It is my pleasure to host Lisa C. Morgan today. I have just recently read Phoenix Rising and I am here to tell you it threw me into an emotional mess. I LOVE IT when a book does that to me. You will find my review along with the Giveaway link below.
Guest Post with Lisa C MorganHey Readers! Today I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned from my characters in the Maggie Henning stories. Okay- I know what you’re thinking- “What does she mean? Didn’t she write the stories?” Yes. Yes I did. I sat down and bled on my computer, (on occasion, literally...don’t ask…) and while I had a nice little hand written outline beside me, the characters were what drove the story, many times sneaking up on me and without warning, completely shifting the story altogether.
Maggie, the main character in my story, tended to be a little difficult when it came to her story. I had a vision, but Maggie decided she was someone else entirely. From her, I was reminded that we should just accept folks for whom they are and not try to mold them to fit with what we expect. On the outline, Maggie was a meek girl with an obsession for clothes and pop culture, but as I tried to write that, she refused to surface, claiming that while all those things were fine, she was a little deeper than that. Hence, her best friend Stephanie was born.
Maggie also reminds me that we are so much more than the circumstances we find ourselves in. Bad things happen sometimes. We can wallow in them and hope for pity, or we can brush ourselves off and not give up. Sure- we falter, we doubt ourselves. We are, in fact, the old cliché “our own worst enemies.” Maggie, however, reminded me that it’s those stutter steps we sometimes take that can be the force to make us run.
Liam is Maggie’s grandfather. I love him! I think that he’s a little lost in modern times, but he tries. It’s his attempts to be a parent to Maggie and all those at The Trust that taught me family is more than a biological tie that binds. We have people around us who for whatever reason we treasure. Maybe it’s a friend that calls at 3 am just to say hello when they know you’ve had a bad day. Or that crazy Aunt who pinches your cheeks at every chance- family means well and they love you- sometimes in spite of the fact that they “have” to.
Liam also puts a value on education. As The Realm historian and librarian, Maggie’s grandfather stresses the need to ever continue to learn. Education comes in so many forms- books, real life experiences- and he lets us know that every piece of information we learn, even the bad news, is the seed to a flower that will only make us wiser and stronger.
The princes of Celine- Michel and Luc. They are so alike and yet so very different, but one lesson I think they’ve both taught me was that loyalty comes in many forms. Michel will run to stand at Maggie’s side, not taking into consideration what could happen to himself. While that’s noble, it’s also reckless. Luc, on the other hand, wants to do the very same thing, yet he doesn’t. Instead, Luc remains loyal to his brother, to Maggie, to The Realm and his friends; even if it costs him his own suffering. Loyalty can be a fierce motivator, the greatest cause of pain, or a source of true happiness. The princes experience all of these emotions, just as you and I do. They remind us how important it is to stay loyal to our beliefs and those we care for, that when it comes to love there is really no wrong way.
But I think it’s my fae friend, Seatha, who taught me the most valuable lesson as I wrote. In my head, I can almost feel the circumstances that she has gone through to become the fae she is, but even though she’s suffered, she has maintained a fun loving spirit. That’s so very important to everyone. You must be able to laugh at yourself if you’re ever to be taken seriously. Seatha was punished and scarred for something she really had no power to control. I think we can all relate to that feeling. Seatha took that and instead of feeling sorry for herself, channeled it into a determination to succeed. How fantastic is that? We should all be so lucky to find that inside ourselves. Seatha refuses to take life too seriously, insisting that there is always something we can laugh at, even if sometimes it’s at our own expense. Why? Because sometimes it isn’t about anything more than making someone who feels down smile. I can think of no greater gift then her selflessness.
Of course, there are a few minor things they taught me, too. How to look like an idiot as I held a sword fight in my kitchen with invisible revenants, exactly how exhilarating a moonlight motorcycle ride could be, even reminding me of the pangs of first love. Mostly though, all the characters reminded me that we are all stronger when we stand together.
Maggie has lived the last ten years with a woman who isn't her mother and carrying the label "Daughter of John Henning", a man sentenced to live out his days at Sunnyview Psychiatric Hospital after his conviction of fire bombing a church...
and killing the 8 people inside.
What Maggie learns will change her life.
She is the last of a race of creatures known as "The Phoenix", a race of supernatural beings with the ability to wield and control fire.
And she will need that power now...
Revenants- walking, living, skeletal creatures who have waged a war against an unseen, parallel world known simply as The Realm- need Maggie's blood to bring them to a full power...a power that will give them an unbeatable edge and offer the deciding weapon in this war.
Maggie is not alone as she learns not only what she really is, but what it is her destiny to become...
Phoenix Rising (Maggie Henning & The Realm: book 1)
“…And I believe you do not have the control over your fire yet to destroy us all.” He was calling my bluff. Worse, he was right.
Phoenix Rising is a first person story revolving around sixteen year old Maggie Henning. Maggie lives with her mother and has spent the previous ten years of her life wearing a label- daughter of the murderer John Henning. Her father resides at Sunnybrook Psychiatric Hospital, having been convicted of killing eight people inside of a local church, burning them alive. Or so Maggie has always been told. Maggie’s world begins to change after finding a letter addressed to her from the psychiatric hospital that offers an ominous warning. She ignores the letter, waving it off as some random nut sending her mail.
Having to endure visits with her father, per her mother’s request, has left Maggie feeling isolated and alone, with exception to her one friend, Stephanie; daughter of her father’s deceased law partner. In an effort to cheer Maggie up, Stephanie and she take in a little “retail therapy” at the local mall.
Maggie finds herself drawn into a music store she doesn’t normally go in to, drawn by a melody played by a mysterious raven haired guy that apparently alarms Maggie’s friend.
Following an argument, Maggie is abandoned at the shopping center to walk home, only to spot the mystery man again, riding a motorcycle, who offers her a ride home. Maggie isn’t normally that reckless, but she decides to throw caution to the wing and take him up on the offer.
The stage is set after a visit to her see her father, normally in a fairly catatonic state, comes aware, giving Maggie the same warning as the letter she received. Creatures, called “revenants” want Maggie’s blood. Just when Maggie had felt optimistic about her father, the hopes were dashed. But, she had seen strange things; bones, pointed teeth, rotting flesh…
The drive home reveals that Maggie’s mother is NOT what she seemed to be and after she’s attacked, the mystery guy, named Michel, arrives and rescues Maggie from one of these creatures.
Maggie is taken to “The Trust”, a manor house that offers protection to beings from “The Realm”- another world that lives right below the surface of the Mortal one. Maggie begins to learn of this strange world and the creatures that inhabit it, including a young witch with much to live up to named Autumn, a light hearted fairy named Seatha, and two Vampire Princes of The Realm, one of which is Michel. Michel is kind and level headed. Luc, his brother, is a smart ass and calls things as he sees them. The two brothers tend to be opposites of each other in most things, with exceptions to their kingdom and now, Maggie.
Maggie meets Liam at The Trust, learning that the crazy board game eating man from the asylum is really her grandfather. Liam explains The Realm, offering guidance, and more importantly, informs Maggie of what she really is- the last of a race of beings called “Phoenixes”, creatures who have the ability to call fire and use it as they wish.
The revenants, led by a creature named Ossa, will stop at nothing to get Maggie; needing her blood to bring them to full power.
Maggie must not only come to believe in all that she has heard, including that she’s one of these mythical creatures from stories, but also learn how to wield her power to face the creatures that would destroy both worlds Maggie has come to know of. All of this, even as she begins to feel more than mere friendship with one of the Princes…
ARC for Review! Thank you!! What an emotional roller coaster ride we have here! This book made me laugh, cry, cheer, smirk, and want to toss my Kindle across the room cause it just ticked me off at times.. I LOVE A BOOK when it can throw me for loops like that.... and this is a YA Read!
The characters are amazingly portrayed to the point that you can visualize their movements, facial expressions and just about reach out and touch them. Maggie is only 16 and her world is about to be turned completely upside down in a way that is refreshing, as story lines go, yet so devastating for her, at the same time she meets a green eyed, very good-looking young man; and the plot thickens.
Full of mystery, suspense, romance, coming of age, and first love. I cried at a few scenes that tugged at my heart strings as they were so passionately portrayed. Twists and turns that just boggled my mind. Revenants, Vampires, Witches, and Fae are among the paranormal elements of this wonderful read.
I am so waiting on Book 2
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
5 out of 5 Hearts
Lovetiggi's Book Reviews
Lisa C. Morgan lives in rural Upstate NY with her husband, three children, a degu, a precocious Siberian Husky, and a half Pom/Half Chi spoiled baby named Salacious B. Dustbunny.
A lover of books and words, it has always been her desire to tell stories that the people near her could listen and read, escaping the world around them by way of the page.
Always having a new story idea popping into her head, (sometimes at the least appropriate of times,) Lisa can always be found with a notebook and writing utensil somewhere within reach, just as her 8th grade teacher made her promise to do.Lisa has two short stories previously published in anthologies. A Romantic short titled Nothing’s Terminal (A Home for the Holidays; December, 2011) and a zombie themed short titled Antidote (The Thorn of Death; March 2012). Her debut novel- Phoenix Rising is the first in a new YA series Maggie Henning & The Realm and will be released July 2012. Upcoming will be the continuation in the series- Phoenix Burning, Phoenix Shadow, and Phoenix Ashes.
When she isn't writing or taxing kids, Lisa enjoys reading, football, softball, cooking, singing & dancing, tattoos, and spending time with family and friends.
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