Scene Snippet Sunday, SENTINELS Edition–A Peek into Frenchmen Street

Happy Sunday! They say FRENCHMEN, I say FRENCHMAN. The real name of the street in New Orleans is Frenchmen Street, but there’s only one undead Frenchman we all care about, right?

It won’t be out until early next year because of contract restrictions, but the sixth Sentinels of New Orleans book, FRENCHMEN STREET, will come to be. It will be the final book in the current story arc of the Sentinels series, after which I do have plans for these characters to live on.

So, here’s a snippet to prove the book IS in progress…

I met myself at the crossroads for a long overdue discussion with the biggest chaos magnet in the wizarding word–namely, myself. It was not a happy meeting, because grownup DJ–the one who had found herself an unwilling linchpin in an interspecies world war–said some things the old DJ didn’t want to hear. Hard truths.

Like the fact I’d been hiding out in Jean Lafitte’s shadow for too long, and it was time to claim my birthright as a green congress wizard with elven magic and kick some interspecies ass.

Like the fact that the man I’d been so desperate to commit to might never be the man I needed–and if I changed to be the woman he wanted, I might lose myself.

Like that I played a big role in the death of a good man because I’d tried to follow the wizard who was supposed to be my leader. That however strong Willem Zrakovi’s political and magical skills might be, at the core he was an immoral asshat.

Like the fact that my greatest allies were rogues and the misfits, and that I was, indeed, my father’s daughter. Peter Jaco, the kind human man who’d tried to raise me before losing me to the wizards, was not my father. That role belonged to the Red Congress wizard who had powerful magic but naive judgment.

I planned to keep the power but, unlike Gerry, I would not let naive choices drag me to my death.

Hm….I think our DJ has grown up. The book will take place during Mardi Gras season, so just imagine what chaos the princes of Faerie can cause during that time!

Stay tuned tomorrow for new ILLUMINATION tour stops and our weekly Reader’s Choice giveaway, as well as this week’s winner!

Sentinels of New Orleans: Past, Present, Future

So….Sentinels of New Orleans fans. Here’s what’s up with DJ, Jean Lafitte, Alex and the gang….

It took six months and an ultimatum, but I have finally received word that my publisher does not want to publish the final book in the series. What does that mean for you as readers and for me as an author?

First, don’t worry—there WILL be at least one more book in the series. It will be the last in the current story arc, but now that I control the series, the door is open to, say, also making the book a spinoff start of a new SENTINEL WARS series so that new readers can come in without having read the previous books. Or, more likely, the book will simply end the current series and leave open the possibility of a new series set in the vast Sentinels multiverse. (I suspect Jean Lafitte still has some life left in him!)

Another plus: timing. Instead of two (or three) years between books, I can publish the new book, tentatively titled FRENCHMAN STREET, as early as November. I’m shooting for early next spring for a release date rather than put it out right before the holidays.

Negatives? Well, the cover won’t match the rest of the series, since the model who portrayed DJ on all the covers came from a photo shoot to which I will not have access. I have confidence that a good cover designer and I can find a solution, however.

Another big question mark is format. If you’ve followed the series in print, you know that it has been a royal mess, so to speak. The publisher released ROYAL STREET only in trade paperback. RIVER ROAD and ELYSIAN FIELDS came out both in hardcover and trade paperback. PIRATE’S ALLEY and BELLE CHASSE came out only in hardcover. For those of us (i.e., everyone) who like to have our series in a matching set, that has been a nightmare over which I had no control. I still have no control over how the first five books came out, but am pretty sure that FRENCHMAN will come out in trade paperback rather than hardcover because of the cost. I am still exploring my options on that, however. If you have a preference, let me know in the comments. It might be that I can have a limited number of hardcover copies available signed from my website.

Thoughts? Preferences? Ideas? My prolonged illness this winter has slowed everything down, and ILLUMINATION is at the top of my priority list. But Sentinels will not be far behind.

Sound off here! I’m really interested in hearing where you’d like to see Sentinels to go next, or if it’s time to put it to bed.