Give a warm welcome to Sharon Ashwood, author of Enchanter Redeemed
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Sharon Ashwood and Enchanter Redeemed!
What defines you as an author? As a person? Are they one in the same?
I don’t think it’s possible to separate the two. I believe authors look at the world with a great deal of curiosity and empathy. To them, every person and place is a story with deep history and interconnections with all these other stories going on. All things become possible by simply asking, “What if?” It’s actually kind of comical being in a car with a bunch of authors—an innocent bystander becomes the kernel of a murder mystery in the time it takes to turn the corner.
What inspired this particular story?
Enchanter Redeemed is the enchanter Merlin’s story. He is King Arthur’s magician in Camelot, and I don’t see him as an old wizard, but as a strong, passionate warrior. I was inspired to write this particular tale because I was intrigued by the traditional story of Merlin falling in love with the enchantress, Vivian. I kept wondering who Vivian was to capture his heart and went from there. In the original he gets trapped in a tree for a zillion years, but my version takes a unique turn. I wanted to write a story about compassion and forgiveness, but also with some humor. Laughter is part of the healing process, after all.
What secret do you use to blast through writer’s block?
Writer’s block usually happens if I’m tired or I don’t know where I’m going with a story. So, if I’m stuck I’ll try to get a good night’s sleep, get out of the house, get some fresh air, and then sit down and start asking hard questions about the plot. Nine times out of ten that does the trick. In an emergency, I binge watch TV. Sometimes taking in a lot of random stories shakes something loose (or at least that’s my excuse).
What do you want your readers to take away from your books?
First, I want readers to find a few hours of escape in my stories. We all need that! Second, I write characters who find love, of course—but also courage, self-acceptance, and a way to live with each other’s differences. I like to think I’m spreading a tiny bit of harmony into the world by their example.
You’ve got a time machine, a cloak of invisibility, and one hour. Where would you go, and what eavesdropping would you do?I’d love to be present on the night Lord Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley, Dr. Polidori, and their friends sat around telling ghost stories. Frankenstein came out of that session, as well as Polidori’s The Vampyre. That must have been some evening!
A Peek Between the Pages of Enchanter Redeemed Camelot Reborn, Book Four
Clary jolted awake. Power surged through her body, painful and suffocating. Her spine arched into it—or maybe away from it, she wasn’t sure. Merlin had one hand on her side and the other on her chest, using his magic like a defibrillator. The sensation hammered her from the inside while every hair on her body stood straight up. When he released her, she sagged in relief. A drifting sensation took over, as if she were a feather in an updraft.
Merlin’s fingers went to her neck, checking for a pulse. His hands were hot from working spells, the touch firm yet gentle. In her weakened state, Clary shivered slightly, wanting to bare her throat in surrender. She was a sucker for dark, broody masculinity and he projected it like a beacon. All the same, Clary sucked in a breath before he got any big ideas about mouth-to-mouth. If Merlin was going to kiss her, she wanted wine and soft music, not blood and the dirty workshop floor.
Another bolt of power, more pain, another pulse check. Clary managed a moan, and she heard the sharp intake of Merlin’s breath. His hand withdrew from her pulse point as she forced her eyes open. He was staring down at her with his peculiar amber eyes, dark brows furrowed in concern. She was used to him prickly, arrogant or sarcastic, but not this. She’d never seen that oddly vulnerable expression before—but it quickly fled as their gazes met.
“You’re alive.” He said it like a fact, any softness gone.
“Yup.” Clary pushed herself up on her elbows. She hurt all over. “What was that?”
“I got that much.” Clary held up her arm, peering through the rents in her jacket where the demon’s claws had slashed. Merlin’s zap of power had stopped the bleeding, but the deep scratches were red, puffy and hurt like blazes.
“Demon claws are toxic.”
“Got that, too.”
“I can put a salve on the wound, but you’d be smart to have Tamsin look at it,” Merlin said. “Your sister is a better healer than I am.”
“She’s better than anybody.” Clary said it with the automatic loyalty of a little sister, but it was true. “She’s got a better bedside manner, too.”
Merlin raised a brow, his natural arrogance back in place. “Just be glad you’re alive.”
She studied Merlin, acutely aware of how much magic he’d used to shut the demon down. He looked like a man in his early thirties, but there was no telling how old he actually was. He was lean-faced with permanent stubble and dark hair that curled at his collar. At first glance, he looked like a radical arts professor or dot-com squillionaire contemplating his next disruptive innovation. It took a second look to notice the muscular physique hidden by the comfortable clothes. Merlin had a way of sliding under most radars, but Clary never underestimated the power he could pluck out of thin air. She was witch born, a member of the Shadowring Coven, but he was light years beyond their strongest warlocks.
That strength was like catnip to her—although she’d never, ever admit that out loud. “What were you doing?” she demanded, struggling the rest of the way to a sitting position.
“I was watching the demons through a scrying portal when you interrupted me.” His tone was precise and growing colder with every syllable. Now that the crisis was over, he was getting angry.
“The she-demon tried to kill me.” Clary’s insides hollowed as the words sank home. Dear goddess, she did kill me! And Merlin had brought her back before a second had passed—but it had happened. Her witch’s senses had felt it happen. The realization left her light-headed.
“She doesn’t get to have you,” he said in a low voice.
Their gazes locked, and something twisted in Clary’s chest. She’d been hurt on Merlin’s watch, and he was furious. No, what she saw in his eyes was more than icy anger. It was a heated, primal possessiveness that came from a far different Merlin than she knew. Clary’s breath stopped. Surely she was misreading the situation. Death and zapping had scrambled her thoughts.
“I shouldn’t have walked in on you.”
“No, you shouldn’t have,” he said in a voice filled with the same mix of ice and fire. “You’d be a better student of magic if you paid attention. You asked me to teach you proper magic and not the baby food the covens use. Real magic is deadly.”
Abruptly, he stood and crossed the room to kick a shard of agate against the wall. It bounced with a savage clatter. Clary got to her feet, her knees wobbling. He spun and stormed back to her in one motion, moving so fast she barely knew what was happening.
He took her by the shoulders, the grip rough. “Don’t ever do that again!”
And then his mouth crushed hers in a hard, angry kiss. Clary gasped in surprise, but there was no air, only him, and only his need. She rose slowly onto her toes, the gesture both surrender and a desire to hold her own. She’d been kissed many times before, but never consumed this way. His lips were greedy and hot with that same confusing array of emotions she’d seen a moment ago. Anger. Fear. Possession. Protectiveness.
Volatile. That was the word she’d so often used in her own head when thinking about him. Volatile, though he kept himself on a very short chain. Right now that chain had slipped.
For the first two chapters, click here: http://www.rowanartistry.com/book/enchanter-redeemed/
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Camelot, Enchanter redeemed Camelot Reborn, Merlin, Paranormal Romance, Sharon Ashwood by email@example.com with 2 comments.