Ella: Please join me in welcoming fellow Regency and debut author Ashlyn Macnamara. I read Ashlyn’s book, A Most Scandalous Proposal in one sitting, and loved it. (Applause) To celebrate her release, Ashlyn is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter. To be eligible you must leave your email address. Write it out so spammers can’t get it.
Ashlyn: Thank you (blushing) and thanks for inviting me!
Ella: Ashlyn, it’s so great having you here today. Tell us when you got bitten by the writing bug.
Ashlyn: I’ve always made up stories in my head, but it never occurred to me to write them down until fairly recently in the grand scheme of things. I took my first stab at it in 2001, but that was only for fun. I didn’t consider trying to get published until somewhere in 2008.
Ella: What drew you to Regencies?
Ashlyn: Strangely, I never set out to write Regencies, even though I’ve always enjoyed reading them. My first completed manuscript was a medieval, and then I embarked on a series set during the American Revolution or just afterwards. But then I got a plot idea that would not leave me alone, and no matter how I poked it, it didn’t want to be anything but a Regency. I thought about setting it in Colonial Williamsburg, but it refused to cooperate until I gave in and set it during the late Regency. That idea turned into A Most Scandalous Proposal.
Ella: How does it feel to be a published author and were there any bumps in the road to getting there?
Ashlyn: It has often felt surreal—more and more so as my debut approached. For example, the day I found my book on the Walmart website for pre-order gave me a real jolt. I had to keep telling myself, “That is my book. That is my book,” like I needed to convince myself. As for bumps, I don’t think I’ve had anything too out of the ordinary happen. The usual round of rejections when I was querying, but every author has to learn to deal with those.
Ella: Tell us about your inspiration or your first thoughts in developing the idea for your book A Most Scandalous Proposal.
Ashlyn: As I hinted above, this was the most rabid plot bunny I’ve ever had, and it was very firm about what it wanted to be. The original seed for the idea came from another romance I was reading at the time. In that story, the heroine had a long-standing crush on the hero, which at the beginning of the novel was unrequited. This heroine had a sister in whom she confided a lot of her angst. So that situation got me thinking about the younger sister, and how her views on love might be colored by all this. And then from another book, I got the idea I might write both sisters’ stories in the same novel, and have the plot revolve around both romances.
After that, the story wouldn’t let me work on anything else. Somewhere on my hard drive, I have a Revolutionary-era manuscript whose hero and heroine have been abandoned out in the wilderness for three years. I imagine they’ve given up, built themselves a log cabin, and had babies by now. Perhaps Nathan and Sarah don’t need my help anymore.
Ella: What’s next?
Ashlyn: A Most Devilish Rogue is scheduled to come out in August. It features George Upperton, the best friend and sidekick of my main hero in AMSP. I admit I developed a bit of a crush on him and his smart mouth when I wrote the first book. He fancies himself a dissolute dandy, but underneath all that, he’s hiding a huge heart. He also has a penchant for getting himself into trouble. And he just might look like a younger Russell Crowe transplanted into Regency clothing.
Ella: Without further ado here is the blurb and excerpt of Ashlyn Macnamara’s 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.
Ashlyn: You can read the first chapter on my website.
Bio: Ashlyn Macnamara writes Regency romance with a dash of wit and a hint of wicked. She considers writing her mid-life crisis but reckons producing romance novels is a lot less dangerous than skydiving or rock climbing. She lives outside Montreal with her husband, two teenage daughters, and a cat. When not thinking about ballrooms and gentleman’s clubs, 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.