Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jane Ashford | Exclusive Interview: A DUKE TOO FAR
Author Guest / April 29, 2020

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Jane! Please tell us a little about yourself and the fourth book in The Way to the Lord’s Heart series, A DUKE TOO FAR. I’ve been writing Regencies for quite a while now. I love spending time in that world. The Way to A Lord’s Heart series is a sweeter saga than The Duke’s Sons, and A Duke Too Far focuses on the youngest couple in the group. The heroine hasn’t even made her bow to society as yet. Peter Rathbone, the impoverished Duke of Compton, has lost his beloved sister Delia and is at a loss as to what to do next. The crumbling family estate is in ruins, his finances are in disarray, and he didn’t have the usual upbringing expected of an aristocrat. How do these hardships and unique personality traits shape the man Peter has become?  I think they made him both more resourceful about practical matters (like carpentry) and more reticent in society. He knows he’s not the rich aristocrat people expect on hearing “duke.” When we meet Ada Grandison soon after the death of Delia, one of her closest friends, and she believes Delia may have left a clue…

Jane Ashford | Exclusive Excerpt: THE RELUCTANT RAKE + Giveaway!
Author Guest / October 30, 2019

The Reluctant Rake – excerpt Sir Richard Beckwith emerged from his elegant town house on a chilly spring evening wearing a black silk domino over his dark gray pantaloons and long-tailed coat of dark blue superfine. Any one of his friends would have been astonished to see him in this guise, still more to see him out of evening dress at nine o’clock. Had they known that a pocket of the domino held a black mask, they would have been dumbfounded. None of Sir Richard’s exclusive circle was likely to see him tonight, however. When he hailed a hackney cab and climbed in, he directed it to a part of London little frequented by the haut ton. If certain of its men from time to time made their way through these unsavory streets, they did not mention such excursions in polite society. A cold mist rose from the greasy cobblestones, enlivened here and there by hoarse laughter and singing as the hack rattled past some gin mill or bawdy house. One victim of blue ruin went so far as to grab for the cab, hoping to jerk its occupant into an alleyway and fleece him. He missed his target, however,…

Jane Ashford | Title Challenge: HOW TO CROSS A MARQUESS + Giveaway!
Author Guest / August 28, 2019

My new book is called How to Cross a Marquess. Five years ago, Roger Berwick and Fenella Fairclough rebelled when their fathers tried to marry them off. They would not be ordered about! A whole lot has happened since then. They’ve both changed, and now a fiery attraction has flared between them. It’s just too ironic. Circumstances have brought these former enemies much closer than they ever could have anticipated. But various people don’t like that idea at all. The path to a happy future is convoluted. So for these two: H is for history. Theirs is complicated. O is for oh! Neither expected the passion that has flared between them. So surprising with someone you’ve known for most of your life. But people change. W is for the worrisome anonymous letters spreading rumors about them through the neighborhood. How do you fight an invisible adversary? T is for time. There seemed to be so much, and now there’s nearly none. O is for opponent. But who is it? C is for choleric. Roger finds his temper sweetened by his lovely neighbor. R is for reminiscence. Roger’s mother has much to recall. O is for overset, as circumstances spiral out…

Jane Ashford | Family Secrets and A LORD APART
Author Guest / March 27, 2019

Family secrets play a big role in A Lord Apart. The hero and heroine discover a connection from the past that they had no idea existed. I’ve found some family secrets of my own through genealogy research, which can turn up unexpected information about our forebears. Census data may be particularly interesting, though sometimes you have to you read between the lines. For example, my great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side reported his job as “photographic artist” in the 1870 US census. I’ve always been delighted by this unapologetic claim. Here’s a man who saw himself as not simply a photographer, but as an artist. He was in his twenties at the time. I “picture” him responding to the census taker with pride. Maybe making sure the person wrote what he said, exactly. This ancestor named his daughter “Vida Delight.” I can almost hear him saying it. The census says his wife was “keeping house,” and it appears that her parents lived next door. Her father, fifty, is listed as a shoemaker. I begin to wonder how the artist and the craftsman got along. Friction? Admiration? Mutual incomprehension? Pictures of shoes? On the other side of my family, I discovered through…

Jane Ashford | Earl to the Rescue Exclusive Excerpt
Author Guest / November 28, 2018

Alone in her bedchamber later in the day, Gwendeline thought over what the countess had told her. Why had such a sought-after gentleman, the type her father had called a real out-and-outer, taken an interest in her? Why had he been the one to come and fetch her, or the infant he said he’d expected? If he was a leader of the ton, and Gwendeline saw no reason to doubt his mother’s description of his position, what was his interest in her? Friendship with her parents seemed the only possible explanation, but he never spoke to her of them or appeared eager to answer when she tried to do so. Quite the opposite, in fact. This thought reminded Gwendeline of a series of odd remarks she’d caught since coming to town. Both Lady Merryn and her son had made references she didn’t understand to her “situation.” Gwendeline hadn’t been aware that she possessed a situation in the sense that they used the word; seemingly, it was an awkward one. And she was becoming more and more interested in finding out exactly what it involved. She didn’t relish the thought that the people surrounding her knew more of her circumstances than…

An Excerpt from Jane Ashford’s THE DUKE KNOWS BEST
Excerpt / December 6, 2017

Verity Sinclair looked around the opulent drawing room, drinking in every detail of the decor and the fashionable crowd. She had to resist an urge to pinch herself to prove she was actually here, and not dreaming. It had taken her five endless years to convince her parents that she should have a London season. They hadn’t been able to see the point of it, no matter what advantages she brought forward. Papa and Mama were quietly happy living in a cathedral close and being held up as models of decorum for the whole bishopric. Verity, on the other hand, often thought she’d go mad within those staid confines. She sighed. She loved her parents dearly, but for most of her life she’d felt like a grasshopper reared by ants. Indeed, at age eight, she’d shocked her parents by asking if she was adopted. She hadn’t meant to hurt their feelings or to imply any lack of affection. Their differences had just seemed so marked. Mama and Papa relished routine; Verity yearned for adventure. They read scholarly tomes; she pored over Robinson Crusoe and accounts of the voyages of Captain Cook. They preferred solitude or the company of a few…

Jane Ashford | The Duke’s Sons series ends on a high note!
Excerpt / October 11, 2017

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt from THE DUKE KNOWS BEST by Jane Ashford When you’ve finished reading, please tell us what you think of Verity and Lord Randolph and you’ll be entered to win the first four books in the series! Verity Sinclair looked around the opulent drawing room, drinking in every detail of the decor and the fashionable crowd. She had to resist an urge to pinch herself to prove she was actually here, and not dreaming. It had taken her five endless years to convince her parents that she should have a London season. They hadn’t been able to see the point of it, no matter what advantages she brought forward. Papa and Mama were quietly happy living in a cathedral close and being held up as models of decorum for the whole bishopric. Verity, on the other hand, often thought she’d go mad within those staid confines. She sighed. She loved her parents dearly, but for most of her life she’d felt like a grasshopper reared by ants. Indeed, at age eight, she’d shocked her parents by asking if she was adopted. She hadn’t meant to hurt their feelings or to imply any lack of affection. Their differences…

Jane Ashford | Even the Regency Changes Over Time
Author Guest / September 12, 2017

The world of romance certainly has changed since LAST GENTLEMAN STANDING was first released. The genre has blossomed and grown in so many ways since then. Most noticeably, there are many more kinds of romance in 2017. Beyond just historical and contemporary, now these can be further broken down into paranormal, inspirational, steampunk, sci fi, m/m, bdsm and other kinds of stories undreamed of years ago. Readers have many more choices to match their individual tastes. And not only of plot and setting – they can get their fix electronically as well as on paper. They can order a book out of thin air and plunge into it in the next minute. Reading on your iPhone was not a phrase that would have had any meaning when LAST GENTLEMAN STANDING was first published. Brief digression: do you ever find yourself marveling at a sentence coming out of your mouth that would have made zero sense when you were young? For example: Email me the url. How do I make Bluetooth discoverable? Find me on my website and Facebook. More than romance has changed in these years! The Regency has expanded in scope during this time, too. That phrase once meant…

Jane Ashford | A Black Sheep
Author Guest / March 13, 2014

People sometimes ask me – who’s that black sheep with you in your author photo? He’s a little guy I watched being born during one of Heifer International’s Women’s Lambing Programs at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. I’ve attended several of these wonderful sessions, with sheep and goats. It had to be the black sheep I posed with because of the long tradition of romance heros who are black sheep. (Wiki says the idiom arises from a genetic quirk in sheep, but readers know the black sheep as an engaging rogue.) In my most recent historical romance The Bride Insists, the hero is a bit of a black sheep. Jamie Boleigh, seventh Baron Trehearth, can’t be blamed for running a little wild. He’s been struggling nearly all his life to salvage an estate teetering on the verge of ruin. His mother died giving birth to his twin sisters, and he lost his father in ambiguous circumstances the following year. Aged sixteen, he had to take over managing ancestral acres that were falling to pieces and mortgaged to the hilt. He loves every inch of Trehearth. The thought of losing it is agonizing. He tries everything he can think of, but…