by P.L. Blair
Date of Publication: September 30th 2017
Publisher: Studio See Publishing LLC
Cover Artist: Ron and Sarah Richter
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Police Procedural/Light Romance
Corpus Christi, Texas, police detective Tevis McLeod, an elf, must make an impossible choice: aid the evil Queen of the Unseelie Court in a quest that will allow her to become ruler over two worlds … or watch Kat Morales, his Human partner, and lifemate, die.
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Kat Morales felt a tingle of nerves between her shoulders as she and her partner entered Miguelito's. Something watched them – not some one, not anyone in the knot of uniformed police and civilians gathered at the doors into the restaurant's kitchen. What burned at the nape of Kat's neck, and turned the greenblack amulet around her neck into ice so cold it almost burned, came from some … thing. A creature, definitely not Human. Kat stopped a couple of steps past the entrance, scanning her surroundings. Miguelito's had gone lavish in Christmas decorations: arrangements of poinsettias on every Spanish-tiled table in sight, bright-colored pinatas around the bar at the far end of the room, a six-pointed star of Magic-enhanced light strands hanging from the ceiling in the room's center, with more light strands radiating outward toward the walls in a simulation of starlight.
And overriding everything, the decorations, murals on the walls – everything –
That sensation prickling at the nape of Kat's neck, that feeling of being watched by something dark and malevolent.
“Invisible,” Tevis murmured, his gaze meeting hers.
Not her imagination then. He felt it too.
He nodded, as though in response to her thoughts. A couple of inches taller than Kat's own five-feet-six, hair a pale gold in color, eyes the most incredible shade of blue Kat had ever seen, Tevis Mac Leod at first glance could pass for a late-twenty-something Human. But then you noticed the ears, pointed as those of a fox, that identified him as an Elf – an Aalfar. One of those beings that Humans had long dismissed as “fairy tales” and fantasy until more than four years ago when Portals had opened between the world of Humans and … the Other Side … the world ruled by Magic and inhabited by all of humankind's ancient fantasies and worst nightmares …
Tevis had been Kat's partner on the Corpus Christi Police Department's detective squad for nearly a year now, and more recently – her lifemate. Although they were keeping that part secret for a while yet. The CCPD officially frowned on its officers … “fraternizing.” A corner of Kat's mouth twitched a smile that quickly disappeared as she re-focused her attention on the business at hand. All the restaurant's tables were empty, all but one. She moved toward it, Tevis close at her side.
The two men standing beside the table straightened at the detectives' approach. The third man, the one slumped over his unfinished lunch, was beyond any kind of movement.
“Morales.” Corpus Christi Police Captain James Harley nodded to her, then to her partner. “Mac Leod.” He pronounced Tevis' name “Leed” instead of the way Tevis himself said it: “Lee-ud.” The other – living – Human at the table, Nueces County's Deputy Coroner Roger Branson, gave Kat and her partner a curt nod. Kat had fewer dealings with Branson than with his boss, Paul Herrera. But Paul was on vacation this week.
Kat would've bet her next paycheck that Roger was wishing his and Paul's positions were reversed.
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A native of Tyler, Texas, Pat Blair lived for a few years on the Texas coast, in the Rockport and Corpus Christi area, before moving to Sheridan, Wyoming, since 1986. Writing as P.L. Blair, she finished her first book in her Portals series – Shadow Path – in 2008 while still employed as a reporter at The Sheridan Press newspaper. After taking a short semi-retirement, she resumed working as a reporter for Sheridan Media, a company that boasts nine radio stations and a website, sheridanmedia.com, in 2013. Blair's writing career was briefly disrupted by a – fortunately small – heart attack in January 2016, but with medications and a change in diet, she's recovered and back on track. She shares her life with three dogs – a basset hound, dachshund/cocker mix and a “Jack Russell terror” – and a cat. All are rescues.
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Interview with P.L. Blair . . .
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
Easy reading. I write purely to entertain.
What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
Book 6 in my Portals series, A Plague of Leprechauns, is with my publisher. I'm hoping it will be published this year. For my part, I've started Book 7, Doomblade, and I hope to get it finished and in my publisher's hands – and maybe get started on Book 8, before the end of the year.
Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
A little of both, I think. I've been writing for more than 60 years – since I was 7 or 8 years old. My grandfather taught me to read, starting when I was around 2 or 3 years old, and I think from that grew a desire to become one of those people whose stories I was reading. I graduated from college with a degree in journalism, and I've been a reporter for most of my adult life.
Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?
If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional characters, who would they be?
I'd certainly love to spend a week with Kat and Tevis, two of my characters. And … I'd love to spend a week with Sherlock Holmes, get a glimpse into that fascinating mind. Doctor Who – OK, he's more television than books, but … A week flitting around the universe with a Time Lord could be great fun! And … Amelia Peabody … An independent woman in the Victorian era, and an archeologist from those days! I'd love to talk with her!
Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere? What would you do with this time?
Ireland. My great-grandfather was Irish, and I've always felt more closely connected with the Irish than any other people. I'd love to tour the countryside, visit with the people, see the ancient places – especially those connected with the “Little People” of Irish folklore.
Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
I'm currently working on Doomblade, Book 7 in my Portals series. The subject is a magical sword that leaves wounds that, no matter how shallow, continue to bleed until the victim bleeds to death. There are at least a couple of references to such swords in folklore – the Crocea Mores reputedly borne by Julius Caesar is one such. In my world, the Doomblade is the model for the swords of legend, and it finds its way from the Realms of Magic into the world of humans, where it's used to commit murders.