Trying to categorize this...fantasy/romance/mystery...
Emily D'Artagan only wanted to speak to her dead parents, murdered years past on the night of Samhain. She inadvertently releases the wrath of a peoples long since thought relegated to myth and legend. The ensuing chaos is not helping her newly found romance with the Hebrew police detective, Joseph Alberg. And there is something more sinister loose than ghostly hounds...something that walks on two legs...
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A gothic romance with a twist. Full of subtle magic and softly erotic romance, this is a book not to be missed.
"Ye make a world to cover over that which already is for ye cannot abide wi' it lest it be formed into the image ye desire, na' matter how unnatural the result"...
Joseph saw that Emily would give an occasional glance toward this small group, which in turn seemed very much focused on he and Emily. When her eyes darted in their direction there was a look that made Joseph expect to see green sparks of fire leaping from them. He was not sure what the cause, but he could tell that Emily's ire was deep and full of venomous hatred for these members of the Covenant. He also noticed that her anger had not escaped the attention of Anthrea and Artuer, who said nothing but seemed as at a loss for her veiled behavior as was Joseph.
Then there came a sound that sent chills up Joseph's spine. It started out low, as if it were naught but the wind protesting 'gainst the graying panes of the Winter's ancient windows. As it grew he could tell what it was, and long and low the howl did sound from without the Winter's stony walls. It rose to such a wail as to seem almost unnatural, and was joined upon by yet another as the pair sang mournfully at the rising silver dollar moon.
Emily moved in close to Joseph, hugging his arm against her trembling breast. He embraced her and whispered in her ear, "It will be okay, Emily. They can't get in here."
"If only ye knew," she thought as she buried her head into his chest, the smell of wine still hearty there were it had fallen only moments earlier. Conal cuan; the pack of wolves. Aye, the guardians and avengers both, of sidhe made that no mortal canst defy. She hugged him even closer, wishing despite her great hatred that she had not summoned forth such as these. E'en though she knew them well, and loved them greatly for all time, was mayhap of poor timing that she should bring them here and find one such as Joseph all in the same fateful morn.
The group that Carl Ambrose had been socializing with seemed greatly distressed by the baying of the hounds, and when it finally ceased Joseph watched as Carl made a careful retreat for the great doorway, then slipped out as if not wanting to be noticed.
The food was brought in by a small group of the Covenants members. Joseph realized these people must have been back in the kitchen the entire time, for he had not seen any of the dozen or so new faces until now. Emily explained, as they took their seats, that each night of the gathering a different group was honored by allowing them to prepare the feast and present the wine. A memory of Maria flashed before her eyes as she told him this and he saw, only briefly but unmistakable, an icy glaze fall over those depthless green mirrors.
Joseph tried to chose his food carefully so as not to offend his faith. He realized there would be no Kosher food present here, but he could eat with care and not defy his beliefs. To his amazement and he and Emily's joy, the preparers had actually taken into account their guest's faith and had purchased, special for him, an array of Kosher deli meats.
Emily was so touched by this that she felt need to go and give special thanks to those responsible, so she made her excuses and slipped off to the kitchen to find them.
There came from far across the Winter's stony interior a series of loud cracking reports, their sharp tone echoing within the towering walls. Joseph recognized them at once as gun shots. He instinctively rose from his seat and quickly retrieved the .38 snub nosed revolver that had been in the holster strapped to the inside of his right calf. The looks of surprise on his host and hostess's faces' embarrassed him, but he was now on duty and had no time for social graces.
"You all stay here," he suggested firmly. He trotted toward the large door, trying to remember which way Emily had gone. As he passed into the hall he remembered that the kitchen was on the opposite end from this entrance and was relieved.
The hall seemed endless as he trotted down it, trying to find the source of the gunshots. Then he rounded a corner and gasped to catch his breath. There were two huge gray dogs standing over the blood covered body of what must have been Carl Ambrose. Beside the badly mutilated corpse (for it was obvious this man was dead) was a still smoking .45 semiautomatic military special.
Joseph stood staring at the two hounds, which turned toward him and stared with deep mahogany eyes back. Then they rushed him and he raised the gun and fired...
The hounds were past him and on down the hall. He gave pursuit and as he rounded past the doorway of the great hall, Artuer, defying his earlier request, joined him in the pursuit. As they came to the massive oaken doors that led to the outside they both pulled up sharply.
Artuer looked at Joseph, eyebrows raised in wonderment, and Joseph could not shut his mouth though he was sure he looked a fool. There, at the threshold of the heavy door, were two pairs of giant muddy and blood stained footprints. Not a slight relief in stride was there as they seemed to simply pass into the door.
Artuer looked at Joseph, who nodded as the older man reached out and slowly opened the door. A thin wisp of night mist slipped in as the door slid open. Joseph stood at the ready, his pistol leveled at the opening portal. There was naught beyond but the dark of night and a lightly flowing mist. And two pairs of massive footprints that down the stone steps and away did lead...