Susannah Sandlin, a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson, is guest blogging today. Her latest release, ILLUMINATION, came out on July 11th. Welcome, Suzannne!

“The women end up taking center stage in ILLUMINATION”

For most of the Penton Legacy Series, it’s been all about the boys. Sexy alpha vampire males are fun to write, and it’s always a challenge finding the right mate for them.

Smart, brooding, responsible Aidan got smart, open, down-to-earth Krys. She tells him like it is and calls him on his crap.

Guilt-ridden badass Mirren, who likes his silence and solitude, fell for people-loving chatterbox Glory. She’ll tie the man down if she has to…and she sometimes does…to make him get out of his own way.

Reckless, handsome Will—voted vampire most in need of a shrink—was reined in by serious control-freak Randa. She finally cracked the thick Teflon coating he’d formed around his true heart and mind.

Adrenaline-junkie Cage (who was a shrink before being turned) found his soul mate in eagle-shifter Robin, who scares him more than a dirty bomb half the time. He also sees a side of her that those who call her “razor-blade Robin” don’t know about.

And in ILLUMINATION, hero Nikolas, who’s as alpha and capable as the other heroes but still very much trying to find his place in the world, finds Shay Underwood, who helps him understand his place and what he really wants.

But although I didn’t plan it that way, the women end up taking center stage in ILLUMINATION. Human, vampire, and psychic, they manage to do what the Big Bad Alphas have been working toward for the entire series: to bring down the Vampire Tribunal, who want to use human trafficking—or worse—to solve the problem of starvation in a world where a human vaccine has poisoned the blood supply for the vamps.

Each has her own role to play:

–Krys is a quiet, wise listener as well as a doctor, so her advice is worth taking, even if it has nothing to do with your health.

–Glory is a chatterbox, yes, but she’s also telekinetic. The girl gives her powers a workout in this book, and she becomes a key to saving Penton even if her alpha male doesn’t want her putting herself in danger. (I think she tells him to put a sock in it.)

–Randa is a warrior. The daughter of an Army colonel and turned when she herself was in the Army, she understands military strategy and is fearless in taking on missions like a takeover of Atlanta’s Museum of Natural History. Any woman who can hold her own with a two-ton reanimated dinosaur bearing down on her…well, don’t worry about Randa.

–Robin shows a softer side in ILLUMINATION because it’s what Cage needs from her. But she, too, takes on the bad guys on land and by air; it’s her tracking skills in eagle form that help the alpha males figure out what the Tribunal bad guys are up to.

–Finally, Shay is the key to everything, including Nik’s future. Her background as a medical researcher comes into play in unexpected ways as the book concludes, and the resolution of her and Nik’s relationship will shape the future of Penton as the small Alabama community rebuilds.

So in the summer of Wonder Woman (which I can’t give credit to because, alas, I haven’t yet seen it), it’s time for Girl Power in Penton!

Jill: See Wonder Woman! You’ll love it. It was great!

More about Illumination

He came to Penton seeking peace. Nik Dimitrou joined the Army to escape his family legacy, only to have his psychic abilities exploited as a weapon. Now, as a civilian, he turns to the bottle to veil the images that haunt his mind whenever he touches anyone—except vampires. With them, he has finally found a home. But as Penton, Alabama, moves into open warfare with the Vampire Tribunal, Nik finds himself a linchpin in the deepening conflict, not to mention facing a transformation in his own body more frightening than anything he’s encountered before.

She wanted to change the world. Shay Underwood watched her Peace Corps parents move from one third world country to another—until both died following an outbreak of fever. Driven to her own career in tropical medicine, Shay works in New Orleans to cure the disease that killed her parents—until a careless weekend outing draws her into a world far more dangerous than the diseases she studies: a vampire society engaged in human trafficking and on the verge of all-out war.

Two cities, two near-strangers, one world. With Penton rebellion leader Aidan Murphy making risky choices and chief vampire lieutenant Mirren Kincaid forced to take a leadership role in Penton, it will fall to two outsiders, Nik and Shay, to find a way for the town—and themselves—to survive in this much-anticipated conclusion to the multiple award-winning Penton Legacy series.

The entire Penton Legacy Series leading up to ILLUMINATION (Redemption, Absolution, Omega, and Allegiance, as well as the spinoff Storm Force—Penton 3.5—are on sale for 99 cents each for Kindle through July 31. You can find the series here and Storm Force here.)


More about Susannah/Suzanne

Susannah Sandlin writes award-winning paranormal romance, including the popular Penton Legacy series, and romantic suspense and thrillers, including two series, The Collectors and Wilds of the Bayou. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she writes the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series and a number of standalones. Suzanne grew up in Alabama halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’s birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of college football and fried gator on a stick. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, where she is a full-time author who does copy editing for other authors on the side through Reedsy.com.


Twitter: @SusannahSandlin, @Suzanne_Johnson

Thanks for guest blogging today, Suzanne. Best wishes for Illumination and summer 2017!