It's a busy day here at Supernatural Central, but not too busy to take time to chat with author P.L. Blair who is here to talk about the release of the sixth installment in the series A Plague of Leprechauns. Welcome!SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
PLB: In fact, there are two main characters – Kat Morales and her lifemate, Tevis MacLeod. Kat is a human, Tevis an elf, and the two were partners on the Corpus Christi, Texas, police force before they became lifemates.The premise of my Portals books is that our mundane Earth has a twin – a world that exists in the Realms of Magic. The gateways between the two worlds – the Portals – were once open, allowing all the denizens of the Realms – elves, wizards, pixies, etc. - access to the human world, which is why we have these legends about them. Then wizards closed the Portals - until four or five years before the events of “Leprechauns,” when the Portals opened again, allowing beings from the Realms to once more access the human world.
Kat and Tevis are part of a team organized by the wizard Arvandus to solve crimes committed through the use of magic. They’re intensely devoted to each other, and they have a strong sense of justice. Tevis is the son of an elven “Laird,” though he isn’t his father’s direct heir, and he likes it that way. He likes the humans’ world and has adapted to its changes fairly easily.Kat, when she thinks about it, can still find herself amazed that Tevis fell in love with her, choosing her over much more beautiful elven women (though Tevis’ rejoinder is that Kat has a beautiful soul – which is what matters to him). She was a cop for years before the Portals opened and she met Tevis, and though she can be a little daunted by the magical abilities of Tevis and the rest of Arvandus’ team, she still pulls her own weight with the team and insists on being in on the action.
SC: Sounds like they have their hands full. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?PLB: I do believe in the paranormal. Many years ago, when I was a pre-teen, a person I cared about very much disappeared. To this day, I don’t know for certain what happened to her. But at the time, my family was living in an upstairs apartment – straight vertical walls in front, no way to reach the front windows. Yet one morning not long after this individual disappeared, I wandered into the living room, and on one of the windows was a set of handprints, like someone had dipped their hands in flour and pressed them against the window. Mother had been outside watering her flowers, and she came in about then – and saw the handprints. So I knew they weren’t just my imagination.
The interesting thing was, the person who had disappeared – when she was a child – had broken one of her fingers, and the break healed with a little crook in that finger. The finger on that handprint on the window was crooked in exactly the same place. Mother and I stared at the handprints and over time, maybe half an hour, maybe not quite that long, they slowly faded away, leaving no trace that they’d ever been there.SC: That is really intriguing. Thanks for sharing it with us. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
PLB: I’ve just started working on “Chaos Stone,” Book 7 in my Portals series. I don’t know much about the book myself at this point – I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, getting clues from my characters as I go along. All I know at this point is that there once was an ancient stone, imbued with magic so powerful that wizards broke it into fragments and scattered the pieces so they couldn’t be reassembled. Then, before they retreated into the Realms and closed the Portals for the first time, they left at least some of the pieces in the human world, knowing that the magic still in those fragments would fade away without the magic of the Realms to affect them.Only now, with the Portals open, the magic in those fragments is starting to reawaken, and someone is searching for them ...
SC: Terrific! Thanks for chatting with us. Let's take a look at your novel now.
A Plague of Leprechauns
Name of series and book number in series:
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Detective
Publisher: Studio See
Date of Publication: 2019
Number of pages: 244
Word Count: 87,146
Cover Artist: Pam See
Someone has found a way to steal gold from a Leprechaun – leaving a trail of bodies across Corpus Christi, Texas.
It’s up to Kat Morales and her elf partner, Tevis McLeod, to find the thief, stop the killings, restore the gold to its rightful owner – while keeping themselves from becoming victims to murder and the curse of a Leprechaun’s gold.
Harry Anderson stared at the object on the countertop. Frowned. Lifted the frown to the kid on the other side of the counter. “You're prankin' me, right? Freakin' puttin' me on! A bag? You want me to give you money for a freakin' bag?”
“Not ... money.” The kid stared into Harry's face. He looked eighteen, might've been in his twenties. Early twenties. Probably been smoking, shooting, snorting since he was ten or eleven.
Harry stared back. In the old days, he would've been suspicious as hell, some kid coming into his place wanting goods. It was the kind of thing that had sting written all over it.
But this was now, and Harry had paid a Practitioner plenty to set wardings all over the place to go off – silently, something only Harry could hear – when a cop entered. Even a cop gone undercover. This kid wasn't a cop. And …
Still ... never hurt to be cautious. “I run a pawn shop, kid. Money's all I got, unless you're lookin' to trade for somethin' else I got around here.” The sweep of his hand included the jewelry and watches in his cases, old guitars hanging from the walls, bicycles, lawn mowers ... junk. “And that bag ain't gonna get you anything.”
“I got friends who say you have stuff you reserve for ... uh ...” the kid leaned forward, lowered his voice, “special customers.”
“Friends,” Harry echoed. Oh hell, this was getting good! What'd the kid want? Weed? Crack? Cherry? Maybe cherry – yeah. Some of that new stuff finding its way from the other side of the Portals.
“They say you sell Dust,” the kid whispered.
“Dust.” Harry blinked at him. “Pixie Dust? You ever used that stuff?”
The kid shook his head. “But my friends say it's awesome!”
“Yeah,” Harry agreed drily. “And awesome-damned expensive. You know what that bag's worth, kid? Zip. Zero. Nada.”
“It's a Magic bag.”
The pawn shop owner grinned. “Yeah, right.” He gave the bag another look: nine, ten inches long, a little wider than his hand, made of some kind of velvety-looking material – dark blue. Tied with a silvery-blue cord. Pretty thing – yeah; he'd go with that.
But ... magic?
“I'll show you.” The kid snatched the bag off the counter, shoved his hand inside.
And kept shoving: into the bag past his wrist ... his elbow ... up his arm nearly to his skinny shoulder.
He extracted his hand, dropped the bag on the counter. Dropped another object on the counter beside it: a coin. About the size of a nickel. Harry blinked at the kid, picked up the coin. It didn't look like any coin he'd ever seen – somebody's face on one side, odd markings on both sides. The metal the coin was made of ... Harry gave it the bite test.
Some part of him had already known it would be. He gave the kid another look – hard, eyes narrow. He held the coin between thumb and forefinger. “Where the hell did you get this?”
The kid flicked a hand at the bag. “See for yourself.”
“Stick my hand in there.” Harry stared at him.
The kid made a face, and stuck his own hand in again. When the hand emerged, it overflowed with coins. Gold coins. Just like the one he'd pulled out the first time.
The world did a sideways slip under Harry's feet. Old memories stirring ... He pushed them down. Picked up the bag, shook it. Nothing. Turned it upside down. Nothing. How the hell ... He glowered at the kid; if this was some kind of trick ... This was January, either way too hell early or way too late for Halloween, and Harry took a dim view of pranksters. He thrust his hand into the bag.
He couldn't feel the bottom. Nothing. Empty space. He jerked his hand out again.
The kid gave him a nervous grin. “Yeah, I did that too,” he said. “The first time.”
First time? How many times had the kid dipped into this thing? Harry didn't ask. He took a breath and shoved his hand in again ... to the wrist ... the elbow ... up his arm. The bag just kept going.
His fingers touched something. Something hard. Cold. Small, round objects … Coins. Had to be … Lots of coins. Dozens ... maybe hundreds. He could feel them under his fingertips, a pile of coins. He thrust his hand as far into the pile as he could go – and felt still more coins underneath.
His hand came out full, dripping coins onto the counter top, a few escaping into the bag, but Harry didn't mind. He knew how to find them. He stared at the gold in his hand, the coins that'd spilled onto the counter. Gold coins. Just like the ones he'd already seen. Freakin' gold coins like some kind of pirate's treasure – all high-grade stuff, if Harry knew anything at all about his business. Which he did.
About the Author:
A native of Tyler, Texas, Pat Blair – writing as P.L. Blair – has lived in Sheridan, WY, since 1986. She has a degree in journalism, and has worked first for newspapers and, most recently, Sheridan Media, an organization of 10 radio stations and a website, since 1970. But her goal was always to write books. Her first book in her Portals series, Shadow Path, was published in 2008. When not writing books, she continues to cover news events for Sheridan Media. She shares her home in Sheridan with two dogs and a cat – all rescues.
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