Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa had a sense of humor this year!

My husband and I usually have a lot of fun together. When my mother-in-law joins us, we have a giggle-fest. Christmas is no different, but this one seemed especially funny since hubby received some new technology that went array at just the right (wrong) moment.

We live near a town with a world-famous boarding prep school. Smart, rich kids from all over the world attend. (Mel Gibson's kids went to school there.) We have a holiday tradition of brunch at the local Inn, right across the street from the campus. This year was no different...well, sort of.

We had had a lovely holiday feast of lobster bisque, fresh shrimp and crab, swordfish with a butter and herb garnish, boneless ribs, Caesar salad, goose with a cherry reduction sauce, potatoes Lyonaisse, glazed turnips, curried cauliflower, and mimosas. Well, that's what I had. They put on an all you can eat buffet and after we had all we could eat plus two or three deserts, we leaned back in our chairs and patted our full bellies. Then my husband's alarm went off.

I should explain that his alarm sounds like a rooster crowing. Loudly! And he couldn't shut it off!!! As the other guests glanced around the restaurant looking for the crazed rooster, his mother and I sat there giggling until we had tears in our eyes.

My husband had to eventually get up and bolt out of the restaurant until he could shush his new toy--and reprogram it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yipeeee! It's release day!


Today is the day Green Card is released from Total-e-Bound. It's a contemporary, Rubinesque with a manage and spanking.
Mason Germaine is close to a contract for his graphic novel, but if his model Katia is deported to Russia, his hopes will die...all of them.

Find it here: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=648


I'll be blogging at TRS blue today! http://trsblue.blogspot.com
And...I've been interviewed by The Quirky Ladies! http://thequirkyladies.blogspot.com/

--

Ash

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fashion show!



Signing my naughty books at this show was a blast! It was a couples friendly place, and my hubby was with me. He took the pics, so don't blame me...LOL.

Click on a picture you want to enlarge. This is only a sample. I'll be making a slideshow later.









Pictures from the Everything about Sex Show!


Enjoy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank goodenss for Thanksgiving

If anyone has read any of my recent blog posts you could probably figure out that I was wallowing in a bit of self-pity. Silly me. I have so much to be grateful for, but it took a day set aside for giving thanks before I realize it.

Yup, I had surgery and it hurt like a muthah (as they say here in Boston) yet it was elective and I had the means to torture myself. Now I'm feeling better...but last Sat night, I fell on a perfectly flat Toronto sidewalk and sprained my thumb on one hand plus my other wrist and two fingers on that hand. Waaaa. Still, it could have been way worse. I could have broken something and been trying to type with a cast on! I'm grateful I can do my final line edits by Dec 3rd, when their due.

And yes, we were lucky enough to go to Toronto for the Everything about Sex Show where I signed my Ellora's cave books. I'm grateful that I have such a wonderful marriage that my hubby was able to wander around the show while I was signing for an hour each day, and I could totally trust him not to do anything I wouldn't do. LOL. Okay, so there's not much you can do in a public forum, but you know what I mean, right?

I'm grateful my beautiful, intelligent daughter is healthy and her relationship is nine-years strong.

Today I'll be spending the day with my in-laws and a single mother they invited because she and her kids had nowhere to go. I'm grateful I still have a place to go and people to be with on Holidays.

They may not be the family I grew up with...(Deep breath) but they're wonderful people and I'm lucky to have them. No flying turkeys across the dinner table because someone had too much to drink. No insults traded over long-past hurts. Just a calm, safe place to spend a lovely afternoon, eat way too much and enjoy the company.

I wish all of you the best holiday you've ever had.

Ash

Monday, November 23, 2009

le sigh

The Internet is a wonderful place, until...
your blog gets spammed and you have to begin moderating comments...
then your books get pirated so frequently that the offender is forced to take it down one day and it goes back up the next.

Right now I'm typing with one hand. I fell on a Toronto sidewalk Sat. night and sprained my wrist, two fingers and a thumb. Maybe the universe is telling me something.

Maybe it's saying, "Give up."

Ash

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oops, I over did it.

Have you ever started to feel a little better after an illness or injury and decided, "Oh, it's no big deal to do the shopping, laundry, dishes..." or whatever you feel guilty for not doing? Then you try to go back to business as usual and relapse?

That's what I did yesterday. I went grocery shopping so my poor hubby wouldn't have to do it after a long day at work.

First, I borrowed his truck because its seats are higher and less painful to get in and out of than my convertible's low seats. Only to forget he has no power steering. So I fight with the truck on each turn. Then I got one of those shopping carts...you know the one. Its wheels are stuck in one position and you have to wrestle it around corners. Just like having no power steering!

Then I just had to pick up a 20 pound frozen turkey because they were on sale for $0.40 per pound! Then, when I'm almost finished and ready to go home and collapse, who do I run into? My mother-in-law. So, I had to stand in the isle chatting for another half hour.

By the time I got home, I knew something was very wrong. My right side felt swollen and ached like I'd run a marathon. Oops. I guess my doctor meant it when she said, "NO exercise." So, today I'm back to relying on my hubby to drive me to my two-week post surgery follow-up appointment. Damn.

I'm scheduled to go to Toronto a week from this Friday for a three-day book signing.
I'd better lay low for a while. I don't want to miss that!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hubby of the year!

I enjoy public speaking. Am I weird? No, don't answer that!
When I realized this speaking engagement, set up a few weeks ago, was right on top of me, my first thought wasn't, "Oh, no. How the hell am I going to be comfortable in the car all the way to RI? Maybe I should cancel." or "How am I going to sit on my sore tuccas all day? Maybe I should cancel." It was, "Oh, no! I hope I can go, because I don't want to miss the fun!"

Many of us have wonderful husband's but mine deserves some kind of award. Not only for putting up with me (embarrassed grin) but also for supporting my hopes and dreams any way he can. Mr. Ash drove me all the way to RI, and hung out at the library, reading the latest Dan Brown novel on his Kindle. The lovely ladies of RI welcomed him to join us for lunch, and he did.

Not "classically handsome" but wildly attractive to me--even after all these years, I'm proud to "show him off" any time my friends meet him. How did I get so lucky? And even though he never said word one about my figure, I wanted him to feel about me the same way I feel about him whenever I look his way and he's unaware. I can honestly say we're living our HEA.

So, yup, I'm still bruised and healing, but feeling better and happy about my decision to improve myself, albeit taking the drastic route.

Ash

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Time to talk about something different

I was blogging about my surgery and hoping I didn't sound like Aunt Martha talking about her gallstones. As it turns out, maybe I've exhausted that subject.

Yesterday I emailed my daughter about my progress since she had asked and I (mistakenly) thought she really wanted to know! I told her about the blackraspberry-like bruise, the bleeding that had stopped and started again, the pain, and well, she emailed me back and said, "Mom, I was eating as I read that." LOL. I guess that'll teach her to be honest next time.

Anyway, moving on to more pertinent things. I've passed the half-way point in my second novel in the Strange Neighbor series. As it turns out, I'm able to write despite my "delicate condition." In fact, it's a nice distraction.

So, my editor wanted me to come up with alternative titles for this new book over the weekend. Now, keep in mind it's about a werewolf and I was on pain medication. I started off with "normal" sounding stuff, but as she encouraged me to keep going, the ideas degenerated from the sublime to the silly, to the ridiculous. My last title was "Well, At Least He's Monogamous."

LOL! Come to think of it, since I write comedy, that might just fly!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

3 days out

The continued adventures of Ash--2nd in the 'Lipo Sucks' episodes
It took three days before I stopped feeling like hell had chewed me up and spit me out. I'm a baby when it comes to pain. Yes, I know I have a big, honkin' tattoo, but it took three separate sittings and my artist sent me home each time a began to cry. (Not good for business apparently.)

I knew it would hurt (a little) but if you're a baby like me, you'd better think carefully before you sign up for this. A little pain to some people is a lot to me. I can't even stub my toe without wanting to send the chair that attacked me hurtling through a window.

So, that said, I'm feelin somewhat better today. Okay, I'm still on Percocet, which is probably the only reason I'm able to sit here and type. This is the first day I didn't want to yelp each time my hubby changed my dressings. It's a good thing I love him and vice versa. I even washed my hair. Now I feel...well, not like a million bucks, but maybe a fifty and change.

Oh, yeah. I caught a glimpse of one of my bruises today. You know what a blackberry looks like? (Not the electronic kind.) Well I have one growing above the pad that covers the bandage on my abdomen.

I can't wait for the second step in this process...supposedly in a week, I'll be ready to graduate to the suit that I can pull up by myself instead of something my hubby has to hook and zipper me into. My drains will be taken out...by the way, I'm not bleeding out anymore. That's always a good sign. Maybe I'll even be able to wear jeans again instead of scrubs!

Woo Hoo! Can't wait.

Ash

Friday, October 30, 2009

1 day post fat removal

Hi everyone,

I made it through my lypectomy. Wasn't so sure about that when I woke up in recovery. I was on the table for 4 hours and came to feeling like a magician had sawed me in half with a dull blade. But here I am...home and "relatively comfortable" as long as I don't try to sit, stand, or lie down--and forget about bending over! I'm wrapped up like a burrito from just under my boobs to above the knees.

Funny surprise...I knew they might put in a drain, but drains have changed since I went to nursing school in the early 80's. I expected to see the wide wick. Instead I saw two dangling 3 inch oval plastic sacs with a thin plastic tubing trickling blood into them. I had to ask if I had the right operation! LOL.

Okay, that's all for today. I still need to take it easy. That means hubby gets to do the housework for a while. (grin)

Ash

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big week!

Good morning all,

It's only 6 a.m. and already I have a list of things to do as long as my 8 hour day and then some.

I'm having surgery on Thursday. Nothing major or earth shattering. In fact, it's elective. I'm getting Liposuction. I didn't know if I'd share it publicly or not, but as many of you know by now, I have no pride. LOL.

Seriously though... I have reached the stage of feeling a little "deformed" because of certain fat deposits. It's been affecting my self-esteem for quite a while and even though my wonderful husband says it doesn't bother him, it bothers ME. I avoid letting him see me in my birthday suit, and I won't wear a bathing suit in public. In short, I feel like crap about my body.

So, never one to settle, I decided to do something about it. For those who preach caution, don't worry. I did my homework, researched the various doctors in my area and found someone board certified with loads of experience in exactly what I'm having done. I went to a seminar she gave and looked at a whole album full of before and after pictures with her. She remembered each patient and what she did for them. I was impressed.

So, I go in first thing Thursday morning. It will be done in a full service hospital, and I should be home that afternoon or evening. I've decided to share my journey with you over the next few weeks (or months, depending on recovery time.)
I hope you'll support my decision, and if not...just know that I think I'm going to feel better about myself and improve my quality of life in the long run.

Ash

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Excerpt time!



First scene from my latest release, Oh My God

What happens when a Greek God has amnesia--especially Dionysus, the biggest bad boy of Mount Olympus?

The Greek God of wine, women, and party, falls off a balcony and lands on his head during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Now he has amnesia and has to rely on witnesses to tell him about his life. All he knows is that they call him ‘Big D,’ and he’s a party animal who drinks too much and ought to give up alcohol for Lent.

Mandy and Brandy flashed Dionysus right before he fell and feel partially responsible for his amnesia. They’re nice enough to take him to an AA meeting, and then back to their homes until he recovers his memory. Fortunately, they’re not too nice to be naughty. They all agree that replacing a bad habit with a healthy one is the key to sobriety, and what could be healthier than sex? Will he come between friends before they know who he is? Will Zeus separate all of them, forever?



Chapter One

“Hello, everyone. I can’t remember my name, but I think I’m an alcoholic.”

The room fell silent. A few titters began in the back, then the chuckles spread and before I knew it, the whole room was guffawing.

“You came to the right place, Mister!” yelled a listener from the back of the room.

I felt my cheeks heating. They must be turning red. Well, fine, at least they’d match my eyes.

The gorgeous young women who’d taken me to this AA meeting slapped their luscious thighs and laughed out loud with the rest of them. If it wasn’t for their sex appeal, I’d have stood up and walked out. How humiliating!

I pictured their creamy skin under their jeans. The brunette with big brown eyes would have a bikini tan. The other, an auburn redhead with long, spiral curls, would probably be a sunscreen wearer, but I loved fair complexions, too. In fact, I enjoyed pretty much everything about women. It’s odd how I knew that about myself but little else since the amnesia.

I elbowed the pretty brunette on my right. “Hey, I came here to get help and everybody’s laughing at me.”

The young woman, Brandy she said her name was, patted me on the knee and said with a southern drawl, “It’s all right, honey. We understand. We’re laughin’ with you.”

“But I’m not laughing.”

“Well you should, darlin’. When you’re feelin’ better, you’ll be tellin’ your story to the world, and you’ll be laughin’ too.”

The meeting resumed but with my hangover, I couldn’t concentrate on what the speakers said. Yet, despite my pounding headache and roiling stomach, I could concentrate on Brandy and Mandy’s thighs.

I sensed a passionate nature in both of the women.

Mandy, the redhead, seemed like the quiet type. Like a swan though, she had all kinds of energy underneath the surface.

Brandy liked to touch. I loved touchers. Every chance she got she put a hand on my arm or my leg. Now if I can just get her to zero in on the space between them. My jeans grew tighter as I imagined it.

Mandy wagged her top leg continuously, and I could barely keep my eyes off her shapely ankle, graced by a rhinestone anklet. The afternoon light refracted sparkles from it as if fairy dust were being sprinkled all around our legs and feet. Her t-shirt spoke volumes in glitzy rhinestones too. They spelled out ‘Half Naughty Half Nice. Which half do you want?’ over her ample breasts. I wanted both halves in my mouth, thank you.

You’ve gotta love New Orleans. Short skirts, brilliant colours, and lots of glitz were the preferred attire in the French Quarter, especially at Carnival time. That must have been why I was here. Somehow, I just knew I never missed a good party.

Had I lived here for years? Maybe I was just a tourist. Why oh why hadn’t I had some kind of ID on me when I fell off that balcony and onto my head last night at Mardi Gras?

The girls, Brandy and Mandy, said I had been leaning over the balcony trying to throw them some beads when they’d flashed their tits at me. They said I must have been pretty drunk because I’d almost fallen off the balcony when a flat-chested girl flashed, but the two of them showing their voluptuous gifts in unison must have been too much. I’d tumbled over the wrought iron railing and landed, bam, right on my head.

Fortunately, for me, they’d felt guilty and driven me to the hospital when I’d come to. They’d stayed until the emergency room had kicked me out, then they’d brought me here.

I couldn’t wait until the meeting ended. I wanted to take the two of them to a private place to make out. Who was I kidding? I wanted to screw them silly. Maybe Armstrong Park… Now how did I remember the name of a park in New Orleans, but I couldn’t come up with my own name? Oh, man, I needed a drink.

Shit. Today was Ash Wednesday. Nine out of every ten people in the meeting hall had soot on their foreheads. The girls wanted to give up liquor for Lent. They said they did it every year and thought it would be a good idea if I did, too. Maybe they were right.

Maybe I was a Catholic. Everyone else seemed to be. And since I didn’t know about the other bad habits I had, I’d have to give up alcohol, although I sensed I may have lots of bad habits.

Oh, thank Zeus. The meeting was almost over. We just needed to stand in a circle and hold hands. I could do that.

Mandy’s hands were warm and dry. Brandy’s were hot and sweaty, and she’d been flirting with me. Oh, yeah, she was ready to roll. Suddenly, everyone began to recite the Lord’s Prayer.

“Our Father, who art on Mount Olymp…” Hey, they had a different version. Oh, well, I’d just listen to theirs and maybe next time I could fake it…

Monday, October 19, 2009

I vow...

To blog at least three times a week from now on.

It seems possible. Daunting, but possible. I look at my life and say, "How can I possibly come up with something to talk about that often? I'm a boring person!"
LOL. Friends have told me I'm wrong about that. So, I promise to try harder from now on.

Now, what I need from you are your ideas! What would make this a blog one you'd like to visit? Do you need witty reparte? I can be witty. Do you want an account of my journey as a writer? I can share my journey. Do you want to know what I wear to bed at night? No question is too personal. I'll even tell you if I've cheated on my diet each day if you like. LOL.

So, let me know what floats your boat. Pictures? Funny stories? The untold truth?
Or something different each day so you never know what to expect?

I can't wait to get you're input! And to thank you, anyone who wants some bookmarks and or postcards from me...just email me after leaving your comment. ash@ashlynchase.com is my email addy.

Thanks so much!!!

Ash

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Writing with a partner

My writing partner and I were back-up speakers for today's RWA meeting. Since the original speaker is coming, we're off the hook. However, since loads of people have asked us about writing together, I thought I'd share a bit of what I would have said.

If you're think about writing with a partner:
First of all, you really have to know the person's voice and writing style will mesh with yours. (Just now I made a typo and wrote 'mess' instead of mesh.) LOL. Yeah, if you don't mesh, prepare to have the whole process mesh with your head and get you all meshed up. (Sorry, I love funny typos.)

But seriously now...how do Dalton and I do it? First of all we have different strengths and utilize those. She has a better handle on a guy's POV (having lived with 5 of them!) I guess my strength is speed.

I'm a linear writer and she's what's called a puzzler. I lay down the road in a fast and dirty rough first draft, then she comes along after me, fills in the plot holes and smoothes everything over. We're quite the construction crew! LOL.

If I get stuck, I can call on her for help. If she sees an opportunity I missed in the first run-through, she'll expand on it. If I second guess something, I can hand it off to her and she can give it a fresh look.

For me, it's like having a critique partner who doesn't slow you down. The manuscript just gets magically better while I'm off bulldozing our the way to the end.

We've written two stories this way so far.
The first one, Love Cuffs, was unique. We employed the two main characters each giving their own first person points of view on the same story. Dalton wrote the hero's point of view, and of course she did it much better than I could have!

In Love Cuffs, I began with the heroine's story in my comedic voice. At the end of my chapter it was Dalton's turn...but how do you tell another person's take on the same events? Simple. We invented Chapter One and a half. Then Two and a half, and on and on until the epilogue. (You didn't think I'd let the hero have the last word did you?) LOL

Our second book was written in third person and we both worked on the whole manuscript. This time, Dalton not only improved the hero, but she gave him a unique Italian syntax and researched bits of the language we could use which would be easily understood from context. We just finished edits and received our release date. YAY! It's called Strokes and won't be available until Aug of 2010, so I'll remind you later.

Honestly, we'll probably have more books written together in the future because we both benefit from the partnership. Dalton might not have as many books with her wonderful voice to offer if I didn't "speed her up" and mine might not be as rich or even finished since sometimes I hit a wall and just toss a book to the side of the road. But if I let her come by later and knock down that wall, I'm very glad I did.

I have two books going now. One has hit a wall, and even though I know exactly where it's going, I need her to bring the excavator and dig me a pass through what looks like a mountain right now. The other one, I'm slogging through by myself.

If anyone thought writing was easy, let me be the one to tell you, it's not! But finding the right writing partner can make it a little easier.

Thanks, Dalton! I know you've sung my praises in other blogs. It's about time I returned the favor. You're awesome!

Ash

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Talk about branding!


All the publicists and editors will tell you that you have to create your "brand."

Did I take that one step too far by getting my logo tatooed on my chest?

LOL. Um, maybe. But be that as it may, I have a wonderful time creating promos and little things for readers to remember me by. When I had a logo created for me, I went a little "Logo loco." I created an on-line store with dozens of products bearing my logo.

And today, I just learned that if you see the design you want on a mug, but you want it on a t-shirt, they'll put it on a t-shirt for you! So, for your procrastinating pleasure, here's my store window. Browse to your heart's content.

http://www.cafepress.com/ashlynchase

And if you'd like me to upload one of my gorgeous bookcovers onto a product for you, just say the word, I'll be happy to!

What they mean when they talk about your brand is your "style." Some way for your readers to recognize you and something to make you stand apart from the competition.
Burberry has that signature check pattern. Authors have their "voice."

Most of my readers know my "thing" is hot comedy. I always have at least one character who gives voice to all the absurdities a civilized person might think but is too polite to say. It's very freeing. Recently, my editor said that the character I picked to be that voice was "kind of a jerk." I laughed and said, "Yup." Then I thought about how I wrote it and said, "Hey! LOL.

Oh well. I guess I can be a bit of an Ash at times.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fundraisers

I'm sorry I've neglected thos blog...but not really. I left up Lara's story for a long time purposely. If you haven't read it, please go to the entry below this one.
Now, in order to post something new (which ever blogger must do) here's my take on fundraising.

Fundraisers
How authors help

Romance authors are some of the most generous people on the planet. Not only do they offer their knowledge, time and even money to fellow authors, but they reach beyond their own local friends and help people they’ve never even met.

Brenda Novak is one notable example. She started an auction to benefit Diabetes research—a cause close to her heart. This little auction has taken off over the last few years and is now a huge event. Everyone in the industry offers whatever gifts they have that others might want to bid on. An agent might offer a critique. Even a busy editor might offer to read the first chapter or two. And authors donate all kinds of things! Baskets filled with bath goodies, gift bags filled with books, percentages of their royalties, and even their writing talent when asked.

I’m one of eleven authors participating in a fundraiser to help a family who lost their nineteen year-old daughter in a fire. The hospital bills for two weeks in the ICU and then a funeral were astronomical. Please see Giggles by Gabby, release date 9/15. It’s in the Lara series. http://www.jasminejade.com/s-282-lara.aspx

I also just sent off a check to the National Arbor Day Foundation, which I do on a regular basis from my print book royalties. They use the money to plant trees in areas that need reforestation, as well as to educate our young people about the importance of trees to our planet. They clean the air, help stabilize the earth, and are important in building and, of course, paper.

And many authors donate to other causes that have special meaning to them. A group of authors I’ve belonged to for a few years donate money to Heifer International. It’s an organization that provides the means to make a living with animals to hungry families.

And how many of us have been to events like romance conventions or conferences where profits from their huge book signings go to the foundations for literacy. Since 1991, RWA (Romance Writers of America) has donated more than $600,000 to literacy charities. The authors receive no royalties for these donated books.

Most of the time, the beneficiaries will never know who they are. But that’s not why romance authors give. Most of us are very fortunate. I consider myself very lucky to be able to spend my spare time doing what I love. I’m certain many authors feel the same way.

And just because I must also pay the bills, here’s the only release of my three this month that will earn me any royalties. My novella Oh My God is a modern day erotic comedy about the Greek God Dionysus in New Orleans. http://www.total-e-bound.com/ For a look at all of my available books, go here: www.ashlynchase.com
Please support the arts! Without you buying our books, we’d have nothing to give away.


Yesterday, my dear friend Dalton's book in the Lara series was released. Check out Stray Lovers. Anyone who loves pets and hot romance will enjoy it.

Ash

Friday, June 26, 2009

Important fundraiser in memory of Lara - age 19

Honoring Lara


Her life was far too short, the loss to her family too sad to imagine. But what we hope for Lara Punches is that there is a special place in heaven where animals and the people who love them go, and that she’s making new friends there and finding old friends as well.

Many of our readers and friends know Lara’s mother, Martha Punches, as that wonderful, upbeat, helpful soul in charge of Ellora’s Cave/Cerridwen Press customer service. Several of our authors were so moved by the heartbreaking story of Lara’s death, they decided to honor her memory by donating to her family a portion of the proceeds from books dedicated to Lara. Those books begin releasing this month.

Everyone who knows Martha loves her. And everyone who knows Martha knows that Lara was the apple of her eye. She was crazy about that girl. Never pretended her daughter was perfect, just enjoyed her company immensely and delighted in watching the wonder that was Lara unfold.

When Lara went off to Fort Wayne to study to become a veterinary technician, Martha was excited for her. Lara loved animals and was pursuing her passion, doing what she had wanted to do since she was in eighth grade. The school was an hour’s drive from home, far enough so she could be independent but close enough that Martha and Lara’s dad, Paul, could still see her often.

Lara was close to her parents and kept in touch by text, email and phone frequently while she was away. “Sometimes it would just be a one-word text, ‘hi’,” Martha said in a recent WANE TV interview. Lara and Martha had been emailing back and forth on the evening of January 22 while Lara studied for a test and Martha worked. Around 10:30 Lara called to say goodnight before going to bed.

A few hours later, around 5 a.m., Lara called again. Her apartment complex was on fire and she and her two roommates were trapped in their second-floor bathroom. All Martha and Paul could do was try to help her calm down and pray rescue workers would get through to them in time. They were on the phone with her until she lost consciousness from smoke inhalation.

When the firefighters arrived, they launched a heroic rescue effort. By the time they reached the second floor, the blaze was so advanced that the floor was already beginning to fall in and the ceiling was engulfed in flames. Lara and her roommates were taken immediately to the hospital.

Jennifer Spurgeon, 19, died the next day. Renee Patton, 18, died two days after that. There was hope for several agonizing days that Lara might pull through. Many, many people prayed for her, from devout Christians to those who were a little rusty in the talking-to-God department. But the damage to her brain was too severe. She died on February 12. She was 19 years old.

The tragedy of Lara’s death might have destroyed a lesser woman, but Martha’s strength, courage and faith through the ordeal have inspired the people who know her, even as we ache for her. She finds some comfort in the fact that Lara chose to be an organ-and-tissue donor and that parts of her will live on and might help up to 100 people. And Martha hopes that people who hear Lara’s story will understand the dangers of smoke inhalation and be moved to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

She also tries to focus on the good stuff in Lara’s life. “She had a lot of dreams,” said Martha. “She also had a good life and good friends who loved her.” Shortly after Lara’s death, a friend of hers visited Martha and Paul and they found a text message in the inbox on Lara’s old cell phone. As the friend read it out loud, Martha felt as if Lara was speaking directly to them all. Part of the message said, “What would you do if your best friend died tomorrow and you never got to tell them how you felt? So, I just wanted to say, even if I never talk to you again in my life, you are special to me and you have made a difference in my life. I look up to you and respect you and truly cherish you…” Martha said in a message to her colleagues, “I don’t know who sent that to her but in my heart of hearts, I can almost believe she sent it to us.”

Acceptance, says Martha, has been the hardest part. “I keep thinking she’s going to walk through the door.” Again it is her faith that gets her through. “She knew she was a child of God and that she would go to be with him when she died. It just happened so much sooner than we ever thought it would. Someday I’ll see her again. … I’ll cherish that day when it comes.”

A portion of royalties from the following books will be donated to the Punches family in Lara’s honor:
Best Friends Forever by Kate Douglas (released June 17)
Honey by Ari Thatcher (released June 19)
Sweet Buns by Marilu Mann (releases June 26)
Phantom Affair by Katherine Kingston (releases July 3)
Stray Lovers by Dalton Diaz (releases August 21)
Marry Me, Marietta by Cindy Spencer Pape (releases September 8)
These books do not yet have release dates scheduled:
A Little White Lie by Mackenzie McKade
Nightwalker’s Pet by Cricket Starr
Giggles by Gabby by Ashlyn Chase
Just Being Neighborly by Kaenar Langford
No Regrets by Joanna Wylde
Tuesday Afternoons by Brynn Paulin

This dedication will accompany each book:
This story is lovingly dedicated to the memory of a lovely young lady.
Lara Anne Punches
10/4/1989 to 2/12/2009
You touched the hearts of more people in your short 19 years on earth than you could have ever imagined possible.

For those wishing to make a donation in Lara’s memory, the family has suggested the Defiance County Humane Society or First Presbyterian Church in Paulding, Ohio. You can sign the guest book and leave memories at www.defiancefuneralhome.com.

To see Martha’s full television interview, visit WANE.com.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Help, help, I'm being repressed!

LOL. Okay, that might not be quite the right words, but here's the gist and my take on it. Descrimination of e-published romance writers by their professional organization RWA.

The latest bruhaha regarding the Romance Writers of America (RWA) president and its members is her long-winded thinly veiled attack against e-publishing posted on the ESPAN blog.

Now, it should be noted that ESPAN is a paying chapter of RWA, which is for Electronic and Small Press authors. Hmmm... Yes, I'm e-published and a member of RWA. In fact, I'm the president of my local chapter.

Somehow I missed all the drama. I must have been writing or something. Silly me.

I had to go to the ESPAN blog and catch up. This argument is one of my favorite bits
of nonsense (it makes me laugh) and I don’t hesitate to voice my
opinion–-especially if big brother is watching.

You might think I should be walking a fine line, but for the most part, I don’t.
I’m honest. I speak a language I don’t think RWA understands but should. It’s
called common sense. My chapter members elected me knowing full well I’m
e-published and proud of it. I don’t argue with anyone re: it’s merits or
drawbacks. If they want my opinion I’ll give it–-truthfully. If not, that’s fine
too. We have other things to talk about, like the craft.

I don’t tell people where to submit their manuscripts since I don’t know what their experience will be. I can only speak of my own and it’s been much more positive than negative.

I’ve seen my style and voice grow and garner fans. That was a bargaining chip
when landing an agent and negotiating a contract with a mass market publisher.
That couldn’t have happened without epublishing and input from someone other
than my friends and family.

I just want to reassure any of you RWA members who might be afraid to speak up that there’s absolutley no reason not to. If you paid your $75.00 renewal fee you bought your right to tactfully speak your mind.

What can RWA do about my honesty? Kick me out? Fire me as a chapter president?
Nope.

I almost quit 2 years ago, but that’s when I got mad. How dare they deprive me
of the friendships that have become so important to me? Why should I have to
agree with them to gain the benefits of our wonderful fellowship? They say
‘Don’t get mad, get even.’ I’m not the vengeful sort, but I don’t believe in
walking away with my thumb in my mouth. I’d like to reword that saying in a
more positive way. Don’t get mad–get stronger!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Romance in the back seat

Yesterday, I was interviewed in the back seat of my convertible! LOL. Yup, it's true. A california journalist is traveling the country interviewing romance authors on video and yesterday Terry Kate interviewed Denise Robbins and I. She interviews authors in pairs. One drives while the other is interviewed in the back seat! Because my convertible top was down (and it was such a beautiful day!) we parked in front of Searles Castle and did our interviews there--stationary. The wind would have interfered with the sound too much. Just as well since New England has so many potholes this time of year, and she said one author hit her head every time they went over one! Low clearance. Give me the sky anytime.

I'll let you know when the video goes up on You Tube, but in the meantime, you can check out other authors' interviews in their back seats here:
http://romanceinthebackseat.com

Have fun!

Ash

Monday, June 1, 2009

Oh, shiny!

If you're like me, you're not getting much work done these days. I check my email and invariably there are links to something that I just must go and see. Oh, look, it's a new You Tube must see!

And off I go.

Then after I've viewed three other videos, I go back to my email. The next person has annouced a blog that looks interesting. Oh, yes. I have to check that out!

And I'm off again...

This continues until I finally finish answering my email, and lo and behold it's lunchtime! Yippee!

After that, I notice things downstairs I need to do. And if it's a nice day, forget it! I'm getting into the hot tub with a good book and after that, errands. Poof! the day is gone!

And what did I accomplish? Nada. Zip. I didn't even make anything shiny to sell at the stores that take my jewelry on consignment.

Sigh. IS anyone else out there like that? Do you have any advice? Oh, and if you're not busy, take a look at my daughter's recipe blog! She and my Slovanian mother-in-law made a killer apple strudel and took step by step photos. Oh, pictures! Shiny!

http://hollysreciperepository.blogspot.com/2009/05/daring-bakers-apple-strudel.html

Ash

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Where to guest blog

I'm putting this list (now spilling over onto its 4th page) here for the last time. Soon it will have its own place on my website with its own button to take you directly to it. This is a service I provide in hopes that you'll also take a peek around my site while you're here setting up your blog tour!

Guest Blog about Romance

http://francescasmindstream.blogspot.com/ Ask Frances francescahawley1@aol.com

http://shapeshifterseductions.blogspot.com/ Ask Pamela pamelafryer@yahoo.com

www.gemsivadauthor.blogspot.com Ask Gem gemsivad@gmail.com

http://katiebugdomesticdiva.blogspot.com Ask Katie dupuiek@bellsouth.net

http://hannarhysbarnes.blogspot.com Ask Hanna brwkrw83@yahoo.com

Ask Sabrina cheekyreads@gmail.com

http://margayleahjustice.com also http://moonlightlacemayhem.blogspot.com/ Ask Margay margay1122@gmail.com

http://www.maggienash.blogspot.com/ Ask Maggie maggienash@gmail.com

www.mybonnierose.com/blog Ask Bonnie bonnie@mybonnierose.com

http://cocobuttr72@blogspot.com Ask Koko cocobuttr72@yahoo.com

http://embracetheshadows.wordpress.com/ Ask Suzanne SuzanneRock@ymail.com

http://skylarkade.com/blog/ Ask Skylar skylarkade@skylarkade.com

http://www.emilybryan.blogspot.com Ask Emily emilybryanromance@yahoo.com

http://victoriajanssen.blogspot.com Ask Victoria victoriajanssen@yahoo.com

http://www.jeannestjames.blogspot.com Ask Jeanne jeannestjames@verizon.net

League of Amazing Writers. www.leagueofamazingwriters.com
(Ask Jet) jetmykles@gmail.com

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/ (Ask Karenne) WebMistress@coffeetimeromance.com

http://theromancestudio.blogspot.com (Ask Tina) tina@theromancestudio.com (full)

http://www.anncory.com/blog (Ask Ann) anncory_erotica@yahoo.com

http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/blog/ (Ask Cindy) cindy@fallenangelreviews.com

www.michellepillow.com/blog (Ask Michelle) michelle_pillow@yahoo.com also ask her about Raven Paranormal Blog - http://ravenhappyhour.com/ravenblog/

www.mandyroth.com/blog(Ask Mandy)mandy@mandyroth.com She wants ‘Behind the story’ posts or posts on Marketing.

http://www.myspace.com/romanceauthorblog/ (Ask Jane) neiljane@ihug.co.nz

http://www.romancingtheblog.com/ Open blog night. Send finished article to: invite@romancingtheblog.com

http://www.romanceroundtable.com/ (Ask Sindee) sindee@wmis.net

http://melissaalvarez.blogspot.com (Ask Ariana Dupré) melissaalvarez@comcast.net

http://blog.heatherhiestand.com/ (Ask Heather) halala@comcast.net

http://sandracox.blogspot.com/ (Ask Sandra) cast5away@yahoo.com

http://readingissomuchfun.blogspot.com/ (Ask Linda) readingissomuchfun@yahoo.com

http://www.elizabethdelisi.blogspot.com/ For G or PG books
http://liladupres.blogspot.com/ for R or X. (Ask Liz) edelisi@verizon.net

www.adeledubois.com/blog (Ask Adele) adele.dubois@verizon.net PG-13 articles

http://thehussiesblog.blogspot.com/ (Ask one of the Hussies)

http://nenscl.blogspot.com (Ask Danette) danetteb@sunvillas.no-ip.com

www.selenaillyriasthoughts.blogspot.com (Ask Selena) selenaillyria826@gmail.com

http://vickyburkholder.blogspot.com (Ask Vicky) vickyb@dejazzed.com

http://ashleyladd.blogspot.com/ (Ask Ashley) chinara@aol.com

www.chrisreddingauthor.blogspot.com (Ask Chris) chrisreddingauthor@yahoo.com

http://bellesobligatoryblog.blogspot.com/ (Ask Bella) belle_scarlett@sbcglobal.net

http://ndhansen-hill.tripod.com/books/ (Ask ND) ND@sfnovels@gmail.com

http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog/ (Ask Shelley) shelleymunro@gmail.com

http://www.mybonnierose.net/blog/index.php (Ask Bonnie) bonnie@mybonnierose.net

http://ellenashe.blogspot.com (Ask Ellen) ellenashe@hotmail.com

http://RomanceBooksRUs.blogspot.com (Ask April) April@AprilAsh.net

http://talesofthetrade.blogspot.com (Ask Marianne) marianne@mariannestephens.net

http://www.myspace.com/judithdesiree.com Contact Judith from this url: http://www.judithrochelle.com/contact.htm

http://anita-birt.blogspot.com/ (Ask Anita) anitabirt@shaw.ca

http://authorrainedelight.com/blog (Ask Raine) rainedelight@yahoo.com

http://www.mariannelacroix.com/?p=94 (Ask Marianne) marilacroix@yahoo.com

http://www.jupitergardens.com/wordpress (Ask Mary) marywinter.lists@gmail.com

http://www.anchoredauthors.wordpress.com/ For all fiction writers. (Ask Tracy) Tracy@TracyCooperPosey.com

http://www.selenaillyriasthought.blogspot.com/ (Ask Selena) selenaillyria826@gmail.com

http://www.ninapierce.com/romanceblog (Ask Nina) nina@ninapierce.com

http://www.wickedwhispersauthors.blogspot.com (Ask PG) pgforte@pgforte.com

http://depravedduchess.blogspot.com (Ask Lena) voiceomt2002@yahoo.com

http://kzsnow.blogspot.com (Ask KZ) ksnowschu@yahoo.com

http://pbdiva.blogspot.com/ (Ask Andrea) pbdiva99@yahoo.com

http://thesweetflagmenlove.blogspot.com/
http://jeannebarrack1.wordpress.com
http://jeanneworldsnewsletter.blogspot.com/ (For all of these ask Jeanne) borntowrite@writeme.com

http://www.reading-writing.blogspot.com And the availbility for guest blogging here:
http://www.mariannearkins.com/guestblog.htm PG-13 only

http://barbaraedwards.net/blog/blog.asp (Ask Barbara) barbara.edwards2@yahoo.com

http://annewhitfield.blogspot.com/ Contact Anne whitfield.anne@gmail.com

www.robiemadison.com/blog (Ask Robie) at: robiemadison@rogers.com

www.mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com (Ask Wendy) highlandlovesong@yahoo.com

http://www.jerryracemmwriter2.blogspot.com Ask Jerry jr9244@gmail.com (Gay romance)

http://terryodell.blogspot.com/ Ask Terry terry@terryodell.com

Friday, May 1, 2009

my younger, prettier sister...not really!



This is my British publisher (Total-e-Bound,) Claire. She's the cute one.

RT ebook signing pics


Thursday, April 30, 2009

The EC models!

RT Ellora's Cave Photographer, Syneca





RT

EC always treats us like rock stars! The first night, they had a welcome party for us and allowed us to mingle with the models. We even had some professional pictures taken with them!

RT





Once the models showed up, I couldn't hold the camera steady! LOL

RT Pictures