My first book, "A Dream in the Night", began as one poem / song: Goodbye. Written when I was 15, after the death of a friend. The entire design and every word are a part of my spirit and soul. 25 years are in this book, a long journey on a road that has ended. One life spent looking back. One ghost who believed they only belonged in the shadows.
"Memories faded. Ghosts laid to rest. One life, over. A darkphoenix has risen from the ashes of a fresh grave."
What began as writing music reviews for fun, evolved into something serious.
My second book: "In a Valley... A Writer's New Beginning" began the journalist side of my writing. I live in the Lehigh Valley, Pa area. In January, 2012 I started noticing the local side: music, arts, events, businesses, etc. Everything that makes the area different and unique. I started with music reviews and constantly evolve and expand what I write about. Like "A Dream in the Night"; I did the entire book from front to back cover, with one exception: John and Sheri contributed photos.
Several, failed, attempts at picking up freelancing jobs (local) later. I decided to start up an online magazine. I seriously looked at everything I wrote: my style / categories / genres, etc. I figured it was time to kick everything up a level. I wanted to do something different. A Valley and Beyond was born.
2012 started a new life for me.
I feel at home walking the streets or in an art gallery. I still like the shadows, but now, I fade into them when I choose. A new book and story has begun. How it will be written, I have no idea. No person knows what will happen from one moment to the next.
I wrote all this for one reason: I want to know that what you see with me is real. The person in the photos is who you would see on the street. The words written are who you would talk to. I know professionalism sells books and everything. My style, to a point: Realism, the moment as it happens, is more believable and is never repeated. One last thing, a quote I live by and is great advice to everyone.
"Life is not about what we do. It's about who we are. Never losing sight of our dreams. Having the courage to go after them, not matter what the odds. Believing in our dreams and ourselves, even when no one else does."
Be safe in the night and always,
Almost forgot: mandatory tradtional bio part:
I currently call the Allentown, Pa area my home, for now. Hobbies: walking, reading, rock music, trying new things and ideas, writing, etc. Current projects: continuing the journalist side, writing my first fiction novel, recording my first single, Writing an album. Personal history: currently writing / living / trying new things. Favorite colors: red, black, blue and purple depending on my mood. Style of dress: jeans / sneakers / t-shirt or dress shirt / leather jacket.
Where to find Michael Phoenix online
VideosA voice to the words
This is a quick intro / profile / bio. I love the written word, especially online and texting. I wanted to put my voice to the photo and words. Just in case anyone is curious.
In a Valley... A Writer's New Beginning
Not really a tourism guide. Instead, an author's new beginning as a journalist. Writing about my experiences in the Lehigh Valley, Pa area.
Reviews and Interviews include: arts, music, businesses and events. They are mixed with photos of the area.
You will find out why this author started on the journalist side.
A Dream in the Night - 2nd Edition
"Life is not about what we do. It's about who we are and never losing sight of our dreams. Having the courage to go after them, no matter the odds. Believing in them and ourselves, when no one else does."
Michael Phoenix's favorite authors on Smashwords
Smashwords book reviews by Michael Phoenix
- The Howling Winds
on April 25, 2012
10 out of 10! This is a summary of a full review I wrote. From start to finish, Jess keeps the reader off guard using a variety of styles and genres. She even switches up the style of language. The Howling Winds holds true to her description and the preface. It is dark.
The darkness in the book is on more than one level. Some may see it as depressing and morbid. I hope the majority will see it the way I did. A mirror for the side of life and reality we exist in. The side that people do not like to look at. This is a very unique book and style of writing. Please join her journey in this book. I highly recommend it!!!!! Great Job Jess!
- Blood Is Heavier
on May 22, 2012
Quick highlights from the perfect 10 review on my blog:
I put this book to an extreme test. While I was reading it took several breaks. I wanted to see if Blood is Heavier would keep my attention. I also wanted to find out if I would constantly want more. I easily did on both fronts. Once again, Ella did a near perfect job developing main and supporting characters, scenes and situations. The internal conflicts are very believable. These conflicts can also be related to if only in a distant, personal sense. The action, we are thrown into almost right away is a great way to start this book. Like I said, at points, Ella almost creates a second story that I came close to forgetting about the main one. The way she melds the backstory with current action does not lose you at all. Chapter titles are well thought out in sync with the chapter itself. The title "Blood Is Heavier" is mentioned in the story. Another nice way to combine the entire book into one, flowing / consistent entity. Visualization: everything that happens in the story is very easy to see with mind. The emotions portrayed, you can almost feel as if they were your own. For the second time, I can not say enough about a book by Ella Medler.
on May 23, 2013
Emily does a great job of getting you interested in the story right off. From the start of Chapter 2, she takes you to a completely different scenario. It is, literally, a slingshot!
The main setting for Charmeine is modern day. Emily uses current and past events to help set up the story. In chapter 4, I was sitting in a limo, enjoying the conversation between Shane and Tab. Not literally, but the story was that visual and consuming.
The character believability factor is very high. At points in the story, you forget Tab is an immortal. Charmeine: One hot female who is vulnerable with an invincible side you really do not want to mess with. Shane and Dmitri, even though they are supporting characters become essential to the storyline shortly after they are introduced. Shane is pretty much your best friend.
Conflict: Internal / External. Emily does a very good job of separating and then combining the two. Each character has morals and real life, emotional, struggles. The external part? One, main, source is calling the shots. With a serious pain in the ass to Charmeine / Tab / Shane thrown in.
What I really loved about the book? The overall story. The way Emily kept me off guard by switching up without any warning. Honestly, I think Shane is my favorite character. With the setting in actual places and true events, every moment became more real. When I was reading it, I was so into the story I jumped when my phone went off. No joke here! The way Emily showed how light and darkness exist in each person.
What didn’t I really like? You know I have to give the low points. At times, Emily dragged the story out by being a little too descriptive. Especially in some of the interactions between Charmeine and Tab. I am talking about some physical descriptions that are repeated. Technical: Not being able to go right to a specific chapter from main page / side navigation.
Overall Recommendation: Definitely read this one! Charmeine is a combination of romance / suspense / historical and fantasy. High believability factors combined with excellent character development and a “not knowing what to expect next” factor. The way Emily ends part 1 will leave you saying “What the hell??? I need to find out what happens!”
on May 23, 2013
Definitely read this one! Charmeine is a combination of romance / suspense / historical and fantasy. High believability factors combined with excellent character development and a “not knowing what to expect next” factor. The way Emily ends part 1 will leave you saying “What the hell??? I need to find out what happens!”
- Gossamer Wings and Other Things
on Oct. 01, 2013
The cover is well designed. Except for the title, it gives a only a slight idea of what to expect. I like the two hearts. One on top right. The other, a broken one bottom left.
Do a cyber "flip" through the first few pages. You have the standard Title / Copyright / Dedication pages. Next up is the Table of Contents / Intro. Jess does an excellent job keeping the 5 chapter titles to one word each. Here is where your curiosity really starts to build. A brief Preface follows with a very, very beautiful quote.
One poem I want to mention here: Crystal Spring. Jess includes a photo of lying down looking at the sky. The photo includes flowers in your vision. The photo, placed at the beginning, really helps your visualization of the words. The perspective places you at that moment.
As I am reading this book, it feels like I am reading a personal journal. In other words, if you would publish a diary / journal, Gossamer Wings and Other Things would be your template. The overall them of love and life holds true through a combination of words, photos and graphics. At one point, Jess takes us through the seasons, not at random, but progressing through each one.
The last quote is something to add to your list of words to live by.
The last 2 pages are standard: A thanks for reading and "About the Author".
Jess takes us on a personal journey. Several poems tell us how much she loves someone. I really enjoyed the way she strayed from a more traditional format. Instead, Jess chose to take the personal side even farther by using a "journal" or "scrapbook" format. Reading Gossamer Wings and Other Things, you can easily tell she wants to remember these things forever.
The way this book is written and set up, I could easily relate personal experiences and found myself thinking about people I remembered.
Gossamer Wings and Other Things has a combination of rhyme / freeverse and photos / artwork. The way poems are written help us visualize them. Jess goes another step by including the photos / artwork to really take us there.
I have to point out a low point here. Honestly, the Table of Contents is not needed for reasons other than technical. By the third "page", I completely forgot about it. You find yourself going from one poem / thought to the next. Without thinking about what section it is supposed to relate to.
Gossamer Wings and Other Things is a very short book. Including the "standard" sections, I read it in about 20 minutes. 30 while writing parts of this review.
If you are looking for a short book that give you a glimpse of an author's personal side, read it! If you are looking for a book that is not traditional in wording or format, read it! If you want to take a break from the usual genres, read it! Looking for a more traditional book with expected formatting / plot / heroes / etc.? Gossamer Wings and Other Things is not what you are looking for.