Monday, December 23, 2013

"Christmas in Dogtown" by Suzanne Johnson

Christmas in Dogtown
by Suzanne Johnson

Christmas in Dogtown is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. the tour stops here today for my review. Be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

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.

“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.


By Lynda Dickson
Resa (Teresa) Madere has recently been dumped by her husband and is struggling to pay her mortgage. She heads home to Dogtown just before Christmas to help her Uncle Emile in the family sausage-making business. Dogtown is a small town whose residents belong to either the Madere or Caillou families. Its major attraction is the strange dog-like mascot, the rougarou, located in the center of town. Resa's sentiments about her home town can be summed up as follows: "Dogtown was like quicksand; unless one kept moving, getting stuck was inevitable, followed by sinking and suffocation."
Coincidentally, Resa's old school friend Chan (Chandler) Caillou has just moved back to Dogtown to take over his family's alligator wrangling business. He states, "It was my responsibility, you know? Sometimes we're born into a situation and we have to decide if we're gonna be a part of it or if we're gonna put an end to it." According to both their families, Resa and Chan are destined to be married. Resa has never felt that way about Chan, but now that he's all grown up, she's not so sure. When Chan asks Resa out to the community dance, the town's tongues start wagging.
What secret are both families hiding and how does it affect Resa and Chan? The future of both families is in her hands, and Resa has a decision to make.
This is a magical tale not so much about Christmas but about love, family, and new beginnings. A nice quick holiday read.

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 long-time 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 Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series.