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Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Romantic Proposal...with Elise Rome and Giveaway

A Romantic Proposal on Christmas Eve - Elise Rome

Elise Rome has never forgiven Margaret Mitchell for making her fall in love with Scarlett and Rhett in Gone with the Wind and then not giving them a happy ending. She likes to think that she makes up for this injustice with each romance novel she writes. When she isn't telling stories about sexy, headstrong heroes and intelligent, independent heroines, Elise stays busy chasing after her two young daughters, semi-attempting to do housework, and hiking in the beautiful foothills of Colorado. She, also, unashamedly, adores her readers.

Places to find Elise:

When I first received the email from Dani and Rita telling me the theme I’d been given for the Historical Christmas Eve event and saw that it was “A Romantic Proposal on Christmas Eve”, I knew it would be a challenge. My couple’s already in love and ready for marriage? Oh, no! What about conflict? What about tension? What about ANGST?

Of course, I could have written the romantic proposal for a couple that wasn’t the hero and heroine of the scene, but I actually like challenges. =)

The following scene is of a hero and heroine who don’t exist in any book or story idea I’ve ever had. Luckily, despite my fears, they were able to supply me with plenty of angst for our holiday celebration. I hope you enjoy my take on “A Romantic Proposal on Christmas Eve”. =)

***

In the spring, leaf buds found new branches to climb and birds gathered along the fragile shoots, chirping at the fish that swam unaware below.

In the summer, leaf shade dappled water so clear that if one stared long enough, one could be convinced the leaves lay at the bottom of the stream instead of hovering above, waving like freshwater seaweed to the sun.

In the autumn, a parade of red, gold, and orange rode along the water’s wrinkles, the leaves piled one atop another and stretched thick from bank to bank.

And in the winter, ice frosted the bare trees until they appeared painted in glittering black, savage sentries frozen in ranks along the stream’s edge.

Everything that mattered in Kate’s life could be marked by the journey of the seasons here. She’d seen the changes of the water and the trees over the years; she’d charged across the arc of the footbridge and halted at the other end—waiting, both breathless and heartless, until he should appear.

And so it was now, too, on another winter’s evening, on Christmas Eve, waiting for her heart to return.

Oh, God.

Tears dashed down her cheeks, an ambush, as if they knew how quickly her fingers would rise to scrub them away. Though she shuddered with the cold, her eyelids felt feverish, aching with effort as she blinked again and again.

No, she would not cry. She must not.

She would give him that, at least. Perhaps she should consider it a wedding gift, since the matching vases she’d picked out had been plucked from their packages and now lay in shards near her bedroom wall.

Her ears alerted her first, straining at the sound of his boots striding across the packed snow. Her eyes discovered him next, a dark stain rushing toward her, form and shadow spreading across the brilliant, glistening white like ink spilled upon parchment.

He crushed her to his chest, and for a moment—the shortest, most impossible moment—Kate allowed herself to do nothing but feel. No thoughts existed, only senses.

Heat, hardness, smoke, brandy, safety, love—

Something possessed her limbs and pushed him away. Self-preservation, perhaps, because she certainly didn’t have the discipline to deny herself his embrace.

She whirled, unable to face him.

“Kate… Kate.”

She trembled, knowing it would be the last time she would ever see him alone, the last time she’d ever hear her given name on his lips, the last time he’d address her with that singular symphony of desire, possession, and need in his voice. All their secrets would be as shadows beneath a midday sun. Every kiss they’d shared now unimportant ghosts they must banish before the haunting could begin.

Tomorrow she would only be Miss Millbank, and he would be nothing but a neighbor. A husband, also, but not hers.

Heat, like flames licking over coals, enveloped her again: his overcoat, draped across her shoulders.

She’d thought she could do this. Had suffered the long hours of the day, knowing all the while that she would see him tonight. A good-bye, she knew, but one she’d regret forever if she missed it. But suddenly the pain was too much to bear, and she turned and snatched the coat off, thrusting it at him, determined to cauterize the wound now no matter how much it hurt.

She dragged in a breath, but before she could say the words, he took her face in his hands and kissed her.

She flinched as if he’d struck her instead—it was as if he’d taken a whip to the heart that had been his since their first meeting upon the bridge.

“Kate. Kate.” He whispered her name between short, sweet kisses, his lips soothing over hers, seeking to ease her pain. It felt as though time had slowed, prolonging her torture for an eternity, when she knew mere seconds had passed since he’d appeared and wrapped her in his arms.

She should have broken away and ran. If not to her house, at least to the other end of the bridge. Far enough that the distance would allow a different perspective of him: not the man she would marry, but the one her sister would.

Perhaps he might call her Miss Kate, after enough time had passed and they’d spent enough holidays as family.

At this thought, her fingers gripped the lapels of his dinner jacket. And although she knew it to be unfair, they dug into his chest with the punishment she’d reserved for herself thus far—because hadn’t she been the one foolish enough to ask it of him, to spare her sister’s ruination? Even if there had been no alternative, she’d asked it of him. Hopeless, any pretense she might have affected when she’d become a martyr now disappeared.

When a low, desperate noise came from his throat, she wrapped her arms around his waist and latched her hands at his back, surrendering the possibility that she could ever let him go.

“Kate.” He was the first to turn his head aside, his ragged breath showing itself in puffs of air. “Enough.”

Her throat seized at the word—

And seized again when he sank to both knees in the snow, holding her hand like it was an anchor keeping him tethered to her; he couldn’t let go, either.

He flashed a grin in the darkness, but his voice was jagged when he said, “Marry me.”

When she couldn’t speak, for she half convinced herself she must be in bed, and this was all a dream, he said, “Marry me, Kate. Susan is gone, eloped with Buckley. Don’t worry, I hit him first.”

A sharp laugh escaped her—though a bystander might have heard a sob. “My prince.”

The tears she’d tried to suppress earlier tumbled down her cheeks, unheeded. Only when he stood and gently wiped them from her face did she realize they were there. She laughed again. “I can’t… I don’t…

How can you forgive me for asking you to love someone else? Joseph—”

The air cut at her throat. Not one more night to say his name. Forever.

“I agreed to your request once,” he said, “because it hurt you to see her hurt.” Taking both of her hands, he lifted them to his mouth, where he kissed her gloved knuckles tenderly. His gaze, however, was anything but soft; his eyes locked on hers, fierce and unrelenting. “But I will never leave you again. If you ask, I will toss away the key to our bedchamber and keep you there until you realize that I’m only yours.” His pale eyes darkened beneath the moonlight. “And you are mine.”

Kate cleared her throat of the remaining tears that hadn’t been shed. “Our bedchamber?” She smiled, then stepped nearer, until their clouded breaths mingled.

A corner of his mouth tilted upward, and he released one of her hands to wrap an arm around her waist and draw her tight against him. “That is, if you agree to marry me.”

Lowering his head, he touched his lips to hers, waiting only for her slightest response before taking back everything she’d thought they’d given up, their future and their dreams—kissing her, branding her, redeeming her, loving her.

Finally, he lifted his head and replaced his mouth with his thumb, tracing her lower lip. “Kate—”

“Yes.” She’d once resented the tears, but no longer. These were tears of joy. “Yes, of course, yes. Yes, yes, yes!”

Behind them, her answer echoed past the bare tree branches cloaked in ice instead of leaves, against the frozen stream below the snow-steeped footbridge where she’d first lost her heart.

His. It would always be his.


Since my first book as Elise Rome isn't out yet and I don't have a set publication date, I'm giving away one eBook (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or Apple) from my personal "best reads of 2012" list.

A NOTORIOUS COUNTESS CONFESSES by Julie Anne Long


She rose to spectacular heights . . .

From Covent Garden to courtesan to countess, beautiful, fearless, shamelessly ambitious Evie Duggan has riveted London in every role she plays. But the ton never could forgive her scandalous—if shockingly short—marriage, and when her star plummets amid gleefully vicious gossip, the countess escapes to the only legacy left to her: a manor house in Pennyroyal Green.

He never expected to fall so hard . . .

He has the face of a fallen angel and a smolder the devil would envy, but Vicar Adam Sylvaine walks a precarious line: resisting temptation . . . and the wild Eversea blood in his veins. Adam's strength is tested when scandal, aka the countess, moves to Sussex. But when a woman who fiercely guards her heart and a man entrusted with the souls of an entire town surrender to a forbidden desire, will the sweetest sin lead them to heaven . . . or make outcasts of them forever?

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Want to win some goodies from Elise? Check out whats up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:

To Enter:
  • Leave a meaningful comment or question for Elise.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter

    **Don't forget to head over to Not Another Romance Blog to check out author, Maggie Robinson's story.


    Good Luck and Happy Holidays =)
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    96 comments :

    1. Replies
      1. Thank you, Cheryl! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! =)

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    2. This sounds like a lovely read...thanks for sharing the great excerpt!
      ivegotmail8889(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    3. Hi Elise (i still think Ashley March when i see your picture)! Waiting anxiously for the release of The Sinning Hour!

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      1. Hi Linda! Me, too! =) And lol... even I get confused by the names sometimes. ;)

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    4. Welcome Elise!!! LOL I too still think of Ashley March but am waiting for your debut as Elise Rome~ Do you think you're going to write a Christmas story/novel for next year?? It'll be super great if you do. Any plans for the Holidays for you, SuperGirl, and your husband, Lukas Holmes?

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      1. Hi kipha! I see this as an excuse to get new author pictures--what do you think? ;) I would love to write a Christmas story! I'd just need the right inspiration. =) We're taking care of a sick loved one right now, so everything revolves around that, but one thing we're definitely looking forward to doing sometime before Christmas is going to see the Christmas lights at the Denver Zoo. We all love that. =) What about you??

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      2. Thanks so much. Hope your sick loved one is doing okay and will pull through it. Since it just started snowing here in MN, I too also hope to go out and see the Christmas lights around town, maybe even take some pictures. Snow makes it look even more fabulous~!

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    5. Hi Elise!
      i'm so glad to find you here once again^^ thank you for sharing with us!

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      1. Hi miki! So nice to see you, too! Hope you're doing well! =)

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    6. This sounds like a lovely read...thanks for sharing the great excerpt!

      parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

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      1. Thank you, Laurie! So glad you enjoyed it. =)

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    7. Hi Elise, I loved the short story. Too bad it was just a short story and not an exerpt. I could see it being an emotional rollercoaster of a book.

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      1. Hi Ora! Me, too. That's what's so dangerous about writing new characters--you want to see ALL of it. =) So glad to see you here! =)

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    8. I love the Pennyroyal Green series. I want to thank you for the short story and I look forward to seeing you new book, does it have a title yet?

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      1. Hi Ann! Good luck on winning JAL's new book! I LOVED it. =) My new book (whenever it's released *crossing fingers*) will be titled THE SINNING HOUR. =)

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      1. Hi Eli! Thanks! Hope you're doing well. =)

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    10. I enjoyed reading your post, but now I want to know what happened before. How did the meet? What happened to break them apart? I'm looking forward to your new book.
      rmkrejsa42(at)att(dot)net

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      1. Hi Grandmareads! Lol--I'm glad I made you interested! Maybe one day I'll give Kate and Joseph their own (longer) story. =) We'll see.

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    11. Ha Ha...I love Rhett and Scarlet too...I look forward to reading your books!

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      1. Thank you, Kimberly! You obviously have great taste. ;)

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    12. Sounds great....good choice giving a Julie Anne Long book she is a great.

      josiehink122026(at)gmail(dot)com

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      1. Hi Josie! Oh, she's definitely one of my faves. =)

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    13. I've been dying to read The SInning Hour. Loved the excerpt.

      Hope everyone enjoys their weekend :)

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      1. Thank you so much, Sharon! I hope I can get it to you guys sooner rather than (much) later. =) Hope you have a wonderful weekend, too!

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    14. I am so excited about your new book! I can't wait until it comes out! That was a pretty good marriage proposal. I love it!

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      1. Aww--thank you, Mary D! I'm so glad you liked it! And I'm anxious for TSH, too. =)

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    15. That was glorious! Thanks Elise for such a poignant story :)

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      1. Erin, I don't think I've ever heard "glorious" to describe one of my stories before. This made me so happy. *mwah!* =)

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    16. thank you for the little story :) once in a while I enjoy ANGST in my books as well. Happy Holidays!

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      1. Lol. Glad I could help out, Lily! ;) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    17. Fabulous excerpt, Elise. Well written and so sensual. I don't know how you manage to express such deep emotion on paper. Wow! I know your husband is also a writer and I'm curious to know if you bounce ideas and blurbs off each other. The way you balance your day with your little girls is amazing. My hat is off to you, Dear Lady! Cannot wait for the first Elise novel!

      Connie Fischer
      conniecape@aol.com

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      1. *hugs* Thank you sooo much, Connie! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. =) We do bounce ideas off one another...most of the time it helps just to speak it out loud--we don't always take each other's advice. ;) But it is fun to be married to another writer, because we know the highs and the lows that we each go through, and know better how to help one another. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

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    18. What a great story! :) Still waiting for more of your novel! :)

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      1. Thank you, May! I hope it comes out soon, too! =D

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    19. exciting excerpt, can't wait to read.

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      1. Thank you, Em! So glad you enjoyed it! =)

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    20. Enjoyed your short story but I am intrigued by the excerpt of The Sinning Hour I read on your new website. Looking forward to reading this one; your talent for description is obvious. Hope 2013 is a better year for you and yours.

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      1. Thank you so much, TxDee. I am very much ready to bid farewell to 2012, let me tell you. ;) Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!

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    21. Hi Elise. Thank you for the excerpt. Sounds yummy

      Armenia
      armiefox at yahoo dot com

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    22. My first edit was rewriting the ending of GWTW. I was eleven and it was awful. Good luck with your book.

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      1. Lol. I'd love to read that, Mary Jo! Anything for an HEA. ;) Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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    23. Hi Dani, Rita and Elise!

      Dani and Rita - All I can say is THANK YOU for inviting Elise to Ramblings From This Click! Sometimes we are fortunate enough as a reader to find an other we love to read but once in a while we are blessed to meet an author who goes out of the way to make a reader also feel like a true friend and Elise is that author!

      Elise -

      I'm so excited that not only is The Sinning Hour coming out before we know it but that you'll also have a lot more books for us in your Unmasked series! I know we'll meet Geneva first but can't wait to meet the "rest of the crew" - Rachel, Miranda, Millie and Emma!

      Which character was the hardest to decide exactly what type of person they would be and by that I don't mean by their position in society but rather the most you enjoyed developing!

      I hope you and your family have a white Christmas in Colorado - on the other hand we're getting away from the snow to go see our grandchildren in South Carolina and leaving the snow behind!

      A joy filled holiday to you and everyone at Ramblings From This Chick!

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      1. Hi Jeanne! *hugs* So good to see you here! The truth? =) There's still one character of the five that I have NO IDEA who she is. But since she's not the first heroine in the series, I guess that's a good thing. ;) I think, however, Miranda (who is the heroine for the first book), has been the hardest to develop--and the most enjoyable, too. The reason for that is because she's had such a hard life up to the beginning of the story, and I wanted to make sure that I wrote her as a strong heroine--not a whiny or "pity party" heroine. Seeing her fire come out on the page has been work, but well worth it. =)

        I hope we have snow, too! I can't believe I'm saying that, but we've only one or two real snowfalls so far this year, and my girls really love it. I'd love to be able to make a snowman with them around Christmas. =) Hope you have tons of fun with your grandchildren in S. Carolina! xoxo

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      2. Hi Elise!

        I survived one of your snow storms! I went out to Arizona to visit relatives but my trip got postponed because of hurricane Sandy (we had trees crashing down all around our house taking power lines down with them) plus they closed the airport) and on the trip home my plane stopped in your neck of the woods in Denver and we waiting on the runway for almost two hours because the plane before us taking off went off the runway!

        Only a little snow so far this year in Rhode Island but expecting it right when we're leaving to drive down to South Carolina to see the grandchildren for Christmas!

        Don't worry you'll come up with the perfect characteristics for that one character. In fact I'm still trying to figure out who I am so maybe you could help me out as well and let me know what I don't realize about myself!

        Take care and I hope you feel better soon! Obviously your husband is more understanding than mine! When we first got married I got he flu and he still made me get up and make dinner! I taught him how to cook!

        Best wishes and a Merry Christmas and I hope Santa fills your stocking with all your dreams and wishes!

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    24. Thanks for the great short. Can't wait for your next book to release.

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      1. Thank you so much, Joanne! So glad you enjoyed it. =)

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    25. Loved the angst in the short piece.
      bituin76 at hotmail dot com

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      1. Thank you, Jan!!! Hope you have a wonderful holiday. =)

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    26. Hi, Elise! Loved your short story and am looking forward to your upcoming books.

      kscathy AT yahoo DOT com

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    27. Wow, great job! I definitely felt the angst and that's hard to do without more set-up.

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      1. Woot! Thanks, Krista! So glad you enjoyed it and felt the ANGST. =)

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    28. I loved the excerpt. Thank you Elise.

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    29. I loved the scene, and I'm wondering if it will ever appear in a larger story sometime in the future. :D

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      1. Hi Barbara! It's soooo tempting, I have to tell you. =) Maybe... Maybe... ;)

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    30. Hi Everyone! I've been in bed for the past days with being sick and just woke up today, but promise I will respond to all comments after my kids go to be tonight. So glad you enjoyed the piece! xoxo Elise

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      1. I hope you feel better soon!

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      2. Thank you, Jeanne! I think the Nyquil made me forget how to spell above. ;) Gotta love a hubby who lets me sleep for two days so I can recover faster. =)

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    31. The book sounds good and the exerpt was great.

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      1. Thank you, sheryl! So glad you enjoyed it! =)

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    32. Best wishes for 2013. I hope we'll be getting a book from you soon.

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      1. Thanks so much, Jen! Hope you have a wonderful holiday! =)

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    33. This short really pulled at my heart. Would love to see it in a book someday. :)

      Thank you for the chance in the giveaway! A Notorious Countess Confesses is on my wishlist.

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      1. I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Leah! And I'll definitely be keeping it in mind for a future story, since you guys seemed to have liked it so much. =) Good luck on the JAL book--it's fantastic. =)

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    34. So why is your excerpt not part of a book? I really enjoyed it. How did you get started writing in the historical genre?
      I started out reading historicals when I started reading. There wasn't much of a choice for genres waaaaaaay back then.
      luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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      1. Hi Julianne! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the scene. =) The reason it's not part of a book is because I haven't yet written a book around the Christmas holidays--something I may need to fix. =) I became interested in the historical romance genre because that was the first romance genre I fell in love with (thanks to Jude Deveraux when I was much younger, and Julia Quinn after I got married). They are definitely still my greatest love, although I've found some really great contemporary authors to adore, too (Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Julie James, etc). Hope you have a wonderful holiday! =)

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    35. Can't wait to read your story when it's published, but in the meantime I'll definitely be reading one of your personal "best reads of 2012" list.

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      1. Hi yadkny! Thank you so much. =) And I hope you love JAL's new book as much as I did. I've never read a better vicar OR courtesan book. =)

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    36. I loved it.....would love to have read the entire story.... :(

      joylynne66(at)hotmail(dot)com

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      1. Hi Joy! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I know how you feel--I'm the same way about short stories! But I promise to keep this one in mind for longer development one day. =) Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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    37. Great excerpt; you did manage the angst!

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      1. Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. =)

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    38. Hi Elise. I bought all of your books under Ashley March and really loved them. I miss seeing your books! Is it taking longer to self publish than you thought?

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      1. Hi LilMissMolly! So nice to see you around. =) It is definitely taking longer...but not from anything I can control. My MIL has end stage COPD and we've been dealing with that all year. It's been worse for the past few months, so my writing feels like it's completely gotten stalled. So I guess I'm grateful I went into self-publishing anyway, because I don't think I'd have been able to meet publisher deadlines due to family issues. Thank you for asking. =)

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    39. ur books are awesome elisa..
      i like them...
      thx u for the chance of winning ur book :)

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      1. Good luck, nurmawati! And thank you! =)

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    40. That was a wonderful story. The Gone With the Wind ending has always bugged me too.

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      1. Thanks, Maureen! Of course, there is Alexandra Ripley's SCARLETT to give us that HEA if we want...but it's just not the same, you know? =)

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    41. Love your books! Thanks for the giveaway!
      BrittanyG@gmail.com

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      1. Aw, thank you Brittany! Hope you have a wonderful holiday! =)

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    42. I loved the short story. You managed to include all the emotions and feelings i love in a book. Thank you. Please don't enter me for the e-book by JAL. I can't read e-books on this computer.Happy Holidays.
      Carol L
      Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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      1. Hi Carol! I'm so glad you enjoyed the scene. =) Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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    43. I love that fact that you put ANGST in capitals.

      This was just wonderful thank you.

      marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    44. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    45. I love historical romance. I would love to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    46. This was such a wonderful story and I can't wait till one of your books is out so I can read more from you!!!

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    47. Thanks for the chance to win and the great story!

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    48. The short story was great! I always get so invested in everything I read and want to know more and wish it was longer.

      Thanks so much!

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    49. What a wonderful short, makes me wish it was part of a book! I can't wait to read more of your work! Have a Merry Christmas!
      smoofrog @gmail dot com

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    50. I have not read any of your books but I have put you on my Christmas list. So if Santa is willing I am able.

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