Thursday, May 23, 2019

BLOG TOUR: Gather The Fortunes by Bryan Camp

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Bryan Camp's Gather The Fortunes, book 2 in the Crescent City series! Today, on our tour stop, we have an exclusive excerpt to share! Plus, there is a cool tour-wide giveaway to enter, too! Check it out and grab your copy today! Follow the tour, HERE!

Urban Fantasy
Crescent City, #2
Publish Date:
May 21, 2019
John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin 

Renaissance Raines has found her place among the psychopomps—the guides who lead the souls of the recently departed through the Seven Gates of the Underworld—and done her best to avoid the notice of gods and mortals alike. But when a young boy named Ramses St. Cyr manages to escape his foretold death, Renai finds herself at the center of a deity-thick plot unfolding in New Orleans. Someone helped Ramses slip free of his destined end -- someone willing to risk everything to steal a little slice of power for themselves.

Is it one of the storm gods that’s descended on the city? The death god who’s locked the Gates of the Underworld? Or the manipulative sorcerer who also cheated Death? When she finds the schemer, there’s gonna be all kinds of hell to pay, because there are scarier things than death in the Crescent City. Renaissance Raines is one of them.


THE FIRST MURDERER, punished with a mark that assured that none would give him shelter, or salve his suffering, or release him from his isolation by ending his life. An unbeatable warrior, refusing to restrain the mighty weapon he had summoned from a blade of grass, his mystic gem torn from his forehead and exiled to the wilds, his pus-filled wounds unhealing, his cries for death unanswered. A powerful wizard, whose magics came from his demonic parentage, trapped in a tree by the student whom he lusted after, doomed to be evergreen and everlasting. A desperate king, sacrificing son after son after son to his one-eyed god in order to gain another span of years; so feeble at the end that he fed by sucking milk from a horn’s tip like an infant. The consort of the dawn, prince and poet both, whose lover was arrogant enough to demand eternity but not wise enough to plead for vitality, forcing him to endure an undying senescence. The shoemaker who mocked the condemned man  — a healer and a teacher and a child of God — by telling him to hurry on his way to his own death, who was commanded in turn to wander without rest until the end of days. Again and again, immunity from the grave is not a gift to be granted but a sentence to be carried out. Not a blessing, but a curse.
Renai killed time for the majority of the day  — an expression she found especially apt these days  — breakfast in a kitschy local chain coffee shop on the corner of Magazine, a movie she didn’t have to pay for because no one noticed her when she walked in, a beer in a crowded Uptown bar where the fountain outside was made out of beer taps.
         She didn’t need to eat these days, since the Voices she consumed sustained her far better than any mortal food, but she found that the simple act of having a meal could make her feel human when the weirder parts of her life got overwhelming. What little cash she needed to move through the world in this way she got from the pockets of her dead, which she took without shame or second thought. It wasn’t like they needed it where she was leading them.
         Twilight had wrapped itself around the city by the time she eased Kyrie into a parking spot on Washington, an easing off of heat that wasn’t yet the relief of fall, a gloom descending that wasn’t quite enough to spark the streetlights into life. Renai sat astride her rumbling bike, trying to decide if she really wanted to go behind Sal’s back like this; after all, the foul-mouthed psychopomp was the closest thing she had to a friend.
         She checked the time on her phone. Early yet, she thought, still plenty of time to talk myself out of this.
         As if sensing Renai’s indecision, Kyrie sputtered and stilled, ending the debate.
         When Renai got off of Kyrie and looked up and down the two-block stretch of Washington where Ramses St. Cyr was destined to die, it seemed like the perfect metaphor for the line between life and death she had tightroped since her resurrection. One side of the street held the quintessential New Orleans neighborhood: sprawling oaks and small front yards overgrown with clover and a row of shotgun houses  — only one room wide but stretching four rooms back, the porch leading to the living room to the bedroom to the kitchen and then out again — built half a step away from one another. Many were shotgun doubles, one building split down the center into a duplex with a separate door for each residence. Most homes actually had two front doors: a wooden one that swung in, and a wrought iron security gate decorated with whorls and fleurs-de-lis that swung out.
         Two cemeteries took up a block each of the other side of the street: St. Joseph and Lafayette No. 2. The closest one, St. Joseph, held plaster tombs above paved concrete much like St. Louis No. 1, though unlike the cemetery on the edge of the Quarter, here only a chain-link fence separated the quick and the dead. Lafayette No. 2 looked more like a combination of a park and a burial site, with grass covering the ground and growing over some of the flat plots that interspersed the more common tombs. A much sturdier fence of slender, upright iron bars with sharpened tips wrapped around the block.
         And right in the middle, belonging to neither world, was Renai.
         She didn’t quite remember where on Washington her grandmother had lived before the storm, but she was pretty sure it was deeper into the Central City neighborhood than this. Maybe her memory of “Miss St. Cyr” was wrong after all. She walked down Washington until she stood at the corner of Loyola, the street that separated St. Joseph from Lafayette No. 2. The absence of streetlights over the two cemeteries made them pockets of night in the deepening twilight, ominous even to her.
         Renai ought to be finding her way to Ramses’ deathbed, but instead she stood staring into the dark spaces, wondering if any of her dead had been laid to rest here, if that simple padlocked gate might hide another of the Seven Gates. She even imagined something moving in the depths of St. Joseph, some dark shape that moved low to the ground and darted from one shadow to another.
         Get it together, girl, she thought, you got shit to tend to, but then she saw it again, moving closer this time, and she tracked its progress to the base of a tomb just on the other side of the chain-link fence. One breath, another, and then a passing car’s headlights lit a pair of eyes an eerie, predatory green. Everything in her clenched, coiled tight in case she had to spring quickly away. Most people would tell themselves that they were seeing nothing more than a feral cat, but Renai knew better.
         Renai knew monsters were real.
         She doubted she could fight it, whatever it was. Her best bet was escape, but Kyrie was too far away given how fast she’d seen that thing move. She pulled the hood of her jacket over her head, shifted her weight onto the balls of her feet. If it came for her, she decided, she’d call on the ghost word and sprint for the nearest house. If the iron gate and solid wood door didn’t keep it out, maybe she could find something she could use as a weapon. Flight if she could, fight if she had to, die if she was wrong. Would they have said her name on the Deadline if this was her end? Or was she a special case?
         Maybe there was another way. “I’m under the protection of the Thrones,” she called across the street, “so unless you wanna answer to them, you better just go back the way you came.”

Copyright © 2019 by Bryan Camp


"Camp’s prose is suspenseful and rich with feeling, highlighting an incredible heroine. VERDICT: Full of magic and numerous mythologies but still tied to the lush New Orleans setting, this Crescent City is one readers will not want to leave." —Library Journal, STARRED

"Savory...Renai’s second outing is as raucous as her first, and the magic is just as double-edged and slippery... Renai is a real standout of a heroine, a powerful African-American woman cutting through bad or desperate situations in living and dead realms of increasing chaos, armed with snark, courage, and a storm of magic drawn from deep within her. This will be a feast for all lovers of urban and dark fantasy." —Publishers Weekly, STARRED 

"The second Crescent City book (after The City of Lost Fortunes, 2018) once again displays Camp's ability to weave different mythological beliefs in fascinating ways. Readers will relate to Renai as she learns her most trusted guides are unreliable in this fast-paced urban fantasy." —Booklist, STARRED 

"In this second installment of his Crescent City urban fantasy series, Camp raises the stakes and broadens the scope of his alternate world...the richness and inventiveness of Camp's vision and the vivacity, warmth, and compassion of his leading woman keep you alert to whatever's happening next. As with the real New Orleans, once you leave this creepier but just as colorful variant, you'll be eager to go back." —Kirkus Reviews

"What a joy it is to return to Bryan Camp's weird, dark, vivid, gorgeous magical New Orleans. Highly recommended!" —Sam J. Miller, award-winning author of Blackfish City

“The magic and mythological heft of Bryan Camp’s debut doesn’t lose any momentum in Gather the Fortunes. He captures the essence and resilience of a still healing New Orleans by digging into the parts of a city too often ignored by the well-to-do and powerful. If The City of Lost Fortunes was a love letter to New Orleans then its next installment is an Earl King blue’s song.” —Brent Lambert, editor at FIYAH Magazine


Sequel to:
(cover links to Goodreads)



**About the Author**
Photo Content from Bryan Camp
Bryan Camp is a graduate of the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop and the University of New Orleans’ Low-Residency MFA program. He started his first novel, The City of Lost Fortunes, in the backseat of his parents’ car as they evacuated for Hurricane Katrina. He has been, at various points in his life: a security guard at a stockcar race track, a printer in a flag factory, an office worker in an oil refinery, and a high school English teacher. He can be found on twitter @bryancamp and at He lives in New Orleans with his wife and their three cats, one of whom is named after a superhero.

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***The Giveaway***

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