Monday, December 28, 2015

Straight Chatting with the Library: Belle Manuel

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Belle will be awarding $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer or what inspired it?

I figured out that this was what I wanted to do with my life sometime in high school. I had always been on track to be lawyer, like my mom and I had discussed at a young age. I even took classes in college to prepare for that being my career because I didn’t think being a writer would happen for me. It always felt like an out of reach dream, until my boyfriend at the time (now husband) encouraged me about my writing. He really helped my dreams come true.

What is your favorite place or setting to write?

On the floor of my living room with my Netflix going straight ahead of me. It gives me something to distract when I’m out of ideas without being silent. I can zone out and take a break for a minute, or I can just mute it and hardcore bust out some scenes. I’ve tried the coffee shops, I’ve tried quietly in the computer room, everything. Alone with the tv in my living room.

What do you read for your own enjoyment?

I read a lot of different things, but I prefer the YA genre. I’ve read everything, though, and am pretty open to reading new things if I feel that I’ve hit a rut. I’m sure that isn’t much of a surprise though considering the genre I write in!

Name three things you can't do without?

My phone. Not for materialistic reasons so much as necessity. What if something happens to someone while I’m out and about? What if my husband forgot something he needed at the grocery store? It’s a 30 minute drive to the closest grocery store!

My books – all two hundred of them. I have things other people don’t, and can loan them out whenever. If my books weren’t in the house, I’d probably cry.

My cat! My huge 15 pound 35 inch long Russian Blue cat! He’s my rescue baby and I love him so much! I need him everyday to remind me that I’ve already changed the world just by finding him for free on Craigslist after his mommy abandoned him!

Introduce us to your main characters?

Chelsea Michaels – Lead female; she’s tough, defiant and really busts her ass when she needs to. She’s the girl you want on your side when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

Chad Michaels – Lead male; he’s resilient and unfortunately very dark in regards to his powers and how he allows them to grow, but he is still loyal to a fault to those that he truly cares about.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Fire, and working on what exactly I want to go down in the entire novel. Other than this series I’ve been diddling in something else that I’d been interested in writing for a bit now and just seeing how I feel about it.


Chelsea and Chad are twin fire and water elementals, humans born with the ability to control the elements. Chelsea struggles to control her flames, while Chad finds himself under the control of dangerous people. War draws near, and brother and sister must choose a side, even if it’s against each other.


Chad’s anger was growing as we drove on, forcing the temperature in the car to drop lower and lower. I knew if I tried to heat it up, he’d just get angry, so I forced myself to ignore it as best as I could. If I closed my eyes, I could see all of the events unfold in front of me again. I could see the fire raging through the upstairs hallway, burning every ounce of memories away. I could hear my father’s voice telling us to hurry out of the house, so calm and steady. I could see my father placing his hand to the random outlets in the house as we ran out, setting them ablaze without a thought. I could smell the smoke as it rose throughout the house, making it hard to see as Chad and I ran down the stairs and out the door.

I’d gotten out of the house a full two minutes before Chad had. I thought that he’d fallen and I had left him behind. But he had burst through the front door, flames on his heels and plastic bag in his hand. It was a small sandwich sized bag with a big wad of money resting inside of it. Then we’d heard the sirens, and Chad somehow knew what to do. I did what he said and ran to his truck, jumped in and waited.

We finally pulled off the highway and I realized where we were going: Steve’s house. My heart skipped a beat and I finally relaxed. We were going to our backup home, to safety. I looked at the cookie-cutter houses, towering in their red-bricked glory. Then Steve’s house came into view. This was the home that Chad and I would flock to when our dad would work late. Steve wasn’t like us, but he was a good friend of Chad’s who didn’t judge us for our secrets. His parents liked us enough that we had spent the night over there quite a bit when we were younger. And within the last few months, Steve and I had secretly grown closer. But now, Chad and I were on the run. I had ruined everything.


Born in Louisiana, Belle Manuel spent her early years learning to be a good Cajun girl before moving to Texas. She visits Louisiana often, enjoying the quiet break from the active Texas life. When not writing, Belle enjoys crochet and crossword puzzles. Her debut novel, Fire, was released July 1st of this year.

Belle first began writing in middle school, where her first writing job was getting paid by other students to write stories for them. She enjoyed turning their random requests into interesting stories, and the money she made helped fund her reading habit.

Fire began with an idea, but quickly took on a life of its own and changed as Belle wrote it. With all the adjustments and improvements, it eventually evolved into The Elemental Series.

Author Facebook:
Author Goodreads:
Author Amazon:

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Amberjack Publishing.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

    1. I would've finished getting my degree.

  2. Great post - I enjoyed reading both the excerpt and interview :)

  3. Enjoyed the book blurb, sounds like an interesting book. Entering under the name of Virginia

  4. Enjoyed the book blurb, sounds like an interesting book. Entering under the name of Virginia

  5. I'm happy you were able to realize your dream of being a writer! This book sounds interesting as these characters sound like ppl from my family!!

  6. I'm happy you were able to realize your dream of being a writer! This book sounds interesting as these characters sound like ppl from my family!!

  7. Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

  8. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you.

  9. Loved the fun and interesting interview, thank you!

  10. Really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!