by Belle Manuel
Chelsea and Chad are twin fire and water elementals, humans born with the ability to control the elements. Chelsea struggles to control her flames, while Chad finds himself under the control of dangerous people. War draws near, and brother and sister must choose a side, even if it’s against each other.
"Chad’s anger was growing as we drove on, forcing the temperature in the car to drop lower and lower. I knew if I tried to heat it up, he’d just get angry, so I forced myself to ignore it as best as I could. If I closed my eyes, I could see all of the events unfold in front of me again. I could see the fire raging through the upstairs hallway, burning every ounce of memories away. I could hear my father’s voice telling us to hurry out of the house, so calm and steady. I could see my father placing his hand to the random outlets in the house as we ran out, setting them ablaze without a thought. I could smell the smoke as it rose throughout the house, making it hard to see as Chad and I ran down the stairs and out the door.
I’d gotten out of the house a full two minutes before Chad had. I thought that he’d fallen and I had left him behind. But he had burst through the front door, flames on his heels and plastic bag in his hand. It was a small sandwich sized bag with a big wad of money resting inside of it. Then we’d heard the sirens, and Chad somehow knew what to do. I did what he said and ran to his truck, jumped in and waited.
We finally pulled off the highway and I realized where we were going: Steve’s house. My heart skipped a beat and I finally relaxed. We were going to our backup home, to safety. I looked at the cookie-cutter houses, towering in their red-bricked glory. Then Steve’s house came into view. This was the home that Chad and I would flock to when our dad would work late. Steve wasn’t like us, but he was a good friend of Chad’s who didn’t judge us for our secrets. His parents liked us enough that we had spent the night over there quite a bit when we were younger. And within the last few months, Steve and I had secretly grown closer. But now, Chad and I were on the run. I had ruined everything.”
AN INTERVIEW WITH BELLE
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I loved Harry Potter as a child, and loved J. K. Rowling’s entire story of how she came to be a writer. I started writing myself, being a huge fan, and then it became more and more unique as I aged. Friends would pay me to write them short little stories, and then I’d get to pretend for hours just because someone asked me to. It eventually became something I wanted to for myself, and I wrote stories that only I got to read, hiding away on my computer. Now I write because I’d like to create stories for myself and other people, something that many could enjoy or spread joy about.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Well, if I was an elemental, I would practice with Blaze – our protagonist’s love interest – because he’s such a talented fire-starter. I would love to see his abilities in person. If I were just my regular self, I would join ranks with the elemental supporters and maybe even fight alongside Chelsea in her struggle – but that’s not until books 2 and 3! ;)
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
Well, my editor was a history major, so I got to learn just how specific history has to be, even when you’re making things up about it. I would try to insert something like ‘so and so wrote this’ and she’d tell me that country/region didn’t have a formal written language just yet, but this one over here did because of this that and the other thing. I realized that English is DEFINTELY my thing, not history. It’s just so odd! Too many dates and details!
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks and pizza with?
The entire fire-starter training team would be fun to hang out with! I made them such an eclectic bunch that I feel that they’d give me a good night!
-If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep trying! Don’t listen to those jerks who said it wasn’t good enough or who couldn’t see its potential! You’re a great writer and let no one tell you otherwise!
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I could never write romance novels. I’m too awkward, and have no idea how to even begin a romance scene. I’m sure it’s simple and basic to begin with, maybe, then it’s all in the details. But I’m not good at romantic inclinations in the real world, let alone on paper! My love scene would be maybe a paragraph, a two sentence paragraph and no one would get anything out of it. Action, though, that I’ve got down!
Born in Louisiana, Belle Manuel spent her early years learning to be a good Cajun girl before moving to Texas. She visits Louisiana often, enjoying the quiet break from the active Texas life. When not writing, Belle enjoys crochet and crossword puzzles. Her debut novel, Fire, was released July 1st of this year.
Belle first began writing in middle school, where her first writing job was getting paid by other students to write stories for them. She enjoyed turning their random requests into interesting stories, and the money she made helped fund her reading habit.
Fire began with an idea, but quickly took on a life of its own and changed as Belle wrote it. With all the adjustments and improvements, it eventually evolved into The Elemental Series.
Find her online:
Belle will be awarding $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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