Thursday, 1 October 2015

Stalked by Flames by Susan Illene + Interview

Stalked by Flames
Dragon’s Breath #1
by Susan Illene

Genre: Urban Fantasy/New Adult
Number of pages: 484
Cover Artist: Jeff Brown Graphics and Claudia at Phatpuppy Art

Bailey Monzac has just graduated college and is leaving town for her parents’ ranch in Texas when a massive earthquake unleashes the unthinkable on the world: fire-breathing dragons.

Chaos erupts as people flee for their lives, and Bailey survives only because she is somehow immune to the dragons’ flames. In the midst of the mayhem, Bailey is helped by a shape-shifting dragon named Aidan, who recognizes Bailey is a dragon slayer and will be an essential ally in the power struggle between—and within—the dragon clans.

Natural disasters intensify and dragons lay waste to the world as civilization all but collapses amid the loss of electricity and running water. Roving gangs prowl the debris-filled streets, and Bailey and her friends manage to find refuge in the university library. As her relationship with Aidan deepens during private training sessions, Bailey must learn to harness her newfound skills or see everything she knows and loves destroyed.

Stalked by Flames is a gritty urban fantasy about a woman’s journey into a dark new reality she never could have imagined.

Find it on Goodreads
Available at Amazon

Susan Illene served in the US Army for eleven years and worked as a human resources specialist and an Arabic linguist. She served two deployments to Iraq, and after leaving the army, she studied history at the University of Oklahoma. She and her husband currently live in Oklahoma with two high-maintenance cats doing their best to help her write her books.





Q & A with Susan Illene

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.

There are two main characters. The first is Bailey, a young woman who has lived a normal life until dragons invade Earth at the beginning of the book. She soon finds out she comes from a line of slayers going back more than a millennia that are capable of killing dragons. She has to go through the journey of rediscovering herself and whether she wants to take on that role while trying to survive an apocalypse at the same time.

The second character is Aidan, a shape-shifter dragon who is the youngest son from his clan’s ruling family. He arrives on Earth during the initial invasion and the rest of his clan soon follows. His older brothers have been vying for the position to take over their clan after their father (the pendragon) dies, but neither would be truly good leaders. Aidan is in a dangerous position because he could be chosen instead of his siblings and has to constantly watch his back as his brothers grow suspicious of his motives. In the first book, he’s more focused on survival, but he also has to decide if he should step up as a leader.

For both Bailey and Aidan, they also face the threat of pure dragons who are now roaming the Earth in large numbers destroying and killing everything they see (this includes humans and shape-shifters). Despite Bailey and Aidan being apparent enemies, they’ll have to work together if they want to survive.

Q:  Describe your ideal writing spot.
I’m happy with anywhere quiet and comfortable.

Q:  Who designed the covers for your book and what was that process like for you as the author?
The background with the dragon was a custom job by graphics designer Jeff Brown. He created every detail from scratch based on the description I gave him of what I wanted. After that I hired photographer Teresa Yeh to take the model shots I needed with the woman holding the sword (model Isabella Capri). We had to make sure Isabella angled herself so that when she was inserted into the background it would appear she was facing the dragon. She did a great job of pulling off the look of my main character. Claudia at Phat Puppy Art took care of the last step with getting the model onto the background and blending her into the fire.

I should also give credit to a small group of fans who help me out with putting together the concepts for all my book covers. They assisted me in finding the right wardrobe and props to use for the photo shoot and selecting the best shot to use. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
To keep pushing through even when things get difficult.

Q:  How do you keep busy when you're not writing?

It can vary, depending on my mood. I might read, watch TV/movies, visit friends and family, travel. My husband is very much the stay-at-home type, but I love to get out and explore the world. It often requires dragging him out kicking and screaming, lol.

Q:  If you could have any superhuman ability, what would you choose and why?
I think I’d want the ability to rapidly heal from anything. You could do a lot of crazy stuff if you didn’t have to worry about getting injured and spending time recovering from it. It would have made my life so much easier back when I was jumping from planes. I’m still paying for those injuries years later.

Q:  Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
Definitely ebooks. I can read on my iPad in the dark and take all my books with me wherever I go.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
Nothing at the moment since I have to focus on writing. The last book I did read was “Seven Years” by Dannika Dark.

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