Blog Tour Stop - Elemental Lies by Elle Middaugh, Character Interview with Excerpts

Elemental Lies (Essential Elements #2)
by Elle Middaugh
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: July 24th 2017

Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.

After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.

When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.

From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.

All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth. But how can she, when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?

A Character Interview with Valerie Elaine Moore

How old are you?


Did you have a happy childhood?

Yes, until my mother died. After that, my dad and I did our best to cope, but I don’t think either one of us fully moved on. 

What are you obsessed with?


What’s your biggest fear?

Ending up alone. But I’m also incredibly afraid of making the wrong choices in life. I’m a pretty powerful Elemental, and that means my choices can affect entire populations. I just want to do the right thing, but I don’t always have a clear vision of what that is.

What’s your biggest secret?

It used to be that I could control the elements Water and Fire, but now that we’ve been exposed to the world... I guess one of my better kept secrets is that love to paint. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t think it really sticks in people’s heads.

What’s your favorite restaurant? 

Interesting question lol I really loved Billy’s Bar and Burgers (until it burned down). Now, idk. Maybe Mario’s Pizzeria? 

What’s your spirit animal? 

Hmm. Maybe a unicorn? Idk! 

On what occasion do you lie?

I pride myself on being honest. BUT, on the few occasions that I HAVE lied... it’s usually to a) keep someone’s feelings from being hurt, or b) to keep important information out of evil hands. 

Have you ever played a sport? If so, what position? 

Um, I like to take walks... Does that count? Lol No, recently I’ve been training my ass off, which includes a lot of running and different combat skills. Still not a sport, I know, but at least now I don’t seem lazy lol

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to competently control all four elements. That way, I’d be able to defeat my grandfather, and keep any other Elementals from abusing their powers as well. 

An Excerpt from Elemental Lies

Panic set in at the thought of losing him again, and before I could stop it, ice spread into a crystalized path between us. It wanted to reach out and hold on to him, to keep him there with me, and I could definitely empathize. 

I know, it’s depressing, I thought to my element, but we can’t make him stay. Sighing, I pulled the water back in, feeling more connected to it than I ever had before. 

“Sorry,” I said, my voice barely a whisper. I should’ve had the icy outbursts under control by then. 

Every time Cade and I crossed paths, it was a small miracle, but any relief at finding him alive was eclipsed by the fear of possibly finding him dead the next time. The odds were stacked against us. The game we were playing was much bigger than us, and I was pretty sure neither of us had any idea what we were doing. 

He bridged our gap in two steps and took my face in his palms. They were warm and smelled like cypress and evergreens. His green eyes were bright and buzzing with some secret emotion. I hoped it was longing, because then we could match. 

The muscles in his jaw and neck were strung tight, like he was fighting something inside. 
“No,” he said. “I’m sorry…for everything.” 

Then he kissed me. 

His fingers tangled in my hair and my body curled into him. 

A light ignited in me, one I never knew existed. My soul felt like a sleeping star that had finally awoken and burst into flames. The shine of it radiated through my whole body, a blinding white light that blocked out the world around me. 

My lips were so numb and tingly that I barely realized it when he pulled away. My feet were on the ground, but my mind was still floating up in space. 

His chest heaved with uneven breaths. “And I’m sorry for that.” 

I blinked slowly. I was certain the universe didn’t make apologies for moments of perfection. Besides, there was no apology in the world that could encompass what had just occurred. 

He licked his lips and backed away slowly. “Not for kissing you, because god I’ve wanted to do that for so long…but because I can’t let it happen again.” 

Another Excerpt from Elemental Lies

I shivered, suddenly becoming more aware of my surroundings. The crowd of Elementals had gotten closer, tightening the semicircle around us. Cade was on his toes, fingers fidgeting, seconds away from fight or flight. The burnt electrical taste of adrenaline crept onto my tongue and I backed up, blood pressure rising. 

Loren laughed. “There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.” 

At that, the hole in the cave wall sealed shut—an Earth on Loren’s left had seen to that. His smile was smug, and I wanted to slap it right off his face. 

“Just get back in the cage,” she all but sang, “and no one will get hurt.” 

Cade, of course, wasn’t having it. 

He leapt into the air, his eyes hard like stones, lips set in a thin line, fists clenched tight. It was like a scene from a videogame, slow motion and totally badass, but still unreal. When he landed, the cave floor ripped in half. Loren and her minions scampered backward, knocked off balance. The thunderous vibrations dizzied most of us. 

“Jump!” Cade shouted, nearly pushing me into the gorge. Suddenly we were falling. His arms wrapped around my waist and constricted like a snake. I was grateful for the near asphyxiation, though, because even with his tight grip, I nearly slipped from his grasp when we hit the bottom. 

“Move!” he cried, clasping my hand as he quickly led the way—to where, I had no idea, nor did I care. My feet stumbled as I trailed after him. 

The walls of the gorge must’ve been fifty feet high, and I could barely see a thing. Light shined above like a jagged tear in black fabric, but it didn’t reach the narrow bottom where the shadows shrouded our path. Dust hovered, tickling my nose and throat. Shouting and stomping echoed off the cavern walls, a frazzling reminder that we needed to move swiftly. 

Ahead, the path moved uphill. Tree leaves peeked down from above and white winter sunlight became the new backdrop. The ravine reached its end, delivering us back into the thick forestry of Black Walnut State Park. 

We weren’t far from the Elitist encampment, not nearly far enough. 

The wind picked up, pushing against us until tears streamed from our eyes. Ice spikes flew past our shoulders like spears. Saplings darted past like arrows. Cannonballs of fire exploded around us, spraying dirt and smoke. I’d have been lying if I said I wasn’t scared. 

Loren and her minions were hot on our heels. We needed more cover, but I couldn’t ask that of Cade. I was pretty sure that after all he’d already done—concealed himself and me from other Earths, chiseled through the cave walls, smashed a ravine into the rocky floor—his reserves were probably running low. It was my turn to pull some weight. 

I glanced around, my white-blonde hair whipping across my face, but saw nothing immediately available to use to help us, no rivers or volcanoes to hide in—because, yeah, what else could a Fire use as cover? I supposed I could make a river by melting the snow…or…I could create an avalanche. There were plenty of mountains around, plenty of snow. It wouldn’t keep the Waters from following us, but stopping three-quarters of our pursuers in their tracks seemed like quite a decent advantage. 

I awoke the water within me, quickly stirring it into a hissing whirlpool of ire. Then I set it free. As the power erupted out around me, the forest floor beneath us began to shake. The static rumbling of something large and terrifying filled the air. Loren and her lackeys backed off, cocking their heads to decipher the sounds. I grabbed Cade’s bicep and pulled him on. We would not want to be standing there in another few seconds. 

“Avalanche!” an Elitist Water bellowed, and the others scattered wildly. 

Not two seconds later, the first tufts of raging white snow breeched the caps of the nearby trees. It sprayed like a heavy wave, snapping branches and whole trunks alike. 

I glanced over my shoulder and pushed my legs harder. We weren’t moving fast enough.

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About the Author

Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. She spends most of her time raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.
She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.

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