Phoenix Awakens – Eliza Nolan

smlizcover1Phoenix Awakens
by Eliza Nolan
Release Date: 10/12/15

Summary from Goodreads:

Paranormal debut about a high school senior who finds herself in a fight with a secret society for control of ancient magic.

Julia never believed in magic.

Julia Long is starting her senior year with an extra dose of crazy. The dreams of cultish, bloody rituals are weird enough, but the victim in her lifelike dreams is her new classmate, Southern charmer Graham.

Graham admits he was part of the Phoenixes — a centuries old secret society — but swears he left it all behind. As Julia works with Graham to figure out why she is dreaming about his past, she’s discovering she has other abilities. She heals Graham’s migraines with a touch, and there’s her superhuman strength that comes and goes. Julia doesn’t know where her new talents come from, but there’s no denying that when Graham is near, her powers kick into overdrive.

But the Phoenixes want Graham back. They need his blood to awaken the magic they seek, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

In a mundane world where magic does not exist, Julia is the only one with a shot at stopping them. Will Julia learn to control her new abilities in time to stop the Phoenixes from harnessing this powerful magic?

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Buy Links:

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My Twitter friend, Eliza, has just published a young adult fantasy, Phoenix Awakens.

A teenage girl’s life seems to fall apart, as typical of teenage girls, but she wasn’t quite ready for what was about to happen to her.  As events were heating up in one part of the country, her hidden powers were amping up in another.

The characters were likable and well developed.  There were several plot twists that kept the story moving.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of The Phoenix.  Book 2 please.

About the Author

Eliza Nolan was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for a few years, after which she returned to icy Minnesota – where she now lives with her two cats in a house smaller than your closet.


She is an avid reader and writer of YA. She has ghostwritten a novel or two, but also writes her own stuff, and is FINALLY getting ready (to get ready) to publish her debut young adult urban fantasy novel, Phoenix Awakens.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

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Destiny: Unraveled

Teaser for my Novel-In-Progress, Unexpected Refuge.

Rebekah let her hair down to let the summer sea breezes flow through it while Lee pushed her on the old swing.  She could feel his gentle touch lightly push her back each time she swung back.  Her skirt billowed with each push forward.  She loved this swing.  It always made her feel like flying

As the swing made its descent once more, Lee’s hands stopped her.  She didn’t look at him when he moved her hair and placed gentle kisses on her neck.

“What are you doing?”  she asked with a playful tone.  She did not stop his advances.

“I love you, Rebekah,” his voice was raspy with desire.  As he slid his hands around her waist, she felt his blonde hair on her cheek.

Rebekah shot up and away from him.  “You will just have to catch me to prove it,” and with that, she ran to the old live oak tree.  The limbs were almost to the ground, giving easy access.

As she climbed, she felt a familiar hand on her ankle.  She turned to him to protest but met him face to face as he pounced upon her, holding on the the large limb.

“Tease me, will you?”  He put his lips to hers and kissed her urgently.

Lost in his embrace, she was startled to hear Isaac and pushed Lee out of the tree with a thump.  She jumped down and went to the family servant who was waiting by the swing.

“Your mother and father are looking for you,” Isaac’s words held no emotion.

“Is everything alright?” she asked with concern.

Isaac swung his arm gracefully toward the house gesturing her to go ahead of him.  Rebekah ran away, leaving Lee in the garden, little knowing she would not see him again for a very long time.

@beajames15

Confessions of a Writer Tag

    My friend Jette tagged me on Twitter to answer the following questions.  Some of you will be shocked; some of you won’t.

  • When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
    I started writing in 8th grade when we were invited to write something for a contest.  I am sure that what I wrote had nothing to do with what they wanted.
  • What genre do you write?
    Romance.  Not the kind of romance your mind just traveled to.  There are no heaving bodices or whips and chains.  What I write is the exact opposite of Erotica.  Two people meet and fall in love with a little bit of adventure tossed in to make it interesting.
  • Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?  Unexpected Refuge was started in my mind several years ago.  It was first put on paper in April of 2015.
  • What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
    It was that 8th grade piece – fan fiction for a band that I adored back in…. back then.  I still adore that band.
  • What’s the best part about writing?
    Knowing that I can share a story.
  • What’s the worst part about writing?
    Elaboration.
  • What’s the name of your favourite character and why?
    Oh, I love Niall.  He’s so full of care for people in spite of the troubles he carries.  He’s probably a typical romantic hero – nowhere near being real.
  • How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?  Night.  Can’t tell you how much time.  I depends on my work and sleep schedule.
  • Did you go to college for writing?
    HA!  Noooooo.  All of my friends in college did, though.  I think I became a writer by proxy.  I was a music major.
  • Confession time:  The only ‘F’ I ever made was on a paper.
    Don’t worry.  I have since written wonderful theological treatises (exaggeration).  I have also written spiritual devotionals for church publications.  The ‘F’ was a fluke.
  • What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors or grammar errors?
    All of the above.
  • What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
    Don’t stop.  Keep going.
  • What advice would you give to another writer?
    No matter what anyone says, write anyway.
  • What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
    Honestly, I like talking to a person.  Almost all of my ‘Tweeps’ on Twitter are writers.  I feel comfortable going to them.  I also have some writers nearby that I can turn to .
  • Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
    I AM A MUSICIAN.  I always have been.  I always will be.
    I’m also a “fiber artist.”  Not pouring Metamucil on a canvas of glue.  No.  I knit, crochet and spin wool.
  • What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
    Diana Gabaldon is my guilty pleasure.  I gut wrenchingly enjoyed her latest book Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.
  • What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
    No movies for me.
  • What is your favourite book or series of all time?
    The Outlander Series is one that I read over and over.
  • Who is your favourite author?
    Susanna Kearsley.  Her words flow like water on the page.  I always feel like I’m floating and watching the story like scenery on a shore.
  • What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
    Continue to work on Unexpected Refuge and NaNoWriMo.
  • Where else can we find you online?
    Twitter @beajames15

I am tagging:
@SusannaKearsley
@iamsteveaustin
@rrvirdi
@k_d_baldwin
To make finding the questions easier, here they are:

When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
What genre do you write?
Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
What’s the best part about writing?
What’s the worst part about writing?
What’s the name of your favourite character and why?
How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
Did you go to college for writing?
What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors or grammar errors?
What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
What advice would you give to another writer?
What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
What is your favourite book or series of all time?
Who is your favourite author?
What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
Where else can we find you online?

Danger: Unknown

Night was falling and Niall situated himself against the log in the lean-to. Next to him was his rifle, a couple of books and a bag of apples his mother had packed for him. Sitting on the damp ground, he thought of his mother crying when he left. There was no way he could have stayed in the house, as much as he loved his parents. When he returned from Scotland, she was elated to see him again. Now he left their home once more to wander the mountain, seeking healing from the wounds that covered his soul.

His father, David, reacted differently. The letter Niall’s parents received from his uncle explained that Niall had experienced some trouble and would be returning home. David grilled him with his grouchy manner, but Niall managed to keep his secret close to his chest. When Niall told his father he was leaving, David generously gave him a tract of land on the mountainside so Niall would always be at home. That was his father: grouchy then kind.

The freedom of the mountain forest was now his in which to live. He would roam in the day and retreat to some shelter at night.

Within a short distance, he heard the cry of a…baby? Investigating, he looked out of the shelter of his lean-to when he heard the growl of a mountain lion. Before he could reach his rifle, the cat was flying through the air to pounce on his prey – Niall. Then he heard a hissing noise and a “thwap”. The cougar hit the ground with a thump. Dead. Niall lifted his rifle aiming to shoot when he heard a familiar voice.

“Hol’ on there, Elliot.”

With his rifle raised, Niall walked around his lean-to and spotted Cramer Mitchell, a known mountain man. Niall lowered his gun and breathed a sigh of relief.

“What are ye doin’ out here?” Mitchell asked, holding a cross-bow in his hand.

“Existing,” Niall replied, catching his breath.

“Come on. Let’s us clean this creature ‘afore it attracts more.”

Despair: Unsettled

Rebekah soaked her blistered hands and feet in the cool water of the mountain stream. She hiked up her ragged skirt and rubbed her hands in the water between her ankles. She then lifted her wet hands and rubbed her neck. How did she get here?

Her parents were dead and the Andersons were kind to her after recovering her from the wreckage. However, things were changing. She had found herself enslaved to the whims of Mrs. Anderson and the source of leers from the woman’s husband. She found her own hygiene disgusting. She tried to bathe, but Mrs. Anderson jerked her away by her hair or Mr. Anderson openly watched while rubbing himself.

Rebekah knew that her 17th birthday was close; she just didn’t know the current date. Mimi would have baked a luscious chocolate cake and Mother would have brought her some fabric or yarn to make something luxurious. Father would have supplied something to use outside on her adventures into the swamp, creeks and rivers. Lee would whisk her away to walk through the garden and steal tender kisses.

If Lee only knew what had happened, he would rescue her. How could she let him know without the Andersons finding out? Nowhere they had been was conducive to finding a way home.

“What are you doing, Wench?” Mrs. Anderson startled her.

“I’m trying to rest.”

“Stupid girl. You’re not here to rest. Now get up and scrub my drawers!”

Desires: Unknown

Niall felt a jolt as the swing of his axe struck the log. The temperatures were dropping and most of the leaves had fallen off the trees. What were left were dangling, waiting to fall at the smallest blow of a breeze. He knew he would have to get as much wood chopped and in storage before the night was over. Snow was announcing its advent by the faint smell in the air.

Swinging the axe helped him ease the frustration he had been feeling recently. Each night, he found himself pacing the floor with anxiety trying to grasp the feelings inside. The firewood was piling high with every swing of irritation. He began to search through the logs, locating the driest piece of wood to split into kindling. With the smaller hatchet, he knocked off splinters of the log that would eventually help him light a fire.

While he sliced the log, he noticed his brother’s legs approach his splitting log.

“What do you want, Ian?” he asked with disdain.

“I love you, too, little brother,” his sibling smiled. “Do I not get a hug?”

“No.”

Ian laid his pack on the ground and sat on it. “What’s your problem?”

Niall blew out a puff of impatience and grasped his hatchet firmly. “I’m busy.” He let the hatchet fall on the working log.

“My boy, it appears that you need a visit to Rosali. She would take care of what ails you.” Ian’s mouth lifted on one corner.

“I don’t want Rosali.”

“Ah, well, I’m sure there are other women that wouldn’t mind taking care of your needs. Maybe, the sweet little Margaret.”

Niall looked at him with disgust. “I don’t want Margaret, either.” He put the hatchet down and retrieved his axe and a large log to split.

Ian grunted. “Then you wouldn’t mind if I have a go at her.”

Niall stood straight and pointed the axe at his brother. “You touch Margaret and I’ll kill you.”

Throwing his hands in the air in surrender, Ian withdrew. “Whoa! Sorry, brother. You know how I am. Freedom of the trail and the warmth of a woman in my bed. If you don’t want a woman, I’m sure that there are men in the village that would give you the time of night.”

Anger surged in Niall and he stormed towards his brother. He felt Ian’s hand shoot out and land on his chest, stopping his forward movement.

“You don’t want to do that, Niall. Instead of getting angry with me, why don’t you discern what’s bothering you? You have everything you want: Land, shelter and the open sky. The only thing left to have is companionship and you say you don’t want that. Maybe you left whatever it is you want in Scotland. 

I’m gonna set up a bed on your floor by the fire. I’ll bet there’s even stew.” Ian retrieved his pack and headed toward the house.

Niall began the task of stacking the firewood. What was it that he wanted? What was it that he needed?  Would he ever know?

7-7-7 Challenge

My friend in Twitterverse, @NWilson31 sent out the 7-7-7 Challenge.  The assignment is to go to a writing work in progress, go to page 7, find line 7, and from there write 7 lines.  Since my blog turned my 7 lines into 5, I added more lines.  So here is my 7-7-7 Challenge from #UnexpectedRefuge.

Niall covertly watched through the window as they walked toward the woods behind his parents’ house. The coming night was going to be cold and if that was all the clothes Bekah had, she was going to freeze to death.

“Who were those people?” Niall asked as he continued to watch them disappear into the trees.

“Dunno,” Mr. Green replied, working behind the counter. “Just some travelers passing through, I reckon.”

“Something’s not right about it. I may need your help. Would you be willing?”

“Of course, son. Whatta you need?”

Niall was tired when he awoke. His body was not accustomed to late night rescues and midnight hikes up the hill.

-Unexpected Refuge