Urban Fantasy: conjures up tales of the mean streets, doesn’t it? Wizards on a case, stomping the alleyways of gritty Chicago with their magic staff; Druid investigators tracking down evildoers in South Boston; PIs joining with a vampire partner searching for demons in downtown Toronto. From vampire executioners in St. Louis to all the amazing and wonder leather-clad kickass female heroes and heroines in today’s urban fantasy, we all love these stories set in modern cities.
But what about the country? Small towns, rural areas? There’s no lack of intrigue, suspense, backstabbing partners, and all the things you’d find in a large city (except perhaps for the high-rises and traffic).
I chose to set my Blood Lines series in Rio Seco, Texas – a fictional small town very much based on a lovely Hill Country community I lived in during my late high school years: Lago Vista, Texas. The Hill Country, dotted with small towns, rural communities and resorts remains, to this day, a jewel in the bellybutton of the state. Lakes, rolling hills, gorgeous scenery complement the hustle and bustle of the major cities. It’s a place to get away and a wonderful place to live.
Even as early as the late 1970s, the Hill Country was becoming a mecca for those with money/fame/power to buy a vacation home. Now, in the early 21st century, nearby cities keep expanding into this once isolated area, bringing with it the pressures of new population, new development. Small towns may not have the numbers of people as in cities, but they certainly have the same issues, often magnified because people all tend to know one another.
Matters of the Blood
Forget Transylvania, New Orleans, and St. Louis—Keira Kelly has to deal with supernatural Texas…
If you thought your family was strange…
Try being Keira Kelly. A member of a powerful paranormal family, Keira elected to stay among humans in the Texas Hill Country when the rest of the clan moved (lock, stock, and grimoire) to Canada. But family duty means still having to keep an eye on cousin Marty—a genetic aberration who turned out 100% human, poor guy. And recently Keira’s been having violent dreams—or are they visions?—featuring Marty as the victim of a vicious murder. Something sinister seems to be brewing in little Rio Seco. Can Keira get to the bottom of it all while avoiding entanglement with her former lover, Sheriff Carlton Larson? And what does she plan to do about the irresistible and enigmatic Adam Walker? When this old friend shows up as the new owner of a local ranch and wants to get better acquainted, Keira is more than happy to be welcoming…until she suspects that Adam could be intimately connected to the dangerous doings in Rio Seco.
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Something is not right at Wild Moon Ranch…
Keira Kelly has settled in with handsome Adam Walker, but happy-ever-after is not so easy when your vampire lover seems determined to deny his true nature. With Adam starving himself of blood and growing weak, Keira needs to work out how to persuade him to take care of himself, something she’s finding difficult to do — even with the advice of her brother Tucker, a millennium-old ex-Viking shapeshifter.
And people have started disappearing in the Rio Seco area, making Keira worry about what this could mean, both for her friends in Rio Seco and to the community she and Adam have been creating at the ranch. But her investigation only seems to bring more trouble, especially when a clue leads her to an abandoned cemetery that Keira knew well when she was younger…one that has always been extremely important to her magical family.
Evil is definitely walking once again in the Texas Hill Country. Can Keira discover where the danger lies…before danger discovers her?
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The perils of power…
Keira Kelly has come into her full powers, and they are frighteningly strong, creating a distance between her and her human friends in her beloved Rio Seco. It is time to obey her great-great-grandmother Gigi’s orders and rejoin her family in northwest Canada, where Keira can learn to handle her dangerous new skills. She’ll have friends with her every step of the way — her shapeshifter brother Tucker, his beloved Niko, and, to Keira’s dismay, her cousin on her mother’s side, Daffyd ap Geraint, the Sidhe prince who suddenly appeared in her life and now refuses to leave — but her vampire lover Adam has insisted on staying in Texas. And while there are certainly perks to being Family, such as a private Learjet for the flight to Canada and a fabulous penthouse condo overlooking Vancouver, there are threats looming that nobody, not even Gigi, anticipated. Keira’s Sidhe inheritance from her mother is far more important than anyone ever realized, and the fate of the Family may depend upon what she does next….
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Texas is heating up. . .
The summer heat wave that’s hit Rio Seco, Texas has even the vampires complaining, but now that Keira—the Kelly Heir—is home from Vancouver, the weather isn’t the only thing too hot to handle. Keira should be setting up her court and planning the big reception at which she and her consort, vampire ruler Adam Walker, will receive the magical leaders from the local area, but pomp and circumstance just aren’t Keira’s thing, especially not with trouble smoldering in her domain. A werewolf couple has mysteriously gone missing from a local pack, and when Keira is asked by their leader to investigate, she finds that some dissatisfied neighbors may have been taking, well, strong action against the wer community—action that could be repeated and could involve Keira and those she loves. With the reception looming and danger fast blazing out of control, the pressure is on Keira to keep Texas safe for supernaturals. Sometimes, it’s just not that great to be Heir. . .
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All’s fair in blood and war. . . .
Talk about wedding crashers from hell. Keira Kelly and her sexy vampire king, Adam, are about to tie the proverbial knot—sort of—when an uninvited blood relative shows up to cast a long, dark shadow over the happy occasion. Adam’s brother Gideon comes bearing the one-size-fits-all gift of bad news: an ancient, convoluted Challenge thrown down upon the entire Kelly clan. It seems the dreaded forces of the Dark Fae have declared war on Keira’s family, and at stake is the land that is rightfully theirs. But while the Kellys gather their troops in a historic San Antonio hotel to strategize, there’s mayhem back in Rio Seco. The old cemetery is vandalized, fires break out, and—worst of all—the Kelly clan matriarch and leader, Keira’s great-great-grandmother Minerva, goes missing. Should Keira risk breaking the Challenge rules by returning to her beloved home, or should she continue the waiting game that seems the only other option? With everything she loves and maybe even her life on the line, she has only one chance to get the answer right.