Book Title: Dark Flame (Flame-Born 1)
Author: Kat Silver
Cover Artist: Bookfly
Release Date: February 6, 2021
Genre/s: MM paranormal/urban fantasy
Trope/s: Enemies to Lovers
Themes: Finding home and self. Self-discovery. Self-acceptance. Learning to trust.
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 82 000 words/310 pages
Hunted by a vampire prince. Caged by his rescuer. Can Michael escape the dark destiny written in his blood, or will his own heart be his undoing?
“I know who you are because you belong to me. You were born to be mine.” ~ Alexei Vasiliev, the vampire prince.
Haunted by the death of his parents, Michael Blakeley wants answers. The twenty-six-year-old martial artist seeks their killer, but he also wants to know why electronics short out at his touch, and why his libido is a raging fire.
When a group of soldiers calling themselves Guardians rescue him from a back alley ambush and claim to have the answers he needs, he agrees to go with them. Especially when they tell him the attackers were vampires. But nothing in this supernatural underworld is as it seems, and when the silver-eyed commander cages him instead, Michael's answers slip further away.
Can Michael find safety from the vampires who claim him? Can he escape the dark destiny he discovers is written into his blood? And will he break the chains of the commander who keeps him captive? The one man he has no desire to leave?
Dark Flame is the first pulse-pounding book in the Flame Born LGBT urban fantasy series. If you like enemies to lovers, shifters, sexy vampire princes, and scorching heat, you'll love this smoldering tale of bloodlust and magic.
Warning: Dark Flame is a gay erotic love story. It contains explicit language and sexual scenes between men, and is meant for adult readers only. There is content some readers may find distressing. See inside for potential triggers.
I kneel and hang my head and wait. I have to. I want to. There’s an elation in my chest, as though I’m about to meet a secret beloved I’m only now remembering. My attention draws upward, compelled to the stunning creature. I couldn’t look away if my life depended on it, but I avoid meeting his dark gaze.
With unearthly grace, the vampire saunters toward me, his eyes riveted to my face. The closer he comes, the more the battle slips into the background. It could be only the two of us here in the steelworks. Weapons fly around him—bolts and swords whistle through the air, heading for his chest, but stop midflight before they can meet their target and clatter to the concrete. He doesn’t spare them a glance.
The nearer he stalks, the harder my heart pounds. My breath comes in shallow puffs. Cold sweat soaks my T-shirt. My nails puncture the soft flesh of my palms. I feel defenseless.
The prince stands in front of me, close enough to touch, a towering demigod, his immense wings creating a shadowed cavern.
I force my eyes down, fixing them on a patch of crimson blood painted across the concrete. I resist a baffling urge to lean and rest my head against his hip.
Strong, elegant fingers cup my chin to lift my face. I tense, my stomach twisting with panic. I’m certain that once I meet those black eyes, it’s over. His fingers burn hot against my chin. The touch tingles my skin like champagne. I melt into his hand and look up, finding two pools of darkest night. My resistance vanishes.
Master. The word hangs in my mind.
I will never let it leave my lips.
Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.
I live in Northern England, just next door to the beautiful English Lake District. I’m a full-time nurse and work in a small nursing home run by Augustinian nuns. It’s a lovely place and I feel very fortunate to work there. When I’m not on my night shifts, I am basically writing, thinking about writing, talking about writing, or dreaming about writing. Story is pretty much my passion. The only other thing I get up to is spending time with family.
Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?
Thank you. Dark Flame is an MM urban fantasy with a hot, enemies to lovers of romance. It’s a mash of my favorite paranormal fantasy tropes with my favorite romance tropes. So I have loved every moment of writing it. But it has certainly had its challenges.
I suppose my favourite character is the vampire prince, Alexei. He’s an 800 yr old bad boy, and an absolute joy to write, but I’m fond of all my characters. I suppose loving them is inevitable after so long in their company.
Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?
I’m a plantser. I plan out where I’m going and try to find a place for all the awesome scenes circling in my brain. But the moment I put pen to paper, I tend to charge off in a completely different direction. I need the plan. My main problem as a storyteller is a tendency to over complicating things—it drives my critique partner bonkers—and if I were to pants my way through the first draft, I’d tie myself in knots. But equally, I let myself roam because some of the best stuff comes out while I’m writing.
Do deadlines motivate you or block you? How do you deal with them?
I completely ignore them. I write at my own pace, and I just can’t rush it. I may have to review that once I’m on book 3 or 4, but I’ll deal with that when I get there.
Do you schedule a certain amount of time for writing each day/week, or do you just work it in when you can? Would you like to change this, or does your current method work well for you?
I write as much as I possibly can within the restrictions of full-time work and brain fog. That means getting up super early, like 5am-ish, and writing through till lunch time. At that point, I tend to run out of juice, so in the afternoon, if I’m not seeing family or friends, I take care of the other side of writing, the publishing stuff.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?
I’ve had to learn so many things while writing this book. Series stories are challenging. It’s been a steep curve. And mashing a full-bodied fantasy story with an A-story romance was also more of a challenge than I expected.
How do you develop a story idea? Do you always use the same method? Specifically, which do you develop first in your story building, the characters or the plot?
My stories tend to start with a scene that pops into my head while I go about my day. I develop the rest of the story, and characters, from there by asking questions.
What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
I read only ebooks. It’s easier on the eyes, the purse, and they’re incredibly convenient. I read mostly romance, usually set in a fantasy world of some type, but I also read contemporary depending what it’s about. And I’m partial to the odd YA too.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energizes. I’m tired after writing, but not drained. Writing story is my favorite place to be in all the world, so I would never find it exhausting, but it’s certainly challenging at times. I can feel like I’m pushing rocks uphill when I get stuck over a tricky bit of plot.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Grief. I have to respect my heart’s need for space if I’m grieving. That means putting the writing down for a few days and following my heart’s requests. The hill walk, a café trip, staring out of a window, slumming on my couch in front of Netflix. Has to be done, but the writing always comes back. It’s my true love.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Follow the love.
What is the best money you ever spent as an author?
On my editors and my online writer group. Absolutely invaluable.
What did you edit out of this book?
A whole giant thread and a major character to go with it. I realized the set up wouldn’t come to fruition for so long, it wasn’t worth having the character hanging around waiting, so I ditched it. I may write him his own love story.
What were your goals for this book? Did you achieve them?
The book went a very different route to the initial idea I had, but I’m very happy with the way it turned out.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate all the way. The darker the better.
If you could time-travel, where would you go and when?
To a time before the industrial revolution, when the world was quieter and we had more green around us.
a $25 Amazon gift card