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.
Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales, before she settled on a blending of the two.
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 www.rachefirasek.com.
In this interview, author Rachel Firasek gives readers some insight into her writing of The Last Rising.
Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I’m a thirty-ish Texas native who corals two teens and husband that puts all of my heroes to shame. I have sprawling spread of Mesquite trees and sheep in a hidden country community of Central Texas. I’ve always been an avid horror fan and was always drawn to cartoons with super heroes. Why wouldn’t I writer in Paranormal Romance?
What is it about the paranormal, in particular phoenixes, that fascinates you so much?
I wasn’t fascinated by the phoenix until I realized that they also appeal to my love of vampires. They could be considered the original vampire/sans blood sucking. They are an eternal reincarnated creature. Perfect.
What inspired you to write this book?
My BFF and I were sitting the Orlando, FL Airport waiting for our flight home after the RWA Nationals Conference in 2010. A horrible wind/thunderstorm blew in and delayed the flights. While we watched the little men in suits clear the runway, I thought of what it would be like to go down in a crash. I know, I’m horribly morbid. But, those thoughts led to the opening scene in The Last Rising.
Please tell us about your latest release.
The Last Rising is a story of redemption and forgiveness. I love my heroine, Ice (who is really Isis) and her story. As a mother, I sympathize with her and hoped to give her a story to overcome the tragic mythology behind the real Isis from Egyptian lore.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
I had a little trouble with Ice. She’s a character that goes through so many catalysts. It was hard to get her vulnerable sometimes, but I hope I pulled it off.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
Brodie was a blast. He’s the hero’s son and five. Who wouldn’t love to write a smart kid? He’s awesome.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
I’m a lot like Ice in that I don’t forgive myself easily. I take in all the guilt and hold it close to my heart. This was a tough one to learn from.
She reached for his hand, her nails scraping along the sensitive flesh before settling into his grip.
Lesson Number One in controlling a man: find his weakness. Every man had one.
His nostrils flared, and his quick intake of breath confirmed he was at least mildly interested in her. She tipped her head to the side and grinned, hoping he’d read the “let’s slink down the aisle to the lavatory” in her eyes. “Ice.” Her smile widened. She bit her lower lip and dropped her lashes.
He leaned forward, his face inches from hers. “Now, that’s different. Why Ice?”
“Why not?” She moved closer, until their lips almost touched. His aftershave wrapped around her. The sandalwood and vanilla scent cramped her stomach with a need threatening her sanity.
The pesky flight attendant chose that moment to interrupt her ploy. “Excuse me, would you like a pillow and blanket?”
Imaginary daggers pierced the helpful attendant. “Yes, please,” Ice gritted through clenched teeth, fighting to maintain the false smile plastered across her face. The blanket might come in handy. Ice paid the woman and gracefully snatched the parcel.
The unwanted distraction ruined the brief interlude. Turner settled in his seat, another hint of pink shadowing his face. “Do you fly often?”
She twisted in the small seat and rested her back against the glass. “Too often. And you?”
“Yeah.” He shrugged. “Work demands it. I have a son, Brodie. I would cart him and his nanny with me, but his asthma usually acts up on the plane.”
When he said his son’s name, his eyes lit up, reflecting bits of gold amongst the green. Love. Such a sad sentiment these humans had. Love wouldn’t keep his son from dying one day. Love was a soft emotion that tore your heart in two. No thanks. She’d loved like that once and it had destroyed her. The monster inside her would never know that kind of vulnerability again. Forget the child. A pinched smile escaped her, but he seemed determined to carry on a conversation regardless of her lack of enthusiasm. She’d like to be doing something other than talking right now.
He stretched his legs forward and slumped deeper into the seat. “Do you have kids?”
He must have a damn sorcerer working for him. Was it Pick on Ice Day? Damn, nosy humans. She schooled her face into a practiced calm. “Not anymore.”
Oh yeah, he’d dreamt of a woman for months now. She resembled his dream woman in so many ways, but he’d never seen his fantasy lover’s face.
She struggled against his clutch. “Mr. Alcott, I assure you we haven’t met. And for your other question, I don’t know why, but you need to release me.”
Why did that quivering bottom lip make him suspect she was lying? Turner rested his forehead against the top of hers and sucked in her scent. “Please, tell me I’m not losing my mind. Tell me you don’t visit me every night and I’ll promise to leave you alone. I just need to know.”
He sounded like a crazy man but she had to tell him. She was the only one who could put a stop to his mind’s constant fantasizing, and this feeling of déjà vu every time he saw her.
Ice wriggled in his arms, her thighs chafing against his slacks. “Mr. Alcott, you need to let me go.” She glanced around his shoulder. “Brodie is probably staring out that glass window and I would hate for him to get the wrong impression.”
She was right. He needed to get ahold of himself, but he didn’t have the strength to walk away. His hands traveled up and over her shoulders, stalling on her neck. Brushing his thumbs against her jaw, he pressed her head back and stared into hard eyes—no emotion. Couldn’t she see the battle he fought?
He teased the corner of her mouth with his thumb and her breathy gasp pleased him. So, she wasn’t completely immune to him. He dropped his head until his mouth hovered over hers.
“Shhh. I just need a taste of the sunshine.”
Book 2: Curse of the Phoenix
Coming November 2011
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 3: Curse of the Phoenix
Coming January 2012
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.
There will be a live twitter party at 6 pm central 7pm eastern time. To join in, just use the hashtag #lastrising.
You can also win one of three copies of The Last Rising as well as a goddess pendant. To enter, just fill out the form below. Winner will be chosen randomly from all who enter via the form.