Moira Keith is guest blogging for me today!!!
Kiara walked into the Grand Lux Café at the Venetian Hotel and Casino, a ‘not-a-care-in-the-world’ air about her. Two guards accompanied her, but kept enough distance so she could move freely through the restaurant. After exchanging a few words with the hostess, she points me out and when her gaze meets mine, she smiles in acknowledgement. There were a few stops to exchange pleasantries with patrons. Kiara indulged everyone’s request for photos with a smile. The only hint of discomfort I saw in the woman was when someone got a little too close for comfort, which I found amusing considering the rumors about the fae and the wolves and their preference for touch.
“Miss Emerson?” Kiara's voice was soft. Not at all what I expected from a woman who was known for being a bit rough around the edges.
I stood and held out my hand to her. “Hi Miss O'Conaill, thanks for agreeing to this interview.”
“My pleasure, but please call me Kiara.” The silence stretched out making me uncomfortable, until I realized she was waiting for my first name.
“Zoey Emerson, it is an honor.” The tone reminded me that this woman was familiar with the game of court politics and presenting a certain face to reporters.
I leaned back in my chair, trying to set a more casual feel to the interview. I didn't want the stuffy court version of her life. Her tri-colored eyes were truly a sight to behold. A perfect combination of indigo, jade, and gold that I'd never seen before and would likely never see again.
I struggled to bring my mind back to the reason behind this meeting and indicated the empty seat across from me. “Please have a seat. Would you like a drink?”
She smiled when the waitress headed over and with her coffee ordered, she took a moment to glance out over the people as they walked past the café. “I’ll still never understand the appeal of an outdoor café setting inside of a casino. The casino moguls think of everything don’t they?”
"I haven't seem them create a casino that would capture the fae and their history."
"Probably never will. Our sordid history is our own and not something fit for a tourist attraction." Kiara smiled. “Of course, a fight to the death between two fae warriors would likely make an entertaining show. The promise of violence seems to do that for humans. Well I am sure that you have a busy day ahead of you Zoey, shall we get to it?”
With a nod, I pulled out the tape recorder. “You don’t mind do you?”
“Be my guest.” She leaned back, and pulled her legs up underneath her. “Surely they will be the same questions I am always asked. Feel free to start whenever you are ready.”
Hearing the challenge in her words, I thought a moment. “Are you a clothes in the hamper or on the floor kind of girl?”
“That wasn’t what you were going to ask me.”
Holding back the urge to blink, I smiled. “It is what I asked.”
“Now I see how you wheedled the interview out of Reese.” She glanced over her shoulder to where a pink-haired beauty stood, stone faced and alert. There was admiration in Kiara's eyes now. “Typically the clothes go in the hamper, but it would honestly depend on the day and how anxious I am to get out of my clothes. My mother was firm on certain things when I was growing up, and now that I live on my own, they’ve kind of stuck.”
“Okay, I have to ask the typical questions. What was it like being raised amongst the fae?”
“Well Zoe, for the most part, it was hell on earth. Every day I woke, wondering if I would live to crawl back in my bed. But, it’s just a part of who we are. It’s in our blood.”
“There's more to it though isn't there? The fights you endure stem from your differences from the fae. Is that why you fight so hard? Do you have something to prove?”
“Not to the fae, but to myself. It took me a long time to come to that realization.”
“So you were born into this life of royal duty and prejudice?”
“Yes. My mother did the best she could to keep me safe. However, I was a stubborn child and I wanted to honor the culture my mother loved so well. And yes I wanted to prove myself. Wanted to fit in.”
“They never did accept you?”
She looked a little sad. “No. In the long run, though I guess its my own fault. You know what they say, you have to accept yourself before others can.”
“How long ago did you lose your mother?”
“It was about two years ago.” The somber tone that had settled over her indicated a change of subject was in order.
“What do you do for fun when you’re here in Vegas with no other obligations?”
She quirked an eyebrow. “Why? Are you planning to move here?”
“Hardly. Just trying to see what you do to unwind.”
“Well, I’ve had the privilege of going up in one of the Thunderbirds. That was something else, but that was a few years ago.”
There was a glint in her eyes, one I’d seen several times before. “You’re an adrenaline junkie.”
“Perhaps a little. Not very many things that can get my blood pumping and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.”
“Oooh. What else gets your blood pumping?”
She laughed and her eyes sparkled. “Trying to get a little dirt for that paper of yours?
"Can't blame a girl for trying." I took a sip of my tea and waited to see if she would answer.
"Wolves. They get my blood pumping."
"That is a little vague don't you think?"
"Yes. Let's just say that I have a serious love hate relationship with the wolves. It's leaning a little more to the side of love these days though. The right people will have a way of doing that to you. Turn your life upside down, test everything you thought you knew, and still accept you just the way you are."
"You're in love with a wolf?" I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “After all that you've been through, did you ever think this is where it would all come full circle?”
“Not in a million years. I guess I'm more like my mother than I ever thought possible. Plus, it's damn exhausting spending so much energy hating something that lives with in you.”
“So very true. Thanks Kiara, it has been fun.”
She stood and shook my hand. “It was a pleasure Zoey.”
Moira Keith has a penchant for men in kilts, is a lover of shoes, Celtic mythology, connoisseur of Guinness, baker of cupcakes and overall complete mess! As an author of paranormal, urban fantasy and contemporary romance, Moira writes stories that are often filled with the magic of love and the mayhem that ensues, threatening to keep her couples apart.
Currently, Moira resides in Las Vegas with her twin zombie sons, their beta fish, and a turtle.
Connect with her:
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Though she shares the bloodlines of both Fae and Wolf, Kiara Morrigan O’Conaill refuses to claim her place in the Fae courts or submit to the animal within. Witnessing the murder of her Fae mother two years ago drives her back into those worlds, to search for answers and revenge.
Devlin McClure lives for one thing—the Pack. When their leader, the Cadeyrn, disappears, desperation sends Devlin to the last person he should be asking for help—the Cadeyrn’s estranged daughter, Kiara.
Kiara and Devlin are drawn to each other by fate and destined to embrace the very thing that threatens to rip their worlds apart. Now, Kiara will have to decide which is stronger, blood or moonlight?
Title: Blood and Moonlight
Moonlight Trilogy, Book One
Author: Moira Keith
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 270
Word Count: 92812
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee at For the Muse Designs
Purchase Links: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple Book Store
Here's an excerpt:
"Thanks for nothing!" I slammed down the phone, then picked it back up and screamed into the handset once more. "Asshole!"
As if on cue, the office door opened and Reese breezed in like a tornado, the local paper tucked under her arm. Her hair, the perfect shade of cotton-candy pink, trailed down her back in a waterfall of curls from the taut ponytail atop her head. The dagger strapped to her thigh was the only indication there was more to the woman than met the eye. Perching herself on the corner of my desk, she studied me with eyes flecked with shades of midnight, turquoise, and powder blue. She was a beautiful representation of full-blooded fae and my best friend.
"I take it the lead was a dead end."
"The elusive white fucking rabbit." I rested my head on the edge of the desk. Today marked the second anniversary of my mother’s death and the blame I felt for her absence was overwhelming.
"Tá grá agam duit," Reese softly professed her love for my mother as she kissed her finger and touched the photo of the woman who’d given me life. Her picture held a prominent place on my desk and served as a constant reminder of the pain and loss I’d suffered. After displaying her reverence, she put the photo face down on my desk and looked at me. "Kiara, maybe you aren’t meant to solve this puzzle."
"Perhaps, but considering we keep getting the same canned response I think we’re on to something here." I spun my mother’s ring, which now sat on my finger and sighed.
"You want answers. Need them so you can move on. I get it." She turned her head slightly. "You look like hell."
"The visions are getting worse." I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to fight them even as they pushed their way into my consciousness. Haunting screams, wolves with feral eyes and the constant feeling of unease flooded my mind.
"They won't cease until there's closure. I'm exhausted." The only reason we were in this godforsaken city of sin had to do with my hellish visions.
"Or until you stop carrying around that damn letter. Isleen promised you answers in that note and we’ve heard nothing from her since." Reese shifted slightly on the desk. "Did you drink the tea I made you?"
"Of course I did, but you know none of your fancy concoctions work on me."
"Yeah, well I keep hoping I’ll hit the magic combination one day and all of your sleeping woes will disappear." She bit her bottom lip and her brow furrowed. "You are the only person who’s unaffected by anything I whip up. I just don’t understand it."
"Blame the wolf blood in my veins." Silence fell like a heavy cloak over the room and I quickly changed the subject. "Anything new in the paper?"
She unfolded the paper and placed it in front of me without commenting. I prepared myself for what I would read, knowing the headlines would reveal nothing good. I glanced down, not surprised to see the mayor’s latest showgirl-flanked appearance took top billing. Unfortunately, the headline beneath the fold didn’t hold much shock value either:
Local Pack Loses Another.
I’d followed the story since it first broke but I ignored the temptation to pick it up, not wanting to feel the pain I didn't want to feel or even admit existed. It came as each new story or detail surfaced. One day I feared the news would offer confirmation that my visions were accurate and the names listed would bring my search for answers to a tragic end. I rubbed at my temples.
This was too much. Reality and vision meshed in a mix of macabre surrealist imagery that often left me feeling sick. It was difficult to explain, even to Reese. To her credit, she never pushed.
"Why don’t we discuss what’s in the lobby asking to speak with you." Excitement laced her voice as she fanned herself. Often, she could be read like a book. Whatever waited in the next room would be, at the very least, a nice piece of eye candy. Hopefully, the tantalizing feast would be interested in a nice art piece, but years of friendship and studying Reese’s body language told me otherwise.
"What, exactly, is waiting in the other room?" The faint musk of wolf trailed from the direction of the door. There was something familiar about it but it was so subtle, I couldn’t place it. Every inch of me screamed danger, while at the same time something called to a part of me I tried to forget existed and never could. Not good. Nearly every shifter encounter I’d faced ended in the battle scars that now marred both my mind and body. In a deliberate attempt to mask my unease, I snatched up the paper, leaned back in the chair and kicked my feet up on the desk. The steaming cup of coffee on the blotter would have helped, but I didn’t trust my hands to remain steady enough to allow for spill-free drinking.
My nervously twitching foot drew Reese’s gaze to my recently purchased Louboutin heels and her eyes glimmered, but even shoes weren’t enough to divert her attention from the man in the other room. "Nice try, Kiara, but your mastery in the art of distraction will not work this time. Just smile and be polite."
"You take away all of my fun."
"We’ve been living in this neon jungle for months now, yet you spend all of your time here. If this is fun—" She dramatically waved her arm around the office—"Then I’m seriously misinformed."
I stuck my tongue out at her. A soft knock sounded on the door and Deanne, our secretary, stepped into the office.
The masculine scent, laced with spicy undertones, wafted through the door more strongly, more enticing, more…
When Reese nudged me slightly, I glanced up to see them both watching me. Damn it. "Sorry, you were saying?"
"There is a gentleman here, insisting he speak with you. He says he is here on behalf of a Mr. O’Conaill."
I enjoyed Blood and Moonlight. It was full of mystery and action. The chemistry between Kiara and Devlin was great.
I couldn't help but get caught up in this story. There were so many things going on that it took me by surprise. That almost never happens!
I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
I recommend this book to everyone who likes paranormal books.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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