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.
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.
Cross Keys: Unity (Book 3)
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 (Elvenrude Book 1):
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?”
Making 3D Book Covers
Promoting is a task that most authors face these days. Some of it's expensive and time-consuming, but a few things are actually fun and cost you nothing except your time. Another author, Brinda Berry, first showed me how to do this, and I'd like to pass it on for authors and readers to use for displaying books on their websites.
(1) You need to find a 3D book template. There are free ones at several sites like the one here (right click on the template, Save Image As, and remember where you put it!): http://www.myebook.co.za/files/3D-Book-Template.jpg
(2) Choose a graphics program. I use this free one on line: http://apps.pixlr.com/editor/
(3) Click on "Open Image From Computer" and select your 3D book template. Wait for it to load.
(4) Next go up to "Layer" and select "Open Image As Layer." Select your book cover, a medium size works best. When it loads it should be a small image on top of your 3D template.
(5) Your need to make the cover so you can stretch it around. So go to Edit and select Free Distort. You can now move the corners of your cover to fix on the front of the template, leaving the “fake pages” showing slightly at the top and on the right.
(6) When it looks the way you want, click on the image to bring up a dialogue box asking if you want to apply changes. Click yes, then go up to File > Save > OK.
My first one took me a half hour, maybe more. My second was 2-3 minutes. I made one while typing these instructions.
April 20: The Reading Addict
April 20: Dena Garson-Real... Hot... Romance
April 27: Louise Lyndon Romance Author Hear Me Roar
May 4: Christine Young
May 4: Natural Bri - review only
May 11: Angel's Guilty Pleasures
May 18: Sharing Links and Wisdom
May 25: Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
June 1: Kit 'N Kabookle
June 8: Stormy Vixen Book Reviews - review only
June 8: Long and Short Reviews
Author Bio and Links:
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.
Cross Keys (Elvenrude Book 1):
Cross Keys Book Trailer
Cross Keys: Revelation (Elvenrude Book 2):
Cross Keys: Unity (Elvenrude Book 3):