Life has heated up for Grayce Walters: thrust into the public eye and hounded by the media after solving an arson case with a critical clue from a French Poodle. When Ewan Davis, the sexy arson investigator Grayce has been steaming things up with, starts talking commitment, she definitely feels the burn. Then a desperate mother begs Grayce to help find her missing daughter—an Afghanistan war veteran suffering from PTSD, and Grayce reluctantly takes on the case, following a disturbing clue provided by the missing young woman’s cat. Calling once again on the aid of her cross-dressing best friend and her shrewd assistant, Grayce uncovers a terrorist plot with chilling international implications. Grayce races to rescue the young veteran before the escalating danger explodes. But if she manages to escape the threat, will she find the courage to commit to the fiery passion that awaits her wrapped in Davis’s arms?Ambushed by Aunt Aideen, Grayce Walters was trapped. The bonds of social pressure gripped tighter around her wrists and ankles, holding her captive in the kitchen chair. She couldn’t escape tonight’s séance.
Dressed in a flowing cobalt-blue caftan, Aunt Aideen ceremoniously placed a scarred, black box on the table and then carefully opened a chest lined in red velvet and raised a glimmering crystal ball into the air. “This Keek-Stane has been passed down through generations of Scottish witches.”
The enormous kitchen suddenly went airless. Grayce gulped for a breath. Mitzi, who had been sleeping under the table, protectively covered Grayce’s feet with her paws.
Grayce knew nothing about tarot cards or witches. Why hadn’t Davis warned her that his aunt considered herself a witch? Grayce had recognized Aunt Aideen as a gifted intuitive, but not a witch, whatever that meant.
Aunt Aideen placed the ball in the center of the table spread with tarot cards. “The Keek-Stane guides me in the reading of the cards.”
A call to a suspicious fire had interrupted the cozy dinner with her boyfriend, his aunt and dog. If Davis had stayed, she’d be eating dessert instead of having a metaphysical experience.
Aunt Aideen’s enormous moonstone ring flickered in the candlelight as her hand hovered over the cards. “We must look to the future.”
Grayce couldn’t see the card. She felt light-headed from the burning sweet flag incense or from the ominous energy swirling from the crystal ball.
As she turned over the first tarot card, the large woman’s usual booming voice grew quiet with a mysterious Gaelic lilt. “The Knight of Swords.”
Prickly sensations lifted the fine hair on Grayce’s neck. Mitzi came from under the table and sat next to Grayce’s chair.
Aunt Aideen opened her massive hand to allow Grayce to see the card—a medieval knight in armor on a powerful white horse rode toward a battle in the distance. The horse’s harness was decorated with butterflies and birds. The sky behind him was filled with storm clouds and the trees, tossed wildly by the wind. The knight resembled St. Michael the Archangel.
“The Knight of Swords is hard to resist,” Aunt Aideen intoned.
Davis obviously fit the Knight of Swords. His commanding presence, physical strength, and his commitment to fight crimes made him the perfect archetypal hero.
Heat moved across Grayce’s cheeks in embarrassment. “Davis was hard to resist.” Grayce knew first hand. As a witness to arson, she had been interviewed by the sexy fire investigator and had fallen in love with the irresistible man.
“My nephew, Ewan Davis, is in no way a Knight of Swords. Davis is an Emperor, a man of the logical world, like his Scottish forebears. The Knight of Swords is a messenger, a call for adventure. He does not see, nor does he care about risks or dangers and instead moves forward with his strong determination and strength to succeed, no matter what.
Grayce wasn’t going to discuss Davis’ ability as an adventurous lover with the aunt who had raised him after his mother’s death.
“The knight will call to you from your dreams.” Aunt Aideen’s solemn voice and the shimmering moonstone known for clairvoyance were doing strange things to Grayce’s perceptions. The images in the room faded in and out. The heightened energy from the ball moved in undulating waves.
“His call will challenge you to leave your present way of being.” Aunt Aideen’s eyes were in the shadows, but Grayce felt her focused stare. “The Knight of Swords can also be seen as a warning.”
With the soft burr of Aunt Aideen’s Scottish inflection, the wavering candlelight and the nutty scent of sweet flag, Grayce was floating into deep relaxation.
Aunt Aideen’s voice lost its soothing rhythm. “And it doesn't take a seer to predict that Davis will have trouble with the knight’s appearance in your life. Davis needs to be your protector.”
Grayce came immediately out of her meditative state. Davis tried very hard to control his fear of unforeseen disasters by guarding all those he loved.
“Does the knight have to be human? Maybe I’ll have a new patient?” Grayce asked.
Aunt Aideen kept her eyes closed. Her muted voice was firm. “I see a tall, dark man in a uniform. He holds a gun.”
Descended from a long line of storytellers, Jacki spins adventures filled with mystery, healing and romance.
Jacki’s love affair with the arts began at a young age and inspired her to train as a jazz singer and dancer. She has performed many acting roles with Seattle Opera Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Jacki has set her Grayce Walters Mystery Series in Seattle, her long-time home. The city’s unique and colorful locations are a backdrop for her romantic mystery.
Although writing now fills much of her day, she continues to volunteer for Seattle’s Ballet and Opera Companies and leads children’s tours of Pike Street Market. Her volunteer work with Seattle’s homeless shelters influenced one of her main characters in An Inner Fire and Women Under Fire.
Jacki’s two Golden Labs, Gus and Talley, were her constant companions. Their years of devotion and intuition inspired her to write dogs as main characters alongside her strong heroines.
A geek at heart, Jacki loves superhero movies—a hero’s battle against insurmountable odds. But her heroines don’t have to wear a unitard to fight injustice and battle for the underdog.
Look for more heart-pounding adventure, intrigue, and romance in Jacki’s Code Breaker Series. A Code of Love is the first book in the series. A Christmas Code—A Regency Novella, now available at all retail sites, is second in the series. And A Code of the Heart will be released on Valentine’s Day 2015.