- Books Out of the Ashes by Ari McKay
Out of the Ashes by Ari McKay
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CC Cat Clontz
Dreamspun Beyond (Book 1) Asheville Arcana (Book 1)
About the Author
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.
August 01, 2017
ePub, Mobi, PDF
Read an excerpt at Dreamspinner Press.
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.
Fantasy Meets Reality
(Updated: August 01, 2017)
I’m a fan of Ari McKay, so I was already predisposed to grabbing their book anyway. BUT… let me just start by saying this – what astounding detail in both world-building and scene environs! I love a good fantasy novel, and when it is a half elf and a wolf shifter with this level of detail, there is no way to not to be intrigued.
Eli is the alpha of a pack in rural Georgia who returns from a mini vacation to find his pack either dead or missing. His pack may not have much financially, but they are a group of twenty five whom Eli feels privileged to care for.
Arden is a centuries-old progressive half elf on the supernatural council who is horrified by Eli’s story, even if the rest of the council doesn’t want to get involved. The resort owner catering to both humans and supernaturals knows that ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.
Set between both magickal forests and human areas, the narrative walks through the disappearance of Eli’s pack and the shocking (to Eli) pairing when Eli realizes Arden is his mate, and he’s not a shifter. There are lots of twists and turns, plots and subplots, and mystery and intrigue around every corner in this book.
The peripheral cast is vast, but the outstanding players are Arden’s best friend Whimsy, a mage, their friend/lover Julian Schaden, a vampire, and Tharn, Eli’s old friend and mentor, who is the alpha of the pack closest to Asheville. Each is engaging separately; combined, they are a wonderful addition to the world-building, providing comedic relief, steadfast loyalty, and excellent dialogue.
Character growth is vast, not only with Eli and Arden, but also with the shifting interrelations of the MCs with the peripheral cast. It is easy to see more coming, and I am looking forward to learning more about these fascinating characters.
The attraction between Eli and Arden seemed rather mild through the first half of the book – right up until the passion exploded. After that (and there isn’t even a steamy sexy times scene at that point!), it was abundantly clear that they both wanted nothing more than to solve the mystery of Eli’s pack and descend into absolute hedonism.
The conclusion put paid to the concerns the mates had regarding their long distance living, a standing controversy through most of the book, and in a lovely way. I was left smiling, heart full, and canting my head a little wondering who will be next.
I’m rating this at 4.5 stars. Out of the Ashes is another success for author duo Ari McKay. I eagerly anticipate the next book in this new series!
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