Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Demimonde Series by Ash Krafton

On Location: When Our Favorite Places End Up Within the Pages of Our Books

Earlier this month, I took a trip to one of my favorite places:  The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, PA.

The Museum is dedicated to the exploration and preservation of culture, past and present. I've always been fond of museums; my mom had often taken me and my siblings to the Everhart Museum in Scranton. I passed that love of museums on to my kids, who became all-around science and tech center nerds. They know places like the Franklin Institute and the Baltimore Science Center as well as the backs of their own hands. But the Penn Museum is our favorite.

The Penn Museum has two wonderful Ancient Egypt exhibits. One is full of mummies and statues (and art students who are perpetually sketching away). The other has a replica of the Sphinx, surrounded by tall pillars and carved stelae. The room is dimmed, with spotlights emphasizing the shadows, the cut of symbols into stone. Five minutes in there and the imagination just runs free…
My kids weren't the only ones to inherit my love for that place. I passed it along to one of my characters, Sophie Galen. In fact, I guess you can say that my fondness for that museum led to art imitating life.

In Bleeding Hearts, Sophie Galen is from Balaton, a fictional town close to Philadelphia. She treats herself to an afternoon at the University Museum of Archaeology, where she is inexplicably drawn to the Old Egypt exhibit. One of the rooms is designed to resemble a temple of the Old Kingdom. It's there she meets a man whose mysterious past had been drawn from the ancient Egyptian sands of time…


In the great hall housing the Egyptian exhibitions, I immediately noted the change in the atmosphere. The room was cool and dry, its climate controlled to mimic the conditions in which the relics had existed in their native land.

The entire room had been designed to resemble an Old Kingdom temple. The main lights were dimmed while strategically-placed spotlights emphasized massive columns and magnificent wall carvings like sunbeams through temple windows.

I scanned the room. No other tourists. Even better. I meandered, enjoying the rare opportunity to linger.

Craning my neck, I ran my gaze up each of the columns, reading the images, admiring the palm leaves carved at the tops like great stone trees. Eyes toward the ceilings, I turned slowly around, admiring the handiwork of the ancient artists.

What was it like to live in those lands and those times? Could an ancient version of my spirit have been there, stepping barefoot and silently through a sandy temple like this one?

Lost in contemplation, I was completely unprepared for the shock of smacking into someone, bumping him hard enough to lose my balance. I'd have fallen had he not caught my arm. Wide-eyed with consternation, I stammered an apology to the handsome but serious-faced gentleman.

"You are not hurt, I hope?" His voice, deep and smooth, sent shivers marching down my neck, between my shoulders, down my spine.

"I'm okay." I shook my head, too shy to make direct eye contact, wishing I'd checked my hair and lipstick before coming in. "I'm far too adept at being inept."

He flashed a grin and I caught a glimpse of nice white teeth. "Temples are places for spiritual reflection. It is forgivable if your vision was turned inward, rather than toward where you were walking."

His expression softened by amusement, he tilted his head toward the pillars. "Majestic, aren't they?"

The Books of the Demimonde have been a part of me for so long now that it's almost impossible for me to visit the museum without imagining Sophie walking along side me. When we went into the Sphinx exhibit, my husband asked why I kept turning to look behind me. It's just that, for a second, I'd imagine I can catch a glimpse of a tall dark haired stranger behind one of the pillars, his eyes glinting green light from within the warm shadows. I'd hear a quiet voice that could run shivers down your back. And I'd imagine Sophie and Marek, meeting for the first time...

I guess writers have overactive imaginations sometimes. Occupational hazard, right? After spending so many hours visiting interesting places and imagining the stories that could happen there, it seems natural for those stories to follow us when we return to visit those places.

What about you? Does art imitate life, or vice versa? Have you ever read (or written J) a story that was based on a place you know well…and has the story ever followed you there?

Bleeding Hearts
Book One
Ash Krafton

Genre: urban fantasy

Publisher: Ash Krafton

Date of Publication: October 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-946120-00-7

Number of pages: 380
Word Count: 94k

Cover Artist: Red Fist Fiction

Book Description:

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist whose work leaves her neck-deep in other people's problems. Thanks to her compassion, her gut instinct, and her magnetic charm, Sophie really knows how to attract little black clouds.

Marek Thurzo is no little black cloud; he's a maelstrom. Marek is Demivampire, a race with the potential to evolve into vampire. A warrior who's taken his share of spiritual damage, he hovers dangerously close to destruction.

He seeks salvation. She's driven to save him. But what if he can't be saved?

Sympathy for his plight becomes true empathy as Sophie's hidden nature is revealed. Marek suspects she may be one of the Sophia, oracle and redemption of the damned Demivampire. She alone can turn back the evolutionary clock.

All she needs is the courage to face her fears. Can she save him from Falling?

Blood Rush
Book Two
Ash Krafton

Genre: urban fantasy

Publisher: Ash Krafton

Date of Publication: October 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-946120-01-4

Number of pages: 376
Word Count: 94k

Cover Artist: Red Fist Fiction

Book Description:

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.

Wolf's Bane
Book Three
Ash Krafton

Genre: urban fantasy

Publisher: Ash Krafton

Date of Publication: October 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-946120-02-1

Number of pages: 388
Word Count: 104k

Cover Artist: Red Fist Fiction

Book Description:

Since becoming oracle to the demivampire two years ago, advice columnist Sophie has battled werewolves and survived a vampire attack (or two). However, not only was she powerless to save her lover Marek when he slipped to the brink of evolution, she also witnessed his transformation into a falcon, the symbol of Horus United.

Sophie’s quest to save Marek is further complicated when rock star Dierk Adeluf – who also happens to be the king of the Werekind – invites her backstage after a concert. Just when it seems she will find respite from heartache, Sophie is bitten by a werewolf and Dierk decides she is destined to be his queen.

Sophie is caught between the demivamps she loves and the Were who commands her to love him. Throw in his jealous wanna-be girlfriend—a true bitch if ever there was one—and an ambush by witches, and there you have the big mess that Sophie calls her life. And, hello? Her soul mate is still a bird.

About the Author:

Ash Krafton writes because if she doesn't, her kids will…and NOBODY wants that. A speculative fiction girl through and through, Ash writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels as well as poetry and short fiction. Her work has won a bunch of awards and was even nominated for a Pushcart Prize. When she's not writing, she's practicing Tai Chi, listening to loud rock and metal, or crushing on supervillains.

Most recently, she's re-released her urban fantasy trilogy THE BOOKS OF THE DEMIMONDE because she never really left the world of Sophie and her Demivamps. Find out more when you visit

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

Ash Krafton | @ashkrafton said...

Thanks for hosting the Demimonde series. I absolutely love seeing pictures of the Penn Museum because it brings back so many wonderful writing memories...
Cheers, Ash