Dying Embers by Adrian J. Smith Blog Tour

  Dying Embers by Adrian J. Smith

The James Matthews Trilogy

Release Date

December 1, 2013

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Synopsis

She thought she was on the right path, but life keeps tugging Addison back to her past and her gift.

Addison Lee struggles to make a new life in Norwich, one where she can be the Battalion Chief of Fire Station Seven and live life as she sees fit. She wants a life without the complications of an ex-fiancé and a job that put her life on the line for little more than a gift she was born with. Learning the ropes of a new job can always be tough,

and being a Battalion Chief means she has a great responsibility to her crew and to the city. Nervous about her first day already, Addison realizes that adding in a one-night stand with a future employee has left her on rocky ground.

Plagued by visions of a dying woman, Addison continues to cope with difficulties at her new job. She has no idea who the dying woman is, where she is, or even, when she is—and no means to find out. Addison is distracted from the dying woman and her new job when called to Wyoming on an emergency, where she discovers it’s not as easy to leave her past behind as she hoped.

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Excerpt

Giving voice to such a thought, she said, “I think I like it better here than Chicago already.”

“That’s because the jackass isn’t here.”

“Really, Rob?”

All the energy in her body was sucked from her in a giant whoosh.  Setting her food to the side, she stood up and left him alone.  She was beyond tired of the snide comments about her ex and the way they popped up seemingly every hour.  If it wasn’t for the jackass,

she wouldn’t be moving.  If the jackass wasn’t a jackass, she would still be at her old job.  Addison was through with such conversations.  She was supposed to be starting new.  Moving into the bedroom, she fumbled through a few suitcases until she found a fitted sheet.

Paying no mind to her brother, who had followed her and was leaning against the doorframe, she threw the sheet onto the bed and started tucking it in.  Anything would do on the mattress so long as she could sleep on it within the hour.

“Addy,” he called her name softly as she pushed the last elastic corner over the edge of the bed.

Standing straight, Addison walked to the corner of the room where she knew her blankets were.  Holding onto an edge, she threw her hands up, letting the material flutter down on top.  Licking her suddenly dry lips, she turned toward the door but refused to make eye contact with her brother.

“Addy.”

Walking to the closet, Addison gripped the bag she packed specifically for Rob and shoved it into his arms before stalking to the bathroom.  Slamming the door shut, she leaned against the wood.  The break-up with her ex was never going to end.  Gritting her teeth, she ripped into one of the four boxes in the tiny room.  There had to be towels in at least one of them, because if she had to go back out into the hall, she was going to break down.  She wouldn’t be able to handle it.

She shut the lid to the first box and started in on the second.

“Asshole for a brother is what I have,” she muttered under her breath.  The term might have been adequate, but it didn’t mean that she needed to be reminded of his problem with spouting whatever came off the top of his head every day.  Nobody had liked the

jackass; that had been clear from the start of their relationship.  Huffing a breath, she gave up on the second box and started on the third.  Her wrist came up to her face, and she brushed it against her cheek, washing away the salty drops.

“It never ends.”

She ripped the flap open and three quarters of the way off the box as she tried to get inside.

“Where the hell are the towels?” she growled in an attempt to remain quiet.

She let anger have its way with her.  Shoving the top of the box down, she moved to the final cardboard container.  As she reached for it, she heard the soft knock on the door.  Gripping the handle, she wrenched it open.

“What!?”

Rob stood before her, head bowed, eyes downcast, with two towels in his hands.

“I thought you might want these.”

Her mouth opened and closed.  She gripped the fluffy cotton tightly after taking it from him, cradling the material to her chest.  Her eyes started to water.  Praying and hoping that the tears wouldn’t surge forward, Addison stood as still as possible.  Maybe if she didn’t move, no one would notice.  Maybe if she stopped time by ignoring it, then Rob would have no idea that she was about to break.  The jackass should not still be able to affect her.  Her cheeks reddened at the thought.

Giving in, she swallowed hard.

“Thank you.”  She quietly spoke, her voice barely above a whisper.

Rob ignored her silent call for privacy and wrapped a long arm around her shoulders, tugging her into his body.  She stumbled forward into his chest and sniffled.  Her shoulders were tense, and she used the last dregs of energy she had used to keep her back rigid and straight.  She didn’t want to give in.  She took another deep breath, the air sticking in her throat as she tried to release it.

Addison started to sob.

Her body jerked, and she swayed into him.  The majority of her weight rested against Rob’s chest, and she buried her face into his shoulder.  Dropping the towels to the floor, she fisted her hands behind his back.  She didn’t want to move.  Had he asked two seconds before, she would have shoved him off and ran for the mountains just to get away from the stark reminder of her failed relationship.  Now that the emotions flowed freely through her veins, now that she sobbed against her brother, she couldn’t have thought about being elsewhere.

They stood like that for a good twenty minutes.  Rob ran a hand through her hair, the brown locks twisted around his fingers and tangled as he reached the ends.  He tugged his hands through and did it again and again.  When Addison pressed two palms flat against his chest and pushed back, he released her after pressing a quick kiss to the crown of her head.

“You’re an asshole,” she muttered, her face still buried in the sweatshirt he wore.

“Yup, but I’m a loving asshole.”

She stepped back and brushed her fingers under her eyes.

“I’m going to take a shower.”  Pointing her thumbs over her shoulder toward the small shower behind her, Addison retreated another step.

Rob sneered and reached around the corner bringing another item into her view—the shower curtain they had bought at the store earlier.  “That shower was not made for people of my stature.”

That earned him a quick grin.  Addison replied, “Well, it’s a good thing you won’t be here long.”

She pushed at his shoulders until he was far enough out the door that she could shut it.  Moving to the sink, she did a double take and reached for the small lock, flipping it.  Too many times the door had burst inward while she was standing naked at the sink; the jackass barging in on her unwelcomed.  Addison shivered at the memories, and the cold look he always gave her before locking the door behind him.

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Author Interview

Please tell us what made you decide to try to become published? How did you get started?

I have always wanted to be published, since I first started writing when I was twelve years old. I think I just thought it would be really cool to see my name in print. The more I wrote, the more I just wanted to share my stories with other people who would love the same type of stories. That’s still what it’s about to me. I was asked one time whether or not it would make a difference if I was published, and I have to honestly say the answer is no. It wouldn’t matter. I would still be writing and sharing my stories to the best of my abilities.

As for starting in the publishing world, that happened by sheer luck and amazing people. I met someone on twitter, and poof, had a publisher less than a year later! Go figure.

Tell us two random things about yourself that might shock or surprise us.

Well I don’t know how much it’ll surprise some people, but two things. I’m absolutely in love with pumpkins—year round any time I can get ahold of them, I keep them. Secondly, I have a Muppet phobia that plagues me more often than it should.

Tell us about James Matthews and her trilogy, without spoilers of course!

Without spoilers? Can’t I just say what happens in every single book so that no one has to read it? Umm…James Matthews is a firefighter who has started to become a bit disillusioned with the job. It’s not what she expected or wanted it to be. Instead of going to fires, she mostly goes to medical calls. However, James has been to one house fire where she saved a two-year-old girl, Lily. Two years later (where we come into the story), James keeps having recurring nightmares about Lily and the fire. 

I should probably mention that James is a woman at this point just to make that completely clear. It is not just a typo. James also has a super-secret lover who probably has more secrets than James does.

The first in the series, Forever Burn, follows James through her nightmares and her struggling relationship. Of course a few more things happen, but that would mean spoilers, so I’ll just shush now. The second book, Dying Embers, is actually a prequel to Forever Burn. Dying Embers focuses on the start of James’ relationship with her super-secret lover and how all that went down. It’s quite amusing and funny in certain places, but I’m a bit biased.  

The third novel in the trilogy is called Ashes Fall (TBR Sept 1, 2014) and takes places eleven years after Forever Burn. I’ve just completed writing that one and am in the editing process. Ashes Fall focusses on James and her furthering relationship with Lily and said super-secret lover. I’m sure that if you read the first book, you’ll be wondering how this happens, so you’ll just have to read this 

one too. Lily is struggling throughout this book with everything that has happened in her past, as is James. So the third book is far darker than the first one, and the tension is ramped up.

I know that I put James through so much that if she were real she might punch me, or hand me over to her super-secret lover’s ex-fiancé. (Yeah, wrap your mind around that one, I dare you.)

If there is one character from this trilogy you would really like people to meet, who would it be?

If I had to pick one character from this trilogy to meet, it would probably be Addison or Rob. I don’t know what it is about both of them, but they have a special place in my heart. Addison tends to keep a cool head in the sight of some serious tragedy and she trusts her gut, which is important. Rob, however, is the gayest straight man I have ever known. He can talk and talk and talk and

never shut up. I had originally only intended for him to be in a chapter or two of Forever Burn, but he ended up having quite a role in each novel.

 

Focusing more on Dying Embers, the second book and prequel of the trilogy, how long did it take you to write it and what inspired you?

I think this novel took me 13 days to write. I took a bunch of time (before I had two other part-time jobs) in November of 2012 and typed my little heart away. I’d had the idea for what I wanted to happen in this novel well before I wrote it, so as soon as I was able to sit down and type, it all came out.

The inspiration for this series mainly comes from my time of working security. I worked in tandem with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. I saw them at least twice during one shift (more if it was a Friday or Saturday night). I wanted to represent a job that has changed drastically over the years, and one that is often misunderstood.

Firefighters are always heroes. I don’t think that I’ve ever encountered someone who thinks that they’re not (unlike cops who can have good and bad reputations). But firefighters rarely go to fires anymore unless they are working in a large enough city to have enough medical personnel. They are often required to train as paramedics or first responders while also being trained in firefighting. It’s just the reality of the situation, and this is represented in James herself.

The emergency responders that I worked with on a regular basis are the ones that inspired the characters behind this story and the situations that the characters go to. I do want to say, none of these characters are actually based on real people, just the situations and jobs themselves.

What is your writing process?

I write every day. Okay, well, I try to write every day. If I’m not writing; I’m editing. If I’m not editing; I’m writing. I might not be working on novels; I might be working on shorts, or papers if my instructors decide to have an assignment due. In the world of no classes and no school, I wake up in the morning and edit until noon or one. I always finish the piece or part I’m editing. Sometimes it is one piece, sometimes two. Sometimes my own work, and sometimes it’s for a friend. After editing, I write. I write for hours. When I want to get through a chapter or a certain part before bed, I’ll turn all electronics possible off. No twitter. No television. No Facebook.  I’ll turn my music up as loud as is appropriate (my playlist ranges from Ice-T to movie scores to gospel to country). I type as fast as possible. Editing can and will always happen later. 

My motto is two-fold: I cannot edit what has not been written, and I cannot improve without continuing and practicing.

 

What is your non-writing life like?

My non-writing life? Is there such a thing? I read for classes. I write papers (wait, that’s writing). Crocheting to relax, piano when I’m angry, and singing when the moment strikes. I often am found at my favorite bar: The Gingerman. At least two times a week, I show up and have myself a wheat beer. I am an animal lover. I have three cats (Elliot, Seeley, and Rusty—Elliot is on loan to my mother), and I recently just adopted a dog with my significant other. We named her Caprica, and she’s a pitbull puppy.  

Other than that I work a total of three part-time jobs. Luckily writing is one of those. I’m also a freelance copy-editor, so I take on at least one novel a month when school is in session. I’m a part-time minister, who loves my job. I’m also a full-time graduate student hopefully graduating in May. So I really don’t have a lot of that little thing called time.

 

Tell us a bit about the publishing and marketing process.

I will say that it’s been rough and it’s been amazing all at the same time. My publisher is a small press, independent publisher, meaning I don’t sell thousands of books in the first second of release. I love working with the company and the people that my publisher chooses because I do have a lot of say in what happens with my novel. 

We generally decide on a book cover after I send in a full manuscript. So the cover process and the editing processes are going on at the same time. While all that is going on, I’m doing marketing for the book and planning out swag and the likes. Once everything has been edited and formatted, the cover is done and the book itself is being printed and sent to the sellers, I ramp up my marketing.

I do most of my marketing though my social media sucks. I’m only every going to claim that I am less than partially good at this marketing thing. I use twitter a lot and Facebook, but I also post a lot of excerpts and writing goods (grammar rules included) on my blog and website. I don’t know if there’s any vast success in this, but it seems to be working for the moment.

 

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

Surprised me? My senior project in high school was on the publishing industry and the different kinds of publishing, so I wasn’t ever shocked by anything in regards to that.

I would probably have to say is the authority people give me solely for the fact that I have a book out. It’s like suddenly I became a real writer, not just one that piddles around in the dark of night with a computer. People want my advice, they want to hear how I did it, they want to replicate that—and I’m sitting here going, get your own story because mine’s not all that cool!

I do also think that a bit more of that authority comes because I do have a publisher to back me. While my publisher is small press and I can guarantee most people probably haven’t heard of the company or the other authors there, it still lends to that authority I was talking about. People ask me about query letters and sending their work into publishers and agents because they assume I’ve been through the same process and can share in the experience. That, however, is not necessarily true.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a new series called Spirit of Grace. The first novel, For by Grace, will be released with Supposed Crimes, LLC in June of 2014. I’m in the process of writing the sequel to that book called Fallen from Grace. I’m also writing a book that is yet to be titled. This one has an almost two-hundred year old witch and a seventy-year old one-quarter vampire—they both tend to get in a lot of trouble. I’m also co-writing another novel (because I’m insane) that’s about werewolves in an entirely dystopian world.

I’m also editing about three novels (at least I think it’s three). Ashes Fall, the third and final in the James Matthews trilogy is being edited—it’ll be released September 1, 2014. I’m editing For by Grace which will be released June 1, 2014 (it has one more round 

before it’s done!) I also co-wrote a novel this year that is coming out sometime next year. We’re in the process of editing that as well.

In the plans, I think I have two more novels in the Spirit of Grace series. An infinite number of novels with the witch and vampire serial. And I’m sure that my co-writer and I will continue our partnership. It’s just way too much fun not to!

Author Information

Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, is a part-time writer with an epic imagination, sharp wit, and kind heart that gets her into a bit of trouble when it comes to taking in all the neighborhood stray cats. Being obsessed with science fiction, Smith often goes off on tangents about the space-time continuum. She is also a part-time lunatic with a secretive past. It’s been rumored that she was once a spy for the government, but anyone who has gotten close enough to know the truth has never lived to tell the tale. When traveling around the world on various classified tasks, Smith requires the following be provided: buffalo jerky, mimosas, and eighty-six pennies. This is all we know about the reclusive woman.

(Goodreads)

Author Links

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Purchasing Links

Smashwords    Amazon   Barnes and Noble  BooksAMillion    Kobo

Book 1

The James Matthews Trilogy

17310730

Amazon

**Note**

**Remember, Book 2

Dying Embers is actually a prequel to Forever Burn**

Book 3

Ashes Fall

Due to be released

September 1, 2014

Happy Reading

🙂

Anna

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Adrian
    Nov 30, 2013 @ 00:49:25

    Thank you so much for posting this! I really appreciate it. =P

    Like

    Reply

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