Friday, May 1, 2015

*Blog Tour* Review & Giveaway ~ Pirate's Alley by Suzanne Johnson

Sentinels of New Orleans # 4 
Format: E-Book, 352 pages
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Bewitching Tours
Genre: Urban Fantasy

From award-winning author Suzanne Johnson comes the fourth book in the smart and sexy Sentinels of New Orleans series.  Wizard sentinel DJ Jaco thought she had gotten used to the chaos of her life in post-Katrina New Orleans, but a new threat is looming, one that will test every relationship she holds dear.
   Caught in the middle of a rising struggle between the major powers in the supernatural world—the Wizards, Elves, Vampires and the Fae—DJ finds her loyalties torn and her mettle tested in matters both professional and personal. Her relationship with enforcer Alex Warin is shaky, her non-husband Quince Randolph is growing more powerful, and her best friend Eugenie has a bombshell that could blow everything to Elfheim and back.
    And that's before the French pirate Jean Lafitte, newly revived from his latest "death," returns to New Orleans with vengeance on his mind. DJ's assignment? Keep the sexy leader of the historical undead out of trouble. Good luck with that.
    Duty clashes with love, loyalty with deception, and friendship with responsibility as DJ navigates passion and politics in the murky waters of a New Orleans caught in the grips of a brutal winter that might have nothing to do with Mother Nature.
 War could be brewing, and DJ will be forced to take a stand. But choosing sides won't be that easy.

Pirate's Alley is the fourth installment in the Sentinels of New Orleans series by Suzanne Johnson. This time out, Johnson digs into the Interspecies Council, and the other powerful preternaturals like the Fairies who make up the council. Pirate's Alley is a story filled with treachery, twisted politics, and a major change in DJ's role that leaves her future hanging in the balance. I strongly URGE readers not to jump into Pirate's Alley without first starting with Royal Street

I'm telling you this for your own good. In each of the three previous novels, Johnson focused on different preternaturals and built upon it. Royal  Street was about the wizards, shifters, and the introduction to 19th-century pirate and historical undead Jean Lafitte who gains immortality through the magic of human memory, and is either one of DJ's best allies, or a character who is sneaker than a cat in the middle of the night.

River Road jumped a few years into the future and DJ got her first look at the water species, like merman, who live around South Louisiana while taking the title of Co-Sentinel of New Orleans with Alex Warin. This is also where DJ met one of her real genuine allies in Rene Delachaise who has become a real asset. Elysian Fields saw the vampires and elves make an appearance, along with some really nasty characters like the Axeman. There were some stunning revelations that we've had to wait more than a year to find out what happens next.  

DJ feels the political games being played out in Pirate's Alley and she's right in the thick of things. She has to deal with trickery and backstabbing not only by the Elven Synod, but the Vampire Regent’s Council, and her own Congress of Elders who once sat in the cat birds seat before the veil between worlds fell. DJ has been the target of many different preternatural's ever since it was learned that she is not only a full Wizard, but she also has a bit of elven blood in her as well. She also carries an elven magical staff that enhances her abilities and makes her that much more formidable as an opponent. 

Pirate's Alley changes everything for DJ and her supposed allies. She has to look at her best friend Eugenie Dupre, Alex and Jake Warin, Rene, Quince (Rand) Randolph, her boss Wizard Zrakovi and Jean Lafitte in the eyes and determine if they are real allies, or are just sticking around to watch DJ crash and burn. There are some interesting new developments with Adrian Hoffman, the appearance of Prince Christoff of the Winter Fairies, her uncle Lennox St. Simon, and his daughter Audrey. Where Johnson goes with here should be really interesting to read about.

With the book ending on a heart racing cliffhanger, I do hope that Johnson is in the process of writing the sequel, and we don't have to wait 20 more months for the next book to come out! DJ's chaotic world is far from settled, and one can hope that she finds true allies, while ferreting out the traitors and enemies who have made her life difficult. If you were looking for a break for Typhoid DJ, or plenty of romance between DJ, Alex, or even Jean, good luck with that! 

DJ, are you awake?
            Freaking elf. “Go home, Rand.”
            I am home. Where are you?
            I frowned and burrowed my face into the soft down pillow. Which wasn’t my pillow.
            Holy crap. What had happened?
            I sat up and took in several observations at once, none of which made sense and all of which sent my heart rate jack-rabbiting hard enough to send my blood pressure into the ozone.
            First, I was lying beneath a heavy bedspread woven in a rich blue-and-cream print. The bed was an elaborate confection made to look like an antique half-tester, and a brass chandelier hung overhead.
            I recognized the Hotel Monteleone. I recognized Jean Lafitte’s bedroom in the posh Eudora Welty Suite in the Monteleone. I didn’t have a clue as to how I got here.
            Second, I wore only underwear. My clothes were thrown across a chair in the corner. I had no recollection of removing them.
            Third, the pillow next to mine still held the clear indentation of a head, and there was water running behind the closed bathroom door.
            What in God’s name had I done?
            Rand! Where are you? So help me, if that elf was behind this, I’d splay him open like a catfish and watch his guts fall on the floor. Then I’d batter and deep-fry him.
            God, Dru. Stop shrieking like an elven shrew. I think you got too cold and went into a survival state.
            Survival state? Then I remembered, and shame joined panic. I had gone into hibernation like a bear, right out on Royal Street in front of God and everyone. Quince Randolph, you sonofabitch! Why didn’t you warn me that would happen?
            Stop yelling. How did I know you’d be stupid enough to go traipsing through the snow to the point of unconsciousness? I can tell you’re in the Quarter, but where are you?
            Catch you later.
            I slammed shut every mental door I could imagine and then troweled imaginary caulk in any imaginary cracks around said doors. I was vaguely aware that, off in the distance of my mental stronghold, Rand was yelling at me.
            Had Jean hauled me back to the hotel like a sack of pommes de terres? How had he explained a hibernating blonde to the hotel management? At least my dark blue underwear matched. Had he taken advantage of me? No, it wasn’t his style. Which meant I’d consented.
            Alex was going to kill me if I didn’t kill myself first. I wasn’t sure hibernation-brain was an adequate defense.
            The bathroom doorknob rattled and I dove under the covers, even though I realized it was like closing the barn door after the half-naked cows had escaped.
            From my hiding spot, I heard the door open and footsteps cross from tile to carpet before stopping with a rustle of fabric. “Hey, babe. You finally back from the dead? Whatcha doin’ under there?”
            “Rene?” I poked my head out and frowned at my buddy the merman, fully dressed in jeans and a Saints sweatshirt. His feet were bare, and he walked around the bed and climbed in as if either one of us belonged here, much less at the same time.
            “What are you doing here? What am I doing here? Who undressed me? Where’s Jean?” And, as an afterthought, “Why are we in bed?”
            Now that I realize I hadn’t acted like my licentious great-aunt Dru and slept with the pirate, I transferred my anger to the proper place and it wasn’t to myself. I’d kill that sneaky Frenchman if he weren’t immortal.
            Rene was not immortal, however, and he was within reach. “You better start talking, fish boy.”
            “Aiyeeee.” Rene cackled like the Cajun he was, and fluffed the pillow behind his head. “I told Jean you’d be spittin’ mad. Nothing happened, babe. Your clothes were wet and I was just trying to keep you warm. I’m a shifter, you know. We run hot.”
            “Oh, do you now.”
            That made him laugh harder.
            I threw off the covers and stomped over to my clothes. He’d seen whatever I had and I knew he didn’t want it, so there was no point in hiding. I picked up three soggy layers of T-shirts and sweaters, and cords so wet they weighed about ten pounds.
            My breath hitched. The staff; I’d lost the staff. I whirled to Rene, who sat propped against the lush draped fabric that covered the headboard, watching me with a grin. “Where’s my bag?”
            “In the living room. Everything’s there, babe, even your magic stick. Jean, he took care of you.”
            Yeah, I just bet he did. It was hard to argue effectively in underwear I’d intended only Alex Warin to see, so I went into the living room, dug my room key out of my messenger bag, and stuck my head out the door, looking up and down the hallway.

            “I’ll be back. Don’t go anywhere,” I yelled at Rene, and made a run for it, jamming the keycard into my door lock and slipping inside before I was spotted. If hotel cameras caught my mad dash on security footage, well, I’m sure they’d seen stranger things. This was New Orleans, after all.

About the Author:

Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal fiction 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, 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.

Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she also is the author of the best-selling Penton Legacy paranormal romance series and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Elysian Fields, book three in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence while her Sandlin-penned novel, Allegiance, is nominated for a 2015 Reviewer’s Choice Award from RT Book Reviews magazine.

Tour giveaway

1 $50 Amazon gift card

2 $15 Amazon gift cards


  1. arf you know the wait for this one wasn't Suzanne fault, the book was ready it's the publisher that postponed the release ( bad one i know!!!) and i do hope as well that he won't do it again because thsi series is highkly addictive i absolutely LOVE it
    and you are so right by telling reader that this series should read in order it really give it a special savor

    thank you for this review and for promoting this fantastic book and author

  2. This is a terrific series with delightful characters you would love to meet in real life. The plots have intriguing and suspenseful twists. You won't be disappointed!

  3. I'm a big fan of the Sentinels series. Highly recommend you guys go out now and buy the books. You will have fun, and a few laughs.

  4. Damn it! I hope I win so I can buy all the books guilt free!