Message from Michelle: A very warm welcome to Suzanne Johnson. Suzanne and I are with the same literary agent, the fabulous Marlene Stringer, and I’m thrilled to have her visiting here at Magical Musings today. As you’ll know from yesterday’s post, I’m away from today at the Romance Writers of Australia conference, and so I’m leaving Suzanne in your gentle, loving care in my absence.
Four Ways to Catch a Merman
There’s a lot of water in South Louisiana, which means there is also a large population of water species——some of whom do a better job than others of mainstreaming with the unsuspecting humans around them. (Ahem…weregators?)
Among my favorites are the Merfolk. They live in clans, with territories fanning out throughout the byzantine waterways of South Louisiana. In my world, Mers are aquatic shapeshifters——born, not made, and not subject to the cycles of the moon. They can shift fully into fish form, or partially into classic merman and merwoman form. (Don’t call them mermaids anymore. That’s so 20th century!)
The head of the Delachaise clan of Plaquemines Parish, just east of New Orleans, is Rene Delachaise. Rene is, like many of the merfolk in this region, of Acadian (or “Cajun”) descent, his people having been driven out of Canada in the 1700s by the British, fleeing to the French colony of Louisiana. He works as a shrimper most of the year (nope, no such thing as wereshrimp), and is a good man with a wide grumpy streak and a big dose of daredevil.
Which is how my heroine, DJ, knows how to catch a merman should you want to (you do!). DJ and Rene had to share their powers on a recent case. He could do some of her magic; she got to live inside his brain for a few days. They’re both struggling to recover.
1) Food. Mers have prodigious appetites, and thanks to a mostly protein diet, they tend to be lean and strong. Learn how to do a good seafood boil——throw some Zatarain’s shrimp boil seasoning into a ginormous pot of boiling water with some unpeeled new potatoes and halved ears of corn and, when those are almost done, toss in your shrimp or crawfish. Lay it all out on newspapers to drain and your mer will come running.
2) Money. Rene wouldn’t admit this, of course, but mers are a tad on the frugal side. If they do something for you, they expect to be paid. “We ain’t no charity, babe,” Rene once told DJ. So come up with a job that needs doing, make sure you’re there to keep him company, and offer a fair wage. If and when he reaches the point where he tells you, “no charge,” he’s yours.
3) Sex. Don’t play too hard-to-get with a Merman. He’ll go along with that game for a while but then he’ll move on. Not that he doesn’t like games, mind you. He just wants a little something-something at the end of the day. Remember: prodigious appetite, and it’s not just food.
4) Danger. Mers love to brawl. They prefer fists to firearms, and will be rolling on the ground throwing punches in the morning, and sitting next to their opponent—bruises and all—at the local watering hole in the afternoon. Think football player with fins. All you need to do is put yourself into a dangerous situation and invite your favorite merman along for backup. DJ knows that Rene will always be ready to join her in facing down her enemies. And despite his preference for brawling, he’s pretty handy with a Beretta.
So, want that special Merman in your life? Try these sure-fire tips! What would you use to catch your Merman? Leave a comment to win a signed copy of Elysian Fields (or one of the first two books in the series, Royal Street or River Road).
About ELYSIAN FIELDS:
The recent mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi. New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren’t random—an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard. Namely, DJ.
Fighting off an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn’t easy. Jake Warin’s loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world’s most annoying wizard, and former partner Alex Warin just turned up on DJ’s to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power.
Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte’s pirate wench might be DJ’s best option.