Drowning In Fire by Arielle Caldwell
Nerita is tortured and put through more pain than she ever imagined could happen. Ahlic has captured her and locked her in a room where there’s no chance of escape on her own. He forces her to watch the murder of a friend. She strikes a deal to try and save lives but Ahlic is not the bargaining type.
After escaping, Ahlic forces her to endure a traumatic loss and haunts her in her dreams. More powers emerge from her, shocking everyone and leaving them slightly afraid. While on her own, a witch shows her the future and tells her grave news. A battle rages in her heart; unsure of how to handle the revelation.
She seeks Ahlic...but not to destroy him. Feelings she can’t control drive her to insanity and lust. Will Nerita give in and fall for what she’s been trying so hard to destroy?
“Cari! Wait for me!” I called out after her as she flew towards the water.
“Well don’t be so slow! I want to swim!” She turned her head and
was looking into my eyes. The wind was blowing her red hair across her
face. She was so damn sexy. She did a small flip and landed in the
I took my shirt off and threw it on the sand as I was running. When
I reached the water, I held my breath and went under. I opened my eyes
and looked around for her but couldn’t see where she had gone. From
behind, a pair of petite arms wrapped around my neck and I spun
around; crushing her to me in a kiss. When she pulled away, her hair
was floating around her and glowed from the sun illuminating it. We
swam to the top to get air.
She wrapped her legs around my waist and I supported us; feet
barely touching the sand beneath me. “I’ve missed you. You shouldn’t
go away for so long,” she smiled and ran a hand down the side of my
“I’m sorry, Cari. I hate leaving, really, you know that.” I pushed
the wet tangled hair out of her face.
“I know,” She paused for a moment, “Take me with you next time.”
I was stunned. “You want to come with me? To Eurona?”
“Yes. I want to go wherever you are.” A serious, hard line replaced
A lump formed in my throat, “I can’t take you.” I pulled her off
from my hips, set her down, and waded back to shore.
Hurt and devastation filled her voice. “Why not?! I’m tired of
waiting around here for you and never knowing when or if you’re ever
“Just drop it, Cari!” I yelled at her. I bent down and grabbed my
shirt quickly off the sand and headed into the forest.
“No! I will not just drop it!” Anger had now replaced the hurt. Her
voice raised a few octaves and was hard and cold. “Why, Ahlic! Why can
you not take me with you to your home!?”
I spun on my heels and grabbed her by the side of her arms.
“Because you are too pure! Eurona will corrupt you and strip you of
your purity. I can’t let that happen. I will lose you forever if you
go there. Don’t you understand that!?” I shook her violently.
“Let go! You’re hurting me, Ahlic!” She was crying.
I immediately released her. Oh bloody hell. What have I done? I
whispered, “Cari, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” I went to
caress her face.
She slapped my hand away from her. “Get the fuck away from me.” She
glared at me and clenched her fists. “Don’t ever touch me again. We’re
done. I’ve seen you take your anger out on others but never thought
you’d lay a hand on me.” She called her horse, Hauna, and jumped on
her back then looked down at me. “You’re a monster and not even I can
save you. I pray the Goddess soothes your spirit and forgives the sins
you’ve committed but I won’t...I can’t.” Her voice cracked as she held
back her tears. Hauna took off and disappeared through the trees. I
was left there alone.
With news of my parents’ deaths, I left Amaranth and returned to
Eurona for my coronation. I deadened my heart, blacked out the world.
My first kill out of anger was a chambermaid who had dropped and
broken a vase. I flew across the room and shoved a knife in her belly.
Her eyes went wide and blood spilled from her mouth. She laid on the
floor and shook as her soul departed her body. I stared down into her
empty eyes and for the first time since Cari left, I felt a weight
lift off my chest.
Months passed and more innocent blood was shed by me. The kingdom
feared me; feared what I had become. I truly became...a
monster.~Ahlic, Chapter 7
Arielle Caldwell was raised in Pensacola, Florida. She grew up writing poetry and eventually turned to books. She's an avid reader and lover of all things book related. When she turned 18, she left Pensacola and
joined the Navy. After 4 years of active duty and aquiring a family, she returned to her hometown to work on the naval base there as a civilian where she is there currently. Writing has always been a fascination and hobby of hers. A lover of tattoos and music, dancing
with her kids no matter how silly she looks, and singing until her voice goes hoarse. She is married, has 2 wonderful little boys, 2
great danes, and a duck as her family. Life is fabulously crazy for her and she wouldn't want it any other way.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in elementary school. I loved reading and had an active imagination.
How long did it take you to write your book?
About 6 months.
What genre is your book? What made you choose to write in that category?
Fantasy (Mature Young Adult) I love creating my own little worlds!
What was your work schedule like when you were writing?
I wrote while at work. I had a job that I can (luckily) do that at. It was harder to write at home
with the kids around. lol
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Umm...I don’t think I have any really...I have to listen to music and no one can see me writing or
I stop :)
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Just in my head. If I use something that’s real (Nerita’s name for example) I do some research
and check things out before choosing.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’m finishing up my fourth with at least five more to come this year. I would have to say the
Nerita Torlan Trilogy Drowning in Fire...it was fun to write and I cried at the hard places.
Are you currently working on another book? If so, is it part of a series or something different?
About to wrap up the trilogy (title unknown at this point), The Murder Diaries Book Two: Madam
Murder (due for release soon), and Survival (December 2013) Two series and a stand alone.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Sing, read, play with my kids, manage my indie website for other authors.
What does your family think of your writing?
My oldest is involved. He knows when I’m writing and asks me if I’m working on another book.
He knows about when I do cover changes and wants to see them. My husband has been
supportive and so has the rest of my family.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books?
With the Murder Diaries...I’ve got something wrong in the head lol It’s a dark demented series.
Nerita Torlan Trilogy...I’ve discovered how creative I can be and push myself harder.
What do you think makes a good story?
A hardcore antagonist, a superb protagonist, and flow ability.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I was torn between a psychologist and a teacher but ended up in the military instead.
Are you self published or do you have a publisher? If self published, what made you decide to go that route?
Self published...I guess I was too scared of rejection from a publisher so I decided...I can’t say
no to myself lol