Friday, April 17, 2009
An Interview with Ashley Ludwig and the Coolest Contest Ever!
Alisha: Please welcome Ashley Ludwig to my blog today! Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?
Ashley: This is a timely one for today! My childhood has been compared by my best friends as the Brady Bunch – without the divorce! I grew up watching my parents who have always been very much in love (45 years, this year!) and every summer they took us camping. We towed our trailer all over the American west, visiting every single national park west of the Mississippi! (Timely, b/c my own family is headed on a trailer trip for the weekend! – DH, two little girls 5 & 3 ½ and the family dog! What fun!
Alisha: Wow! What a blast! You'll have to come back and tell us all about it. Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.
Ashley: The story – By Another Name, published by White Rose Publishing - tells the story of Rosalee Timmons – a small town girl, tormented in high school who returns home seven years later as “Lee” - a single mom, starting a new business, and a new life.
Kade Sinclair is a hometown boy. Always one of the more popular crowd, he never thought much about timid little Rosalee – not even when he inadvertently broke her heart. When he meets Lee by accident, he has no idea who she is or why she is suddenly emblazoned on his soul. When he finds out, he knows he has a long road to gain her forgiveness. But it’s worth the travel.
Alisha: This sounds like a keeper. I love these kinds of stories! If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
Ashley: Let’s see… I thought about fame, then I thought about fortune… but really, what really, really matters to me is my family… SO:
I’d wish for long, happy, fulfilled lives for each my daughters (is that one wish, or two?)
I’d wish for my own romance with my husband to last long into our sunset years.
I’d wish finally for us all to stay close to each other – in proximity and location!
Alisha: If you could go anywhere to tomorrow, where would you go?
Ashley: Well, we’re going to the lake in our tiny little camper – SO what I wish we could be doing? Would be going to the beach house we visited last summer on Emerald Bay, in Laguna Beach, California. Talk about a slice of heaven on earth! Crystal clear, blue pacific ocean, gently breaking surf, dolphins playing in the waves… Above, the warm summer sun, arcing through a scattered cotton sky; the beach sand so clean and silky you just want to sink your toes in and dig around… and absolutely NO ONE around for miles. PLUS, the picturesque, tri-level beach house we were blessed with staying in for a long weekend – looking like something out of a pottery barn catalog! Oh, sorry. Am I rambling?
Alisha: Sigh...sounds lovely! If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
Ashley: My grandma Vivian. I miss her. I think about her whenever I see a sunflower blooming.
Alisha: What a beautiful memory. If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?
Ashley: That’s easy! My best friend, my sister, my mom, my hubby, my dad, and the nanny who’ll be watching my KIDS! LOL.
Alisha: Oh yes! A nanny would come in handy! I can certainly relate to that. What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?
Ashley: It has to be the Jerry McGuire line… “You complete me.” What could be better than knowing you’re the other half of someone’s whole?
Alisha: That IS a great line. I loved it when I saw the movie. I gasped and then cried. If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?
Ashley: Oooh. I had the chance to do this over Valentine’s Day! I’d spend the day at South Coast Winery – at the day spa – doing yoga, lounging and lunching by the pool, sauna and massage – maybe a full facial… followed by champagne and chocolate covered strawberries! BLISS!
Alisha: Uh...hellooooo....why did you not invite moi? Okay, I'm jealous. If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?
Ashley: Wow. THIS is a good question. We are the sum total of our life’s experiences… and I’m liking where things are going. I think if I were to change ONE thing at this moment, I’d choose the moment when I first flubbed up a pitch to an agent at my first ever writing conference. I’d written a time travel, historical romance and had absolutely NO idea what I was doing and NO business pitching the thing. When asked if I would change an element of my story, I blinked. Absolutely no. That would ruin the story, I said. That was the end of that conversation. I’d go back and re-pitch, be brilliant, secure a HUGE deal with a HUGER advance. ;-)
Alisha: Don't sweat it, Ash. Those pitches are VERY HARD. I've done it four times and I still hate it. Talk about pressure! What’s the most romantic thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?
Ashley: I’d say, the most romantic thing a man has ever done for me… would be saying, “You sleep in. I’ll take the baby.”
That, and – of course – the Valentine’s day of pampering at South Coast Winery.
Alisha: That, my friend, is very sexy! Nothing sweeter than a man telling his beloved to sleep in while he cuddles the cutie pie. And btw, is there anything sexier than a daddy holding his baby? So adorable!
CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT FOR ASHLEY TODAY AND YOU'LL BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING FOR THE NAMING RIGHTS FOR THE HERO AND HEROINE IN HER LATEST WIP (WORK IN PROGRESS). GOOD LUCK!
By Another Name Excerpt:
Ashley: Though I read in all areas, writing sweet romances is where my heart lies. Don't let that fool you! my characters still enjoy a certain chemistry...
"Hello?" The familiar, deep voice called out. Her stomach dropped to her knees. Kade. He was here.
The metal baking sheets clattered to her feet, a crescendo of orchestra cymbals. How did he find her? "Back here!" Lee's voice cracked.
She knelt, gathering the metal baking sheets together. Suddenly, he was helping pick up the mess. Their shoulders brushed. He was so tall. His rich auburn hair looked like he'd just rolled out of bed, his cheeks rough with at least two days of beard. Had Kade always towered over her, so? He'd certainly never looked at her this way.
His sea-foam eyes sparkled. She might as well have been a three-course meal for a starving man. He seemed to eat up the sight of her with those heavy lidded eyes, making her blush to her roots.
"Lee's Treats, huh…?" His gravely voice played a symphony on her eardrums. "Let me help you." He easily freed the trays from her shaking hands.
Lee's pulse zinged at his half-smile. Her emotions ran the gamut as she snapped, "It's okay. I've got it."
Kade stood to his full height and frowned, and then blinked through whatever clouded his expression. He merely held the heavy baking sheets as if they were pieces of paper.
One by one, she retrieved her trays, laying them on the stainless steel prep counter. "I'll take that, please," she said, the last one becoming a tug-of-war match between them. He held on to it like a shield. "Must be fate. Or a God thing. I only came by because my sister…and here you are!" "Sorry. We're closed." She yanked again. He smirked, pulling her towards him. "Have dinner with me. Tonight."
Lee closed her eyes in silent prayer. Lord, did you send him here to taunt me? "Give me the tray, Kade." She tugged.
"Or coffee, if that's easier. We can do whatever you want." He pulled.
"Just give it to me, already!" She shouted.
"Or, that…but, I didn't peg you as that kind of girl…" He laughed aloud, and she let go, scalded with the dripping innuendo.
Lord, his sideways smile is going to kill me. Dead. On the floor. Head in hands, she sighed. "The tray. Just lay it on the counter. Please."
His generous mouth twitched in amusement as he did as she asked.
"Well, thanks for dropping in. I've embarrassed myself enough for one day." Heat radiated from her cheeks to the top of her head. She must be three shades of red, by now.
"You saved me. Buying you a latte is the least I can do."
She eyed the purple bruise at his hairline, biting her lip. "I don't suppose you'll leave me alone until I say yes."
"Think you know me that well already?" His eyes were positively dancing.
Was it possible that he didn't recognize her?
Ashley: Thanks for reading!
Alisha: Wonderful excerpt! Come back anytime, Ashley. Thanks for being my guest of honor today!