For anyone who has kept up with the reviews I’ve done, Ally Shields is no stranger to my screen! I find her to be an exceptional author and was honored when she agreed to come to the Pages and be interviewed! First lets get to know her a little and her newest book!
Author bio: Ally Shields is a Midwestern writer with a love for mystery and the paranormal. Following a career in law and juvenile justice, she took up full-time writing. In 2012 her first urban fantasy was published, and she has a total of sixteen titles to date. Shields loves to travel and often makes use of those settings in her novels. She welcomes reader feedback. You can reach her via her website, Facebook or Twitter (@ShieldsAlly).
Book title: Ring of Fire (Guardian Witch Legacy Book Three)
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/YA/NA
She stands between a daemon’s revenge and earth’s survival…
With her eighteenth birthday approaching, Rayne Calin-De Luca is feeling the pressure. Marked as the Chosen by an ancient prophecy, she and her parents—Guardian Witch Arianna and vampire prince Andreas—have desperately searched the world for the secrets behind the coming battle, when the ancient plague daemon Maelrad will break loose from Hell to wreak worldwide vengeance. So far, the means to defeat him have eluded them, and the inevitable conflict draws nearer with each passing hour…
As Maelrad’s power grows stronger, the demon’s poison is seeping through the veil and polluting the earth with violence. His minions openly stalk Rayne, her family, and friends. As things turn from bad to worse, Rayne’s confidence wavers. How can one novice witch defeat a centuries-old master daemon? She knows the terms of the prophecies forming the Esielen Triad cannot be changed. Armed only with her magic and a dagger, she is destined to face Maelrad alone.
For fans of kickass witches and the compelling men who fight alongside them comes the final book in the Guardian Witch universe. Ring of Fire winds up the action-packed sequel trilogy to the original series with an explosive conclusion.
Publish date: May 24, 2019
Publisher: Etopia Press
A little tease of the book for ya…
“Yay. Rah! RW High! Kiss my ass and say goodbye!”Raucous laughter and giggles accompanied the verbal middle-finger outburst and the loud slapping of jeans and shorts.
Rayne Calin-De Luca grinned as she and her companions rode on the tide of noisy senior classmates exiting Riverdale West High School. It was her last day. A make-up day forced by too many winter storms. Loud voices, disordered bumping, and good-natured shoving reigned as the halls vibrated with barely contained energy.
The compulsory pomp and circumstance of graduation had been held yesterday, so this was really the end. The double-doors clanged behind them. A wild cheer erupted. The surging crowd stopped at the circular drive, then everyone was suddenly saying their goodbyes intermixed with animated chatter about summer plans. The demands to “call me” or “text me” were nearly drowned by the enthusiastic sharing of longer-range dreams: Cal Tech, MSU, the local community college, the Naval Academy, marriage, the hoped-for jobs.
Amid the clamor, Rayne exchanged empty promises to stay in touch with classmates she barely knew before linking arms with Stacy and Jerome, her only real human friends. The door was closing on the most conventional chapter in her life, and a fragile sense of belonging was already slipping away. In truth, she’d never been part of it, just a visiting witch-in-disguise, and their talk of future plans slammed her back into reality.
Rayne forced a smile. She did share some of the excited buzz. Yeah, really. She was happy for them. But couldn’t quite rally the optimism. Her own future was…chaotic? On a good day.
Rayne frowned, her feet glued in place, unaccountably hesitant to cut the cord completely. Attending full-time classes with non-magical kids had been funky at times—and mostly hassle-free. Well, once she’d gotten past a shaky beginning with the school’s mean girls. She’d nearly outed herself as a witch until RJ interrupted by dragging her away before she bespelled them or worse.
But she’d quickly learned to hide her abilities…and her attitude. From September to June she’d been just another teen for eight hours a day. The rest of the real Rayne, she’d kept tucked away. While girls’ locker room gossip about guys, rock stars, the latest fashion or nail treatment could be weirdly out of step with the darker talk at home of demon sightings and world-changing prophecies, it was also fun.
“Hey, Rayne. See you at the senior party.”
“You bet.” She nodded, not even sure who’d said it.
RW High hadn’t been a total culture shock. Despite the grinding hours of private training at home on magic spells and potions, martial arts, and weaponry with her three Otherworld mentors, Rayne had attended part-time public school since kindergarten. It wasn’t until last spring that the Riverdale Education Department put its foot down, requiring full-time attendance her senior year…or no diploma. Rayne had shrugged. So what? Who needed it? She had this freaking destiny to fulfill.
But Mum had insisted. And what Mum wanted, she got.
Get your copy today:
Youtube book trailer: https://youtu.be/QdgJCWZhs7E
So, Let’s not waste another minute! Readers, welcome Ally Shields!
Cheryllynn: Do you have a pen name and why?
Ally: Ally Shields ismy pen name. It’s a form of my mother’s maiden name, so it was easy to remember in the beginning. Now, it’s as much a part of me as my given name.
I originally thought I’d write mysteries and thrillers under my own name. When my first book turned out to be an urban fantasy, I wanted readers to know what kind of book they were getting, so I chose a separate pen name for those. As it turned out, Urban Fantasy has kept me so busy I haven’t had time to do anything with the mystery/thrillers.
Cheryllynn: Isn’t it funny how one name or another can turn into something fantastic! What was the defining event that made you start writing?
Ally: When I was nine, the impetus was running out of Walter Farley horse books to read. So I handwrote a one hundred and fifty page story of Golden King, a wild palomino stallion who befriended a nine year old girl. Imagine that! The story has been—fortunately or not—lost to posterity. Then school, family, work, and life intervened. Not that I didn’t collect boxes and drawers full of story ideas and partial chapters over the years. In 2009, I finally had time to return to writing, and my first urban fantasy was published in 2012.
Cheryllynn: Oh, how we’d love to see those first pieces! What made you choose this genre?
Ally: I didn’t. It chose me…or rather my character did. When I began that first novel, I intended to write a police procedural, pulling from my years in law and working within the law enforcement field. But on day three, my character announced she was a witch, and I had to reassess the entire story, beginning with some serious world building. I didn’t get back to the writing stage for three months while I created the backdrop for the Guardian Witch books.
Cheryllynn: Well, as a reader of this particular gem of a series… I love it! You did great and really hope the rest of the world figures out just how good you are! What song would you choose as the theme song of your book?
Ally: The Climb by Miley Cyrus. This could be the theme for the entire 10-book series. https://youtu.be/NG2zyeVRcbs
Cheryllynn: Did you say ten? Oh my, my kindle is ready and waiting! What are you working on now?
Ally: I’m taking a sidestep and writing an historical mystery taking place during the Regency period in England. So far no paranormal characters have inserted themselves into the story. 🙂
Cheryllynn: How interesting! I may have to check that out when it’s ready. How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
Ally: Normally, I don’t do anymore than fill out forms with some general ideas. By contract my small press publisher has total control over the cover. I never talk directly with the artist, nor do I know what goes on behind the scenes.
Oh, they always show me a draft cover and might make small changes regarding color or fonts, but several covers weren’t what I would have chosen.
Ring of Fire was different.
Rayne’s mother Arianna was the main character of the original 7-book series, and some likeness of her appeared on each of those covers. Because of Rayne’s young age in the first two books of the sequel trilogy, Ari continued to hold the limelight. But Ring of Fireis Rayne’s story, and I wanted her on the front. I argued strongly against the first two cover drafts and finally was allowed to choose the model photo (from a specific website). I wanted Rayne to look like the strong but still developing young woman she is. I think this one comes very close.
Cheryllynn: Wow, to let someone else have total control is a lot of trust! If you could only take three books with you through an interstellar portal, what would they be?
Ally: The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R. Tolkien. They’re incredibly well written, they’re long, and they are so complex you could re-read them many times and always find something new.
Cheryllynn: I personally haven’t read them but and told they are great! Who are your five favourite authors?
Ally: Only five? This changes so often it’s hard to choose. I read in several genres. Currently, C.S. Harris would be at the top. (I love her Sebastian St. Cyr historical mysteries.) All time favorite would be J.R. Tolkien. Three other favorites are Kim Harrison (Hollows series), Terry Brooks (Shanarra series), and Vince Flynn (Mitch Rapp spy thrillers). Since I read so widely, I could go on and on…
Cheryllynn: Picking five is hard! What is your favourite quote?
Ally: It has been Carpe Diem (sieze the day) since I saw the 1989 movie Dead Poet’s Society. Powerful movie.
Cheryllynn: Nice quote. What do you write about in your blog?
Ally: My Ally Shields website is dedicated to urban fantasy/paranormal (mostly my books and related topics), but the attached blog has a much wider range. My only consistent posts are the Coffee Chats on Wednesdays, when I do an interview similar to this of authors writing in a variety of genres. I love meeting new authors, hearing about their interesting backgrounds and about the books they write. As a result, I have a longTBR list.
I also announce my own new releases and occasionally write posts regarding writing, reading, marketing, or something else I think might be of interest to readers or writers. On the weekends I might have guest book spotlights for authors with new releases or wanting to give their backlist a boost.
Most of the guest authors/books are urban fantasy, mystery, and/or romance, but I welcome most mainstream genres. I keep it PG-13 for younger readers.
Cheryllynn: That is a nice blend of things, I’ll have to stop in and see what’s there! Do you prefer ebook or hardcopy?
Ally: I still have my traditional library filled with favorites, but I’m afraid I’m an ebook convert. Easy to buy, easy to read, and a cinch to store. My kindles (I have four) make it sooo simple to always have a great story at my fingertips.
Cheryllynn: For kindles! Wow and I thought I was bad! I have the Kindle and iBook Apps pretty full!
Okay here is a little fun quick quiz for the readers to get to know you a little better:
Favourite thing to cook: Anything that goes in the microwave.
Silliest saying: My favorite silly saying is “Good friends don’t let you do stupid things…alone.”
Best holiday spot: Disney World in Florida. It’s so diverse.
Most played song: The Daughtersby Little Big Town (currently)
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? pantser
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: fantasy (but I’m addicted to Anderle’s Kurtherian world)
Best superpower: teleportation
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Return to London
Ally, you are an absolute pleasure! Than you so much for stopping by and joining me! I do hope the readers take the time to do a little social media stalking (following and liking and sending love) and pick up a book or two of yours to devour.
Find and follow Ally Shields at any of the links below!
Email Newsletter: http://www.allyshields.com/contact-menewsletter.html