Today for “Feature Friday” let us welcome the awesome Alex E. Carey with her book Fire’s Love, the first book in the Elemental Series.
We will have info about the book and author. Plus we have a interview with Alex, a great excerpt from the book and a guest post from her as well.
Make sure to check everything out and go and show her some love and add her books to your TBR 😉
Happy Reading 🙂
Kira thought she was leaving her demons behind when she left for college. She quickly discovers demons are everywhere, and can be good or evil. Not only are they real, but they’re protecting her; that is, except for the ones who want her dead. Kira’s parents want to reveal things about who she is, but a strange phenomenon prevents them from explaining. Before they can try again, her mother and brother die and her father disappears. Afterward, Kira finds a mysterious book in her parents‘ belongings. Although the book confuses her, it comforts her too. She’s sure it holds the answers she seeks. One of Kira’s new friends, Lowell Hew, is also an earth demon named Ulric the Wolf Thief. Lowell tries to help Kira solve the mysteries involving the book, her parents, and the elements they wanted her to know. Although Lowell has a crush on Kira, he’s not looking for a relationship, or so he keeps telling himself. Meanwhile, Lowell introduces Kira to his best friend, Pyre, a fire demon with a fiery temperament and a troubled past. Pyre closed off his heart years ago, while deep inside he yearned to belong. For Pyre, learning to love again comes with tremendous risk, especially when the girl he loves is human, and his best friend has thoughts of his own. Things go well until an eerie presence threatens Kira and her new friends, and they can only speculate as to who it may be. While her friends protect her and try to uncover the enemy’s identity, Kira must adjust to the challenges of being human with demon friends. Will she bask in the warmth, or be consumed by the flames of Fire’s Love?
Other books in the series
Hello Alex. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and chat with us, it is great to have you.
Thank you. It’s my pleasure.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m friends with several authors who write in multiple genres. They are a great group and many have become dear friends. Mainly, we share each other’s work, encourage and motivate, and sometimes read for each other.
Jenny Burke writes The Dragon Dreamer series about a young dragon who makes an unlikely friend in a wise octopus named Scree. It’s a beautiful story for all ages. We met a couple of years ago and have been great friends since. We bounce ideas off each other and encourage each other.
Another dear friend is Dianna Wyles. She writes children’s books that can also be enjoyed by adults. She is a photographer and uses her photos in her Hearts Blessings book series to complement her uplifting poetry. She also includes a seek and find activity — find the hearts in nature. They’re beautiful books. I pull them out when I need some motivation. She frequently shares my book information with others or opportunities with me. She also helps me to stay positive and focused.
Heidi Angell is an author of paranormal/fantasy suspense, children’s books and more. Her sons like to share bookmarks with their classmates, so I was happy to send her some along with some free books. They fell in love with my stories and tell their friends. Heidi has a podcast where she reveals “unboxings” when she receives mail and is an avid supporter of indie authors.
Tim Hemlin is a talented author of mysteries and a YA paranormal novel released this year, called Son of a Kitchen Witch. He and his wife, Valerie, are very supportive of other authors and love to share our news with their readers.
I recently was fortunate to be included in an author team organized by Books Go Social. There are eleven of us in the group and we’ve all become good friends as well.
Daccari Buchelli writes YA fantasy fiction and just released the revised edition of Phoenix, the first novel in his Peradon fantasy series. He is so supportive of the entire group and is always offering tips and motivation for each of us. He came up with the idea to do an anthology of samples of some of our work called, Tales of the Fantastic.
David Gilchrist is the author of The Redemption of Wist series. He has published three books in his series and has another releasing in September. David is always positive and upbeat. You can count on him for a kind word, writing tips and sharing information he knows we all want to hear, such as someone looking for a book to read and review.
Grant Leishman is a multi-genre author with several books to his credit. He writes YA fantasy, religious humor/satire, and paranormal and romantic suspense, including his Second Coming trilogy. He helps to keep us all motivated, is dedicated to sharing information about our books on all his social media and website, and encourages us to keep following our dreams.
Nyasia A. Maire is the author of The Heretic’s Child, a wonderful fantasy story about the Rememberers, who collect and preserve the memories of dying humans, and a menace that is killing their overseers, the Cybele. Nyasia constantly shares information about our books, offers advice, and shares opportunities to get our books into venues, such as the Pipe & Thimble bookstore in Lomita, CA.
Caitlin Lynagh is the author of Anomaly: The Soul Prophecies with more coming in that series. She is a biologist and a wonderful writer of YA paranormal romance. She is sweet and kind, and always offers encouragement and praise.
Kim Ross is an author of fantasy and speculative fiction. She’s published several short stories in a variety of publications including Novascapes, Sproutlings, and Three Drops from a Cauldron. She is ready with a reply and humor when any of us in the group need feedback.
There are many others I haven’t mentioned here who are just as supportive. Chris Walters, Tammy Berg, Kimberly Grell, CK Dawn, C.D. Gorri — oh gosh, I could go on. Each of them are supportive in various ways, but all are encouraging and happy to work together to further our careers and become better writers. We believe in supporting each other, whether by giving our opinions on a blurb or chapter, sharing writing tips, events and news, etc. The main thing is that you have someone else who understands what you experience — whether it’s a need for motivation; dealing with writer’s block; looking for cover designers, editors, or other professionals; or commiserating over a drop in sales. I give back to them by sharing their news, reading and proofing whenever they need an opinion on something, giving encouragement and motivation, and anything else i can do. Together, we will succeed.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
That’s a good question, and a bit of a tough one. Like many writers, my budget struggles to stay in the black, so I do as much for free as I can. i majored in English in college, but one of the best investments has been in publishing and marketing courses by Mark Dawson and Nick Stephenson. They are great guys, very personable, and eagerly share advice in the course and in their Facebook communities.
Another excellent investment has been with my street team — Alex E. Carey’s Elemental Elite. I have such a wonderful team of people who are friendly, encouraging and who go out of their way to share my book information with their friends, libraries, book clubs and more. They keep after me, wanting to know when book #4 in my series will be published (coming soon in 2017 if all goes as planned), which motivates me to keep writing. They get a free signed paperback copy of my first book, Fire’s love, with bookmarks and swag. The members who are actively supportive — whether by sharing posts on social media, keeping me informed of events, supporting me at events I participate in online, and hopefully by leaving reviews, etc. — continue to receive free books and swag. My team will also have the first opportunity to receive ARC’s and new releases. The cost of print books and swag, plus the shipping, has been a worthwhile investment to further my success. Their support and encouragement is priceless! They’ve all become very dear to me and like my extended family.
What is the most challenging thing about writing for you?
Time. Always! Balancing working my “day job”, writing, reading, family time, promotion, social media, and other activities is difficult. I tend to get immersed when I write, and overlook reading and other things. I will suddenly realize I haven’t checked email or Facebook messages in several days; or I’ll remember I promised to read a book for someone. Yes, I have a huge stack of books I’ve promised to read. Or I need to vacuum the carpet — but what’s one more day? There are books to be written or read.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I start by searching for names with certain meanings or significance in some way. My three main characters are Kira, Pyre, and Lowell. For Lowell, I looked up names that had “wolf” in their meaning. Lowell means “wolf” and “beloved”, so I liked that. The word pyre means “a heap of combustible material”. That pretty much describes Pyre in a nutshell. I got the name Kira from a Japanese anime show I used to watch. I also try not to choose a name that has been used frequently.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
That’s an interesting question. I think most everything boils down to time for me. I’m about experiences in life. If you want to become a better writer, you need to practice, or maybe you need to take a course. That may involve money, but it definitely involves time. Time you spend taking a course is time you don’t have for someone or something else. I took dance for over twelve years, and I still enjoy it. I stay in practice whenever I can, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to spend on it as much as I used to. I guess you could say that’s one thing I have given up or sacrificed to dedicate more of myself to my writing. One thing I would not sacrifice is my family, and fortunately I don’t have to. My mother and brother are completely supportive and work with me. My mother helps with proofreading, editing, publishing and anything else I may need. They both have come up with suggestions for scenes, and they always assist when I have a book signing event. Spending time with them in collaboration makes up for anything I have sacrificed for my writing.
This was fun, again thank you so much for taking the time to chat. You rock!
The last scene in Chapter 4 – Getting Answers and Proving One’s Self
The next afternoon, Lowell and I went to the library to study together.
“I forgot one of my books in my room,” Lowell said after searching through his bag.
“You can borrow mine.”
“Thanks, but I need my notes too.”
“I’ll go with you. We can study in your room instead.”
“No, I don’t want to study there in case my roommates return. They’re loud and distracting. I’ll be right back. You don’t need to come with me.”
“I can either go with you to your dorm or stay here and endure the glares from your jealous admirers. Frankly, they’re a little scary when they travel in packs.”
When we reached Lowell’s room, he stood still outside the door, huffed, and rubbed his forehead.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
He shook his head and set his jaw before opening the door.
“How many times must I tell you not to enter my dorm when I’m not here?” Lowell asked.
Pyre leaned against a wall with his arms crossed. The sight of him took my breath away, but then he spoke.
“I don’t take orders.”
“Why are you here?”
“We’re supposed to train, remember?”
“Oh, right, I forgot. Kira, I’m sorry.”
“No problem. We can study another time.”
“Why don’t you come with us?”
Pyre made a rude face, and I raised my brows at him before responding to Lowell.
“I don’t want to intrude.”
“It’s no intrusion. Besides, my other friends will be there, so you can meet them.”
“In that case, I’ll go.”
“Good. Let me put my books away and change clothes, and then we’ll leave.”
“Hn.” Pyre grunted and rolled his eyes.
Lowell frowned at Pyre and left the room. Pyre stared at me intensely as though searing a line into my soul. My eyes wandered around the room, and I pretended he wasn’t there, but I failed. I tried not to meet his blue eyes or imagine how his smooth, black hair would feel if I ran my fingers through it. I mentally slapped myself to regain my senses.
Why is he staring at me? I get it, he doesn’t like me. He doesn’t even know me, but still he doesn’t like me. So why must he stare at me?
“Why does Lowell talk to you?” Pyre asked.
“Um.” I studied the ceiling and walls, unaware how to respond.
“You’re a weak and worthless human with no special abilities. Why does the Wolf Thief talk to a weak human?” He circled me once before facing off with me, eye to eye, only slightly taller than myself.
“How should I know? Why don’t you ask him yourself?”
“I did. He says he likes you, and you’re a good friend, but I bet you did something to him.”
“You said there’s nothing special about me.”
“Doesn’t mean you didn’t do something to him.”
“Why are you talking to me if I’m such a weak and worthless human?” He frowned and grew quiet. Seems he doesn’t have a real reason.
“I feel something strange toward you.” He examined me from head to toe.
“What kind of strange feeling?”
“I’m not sure, but I don’t like it.”
“You’re the one who mentioned it.”
“So?” He asked.
“So if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have said anything.”
“You’re the one who asked why I was talking to you.”
“Only because talking to someone who doesn’t like me is weird.”
“Then maybe I’ll leave if it’s so weird.” He stepped toward the door.
“Maybe you should.”
“You want me to go.” Pyre squinted at me with suspicion.
“That would be great, thank you.”
“You manipulated me into saying I’d leave. I’m not going anywhere. You go.” He planted his feet and gestured toward the door.
“I’m nothing special, but I manipulated you? How embarrassing for you. And I don’t take orders either.” I confronted him with my arms crossed and stomped my foot.
“Hn.” He made a face at me and disappeared.
Lowell entered the room in time for the door to slam shut behind Pyre and held up his hands in a silent question.
“Don’t leave me alone with him again.”
“What did he do?” Lowell groaned, convinced he wouldn’t like my answer.
“He creeps me out, and he’s rude. Not to mention obnoxious.” Lowell laughed when I finished.
“And here I thought you two would be such good friends.” His voice oozed with sarcasm. When I only raised an eyebrow at him, he said, “Let’s study since he’s gone.”
A thunderous knock suddenly shook the door. Lowell opened it to reveal a furious Pyre.
“Are you ready to train or not?” Pyre yelled.
“Yea, I guess.” Lowell winced as he looked at me, and I nodded that I understood.
“Then come on. Leave the human.”
“The human doesn’t want to go after all.” I stuck out my chin and glared at him as I stomped past them and out the door.
“The human isn’t allowed to go!” Pyre yelled.
“The human doesn’t care.” I called back over my shoulder.
“The human needs to keep her mouth shut.”
I whirled to confront him again. “The demon needs to stay away from the human.”
“The two freaks need to stop making a scene.” Lowell stepped between us and gestured with his head to the people gawking at us.
“What’re you looking at?” I yelled. The people hurried away from us. I glanced back at Lowell, but Pyre already left. “Keep him away from me.”
“I’ll do my best. We’re going to Caedmon’s apartment this weekend. If Pyre’s there, it’s not my fault. I better go with him now though.”
“Fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I stomped off toward my dorm ranting in my head about demons. Infuriating, obnoxious, insane, devilishly handsome demons.
I am often asked if there’s a message I would like to pass on to my readers. I do have some, but for this post, I want to focus on one specific issue.
I write strong female characters, probably because I’m a strong female character, and I see more women who need to be strong as well. I come from a long line of strong women. Being strong doesn’t mean being rude or arrogant. To me, it means knowing who you are and what you stand for, what you’ll accept, and what you won’t. I’m also a bit shy and quiet in a crowd, which isn’t a weakness. Actually, it’s a strength and enables me to write good characters, because I’m a good listener.
Teens these days are under pressure to have sex way too soon or before they’re ready. The lead female character in my book is sixteen when she begins college, and turns seventeen in October. She’s never had a boyfriend or been worried about it. Life isn’t about getting or keeping a boyfriend, regardless what your peers say. It’s about knowing who you are. When you do, you’ll know what you have to share, and you’ll find the right person. They’ll come to you naturally without any pressure or forcing it. Yes, by all means date, and if you are ready for the next level of a relationship, that’s YOUR choice, no one else’s. If the guy pushes you into it, either way, he’ll probably be gone the next day. Yea, that’s probably something your mother would say. I’m only twenty-five, not that much older than high school teens. Know what? She’s right. (To my own mother, yes, I actually said those words.) Still, I have another issue on my mind.
My mother home schooled me until college, so this issue was a bit of a shock to me. When I started working, I met people younger and older, but I was used to age differences. The part I wasn’t used to was the people, most of them female, many of them younger than myself, who had an abusive relationship with a romantic partner. I couldn’t understand why a high school girl, for example, would date a guy who physically abused them. When I asked, they replied that this is how it is in the real world and you have to accept it if you want to have a boyfriend. I was horrified, not because I believed them, but because they believed it.
Before I go any further, I will say that women these days are more capable of defending themselves from an attack than in the past. We are more educated as to what to do in a scary situation. The first question is, if faced with an attack by a stranger, whether we remember the training. The second question is, if the attacker is someone we have feelings for, what will we do? Additionally, it’s important to recognize that abuse happens to men in relationships too.
When I started dating, my mother told me something that stuck with me. Although we had a great bond and relationship through the teen years, I probably wouldn’t have admitted it at the time. She said our lives are open books, and we are the writers. People we meet or become close to are the characters. Some of those characters will be villains who should be defeated, or left behind. Some chapters would be happy, fun, peaceful and full of hope. Others, would be sad and have some grief, pain or disappointment. Everyone makes bad choices or has regrets, but unlike the books an author writes, those bad choices can’t simply be edited out of your life’s book. Either way, the pen belongs to you. Make sure you write your book. Don’t allow someone else to do it for you.
Yes, there will be some pain in life, whether it’s losing a loved one, fighting cancer, or worrying about bills, etc. Those are inevitable, unfortunately, and part of life. Allowing someone to abuse you, whether verbally or physically – I’m talking forced sex, black eyes, broken bones, hospital visits – is not meant to be part of life. Don’t accept that from anyone or for any reason. No one was born or deserves to live that way. You aren’t a whipping post. Don’t be their tool. If someone truly loves you they will build you up, grow your confidence, and they will never intentionally hurt you. It’s your book, and the characters in it are your choice. If you find yourself with someone who only wants to hurt you or make you feel inferior, kick the loser out of your book That person doesn’t belong there.
I grew up with an amazing, supportive family, not that we didn’t have our own issues. I understand a lot of people don’t have that. Many people overcome whatever isn’t perfect in their lives. People from lower income families “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”, go to college and make a good life for themselves. People with disabilities of some sort go on to achieve great things in careers and life. Some people have to overcome the people closest to them putting them down or discouraging them. Whatever you have to overcome, work for it, do it, follow your dreams. Will you fail? Who knows? You’ll be able to say you went for it, and you won’t grow old and bitter because you never gave it a shot. Moreover, you will have taken control of your life and not let someone else destroy it or you. Why give someone else control over your life when theirs is a mess? Write your own book. Make it long and full of everything a life should be. Remember, no one was born to be someone else’s tool.
Alex E. Carey was born in Texas and majored in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. When she started college, she planned to be a dance teacher or an archaeologist. Kira’s story came to her during her first semester of college. Alex scribbled stories in between classes and ideas continued to flow for more stories and characters. She soon realized she was meant to be a writer. She is now the author of three published novels in the Elemental Series. She is currently working on the fourth book in the series, as well as other short stories and novels in progress.
Alex studied dance since the age of four. She took classes in several dance forms and enjoyed them all, but her favorite was modern/contemporary. She still loves dance and stays in practice when not working or writing. She believes in tolerance and acceptance and feels strongly about equal rights for all. She is passionate about issues involving women, children, the elderly, animals and the environment.
Alex enjoys a variety of books and genres, but her favorites are paranormal and fantasy. She reads a variety of authors and has many favorites including Emily Dickinson, Kim Harrison, Stephen King, Rick Riordan, Edgar Allan Poe, J. K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.
When not at work on her latest book, she enjoys reading, walking trails, gem mining and spending time with her family and their three dogs.