5 Favorite Scenes: BELLE CHASSE by Suzanne Johnson

Posted December 2, 2016 by Jennifer in Blog Tour, Giveaway | | 4 Comments

5 Favorite Scenes: BELLE CHASSE by Suzanne Johnson

5 Favorite Scenes: BELLE CHASSE by Suzanne JohnsonBelle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson
Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #5
Published by Tor on November 8th 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.

With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ—stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders—can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.


5 Favorite Scenes: BELLE CHASSE


Scenes are hard-working things. They all serve a function in a novel: to move the story along from one point to the next. They are the building blocks upon which any work of fiction is created. If they don’t do their job properly, the story stalls or heads off in the wrong direction. They have to be herded like sheep.

But like any flock of sheep, some scenes are the favorites of the shepherd—or border collie, or novelist, in this case.

Here are five of my favorites from BELLE CHASSE (sans spoilers), in no particular order.

1) Surgery by Dr. Strangepirate. Heroine DJ has a bullet in her thigh that needs removing. There is no anesthesia. There is no doctor. There are no sterile conditions. There is an undead pirate, a loup-garou, a Cajun merman, a bottle of brandy, a leather strap, and a knife.  I think you can imagine how that goes over. At one point DJ thinks, “Oh, God in heaven. We were going to re-enact every bad bullet-removal scene from every bad historical movie ever filmed.” And so they do.

2) The Marauding Marble Stag. When DJ is trying to extract her friend Eugenie from a church in Shreveport that is in the middle of a simultaneous funeral service and fight between an elf and a faery, the quickest way back to a transport is through the adjacent cemetery. Wealthy Louisianans are fond of putting elaborate statuary on their above-ground crypts, so when a trio of Blue Congress wizards give chase to our heroines, they animate a giant marble stag from atop a nearby crypt. The stag chases the women through the graveyard until a well-timed shot by DJ forces the stag to change course and chase the Blue Congress wizards instead. Damn, but those life-size stags are heavy.  

3) Rene Goes Shopping. DJ and Eugenie are on the lam and hiding out with Jean Lafitte in an 1815 version of the swamplands south of New Orleans. It isn’t exactly a shopping mecca and they left modern New Orleans in kind of a hurry. So it’s left to DJ’s Cajun merman buddy Rene to slip back into New Orleans and retrieve some clothes for the women, along with some holy water for ritual magic. Unfortunately, both DJ’s and Eugenie’s houses are being watched so Rene is forced to shop and steal—and get revenge. “I was pissed at having to shop for women’s underwear three days before Christmas, me and every loser who’d forgotten to buy his wife a present,” he told her. “Plus, since I couldn’t get the holy water from your house, I had to steal some from the Prompt Lady of Succor church, so I’ll probably go to hell, too. You owe me.”

4) The New Orleans Second Line Parade. In NOLA, where we have many parades, there is often a group of revelers who form a “parade behind the parade,” dancing and following it down the street. This is known as a “second-line.” DJ takes advantage of a second-line parade through the French Quarter to escape some wizardly thugs: I waited for the right time. Waited. Waited. Waited. Finally, as a tall woman in a poufy red dress waltzed past, twirling her umbrella over her head, I gave Dreadlocks a good zap with the staff, shoved him toward her, ducked, and zoomed through the crowd like a pinball, head-butting anyone who didn’t move fast enough. I bounced off an umbrella twirler and was shoved toward a handkerchief waver, then did it again. Of course, then she runs into something unexpected, but…no spoilers.

5) DJ and Jean visit Faerie. It was supposed to be a quick trip into the Faerie capital city to find Prince Christof but, of course, nothing is simple in Faerie—and Christof and his brother are in open warfare. Faerie is not a normal place—or a safe one: The first thing I saw when we materialized at the Tower Tavern was a black bear with human hands, holding a frosted glass beer stein from a spot behind a long, highly polished wooden bar. The second was Florian, the Faerie Prince of Summer, standing at the end of the bar and shooting a spinning ball of fire from his outstretched fingertip directly toward my head.

And there you have it! There is a sixth favorite, but it’s too spoilerific so, well, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself. What’s your favorite from this or a previous Sentinels book?




Check out my review of Belle Chasse next week!




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About Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from Tor Books. Royal Street, book one, came out in April 2012; River Road in November 2012. Book three, Elysian Fields, will be released on August 13, 2013.

A longtime New Orleans resident, Suzanne is a veteran journalist with more than fifty national awards in writing and editing nonfiction for higher education, including the Robert S. Sibley Award for the best university magazine in the U.S. and Canada, for the Rice University Sallyport.

Suzanne is an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and is a member of the Georgia, Southern Magic, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapters of RWA.

Early review: Winter Halo by Keri Arthur

Posted December 1, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 3 Comments
Early review: Winter Halo by Keri Arthur

      I very much looked forward to this second book and I enjoyed it. Many things continue from City of Light. Tiger still wants to find the missing children. This means she is working with Nuri and Jonas, as they want the same thing, but they don’t trust each other. They need each other though. It’s a difficult balance. The enemy is not fully defined and is formidable. Tiger needs to be alert for the many dangers. It has me on edge throughout Winter Halo. Tiger takes on a new lover to gain intelligence for the team. It’s why she was created so it is a comfortable role but it’s still squicky (to me). She also finally manages to get a job at the lab in hopes of finding out where the children are. However, the female security guards are being attacked. Tiger’s relationship and caring of her baby […]

Author Guest Post & Review: Confluence by S.K. Dunstall

Posted November 30, 2016 by Anne in Author Guest Post, Book Review | 0 Comments
Author Guest Post & Review: Confluence by S.K. Dunstall

    I got the first book in this series as part of my first Ace Roc star package and I knew from reading the blurb I would love it.  I did and I have continued to love this series.  Of course, it is space opera and I’m renewing my love affair with space opera the past two years. Read the Linesman series in order, the story builds with each book. Each of the three books is different in the feel.  Linesman (my review) introduces this world and our hero, Ean Lambert.  Alliance (my review)  is a broader view of the world and its politics with many more characters involved. Our “team” from Lancia works together to try to solve issues. Confluence has our team separated and all our main characters isolated from each other. Ean starts out alone, struggling to build a life, then he is a valued part […]

The Legacy by Gary Gusick

Posted November 29, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments
The Legacy by Gary Gusick

    Darla Cavannah is back, now working for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and anticipating the adoption of a baby girl from China. Just as she’s preparing to file papers for time off for impending motherhood, she’s requested to lead the investigation of an apparent hate crime. A young Black woman was discovered hanging from a tree on the Old Miss campus. She’s not just any girl…her father’s the most well known man in the state.   Only Gusick could write this timely story of modern racism with wit, honesty and intelligence. You’re drawn into the story, which is rapidly paced without being rushed. He doesn’t indict anyone, leaving it up to the reader to form any judgments…or not.   Darla is one of my most favorite fictional characters and she has some moments here that are just outstanding. The breakout character, however, is her partner, Rita Gibbons, who […]

Till the Dead Speak by Jerrie Alexander

Posted November 28, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments
Till the Dead Speak by Jerrie Alexander

    Samantha Anderson leaves the comfort of her life in Dallas for a journey to Los Angeles where she has to deal with the estate of Charlie Pearson, a grandfather she never knew existed. FBI Agent Linc Hawkins, on leave and recuperating from devastating injuries he received during his last case, was like a son to Charlie and offers Samantha his help in navigating her new world. He believes Charlie was murdered and didn’t commit suicide as it was ruled. Linc’s suspicions seem to be confirmed when Samantha experiences some close calls soon after her arrival.   I was really happy this was Linc’s story as he was seriously injured in the last story and we didn’t know much about him. He’s a wonderful character with a strong sense of loyalty and honor, even though he was pretty commitment phobic. Samantha was a little more uneven, running hot and […]

Primal Possession by Katie Reus

Posted November 25, 2016 by Jennifer in Book Review | 0 Comments
Primal Possession by Katie Reus

read it, track it is a way for me to track books for my reading challenges and the reviews will be super short.   Another enjoyable read from Katie Reus. I really like her mythology for her werewolves. Other supes vampires and fae are mentioned and I can’t wait to see how she presents them. So far the Moon Shifter series is a great balance between overarching plot line, action, and snark. Looking forward to the next installment. Reading this book contributed to these challenges:TBR Jar Challenge

Thrifty Thursday: Under a Desert Sky by Loren Lockner

Posted November 24, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 0 Comments
Thrifty Thursday: Under a Desert Sky by Loren Lockner

      The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point). Kindle freebie on October 4, 2014  (currently $3.39 as of writing this post) Overall rating 4.50 with 18 ratings and 11 reviews This is a more brave pick than I thought with so few ratings and reviews. I actually liked Under a Desert Sky with both romance and mystery. The descriptions of the area and development of the characters was well done. There were quite a number of characters, too! This is a murder being investigated by the police and it happened at a resort. So the cast is large with police department staff and resort managers and staff. Both the mystery and romance are fairly good. The dialogue is quite natural and aids the story. The relationships in the police department are handled well. I really appreciate the female lead being a […]

Change of Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

Posted November 23, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments
Change of Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

    I enjoyed this story so much more than the first book in the series! So very glad I decided to continue on.   Abraham (Bram) Evans certainly has his issues but at least he evolves through the story. He was adopted by the family that first fostered him and his twin brother at age six. Anita (Ani) Martin was also fostered by the same family but after Bram had left and was on his own. Their relationship could be described as acrimonious at best…until it wasn’t.   The thing I like most about all of the characters in this series are their authenticity. Bram and Anita aren’t always likable individually and most definitely as a couple. What they are is realistic, behaving more like the people we know than those we wish they were. It’s that honesty that works and exposing their vulnerabilities just makes them endearing.   […]