Beyond: The Beginning w/ Ari McKay

August 1, 2017

Beyond- The Beginning


Hello, everyone!!!! Ari here, and McKay and I are so excited about today, because it is the release of our latest story, Out of the Ashes. This book is incredibly special to us, not just because of it’s an urban fantasy, but because it is the first book in the new Dreamspun Beyond house line for Dreamspinner Press. To say that we were honored and thrilled to be selected as the lead-off story for the new line is an understatement — both McKay and I felt as though Dreamspinner had handed us the best gift a writer could ever receive!

As most everyone who has read our stories knows, McKay and I are southern girls with a love of setting our tales in the areas we are most familiar with. We both adore the Asheville region, and because it is an area which is both very liberal and friendly to the arts, we thought it would be a fantastic setting for our story. We’d previously written about paranormals in that area, and so we began to build an entire world of supernaturals who live among and yet separate from their human neighbors. We came up with the idea for a Council who acts as informal oversight for the issues the supernatural beings face in being part of a very modern, human world, and like most bureaucracies, we imagined them getting a little… well, hidebound over time. Which is why, as our story opens, both Arden Gilmarin, a half-elf and member of the Council, and Eli Hammond, an alpha werewolf who comes to ask for help, have reason for frustration.

Fortunately for Eli, Arden doesn’t always play by the rules, and has no problem offering his assistance, and that of his friends, to help Eli find out what horror could have left five members of his pack dead and have kidnapped the rest. But Fate is working in very strange ways, as Eli discovers that Arden is his destined mate. Talk about bad timing! Not only is Arden a different species, he looks small and delicate and backwoods Eli thinks of him as a city boy. But even if Arden had been a shapeshifter, Eli’s mind isn’t on romance, and he feels as though Fate is playing a very bad joke on him.

Well, no one ever said that the road to true love, or the path of fated mates, was going to be easy! But they quickly learn that destiny has brought them together for a reason, and that more hangs in the balance than their lives, or the lives of Eli’s pack. They have to learn to appreciate their different strengths and abilities, and learn to trust one another if they’re going to have any hope of saving themselves and everyone they care about from the danger that’s coming.

This first story sets up a conflict that will carry through two more books, and McKay and I are thrilled that we’ve been able to work in actual folklore and mythology from the Asheville region. In particular, there are Native American legends about the mountains and the forests in the area which we’ve woven into our tales, and Arden’s best friend, Whimsy, is a half-Cherokee mage who will get his own story next.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading this story as much as we enjoyed writing it! And since we still have two more stories in Asheville Arcana to go, we want to hear from you! Please comment below and tell us what types of supernatural creatures you enjoy most — we’d love to be able to give cameos to more of your favorites!

Check out Out of the Ashes today!




Dreamspinner Press
Barnes & Noble


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.


Author Bio:

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.



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