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Friday, July 11, 2014

Interview: Rachel Firasek (Curse of the Phoenix)

Today we sat down with Rachel Firasek to talk about her latest release The Curse of the Phoenix. We also talk about other things like her one an only regret in her publishing career, Merman fins and the Coke vs Pepsi debate rages on!

Sharon: Tell us a little about The Curse of the Phoenix trilogy.
Rachel: Well, the Phoenix mythology wraps around rebirth, sacrifice, and the forsaken. So, I created three beautiful women that each have a sorrowful story to tell and give them heroes that will let their love be the catalyst that drives their reincarnation.
Sharon: Sounds beautiful. What will be the heat rating for the trilogy?
Donna: That really does. 
Rachel: I’d rate it a 3 out of 5 heat level. It’s spicy with some sizzle, but not erotic romance.

Donna: In Drowning, your lead likes to cliff dive. Are you a bit of an adrenaline junky?
Rachel: Haha, I’m exactly opposite. I love writing about all the things that I’m too scared to do. My oldest daughter is definitely an adrenaline junkie, but not me. Nope. My feet stay on the ground.
Donna: Oh, dear…*looks at Sharon* should we tell her?
Sharon: Nah, jumping out of a plane is completely different from off a dragon. She’ll be fine…
Donna: I don’t know. Jake can make it a little toasty sometimes, but if you say so.
Rachel: You two crack me up. :) Sharon, I may be hunting you down for answers. lol

Sharon: You also wrote Creating Fate (Unspun #1). What is it about writing mythological characters that you love? Do you have more planned?
Rachel: I think that the myths and stories from far ago all have beautiful themes. More than just good VS evil. I like to find the deeper subtext of a myth and break it down and find ways I can use that for my own translation. And as of right now, I do not have any more myth stories in the work.

Donna: What was the hardest book you've written so far?
Rachel: The Last Awakening—the second book in the Curse of the Phoenix trilogy was pretty dang tough. Lots of rewriting was involved, but I think it also became my favorite of the three. Drowning was my deepest book I’ve written to date. I wrote it during my illness and it was an escape from my reality.

Sharon: If you could own any piece of art in the world what would it be?
Rachel: I was in high school when I found this piece: Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. It’s absolutely my favorite. I can sit and look at it for hours. There’s so much story in the picture. Has she fallen? Is she sad? Does the house represent a real house, or a home lost? So many options. I really felt in touch with this painting. 
Sharon: I see what you mean…
Donna: Sharon, what an awesome question! The Lady of Shalott by John Waterhouse would be mine. Sharon, what’s yours?
Sharon: PUDDING! *mumbles something asking the questions not answering them*

Donna: Is there one trait your male lead has to have?
Rachel: I like to write a Beta that’s strong. It’s kind of my specialty, but he has be able to stand up and be there when the heroine needs him. Always. I hate it when a hero falls flat of a commitment to his girl. It’s so unattractive. 
Donna: I agree! No flat lame hero.
Sharon: Nope! We want him fully inflat...oh, never mind <G>

Sharon: If you had one ‘do over’ spell what would you use it on?
Rachel: I would have saved my first book I submitted for publication and worked on it harder to capture an agent instead of submitting to small press. It’s my first and only real regret in this business.

Donna: How do you find time to write with three kids?
Rachel: Thank goodness my kids are getting older. It’s hard. I find that my best time to write is at 5:30 am when they are all still sleeping. If I try to write in the evenings, and I catch my two younger ones when they are having phone time or game time, I’m usually okay. Thank goodness I write fast when I do find those minutes. 
Donna: Wow, I can’t even speak at 5:30. I’m in awe of morning people. Have you always been an early bird or did this take some training? Please, tell me your secret!

Donna: Does your husband read your books?
Rachel: Haha! Erm…he hasn’t in a while. He read Piper’s Fury. I think he’d be shocked at how far I’ve stretched my wings. I’m much more adventurous now. *winks*
Donna: Shocked and perhaps delighted?
Rachel: Oh definitely! Although, he’s ten years older than me, so some of my work would probably get me a spanking or an order to let him help with the research:)
Sharon: that would be a different genre...just saying...

Rapid Fire

Donna: Pen or pencil?
Rachel: Pen—it glides
Sharon: I think she just used a naughty metaphor 

Sharon: cut or bruise?
Rachel: Bruise? (That’s probably the oddest question I’ve ever received on an interview—and it’s why I love you!)
Sharon: that’s right and don’t you forget it! <G>

Donna: Sun or shade?
Rachel: Shade

Sharon: Cornhole or croquet?
Rachel: Croquet

Donna: Soup or salad?
Rachel: Salad—I live in TX, it’s almost never the right time for soup.

Sharon: Coke or Pepsi?
Rachel: Coke—if I could have caffeine
Sharon: sigh, and I thought we were friends…
Donna: Sharon, it’s time to just accept the reality that Coke is better! Rachel, we’re scheduling an intervention-- I’m sorry, I mean party, for Sharon if you’d like to come.
Rachel: Sharon, what are you thinking? Pepsi is so not addicting enough.

Donna: Cats or Dogs?
Rachel: Oh, can I pick neither? (Dogs, if I have to)
Sharon: Do you have a favorite pet?
Donna: No furries for you?
Rachel: I like things that live in water—preferably in their own habitat. I have about two dozen sheep, five dogs, a guinea pig, and my oldest has now claimed the neighbor’s cat. So, this city girl is furred out right now :)

*the interview comes to a sudden stop*

You have two dozen sheep? Okay everyone group hug time!

Sharon: merman or alien?
Rachel: Merman—I want to know where his…ahem…is.
Sharon: *blinks innocently* where his what is Rachel?
Donna: Is she asking where his fins are?
Sharon Did you know Jason Mamoa is playing Aquaman? Now his ‘fins’ I want to find…
Rachel: le sigh…

Donna: Movie theatre or home theatre?
Rachel: Movie Theatre. 
Donna: With a nice big fountain Coke : )
Sharon: *making gagging noises*

Rachel: This was really fun and a really great interview. Thank you so much for hosting me!!!

Curse of the Phoenix
Book One: The Last Rising

After paying two millennia’s penance to Osiris, world-weary Phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great…or that she’ll end up back in his life for her next assignment.

Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she’s the one—but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.

Book Two: The Last Awakening
For three hundred years, Arabella’s life has been one meaningless death after another. In a cruel twist of fate, Osiris gifts the phoenix her mortality and long-gone voodoo magic with a warning that she must save her next soul within a week without using magic, or she’ll lose her power forever.

Ex-soldier Greyson Meadows desperately wants to be freed from the nightmares and guilt that haunt him. Confronted by a waif of a woman who forces him to face the truth about his past, he runs fast and hard, fighting the need to prove himself worthy despite his perceived failures.

When Ari becomes the target of her own magical blunder, the weak will find strength and the strong will fall. One will have to give up everything so the other can have peace, but will love’s magic withstand the loss?

Book Three: The Last Beginning
Though she’s always hated being a phoenix, Sadie has to admit immortality has its advantages. She’s seen and done more in the last 150 years than she’d ever dreamed of, but she can’t get past the fact that Osiris has done nothing but manipulate her and her fellow phoenixes.

Or that, when her last incarnation as a phoenix comes to a fiery end, the fire slowly begins to consume her body.

Sun god Osiris is ashamed of his role as ruler of the Underworld, but he unless he can figure out how to save Sadie, that’s exactly where she’s going to end up. Permanently. Terrified he’s going to lose her, he takes her on a hunt for The Book of the Dead, which is the only way he knows he can save her—even if it means she’ll hate him forever.

About the Author:
Goodreads Newsletter
Rachel Firasek spends her days daydreaming of stories and her nights putting the ideas to ink. She has spent a dull life following the rules, meeting deadlines, and toeing the line, but in her made up worlds, she can let the wild side loose. Her wonderful husband and three children support her love of the written word and only ask for the occasional American Idol or Swamp People quality hour. She has a philosophy about love. It must devastate or it isn’t truly worth loving. She hopes that you all find your devastating love and cling to it with all your heart. After all, romance on the edge is better!


  1. I recently read my first paranormal book that featured a phoenix, and I absolutely loved it, so I'll be adding Firasek's novel to my pile for sure! Great Q&A ladies, and happy Friday. :)

    PS Coke rules! Pepsi drools!

  2. Great interview! Oh and I want to know where his fins are too :) so it's definitely Merman for me!