The Complete Guide to Kristen Ashley
Kristen Ashley is a magical Goddess to me. Seriously, she can not write a bad book. I love every single one of them so much it astounds me every time. Her books are guaranteed to bring an end to the worst reading slump. Each one is filled with hot, sexy alpha yumminess and quirky females you want to hang with. She writes younger heroes and heroines and older ones with kids, plus some awesome paranormal that works even if you say you’ll never read that stuff.
There are some quirky series orders, so pay close attention to the pink notes!
So strap in for a trip to Denver, a few short stories, some reminiscing and a lot of great food.
Welcome to Dream Bites, Cooking with the Commandos!
(Half of the proceeds of this cookbook go to the Rock Chick Nation Charities)
Dream Chaser (Dream Team Book 2) by Kristen Ashley, Ryn and Boone’s book, releases 12/15/20
Dream Spinner (Dream Team Book 3) by Kristen Ashley releases 5/25/21
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO….Here are the recommended Reading Orders!
There are some quirky series orders, so pay close attention to the pink notes!
Rock Chick Series
Reading Order From Kristen Ashley: “The Rock Chick Series (Now, this series is a definite first…BUT, I would strongly suggest reading The Colorado Mountain Series somewhere in this mix. You’ll need to have read Breathe before you read the finale to the Rock Chick Series, Rock Chick Revolution to get the full impact of something. I shall say no more! :)”
The Rock Chick Series features The Hot Bunch. All about hot security/detective types. A fun group of girls, total Alpha guys, and the most fun series. The characters from The Rock Chick Series pop up in almost all of the other series, so you should start here.
Based in Denver, the Rock Chick Series is eight books that take you on the wild ride of the courtships of the Rock Chicks and the Hot Bunch.
You can Read Rock Chick Reawakening first or last or anywhere in between. Chronologically it is first, but it was written 2nd to last, and I enjoyed going back and learning more after the fact.
.5 or 9. Rock Chick Reawakening (1001 Dark Nights) by Kristen Ashley (repeated below as number 9)
Chronologically this is first, but it was written last and it can be read anywhere in the series. I liked it last.
“I’d never really needed a castle. I just needed my Prince Charming. And I’d Found Him.”
♥Daisy & Marcus♥
1. Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley
“That isn’t possible. Slow isn’t possible. Lee Nightingale doesn’t move slow. One second he’s looking at you. the next second he’s walking away and he has the little satin bow from your panties as a souvenir”
♥Indy Savage & Lee Nightingale♥
2. Rock Chick Rescue by Kristen Ashley
“Since I’m bein’ honest with you Chiquita, I’ll tell you I usually play with what I want until I feel the time is right to move in. The time was right with you a long time ago but you’ve been so focused on your own shit, you gave me no opening. This hasn’t been fast. You want to see fast, we’ll go into the bedroom and I’ll show you fast, but I’ll show it to you slow.”
♥Jet McAlister & Eddie Chavez♥
3. Rock Chick Redemption by Kristen Ashley
“It looked like GQ was having a convention and all the best looking guys had decided to have coffee at Fortnum’s before going to seminars on how to cope with being really, unbelievably, fucking gorgeous.”
There were five of them. Two looked a lot alike, like they were brothers. But, of the lot, it was only the one with the whiskey-colored eyes that got my attention. They were all looking at me, but the minute my eyes hit Whisky, I felt lightheaded and had to stand stock-still or I would have fallen over in a dead faint.”
♥Roxie Logan & Hank Nightingale♥
4. Rock Chick Renegade by Kristen Ashley
“Any man is defined by the woman who shared her bed with him… and it works the other way too… if someone like you, someone as unbelievably beautiful as you, as crazy and sweet as you, filled with attitude and courage with her heart in the right place… if someone like you shares her bed with me, then that says something about me….This is it. You and me. No matter what.”
♥Jules “Law” Lawler & Vance Crowe♥
5. Rock Chick Revenge by Kristen Ashley
“I’m not lettin’ you go. I’m not lettin’ you push me away and I’m not giving up. I’m gonna keep working until I piece together what your dad and those assholes tore from you. I’m gonna keep at you until you let me in. I’m not gonna stop until you tell me you’re mine, until it comes straight from your mouth, preferably when I’m deep inside you and you’re lookin’ at me like you look at me when I’m close to makin’ you come.”
♥Ava Barlow & Luke Starke♥
6. Rock Chick Reckoning by Kristen Ashley
“You still love me?” he asked.
My eyes narrowed. “What kind of question is that?” I snapped.
“I will not, it’s –”
“Answer it!” he barked and I went still at the ferocity in his voice.
Then I whispered, “Of course I do.”
“Then we’re done talkin’. I’m gonna fuck you until I’ve erased everything I’ve said. Until the only thing you can think of is my cock inside you and my hands and mouth on you. Until I hear that fuckin’ voice of yours telling me you love me. I’m gonna fuck you until I know it’s me you want, despite all this shit, and I don’t care if it takes a fuckin’ week.”
♥Stella Gun & Kai “Mace” Mason♥
7. Rock Chick Regret by Kristen Ashley
“I think you’re even more beautiful and I think you’re totally lost”
“And you think you can help me find my way?”
He shook his head, his eyes went warm and I got another neck squeeze, coupled with a tightening of his arm around my waist. “Mamita, only you can find your way. I just wanna be along for the ride.”
♥Sadie Townsend & Hector Chavez♥
8. Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley
“I’ve had fuck buddies, Ally. And not one of them looked like you look when I slide inside you. Like a piece of you has been lost and now it’s found.”
I probably looked just like that.
Because when he slid inside me, that was precisely what it felt like.
♥Ally Nightingale & Ren Zano♥
8.5 Rock Chick Redux by Kristen Ashley
Short Story about Ally & Ren
9. Rock Chick Reawakening (1001 Dark Nights) by Kristen Ashley
Read first, last, or anywhere in between.
“I’d never really needed a castle. I just needed my Prince Charming. And I’d Found Him.”
♥Daisy & Marcus♥
10. Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley (Surprise 50th birthday release)
“Was in the room when both of my daughters were born,” he shared strangely.
“Yeah?” I asked.
His gaze finally stopped on mine. “So that was the third most beautiful thing I witnessed in my life.”
♥Shirleen & Moses♥
Rock Chick Renewal, a short story – Tod has been planning Rock Chick weddings for years. He’s got a new one on his hands. And it’s not what he expected.
“They stopped him at the side and Tod gazed up at his partner, his lover, his best friend, his everything-and-had-been-since-time-began-because-they’d-been-destined-for-each-other-since-the-earth-started-rotating-around-the-sun.”
(12). Quiet Man: A Dream Man Novella (1001 Dark Nights)
Though this says it’s a Dream Man Novella, it is really a Rock Chick/Dream Man mashup. Starring Lottie, Jet’s Sister, and Mo, who works for Hawk from the Dream Man Series.
“You know, this isn’t woman-falling-for-her-bodyguard syndrome, honey,” I told him. “It’s Lottie-falling-for-Mo syndrome.”
♥Lottie & Mo♥
The Colorado Mountain Series
From Kristen: The Colorado Mountain Series takes place in a trinity of fictional Colorado towns situated close to each other, Gnaw Bone, Carnal and Chantelle. This series that will be seven novels follows the stories of seven connected men on their rocky road to second chances. *One more book is in the works*
“In my life, I’ve learned when to let shit go and when to fight for it. This, babe, what we got, I’ll fight for.”
♥Nina & Max♥
See my 5 star review here
“God, if he wasn’t so handsome, strong,
sometimes sweet, didn’t have a Harley, that beard, a tendency to play with my hair, didn’t look so good in jeans and wasn’t so danged good in bed, he would seriously not be worth it.”
Lauren and Tate (OMG, just TRY not to totally fall for Tate!) This was my first Kristen Ashley book, and it hooked me for life. I do not have a review for this, I read it before I started the blog. It is at least 5 stars though!
♥Lauren & Tate♥
“What you need to give me is to know it is not about you, it’s about me, you gotta suck it up and stand by me, you gotta know, in the end, I’ll work my ass off to make it all worth it to you and you gotta always remember I love you and I have never, not once, said those words to any breathing soul so you also gotta know what that means.”
Ty & Lexie (Sigh, Ty — see what I did there? I rhymed). I read this before I started the blog, so no review.
♥Ty & Lexie♥
“Faye, darlin’, I want you to hear this and get it, what you just gave me was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever been given in…my…life…With me, anytime, anywhere, you’re safe. But of the anytime and anyplace you’re with me, the place you’re safest is right here, in my bed…You can react how you want. You can be who you are. If I’m doin’ something you don’t like, you can stop me. Nothin’ will ever happen in this bed that you’ll be uncomfortable with. I swear to you, baby. You’re safe here and you always will be.” -Chase
♥Faye & Chase♥
See my 5 star review here.
“His lips came to mine where he whispered, “Love of your life.” I stilled. Then I drew in a soft breath. After that, I admitted, “It’s always been you.”
Fuck, now I gotta fuck you again,” he murmured, but his murmur was jagged.”
♥Zara & Ham♥
See my review here.
“You piss me off. You make me laugh. You make me think. You’re absolutely fine with me being nothin’ but me. You’re fuckin’ gorgeous. You’re a great lay. And you like my dog.”
♥Emme & Deck♥
See my 5+++ Star review here
“Suddenly, he was the only man there. The only man at the bar. The only man in the universe. The only man breathing. The only man for me.”
♥Justice & Deke♥
See my 5 star review here
8. (Unnamed, coming soon) Wood’s story.
The ‘Burg Series
From Kristen: “Based in my hometown of Brownsburg, Indiana, The ‘Burg Series will be six books following the interweaving tales of friends, family, love and crime in a small town.” These can also be read after all the Chaos and Unfinished hero books.
“… she tipped her head back and in his ear, she whispered, “Since I was three, there’s never been a day when I wasn’t in love with you.”
♥Feb & Colt♥
“You’re mine, the girls are mine. I’m stakin’ my claim with you right now…”
“You’re unbelievable,” I snapped.
That socked me in the gut… Taking advantage, his face dipped close and his hands curled around both sides of by head.
“First fuckin’ time you smiled at me in my bed, that’s when it happened,” he murmered.”
OMG…LOVE this book!
♥Cal & Violet♥
“Live this with me, just live it, whatever happens, however it happens, live it with me for two days. It doesn’t go the way you like, we’ll talk Monday night. It goes the way you like, we live it real and ride it out. Will you give me that, honey?”
♥Rocky & Tanner♥
“You’re right, I’m here to right wrongs and I’m gonna do it, Angel. You told me I’d had my last chance but I don’t accept that and I won’t. If you tell me now that my explanation is not enough and you want me gone, I’m not goin’. I’m not giving up. I got one part of my life’s dream still open to me, every sign she gives me is screaming that she’s standing in my arms right now and I’m not gonna be ninety years old, looking back on my life and regretting that I gave up that dream.”
♥Dusty & Mike♥
“You’re crazy-brave, babe,” he said quietly…You’re crazy-beautiful and I ‘spect you been that way all your life. You’re crazy funny. You’re crazy sweet…Seven years I been fuckin’ up. Right now, that shit ends.”
♥Frankie & Benny♥
“You got good, you don’t let it go. It lets you go, you hold on. It slips though your fingers, you pull out all the stops to get it back. You got somethin’ worth fighting for, you fight for it. You do not sit on your ass waitin’ for it to come back to you. You show whoever that is they mean something to you and you go all out on that, and the only way you go down is doin’ that shit swinging.”
♥Cher & Garrett♥
7. No Clue (A Short story in Loose Ends)
No Clue, a short story – Visit with Joe and Vi from At Peace of The ’Burg series and learn how Joe breaks up a fight between his sons, what Ryker’s up to and why, exactly, his wife Violet has no clue.
“It was also about a lot of laughter, quiet golden moments, silken moments of utter pride, and a shit ton of sex. In other words, he was living the life. He kinda knew he’d get that the minute he laid eyes on her. He fought it, but he still knew. Thank God he quit fighting. “
The Dream Man Series
The Dream Man Series is similar to the Rock Chicks but a little grittier, and a little sexier.
*Note: Mo from this series and Lottie from Rock Chicks get together in Quiet Man, the start to the new Dream Girls Series coming in 2020.
“About five seconds after I left you today, things between you and
me, they changed,” he informed me in a quiet voice.
I felt my brows draw together as my mind processed the fact that
this was not good.
“Changed?” I asked. “How?”
“You got attitude, the kind I like. So I decided I’m gonna ride that
attitude wave of yours, see how things work out.”
♥Gwen & Hawk♥
“I can’t make any promises about where this is gonna go but what I can do is give you me, keep you safe while you walk on the wild side and work my ass off to do what I can so this never goes bad for you.”
“Mara, I’m keepin’ you safe. I’m keepin’ those kids safe and you don’t have a choice in that, sweetheart. Thats just the way it’s gonna be… I was made to protect you and you were made in the way that it would always be worth it.”
♥Mara & Mitch♥
4. Motorcycle Man (Dream Man Series Book 4) (This started the whole motorcycle craze!)
“No baby, I’m not scaring you. You’re just scared. You give me a little more, you’ll see I’ll protect it. More, I’ll protect that too. When you give it all to me, if it works with us in a way that lasts, you’ll never be scared. You’ll feel safe enough to have your eyes open, your arms up and you’ll enjoy the fuck outta the ride. I’ll see to that, Red, and that’s a promise.”
♥Tyra & Tack♥
Mitch, Mara and the Cubs!
Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family.
The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard.
Enter Mo Morrison.
Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly.
But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it.
However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die.
But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters.
All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man.
And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl.
You know, this isn’t woman-falling-for-her-bodyguard syndrome, honey,” I told him. “It’s Lottie-falling-for-Mo syndrome.”
♥Lottie & Mo♥
The Chaos Series
From Kristen: The Chaos Series is a spin-off of my Dream Man Series, taking us on the journeys of the lives and loves of the boys of the Chaos Motorcycle Club.
**(It’s recommended you at least read Knight of the Unfinished Heroes before you read Ride Steady of Chaos, it’s also recommended you read More Than Everything, a novella in the Loose Ends Anthology before reading FREE)**
♥Elvira & Malik♥
“This is why.” he clipped, stalked the three steps that separated them, snaked an arm around her waist, drove a hand into the back of her hair, and hauled her into his arms.
He slammed his mouth down on hers. Then he thrust his tongue between her lips and there it was….
Better than he would have guessed. Better than years of wondering how good it could be.
The best he ever had.
With just a fucking KISS.”
♥Tabby & Shy♥
Read my 5 star review (and interview!)
“Every step, every breath, every second I lived on this earth, I’m thankful for, no matter how fucked up or whacked or hard or good, ’cause all that shit led me to you.”
♥Laine & Hop♥
2.5. Every Year: A Christmas to Remember (Chaos)
A Chaos short story in this anthology
“I held on, pressed close, and enjoyed my first Christmas kiss from Shy Cage.
And I enjoyed it a whole lot.
When he broke the kiss and lifted his head half an inch, he whispered, “Merry Christmas, Tabby.”
Loved my man.”
♥Tabby & Shy♥
The ride of her life . . .
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy—until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa’s pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
Climb on and hold tight . . .
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he’s the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa’s acting, it’s clear she’s falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker’s secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa—or ride away forever . . .
“She might make it tough on you, but if she’s that girl and you’re it for her like she is for you, this will be a bump in the road, but then you’ll ride steady.”
♥Carissa & Carson♥
A short story on Kristen Ashley’s website featuring Shy, Tabby and Tack.
The flame never dies . . .
Millie Cross knows what it’s like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn’t be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie’s chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can’t ignore. And this time, she won’t let him ride off . . .
Bad boy Logan “High” Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she’s just a ghost of her former self. High’s intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn’t want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie’s betrayal, he’ll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .
♥Millie & High♥
♥Elvira & Malik♥
Rosalie Holloway put it all on the line for the Chaos Motorcycle Club.
Informing to Chaos on their rival club—her man’s club, Bounty—Rosalie knows the stakes. And she pays them when her man, who she was hoping to scare straight, finds out she’s betrayed him and he delivers her to his brothers to mete out their form of justice.
But really, Rosie has long been denying that, as she drifted away from her Bounty, she’s been falling in love with Everett “Snapper” Kavanagh, a Chaos brother. Snap is the biker-boy-next door with the snowy blue eyes, quiet confidence and sweet disposition who was supposed to keep her safe…and fell down on that job.
For Snapper, it’s always been Rosalie, from the first time he saw her at the Chaos Compound. He’s just been waiting for a clear shot. But he didn’t want to get it after his Rosie was left bleeding, beat down and broken by Bounty on a cement warehouse floor.
With Rosalie a casualty of an ongoing war, Snapper has to guide her to trust him, take a shot with him, build a them…
And fold his woman firmly in the family that is Chaos.
“Life, Rosie,” he said gently, “is not about goin’ it alone. It’s about finding the right people to share it with who will make it better when it’s good and be there to hold you steady when it’s not.”
♥Rosalie & Snapper♥
The brother known as Hound has a reputation. He’s all about cracking heads, having a good time, and when the Chaos Motorcycle Club needs someone to do the tough job, they call on him.
But Hound has a secret. He fell in love with a woman years ago. She’s untouchable. Unattainable. And even when her status changes, for Hound, it remains the same.
Keely Black had it all early and lost it all not long after. Thrown into an abyss of loss and grief, she’s faced a life of raising two sons alone and battling the rage at all that had been ripped from them.
Words spoken in anger open Hound’s and Keely’s eyes. For Hound, he sees he’s wasted his life loving the wrong woman. Keely sees she’s wasting her life not opening herself to the love of a good man.
“So, uh…this going fast thing, we’re breaking all the records, yeah?” I quipped. “That’s us, baby. Wild like the wind. Can’t rein that shit in.”
♥Hound & Keely♥
Through good times, bad times and times of war, Cole “Rush” Allen grew up in the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Along this journey, he watched his father, Tack, and his MC brothers fight, sweat, bleed and die to steer the Club to legitimacy.
And they’ve got one more battle on their hands.
A battle they have to win.
But when Rush meets the woman who put herself right in the thick of it, he knows he has to stop at nothing to get her out.
Rebel Stapleton has lost someone she loves to murder and she’s the kind of woman who’s going to do something about it. She puts her career on the line, and her life, to bring the man who did it to justice.
That is, she does this until Rush Allen intervenes.
Chaos is at war and they’re about to face the ultimate showdown. They’ll have to negotiate skeletons from the past, enemies becoming allies, and loved ones in the line of fire on their ride to be…
“It isn’t over,” Rush pointed out. “No, but we’re at the end of that tunnel, Rush. I feel it. That fucker was long, and it got tight along the way, but we’re gonna get there. Intact. Save Black, but at least we got his sons so he’s with us. We reach the end, it’s all sunshine and we got a future that’s bright.”
♥Rush & Rebel♥
“You know you can’t keep a good brother down.”
The Chaos Motorcycle Club has won its war. But not every brother rode into the sunset with his woman on the back of his bike.
Chaos returns with the story of Dutch Black, a man whose father was the moral compass of the Club, until he was murdered. And the man who raised Dutch protected the Club at all costs. That combination is the man Dutch is intent on becoming.
It’s also the man that Dutch is going to go all out to give to his woman.
♥Dutch & Georgie♥
When he was sixteen years old, Jagger Black laid eyes on the girl who was his. At a cemetery. During her mother’s funeral.
For years, their lives cross, they feel the pull of their connection, but then they go their separate ways.
But when Jagger sees that girl chasing someone down the street, he doesn’t think twice before he wades right in. And when he gets a full-on dose of the woman she’s become, he knows he finally has to decide if he’s all in or if it’s time to cut her loose.
She’s ready to be cut loose.
But Jagger is all in.
Coming March 9, 2021
COMING IN 2020/2021!
THE DREAM SERIES
(4 Books, published with Forever Romance)
DREAM MAKER will be published as a mass market original on May 26, 2020 with simultaneous ebook and audiobook editions. The following as-yet-untitled installments in the Dream Series will be published in fall 2020 and spring and fall 2021. Forever previously published Ashley’s Dream Man, Colorado Mountain, and Chaos series.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Kristen again to introduce readers to an all-new series and to bring back characters she created in her bestselling Rock Chick and Dream Man series,” said Amy Pierpont, Editor-in-Chief of Forever. “A new book from Kristen is always exciting but a new series is a major event!”
The Dream Series will expand on the world created in the New York Times bestselling Rock Chick and Dream man series, and the four new novels will celebrate the strength, resilience, and power of women who are forging their own paths. In DREAM MAKER, Evie is a smart, pull-herself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of chick. Resourceful, quick-witted, and committed to her goal of earning an engineering degree, Evie won’t let anyone or anything stand in her way. Especially not an overly confident guy who insists she needs his protection. But Evie can see there’s more to Daniel “Mag” Magnusson than he presents to the world, and if he can leave his past behind, he might just earn her trust.
Kristen Ashley is a publishing dynamo that has united fans around the globe with her girl-power messaging and stories that speak to the legions of readers who love books that celebrate life, love, and sisterhood. “I’m ecstatic to dive into my new Dream Series!” said Kristen Ashley. “I love writing about strong women who aren’t what the reader expects, and who succeed by determination and with support from powerful friendships. I’m excited to share this mashup of Rock Chicks and Dream Men with readers.”
**I highly recommend reading QUIET MAN a 1001 Dark Nights Novella before reading Dream Maker. It’s kind of the 1st in this series.
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Dream Man and Rock Chick series comes a brand new story about love, friendship, and the bonds of sisterhood.
Evie is a bonafide nerd and a hyper-intelligent chick who has worked her whole life to get what she wants. Growing up, she had no support from her family and has only ever been able to rely on herself. So when Evie decides she wants to earn her engineering degree, she realizes she needs to take an alternative path to get there. She takes a job dancing at Smithie’s club thinking this would be a quick side gig, where she can make the money she needs. But with her lack of dancing skills and an alpha bad boy who becomes overly protective, Evie realizes this might not be as easy as she thought.
Daniel “Mag” Magnusson knows a thing or two about pain, but the mask he wears is excellent. No one can tell that this good-looking, quick-witted, and roguish guy has deep-seated issues. Mag puts on a funny-guy routine so he can hide his broken heart and PTSD. But when Evie dances her way into Mag’s life, he realizes that he needs to come face-to-face with the demons of his past if he wants a future with her.
♥ Evie & Mag ♥
2. Dream Chaser (The Dream Series Book 2) (Coming 12/15/20)
In this steamy, addictive contemporary romance spinning off from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley’s Dream Man and Rock Chick series, Ryn Jansen must put her trust in the one man she wants — and the one man she can’t let herself have.
The Unfinished Hero Series
Note from Kristen: The Unfinished Hero Series are not my usual steamy romances, they are erotic romances. Not erotica, as such, but the sex in these books, starting with Knight, is quite explicit and explores the intricacies of love and trust in a relationship, including sexually.
That said, these are love stories. It isn’t about sex, it is about happily ever after. As always.
And last, one final warning, the heroes of these books are anti-heroes. They are good men who do bad things. They have their reasons. They have their own codes. They may seek (and find) redemption. Or they may not. They simply are who they are, do what they do, and find love along the way.
“Wars fought over a face like this,” he murmured like he was talking to himself, my heart stopped beating and his thumbs moved lightly across my cheeks. “A man would work himself into the ground for it, go down to his knees to beg to keep it, endure torture to protect it, take a bullet for it,” his eyes came to mine, “poison his brother to possess a face like this.”
“Jesus, I’m gonna possess that beauty.”
BEWARE: The heroine refers to the hero as “Daddy”. I had a hard time with it the first time I read it, but the second time I just changed it in my head and loved it.
♥Anya & Knight♥
“Then and now, beautiful, I’ll take you any way you come to me … Any way. I love this Sylvie, I loved that Sylvie. I just love you, baby.”
♥Sylvie & Creed♥
“He crossed his arms on his chest, making the muscles in his biceps bulge and the veins in his forearms pop. I was concentrating on taking in all the fabulousness so I might have missed the full orgasm but I was relatively sure I had a mini one.
Then he smiled.
There it was.
The full orgasm.
It was a wonder I didn’t moan.”
♥Hanna & Raid♥
“I was a cold motherfucker, off the grid, no life, no home, no ties, no emotions, everyone knew it. Until I came back to some rundown cabins I’d been to before that were off the beaten path…A place no one could find me. But when I came back, a beautiful woman with attitude, amazing eyes, and lips I wanted wrapped around my dick was fighting with her boyfriend. Lucky me, later, I found she was stubborn, ornery, funny, strong, spoke her mind, liked dogs, to be tied up…and she resurrected me.”
♥Cassidy & Deacon♥
“The instant I caught sight of him, I froze.
He was tall.
His eyes were the color of the ocean.
And he made me believe that I could want something, take it and have it.
Something precious would be mine.
Even if that belief only lasted seconds, I’d waited all my life to feel that feeling.
To really, really believe.”
♥Olivia & Nick♥
5.5. The Favor, a short story in Loose Ends
Deacon and Cassidy from Deacon of the Unfinished Heroes series go back to their favorite cabin at Glacier Lily, and there, Cassie asks her husband a favor. He’ll give her anything she wants. Including this.
“You’re it. You’re my life. You’re the reason I breathe. You’re my wife. You’re my savior. My life had no meaning until you entered it.”
Heaven and Hell
Heaven and Hell is a contemporary romance that stands alone for now, but there is more to come.
According to Kristen “Heaven and Hell would be more fun to read after the Rock Chicks, the Colorado Mountain and The ‘Burg series are consumed.”
“He was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen in my life. By far. And that was before I saw him in real life and in real life he was more beautiful than ever.
But that deep, rough-like-velvet laughter glided right across every inch of my skin, leaving beauty in its wake that soaked through and, I swear to God, it felt like it settled into my soul.”
♥Kia & Sampson♥
The Stars Aligned, a novella in Loose Ends
The long-awaited love story of Hap and Luci. Introduced in Heaven and Hell, readers learned, after a heartbreaking journey through grief, Luci was ready to take another chance at love. But Hap was adhering to “the code” between brothers, unwilling to betray his dead friend Travis by falling for Travis’s widow. Further, Hap can’t quite believe a beauty like Luci could fall for a normal guy like Hap. But for Luci and Hap the heart can’t be denied. Especially when the stars align.
“You’re my religion.” Luci closed her eyes. Yes. She’d been right. She’d just been worshiped”
♥Hap & Lucy♥
The Magdalene Series
“I’m afraid,” I admitted softly.
His arms pulled me closer and I felt his lips on my hair when he answered, “Beat that back, honey. No reason to be scared. Not with me.”
♥Josephine & Jake♥
“I fell a little bit deeper in love with Mickey.
I did it wondering how that saying came about considering falling in love didn’t feel like falling.
It felt like soaring.”
♥Amelia & Mickey♥
“Eighteen years ago Coert and I fell together against all odds. Then it ended. And neither of us got over it. No more missed opportunities. It was time to risk everything.”
♥Coert & Cady♥
*Note: We see Henry from The Will inLoose Ends, and he may have a story in the next Loose Ends!
Play It Safe
“Never before, never since have I felt for any woman, fuck anyone the way I felt about you. I want that back. I want my girl back.”
I haven’t read this one yet, I’m saving it for a book slump.
♥Ivey & Grayson♥
The Honey Series
1.The Deep End
Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are pleasure slaves committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire. At the elite Honey club, no boundary will be left untested, and one’s darkest desires will become a sensual reality.
Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him craves the lifestyle offered by this secret, exclusive club.
When Amèlie invites Olivier to surrender, she pushes him to explore his deepest desires as a submissive. As they grow closer and find themselves falling harder than either of them anticipated, the truth about Olivier’s past could threaten the budding relationship they both long for.
Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.
“You are un-fucking-believably beautiful. You’re also un-fucking-believably hot. But I wouldn’t guess with the acres that make all of you, every inch of it so damned sweet, you’re a walking wet dream, that when you get riled you’re also un-fucking-believably cute. And there is no way in fuck five minutes ago, you told me a gorgeous redhead was gonna lead me to a room and make me her pony, I would be cool with that. But standin’ here with you, I’m totally fuckin’ cool with that.”
♥Amèlie & Oliver♥
Step into the Honey Club, where every sensual boundary will be tested in search of the ultimate pleasure….
Branch doesn’t exist. Living off the grid, he’s looking for a way to forget his past and the guilt that plagues him. But no woman has ever been able to bring him to the edge he craves.
After a traumatic experience of her own, Evangeline stepped away from the decadent world of the Honey Club. But when she gets Branch’s offer – to play without boundaries or commitments – it’s too tempting for her to refuse.
As their passion ignites, Evangeline and Branch push each other to their farthest limit, fulfilling their darkest desires while falling harder and deeper than they ever imagined.
“He needed a firm hand. She knew it to her soul. And Evangeline had one.”
♥Evangeline & Branch♥
A woman unable to connect, struggling to hide another part of her. A man burning to learn her truth, and make her whole. Through explosive passion and deep exploration, they are about to take the greatest risk of all. But will they be able to take that leap, and come out on the other side together? In this next passionate novel in the Honey series, New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley delivers a stunningly romantic and intensely sexy novel that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
“I want to be your lover. I want to be your Master. I want to know all your secrets. I want to unravel the mystery that’s you and then help you keep it safe. I want you, and the way I want you is beside me, in bed, in play and in life.”
♥Stellan & Sixx♥
4. More Than Everything, a novella in the Loose Ends Anthology
Readers left Diesel, Maddox and Molly at a crossroads at the end of The Greatest Risk of the Honey series. Maddox and Molly were all in with their commitment to their unconventional love triangle. But Diesel was letting the pressures and prejudice of family and society sink under his skin, making him hold himself distant from the man he loved. Can Maddox and Molly lead Diesel fully into their lives and give him more than everything?
“Took a lot of ass, took a lot of cock, it’s still only you and it’ll only ever be you.”
When small-town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.
Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids and himself is his only priority.
Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them – a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.
Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.
But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.
In other words, things are definitely…Complicated.
“Sounds perfect, I told her. And it did. But suddenly, everything was. A cramped apartment, a broken nose, three kids who barely knew me, one not knowing what to make of me, a future that was complicated. With my hand in Hixon’s, it was all suddenly just that, perfect.”
♥Hixon & Greta♥
The Moonlight & Motor Oil Series
1. The Hookup
When the new girl in town, Eliza “Izzy” Forrester decides to hit the local drinking hole, she’s not ready to meet the town’s good, solid guy. She’s definitely not prepared to engage in her very first hookup with him.
Then Izzy wakes up the next morning in Johnny Gamble’s bed and good girl Izzy finds she likes being bad for Johnny.
Even so, Izzy feels Johnny holding her at arm’s length. But Johnny makes it clear he wants more and Izzy already knows she wants as much of hot-in-bed, sweet-out-of-it Johnny Gamble.
Floating on air thinking this is going somewhere, Izzy quickly learns why Johnny holds distant.
He’s in love with someone else. Someone who left him and did it leaving him broken. Whoever was up next would be runner up, second best. Knowing the stakes, Izzy will take what she can get from the gentleman that’s Johnny Gamble. And even knowing his heart might never mend, Johnny can’t seem to stay away from Izzy.
Until out of nowhere, his lost love comes back to town. He’s not going back, but Johnny still knows the right thing to do is let Izzy go.
And Izzy knew the stakes, so she makes it easy and slips though his fingers.
But that’s before Johnny realizes Eliza moved to town to escape danger that’s been swirling around her.
And that’s why Johnny decides to wade in.
That and the fact Eliza Forrester makes breakfast with a canary singing on her shoulder and fills out tight dresses in a way Johnny Gamble cannot get out of his head.
“This was it.
This was all he was ever going to have.
Her body. Her pussy. Her hair. Her neck. Her breasts. Her scent. Her taste.
Her belly would swell with the babies he’d plant there.
Her skin would wrinkle.
Her hair would gray.
He would mourn her when she was gone and there wouldn’t be another for him.
Or he would leave this earth knowing she’d do the same.
That was it.
The rest of his life.
♥Izzy & Johnny♥
Tobias Gamble knew from a young age precisely the kind of woman he was going to make his. She was not going to be like his mother. She was going to be like the mother he claimed.
In other words, she was going to be just right.
And when Toby returns to his hometown of Matlock, Kentucky and claps eyes on Adeline Forrester, he knows she’s the one.
The problem is, his brother Johnny has a new girlfriend. And Addie is her sister. Last, Toby would do nothing to hurt Johnny’s chance at happiness.
Toby hangs around town to get to know the woman Johnny fell in love with. He also hangs around to get to know Addie.
But he’s fallen hard, and he knows the best thing for him—and Addie—is for him to leave.
Addie Forrester is thrilled her sister Eliza found a good, solid man. Johnny Gamble is the salt of the earth. The best guy in the world.
The best except for his brother, Toby.
Toby doesn’t know it, but Addie’s fallen hard too. He’s perfect, except for the fact that he’s hands off and it’s torture, being friends with Toby when she wants so much more.
Addie also has a lot on her mind. She’s got bills to pay, her young son needs food, Christmas is coming and her job at the grocery store just isn’t cutting it.
Toby is steering clear of Addie. Addie is steering clear of Toby. But everyone around them knows this is the slow burn.
Because just like Eliza and Johnny, Addie and Toby were made for each other.
“This was the best day ever. Maybe it was even better than the day I had Brooklyn. Because that day, I got Brooklyn. But this day, both my boy and I had everything.”
♥Toby & Addie♥
Fast Lane is different from all other Kristen Ashley books and is told like a rock documentary. It does not relate to any other Kristen Ashley book and can be read at any time, though I would not recommend that you read it first, only because I wouldn’t want her writing judged on such a different type of book.
They were the gentlemen bad boys of rock. Forming in a garage in a small town in Indiana. Taking their licks on the road. Going balls to the wall until they made their big break.
And then Preacher McCade and the Roadmasters redefined rock and roll.
Guided by their tortured lead singer and songwriter, the Roadmasters changed the face of music in the 80s and 90s. And on their journey to becoming one of the most enduring bands in history—dogged by rumors and myth and fueled by drugs and booze—the Roadmasters had one touchstone.
Preacher’s muse, the love of his life, and the band’s moral compass, from the beginning, Lyla is along for the ride.
But with fame and acclaim in their grasp, they’ve entered the fast lane.
And they didn’t know it, but they were headed for a crash.
*Told as an oral history intermingled with a narrative, the story of Preacher McCade and the Roadmasters will keep you on your toes.
The River Rain Series
From Kristen: “This series was started with the help of you, my readers, during the pandemic crisis of COVID-19. The first book in this series is free, a gift to my Chicklets for their loyalty and support over the years, and a project we all banded together to produce during a challenging time. Thank you for years of kindness and encouragement. I hope you enjoy what we built together.
And when this series continues, wait for it…because when I start writing it, I’m gonna rope you in again.”
They were the Three Amigos: Duncan Holloway, Imogen Swan and Corey Szabo. Two young boys with difficult lives at home banding together with a cool girl who didn’t mind mucking through the mud on their hikes.
They grew up to be Duncan Holloway, activist, CEO and face of the popular River Rain outdoor stores, Imogen Swan, award-winning actress and America’s sweetheart, and Corey Szabo, ruthless tech billionaire.
Rich and very famous, they would learn the devastating knowledge of how the selfish acts of one would affect all their lives.
And the lives of those they loved.
Start the River Rain series with After the Climb, the story of Duncan and Imogen navigating their way back to each other, decades after a fierce betrayal.
And introduce yourself to their families, who will have their stories told when River Rain continues.
Even if you don’t read paranormal, they are Kristen Ashley, so they are AMAZING
The Three Series
From Kristen Ashley: The Three Series will be a trilogy (not surprising) which follow the three couples, mixtures of immortal and mortal, prophesied to save humanity. We start with a vampire and a human. We move onto werewolves. And after that…surprise!
“I’ve been waiting to have you since I knew you existed. But I’ve been waiting for someone like you for five fucking centuries.”
“Eight hundred, twenty-two years, I’ve never felt anything this beautiful,” he whispered, still driving and my eyes, half-closed, shot open.
Oh God. I loved that he thought that. He wasn’t done. His gaze held mine.
“Eight hundred, twenty-two years, I’ve never seen anything this beautiful.”
Oh God. God!
“I could fuck you for eternity,” he whispered.
♥Leah & Lucien♥
“If I could have wished what I thought was my perfect mate on the wind and had her come back to me in a storm, I could never have come up with anything as exquisite as you.”
♥Sonia & Callum♥
“I was born to be yours, you know,” I told him.
“I know.” he told me.
I nestled deep and whispered, “I’m sorry I took so long.”
Abel said nothing, just held me tighter.
“We’ll live wild and free,” I promised.
“You got it,” he agreed, now his voice was rough.
“After we save the world, that is.”…
“Born to be yours, baby,” I kept whispering.
♥Delilah & Abel♥
The Fantasyland Series
The Fantasyland Series will be a series of five novels that take place in our world and a parallel universe where fantasies are true…but perhaps not all you would expect. Includes dragons, plots, poison, magic, and more. Even if you think you won’t like fantasy, this series is pure KA.
“You are, my wee Finnie, beyond my wildest dreams.”
♥Finny & Frey Drakkar♥
“Out there, King Lahn is a fierce warrior but in here, my Lahn… kah Lahn is sweet.”
His eyes changed, intensity shifting in when he murmured, “Fierce warrior, sweet.”
I grinned at him. “You’ve sort of got it.”
“Fierce warrior, sweet,” he muttered again.
♥Circe & Dax Lahn♥
“Only you.” It took a lot but I forced my eyes to his face to see his were moving around the room. I shouldn’t ask. I really shouldn’t ask. But I asked.
“Only me, what?”
His eyes came to me. “Only you could put color in a colorless world.”
♥Cora & Tor♥
4. Broken Dove
“I’ll tell you now, my poppy, for years, I never thought I would be happy. Never again. So I never imagined I could be happier.”
“All my life I’ve never been happy. So I never imagined ever being that way. Until now.”
♥Ilsa & Apollo♥
“You don’t have a midnight soul, Frannie. Your soul is so bright, I look too close, I’d be blinded.”
♥Franka & Noc♥
The Rising Series is four books, serialized, first released as Audible Originals, in November 2019 and running through February 2020. A spin-off of her Fantasyland Series, these tales take place across the Green Sea and tell the stories of four heroines, and four heroes, who need to come together to save their continent from the rising of an ancient, unstoppable Beast.
The print and digital books will be released in Summer of 2020.
Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, there existed the continent of Triton. The land was filled with beauty, but it was also splintered by war. Out of the chaos grew a conspiracy to reawaken the Beast, a fearsome creature who wrought only tragedy and devastation. The only way to stop him was to fulfill an ancient prophecy: Triton’s four strongest warriors must wed its four most powerful witches, binding all nations together and finally bringing peace to the land.
This is the story of their unions: the quiet maiden Silence and the savage king Mars. The cold warrior Cassius and the fiery witch Elena. The steadfast soldier True and the banished beauty Farah. And the pirate king Aramus and the mysterious queen Ha-Lah. Their unions will not be easy, but each couple must succeed, for the fate of their world is at stake….
I started this one on audio, but had a little too much trouble concentrating and following the adventures of four different couples. I look forward to trying the Kindle version upon release.
The Ghosts and Reincarnation Series
An important FYI (from Kristen): Three books in my Ghosts and Reincarnation Series take place in my favorite National Trust properties. Penmort Castle is based on Dunster Castle. Sommersgate House takes place in a property based on Tyntesfield. And Lacybourne Manor in one based on Clevedon Court. If you ever have the opportunity, my strong recommendation is to see these beautiful properties and hopefully, one day, you can read these books that fictionally take place in them. To learn more about The National Trust, go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
“When he was going to have his fill of her, he didn’t know and he was beginning to doubt he ever would. Every time he had her, he wanted more, needed more, she was like a fucking drug.”
♥Julia & Douglas Ashton♥
I will add the rest as I read them…
One more book is expected
Paranormal Standalones (for now)
Spans 3 generations and includes a genie!
“One day, I wish to find a man like in my books. He has to be just like in one of my books. And he has to love me, love me more than anything in the world….”
♥Lily & Nate♥
2. Mathilda, Superwitch: Rise of the Dark Lord is the long awaited sequel to the original Mathilda.
This interview with Kristen Ashley was done mid June, 2018
•What is your current Work in Progress and what is coming up next? I remember hearing something about a Rock Chick spin-off in L.A., and Wood and Maggie’s story, but haven’t heard much since.
I’m not working on anything currently. Just finished Rush and Rebel’s book, the finale to the Chaos series, out in January 2019, and Addie and Toby’s book, the finale to the Moonlight and Motor Oil series, out probably in April 2019. It’s about time for summer travel for book events, I’m squeezing in a vacation, so I’m leaving the keyboard alone until I get back from my first-ever trip to Hawaii in July!
So all of that is on its way, as well as Loose Ends, which is an anthology of short stories and novellas. I’m hoping this will be super popular and take off because I loved writing it, going back to some folks I haven’t been with in a while, and tying up some loose ends with stories that need to be told. Right now, I plan to have this out in October of this year. And it’ll feature novellas for Hap and Luci (introduced in Heaven and Hell) and Diesel, Maddox and Molly (introduced in The Greatest Risk) as well as shorts for Tod and Stevie of my Rock Chick books, Joe and Violet from At Peace and Deacon and Cassidy from Deacon, plus an extra little ditty.
•Tell me about your vision boards. Have you always done them? Do you do them before you start writing or as you write? Do you think this is what helps your amazing descriptions?
No, I haven’t always done them. I used to make stuff up in my head or design outfits in my mind, houses and rooms I’d picture for my characters. But I started to get in the habit of looking for inspiration by doing Google searches for stuff I wasn’t good at making up, like “masculine bedrooms.”
I had so much fun perusing ideas, that ballooned to finding clothes and decorating ideas. I’d save the images to a folder and keep going back to them to get a feel of space or a character’s style. Then I’d put them on my Pinterest page after publication, so my readers could see it.
Then, in January of this year, I went to the Eloquii offices in New York for a Spotlight photo shoot with them, and they had this huge zig-zag divider covered in pictures and bits of fabric. It blocked out months and months of clothing designs. It was crazy cool! I’d just had my office redone and I thought, that would be perfect. Set up an easel by my desk and print out my images, so all I had to do was turn my head and visually be in my worlds. I love them. They rock! And it’s weird, I’ve only used the easel for three works, but now I don’t know what I’d do without it!
•Do you have any writing regrets? Like something you wrote into a book that you wish you didn’t? Or something about publishing? Or an idea you had that you never got to write?
I got this awesome advice from a plumber who was at my house to snake my drains (he had thirteen kids, he was a chatty guy, and with thirteen kids, he was pretty sage). He said the most important lesson he teaches his children is “be where your feet are.” There is nothing you can do about the past. It’s done. You can’t change it. Move on. You also can’t control the future, no matter how you might want to. It’ll happen how it happens. Be where you are and be present where you are.
In other words, I try not to regret stuff. If it didn’t go as I expected, at best, it’s a lesson to be learned. At worst, it’s over and I need to focus on where I’m at.
That said, one book (Kaleidoscope) I wish I’d written entirely from the hero, Deck’s, point of view. I think it would have been a stronger story. And I have a ton of books I’d like to write, and they never go away. It’s just finding the time to write them!
•You have recently worked with a stylist. You’ve always had great style, can you share some things you learned that work and don’t work for you? How about some favorite products?
Malia (of Style by Malia), is very wise. I love clothes, accessories, makeup, anything to do with being girlie. I even realized in some instances they can be used as armor to bolster your confidence and help you face the world…or at least a certain situation.
I never saw them as Malia taught me to see them in an everyday kind of way. When she went into my closet to assess it, she asked me to go in and show her something I loved. I must have slid aside dozens of hangers before I found a blouse I adored. She said that was what she expected. She also said you should walk into your closet and think, “What do I get to wear today?” Not, “What do I have to wear today?”
I realized then that I never bought anything new unless I was going to a book event and would be photographed in it. I had clothes from Denver, where I hadn’t lived for well over a decade. I had clothes that were stained, torn, misshapen, weren’t my style, I currently wasn’t feeling them, or they didn’t fit me anymore.
Now, I grew up not having a lot, so I felt it was a waste not to get as much wear as possible out of my wardrobe. Malia told me that for a lot of that stuff, there’s someone who would love to have it, but for the stuff that is stained, torn and worn, if it just makes me feel like garbage when I put it on, why do I put it on? Why would I purposefully make myself feel like garbage?
I then did a huge cleanse and you cannot imagine the burden that lifted from me I didn’t even know I was carrying. Like getting rid of a skirt I bought that I loved that I never fit into. Not for fifteen years! It just taunted me that I hadn’t lost the weight. Or business suits I hadn’t worn since Denver, and I work in an office over my garage, I never wear business suits. They don’t fit anymore. Why am I holding on to them? And all my bridesmaid dresses I’d never wear again, but they’re so pretty. How many girls going to prom who can’t afford much would love to hit the Goodwill and find one of those babies? Well, a number of them now have pretty dresses!
I kept the outfit I wore to my mother’s memorial service and my wedding gown. That’s it. And even if I’m sitting with me and my cat Starla, writing in my office over the garage, I have something on where I feel like I look cute and I can bounce to the mailbox or hit the grocery store or make dinner and have a pep in my step. And on top of that, I’m where my feet are. Not in my past. Not in Denver, not in England (I had tons of these huge wool sweaters, I live in Phoenix! I do NOT need huge wool sweaters). I’m in my now.
Tell it true, sister, it’s done amazing things for state of mind. I could actually go on about this for ages. After the cleanse, I had a ton less clothes, but everything in the closet I loved. I took time to add pieces I love and I assess what I buy for that purpose. “Does this make me feel good?” not, “Is this useful?” (and then buy it in every color, which is just lazy and makes me bored of it faster). And now…well, now I present me to the world as I see me in my present. And that’s a wondrous and beautiful thing.
•Have you binge-watched anything good lately? Are there any shows you’ve watched that influenced your writing? PS If you haven’t seen the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon, you need to!
I recently binged “Dear White People” on Netflix. It’s exceptional. I think everyone should watch it. These voices, these viewpoints, these experiences, even dramatized, it’s crucial for people to face them. It is not stuff me, as a white woman, can ever truly comprehend. But even if it can’t engender true understanding, that just is not a shoe I can try on, some level of that and more, empathy for it is important, especially in our world as it is today.
That makes it seem heavy, and there are heavy moments for certain, the writing and acting are outstanding, but it’s also funny and engaging and sexy. There’s a lot going on, but it’s presented in a way that entertains, even as it makes you think about important issues we all really should think about and creates awareness that’s vital, not only in our society as it is today, but as it’s been for centuries.
As for shows that influence my writing, that happens almost always. I watched Streisand and Kristofferson’s A Star Is Born last night and I was all, “OMG! I have to write a story with a burned-out famous guy who falls in love with some breath of fresh air, talented, together chick!” It’d take a book just to share all the inspiration I’ve gotten from movies and TV.
And PS: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is on my list of things to watch!
**Note: Posted on my Facebook from Kit: Just FYI, I watched the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I LOVED IT!!!! Can’t wait for it to come back! Thanks for the recommendation! xxoo
•Let’s talk music! I love your taste in music. Do you listen while you write or do you need silence? Is there any new music you’ve discovered lately that you love? Hint: My son has a new EP out: Spotify | Amazon | Apple Music | iTunes (buy) | YouTube (SHAMELESS PLUG)
Shameless plug all you want. I’ve pulled it up on YouTube to listen!
As for music, as you know, it’s insanely important to me. Speaking of inspiration for books, it often comes from music (“Say Something” prompted the plot of my book Deacon, for instance).
That said, unless there’s a song that’s kind of a “soundtrack” part of the book, I write in total silence, no distractions…at all. Though if I write a scene where a song is integral to it, I’ll listen to that song over and over again while I’m writing the scene, and over and over again while editing it. But that’s the only time I listen to music when I’m writing.
New music I love? The White Buffalo. I heard one of his songs while watching The Punisher. He’s done music for Sons of Anarchy and This Is Us as well. I downloaded stuff like a fool after hearing “Wish It Was True” on The Punisher. Favorites are “Where Dirt and Water Collide” and “I Got You.” Have to say, love him so much, Rush and Rebel talk about him in the Chaos finale!
•If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?
Write for you…it took years for me to throw out the rules and write for me. I was writing what I thought a publisher or agent would want. Not what was in my heart, not how the stories really wanted to flow from me. I wish I had that time back!
•If you were not a writer, what profession/job/career would you have wanted to be in? And why?
I’d want to own a coffee shop. I love coffee. But I also dig that vibe. I have to tell you, I’ve been considering opening a coffee and bookshop here in Phoenix called Fortnum’s South (even though there’s no Fortnum’s Original, except in my head). Have book signings there. Have a windowed office where I could go and write and be at the bookshop and in that vibe while doing it. Not to mention, walk out and order up a yummy coffee whenever I felt like it. If I just had about forty more hours in a day, and a huge stack of money to blow on a probably stupid idea, I’d be all over it.
•Favorite thing to do after finishing a book?
You know, I just get on with it. With life, work and so many books in my head, I’m a busy chick. I should probably sit among candles and have some ritual or something. HA! But I just keep on keepin’ on!
•What do you do on release days?
Release and promote. Oddly, I’ve never done anything specific to celebrate. Though, I’ll often buy myself a little somethin’-somethin’ to pat myself on the back. But I don’t do champagne celebration or anything. And I should probably do that too!
•If you could live in any of your worlds, which one would you choose?
I would so totally want to know Tex and drink one of his coffees. It would be a hoot to sit in Fortnum’s and see the Rock Chicks and Hot Bunch shenanigans play out. Not to mention, just see those men, live and in person.
Though I’d want one for myself!
I am so honored to have Kristen Ashley answer a few questions for us! (Summer 2017)
Can you tell us what the next few books you are working on are?
Weeeeellll, this is a really good question. I actually have a goodly number of books written. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been this far ahead of the game! I have The Hookup, which comes out in December, the first part of a two-part brother/sister series (I’ll let the books explain that ditty) called the “Moonlight and Motor Oil Series.” And by the way, that’s an exclusive to you! I don’t think I’ve shared that much about the last book I’m sliding in to release in 2017!!
I also have two Chaos books done and dusted, both coming out next year. We’ll be working on definite dates they’re coming out with news on that soon.
And last (for now), I’m working on the final book in my Honey series, Stellan and Sixx’s story, The Greatest Risk, which again will come out next year.
After that, I have the choice of finishing out Chaos with Rush’s story or finishing out Colorado Mountain with Wood and Maggie’s story. In between writing The Greatest Risk and starting my next, I’m away from home for nearly three weeks so we’ll see what I’m in the mood for when I get back!
I know you’ve gotten into the Black Dagger Brotherhood lately, does that mean you may be bringing us some more Vampires?
I’ve already done vampires with my Three Series. I had hoped to find time to write more about the werewolves from With Everything I Am who had not yet found their mates, and that’s not out of the question, just on the back burner (like a lot of things).
However, just because I did vamps once, doesn’t mean I won’t redefine it and start a whole new world. I always say that I never say never when it comes to what books I’ll write. I never thought Nick Sebring would get a book (Sebring). I never thought I’d tell Daisy’s story (Rock Chick Reawakening). I never thought I’d give in to my urge to write an alpha-sub BDSM book (the Honey Series). So as you can see, I definitely never say never with that kind of thing!
I asked recently about toss pillows being in every book. Is there anything else you try to sneak in every book you write?
I used to always try to sneak in a scene that is foreshadowing for the reader of a story that it wouldn’t be possible for them to get…how the hero and heroine’s day-to-day lives will be after the drama ends. For instance, in At Peace when Joe, Violet and the girls are in the kitchen laughing about how Violet went off on Susie. Or in Rock Chick Redemption when Hank and Roxie are watching a movie on the couch and he’s tickling her. Or in Motorcycle Man when Tack and Tyra are out on his deck, drinking coffee and he’s giving her shit.
These scenes, I hope, flow with the story but they’re also deliberately placed to say to my readers, “Here it is…this is how they’ll share their lives. No worries. It’s all good.”
You have great taste in music, do you listen when you write?
Only when I’m writing a scene with music. Other than that, I need quiet and peace and utterly no distractions. When I was still married and living in England, my husband used to wear headphones to watch TV when I was writing. He also preferred it (I’m not that big of a diva). But I was glad he preferred it!
I know your favorite book is usually the one you are currently working on, but can you tell me your favorite series of yours? How about your top three favorite couples and top three characters?
The Rock Chicks will always be my favorite series. They were where I let go and found my writing style, my voice, decided to break the rules, go for it and let it all hang out there. Not to mention, there are a lot of memories of really good times and characters based on people I love in those books. So yeah…the RCs for sure.
As for favorite couples, I’m going to cheat and just give you my favorite RC couples because I couldn’t do it for all my books, I might have a seizure. So, Lee and Indy, Jet and Eddie and Luke and Ava. And seriously, that nearly gave me a seizure because I also wanna pick Ren and Ally (and Hector and Sadie) (and Hank and Roxie) (and Stella and Mace) (and Vance and Jules) (and Daisy and Marcus) (and don’t take that parenthetical list in order…because the first I was going to type was “Vance and Jules” but I looked over at the books and saw I don’t have Revolution on the shelves so Ren and Ally came to mind!).
As for three favorite characters, that’s easier: Tex, Daisy and Elvira. I also adore Tod and Stevie but they’re based on real people, so although characters in real life, and they are mine, I didn’t make them up!
You always look so classy, confident and put together. Where do you do all your shopping?
What a gorgeous compliment. Thank you!
I’m a girlie girl. I was lying in bed last night, reading LOVER AT LAST and thinking I need more badass heroines that aren’t into clothes and makeup and don’t give themselves facials all the time, like Xhex and Payne. HA! Then I realized I probably would not be able to do that. It’s just such a part of who I am (including the facials) that it flows into my books (that doesn’t mean you won’t get future heroines from me who are badass, not so into clothes and makeup and the word ‘facial’ isn’t in their vocabulary).
So I love shopping, in stores and online. And I’m totally digging on this revolution of curvy girls being able to find quality, stylish clothes. I’m a big fan of Nordstrom and Target. I also love Athleta and buy both workout gear and streetwear from them (their T-dresses come in petite, tall and plus and they are amazing—I have three and I just bought two more). I also now get a lot of pieces from Eloquii, which I’ve found are knockout looks that get a lot of attention any time I wear them out.
And lately, to shake things up a bit, I’ve been following style and lifestyle Instagrammers, like Style by Malia and Vilma Iris, and getting lots of super cool ideas. Not to mention I just flat-out hired Malia from Style by Malia to help me out with some big events coming up.
But the bottom line of this is that I get juiced looking after myself. It could be feeling good after getting on the treadmill or putting together an outfit that makes me look cute or buying a new makeup palette that I dig.
And everyone needs to find their brand of juice. It doesn’t really matter what form that “looking after yourself” comes in. If you take some time out for you to read or do affirmations or meditate or kick a boot camp’s ass or retile a bathroom or macramé a plant holder. For me, I dig on taking time to make myself look cute. It puts me in a fab headspace, straightens my shoulders and frankly, it’s all about me. And we women need to realize that’s not a bad thing to be all about ourselves on a regular basis and do whatever it takes to get a little juiced up or give yourself a little peace of mind. Trust me, you’ll hit such a high, it’ll shine through, affect your mood and those around you, and the people in your life will thank you!
And now we know why all of Kristen Ashley’s heroines are so freaking awesome, because SHE is, and parts of her are in every character. Thank you so much Kristen!
(Answers are from 2014)
Who is your favorite character you have written?
Tex from the Rock Chicks. He’s funny. He’s lovable. He’s loyal. He’s unpredictable. He’s who he is and you take him as he comes. And he’s based on two men in my life, one who I adore beyond reason (who is totally not like Tex except in the way he loves) and one who I knew only briefly but he took care of me. So, it can’t get better than Tex!
Your favorite couple/male/female (that you wrote):
Girlie! You know this is impossible to answer! No way. They might all start fighting in my head if I tried to answer this and then I’d slip into catatonia and how would I get through Downton Abbey (or write more books) if that happened? I love the one I’m with. Always.
Your favorite book (written by you):
See above. 🙂
Your favorite book (written by others):
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
If you read three books in this life, you recommend __________________:
Oh, what a sad life it would be to have only three books in it (don’t we know).
A sex word you hate to read and would never write:
My head jerked when I read this question because I immediately thought, “IS there a sex word I hate and would never write?” Then it came to me. “Penis.” It’s not a sex word, as such, and yet it is. Not that I hate the word, but it’s so clinical I shy away from it (but can’t say in all the books I’ve written I’ve NEVER used it). Now I feel the need to use it. To challenge myself. If it doesn’t work, I’m blaming you!
Ana: Oh shit.
Your favorite TV show:
At this very moment, Downton Abbey.
What kind of music do you love/loathe:
There is very little music I loathe. I just love music. Top preference, rock ‘n’ roll!
Who is your favorite band?
Pearl Jam. I love me a lot of music but it always comes back to Pearl Jam.
What song are you embarrassed to admit you sing to every time?
I don’t get embarrassed for liking things. If I like it, I own it. For example, “Call Me Maybe” has a bad rep but I freakin’ LOVE that song and sing and jig to it whenever it comes on. And IF I were to EVER do karaoke (which I would not subject any human being to if it could be avoided), it would be Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.” In my car, I ROCK THAT SONG!
Ana’s note: Watch the “Call Me Maybe” video to the end.
Your favorite non-book related activity:
Probably shopping. Even if I’m not out to buy anything, I dig browsing and wandering and ending up getting myself a latte. For some reason, in a busy life, doing this feels very decadent! Okay, not probably shopping, definitely shopping.
The weirdest fun fact about you:
I think pretty much everything is weird about me. I’m a pretty weird gal. Most your readers probably think it’s me still liking “Call Me Maybe.” Maybe it would be surprising to folks to know I’m incredibly tidy and organized. To the point that all my clothes are hung according to hue then sleeve/pants length and I wipe down my kitchen sink after every use because it’s stainless steel and I dislike water spots. I have a happily disordered mind so order around me is a good thing. And I just like pretty and don’t mind making things look pretty. So there you go!
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
Social Media Links:
Meet Kristen at Wicked Book Weekend 2015 Ft. Lauderdale.