by Julie Flanders
The midnight sun bakes Fairbanks, Alaska as residents gather for the annual summer solstice baseball game. Amidst the revelry and raucous shouts of “Play ball,” a spark alights and a jogger bursts into flames. Detective Danny Fitzpatrick, still reeling from his near death at the hands of vampire Aleksei Nechayev, watches in horror as the man burns alive.
Someone is burning Fairbanks and its residents and leaving nothing but smoldering embers behind. As the city sweats under a record-breaking heatwave and unexplained fires claim more victims, Danny and his colleagues struggle to find an arsonist who can conjure fire out of thin air.
To Danny’s horror, the only one who may be able to help him stop the arsonist is his nemesis Nechayev. Will the vampire help in the hunt for a witch?
Danny flipped through the channels, stopping when he came to a Seattle Mariners game that had gone in to extra innings. They were playing the White Sox in Chicago and Danny felt a slight tug at his heartstrings as the familiar sight of Cellular Field filled the flat screen television. The time difference made it difficult for him to catch Sox games live. It was a welcome surprise to find one that was lasting so long into the Chicago night that he could watch it live as it happened.
It was dark in Chicago, but of course the sun was still high in the sky here in this strange frontier he had chosen as his new home. He squinted from the sun beaming through the window and cursed himself for not shutting the blinds before he sat back down. Next time he got up for a beer he would need to do that.
Danny rested his hand on his dog's head as he finished one beer and started another, the bottles now lining up on the end table beside him. His eyes grew bleary as Sox's gentle snoring mingled with the sounds of the faraway baseball game. When yet another inning ended and the game went to a commercial, Danny closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the couch.
The noise of the television grew fainter as he slipped into sleep and his mind flashed images of fangs and bloodless bodies in an endless landscape of snow. As Danny drifted farther into unconsciousness, the snow was overtaken by fire.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JULIE
Thank you, Mary for hosting me today! I’m so glad to meet you and your readers and I appreciate the opportunity to be here on your blog. I love the name Kit n Kabookle!
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I went through a difficult period after I turned forty and went looking for something new and fulfilling. I had always enjoyed writing but had always told myself I wasn’t a creative person and could never write fiction. On a whim I discovered a volunteer opportunity to write for Best Friends Animal Society online and since I love animals I thought I’d give it a go. I enjoyed it more than any paying work I’d ever done and found a fulfillment I’d never had before. I loved crafting the articles and telling the stories of these animals and the wonderful people who worked with them. One thing led to another and next thing I knew I started writing my books.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Fun question! I would make sure I went outside so I could see the Northern Lights. I can’t imagine how beautiful they must be.
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
I learned about the Midnight Sun baseball game which is played in Fairbanks on the summer solstice. The game has been played every year since 1906 and even though it doesn’t begin until 10:30 at night it never requires artificial lighting because the sun is out for nearly 24 hours.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks and/or pizza with?
I would go out with my main character Danny Fitzpatrick because I relate to his cynicism and jaded view of the world, although I’m not quite as bad as he is in that regard. :D I enjoy Danny’s sarcasm and I think he would be a fun drinking companion.
-If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Start earlier! For as long as I can remember I always made up stories in my head but I never thought there was any point in writing them down because I didn’t think that was something I could do.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I don’t think I could write romances because of the cynicism I mentioned earlier. I tend to be drawn to dark stories and tragic endings, which I know makes me a little weird. The biggest reason I could never write romances though is that I am terrible at writing love scenes!
Thank you again for hosting me and for the interesting questions! They were fun to answer.
Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds. Julie is an animal lover and animal rescue advocate who shares her home with her rescued dog and cat. She has written about the joys of pets for outlets such as Cat Fancy, Thrive in Life, and Best Friends Animal Society. Visit Julie at julieflanders.net.
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