About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

Demon Hunting with Humor and Lexi George (and a #Giveaway)

Several years ago, I had a conversation with my Tor editor about RIVER ROAD, in particular a couple of scenes involving (not surprisingly) Jean Lafitte and Rene Delachaise. “It’s too over the top,” she told me. “Dial down the humor.” Well, see, funny is how I roll and it’s hard to turn it off, even when buildings are burning and things are exploding. It might be a “Southern thang.”

So it’s not a surprise, I guess, that one of my favorite author buddies is Lexi George, who not only lives about an hour away from me but also writes great, humor-filled paranormal romance. And I’m excited to have her here today to celebrate release day for DEMON HUNTING WITH A SEXY EX, the fifth book in her Demon Hunting series.

About Lexi George: Lexi grew up in South Alabama in a rural community with one flashing light and a small country store that sold everything from gas to pickled eggs. Her father, a circuit judge, collected clocks — chiming clocks that binged and banged all night long in rhythm with the trains that chugged and wailed down the railroad track not a hundred yards from Lexi’s girlhood home. Needless to say, Lexi is a very sound sleeper. And to this day, the lonely sound of a train whistle does something to her. Lexi’s mother was a high school English teacher who instilled in her daughter a love of reading and books. The muse first struck Lexi in the third grade, when she began to write poetry. Bad poetry. She continued to flay the English language throughout high school and college. And then she went to law school and the muse left her. The muse HATED law school. Some fifteen years ago, the muse abruptly returned from Fiji or Wawbeek or wherever the heck she went, and Lexi started writing again. Novels, not poetry. She joined a writer’s group and wrote and wrote and wrote. Learn more about Lexi and her books at her website.

ABOUT DEMON HUNTING WITH A SEXY EX (Demon Hunting #5):

Southern-fried demons. Hell-raising rednecks. And one killer ex-boyfriend . . .

THIS WITCH IS ON FIRE

Cassandra Ferguson McKenna, aka the Witch of Devil River, has only one thing to say to her demon-hunting ex: We are never ever getting back together. Sure, Duncan Dalvhani may be the hottest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon line. He’s got a body to die for—which is hard to ignore when he skinny dips in her river every day—and swears he loves her. But as a demon hunter, Duncan is the sworn enemy of a demonoid sorceress like Cassandra. Give him another chance to break her heart? Witch, please. But when Cassandra is attacked by a werewolf, Duncan not only comes to her rescue, he helps her take on a band of magic-drunk moonshiners, fire-breathing demons, shifty shapeshifters, and a pet Sasquatch named Sugar. Welcome to Alabama. But when a portal opens up for even more hellaciousness, Cassandra has to admit that Duncan is slowly opening her heart—to a whole new world of unearthly delights . . .

Now, let’s hear from Lexi, and read on to win a print copy or one of two digital copies of the new book!

Suzanne: Is Hannah, Alabama, based on a real town–why did you choose a small town in Alabama for your sexy demon hunters?

Lexi: Hannah is two towns squished together, an amalgamation of the town where I was born in South Alabama (LA, to the uninitiated), and my current home, which lies 120 miles north. The town I grew up in is flat as a flitter. Seriously. You can stand on an ant hill and see for miles. The town I now call home is nestled in rolling hills created when a meteorite hit Alabama a squillion years ago. There is a crater, a river smackdab in the middle of town, and a cool bridge. I sandwiched the two towns together, and created Hannah, Alabama, where anything can happen and norms live in blissful existence of their supernatural neighbors. 

I chose a small town as my setting, because that is what I know. Big cities? Eh, not so much. Oh, and I am a graduate of the University of Alabama and Hannah was named for John Hannah, acclaimed offensive lineman who played tackle and guard under Bear Bryant. Roll Tide!

Suzanne: I’m sure you’re like me in hearing from industry folks that readers don’t like humor….I don’t think that’s true. Did you set out to intentionally include humor in your writing or (like me) does it just pop out uninvited?

Lexi: Oh, my gosh, it just comes out. Demon Hunting in Dixie was supposed to be dark and angsty. I even had a dark and angsty title for it: Dark Encounter. When the dog started talking in chapter one, I knew I was cooked. For better or worse, my voice is humorous. I really wish I could write gritty. Maybe someday, but for now, it is what it is. I write funny, industry pundits aside.

Suzanne: What scene (from this book or an earlier one) you’ve written is funniest to you?

Lexi: The humor in Demon Hunting with a Sexy Ex is tongue-in-cheek, but, hands down, I think the funniest scene I ever wrote was in the first book. I call it “the wienie in a bag scene,” and it’s set in a funeral parlor. Two women, a widow and her philandering husband’s hoochie mama, are fighting over his dead part. Yep. That kind of wienie.

Suzanne (picks herself up from the floor, where she was rolling in laughter): I know you’re a big Song of Ice and Fire series fan, and there is some dark, wicked humor in that series and the “Game of Thrones” HBO version. Who is your favorite character? Do you have a favorite line? (I’ve already taken “It’s what I do. I drink and I know things.”)

Lexi: I lurrrv Game of Thrones. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite. I mean, George RR Martin has created a character who pushes little boys out of tower windows and sleeps with his own sister, and you like him.  (Lexi closes her computer and quits.) My favorite line is “Stick ʼem with the pointy end.” – Jon Snow to Arya Stark, on swordplay, season one, episode two. 

Suzanne: I know–I want to hate Jaime Lannister, but I can’t. What’s up with that? Anyway, what’s up next for you? 

Lexi: I have an upcoming fantasy release in January 2018 under the pen name Alexandra Rushe. It’s called A Meddle of Wizards, and I am super excited about it. It’s a different genre for me, and I am thrilled and nervous as all get-out. Here’s the blurb:

Welcome to Tandara, where gods are fickle, nightmares are real, and trolls make excellent bakers . . .

Raine Stewart is convinced she’ll die young and alone in Alabama, the victim of a chronic, mysterious illness. Until a man in a shabby cloak steps out of her mirror and demands her help to defeat a bloodthirsty wizard.

Raine shrugs it off as a hallucination—just one more insult from her failing body—and orders her intruder to take a hike. But the handsome figment of her imagination won’t take no for an answer, and kidnaps her anyway, launching her into a world of utmost danger—and urgent purpose.

Ruled by unpredictable gods and unstable nations, Tandara is a land of shapeshifters and weather-workers, queens and legends. Ravenous monsters and greedy bounty hunters patrol unforgiving mountains. Riverboats pulled by sea-cattle trade down broad waterways. And creatures of nightmare stalk Raine herself, vicious in the pursuit of her blood.

But Raine isn’t helpless or alone. She’s part of a band as resourceful as it is odd: a mage-shy warrior, a tattered wizard, a tenderhearted giant, and a prickly troll sorceress. Her new friends swear she has powers of her own.   If she can stay under their protection, she might just live long enough to find out . . .

You can find me as Lexi George on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lexigeorgewriter/ and on the web at www.lexigeorge.com

If you’re interested in the fantasy, I’m on Facebook as Alexandra Rushe at https://www.facebook.com/alexandrarushewriter/  My website for A Meddle of Wizards is  www.alexandrarushe.com

Right now, I am hard at work on book two of the fantasy series, A Muddle of Magic. After that, I dive back into the demon hunting series with book six, Demon Hunting with a Southern Sheriff. 

So, I am staying busy. And I want to give a big shout out and a heartfelt thank you to Suzanne, for having me on her blog today. She is a wonderful, talented writer, a generous friend, and darn good folks. Thank you, Suzanne! 

Thanks, Lexi–back atcha! …So, readers. Do you like a bit of humor in your favorite reads? What’s your favorite book or series that has a dose of humor in it? Leave a comment and two will be chosen to win a digital copy of DEMON HUNTING WITH A SEXY EX; plus, one winner (including international) will be chosen to win a print copy. I’ll announce the winners on Monday, Sept. 25.

Sept. 18-24 New Releases #Win a New #Paranormal, #UF or #Fantasy

Hey, what do ya know! Reader’s Choice finally got back to its regular Monday slot. Here’s how Reader’s Choice works. Each week, let me know in the comments which of these sounds most promising to you, and you could win it—or any other book of your choice up to US$20 when I draw a winner at the end of each month! I will post the winner on the last day of each month. As is almost always true, this is open to international entries.

Before we get to new releases, a reminder that my Susannah Sandlin alter-ego is a sponsor of this month’s mega-giveaway from Night Owl Reviews, called “Cupcakes and Books Scavenger Hunt.” It’s a scavenger hunt with 34 authors, 128 winners and $850 in prizes! You can learn all about it here, and start playing!

And now for the new releases… See what you think of these and let me know which one most floats your boat! The usual disclaimer: These are not all the new releases for this week, just the ones I thought might most interest readers of this blog. Nor is it an endorsement of any listed book since I haven’t yet read them.

Joran: Star-Crossed Alien Mail Order Brides (Intergalactic Dating Agency) by Susan Hayes

What do you do when your planet runs out of women? Send for takeout, of course.  Joran, Crown Prince of Pyros, needs to claim his mate in order to ascend to the throne one day. The problem? His destined mate isn’t on Pyros….When a galaxy-wide search uncovers a backwater world full of potential mates for Joran and the other unmated males on his planet, plans are set in motion and Star-Crossed Dating is created. Now, the first wave of men are on their way to claim their unsuspecting brides. Joran’s mission: Go to Earth, claim his mate and bring her back to Pyros. How hard could it be?…This book contains a redheaded barista who doesn’t believe in aliens, and a prince who is used to getting anything he wants without having to work for it…until now.

Queen of Wands (Tree of Ages #4) by Sara C. Roethle

Three Queens. One will live, two will die. Now that her memories are back, Finn has a new mission. She must fight against her birthright while seeking vengeance against those who wronged her over a century ago. Yet, nothing is simple. Innocent lives hang in the balance, and Finn still does not truly know her enemy. Dark shadows lurk, waiting for the perfect opportunity to destroy everything she holds dear, and Finn’s magic alone cannot save them. Will she become what she is meant to be, or will the threat of loss make her falter when it matters most?

Beyond Everlight (Fearless Destiny #1) by Debbie Cassidy

Kenna Carter is one of the chosen. Branded by fate as Fearless, she and her companions patrol the night and keep the city of Lindrealm free from otherworld denizens. Any pocket of darkness, any nook or cranny can spawn a breach, allowing hungry monsters from the Evernight to come crawling though. A reluctant treaty with Erebus and his clan of dark djinn offers protection from the worst of the monsters, and maintains the balance needed to keep Lindrealm safe. But fate has other plans for Kenna. ….One night, one mission, and her life is thrown off course. ….Broken and filled with despair, Kenna finds herself in Erebus’s world, a place of eternal darkness and enchantments. A prisoner or a guest, she isn’t quite sure, but with the help of a guardian angel and a talking gargoyle she hopes to find out just where she fits in the grand scheme of things, because Kenna has a secret destiny. One that she is about to discover could require the ultimate sacrifice. But when the time comes, will Kenna make the right choice?

Pretender to the Crown (Saga of Willow North #1) by Melissa McShane

Willow North is a thief, and despite her secret magical talent for sensing worked metal, she has never wanted to be anything else. But when her former fiancé appears on her doorstep with the eight-year-old King of Tremontane in tow, she is drawn into the political conflict surrounding the boy King’s ascension. His uncle, a powerful Ascendant with the magic of manipulating the elements, murdered the old King and intends to kill young King Felix. Willow intends only to take the boy to safety, but as the days pass, she finds herself increasingly attached to Felix and unwilling to leave him once he’s safe. But the pretender to the Crown has a long reach, and as his men close in on the fugitives, it seems nowhere may be safe enough.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017, edited by Rich Horton

This ninth volume of the year’s best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre’s greatest authors, including Charlie Jane Anders, Steven Barnes, Seth Dickinson, Kameron Hurley, Rich Larson, Ian R. MacLeod, Paul McAuley, Adam Roberts, Lavie Tidhar, Genevieve Valentine, CarrieVaughn, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov’s, Bridging Infinity, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Lightspeed, and other top venues, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.

Lunar Shadows (Guardians #2) by T.F. Walsh

A powerful seer. A fight to stay alive. A soulmate to protect. Zana believes she can stop death. After all, why else would she receive prophetic dreams? Now she just has to actually save someone. But nothing prepares her for the Lunar Festival’s events; a tragic death, her vile ex acting all cave-man on her, and the sudden appearance of Shadow, a hunky and arrogant Guardian from the kingdom. Except, she’s done with men after what her last one did to her. But when her latest vision shows Shadow’s demise, she is determined to prove her gift is a blessing not curse….Shadow is visiting his uncle for a small vacation. When he stumbles across a murdered family member, eliminating the threat is a must. Bumping into Zana at the crime scene, a beautiful vixen, smart and stubborn, has him questioning her involvement. But when she declares he’s in danger and will protect him, he’s not sure if he should be flattered or insulted. …As they close in on the killer, Shadow starts to believe the real danger might be losing Zana and the grip she has on his heart. Will Zana and Shadow survive a danger beyond their imagination? Works as a standalone.

Bonds, Broken and Silent (Fate Fire Shifter #4) by Kris Austen Radcliffe

Bonds
Daisy Reynolds doesn’t make waves. Hiding from her klepto mother’s terrifying Shifter ex-boss makes an invisible life necessary. But when a Burner — a chaos ghoul — catches Daisy’s scent, hiding turns into running for her life. Daisy soon realizes the conflicts around her run deeper than nasty ghouls and mean Shifters looking to beat up her mom. Future-seeing Fates want a piece of her, too. But some fates cannot be escaped unless you have courage… and an unlikely ally.
Broken
After Daisy Reynolds’s friend and protector vanishes into the desert, she realizes one option remains: Leave San Diego for Branson, Missouri, and ask for help at the bar favored by the dragons. The Shifters at The Land of Milk and Honey hold the key to finding her missing father, but they also have the power to compel her to spill her secrets. When threatened with an enthralling, Daisy runs. But bad people take advantage of the threatened and the vulnerable—and escaping a very bad person soon becomes Daisy’s only option for survival…
Silent
As a child, a horrendous accident stole Gavin Bower’s hearing. Now, he lives his life and works hard to make it into medical school. But the night the Burners come for his best friend, Gavin suddenly finds himself drowning in a new world of Fates, Shifters, and Burners — until Daisy Reynolds Pavlovich saves his life. While Gavin’s best friend, Rysa Torres, fights for her life three states away, Gavin and Daisy fight their own battle. Together, they realize Gavin holds a gift that could save Daisy’s mother. And together, they work to take down the most powerful Shifter syndicate on the planet. Originally published as three novellas, updated. Works as a standalone.

Null States (Centenal Cycle) by Malka Older

The future of democracy is about to implode. After the last controversial global election, the global infomocracy that has ensured thirty years of world peace is fraying at the edges. As the new Supermajority government struggles to establish its legitimacy, agents of Information across the globe strive to keep the peace and maintain the flows of data that feed the new world order. In the newly-incorporated DarFur, a governor dies in a fiery explosion. In Geneva, a superpower hatches plans to bring microdemocracy to its knees. In Central Asia, a sprawling war among archaic states threatens to explode into a global crisis. And across the world, a shadowy plot is growing, threatening to strangle Information with the reins of power.

Successor’s Promise (Millennium’s Rule #3) by Trudi Canavan

Five years have passed since the Rebels confronted the Raen. Five years, in which the boy Rielle rescued, Qall, has grown up among the Travellers, with no memory of the life that was stolen from him. …Five years of chaos, barely contained by Baluka and the Restorers. Worlds are at war, some overrun by deadly machines, some drained of magic by power-hungry sorcerers.
As Qall comes of age, and Rielle and Tyen’s hard-won peace is threatened, their loyalties are tested – and Qall’s very existence is at stake….Because Dahli is still determined to restore Valhan to power, and he will stop at nothing to succeed.

The Exiled King (Bone Magic) by Sarah Remy

Avani and Mal’s journey comes to its gripping conclusion in this final installment of the Bone Magic series by Sarah Remy. The desert has outgrown its boundaries…The warriors of the sands have united for the first time. They are newly privy to the secret sidhe roads beneath mountains, the ones that used to keep the flatlands safe. And they are marching toward Wilhaiim with weapons of steel. Wilhaiim is out of options…King Renault’s choice is untenable: watch the flatlands fall, or work with Malachi Doyle in a secret gambit to revive Wilhaiim’s ancient mechanized guardians, the Automata. The Automata have a terrible, bloodied history, but Mal believes they are his kingdom’s only hope of survival.Mal wavers on the edge of insanity…Avani lives with Mal in her head, an unwilling witness to his increasing madness. Her nights are filled with dreams of darkness and despair, her days troubled by guilt and uncertainty. Her beloved Goddess draws distant as Mal’s influence takes its toll. And as the bloodshed, brutality, and loss multiples, she and Mal will learn that determination is sometimes more potent than sorcery…and that the greatest sacrifices are often inescapable.

Storm Gathering (Scorpius Syndrome #4) by Rebecca Zanetti

Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him… As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes with Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world.

Blade of Darkness (Immortal Guardians #7) by Dianne Duvall

Dana Pembroke has been able to glimpse the future of those she touches for as long as she can remember. But she never saw Aidan coming. When the tall, dark Celt with the charming grin yet world-weary eyes walks through her door, the future she sees for him is one full of violence, danger, deception… and passion. Because amidst the terrifying battles that unfold in her visions, she also sees herself in Aidan’s arms and in his bed. Dana knows she should keep her distance, but the tender moments and laughter they share entice her even as she finds herself thrust into a world of vampires, immortals, and other preternatural beings….Immortal Guardian Aidan O’Byrne has been hunting and slaying psychotic vampires for nearly three thousand years, so visions of bloody battles don’t trouble him. The battles Dana foresees, however, show Aidan’s brethren turning against him, so he can’t help but feel alarmed. While he spends as much time as he can with Dana, struggling to decipher her dire predictions, Aidan finds himself utterly smitten. Hope rises that he has finally found a woman who can banish the darkness and loneliness that plague him. But when vampires begin targeting Dana and a powerful enemy spawns chaos, will fate grant them time to find happiness together?

Demon Hunting with a Sexy Ex by Lexi George

Southern-fried demons. Hell-raising rednecks. And one killer ex-boyfriend…Cassandra Ferguson McKenna, aka the Witch of Devil River, has only one thing to say to her demon-hunting ex: We are never ever getting back together. Sure, Duncan Dalvhani may be the hottest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon line. He’s got a body to die for—which is hard to ignore when he skinny dips in her river every day—and swears he loves her. But as a demon hunter, Duncan is the sworn enemy of a demonoid sorceress like Cassandra. Give him another chance to break her heart? Witch, please. But when Cassandra is attacked by a werewolf, Duncan not only comes to her rescue, he helps her take on a band of magic-drunk moonshiners, fire-breathing demons, shifty shapeshifters, and a pet Sasquatch named Sugar. Welcome to Alabama. But when a portal opens up for even more hellaciousness, Cassandra has to admit that Duncan is slowly opening her heart—to a whole new world of unearthly delights…

The Chaos Prophecy (Elemental Guardians #2) by Rosalie Lario

Action. Intrigue. A Steamy Love Triangle. Jewel now knows she’s one of a kind, which means she’s in more danger than ever. Political imprisonment isn’t half as bad as being forced to live under the same roof as Luc and his fiancée—who also happens to be her cousin. The only bright spot in Jewel’s life is Aeron, her friend and confidante…who wants to be so much more. Yet he is just as forbidden as Luc. …The promise of liberty has never tasted so sweet, but given the multiple attempts on Jewel’s life, at this point she’d settle for living to see tomorrow. To protect herself, Jewel must learn to harness her manifesting dark powers—the very powers that make everyone fear her. But that will mean relying on her light elemental heritage to keep her balanced…and on Luc and Aeron. …As Jewel battles for her freedom and her life, she’ll discover that her smoldering desire for the one man she can never have, may in fact be the greatest threat of all.

Wickedly Spirited (Baba Yaga #3.5) by Deborah Blake

An all-new  Baba Yaga novella from Deborah Blake.Jazz, the powerfully magical teen first introduced in Wickedly Powerful, is now being trained as a Baba Yaga–and she’s determined to free the Broken Riders herself.

Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and remember—you’ll have another chance to enter with a new group of books next Monday. Enter weekly for extra entries, and the winner will be announced at the end of each month.