Interview with Christine Ashworth

To conclude Unofficial Christine Ashworth week, I got the author herself to sit down and answer my question about her Caine Brothers series. If you read any of my reviews this week, you know that I’m a just tad bit fond of her tribred boys. Now, for the interview!

The Caine Brothers live/work/play in Santa Monica, California. I just happened to visit the town this summer, and by visit I mean we turned off of the 105 onto Pacific Coast Highway and motored along on our 6000 mile road trip, BUT I remember thinking that Santa Monica was beautiful. It’s no wonder to me why the Caine family made their home there, or that the Caine boys eventually came back home.

aerial-third-street-promenadeI know this isn’t a question, but I worked in the Santa Monica area for almost ten years and I still love it there. I took drawing classes through UCLA Extension upstairs at the Third Street Promenade, and people watching there is so much fun. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a stop in to the 3rd Street Promenade!

In your Caine Brother’s series, you’ve combined demon, fae, and human into a new species: tribred. Of all the paranormal creatures to play with, what attracted you to demon and fae?

It was 2008. I’d read all the werewolf fiction and all the vampire fiction, and didn’t think I could compete with those, so I started playing around with other beasties. Demons drew me, but I had to make them softer – which is where the Fae comes in. Not that all Fae are soft – by no means! Once I thought of a tribred, I was satisfied that I had something that was my very own, that I could write in any way I wanted.

I also find it interesting, with the demon and fae in play, that your big bad is a human, albeit an ambitious one. Where did Kendall Sorbis come from? What was your inspiration for the witch I’d love to pour a bucket of water on?

Kendall showed up when I wrote a short story titled Demon Hunt – it was the first story I wrote in the Caine series, and at 15k, I was pretty happy with it. Then CMP bought up Demon Soul, and asked if I had anything else. I showed them Demon Hunt, and they asked me to make it a full length novel – and it would come second in the series. So as you imagine, I had some rewriting to do! But the plotline for Soul was pretty set, so I slipped Kendall in kind of sideways, as someone helping the vampire Satine for his own purposes. In Hunt, he took on a bigger role.

I’ve found a delightful similarity between Justin and Magdalena’s relationship and the one crafted by Shakespeare for Benedict and Beatrice. Are you a fan of Shakespeare? Was Much Ado About Nothing what you had in mind when you created Justin and Magdalena?

I am a huge fan of Shakespeare. My husband was the artistic director for the first ten years of Nevada’s Shakespeare in the Park, an Equity company that performs in Green Valley, just outside of Las Vegas. But – while I adore Shakespeare, I didn’t really have a thought about Beatrice and Benedict when writing Justin and Maggie’s relationship. That book was supposed to come after Demon Soul, but with everything changing, I had to drag out their romantic arc. At least I managed to get them into bed in Demon Hunt, even though it was “off screen”, so to speak!

Your fourth book in the Caine Brothers series is Demon Rage. I’m assuming it’s Justin’s story, although, one more book of unresolved bickering between Justin and Magdalena would hardly go unappreciated. Will we finally see Magdalena admit that she loves the guy?

Yes, it’s Justin’s and Magdalena’s story. If you read the teaser at the end of Demon Hunt, you know that the dynamic has changed between them. And that’s all I’m going to say at this point! (Oh, and I love happy endings!)

There’s a fourth Caine, cousin Kellan. Will there be a fourth Demon title? (Please, oh please, oh please say yes?)

I will write as many Caine novels and short stories as CMP will accept! Not only does Kellan have his story waiting, but so does Megan the doctor, and Mephisto is waiting impatiently for me to tell his story.

Yes! I love Mephisto! What’s next for you? After the Caine Brothers?

I’m working on two different YA novels; a contemporary romance set at the rodeo; and I’m writing two plays, as well. So yeah, I’m busy! Plus I have a day job, and a husband who likes seeing my face, rather than my back hunched over the keyboard, lol.

bottle-crimson-clover-bigMy husband does, too. What’s up with that? *wink* I have stack of 2-inch steaks in my freezer begging to for a proper mate. What wine would you suggest to go with pepper-crusted sirloin?

Ooh, that’s a good one. If it were just a plain steak, I’d say a nice, peppery Zinfandel. But since you’re doing pepper-crusted (YUM!), I’d go with a Cabernet Sauvignon.  One of my go-to wineries is Kendall Jackson. Either their regular Cabernet or their Private Reserve Cab would go well with this steak. IF you want something slightly different, I do recommend Concannon’s Crimson & Clover. It’s a red wine blend that’s running under $10 at the grocery store, and it hit my “Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!” status, so that’s saying something!

Thank you for coming on my blog today and indulging my questions about the Caine boys.

Thank you so much for having me here, Wendy. I’ve had a blast!


ChristineAshworth1Christine Ashworth is a native of Southern California. The daughter of a writer and a psych major, she fell asleep to the sound of her father’s Royal manual typewriter for years. In a very real way, being a writer is in her blood-her father sold his first novel before he turned forty; her brother sold his first book before he turned twenty-five.

At the tender age of seventeen, Christine fell in love with a man she met while dancing in a ballet company. She married the brilliant actor/dancer/painter/music man, and they now have two tall sons who are as brilliant as their parents, which keeps the dinner conversation lively.

Christine’s two dogs rule the outside, defending her vegetable garden from the squirrels, while a polydactyl rescue cat named Zaphod holds court inside the house. Everything else is in a state of flux, leaving her home life a cross between an improv class and a think-tank for the defense of humans against zombies and demons.

Demon Soul | Blood Dreams | Demon Hunt
Christine’s Blog | Twitter

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Book Review: Blood Dreams, by Christine Ashworth

blood-dreams-cover2Blood Dreams (Caine Brothers Series #1.5)
By Christine Ashworth

It’s December, and Los Angeles is in the grip of a serial killer – or so Gregor Caine would like to believe. But the moon grows fat as it builds toward the Winter Solstice and an eclipse. An old woman searching for a friend gone missing believes danger is coming, and the Blood Dreams that keep interrupting Gregor’s sleep portend a swarm of demonic activity.

After summer’s setback, Kendall Sorbis is finally getting started on his Revenge Life List. First up, open a portal to the Chaos Plane. Second, invite the Caines to come and play…

Hours after the Caine boys finish off what remains of Twisted, a vampire night club, a power-hungry witch stands by the smoldering ruin. The vampire slaughter has left behind a residue of power, and Kendall Sorbis has plans for it.

Six months later, days before the winter solstice, Gregor Caine is plagued by horrible dreams of dead bodies, blood running down walls, and women screaming while waiting to die. His brother Justin is having them, too. Sensing something bad coming, and seeking to protect their brother and his wife, the older Caine brothers send the newlyweds out of town on a late honeymoon. Meanwhile, the dreams get worse, the homeless body count rises, leaving Gregor feeling helpless, frustrated, and angry.

Blood Dreams is a prologue of sorts to Demon Hunt, laying pieces for the action and the character development that will come, including one crucial piece about Gregor and Justin’s baby brother, Gabriel, that occupies only three lines but speaks volumes about the man Gregor Caine, was, and will be.

Blood Dreams is absent of the creature violence and steamy sex scenes of its related novels, but Justin and Magdalena are in prime snarky form to liven things up. And, as I expected, the story was well-written, entertaining, and worthy of an hour before bedtime.

My Red Star Award

Book Review: Demon Hunt, by Christine Ashworth

DemonHunt-ChristineAshworth_smDemon Hunt (Caine Brothers Series #2)
By Christine Ashworth

Tribred Gregor Caine decided long ago to deny his blood legacy, so he isn’t thrilled when paired with a full-blooded Fae to hunt the demons threatening to decimate Los Angeles. As they fight side by side, he finds she calls to both his Fae and his demon blood; a call he can’t resist.

Warrior Fae Serra Willows crossed into the Human Plane to help destroy the demons released from the Chaos Plane. Finding and shutting down the portal between worlds is more challenging than she expected…and Gregor and his world more seductive than she had ever imagined.

As the killings escalate, Gregor and Serra realize one of the most deadly demons from the Chaos Plane has marked Serra as his own. To save her, Gregor has to face his greatest fear—losing his humanity to the darkness in his blood. But in a race against time, that darkness could become his greatest strength. And he will kill to claim Serra’s love.

Serra Willows journeys through a portal from her world to find an ally, Gideon Caine, and lands on the beach near Santa Monica and immediately slips into the role of a jogger on the beach. As she’s followed nearly to the car waiting for her by a human male, a demon walks on scene. Herein lies a struggle that will pervade the story’s hunt. Serra, a Fae warrior, is duty-bound to protect the weaker creature. And Gregor Caine’s man card stipulates that he shield women from harm. Anyone up for a game of paper-rock-scissors, because these two are about that stubborn? The demon settles the dispute by dragging Gregor from the bushes, and Serra must call down the wrath of nature to burn the demon to a crisp to save him.

Demon Hunt follows the formula set in its predecessor, Demon Soul. The Caine brother in focus is a damaged guy hiding years of emotional baggage behind a steel exterior. Witness to his mother’s rape by a demon, he’s lived his entire life denying his super-human blood because what good is it to him or anyone else. Learning that Serra is Fae annoys him. Having to work with her irritates him. Taking orders from her is enough to make the big man twitchy, much to the amusement of his younger brother Justin.

There’s much to praise about Ms. Ashworth’s work. Her writing is fluid. Her plots and subplots are complex and delicately interlaced. Her creature battles are fast, vicious, and thrilling. But she excels as sexual tension, keeping the reader on the verge of yelling at the pages “get it on already.” This is certainly true of the main couple, Gregor and Serra, as she offering casual sex and he’s gallantly holding back. But, Justin and his witch girlfriend, Magdalena, are on scene and sizzling with their Benedict and Beatrice style. (For those of you who don’t get the reference, please read Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.)

Don’t tell Maggie that I called her Justin’s girlfriend, because she might turn me into something slimy, but they are the air each other breathes. (Take note, Ms. Ashworth, I expect Demon Rage to be explosive. * grin *)

The Caine Brothers series has taken me completely by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up Demon Soul, but this was not it. Part Angel and part Shakespeare, with a dash of erotic spice blown like a kiss off the author’s hand, The Caine brothers is a example of what the paranormal genre should aspire to.

My Red Star Award

Book Review: Demon Soul, by Christine Ashworth

demonsoul-200x3002-1Demon Soul (Caine Brothers Series #1)
By Christine Ashworth

Gabriel Caine stands on the edge of the abyss. A vampire has stolen his soul and if he doesn’t get it back soon, his next step will be into Hell. Only the naïvely mysterious Rose can help him retrieve it. Without her, he really will become the devil himself.

Rose Walters has been sent back from the dead to complete one task-save Gabriel Caine. She’s drawn to Gabriel on the most basic level, but restoring his soul may cost Rose her life.

Rose has touched the whole of Gabriel, making him yearn for a love he believes he can never have. Her willingness to put her human life on the line for him forces him to bring all three parts of himself—demon, human, and Feri bloodlines, and the strengths of each—into harmony and into the fight that decides their fate.

Before dawn, Rose Walters wanders into a Santa Monica strip mall, broke but for the clothes on her back and shoes that her feet are bleeding in after an eight mile walk. She repeats “Gabriel Caine” silently, right up until the moment she’s approached by the man himself. She’s dismayed to find a man whose twice her size and can read her thoughts as if she’s speaking out loud. How she is supposed to rescue him? That is what she was sent back to Earth to do. Still, Gabriel accepts there’s something special about her, right after he gets over her accidentally wicking away what remains of soul.

Not only did Christine Ashworth give me what I expected–beautiful yet flawed characters, emotional baggage, sexual tension, creature battles, and catharsis–but she included something very unexpected with Gabriel’s laid-back brother, Justin, and his witchy associate, Magdalena. They are, as far as I’m concerned, Benedict and Beatrice from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” They speak in snark and are obviously falling in love as fast as they can snap back at the other’s insults. Meanwhile, everyone around them sees the romance that Justin and Magdalena would swear to their graves doesn’t exist. And Ms. Ashworth uses torturous restraint, using them just enough to brighten and complement Gabriel and Rose’s story without becoming a distraction.

Demon Soul is a remarkably complex story for its length. Rose’s back story is woven into Gabriel’s current problem, which is the key to an ambitious vampire taking over her master’s Los Angeles crime empire, that the Caine boys aim to put a dent into. There’s also a delightful little demon named Mephisto that reminds me of Marie Sexton’s Cole Fenton that I hope makes an appearance in a future Caine Brother’s novel.

It’s also a fun read, despite some dark subject matter. I would recommend Demon Soul and the Caine Brothers series to fans of Hildie McQueen, the TV show Angel, and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

My Red Star Award

Cover Reveal: Demon Hunt, by Christine Ashworth

Demon Hunt CoverTribred Gregor Caine decided long ago to deny his blood legacy. So he isn’t happy when paired with a full-blooded Fae to hunt the demons threatening to overrun Los Angeles. As they fight side by side, he finds she calls to both his Fae and his demon blood; a call he can’t resist.

Warrior Fae Serra Willows crossed into the Human Plane to help destroy the demons released from the Chaos Plane. Finding and shutting down the portal between worlds is more challenging than she expected…and Gregor and his world more seductive than she had ever imagined.
As the killings escalate, Gregor and Serra realize one of the most deadly demons from the Chaos Plane has marked Serra as his own. To save her, Gregor has to face his greatest fear—losing his humanity to the darkness in his blood. But in a race against time, that darkness could become his greatest strength. And he will kill to claim Serra’s love.


Christine Ashworth is a native of Southern California. The daughter of a writer and a psych major, she fell asleep to the sound of her father’s Royal manual typewriter for years. In a very real way, being a writer is in her blood-her father sold his first novel before he turned forty; her brother sold his first book before he turned twenty-five.

At the tender age of seventeen, Christine fell in love with a man she met while dancing in a ballet company. She married the brilliant actor/dancer/painter/music man, and they now have two tall sons who are as scintillating as their parents, keeping the dinner conversation lively.
Christine’s two dogs rule the outside, defending her vegetable garden from the squirrels, while a polydactyl rescue cat holds court inside the house. Everything else is in a state of flux, leaving her home life a cross between an improv class and a think-tank for the defense of humans against zombies.

You can find Christine here: Website and Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads