A dead body, black magic, and a vampire enforcer…
Ari thought her biggest problem was deciding if she should move in with
her vampire boyfriend, Andreas. That was before they found the dead body at the
bottom of the Riverdale cliffs. And before she realized he’d been cursed by
Just as she begins the murder investigation, the vampire rulers in
Europe send an enforcer to make inquiries into the recent defeat of the Toronto
vampire prince. While Andreas has taken responsibility for the brutal
dictator’s death, there is much about the incident that he and Ari must keep to
themselves—secrets the vampire elders would stop at nothing to learn.
With threats of retaliation hanging over their heads, Ari moves into
Andreas’s Victorian mansion—for safety’s sake—while the enforcer begins a campaign
of terror. Ari is caught between competing dangers and challenges: black magic,
a ghost, a missing Native American artifact…not to mention a new roommate…all
while trying to stay alive.
toward Andreas’s office. Last night’s fight was still fresh in her mind, and
she wanted to stay mad for a while. He couldn’t get it through his head that she
needed to maintain her independence and her privacy. This had been their
thousandth argument over her refusal to move into his stylish Victorian home.
She stayed there occasionally, but she had her own life, her own apartment, and
her cat Bella to care for. And now the four kittens. She preferred it that way.
unresolved issue hanging between them, she hated having to ask him for a favor.
Ari sighed and
tried to shake off her lousy mood. She’d never convince Andreas she was safe
living alone. Not under present conditions. The last five months had been
tense, waiting for the O-Seven vampire elders to retaliate against Andreas or
Ari for the death of their ally Sebastian, the former vampire prince of
Toronto. But there’d been no reaction, and Ari had grown tired of molding her
life around the bad tempers of seven old men. She and Andreas had enough other
outside his office, took a deep breath and knocked once before entering.
seated at his desk. Dark, sexy, scrumptious. Black Armani slacks, silver shirt
with the top two buttons unfastened, the sleeves pushed up over muscular
forearms. He looked up, his black eyes capturing hers. Ari caught her breath,
flushing with warmth, as her witch magic began to sing. Why, after all these
months, did she still react to him this way?
He unfolded his
tall, athletic frame, one hand unconsciously brushing back the lock of black
hair that always tumbled across his forehead. A couple of quick steps and he
unexpectedly wrapped her in his arms, brushing her hair with his lips. The
faint scent of his exotic cologne drifted around her.
with me? Don’t be,” he whispered, melting her irritation away. “I only want to
keep you safe.”
“Oh, Andreas, I
know that.” She pulled back to look at him. “But I’m a trained cop. I can
defend myself. I don’t need a babysitter.” Since he’d become the vampire prince
of Riverdale four months ago, Andreas believed he was the only one with the
resources to protect her. He ignored the fact that her safest move would be to
sever her connections with the vampires—especially him. She was only on the
O-Seven’s hit list because she’d gotten in the middle of a vampire feud. If she
hadn’t sided with Andreas and Daron, the new Toronto prince, the council of
elder vampires in Europe wouldn’t know she existed.
Ally Shields was born and raised in
the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, the setting for the Guardian Witch
urban fantasy series. After earlier
careers as a teacher, lawyer and Juvenile Court Officer, she turned to
full-time writing in 2009. She still lives near Des Moines with her Miniature
Pinscher, Ranger. When not writing or reading, she loves traveling in the US
and abroad. Way too often she can be found on Twitter.
The Magic of Ley Lines: Real or Imagined?
Invisible energy fields known as ley lines feature in two of the Guardian witch books, Blood and Fire (#4) and Wild Fire (#6). The phrase was first adopted in 1921 to describe ancients pathways and sight lines in England that seemed to connect various prominent sites—sacred ruins, roads, wells, and monuments, including places like Stonehenge. Over the next fifty years, the term grew to encompass sites around the world, such as the pyramids, Easter Island, Manchu Picchu, and it eventually entered fantasy fiction.
While most scientists still claim there is no such thing, and scientific instruments have not recorded these energy forces, the stories of magical lines crisscrossing the earth have persisted. Sensitives and mystics have reported feeling the energy. Scores of books, conferences, and groups of dedicated new agers, paranormal investigators, and the merely curious have sought their own proof. Never short on imagination, human theories abound from alien navigation points to convergence with fault lines in the earth’s tectonic plates to patterns laid down by the gods of mythology. Or perhaps simpler ancestors were right in calling them fairy paths.
If you look around the internet, you’ll find dozens of ley lines maps. (If you’d like to see some, check out this Pinterest site.) How is it possible to map the invisible? With the help of sensitives and maybe a little intuition, enterprising adherents have drawn straight lines that connect an amazing number of significant sites. But skeptics have an explanation of that too: If you draw enough lines on any surface, there are bound to be points of intersection, especially with tens of thousands of ancient ruins or sacred places to choose from.
But what makes the skeptics right? There’s so much we don’t know about the world around us. Why can’t magic exist? Why couldn’t there be ley lines? And if they exist, who better to see and use them than the paranormal beings who inhabit fantasy fiction?
So what do you think? Real or figments of the imagination?