Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Paige's Bookshelf: "Phoenix Child" By Alica Mckenna-Johnson

I received this item free in exchange for my honest opinion. All views and opinions are my own.
When Sara goes to sleep on the eve of her fifteenth birthday as a normal looking somewhat average teen, and wakes up the next morning looking and feeling like a completely different person, her life may just never be the same! 
Sara has lived over half her life in foster care and group homes, and has even accepted her life and planned out her future as a girl with no family until…

She goes to bed the night before she turned fifteenth as a normal girl with plain eyes, ordinary hair, and no idea what was going to happen next. When Sara wakes up the next morning with midnight black curly hair with fire red streaks through it, weird looking eyes, and strange powers she panics. After all, any normal person would.

Her group home mom Melanie notices the changes right away and has her tested for anything that might cause these changes. When her bill of health comes up clean, there is nothing more to do than go on with life as planned. With Christmas approaching, that means winter break is in full force, and Sara has plans to attend The San Francisco Center for the Circus Arts for an entire week of her vacation.

While there, she finds out that she not all alone in her new world. With Taliesin the not so human being in disguise, and Kayin the boy with hair the same as hers, she might find comfort that their stories and teachings will help her find who she is meant to be. While there she also meet Gavin and Anali who will change her life in more than one way, they help her reign in her powers, provide her the true family that she never had, and help her come to appreciate her actual given name… Sapphire.

In the end, she has to make the choice whether to stay or turn her back on her new life as Sapphire the Phoenix Child, and help save the lives of hundreds of magical creatures trapped here on Earth.

Sometimes great things are thrust upon us, and those great things might just come in the form of a new name, unicorns, magical powers, a new look, and fire.

“Phoenix Child” is perhaps one of the most read worthy books that I have devoured thus far in 2015, and I read a lot of books! Alica McKenna-Johnson can really write to call to the reader’s imagination, which is perhaps one of my most favorite things about reading. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.” I was one hundred percent given that change with “Phoenix Child” and I hope you allow yourselves the adventure.

If you like science fiction with an adventurous side, I would say that this novel is for you… And great news! Alica McKenna-Johnson’s second book in this series “Legacy of the Feathered Serpent” came out just last month, and yes, you will be hearing about that one from me as well. From what I hear, Sapphire is to expect an even bigger adventure and I cannot wait to read it as well.

An interview with Alica McKenna-Johnson:

Me-When starting to write, what is your process?
Alica-Uuummm, I have a process? Lol. I have kids and work full time, so I can write just about anywhere with anything going on. I can’t write when it’s quiet, so if there aren’t any kids around making noise, I turn on music.
Me-How did you come up with the concept of “Phoenix Child”?
Alica- Like all for my story ideas, it started with a “what if” I was wondering if magical beings were real, what would happen if their descendants had enough creature DNA to have magic in today’s world. The idea wouldn’t leave me and after a while formed into the beginnings of Phoenix Child.
Me- How did you decide upon some of the names you chose to include in your novel?
Alica- I went with names that were authentic to the character’s background and personality and had a meaning that worked for the story. Sometimes it would take hours to hunt for a name, and my writing stopped until I got it sorted out.
Me-Which character, if any, do you relate to the most, and why?
Alica-Anali, as the peacemaker/mother figure. This is the role I feel most at home with.
Me-Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
Alica-If the TV isn’t on, I listen to music, usually something instrumental, Cirque du Soleil sound tracks, Vitamin String Quartet, Lindsey Sterling, Pachelbel, Mozart, Apocalyptica, and others. Otherwise I sing along with the words and stop writing.
Me-What entity or entities do you rely on the most during the writing and publication processes?
Alica-I have and amazing critique group. Seriously you wouldn’t want to read the first draft. I work with three editors and a professional cover designer/formatter. I couldn’t have put my book out without their help and skills.
Me-Can you tell us a little about the sequel? (No Spoilers)

Alica-The sequel continues Sara’s adventures as the Children of Fire travel through South America saving magical creatures, learning to use their powers, and figuring out how to be a family.

Me-What projects are you currently working on, literary or otherwise?
Alica-Let’s see, “Legacy of the Feathered Serpent” is available now. “Heirs of Avelon” and “Dragon’s Clutch” and a “Kayin’s Fire” a novella set in the world of the series are in different stages of editing. I’m starting work on book 5, which I don’t have a nave for yet, I also have finished a standalone novel that picks up the story of a minor character from “Children of Fire” and tells his story. Readers liked Carlos so much, that he has his own book, “Shadows in the Glass,” that is in the process of being prepared for publication.
Me-What advice would you give to aspiring and upcoming authors?
Alica-Find a professional group to join, a great critique group, and remember that while revisions and editing are difficult, they are what turns a rough draft into a novel.

Me-Will you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you as an author or your writing?
Alica-I have two children, a husband, and work with five foster kids in a group home. I love to read all sorts of books and watch movies. I adore foreign films and TV shows. You can tell when I’ve been on a BBC binge because I start using their sland. A Korean horror binge will turn my writing really dark. I also wish I could travel the way my characters do. Unfortunately, I’m not rich, and they are.

Enter The Phoenix Child Giveaway! 
Three lucky entrants selected by the entry form will receive a hard copy of the book Phoenix Child! (ARV$12) Open to readers in the US, 18 years and older. Open for entry from 11/25-12/16/15 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. The Mommy Island is not responsible for prize fulfillment. 

Phoenix Child


  1. I usually love horror and murder mystery. But I am open to anything!! This book sounds fabulous!

  2. I prefer horror and suspense just because I like scary books.

  3. I like fantasy, horror and sci-fi the most since they're so interesting!

  4. Wow...that "read worthy!" How awesome. I will have to remember to check it out and to pass that on to others. It's Name Yourself Day...maybe you are truly a Sapphire?


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