(A Chaos Novella)
by Kristen Ashley
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new story in her Chaos series…
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.
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An Exclusive Interview With Kristen Ashley:
~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog
OMG I loved Archie and Jagger *all the heart eyes*. How did you choose them for this novella?
Honestly, Jagger’s girl hid from me until the last minute. Then, I watched Zoe Kravitz in “High Fidelity.” That is a book I loved, by an author I love (Nick Hornby), and a movie (with John Cusack) that I loved, but the modern twist of Zoe playing Rob was spectacular.
And I thought…tweak this (primarily, make Jagger’s girl a little less messed up than Rob, HA!) and this hits so many marks.
First, we need a “new” Fortnum’s for the young crowd. And I love and adore vintage shops and geeky record stores that sell albums (obviously) and kitschy, hilarious stuff. I could dink through both for hours. And the owners/buyers have to be cool as shit or they wouldn’t be able to find all that awesome stuff.
So, second, that resonated for Jagger. He is not going to have his head turned by just beauty. He’s 100% going to need flat-out cool.
Archie fits that bill. She’s that girl who’s hip and up on all the trends and has a hunger for life at the same time is very mellow and Zen and is just straight-up cool. Perfect for Jag.
And she in turn provides this kickass place for the next generation to hang!
The Black brothers hold such a special place in our hearts and it was such an amazing experience to read both of them get their HEAs. How did it feel to write them?
They wrecked me. I can get into my books and I will get intensely emotional, but my God. The denouement in this book broke me. It is not an exaggeration that I cried for six hours straight when I wrote that (I have photo evidence, I took a picture of myself and sent it to Liz, showing her what Jagger was doing to me, snotty nose, red puffy eyes and all!).
I really don’t remember having that kind of breakdown with a character before.
I think this was because this was the true end of the arc from when Black was first mentioned long, long ago in Motorcycle Man. Finally, to have all of his people happy. All of them in love. All of them taken care of. I think I was waiting for that, I needed it, I needed to give it to them, to Black. And the release of that happening was my undoing.
Shit, I’m crying now. Honestly, these Black boys.
It was the end of a massive journey for me. For them.
Black could rest.
And that meant everything to me.
Can we talk about how awesome the name Archie is for a heroine? How did you come up with it?
I love the name Archie. And I felt there were going to be parallels for Dutch and Jagger. They were their mother’s sons, their father’s sons and Hound’s sons. So, although they are very different, they are also quite the same. When Dutch’s girl was named Georgie, well…
Watching Zoe play Rob in “High Fidelity” clinched it. Use an unusual, kickass name for an unusual, kickass heroine. Perfect.
Has a story ever gone in a direction you never anticipated once you started writing? Which one?
Hmm…I have to say, not really but only because, for the most part, I’ve made no decisions about What’s Going to Happen! when I go into a book. I don’t plot, so it’s an adventure for me from the start. I never know what’s going to happen, so it’s all a surprise for me.
But I do make assumptions or have expectations. And sometimes, those don’t pan out.
For instance, I’m writing Chloe and Judge’s story, the next in my River Rain series, and Judge just revealed who his father was. And I was like, “WHAT!?!?!” That was absolutely not what I was expecting.
My books unravel for me as they do for my readers.
We can just say, I have the greatest job EVER!
If you could own any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be and what would you name it?
Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. This opens so many possibilities.
My very first thought is a gryphon named Fluffy. We could fly around, and he could freak out drivers that don’t use their turn signals. Or he could fly over me and swoop down in front of folks who pull out in front of me then immediately turn right. He could hang out on the deck with me up at the Rock Chick Shack. We’d have tons of fun together.
I think a dragon would be difficult to keep fed and God knows, I’d love a unicorn. But it’d constantly be like when those friends who send you cards, and you open them, and the glitter goes everywhere. I don’t need to be vacuuming up glitter every day. I get enough of that with Starla leaving fluff balls everywhere.
So gryphon it is!
Can you give us a line from your current work-in-progress?
“We’ve already established I can’t be a dick on command. I can only do it when I’m flirting with you.”
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She 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 she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.
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