OS: Welcome to Ari of Ari McKay one of the authors of Out of the Ashes!
Hi there! Ari here, of the writing duo of Ari McKay. Thanks to everyone at Open Skye for hosting us on their blog for the blitz of our new release, Out of the Ashes! We are super excited about our story and about the Dreamspun Beyond line, and we can’t wait for everyone to read our story!
Dreamspun Beyond, like the Dreamspun Desires line, takes favorite tropes, gives them a spin and a happily ever after for that warm fuzzy that everyone enjoys from a feel-good romance. Our story, Out of the Ashes, uses the Fated Mates trope, but we change it up a little bit. Eli Hammond is a big, buff werewolf, but what happens when he finds out he’s destined to be with Arden Gilmarin, a small, almost delicate half-elf? And how can Eli even think about romance when he returns home after a trip to find that several members of his pack have been murdered, and the rest have been kidnapped? For Eli, this isn’t the time to meet his mate, and Arden sure isn’t the mate he would have imagined, but our boys are in for a wild ride as they learn that sometimes destiny knows what they need better than they might have imagined.
We had a lot of fun with the world building for this story. McKay and I both have a love of Asheville, North Carolina, so when we decided to write a paranormal tale, we couldn’t resist setting it in that area. With the surrounding mountains, the nearby Cherokee reservation, several national forests and a distinct set of lore all its own, the mountains of North Carolina practically begged to be the setting for a supernatural community. Thus was the Asheville Paranormal Council born, a group of creatures that live in the area and try to keep their community safe from outside threats, including the humans who live unaware of them in their very midst. From shapeshifters, to elves, to wizards, to dryads and wee folk, the council does its best to deal with the issues of supernatural beings in a modern world. Of course, they can get bogged down in the bureaucracy, as Eli discovers to his annoyance. But when a demon incursion looms, everyone must fight together to protect the area. The over-arching plot that will span three different pairings, but romance is still the central part of the Asheville Arcana tales.
The path to romance isn’t easy for Arden and Eli. They are very different people, from different backgrounds and experience, and Eli’s denial of their bond sets the stage for misunderstanding and doubt. But was the two of them learn to work together, they start to realize that there is something about their very differences that makes them stronger together. But the evil which has taken Eli’s pack is both powerful and ancient, and their efforts to deal with it have put them both in incredible danger — and before it’s all over, Eli is going to have to face hell itself to save his pack and his mate.
We really hope you enjoy the story, and that the wild ride makes you want to come back for more!
In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.
Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.
Except for one man.
As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.
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Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.
Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.
McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748