To our readers from Deborah Blake--
Karen and I "met" online over our mutual love of cats. I commented on a blog post she wrote about the death of a stray she'd taken in who happened to look a lot like one of the cats I'd adopted from a local shelter, and talked about a cat I'd rescued one bitter February night. She asked me if I would do a guest blog about my various rescues, and thus a friendship was born. Recently, I was the person she called to consult about kitty birthing, right before Halo had her bunch. (I've been a "midwife" at four different cat births since I was a kid and my mom let me and my sisters stay home to watch our cat have her babies, so I know a thing or two about such things. Needless to say, Karen ended up doing great.)
Of course, we are both authors, and admirers of each other's work. Believe it or not, most writers are enthusiastic supporters of other authors (rather than being in competition with them) and we spend a lot of our time cheering each other on. Big thanks to Karen for sharing the news of my long-awaited debut novel with her own readers!
ABOUT WICKEDLY DANGEROUS--
Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don't make the mistake of crossing one of them...
Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.
But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.
Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart.
AUTHOR: Deborah Blake
Release date: September 2, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance (modern fairy tale)
Available as: Mass market paperback/ebook
Other books in the series: WICKEDLY MAGICAL (Prequel novella 8/4/14) WICKEDLY WONDERFUL, Book 2 12/2/14
Alex Bledsoe: "BABA YAGA translates a terrifying figure from folklore into the smart, resourceful, motorcycle-riding Barbara Yager, she travels with her dragon-disguised-as-a-dog best friend, righting wrongs and helping those in need. But when she stumbles into a town where children are vanishing, and meets the haunted young sheriff trying to save them, what was a job becomes very personal. This is urban fantasy at its best, with all the magic and mayhem tied together with very human emotions, even when the characters aren't quite human." --Alex Bledsoe, author of WISP OF A THING
Tanya Huff: In WICKEDLY DANGEROUS, Deborah Blake has updated Baba Yaga for the 21st century: witchy and wild, with a kick-ass woman, witty repartee, and roots to the past. This book has everything I'm looking for.
Maria V. Snyder: An addicting plot combined with a unique adventure and an intelligent, pragmatic heroine kept me glued to the page. I never had so much fun losing sleep!
An Excerpt from WICKEDLY DANGEROUS:
Plopping his hat on over his dark blonde hair, Liam strode up to the door of the Airstream--or at least, where he could have sworn the door was a couple of minutes ago. Now there was just a blank wall. He pushed the hair out of his eyes again and walked around to the other side. Shiny silver metal, but no door. So he walked back around to where he started, and there was the entrance, right where it belonged.
"I need to get more sleep," he muttered to himself. He would almost have said the Airstream was laughing at him, but that was impossible. "More sleep and more coffee."
He knocked. Waited a minute, and knocked again, louder. Checked his watch. It was six AM; hard to believe that whoever the trailer belonged to was already out and about, but it was always possible. An avid fisherman, maybe, eager to get the first trout of the day. Cautiously, Liam put one hand on the door handle and almost jumped out of his boots when it emitted a loud, ferocious blast of noise.
He snatched his hand away, then laughed at himself as he saw a large, blunt snout pressed against the nearest window. For a second there, he'd almost thought the trailer itself was barking. Man, did he need more coffee.
At the sound of an engine, Liam turned and walked back toward his car. A motorcycle came into view; it's rider masked by head-to-toe black leather, a black helmet, and mirrored sunglasses that matches the ones Liam himself wore. The bike itself was a beautiful royal blue classic BMW that made Liam want to drool. And get a better paying job. The melodic throb of its motor cut through the morning silence until it purred to a stop about a foot away from him. The rider swung a leg over the top of the cycle and dismounted gracefully.
"Nice bike," Liam said in a conversational tone. "Is that a sixty-eight?"
"Sixty-nine," The rider replied. Gloved hands reached up an removed the helmet, and a cloud of long black hair came poring out, tumbling waves of ebony silk. The faint aroma of orange blossom drifted across the meadow, although none grew there.
A tenor voice, sounding slightly amused, said, "Is there a problem officer?"
Liam started, aware that he's been staring rudely. He told himself it was just the surprise of her gender, not the startling Amazonian beauty of the woman herself, all angles and curves and leather.
"Sheriff," he corrected out of habit. "Sheriff Liam McClellan." He held out one hand, then dropped it back to his side when the woman ignored it. "And you are?"
"Not looking for trouble," she said, a slight accent of unidentifiable origin coloring her words. Her eyes were still hidden behind the dark glasses, so he couldn't quite make out if she was joking or not. "My name is Barbara Yager. People call me Baba." One corner of her mouth edged up so briefly, he almost missed it.
"Welcome to Clearwater County," Liam said. "Would you like to tell me what you're doing parked out here?" He waved one hand at the Airstream. "I assume this belongs to you."
She nodded, expressionless. "It does. Or I belong to it. Hard to tell which sometimes."
Liam smiled gamely, wondering if his caffeine deficit was making her sound odder than she really was. "Sure. I feel that way about my mortgage sometimes. So, you were going to tell me what you're doing here."
"Was I? Somehow I doubt it." Again, that tiny smile, barely more than a twitch of the lips. "I'm a botanist with a specialty in herbalism; I'm on sabbatical from UC Davis. You have some unusual botanical varieties growing in this area, so I'm here to collect samples for my research."
Liam's cop instincts told him that her answer sounded too pat, almost rehearsed. Something about her story was a lie, he was sure of it. But why bother to lie about something he could so easily check?
"Do you have some kind of ID?" he asked. "You're vehicle didn't turn up in the database and my dispatcher couldn't find any record of a permit for you to be here. This is county property, you know." He put on his best "stern cop" expression. The woman with cloud hair didn't seem at all fazed.
Deborah Blake has published seven books on modern witchcraft with Llewellyn Worldwide and has an ongoing column in Witches & Pagans Magazine. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans' Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.
Deborah Blake links:
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