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Showing posts by: Ashley March click to see Ashley March's profile
Tue
Sep 13 2011 2:30pm

Mourning in Victorian England

While the romance between Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, and Mrs. Leah George is the main focus of my new book, Romancing the Countess, the death of their spouses and subsequent mourning customs of the Victorian era play an important role as well.

As an author who writes in the Victorian era, there are some things that I’ve learned over time in research, and some things that I have to research in detail depending upon the book I’m writing. In Romancing the Countess, the storyline led me to the necessity of researching funeral and mourning habits of the upper class in the mid-Victorian era (circa 1849).

Some of the information that I ran across was familiar: a black armband worn by men, black crepe or bombazine for the women, an estimated expected mourning period for the widow of one to two years—though this time period was not “required,” it was nonetheless a social expectation, and violation of this expectation could cause great scandal.

[We can’t have that...]

Tue
Sep 6 2011 9:45am

The Myth of the One True Love

Heart carving image by Sara Alfred via FlickrI have a confession to make. As both a romance author and a romance reader, I think I might get blasted for this, but here goes: I don’t believe in a One True Love. In fact, if you go to my website, you’ll see a slogan that begins with the sentence: “Choose to love.” I don’t believe that love is something that you fall into or something that takes over your entire being until you are forced to love—that may be lust or romance, but I can’t call it love. Instead, love is a choice, and this belief is reflected in my characters’s relationships.

For example, in my new September book Romancing the Countess, the hero and his best friend’s wife come together after their spouses—who were having an affair—die in a carriage accident. So many times I’ve read romance books where, if the hero or heroine had past relationships, their partners were never “right” for them. Either the hero and heroine didn’t love them or, if they did love their previous partners, then it wasn’t as great a love or as deep a love as the love they discover with their new partner. It’s not true love.

[But there’s a second option...]

Tue
Aug 30 2011 1:00pm

5 Favorite Romance Heroes (or, All Men Should Be Desperately in Love)

Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa KleypasI’m a historical reader. Have been ever since I read my first Jude Deveraux historical romance back when I was…11? 12? Don’t tell my family. ;) Sure, I’ve read a few contemporary romances (Kristan Higgans, Nora Roberts, anyone?), but my first love will always be historicals. That is why this post only features historical heroes and heroines, not because I don’t think characters in other sub-genres are worthy.

5) (We’re doing a countdown, people. Anticipation is good for the heart.) Some romance readers don’t like a man who can be manipulative. In Lisa Kleypas’s Tempt Me at Twilight, we definitely have a hero who can be cold and demanding and yes, manipulative. But to me, this makes Harry Rutledge even sexier when he uses these traits in order to woo the heroine because he has to have her. Yes, he learns some lessons about what’s acceptable and what’s not. But a man who keeps such rigid control over himself and everything around him, only to then have that control slip with the woman he desires above all others is one of the most gratifying and satisfying heroes for me as a romance reader.

[That is pretty hot...]