Title: Kindling Flames: Flying SparksSeries: The Ancient Fire Series Book One, Part 2Author: Julie WetzelPublished: October 3, 2014Publisher: Crimson Tree PublishingPage Count: 260Genre: Paranormal RomanceContent Warning: Minor ViolenceRecommended Age: 13+
Synopsis: When Vicky becomes the target of a serial arsonist plaguing the city, Darien calls on the supernatural community to help. Pulling the creatures of the night together to cooperate on any project is troublesome at the best of times. The fact that the one responsible for the city’s woes is a being of fire and magic leads the reluctant groups to a truce that makes Vicky start to think that her job might be a bit more than one normal human can handle.
Excerpt #1“What’s wrong?” she asked as she took in his reaction.
Darien rubbed his eyes with his index finger and thumb before squeezing the bridge of his nose. “He just claimed you,” he explained, letting out another deep breath and pointing down.
Vicky looked down and gasped at the ring of silver flowers wrapped around her ankle. It was just like the anklet that dissolved when she had taken her shower yesterday evening.
“You’ve only known about my world for two weeks, and you already have two supernatural creatures claiming you.” Darien chuckled and shook his head.
“Three,” she corrected, and Darien froze. He could only think of the ifrit and Zak. What other creature had a claim to her? He looked at her with questioning eyes. “If you listen to everything else in the night, you have a claim on me, too,” she sassed as the doors of the elevator opened, and she stepped out without waiting for him.
Darien’s jaw dropped at the snarky comment from his assistant. He recovered his composure and chuckled as he went out to find Vicky waiting for him by the car.
Something tugged deep inside Vicky as she sat down in the seat.“At this time, you’re just my personal assistant, and I’ve only offered you my protection.” She looked up at her boss and could see a light deep within his green eyes. “You will know when I’ve put my mark on you.” Darien shut the door as she gaped at him.
That line, so filled with promise and warning, pulled at something deep inside her. She shifted in her seat, torn between answering that call and bolting from the car. Vicky closed her eyes and worked to get enough saliva to dampen her suddenly dry mouth. She twitched a little when the leather of Darien’s seat creaked as he climbed in.
“So, what do we have to do today?” His voice had returned to normal.
Vicky let out a shuddering breath as she pulled out the appointment book. She flipped it open to Monday and reminded herself not to get snarky with the vampire that could fire her.Excerpt #2“Release her,” Darien snarled at the ifrit again. “She’s mine!”
This drew another laugh from the creature holding Vicky. “No, vampire,” it purred. “This one does not belong to you. No bite addles her mind. No ring binds her heart.” The ifrit’s hand shifted so that it grabbed Vicky hard across her stomach, driving a pained noise from her. The intruder clicked his tongue disapprovingly. “She doesn’t even know your seed.” The ifrit shifted his hand up Vicky’s body, and trails of smoke curled up as he rent her shirt with magical fire. He slipped his hand in against her exposed stomach and caressed the skin lovingly. “How could you resist such tempting flesh?”
Darien took another step forwards, and the ifrit squeezed Vicky’s throat, causing her to squeak in pain. Darien stopped again.
Vicky could feel the power rolling off her boss. “That creature has more of a claim to her then you do.” The jinni jerked his head towards Zak, thrashing against the wall of the shield. “And that can easily be taken care of.” The ifrit moved his hand to Vicky’s hip, and a line of blue flames ripped down the side of her pant leg, just brushing against her skin. The flame caught the delicate ring of flowers, and the bracelet snapped and slid to the ground with a soft tinkle.
Zak roared and doubled in size, trying to get into the circle. Darien growled, and Elliot grabbed his shoulder to stop him from stepping forwards again.
“Remember the parlay,” he warned Darien.
“Yes, remember your parlay,” the ifrit mocked, rubbing against Vicky again. He pulled his arm up to caress her flesh. “You can’t do anything to stop me.” She whimpered as the man holding her nuzzled the curls just behind her ear. “I can do anything I want.”
“I’m not bound by the parlay when it comes to you.” Darien pulled his power to him.
Vicky could feel the air in the circle thump with the energy Darien was gathering.
“True, but if you try for me, you will hit your precious woman.” The jinni peeked around Vicky, using her as a shield. “It would be nothing for me to break this charm away and disappear with her.”
Darien trembled with rage.
“Just a little tug and she would be free from you.” The ifrit caught her necklace with his finger. “I was just going to burn her up and take what was promised to me, but I think it would be more satisfying to savor this one.” The ifrit turned burning eyes to Darien and taunted him again. “To feel her flesh against mine as I burn her from the inside. Or, I could just pull her heart out while she lives.” The grin that spread across the ifrit’s face was pure joy. “I might even tape it so I can enjoy her screams over and over again.”
Elliot released Darien and took a step in anger.
The ifrit stood up a little. “I could send you a copy so you can enjoy it, too.” The ifrit pulled on the cord and pushed Darien over the edge.
Roaring in anger, Darien drew up a ball of energy and hurled the raw power at the ifrit. The creature laughed and dropped Vicky from his hands. Darien quickly drew another blast and cast it at the pair before the first ball hit. The energy of the first attack skittered warmly across Vicky’s skin. It tingled and stole the rigidity from her muscles, but it didn’t hurt as the magic governing the parlay rebounded the power back on the caster three times over. She fell to the ground as the second, and significantly larger, ball of energy flew over her head and slammed into the ifrit, pushing it back through the tear in reality from whence it came.Excerpt #3“Do you love her?” Rachael asked from where she leaned in the corner of the room. She had watched Darien’s actions since the young woman had come in. His hand hadn’t left her as they talked, and his heart rate had sped up to match hers without him realizing it. “Or, is she just a passing fancy?”
Surprised by this question, Darien’s hand froze on Vicky’s head. He looked down at the golden curls his fingers had pulled loose, and a warm feeling flowed though him. “I suppose I do,” he answered after a few moments of thought.
It had been a while since he had truly loved someone. He tried to avoid letting people close to his heart. Somehow, Vicky had found her way past all of his defenses. Was it her charm and subtle beauty, her innocence, or maybe her complete trust in him, even after he nearly killed her? Perhaps it was a mixture of it all. He wasn’t sure, but what he did know was that he would give anything to make sure the young woman by his side was safe.
“Then, I suggest you mark her before something else tries to steal her away.” Rachael looked pointedly at the small fay snuggled into Vicky’s blanket.
Darien chuckled and rubbed her head again. “Point taken.” He looked down at his sleeping assistant. “Let’s get through this week, first.”
A murmur of agreement circled the room as people started to shift in their seats. With all the important details decided, they just had to wait for nightfall.
“Then, I suggest we get as much rest as we can.” Dakine stood up. “We’re all going to need it.”
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 Kindling Flames, Book 1 in The Ancient Fire Series. Kindling Flames is scheduled to release through Crimson Tree Publishing in the Fall of 2014.
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