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.”
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 book 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 particular series is published by Samhain Publishing (www.samhainpublishing.com)
What genre would you place your books into?
IK: Epic Fantasy Romance but it will appeal to Paranormal Romance readers.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
IK: I love the full on world-building of the fantasy genre. It gives me so much room to play. I can build everything—culture, location, time period, etc…--purely out of my own imagination. While I love writing science fiction and paranormal romances, I suspect I’ll always come back to writing epic fantasy romances.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
IK: Okay, I probably shouldn’t admit this while promoting the second book in the series. I do adore all my characters, and I have to tell you, Einar from this second book is super sexy (all dark and serious and intense. *shiver*). Readers will love him. But…Well, I have a real soft spot for the hero of the third book in the series, Althir from WARRIOR’S DAWN. He’s my first ever anti-hero type character. He’s such an ass! And before I started writing his story, I had no idea how I was going to like him because he can be such a jerk. Even when I was working my way through the opening scene, something popped out of his mouth and I thought, “Althir you are such a jackass! How the hell am I ever going to make a hero out of you?” His answer to me, “Stop trying to make me a fucking hero, then.” Okay, I couldn’t help it. I laughed. I LOVE him. Anything and everything comes out of his mouth. He’s just… Well as it turned out, over the course of writing his book, I fell head-over-heels in love with him. He’s really cool. He does turn out to be a good hero. And even better, his heroine Mina is so well able for him! She gives as good as she gets. And oh the ending! Anyway, if readers like the series, I do hope they’ll pick up the third book as well because Althir and Mina are well worth it. *g*
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
IK: I’ve been writing most of my life—making up stories and eventually writing them down. I can’t draw or paint like the other artsy members of my family, so I had to tell my stories on the page. That I could do. I was inspired to tell stories by the books I read and the movies I watched. All of it fed my imagination and I really had no choice but to get those stories out somehow. When I wrote more horror stories in high school, I even scared myself! I had to give up straight horror or I’d never sleep. That’s when I got into fantasy. I didn’t start taking my writing seriously until college. But it’s always been a part of my life.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
IK: What I usually do for character names, if they don’t just come to me while staring at the page, is go to a baby name site and start sifting through options until something feels right. Occasionally, I have a letter I want the name to start with—don’t ask me why, that’s just how it works sometimes LOL—so that makes the searching a little easier. I might also have an ethnic background I want to draw from and that helps too because I can focus my searches. But mostly I just walk through the lists of names until I hit on one that fits the character in my head, or something that is close and then I make up a name that has the right feel. Rarely, the name just comes to me and that’s that. I couldn’t change it if I tried. But mostly, I have to go hunting for the right name. Places are a little easier in my fantasy stuff as I just make those up. I play with letters until they come together to make a word I can pronounce and it looks right. Then there’s the name. *g*
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
IK: I almost always choose names after I’ve created the character and place. Sometimes in my first draft I can go chapters with a character just having a capital letter to represent their name. Eventually, I do my sifting through baby name lists to come up with a proper name, but I can go on for a while getting to know the character before I actually naming them. By that time, when I do choose a name, I know it fits the person I’m writing.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
IK: I have a vague idea who my characters are when I start writing—their general demeanor—then I get to know them as I write that first draft. They tell me what kind of person they are as we go. Sometimes they surprise me by not being at all how I imagined them to be at the beginning. That can be really fun. Until I start writing, I never know everything there is to know about one of my characters.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
IK: Not really. I suppose I have an ongoing theme of strong people standing up for weaker people, and for good overcoming evil. I love the good overcomes evil theme. I tend toward “protector” storylines. But I don’t consciously put moral or hidden messages into my books. If they’re there, I didn’t do it on purpose and usually don’t realize anything is there until after the fact.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
IK: Paper and ebooks are my favorites and I love reading both formats. I read more ebooks these days as I can read them in the dark (and I can take loads with me when I travel without weighing down my luggage full of kid gear *g*). But my groaning bookshelves attest to my continued love of paperbacks.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
IK: I have too many well loved books to really pick a favorite, but I have re-read Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie a few times. And I just loved The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I will likely re-read that one at some stage. I mostly don’t re-read books, though, because I’m always behind in my reading and there are so many good books out there! I don’t have much time for re-reading. *g*
Your favorite singer/group is?
IK: I don’t really have a favorite. I have pretty eclectic tastes. But I have to say Pink, Queen and the Beatles are at the top of my favorites list. *g*
Your favorite color is?
IK: I adore autumn colors. Green and brown are probably my most favorite (and colors I can actually wear), but I also adore the oranges and reds of fall (can’t wear oranges at all, though!).
Your favorite Author is?
IK: I can never come up with a single favorite author. I love too many of them and it depends on the genre. Like I love Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan and Sarah McLean in historical. I love Jennifer Crusie in contemporary. Linnea Sinclair, Catherine Asaro, Lois McMaster Bujold and John Scalzi are some of my most favorite science fiction authors. Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher rank super high in urban fantasy. Nalini Singh and Meljean Brook are top in the paranormal romance category. See it’s impossible to choose. I have too many I love. This explains my bookshelves and ereader, though. *g*
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.