Heroines of Fantasy: Miss August

Welcome to our monthly feature of kick-ass fantasy heroines. This month, in honor of the movie release, we’ll be taking a look at Clary Fray from Cassandra Clare’s bestselling YA series, The Mortal Instruments. The movie adaptation of the first book, City of Bones, releases August 21. (Anyone excited?)

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Clary Fray

Clary is a fifteen-year-old girl who witnesses a murder at a night club. Yet she’s the only one who can see the victim and the teenage perpetrators. Clary has the Sight, which means she can see the supernatural hiding among us. She also happens to be the child of two Shadowhunters, a race of humans who fight demons. When her mother is attacked by a demon, Clary finds herself thrown into a world she was born into, but that her mother hid her from all these years. She meets Jace Wayland, a Shadowhunter boy and the two fall in love. (Bad news when they both find out they share the same absent father. Oops.)

Clary is a tough girl, driven to confront the strange and terrifying world of the Shadowhunters in order to save her mom from a magical coma. She’s an artist with a talent for drawing, an ability that manifests itself supernaturally when she is able to invent magical runes by drawing them. She battles her growing love for Jace as the two also fight their biological father, Valentine, a traitor to the Shadowhunters and bent on destruction. No high school drama here, just bloody fights to the death against demons risen from hell.

The Mortal Instruments and the spin-off, The Infernal Devices, are stupendous series I recommend to everyone.


Quick note to those following the Supernatural Sleuth series. I apologize for having two weeks between postings, but last week I was writing the conclusion after the votes, and this week was the first Monday of August, which demanded a Heroine of Fantasy post. Fret not, I will be posting the conclusion to Paige’s adventure next week.


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Heroines of Fantasy: Miss February

This is the second post for our brand new series on this blog called Heroines of Fantasy. Every month we’ll feature a strong, kick-ass heroine from books, movies, or television series. Today we’re tipping our hat to YA book lovers with Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series.

Rose Hathaway

Seventeen-year-old Rose Hathaway is a dhampir—half human, half vampire. Dhampirs/Guardians have one purpose: protect Moroi (good, mortal vampires) from Strigoi (very evil, immortal vampires). Her best friend, Lissa, is a Moroi princess, and the two share a unique psychic bond that allows Rose to mentally eavesdrop on Lissa’s thoughts, feelings, and whereabouts. That would make Rose an excellent guardian for Lissa–if only the dhampir would stop breaking the rules. Even though she’s a student, she can’t help falling for her guardian combat mentor, Dimitri. (And let’s face it, who can blame her? He’s tall, roguishly handsome, a skilled fighter, and has a sexy Russian accent.)

Rose has a bit of a temper, especially when it comes to protecting her best friend. Don’t insult Lissa, or you will likely end up with a broken nose. Try to kill her, get a stake through the heart. Rose is sarcastic and quick-thinking (my kind of girl). With super human strength and speed, she is one bad-ass chick.

Rose isn’t just tough physically. Because of her psychic connection to Lissa, Rose absorbs the dark side effects of Lissa’s Spirit gift. They call it “shadow-kissed.” Rose’s soul walks a fine line between life and death, but her love for her friends keeps her going. And she’ll do anything for them, including cross an ocean when her beloved Dimitri is taken by Strigoi. She has no respect for orders or rules when they go against her instinct to protect those she cares about. But in a life or death fight with undead, blood sucking monsters, or a cat fight in the halls of high school, there’s no one better to have on your side.


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Author Spotlight: Alica McKenna Johnson

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Alica McKenna Johnson to the blog.  She just released her first YA fantasy.  Congrats!  Here’s a little about the book.

Sara’s dream is to find her family but she doesn’t count on discovering magical creatures or catching on fire. On her fourteenth birthday a surprise inheritance changes her appearance, abilities, and identity. Welcomed into the family of the Phoenix she is taught to use her new powers. Will Sara embrace being a Child of Fire or will the evil that killed her parents destroy her as well?


I personally love the phoenix myth.  What made you choose it as the focus for your book?

Phoenixes have a lot of different gifts and there are myths about them all over the world, which made them more dynamic to work with. They also had myths about shifting into humans, which made it easier for them to mate with humans. 🙂

Will this be a series?

Yes, my editor is making me plot it out right now, which as a pantser is a challenge. So far to get all the elements I want I’ll need to write eight or nine books.

Wow!  You’ve got a lot ahead of you.  If your book was turned into a movie, who would play your top characters?

Wow- such a fun question. Wait a second I must confer with hubby. Okay because my main characters are so young- Sara is fourteen at the start of the book, I’d love to have some new actors. One thing I would insist on is they are the correct race, it makes me mad when they cast actors of different ethnic backgrounds for roles.  But for some of my older characters let’s see. I would adore it if Nathan Fillion or Huge Laurie played Philip, Karl Yun for Shin, Kareena Kapoor for Anali, and for Gavin, James Marsden.

But to be honest, I’m much more interested in watching or hand picking who will be preforming all the circus stunts. 🙂

Lol, sounds like you’ll need your own Cirque Du Soleil.  Which authors have influenced you the most?  Not necessarily in writing style, but in any form of inspiration.

There are so many amazing authors out there with great stories of trials, struggles, and success. But in all honesty a wonderful group of fan fiction authors was a huge influence. Not only did all the differences in their stories teach me so much about writing but the support I got from that community as a newbie author was amazing.

As an author, what’s your biggest fear?

Of course I am scared of the first negative review and I know I’ll get one, I won’t be able to make everyone happy. But my real fear is being slammed for grammar and spelling mistakes. I suck at grammar and spelling, it is my greatest weakness as an author and why I am so grateful to Kilian Metcalf for all of her time and patience in helping me edit my book.

I think a lot of people assume that being a good storyteller means automatic grammar skills.  Gotta love our editors!  What aspect of writing are you currently working on improving in your own craft?

My pacing and balancing my description whore tendencies.

Haha, I’m working on adding more description!  You went the self-publishing route—want to tell us a little about your decision?

Mainly I’m a control freak, and didn’t want someone messing with my book to meet ‘current industry standards’, especially since even after trimming my book is 98,000 words. Also because of how much work even traditionally published authors have to do on their own to promote themselves I decided to try and do it on my own.

I can definitely relate.  What activities do you enjoy when you’re not writing?

I love watching movies, especially foreign films. I go for hikes with my family. Hit the gym with a friend several times a week. And of course reading.

Your book is YA Fantasy—is there another genre you’d like to write in the future?

To give myself a break between book 2 and 3, and honestly because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for book 3, I’m working on a contemporary paranormal romance. I’m calling it Poltergeist meets Ghost Adventures.

I also have story ideas for other contemporary and gay romance stories all with paranormal/ metaphysical themes.

Ooh, sounds fun!  I love the cover—who designed it?

Thank you, I’m thrilled with it. My hubby designed and painted it for me. After years of listening to me talk about my story and characters he had a clear idea of what he wanted it to look like and it’s perfect.

That is so neat!  Will he be designing subsequent covers? 

Yes, he’s working on a back cover for the print version, and he has ideas for book 2- eventually I guess I’ll have to think of a title.

(I’m stealing this last question from my interview with Alica.  :-P)  What mad-ass survival skill do you have?

Does marrying someone with mad-ass survival skills count? And my son has done survival training so I know how to surround myself with bad ass-ness LOL! Um let’s see, I have more helping-rebuild-society skills. I can knit and know how to help a woman give birth- if there aren’t major problems.

Lol, yeah, that counts.  Thanks for hanging out over here today!

Angela thank you so much for having me- these have been great questions and super fun to try and figure out!


You can find Alica on her Blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Her book can be found at Smashwords and Amazon.

Got a question for Alica?  Do you love phoenix stories?  I love hearing from you!