Blood and Moonlight
by Moira Keith
Published: August 11th 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee at For the Muse Designs
Number of pages: 270
Word Count: 92,812
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?
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"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."
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.
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