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Monday, June 29, 2015

Audio Book Lovin' Presents: Interview with Kristen Ashley & Giveaway

Kelly, from Books-n-Kisses and I would like to welcome Author Kristen Ashley to our Audio Book Lovin series!  I've read Kristen's "The Unfinished Heroes Series" and loved it! I'm currently listening to "Knight" now to as a re-read.  

Kelly and I are so excited to have you be part of our Audio Book Lovin’ Series.

And I’m excited to be here! Thank you!!!

Throughout the Audio Book Lovin’ series, we’ve learned that some authors have been heavily involved in the process of their books becoming audiobooks and others have had little to no involvement at all. Tell us what your level of involvement has been thus far and if you prefer it that way or would like to be more involved? 

First, I have to admit that until I was approached to buy the audio rights to my books, although knowing that there were audiobooks and many listened to them religiously, I had never heard an audiobook. So outside of listening to samples of narrators and choosing them (with some trepidation since I didn't know what I was looking for), with my ignorance of this format, that’s all I could really offer to the process.

Lucky me, this was for my ROCK CHICK series and I selected Susannah Jones, who has been extremely popular with narrating my flagship series. I've listened to her doing the ROCK CHICKS and I know why. She’s the bomb.

However, outside of teaming with Audible to market my books and being there for narrators as they prepare to narrate in order to answer any questions they have, this is still the level of my involvement. Though, selecting the right narrator is crucial for me considering I write mostly in first person, stream of consciousness so assisting my reader into getting into the head of the heroine is a very big thing for me. Finding a narrator to embody her voice (as it were) is obviously vital. I just recently had the opportunity to spend some time with my audiobook For You and heard Liz Thompson’s narration of my heroine, February Owens. Honest to goodness, tears came to my eyes. She was PERFECT!

The selection of narrators is very nerve-wracking but so worth it when your books come to life in that way and they work so beautifully.

Do you listen to your audiobooks after they are finished?  Why or why not.

I've listened to some of some and only because I don’t have the time. If I had more time, I’d have listened to them all (maybe repeatedly!). If I’m on a plane or have other big blocks of time (this is VERY rare) I go to one of my audiobooks. But I’m a music lover so when I work out or take a walk, I do it to music. But I’m just a busy gal so time to kick back and just lose myself in a book, either audio, digital or print, is sadly rare.

Kristen, what do you love/like about audio books?

The full up give-yourself-up-edness (yes, I created that word, roll with me) of it. You don’t have to concentrate on anything. You don’t have to hold anything. You don’t have to do anything but close your eyes and be swept away. Considering my answer to the previous question, that I’m a very busy girl, this doesn't happen often. So to just relax and be carried into a different world, hover there while you’re told stories…well, there’s not a lot that’s better than that!

As a reader/listener, what do you prefer or look for in a narrator? (i.e. do you prefer a male narrator or a female narrator? Do you want them to entertain you with different voices and perform or just read to you?)

In a perfect world, all my characters would have narrators who played parts. But that would be like producing a movie! So obviously, that can’t happen. But with my books, seeing as they’re usually from the heroine’s POV, I like female (though, with GOLDEN TRAIL, the POV was the hero so we had a male narrator). And sometimes the “performance” of voices takes me out of the listening if they aren't as I personally envisioned the character I created. Sometimes, however, it does work. But I’d prefer a charismatic reading…unless the narrator is particularly talented.

As a writer, you have different formats that readers will be able choose from (i.e. ebooks and traditional print), what is it about audiobooks that you like having your written words now being spoken?

As a writer, there are two big things that are major life goals. One, writing, expressing, telling your story, crafting it, giving in to your voice, giving a voice to your characters, (and for me), guiding them (or following them) them an HEA, and doing all this to the very best of your ability. That’s A-#1.

 A-#2 is the honor of people choosing to spend their time reading it. So in order to do that, you have to provide it in as many formats as you can so they can have that opportunity. Finally getting my books in audiobook was a huge deal for me because it exposed my work—my beloved babies—to a new audience. And that, for a writer, is gold!

If you could pick one person (male or female) to narrator your life who would it be and why?

Oh my. I don’t know! I’d wish it could be someone with a sexy, sultry voice like Kathleen Turner. But it would probably be more honest to have someone with a funny girl voice like Jennifer Anniston. Because I’m a clown. And I’m a strong woman, but I’m still intent on being a girl until the day I die!

For anyone who has not listened to an audiobook before.  What would you tell them to try to convince them to listen?

I’d share my answer about what I love about them. The give-yourself-up-edness of it. The pure relaxation of being swept away in a story. As adults, we don’t have storytime anymore, anyone to read us to a content, stress-free state.

Unless we “read” audiobooks.

Thank you so much for being part of our Audio Book Lovin’ Series! 

And thank you right back for having me! Big hugs! xxoo

Check out audio clips from the first book from the The Unfinished Heroes Series, The 'Burg Series, The Magdalene Series and Rock Chick Series as well and learn a little more about Kristen. Then don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

(The Unfinished Heroes Series Book 1)
By Kristen Ashley 
Narrated by Savannah Richards

Anya Gage has learned that to get anything good in life, you have to work for it. She has no expectations, no dreams. Then she finds herself at a party where she doesn’t want to be, and she meets Knight. Knight Sebring knows who he is, what he wants, and what he likes. And he gets it. But he never expected something as sweet as Anya Gage to wander into his bedroom during a party he did not expect to be having to borrow his phone. Knight tries to leave Anya to the life she deserves, with white picket fences and a man who watches football on Sundays - good, normal, and clean. But when Anya comes to his nightclub and finds herself in a situation, he knows someone has to look after her. He can’t fight it anymore and decides that someone will be him. Knight teaches Anya that just as with the bad, in life you should also expect the good. And he teaches her this by giving it to her. But Knight has a dark past, and just as he desires Anya for exactly who she is, he fears that when she finds out exactly the man he has become and always intends to be, she’ll leave him for good, normal, and clean.

Purchase at Amazon | Audible 

(The 'Burg Series Book 1)
By Kristen Ashley
Narrated by Liz Thompson


Lieutenant Alexander Colton and February Owens were high-school sweethearts. Everyone in their small town knew from the moment they met they were meant for each other. But something happened, and Feb broke Colt's heart; then she turned wild, and tragedy struck. Colt meted out revenge against the man who brought Feb low, but even though Colt risked it all for her, Feb turned her back on him and left town.

Fifteen years later Feb comes back to help run the family bar. But there's so much water under the bridge separating her and Colt, everyone knows they'll never get back together - until someone starts hacking up people in Feb's life. Colt is still Colt, and Feb is still Feb, so the town watches as Colt goes all out to find the murderer while trying to keep Feb safe. As the bodies pile up, the feds move in, and a twisting, turning story unravels, exposing a very sick man who has claimed numerous victims. Along the way Feb and Colt battle their enduring attraction and the beautiful but lost history that weaves them together.

Purchase at Amazon | Audible

The Will
(The Magdalene Series Book 1)
By Kristen Ashley
Narrated by Hollis McCarthy

Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant. While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love. But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it. Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.

Purchase at Amazon | Audible

Rock Chick
(Rock Chick Series, Book 1)
By Kristen Ashley
Narrated by Susannah Jones

Indy Savage is a former wild child (okay, maybe not so "former") and current used-bookstore owner. Lee Nightingale is a former bad boy and now runs a private investigation service. Toss together a quiet barista with a not-so-lawful side-business, a crazy Vietnam Vet, a pothead, a drag queen, family and friends who will not mind their own business, a few stun guns, and a bag of diamonds, and mix them all up with some shootings, a high-speed chase and car bombs exploding, then hang on for your first wild Rock Chick ride.

Purchase at Amazon | Audible

About The Author

Kristen Ashley: 
I was born a middle class white child in Gary, Indiana, USA. One of the last of a dying breed. I nearly killed my mother and myself making it into the world, seeing as I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck (already attempting to accessorize and I hadn’t taken my first breath!). Mom says they took me away, put her back in her room, she looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). She remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

All I’ve ever wanted to do was write (well, and be the Queen of the World, but you gotta start small) and I’ve published a gazillion books and counting (and a gazillion is a lot! shoo!).You can learn about my titles that have been released or that are soon to be released in the Titles section of the website.

Even though I jump genres, there is always a theme to my books…humor (hopefully), engaging characters (again, hopefully) and romance (definitely).

My loves are movies, music, food and fashion and I partake of all of them as often as I can (the middle two more than the others, the former, which takes time I don’t often have and the latter, which takes money I rarely have). In fact, I love food so much, I like to share my good fortune so I put my recipes on offer for you on this page (see top menu and don’t miss them, they’re awesome!).

I grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and have lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus I’m blessed to have friends and family around the globe. My family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write and growing up it was large and multi-generational. We all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. I grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as I keep growing up, it keeps getting better.
So here I am, thank goodness.

You can find Kristen at


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  1. Oh my I really liked listening to these snippets. knight sounds interesting

    1. KNIGHT is awesome! I so want him in real life! LOL! I just finished the audio book ! The narrator did a fantastic job!!!