Ari Calin has sworn to keep the peace in Olde Town, and most of the time the Otherworlders cooperate. The vampires, werewolves and other magical beings go about their business, living side by side with humans, until the foreign wolves arrive and a virtual reality drug hits the streets. When violence erupts, Ari needs more than her witch fire, weapons and potions to stop the madness.
Backed by a human cop and a way-too-sexy vampire, Ari hunts for the enemy -- from the vampire strip clubs to the caverns under the city. Every step draws them deeper into an old feud and closer to the brink of a supernatural war.
5-star: The Romance Studio review: "I can't wait for the rest of the series from this exciting new author because I will definitely be reading them all."
5-star: Amazon customer review: "Be warned, once you start reading, you are going to skip meals to finish."
5-star: Amazon customer review: "I loved this book and I'm really looking forward to the next installment in the series. Arianna and Andreas are such interesting characters and I can't wait to see what happens between them."
5-star: Amazon customer review: "You will be hooked from the first page!"
Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest along the Mississippi River, the setting for her urban fantasy series. After careers as a lawyer and a juvenile court officer, she now writes full-time. Visit her official author website at www.allyshields.com.
An Interview with Ally Shields
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Ally, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Awakening the Fire and it's the first in your Guardian Witch series. Where did you get the idea for this amazing series?
AS: My witch told me the story. Honestly, I started out to write a traditional mystery, but Ari wasn't willing to go that route. She insisted on being a witch, and I built the world and storyline around her. The romance just kind of evolved, because that's what Ari wanted!
HH:How does Awakening the Fire kick it off?
AS: Most of the world building and introduction of the important on-going characters occurs in this book. Ari's job as an Otherworld cop and her personality drive much of the plot and will continue to do so throughout the series.
HH: What can you tell us about the books to come?
AS: Right now there are plans for a total of seven. Three are written and under contract. Book four is ready for submission to the publisher, and I have a general outline for books 5 - 7. The same major characters will continue, although a couple more will be added, and readers will find even more supernatural doings in future plots.
HH: What do you like best about Ari and why will readers empathize with her?
AS: I love how loyal Ari is to her friends and anyone else who needs her protection. She is strong, independent and has a moral compass she strives to live by - however imperfectly.
HH:What do you like best about her man and why will readers love him?
AS: He's hot! Andreas is a charming Italian aristocrat who has been a vampire for 200 years. He's also an over-protective alpha male, yet he is smart enough to allow Ari to be herself. He's an enigma, and who isn't intrigued by the unknown?
HH:What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
AS: For the next year or two I will be working hard to finish the Guardian Witch series. After that, I'm not sure about additional paranormal novels, but I have another series already started that is a spy thriller, involving a female operative who is an ex-CIA assassin. I love to write about kick-ass heroines!
HH:How does 2013 promise to be different from 2012 for you?
AS: I published my first book in 2012, so it was a pretty special year for me. In 2013, I hope to publish two or three!
HH: Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
AS: I rarely lack it. I am one of those lucky writers that never wonders what I'm going to write about. I have a hundred stories in my head, and they just come pouring out when I sit down at the keyboard. That doesn't mean the first draft is fit for anyone to see, but I don't have any trouble getting the basic plot down. The ideas can be sparked by almost anything -- a news headline, another book, something I overheard at the supermarket. My friends have learned to be cautious about what they say!
HH: What's your favorite way to interact with readers?
AS: Probably through my blog, although I love to chat on Twitter. Actually, I'll talk with readers anytime, anywhere! :)
HH: What are you most looking forward to in 2013?
AS: I would love to steadily increase my readership. If others continue to enjoy my stories and characters, I'll be thrilled. If I find time in my writing schedule, I plan to attend one or two book conferences to mingle with other authors and readers. I like spending time with other book lovers!
Thank you so much for having me! I hope everyone is off to a wonderful 2013!