Series: The Light Chronicles #1
Genres: New Adult
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Ashlyn – a free-spirited teenager whose peaceful life is shattered when the village elders honor her with a perilous quest to recover a stolen relic.
Zane – a jaded mercenary, torn by his undeniable desire for Ashlyn and the dark secret that could make her hate him forever.
Delistaire – a malevolent sorcerer driven by an insatiable lust for power.
All three are bound together by an ancient relic supposedly infused with the power of a Goddess.
Shadow Fire - adventure, passion, secrets, and betrayal
As Ashlyn and Zane race to stay one step ahead of the evil lurking in the shadows, their passions are ignited and their bond strengthens. But will they find the relic before Delistaire? Or has their entire quest been orchestrated from the very beginning by a madman in pursuit of ultimate power?
Interview with Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Shadow Fire is a lighthearted, fun adventure with a touch of whimsy and a sweet romance. Ashlyn is Chosen by her town to go on a deadly journey to recover a stolen relic infused with the power of a goddess. Lucky for her, she has a rather capable mercenary, Zane, to help her on the quest. Together they will fight the evil force trying to obtain the relic’s power for his own nefarious purposes.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
My inspiration for the story came from playing a few too many RPG video games—it’s quite apparent in the plot.
What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
Ashlyn said it best in her character interview: Live everyday like it’s your last. We are responsible for shaping our own destinies. I thought being chosen was the worst thing that ever happened to me, the end of my life. After you read my story, you decide. Was being chosen the worst or the best thing that could have happened? I know my answer…
How long did it take to write the book?
I wrote the first draft in about six weeks. Between that time and the day I signed the publishing contract, about one year, it underwent several revisions. The first four chapters were completely changed and rewritten.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
I don’t really have a favorite character since I’m rather fond of all three major players. However, the pirate captain, Taranis, was the most fun to write due to his lecherous ways and the ridiculous terms of endearment he uses for ladies.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
I had a skeleton outline that ended up scrap paper. I’m more of a pantser. Once I started writing, the story went off in many unexpected directions. The character Taranis wasn’t even in the outline. He showed up all on his own, and frankly drove me about as insane as he does Ashlyn.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
I really wish I had introduced the Light Dragon, Rematok, in Shadow Fire. He will be important in later books in the series. Right now, his first appearance will be in book two, Stolen Moon.
How did you come up with the cover?
I was lucky enough to be paired with a cover artist who shares my vision—Amanda Matthews. I absolutely love her artwork. I can’t take any credit for the cover, other than saying “I love it”. She also designed the cover for my upcoming YA paranormal romance Tortured Souls. I can’t wait to reveal it in June.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved to write. I have an overactive imagination so there are all sorts of characters and stories flying around in my mind. I tried to write my first novel in college, but I didn’t have the drive needed to finish a project. I wrote my second novel a few years after I graduated, but I didn’t have the time or the passion to revise and submit. Two years ago I finally had the time, passion, and drive.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
I don’t remember. I used to write lots of short stories in elementary school. The first thing I really remember writing was a short story about a girl and her dragon in fifth grade. I won a state-wide competition for that story, so it was quite exciting.
What are you favorite books and authors?
There are so many. I’ve always loved Dean Koontz since I picked up Whispers when I was twelve. I love the Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales. I’m quite partial to many Shakespeare plays (probably since I starred in some back in school). I also loved David Eddings’ Begariad series.
What are you working on next?
I’m finishing up revisions on my YA paranormal Tortured Souls, coming in July, and Stolen Moon, the follow-up to Shadow Fire, coming in August. My next project is the third book in the Light Chronicles series (actually it will be #1.5), since I really wanted to write about Taranis. I also will be starting revisions on my urban fantasy, Bitter Envy, to get it ready for submissions.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Keep writing. It’s a journey not a race. Writing is like anything else—it tends to improve with practice. If you don’t have any luck with a current novel you’re trying to sell, write a new one. Revisions are our friends, so embrace that part of the process. Above all, don’t give up.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
Not well. My muse controls me, not the other way around. It drives my husband crazy because I can’t block off specific ‘writing time’. It’s been a challenge. I won’t lie—my son has commented about how much he hates my writing sometimes. So I decided to block out family time. I try to get as much writing done as possible while hubby’s at work and kiddo’s at school. I’ve also taken to jotting down ideas that strike at inconvenient times, rather than whipping out the laptop.
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When we reach the deck, everyone stops to stare at me. Trying to ignore the blatant curiosity, I follow Hanna down the aft stairs to the brig. Zane and Taranis occupy cells across from each other. They’re both sitting on the floor glaring daggers at each other. Hanna hands the key to me and slips away. Inching closer, I’m careful to remain out of reach of the two prisoners. As soon as they see me, both men jump up and start talking over each other.
“Ashlyn! How are you feeling, Love?” Zane asks.
“Ashlyn, my fiery angel, you are a ray of sunshine in this dank prison!” Taranis says.
“I’m gonna let you both out, if, and only if, you promise to behave,” I threaten. Both men nod their agreement. “That means no fighting. It also means we never, and I mean never, speak of what happened last night.” When I get no argument, I free Zane first and then Taranis.
“Do you even know what happened last night?” Zane asks, taking me into his arms. I stand rigid in his embrace, not sure if I’m ready to forgive him quite yet.
“Only what Hanna told me,” I snap at him.
“I saved your virtue from this raving lunatic,” Taranis says, pointing at Zane.
“Then you decided to take it for yourself!” Zane yells back at him.
“Did you not hear me?” I shout. Pulling myself from Zane’s embrace, I back up and glare at both men. “No speaking of last night. Period. End of discussion.”
“Yes, Love,” Zane replies.
“Yes, virtuous virgin,” Taranis replies.
“Taranis!” I release a menacing growl, and wince when my right eye starts to tic. “Yes?” he asks, eyes full of mock innocence.
“Run,” Zane says.
Taranis listens to Zane’s advice and takes off up the stairs to the deck with me hot on his heels.