by Ally Shields
Book 1: CROSS KEYS
When a common elf—forbidden portal travel to the human world—is spotted in New Orleans, Kameo Ryndel is ordered by the king to bring him home. Before she can intervene, he's shot and his body inexplicably stolen. Even more puzzling is Seth Lormarc's appearance at the scene. Although he's an Elite elf from a rival guild and the sexy, arrogant heir to the centuries-old feud between their families, she'd reluctant to believe he's a murderer.
As their paths continue to cross and a deadly plot unfolds, they struggle to set aside the past, deny the growing attraction between them, and root out a conspiracy hidden deep inside Elvenrude…a conspiracy threatening their entire way of life.
~Buy CROSS KEYS
Book 2: REVELATION
Kam and Seth's romance hasn't been smooth over the past six months. She's been on too many CIA missions; he's had to shoulder more of his clan's duties. Then invisible assailants attack an elven guild worker, and Kam and Seth pull together to track down the intruders. The CIA interrupts again, and she and Seth part on angry words.
Returning from the short CIA mission, Kam is kidnapped by the mysterious intruders and taken to a place she never knew existed—beyond the Louisiana bayou. When she learns a terrible secret and the intruders' deadly plans, she's desperate to get home and warn Seth.
He's searching day and night, not sure whether she's dead or alive…but knowing he has to have her back.
Book 3: UNITY
Despite unrest in their Elven homeland, Kam and Seth have scheduled their long-awaited promise ceremony for the night of the Winter Solstice. But once again fate intervenes in the form of an elf captured by human authorities, an escalation of the local rebellion, and a widespread theft of ancient human artifacts that forces the Elven king to break an oath thousands of years old.
When a spirit woman predicts a world-ending catastrophe, Kam and Seth set out on a worldwide hunt to stop an old enemy, while back in Elvenrude, Rhyden (Seth's cousin) and Esty (Kam's sister) have issues of their own. If any of them fail, there may be nothing left…and tomorrow might not come.
EXCERPT FROM CROSS KEYS
Caleb nodded absently at the departing couple, then returned his gaze to Kam. “I’m serious. It’s time you became more involved with trade matters. In fact,” he paused, “you have several decisions you should be making. When are you coming home?”
“I’m here now.” She clamped down on a spark of anger. Why did every conversation with him lead into demands about the future?
“You know that isn’t what I meant.”
She stiffened. “It’s too soon for any long-term decisions. I like where we are now.” A storm was gathering in his eyes, and she took steps to head off a fight. The King's Harvest Ball was hardly the time or place. She tilted her head and looked at him. “Are you about ready to leave?” A diversion was in order before she lost her temper and said something she’d regret. “I have to be back in the city by early morning, and I can think of better things we could be doing.”
“More than ready.” His smile held a provocative edge. “Shall we start our round of goodbyes?”
“I’m going to visit the ladies’ room, then I’ll catch up with you.” She ducked her head and hurried away, anxious to get out of sight before he realized just how annoyed she was. She shoved the door open into the hallway a little harder than was necessary and ran into a solid body. She stumbled, throwing out her arms for balance.
“Oh, I’m so sor—” Strong hands caught her, and she looked up into Seth Lormarc’s glittering green eyes. “You!”
His eyes widened in surprise. “Do I know you?”
A spark of unexpected awareness ran up her arms, and she tried to shake off his grasp. He held tight until she was steady. “No, but I know who you are.” She looked pointedly at his hands. “Take your hands off me.”
“No problem.” He released her and stepped back, a smile parting his lips. “Are you always so charming?”
AN INTERVIEW WITH ALLY
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I've always loved books, and I've been writing down stories since I was nine. I have boxes of story ideas and files in every computer I've ever owned. But I didn't consider writing for publication until I took an adult creative writing course. Back in college, a writing instructor had told me to stick with reporting because I wasn't creative enough for fiction. I guess I believed him, until Professor Rosemary Olds convinced me he was wrong. Although it was many years after that before I found time to write professionally, I credit Prof. Olds for inspiring me to try.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
I'd want to go through the portal to the fantasy world of Elvenrude. While there, I couldn't do just one thing. I'd have to at least visit the treehouse where Kam's parents live and King Seliwyn's palace.
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
Since part of my story takes place in New Orleans, a friend and I went there to complete my research. We had a very understanding cab driver who drove us all over, exploring things that tourists don't usually want to see, such as ordinary roofs on buildings (where the bad guy fired shots from in Cross Keys (#1) or attempting to enter the commercial wharfs (where a lot of Cross Keys' action occurs). The guards not only wouldn't let us in, they told us we couldn't even take pictures. Undaunted by this edict, we convinced our long-suffering cabbie to drive us behind houses a block away—where we took some great pictures!
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks and pizza with?
The Lormarc men, naturally. Seth for his smoldering, green eyes; Rhyder for his sense of humor. I guess I'd let Kam and Esty join us. I really like all of these characters.
-What do you enjoy reading in your free time?
I read a lot of mysteries, thrillers, urban fantasy. I love books that have a strong romantic element. I just finished the latest J.D. Robb, Brotherhood in Death.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Erotica. My relatives would disown me, and having recently been reading up on the ghosts of New Orleans, I'm afraid my mother would come back and haunt me. :) My publisher once suggested it. I told her I'd have to invent another pen name; one I didn't even know. Seriously, I'd be uncomfortable writing it, but more power to those who handle it with skill and composure. That wouldn't be me.
Ally Shields grew up in the Midwest along the Mississippi River, still considers herself "a river rat," and currently resides near Des Moines. After a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time fiction writing in 2009. Her first urban fantasy, Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch #1) was published in 2012, and she currently has ten published novels. She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings into her books. Ms. Shields welcomes reader contact through her website and can frequently be found on Twitter.
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Ally Shields will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn winner via raffle copter during the tour.a Raffle copter giveaway