Blog Tour: Out of the Ashes by Ari McKay

Ari of Ari McKay is here today to talk about their return to the paranormal genre with Out of the Ashes, the first in their new series and the first in the new Dreamspun Beyond line!

They're taking the Cracky Fluff outside the box!

Hi there! This is Ari, half of the writing duo Ari McKay, and we’re both very grateful to the folks at Boy Meets Boy Reviews for having us back on their blog to promote our latest release, Out of the Ashes. McKay and I are very excited about this book for a great many reasons, not the least of which is that it returns us to the supernatural genre, which is where we met and began writing together almost 14 years ago. It’s also the debut novel for the new Dreamspun Beyond house line, and the first novel in our Asheville Arcana series. Lots of new things to come, but for McKay and I, this is a return to the roots which initially brought us together.

One of the best things about writing in the paranormal genre is that it removes a writer’s boundaries, allowing a freedom that simply isn’t possible in other genres. This is both a powerful and terrifying tool; on the one hand, the sky is the limit as far as plot, characterization, and the rules the universe operates under but on the other, it imparts a serious responsibility to be careful and consistent in following those rules -- and that the characters have to be created more carefully, so that they are relatable and believable to the reader.

Which, of course, brings us around to Out of the Ashes! McKay and I were definitely careful with the rules of our fantasy universe. We tried to balance the mundane and the fantastic in a way that made sense. So creatures like werewolves and vampires and elves and dwarves all exist, but they are much fewer in number than normal humans, and most humans are unaware of their existence. The reason we set it up that way was to make sure that our arcane beings didn’t overwhelm the “real” world, because the effect we are going for is that we want you, the reader, to see our creation as something that could exist right here and now. Is that gorgeous, buff guy walking down the street with a swagger an alpha werewolf? How about that lovely woman sitting in the coffee shop - did you perhaps catch a glimpse of a pointed ear beneath her hair? When your cat is staring at nothing with such intensity, might a spirit be standing in the room, unseen by human eyes? Well, we’d like to think so -- and it’s certainly fun to consider it possible!

Our characters reflect the duality of their world. Arden Gilmarin, a half elf, is respected in both the paranormal and normal communities because he makes it a point to exist as part of both. Eli Hammond, as an alpha werewolf, is less a part of the mundane world, but he can move within it, and he knows humans are not equipped to deal with issues in the supernatural world. So when he returns home to find part of his pack murdered and the rest missing, he turns to the Paranormal Council in Asheville for help, knowing that human law enforcement won’t have any idea of how to cope with the situation.

And that is where the story begins. While the trope is Fated Mates, the central theme is duality and difference. Human/supernatural, elf/werewolf, magical/non-magical, rich/poor, angelic/demonic, and, most prominently, good vs. evil. As Eli has to learn, it is only through embracing his other half that together they will find the strength to defeat the enemy threatening all they both hold dear.


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.


See our Group Review of Out of the Ashes HERE

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