Ally Shields has a wondrous following of fans who gobble up her urban fantasy books (and if you read one, you'll understand why).
She has just had a new one released - Cross Keys. Let's hear about it...and a recipe!!!!
Thanks for hosting me and my new urban fantasy, Cross Keys! I'm excited to tell you about the book and to share a Cajun recipe, one of several I brought back from New Orleans while doing background research.
Happy reading...and sampling of the delicious Cajun cuisine. :)
Cross Keys (An Elvenrude Novel) by Ally Shields
Genre: Urban fantasy/Paranormal romance
Conspiracy, murder, and magic…and the death of all they hold dear.
When the first wanderer—a common elf who isn’t authorized to use the portal—is spotted on the streets of New Orleans, the king assigns Kameo Ryndel to assist in the elf’s capture. But before she can intervene, humans with guns shoot the wanderer and steal his body. When Seth Lormarc, an Elite elf from a rival guild, appears at the scene, Kam suspects he is involved.
Seth Lormarc is in New Orleans to find out who was behind the portal breach, and his best lead is the intriguing Kam Ryndel. When he stakes out her apartment and finds her sneaking out in the middle of the night, dressed in black and leaping to the top of the nearest building, he knows there’s something unique about the beautiful elf. That kind of feat requires magic. Ancient magic.
As their paths cross during their investigations, they develop an irresistible attraction, although there’s little time for romance. The portal breach is tied to an illegal smuggling operation that has come to the attention of the human CIA. But the stakes are raised when Kam and Seth discover a band of conspirators and a rebellion deep in Elvenrude that promises nothing except destruction of their world.
Kameo and Caleb shared two dances—their feet barely skimming the floor as they swirled to the ethereal music of harps and flutes—then followed etiquette by mingling and dancing with others. This was strictly an Elite ball, attended only by the dark-haired members of the houses descended from the ancient elven warriors, often referred to and sometimes vilified in human lore as dark elves. If any of those old stories were true, it was hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Their descendants had evolved into a fair-minded upper class that still maintained the warrior’s energy. Tonight, however, none of their ancestry showed, as the women swayed decorously in their floor-length gowns, the men rather stiff in their unaccustomed fancy coats.
During a break in the music, Kam tracked down her sister. “Did Aaron McClanahan ask you to dance?” She kept her voice low.
Esty blushed and dropped her eyes. “He did. Oh, Kammy, he is so wonderful.”
“Wonderful? Oh, girl, you have it bad.” Kam cut off a laugh. Her sister’s hormones were at it again. At twenty-two, Esty’s body was still developing. She’d been in love three times in the past year.
As if to prove her point, her sister suddenly pulled on her sleeve. “Speaking of wonderful, Seth Lormarc just arrived. What a waste to give all that sexiness to someone I can’t have.”
“Hush,” Kam warned. “Mother would be appalled to hear you talk like that.”
“Well, don’t you think he’s sexy?” Esty wasn’t the least bit cowed by threats of her mother’s censure. “He’s more your age too.” Esty’s eyes danced. She loved to tease Kam about the five years difference in their ages.
“Stop that.” Kam’s grin belied the reprimand. “I would never think about a Lormarc in that way.” But in fairness, she turned to take a look at him. The man in question looked like he was approaching thirty and kept himself in shape. He was deep in conversation with his grandfather Harad, the head of the Lormarc family, and with his great uncle Jermon. All she could see of his face was his profile, strong, sculptured features that said don’t mess with me.
She arched a brow. Bad tempered, no doubt, and probably arrogant too. His black hair lay tousled in a casual style; his body muscled and taut, as if containing an energy resistant to control. He might be considered attractive, she conceded. If you liked the type.
She scanned the room until she found Caleb, charming, polished, each lock of hair carefully combed in place. Compared to him, Seth Lormarc seemed wild, untamed. Maybe a little uncouth.
Esty’s voice brought her back to the conversation.
“Well, I think he’s cute. Ooh, and there is his equally hunky cousin Rhyden.” Esty stifled a giggle. “I’d take either one of them. Who cares about some old family feud."
Book Trailer on Youtube: http://youtu.be/2GgI4-50QfA
And now for the recipe!!!!
Cajun Red Beans and Rice (serves 4)
1/2 lb dry red beans 1 tsp. thyme
1 qt water 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large onion 1/2 T coarse ground pepper
2 bay leaves 1 C brown rice
1 C chopped celery 1 T butter
1 chopped green pepper 2 1/2 additional C water
1 1/2 T parsley 1 tsp table salt
3 cloves chopped garlic
Rinse beans. Add water, beans, onion and bay leaves to a large pan. Bring to boil, then simmer for two hours. Mash bean into large clumps. Add green pepper, parsley, garlic, thyme, sea salt, ground pepper. Cook another 40 minutes until mixture forms a sauce. Remove bay leaves.
While the bean are cooking, in another pan bring 2 1/2 C water, butter and regular salt to boil, then add rice, stir, cover, and cook on simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand. Do not remove cover for another 15 minutes.
Serve beans over rice. Enjoy!
About the Author:
Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a "river rat." The setting and folklore of the river regions are often incorporated into her urban fantasy books. After a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009, and Awakening the Fire, the debut novel in her Guardian Witch series, was released by Etopia Press in September 2012. There are now six published books in that series. Cross Keys is the first novel with all new characters.
When not writing, reading or spending time with family, she loves to travel in the US and abroad. Way too often she can be found on Twitter.
Contact the Author:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Ally-Shields/e/B009AKNDZU