I love having debut authors on my blog, and today I have someone special–she’s Ashlyn Macnamara and she writes gorgeous Regency-set historical romance. Her brand new book is out, and it’s already getting fantastic reviews. Let’s ask Ashlyn to to tell us all about it.
You’re a debut author – what did you do before you picked up your quill and started penning fabulous historical romance?
Oh dear, lots of things. I started out wanting to be a high school French teacher, until I realized I had to start out by being a substitute. I’ve worked retail. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and a volunteer in the school library. Note how all these things kind of revolve around reading. Yes, even the retail. They sold paperbacks in the drugstore where I worked. I think I’ve always been surrounded by books in one form or another.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to publication?
While I’ve always read and made up stories in my head, I never tried writing any of them down until 2001–and then it was in the form of fanfiction. I didn’t finish anything original until 2008, but I had to write five manuscripts (and start a few others) before I produced anything publishable. But I had help along that road, too. One of the best investments I ever made in my writing career was bidding on a certain author’s critique in the Brenda Novak auction a couple of years ago. She was tough on me, but she said it was because I had potential. And she was completely right to give me a good kick in the pants.
I can’t thank you enough for that, Vanessa. *rubs backside* With your help, I finaled in the Regency category of the 2011 Golden Heart® contest, got the attention of an agent, and sold my finaling manuscript in fairly short order.
And I was thrilled to be part of that process, Ashlyn. When I read your manuscript, I just knew you would go on to really wonderful things!
So, what can you tell us about A Most Scandalous Proposal? Where did you get the idea?
I didn’t start out with the intention of retelling Sense and Sensibility (only with love scenes). It just kind of happened that way. I wasn’t conscious of it until about chapter seven or so, and then I just went with it. I got the original idea because I’d read another romance where the heroine suffered from an unrequited crush on the hero at the beginning of the story, and she confided a lot of her angst to her sister. That got me thinking about how the sister’s views on love might be colored from listening to that.
And then around the same time I read another historical that featured a secondary romance which was nearly as prominent as the primary romance in the book. So that gave me the idea to tell both sisters’ stories in the same novel. And clearly the sisters had to have different personalities, so on turned out being ruled by her head while the other went more with her heart and emotions.
I’ll also say it’s not a completely faithful retelling of S&S. There are differences in the story line, and not just because I included some racier scenes–although I like to think that if Jane Austen were writing today, she’d totally go there.
What’s up next for Ashlyn Macnamara?
My second book, A MOST DEVILISH ROGUE, is coming August 27th. It’s more of a traditional historical in that I haven’t attempted another double romance story line. My titular rogue is George Upperton, the best friend of one of my hero’s from the first book. George is a bit of a smart-ass with a penchant for landing himself in trouble. And he’s landed himself in a lot of trouble at the outset of his story. Plus he’s about to fall really hard at the worst possible time. Oh, and according to my cover art, he has some really, REALLY nice assets. I may have written in a little extra description based on that cover.
Thanks so much for being with us today, Ashlyn! Readers, trust me–you are going to want to read this book! And one lucky person will win a copy today of Ashlyn’s book. Since A Most Scandalous Proposal is partly a retelling of Sense and Sensibility, let’s talk about Jane Austen. Who’s your favorite Jane Austen hero, in either the books, TV adaptations, or movies?
A Most Scandalous Proposal
After watching her beloved sister Sophia pine over the ton’s Golden Boy for years, Miss Julia St. Claire has foresworn love and put herself firmly on the shelf. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father have other ideas, and jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the newly-named Earl of Clivesden…the man of Sophia’s dreams.
Since resigning his Cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has set Julia in his sights, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover more than friendship driving his desire to defend her. He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when she refuses him and her father announces her betrothal, he fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society…
…and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.
63 thoughts on “Guest Author: Ashlyn Macnamara & Giveaway!!”
I want it,I want it! Please pick me!! I was reading the part about getting a good kick in the pants when I saw the (oh so gorgeous) cover of your next book. Now THAT is a pair of “pants” I wouldn’t mind kicking, or rather doing something quite a little more interesting than kicking. I was totally diverted :p
I’m not really a fan of Jane Austen (ok i admit it) & my brain is still fixated on that cover. I can hardly think of anything else at the moment……
Oh Linda, I won’t blame you at all. That cover is quite distracting. Although lately I’ve been wondering how much of a fight I’m going to have with my husband when I get my cover flats. I’m getting that one framed and putting it in the bedroom–only he doesn’t know that yet. 😉
That is so cute! DH will surely be surprise!
I’m not sure he’ll go for it if I hang it over the bed though… Hmmm…
I’ve always been rather partial to Col. Brandon, especially when played by Alan Rickman.
Hehe, and Colonel Brandon’s foil in this book *looks* like Alan Rickman in my head. And I decided that very early on, before I realized the other similarities to S&S.
Thanks for the fun post and congrats to Ashlyn on her debut! I’ve been reading nothing but praise for this book and it’s firmly on my want list 😉 I loved Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen as Darcy.
Thank you! I have not seen that version of P&P, since I love my Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version so. I’ll have to check it out.
When I saw the book cover of your 1st book, I really felt I had to get it, it is so gorgeous! usually, my feeling is right. It told me “get me” . But when I saw the second one, it told me “grab me”.
Seriously, congrats for your debut and I will enjoy reading books from an author from my region! Love to promote Canadian author.
Hehe, yes, grab me indeed. And the heroine does. 😉
This is such a good book!!! I can’t wait for the next one. Congratulations, Ashlyn!! I tweeted.
Thank you, Ella!
I am really enjoying this read. I always like when there are two love stories running at the same time! I am so glad your follow up is for Upperton; he is a great character. I can already picture him in my mind!
I think we all know what he looks like from behind now, anyway. Glad you’re enjoying the book!
I hate to be predictable but I love darcy… Not a big fan of sense and sensibility but I do enjoy it.
Mr. Darcy is very hard to top, especially when Colin Firth is playing the role. Most especially when he gets wet…
I can honestly admit that I have never read a Jane Austen book, but after seeing the cover for A Most Devilish Rogue, I may start! All I can say is WOW! 😉
Not sure you’re going to get that kind of action out of Austen, but I hope you’ll give my book a try. That cover is definitely an attention-getter.
Ashyln, welcome to the blog – I’m so happy you’re here today!
Thank you so much for having me!
Awww Lord Upperton~ I totally squeal when I saw this cover a couple of weeks ago. I really can not wait to read his story!
My favorite Jane Austen hero has to be Matthew Macfadyen as Darcy and Simon Woods as Charles Bingley. This was the movie that got me to fall in love with…everything. I also loved Lost in Austen, a mini series in which I fell in love with Tom Mison as Charles Bingley.
I hope you like it when it comes out in August. And I have to admit I just spent the last two hours watching the Matthew Macfayden version of P&P on Netflix. Does he beat out Colin Firth? Hmmm…. Now there’s a discussion.
Oh a new author to me, I have not read this author before so I would love to try her work. Love checking out new authors.
Enjoy. As this is my debut, it would have been hard for you to have read me before–and honestly I’m not sure I’d want anyone seeing the manuscripts under my bed…
Pride and Prejudice (TV mini-series) with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle 🙂
Who doesn’t love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy?
I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen..so you had my heart going crazy to read this!!!…thank you 🙂
I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for dropping by.
wow the book sound and will go far for you the color of the dress and the way you did itthank for letting us try to win it
Thank you. I really love the colors on that cover. Ballantine did a great job with it.
Wow, I totally agree with you about George’s assets! I look forward to reading both books. And isn’t Brenda’s auction fun?
I love Brenda’s auction. I didn’t win anything last year though. Everything went out of my price range pretty fast.
Hi There Ashlyn, I´ve seen your novel because Since I recently met Vanessa Online I can always keep even more updated about international editions.
I confess I am a huge fan of Historical romance.
And the cover is great, so are the reviews in Goodreads and If Vanessa recommends it, I would really love to read your book! Keep following your dreams, and never give them up.
Thank you. I think by April it should be out all over the world in English. I’ve been told there’s a French version in the works, but I don’t know when that’s supposed to come out. I haven’t heard about any other languages yet.
Sounds like an interesting book. Can’t wait to check it out.
Thank you. Hope you enjoy it.
I guess I would have to go with…Darcy! I like tortured heroes. Your book sounds great. I am looking forward to reading it. Congrats.
Hah, and as an author I enjoy torturing heroes. Sounds like a win-win situation. Enjoy and thanks!
Thank you so much for posting here. I really love that cover–very distracting! I have not had the opportunity to read “A Most Scandalous Proposal”, but I hope to do so in the future. I love the premise of the story. Also, I love Sense and Sensibility’s Colonel Brandon–very hero
I meant to say “heroic”, but my keyboard decided to act a bit wonky…sorry
I think you’re going to like Highgate then. I hope you do, anyway. Enjoy!
This book looks awesome!
If have to say that my favorite Austen men are either mr. Darcy from the latest pride and prejudice with Keira knightingly or mr. Knightly from Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow.
I look forward to having new author I read!
Thank you! Oh, and a vote for Mr. Knightley, too. I think he was feeling a little left out. I love how Emma is so oblivious.
Well, I was very fond of Colonel Brandon in his romance of Marianne Dashwood. Marianne was so disappointed in her first romance that it took a very kind, diligent, faithful hero like Colonel Brandon to woo her successfully. Plus, he was rich! 🙂
And the Alan Rickman angle certainly doesn’t hurt, either. Thanks for stopping by!
Oh please pick me pick me *waving hand franticly. I love the cover
I love my cover, too. And you get points for enthusiasm. Thanks for commenting.
well, i really can’t remember whether I’ve ever read a Jane Austen. i have heard so much about her stories, and i’ve seen some, or parts, on tv, so I really don’t know. regardless, i do not have a favorite hero.
on the other hand, i do want to read A Most Scandalous Proposal.
I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for dropping by!
Love the cover she looks so sassy. Can’t wait to read it
When my editor showed me the picture they were planning on using, I said the same thing. The model has just the right expression on her face–like she’s up to something.
Wow, George’s assets are eye-catching! The cover of your debut book is quite nice, too. I look forward to reading both of your books. As for Jane Austen heroes…I adore Darcy and Brandon.
Darcy and Brandon–you can’t really go wrong there, can you? The cover fairies were very kind to me. I hope you enjoy!
Why Mr. Darcy of course. He’s a pretty popular favorite and who am I to buck the majority?
Both covers of Ashlyn’s books are fantastic, looking forward to reading them.
I think Mr. Darcy is a favorite for very good reason, myself. Enjoy the books!
Well Sense and Sensibility is my favorite. I loved that movie. I’ve seen it several times.
Your book sounds good. I love books with secondaryromances in them.
Your book covers are great but I do have to say I like your up coming cover the best. I look forward to reading these books.Ashlyn you are a new author to me.
Thank you for the giveaway.
I agree with you on the covers. I love the first, but the second one has that je ne sais quoi… Enjoy!
Congratulations on your debut novel, Ashlyn!
I’m another Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy fan 🙂
Thank you. And it’s really, really hard to beat Mr. Darcy as portrayed by Mr. Firth.
I’m not a huge fan of Austen, but I could work on that for Alan Rickman. ;-D
Alan makes up for a lot, doesn’t he? Thanks for dropping by.
It has to be Mr.Darcy. I liked both the recent movie version and the earlier tv version.