Firebloods is the first book I’ve ever taken out on tour. Based on the legend of the Phoenix, this book is probably one of my favorites. All of my books are very character-driven rather than plot-driven, and this book is sort of an interactive read, where my main character, Jude Gallagher, draws readers right into the story, up close and personal. She’s a seventeen year old girl whose father was brutally killed in a wildlife attack five years ago. Her mother has never recovered from his death, sinking into a clinical depression and staying there to this day. So Jude has fended for herself since she was 12. She’s a gifted pianist, but she hasn’t played a note since her father’s death. But she’s full of an inner-strength she doesn’t recognize, and this has allowed her to overcome her obstacles.
Enter her gang of friends: These four people are Jude’s rock. They’ve been there for her when her mother hasn’t, and she wouldn’t have survived without them. Let’s break them down:
Kane O’Reilly is very confident, but not cocky. He’s gorgeous with distinctive dimples, jet black hair and emerald green eyes, all of which attract a lot of female attention, but Jude stole his heart ages ago over an alphabet assignment in kindergarten. He’s waiting for her to realize that she loves him. He’s into motorcycles and cooking, and he has a huge secret he’s never shared with these four friends.
Jonas Cameron has known Jude since toddlerhood when their mothers commuted together during nursing school. Strong and trustworthy, athletic and kind of a little teddy bear with a wild heart, this blond-haired, blue-eyed boy is always there when Jude needs a friend. He’s really like a brother to her.
Devan Parker is Jonas’s girlfriend. She’s a cheerleader with a thing for fashion. Spontaneous, fun-loving and always ready for some excitement, she’s never afraid to speak her mind, which sometimes gets the rest of them into a bind. Her carefree attitude balances Jude’s much more conservative personality.
Frankie Melmack is the genius in the bunch. Frizzy, flyaway hair and glasses, she’ll likely graduate from college within six months of graduating from high school. For all her education, she’s a firm believer in the supernatural, which is a paradox. She and Jude have been friends since 7th grade when they were thrown together as lab partners. Currently, they are working on a summer project to prove the existence of the Vatra u Krvi, aka Firebloods- a race of people purportedly created with Phoenix blood. This project opens the door to a mythical world neither girl ever imagined.
We can’t forget about Rylin McDowell- a red-headed, hazel-eyed Irish boy who somehow makes Jude hear music inside her head. He’s a mystery she can’t quite figure out. But she will.