Mari Gale’s life has been a whirlwind since meeting Jake Chivis. A new job prospect and his mother’s health preoccupy him, so when Jake invites him on a date he’s ready to cut loose. Their night out turns into a nightmare when a fire breaks out in the basement of the bar and they barely escape.
Soon Jake learns that the horrific accident is being investigated as a possible homicide, and it’s not the only case. Detective Inspector Cordiline of the London Met hints at spontaneous human combustion, but as far as Jake knows, SHC doesn’t exist.
When Mari looks into a group called Birthright, he finds a connection to the victims of the fires and Jake risks himself to go undercover at the shadowy organization. The race is on to determine the truth before Jake becomes the next target.
Book Two of Elemental Evidence. It’s not necessary to read the books in order.
Elemental Evidence Series Info:
Former Detective Jake Chivis is a Fire Elemental who uses psychometry to see the past. Doctor Ilmarinen Gale is an Air Elemental, a human/cybernetic interface, able to infiltrate even the toughest information systems. Together they find out just how potent a combination Fire and Air can be when it comes to solving crimes.
Amid murder, conspiracy and a world that views them with suspicion, and sometimes contempt, Jake and Mari circumvent the conventional. While the police aren’t always appreciative of their methods they can’t deny the results.
When they aren’t busy consulting for the police, figuring one another out is their next big mystery. One that proves as frustrating as it is passionate. Between hunting killers and avoiding competing government agencies that want the two of them working on their side, they just might have enough time for love.
Interview With Sadie
S: Burning Boundaries is about exploration – exploring limitations, be it physical, psychic or sexual.
Q: What was it that led you to write in the genre(s) you write?
S: I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi as a child and a teenager. When I was younger High Fantasy was my escape pod. Most contemporary fiction didn’t engage me, it felt too dull. Too ordinary. As I grew older, I suppose, I reached for worlds that felt like mine but still had that excitement, the lure of the unexpected. And I discovered urban fantasy and contemporary paranormal. They felt like the world I inhabited in my head. So most of what I write is set in a contemporary location with a magical or paranormal twist.
Q: Are your books character led or plot led, or both?
S: Absolutely the characters come first. I need to know my protagonist at least before I begin writing. Usually the process is, Protagonist, Conflict, other Stuff, Resolution. I will quite happily let my characters lead me off down back roads and cul-de-sacs in our search for the story.
Q: What is your favourite part of the writing process?
S: I think, once the characters and story are established, it’s when a scene just runs away with us and we can’t stop putting the words down. It’s like a runaway train, the adrenaline rush is better than anything.
Q: What is your least favourite part of the writing process
S: I’m usually okay with the process – even the initial edits – until things like the final line edits, when it feels like we’re combing over the same thing, again and again. I have a low boredom threshold and I want to be on to writing new stories
Q: Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?
S: They come from all over the place to be honest. Friends and colleagues always joke about the danger of winding up in a book, but often it’s people I don’t really know much about that will inspire a character or a situation. My warped mind likes to fill in the gaps and create something from a basic framework, so if I see someone cute out and about, he might inspire a hero, or if I hear something on the bus that piques my curiosity, I might begin to build a scene or a character around those few words. Scenes often happen like little movie trailers in my head. Music is seriously inspirational. Listening to a song, I will sometimes begin to build a scene in my head around the lyrics and the emotion I’m hearing. Most times it bears no relation to the actual song but the music has been the key.
Q: Tell us a little about the characters in your book and their story. You can use more than twenty words this time.
S: Jake Chivis is a gay, ex-cop from Detroit, specialising in arson investigation. He is 29, part Native American, and a Fire Elemental. He has the Elemental gift of psychometry which allows him to retrieve memories from inanimate objects, and sometimes people. He is on the run from his own memories, a bad break up and an abusive father, and comes to London to start a new life. Jake is a sweet, down to earth guy, who has struggled to control the fiery rages that his Elemental type are often prone to in their youth, and now he just wants to settle down somewhere that no one knows him or will bother him.
Mari Gale is 27, bisexual and shamelessly flamboyant, with a mixed Celtic/Baltic ancestry. His Element is Air and his gift is for interfacing with communications technology. A former child genius, he is very independent and will always speak his mind, no matter how un-PC that may be. Although he seems confident on the surface, he struggles with expressing his emotions and finds it very difficult to make a deeper connection with anyone. His parents separated when he was seven, and he has been through a few ruinous affairs that have left him cynical about love. He is devoted to his mother, Annabel, who is battling cancer, though he is certainly not a Mummy’s Boy.
Q: If you could have one wish what would it be?
S: Like many people who do this, I would love, one day, to be able to make a living from my writing so that I can do more of it.
Q: What’s your deepest fear?
S: At my age, probably dying half way through a major storyline. I don’t want to enter the afterlife seething with frustration. Heheh!
Q: If I came to dinner what would you feed me?
S: Take-Away Pizza, probably. I’m not renowned for my skill in the kitchen. I make a mean veggie curry though.
Q: Which of your characters would you like to be sharing the dinner table with us?
S: I have a lovely character called Dominic Warren, who features in some of our earlier, online fiction. He’s an actual Earl, and a practicing Wiccan High Priest, but deliciously camp and very talkative. He also loves to cook so he would make us something edible and keep us entertained.
Q: Tell us in the character’s own words, what he/she would have to say about you.
S: “Sadie, darling, I love you to pieces, but man cannot live on Pringles and wine alone. No… step away from the microwave chips, bitch! I’m warning you!”
Q: What would they say (again in their own words) about themselves, and their story that will make us want to read about it?
S: “Darling, I’m into my sixth decade, I’ve lain with vampires and werewolves, I have a magical spell for every situation, I’m self-sufficient enough for both of us and, if there’s a vice out there that I haven’t yet tried, I will happily give it a shot.”
Q: Which other fictional character(s) would you like to be present at the dinner party?
S: Dominic is a Vampaholic so possibly Count Dracula – they’re practically social equals, or Armand – he likes pretty boys. He’s never flirted with a Demon so Shax from the Brimstone would have to be there. And I think he would rather get on with Quentin d’Arcy from Inheritance – they’re both from noble families and Quentin could use a father figure with a kinder hand.
Q: What other authors would you say have either influenced your writing or you would like to emulate?
S: I grew up loving the works of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis but my influences are many and varied. Ursula le Guin is in there. Poppy Z Brite (now Billy Martin) is another huge influence. Neil Gaiman is an amazing storyteller, and his use of mythology in modern settings is always inspiring and sometimes educational. The late Sir Terry Pratchett taught me about the balance of humour and pathos. There are too many to name, really.
Q: Which character from literature, would you most like to have invented?
S: I’m fickle and I’m always falling in love with new characters. I love damaged, beautiful boys so probably Ghost, from Poppy Brite’s Lost Souls? Or Vanyel Ashkevron, from Mercedes Lackey’s last Herald Mage series. I cried my eyes out at the end of that series.
Q: What do you prefer writing. A one off novel, a series or short stories?
S: Series, absolutely. I’m terrible at endings.
Q: What kind of books do you read (if you have time to read)?
S: Lots of things really. I read a lot of non-fic – currently reading a book about the Benson family A.C. and E.F. and their kin, who were wonderful queer fish, the lot of them. I love John Irving, I will drop everything for one of his books. I love the M/M Paranormal genre at the moment, so many good writers in this field. I adore manga, especially the works of Kaori Yuki and a series called Descendants of Darkness, which I read over and over. I enjoy steampunk, there is a lady called Gail Carriger who writes wonderful stories of Vampires, Werewolves and Inventors in an alternative Victorian London. I’m eagerly waiting for book five in Amelia Faulkner’s Inheritance series, which is my current addiction.
Q: Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in 5 years time?
S: I have no clue, but I’m sure it will be an interesting ride.
Q: Do you have any other projects in the offing we should look out for?
S: I’m working on a story with Dominic, called Last Rites, about magic and betrayal and how the past catches up with you. Bellora and I have book three of Elemental Evidence nearly ready to Beta and we’re playing with an idea for a story about a sorcerer and an alchemist, which doesn’t even have a name yet.
Q: Where can we find you?
S: I’m spread all over the place. I have a Facebook Page https://en-gb.facebook.com/ElementalEvidence/ and I’m on Twitter too. You can find links to those and to my website on my author page at Pride Publishing https://www.pride-publishing.com/author/sadie-rose-bermingham. I’m also on QueeRomanceInk https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/sadie-rose-bermingham/
Thank you for having me. 😊
Was that flirting? Was he flirting with the guy? Jake tried to rein those thoughts in but he couldn’t help it. Mari had a habit of flirting, but it had never bugged Jake before. Jesus, they’d managed to go to one bar for an hour and already he was devolving into Neanderthal territory. He realized something else. It had never really bothered him when he and Alex had gone out and his ex had spent all night coming on to strangers. Then again, he’d known Alex was doing it to get a rise out of him. That was not Mari’s way, at all.
“You want another drink?” Jake asked, by way of keeping himself from hauling Mari out of there and grilling him about whether he wanted to sleep with Mr. Whips and Tattoos. They had to step to one side as a sweating, agitated-looking guy pushed by them on the stairs in an obvious hurry to get down to the basement for some chastisement. Though he looked chastised enough already, in Jake’s opinion.
“If you do,” Mari said, then exhaled a huff that might have been regret and might have been relief. “Unless, of course, you just want to put me over your shoulder and carry me out, Mr. Caveman. I wasn’t giving him the come-on. So you can stop looking daggers. And don’t deny it.” He pointed a slender finger at Jake as he opened his mouth. “I could see you thinking it. Yes, he’s very cute, but he’s not really my type. I do like his toy box though.”
Jake snapped his mouth closed then pushed a hand through his hair and let out a sigh of his own. He had always pitied guys that acted like possessive jerks and here he was being as transparent as glass, all but snarling at anyone who got too close to Mari. “I’m sorry. I was aiming not to be obvious. I’ll try and refrain from clubbing you over the head and dragging you out by the hair.” He managed a sheepish grin.
“In that case, it would be my pleasure to have another drink with you, Chivis.” Mari chuckled, slipping a hand around the nape of his neck and towing him in for a brief, firm kiss.
They made their way back up into the bar and as they were weaving their way through the crowd, Jake heard someone shout, then screaming coming from the direction of the basement.
The red and gold lighting seemed to be flickering and Mari yelled, “Can you smell something burning?”
Jake noticed the smell just as Mari was saying it, and turned his head. A curl of pale smoke was winding up from the basement stairway, not thick but noticeable.
“Shit!” He grabbed Mari’s arm. “Get out of here. Hurry.”
Jake gave him a push toward the front exit then shoved through the crowd, trying to get to the stairs.
Bellora Quinn: Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels. The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings.
Sadie Rose Bermingham: A storyteller since before she started school, Sadie also enjoys reading, photography, live music and long walks on the beach. Sadie has worked as a bookseller, a pedigree editor for the racing industry and a local and family history researcher. Originally from the north of England, she has been working her way across the UK ever since. She currently resides on the south east coast with her long term partner, where she hopes to buy a mobile home and establish a whippet farm.