Fire and Tears
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: April 29, 2014
Number of pages: 151 pages
Word Count: 44,000 words
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
They’ll risk forever death for one last chance together…
Nuala of Glengowyn hasn’t left her home city in over a century, but not by choice. Her skill as a weapons master has made her a prisoner of her people. Held apart, protected in the extreme—until Sorcerers attack the human city of Sinnale.
Sent to supply her unique magical arrows to help the humans, she is far from free.
The elf king and queen have sent a bodyguard, a fearsome warrior whose reputation has no rival. The only man she has ever wanted. Einar of Glengowyn.
Einar is known as a battle-crazed destroyer, so feared among elves he’s called by a single name: Darkness. And he has only one weakness—Nuala. Their union is forbidden, for melding their magics could destroy Nuala’s gifts. Yet as they journey to the war-torn city, no royal decree is a match for two hundred years of pent-up desire.
But even if they escape the war zone, their lives still hang in the balance. They must confront their sovereigns and prove love makes them stronger—or face their deaths.
Product Warnings: This book contains a deadly elf hero, a heroine who’s his match, a lot of sexy misbehaving, some hard language, racing through the streets, owls, arrows, evil Sorcerers, wicked minions, and a very dangerous elf king and queen.
Nuala stared at Einar for a few more minutes, caught by his intensity. To escape, she glanced down at his injured arm. “I can wrap that for you.” She gestured to the wound.
He gave it a cursory glance. “It’s only a scratch.”
“But neither of us can afford to have you weakened.” She spun in a slow circle, then started opening doors. When she found a room that contained a couch, she led him inside. “Sit,” she ordered.
Without supplies, her only option for binding the wound was the hem of her riding robe. “Your knife.” She held out a hand without looking at him and pulled up the long length of material.
“It’s not necessary.”
“Don’t argue.” She wiggled her fingers, still focused on the material in her hand. His presence threw her off balance and looking directly at him made it worse. They hadn’t spent this much time together, alone and in close proximity, since…
She didn’t want to think about the last time.
After the knife hilt settled gently into her palm, she sliced a few lengths of silk along the split front hem of the robe. It would leave a wider V in the front, but since they had to travel quickly, she was considering cutting off the length completely anyway. Once the sun set, the early autumn nights were too cold to get rid of the over-robe altogether. It was designed to allow easy, free movement, with slits in front and back so she could sit astride her horse without the long material getting in the way. It had stayed out of her way during the earlier fight too. But those lengths of material could be put to better use. And the less she had to worry about right now, the better.
Once she had sufficient improvised bandages, she turned to Einar. “Take your tunic off,” she said, her voice as firm and emotionless as she could make it.
She tried not to be affected as he stood, removed his scabbard belt, then slipped his short vest off and dragged his tunic up over his head. Unfortunately, she couldn’t hold back her quickly drawn breath when the magnificent musculature of his chest was revealed in full.
This wasn’t the first time she’d seen him bare-chested, but the sight never ceased to stir her. When she looked up, she found him staring at her, his dark eyes black in the dim light leaking in through grimy windows. She swallowed and focused on his arm. Her heartbeat sped as she drew near enough to feel the heat of his skin and smell the tangy combination of his natural spicy musk mixed with the sweat of battle. With Einar, that combination had always overwhelmed her better judgment, targeting her most desperate desires. Only with him.
Yet another reason she’d spent so many years avoiding him.
Though her pulse pounded in her ears, she concentrated on making her hands steady, her touch gentle. She used one length of material to gently blot the worst of the blood away. Some still seeped slowly from the injury, but not enough to be dangerous. Once she’d gotten the area as clean as possible with a dry cloth, she used another length to tightly bind the wound.
His muscles flexed under her touch, which didn’t help. “Relax,” she ordered, her voice irritatingly husky.
He let out a long, slow exhale that brushed over the top of her head, and his biceps relaxed. She noticed at a glance, however, that his stomach muscles were tightly clenched. When she risked a peek at his face, his jaw was also tight, and he stared at the wall across from where they stood.
She turned back to her work, knowing she shouldn’t have risked this kind of proximity for this long. Einar had more power over her body and heart than any other elf. A fact they were both growing more aware of with each passing moment.
When she’d tied off the bandage, satisfied it would do for now, she stepped back and gestured at his leg without actually looking down. “Are you cut or was it just your trousers?”
“Nothing as in no blood, or nothing as in you don’t wish me to bandage the wound?”
His gaze jumped from the wall to her and she took another involuntary step back. Heat, promise, need and something she didn’t want to admit seeing blazed out at her, an arrow right into her heart.
“You made it clear,” he said quietly, “that your magic was not something you could sacrifice. We should not remain this close. And I should not take off any more clothing around you.”
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
IK: I didn’t always think I’d be a writer, though I’ve been writing my whole life. I actually thought I’d be a scientist and write in my spare time. I also thought I’d do community theatre in my spare time and maybe be in a rock band, so obviously I imagined having a lot of spare time in my future despite being a career driven scientist *g*
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
IK: Despite writing all the time, I started to really consider myself a writer by my second year in college. I’d had a few people tell me I should take it seriously the previous year—a teacher, a dear friend—and I finally figured out it was something I could do if I applied myself. Then I met another writer who pointed me in the right direction for submitting stories (this was before the internet so I couldn’t just do a Google search *g*) and that was that. I was a writer.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
IK: I published my first novel in 1999 (the fourth novel I wrote), and I started submitting fiction to magazines (and getting lots of rejections) around 1991. So I guess it took me 8 years, although it felt like a lot longer. All those rejections must have distorted my sense of time.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
IK: I used to do a lot of odd jobs. I’ve been a shark and snake caretaker at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. I took care of plants. After getting my Ph.D., I worked as a teaching assistant at a surgical college, an unpaid researcher, an exam moderator, a front desk receptionist for a business bank—I had decided to do odd jobs that gave me time to write instead of focusing on science at that stage. When we moved to NY, I worked a lot as a legal assistant and secretary. Now I’m a stay-at-home mom and a full time writer. Kind of sounds like the resume of an actor. All I need is “waitress” or “barista” and I’d have all the bases covered.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
IK: My newest release is THE DARKNESS OF GLENGOWYN (Fire and Tears Book #2). Being thrown into a warzone forces Einar and Nuala to face their desire though being together risks their sovereigns’ wrath.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
IK: This series is published by Samhain Publishing (www.samhainpublishing.com)
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
IK: This depends entirely on the particular project. The ideas usually come well before I’m able to start writing—sometimes as much as two or three years--so I have lots of time to mull the story over. Every so often, though, I have an idea and start on it immediately. It just depends on the timing and my schedule. Once I start writing, I can get a first draft done really quickly—within 2-3 weeks for novellas and short novels. Four to eight weeks for a full length novel. But then I have to do quite a bit of editing—the hazards of being a pantser who adheres to the philosophy of the “shitty first draft”.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
IK: I have at least one more fantasy romance in the Fire and Tears series (releasing July 29th this year), and my editor has said she’ll look at more books in this world so I’m hoping to write a few more. I also have a science fiction romance series with a new book due out next year. I tend to jump around between science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romances. But for the next few years I’ll be focused on fantasy and science fiction romance—and likely focused on the two current series.
What genre would you place your books into?
IK: The Fire and Tears series is epic fantasy romance but will appeal to paranormal romance readers.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
IK: I have absolutely no specific routine anymore. I used to put on music. I’d have to play a few computer games before settling in to write. But now with the hectic chaos of my daily life, I write whenever and wherever I can. As soon as the baby falls asleep, I open up my latest WIP (or other writing related work I need to do) and start in on it. I never know how much time I’ll get to work as both my boys are really rotten sleepers, so I don’t have the luxury of a set process. I may or may not have the TV on as background noise—sometimes I mute it though. Occasionally, when I’m really tired, I do have to make myself a deal to get started. I promise myself I’ll only write for 15 minutes (or I’ll just write a paragraph, or a sentence if I’m feeling really reluctant) and then I can go to sleep. Usually this is all it takes to get me going. After the time period or paragraph is written I just keep going. Bribery is a great tool.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
IK: Sadly, yes I do. I try to take them with a grain of salt because everyone has their own opinion and my stories will be loved by some and not so much by others. I know that, and I’ve been publishing long enough that this doesn’t bother me too much. But I do have to admit, I feel a lot better when the very first review I see for a new release is a positive one. *g* Eventually I might give this practice up, but for now, I can’t resist reading the reviews.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
IK: I’m a disaster with titles! For the most part, I write the book first then have to wrack my brains to come up with a title. I’m never that bothered by a publisher’s request to change a title. In fact, I almost expect it and am always a little surprised when I get to keep the one I came up with. I actually did have a title for a book before writing the book once though—in my science fiction romance series. It’s the book I’m editing right now, but I’ve had the title for years and years.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
IK: I’m equally happy with eBook and paperback. Though these days I’m more likely to read the eBooks as I can read on a backlit screen in the dark when my baby is sleeping.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
IK: Actually I think some books translate well to movies, but not everything that’s turned into a movie should have been. I’ve found the movies I like best are the ones that came from shorter, novella length stuff rather than full length novels. Off the top of my head, The Shawshank Redemption was a superb movie made from one of Stephen King’s shorter stories. That’s probably my favorite.
Your favorite food is?
IK: Pizza and nachos. The order of preference depends entirely on the day. Oh and chocolate chip cookie dough. That’s real food, right?
Isabo Kelly is the award-winning author of numerous fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal romances. Her life has taken her from Las Vegas to Hawaii, where she got her BA in Zoology, back to Vegas where she looked after sharks, then on to Germany and Ireland where she got her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior.
Now Isabo focuses on writing. She lives in New York with her Irish husband, two beautiful boys, and funny dog. She works as a full time author and stay-at-home mom.