Tuesday, October 30, 2012

“When I’m not writing…” with Susannah Sandlin + giveaway!

Susannah Sandlin

I’m a big fan of this week’s guest: Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a Suzanne Johnson). She’s the mind behind a great new dark paranormal romance series called the Penton Legacy, in which vampires are forced to cope with a dwindling food supply thanks to a vaccine that has one small side effect: it taints users’ blood and leaves them unpalatable for vampires. One vampire, Aidan Murphy, comes up with a unique solution: to build a community when vampires and unvaccinated humans co-exist and help each other. The first book in the series, REDEMPTION, came out earlier this year and Susannah is here to help celebrate the release of the second book, ABSOLUTION, by telling what she does when she’s not writing as one stop on her blog tour.

Keep reading to find out what Susannah does to pass the time AFK and then enter the tour-wide giveaway! There are some awesome prizes to be had! 😀


Thanks to Tynga’s Reviews for having me here today! “What do you do when you’re not writing?” is a hard question to answer. Before I do, an explanation.

First, I can tell you what I used to do before I started writing fiction. I loved to quilt, particularly paper-pieced quilting. It always amazed me how sewing together hundreds of teeny-tiny scraps of fabric could become something much more than the sum of its parts. Here are a couple of my quilts. Until August of 2005, I had a little cottage industry going, making quilt tops and selling them on eBay to people who liked to quilt but not to piece the tops. I also worked full-time at a local university, and liked to run around on weekends to festivals and antiques shows and art events.

Susannah Sandlin QuiltSusannah Sandlin Quilt

Then came Hurricane Katrina. Oh, did I mention I lived in New Orleans?

Katrina blew a lot of us in different directions. I evacuated at the last minute, and when I was finally allowed to return home after eight long weeks, I began quilting again but my heart wasn’t in it. I started a daily blog where I bitched about recovery and anger and loss every day. Then I tired of navel-gazing and turned my angst to fiction instead. After more than twenty years as a journalist I wrote my first novel in 2009, building on my Katrina experiences. It was called Royal Street, and it became the first in an urban fantasy series, Sentinels of New Orleans, being published under the name Suzanne Johnson.

By then, I had the writing bug, big-time. While waiting for Royal Street to go through the publishing cycle, I turned my hand to paranormal romance and indulged my love of sexy alphas, urban fantasy, and vampires. The result, Redemption, became the first in the Penton Legacy series—book two, Absolution, just came out (the third, Omega, comes out in February). For my romance writing, I chose to use my great-great-great grandmother’s name, Susannah Sandlin. She’s probably spinning in her grave!

So…what do I do when I’m not writing? With two series going simultaneously, I’m writing a lot. I also write a daily book blog called Preternatura and hold down a full-time day job that involves, yes, writing nonfiction.

But lest I come across like a workaholic dullard, I have a few guilty pleasures:

*MUSIC. I’m a complete music junkie—at last count, my iTunes song count was near five figures, and I have more than a thousand vinyl LPs I have no idea what to do with. I have really eclectic taste, leaning toward alternative singer/songwriters. Slaid Cleaves, Chris Knight, and Gurf Morlix are favorites. I also get on obsessive tears where I listen to the same artist for, like, MONTHS without break. It’s kind of like auditory stalking! I spent nine of the last twelve months listening exclusively to Cajun artist Zachary Richard, and the last three months I’ve been obsessed with a French-Canadian artist named David Jalbert. Love him! I have earbuds in all day at the office, then crank up the tunes when I’m writing everything except first drafts, which require quiet for me. I only sing in the car—alone—since I sound alarmingly donkey-like.

*shuffles feet* I allow myself about an hour and a half of TV per day, and use my DVR to record…well, yeah…my favorite reality TV shows. Total brain mush. I somehow manage to squeeze in the biggies like Survivor and The Amazing Race, but really love culture-immersion shows like Swamp People and Ice Road Truckers. When I say I’m looking for my soul mate, a long-haul trucker who hunts gators in his spare time, people think I’m joking. Um….not really.

I have two furkids who were both rescues. Shane is a 25-pound Irish terrier mix and Tanker is a 90-pound behemoth of black chow-golden retriever. They’re both getting old (13 and 12), but are still the funniest dogs in the world.

Susannah Sandlin Dogs Shane and Tanker

And…that’s about it! When I’m not writing books…usually, I’m writing something else!


Thanks for visiting us, Susannah, on the last day of your blog tour!

For more information about Susannah and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

To see Susannah’s other stops, click on the tour button below.

Susannah Sandlin blog tour


Here’s the scoop on ABSOLUTION:

Absolution by Susannah SandlinWith the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. Mirren Kincaid once served the tribunal as their most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the tribunal wants him back on their side. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You should also check out REDEMPTION, the first book in the series:

Redemption by Susannah SandlinFor vampire Aidan Murphy, life has never been so desperate. The vaccine used to treat a global pandemic has rendered human blood deadly to his kind, leaving them on the brink of starvation and civil war. In tiny Penton, Alabama, Aidan establishes a peaceful community of vampires and unvaccinated human donors. He dares to hope they can survive — until his estranged brother descends upon Penton and begins killing the humans. Determined to save his town, Aidan kidnaps an unsuspecting human doctor…and finds himself falling in love for the first time in nearly four centuries.

Dr. Krystal Harris thought she was coming to Penton for a job interview, but Aidan Murphy has other plans. Infuriated by his high-handed scheme to imprison her in the small town, Krys can’t ignore the attraction between them. But is it love? Or does her dangerous, charismatic captor want only to bend her to his will?

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository




Kindle Paper White (or $100 U.S. gift card to Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository winner’s choice)
5 signed print or audio copies of Absolution (winner’s choice of print or audio)

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!


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Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn is now in northeast England after a 10 year stop in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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26 People left their mark on ““When I’m not writing…” with Susannah Sandlin + giveaway!”

  1. miki

    It’s true that with a job and two series going on you don’t have a lot of time for hobbies and such but if those books give you joy it’s the most important ( and those quilting you did look great but i don’t think i would have the patience to make something similar)
    I wish you a lot of success

  2. Soma Rostam

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! I wish I could win the Kidnle, since i LOVE to read books , specially e-books.
    I love the author’s guest post. I wish that I could write a novel, sometime.

  3. Roger

    Jenn, in your review you said: “As you may remember from my post last month, I really enjoyed REDEMPTION, the first book in the Penton Legacy series. ABSOLUTION, the second book, may just be better!”. I certainly agree. In fact I think Absolution is much better. Can hardly wait for Omega in February.

  4. Maggie K. @ ReadingDiva

    I have read so many great things about this series. I have added all the books to my reading pile. I want to be able to read at least the first book before the end of the year. I may need to cheat and bump it up!

  5. cky15

    cky15: I love your page the water is neat! I love to quilt and always finding new designs that I like to make. I try to find easy ways of making the designs to make it easier and fast to make.I also love to read at times it relaxing for me.I am going to put you on my to read list. Thanks for the info. on you great.

  6. Aurian

    Those quilts are gorgeous Susannah! I am not much of a music listener myself, for me it is background while I am reading. Unless I am cleaning, then I turn up the volume.
    Love your furbabies!

  7. Cheryl

    I can’t believe it, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this series; think I’ll have to check out Redemption. As an aside, your furkids are adorable!

  8. Brandy Mccollum

    Now I know it’s not good book etiquette but I really want to lick the covers or more to the point the cover models YUM! Both of these are on my TBR 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway

  9. Breana M.

    I like this post, those dogs are just too cute, and this series sounds so epic. I will have to check it out. 🙂

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