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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interviewing author Rachel Firasek about her new paranormal romance, The Last Awakening

It's a great pleasure to interview one of my good friends and favorite authors, Racel Firasek. She has a new release, The Last Awakening, the second in her Curse of the Phoenix paranormal romance series. She gave some great answers. Enjoy!

In your recent release, The Last Awakening, the second in your Curse of the Phoenix paranormal romance series, the heroine is a phoenix. Arabella has the good fortune or curse, depending on her situation, of being repeatedly reborn after death. Does she take the actual physical form of a phoenix bird and shape-shift or just have the supernatural capability of rebirth?

Ah, great question! So original…She definitely shifts into the fiery phoenix, but it’s more of a trans/being rather than a physical animal. Her soul is carried by the bird to the other side of the portal where Osiris will give her new duties.

That sounds fascinating! In The Last Awakening, you gave Arabella the additional magical abilities of using voodoo. Having written about that belief and the associated hoodoo magical system in my own series, that topic fascinates me. You mention she has trouble keeping her voodoo magic under control, as per standards of her god Osiris. Is she tempted to use the darker hoodoo magick? Or what troubles does she fall into?
No, and in fact the voodoo element in this book is very light. None of her magic works in the same manner of the Voodoo/Hoodoo religion because she was always something else. But, she does come from New Orleans 300 years ago and was raised in the culture.

The series, Curse of the Phoenix, maintains the character Osiris, god of the Underworld. Does he/she exist in human form and live in the real world? Briefly describe some traits of this god.

Oh, my fave. Osiris can live as a human if he needs to, but doesn’t prefer it. He has too many jobs. Taking care of his phoenixes, collecting souls for the Underworld, balancing the world—just to name a few. J Here’s a brief character study of him:
He was a loyal husband who failed his family by placing his trust in a wizard hungry for power. He’s loyal, arrogant, hard-headed and a bit domineering. But, he also has a heart as wide and deep as the ocean with a soul as bright as the sun. I heart this big guy. Physically: 6’7” Blond ---think “He-Man” build---long hair that he keeps tied back. Hmmm…..and he’s a perfect match for…. :)

The two books in the series, The Last Awakening and The Last Rising, feature two different phoenix heroines. Do any characters continue through the series other than Osiris? Does your world have a large population of phoenix characters to do the bidding of that god?

Well, dang you made me answer my teaser. Sadie, is the third Phoenix and she’s the lead in The Last Beginning…coming soon. This book will wrap up the phoenix world and Osiris’s story. I think you’re all going to like it. J They are a mix of heat and heart.

Your series uses a great theme, comparing the concept of magical rebirth to that of personal rebirth from emotional issues. Your hero has personal demons that Ari tries to help him face. Does he realize her magical abilities? Your blurb indicates he resists her assistance. Does she then use her powers to force him to accept her help?

Thank you! Well, she can’t really control her powers well enough to use them to help him, but she would if she could. She does tell Grey about her magic during the book, and like any normal male—he has his doubts. It takes a lot to make him a believer, and I happen to love the scene where she does. And, since she can’t control her powers, she has to learn how to forgive herself in order to teach him to do the same.

Marsha, thank you so much for having me on today! It’s my b-day, btw and what a great interview to help me celebrate. Your questions are always so throught provoking. Hugs to you and I hope everyone will leave a comment.

I’d love to know if you had a choice between and death and an eternal looping life….which would you choose? Think wisely, eternity is an awful long time.

On a personal note, helping my elderly mother through her struggle with dementia, I’ve faced the fact that life has as much suffering as happiness. I don’t think I’d want another round of hardships, unless the scale tipped more to the pleasures of life. 
Thank you for being my guest today. Great answers!


Title: The Last Awakening
Author: Rachel Firasek
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: December 2011
ISBN: 978-1-937044-44-1
Book 3 coming January 2012!

Book Description:

For three hundred years, Arabella’s life has been one meaningless death after another. In a cruel twist of fate, Osiris–god of the Underworld–gifts the phoenix her mortality and returns her voodoo magic. If she fails to harness her wayward magic and save a man worthy of a second chance, she’ll forfeit her power and her soul–forever.
Ex-soldier Greyson Meadows desperately wants to be freed from the nightmares and guilt that haunt him after the tragedy that brought him and Ari together. Confronted by the waif of a woman who forces him to face his worst fears, he resists, fighting the need to keep his personal demons hidden instead of setting them free.
When Ari becomes the target of her own magical blunder, it’s not just her life in danger, but now the one of the man she loves.

The Last Awakening Excerpt

Grey propped himself against the inside of the door. He’d given her a few minutes alone after work while he grabbed his bag from his car. In fact, he’d spent at least a good ten convincing himself he could do this. Now, he wasn’t so sure, but he would still fix her door before he left. Damn woman hadn’t even locked it. He’d knocked twice and stepped inside when she didn’t respond.


No answer.

He’d wait. Through the paper-thin wall he listened to the shower and then the light patter of dainty feet running across her room. This really was the worst apartment he’d ever seen. Worse than some of the military tents he’d lived in.

He sat his bag beside him and tapped his fingers along the door. Any day now. Her bedroom door flew open, and she rushed out. He’d imagined her in silk pajamas with beaded nipples teasing him and begging for his taste—not the sweatshirt or the flannel bottoms. They weren’t bad either and actually may have added to her appeal—there was something highly erotic about wondering what was beneath.

She sagged a little and dropped a hand across her chest. The smile she’d met him with slipped. “What?”

“You’re beautiful.” Damn, if he didn’t stop putting his foot in his mouth.

She blushed, painting her cheeks with the prettiest shade of pink before she ducked away from him. “What’s in the bag?”

“You need more protection.” He pulled out his wallet and fumbled through the slots for a business card. She leaned in closer and stood on tiptoe, watching his every move. “Nosy?”

When he handed her the card, she frowned.

“What did you think this was?” he asked.

She didn’t answer, but her pink cheeks shouted it loud and clear.

“Did you think I was going for a condom?”

She turned away, sank down onto her sofa, and pouted.

Surely she didn’t think…nah, no way could she want…He burst into a fit of laughter. Christ, how long had it been since he’d laughed? Really laughed? She was feisty as hell. He wanted more than anything to snatch her up and carry her to her creaky bed and let Mike—and whoever else
wanted to—listen through her walls as he connected with her in the basest of ways. But first, they had things to get out in the open.

“Don’t laugh at me.”

He chuckled harder and moved closer to her. “I’m sorry to disappoint you. I brought some locks over. Before I leave, I’ll install them.”

“You don’t have to.”

“I want to.”

She sputtered. Her eyes sparked for a moment, and when she blinked a soft cloud covered the amber. Shit. Smoke floated across her eyes like something straight out of a B movie. He shook his head and pinched the tender skin above his brow. Damn hallucinations. He thought he was past them. “Are you okay?”

“You laugh at me and then want to know if I’m okay? Really?”
“Your eyes. I thought I…never mind.” Shut up, man, before you show her what a fucking freak you are.

Ari spun away from him. She gathered deep breaths, stretching the muscles in her back tight. “I’ll be in my room while you do whatever it is you’re going to do. Come get me when you’re done and can remember your manners, s’il vous plait.”


She didn’t stop for him. Damn, he’d been an ass. Exactly what he said he wasn’t going to do. His plan had been to fix her door. Maybe have a beer with her. Find out how she was dealing with what happened, and possibly share some of his sorrow. But he’d think twice about the drink if he was going to start seeing shit. He’d had all the flashbacks he wanted in a lifetime, but to actually start hallucinating was too much. The alcohol was screwing with his head. Might be time to cut back.

He installed the new deadbolts and loaded his tools. The bedroom door remained shut, but the light peeked from beneath it. He crossed to knock softly on the thin wood. “Ari?”

No answer.

“I’m done. I’ll let myself out…come lock up after me.”

Yeah, he’d screwed up and he’d be lucky if the one person he could connect with, who’d understand, ever talked to him again.

The Last Beginning 

By Rachel Firasek

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Length: Novella 
Release Date: January 2012
ISBN: 978-1-937044-56-5

Sadie’s days fighting off greedy claim jumpers ended in 1856 when Osiris snatched her from her filthy room and placed her with a trio of phoenixes. After 150 years living a respectable life saving souls, she’s tired of playing by the god’s rules. It’s time the master of manipulation learned her creed: live hard, play for keeps, and never let the enemy see you suffer. 

Osiris never imagined the true queen he’s spent two millennia searching for would be a half-pint redhead with a mouth that makes him blush. She needs a gentle hand to breach her defenses, but living with her and keeping his natural arrogance at a simmer proves a challenge worthy of any champion.

While Osiris teaches her the wisdom needed to rule a world with fairness, the irritating god only intensifies Sadie’s belief in her creed, reinforcing the walls that keep her from happiness. If Osiris can’t win her hardened heart, Sadie’s ascension might threaten the world he’s struggled to create.
About the Author:
Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s dance moves.
She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows… or at .

~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the novel, TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE, the first in a trilogy. Part two, TORTUGA TREASURE is contracted for release in January, 2012. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING A SCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available March, 2012. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, Le Cirque De Magie. Share


Sasha Summers said...

Happy Birthday Rachel. Great interview - these books sound fantastic!

Kate Evangelista said...

You're right about the unique questions. Happy birthday, Rachel! And awesome interview, Marsha! :-)

Jean Murray said...

Hi Rachel.

Happy Birthday!

What a fabulous set of books. Congratulations.

Jean Murray

Rachel Firasek said...

Sasha, thank you! I hope you get a chance to check them out.

Kate, isn't she great? Thanks for stopping by!

Ah, Jean, you are always so awesome. Thanks!!!

Marsha, thank you so much for having me here today!

Lisa Kessler said...

Happy Birthday Rachel!!!

This is such a fun series!

Thanks for the great excerpt too!

Lisa :)

Rachel Firasek said...

Lisa, thank you and thank you! Woot! I love my phoenixes!

Mary Keith - Keith Publications, LLC said...

Great interview and the books sound great. Yet another series to check out :)

Mary Keith