Interview with {Sarah Ashwood}

“On Earth, Annie’s voice brought her fame and fortune. In Aerisia, it brings her magic, but the cost of that power may mean the destruction of Aerisia itself.”

Hi, Sarah. I’m so glad you’re here! I want to thank you for agreeing to chat with me about your career as a writer and your latest fantasy work. First, though, tell me about you and why you write fantasy. What is it about the genre that you love?

I grew up loving Disney fairytale movies (Sleeping Beauty was my favorite), and that drew me into loving and reading fairytales. Loving fairytales drew me into loving fairytale related themes, such as knights and castles, warriors, dragons, fairies, etc. Along with that, a favorite book of mine growing up was the time travel book Max and Me and the Time Machine by Gery Greer, where two boys buy a time machine and accidentally travel to 12thcentury England. Actually, I still love that book! It sort of introduced me to the idea of travelling back and forth between worlds. As I got older, I fell into Lord of the Rings, Robert Jordan, and others of the fantasy greats. All of these things together produced an enduring love of the fantasy genre, specifically portal fantasy, which is what I tend to write. I guess the main things about fantasy that I love is how it combines a little bit of everything!

What inspired your latest new release? Tell me about those characters. Fairy Book.jpg

Several things inspired it. I enjoyed the male MC, Cole, so much in my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy where he was a side character that I wanted to tell his story. He is Simathe, which is a non-human race of immortal warriors in my fantasy world, Aerisia. At first glance, the Simathe appear very cold and dispassionate and emotionless, but if you dig deeper you see they have a strong sense of honor and are committed to the preservation of their homeland, even if their methods are sometimes considered suspect by outsiders. Out of all my Simathe, Cole was the most…outgoing, I guess you could say? And I wanted to showcase him in his own book.

 Also, in this new series, which is related to my first Aerisia trilogy, I wanted to take a closer look at some of Aerisia’s unique races and their worlds. Aerisian Refrain, the first book of my brand-new Beyond the Sunset Lands series,delves heavily into the world of Aerisia’s fairies, their mysteries and their magic. Subsequent books in the series will deal with the Moonkind, people of the moon; the Warkin/Dragonkind, people who live with dragons; and then the Simathe culture itself.

Lastly, I wanted to explore a connection between music and magic, so I created the female MC, Annie Richards. She’s a powerhouse singer/entertainer on Earth, who is brought to Aerisia by creatures straight out of her nightmares. Here, she discovers the power behind her voice is magic, the legacy of creatures long-banished from Aerisia. Along with all this, Annie is part Cherokee, so I really enjoyed waving aspects of Cherokee folklore into this book as a celebration of her heritage. 

As a writer, what is the hardest part of the creative process for you?

Whew. Well, finding time to write when my kids—3 boys, ages 6, 4, and 2—are otherwise occupied. Like at naptime or bedtime.

What feeds your creativity? What do you do if you have writer’s block? Does that happen to you?

I would say reading and music both feed my creativity. Also working out and running. That really freshens my mind, I think. If I get writer’s block, going for a nice run will open my mind. If I can’t get out of the house to run, I’ve been known to find inspiration while housecleaning. Honestly, just the act of getting up and moving around helps.

What’s the most interesting place you’ve been?

Oh my, that’s hard to say. I’ve actually visited 49 of the 50 United States, so I’ve been lots of interesting places. The giant Sequoias in California, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, Niagara Falls, and the Grand Canyon are some of my favorite places I’ve visited.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

Oh Rome, for sure. I’m obsessed with the ancient Roman Empire. It’s a life goal to visit Rome someday.

What do you hope readers take away from your books?

Good feelings, I hope. Also a sense of good triumphing over evil. I deal with some hard issues in my books, but I do not like sad endings, so I never plan to write a book that leaves readers with a sense of hopelessness or despair. We have enough of that in real life.

Remind me once more about your latest release and where we can find your books.

My latest release is Aerisian Refrain. It’s the first book in a brand new series, Beyond the Sunset Lands. Although it is related to my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, you don’t have to have read the one to enjoy or understand the other.

Brief description: “On Earth, Annie’s voice brought her fame and fortune. In Aerisia, it brings her magic, but the cost of that power may mean the destruction of Aerisia itself.”

You can find all of my books here on my website!


Author pic 2About Sarah Ashwood

Don’t believe all the hype. Sarah Ashwood isn’t really a gladiator, a Highlander, a fencer, a skilled horsewoman, an archer, a magic wielder, or a martial arts expert. That’s only in her mind. In real life, she’s a genuine Okie from Muskogee who grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma and holds a B.A. in English from American Military University. She now lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and three sons, where she tries to sneak in a daily run or workout to save her sanity and keep her mind fresh for her next story.

Sarah’s works include the Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy and the fantasy novella Amana.

To keep up to date with Sarah’s work and new releases, sign up for her newsletter. You can also visither website, or find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Instagram, and Twitter.


You can also read some of Sarah’s marvelous work here.

Let Freedom Read

Special Independence Day Edition!

Please check price before purchase.

FREE

Sidequest: In Realms Ungoogled

Lucent Sylph: A Short Story

In the Enemy’s Service

Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset

99 Cents

The Big Bang: The Lonesome George Chronicles Book One

Biker: The Bad Road Rising Book One

Mad Jones, Heretic: The Accidental Prophet Book One

Red the Wolf Tracker

Chasing Freedom

Traits of Darkness

Murder on New Year’s Eve

Phantoms

Christmas at Dumpster Corral

Forged Steel: An Underworld Mythos Novel

Goblin Stories

Sword’s Edge

 

The Light Leads to Love {Release Day}

Happy Release Day, Reflections of Faith Anthology Authors!

 

A mother comes face to face with the woman who would have murdered her baby.

A child who’s been betrayed by everyone hurts the only man who’s ever shown her kindness.

A teen stands at the crossroads of his impulses and his convictions.

A reformed addict needs help from a total stranger to protect her child.

Love lies at the heart of the Christian’s journey, but in moments of crisis, love often seems the most difficult of the virtues. In this anthology, nine of the brightest voices in independent Christian fiction offer novelettes about individuals at the crossroads, and the opportunities they have to respond with Christian love in all its forms.

“By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”

Whether it’s a grieving husband or a girl dead before her time, each soul finds itself face to face with a choice: follow Christ’s toughest commandment, or remain focused on oneself.

Join these nine authors on a journey into the most difficult facet of the Christian life, but the one by which Christ Himself promised we would be recognized.

Patricia Bell · Faith Blum · Bokerah Brumley · A-M Frisby · Dyanne Gordon Green · Jane Lebak · Leila Tualla · Robin Merrill · C.L. Wells

Download The Light Leads to Love

NOW FREE for ALL eReaders

 


For a limited time, you can also get

Where the Light May Lead (Reflections of Faith Book 1) and

The Light Leads to Hope and Peace (Reflections of Faith Book 2) for only 0.99 each.

 

Wicked Magic: 6 Novels Plus 2 Bonus Novellas {C. Gockel}

Now for a little something different … If you like paranormal reading, you just might like this!

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A little bit of wickedness can be so much fun …

Six novels and two bonus novellas of twisted magical tales with romance, adventure, and enchantment. Meet trickster fae, dark elves, mercurial heroes, faery queens, southwestern witches, shifters, draghans, and vampires. See the Devil himself get his due and fall in love, right along with these extraordinary heroes and heroines.

None of these stories are available anywhere else, and this is a special limited-time curated collection. Don’t miss any of the wicked fun — download it today!

About the Books
Soul Marked ~ C. Gockel
From the USA Today bestselling author of I Bring the Fire. When Tara finds a man passed out in her alley she hopes he’s just a junkie … and then she sees his pointed ears.

Sympathy for the Devil ~ Christine Pope
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Witches of Cleopatra Hill series. The Devil has never met a bargain he didn’t like…but he might have met his match in one mortal woman.

Queen Mab ~ Kate Danley
MCDOUGALL PREVIEWS AWARD-BEST FANTASY OF THE YEAR. When Faunus, the god of daydreams, breaks the heart of Queen Mab, revenge is the only answer. But when this bitter fairy queen meets a gentleman named Mercutio, she will do anything, even if it means destroying the world, to save him.

Wicked Grove ~ by Alexia Purdy
As operatives of the elite Wicked Grove Supernatural Regulatory Agency, three fiercely independent and unstoppable siblings, Amy, Jay, and Craig, know the risks that come with the job. Get contaminated by one of the magicals, and you’re screwed. Scratched by a werewolf? You’re going to be howling come full moon. Bitten by a vampire? You might as well stamp “bloodsucker” on your face. You certainly won’t be welcomed at the agency anymore. It’s a no-brainer.

Elfhame ~ by Anthea Sharp
From USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp, a richly-imagined fantasy romance uniting an adventurous young woman and a fearsome Dark Elf warrior, in a magical tale reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast.

Flame and Form ~ Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
When Brienne intervenes on behalf of a draghan from the realm of Firiehn, she only means to save the creature from certain death. What Brie doesn’t realize, however, is that this monster is a shapeshifter capable of transforming into a man, one whose presence heats her blood like draghan fire.

No Man’s Land ~ Debra Dunbar
Kelly is left for dead, a horribly injured vampire dumped in hostile territory. Her only hope for survival is a kindly werewolf who is more than she seems.

Magic in the Blood ~ Kat Parrish
When the shadow of dark magic falls on the small border town where she lives, Aixa Riley—the latest in a long line of “red witches”—summons her own powers to protect those she loves from the forces set in motion by the alliance of a dangerous sorceress and an ambitious drug lord.

 

Add it to your Kindle library. Click-click-boom. (:

Guest Post by {T.J. Akers}

I’m so happy to have T.J. Akers, author of The Final Paladin-The Key of Apollyon, with us today. I read The Final Paladin, and I must say I LOVED it! Peg was such an amazing character, and I loved the way the story worked within and added unique twists to historical mythology. Just look at the beauty below. You’ll love it! 

Take it away, T.J.!Final-Paladin-by-TJ-Akers

 

My name is T.J. Akers, and I’m the author of The Final Paladin–The Key of Apollyon. I enjoy myths and legends regardless of their origin, such as Greek, European, Norse, Hindu, African, American Colonial, Native American, Russian, and World History. It was when I went back to college that I started paying closer attention to mythologies when I took an Early British Literature class. My interest in myths is more related to my interests in language and culture. Understand a culture’s stories, and you can gain insight in how that culture thinks and what they value. Once you understand those things, it’s much easier to get along.

I do have a Christian worldview, and sometimes I get asked why I write stories with such characters, and I don’t mind that question a bit. I write to entertain people first and foremost, so I’m writing these things in hopes giving my readers a fun time, but the thing I believe was put best by Madeleine L’Engle: “Truth is what is true, and it’s not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous.”

To me, myths are all about truth, and because I believe that there is a thing such as Ultimate Truth, looking at myths and folklore become an exercise in looking at other worldviews. My hope is that The Final Paladin will become popular enough to write a lengthy series in which I use all the paranormal and supernatural tropes from Western Literature.

The first novel was intended to be a fairy tale, and I wanted to use the questing knight trope that goes back as far as the late thirteenth century and sprinkle all kinds of European myths into it. Some things I used were recent, others older, but most everything I used have their roots in Welsh, British, Germanic, and Irish tales. Of course, I like to shorten them all by calling them Germanic.

Allow me to start with the most obvious myth: Five Points in New York City. The infamous ghetto lasted for nearly a full century and is very iconic with history buffs. Of course, I play a little fast and loose with the time period. I start the series in 1870, and while it’s true the commercial use of mechanical sewing machines existed, the most infamous history of the sewing “sweat shops” is from the 1890s. I start Peg out working in sweatshop. Of course, the next book in the series, City of the Dead, will go back to Five Points. I’m so looking forward to it.

 

The Morrigu

1 Morrigu

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / Inantangliel

 

She is sometimes called Morrigan, she can be three women, or one. Most of the details about her depend on who was telling the story. That is something to consider when you study myths, because many cultures depended on oral tradition, and not a written tradition. The details can vary depending on who was telling the story, and what time period. In Celtic myth, the Morrigan was a goddess of war; in other myths, she was a harbinger of imminent death. Thought I’m not a fan of Wikipedia, the article there on the Morrigan is very thorough and well cited. Her role varied, but she appears the most in one of the four Irish cycles of myth known as the Ulster Cycle (8th-11th century oral tradition preserved in 12th century manuscripts). Probably, she would have actually been spoken about in poetic narrative, but how myths change from group to group, or time period to time period, is very interesting. The link below is one of the versions of the Morrigu myth.

 

 

 

The Black Dog

 

2 Black Dog

 

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / VAC

 

I love my character Jack, the black dog. His myth comes from the British Isles, but no one is quite sure if it was Germanic or Celtic. The legend went by many names like Hairy Jack, Padfoot, Churchyard Beast, Cu Sith, Galleytrot, Bogey Beast, and Grimm. For my story, Jack turns into a black dog, a dog the size of a cow. I don’t really get to do a lot of backstory on him, but Godfrey rescued him being mistreated in the Iberian Peninsula at the hands of the Caliphate’s troops. Jack is rescued, but not before they cut out his tongue. The fun thing about novels, if enough people are interested, I can always write about these other characters later. The following video covers some good information, but I warn you, the person doing this is a bit creepy.

 

 

 

Pixies Mounted on Corgis

3 Corgi

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / CaptureLight

 

I love corgis, and as dogs go, they are so adorable. They have a mythic origin from the country of Wales. In fact, one of my sources states that “gi” is Welsh for dog and “cor” is Welsh for dwarf. In Welsh traditions, corgis were rode into battle by fairies, or they pulled carts for elves. I’ve found other references where they are mentioned as the farm dogs of choice by Vikings. The inspiration for my wolfings were the Swedish Vallhund or sometimes called Wolf Corgis.

 

 

Paladins

4 Frankish Knight

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / marzolino

 

A lot of people love tales of knights, and I’m no different. For The Final Paladin, I didn’t choose a Templar (on the cover), a Teutonic Knight, or draw upon Arthurian legend. Instead, I used the Paladins of Charlemagne as my inspiration.

 

One of my main characters in The Final Paladin is Sir Godfrey. He was part of Charlemagne’s united Western Kingdom in the 8th century, but more specifically, of Germanic origin. Originally, the Paladins were comrades of Charlemagne’s vassal Roland. The literary character of Roland was based on Hruodland, a courtier mentioned by Charlemagne’s personal biographer. Roland stories were incredibly popular in the middle ages. Roland had twelve peers that made up the intrepid band of Paladins.

 

 

The Land of Fairy

5 Fairy

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / Goga

 

Like other novelists, I include the fairy courts of Winter and Summer. The Independent Fae (sometimes called Trooping Fairies, but that depends on who you ask) are present as well. Again, depending on who’s telling the story, the Unseelie court (Winter) is comprised of dark fairies, or the real mean ones. The Seelie court (Summer) is more benevolent, at least to a point. If you draw upon many of the Welsh tales, you would find that fairies were the last thing you wanted to bump into while walking through the forest at night. I have two queens borrowed from literature, Titania and Maab, which come from Shakespeare, but the concept of fairy courts go back a long way.

 

 

 

The Gray King and His Daughter

6 Gray King

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / marzolino

 

According to Das Kloster vol 9, Jacob Grimm believed the word ellekonge, or King of the elves, and the female spirit, elverkongens datter, originated from the Danish language. The daughter was responsible for ensnaring humans to satisfy her desires, jealousy, or lust for revenge. The New Oxford American Dictionary describes the Erlking as a “bearded giant or goblin who lures little children to the land of death.” Johann Wolfgang von Geothe wrote a version of the Erlking where the creature prays on children and not adults. Goethe’s portrayal relates the character to a force of death as opposed to a mere magical spirit.

 

For me, I enjoyed creating Auntie, based off the Gray King’s daughter, and she is probably my favorite character in the whole novel.

 

Chim, the Hobgoblin

7 Hobgoblin

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / DDniki

 

In Welsh accounts, hobgoblins were small, hairy little men found in human dwelling, doing odd jobs around the house while the family sleeps. Some legends have them living upstairs, while their close cousins, brownies, lived downstairs. Usually, the only thing the wee folk wanted in return for work was food. Brownies were a little more peaceful while hobgoblins were fond of practical jokes. The hobgoblins of Caledonia were seafaring and would sometimes turn into bogarts or bogey men. Sometimes hobgoblins were shapeshifters. Chim is probably my second favorite character in the novel.

 

I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of the myths and legends behind The Final Paladin.

 

—T.J. Akers

 

T.J. Akers desires to be a multimillionaire when he grows up and give his wealth to his
favorite causes: churches, schools, and animal shelters. Since the millions have been slow in coming, he’s settled for working as a computer technician for a state university and volunteering at his church and local animal shelter. Whenever possible, he indulges his love of writing stories to entertain people, especially younger readers.

Akers holds a Masters of English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and can often be found roaming the university’s library, especially the children’s and young adult
sections. Librarians have always been his heroes.He lives with his beloved wife of thirty years, his dog, and two cats. The dog is an excellent writing companion, but the cats have proven to be rather critical.

Learn more at http://www.tjakers.com.

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Purchase The Final Paladin

Kindle Giveaway + 15 Fantasy eBooks

FantasyGiveaway

Enter to win a new Kindle eReader, PLUS fifteen (15) fantasy eBooks.

In addition to the awesome All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6” Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, one lucky winner will receive…

Echo of the High Kings by Kal Spriggs.

Fade by Daniel Humphreys

Doctor to Dragons by Scott G. Huggins

Who’s Afraid of the Dark? by Russell Newquist

Brotherly Envy by S.D. McPhail

Scales: A Mermaid Tale by Pauline Creeden

Honor by Rachel Rossano

Fallen Emrys: Niawen’s Story by Lisa Rector

Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset by Sarah Ashwood

Playing With Magic by Carrie L. Wells

Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds

Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden

Got To Be a Hero by Paul Duffau

The Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Cymri

From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings by Heather Hayden

By entering this giveaway, you acknowledge that your email addresses will be added to the newsletter email lists of ALL FIFTEEN (15) participating authors. You will receive email from them, but never spam.

ENTER HERE

Entries accepted until September 18, 2017.

Spring Fling Mega Gift Card Giveaway

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We’re Treating Readers to a Spring Fling!
with a Mega Gift Card Giveaway April 2-24
and Facebook Hop April 21-24

Enter for the chance to win $1250 in Amazon Gift Cards!

Sponsored by the 77 authors listed below

Constance Phillips • Debbie White • Tamara Lush • Nancy Segovia • Helen Smith • Stella Marie Alden • Alyson Hale • Shirley Hailstock • Dena Garson • Ava Bradley • Tamara Ferguson • Lynda Haviland • Eva Chase • Ashlee Price • Allyson R Abbott • Phoebe Rose • Ysa Arcangel • Tee Garner • Jennifer Allis Provost • Rachel Woods • Amelia James • Jacqueline Diamond • Marsha A. Moore • Siera London • Emily Leigh • Aileen Harkwood • Jenna Barwin • Tara Lain • Christa Paige • Cynthia A Clement • Marie Booth • Hope Welsh • Sarah Fischer • Marie Johnston • Anne Renwick • Brea Viragh • Gayle Parness • Trish McCallan • Aubrey Wynne • JD Monroe • Sharon Kay • Elizabeth Rose • H. D. Thomson • Amy Brent • Caitlyn Blue • Margo Bond Collins • Bokerah Brumley • Felicia Beasley • Amy L Gale • Olivia Wildenstein • Tracie E. Christian • Patricia M Jackson • Kristy Tate • Astrid Arditi • Lisa Mondello • Cassie Alexander • Lori L. Robinett • Amanda Uhl • Melissa Belle • Josie Riviera • Layla Messner • Bree Dahlia • Cherie Claire • Barbara Barrett • M. Black • Lizbeth Selvig • Cailin Briste • Mia Ford • Bambi Lynn • Roxanne Snopek • Stacy Gold • Alex Gordon • Kristine Smith • Marianna Baker • Greta Boris • Oliver Chase • Allison Gatta

One entry signs you up to each of our newsletters. You can also earn extra entries by signing up for our newsletters early, before the giveaway ends on April 24 (don’t worry, you won’t be double subscribed).

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway

Be sure to also join us for our Facebook Hop April 21-24, when we will have 77 gift cards for you to enter to win. That’s a gift card at every stop! Plus a bonus giveaway for the winner’s choice of an Amazon Echo Dot or Kindle Fire. For more info, visit the Hop website https://megagiftcardhop.wordpress.com/ .

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