Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Audiobook Lovin 2019 Presents: Kristen Ashley Interview & Giveaway




Please welcome Kristen Ashley to 
Audiobook Lovin'!!



Hi Kristen and welcome back to Audiobook Lovin’. LOVE having you as a returning guest! You have been a staple of this event from the very beginning, not only because I freaking luv and adore ya, but your books are phenomenal!! 

I hope you know, I love and adore you right back! And miss your face! 

Thank you for having me again! 


I want to start with your recent release THE SLOW BURN (sooo freaking awesome). The hero, Toby, clearly says at the beginning he doesn’t like women (and people in general) who can’t own up to their mistakes. Fast forward and there is a moment when the heroine was clearly in the wrong, and usually, this is where the couple has their moment and things end and then one of them (usually the man) has to figure out how to fix things in order to get them back together. It's the moment when as a listener/reader, you want to yell at the characters and say “Just talk to each other” or “Ask, don’t assume!” and you feel like you want to throw the book/device across the room! Uhm.. but NOT SO in this story!! God that was SUCH a breath of fresh air!! There was little angst between the hero and heroine and when either of them messed up, they owned up to it, fixed it and moved on. What caused/inspired you to write these characters with these characteristics? 

Well, I don’t know. HA! My characters come to me as they come, and I just follow along with what they give me.

But I do think both Addie (from THE SLOW BURN) and Izzy, her sister (from THE HOOKUP) are very mature. They aren’t super young in their books, but they are mature for their ages. And I believe this is because they had an amazing mother, but not the easiest life. Then they lost their mom too early, and that’s a lesson to live life a certain way and part of that way is not to let things like that fester between people who care about each other.

Now, I’m all about the angst, if it works with the character’s personality. It’s delicious!

But for this group, including Toby and Johnny (the brothers and heroes from the two books), they’d lived a lot of life, learned a lot from it and they poured that into their budding relationships, thank goodness!


One of the things you’re known for are strong heroines; ones that support one another as well as empowering each other as women and lifting each other up vs. tearing one down. Why is this important to you? 

This is an excellent question because it’s such second nature to me, I wouldn’t have considered there’s a why. However, I know there are women out there who aren’t like that and it saddens me tremendously.

I always say, if women didn’t hold each other down, we’d rule the world.

And do it a lot better!

I think part of it comes from exploring Women’s Studies at Purdue. It was a minor of mine in my degree and I took a ton of classes. So, I became a proud feminist a long time ago.

But more, I have a lot of very good female friends. Very, very good friends who were there for me in the best of times, and the worst of them, and who honored me with the privilege of the same. The strength of the sisterhood is stunning. We have so, so much going for us, and so, so much holding us back that it was important, nay, crucial to do my bit to guide women to finding their strength so they can break those chains that hold them down.

Part of that is seeing and celebrating your beauty, however that comes, your talents and your skills, and learning not to tear yourself down.

Part of that is guiding sister-readers to finding a sisterhood that will help them do that. That will point out all the beautiful parts of you and celebrate them so you have more weapons to fight those external forces that make you feel less for whatever reason that is (how tidy you keep your house, that Insta account of someone you admire and you drag yourself down because you think you won’t have their awesome (filtered and edited) home décor or their chops with lip-liner or their booty in a bathing suit—IMPORTANT NOTE: your house is your house, keep it as you want; and that Insta account is filtered and edited and I can assure you, that person has their own issues they’re dealing with that you don’t want).

I say often I have a variety of goals with my books. It’s not just to tell a love story (though, there’s always that!)—it’s to use my characters to attempt to show my readers to be kinder to themselves (and others), to try to find ways to love themselves (and love, accept and not judge others), and to surround themselves with women who will help them with those things!  


Where you find your own strength? 

My friends! HA! But of course!

My family. The teachings of my mother, grandmother, aunts, sisters, nieces, colleagues I’ve worked with (the females [wink]). 

As you’ll see, most of these are women so I don’t want to leave my brothers out, and there have been many, of the blood and not.

I’ll tell you, I fumble and there are way too many times I’m indecisive or I second-guess myself or I berate myself for…whatever. I do not have it all figured out. Not by a long shot.

But I grew up with a lot of love around good, strong, smart, honest, decent, honorable people.

I paid attention.

And as I continue to surround myself with these kinds of people, I still do.


Let’s take a minute and chat about alpha males… your alpha males are to die for!! Strong, sexy as sin, they know what they want and they go after it. At the same time, they love and respect their women! Again, this is something you are known for… why do you think women like/love/want these type of men? How “real” are they? 

I really didn’t know there were non-alphas until I moved out of my childhood home! HA! There is definitely a lot of fodder in my life for these heroes I write.

And just sayin’, as mentioned above, the women I grew up around were not doormats. 

I saw from a young age how two strong people can be together, with some fights and fireworks, sure, but the relationship works, and no one is crushed by it—no one has to be less so someone else can be more.

That is what I explore (and like to promote) in my writing.


You’ve been working on a new Fantasy, a spin-off of the Fantasyland Series, correct? I read that this will be an AUDIBLE EXCLUSIVE and that the first 4 books will be published back to back with different heroes & heroine! What can you share with us about this new fantasy? 

I have been living and breathing this 4-part series since October! And loving it!

Though, I will say, I’m glad I’m done but only so I can get those beauties out there.

Honestly, the idea came to me about this years ago and I’ve been dying to write it. I actually mention the realms that we’ll be visiting with this story in MIDNIGHT SOUL, the finale to my Fantasyland Series, and be basis of all of this other world, and the heroes and heroines, had already come to me way back then. 

I try to branch out, attempt new things, shake it up for myself and my readers, and grow as a writer, so taking on this mammoth project was important to me as it does all of that!

This non-linear storytelling was a massive challenge. Especially doing that while doing a deep dive into world-building. 

This was more of a challenge than I expected, and took months longer to write than I’d scheduled. Not only writing four books back to back in the same series (I’ve never done that…I’ve never remained in one fictional world that long), but also each book around the same length (I failed, the first book is shorter than the rest, the second book is way longer, but I nailed it in books three and four!).

I also had to write cliffhangers (as this is a serial) to end the first three installments (I very rarely write cliffhangers and it’s quite something when you don’t, to have to build that crescendo time and again—but never fear, these will be released on back to back months so there is not going to be a long wait to get back to the story).

And there are also a great number of points of view, with four heroes, four heroines, and a large cast of characters, these moving around different voices, different realms.

Shoo!

But I’m super proud of it. The cliffhangers in Books 2 and 3 are off the hook! 

I’m so excited to let it loose. I’m also insanely nervous.

But I hope people love it.


Will you be working with (or have you already started) Audible to select the narrators for this series? If so, what are you looking for in the narrator(s)? 

I’ll help with the selection process and as there are a lot of fictional places and words, offer direction in the sense of pronunciation. We’re talking about this now as Audible is looking at casting.

But, although I’d love to share about it, especially here, and most especially during Audiobook Lovin’, we’re looking at schedules and release dates and I don’t want to say what we’re hoping to do if a time crunch comes in and changes it. So, news on that soon! 


What’s next for Kristen Ashley?  

I’ll be releasing QUIET MAN, a Dream Man novella, with 1,001 Dark Nights in August. Not only is this the story of Lottie, Jet’s sister from the ROCK CHICK books, and Mo, Hawk from MYSTERY MAN’s commando, it will herald a new series I’m doing with the Forever line of Grand Central Publishing that’ll be a mashup of Dream Man and Rock Chick!

And all the heroes from that new series are introduced in QUIET MAN and they are AWESOME!


I for one, hope you revisit the “Moonlight and Motor Oil” world and give us a glimpse of how they are all doing (hint hint… maybe in the next Loose Ends? Lol )!! Thank you for continuing to write great stories and sharing them with us!! I can’t wait to listen to your upcoming releases!!!

Thank you again for having me! Big Rock Chick hugs and ROCK ON!


Guys, isn't she awesome? Check out the audiobook samples below, learn more about Kristen, where you can find her and don't forget to enter the giveaway!



Audiobook Samples



Available for purchase at Audible | Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Kobo | iTunes | Nook 


Available for purchase at Audible | Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Kobo | iTunes | Nook 



 Available for purchase at Audible | Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Kobo | iTunes | Nook 




Available for purchase at  Audible | KindleAmazon Paperback  | Kobo | iTunes |  Nook


  Available for Purchase at Kindle | Audible | Amazon Paperback | Kobo | Barnes & Noble



About The Author



Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Heroes, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books. 

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and now she resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She currently writes full-time.

Although romance is her genre, the prevailing themes running through all of Kristen’s novels are friendship, family and a strong sisterhood. To this end, and as a way to thank her readers for their support, Kristen has created the Rock Chick Nation, a series of programs that are designed to give back to her readers and promote a strong female community.

You can read more about Kristen, her titles and the Rock Chick Nation at KristenAshley.net.

You can find Kristen at


Kristen's Giveaway

5 comments:

  1. I adore her! I can't wait to read/listen to whatever she gives us. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love Kristen’s books. Haven’t gotten to the Fantasyland series yet. I’ll need to get on that before the spinoff comes out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. love Kristen's book and this is a great series

    ReplyDelete

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