Thank you for stopping by That’s What I’m Talking About for today’s Mistletoe Madness spot. This year’s event is hosted by Blogging by Liza, Books Make Me Happy, and That’s What I’m Talking About. It’s is a two week event where authors with 2015 winter releases (November 2015 — January 2016) will take over our blogs with guest posts written from one of their character’s POV with a holiday theme (Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, New Years, etc.). For a line up of all of the authors featured at all three blogs, please click on the image above or go to the kickoff post from December 1, 2015.
Today’s Mistletoe Madness author is…
Book: PIRATESHIP DOWN: Stories from the World of the Sentinels of New Orleans
Release Date: November 2, 2015
Series: Sentinels of New Orleans
Bonjour and an early joyeux Noël. It is I, Jean Lafitte, who will have the honor of having several guests celebrating the holiday this year at my home on Grand Terre Island, in the state of Louisiane, circa 1814.
Among them will be my most lovely Jolie, the wizardess Drusilla, who is often difficult and disagreeable but who has promised to be pleasant for at least the holiday. My business partner Rene, a merman, shall also be here, as will my employee Jacob Warin, a loup-garou, and his betrothed, and a vampire, Adrian Hoffman, although I do not believe monsieur Hoffman will be participating in the feasting, as his tastes run more à boire du sang.
*DJ: That makes it sound more pleasant than “he drinks blood.” And I only promised to be nice for Christmas Day itself, not for the days leading up to it. Just so we’re clear.*
Bah, no interruptions please, Jolie. This is a rude trait we must address at a later time. I have very fond memories of the many holidays enjoyed at sea with my men during my human life so many years ago and—
*DJ: Not years. Centuries. So many centuries ago.*
*Rene: Don’t taunt the pirate, babe. He might make you walk his plank, if you know what I mean.*
Why are you blushing so prettily, Jolie? Ah, you do not mean the plank of a ship but le verge of a man? …..Yes, we certainly must discuss this plank-walking later, oui?
*DJ: What’s a verge?
*Rene: Means “rod,” babe.*
*Rene: Can I watch. I—ow. You got sharp elbows, wizard.*
*DJ: Stop giving him ideas.*
*Rene: Babe, he’s been havin’ those ideas since book one.*
Mais oui. Très bien. Now, please allow me to continue before we discuss planks. I have promised Mademoiselle Jen a guest frog.
*DJ: Blog, not frog. It’s short for weblog.*
Is this weblog also a creature of the swamp? Perhaps I should add it to our feast.
*Rene: You serve us frog or blog for Christmas dinner and I’m gonna order out.*
Qu’est-ce que c’est “order out”? Bah, never mind this. I have given much thought to how we might have a celebration here similar to those of my human days, and thus have prepared a schedule for our revelries.
We shall begin on la veille de Noël—Christmas Eve, as you call this day—with a fine hunt. In my days at sea, if the weather were fine, we would lay anchor at an uninhabited island or shoreline and first clean our ship. All hands would tend to this task, so I thought we should begin our celebration by my guests being allowed the honor of cleaning my home.
*DJ: Seriously? And I assume you are going to help us clean?”
Non, bien sûr que non. The captain does not tend to such matters, especially as I must oversee preparations for the next activity.
*Rene, looks at DJ: I’m bettin’ this is gonna be bad.*
*DJ: I’m betting you’re right. Jean, I will not clean your house—that’s why you have legions of undead pirate flunkies. What’s the next activity?*
Really, Drusilla, we must discuss your behavior after the festivities and the plank-walking. Where was I? Ah, yes. Once the ship was clean, I would release my men, each armed with a long gun, to embark on une chasse.
*DJ: What were they chasing?”*
*Rene: I think he means they went huntin’, babe.*
Oui, just so. When on the lands of the Gulf near Louisiane, the men would often return with fine boar and alligator and sometimes even a bear. Although I fear the bear is no longer to be found here, there are many boars and alligators.
*DJ: And you would go hunting with them?*
Non, Jolie. As captain of the ship, it was imperative that I remain on board during this time so that I might ring the bell should an enemy approach.
*DJ: Convenient. I will not go hunting, either; I must remain on guard should any elves approach.*
*Rene: I want to hunt. Maybe I can haul in some oysters for the stuffing.*
*DJ: Now you’re talkin’ my language.*
Oui, we shall be quite stuffed once the hunters’ catch has been cleaned and prepared with seasonings. Drusilla, as une femme délicate, you will likely wish to prepare the spit and the fire. You may dispose of the entrails of the animals while the meats roast. Burial is best, so they do not attract unwanted wild animals. I will provide a…how do you say…shovel.
*DJ: Rene, which restaurants are serving Christmas dinner?”
*Rene: Me, I like Tujague’s.*
*DJ: I’m making reservations. You wanna go?”*
*Rene: You forget, babe. You’re on the run from the Elders. They find you crammin’ down turkey and oyster dressin’ down at Tujague’s, they’ll haul you off to jail.”
Do not be faint of heart, Jolie. I’m sure one of my men can bury the entrails. You may simply roast the boar’s head and fill its belly with lime and salt so that it might be smoked—the men will feast on the belly, while you and my honored guests will dine on the head.
*DJ: Can I eat with the men?”*
Non, Jolie. They will be drunk, and drunken sailors would touch you in ways that would force me to kill them. Do you wish them to die?
*DJ: Well, it isn’t as if they’re not already undead. But no. I will not eat boar’s head, however.*
As you wish. And as I know that your ability to prepare food is rather poor, I shall order my cook to prepare our other delicacies. We shall have rice and cakes and perhaps some fine baked plantains. And then we shall sing.
*DJ, to Rene: What d’you think pirates sing?”*
*Rene: Ave Maria?”
I will teach you our favorite songs, and then we shall drink fine spiced wine and brandy until we all lie in drunken repose.
*DJ: You mean we drink until we’re unconscious?*
Oui, just so.
*DJ: That’s the first thing I found appealing. I’m in.*
*Rene: Does that mean no plank-walking?*
*DJ: Shut up, Rene, and Merry Christmas.*
French pirate Jean Lafitte is tall, cobalt-eyed, broad-shouldered, and immortal. What’s not to love? But New Orleans’ most esteemed member of the historical undead is headed for trouble. He’s determined to reclaim Le Diligent, his gold-laden schooner lost at sea in 1814 and recently found at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office might beg to differ.
New Orleans wizard sentinel DJ Jaco and her merman friend Rene Delachaise can either lock up their friend Lafitte or join him on a road trip to Cajun country in order to save him from himself. Terrebonne Parish—not to mention its jail—might never be the same after the events of the all-new novella Pirateship Down, presented here along with a collection of urban fantasy stories and essays.
Wizards and Cajun merfolk, sexy shapeshifters and undead French pirates. Welcome to the world of the Sentinels of New Orleans in this collection, along with a little Louisiana lagniappe.
Coming soon to Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series for Tor Books, the paranormal romance novella The Consort, and the paranormal romance holiday short, Christmas in Dogtown. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, including the 2013 Holt Medallion winner for paranormal romance Absolution, as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series, including Lovely, Dark, and Deep, 2015 Holt Medallion winner and 2015 Booksellers Best Award winner for romantic suspense. Her new Wilds of the Bayou series begins in April with the release of Wild Man’s Curse. A longtime New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama. Suzanne loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, uptown New Orleans, all things Cajun (including a certain Cajun merman in the Sentinels series), and redneck reality TV.
For more information, please visit Suzanne’s website: http://www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com/
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