We are so excited to have Kristen Ashley with us today not only talking about her latest (and highly anticipated) release in the Chaos series, but also to get to know her a little more. Please help us give her a warm welcome (and get ready for the release of WILD LIKE THE WIND tonight!)
Welcome back to Under the Covers, Kristen! We’re so excited about WILD LIKE THE WIND. For readers who may not have read this series, can you please tell us about it?
Wild Like the Wind is sixth in my Chaos series, which is a spin-off of my Dream Man series, the books that gave us the real introduction to the Chaos world through the president of the Chaos MC, Kane “Tack” Allen.
The series started with Own the Wind, the romance of Tack’s daughter, Tabitha, and will end next January with Free, the romance of Tack’s son, Rush. In between there’s a lot of motorcycle club brother goodness, history, laughter, tears, love and a series-long story arc that’s reaching its pinnacle in the last few books (with maybe a few unexpected twists).
Please tell us more about Hound! What is his greatest strength? What is his weakness?
Ah, Hound. I think Hound is going to surprise readers of this series. I think this because he surprised me! I always thought of him as the crazy brother who enjoyed nothing more than cracking heads and hanging with his boys. He never really gave me much.
Except for the fact he was always there. And he was telling me something with that, I just wasn’t paying attention.
Therefore, when I started to mine the depths of Hound, I unearthed treasure. And it kept coming. I don’t often say things like this, but I think he’s my favorite Chaos brother. I fell madly in love with him.
So much so, I don’t know if I can find a weakness in him. He’s a pretty together guy. He’s got an unending amount of love to give and he gives it. Boy, does he give it.
And it would be hard to settle on just one part of him that’s his greatest strength. Though, if pressed, I’d say loyalty. He’s loyal to his Club, his brothers, his “boys” (and I’ll let readers discover who his “boys” are, but they are awesome) and especially Keely.
The beauty of that is, Hound was loyal to Keely at the same time he was loyal to Black, Keely’s dead husband, Hound’s fallen Chaos brother. And he manages to continue to be that after he falls in love with her. And he does that in a variety of ways. It’s remarkable. And just another reason why I adore him so much!
I mean, the man’s street name is “Hound” and there’s a reason for that!
What would you say if your favorite thing about writing biker romances?
Exploring romantic and familial relationships in a world where the rules are much different than the “normal” world. From Tyra and Tack in Motorcycle Man, when she came to Ride (the auto supply store and custom car and bike garage the Chaos brothers own) and entered an all-new world, writing this series has been a voyage of discovery. It’s been amazing and now that the series is complete (Rush’s book is done), I know I’m really going to miss it.
Did you have any struggles while writing this book and if so how did you overcome it?
Not really. Once Hound came to me and showed me what was in his heart, the rest just flowed from there. I tend, with most of my writing, to have more trouble trying to stop it from flowing, rather than keep it doing that!
When you’re not working, what other hobbies do you have?
Movies. Shopping. Television binge watching. Organizing (I’m an insane organizer, I got to the point earlier this year when I was on such a tear organizing my house that the checkout guy at The Container Store was commenting on my different handbags when I’d go there).
Considering my job is so sedentary, and I work at home, I have a treadmill in my house and I try to jump on it as often as I can to crank the music up and get my body moving. This is another reason why I organize and shop. No kidding. I get very tight and achy (and grumpy) when I’m sitting all the time. So I search out ways to be on the move beyond hopping on the treadmill for half an hour. It does wonders for my mood, not to mention better sleep and more energy.
I also color, read (though I wish I read more, and this is a goal, to get back into books), journal and I’m insanely addicted to giving myself facials!
What 3 things you can’t leave home without?
Keys, wallet, lippie. Always have to have the lippie!
Finish this sentence: I am the happiest when … I have my family at my house, we all have our bathing suits on and a drink in our hands and we’re hanging together in my pool.
What do you ultimately want people to take away from your stories?
This is very hard to answer because I do have a variety of underlying missions with my writing and it’d take a book in itself to describe them all!
Obviously, I want to tell the best love story that I possibly can. To draw people in to my characters and make them feel they really know them and are right there, feeling what my characters are feeling, escaping fully into my worlds.
But I also wish to use my books to empower women and strengthen the sisterhood. To help women to understand that perfection isn’t possible, and to embrace their imperfections because they’re beautiful. To be kinder to themselves, but also to others, especially other women. To see the strength of the sisterhood and how important it is to support each other, build each other up, not tear each other down.
I have heroines in my books in age ranges from early twenties to early fifties. They have different body types. Different professions. Different styles. I have heroines who are nurses and ad execs and attorneys and bakery owners and private detectives and bartenders and teachers and librarians, and also women whose greatest desire is to be mothers. They are slender, or they got back, or Buddha bellies, they’re tall, or not…my baddest ass heroine, Sylvie in Creed is 5’2”.
And they are all beautiful in their own unique ways that have everything to do with their personalities and they all have at least one female friend (but usually it’s a posse of them) who help them ride the waves of life.
In other words, through my books, and social media, and any other way I can fathom to spread the message, I want us, as women, to see our strength lies deep…not in the shape or size of our asses or the profession we choose. It is inside…and it’s in the capacity to share that strength with those around you, your partner, your children, but also the women in your life.
What are you working on next?
I’m taking a break necessitated by some travel to do some book events and horn in a nice vacation. But when I have a stretch of time in July and August, I’ll be writing a novella for 1,001 Dark Nights (that might be mashing two series, Rock Chicks and Dream Man ? – though the hero and heroine mashup might be surprising!) that will come out in summer of next year and then I hope to write a few shorts for my 2019 Loose Ends anthology.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today!
Thanks so much right back for having me!
Available July 31, 2018!
Released: July 31 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Chaos #6
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.
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