-Dum, making his stand as the Balrog approached. You shall not pass. Of course, then the Balrog dragged him off the cliff and he died. Unlike Gandalf the Grey, I didn’t think I’d be resurrected as DJ the White.
I planted my feet on the Magazine Street version of Khazad-Dum and held out my imaginary staff, because Charlie was too short to bang on the ground. Then I reconsidered. I had other options. No point in facing the Balrog yet. “Actually, as soon as I woke up and realized what happened, I went to the fire scene and talked to Etienne.”
That sentence had the desired effect. Alex sat up straighter, his enforcer face on alert, Jean Lafitte a distant memory. “Boulard is in New Orleans? Why didn’t you call me?”
I’m sure we’d get back to the subject of Jean’s guilt but for now, Alex was distracted. Score one for the master procrastinator. “I tried. I called the Elders first, but got voicemail.”
I waited for that to sink in, but it didn’t get the response I’d hoped for. I thought it outrageous that the Elders’ hotline even had voicemail.
“Just as I was calling you, one of Etienne’s vampires knocked me over in a puddle of icy sludge, along with a street musician. By the time we got untangled, Etienne was gone.”
I left out all the bits about the broken guitar and “Duck Dynasty” and Etienne’s body double. Gone was gone.
This time, Alex did smile. “You’ve kinda had a rough day.”
“Tell me about it.” I said a silent prayer for forgiveness. “When I got back to the hotel, Jean was sitting in the Monteleone bar. It looked like he’d been there a while, and he was with Truman Capote, who’d definitely been drinking a while.”
Alex blinked. Twice. “Truman Capote.”
Yes, we have a new member of the Historical Undead joining us this time!
Hope you have a great Sunday! Tune in tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice giveaway.