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Ashes on the Earth

(Stones of Fire #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Shapeshifters exist. Monsters are real. And no good deed goes unpunished.

Nursing student Ellie St. James didn’t mean to get involved in a war between rival gangs of shifters, but saving the life of a local mob boss’s child has dragged her into one. When Ellie’s life is threatened because of her involvement, she’s forced to go on the run, protected by Carter Ballis, head o
Kindle Edition
Published September 25th 2020
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  206 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Mikky (Nocturnal Predators Reviews)
DNF At 27%

This book had SO much going for it and yet here I am. Maybe I'm just in a mood or I've suddenly lost the ability to pick books that I think I'd actually like to read. Let's start off with the good: the overall concept and mythology behind the universe the author created *chef's kiss*. I loved how out-of-the-box the shapeshifters concept was and the war they had going on with another shifter leader(?). That was very interesting to read about!

Onto the bad:

- The heroine started off as bra
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
3 stars for this serious opener.

Wasn’t sure what to make it this one but figured it sounded interesting and I’d give it a try.

Kept me interested and I could feel the beginnings of being invested in the characters so I kept reading. By the end I was happy to have picked up this one and couldn’t wait to start the next.

These books can’t be read as stand alones as they’re about two main characters and a larger story arch spanning the whole series.

Recommended if you like shifters, and different s
Angela Cuéllar
Thank you to the author for submitting an eARC for review!

Okay first of all I love the creativity the author has taken with the shifter world in this book. She definitely does a good job of broadening the imagination rather than playing it safe with something more familiar to the genre. I was hooked right away and overall this was a super quick read. I had noooo problem zipping through this story and will definitely be waiting for the sequel. Ashwood creates such unique worlds and sets up so man
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Conflicted. That’s all I can say. Maybe I was expecting too much??? The story grabbed my interest and I thought “we’re off to a great start!!” I liked the opening scene of heroism by Ellie and was intrigued by the Costas’ family and the secrets in their closet. Decent next couple of chapters with some action and hints of where the journey is taking us. Then...WHAM...Ellie turns into a superbly naive, panicky, and WHINY insecure woman who just seemingly goes along for the ride - she suddenly can ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars for a vivid, suspenseful story with two flawed yet sympathetic main characters. I don't normally read urban fantasy because so much of it is hopelessly dark, and this one has its moments of darkness (and even bits of hopelessness). Overall, the female lead (Ellie) is idealistic, caring, self-sacrificing, and realistically religious, so even with the death and destruction she unwittingly falls into after saving a child's life, she still has a loving family waiting for her and faith to c ...more
Christina Morley
I made the mistake of starting this book an hour before bed. I kept turning the pages and ended up only getting 4 hours of sleep! I finished the book later that day.

I really got sucked in by Ellie's character. I could feel everything she was feeling. There was so much danger and plenty of fun characters. Carter, her protector, is all hard edges in more ways than one.

This is an urban fantasy series steeped in mythology. It has an excellent and torturous slow-burn romance. I mean, it is slow! The
Laura Grace
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am so upset!!

Though not in a bad way! LOL! I was just SUPER invested!!


Well, maybe that DOES sound bad, but look. I don't usually read urban fantasy. I don't like quite a few of the genre tropes that are associated with it, but I was SUPER intrigued about this story and wanted to take a chance on it. And let me tell you!


Oh my goodness, was I hooked.

It was surprisingly more violent than I anticipated, but that romance! For a NA urban fantasy, it was fairly clean.
Sarah Ashwood
Oct 02, 2021 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Not a review, because I'm the author and that wouldn't be fair, but I am pretty excited to have my first audiobook! ...more
Janeen Ippolito
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I could talk about how the plot is a little uneven and the exposition is mostly thrown at the end.

But that exposition is still well-written and the world building is fantastic.

I could mention that this particular kind of romantic pairing isn't my favorite.

But it's well done, and the main characters make sense together.

In short, great job! Innovative take on shifters, fun use of mobsters, and a breakneck pace. Looking forward to the next one.
Sarah Ashwood
Nov 15, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
My original idea for this series was how a normal, law abiding girl would react to getting drawn into the world of the mafia. But...I am all about fantasy, so I decided to throw in a shapeshifter twist. Shapeshifter mafia. The ultimate urban fantasy crossover! However, I didn't want to stop there with traditional shapeshifters. Instead, my shifters embody creatures from folklore, myth, and legend all over the world. ...more
Sep 19, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The blurb sounding like it might have possibilities, what I found was a book full of so many cliches and overdone genre’s that just kept dragging on only to end in a cliffhanger.

We have the older man Carter is 30 and younger woman virgin, Ellie is 21. We have the shifter aspect. The friends to enemies coupled with the slow burn (I never felt any heat with these two), then we toss in the stalwart need to bring this big wig down in the case of Mr. Santos police coming after them. Let’s not forget
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance review copy from BookSirens for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

WOW ... Totally unexpected. I really did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. The blurb was intriguing, that's for sure, however the book was just so unexpectedly good. Have you ever had that moment where you have an expectation of something, and then your expectations are completely blown out of the water? Well this book is an example of that. Imagine being blown out of the water, by
Aug 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really really liked it. I have always been interested in mythology so this was a great read for me. There were a few scenes where I was like 'No! Don't do that. ' but it all worked out in the end. ...more
Oct 03, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-finish
Rating: 3.2/5.0

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Ashes on Earth was more exciting than I expected. It sounded like an... interesting idea, but I wasn't sure how the book would fit or about the writing.

I'm happy to say I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one. Which, by the way, I was not aware there was another two (I really need to pay attention to more than just the cover and a few key words in the blurb).

There wasn't much that was too
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want to thank Booksirens and the author for giving me the privilege to read this novel in exchange for a completely honest review!

Acutal Rating ~ 4.5 / 5 stars

WHY? That's how I'm going to start off my review. Why did you have to end the book on such a cliffhanger?!? I'm not saying that the cliffhanger was bad, I am saying that I don't think I'm going to survive the wait until the next book is released!

Want to hear the honest truth? I binge read this novel in less than 2 hours! I'm not lyi
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ellie, a reserved, innocent, compassionate girl with a military pastor father & close-knit family with whom she lives while doing a nursing degree. But her steady life goes out the window when she saves a kid who happens to be a local mob boss/business mogul — and apparently a leader of mythical shifting beasts. His enemies become hers, forcing her on the run with a body guard.

I enjoyed the realism of this version of “human girl yanked into hidden supernatural world” (enemies-to-lovers/forced p
Lianne Kay
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great, quick read. I read it all in one setting, and it left me wanting to read the next book. It’s exciting and original. I enjoyed the main characters. Especially Carter. He’s the right mixture of tough, yet gentle and caring when he needs to be. I loved seeing some of his layers melt away and getting to know him more. He’s perfect book boyfriend material! (trust me)

I appreciated that the characters made mistakes at times and weren’t perfect. Reading about characters who never make mistakes
Claire Banschbach
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Honestly I was just excited to open this book up and see it takes place in the DFW area, which I never see! So the nods to downtown Ft Worth and surrounding areas was fun.

And this was a fun shapeshifter story! I loved the fact that there's not one type, there's literally all sort of creatures from legends and myths all living in one city, and forming up mob type groups. I really loved Ellie and not just as someone else who works in pediatrics. lol! She was pretty relatable (though at one point
Helen Garraway
Oct 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indie, paranormal
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first of a four book series, (fortunately all published!) as the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger! Ellie St. James is an ordinary human thrust into a world she never knew existed; one that is determined to kill her. Only one man, a mythical shifter, can protect her.

Carter is a Talos, a protecter. He is a shifter based on a character out of greek mythology. I enjoyed this take on the shifters being from the world of Atlantis instead of the typical paranormal sh
Ally G
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.*

Ellie is tossed into the deep end in a world she didn’t know existed- all because she saved a child’s life. This selfless act pulled her into a dangerous unknown world.

Ashes on the Earth is the first book in the series, and sets the stage for a nursing student who is in way over her head. While this book isn’t a romance by any means, it has romantic interest which is good enough for me! I find Ellie, whom is t
Katherine M
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
An excellent addition to the urban fantasy genre. I love the heroine, Ellie St James, a kindhearted, sensible nursing student who loves kids and has a strong self-sacrificing streak. Throughout the book, she makes both good and bad decisions.
Sarah Ashwood incorporates mythology not often seen in UF, which made this book an extra pleasure to read. She also manages to ground the book in our world very well.
Looking forward to Book 2!
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it
It's a very interesting story, with connections to mythology that I like. I feel that it felt like a first novel, little rough, especially in the beginning, and didn't care for the cliff hanger ending. I'm getting into a bad habit of seeing books as films, but most of the beginning had a "come with me if you want to live" Terminator quality. Might go on to read the sequels.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Erin M. Cooper
Feb 06, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Differently interesting.

This wasn't my favorite shifter book to read, but was definitely interesting. Instead of having animal shifters, these shifters were from myths, fairy tales, and urban legends. There are two different shifter factions that are at war with each other over the stones of fire.
Allie Rose
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read! This story was fun, original, mysterious, and action packed. The two main characters are awesome. Can’t wait for the next one!
C.J. Santiago
Apr 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a good read

Ellie St James is 21 and in nursing school. Leaving the hospital after clinical, she saves a little boy from certain death by bus. This earns her thanks from one of the richest men un the nation...Sean Costas.

Invited to dinner, she is on the way out, when the complex is attacked by winged monsters. She witnessed the transformation of humans into creatures who killed the monster enemies. Little did she know, but monsters are real and sometimes they have to die. Shock. Thats
Feb 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 / 5 rating - Audiobook
As a self-published author myself, 90% of the books I read are from the same.
There have only been a dozen or so fantasy books that I've enjoyed reading, and this is one of them. I could not escape from it!
‘Ellie’ had me feeling her heartaches, frustrations, and in a split second have me laughing. I was sucked in, in just a few minutes. ‘Carter’, I knew would be my favorite character. The two are a good balance to each other. And I liked the bantering between them.
Pamela Woodson
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the first time reading Sarah Ashwoods work. I was thoroughly entertain while reading this and could not put it down until the end. I will be reading the next book in the series as I am now a Sarah Ashwood fan.....Awesome book!
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is AMAZING!! It had all the elements I look for in a good book: action, mystery, romance, and so much more! I love Sarah Ashwood and all her books, and I knew I was going to love this book, but let me tell you, this book blew my socks off! I was sucked up into the book from the very beginning and finished it in 3 days! Can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series! While I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily, I would have bought t ...more
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nice cover,love the storyline of the book
Oct 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audio book review

Audio book
Book 1 in the series. First story I listened to by the author Sarah Ashwood and the narrator Melissa Kay Benson.
Heroine is Ellie. Hero is Carter Story takes place in Fort Worth Texas

Love how the author took different shifters granted most are from Greek Mythological , like Carter and many more .
Ellie was at the wrong place at the wrong time , she only was trying to save a little boy from being hit by a car Little does she know what that one action will propel her
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Don't believe all the hype. Sarah Ashwood isn't really a gladiator, a Highlander, a fencer, a skilled horsewoman, an archer, a magic wielder, or a martial arts expert. That's only in her mind. In real life, she's a genuine Okie from Muskogee, who grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma, USA, and holds a B.A. in English from American Military University. She now lives (most ...more

Other books in the series

Stones of Fire (4 books)
  • Down into the Pit (Stones of Fire, #2)
  • Fire from the Midst (Stones of Fire, #3)
  • Repairer of the Breach (Stones of Fire, #4)

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