Friday, December 20, 2013

Blog Tour: Christmas in Dogtown by Suzanne Johnson (Spotlight and Review)

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

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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: I have a long held fascination with backwoods Louisiana and it's bayous and swamps. Even though it's a place I'd never want to live with it's heat, humidity, and creepy crawlies, I love to visit via the pages of a book.

Ad exec Resa loses her job and is asked to return home to Dogtown to help her ill uncle at the family's meat market. She finds that once again everyone is pushing her into the arms of childhood friend Chan. The mystical angle that brings them together in spite of her reluctance really drew me into this story. The local color of the townsfolk is an added bonus. I especially enjoyed reading about the tradition of lighting bonfires atop the levees in order to guide Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa, through the river parishes to leave gifts for the children.

This is a novella about finding our place in the world and the forces that ultimately call many of us home. It's beautifully written and quite unusual. Wonder why the dog is on the cover? You'll have to read it to find out!

About the Author

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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