(A Stark Ever After Novella)
by J. Kenner
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner comes a new story in her Stark Ever After series…
Despite everything I have suffered, I never truly understood darkness until my family was in danger. Those desperate hours came close to breaking both Damien and me, but together we found the strength to survive and hold our family together.
Even so, my wounds are deep, and wispy shadows still linger. But Damien is my rock. My hero against the dark and violence.
And when dark memories threaten to consume me, he whisks me away, knowing that in order to conquer my fears he must take control. Demand my submission. Claim me completely. Because if I am going to find my center again, I must hold tight to Damien and draw deep from the wellspring of our shared passion.
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An Exclusive Interview With J. Kenner:
~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog
I love checking in with Nikki and Damien. How do you get your inspiration for the new story lines you create for them?
Fortunately, Nikki and Damien have a lot of “meat” to work with. Between their personal demons, their past drama and trauma, and the depth of their connection, I’m able to draw on a lot with which to craft a story! In this case, (tiny spoiler alert) because of the Really Bad Stuff in Lost With Me and Damien, I knew that the characters needed some healing, in their own particular Nikki & Damien way, of course!
How did you choose their character names when you started this series?
I don’t recall specifically where Nichole/Nikki came from, other than I wanted an elegant name that had a girl-next-door nickname. Fairchild was a conscious choice because she’s pretty and did the pageant thing.
I chose Damien because I wanted a name that had a hint of danger to it. Early on, readers don’t know him other than through Nikki’s eyes, and the original book is very much a modern gothic in that the heroine doesn’t know if the man she’s falling for is dangerous or not.
As for Stark, that was straight out of a thesaurus. I wanted a word that meant cold. Evelyn describes him as an iceberg at one point, fitting his cool personality and the fact that you only see part of him. “Stark” is a synonym for cold. (Because I thought that was too obvious, I spelled it Starck in my original proposal to my editor at Bantam. But I decided that looked stupid and changed it back to Stark). Of course, I’m clueless enough that I never thought about Game of Thrones (which I don’t think had launched as a show when I first started writing) or Iron Man. But, hey, me and GRRM and Stan Lee … Not bad company, right? And, really, could there be any other last name for Damien? (Side note, Jackson’s last name of Steele was just as intentional. Unbending and used for building – and he’s an architect. Any readers who’ve read Damien and Nikki but not Jackson and Sylvia are missing out on a great story and a VERY Damien-heavy subplot!)
I loved the visit to Paris in this book and picturing all of the locations you mentioned throughout the story. Was your current visit to Paris the inspiration to set it there?
Absolutely! I started thinking about the story as soon as we started planning the trip, and then I added in a few places we actually went! I mean, how perfect is a 1001 Dark Nights novella that ties into a 1001 Dark Nights trip?
If you could choose a theme song for Nikki and Damien, what would it be?
Folks who’ve been reading my interviews for years know that while I love music, I don’t know music. I sing along (badly), like all genres, fall in love with specific songs, but I don’t think in those kind of terms, and I’m terrible at conjuring a thematic song at will.
BUT it’s a great question so I called on the experts—my Facebook fan group, the J. Kenner Krew (if you’re not a member, why not! Come join the fun!)—and they totally came through for me!
After all the truly awesome suggestions, I ended up picking Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding. With lyrics about love, pain, blood, and light, it really resonates!
Can you give us a hint as to what you’re working on now?
I am having the best time working on Stark Security. It’s a spin-off of the Stark Saga but can absolutely be enjoyed without having read any of the Nikki/Damien books. Each book in the series is a stand-alone focusing on a different man or woman who works for an elite security force founded by Damien Stark. All the books in the series are related by the friendships and the organization, but each story stands alone. Book two, Broken With You, came out in June, and Ruined With You will be out in September, with three more planned to start up in 2020!
I’m also working on a fabulous new story with an all-new couple that I can’t wait to get in front of readers. No appearances from the Starks, but the story will have all the heat, passion, drama, angst, and eroticism that tugged fans into Nikki and Damien’s story. But … that’s all still Top Secret. So shhhhhhhh!
Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.
Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.
J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.
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