Introduction: Hall of Heroes is a Fantasy Anthology featuring 27 stories by 23 authors. It is free to download on Amazon and many other online booksellers. One of our authors has stopped by today to talk about the inspiration for her story... and here she is!
Hi, I’m Sarah Ashwood.
I’m the wife of a hardworking asphalt plant operator, and the mom of three young boys. This may surprise you, but I don’t get out on many wild and crazy adventures anymore. Unless you count flying alone, halfway across the United States, with three young boys to be a wild and crazy adventure. Yes, it’s wild. Yes, it’s definitely an adventure. No, I wouldn’t ever recommend that type of adventure. But, in all seriousness, I still crave travel and adventure, and these days I find most of it in the books I read and write.
I’m one of the authors who has a short story in this Hall of Heroes anthology. When the theme of “heroes” was announced, I thought, Great, this should be easy! It wasn’t easy. I rejected several story ideas that just didn’t click. I was coming down to the submission deadline with no clue as to what I should write. In fact, I’d about given up and shoved the project aside until one evening when I caught my toddler pulling all of the DVDs off the shelf and scattering them across the living room floor.
“Bubby, your powers of destruction are unparalleled,” I said, as I went to pick up the DVDs.
Then, it struck me. Powers of destruction…that sounded magical. Magical powers of destruction. A toddler’s magical powers of destruction. Yes, an idea was forming! But how could I place that theme in a somewhat different setting than the (arguably) overdone theme of the hero/antihero born with their powers?
I sat down at my laptop. “Once upon a time…” and the words began to flow. A fairytale setting. A parent’s fairytale. An allegory of parenthood. Names spelled backward for hidden—or maybe not so hidden—fun.
They say write what you know. If there’s one thing I know by this point, its babies and toddlers. Kids. So I took what I know and what I’ve experienced (like pulling a living beetle from one of my kid’s mouths—gross!) and turned it into the Hero of Emoh. I hope it’s a story you can identify with if you’re a parent. Even if you’re not, I hope it’s one you can enjoy. Happy reading!
A genuine Okie from Muskogee, Sarah Ashwood grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma. Sarah is the author of the Sunset Lands Beyond Trilogy, the poetry volume "A Minstrel's Musings," and the fantasy novella "Amana," along with numerous other published works. In her imagination, she soars effortlessly through historical and fantastical worlds. In real life, she lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and three sons.
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Summer time! Kids are free, vacations are planned, perhaps you get a chance to chill at the pool or the beach or an idyllic lakeside cabin!
It's also the perfect time to catch up on your reading. As you know, we at the Fellowship of Fantasy have awesome books you can read, but for a chance we thought you might want to know what we are reading. So here are the top Summer Reading Recommendations by Fellowship of Fantasy Authors!
Author Jessica L. Elliott Recommends:
The Gypsy Pearl trilogy by Lia London. When you're stuck at home, this is a great escape into different worlds. Cas is always on an adventure and makes awesome friends along the way.
Buy The Gypsy Pearl Trilogy
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Author Katy Huth Jones Recommends:
Lots of great fantasy, but one I recommend for a summer read (because it has lots of light-hearted moments) is Shari L. Tapscott's Pippa of Lauramore. It has romance, chivalry, dragons, and fairies, with laugh-out-loud moments and gasp-producing suspense.
Buy Pippa of Lauramore
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Author Lia London Recommends:
Cassidy Jones Adventure Series by Elise Stokes. Step aside, Spiderman. It's time for a female teen superhero! Cassidy Jones Adventures are fast-paced, full of action, a great love triangle, comic-legend-worthy villains, and good ol' family values. You'll get a cardio workout just reading it!
Buy The Cassidy Jones Adventure Series
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Author D.W. Frauenfelder Recommends:
This is an old-school play, but I love Momo by Michael Ende. It's a short book that's more a fable or parable than high fantasy, but the message is even more relevant today than when it was written. Momo is a worthy heroine and the Grey Men perfectly terrifying villains.
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Author Heather Hayden Recommends:
Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds. Elina makes friends as she studies magic in Kamikan--only to find herself caught up in political intrigue between her country and the neighboring one of Pallexon. I love the characters, the magic system (FLYING CARPETS!), and the plot (which is as well-woven as said carpets.)
Buy Where Carpets Fly
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Author Jenelle Schmidt Recommends:
The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcheramzn.to/2sWk9Os. Because it is a fun, intricate fantasy adventure with a steampunk feel and I really enjoy getting to read Jim Butcher's unique style without the grittier side that he incorporates in his Dresden Files. Also: AIRSHIPS!
Buy The Aeronaut's Windlass
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Author Meredith Mansfield Recommends:
Well, you can't go wrong with the classics. Just started my umpteenth re-read of Tolkien, starting with The Hobbit. Does this one really need a reason? Okay. Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Aragorn, and Legolas. There, that's five reasons.
Buy The Hobbit
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Author Kandi J. Wyatt Recommends:
On my summer reading list is Brian Rathbone's Godsland series. I love the adventure and humor sprinkled throughout. Two summers ago, I read the first three books and this summer want to read at least three more.
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Author Sarah Ashwood Recommends:
The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Great YA fantasy series. Perfect summer reading, as Kagawa tells a story that pits the Winter Fey against the Summer Fey in an alternate world, while throwing in an entirely new race--the Iron Fey. Made ever better with surprise appearances from a few Shakespearean characters!
Buy the Iron King
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Author Elise Edmonds Recommends:
I would recommend HL Burke's - The Complete Nyssa Glass. It would make a great summer read because it's five books in one and they are easy to read, super-fun steampunk adventures. I burned through the whole thing in two days - very satisfying!
Buy The Ultimate Nyssa Glass
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Author H. L. Burke Recommends:
I like light, quick paced, relationship filled stories with dragons. Because of this I'm recommending Lea Doué's The Firethorn Crown. It has as many princesses as you could hope for, and while it is a standalone, it opens up the potential for a story for each princess in your future! Plus ... dragons!
Buy The Firethorn Crown
Connect with H. L. Burke
A blog about all things fantasy from the elements we all love to how to write it. Posts are from our very own Fellowship of Fantasy authors.