Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview


Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson is the fun, fast-paced first book in the Sentinels of New Orleans, a series of urban fantasy novels filled with wizards, mermen, and pirates.  These novels are perfect for readers of paranormal fiction and “fans of Charlaine Harris and Cat Adams” (Booklist) and RT Bookreviews agrees that “for readers missing Sookie Stackhouse, this series may be right up your alley.”

As the junior wizard sentinel for ...

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Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans Series #1)

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Overview


Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson is the fun, fast-paced first book in the Sentinels of New Orleans, a series of urban fantasy novels filled with wizards, mermen, and pirates.  These novels are perfect for readers of paranormal fiction and “fans of Charlaine Harris and Cat Adams” (Booklist) and RT Bookreviews agrees that “for readers missing Sookie Stackhouse, this series may be right up your alley.”

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The first Sentinels of New Orleans fantasy is a vivid debut that’s far more than the sum of its parts. Empathetic wizard and deputy sentinel Drusilla “DJ” Jaco faces several challenges in the summer and fall of 2005: Hurricane Katrina breaches the levees as well as crucial magical barriers, and her mentor, Gerry, disappears. DJ is put in charge of protecting New Orleans by the Congress of Elders, who send heavily armed Enforcer Alexander Warin to assist during her probationary period. As DJ and Alex search for Gerry, they also must help the NOPD investigate a series of murders with ritual overtones and defend DJ against the attentions of infamous and deceased pirate Jean Lafitte. Sympathetic, entertaining DJ is the perfect narrator for a lively tale jam-packed with action, magic, and intriguing plot twists. Agent: Marlene Stringer, the Stringer Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Booklist
Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson is the fun, fast-paced first book in the Sentinels of New Orleans, a series of urban fantasy novels filled with wizards, mermen, and pirates. In the tradition of the Sookie Stackhouse books, these novels are perfect for readers of paranormal fiction and "fans of Charlaine Harris and Cat Adams."
From the Publisher

“Equal parts paranormal romp and homage to NOLA, I raced down Royal Street. Not only is this book an enchanting urban fantasy debut, but it's also one of the most sensitive and honest depictions of post-Katrina NOLA I've read.”
—Nicole Peeler, author of Tracking the Tempest

“Rarely has an urban fantasy so moved and entertained me on the very same page!  Royal Street offers an insider's view of post-Katrina New Orleans, in all its heartache—and all its heart. A witty, resilient heroine and an irresistible cast make this a sure hit with fans of Charlaine Harris and Jim Butcher.”
—Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of the SHADE and WVMP RADIO series

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429988476
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Series: Sentinels of New Orleans Series , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 104,734
  • File size: 317 KB

Meet the Author

Suzanne Johnson

SUZANNE JOHNSON is a magazine editor and feature writer with more than fifty national writing and editing awards. A longtime New Orleans resident, she helped rebuild for two years after Hurricane Katrina.  Royal Street was her first novel and is the first book in an urban fantasy series about the Sentinels of New Orleans, wizards who guard the storied city against preternatural dangers.  As Susannah Sandlin, Suzanne is also the author of The Penton Vampire Legacy, a series of popular paranormal romances.

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Read an Excerpt



Royal Street

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2005 "Once [Tropical Storm Katrina] moved over the gulf today, it was expected to wheel north, pick up speed and hit the Florida Panhandle on Sunday."
--THE NEW YORK TIMES
CHAPTER 1
A secluded Louisiana bayou. A sexy pirate. Seduction and deceit. My Friday afternoon had the makings of a great romantic adventure, at least in theory.
In practice, angry mosquitoes were using me for target practice, humidity had ruined any prayer of a good hair day, and the pirate in question--the infamous Jean Lafitte--was two hundred years old, armed, and carrying a six-pack of Paradise condoms in assorted fruit flavors.
I wasn't sure what unnerved me more--the fact that the historical undead had discovered modern prophylactics, or that Lafitte felt the need to practice safe sex.
Nothing about the pirate looked safe. Tall and broad-shouldered, he had dark-blue eyes and a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth as he watched me set two glasses and a bottle of dark rum on a rickety wooden table. A tanned, muscular chest peeked from his open collar, and shaggy dark hair framed a clean-shaven face. A jagged scar across his jaw reminded me the so-called gentleman pirate also had his ruthless side.
He'd arrived by way of a stolen boat at this isolated cabinnear Delacroix, a half hour outside New Orleans, to pursue two of the world's most timeless pleasures: sex and money. I'd met him here to play the role of a gullible young wizard falling under the spell of the legendary pirate, at least for a while. Then I'd do my duty as deputy sentinel and send his swashbuckling hide back to the Beyond, where he could rub shoulders with other undead legends and preternatural creatures unfit for polite human company.
My hand shook as I poured the rum, sloshing a few drops of amber liquid over the side of the glass. I'd finally been given a serious assignment, and I needed it to go without a hitch.
Lafitte's fingers brushed mine as he took the drink, sending an unexpected rush of energy up my arm. "Merci, Mademoiselle Jaco--or may I address you as Drusilla?"
Actually, I'd prefer he didn't address me at all. Despite his obvious hopes for the evening, this wasn't a date. "Most people call me DJ."
"Bah," he said, taking a sip of rum. "Those are alphabet letters, not a name."
From beneath the red sash that accented his waist, Lafitte pulled a modern semiautomatic handgun and set it on the table next to the rum bottle. I knew how he'd gotten it--he'd rolled the Tulane student who summoned him, lifted the kid's wallet and iPod, rode the streetcar to a Canal Street pawnshop, and made a trade for the gun. Enterprising guy, Lafitte.
I pondered the odd spike of energy I'd gotten from his hand. Touching increases the emotional crap I absorb from people as an empath, but Lafitte was technically a dead guy. Still, I'd like to say if he touched me again, I'd demand double pay from the wizards' Congress of Elders. Triple if it involved lips.
But who was I kidding? My bargaining position was nonexistent. My boss, Gerry, only sent me on this run because he hadsomething else to do and thought Lafitte might respond to my questionable seduction skills.
I'd pulled my unruly blond hair out of its usual ponytail for the occasion, loaded on some makeup to play up my teal eyes, and poured myself into a little black skirt, short enough to show off my legs while not offending Lafitte's nineteenth-century sensibilities.
It must have worked, because the pirate was giving me that head-to-toe appraisal guys do on instinct, like they're assessing a juicy slab of beef and deciding whether they want it rare, medium, or well-done.
"You really are lovely, Drusilla." The timbre of Lafitte's voice shivered down my spine, and I fought the urge to check out the biceps underneath that linen shirt.
Holy crap. This was just wrong. I should not be absorbing his lust.
I forced myself to take a step back and put a few inches of distance between us. He was at least six-two and I had to crane my neck to make eye contact. Plus, distance was good. "Shouldn't we discuss business first, Captain Lafitte?"
He took another sip of rum. "Very well. Business then, Jolie. After all, you are the first sentinel to realize how beneficial a relationship with me could be."
"You've tried doing business with my boss?" That conversation should have been entertaining. Gerry had probably zapped him back to the Beyond faster than he could say walk the plank.
"Gerald St. Simon is an arrogant man who exaggerates his own importance," Lafitte said, and if that wasn't a case of a pot and a black kettle I'd never heard one. Although it did make me wonder how often he'd met Gerry.
"Present-day businessmen such as your antique merchantswould profit greatly by selling goods from the Beyond," he continued. "And an experienced trader like myself could procure valuable items from the past. As my business partner, you would of course receive a generous percentage without having to involve your Elders."
I swallowed hard as he shortened the gap between us again. "And you and I could forge a most enjoyable personal partnership as well."
He regarded me with a slow smile, and I found myself smiling back, heart pounding. My damned eyes were probably twinkling as my gaze lingered first on his mouth and then the fine line of his jaw. I wondered if the scar would feel rough under my fingertips ...
Good grief.
I've spent most of my twenty-five years learning to manage my empathic abilities, to guard against emotions I don't want and channel the rest into my magic. I hadn't performed my grounding ritual today because, really, who'd expect to absorb emotions from a dead guy? Yet Lafitte's lust and anticipation shimmered across my skin. Touching ramped the empathy to warp speed.
He stepped close enough for me to feel the heat from his body and answer that age-old question: No, the historical undead, powered by the magic of memory, did not have cold skin like vampires.
Setting his glass on the table with one hand, he used the other to lift a stray curl from my cheek and tuck it behind my ear. His breath heated my neck as he leaned over and swept a soft kiss just below my jaw, and another across my lips.
I closed my eyes and returned the kiss--until some kernel of sanity finally reminded me to reach in my skirt pocket and finger the slim packet of herbs Gerry calls my mojo bag. Basically, it's a magic-infused ruby for emotional protection plus ablend of acacia and hyssop to clear my mind in an emergency, which this definitely was.
My pulse slowed as the warmth from my hand released the calming energy, and in a few seconds I felt only my own chagrin and a blush creeping up my cheeks that had nothing to do with the hellish temperature.
Maybe I'd ask for that bonus after all. Gerry liked that I could harness outside emotion to fuel my magic, but if I had to let myself be pawed by the undead, he would by God pay for it.
I stepped back, handed Lafitte his glass again, and offered a vague toast: "To our mutual satisfaction."
He tossed back the rest of his rum in one swallow, and I pretended to sip. I should have sprung for something better than the cheapest rum on Winn-Dixie's shelves, but the Elders are tightwads when it comes to reimbursable expenses.
I gazed off the porch of this ramshackle cabin near the edge of Bayou Lery. Lafitte hoped to establish his headquarters here once we consummated our partnership, so to speak. The orange-gold sunset illuminated a pair of white egrets splashing around the murky water and accentuated the fierce, wild beauty of the place. Here, surrounded by marshes and alligators, it would be easy to forget metro New Orleans lay only a few miles away.
Lafitte poured himself another drink and relaxed in one of two old wooden chairs we'd retrieved from the cabin's dusty interior. "I know you don't want to betray your mentor, Jolie, but ..."
He frowned and set the wine glass on the table, flexing his fingers and looking at them as though they belonged on someone else's hands. "Something is amiss," he muttered, and cast a suspicious glance at me.
I stepped away from his chair, just in case he could still move when he figured out Jolie had caused his sudden loss of dexterity.
Within seconds, he'd lost use of his hands and feet. He stared at me in outrage. "You ... You ..."
A word rhyming with witch was probably about to roll off his tongue, but he stopped mid-sentence, eyes widening as he realized his body had frozen in place. He did the only thing he could unless I came within biting range--bombard me with a torrent of French most likely filled with expletives. Glad I couldn't understand a word of it.
Note to self: Next time you make an immobilization potion, add an accelerant and a silencer.
I knelt and retrieved my silver dagger from its sheath inside my boot, avoiding eye contact.
He lapsed into English. "Damnable wizard, treating me with such treachery when I come to you in good faith. You will rue the day you crossed me."
Definitely add the silencer next time.
"I have to admit you made a tempting case for yourself, Captain Lafitte, but I'm a licensed sentinel and I've trained under Gerald St. Simon since childhood. I'd never betray him or the Elders."
As I talked, I cleared the area around Lafitte's chair, kicking aside branches and leaves to ensure ample space on all sides. I prodded a tiny brown lizard back into the swamp with the toe of my boot. Better for him to stay here in Delacroix, munching mosquitoes.
From the bag I'd used to bring the rum and glasses, I retrieved a small syringe of mercury and a half-pint mason jar of sea salt. "You know, this is all Johnny Depp's fault," I told Lafitte, glancing around to see if he was still listening. "People summon you thinking they're going to get this loveable movie pirate, and you show up."
Anger darkened his eyes till they were almost black, and the energy coming off him sent a warm tingle across my scalp. "I donot know this Depp." He spat the words. "But there is always someone in Louisiane who wants to meet the famous privateer Jean Lafitte. When I am summoned to the modern world again I will find you."
Terrific. Something to look forward to. While Lafitte ranted, I formed a triangle of salt around his chair, leaving a gap of about six inches. I considered throwing another pinch in his smirking face for good measure, but unrefined sea salt is too expensive to waste.
"Drusilla," he said, his voice sliding from anger to sarcasm. "Why must you use your magic to bind me like a prisoner, and make your silly little figures on the ground? Your Gerald simply points a finger at me and sends me back to the Beyond."
One corner of his mouth edged upward in a sly smile. "You must be a very poor wizard. That is a good thing to remember when we next meet."
Big undead jerk.
"I'm just a different kind of wizard." I stopped working and treated him to a saccharine smile. "Besides, if I were so weak, you wouldn't be stuck in that chair like a big old Jean Lafitte statue, would you?"
That earned me another spate of name-calling, in Spanish this time. Couldn't understand that, either.
"You might as well calm down," I said. "I don't have to send you back to Old Orleans, after all. I'm sure the vampires would enjoy a nice pirate snack after they played with you a while. Or I could send you to the elves."
He narrowed his eyes and shifted his gaze back toward the swamp. At least he was fuming in silence. He didn't even look when I lifted the handgun from the table with two fingers and eased it into my bag. I raised my hand to toss the condoms in the water, thought about the ecological implications, and threw them in my bag as well.
I drew a triangle in the air over the pirate's head with my dagger and used more salt to close the one around his chair. Finally, I used the syringe to release small beads of mercury at three points along the triangle. The air shimmered as the third drop of mercury fell, and I released a small burst of magic along with it. With a final glare in my direction, Jean Lafitte disappeared.
My limbs felt heavy and the headache started within seconds--part adrenaline drain, part the cost of physical magic. Green Congress wizards like myself, who specialize in rituals and spellwork, can muster enough juice to do summoning and dispatches, but it takes a toll. I was tempted to rest on the porch awhile and watch the egrets, but dark had begun to settle in and I didn't want to be gator bait.
On the porch outside the triangle lay a gold doubloon, an unintended souvenir from Lafitte. I picked it up for Gerry's antiques collection, thinking it might butter him up for better assignments. More jobs like Lafitte and fewer crap jobs like pixie retrievals and research.
Today was a turning point--I could feel it. Lafitte had been dispatched as planned, despite the little lust problem, and it would prove to Gerry I could handle myself.
"Yo-ho-ho," I muttered, smudging a break in the triangle with my boot. The air solidified, and I retrieved my cell phone from my bag, punching in Gerry's speed dial.
"Ahoy, matey." He sounded chipper. Whatever his mystery job had been, it must have gone well.
"Ahoy to you, too. All's done on this end, and I'm on my way back."
"No problems with the dispatch?"
"Strictly textbook," I assured him. "But did you realize I'd be able to absorb Lafitte's emotions?"
"No, I didn't." Protracted silence. "Interesting. Meet me atSid-Mar's and you can regale me with the ghastly details over dinner. Oh, and pick up a case of bottled water, would you? Looks like we might be in for a little hurricane after all."
In Gerry's British accent the word sounded like "herrikin," even after almost thirty years in New Orleans.
I tried to remember the last report I'd heard on the storm, which was so small it barely rated a name. "It's not supposed to come here, is it? This morning, the weather guys said it was headed for Florida."
I loaded my bag in the back of my dusty red Pathfinder, phone tucked between shoulder and chin, and paused before climbing in. "What's it called, anyway? Kitty? Koko? Kelly?"
"Just as bad," Gerry said. "Katrina. Not exactly a name that inspires fear, is it?"
Copyright © 2012 by Suzanne Johnson

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Didn't excite me

    I never fully connected with this book. It just didn't excite me. Drusilla is a Green Congress wizard living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. She leaves the city before the hurricane hits, but her mentor Gerry sticks around. At first, the two remain in touch, and Gerry appears to be fine. But then Gerry disappears. The wizard Elders demand that Drusilla return to New Orleans, locate Gerry, and address the crack in the divide between the Beyond and the real world. To help her, they send Alex, an enforcer whom Drusilla finds to be very sexy. What I loved about the book was seeing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina through Drusilla's eyes. It's clear to me that the author did a lot of research on this topic, and it showed. After having read this book, I actually feel a bit more educated about the hurricane. So kudos to the author for that. I also loved the idea of "historical undead." These are undead people who remain alive in the Beyond (and sometimes manage to sneak their way into the real world) because their memories are still alive in the real world. The historical undead who made appearances included the pirate Jean Lafitte, musician Louis Armstrong, and voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau. It was cool to see these people brought to life with personalities and weaved into the story. Unfortunately, there was little else that I found to be special about this book. Drusilla was your usual, feisty heroine. She didn't completely understand her powers. And although her powers were cool enough, I was annoyed that Drusilla figured them out later than I did. Actually, Drusilla figured out everything later than I did, and there were times when I wanted to shout at her through the pages of the book. I also did not like the love triangle. There was Alex, and there was his cousin Jake. Drusilla was attracted to both of them, but her feeling toward both men came across as being superficial. She was immediately attracted to both despite having any deep connection to either. In contrast, I got the impression that both men had real, growing feeling for her, and I found her attitude toward them to be fickle and selfish. I understand this is the first book in a series. While I will add the next book to my to-read list, I'm in no big hurry to read it.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    I'm having trouble getting through this book. The concept sounde

    I'm having trouble getting through this book. The concept sounded great, but the writing just isn't grabbing me. Mostly it's our heroine. I'm finding her to be very unlikable. She's disagreeable and dismissive - just to show she knows best - to the point of stupidity. I assume the author was trying to give her independence and depth, but it's not coming across. After paying a ridiculous $10 for this book, I'm really hoping it gets better. I liked the pirate (the one saving grace).

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    new urban fantasy with New Orleans as the backdrop

    The tale takes place against the backdrop of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Johnson beautifully captures New Orleans, some of its most famous citizens and creates a fresh new fantasy world. While this first novel deals a lot with establishing this new world, I found the tale and the characters to be delightful. This tale contains wizards, assassins, Fae, elves, vampires, shape-shifters and more. With Kim Harrison’s series the Hollows winding down, I am excited about this new series. The protagonist is twenty-five year-old Drusilla Jane Jaco.( DJ for short.) She is a junior wizard and empathy. She is employed as the deputy sentinel in New Orleans. Gerald St. Simon has been her mentor and father-figure since the age of seven. DJ is a Green Congress wizard who specializes in rituals and spells. She is eager to learn more and take on more responsibilities. She gets her first chance when Gerald asks her to send pirate Jean Lafitte back to the other realm after he was summoned. Jean Lafitte offers DJ a deal, one she refuses. After trapping him she sends him back to the Otherworld. As he leaves he swears revenge. When warnings start coming in of a hurricane bearing down on New Orleans, Gerry orders DJ to head out of town to her grandmother’s in Alabama. Gerry stays behind to watch the borders of the Beyond. When fluctuating barometric pressure happens during a hurricane, it opens doors that keep the Pretes (supernatural beings) in their world. Left unchecked they would begin crossing over and causing problems for the humans who reside in New Orleans. Reluctantly she agrees, but when Gerald ends up missing, she is ordered back to New Orleans. DJ returns home, to find her home spared and Jean Lafitte in her home seeking revenge. Without time to invoke a spell, DJ has to use her wits to save herself, and just when it looks like she might have the upper hand, Alex an enforcer for the Elders rushes in like Rambo and shoots Lafitte, sending him back to the Otherworld. She learns she is now the Sentinel for New Orleans and the Elders have sent Alex to assist her. DJ’s main concern is finding Gerry and GI Alex is not about to stop her. The tale that unfolds is actions packed, as DJ and Alex search for Gerry and try to stop a killer using voodoo. The characters in this novel are interesting and unique. I easily connected with DJ. She is bright, feisty and determined. The thoughts that pop into her head were a riot and reminded me of a younger Charley from Darynda Jones fantastic Charley Davidson series. I cannot thank Johnson enough for creating a heroine who isn’t winey and doesn’t need a man to make it all better. DJ is not a tough in this novel. In fact she spends almost the entire novel in various shades of black and blue. Johnson hints of DJ’s untapped powers and we learn some unique things about her that have me excited to watch this young protagonist grow into a warrior. Combine that with her ability to piece things together, negotiate with those in the Otherworld and think outside the box, DJ has the potential to be one of my favorite heroines. Alex is a likeable guy and while his FBI training can make him act like a neanderthal, he respects DJ and listens to her. We learn a little about his history, but I have a feeling there is more. His buddy Jake owns a bar called Gators and is ex-military. Watching the two of them try and stake a claim on DJ was delightful. Jean Lafitte is a giant flirt and a true pirate. I

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Royal Street is part paranormal and part alternate reality. This

    Royal Street is part paranormal and part alternate reality. This is a world where magic is real, those with fame can live forever, and every supernatural being you could dream of lives in the Beyond – or on Earth. Fascinating sexy pirates, deadly vampires, and even famous jazz musicians all grace this thrilling, mysterious, funny read and of course our main star, DJ the little wizard.

    It starts mere days before New Orleans fell to Hurricane Katrina. DJ is a young Green Wizard who is forced to leave her post before the onslaught of the hurricane hits. She leaves behind her home, the mentor whom she loves as a father, and is forced to evacuate on the orders of the Wizard Congress. She complies though she voices her opinion with Jerry; after all she just dispatched an ancient pirate who tried to seduce her into making a bargain.


    She hadn’t been gone long, and she watched in horror as the city she loved fell when the levees broke. If anything could have been worse, she wouldn’t expect it to be Jerry. Her mentor had gone missing, and upon the Wizard Congresses orders, DJ would have to return and find him quickly before the breaches between Earth and the Beyond allowed more supernatural’s to waltz on in.


    DJ would have to do the impossible, but not alone, no, the Congress sent in an enforcer, a delectable enforcer as both her partner and protector. Alex has many of his own secrets, his own talents, and one is to infuriate DJ. But when his cousin comes into the picture jealousy rears-up when DJ shows interest.


    Oh but this is so much more than a love story, or a triangle, and no I won’t give a single thing away beyond this point! You’ll have to nab yourself a copy and get your read on!


    I really loved this story, and I sure hope the author will be writing more. There weren’t any real loose ends, but I could see it continuing here and there. This story was very well written and filled with facts, lots of paranormal, fantasy creatures and ideals, and it all worked well together. I even enjoyed the humorous bits that were nicely splayed into the story. A lot of times they seem awkward, but no these really meshed nicely.


    Character, world, and plot creation was superb. I actually got sad when I watched the book come to an end. I’ll say it again, I want more of DJ, Alex, Jake and oh even Jean, loved him – and hated him at times too! So, please, please, please keep writing more!
    Originally Reviewed at: Mother/Gamer/Writer
    Reviewer: Heather

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    I got this one from net galley so I gotta say extra thanks to th

    I got this one from net galley so I gotta say extra thanks to them This story is a version of magical wizard meets cops, with a side of Hurrican Katrina. Now I will start with, being in south Louisiana, I lived through Katrina, not terribly like New Orleans, as I live more to the western side, but all the way at the bottom on the west side, however I really lived through Rita… My house got it pretty bad. But, hurricanes are a way of life… we have summer-aka hurricane season, almost all year, and a slight fall, with a small side of wet, cold, windy winter. *sigh* I miss winter, it’s so hot down here LOL I will give it to this author, she is either familiar-in a “I was there” way, or she did some really good research. I also like the dated times from the local Times-Picayune paper quotes. I also thought she was fantastic with landmarks I normally stay away from books about/based in/having to do with NOLA (yes, we say NOLA when we talk about New Orleans, LA).

    Drusilla is a junior wizard sentinel. This job entails her guarding her territory from breaches of the Otherworld-they call it the Between- and making sure those supernaturals that do cross over don’t cause any trouble, or get sent back when they do. It’s a very fine line to walk. She is a green level-this means she does potions and retrieves the easy level things. Red levels have all the physical magic magic-aka can throw fire balls and things like that. All she wants to do is become a senior level sentinel, and she is willing to prove it. She’s tired of being treated like the new rookie, and a child. And then tragic strikes, and all hell breaks loose-literally. The walls are crumbling from the Between, and all kind of creatures are coming through, and to make matters worse, her mentor has gone missing. The Elders-like a government type of council-send over Alex-hot, rugged, carrying enough fire power to supply a small nation with weaponry, and a real FBI agent- over to become her partner, as she is now in charge of the New Orleans territory. This is all she ever wanted, but not how she wanted to get it. She is literally falling apart and has a very big job to do. I love her strength, her courage, her fantastic sarcastic attitude, and most of all, her growing abilities. I think she is a fantastically built character!

    So, let’s talk about Alex, and his FANTASTIC cousin Jake- yeah I think I’ve got the hots for Jake! Alex is all tall, dark and broody, with a side of gun power. Jake is like the sun-kissed surfer southern boy. I can’t help but wanna hug him. I do like Alex, but he’s kinda predicatable, so I’m trying out the cool sweet-HUMAN- kid for once. Jake has no idea about any of the supernatural things in the world. I kinda like that about him. Trust me, Alex is pretty awesome, but I can’t help but gravitate towards Jake. And maybe that will change as the series grows. Drusilla makes it clear she has no time or emotional capacity right now for any kind of relationship, but that doesn’t stop those lovely cousins from trying!

    Along the way, she also meets some very fascinating characters. This is very well written, it’s definitely an easy read, as it’s fast paced and action packed. And boy, were there some major twists and turns. I cannot wait to see where this series is going to go, and being a born-raised-and never leaving- native south Louisiana girl, I’m glad that she didn’t make us sound like stupid idiots, nor did she get crazy with the discriptions of New Orleans. Sorry, a lot of people write about us like we aren’t edumacated Yes, we are weird, crazy, whole different culture, but most of us are decently smart LOL This one gets an excellent 4.5 stars from me!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    I love the fact that this story had everything I was looking for

    I love the fact that this story had everything I was looking for in it. From the description and the cover I knew what to expect and it lived up to every bit of the excitement I had since I first heard about the story. The author does a great job informing the readers about the events that occurred during Hurricane Katrina, and has it as the actual events that the characters have to work around to solve their own mystery. Hurricane Katrina and the resulting events could be considered a character all in itself. A well handled way of introducing a real-life event into a great Urban Fantasy storyline.
    After our MC Drusilla has left the New Orleans area because of the hurricane warning, she finds out that her boss and father figure Gerry has gone missing. She is asked by the Elders to return to the area and investigate, upon her return she discovers that the Hurricane has not only opened the levees around the city, flooding the city, but the doors to the otherworld have also opened and released the preternatural beings that have been banished there. As DJ is just getting started in her investigation and trying yet again to get out of the groping hands of the 200 year old undead pirate Jean Lafitte, her newly appointed partner shows up. A partner she had no idea was coming, or felt she needed.
    Their investigation takes them around the city finding clues that may lead to what happened to Gerry. A combination of entertaining and dangerous characters that reveal clues that this could be a mystery beyond finding Gerry, but some of the beings that were released just may be planning something bigger.
    With a combination of otherworldly characters (like famous ghosts finding their way back home) to the soldiers and the every day people trying to clean up after the storm. To the run-in with some very powerful voodoo magic. I'm not sure what else I could have asked for, humor, with light romance and a mystery that goes beyond just a missing persons case with entertaining and humorous situations and a twist ending.
    I love stories that involve a combination of different characters and possibilities of which direction the story can go. This opens up the series to have a variety of directions it can go in the future in both the magical world and the mundane. DJ is just touching on some of her magical powers and has a potential in becoming a beloved heroine in today's Urban Fantasy world. She is strong, determined, and loyal.
    Royal Street is a must read debut novel, it can only get better from here.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Royal Street is the beginning to a new paranormal series that sh

    Royal Street is the beginning to a new paranormal series that shouldn’t be missed. It’s not heavy on the romance, which is just the way I like it. It has tension and just enough of it, but steers away from the urban fantasies that are saturated with it. Some may feel that New Orleans is the usual location for stories such as this, but it just makes sense, and it’s my hometown, so when it is done right I will never turn my nose up at it. And Royal Street did New Orleans justice. The fact that it takes place before, during, and after Katrina and uses the event as the reason for everything that’s going down is pure genius on Johnson’s part.

    I’m not sure who my favorite character is, because there are a lot of great choices. DJ is the strong female lead that you shouldn’t screw with, but you might not realize that from looking at her. She isn’t the typical lead with supernatural strength, her strength is all in her intentions. Once she has her mind set on something, she takes care of it. Her new partner and his cousin are both swoon worthy and each have their moments that had me rooting for either one of them to steal DJ’s heart. The most interesting character is definitely the pirate, Jean Lafitte, he’s undead, bad, and good(ish), all at the same time, and he is always entertaining. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series!

    Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Entertaining...

    And a good read. Learned quite a bit about New Orleans as well. I'd definitley recomend this as a book to read for fun and if you enjoy paranormal/fantasy.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Book One of The Sentinels of New Orleans introduces us to DJ¿s w

    Book One of The Sentinels of New Orleans introduces us to DJ’s world and lays a firm foundation for future books to be built upon.

    The author’s love for New Orleans is apparent.  I think she takes an event that holds horrible memories for many people (Hurricane Katrina) and handles it with finesse and respect. She does a terrific job of blending fantasy, history, and the paranormal into a believable world of magic.

    I enjoyed the different variety of characters that we meet in book one (vampires, ghosts, fae, shifters, wizards, gods, and more). DJ is a great narrator and character. She is a tad bit on the impulsive side but I feel like she is someone that I would like in real life. She is down to earth and seems to have a good sense of right and wrong. I’m looking forward to seeing her grow as a character.

    I would say that the book moved along at a moderate pace. There is a mystery, suspense, and a light introduction to romance and the possibility of a love triangle, which I personally hope doesn’t play out.

    I enjoyed Royal Street and plan to continue reading the Sentinels of New Orleans series. I think Royal Street lays a firm foundation for future books.  The world building is well established, the struggle has been identified, love interests have sparked, and DJ’s character is obviously in for a lot of growth . I have a feeling that the books will only get better as we move forward and I’m looking forward to reading book 2, River Road, this month.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Liv and Julia's Room

    A large room, walls painted a soft pink and dark blue hearts. The floor is a dark brown wood with cream specks. 2 king sized beds for royals are fitted near each other with silky drapes around to keep privacy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    ,

    Very good book. I like how the author worked Katrina into the story. I will be reading the second book in the series soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Good will keep your interest Good read.

    The story will keep you reading. Could of had more something. Just sort of left me flat on emotional level.

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Royal Street is the first book in the Sentinels of New Orleans s

    Royal Street is the first book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series by Suzanne Johnson. Knowing it was the first book in the series, I went into it expecting a lot of world building and the introduction of a lot of characters. I think that Johnson did a really good job handling these two chores. There was never a time where I felt overwhelmed by too much detail, or confused by the large addition of characters. Plus, Johnson added in real life details about Hurricane Katrina (the book is set in New Orleans at the time that Katrina hit), which added to the authenticity and depth of the world she was building. I really liked that part of the book. I felt like there were probably some subtle details and descriptions that I didn't pick up on because I am not all that familiar with New Orleans, but I definitely appreciated all of the layers that were incorporated into the story.

    The two main characters of Drusilla (DJ) and Alex were pretty solid. DJ is a junior sentinel wizard that helps her mentor Gerry police the New Orleans district when there is a breach between the Beyond and this world. Basically, when preternatural species find a way to cross the barrier from their world to the human world, DJ and Gerry go out and send them back to where they came from. When Katrina hits, the barrier is weakened exponentially and all kinds of fun characters make an appearance. DJ has fled the city to wait out the hurricane while Gerry stayed behind to keep an eye on things. However, Gerry goes missing, and weird voodoo graffiti tags start popping up around New Orleans along with several dead bodies that are killed in the manner of a voodoo sacrifice. Now that Gerry is MIA, DJ has to step up and take the place as Sentinel of New Orleans, and find out what is going on. The Congress of Elders send her an enforcer named Alex to be her partner and help her find out what happened to Gerry, and to help her reinforce breaches in the barrier. However, things get serious real quick when DJ discovers that Gerry is alive in the Beyond and is somehow involved with the voodoo god Baron Samedi in his plot to breach the barrier once and for all so that all preternaturals can cross back and forth into the human world at their own free will. (view spoiler) The question is, was Gerry forced to help Samedi, or is he up to his ears in the evil plan of his own volition? Along the way there are other twists and turns that are revealed that keep the plot line going in several different directions.

    I really enjoyed this story and all of the different layers of scheming and mayhem that were going on. I also liked the idea of the Historical Undead - historical figures that don't really die until everyone in the human world forgets about them. For instance, the pirate Jean Lafitte, who has a big "following" in the New Orleans area is able to cross the boundary between the Beyond and walk in the human world at will (as long as there is a weak spot to cross). Louis Armstrong and Marie Laveau also make appearances in the story. And you also have the usual assortments of wizards, vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters that are hanging around.

    DJ was a strong female character. Strong in that she was very headstrong and stubborn, and pretty much did whatever she wanted to, whenever she wanted to. I wish that she had a little bit more magic to back up her attitude. She is a Green Congress wizard that draws most of her power from potions and herbs instead of from purely physical magic like Red Congress wizards. In short, she is pretty much the weenie of the wizard world. More of a defensive player instead of an offensive player. However, I really hope that the discover of the Elven staff and bloodline will lead to more developments in this area in future books.

    Overall, my only complaint about the book was that I wanted more of a romance to develop between Alex and DJ. The quasi love triangle that was set up between Alex and Jake and DJ didn't really work for me, because there wasn't enough development between anybody to warrant jealousy or real emotions. I think towards the end of this book some progress was made in the romantic department, and I really hope that continues in book two. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a romance story (and a hot shapeshifter!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2013

    Good story teller

    This is not really a traditioal romance. The lovers don't buy a house and have 2.5 kids at the end. Don't expect that. It is very similar in romance style to Kenyon's Fever series and Douglas's Midnight Louie series. Lots of relationship conflict very little resolution. It is more about the plot and "Mars vs Venus". The creativity and development of plot is excellent. The author uses flashes of humor and witty dialoge berween the genders to lighten the conflicts the characters experience which are quite well done; from a female stand point. They keep the plot from becoming to depressing to be put on a reread list. She is a good story teller. This could become a really great series as long as the good guys get to be happy with the win at the end every once in a while. Life is depressing enough. I don't buy a fantasy novel for a rerun of the 5 o'clock news. I buy it for a better ending to the 5 o'clock news. Otherwise I would just watch the news and save on my book budget. The ending is the reason for only 4 stars. While the parnormal is really fresh and the book is well written the conflicts just felt like circles. I found it frustrating. Not the way I like to end my downtime reading. With that one cavot I do recomend this book. It is good for a new series with lots of potential for later books. This author has depth to her writing. Its a great read for book buddy discussions if you like that sort of thing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Royal Street is about Drusilla Jaco who is the junior wizard sen

    Royal Street is about Drusilla Jaco who is the junior wizard sentinel of New Orleans. DJ is biting at the bit to prove herself. She always gets sent on pixie-retrieval assignments, or gets stuck mixing potions. She wants a real assignment so she can show her mentor, Gerry, that she is ready to be a full fledged wizard. When the threat of Hurricane Katrina threatens New Orleans, Gerry sends DJ to Alabama to stay with her Gran. New Orleans is decimated and its people devastated. They do not know that due to the destruction there was evil that was unleashed from the Otherworld; an evil that DJ will have to face in order to save everyone that she cares about. Gerry has gone missing and to make matter's worse the wizard Elder's decide to send an assassin to help her. Alex is as hard headed as they come. DJ and Alex fight like cats and dogs, but both feel an undeniable attraction toward the other. They both do their best to ignore it so they can concentrate on the mission at hand. Will they be able to beat the evil that has taken over New Orleans? Can they resist the allure of the other?

    Suzanne Johnson has blended the paranormal with facts and created a whole new world. The devastation that Karina left in her path can never be told. You would have to have lived it, experience it, and lost because of it. Through her writing you can see that Suzanne Young experienced Katrina and it affected her deeply. Royal Street is not only a kick ass urban fantasy, but a literary tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. DJ is a strong heroine that has her flaws, but still rises to the occasion. She learns from her mistakes and loves with her whole heart. Alex has his own reasons for his attitude and the shadows that haunt him. Royal Street is an adventure full of magic, danger, zombies, voodoo, undead pirates and pixies! Add a bit of a love triangle and this story will grab you from the beginning and not let go till you have reached the very last word. Great start to a new series!

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Loved it and on to the second book :)

    Loved it and on to the second book :)

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  • Posted January 13, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredibly satisfying read. If you are a fan of Karen Marie Moni

    Incredibly satisfying read. If you are a fan of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series or the earlier Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series you will not be disappointed. There is great character development in a different genre of paranormal fiction. Most mass market PF offerings tend to rely heavily on insipid romance or violent fighting these days. It's refreshing to read a good story that has deeper plot development. Sure there is romantic flirtation and the occasional battle but this book has so much more. I read this novel in a day and wanted to give my thoughts before starting the next one. I'm hopeful that this series won't devolve as the Sookie Stackhouse novels have. If you are on the fence about purchasing it, go for it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!  

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    Suzanne Johnson is one author I'm putting on my "Keeper&qu


    Suzanne Johnson is one author I'm putting on my "Keeper" list.


    Disclaimer: I have the pleasure of knowing Suzanne Johnson, but she did not ask me review or read this book. I did so on my own. Drusilla Jaco (D.J.) is a wizard, her job is to help protect her beloved New Orleans from supernatural critters that sneak in from beyond. But hurricane Katrina hits, changing everything she knows. Now she's in search of her mentor and boss Gerald (Gerry) St. Simon, who's dissapeared, trying to pick up the pieces after the storm.
    To complicate matters, D.J. has to deal with a vengeful but sexy supernatural--Jean Lafitte, an unwanted overbearing enforcer sent to assist her--Alex, and his charming cousin Jake. To top it off she's learning that there is more to her magic than even she thought.
    As she tries to figure out who are friends and enemies she finds herself in the middle of one big mess and not enough junk food to get her through.
    I loved the world Suzanne created, she's got varying groups of wizards (Red Congress - physical magic, Green Congress--Ritual and spell work etc). Then there are those in the beyond--fae, elves, vampires, and all sorts of things-- Which totally has me enthralled!
    Best of all are her characters--I like D.J., she's smart, and human. The whole situation scares and threatens to overwhelm her. She's got a lot to learn and is forced to make some terrible decisions. Not to mention she's attracted to--three guys.
    Now the men in her life--vary. Alex is an enforcer sent the Congress of Elders to help her after Katrina, now that Gerry her mentor is missing. His motto: more fire power (I like this guy). He's tough and he's determined (and makes me laugh)
    Jake is Alex's cousin, he's one tough guy. A former marine, he's seen his share of woe. He owns a bar that comes in handy. He's got great dimples and is impossible to hide anything from, but in pinch he's a good one on your side.
    Jean Lafitte---an undead pirate from beyond. All he wants is to come back, start living again, (even if its outside the law) and he'll do just about anything to do this. He's also damn sexy and has a thing for D.J.
    The best part is the author weaves the dynamic of the three men into the story seamlessly, without overwhelming the plot and the overall purpose of the story. It adds interest and complication. By the time I was done, I wasn't sure if I was in Alex's camp, Jake's, or Jean Lafitte's. All of them had qualities I loved---although I was leaning toward Jake if you must know (the dimples), seconded by Jean Lafitte. Nothing against Alex, he's over the top, but I'm with D.J. the man tried to get her to eat soy bacon--ug. (Ok pathetic of me to even use that as a strike! LOL)
    Negatives--initially, I felt D.J. wandered a bit, but it had to be this way--we had to feel her sense of helplessness, confusion, and what the heck was she going to do next. I'm looking forward to her learning more about her abilities! (So I'm contradictory about my negative, I realize this.)
    Still, this is a fun read and I'm going to move on to the next in the series, because now I have to see what happens....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Could be a great series

    I loved almost everything about this book and I felt like I was actually seeing and smelling NOLA in the horrible aftermath of Katrina. I loved the story and the supernatural/urban fantasy characters and happenings in the story. My only complaint--is it too much to ask for a heroine who doesn't stumble around and make stupid decisions? I love strong and savvy heroines. I was so frustrated at times by the stupid actions of DJ that I felt jolted out of the storyline. I would have to stop, get calmed down and then start reading again. As a woman it is offensive to me to see other women in stories make choices or decisions that I nor any one of my female peers would never make. Even the way DJ handles her relationships with Alex and Jake is irritating. It takes away from an otherwise great urban fantasy. I really want to love this series so I hope that by the next book DJ has had the stupid slapped off so she can be worthy of being treated like a mature wizard as she so longs to be. That would be awesome and be worth a 5+ star review! It is worth the time and money to read if you can get past that.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not Bad

    Posted on Romancing the Book's blog
    Reviewed by Terri N.
    Review Copy Provided by Netgalley

    As a big fan of Urban Fantasies I was looking forward to reading this book. I love New Orleans and have visited often so the setting was pleasantly familiar. It was interesting that the story took place before and after Katrina. The concept that the worlds between the dead and living were held together by borders that were breached because of the storm was imaginative and fresh.

    When Gerry, the mentor of the heroine tunes up missing after Katrina I was excited to find out what happened to him. I love a good mystery. However, I did not like how the mystery ended for Gerry.

    The book started off with an action scene that was promising. Unfortunately, there was more commentary going on in the heroine’s head then anything else. I found myself skimming for dialogue. DJ, the heroine was likeable. She jumped into action, most of the time putting her self in peril and needing someone else to save her. I found Alex, the hero, to be sexy and intriguing. I wanted to know about him and less about Gerry.

    In my opinion the dead pirate, John Lafitte, stole the show. His loud threats and silly flirting added comic relief. My favorite scenes were with him.

    The author sets up the story making the reader think that Alex will be DJ’s love interest. Then she turns around and introduces Jake, Alex’s cousin, who takes up DJ’s interest for most of the book. Then in the end she doesn’t end up with either of them.

    I found some parts of the story to be predicable. I did like the style of the author and I would read the next book in the series.

    Favorite Quote: “The fight wasn’t over,” I said through gritted teeth. “I’d have won it.” Probably.

    “Right,” he said. “And something just flew past your window. It was oinking”

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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