Jana DeLeon, author of the Miss Fortune mysteries, formed J&R Fan Fiction to allow licensed authors to publish new stories set in the Miss Fortune world.
I am one of those authors.
A graduate student from Hawaii visits the tiny bayou town of Sinful, Louisiana to investigate the effects of the oil spill on the local wildlife. Sinful resident Fortune Redding, who happens to be a CIA operative hiding out from a ruthless arms dealer, worries that the nosy newcomer might blow her cover. But when he makes a gruesome discovery, he unleashes forces that will go to any lengths to protect Sinful’s darkest secret.
“I’m talking about a man that turns into a terrible beast.” Gertie widened her eyes and cast a dramatic look around the table. “He stalks the swamps and bayous by night, and gorges on human flesh, leaving behind mangled corpses with their throats torn out and their entrails chewed away. And those few who survive have a fate even worse than grisly death…they become a Rougarou themselves.”
“You told this to third graders?” I asked.
“Oh sure. As long as I stayed away from evolution, I was fine. Anyway, most of the kids already knew about the Rougarou from their parents. But did you know that different cultures the world over have their own stories about people who can transform into animals? Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld, was depicted as a man with a wolf’s head. The Navajo skin walkers could turn into any animal they pleased. And of course the Hồ tinh, Hanoi’s nine-tailed fox. I was thinking I might write a story about the Hồ tinh.”
“Gertie, that’s a great idea,” Ally said. “Are you going to write children’s books?”
“Oh, my goodness no. There’s no money in children’s books. I’m thinking erotica.”
“Are there any stories about Hawaiian shape shifters?” I quickly asked Justin.
“Aw, sure. We get Kamapua‘a, who’s half man half boar.”
“Can he change from one to the other?” Ally asked. “Or is he just half and half?”
“Depends on what version of the story you got. But in all of ‘em he’s all grumpy and bitter, ah? Cause his father never wanted him, that’s why.”
“How sad,” Ally said.
“One day he fell in love wit’ Pele, the fire goddess, but she saw his ugly nature and ran away from him. So he could never find love.”
“I don’t like that story,” I said.
“That sounds so interesting.” Ally smiled at him. “I’d love to hear more.”
Next thing I knew, Justin Lao was a fixture in my house. At least when Ally was home.
Imagine my surprise, then, when one morning, as I was sitting in Francine’s Diner with Ida Belle and Gertie, I saw Justin Lao walk in with a woman who most definitely was not Ally…