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Monday, June 16, 2014

Allegiance blog tour: Interview with Susannah Sandlin + giveaway

Allegiance Banner 450 x 169

I'm really excited about today's guest. I'm a huge fan of Susannah Sandlin/Suzanne Johnson and so I'm happy that Team Tynga's Reviews can take part in the tour for the Susannah's latest release, ALLEGIANCE, the fourth book in her Penton Legacy series. Read on to for my interview with Susannah and then enter the tour-wide giveaway!


Hi, Susannah, and welcome back to Team Tynga's Reviews. So nice to have you back again. Last time you were on the blog, we chatted about STORM FORCE, and it's great to see you again for your newest release, ALLEGIANCE, which takes us back to Penton. What can our readers expect from ALLEGIANCE?

Allegiance by Susannah Sandlin (Penton Legacy #4)Thanks for having me back! ALLEGIANCE takes a dark(er) turn as the looming war strikes at the heart of the town just as Aidan’s community is trying to rebuild. At the same time, a couple of new characters come to town, including an eagle-shifter named Robin who was in STORM FORCE. Her interactions with the Penton crew, especially with Big Bad Mirren, are really a lot of fun. So there’s a good dose of humor woven in with the darkness.

How happy were you to get back into vampire business after switching toward shifters for STORM FORCE?

I really loved writing the shifters, but I missed my Penton vampires! So the idea of bringing a couple of the STORM FORCE characters (Robin and Nik) to Penton really let me have the best of both worlds and also expanded the overall worldbuilding of the Penton series.

I was worried we'd never get to see Cage's story after OMEGA. How did you decide to make him the main man in ALLEGIANCE?

I knew when OMEGA was half-written that Cage needed his own story. Plus, OMEGA left him in an awkward situation with one of the main series characters, Melissa, and I knew that had to be resolved. I’ll admit, I hadn’t originally planned on resolving the way I did but sometimes characters develop minds of their own! (Casts an accusatory glance at Robin.)

In our last interview, you mentioned you'd like to write a book for Robin and now she's front and centre in Penton! What inspired you to bring her (and other STORM FORCE characters) more directly into the Penton Legacy world? And does this mean we won't see any more Omega Force novels?

Storm Force by Susannah SandlinI’m not closing the door on Omega Force—there’s a lot of story potential there, so we’ll see what happens. I deliberately didn’t bring the character of Archer from STORM FORCE over to the new book because I thought he’d be a good hero if I did write another Omega Force book.

But as I was thinking about ALLEGIANCE and where the Penton story needed to go after OMEGA, I realized the Omega Force concept had to be brought fully into Penton, where it originated. So it made sense to bring Robin and Nik into the Penton world. As soon as I began thinking about how they might interact with the Penton crew, well, Robin kind of took over the book---because that’s the way Robin rolls! LOL. She’s such a fun character. And now, of course, Nik needs his story told.  :)

Can we expect more shifters or other supernaturals in Penton?

Definitely shifters, since that door has been opened now, and the shifter world has gotten dragged into the whole vampire mess. I’m not sure about other supernaturals, though. I don’t envision this becoming a big multiverse like I have in my Sentinels of New Orleans series (as Suzanne Johnson).

You've started what seems to be the next phase in Penton's struggle with ALLEGIANCE. Any teases about what's to come?

Well, I think Nik’s story needs telling. There are hints of it in ALLEGIANCE; he’s a really deep and interesting character to me. But the new phase of the Penton story lies with Aidan. By the end of ALLEGIANCE, he is in the midst of a real crisis, where he realizes the system he truly believed could be changed from the inside is more broken than he knew. He’s very angry. His enemies have a tendency to always think of Aidan as weak because he is a cautious man who believes in fair play, but they shouldn’t forget that he also is a very powerful vampire. There’s only so far he can be pushed before he pushes back. How he pushes back will determine the future of Penton.

To wrap up, I have a couple writing questions for you. What is most challenging about having multiple series running at the same time (with different publishers)?

River Road by Suzanne Johnson (Sentinel of New Orleans #2)It is sheer craziness sometimes! I have the urban fantasy series (Sentinels of New Orleans), the paranormal romance series (Penton), and a new romantic thriller series (Collectors) running concurrently, and they’re all very different. The biggest challenge to me is that I’m a very linear thinker, which means I don’t multitask well. I need to work on Book A, totally immersed from start to finish, and then move to Book B. I can’t bounce back and forth. With book deadlines overlapping, that’s not completely possible, but I do compartmentalize my time where I’m “faithful” to one book while I’m doing the actual writing.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've received?

To let go of perfectionism and give myself permission to write a sloppy first draft. That was hard because I always want to go back and edit and revise. But books never get finished when you do that. My first draft is so down and dirty I don’t even call it a first draft—I call it “Draft Zero.” It’s purely me working out plot details and usually runs about 60,000 words (a full novel is usually around 90k). Then I go through working in detail and massaging things to get to a real first draft. NOBODY sees Draft Zero—LOL.

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit us, Susannah, and enjoy the rest of your tour!

Thanks again for having me here today!


Okay, who's primed for a Nik story? I am. He's one of my favourite characters in the series.

For more Susannah/Suzanne, check out the following links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tour Schedule


Here's the scoop on ALLEGIANCE:

Allegiance by Susannah Sandlin (Penton Legacy #4)

From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the fourth book in the smart and steamy Penton Legacy series.

British vampire psychiatrist and former mercenary Cage Reynolds returns to Penton, Alabama, looking for a permanent home. The town has been ravaged by the ongoing vampire war and the shortage of untainted human blood, and now the vampires and humans that make up the Omega Force are trying to rebuild. Cage hopes to help the cause, put down roots in Penton, and resolve his relationship with Melissa Calvert. The last thing he expects is to find himself drawn to Robin Ashton, a trash-talking eagle shape-shifter and new Omega recruit.

Meanwhile, as a dangerous saboteur wreaks havoc in Penton, the ruthless Vampire Tribunal leader Matthias Ludlam has been freed on the eve of his scheduled execution. But by whom? And to what end? As war and chaos rage on, love isn’t something Cage is looking for, but will his attraction to Robin distract him from the danger living among them?

Jenn's thoughts

Purchase: Amazon


And here are the rest of the Penton books:

Redemption by Susannah Sandlin (Penton Legacy #1)Absolution by Susannah Sandlin (Penton Legacy #2)Omega by Susannah Sandlin (Penton Legacy #3)Storm Force by Susannah Sandlin

giveaway banner

Susannah is giving away a slew of prizes on the tour: 1 $50 Amazon gift card 2 $10 Amazon gift cards 2 Author swag packs (books, swag)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

16 People left their mark' :

  1. Enjoyed the Q&A, and your review of Allegiance. I have been a fan of Suzanne/Susannah for a long time. Allegiance is a great continuation of the Penton Legacy series. Robin is just a great character in this story. I recommend everyone go buy the books in this series.

  2. More of Nik? ! Of course i would like but i must say that i'm even more delighted to hear that there is hope for Archer's story, he was my little " coup de coeur" in Storm Force and suffered so much i want him back^^;;

    i'm quite linear too^^ can't start reading a book without finishing the last one first ( and write teh review if needed) , i'm really one thing at a time^^;;

  3. This is a terrific series. It would also be wonderful if there was another story in the Omega Force world!

  4. Linda Townsend16 June 2014 at 06:42

    I'm starting this series soon! I'm so excited to read it!

  5. I have not started this series yet but the covers are very sexy!

  6. I haven't read anything from Susannah Sandlin (please don't hate me) but I was pretty intrigued of her other series especially her urban fantasy books, Sentinels of New Orleans. I live in Louisiana and I have been in New Orleans just recently. We stayed in the French Quarter and it has a lot of that unusual vibe going on in that area. Maybe because of what NOLA is famous for, voodoo, witch, ghouls and all. I would like to read the first book in that series. Maybe Susannah captured the true sense of what NOLA is.

  7. Thanks, Miki! Yes, I remember you really liked Archer in Storm Force. I think he needs a book of his own. I'm the same way with reading books as with writing books--one at a time :-)

  8. Thanks, Liz! I want to revisit that world, too--there's just a lot of potential there. One of the things that hurt Storm Force, sales-wise, was coming out as a serial, but I think that ship has now sailed :-)

  9. Thanks, Silvia! I think they're pretty hot, too :-)

  10. I don't hate you, Vivian--LOL! I lived in New Orleans for 15 years and was there during the period before and for three years after Hurricane Katrina, so I sure better have gotten the true sense of NOLA in my Sentinels series (written under the name Suzanne Johnson). NOLA my favorite city on earth!

  11. Mmm, those covers. -blush-

  12. we are not angry at all but i do hope you will give up any resistance and start her books , i love her sentinel of new orleans series and i'm sure the athmosphere will please you^^

  13. The covers look great! I am definitely adding these to my to-read list. :-)

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