Saturday, November 29, 2014

Transformed by EV Fairfall review, Sale, and giveaway!

Hello everyone! Today I have a fun review for you today! Let me show you some goodies :) 


Transformed by E.V. Fairfall
Publication date: January 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Thea, all-mighty Mother Earth, only had one rule to follow above all else, one promise to keep to her brother: never take a human form. She would’ve kept that promise if it weren’t for Brice. He’s handsome and confident, but above all he’s merciless.
He’s also a hunter who has tormented Thea for years. She believes if she could teach Brice compassion, she might finally be able to save her creations and herself from his savage ways. Then she meets Chamber: another hunter.
She soon finds herself fascinated by−and torn between−the two boys: Brice and Chamber. Lost within a torrent of human emotions, Thea starts to lose who she is as she falls in love with the one thing that she’s always hated: a hunter… a human.

Purchase (on sale for 1.99$ during the tour!):

My Review

This is a sweet story that has such an interesting concept. What if you'd been around since the dawn of time, and you helped create not just the humans, but trees, and grass, and animals. Yes, it can almost be religious but not in the way you thing. It has the creation process point of view, but God is a little different than what most might expect in here. And here's how things are basically summed up. God and his sister showed up on Earth, which cause the explosion and big extinctions. So he and his sister, Mother Earth, recreated everything from scratch, except for the few living beings who survived in the water. But then, Mother Earth, aka Thea, every time she dies as one of her creations-usually a deer- she is sent to a new place on Earth, to help where she is needed. Except for the last few decades, she keeps being sent to the same place. She is stuck. So she decided to take a human form, to find out why she is stuck, and fix the same hunter who has killed her every time in this place. Along the way, she has Brice, May, Chamber, and Cricket. Cricket being my favorite of all :) Oh, and her brother God. 

Thea is quite interesting because she is trying to learn how to be human. Yes, she's watched over everyone for a very long time. But she's never understood humans, or their feelings and emotions. This is complicated for her. She needs to fix Brice, who kills her every single time. He's a hunter. Not just a hunter, a sport hunter. He hunts for the thrill. Brice is not nice, and it takes Thea a very long time to realize she is being manipulated and he's hunting her in both forms. Chamber is absolutely adorable. I want to hung him, and kiss him, and hold him in my pocket. Brice I am going to sound horrible but I wanted him to be the bad guy, and I don't feel sorry for him at all. I knew who he was from the beginning and I felt sorry that Thea thought she could change him, and felt even more sorry for May that she really didn't see how horrible he truly was. And May, she's I think going to have to learn some more self respect, but I actually like her, at the end. I wanted to slap her multiple times for letting Brice do this to her over and over and over AND OVER again. I know girls like her. They are used, and it breaks my heart. In the end, she stood by Thea and I commend her for that. And Cricket, OMG, I love her. I will not tell you who she is, but no that she becomes Thea's side kick and I think her character was the best of the whole story. And her name, perfect fit!! And God, well let's just say I wasn't expecting him to have human traits, like lying and selfishness. But I like that he's flawed :) 

The plot is quite unique which first grabbed my interest. The writing is excellent, which kept me involved. And the characters make you love them or hate them, which make it a great read. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I liked the ending, which made everything ok. Not all better, because life is never perfect, but awesome enough that I smiled hugely at the end. :) 4.5 PAWS! 


I love to write just as much as I love to read. I try to read a book per week, which doesn’t always work out, but it’s the thought that counts. Aside from all that I am a huge animal person.

Transformed is my first novel, but it isn’t my first publication; I’ve had several short stories published over the last two years. My main goal as a writer is to explore humanity and to give people something fun to read.

Author links:


Tour-wide giveaway (US and UK only)
  • A "He's Fictional, But I Still Want to Marry Him" t-shirt 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!! Happy reading and later gators! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday and Holiday Sale From Entangled!


Winter Wolf by RJ Blain Review!!

I had to postpone my review for this one, because I was running behind, but I wanted to share it now! :) 

Winter Wolf
Witch and Wolf
Book 2
RJ Blain

Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Release Date: November 24, 2014


Book Description:

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Available at   Amazon   iTunes   BN   Kobo

My Review 

Well I am pleasantly surprised that even without ever reading a book by this author how much I loved this book. It was so much fun to try to figure so many things out. And I happen to like the characters very much. So, this is a paranormal story, yes, but it's very strict with it's laws, do not tell the humans, it's like big ole rule number one. But, there's a lot of things happening, and we are just along for the ride as we figure it out. I also don't know if I can go to a book store again, or at least not without creeping out because of this book. LOL 

I loved how well developed and in depth the characters of this story are. I know that we are going to see more of these characters in the future, but I loved that I knew nothing and still felt like I knew them anyway. Nicole is a wizard, not a witch, they are different. She was born to werewolf parents, but because she wasn't born with the right stuff, she's been hiding, on the run from her family and the Inquisition- the law of the supernatural world. They won't let her live just because she's a wizard. They have too much power, too much at their disposal, and every other wizard she's known of has been wiped out. She's running, she's hiding, and though she's surviving, I don't think she realizes she's not really living until she gets caught up in a murder investigation. She's can do several things, like control electricity and fire. But that's not all, when a book seller dies next to her, horribly, bloody, violent, then she's almost killed at work, things are not seeming so safe anymore. She starts looking into magical ways to solve these issues. She's then kidnapped, rescued, stalked, surprised, and devastated. I mean, this girl has had some crazy crap thrown onto her. And she's still standing. And fighting for it. She's quite funny, and she's definitely brave. And even though she wants nothing to do with werewolves and the inquisition she ends up with both of them right next to her. That was an awesome part of the book!! 

The plot is wonderful. murder, mystery, romance, magic, guns, fighting, werewolves, executions. I mean come on!! She's trying to find a murderer, then a curse for a disease, then a magical murderer for someone else. It's crazy. She's definitely on a wild ride! I loved that this one kept me on my seat the whole time, and I couldn't put this one down. I needed to know who did what, and if this one would be saved, and who was really the bad guy, and what about her family, and the Inquisition. And no worries, there's a lot of crazy happening, but it's not confusing nor is it left open. No big whammy of a cliff hanger, and I can't wait for more, after that SHOCKER of an ending. Like way to throw just one more twist into all those curves!! 

I enjoyed this book immensely and absolutely cannot wait for another book. I really hope to see these characters again. There were so many wonderful and will written characters! I am now going to have to get my hands on the first book, though I've been told it's about different characters, I wanna read it anyways!! So, please gimme more of these wonderful characters and this excellently created world!! I need it! LOL 5 TOTALLY AWESOME WOLFY PAWS!! 

About the Author:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

RJ’s Favorite Books & Series in no particular order:

Anne McCaffrey's Pern

Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series

Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files

Brandon Sanderson's Elantris

Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series

Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

Happy reading and later gators!! 

Casual Curses and Meticulous Magic Review!

My original stop was HERE on November 25th, but I've been a crazy person so I am behind on some of my reviews, so today, I am going to share my review :) 

Casual Curses & Meticulous Magic (A Gramarye Novel Book 1)
Casual Curses and Meticulous Magic
The Gramarye Series
Book I
Lee Roland

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Highland Press                  
Date of Publication:  September 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9916439-2-9

Number of pages: 292
Word Count:  92,000

Cover Artist:  Iris Hunter

Book Description:

What happens when a dysfunctional witch and a tough PI work together to save an aging apartment house filled with ghosts, dragons and one oversexed house plant?
Spirits, spells and mayhem…Magic rises in the Gramarye

Melian Devlin is a witch who often resorts to exotic and slightly illegal methods of acquiring money to maintain the 300-year-old Gramarye, the stone apartment house that’s her heart and home. Her life is a series of skirmishes that occasionally end with her behind bars. 

Titus Moran is a no-nonsense PI who makes big bucks busting insurance fraud schemes.  So how did he wind up in a tortuous battle to keep Melian out of jail?  Did the delightful young witch with her gray eyes and magic at her fingertips enchant him—or does the Gramarye hold greater mysteries.  

Titus will enter a new exciting world when he joins Melian in her quest to save the Gramarye.  Melian will fumble along in her usual impulsive way, leaving a trail of disasters behind her.   If they’re lucky, they might survive.

Available at Amazon   BN  Smashwords   Books A Million

My Review
So, I love this author from her other series, the Earth Witches. I LOVED this series, so when I saw that she was coming out with a new series, I literally jumped at the chance on the tour. This author has a way of giving us kick ass heroines that may be flawed, but are wonderful because they won't give up no matter what. Plus, they are usually so very interesting. And I am so glad that I was not disappointed and this book met my expectations! It's a great new series, and this just reinstates that this author is a must have!! Mel is awesome and she definitely has some obstacles to overcome! Plus, everything that can go wrong does, and yet she keeps on going :) 

Melian is a witch, who has some trouble with her powers when she isn't as home. A little flame burns a whole damn building down. And then somethings she works on go just fine. We haven't completely learned everything yet to Mel, but there's some fun going on. It starts with her getting arrested. The cop who busted her has something personal against her, and on top of that, to spy on her, to frame her, he moves into her apartment building that she owns as her neighbor. Like it's not enough he wants her to rot in jail, he's going to harass her at home too. Then, her crazy Uncle bails her out, but as a blackmail deal. She must do something that is suicidal to make her bail out even. He's scary, but I don't think he's completely all bad, just not always all good. And her Uncle Rat makes her take a babysitter, who has her hot and bothered. And one more thing, she is in charge of the Gramarye, the building she lives in, that is a sentient building with a serious amount of power keeping the witches in power. And she has a dragon living upstairs, a crazy sex-crazed plant owned by a botanist, and a succubus that is just creepy. 

So, Titus is Mel's babysitter rfom uncle Rat. His mother is marrying the Rat, and he is forced to be Melian's side kick. Actually, the Rat needs him to be her protector, but he's not allowed to tell her that. He's pissed and he won't do it, until he meets her, then he can't seem to keep his mind off her, or his hands :) I actually like him a lot. He's almost a bad boy mysterious type, but he's actually nice, and charming, and he's loyal to Mel. And he stands up to the Rat. So Mel likes him. LOL. He's trying to solve his father's murder, which is the suicide mission, and while doing that, he also begins unraveling a crazy conspiracy plot by another evil witch who wants to put every other witch on their knees, and the Rat and Mel are on the top of his list. So, not only does Titus have his hands of with Mel's job, he's falling for her. I also love that he lets Mel be Mel, except in her apartment when it comes to cleaning. he's so OCD and she's so damn messy LOL. It's freaking hilarious!! 

There is some romance, yes, it is was good. It' made the story better. But there's ass kicking magic flying around, and some totally awesome animals, like hell  hound rejects, Sara Jane, the crazy donkey, the hilarious cats from the sky. I mean, way to play everything to the awesome extreme! And the plot, well it's perfect, because it's starts as a little mystery, then builds up into this climatic ending that yes leaves room for more books but has a full ending. No cliff hanger, no missing things. Oh, I know there's going to be more, because now, Melian has a lot of changes to over come, but it's gunna be awesome for more. The writing is so fantastic. I love the way this author places her words, and though there is romance, and sex, it's not like an erotica, where you know every single detail. I kind of liked that. It has romance, but still is in the UF genre, with action and magic and everything is so well rounded. I totally can't wait for book two. GIMME!!! Maybe gimme a nice werewolf boy I can drool over LOL! 5 MAGICAL PAWS!! 

About the Author:

Lee Roland is a full time writer who lives in North Central Florida. She loves the peaceful rural area where she shares a home with three small dogs who think they are pit bulls and an evil cat with sharp claws.
Lee writes stories of urban fantasy and paranormal romance where strong men and women battle the wickedness hiding under the surface of the modern world.  Her characters are passionate in life and love and are formidable enemies to the malevolent criminals in their worlds.

Her first series, the Earth Witches, was published beginning in 2011 by NAL.  Her website, offers samples of the Earth Witches books and information on their world. There are short stories and news of any upcoming books and events.

Subscribe to mailing list:

Happy reading and alter gators! 

Trust by Viola Rivard (Running With Alphas #1) Review!

Trust (Running with Alphas, #1)
Trust by Viola Rivard
(Running With Alphas #1)
Publication date: August 10th 2014
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

Just when she thinks her life can’t get any worse, Taylor meets alpha wolf Alder—the most caring, gallant, and handsome man on the planet. On the run from the police, there’s no way she could possibly get involved with him. But somehow she does anyway.

Alder seems to be convinced that the two of them are going to live happily ever after in his mountain territory. But between looming pack wars, her dicey past, and his twin brother—the most obnoxious, sadistic, and handsome man on the planet—Taylor has a feeling that her new life among werewolves may be just as complicated as her human one.

RUNNING WITH ALPHAS: TRUST is a 100 page novella and the first entry in an ongoing serial. The story will contain themes of life in the wilderness and ménage romance. Due to sexual content, it is not recommended for readers under the age of 18.

My Review

This is a short story of Taylor and how she meets Alder and his pack,  the Halycon Pack, and his twin, Hale. Taylor is on the run from the cops. It's a big deal, allegedly, she shot and killed a Senator. On her run, she is picked up by Alder, then chased by the cops, then werewolves, hikes a mountain, and that's only the beginning. This novella will continue but the this the beginning to give you a little insight into things to come. 

Taylor hides and lies. Or in the beginning. She doesn't trust Alder at first, but feels that she should. She lies at first, then comes clean, a little. She was an orphan in foster care. She's in big trouble with the law, hence the police chase. She hasn't told him that Taylor is her middle name, but hopefully that will come. She also has heart problems, but that really isn't covered that much yet, hopefully in the future. 

Alder is sweet, loyal, hawt, and a beautiful Alpha wolf. He's a little clueless because he spends so much of his time in wolf form on secluded with his pack, but he's willing to give it up for Taylor. He knows she's his mate, he just has to convince her. I'm also not quite sure how the mate part works in this series as it's not touched on, but I'm all about werewolves, so hopefully it'll be covered in the future as well. This is a short story and you can only pack so much into so few words. 

I look forward to reading more, as this is just the start. I do hope we get to learn more about the Pack, I really like Alder and Lark, and I hope Taylor gets over some of her issues. I want to like her, I almost like her, but there's too many things that make me doubt her, like why she didn't fully explain her situation to Alder. And if she's so mistrusting, why on Earth is she letting Alder drag her across mountains and into seclusion. Though a part of her issue is abandonment, I need her to be a little more believable in that, though I know she just wants the attention he's giving her. With that, I am looking forward to the next novellas to follow this one! 4.5 PAWS!! 

About the Author

“It’s just like Twilight except Edward’s not an emotionally constipated vampire, Jacob’s not a teenaged boy, Bella is interesting, and everyone is liberated from the tyranny of clothing.”
— Viola Rivard about Claimed by the Alphas
Viola Rivard is a national bestselling paranormal romance serialist. When she’s not wowing readers with her werewolves or dazzling them with dragons, she’s hanging out with Mr. Rivard (aka, the luckiest man on the planet) and their absurdly adorable dog, Apollo.
You can contact her the following ways:
If you don’t have a specific question, but would like to be kept up to date when Viola has a new book out, feel free to join her mailing list.
You won’t be inundated with emails (she is way too busy) and Viola will never give or sell your information to anyone.

Thanks a bunch to Xpresso Book Tours who gave me a review copy! I hope you guys check this one out!! :) 

Realm Walker Series Tour tour!

Realm Walker (Realm Walker, #1)
Realm Walker
Realm Walker Series
Book One
Kathleen Collins

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication:  October 28, 2013

ISBN: 9781426896545

Word Count: 76,000

Book Description:

An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…
As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That's only the first of her secrets.
Most people don't know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don't know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don't know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…
Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can't reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.
Available at  Amazon   BN  Harlequin Print

Death's Daughter (Realm Walker, #2)
Death’s Daughter        
Realm Walker Series
Book 2
Kathleen Collins

Genre: urban fantasy, paranormal romance

Publisher: Carina press

ISBN: 9781426898112

Word Count:  68,000

Book Description:

Juliana Norris, Realm Walker with the Agency, is an Altered. A fact that she runs up against every time she’s forced to work with human police officers, and their species-ist commissioner, on cases they can’t solve themselves. Which happens more than they would like to admit.

Her gift—the quality that makes her the best Realm Walker in the business, without boast—is the ability to read magical signatures. Whether the gift came from her father, the dark fae god of death, or the mage mother she can’t remember, is anyone’s guess. And when Altered children start going missing with only wild magical signatures as clues, her heritage is the last thing on her mind.

She can’t afford such distractions, and she definitely can’t afford to worry about the fact that her mate, master vampire Thomas Kendrick, hasn’t spoken to her since she saved him from a demon—maybe it’s because she had to stab him to do so. Because whoever is kidnapping these children must be very powerful to wield wild magic. Very powerful, and very dangerous indeed.
Available at Amazon  BN  Harlequin Print

My Review

Such intrigue and suspense in this one. Make sure you read Realm Walker first, but once you do, you'll be read for this one :) It's a fast paced and a great read.  Investigations make it mysterious, and vampers and magic make it paranormal so you get a little bit of everything. 

Juliana runs the magical crime lab, and she senses traces of magic, she "sees" it. Then she gets stuck working a case of kidnapped and murder of children. She's upset and frustrated and having magical back lash. Though she is magical, she's also quite skilled as a normal person investigator. She just wants to save those kids. 

I'm definitely gunna say that if you like a lot of police type investigation, and mystery, with supernatural elements in there, this one is for you. I am not really a fan of the romance part of the book. I actually don't really like Thomas, and I find him more annoying than I should LOL I loved that book and plot though, so it makes up for it. And there's a mix, a lot of people like Thomas, and I like him as a character, but I don't like him and Juliana together. Maybe their time apart has changed them too much, I don't know, but I guess we'll see in book three where we're gunna go from here. 

The writing is well done, though I wished the POV changes were a little easier and flowed just a little bit better. Other than that, I look forward to reading book three. :) 4 PAWS! 

 The Making of Michael Bishop
The Making of Michael Bishop
A Realm Walker Short Story
Kathleen Collins

Genre: urban fantasy, dark fantasy

Date of Publication: August 30, 2014


Number of pages: 20

Book Description: 

Keep your distance. Don't look him in the eye. Feed him and leave.

Michael D'Augustino is a priest in the time of the Inquisition. Marked as weak for his refusal to torture those charged with sorcery, heresy, devil worship or worse, he's given another task. Feed the prisoner in the cell in the darkest corner of the dungeon. With the edict comes a set of instructions.

Ever obedient, Michael does exactly as he is told. Until the night his charge doesn't eat and Michael has to enter the cell to find out why. Instead of the beast he believes to be imprisoned there, he finds a man. A broken, tormented man who asks for help.

But all is not as it seems and, before the night is through, Michael will be changed forever.
Available at Amazon and BN

Once again Juliana found herself on the outskirts of the End. If there was anywhere a demon should feel at home, she guessed it would be Devil’s End. She started walking the streets, unsure of where she was heading, but too keyed up to sit around waiting for a lead.
            Briefly she thought about knocking on doors as she passed, but it would be a waste of time. For one, the street patrols would have already done it and for another, no one around here saw anything even if it happened a foot from their face. That’s just the way things worked in the End.
            The End was her territory. Whenever the Agency needed to send a representative, they sent her. She wasn’t sure if it was because of her proximity or because they thought she blended in with the locals. Unfortunately, the second option seemed most likely. Even as familiar a face as she was in the area, it was unlikely she would get any more information than the patrols had. Especially when it became known a demon was involved. No one wanted to cross a demon.
            A couple of blocks down, at the end of a dark alley, stood a nondescript door with a red rune of a double-armed cross blazing above it. She smiled. That was Michael’s mark. He told her once he’d taken it from the Holy Order of Inquisitioners. She didn’t ask why, there were some things she didn’t want to know about her friends. At least she wouldn’t have any trouble getting information from anyone here. If they knew, they’d tell her.
            She knocked on the door. A Neanderthal-looking vampire with one eyebrow answered the door, filling the opening entirely. She didn’t recognize him.
            He frowned down at her. “What do you want?”
            “Here to see the boss,” she answered.
            That one eyebrow rose and he looked her over. “Leave your weapons or you stay here.”
            “I stay here then. You go fetch.”
            He growled and narrowed his eyes before stepping back and slamming the door. She waited for a ten count and then followed after him.
            “Someone’s here to see you, boss. Left her outside,” the Neanderthal said as she crested the stairs. A tall, gaunt blond male with waist-length hair drew two blades and pointed them at her throat. A petite brunette pointed her gun at Juliana’s chest and the Neanderthal flexed his hands into fists as he turned to face her.
            At the desk beyond them sat a vampire with brown hair and eyes so dark they were almost black even when he wasn’t in a rage. As usual, he needed a shave. Michael.
            “You never call, you never write,” she said, looking at him, but watching the others from the corner of her eyes.
            “Leave us.” His eyes never left hers. 
About the Author:
Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.
The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.
She is currently hard at work on her next book.


Happy reading and later gators! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Christmas in Dogtown Tour w Giveaway!

For those of you who don't know, I love this lady, no matter which name she writes under :) So, when this tour came up, I had to show you some goodies.And since it's Thanksgiving here today, I am thankful for every book this awesome author writes. I mean yes, I'm thankful for many other things, but seriously, she's a top of the list author :) And I love this book and I think it's pretty perfect for this time of year! Now, let me show you some goodies :)

Christmas in Dogtown
Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Sweet Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Story Vault

Date of Publication: December 2012


Number of pages: 30
Word Count: approx. 11,000

Book Description:

A woman who spent years escaping her rural past learns that Dogtown, Louisiana, hides more family secrets than just the recipe for boudin blanc..

Resa Madere’s on the verge of losing it all. The boyfriend’s gone. The job’s history. Her beloved house is on the brink of foreclosure. She’ll do anything to save it—even spend a long Christmas holiday working in St. James Parish, Louisiana, helping her uncle run the family meat business. But the community of Dogtown, which has been home for seven generations of the Madere and Caillou families, has deep roots and deeper secrets. For Resa, going home is one thing.
Getting out might not be so easy.

Short Excerpt:
“You are stupid,” Resa told her reflection in the tiny, scratched mirror of the White Castle’s rose-pink bathroom. “Stupid, ridiculous, and absurd.”
          She’d been wrestling with her curly black hair for a half hour, and the brown eyes that stared back at her from beneath freshly plucked brows and carefully applied eyeliner looked more jittery than sexy. “And idiotic.”
          First, it had been almost a week since Chan had asked her to the Saturday night community dance, popping the question almost shyly as they hacked at the bodies of gigantic dead fish. They’d both been covered in blood and smelled like they’d been rolling in bait, which should have tipped her off that anything in Dogtown reeking of romance, well, reeked.
          Second, her potential date had left immediately after asking her out so he could catch an alligator that had eaten somebody’s poodle in one of those backwater houses near the swamp. He burned rubber out of the Madere’s driveway after making sure he had enough duct tape to wrap around the gator’s jaws. Adequate duct tape was not an attribute she’d ever sought in a man.

My Review is Here

Christmas Bonfires on the Levee by Suzanne Johnson

One of the greatest things fiction authors get to do is write about favorite places and traditions, and weave them into our stories. In my novelette “Christmas in Dogtown,” I was able to not only explore the close-knit communities of one of Louisiana’s river parishes but talk about one of my favorite traditions, the Christmas bonfires.

There are lots of explanations of how the tradition of burning bonfires along the river levees on Christmas Eve got started; truth is, no one really knows. The real story’s probably a lot more boring than the legends.

My favorite legend is that the tradition stemmed from the Cajuns who live in the countryside along the Mississippi River, and it’s this legend I drew on for “Dogtown,” specifically the stories about the Cajun version of Santa, Papa Noel.

Instead of a sleigh and reindeer (a citified concept, for sure), Papa Noel arrives by river in the flat-bottomed boat called a pirogue, pulled by eight alligators named Gaston, Tiboy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste and Rene (who might or might not have a shiny red snout).

Papa Noel and his leathery entourage sail down the Mississippi River, delivering his presents to children on Christmas Eve. But unlike in the big cities, with all their lights, the river land and bayous and swamps are dark. What’s to make sure Papa Noel doesn’t lose his way?

That’s where the bonfires come in, of course.

So weeks before Christmas Eve arrives, local families and businesses stake out their claim on the big earthen levees along the river in St. James, St. Charles, and St. John the Baptist parishes (what the rest of the U.S. calls counties). On both sides of the river, they build big teepee-shaped wooden structures filled with kindling, boxes, or paper—whatever will burn. At the appointed time on Christmas Eve, everyone lights their bonfires and Papa Noel and his gators have a path lit all along the river with beautiful flaming tree-shaped bonfires.

It has become quite a tourist attraction now, of course, and people like me drive out from New Orleans or Baton Rouge or points beyond to line up along the Great River Road and see the sights. There’s also an annual Festival of the Bonfires held a couple of weeks before (because in Louisiana, we can turn ANYTHING into a party).

In “Christmas in Dogtown,” Teresa Madere is forced by circumstances to return to her small hometown community in St. James Parish for the month of December, and she ends up helping build the Madere family bonfire…and maybe learning a lot of about love and family and home than she ever expected. And yeah, there might be a paranormal element as well!

What’s your favorite winter holiday tradition?

About the Author:
Suzanne  Johnson
Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance (under the name Susannah Sandlin) from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis' birthplace, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick. She’s the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series and, as Susannah Sandlin, the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series.

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I can't wait for Pirate's Alley to come out! So while I wait I hope you guys check this one out :) Happy reading and later gators! Happy Turkey Day!!