Blog Tour & Review – CHRISTMAS IN DOGTOWN by Suzanne Johnson

December 13, 2013 4 Star Reviews, Bewitching Book Tours, General, Reviews 6 ★★★★

**I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Blog Tour & Review – CHRISTMAS IN DOGTOWN by Suzanne JohnsonChristmas in Dogtown by Suzanne Johnson
Published by Story Vault on October 17, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 30
Format: eBook
Source: Author
AMAZONB&NGoodreads
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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.

 

Suzanne Johnson’s Christmas in Dogtown is a real treat.  Johnson is one of my favorite writers and this short story highlights all the things I’ve come to love about her work – atmosphere, characters, and the paranormal. 

Johnson sets her story in rural Louisiana in a small community called Dogtown.  Johnson lays out the setting perfectly – the feel of it, the smell, the heat, the people.  A chapter or two into the story, I felt like I could picture this town perfectly.  Everything feels so alive in Johnson’s hands and she never fails to draw me into her world.

Resa Madere returns home to Dogtown to help out the family meat business for the holidays.  She’s fallen on some hard times — lost job, a mortgage, and a broken heart.  Having lived in New Orleans for years she refuses to see this as a permanent move.  I felt for Resa as she struggles with expectations, both her family’s and her own, versus what she feels when she’s in Dogtown.  There’s a sense of belonging and not belonging.  I think anyone who has been away from their hometown for an extended period of time understands this push and pull and Resa’s struggle, on that level, is very relatable.  Throw in a sexy old friend, Chan, who everyone assumes she will marry, and the romance factor raises the stakes for Resa.  Chan is sensitive, smart, and sexy.  He has his own desires that he refuses to burden Resa with and I loved his determination to allow her the space to make her own decisions free of obligations.  It’s a subtle and sweet romance that adds to the atmospheric writing of the story.

I don’t think it would be a Suzanne Johnson story if there wasn’t a paranormal element in there somewhere.  Dogtown’s paranormal twist had a touch of the unexpected.  I think Resa’s ready acceptance was a bit unrealistic but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the story.  It did, however, leave me wanting to know a little more about this secretive community in rural Louisiana.

Christmas in Dogtown is a sweet, romantic tale of family and love with a nice paranormal touch and an edge of mystery.  At 30 pages, it’s a quick read for the holidays that will make you want to pay a visit back home.  4 howls!

Please check out the other stops on the BBT tour of Christmas in Dogtown!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from Tor Books. Royal Street, book one, came out in April 2012; River Road in November 2012. Book three, Elysian Fields, will be released on August 13, 2013.

A longtime New Orleans resident, Suzanne is a veteran journalist with more than fifty national awards in writing and editing nonfiction for higher education, including the Robert S. Sibley Award for the best university magazine in the U.S. and Canada, for the Rice University Sallyport.

Suzanne is an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and is a member of the Georgia, Southern Magic, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapters of RWA.

6 Responses to “Blog Tour & Review – CHRISTMAS IN DOGTOWN by Suzanne Johnson”

  1. Roger Simmons

    Christmas in Dogtown is a wonderful short read. I also am a big fan of Suzanne’s books. Thanks for the review. Happy Holidays.

  2. laura thomas

    I adored this short story and really hope she continues with these characters and Dogtown. living on the Gulf Coast, I’m drawn to authors that write about it. I have Suzanne’s books on my Santa List and hope to read all of them this coming year.
    Thanks for the fun review. I had fun writing mine too!
    laura thomas recently posted..Spotlight on SEE ME by Natalie-Nicole BatesMy Profile

  3. Braine Talk Supe

    From the cover I wouldn’t have guessed the paranormal element. I read Lisa Kleypas’ book that sounds similar to this but it looks like SJohnson did a better job than Lisa.

    P.S. I see you’re reading Gilded! Wee! Are you loving it?!

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