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Today’s Deadly Destinations tour stop takes us to Atlanta. The heroine from Seressia Glass’ Shadowchasers series, Kira Solomon, is here today to take us through some of Atlanta’s hot spots. The series began with SHADOW BLADE, followed by SHADOW CHASE, and continues with Kira’s latest adventure in SHADOW FALL. Thanks to Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, two of you who comment on this post will win a copy of the book! See details below.
“On patrol.” She zipped into her black and blue motorcycle jacket then reached for her fingerless gloves. “I do a circuit of the city every night.”
Khefar unfolded his lanky form from the couch. “I’ll accompany you.”
“Not necessary,” she said. She didn’t want or need tagalongs on her patrols. Even an immortal fighter like Khefar.
“Maybe I’m bored.” He gave her a wide, innocent smile. “Maybe I want to learn more about Atlanta.”
“What is there to learn?” she asked. “It’s full of a hodgepodge of humans by day and hybrids by night. It’s sugar and psychos, sweet tea and sharp teeth.”
“Sound slike just about every other major metropolitan city, except for the sweet tea part.” He grabbed his battered leather jacket from the coatrack. “So where do you go when you go on patrol?”
“I start in Little Five Points.” She cut him a glance, deciding not to argue about the joint patrol. He’d just follow her anyway. “I’m sure you remember that area.”
He nodded, his dreadlocks swinging. “Ah yes. I have fond memories of the restaurant with the giant skull for a doorway–the Vortex. It was where we decided not to kill each other.”
“Yeah, bonding over burgers. Anyway, we get a lot of humans and hybrids hanging out in and around Little Five. After that, I tend to head up North Avenue and stop by Demoz’s club, the DMZ.”
“And a mind like a steel trap,” Kira agreed. “I usually have regular meetings with Demoz to pump him for information. And going to a club that allows entry to both sides of the Eternal Struggle is just good Shadowchaser business. But I plan to bypass the DMZ tonight. I’ll head down Peachtree Street to Underground Atlanta to make sure the fine folks of Below Underground are staying on the down low.”
Khefar frowned. “I’ve heard of Underground Atlanta, but what’s Below Underground?”
“It’s basically a city beneath the city. All the hybrids who can’t camouflage themselves live in Below Underground–slag demons, fire sprites, skunk apes that left the bogs for the big city. It tends to make them a little grumpy, only being able to come out for New Year’s and Halloween. Sometimes that grumpiness bubbles up, so I head down there to remind them why it’s a good idea to stay put.”
She pulled out her Lightblade, tested the edge, then slid it back into its sheathe. She’d already tucked away her other blades and her two favorite guns. “After that I either head down to the stadium and hang out with the other bikers or cross over to the Westside. Most of the Were clans live on the Westside ‘cause they get left alone–the humans tend to mind their own business over there.”
Something dangerous slid across his face. “Any werehyena clans?”
“A couple,” she answered, wondering what put that look on his face, a look that would have had her reaching for her power and her Lightblade if they weren’t sharing a house. And a bed. “ Like I said, it’s easier for some of them to blend over on the Westside, and it’s not as crowded in some parts. With the Army closing Fort McPherson, a lot of groups are interested in the acreage. The brass at the Gilead Commission, of course, have a vested interest in assuring that such a large tract of Atlanta doesn’t become a Shadowling stronghold.”
Khefar snorted. “Gods forbid your bosses don’t have their fingers in every available pie.”
Kira leaned forward, hands on her hips. “No one at Gilead, not even Balm herself, is the boss of me. Especially since I don’t have a handler anymore.”
“Duly noted. Anything else?”
“After the fort, I plan to ride by the Wilds. That’s an area southwest of downtown that’s been overtaken by Mother Kudzu. It’s a single minded hive vine that grows a foot a day. Unfortunately humans and hybrids alike tend to dump their enemies in the middle of her, and she’s starting to prefer flesh to minerals.”
“Nice. And by nice I mean, all kinds of messed up.”
“Exactly. Occasionally Gilead has to send out a team with a couple of dryads to convince Mother Kudzu not to eat Atlanta. Since Mother Kudzu doesn’t like being burned and poisoned all that much–or pulled out by the roots–she usually limits where her children spring up. I’m just going to snap a few photos with my phone then leave as quickly as possible. After that, I take a run around the Perimeter. There are small pockets of hybrids OTP–outside the perimeter– but most stay inside I-285. The last place I’ll check tonight is the Majestic.”
“And that is?”
“An all-night diner that’s been around since Sherman marched through Atlanta,” Kira replied. “Okay, maybe not that long, but it’s been there straddling Little Five and Virginia-Highlands for decades. Lots of hybrids like to grab a late night bite of one type or another there. It’s an easy place besides the DMZ to pick up some info.”
“All right. Doesn’t sound all that dangerous. I’m still in.”
She rolled her eyes. “Even puppies are cute until you find out they’re chupacabra babies ready to bite your face off. Atlanta is a lead pipe wrapped in cotton. Soft and comfy on the surface with a deadly inner core.”
He unsheathed his blade, the fabled Dagger of Kheferatum. The golden hilt gleamed in the soft light but there was no mistaking the ancient Egyptian dagger for anything but a weapon–and since it was crafted by the god Atum, it was a weapon of mass destruction. “I’ll try not to slow you down.”
“You better not.” She headed for the garage. “By the way: if you get yourself killed, you’ll have to find your own way home.”
Seressia has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on comics, cereal boxes–anything at hand. So it came as no surprise to family and teachers when she began creating stories featuring some of her favorite characters. One of her earlier works included the autobiography of a piece of bubble gum, and a short Halloween story was turned into a PTA play in elementary school.
Her proudest writing moment remains winning the first Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday “Living the Dream” essay contest as a high school senior and getting to meet Coretta Scott King. Since then, she’s channeled her belief in the power of the written word by creating rich, emotional stories of diverse people coming together to achieve the universal goals of love and acceptance.
When not working on her next story, Seressia is an instructional designer for an international home improvement company. She spends her free time people-watching, belly dancing, and watching way too much anime.
Want to read more from Seressia Glass?
This giveaway is provided by Simon & Schuster/Pocket
Two winners will each receive a copy of Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass
Available on July 26, 2011 from Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
About the Book:
Truth is the most dangerous weapon of all . . .
Kira Solomon’s life has never been simple. Battling against the Fallen, serving the Egyptian goddess Ma’at, becoming romantically involved with a 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior—these are now everyday realities. But something is changing. Kira’s magic is becoming dangerously unpredictable, tainted by the Shadow she has been trained to destroy.
Matters grow worse when an Atlanta museum exhibit based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead turns out to have truly sinister properties. As the body count rises, even long-trusted allies start to turn against Kira. She can hardly blame them—not when the God of Chaos is stalking her dreams and the shocking truth about her origins is finally coming to light. As one of the good guys, Kira was a force to be reckoned with. But if the only way to stop a terrifying adversary is to fight Shadow with Shadow, then she’s ready to find out just how very bad she can be. . . .
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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