The midnight sun bakes Fairbanks, Alaska as residents gather for the annual summer solstice baseball game. Amidst the revelry and raucous shouts of “Play ball,” a spark alights and a jogger bursts into flames. Detective Danny Fitzpatrick, still reeling from his near death at the hands of vampire Aleksei Nechayev, watches in horror as the man burns alive.
Someone is burning Fairbanks and its residents and leaving nothing but smoldering embers behind. As the city sweats under a record-breaking heatwave and unexplained fires claim more victims, Danny and his colleagues struggle to find an arsonist who can conjure fire out of thin air.
To Danny’s horror, the only one who may be able to help him stop the arsonist is his nemesis Nechayev. Will the vampire help in the hunt for a witch?
The inquisitive Fairbanks detective Danny Fitzpatrick had ruined the peaceful home Aleksei had maintained in the Arctic town of Coldfoot for decades. He enjoyed checking in on the detective and, while he couldn’t help but feel a strange fondness for the man he had chosen to let live, he always hoped to find him struggling with some new problem. He was tickled to see that this time he got his wish.
Aleksei grinned from ear to ear as he read about the mysterious fires that were plaguing Fairbanks while the city suffered through its worst heat wave in history. How fascinating! And by all accounts, the police, including the dear detective, had no idea who was starting the fires or even how they were doing it.
Fire was one of the few things Aleksei feared and hated as much as humans did. He still remembered the time he had been nearly burned to death by a male witch not long after he’d arrived in Alaska. He couldn’t help but wonder if a supernatural force was responsible for these fires as well. Was there a witch on the loose in Fairbanks?
Since he was safe and sound on the other side of the world, Aleksei desperately hoped so. How would his favorite detective deal with a situation like that? And what of the fire starter? What was his, or her, motivation? What was the game?
His lousy winter here in Australia had suddenly taken a surprisingly lovely turn. Clearly, the summer in Fairbanks was turning out to be more horrific than anyone there could have imagined. He couldn’t wait to see how it all unfolded. It was going to be such fun.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book is a sequel to my first novel Polar Night. Polar Night takes place during the winter in Fairbanks, Alaska and is centered on the winter solstice, when Fairbanks has nearly 24 hour darkness. So I thought it would be interesting to set this story during the opposite time of the year, when the city has nearly 24 hour sunlight. The summer solstice plays a key role in the beginning of the story and as the story goes on the city suffers under a record-breaking heatwave. The idea of heat and constant sunlight made me think of fire and that led to the antagonist and the central horror of the book.
What 5 words would you use to describe your main characters?
Grief-stricken, cynical, evil, egotistical, delusional
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The hardest part to write was the story of the antagonist, Jamie. All of the other main characters came from Polar Night so I had them in my head already and knew where I wanted to go with them in this story. But Jamie was totally new so I had to build a past for him and fit him into the Polar Night universe.
Have you started your next project?
I have, but it’s still mostly in the idea stage. I am working on a ghost story that takes place in Cincinnati (my hometown) during World War I. I’m also working on a short story for an anthology that my writing group Untethered Realms is putting together for release in the fall of 2015.
How do you react to a bad review of your book?
I learned early on that I do better if I don’t read any reviews, good or bad. I don’t have a thick enough skin to let bad reviews roll off my back and I tend to take them personally, even though I know that is a silly thing to do.
Favorite book to recommend?
Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I love quotes and have so many favorites it’s hard to pick just one. But this is one that means a lot to me as it helped inspire me to start on my writing journey:
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step ~ Lao Tzu
Anything else you might want to add?
Just that I want to say thank you for hosting me here on your blog and for interviewing me! It was fun to answer your questions and I appreciate the opportunity.
Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds. Julie is an animal lover and animal rescue advocate who shares her home with her rescued dog and cat. She has written about the joys of pets for outlets such as Cat Fancy, Thrive in Life, and Best Friends Animal Society. Visit Julie at julieflanders.net.
Julie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.