Thursday, March 14, 2013

Get Lost With Ashlyn Macnamara and A Most Scandalous Proposal

Get Lost in This Story…

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.


You can read the first chapter on Ashlyn’s website.

I am thrilled to host historical debut author Ashlyn Macnamara on the blog today.  If you haven’t been introduced yet, you’re in for a treat. She’s a fellow Golden Heart® Finalist and a Harry Potter fan…what’s not to love???

Ashlyn Macnamara writes Regency romance with a dash of wit and a hint of wicked. She considers writing a form of mid-life crisis, but a safer form than hang gliding or skydiving. She lives the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband, two teenage daughters, and one cat. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.

Her debut A Most Scandalous Proposal is available at your favorite bookstore now.

Heather:  How often do you get lost in a story? 

Ashlyn: As often as I can, although with working on my own stories and revisions and promotion, I’ve got less time for that than I used to. But when I do read, I don’t just get lost. I immerse myself completely.

Although, it wouldn’t be wrong to say I also get lost in my own stories. When I’m in writing mode, my characters and settings tend to take up residence in my head to the exclusion of real life (much to my family’s consternation when I don’t know what we’re having for supper and have zero inspiration for coming up with anything).

Heather:  What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

Ashlyn: When it’s not historical romance, it’s often high fantasy. When I get lost, I like to really lose myself somewhere that doesn’t much resemble the modern world.

Heather:  What’s the first book you remember reading?

Ashlyn: Definitely not the first book I ever read, but the first one that stuck with me was On the Banks of Plum Creek. Yes, I did read the series out of order. I was at a friend’s house and she’d borrowed a library copy of that book. It was a 1970s edition with the Garth Williams illustrations and the front cover picturing Laura running on top of the dugout barefoot, while Ma ironed beneath her feet. I could not stop looking at that picture and wondering how those people lived. So on my next trip to the library I borrowed that book, followed not long after by all the other books in that series. The Little House books were the first series I read over and over.

That’s something else. Once I get lost somewhere especially good, I like to go back.

Heather:  What’s your favorite fairy tale?

Ashlyn: I can answer that two ways. Before I could read myself, my parents would read to me before bedtime. One of my favorite books was a collection of fairy tales from all over the world. When I was four or so, I discovered the wonders of “Wassilissa the Beautiful.” Not because I was particularly intrigued (or scared) by Baba Yaga and her house that stood on chicken legs, but because, like any good Russian story, that one was long. As in a good fifty pages long. It was the best story for putting off bedtime as long as possible.

And then, perhaps to divert my attention from Wassilissa, one Christmas I got a record with a musical retelling of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty along with an illustrated booklet I could follow the story in. I played that thing over and over. But by then, it wasn’t too long before I was reading on my own.

Heather:  What’s your favorite cartoon character?

Ashlyn: Bugs Bunny. I love how that wascally wabbit puts on over on Elmer Fudd every time. I think one of the best cartoons ever made was “The Rabbit of Seville.” I could probably sing it, but I’ll spare you.

Heather:  If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?

Ashlyn: Regency England, naturally. There’s nothing like hands-on research. Perhaps I could discover the answer to some of the issues Regency authors argue about, such as whether respectable ladies wore underwear or how they dealt with that time of the month. On the other hand, they’d probably kick me out for asking about such scandalous topics.

Heather:  Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?

Ashlyn: Lady Epperley because she knows the best gossip. Only you have to be careful, because she’s all too happy to invent what she hasn’t heard yet. She also enjoys saying whatever is necessary to get a rise out of people.

Heather:  Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

Ashlyn: Coffee. Please, coffee. Oddly enough, even though I’m addicted to the stuff, I can’t make it worth a darn. I have to get my husband to make it for me. And he’s very picky. He has to buy the fancy beans from a specialty shop and grind them himself—just enough for one pot at a time. In fact, he’s been known to set the timer so he can grind his beans the optimal number of seconds. See why I can’t make it myself? Way too complicated.

Heather:  Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero/heroine but he/she wouldn’t go away?

Ashlyn: Yes, oh my gosh, yes. This is one of my first manuscripts that never got published, but I wrote a story involving a young woman living during the American Revolution. Her father and older brother had gone off to fight in the war and left her in charge. She had a younger teenage brother who resented her, and ended up playing a villain’s role in the story. Jonas Chambers was 16 and mouthy and lazy and petulant. And he only agreed to play the villain if I wrote his story and redeemed him. Which I did, and I’d love to find a way to get his story out there, because he inhabited my head for the better part of a year before I exorcized him.
Wait, does that make me sound slightly insane?

Heather:  Dog person or cat person?

Ashlyn: Cats, and not only for the fact that they’re far easier to house train. And how can you resist that face?
Even when she’s shoving it into my face at 5 AM because her food dish is empty and that’s completely unacceptable.

Heather:  Which is your favorite language other than your native language?

Ashlyn: I have to say French, since I live in Quebec. It’s my husband’s native language, and in my day-to-day life, I speak French more often than English.  

Heather’s GOTTA ASK – Ashlyn’s GOTTA ANSWER  J

Heather: I noticed on your website that one of your hobbies is knitting. Can you share a favorite project with us?


Ashlyn: My very first publishing credit had to do with knitting. When the Harry Potter series was at its height of popularity, I took it into my head to recreate a sweater like Harry wore in his Quidditch matches. I made myself one, and then I posted the directions I’d worked out online and forgot about it. A while later, I got an email from the editor of Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter, telling me they’d like to include my pattern in their collection. I was thrilled and naturally said yes. So that’s got to top my list for my favorite project.



Ashlyn: Regencies are ever popular, but is there a different era or setting you wished to see more of in historical romance?


Ashlyn: I’d be happy to give away a copy of my debut!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for being with us today, Ashlyn!  Where can your fans learn more about you on the web?

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. I'm not a big fan of contemporaries, so anything is the past is good for me.

    1. I miss the 80s when there was a lot more variety in historical settings. Not that I don't love my Regencies and Victorians, but I like other eras, too.

  2. Ashlyn, like you, I'm a fan of the American Revolution (and NOT just because I grew up in Boston!). In fact, the first romance I read, A Rebels' Love, took place then. What a fantastic time in history!

    Cool HP sweater, too.

    ...and I can completely resist that cat face. She looks demonic. :)

    1. I love it, too, clearly. Hope it makes a come-back someday. You used to see the odd Am. Rev. romance.

      As for my cat, she's a cute and cuddly little demon. Partly my fault for using the flash on that pic.

  3. Wonderful interview, ladies. Ashlyn, I'm so envious. I learned to knit when I was young, but could never make anything but a scarf. I love historicals. Other than Regencies, Georgian is my next favorite time period. This is a wonderful book. I can't wait for the next one. Tweeted.

    1. Thanks, Ella. I learned to knit when I was 9 or so--just the basics, but then I taught myself a good bit of the rest. You can usually find instructions for how to increase, decrease, and what have you in most pattern books. And now we have tutorials on You Tube, even.

  4. I love history so any era is fine with me.

    1. I'm with you. I'm not really picky, as long as the story sweeps me away. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. I love to read any kind of history. I think it's all great but. I too, love reading books about the American Revolution. Great sweater, my nephew would love it.

    1. Thank you! Here's hoping that one day we swing back to seeing a little more variety in eras and settings.

  6. Great interview! I really like the western historical romance I have been hooked on them for a while. Also love the cover of your book. Its beautiful. I am entering under the name of Virginia.

    1. Thank you. I love my cover, too. And I have read some great western historicals. I'd love to see them make a come-back.

  7. I'd love to see more of romances in the 1930s & 40's..

    1. As I replied just below, me too! I've read some that was a bit more women's fiction by Kristina McMorris and it was good.

  8. I too would like to see more romance set in the 1930s and 1940s

  9. I'd love to see French 18th Century -- the time of Dangerous Liasons.


    1. Oooh, as a former French lit major, I completely agree. How delicious and decadent!

  10. Congrats on your debut, it sounds like a wonderful story.
    I'm really enjoying the Victorian era lately, and the Edwardian era is interesting as well.

  11. I would love to see more books set in the Edwardian era.

    Congrats on your debut!

  12. Hmm... I can't seem to reply to individual comments any more. Sorry about that.

    Barbara and Danielle, I am a fan of Downton Abbey. I would love to see more Edwardian era stories.

  13. As long as it's well written I'm not fussy of the era for a historical romance.

    1. I agree. I just want something to sweep me away!

  14. Ack! I popped in last night to make sure the post went fine but couldn't leave a comment, and then forgot to come back and welcome you to the blog, Ashlyn! So sorry!

    It looks like you had a lovely day, though! As for me, I really am happy to read anytime in historical romance, though I am partial to English settings.

    Congrats, again, on your fabulous debut!

    1. Thank you, Heather, for hosting me today. It's been fun!

  15. don't have a preference