Hello and Welcome All!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Ally Shields author of The Elvenrude Trilogy series.
Hello Ally, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
For those readers not familiar with you, would you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, Angela. Thanks for inviting me to visit you and meet your readers.
I’m a Midwesterner, transplanted to the East Coast, and back again. Before taking up full-time writing, I taught school, practiced law, and worked in the Juvenile Justice System, including several years on a joint investigative team handling criminal child abuse cases. I have two grown sons, eight grandkids, and one miniature pinscher (Ranger). You can often find me wandering around the Twitterverse (@ShieldsAlly).
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way wither growing up or as an adult?
I read…a lot. Any number of books have affected my writing. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley inspired me to write my first novel at the age of nine; J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy cemented my love of fantasy; Tanya Huff introduced me to urban fantasy, but Laurell K. Hamilton’s Guilty Pleasures made me want to write in the genre.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Did I mention the eight grandchildren? Or the dog? I also love to travel to absorb beautiful scenery and explore historical ruins. My publishing schedule and world circumstances have kept me in the US the last few years, but there is still so much to see. I have a long list, including a return to New Orleans by next fall, and maybe a train trip.
How did you choose the genre that you write in?
My first character chose it. When I decide to pursue serious writing in 2008, I began my manuscript, eventually titled Awakening the Fire, intending to write a traditional mystery. On day three my heroine told me she was a witch, and I had to stop and invent an entire world for her to live in! After completing seven books in that first urban fantasy series, it felt natural to stick with the genre.
What gave you the idea to write The Elvenrude Trilogy?
It also started with a character. Kameo appeared in my head, told me a little about herself, and then I began playing “what if” games, thinking about the settings and events that would fit her personality. I knew she had to live in an elven world, so it was logical she’d need a portal to get to the human world. Since I’d been planning a trip to New Orleans, the city was on my mind, and it seemed the perfect contemporary location—mysterious and picturesque.
Please tell us a little about Kam and Seth, our heroine and hero?
Kam and Seth are both members of the elven aristocracy but belong to rival families who’ve been feuding for centuries. Kam is striving for independence in a male-dominated society and has taken the unusual career step of joining the King’s Guard. When pressured by family and her current boyfriend to marry and assume a more traditional role, she convinces the king to send her through the portal to manage their antiquities business in New Orleans. Seth has been living in the human world most of the last five years running a successful guild business. When circumstances bring the two together, they have to cope with the family feud, a growing attraction to each other, and a rebellion at home that also endangers the human world.
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of their story, what would it be and why?
To reassess their world as they know it, and to expect the unexpected.
During the events of the Elvenrude Trilogy, Kam and Seth—in fact all of Elvenrude—will face challenges that require them to take a look at their past and their potential future. They’ll experience unforeseen events and people, forcing them to modify their own attitudes and their society in order to survive.
What was your favorite scene to write in The Elvenrude Trilogy?
The scene in book three which takes place in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt.
Why? It was a pleasure to research and return—in memory and through my own photographs—to a country I’d love to visit for a third trip. It was the perfect setting for action and drama.
If you could spend a day with one of your main characters from The Elvenrude Trilogy, who would it be and what would you do with them?
Kam’s sister, Esty, would be so much fun. Her bubbly personality is infectious. We’d go shopping in New Orleans and end the day at the spa.
But if I chose a character to be a best friend, I’d pick Kam, a brave, confident woman with strong loyalties, and I’d love to accompany her to check out a new antiquities’ find at some ancient ruins.
Last, what is next for you?
My latest project is the Maggie York Paranormal Mystery series. Ghost Walking is book one, and I’m currently writing Ghost Witching (book two). Maggie York is a New Orleans homicide cop who has a near-death experience after being shot on the job. The event triggers a latent ability to see the ghosts of murder victims…and Maggie’s not the least bit happy about it.
Thank you, Ally, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. We loved having you visit and sharing The Elvenrude Trilogy series with us.
Thanks again for hosting me. I so enjoyed the visit!
by Ally Shields
GENRE: Paranormal romance (sweet/sensual)/urban fantasy
Cross Keys (Elvenrude Book 1)
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.
Cross Keys #1 Official Trailer: Click Here
Cross Keys: Revelation (Elvenrude Book 2)
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: Revelation book trailer: Click Here
Cross Keys: Unity (Elvenrude 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.
Cross Keys: Unity book trailer: Click Here
Excerpt – Cross Keys: Unity (Elvenrude Book 3)
She crouched and hid the small box under the bed. He’d be home from the guild meeting soon, and she didn’t want to ruin the surprise. The Winter Solstice celebration was less than two weeks away. She could keep the clasp a secret until then, couldn’t she?
The ding of the house portal sent her scurrying from the bedroom. By the time Seth found her, she was leaning against the kitchen counter with a glass of red wine.
He gave her that slow smile, his green eyes bold with promise. Her heart turned over, as it had every day since they’d met, and, eager for his touch, she set her wine glass on the counter. Kam lifted a hand to run through his black, unruly locks and met his kiss with a hunger of her own.
When he lifted his head, his mouth curved into a grin. “I love finding you here at the end of the day.” He smoothed her hair and planted a second kiss on the tip of her nose. “Now if you were only barefoot and pregnant.”
“Don’t even joke about it.” She widened her eyes in mock horror. “My parents are ignoring our cohabitation, but a pregnancy would have my father on our doorstep with a priestess.”
“As he should.” He looked into her eyes. “Maybe we shouldn’t wait.”
Her mouth dropped open. “For a child?”
“Well, that wasn’t what I had in mind, but why not?” He laughed then. “OK, we should start by announcing the engagement. Why wait for the solstice? Most members of both clans will be pleased.”
“That’s why we’re making the big announcement so public. It’s symbolic. Remember? This was your idea. To formalize the end of the Ryndel-Lormarc feud.”
He tightened his arms possessively. “I didn’t realize how impatient I’d be.”
Ally Shields will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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.
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