Authors: Maria Lima
Tags: #Fantasy, #Vampires, #Contemporary, #Fiction, #General, #Horror, #Occult & Supernatural, #Kelly; Keira (Fictitious Character)
Praise for Maria Lima’s Blood Lines series
“Lima has created a highly intriguing cast of characters and set them in a world filled with dangerous magic and deadly power struggles. Join the excitement today!”
“Werewolves, vampires, and Texas football… a hell of a great read.…”
“This was a great addition to the series, in which we see a much more mature Keira dealing with her new obligations as an heir. After the way the book ended, I can’t wait to read the next one!”
—Fiction Kingdom (4 stars)
“Another brilliant book in a well thought-out series.”
“A special romantic suspense fantasy on a par with the best works of Laurel K. Hamilton and Kelly Armstrong.”
—Genre Go Round Reviews
“Maria Lima certainly knows how to keep her readers begging for more.”
—Best Fantasy Stories
“The truly exciting thing is Lima’s ability to top herself in each subsequent title in the Blood Lines series. Any novel I read and want the next in the series because I don’t want to leave the world that’s been created around me is truly amazing to me.”
“With each book the world gets richer in texture and detail.”
“Another top-notch paranormal thriller.… A complex plot, superb world building, and phenomenal characters spin
into a dark and sexy urban fantasy. Maria Lima is a great addition to the paranormal genre.”
“Maria Lima captures the essence of urban fantasy, mystery, and romantic elements in
“A real pager-turner.… Ms. Lima has created a wonderful blend of paranormal, mystery, and romance. She has a real knack for building characters you get to know and care about, and the setting she paints seems so real. She is also darn good at building suspense and keeping you guessing.”
—Bitten By Books (5 stars)
“Urban fantasy fans are going to love this—especially the Kelly clan, an extended family of supernaturals living within human society.… A strong tale that fans of Kelly Armstrong and Kim Harrison will want to read.”
—Worlds of Wonder
“I couldn’t put it down. Maria Lima’s second Blood Lines novel is even better than the first, a fun and sometimes poignant paranormal treat.”
“Grabs you from the start and keeps you turning pages until you solve the mystery.… I certainly will be watching for more books by Maria Lima.”
“Ms. Lima spins a suspenseful tale and packs it with paranormal elements that will hold the reader’s attention to the end… fast-moving.”
MATTERS OF THE BLOOD
“Dark, seductive, and bitingly humorous.…”
“Fast paced, take-no-prisoners action… grabs you by the throat from the go and doesn’t release its grip until you’re done.”
—Preternatural Reviews (4 stars)
“An absolutely spectacular addition to the paranormal landscape.… A classy, teasing tale riddled with intrigue and paranormal bliss.”
“A complex plot with the requisite twists and turns of a mystery, the passion of a paranormal romance, and the unearthly elements of urban fantasy.”
“A brilliant tale of supernatural power, revenge, and the excitement of newfound love.”
“Refreshing.… I loved the story’s vividly drawn rural-Texas setting.”
—FantasyLiterature (4 stars)
“A superb paranormal whodunit with a touch of romance and with plenty of interwoven subplots… but the center holding this superb tale together is the likable Keira, who makes the abnormal seem so normal.”
Don’t miss the four previous adventures in the Blood Lines series by Maria Lima!
Matters of the Blood
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2011 by Maria Lima
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
First Juno Books/Pocket Books paperback edition September 2011
JUNO BOOKS and colophon are trademarks of Wildside Press LLC used under license by Simon & Schuster, Inc., the publisher of this work.
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Cover design by Laywan Kwan
Front cover photo by shutterstock
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ISBN 978-1-4516-1271-4 (ebook)
For Queue You help keep me sane. A fo ysgawn galon, ef a gân. The lighthearted will sing.
To Tanya Kennedy-Luminati, for her l33t and mad beta skilz. You are awesome, chica!
To Janna Marks, whose patience is legendary as I prattled on and on about writing and plotting and just stuff.
To David & Keith of Literature & Latte, because getting Scrivener 2.0 out made the final bits of the writing MUCH easier.
To my mother, Yolanda Bodine, for encouragement, faith, and help in Spanish translations.
And of course, to all my readers, without whom these stories would just be living in my head.…
Diolch yn fawr
We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.
“How you expect to run with the wolves come night when you spend all day sparring with the puppies?”
, The Wire
or a breath, for a moment suspended in disbelief of what I faced, I seriously and without a doubt, considered matricide. Homicide of all sorts, really, except for the premeditated kind, raced through my stunned brain.
I don’t do guns, but right now, what I wouldn’t give to have a Kalashnikov rifle or, at the very least, a couple of Browning 9mm semi-autos just to see how fast I could re-create the final scene from that episode of that old TV series
. This wasn’t a wedding, but it was damned well close enough—a blood-bonding: Adam and me; my brothers with Liz; Tucker and Niko; all of the aforementioned to Adam and me as our Protectors. Not exactly a typical Alamo Heights wedding party; in my world, it was practically the same thing. We’d received our guests, one at a time, representatives from all over the Southwest—wer and sprite, brownie, hamadryads, every manner of fey and Other
acknowledging our leadership, pledging their fealty in return for our support. Only there was a Balrog in this woodpile. My former lover, my cousin, Adam’s half-brother, Gideon, arrived, representing the Unseelie Court, with a pregnant wife in tow; herself heir to the High Queen Angharad, the Seelie Queen. It didn’t take the formal declaration of Challenge to see how things stood. Gideon, also heir to the Kelly clan, as was I, was throwing down. I guess he didn’t much care for having his status as heir ignored by our matriarch.