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Posts tagged ‘Flames of Redemption’

Flames A-Z: Kayla Brooke

The Flames series really began with Kayla Brooke. All the way back in 2006-2007. I don’t remember exactly, only that my husband and I were still living in our apartment. I only wrote maybe two scenes back then. After that, Flames of Redemption spent about another 6 years simmering in my head. By the time I’d committed the final version to paper(okay, screen), the idea had changed but not completely. The main character was still a female firefighter. Her father was still a retired firefighter. She still had a younger brother. Besides that, I don’t remember a lot of the details of the original version. But, I’m sure this one was better than the first would have been.

Kayla is the older child of Zachary and Chrissa Brooke. She grew up with her uncle, James, as almost a second father figure, though. When she decided she wanted to get into the investigation side of the fire service, he’s the one who trains her. She’s a bit on the reckless side, not always thinking things through before she acts. Despite his arguments to the contrary, this is one of the things that draws Adrian Riley to her, even though he’s always thinking things through.

James sighed. “You have this tendency, Kayla, to be reckless. For making decisions without thinking them through first. Do you know what they call a firefighter who makes impulsive, reckless decisions?”
“What?” she asked, her mouth dry and scorched as if she’d walked through a fire.
“Dead.”
The single word slammed right through her. Dead, like Josh, who had made an impulsive decision to try to save the dog instead of staying with her. Dead, like more than one of the firefighters who had been at the department when she first started. Not all of them died in fires. Sometimes it was just a tragedy, like Whitney and Trent.
Her uncle closed his eyes, rubbing his fingers over them, usually a sign his frustration was reaching its limit. “You’re so much like your father,” he finally said, dropping his hands to the desk.
The change in focus surprised her. “What do you mean?”
“He’s impulsive, hot-headed. A good firefighter. I always thought he was one of the best. He could have climbed through the ranks if that’s what he wanted.”
“It wasn’t. He didn’t want to be a leader.”
James nodded. “He was always like that. He didn’t want to lead, but he wasn’t really a follower, either. Too hardheaded for that.” A small smile worked across his face. The first one she’d seen since he came into the office. “Just like you.”
She didn’t mistake it for a compliment.
“You say he’s impulsive, but he made it to retirement. That kind of defies your earlier argument.”
“Luck. Even he would tell you. He made it to the hospital more than once because of a reckless decision in the midst of a fire. You will, too, or down in the morgue if you don’t slow down and think first.” He sighed, running his hand over his head again. “Look, I used to walk into fires, too. You know that. I know you have to make split second decisions. That doesn’t mean they have to be reckless ones. If you can remember that, you might make it to retirement too.”
“I’m not even thirty. I’m not thinking about that yet.”

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A to Z: I is for Investigator James Brooke

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A little different post today. I was going to write about interior attack, but decided instead to give a little look into one of my characters from the Flames series.

I actually didn’t know how much influence James was going to have on the story when I started writing Flames of Redemption. I knew he was Kayla’s(my Main character) uncle, and he was going to be training her to be a fire investigator. I didn’t know he was going to have his own story to tell. Especially since when I started writing his story, Flames of Renewal, he’s the oldest main character I’ve ever written, being in his early 50s. I’m actually started the first round of revisions on this story now.

Some information on James:

Name: James Brooke

Age: 52

Parents: Robert & Carol Brooke

Siblings: Brother – Zachary

Occupation: Fire Investigator

Background: Following in their father’s footsteps, both James and Zachary went into the fire service. When he was still a rookie, James met Sarah Rafferty. Two years into their marriage, her and their young son died in a fire. With them, James lost his heart for fighting fires. He still did the job, but his passion for it was gone. Until he got into the investigation side, and he found a new calling. Even though he tried to bury the memories of his family, he never could move on from the loss.

And a little excerpt from Flames of Renewal:

Zachary looked up from the book in his hands. “I didn’t know you were coming over, James.”
“I didn’t either. Just thought I’d stop by.” He glanced around the room, noted the scattered projects. A model airplane, half a train track. A birdhouse? He barely contained a chuckle. “Still looking for that hobby, Zach?”
“Angela thinks I need to find something I can do outside the house. Damn it, James, I never thought retirement would be so difficult.”
“It would be for you.”
“Speaking of, how are you doing?”
“What are you talking about? I’m not retired.”
It was Zachary’s turn to laugh. “Don’t I know it. You’ll probably never retire. Kayla’s just like you. Are you sure she’s my daughter?”
The corners of his lips turned up. “Trust me. She’s yours. She’s a damn carbon copy.” He saw the shadows pass through his brother’s eyes and almost wished he hadn’t said it. Being just like him is what had gotten her almost killed this past winter. She had inherited her father’s impulsiveness, and it tended to get her in trouble. “Zach, I’m sorry.”
He waved that away. “It’s not your fault. You’ve dragged both of us out of enough disasters.”
“I’ve never regretted a moment of it.”
Zachary smiled. “I know it. So, what are you doing here? I thought you had that class today.”
“I did. It’s over. I…” He trailed off and ran a hand over his head. “I just didn’t feel like going home.”
His brother’s eyes narrowed and James knew he worried. They all worried and watched him like he was going to have a nervous breakdown. He’d handled everything for thirty years. Why would he break down now? “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. How many times will I have to tell you people that?”
“Until you actually start acting fine. I know it was hard to lose Mom, and it probably brought some things back up for you.”
“Mom was suffering. She hadn’t been the same for over a year now. It was a blessing really.”
“It still hurts.”
James nodded. “It does. It’s not like losing Sarah and Kieran though. I’m fine, Zach, really.”
His brother relaxed, apparently satisfied for now. “So, how was this class?”

 

Fiction Friday: Flames of Redemption Playlist

I published Flames of Redemption earlier this week. It’s available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. I thought today I would share some of the music I listened to while writing it. I have 97 songs on my playlist for the series, so obviously I’ll only be sharing a handful of them.

These first two, I just felt like they fit the mood of the story.

I added the whole soundtrack of Ladder 49 to the playlist. I feel this one fits the story the best, though.

Again, I added the whole soundtrack of Backdraft to my playlist, but even though these are both instrumental pieces,  they are a couple of my favorites.

 

If you’ve read Flames of Redemption, you’ll understand why I consider this Kayla’s theme song.

 

This is another one that seemed to fit the mood of the story.

 

Kayla’s nickname, at least for her grandpa is firecracker, so I threw this one on there, too.

Release Day: Flames of Redemption

The day is here. Adrian and Kayla have finally been released into the world. I’m very excited about this one. And nervous. I hope everyone will enjoy it.

Available now

Available now

You can add it to your goodreads

Or purchase at: Amazon| B&N| Kobo

Once lit, there’s no stopping this blaze.

Kayla Brooke has firefighting in her blood. She followed her father’s footsteps into the Crystal Glen Fire Department, but when she shows an interest in the whys, she moves into her uncle’s path; fire investigation. Fighting the flames has cost her: a man she thought she’d loved and friends taken by the flames that call to her. After her fiance walked out on her because he could handle what she was, she never expected another man to light a different kind of fire in her blood. Until Adrian Riley ran into her life.

Adrian Riley came from a family of cops, but he decided to start over in a town where no one knows his family. Now, on the fast track to promotion, he thinks this new case could be the key to proving himself. Then, he butts heads with a hotheaded firefighter on the scene, and his whole world turns upside down. She could be the key to everything, or the one weakness that could take him down.

They fight the sparks that threaten to burn them both. But, once they light, there’s no stopping the blaze. Kayla’s been burned before, but this time the flames may consume her. When more fires start, they know it’s more than a simple case. But, when the arsonist seems to have turned his attention to Kayla, Adrian will do everything within his power to keep her safe, even stand between her and the fire.

Excerpt:

This was a mistake. It would blow up right in their faces, and she wasn’t sure if either of them would survive the blast. She had never run from the things that scared her before.
Kayla released the doorknob. “I feel it,” she said, swallowing down her fear and turning toward him. “I’ve felt it ever since I saw you standing on the other side of the funeral home. Maybe since that day on the street. It pissed me off, and it terrified me.”
He had started to raise his hand to touch her face, but her words seemed to stop him. “Why?”
“I felt like this once before, drawn to someone. He thought that meant he could tell me what I could and couldn’t do.”
His face went hard. “Did he hurt you?”
“No, not like that. He wanted to keep me under his control. When I wouldn’t buckle to his demands, he walked away. I felt so used. I got over him, but I’m not going to trust this pull is enough.”
“Of course, it isn’t,” he said, finally stroking her cheek. “There’s more to it than that. I know you can feel it. It’s not just some pull. There are sparks. It’s a damn spontaneous combustion. It’s not going to go away until we burn it out of our systems.”
She struggled to breathe. Is that what she’d hoped for in coming here, to get this out of her system? She knew it was, even though she would never admit it out loud. “Do you know what happens when sparks contact an ignition source?” she asked, running her hand up his chest and looking up into his eyes.
“I’m guessing that’s firefighter speak for ‘things go boom’.” He pulled down the zipper of her coat then slid it away from her arms.
“Incendiary,” she murmured.
“Hot.”
He ran a finger down her neck. She could feel the quiver all the way down to her stomach, which clenched as his touch moved down the shirt, between her breasts, barely brushing the sides of them.
“Adrian.”
“Shh. I’m concentrating here.”

Cover Reveal: Flames of Redemption

I can’t believe I’m getting close to releasing this new book baby into the world. I’m excited and nervous and hope everyone will love Adrian and Kayla as much as I’ve come to. I don’t have a firm release date set, as that depends on when I get it back from the proofreader. But, it should be in January. First, though, a peek at the cover.

I was browsing through premade covers when I came across one that was so so close to what I imagined for this book. Not perfect, really, but nearly. I purchased it and emailed the designer, who made some adjustments to it and got it even closer to perfect. Even better, for the future books in a series, she’ll design the covers for a discount to the normal custom price. And since I already have the next couple books written(but not yet edited) for this series, this was definitely a selling point for me.

Title: Flames of Redemption
Cover Design: Marianne Nowicki
Release: January 2015

 

FlamesofRedemptionSmallerWebUse

Summary:

  Kayla Brooke has firefighting in her blood. She followed her father’s footsteps into the Crystal Glen Fire Department, but when she shows an interest in the whys, she moves into her uncle’s path; fire investigation. Fighting the flames has cost her: a man she thought she’d loved and friends taken by the flames that call to her. After her fiance walked out on her because he couldn’t handle what she was, she never expected another man to light a different kind of fire in her blood. Until Adrian Riley ran into her life.
   
   Adrian Riley came from a family of cops, but he decided to start over in a town where no one knows his family. Now, on the fast track to promotion, he thinks this new case could be the key to proving himself. Then, he butts heads with a hotheaded firefighter on the scene, and his whole world turns upside down. She could be the key to everything, or the one weakness that could take him down.
   
   They fight the sparks that threaten to burn them both. But, once they light, there’s no stopping the blaze. Kayla’s been burned before, but this time the flames may consume her. When more fires start, they know it’s more than a simple case. But, when the arsonist seems to have turned his attention to Kayla, Adrian will do everything within his power to keep her safe, even stand between her and the fire.

Excerpt 1:

When she stepped outside, though, the cop was still there. She couldn’t see his face as he leaned over the railing of the porch, but she still recognized him. The lines of his back were as strong as his front even with his coat on. Maybe it was a good thing that he reminded her of a fighter. He’d fight for this family, for Josh, if it did turn out to be arson.
Something about his posture now was different than when he’d been inside. The bowed back, his head hanging down. He couldn’t have been hurt in the time it took to walk out here, but she knew not all pain was physical. She was sure of it when a shudder passed over his body. What was wrong with him? She hadn’t gotten the impression he had known Josh. He hadn’t seemed affected inside.
She took a step toward him but backed away again when he spun toward her. His hand reached toward his side, where he was probably used to wearing a shoulder holster. He wouldn’t carry a gun to a funeral home though, would he? His jacket lifted, revealing the badge on his belt.
She held her hands up and worked up a smile. “I come in peace.”
He relaxed a bit, but something still held him rigid. The pain was evident in those hard blue eyes. “You’re one of Josh Nunley’s colleagues.”
His voice put her on edge. Her own back stiffened. “One of his sisters, so to speak. What are you doing here? Aren’t we allowed peace to grieve our brother’s loss?”
“I wasn’t trying to get in the way,” he said. “In fact, I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible. I’ve lost colleagues in the line of duty before. I understand. But I still have a job to do. I would think you’d want me to find who is responsible for your friend’s death.”

Excerpt 2:

Yet he found he wanted to take care of her. Not like she would allow it. Still, he reached out and brushed a lock of hair behind her ear. She looked shocked by the gesture. “How much sleep have you gotten?” he asked.
She stepped back from him, bringing her own fingers to touch the lock of hair. “It doesn’t matter,” she said. “I can still do the job.”
“I never said you couldn’t.” He shoved his hands in his pockets. “Look, I don’t really know what your problem is with me. The only thing I’ve tried to do so far is my job. Are you really going to hold that against me?”
“Your job sucks, then. Coming to question us when we’re grieving for our friend. Crashing his funeral. We should be able to have those moments.”
“I didn’t question any of you. I was only there observing. Watching for some suspicious behavior. Anything that might give me a clue to who did this.”
“You think that’s so much better? What, do you think one of us did it?”
He kept silent at that accusation, not quite sure what to say to her. She apparently took it as confirmation. “You do, damn it.” She held her hands out in front of her. “Well, why don’t you arrest me now, Detective, if you think I’m guilty.”
“I never said you were guilty, or that I even thought that.” His voice was low, the calmness not matching the turmoil he felt. No, the anger boiled in his veins.

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It’s not up for pre-order, but you can add it now on goodreads.

Sunday Summary: Staying Ahead

I’ve been staying caught up with my goals, at least my writing ones. Some of the others have been falling behind though. In fact, on Friday, even after writing over 3700 words on Scars and All, I wanted to keep going. Some of this may have been wanting to procrastinate on editing Flames of Redemption(which actually wasn’t so bad). Friday night we went and met my mom and stepdad for dinner then to their house to look at a toolbox my stepdad had. So, now we have a “new” toolbox for our “new” truck. Saturday was mostly catching up on the stuff I fell behind on during the week and cleaning the garage so we could get everything put away for the winter. Today, husband is out staking parking lots with the company he plows for. So, just me and the kids this morning, and I’m still catching up. My new knitting project is taking longer than I expected. For some reason, I’m always surprised that it takes longer to get any sort of length when knitting with fine or superfine yarn. I’m used to using a medium weight yarn.

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To stay on track with NaNoWriMo, I have to write at least 1667 words a day. Of course, I usually take the weekend off, so I’d have to write 2500 a day during the week. Except, I’d like to write the first draft of Scars and All this month. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done this. Last year I wrote all 80k-ish words of Flames of Redemption in November. I’m shooting for around 70k for this one. Which means an average of 3500 words a day, 5 days a week. I thought this would be a struggle. It really hasn’t been. Even though I haven’t written anything the last two days, I’m still predicted to finished by 11/24. As long as I can keep up this pace, I’m hoping to have the first draft finished by Thanksgiving.

  • Scars and All – Add 17250 words 17922/17250. An extra 672 words. Stopped in the middle of a “discussion” that I can’t wait to continue. May write a little on it today if I get everything else done on today’s list.
  • Flames of Redemption – Edit through Chapter 8 – this is done. cut 260 words from this during the week.
  • Chasing the Ghost – Add 1250 words – 1877/1250. An extra 627 above my goal. There may be some setting up of another story here, which I hadn’t even planned to write until Patrick showed up. *sigh*
  • Flames of Recompense – Outline -this is done. The plotting is rather spare at the end, so I’ll probably be reworking the outline as I write it, which probably won’t be until next fall, unless I move it up the list.
  • Read: Delusion in Death(J.D. Robb), Tangled(Emma Chase), & Sea of Secrets(Amanda DeWees) – I enjoyed Delusion in Death(although I felt like it dragged more than some of the others and Sea of Secrets was good. But, I only got through about 10% of Tangled. I just…didn’t care. Particularly once the protagonist compared women to toothpaste. So, I set that one aside. 
  • Read: How to Write Dazzling Dialogue – Get through Chapter 5 – I did get through this.
  • Knit: Finish slippers – Finished these on Thursday. Just in time for it to get cold again Friday. IMG_0268Then, I finished the Autumn Slouch Hat I’d been crocheting. The new yarn I got wasn’t quite the same shade as what I’d been using, but it’s almost close. IMG_0269And I started knitting the Lake District Hat. Like I said, this one may take a while because of the finer yarn.

Goals for next week:

  • Scars and All – Add 17000 words
  • Flames of Redemption – Edit through Chapter 16
  • Chasing the Ghost – Add 1500 words
  • Read: First World Problems(Leigh Ann Kopans), Full Measures(Rebecca Yarros), & Anything For You(Jessica Scott)
  • Read: How To Write Dazzling Dialogue
  • Knit: Lake District Hat – have 2/3 of it knitted(so 8 inches long)

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