Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Word Count: 105k
Elf Mona Lisa Kubrek wants to work in the Buffalo enclave, despite the fact that at twenty-eight it's clear she'll never create spells, so when she's picked to train to maintain the wards which keep magic hidden and Folk safe she's thrilled. And it's great, even though her mentor is cranky and insists she trains at crazy hours… until she's barely evades a death spell, her teacher goes missing and an evil mage sends Weres under his control out to kill her.
Throw in investigator Cart Dupree, an aggravation whose side she can't seem to leave, and Mona learns the job's a lot more complicated than she thought, a lifetime more complicated. Mona's determined to shoulder her responsibilities even after learning of the bleak life ahead of her as a Warder. Head of his den, Cart is tied to obligations and commitments back home, asking him to move to Buffalo is out of the question. With the mage more than he seems Folk hierarchy in flux and legends coming to life, staying together may not be an option. First, though they need to track the mage and the Weres he controls, for despite all the changes in her world, Mona has found her calling and will always be a Warder.
Mona's battered body protested being pulled from sleep, while her brain gladly left the macabre dream of decapitated humans running around an obstacle course while carrying wolf heads in their arms. Weird shit that, although, for once there wasn't much subtlety about the vision given she knew quite a few shifters. Thank the Goddess because waiting to figure out what her occasional premonitions meant drove her batty.
Daylight painted the back of her eyelids a fiery orange and warmed her face. The heat felt good, so it wasn’t the sun which had awakened her. Mona rolled over, she was too damned tired, hurt too much to get up. Shit! Her abraded elbows scraped against the nubby fabric of the couch making her flinch in pain.
Wait. Why was she on the couch feeling like someone had used her like a hockey puck?
Her stomach knotted at the memory of her sheer panic as the spell she'd accidentally triggered sent boulders stabbing up through the asphalt. Her body slamming into the icy ground as she lost traction and barely managed to scramble away.
Breathing deeply she tried to quiet her frantic heart. Cracked acorns, she'd been stupid and blithe and assumed she didn't need to check for spells so close to the Warder's complex when she’d arrived for her lesson, particularly with him right there. Old as he was he didn't typically miss seeing spells. But this one, someone had buried it under the ground. There'd been no glow, no signal until she'd triggered the working and the ground heaved under her feet.