Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet Jessica Aspen, author of 'Goldi and the Bear (Twisted Tales)'

What was the inspiration behind this book?
After finishing Little Red Riding Wolf I was trying to decide which fairy tale to write next. I was already in the middle of another Snow White twisted tale (The Dark Huntsman, September 2013) so I turned to Goldilocks. I love the name Goldi and it kept me within the fairytale theme and the color as name theme, so I ran with it. The funny thing is that I was halfway through outlining the novella when my Passion in Print editor asked me for a book about Red’s moody brother Seth. Seth had to be a werewolf, and he deserved his own book, so I ended up writing about Snow White after all in Snowand the Seventh Wolf.
‘Goldi and the Bear' is the third book in the Twisted Tales series. How many more books do you anticipate there being and when can we expect another one?
Currently I’m immersed in a longer twisted fairy tale series, Tales of the Black Court. Getting The Dark Huntsman to press and writing the next two books in that series has taken over my writing time so I’m afraid book four in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series will have to wait a while. But I do know what I’m going to write about when I have a spare moment. Goldi’s love interest, Zeke, has two werebear brothers. They both need to grow up a little, but hey, that’s what New Adult romance is all about. I’m percolating either one book, with both of them, or two more books, one for each. I love the werebears. Who wouldn’t want more romance with such earthy and sexy men. Writing Zeke was so much fun, I enjoyed exploring his bearish depth of emotion and I’m definitely going to have to re-visit the bears in fairytales with his brothers.
Please tell us some more about the first two books in the series.
Little Red Riding Wolf is about a frustrated young werewolf who trys to break free of her family and pack by playing around with forbidden human fruit. She’s caught between hiding the existence of werewolves from her lover, Evan, and her own desires when she get’s bitten by love.

The anti-hero of Red’s story is her brother, Seth, who has too much anger, testosterone, and pure machismo. He finds love and redemption, alpha style, in Snow and the Seventh Wolf when he runs into the lovely Snow Jazzman. Snow is on the run from her step-parent’s murder attempt and even pissed off werewolf Seth can’t turn away a beautiful woman in need. Even if she is human.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
I have a brand new series of twisted fae romance novels coming out this fall, Tales of the Black Court. I’m pretty excited about them as my fans have asked me for longer stories, and these are full length novels. While I’ve kept to a very loose modern fairy tale theme, I’ve added in a fantasy element by writing about magic, the fae, and witches. Three witches take on the faery queen in order to save the last of their family from extinction. The Dark Huntsman comes out in September and will be followed soon after by book two, Prince by Blood and Bone, and Broken Mirror in 2014.
Rewriting fairytales into more adult stories seems to be a popular trend right now. Why is this concept so appealing to writers and readers?
I think fairy tales explore classic events in our lives. They are the original teaching tales. Fairy tales use a balance of horror and romance to scare us into behaving and promise rich rewards if we choose the correct path. They have adventure and glory and the threat of dire consequences if we err. All of that makes for great storytelling. And the elements of our classic fairy tales are so iconic that it’s easy to pick and choose a few and keep them, and then write a fabulously individual story. I could write a thousand tales all based on Snow White, and they would all be different. Just look at the variety of Cinderella movies from Disney’s singing mice, to Jerry Lewis in Cinderfella, to the modern rags to riches of Pretty Woman. Who doesn’t love a fairy tale? They let us walk the edge of danger to reap the rewards of romance.
Because it is so popular, how do you make yourself stand out from the others?
I write contemporary twists with a supernatural element. There are pieces embedded in my books of the classic fairy tales that readers have fun discovering, but the story is not only placed in a different setting, like the Colorado Rockies, and has those supernatural elements, like werewolves, the fae, and witches, that there is no doubt my stories stand apart. Take Goldi and the Bear. The suspense plot that runs through the story is unique to my contemporary werewolf plots, but you’ll recognize the girl in trouble theme when she’s caught in her ex-boyfriend’s house. Goldi does is injured and desperate for shelter when she enters the house of the three bears. And while she has to rummage for a girl sized bowl in a hungry-man sized kitchen, and does try out all the beds, when Zeke comes home there is a very adult, very hot consequence.
If you could rewrite any fairytale and put yourself into it, which one would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. I love so many of the fairy tales and each one has its own unique storylines. Do I want to scrub floors like Cinderella and get to wear a gorgeous gown to the ball? Or do be trapped in a tower like Rapunzel waiting for my prince, only to have to wander the wilderness later? I think I would choose Beauty and the Beast, but I definitely would want to be the one writing the happy ending so I made sure I ended up with the my kind of alpha prince, as well as the library.
You say that you like to read eclectic novels. What are some examples that you recommend to readers?
I grew up reading everything from classics to sci-fi, and I love it all. I still re-read the classic romance Pride and Prejudice every few years, but I also re-read the Turn of the Screw. I read everything from Jodi Picoult to Anne McCaffery and particularly love mystery and suspense and gothic novels. I’m toying of writing a gothic story for Christmas, this year, complete with a classic haunted house.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I make a mean gluten free microwavable brownie. I love chocolate and even though I’m trying to eat a little differently lately when that deadline pressure is on I still want my chocolate fix. If you’re interested in having tasty, chocolately, goodness in about fifteen minutes than you can find the recipe on my blog,
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I hope you enjoy Goldi and the Bear. Writing novellas is fun, they are fast-paced and suit the short fairy tale elements perfectly. I’ll definitely be writing more as my full length novel writing schedule permits. Thanks for having me as your guest today!
Thank you so much for your time!

About the Author:

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife.

Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies.

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to:

Goldi and the Bear
Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods Series
Book Three
Jessica Aspen

Genre: Spicy New Adult paranormal fairy tale romance

Publisher: Passion in Print
Date of Publication: July 2013

Word Count: 35,000 words

Cover Artist: Lex Valentine

Book Description:

Goldi Lycan’s father has gone wild wolf. Goldi is desperate because without his help the bank is threatening to foreclose on the family ranch. Even worse, she suspects the secret buyer is her ex-boyfriend, Zeke, whose heart she crushed in high school.

Zeke has a secret. He’s never stopped loving Goldi, or forgotten their steamy nights together, and he’s determined to make her pay. When Goldi is injured in a Rocky Mountain blizzard she’s forced to take shelter in Zeke’s empty house. But look out! When Zeke arrives home to find a naked she-wolf in his bed, all hell will break loose.

The truck sputtered.
“Come on, you piece of junk, come on.” Goldi hit the dash with her palm. “You can do it!”
The engine gave off a few guttural growls, coughed, and died.
“Noooo!” she wailed, and with the truck’s last rolling effort she guided it to the side of the road and into the high grass. She checked the mileage. One hundred and fifty-two miles. Nowhere near the two hundred and twenty mile mark that she needed to get gas. With the old truck’s speedometer broken as long as she could remember, they’d always re-set the odometer so they could get gas before they reached the two hundred mark. The twenty was just in case.
There should be an extra sixty-eight miles left before she ran out of gas.
She turned the car over and over, the grinding sound of the starter wearing on her nerves. No gas. And no one in sight on this lonely road that led nowhere but bear territory and Lycan Ranch. No one would be coming, and she only had half-an-hour to make it to town. On her own two feet. Or four.
She hopped out of the car and, for a fleeting moment, considered stripping off her clothes, tying them to her back, and running in wolf-form all the way to town. But, before she could put it into practice, she heard a motor. Someone was coming from the direction of Rover’s Corner. She turned. And as the expensive, shiny black pickup approached, dust blowing from its rear wheels, her lungs tightened and her heart sank.
Only one person in this area drove a new, black pickup.
The truck rolled to a stop next to the old, stalled truck, and the automatic window rolled down. Zeke Beresford leaned across the seat and asked, “Heading into town? Need a lift?”
At the sound of his voice, her heart skittered.
It had been over five-and-a-half years since she’d heard Zeke Beresford speak, and he sounded just the same. Sexy. Hot. Tempting. But he looked different. Way different. He still had thick, dark brown, straight hair, and deep, rich, chocolate brown eyes, but everything else had changed.
She couldn’t even get enough air to speak.
“I won’t bite.” His words were soft, almost flirty. But he wasn’t smiling. His face was hard, his eyes cold and assessing as he checked out her conservative clothes. And by the small shake of his head and sardonic lift to his brow, he found her wanting.
She looked up the road at the long, dusty walk to town and knew she had no choice. She had to take him up on his offer.
He started to pull his head back into the pick-up.
“No, wait.” She got the words out, grabbed her purse off the front seat, and slammed the creaky door of the betraying old truck. “I would love a lift into town.” Opening the door of the too tall truck, she raised her heeled foot up high, tugged her skirt down, and hauled her ass into the cab. “Thank you,” she said, with all the sophistication and air she could muster as she stared into the dark, dangerous brown eyes of her ex-boyfriend.
The one she’d stopped talking to when her mother had died and she’d dropped out of her junior year of high school. The one who had begged and pleaded with her to re-consider and whom she’d told she never wanted to speak to again.
Zeke Beresford, bad bear made good.
Goldi huddled on her side of the luxurious cab, working on breathing past the tight squeeze of her heart, as they drove to town. Zeke’s capable, large hands expertly handled the powerful truck and she caught herself staring at them, remembering the way they’d felt on her skin. How, a full year older, he’d taught her inexperienced high school self all the things her parents never wanted to know she’d learned. Especially at the hands of a bear.
Old desires, long forgotten, tingled along her skin. She yanked her gaze from Zeke’s hands.
“Why didn’t your date pick you up at the ranch? Afraid Daddy dear might see?” Zeke’s mocking tone raised her ruff.
“I don’t have a date,” she said, her voice stiff.
She darted a look at his hard face as he stared straight down the road. No one except Ned knew how close her father was to permanently turning wild wolf, and she wasn’t about to tell Zeke. Not now. Not with that callous tone in his voice telling her he’d never forgive her for dumping him.
He darted a look at her as they rounded the curve heading down the valley and into town. “Why are you all dressed up if it’s not a date? I don’t remember you being the kind to wear a skirt to grocery shop.”
“For your information, I have an appointment.” She didn’t want to tell him about her mission. But she was damned if she’d let him make fun of her. She felt uncomfortable enough as it was in the skirt and heels, and now being in his car was the icing on the cherry.
“Oh? What kind of an appointment?”
“A none-of-your-business kind.” That’s just what she needed, Zeke to know that she was begging the bank for time to pay off the mortgage. Her nerves pushed the tension from her tight chest into her throat. She swallowed past the lump.
“Well, you just let me know where you want to be dropped off.” Zeke eased the truck onto Main.
“Right here would be fine.” She pushed the words out past the straight jacket of her lungs, the lump in her throat, and her tightly clenched teeth.
“Here?” He pulled into an empty parking space and was out of the truck and around to her side before she could figure out which of the fancy buttons unlocked the door. He yanked the door open, and she was faced with Zeke Beresford at eye level. Anxiety clamped down on her chest and she couldn’t get any air.
“Let me help you,” he growled.
She had no choice.
She turned her knees to the side and slid out. He caught her and held her tight, pressed against his hard, muscular body. She gripped her purse in one hand, the other one landing on his shoulder as her breasts caught on his chest and he eased her down. Past his eyes, his lips, the dip of his throat, her pelvis and abdomen sliding down the thrust of his erection.
Her feet touched the pavement, but he didn’t let go. She gasped for air, drowning in the rich, spicy, familiar scent of Zeke and wished her traitor skin didn’t reveal everything she felt.
“Let me go,” she wheezed.
He didn’t move. His deep brown eyes held hers. Her chest fluttered with the unfamiliarity of being trapped.
Then he let go, and without the support of his strong arms she stumbled on the cement. Clutching her purse, she stood on shaky legs and mustered her voice. “Thanks for the ride.”
“No problem.” He backed up and bowed. “At your service, princess.”
Her already hot skin burned. She put her nose in the air and walked as fast as she could on her unfamiliar heels across the sidewalk and into the bank, putting Zeke and the past behind her. Right where he had to stay.



  1. Thanks for interviewing me today and for featuring Goldi and the Bear on your blog. I hope your readers enjoy the excerpt and I'll be back to answer any questions.


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