Blog Tour: Embers of Fire by Ally Shields

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A chilling prophecy. A child in danger.


Following

the defeat of the vampire elders, Guardian fire witch Arianna Calin and vampire

prince Andreas De Luca are considering moving to his estates in Italy to raise

their daughter in its idyllic setting. As if being descended from two powerful

witch bloodlines wasn’t challenging enough, Rayne was born with a mysterious

star tattoo on her shoulder. Her parents suspect she is the Chosen, the focus

of the Star of Esielen prophecy. But that’s something to worry about in the

distant future. Isn’t it? After all, their child may be precocious, but she is

only five.

Then

the murders begin. The stench of demonic activity hangs over Olde Town, and a

symbol carved in blood indicates Rayne may be the next victim. Suspicion points

in several directions: a rival vampire prince, a mysterious stranger, and a

werehyena leader attempting to break the bank at Andreas’s new casino.

<br />

Abandoning plans for a quiet life, Ari and Andreas hunt

for the killers. While Rayne may someday have to face her destiny alone, it’s

up to them to make sure she’s ready…and to keep her alive.

Excerpt

A crisp breeze caught

the last of the early morning fog and swirled it over the gravestones. The Olde

Town cemetery slowly emerged from the mist, its silent memorial to the dead

marred by an unusual amount of activity. A uniformed Riverdale cop completed a

final loop of bright yellow tape around several stone vaults and two small

crabapple trees. CS techs snapped photos and set out evidence markers as they

processed the crime scene.

With a hot Styrofoam

coffee cup in each hand, Arianna Calin bumped her jeans-clad hip against the

iron entrance gate, knocking it open, and slipped inside, her footsteps

crunching the brittle September leaves. When an eerie chill nudged her senses,

she swept the scene with a sharp glance.

Nothing she hadn’t

expected. Not yet. Nothing bad enough to trigger her witch alarms. But then, it

was a graveyard. The remnants of so many dead souls could mask a great deal.

She ducked under a high

section of the bright tape and focused on the blond man in jeans and a dark

gray sweatshirt crouched beside a still form. “ME’s not here yet?” she asked.

Lt. Ryan Foster, her

partner from the all-human Riverdale Police Department, looked up and stood,

his blue eyes lighting on the cups in her hands. “On his way. One of those for

me?”

A smile touched her

lips, and she handed him one, withholding further comment until he’d taken his

first jolt of caffeine. “Dispatch said it was a stabbing. Human female victim.

Is the suspect one of mine?” As a supernatural cop and guardian for Riverdale’s

Olde Town district, Ari wouldn’t be notified of an RDPD case unless the

Otherworld was involved. Usually that meant vampires or werewolves—the

predominant species in town—had run amok

.

“I’m not sure….” Ryan

rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Sorry to drag you out so early on a hunch, but

I have a weird feeling about this one.”

Ari nearly choked on

her coffee. “Oh, no you don’t. That’s my line. There’s only room for one of us

with spidey senses in this partnership.”

“Cop instincts,” he

corrected. His early-morning face was grumpy, displaying his constant annoyance

with things he didn’t understand. “It works for us mere mortals.”

“OK. Show me. What have

you got?” She stepped around him, the humor slipping from her lips at first

sight of the victim.

“Judge for yourself if

something doesn’t feel off.”

Vivid red blood stood

in stark contrast to the middle-aged woman’s light lemon sweater. Not a typical

stabbing…her throat had been slashed, leaving a spray pattern of arterial blood

on the fading grass around her and a glistening trail down the sides of a

gaping wound. It had soaked her neckline.

Ari’s nostrils flared,

taking in the sharp, metallic scent and seeking something more, whatever had

triggered Ryan’s reaction. All kidding aside, working with him for eight years

meant she trusted his gut feelings almost as much as her magic.

Bio

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 thirteen published novels. She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings into her books. Ms. Shields enjoys chatting with readers through her website/social media and can frequently be found on Twitter.

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