Tag Archives: Ash Krafton

Featured New Book: Blood Rush by Ash Krafton


Ash Krafton and I met online — and THEN discovered we’re both part of one of the best writing groups out there, Pennwriters. (You, too, can be a Penn. State residency is not required!)

We share many loves, me and Ash. And you bet your booties I’d love to edit her work — not because it needs it but so I get a first look at it!

Blood Rush

She’s got a new book out as of May 7, so she’s here to tell you about it… at least, all about how it relates to music.

Ash? Take it away, girlfriend:

So, thanks for stopping by, rockers and readers. I hope you want to know the song behind my latest novel, BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2) because I really want to share my muses with you.

Susan already knows what kind of music I have playing in my head all the time. We share a lot of the same favorites. In fact, when she’s not around, I call her my “sister from another mister”. We are two of the same limited edition. 🙂

This book doesn’t have only one song, though. That’s because, at this point in the story, everyone has their own number.

I’ve been “living” inside the Books of the Demimonde for so long now that my characters are absolutely autonomous. See, there is Sophie, whose song is “Not Enough” by Lacuna Coil (Shallow Life, 2009) It’s her plea to her estranged Demivampire lover, Marek, who may be too far Fallen to come back to her. “I don’t want to be safe/ I want to go down with you/ Together, we will find a way to come back.”

Then there is Marek, whose song is darker and considerably more out of control–and one snap away from the jaws of insanity. The song that is Marek’s…”This Is How I Disappear” by My Chemical Romance (Black Parade, 2006) “And without you is how I disappear/ And live my life alone forever now” Gerard Way always has a way of sounding both maniacal and loveable, doesn’t he?

And Rodrian. Ah, adorable, luscious Rodrian who is too desirable to know what’s good for him. He’s trying to watch over his brother’s girl, but men will be men…and Sophie’s blood is too powerful for him to resist for very long.

Rodrian’s song is my special gift to Susan because I’d bet dollars to drumsticks that she’d never heard it before: “Beautiful” by Spyair (Rockin’ the World, 2011). They’re a J-Rock band (short for Japanese rock) that my teen daughter adores. They’ve struck the proverbial chord with me even though I have NO IDEA what they are saying.

Songs aren’t only about the lyrics, you see. It’s the music behind the words and the voice that sings the words. Spyair’s vocalist, Ike, has a delicious rocker’s voice, with the right balance of melody and strain that lets you see him in your head. He is putting every inch of his soul into that song and soul is absolutely instrumental to the survival of my Demivamps.

So, who knows–Ike might be singing about a 2011 Camaro or the Grand Canyon or the Doctor’s Tardis in the song “Beautiful”–and those are all truly beautiful things–but the soul with which he sings it can only be born of a desperate desire for an unattainable woman.

For the record? Ash is dead-on right. Never even HEARD of Spyair before now! Not terribly surprising, though: I don’t know a lot about Japanese rock.

Need to know more about the book and this world? I do. Here’s the blurb:

Sophie doesn’t believe in happily ever after. These days, she’d settle for alive after sunrise.

Advice columnist and newly-appointed oracle to the demivampire, Sophie Galen has more issues than a Cosmo collection: a new mentor with a mean streak, a werewolf stalker she can’t shake, and a relationship with her ex’s family that redefines the term complicated. And then there’s her ex himself, who is more interested in playing leader of the vampire pack than in his own salvation.

Becoming a better oracle is tough enough, but when Sophie encounters a deadly enemy – one she never dreamed of facing – it will take everything she’s ever learned in order to survive.


Featured New Book: Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton


The world works in funny ways. I think I first really became aware of Ash Krafton through Triberr. When she released her new book, Bleeding Hearts, I realized she’s also a Pennwriter.

Triberr friends are cool. But to be BOTH a Triberr AND a Pennwriter? Well, Pennwriters… I consider Pennwriters to be MY people, you know? These are the people who (by and large) know me in real life. Many of them know what my face looks like — and the rest of me. And they suffer my often big, opinionated mouth. (Who, me? Hell, yeah!)

So when Ash announced the release of her first book, you KNOW I had to have her come by. I pretty much put it to her in those terms, too. It seems, though, that our favorite question wasn’t so easy when placed in Ash’s capable hands. Read on…

I’m sure you weren’t being mean when you asked this question, Susan. How were you to know the book was written, not with a single song in mind, but rather an entire playlist?

That means it’s going to be tough to answer this question.

Most of the songs on the Bleeding Hearts Soundtrack (not available in any store because, apparently, copyrights are ridiculously tricky things) aren’t by mainstream artists. How many readers are familiar with Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, and Blind Guardian? Didn’t think there’d be many. And how many of you are devoted Rush fans? Yep. Thought so. (I won’t tell Geddy, though. He’d just be hurt.)

So answering this question is a lot harder than it should be. After all, if nobody’s heard of the song, then nobody’s going to relate to the book for the purpose of this article. What a failed promotional jig this would turn out to be!

Then I remembered—there *was* a band that got lots of radio play, that had Billboard-Chartable hits, that was mainstream despite their not wanting to be mainstream. There *was* a band that produced several emotional songs that really affected me in a creative way…songs like “My Immortal” and “Going Under”…and “Bring Me To Life.”

That’s it. That’s the song.

“Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence reminds me of the book every time I hear it. However, in my head, it’s not Amy Lee singing—it’s my hero, Marek.

Marek is a Demivampire who is dangerously close to Falling. If that happens, he’ll evolve into a vampire and will be lost forever. There’s slim hope for a demivamp who gets that close to the edge…unless they are found and Saved by one of the Sophia, a group of mystical oracles who are able to undo the spiritual damage responsible for a demivamp’s evolution.

Marek believes he’s too far gone to save. But that’s when Sophie finds him—and she’s not going to give up on the man she loves.

The song “Bring Me To Life” begins with the words:

How can you see into my eyes
Like open doors?
Leading you down into my core,
Where I’ve become so numb.

Without a soul,
My spirit’s sleeping somewhere cold,
Until you find it there and lead it back

Marek’s sure he’s beyond redemption when he meets Sophie. Neither of them realizes what she is at first, but he knows she’s something special. Her quirky little spurts of wisdom never fail to catch him off guard and he’s determined to find out.

As their love story progresses, Marek tells Sophie no one has ever touched his heart the way she does. It’s echoed by this line:

Frozen inside without your touch,
Without your love, darling.
Only you are the life among the dead.

Marek is desperate to rejoin the living and is confident Sophie can lead him back.

Evanescence performs the song with a haunting mixture of fierce determination and desperation, two sentiments that drive the soul of Bleeding Hearts. If the group ever re-records the song, reversing the male/female vocals, I think it would be a perfect match.

Even as it plays, “Bring Me To Life” takes me to my book every time I hear it. And, while a lot of music played in the background while I wrote Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde, giving plenty of emotional fuel to create the character of my empathic heroine, this one seems written especially for her hero.

I’d like to dedicate this song to you, Marek.

WHAT, Ash?? MY readers not know Lacuna Coil? To not still mourn the loss of the (warped but) creative genius who was Peter Steele?

You need to hang out here more often. You just do.

But Evanescence?? Still holds a high place of regard on my iPod. Have you heard Ben Moody’s spinoff band, We are the Fallen, yet? Sounds a lot like Evanescence, but the songwriting shows who in the band has/had the chops… I may be a bigger Ben Moody fan than an Amy Lee fan, and that’s saying a lot…

Anyway, back to the book.

Hey, how’d you like the blurb?

About BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde

Saving the world one damned person at a time—shy advice columnist-turned-oracle must find a way to save her dangerous demivampire lover from the fate that threatens each of his race: evolution and the destruction of his soul.

When advice columnist Sophie meets dark and alluring Marek, she learns life-changing secrets about them both—he’s a demivampire struggling to avoid evolution and she’s an empathic oracle destined to save him. Sophie possesses the rare ability to reduce the spiritual damage that causes a demivamp to Fall, making her the only thing that stands between a DV and evolution.

However, as Marek’s dangerous past propels him toward his desperate fate, his enemies make darker plans for him: once vampire, powerful Marek would be second only to the Master himself. The vamps want to cause Marek’s Fall and they intend to use Sophie to do it….

Hook up with Ash at these places:

Home page
Amazon Author Central

Buy links!!
Pink Narcissus Press