Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Get it at Amazon
My guest today is one of my favorites! I LOVE her Sentinels of New Orleans Series (written under her other name, Suzanne Johnson). As Susannah Sandlin she writes the Peyton Legacy series and has started a new series she is talking about today.
In the Sentinel of New Orleans series on of my favorite characters is Jean Lafitte, the Undead Pirate. Seeing as this book is about shipwrecks and I asked her to write something about Jean’s relationship to shipwrecks and lost treasures. I love the title too − it makes me think of satin, sex and chocolate.
Here’s a description of the book, followed by Susannah’s descriptive post and an excerpt and a giveaway!
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.
When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives.
To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templars, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.
Release Info– LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP is being released in eight multi-chapter weekly episodes through Feb. 18. The current price for the entire eight-episode novel is $1.99 through Feb. 18 and will increase to $3.99 for Kindle afterward. The print and audio editions will be released on May 13, 2014, and will be available at venues other than Amazon.
A French Pirate, a Sunken Treasure and the Knights Templar
It’s funny where ideas for books or series originate—for me, it’s usually a progression of thoughts that gradually coalesce rather than a single bolt from the heavens. So when I begin thinking about how the idea behind Lovely, Dark, and Deep came to be, I was able to trace it back to early 18th-century pirate Jean Lafitte, who plied the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and ruled an empire of a thousand piratical types south of New Orleans in the early 1800s.
The oh-so-delicious Captain Lafitte is a major character in my urban fantasy series written as Suzanne Johnson, so when I heard last summer about the discovery of the remains of three early shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico, I started thinking about what might happen to my undead Jean Lafitte should one of his lost pirate ships be discovered today. (The short answer: he’d want it back, tout de suite.)
Next came research into shipwrecks found off the Americas and what might have been aboard them, which started off as a hunt for Lafitte’s lost ships.
That, in turn, introduced me to the “Death Coast” of the North Atlantic, and I set my pirate aside (sorry, Jean) and got immersed in the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where hundreds of ships since the fifteenth century have met their death and only a fraction have been discovered and salvaged. Pirate ships, Norse explorers, French settlers, British warships, World War II supply ships—all met their deaths on the rocky coastline, carrying everything from gold to household goods to—maybe, just maybe—some of the missing lost treasure of the Knights Templar.
Nothing stirs a writer’s imagination like Knights Templar and lost treasure, right?
Next, my journey took me to study the Templars, much of whose treasure has, indeed, never been found, and to study what was involved in diving off the coast of Capt Breton, specifically around Scatarie Island.
Finally, I began looking at other lost historical treasures, and the idea for The Collectors series, and the first book, Lovely, Dark, and Deep, was born.
The Collectors is a group of international billionaires, the C7—ruthless, amoral, powerful—who have a secret game: they compete to see who can be first to collect some of the world’s most valuable treasures. In Lovely, Dark, and Deep, a C7 member with ties to the White House stumbles upon a legend that makes him believe the long-lost Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar went down in a seventeenth-century shipwreck off the coast of Cape Breton. He puts the screws to the ancestor of the man who lost it and a washed up, on-the-skids deep-water diver, and gives them thirty days to find and procure it for him—or the people they love will die. For the C7 member it’s a game. For Gillian, a biologist, and Shane, the diver, it’s a break-neck race to save the people they love and find a way to turn the tables on their tormenters. And, yeah, there’s some love amid the danger—of course!
As for Captain Jean Lafitte and his own lost pirate ship? That story’s coming within the year, so stay tuned!
He wasn’t sure what woke him, but the first thing Shane Burke saw when he cracked open his eyelids was the bottle of Jack Daniel’s, tipped over and resting on its side. He could’ve sworn he finished it off last night but there was at least an inch of rich amber liquid still resting inside.
Good. Now he didn’t have to wonder what he’d have for breakfast.
The second thing he saw was a great pair of legs. Well, technically, a great pair of ankles above a pair of leather sandals, and then the legs.
Obviously, he was starting his Saturday morning with hallucinations.
Only one good solution for that. He dangled an arm off the side of his bed and almost had his fingers wrapped around the neck of the bottle when one of the leather sandals kicked his buddy Jack Daniel’s under the bed, clipping his hand in the process.
“Ow.” Hallucinations didn’t take his booze and kick him in the knuckles.
Ignoring the throbbing in his hand and the stabs of hangover agony behind his eyeballs, Shane rolled onto his back and squinted at the rest of his non-hallucination.
Shoulder-length hair that fell in a sheen of dark chestnut brown, fair skin, fierce brown eyes, red lips compressed in a tight line, black skirt and white blouse, big briefcase-style purse. Had he picked her up at Harley’s last night? If so, he had to cut back on the sauce.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I forgot your name.” Pity, ’cause she was a hot little number, way classier than the regulars at Harley’s. It’s not like he got laid so often that he could afford to forget it when he did.
“We haven’t met.” She propped her hands on her hips and muttered something that sounded like, “And you’re supposed to help me?”
Help her with what? Wait, maybe she was a charter. Had he chartered The Evangeline out to a tour group or fishing party today? Surely he’d remember if there was money coming in.
Color him officially confused. He struggled to a seated position and gave her another look. “What am I supposed to help you with?”
She crossed her arms and raked a ball-shriveling gaze the length of his body. “I came here to offer you a job, but I don’t think you’re up to it.”
He tugged the sheet up in self-defense. “I’m not at my best. Ever consider making an appointment? Not dropping in at the crack of dawn?” He had no idea what time it was but it couldn’t be that late.
“It’s past noon. And I didn’t figure, given your financial situation, that you’d be so picky about what time of day someone offered you money.” She shook her head. “Never mind. This was a mistake.”
She banged her head on the low doorway out of the master cabin, which served her right, the sanctimonious shrew.
About the Author:
Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers 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.
She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning this month with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Her Penton novel, Omega, is currently nominated for a 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award in Paranormal Romance from RT Book Reviews magazine.
Website and blog www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com
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