Friday, April 19, 2013
New Release: A Matter of Fate Ellie Heller
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Someone is setting death-spells targeting mortals and elf blood alike. With her mentor out of commission, it’s up to half-trained Warder Mona Lisa Kubrek to stop the magic. Despite being told repeatedly her job is to nullify spells and not go after the source, too many people are at risk for her to not track the spell-caster down. Even meeting a sexy half-elf shifter won’t distract her from her goal.
Except Cart Dupree is fully trained and has the team to search for the evildoer, so she’d be stupid to not use his expertise. Stupid is something she can’t afford to be, not with her enemy’s henchmen after her. Later she’ll deal with Cart and his questions about her special abilities and the non-standard training her mentor has given her. Right now, they need to unravel where the magician is, and who he is, before he builds enough power to decimate them all.
First, though, they need to stay alive.
Headlights flitting across wind-driven flurries, Mona turned the last corner of the treelined drive to find the entry of the Warder’s complex in complete darkness. The dashboard read six fifteen. Hell, given the crappy roads this morning she was lucky she’d arrived only a quarter of an hour after her scheduled lesson. She knew Smythe would be snitty about her late arrival, but turning off the lights seemed a bit extreme.
Yet another reason to wonder why she put up with his crankiness. If there were anyone besides the self important old coot who would teach her about wards and spells, she’d take them up on the offer in heartbeat.
But this, this was just wrong. Even the motion sensitive floods stayed dark when she pulled over to park next to a pile of plowed snow. One or two windows of the castle Smythe called home hung lit and disembodied in the ebony bulk of the buildings, so the power was on.
No, something was off here. As much as a pain in the ass Smythe could be, and some days she swore he made it into an art form, he wouldn’t outright ignore her. He enjoyed busting her chops too much.
In the weak winter moonlight, the blue shadowed gate and the crenellated wall around the complex looked positively gothic.
Mona blamed the thought on too little sleep. Along with the sneaking worry that Abner, Warder Smythe, might be in trouble. She shook the worry aside; the complex was literally a fortress, built of stone and embedded with spells. Besides, clandestine images apart, the place didn’t seem to show any evidence of an attack. Apart from the gated entry being dark, and the eerie picture the moonlight painted, everything seemed ... normal.
But she definitely needed to check things out, just to be sure. She was too far away to see whether the guard spells on the walls and gate had been breached. First step would be to look at them and figure things out based on what she found.
Opening the glove compartment, she pulled out her flashlight, hearing Nic’s smug “Aren’t you glad I made you put one in there?” She’d never told his overprotective self how, after the first time she’d gotten stuck in the snow heading out of Buffalo to the Warder’s to train, she’d made sure to keep one in the car. Particularly since she hadn’t informed him about her training. So not going down that road with him. He chose to deny his folk blood; she didn’t have a choice.
Mona bundled up and headed out into the lightly falling flakes. Her tire tracks were the only ones showing in the inch deep snow. Aiming the flashlight at the drive, she tried to find evidence of anyone coming by recently. Nothing obvious struck her, no lost hubcaps, no distinct furrows under the snow. Hell, she had no clue what she’d expected to find.
She cautiously moved toward the entry; last thing she wanted was to turn her ankle. A strong breeze smacked her upside the head as if to ask what the hell she thought she
“Look, I’m just going to check the guard spells, then head back.”
Crap, had she really said that out loud?
The wind slammed into her, so strong that another step forward became impossible. She stopped and the gale force gust stopped with her.
Mona was reasonably certain wind sprites were incorruptible by evil. And this wasn’t a spell; not a trace of magic threaded the breezes.
Whoever or whatever had requested the sprites’ help didn’t want her to go any further.
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About the Author:
After living in several cities east of the Mississippi, but never quite out of the snow belt, I've settled down in SW Ohio with my three kids, two dogs (one of whom thinks he's a cat) and one cat (who thinks he's a dog).
I write paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy, all with a suspenseful edge. A MATTER OF FATE, a 'traditional' paranormal romance, will be available this spring from Crimson Romance. My first published short (GLBT sensual), "Ginny's Capture" is available now.
I'm also an acquisitions editor (i.e. slush reader :-) ) for Curiosity Quills Press using my full first name, Alison.