Sunday, February 24, 2013

Games of Fire by Airicka Phoenix

Airicka Phoenix


How do your novels start? Like vivid images, a movie played out in your mind, dreams that stay with you once you wake, or daydreams that just take you away?

Always like a movie. I try to imagine it like I’m at the theater, watching the characters bring a story to life.

Where did GoF story come from? What possessed you to put such an amazing story together?

Originally, it was only Sophie and Spencer that walked into my sights. It was a story of a wounded boy who moves to a small town, next to this girl who winds up being the one that puts him together again. But that didn’t seem to be enough. I wanted more. So next thing I knew, Sophie was being stalked and Spencer was there to protect her and fight for her.

When you look at the female characters of GoF ~ Sophie, Lauren and Jessie ~ in comparison to Lauren's motherly, protective personality, and Jessie's shyness what would you say are Sophie's main personality traits?

I think Sophie is the calmer. She keeps balance between them. Lauren is too much for Jessie to handle on her own what with her sweet, shy nature. So Sophie is the one that keeps order, makes sure that Jessie’s heard and that she’s not being overwhelmed.

What has caused Lauren to be so protective and Jessie so shy?

Lauren is just vivid. She’s strong and independent. She was raised with a brother so she knows not to take anything sitting down while Jessie is an only child, raised by a single parent. She loves her friends, but between Lauren’s exotic beauty and Sophie’s classical ones, she feels plain and out of place.

When you pictured Sophie's character (prior to starting GoF) did you picture her as the Heroine? Or the damsel in distress?

Always the heroine. I knew she would be strong, even if she doesn’t start out that way in the beginning. I wanted her to, by the end, find her worth, find her place and stand on her own two feet.

Where did Spencer's character originate from? Was it hard to write the male character with more of a feminine type romance history?

Spencer wrote himself. I had nearly no say at all. He just leapt in there and took over and I let him.

When looking at the male characters of the story ~ Spencer & Joe ~ their past defines both of them. What can you tell us about their differences and similarities?

They’re both protective. They both love with everything in them and fight to keep the love given to them. Spencer was hurt by someone he loved and he turned inward, on himself. He would rather be alone then be hurt again.

Do the characters come alive when you write?

Oh absolutely! By the time I finish the book, they may as well be people I see every day, people I’m friends with and know inside and out.

Will Game of Fire be a stand alone novel or will the story continue?

It’s a standalone. At this time, I have no plans to continue on.

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Tentatively, she peered up at him through her lashes, carefully assessing his reaction. It was impossible to tell with the shadows falling in strips across his face, but his slow, shallow breaths, the slight tremor in his muscles and the sharp glint in his eyes spoke volumes. He knew.

“You should go back to bed.” His voice was even, viciously controlled.

Sophie dampened her lips. “My bed?” It was undetermined what possessed her to voice the question out loud, but once it was out, no amount of wishing could take it back.

His breath drew in sharply. The precisely carved patchwork etched into the muscles of his abdomen flexed beneath her fingertips. His fingers curled into the flimsy material of her oversized t-shirt.

“Or mine.” His teeth flashed in a half smirk, half snarl. “But I promise you won’t get much sleep there.”

She would have happily melted into a thick puddle of delicious nothingness, but he was waiting … no, daring her to answer. “I didn’t plan on sleeping anyway.”

Oh wow! All these emotions running through me right now. There are just so many one can feel while reading a book. I never expected to feel so many throughout the story... Touched, happy, irritated, embarrassed, sad, frightened, scared, jealousy, frustrated, angry, frisky, amazed, giddy, concerned, anxious, crushed and certain. Yes I had to look up most of those feeling words, but man each and every one I could point or describe a scene where I felt all of them as some point! This is not a book you should pass up! Written amazingly well, pulls you in from the beginning, and wraps you up in every emotion you can think of. 

There is just so much a girl can take, when a new boy moves into the house next door. Sophie finds it embarrassing to go and welcome her new neighbors with her mother and a casserole dish in hand. Regrets vanished when Sophie's whole world changed the moment she laid eyes on Spencer. She could undress him right there, low cut pants no shirt chiseled chest and defined abs. Oh gawd she couldn’t breathe. The most popular boy in school, Brian Fisher who? One word brought it all crashing down when Spencer opened his mouth! When Spencer doesn't give her the slightest indication that he is interested in her, playing games devouring her with his eyes, walking away from Sophie when he couldn't shake her.

She's got her friends, Lauren, Jessie and Joe. Now she's noticed by the most popular boy in school, recalling his name & Spencer was put aside, Brian invited her to a party. Who knew if this was when the whole stalker thing started or if it was later, but Sophie is a magnet for trouble. When three guys try to do things in a small bathroom upstairs it was all Sophie could do to get away, running smack dab into Spencer after slicing up one of the bigger guys chasing her with a set of keys poking through her fingers!

Lauren and Jessie were there every step of the way, through the ups and downs as Sophie worked her way past Spencer's walls of hurt and anguish. She fought to tear them down only to cause more pain and hurt that he didn't want her and would never be ready for something serious. Sophie finally throws in the towel and rather than confronting Spencer she avoids him like the plague. Joe is there for her, one of her best friends since Kindergarten. I totally flipped when she mentioned going to the Valentine's Dance to Joe when Spence had already asked her!

The threats started when she got too close & Spencer's walls started crumbling down. Spencer letting her in more than once, sharing kisses and making out most all the time. Oh the kisses were so freaking hot that I thought any moment the clothes were coming off! Wow to have a man kiss me like that! To think I could die of an over passionate kiss!!! Alright totally got off the subject, but you try reading this story picturing Spencer in a hot and heavy KISS!

The story moves on with a whole lot more twists and turns, a stalker amongst the group, encircling Sophie and Spencer. At ever corner, every move they made the stalker was right there with them. Watching, waiting...Soon very soon...

Who was the cause of the new threats and stalker? Spencer or Sophie? Did the stalker want to scare them apart? Was there more to Spencer's past, unknown? I had my eye on a character from about a third of the way into the book. Though I won't tell my early on theory, I will say I was right!

 My Rating

About the Author
Airicka Phoenix is the best-selling author of the Touch Series with short stories in Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology and Midnight Surrender Anthology. When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books. 

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  1. Great Interview! thank you so much Airicka for stopping by and for the awsome givaway!

  2. Every time I turn around, I see something about Airicka and her new novel. And that is not a bad thing by any means!! I'm glad she's sharing of herself ... her thoughts, and her work (and a free copy or two of her work ...) Thanks!!

    1. Hello again, Andrew! It's nice to see you again as well. Thank you for participating and good luck!

  3. Very informative and targeted interview. I learned something about how Airicka forms her characters from this. Clearly, she wants you to feel like you are in a personall relationship with even her minor characters.

    1. Thank you so much! Julia asked some very good questions. I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview! Good luck!

  4. Thank your for the awesome blog stop and give away

  5. Thank you so, so much for this incredible and thoughtful review and for allowing me to once again visit your beautiful website! You're so wonderful, Julia! Thank you! <3

  6. Thanks for this blog post and thanks Airicka for a great giveaway! I appreciate the chance to win :-)


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