Monday, February 24, 2020

Thrillers and Romances with Real Animal Magnetism

A note about the Viral Thrillers Series 

GOD Plague was written in 2018 and Lazarus Rising in 2019. Final edits and manuscript preparation for publishing were completed in January 2020, just as hints of COVID-19 were being whispered around the world. The reality of COVID-19 had no influence in the creation of this Viral Thrillers duology.

I originally released the books on March 1, 2020, but real-world events quickly overwhelmed us all. Conspiracy theories arose around COVID-19 being a bioweapon manufactured in China. The coincidence between that and the underlying premise about the viruses in my books did not escape me. Nor did the ensuing distrust and violence toward Asian-Americans by a small segment of the US population.

This series is fiction. Entertainment. Not a manifesto. Both China and the Chinese characters presented here are based on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ideologies. They bear no reflection on or to the Chinese communities living in America. But I worried that the segment of Americans who felt it appropriate to retaliate against all Asians for a conspiracy theory being touted by certain media outlets might find correlation in these books to fuel their misguided beliefs.

That idea horrified me, and I pulled the books from sale while I waited for the theories to be debunked and the racially motivated attitudes and violence to subside. They didn’t. And for that my heart grieved.

After much reflection, I decided to re-release the books. Because, in the end, these books are about hope. About overcoming not one but two deadly threats. Not so much on the macro scale but at the community level—at the heart of all of us. They’re about loving and caring. They’re about positivism and the fortitude of the human spirit in crisis.

The audience they’re meant for are the readers looking for confidence and competence—in the CDC, in the government, in the essence of humanity—during a time of pandemic.

Plus, I’ve thrown in a few dog heroes to sweeten the deal.

Because—spoiler—while there is endangerment and death in their journeys, both books end with optimism, hope and a strengthening of the ties that bind us to the things we love.

It’s my desire that those ideals—not hate, not othering—become this series’ legacy.


Whether you choose a suspenseful thriller or a romance with a bit of steam, you'll always find animals—wild and tame, acting like real animals—at the heart of Phoenix's books.

Settle in for action and thrills mixed with a little heartbreak, a lot of love and always the feels—with elephants to cheer for, lions to love, giraffes to cry over, or doggos both big and smol who worm their way onto the page and into your heart.

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Paperbacks also available at Amazon.