Guest Authors

Stolen Fire by Julie Wetzel Book Tour

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Title:   Kindling Flames: Stolen Fire
Series:  The Ancient Fire Series #4
Author:  Julie Wetzel
Published:  March 3rd, 2015
Publisher:  Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre:  NA Urban Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Violence, adult language
Recommended Age:  18+
Synopsis:  Night. A time of quiet, of peace, of rest, and now, a time of terror.
With an uncontrolled vampire plaguing the city, the Vampire Council of Brenton once again calls on Darien Ritter for help.
Overwhelmed with the issues of a new menagerie and plans for his wedding, Darien still manages to step up and answer the call. The only problem is, he suddenly finds himself a little too… human.

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“We are at your call, Master.” A male voice rang out across the room, drawing everyone’s attention.

Darien turned in his chair to see Josh coming through the doorway. His brother was only a step behind.

“I don’t have full control over my powers at the moment.” Darien stood up as he addressed the new vampires. “What I ask of you could be dangerous.”

“We know,” Josh answered as he leaned his hip against the railing that divided the room. “We were wondering when you were going to bring this problem to us.”

“Yes.” Jakob continued down the steps towards Darien. “A few of us have felt the subtle shift in power.” He stopped to look Darien over. “How much of your power do you have left?”

Darien tensed at the question. “Practically none,” he admitted. If he wanted help, he was going to have to be up front and honest with these people.

An evil glint flickered in Jakob’s eyes as he stepped around the end of the couch.

Darien turned to face him.

“So, I could bleed you out, and there’d be nothing you could do about it?” A hint of fangs slipped past Jakob’s lip as he spoke. The cocky smile vanished from his face as Elliot’s hand closed around his neck.

Vicky blinked in surprise. She hadn’t even seen him move.

Darien smiled at him. “Yes,” he admitted. “You could bleed me dry right now, and there would be nothing I could do about it.” He looked pointedly at Elliot’s hand, pressed into Jakob’s throat. “If you managed to survive the night, my death would leave you tied to this inexperienced rogue. And, if he isn’t stopped, the Council will hunt him. They now know he has my powers, and Clara will stop at nothing to destroy him, leaving this kiss masterless.” Reaching out, Darien drew Elliot’s hand away from the stunned vampire. “Who do you think will take you in, then?”

Understanding flickered in Jakob’s eyes. Hurting Darien would be a death sentence for all of them. “Forgive me, My Master.” Jakob dropped to a knee in front of Darien. He raised his hand to his heart and bowed his head.

Darien reached out and touched him on the shoulder. “Remember this.”

Jakob looked up as Darien spoke.

“Just because someone is down, doesn’t mean they don’t have unseen strength.”

Keep Calm and Answer These Twenty-Five Questions

  1. Do you consider yourself a logophile? If so, have you always been?

This question is magnificent! I actually had to look up what a logophile was, but now that I know what it is, I love it. Yes! I am a lover of words! I’m also a sesquipedalian. The longer the word is the more I love it. I try to keep a store of interesting prose tucked away to pull out when things get too pedestrian. It often gets me odd looks, but I like the ability to share a different way of saying things. I have ever since I was little. There are times words and I don’t see eye to eye and I spend more than my fair share of hours looking up how to spell things, but I’ve learned to accept that. A good dictionary and word processer will get you far in life.

  1. What is your favorite color?

My favorite color has to be purple. A nice, deep purple.

  1. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born in a little town in Ohio called Dayton and grew up just south of there in Franklin. The area we lived in wasn’t quite country (though we did have cows and horse in the area) and it wasn’t quite town. We were close enough to everything that nothing was really inconvenient, but far enough out that we didn’t have to worry about issues with the town. It was nice. I miss it.

  1. What is your favorite football team?

Football? The Franklin Wildcats will always be my favorite football team. Once a wildcat, always a wildcat! But if you are talking about professional teams, I really don’t know. I root for the Ohio State Buckeyes just because they are my hometown team and I can still play their fight song in my sleep. I also root for Mississippi State because it drives the guys at work nuts! They are LSU fans. For NFL teams, I go with the Cincinnati Bangles or the New Orleans Saints. The first because they are my home state team and they need all the support they can get and the second because I have to watch every game they play because of the guys at work. I may tease the boys I work with, but I know when to offer my support to what they love.

  1. Who is your favorite author?

Now this is really a hard one. My favorite author all depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I have a few that I can pick up and read any time—Piers Anthony, Ann McCaffrey, Lois McMaster Bujold—and a few that I have to be in a mood for—Neil Gaiman, Robert Heinlein, Ann Rice, H. P. Lovecraft. I have tried to work my way through a broad spectrum of things. It all depends on how deep I’m feeling at the moment. Right now I’m hitting up as many Indy writers as I can get. So all in all, I can’t say there is one author that is my favorite. I just love to read good books!

  1. What is your favorite book?

Here is another one of those impossible questions to answer. I would die if you made me pick a single book as my favorite. A book I adore on one day can’t hold my interests on the next. I’m fickle like that. Even with my own writing. There are days I can’t stand the piece I’m working on while other days I can’t get it out of my head. There is no way I could pick just one.

  1. What do you do when you are not writing?

Well, before I started writing, I use to play video games, sew, and travel as much as I could. Now that I’ve discovered writing, I spend most of my free time (not at work) playing with my son and sleeping. Man, I love a good nap! I still like to do the other things, but I just haven’t found time to work them in.

  1. Do you have a day job as well?

Unfortunately, yes. I work as a clerk in a hobby shop. We sell and repair R/C cars, planes, and boats. We also sell games, train, science stuff, and airsoft guns. It’s a great job to have as long as you don’t mind learning about all of the hobbies. The pain comes in when you get a new hobbyist that wants to do something and they just don’t know how. They expect you to know everything about their hobby and have the ability to tell them exactly what they need. I’ve earned the nick name ‘well of useless knowledge’ but there are things that even I can’t figure out.

  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Advice for aspiring authors? Yes. Listen to those around you. Take notes on everything said about your writing. Mull over your work with those thoughts in your mind. Think about how those suggestions work for or against your story. Let it flow through you. Then throw out the stuff you can’t live with. When all is said and done, writing isn’t about making other people happy. It’s about sharing something that makes you happy. You most definitely need to listen to opinions and criticisms of others. These help you become a better writer, but you can’t let it get under your skin. Take what they offer and consider how their suggestions could help you. No matter how good you think you are, there are thing that you need in your writing and others will help you see the places where you are lacking. Oh, and one other thing. Thick skin. Not everything people will say about your work is going nice or constructive. Don’t let it worry you. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t worry about trying to. Otherwise, enjoy what you do. If you aren’t enjoying the story, it shows in the writing and your readers won’t enjoy it either.

  1. Is being a writer a curse or a gift?

It’s a little of both. Writing a book is like riding a rollercoaster. Some days you find yourself stuck in a seat clicking up an endlessly long hill with a touch of dread at what is to come. Then you crest that hill and drop down screaming into the unknown. You get tossed around a bit and then find yourself, breathless at the end of the run. You get off and go laugh at the crazy photos that were taken on their little camera. Then you’re ready to do it again! For me, being a writer has been filled with these ups and downs. Days spent pouring out story line and sleepless nights when your characters won’t leave you alone long enough to get to rest. The joys of cover art creation. And I don’t even want to talk about editing! But when you get someone standing in front of you with a dogeared copy of your book telling you how much they loved it… That is the real gift of being a writer.

  1. Where do you write?

Most of my writing is done in my living room. I have a nice comfy chair and a little TV tray table that’s just big enough for my laptop. Someday I would like to get a nice office, but I just don’t have the space to dedicate to a full desk.

  1. Do you prefer silence or some noise while you write?

Give me silence while I’m writing. My mind gets distracted by noise much too easily.

  1. What do you typically drink while writing?

Coffee if I write in the morning and tea if it’s at night. I have been known to have wine. But that’s usually when I’m editing and, then, only enough so I don’t throw my computer.

  1. What challenges have you had in regards to your writing life?

Writing has been very challenging for me. I’m very dyslexic. I nearly failed English in high school. In fact, it wasn’t until I started writing on my computer that I was even able to string words together coherently. For each line I type, I probably rewrite it three times. I use it so much that I’ve worn part of the word off the backspace key. Sometimes I write a word and my mind tells me it’s what I want, when it really isn’t. This drives my beta readers nuts! But I’m working on it.

Writing has also caused some major fights between me and my husband. For the longest time he viewed what I did as a hobby. A way of escaping. I had never shown any interests in writing before my sister asked me to make her up some stories and he figured this was just a passing fancy that would go away after a while. He just shook his head and when on his merry way expecting me to quit after my first rejection letter. It wasn’t until my third book was published that he thought I might be on to something.

  1. When did you first start and when did you finish your book?

I started writing Kindling Flames In 2011 as a favor to my sister. It took me about three months to finish the first one hundred and eighty thousand word manuscript. It took much longer to trim it down to a manageable size. My third book, Smoke Rising, was written as a NaNoWriMo project and took a whopping 27 day to complete. I can’t remember how long it took me to finish Stolen Fire. It was probably around three months, but that was also during the time that I was just getting the first books published. I finished it in August of 2014.

  1. If your book is made into a movie, which actors/actresses do you envision playing the parts?

This is a question I cannot answer. I watch movies, but I don’t remember actors/actresses unless my husband points them out and gives them a name. This also tends to exasperate him. The other issue is, I like to watch animated videos—both kids movies and anime—more then I watch live action. TV just isn’t a big part of my life.

  1. What does your protagonist think of you? Would he/she want to hang out with you?

Vicky would probably find me a little odd, just like most of the people in my life. But then again, she has fallen into a very odd group. I think we would make good friends. Not necessarily the type that would be connected at the hip, but we could get together and go clubbing together. It would be fun.

  1. How do you market your book? What avenues work best?

Most of the marketing on my book is done through social media. I spend a lot of time on facebook, twitter, tsu, and readit. What works best? Now that is a question I don’t know how to answer. I’m still new to this whole author thing.

  1. What has been the toughest criticism so far?

I think the one that hurt the most was when someone called Gathering Tinder a ‘Snorfest’. Sure, nothing earthshattering happens between Darien and Vicky in the first book, but I take the time and build their relationship as if it was really life; strangers, coworkers, friends, romantic interests, then lovers. That is how the real world works. It may not be as exciting as having them fall into bed in the first chapter, but that wasn’t what this story was about. You get tension building between them as they grown into their relationship. That’s part of what draws you in.

  1. What has been the best compliment?

The best compliment so far was finding out that Melanie, the submissions reader that brought my book to CTP’s attention, had to fight to get the ladies to pick it up. She didn’t bother to look at the hundred and fifty thousand word count (that was after I took out thirty thousand words) when she told them Kindling Flames was the vampire book for them. Funny, it was also Melanie that gave me the compliment that confused me the most. She once told me she loved the book and compared it to 50 Shades of Gray, saying it was the romance(without the sex) that she had been hoping that story would turn into and never did. I still don’t know how I feel about that.

  1. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

There are a lot of things throughout all of the Kindling Flames books that I’ve pulled from real life. Fixing the radiator with a rag, actually did that. The walk through the Quarter in New Orleans. The car crash. There was a lot of little things that I tossed in there that were taken from real life. There was also a whole lot that was pure imagination!

  1. How did you come up with the title?

That was a hard one. The original story was about a vampire chasing down something that was burning the city, so we went with a fire theme for the name. That led to a whole lot of fun. If you look at the books there is a fire theme woven through out. The city is Brenton, literally translates to Fire Town. Darien’s parents were killed in a fire when he was young. The monks in the monetary where he was raised called him Daigh, which is Gaelic for flame or fire. Then there was a little bit of a romantic element to it. So, after tossing around some things we decided to go with Kindling Flames. Kind of the double entendre thing. Referring to the starting of fires in the city and to Darien rediscovering there was more to life than what he had become accustom to. Kind of cheesy, but it worked.

The first two books were supposed to be part one and part two, but there was a concern with labeling them this way so we changed the names to Gathering Tinder and Flying Sparks. The first because it was the world building part and the second because that’s where everything started to come together. Smoke Rising was harder. The name represents that fast that they could tell something was not right (smoke seen at a distance) but they couldn’t tell exactly what was wrong (can’t see what was burning). Stolen Fire was easy. Someone is stealing Darien’s essence. I have the rest of the books planned out with names that fit their story lines. And for those that don’t want to know… Stop right here and go to the next question.

For those that do. Book five is Burning nights and deals with a wedding a honeymoon. Book six is Flaming Moon and deals with the werewolves of Brenton. Book Seven is Wings of Fire and wraps up the whole series. Not giving you any of the plot line of that one. There looks to be an eighth book in the works. I’m thinking about calling it Embers and have it be all the little bits that didn’t have a place in the series. Short stories and such.

  1. Will there be a sequel?

There are a total of seven of eight books planned for the Kindling Flames series.

  1. What project are you working on now?

I have a set of dragon books that have been riding around in my head. The Dragons of Eternity. The first of the series, On the Accidental Wings of Dragons, comes out in June. The overall story follows a secret organization that is in place to protect and police dragon. Something is killing dragon citizens and Eternity is working to find out who they are and stop them. The story that I’m working on now is For the Memory of Dragons. It’s the second book in the series and follows one of the investigators that crash lands and loses his memory. I’ve got three scenes left until it’s done. Then it’s back to book four of Kindling Flames.

  1. What question did I leave out that you’d like to answer?

You’ve seemed to cover a lot here. I can’t think of anything at the moment.

Please fill in the blank: Keep Calm and Enjoy the Fire.


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About the Author:

Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2007, she moved to Mississippi to be with her significant other.
Now a mother of a hyperactive red headed boy, what time she’s not chasing down dirty socks and unsticking toys from the ceiling is spent crafting worlds readers can get lost it. Julie is a self-proclaimed bibliophile and lover of big words. She likes hiking, frogs, interesting earrings, and a plethora of other fun things.
Julie Wetzel is the author of her debut novel Kindling Flames. Kindling Flames was released through Crimson Tree Publishing in 2014.

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  • A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
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  1. Pingback: LIVE Book Tour - Kindling Flames: Stolen Fire by Julie Wetzel

  2. Thank you so much for having me!

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