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Friday, September 2, 2011

Guest Post with Author Ashley March and Giveaway


Hello everyone. I am so excited to welcome today's guest author Ashley March. Ashley is one of my most favorite people and her books rock! Please join me in welcoming Ashley to the blog.

Thanks so much Danielle for hosting me today as I get ready for the upcoming release of ROMANCING THE COUNTESS on September 6th! I'm so excited to be blogging at Ramblings From This Chick for the first time!


I'm going to post my first interview with my heroine soon, but first I'd like to give you a little background about the book in case you're not familiar with it yet.


ROMANCING THE COUNTESS begins when Leah George and Sebastian Medinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, receive the news that their spouses have died in a carriage accident. While Sebastian only puts together the fact his wife was having an affair with his best friend the night they died, Leah has known about her husband's affair for a year. Raised by a very strict mother to always follow Society's expectations of propriety and also embarrassed and ashamed to realize her husband didn't truly love her as she thought, she keeps the affair secret. After her husband dies, she realizes that she doesn't have to be miserable for the rest of her life. She can be free to do whatever she wishes, as long as she's willing to accept the consequences her actions might bring.


DISCLAIMER: The Following interview was conducted toward the beginning of the book. 


ASHLEY: I know what happened in the past with Ian, your husband. How do you feel now that he's gone? 


Leah: Would it be wrong of me to say that I'm relieved? Yes, of course it would be. I cried, you know, when I heard that he died. And I'm glad I cried. For a long time I thought that I'd turned into someone else, someone I didn't recognize and I didn't want to be. If I cried that must mean I still felt something. I never wished him dead, not once, even after finding Ian together with Angela. But to not admit that I'm relieved that I don't have to live the rest of my life as a shadow would be a lie, too. It's amazing to know that I can wake up tomorrow, look in the mirror, and not despise myself. 


ASHLEY: What do you intend to do now? Do you have any plans? Will you marry again?


LEAH: *laughing* The wonder of it is that I can do anything I want. There are so many possibilities and opportunities open to widows. Of course, my mother wants me to return to my family's house and live with them again, but she believes me to be the same girl who once did everything she expected. I'm not that same girl anymore, and I'm not the same woman who married Ian. I might marry again...someday. But it's not something I think about now or even look forward to. I've spent so much time doing things for other people, acting the way others wanted me to act. For a little while I want to do exactly what please me. Perhaps I'll never get married again...


ASHLEY: I heard that you are planning to host a country house party at Ian's estate--only three months into your widowhood! Surely you know this will cause a scandal. Is this what you want--a scandal, to be the center of Society's attention?


LEAH: *smiles* I have a plan, don't worry. The country house party is not to be what everyone expects. As far as causing a scandal--no, my intention is not to cause a scandal, but neither do I care if one is made. As I said before, what I do from now on, I do because I want to be happy. For now, hosting a country house party will make happy. And I'm willing to live with the consequences, whatever they may be. I'd rather be reckless and happy then obedient and miserable for the rest of my life. 


ASHLEY: And what of Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly? He's said that he intends to stop you from such reckless behavior so no one will suspect the truth of your spouses' affair. What do you intend to do about him?


LEAH: Sebastian is a good man, and I know he means well. But he's smart and grieving over his wife and, to tell you the truth, I think he's a little paranoid. No one is going to conclude that Ian and Angela were having an affair simply because I host a house party. If anything, they'll soon believe me more of a devoted widow than before. And as far as Sebastian and the house party...well, I didn't tell him anything about it. I suppose he could find out once the invitations are delivered to the guests, but by that time it will be too late for him to intercede. 


ASHLEY: You're not afraid of him going to the house party at all, of what he'll do when he realizes that you went against his wishes?


LEAH, laughing: Afraid? Not at all! Let him come. *smiles slyly* After all, I have a plan in place if he does show up.


To read my next interview with Leah and my interviews with Sebastian, make sure to keep up with my ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour (details at www.ashleymarch.com).


But for now, I'd like to celebrate the release of ROMANCING THE COUNTESS next week (on Tuesday!!) by giving away books! In ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, Leah is obviously a widow. In your historical romances, which type of heroines do you prefer? The shy and innocent? The self-aware and sexually aware? Debutantes? Spinsters? Widows? Who is your favorite heroine?


**Author Bio**

I was born and raised in East Texas, moved to Colorado after getting married eight years ago, and have been craving snow-free winters ever since. I have a husband who just keeps getting better and better over time and two beautiful daughters. I write contemporary and historical romances, I have two amazing critique partners, an awesome publisher (NAL), an absolutely fantastic agent (Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency) and, as can be seen above, a slight problem with using too many adjectives.

Life is simply...fantastic. 


Places to find Ashley:
Ashley's Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


**Giveaway**
One random commenter will be chose to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, and will get a chance to send a copy of my debut, SEDUCING THE DUCHESS, to a friend (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting www.ashleymarch.com!

**Bonus Giveaway**
In honor of Ashley's visit to the blog I would like to offer a copy of Ashley's e-book ROMANCING LADY CECILY from Amazon.com. I absolutely adored this book and you can check out my review here. So that means we'll have two winners. One winner will win a eBook copy of Romancing Lady Cecily, and one winner will win both ROMANCING THE COUNTESS and SEDUCING THE DUCHESS for a friend. So make sure to fill out the rafflecopter form.

*Must leave an answer to Ashley's question
*Make sure to leave an email address so we can notify the winner
*Winner will be notified within 48 hours of contest closing
Good Luck! 





42 comments :

  1. I don't really mind what the heroine's background is (widow, debutante, spinster, etc), for me, it's all about seeing the character develop and seeing the hero and heroine grow together as a couple.

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  2. I prefer heroines with a little life experience and to know who they are and confident in the person they have become. Age doesn't really matter especially if things in life demanded that the heroine grew up quickly and beyond her years. A little innocence can be good sometimes, just not completely naive.

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  3. I suppose I prefer the heroines to have a little age on them... especially since those debs were so young and the guys looking for wives were typically so old (in comparison). But really, like the others said, it's more about the character development than anything.

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  4. As long as the heroine is outgoing and independent, I am in. I love women with a back bone!

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  5. I like most any type of heroine, even the shy virginal types. I like to see them grow and develope over the story. Hopefully getting strong and outspoken! One of my favorite heroines is Josie Essex from Eloisa Jame's Pleasure for Pleasure. She is outgoing and bold but is sweet and innocent at the same time. She is not the typical heroine because she is pleasantly plump and has to overcome her obession with her weight. I love imperfect heroines and heros! Thanks for sharing today!

    evjochum[AT]aol[DOT]com

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  6. probably bf i read morning glory by lavyler spencer,i will not like a widow's heroine but now i don't mind what heroine is,now i more seeing her character and depend the story :-)
    eli_y83@yahoo.com

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  7. I like the heroine to be self and sexually aware...Independent and outgoing...but then again I don't mind shy and innocent..I just like to read a story...Thank you..lprater@modweldco.com

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  8. Hi Beebs! Great answer. =) Character development and development of the relationship. Sounds like the ingredients for an awesome romance to me!

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  9. Ora, I agree with what you said, and I think I would also add that I like heroines who carve their own way in life instead of letting life happen to them. I want to read about strong heroines, not passive ones. Thanks for stopping by! =)

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  10. Hi Jen! I know other romance readers have brought up age different between hero and heroine before. What would you say would be max difference before ick factor for younger heroine/older hero or younger hero/older heroine?

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  11. Hi Sherie! =) Couldn't have said it better myself. So glad you visited with me today! =)

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  12. Hi Johanna! You know, I need to read more Eloisa James. I've read a few of her books and she has a wonderful style, but haven't read PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE yet. Thanks for the rec! =)

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  13. Interesting, Eli. I've never read MORNING GLORY before. What exactly about that heroine made you open to reading widow heroines? (And thanks for stopping by today! =)

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  14. Hi Leisa! You said you just like to read a story--thank goodness for romance, right? =) Maybe the most important thing is no matter where the heroine is at the beginning of the story, we want to see her grow. If she's not strong or self-aware at the beginning, then (for me, at least) she must be by the end.

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  15. I don't really mind, but if I had to choose, I'd pick a virgin who is a self-aware spinster. ;)

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  16. I like all sorts of heroines, but I think a widow is definitely a favorite. They're not virgins, but may not have had the best experiences with their former spouse, so it's all that much better when they meet someone that makes them happy.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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  17. I like all different types of heroines, but spinsters are my favorite. I think it is because in many cases they are spinsters because they have sacrificed their future for their family , a family member, or a good cause. They deserve not to be forgotten and ti have their HEA. One of my favorite heroines is Gillian in RANSOM by Julie Garwood. She isn't a spinster, but is a woman of courage and determination.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

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  18. I don't know that I have a favorite. For me it's more about the actual story & writing. Engage me & I am happy.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  19. What a lovely cover! Thanks for the chance to enter.

    http://deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com/2011/09/worst-book-i-have-ever-read.html

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  20. Lol @ Molly. Sounds like a great heroine. =) I'd read about her!

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  21. Hi Barbara! I do think there's something to be said for widows and wanting to see them get their HEAs because we want them to be happy. =) I hope you enjoy RtC!

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  22. Hi librarypat. You know, when I usually think of spinsters, I don't think of them in the same terms you do. I think of them as spinsters because they're unwanted. But I believe I like your reasoning of sacrifice better. It shows more character depth. Thanks for this! =)

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  23. Thanks for the comment, marybelle! It's encouraging, especially for those of us who prefer to engage through our characters. =)

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  24. Hi Dead Trees and Silver Screens! =) Thank you for the cover compliment, and for dropping by!

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  25. Spinsters! I like spinsters! maybe's because I'm afraid I might be one myself!;$ LOL
    and wallflowers.. you know? the one no one would notice in a million years, but she's still beautiful in her very own way!=) LOL ..I might be one of those too!;)

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  26. Hi Ashley,

    The interview with Leah is so fascinating. In historical romances you usually come across shy and innocent heroines or debutantes but coming across sexy, sassy, self-aware and sexually aware heroines is always a treat. It adds a kick to the reading.

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  27. In my historical romances, I prefer the self-aware and sexually aware,Spinsters and Widows. I also like my heroins to have spunk/fire a little sassy and snarkly. I tend to stay away from the innocent heroines. I've read plenty of romance books where the author has an innocent heroine but makes her out to be too naive (where it is not believeable).

    kamwh1207(at)att(dot)net

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  28. LOVED the interview! And I can't wait to read this book!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  29. Oh! Spinsters! Sorry! :-)

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  30. Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for a great interview and, for letting us read an excerpt of your new release.

    I like the heroine in books to have some backbone, be a little older (say around 25ish) and be they widows or spinters is just fine with me.

    I must say that I do love the art work on the front cover, the color of her dress is awesome. Her earrings even match!!

    Thank you for this great opportunity.

    dpd333 At aol dot com

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  31. The self-aware and sexually aware... But not only that, I like for the heroine in the books I read to be smart and take charge as well! Quiet and meek tend to make my brain go off on what I think a heroine should be... But that's just me! =D


    emilytardy@yahoo.com

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  32. I enjoy reading all types of heroines because no matter what type they are, it's interesting to see where the author and story takes them! If I have to choose a favourite type, I would probably choose the more self-aware type heroines.

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

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  33. Woot for EPIC book tours! OH Ashley, THE DAY is fast approaching and am beyond excited about ROMANCING THE COUNTESS.

    There's quite a bit of heroines to choose from so I'll go with this because it depends on my mood. My perfect brand of heroine: She is the woman who challenges the hero from the first day they meet until their issues are worked out. She is the sister of a friend, the daughter of an enemy, the ward of the hero, the sister-in-law of a brother, the governess, the spinster, the widow or the mistress of another man and she is COMPLETELY off limits. Okay, I may have cheated because Katharine Ashe asked this ages ago on Ashley's blog and I happened to save it

    Favorite heroine: At this moment, Sophia from Shana's LORD AND LADY SPY. She's kicking ass and taking names. The gorgeous spy husband doesn't hurt either. :)

    ______
    Kati R @Romancing Rakes
    romancingrakesatgmaildotcom

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  34. I like the heroine as outgoing and independent. That's my favorite. Great post and awesome giveaway!!

    ruby95660[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  35. I'm not fussed about the heroine's background but more on her character. I like intelligent heroines as a rule (bluestockings win hands down) but not if they are blindly stubborn or plain unreasonable. I've also read & enjoyed lots of books where the heroine is quiet and gentle & also hated other books where the heroine was smart but so obnoxious that I was totally put off.

    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

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  36. I love a heroine to be a competent and know her own mind, to be able to handle any man, I love that she has had a life before the book, but that she never really started living until the book started, I would hate to miss out too much on her life, I love what I love and that's that lol x x

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  37. I love the heroines that are spinsters or debutantes. I want them to be confident, secure in who they are, but underneath still needing the approval of the man they love. I like when they are more knowledgeable than their families realize. When they come alive under the right man's gaze.
    Right now I don't have a favorite heroine but in the past it's always been Skye O'Malley. She is a force to be dealt with.

    macladie25 at yahoo dot com

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  38. I prefer smart and strong heroines... I like the heroine Eleanor from A Duke of Her Own. She refuses to be the weak type...

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  39. Hey Ashley!

    Loved the interview;))

    My fave heroine is the older, more mature one, maybe even older then the hero.

    Last night I watched you on Rita's show and I'm really looking forward to your 'Bored Hero in the carriage' who thought he could do a better job on himself ;) I think a man like that needs an older heroine!

    I'm enjoying your 'blog tour', so I'll be stalking you....

    Mel
    www.bookworm2bookworm.wordpress.com

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  40. I don't realy have a favorite. I hate when authors try to create tension by making the heroine pure or shy. I like it better when the heroine is defined first and then the story is dependant on that fact. I'm not sure that makes sense but I don't know how else to say it.
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

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  41. I've been checking out this book - looks like just my style.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  42. I just noticed that one of the wins is for an eBook. Since I'm not eEnabled, if I was selected for that please pass it on to another reader.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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