Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday's Writer ~ @KayPhoenix #KayPhoenix #BorealisArdor

Today, I have the lovely Kay Phoenix with us. I have known Kay for a few years through our association with the Las Vegas Romance Writers. We were critique partners while I was still in the States and I still get to occasionally work with this wonderful author.

She is celebrating the release of her new book, Borealis Ardor, and I can’t be more happy for her. Please join me in extending a heartfelt welcome to this week’s Wednesday’s Writer.

How do we find out about you and your books?  Check my website at for updates.  From there you can find links to my blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

How many readers/fans contact you?  I tend to spend more time than I should on Facebook, so they can easily find me there or email me at

Why did you decide to write romance novels?  About six years ago I took an online creative writing class from Gotham Writer’s Workshop and my instructor noticed a common thread of romance in my assignments and suggested I try a Romance Writing class.  I did and was hooked! 

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?  Lots!  There’s a saying “write what you know.”  Well, I don’t necessarily know any werewolves personally (that I’m aware of), but I have a wild imagination.

Do you feel humor is important in fiction and why?  Humor is very important because I think it’s one common thread that crosses cultures and historical lines.  Humor brings a real-life quality to fiction because the saying is true “truth is stranger than fiction.”

Do you ever ask him/her for advice?  Yes, I recently asked my boyfriend about a scene that I was stuck on and he gave me a great (and humorous) suggestion which I used and expanded upon. 

Are you a member of any author groups - RWA, critique groups, etc.?  I’m a member of my home RWA chapter (Las Vegas Romance Writers).  I’m also part of two critique groups, one that meets online and another than meets in person. 

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?  The characters for sure!  My books have to be “cast” first before I can do anything else. 

 If you came with a warning label, what would it say?  “Do not place in temperatures higher than 95 degrees Fahrenheit.” (which means that I need to stay indoors almost all summer in Las Vegas.)

What is your secret guilty pleasure?  Candy Crush!  I should have never downloaded it. 

Leather or lace?  Lace
Black or red?    Black
Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton?   Cotton
Ocean or mountains?    Mountains
City life or country life?     City
Hunky heroes or average Joe?    Average Joe
Party life or quiet dinner for two?    Quiet dinner
Dogs or cats?     Dogs
I love pizza with _____.   Pineapple!
I'm always ready for _____.    An adventure!
When I'm alone, I _____. Love it!
You'd never be able to tell, but _____. I’m a nerd (well, maybe you can tell that).
If I could (fill in the blank) I'd _____.  Move, move to the Pacific Northwest!
I can never (fill in the blank) because _____. Get my house organized, I’m too OCD for my own good.  J

Dessert ~ Chocolate ice cream
City ~  New York, NY
Season ~  Fall
Type of hero ~  Underdog
Type of heroine ~   Nerdy

Buy Link:
Price:  $2.50 ($2.00 pre-order)
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Release Date:  February 7, 2014

Book Excerpt
The rows of standing gravestones stared defiantly back at me like pale faces in a crowded hospital ward, each eager for attention.  But I was focused on only one patient in particular.  I would find his gravestone in the last row, fifth from the side, according to the annoyingly cheery caretaker I had spoken to on the phone earlier in the day when I’d pulled over at a rest stop.
I took a breath and stepped into the eerie yet comforting stillness, taking the walking path that led down the left side.  I glanced at the stones along the way, reading their names aloud to myself in quiet acknowledgment of the frailty of life.  There were approximately twenty rows, each with about forty stones across.  Empty spots were scattered here and there, patiently awaiting their future occupants.
I cleared my throat lightly and wiped my moist eyes with my sleeve.  Soon, the last row was upon me.  I paused.
Not ten feet beyond the last row of stones was the forest’s edge, the trees standing tall like a row of stiff soldiers awaiting inspection.  The moon lit the cemetery in a silver glow, but the forest remained a dense, black, foreboding curtain.  I felt a trickle of fear run down my spine but bravely ignored it, turning right and trekking the remaining few steps to the fifth stone in from the side.
“Madeline E. Sturgis.  Beloved Wife and Mother.”
No, that wasn’t correct, there had to be a mistake.  No offense to Madeline, of course.  I stared blankly at the stone, confused for a moment before recalling that I hadn’t asked which ‘side’ the caretaker was referring to when he gave me directions.  Perhaps he was referring to the other side?  I squinted at the long row of stones stretched out in front of me and began to walk toward the opposite end, glancing at the names as I passed so I wouldn’t miss it.
There was a barely audible crunching sound in the woods to my left, causing me to start and stand perfectly still, head cocked to the side, listening like a rabbit.  My heart raced, pounding heavily inside my chest, and I felt cold to my bones.
Stupid, Lauren, stupid!   You shouldn’t have come here.
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  It’s probably an animal.
I heard another light crunching sound in the trees, and a bird flew out suddenly, narrowly missing my head.  I caught my breath, bringing my hand up to my heart.  I breathed deeply for a minute, settling my nerves and letting my heart slow down before continuing.
I took the last few steps.
“You shouldn’t be here, Lauren.  Leave quickly.” The voice stopped me in my tracks.  It was David’s voice, in my head.  But, I shrugged it off and walked forward until I saw the new stone and the rectangle of earth in front of it that had noticeably less pine needles than the surrounding area.
I knelt beside it.
 “David Alan Wagner.  Beloved Son, Brother and Friend.”  The lines of the letters were etched deep and black, contrasting heavily against the light grey stone.  I gently lay the roses down and traced the letters with my finger.  There was a cross carved below the words.  I ran my hand along the entire edge of the top of the stone, feeling the rough edges in contrast to the freshly polished front and back.  I wondered how long the stone had been there.  Dad assured me he had taken care of the funeral expenses, and he must have made sure there was a rush order on the headstone.  There was a fresh bouquet of white roses lying at the base of the stone and it made me feel deeply saddened for his family, as well as for him.  As much as dad irritated the living hell out of me with his overprotective gestures, if I had to disappear forever and have him think I was dead, it would break my heart.  After we lost mom, we were all the family we had.
I loved David with my whole heart.  Even though we had only been together for two of the six months that he was assigned to me, I knew that he was the “one”.  I just knew it.  There was no explanation.  And, I was the “one” for him as well.  But, now he was gone, and it was unlikely that I would see him again, at least not any time soon.
I reached up to trace the “D” again and saw a strange light flash across the polished surface of the stone, which I realized with horror to be a set of headlights.
Who would be coming to a graveyard at this hour? Besides me of course? Teenagers with a Ouija board and bottle of Strawberry Hill wine in tow, perhaps?
I could take no chances.  I could have been followed.

Where can your readers find you?

     Author Kay Phoenix believes in the miraculous, transformative power of love.  She believes it is possible for the human heart to be reborn just as the mythological creature, the Phoenix, is able to rise from the ashes of its former self. 
     Ms. Phoenix is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, Nevada.  She serves on the board of the Las Vegas Romance Writers and is also a member of the Kiss of Death and Women’s Fiction chapters of Romance Writers of America.   
     Prior to writing, Kay was a Graphic Artist for 15 years, and holds a degree in Graphic Technology.  In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping and photography and is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Psychology.  She is also a member of the Las Vegas Artists Guild.
     Kay writes in the contemporary and paranormal romance categories, as well as non-fiction articles. 


  1. Kay...loved your excerpt! Thanks for sharing that, I'm putting your book on my wish list for my next amazon "spree" and I love your cover too!
    I'm a candy crush girl too - definitely shouldn't have downloaded it either! :)

  2. I'm with you, Kay. Mountains and cotton. ...that would make a good title, I think. LOL :D

  3. Hi Debora, I'm flattered. Thanks! (Also I've been stuck on a Candy Crush level for nearly a month now. It's maddening.)

  4. Hi Bethanne, That IS a good idea for a title. Sounds like a cozy, fun weekend. :-)

  5. Congrats, Kay!
    I think humor is important in writing too!

  6. It was wonderful having you here, Kay. I wish you much success and happiness with your writing career.