Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog Tour: Romancing the Countess by Ashley March

About the book:

Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...

Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there's only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other's arms....

Quote from Romancing the Countess:

 “Leah tilted her chin and smiled. “I thought we disliked each other.”

“Oh, we do,” he said, taking another sip. “I detest you quite thoroughly. Especially when you smile.”

Her lips flattened. “Do you?”

He gestured toward her with the drink, the liquid sloshing out the side to drip over his thigh. Leah’s gaze followed the brandy’s path where it darkened on his trousers, then jerked upward again as he spoke.

“You’re too bloody happy. It’s very offensive.”

About the Author:

After spending countless hours memorizing both traditional and simplified Chinese characters, perfecting her tones, and practicing her speaking with any Chinese native she could find, Ashley successfully graduated with a degree in Mandarin Chinese. She was determined to be the next best Chinese translator in the world... Then she discovered writing romances was as much fun as reading them, and her Chinese capabilities have never been the same. When she isn't writing, Ashley stays busy trying to entertain her two young daughters, attempting to do housework, and hiking in the beautiful foothills of Colorado.

Thank you so much Ashley for joining me today!

Aislynn - You were the first author to participate in my weekly feature "A Day in the Life of.." back in June.  Since then you've become a full time writer.  Can you give readers a brief synopsis of what your day is like now?

Ashley – Sure! And thanks so much for having me back! =) Now I wake up at 8am (LOVE my hubby), feed the girls breakfast, hang out with them until we have lunch, then go to the gym as a family (this actually just started on Tuesday). When we get back sometimes I continue watching the kids and sometimes I work on writing business (if I get lucky, both girls will take naps at the same time). Next is dinner and a little playtime and baths for the girls. March Baby goes to bed around 6pm, and March Toddler gets more playtime until her bedtime around 8pm. From 8pm to usually 12am or 2am, I work on most of my writing and writing business—including writing the answers to this interview. =)

Aislynn - On average from concept to completion how long does it take you to work through a work in progress?

Ashley – Right now probably about 3 months, considering everything I have on my plate. That includes first draft and all the rounds of editing afterward. That’s a great estimate. It could be longer depending if other things crop up I hadn’t planned.

Aislynn - What inspired you to write the story of Leah and Sebastian?

Ashley – I had the idea for the story just pop in my head one day a few years ago, specifically about a widow and widower whose spouses had an affair. But I could never figure out who I wanted the characters to be or how I wanted the story to develop. However, after my mom died in April 2010, I think I finally knew enough about grief myself that I was able to write the book and tell Leah and Sebastian’s love story.

Aislynn - As an author, what was the most important thing you've learned through the process?

Ashley – The hardest part of writing is actually sitting your butt in the chair and writing. It really does matter whether you write every day or whether you keep putting it off till tomorrow. For all aspiring writers, that would be my #1 advice—keep writing and write every day, as much as you can.

Aislynn - What are you writing at the moment?  Can you give us a sneak peek into your current WIP?

Ashley – I’m still working on edits for my third Penguin book to come out in May 2012, MY LADY RIVAL (MLR is the start of a new series). I’m about to start working on the novella that will precede MY LADY RIVAL, which is about one of the family’s maids. Since I’ve never written a story about a servant before, I’m really looking forward to it. Oh, and one of the best parts? The hero will be the nude portraitist who painted Charlotte from SEDUCING THE DUCHESS. =)

Aislynn - What authors inspire you? 

Ashley – Oh, this is a long list and I don’t think I’ll even remember everyone, but I’ll try. =) These are the authors who I read and think: “I want to be you when I grow up!”
Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, Julie Anne Long, Joanna Bourne, Meredith Duran, Sherry Thomas, Anne Mallory, Teresa Medeiros, Julie James…

Aislynn - You are the creator of the Romance's Biggest Winner (RBW) What inspired you to start this project?

Ashley – Simply, I’d been struggling to lose weight for a long time and finally got to the point where I realized I needed accountability from others outside my family. Since I love the romance community and have heard both authors and readers talking about their weight issues as well, I thought it would be a great idea to join together and support each other in an effort to all get healthy. I’m so thrilled that 93 authors and readers joined RBW, and although we’ve had a few people leave for health and personal reasons, the rest are going strong. Readers can visit for periodic updates on our progress!

Some quick questions:

Black or White?
Black. Classic. (And um, it hides some of the curves. ;)

Cat or Dog? 
Dog. No inside litterbox. (Before I had kids I cared about their personalities; now I just care about the practicalities.)

Day or Night? 
Day. =) Love the sunshine (and there’s plenty of it in Colorado).

Chocolate or Vanilla? 
Chocolate… (is this a trick question? ;)

Real Book or E-book? 
Okay, I admit it, I’m a convert. E-book.

Coffee or Tea? 
I suppose coffee. Although, since my coffee hangover last week I’m a little wary about it. Sweet tea is good, too, although it’s not something I’d normally drink.

Summer or Winter? 
Definitely summer! I despise the cold. Despise it, I tell you!

Wine or Beer? 
I can’t stand the taste of alcohol—which is unfortunate, because I’d LOVE to be a wine drinker. The glasses! The bottles! Everything’s just so pretty. =)

Heels or Flats? 
I think I love the IDEA of heels more than I love wearing them. I lust after them just like any red-blooded woman, but when it comes to which ones I’d wear….flats it is.

Thanks so much for having me today, Aislynn! 

Readers, do you prefer e-books or print books? If your favorite author suddenly went rogue and started self-publishing, would you consider ordering their books through a print-on-demand (POD) service just so you could buy the print version?

One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)! 

Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting! 

Giveaway is open until  Saturday October 8th, 2011 (Midnight EST)

To enter just answer Ashley's question - Don't forget to leave your email address so we can't get in touch with you!


  1. Love the cover for the newest book... so pretty!

  2. Hi Ashley

    My, You're a busy woman. I must admit I haven't converted to e-books yet but I think it's only a matter of time (serious weighing up of the pros and cons going on as we speak).

    I would order POD if an author I loved started self-publishing, but I suspect I'll be getting an e-reader soon, maybe Santa will bring me one if I;m very, very good.

  3. I am a print book holdout. The longer I can read books in print, the happier I'll be. Now, I have a favorite author who did just switch to self-publishing ebooks. Now I can handle reading a short story (maybe 100 pgs) on my PC but not a full length novel. She says her books will be full length (350-400 pgs) and she says they will not be published in print form at all. She says if all goes well, that will be the direction of all her writing in the future. That's unfortunate for people like me (and maybe for her too), because I won't be investing in her books from now on. Maybe if I either win an ereader in some contest or decide to break down and buy one (not likely), I buy her ebooks.

    Karen H in NC
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  4. Thanks for the giveaway. I'd love to read your book. It sounds real good.

    I don't read ebooks and don't plan to ever get an ereader. I'm a print book girl all the way. Whether or not I'd read a print on demand book depends on the cost. From what I know, they're pretty expensive.

    Terri C.
    niteofblu at gmail dot com

  5. Hi Ladies! Just wanted to say thanks so much for dropping by! I'm with the kids right now but I'll respond to individual comments as soon as I can today. =)

  6. I love both print and my Kindle! I love my kindle for cheap or free books or new to me authors. I just can't stop buying paperbacks! I do try to keep series or certain authors in one format or another just to keep them organized.


  7. I hope this finally takes. I have been having problems posting.
    I read both. I will buy e-books from authors I love to read without a thought. When I find an author I have not read before, I will buy the printed book if available first to see if I will like it. I also found out the hard way that reading printed books on airplanes are so much better than e-books too.

  8. Ashley—Love this:
    Chocolate or Vanilla?
    Chocolate… (is this a trick question? ;) Why yes, I think that was a trick question!

    On the main reader question—I read both print and digital books. I have a Kindle. Until last week, when I could start getting library books on Kindle, (YAY!) I also read digital books on my computer. Frankly, I comparison shop—and borrow! If I know I want the book to be a keeper, I’d prefer to buy it in print. Hubby (who gave me the Kindle) sort of frowns on keeper books at all, since we have books all over the place!

    If it’s a favorite author, I am going to read the book, no matter how it’s published.

  9. Hi Ashley!
    It took me some time to get used to reading ebooks. But I really like it now. I'm still reading a lot print books. And I've got that silly quirk that all the series I've started reading in print I will continue to read in print. So, I buy mostly books by new-to-me authors as ebook and of course the ones who only publish digitally. I don't think I would buy POD books. I would probably switch to ebooks if I really want to read her books furthermore.
    I have to say though, that looking at my bookshelves makes me really happy. I love to see all my keepers and think how much I enjoyed them. Can't really do that with ebooks, can you. ;)

  10. Hi Chrystal! Thank you, and thanks for stopping by! Hope you're doing well! =)

  11. Hi Beebs! Well, in that case I hope you're very, very good. ;) I love so many things about e-books. You can download a sample so in a way you can browse. You can buy instantaneously, of course. =) It marks the page where you stop reading when you the device off. You can have dozens of books with you at once. You can read them on your smart phone... Yep, like I said--convert. =)

  12. Hi Karen: I think I know who you're talking about and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), self-publishing gives authors a lot of reasons to go on their own. However, I know there are a lot of readers like you who will miss print books. Would you buy print-on-demand books?

  13. Hi Terri! Good luck with the giveaway. =) And while I believe the print-on-demand books are usually trade, I also believe the author can choose the price point. So some might price them at a normal trade price ($9.99, $15.99, etc.), and some might price them lower. I think it just depends on the author.

  14. Hi Johanna! I'm still with you on the print. =) I LOVE going to bookstores, and it seems a crime to leave without buying at least one book. But I've been surprised at how swiftly my preference in reading has changed, so that I much rather prefer reading on my phone or e-reader now. I think it's just the convenience of it.

  15. Hi Ora! Glad your post finally showed up. =) I haven't taken my e-reader on a plane yet. Why was it difficult? (Curious.) Also, I can understand what you mean about the print books for new authors. You really can't give away an e-book that you've already bought for yourself, can you? (Or maybe you can, and I'm just ignorant.)

  16. Hi LSUReader! Lol..yeah, the only way it could have been vanilla is if the vanilla was white chocolate. ;)

    And we're the same way about books being everywhere! Even with ebooks now, I still love having print books, and I don't think we'll ever get rid of all of them. I'm excited about the library lending, too, although I haven't checked to see if my local library has that capability yet. Still--awesomeness. =) Thanks for your feedback!

  17. Hi ClaudiaGC! I'm the same way with my autobuy authors. Since I have all their books in print, I'm a little reluctant to buy their ebooks. But I think the convenience of the ebooks will get to me soon. I'm pretty sure ebooks were invented for parents with young children who don't want to take them anywhere. ;) And you're completely right--there's something wonderful and awe-inspiring at holding a book in your hands or looking at rows upon rows of books in a library. Not quite the same feeling at all. =)

  18. I prefer print books, partly because I have so many of them I still want to read, and partly because I just love holding them in my hands. If my favorite author started self-publishing and I had a choice of ebooks or POD books, I'd probably go for the POD book, although it would probably depend on price.

  19. Hi Barbara! Thanks so much for your feedback! The industry is changing so much and so fast that it's great to hear what readers think, not just agent and publishers and authors. =)

  20. I love ebooks for the conveince-you can get the book immediately and you have all 3,000 books at your fingertips. : ) However, I still have some print books to remind me why I love books so much: the feel of the pages, the smell, and the delectable covers.


  21. I'm still hanging on tight to my print books. I haven't made the jump to an e-reader yet but I know I will soon. When I see a good deal on ebooks I will purchase them but usually they go into my TBR pile as I can't standing reading for a long time on my PC. With the recent releases of Kindles it's very tempting to get into the market. I suspect print books will have come first though.

    Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

  22. LOVE print books. I think I always will. If my favorite authors only published eBooks I would find a new favorite. I would feel they abandoned me first. POD books - I don't think so. Too expensive.


  23. I still prefer printed books that I can hold and finger lovingly! or throw at the person who's irritating me (no i don't really abuse my books that way) but that may be because I don't have a good ereader. I just read ebooks on my laptop which is so very cumbersome. Not something that u could put in your handbag to read while waiting at the dentist. I carry a book w/me wherever I go, almost.
    The other downside of ebooks is the availability where I live (Asia).
    I'd love to have 1 of those ereaders that look the same as a printed book. My poor bookshelf runneth over. I'll soon have books under my bed.....

  24. I love my Ereader. I like the fact that I'm able to download samples, which has actually meant that I've been introduced to lots of new and self-published authors. Also knowing that I'm never without a novel as I can store loads on there and download new ones in seconds is very reassuring. I think actually that I read even more now than I used to.

  25. Oh and my e-mail is

    Thanks. :-)

  26. I love all sorts of books, e and paper AND audio. There are some books I have in all three versions. If its a series I try and stick with all paper or all e but I'm not really that bothered. I love the convenience and immediacy of ebooks but I have a soft spot for paper. If an author I followed went self published, I'd probably buy e though.

    Hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

  27. I read ebooks but I still prefer paper books, so if my fave author went rogue, I would probably by the print books, as long as the price was affordable :)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  28. I guess that I am Bi.
    I love my books; the feel, the weight, the smell. I love looking at my full bookshelf. But then I look down at the stack of books beside me and wonder "where am I going to put these?"
    I love my Kindle. I love that I can have 2000 books at my fingertips all the time, I love that I can click a button and then have a book 2 seconds later. I love my pink cover. But then I look at the full bathtub and wonder "How can I read this?"
    I love my Books and my e-reader. Each has pros and cons but the main factor is that the story doesn't change in either format. Rhett will always walk out the door, Pinocchio will always be a real boy and even with my Kindle I will still buy and enjoy Real Books.

  29. I am a print book lover, and I've come to realize it will always be that way for me! You just can't have a good lookin' library with a Kindle ;-)


  30. I do like both but I enjoy paper back a little bit better! If I had to have a printed book I might look into POD but I think it would be easier just to download to my Kindle.


  31. I prefer printed books. I like the feel of the book in my hand, and I have a habit of always flipping to see how long the chapter is at the start of each. It's harder to do that with an e-reader. I do love reading my iPad in the dark in bed, so it does have its value there - that was the primary reason I wanted it.

    Even though I have e-books, I would still get a book in its printed format if I loved it and wanted to show it off on my bookshelf!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  32. Although I love my kindle, I still want perfer print books over ebooks. Also, if my favorite author went rogue and did self=-publishing then he/she better have good reason or else I wouldn't order POD since its too much of hassle

    kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

  33. The book sounds wonderful! I like e-books now that I have a Nook. Before, when I had to read them on my computer, it wasn't so much fun. Would I buy POD? Of course! My publisher is a small press & our books are printed that way.

  34. It'll always be print books for me! And would totally go for POD books and self-published books. Can't rely on traditional publishers to get your words out. Artists need to be heard no maater what!

  35. I used to prefer print books, but I have to admit that having a Kindle definitely made the last military move so much easier. I shudder thinking about "more boxes"!!! Of course, there are those "keepers" that I just have to have in print. I think offering POD books is a great idea & its definitely something I'd be interested!
    Michelle H.

  36. i prefer print book actually, but ebook is great too because we must also consider our current earth, reduced using papar is very good and also a stack of book sometime takes place very often.

    it's awesome which the author who take an initiave to self-publishing =D


  37. I got an ereader almost a year ago and I have almost entirely converted to e-books. I have to say that saving on shipping costs and instant gratification are big draws for me. I no longer really want any printed books unless they are cookbooks, knitting books, or other reference or picture-heavy books.

    So no, self-publishing doesn't bother me so long as they have a good editor to back them up!

    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  38. I prefer printed books because I enjoy keeping them in my hands, I enjoy looking at my bookshelf... I guess I'll keep buying print book, at least the ones I want to add to my collection.

    natalija (dot) shkomare (at) gmail (dot) com
    Good luck to everyone!