Hello & Welcome!
Today I’m happy to introduce Dena Garson author of When Ash Remains. Dena, Thank you for visiting Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and speaking with me today.
What genre(s) do you write in and how did you choose to write in them?
I write what I love to read – romance. That includes contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, and now a combo of paranormal & historical romance. I can’t really say I chose to write in them – I just write the stories that speak to me.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I read whenever I can. And I have a huge collection of beads and love to make beaded jewelry and accessories.
What is your favorite quote?
Oooo – that’s a tough one. I collect quotes. They’re all over my hard drive and my Pintrest boards. I suppose I’ll just go with “Writing is life, everything else is research.”
Was there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Can’t say that there was any one author or book that influenced me. I read a lot as a child without regard to genre. Although I was (and still am) a huge fan of mythology – Greek, Roman, Celtic, Egyptian, and now Native American.
Would you tell us a little about your book, When Ash Remains?
When Ash Remains is about a man and woman from different tribes who meet because of a series of deaths. She is what they call a “spirit talker” – someone who can hear the voices of the land and animals. He is a warrior who doesn’t believe in spirits and only wants to bring justice to his murdered cousin. They must work together to find whoever is committing the murders.
How did you come up with the concept and the characters for When Ash Remains?
I live in Oklahoma and belong to the Choctaw Nation. Even though I wasn’t raised within the tribal boundaries I’ve always been interested in the history, culture, and stories. After a friend of mine began harassing me about writing a book that included Native American characters, I did some in-depth reading about various tribal myths and origin stories. Two things grabbed my attention –Deer Woman and Skinwalkers. I knew I had to write something about one or the other. Skinwalkers won out.
What is your favorite scene from When Ash Remains?
I’d have to say it’s the scene after they defeat the villain. Without giving anything away, Kajika comes face to face with things he had trouble believing in throughout the book.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Getting the personal relationship between Ahyoka and Kajika “right.” I was about half way through my first draft when it occurred to me that they wouldn’t follow the same rules as English or French societies of that time period. But finding information about that sort of thing for Native American tribes is almost impossible. I talked with several Cherokee citizens to get some ideas and I think I came up with a reasonable representation.
If you could spend the day with one of the characters in When Ash Remains, who would it be and what would you guys do?
Oh, definitely Ahyoka. I think it would be so cool to be able to hear messages from animals and our environment. I’d love to know what those things might say to us humans.
Last, what is next for you?
I’m excited to work on a Steampunk romance novella. I’ve been wanting to do one for several years. It’s supposed to be included in a set with other novellas with a similar theme that will come out later this year.
Dena, it was a pleasure having you visit. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today!
When Ash Remains
By Dena Garson
A paranormal, Native American, Historical Romance
Release Date: March 2, 2017
Available for Presale: Feb. 12, 2017
A warrior with a mission
There isn’t a buffalo or deer that Kajika cannot take down. So when his cousin is slaughtered he relishes the chance to track down the killer. The trail leads him to a woman with gifts he has trouble believing in. Despite their differences he cannot fight his instinct to protect her from all threats – even those he cannot see. That drive even rivals his desire to explore every inch of her body.
A woman with a destiny
Knowing the spirits will protect her, Ahyoka allows the handsome warrior to take her to be questioned by his chief about the unexplained deaths in their village. He may not believe in her abilities but he is one of the few who doesn’t treat her like something to be feared or shunned. He awakens feelings that make her yearn for things she thought she’d never have. Her biggest fear is that once he learns the full extent of her gifts he will reject her like most of her tribe did.
A killer twisted by hurt and anger
Kajika and Ahyoka must work together to find the one responsible for the string of deaths in and around their villages. Faith, trust, and even a little bit of love will be needed to defeat the killer and right the wrongs committed in the pursuit of power and revenge.
Copyright @ DENA GARSON 2017
Awake Spirit Talker.
Ahyoka listened to the sounds of the spirits around her. Even without their warning, she would have sensed the presence in the shadows.
She rolled to her side and looked to where she knew he crouched. The darkness hid his features from her eyes, but his spirit radiated from the fire that burned within him. Never before had she met someone with such a potent life force.
Even her brother’s wasn’t as intense as this man’s, and her family descended from a line of powerful shamans.
Did he mean her harm? Or was he just passing through?
Without taking her eyes off the place where he hid, she groped behind her for the knife she had been using before she dozed off. The apples she ate sat heavy in her belly as she contemplated whether she should run or just face whoever it was.
The crunch of leaves from her left drew her attention. No sooner had her vision shifted than a blur from the place the man had hid raced toward her. She rolled as her father had taught her to do in order to minimize the impact of the assault. At the same time, she pulled her knife and tried to put it between her and her attacker. The man grabbed her wrist and pinned it to the ground, rendering her weapon useless.
Her heart pounded in her chest and a roar sounded in her ears. Who was this man?
She fought to free herself from his hold but found he outmatched her in size, speed, and strength. In an alarmingly short span of time, she found herself pinned beneath one of the most handsome men she had ever seen. She pushed aside her shock and renewed her efforts. “Get off of me!” Even the attractiveness of his face didn’t deter her from ramming her head into his nose.
He loosened his grip on her and covered his face as he mumbled some expletive.
She used this distraction to her advantage and bucked him to one side so she could wiggle free. Before she could get to her feet and scamper away, he grabbed her by the ankle.
“Let go!” She kicked at his hand with her other foot, trying to break his hold.
As she struggled with the warrior, two more men appeared from out of the surrounding trees. “Do you need help, Kajika?” the taller of the two men asked. The laughter in his tone suggested their struggle amused him.
Ahyoka renewed her efforts to break free of the first man’s grip. “Who are you and what do you want?”
The warrior kept his hold of her even as he climbed to his feet. “Who are you and what were you doing in our village?”
Ahyoka stopped struggling. “In your village? What village?”
“Don’t play dumb with me. We tracked you here.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She pointed to the bank just behind them. “I’ve been following the river all day. I stopped to rest when I realized how far I’d come. Where is your village?”
Now that he had released her, she could see the rest of the man who had interrupted her peace and quiet. Her eyes traveled up the length of his legs. She skimmed over the short deer skin he wore about his waist and tried not to speculate about what might be hidden beneath. His bow hung across his broad chest, making her wonder how he managed to squeeze into such a narrow span. Every line of his chest and belly could be seen clearly. If she wanted, she could count each one even from where she sat.
Something stirred within her and made her heart skip a beat. That same something counteracted her impulse to escape.
Dena Garson is offer a giveaway. You could win one of these prizes. Dena t-shirt (XL), arrow tissue pack, dreamcatcher keyring, leather bracelet, or Feather tissue pack, Dawn’s Skin Like Silk soap, and feather bookmark or Jewelry roll with feather earrings and leather bracelet.
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Dena Garson is an award winning author of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance. She holds a BBA and a MBA in Business and works in the wacky world of quality and process improvement. Making up her own reality on paper is what keeps her sane.
She is the mother of two rowdy boys, two rambunctious cats (AKA the fuzzy jerks), and a loving Labrador. When she isn’t writing you can find her at her at the sewing machine or stringing beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan.
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