S.D. Grimm’s Writing Playlist | Phoenix Fire

Amazon | Entangled
Amazon | Entangled

About Phoenix Fire:

After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Now… onto the Phoenix Fire playlist! 

I just wanted to say thank you to EverAfter Romance for having me on the blog today!! Y’all are awesome.

So I love music. I love how it elicits so many emotions and feelings. I love when lyrics and music line up in perfect harmony. And I have a ton of respect for song writers. Yes. I am one of those writers who listens to music while I write.

I actually have playlists for all of my books that I listen to while writing and make public once the books are published. happy dance Exciting right? So when I had a chance to talk to you guys about some of the songs I listened to while writing Phoenix Fire and how they line up with some of the raw emotions and feelings and themes in the book, I could not turn that down.

YAY! So, are you ready? I’m going to share with you the song and then the most meaningful line from it so you can see some of the ways music weaves into my writing. (If I were a cartoon, hearts would be sprouting from my eye sockets right now. Okay that sounds worse written out. Basically I’m so excited to share this!!) Oh! And if you want to listen along, my playlist is public on Spotify!

Song: “In the Light” by Full Blown Rose

Basically this whole song sets the stage beautifully because Phoenix Fire is about a girl who desperately needs change and to change, but feels as though she’s too far for hope to reach her anymore.

Most meaningful line: “Rising up, I change before your eyes. How the darkness faded in the light, light. Hand of hope come and change me. Out of ashes make me whole.”
Song: “I Don’t Know Why” by Imagine Dragons

Most meaningful line: “We could be strangers in the night. We could be passing in the shadows. We couldn’t be closer if we tried. When we’re caught in the headlights.”

So Ava and her love interest collide at the start of this story when he saves her from being run over by a car. And so the start of this song is a perfect picture for that, plus their love totally is dangerous. (sly grin.)


Song: “Tidal Wave” by The Illustrated

Ooh! I love this one because as Ava starts to remember her past cycles as a Phoenix, they are coming out in dreams and visions. And she is feeling confused. And the beachy sounds at the beginning are a setting bonus. It’s just perfect.

Most meaningful line: “I wanna know why I’m having these dreams. Take me back to the earlier days when I was young. And I felt brave then.”


Song: “Phoenix Burn” by Alpha Rev

Most meaningful: “Love will heal us, give us our freedom.”

To be honest, this whole book is about love. Love for family. Love for friends. Love for the person we’ve been in love with for centuries . . . and the fact that it’s also a song about Phoenixes makes it perfect.


Song: “State of Grace” by Taylor Swift

Most meaningful line: “So you were never a saint and I’ve loved in shades of wrong. We learn to live with the pain. Mosaic broken hearts. But this love is brave and wild.”

Gah!! This song and these characters. There has been so much heartache and pain the past from certain things being forbidden. And this song brings that raw desire and emotion forward.


Song: “1000 Years” by Bleu and KT Tunstall

Most meaningful lyrics: “In a thousand years I know that our love will still be here.”

Does this need explanation? 😉 Phoenixes. Undying love. Poetry. (heart eyes resurface.)


Song: “The Fellowship” by Smashing Pumpkins

Most meaningful lyrics: “Are you with us or against us tonight.”

When hunting monsters, it’s good to know who has your back. But as memories of the past return, everything slips into shades of gray. And those whom characters thought were loyal, might not be…


Song: “Immortals” by Fall Out Boy

Most meaningful line: “They say we are what we are, but we don’t have to be.”

Basically this whole song. The angst! But really, the past doesn’t have to define you. But sometimes making choices to learn from the past and change are so hard. And that’s what at least one character in particular struggles with so much.


Song: “The Hunt” by Yael Meyer

Most meaningful lyrics: “We’re the hunters. We are the run. It burns inside us. We’ll bleed as one.”

The poetry of this and the book is probably best observed after you read the whole thing, but these Phoenixes are sent to protect humankind from things that go bump in the night. So the monster hunting is a part of who they are. And the trust and loyalty that goes with letting someone protect your back is a huge theme in the book.


Song: “Back to the Start” by Mr Little Jeans

Most meaningful lyrics: “Hide all your secrets in the dark. You try to run but you fall apart. Stripped of the armor that you wear. Life’s but a humblin’ affair.”

As the characters start to recall things they’ve done in the past, it’s pretty painful at times. And facing those monsters of who they are—who they were—brings up a lot of darkness they have to fight through.


Song: “Warrior” by Beth Crowley

Most meaningful line: “I finally see what you knew was inside me all along.”

Ava has to learn to become a warrior, but also to trust what others are telling her about herself. The moment she does is beautiful. ☺


Song: “The Wolf” by Mumford & Sons

Most meaningful lyrics: “Sheltered, you better keep the wolf back from the door. He wanders ever closer every time.”

As monster hunters, I loved the idea of this song playing on not only werewolves hunting them, but also the past.  


Song: “Feel the Same” by Candlelight Red

Most meaningful lyrics: “While I was busy guarding myself with my doubt, you could always somehow figure me out.”

Aaaahhhhh! I love this song. I love this moment that Ava realizes that some of these people she’s been pushing away truly love her.


Song: “Dangerous Man” by Little Dume

Most meaningful line: “I’m a light inside the darkness. There’s a spark in me.”

Can I just call this Wyatt’s song and be done with it? I LOVE this song. It’s so perfect.


Song: “The Power of Love” by Gabrielle Aplin

Most meaningful line: “Love is the light scaring the darkness away. I’m so in love with you.”

YES! This song. Okay, this book is about the battle between light and darkness about embracing or running from love. And this song drives that home. So beautifully.


Song: “Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace

Most meaningful line: “Somebody get me through this nightmare.”

The heartbreak that comes from recalling the past and making bad choices comes back to bite some of the characters, and there are feels. So many.


Song: “Never Say Never” by The Fray

Most meaningful: “But time and time again. Younger now than we were before.”

Because of time restrictions and stronger villains, our heroes have less time to try and defeat the rising evil than they have in the past. They are younger in experience and memory. In trust and knowledge. And yet they have to rely on the puzzle pieces of the past that they have this time.


Song: “Redemption” by Redlight King

Most meaningful: “When this life tries to break us and beat us down, they send the beast just to push us around. We might exist with one foot in the grave. This life ain’t over; we still got something to save.”

It’s just that perfect song for the heroic push at the end because all those lyrics are true. The stakes are high and they are still being counted on to save everyone.


Song: “Worth Fighting For” by Emily Hearn

Most meaningful line: “There’s a peace in the morning of starting new, so when you hear hope calling, see it through.”

Remember at the beginning of this when I said Ava was past the point of believing hope would reach her? Never underestimate the reach of hope. Never underestimate the power of hope. And when you lose it, find those who will let you have some of theirs.

So there you have it! The emotional journey in music. I hope you enjoyed this and check out my playlist while reading the book of you want! Cheers!


Author Bio:

S.D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction, which is to be expected from someone who looks up to heroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, has been sorted into Gryffindor, and identifies as rebel scum. Her patronus is a red Voltron lion, her spirit animal is Toothless, and her favorite meal is second breakfast.She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency, her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog, and you can learn more about her upcoming novels at

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