Guest Author & Giveaway: Ashley March featuring Romancing the Countess

Wednesday, September 28

Infidelity in romance novels is like the third rail, and is hardly ever the basis of a romance story which must contain a HEA.  But it happens, and it is devastating.  So how do you love after that kind of betrayal whether it is with the person that was unfaithful, or with someone new.  Interesting questions that I think make for a potentially powerful romance no matter the time period.

Author Ashley March has dared to write a love story involving not one, but two characters who are attempting to survive infidelity and find their HEA.  She is here today to share an interview with her heroine from Romancing the Countess, Leah George who has the courage to not only to love, but to pursue her own happiness.  Read and enjoy!

An Interview with Leah George: The Middle

Thanks so much to Seductive Musings for hosting me today as I celebrate my new Victorian romance, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS! I’m going to post a new interview with my heroine soon, but first I’d like to give you a little background about the book and what’s going on at the time of this interview.

ROMANCING THE COUNTESS is about an Earl and his best friend’s wife who are drawn together after their spouses—who were having an affair—die in a carriage accident. While Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, didn’t know of his wife’s infidelity, Leah George had been carrying the secret of her husband’s betrayal for the past year. She is ready to move on with her life and pursue happiness instead of propriety—something she’s never done before. She decides to host a house party. Unfortunately, Sebastian believes the scandal this could cause could incite rumors about the affair and hurt his son, so he goes to the house party to try to intervene.

ASHLEY: I spoke with Sebastian last week, and he seemed surprised at the way the house party turned out. Apparently it’s not as scandalous as he thought it would be. *smiles* This was very cleverly done, Leah. How long did it take you to plan how you would organize the events so it wouldn’t seem as scandalous?

LEAH: smiling back: Yes, he did seem surprised, didn’t he? It’s good to keep him a little off-balance sometimes, I think. I believe I started dreaming about what I could do when I spent time here after Ian’s funeral. It was so quiet and peaceful, and while I needed that time to myself, I also became tired of the loneliness that’s been suffocating me for so long. It seemed like the perfect place to move on, and a fitting way to do it—a punctuation between my life with Ian and my life after him.

ASHLEY: I know Sebastian was prepared for the worst, and that he thought he would have to watch you closely. Have you gotten along since he’s come, or are you constantly at each other’s throats? Does he interfere a lot with your plans for the house party?

LEAH: The first night he came I thought I was going to kill him. He acted like such an insufferable bastard! And the next day, too, to tell the truth. But in a way I understood—I wasn’t exactly the nicest person after I found out about the affair, either. And eventually, he became…much nicer.

ASHLEYraising eyebrow: Nicer, hmm? Would you like to explain a bit more?

LEAH: Well…let’s just say he’s made himself quite likable. *rushes on* Not that I like him overmuch, just… we’re closer to friends now than we were before. Not friends, exactly, but…something closer than acquaintances.

ASHLEY: I see…and is this why you two kissed?

LEAH: stiffening: I didn’t expect him to do that. And I don’t think I’d like to talk about it now, thank you very much.

ASHLEY: Hmm. A sensitive subject, I see. But we’ll move on for the last question. The house party is quickly coming to a close. I know you have something unexpected in store for everyone, something that might finally cause quite a scandal. Why are so willing to see your reputation ruined, and what are your plans afterward?

LEAH, a small, secretive smile turning her lips: It’s not precisely that I want to ruin myself. It’s not that at all. It’s that I’ve finally reached the point in my life—after living with my mother and obeying her for so long, after keeping the burden of Ian’s affair—where my reputation simply doesn’t matter as much as being free to pursue my own happiness. And sometimes, happiness means doing something simply because I want to. I know there will be consequences—I’m certainly not naïve in that regard—but I’m no longer the weak woman who’s afraid of her own independence. This is my life, and it’s time for me to do as I wish, even if the future isn’t clear beyond the new few days. Now that I know who I am, I know I can make it through whatever happens.

To read my other interviews with Leah and my interviews with Sebastian, make sure to keep up with my ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour (details at

But for now, I’d love to know how you’ve expressed your independence in the past, even if it was something that didn’t seem to make a lot of sense to everyone else. Have you ever quit a steady job, traveled to a new country, did something completely unexpected?

One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting!

Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...

Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there's only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other's arms....

Thank you so much Ashley for being my guest today and congratulations on Romancing the Countess!  I can't wait to read it, and you better believe that I'll be checking out that contest to win all of those books...fair warning to all of my fellow blog hoppers :)  

If you'd like to learn more about Ashley March and the romances that she writes, including her upcoming contemporary romances, you can find her at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To celebrate the release of her new historical romance, Ashley would like to giveaway a print copy of Romancing the Countess to one very lucky Musings follower!  Here's how you can enter to win: 

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory: Answer the question Ashley asked readers in her post.  And please feel free to leave her some comment love about Countess...or any of her other books! (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.  
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US addresses only
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on September 30th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!
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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.


Sheree September 28, 2011 at 2:49 AM  

Hi, Ashley! I can't say that I've ever done anything out of character. Okay, my parents were not happy with my decision to go to Europe for three weeks when I was in college, but I was really certain that I'd survive. I even found my way to the right terminal and everything even though I didn't (and still don't) speak French.

I must say that I don't like Leah's mother much. Of course, she's mostly concerned with Leah's younger sister's chances which would be torpedoed by any scandal caused by Leah, but the whole "I've picked the next man you'll marry" was a bit much considering how the first marriage (Leah's mom chose that one, too, I'm sure) turned out.

ironss [at] gmail [dot] com
GFC follower

Ora September 28, 2011 at 7:40 AM  

I'm not sure sure if I would describe this as expressing my independence or just wanting to get on with my life. When I was 18I joined the Navy to get out of the small town I lived in and away from the guy who later became my husband. At the time time it was the quickest way to get a life of my own without feeling like I had to ask permission from my parents to do so.
My mom had a hard time of letting me grow up and attempted to control my life the first couple of times I was home on leave, however everything eventually worked out.

Maureen September 28, 2011 at 9:05 AM  

Congratulations on the new book Ashley! It has a very unusual plot and one I haven't read before but I like the idea. I also like the idea of a woman taking charge of her life even though she lived in a time that it was not encouraged. I can't really think of a time when I acted in a way that shocked people, maybe when I moved out of my parents house before they expected it.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Tore September 28, 2011 at 9:29 AM  

I would have to say the only thing I ever did out of character was get a tatoo. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

erin September 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM  

This books looks fantastic! I really hope I get a chance to read it :)

I've never really done anything "scandalous" or wild. Don't really feel that I need to. The one thing I do for myself that everyone kinda makes fun of me for, is that I have a very large library of books I have collected over the years!

Thanks for the great post and giveaway!


Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM  

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to say thanks for dropping by today! I'll be in and out as I'm watching the kids and they have a tendency to try to kill each other (yes, at only 28 months and 11 months) if they're left alone. =) But I'll respond to everyone's comments as soon as I can! =)

The_Book_Queen September 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

Hello Ashley! I enjoyed reading your guest post here, and I am looking forward to reading Romancing the Countess! Love the cover, the blue of her dress is striking and catches the eye very nicely.

Hmm... Well, the only thing I can think of right off hand where I was showing my independence is when I turned 18 and moved out of my parents house. Really, that is the sum of my show of indepence thus far. Sure, I'm supporting my own, living on my own, and, except for a break that I'm currently taking from it, attending college as well, but I'm not one to do something crazy (or sane) just to prove to the world that I can do what I want. Boring answer, but at least it is the truth! :D

I'm a follower already.

I'm also posting the contest information on the sidebar of my blog (


CrystalGB September 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM  

Hi Ashley. Your book sounds great. Love the cover.
The one thing that I did that some people questioned was marrying my husband after dating a few months. We have been married 8 years now. :)
I am a GFC follower.

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM  

Hi Sheree! 3 weeks in France sounds amazing--and you were in college. =) My dad had a fit when I told him I wanted to go on a trip to Nepal for a summer when I was in high school. Unfortunately, the trip got canceled because of the unrest there. Maybe someday. =)

I hope that Leah's mother came across as someone who could have existed. She's certainly not supposed to be likable, but I also didn't want her to be an over-the-top villain, and that's why I included her in the epilogue like I did. I've known some women like that, where they have good intentions but just can't see that they're meddling too much in other people's lives. =)

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM  

Hi Ora! I think that's an amazing way to show your independence, and such a courageous thing to do! I've been there before where you don't feel like you have any options and the military does seem like a viable choice (I considered the Air Force and Army when I was both in and out of college). I'm glad everything worked out all right. =)

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM  

Hi Maureen! Thank you very much--I've been thrilled so far by the response I've been getting, which is great considering how nervous I was. It's definitely not your typical romance. Yes, parents can kind of freak out when you do something unexpected. =) Like this morning when my baby climbed up on her rocket car like an acrobat. =)

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM  

Hi Tore! Thanks for your comment! I have to admit that I think tattoos on women can be awesome--and they're definitely hot on guys. ;)

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM  

Hi erin! Thanks so much for visiting with me today. =) Oh, you need to be a part of my family, then. We have our own mini-library in one of the rooms in the basement. I can't tell you how many times we've gone through them trying to figure out if we can get rid of any, but nope--we're addicted to books. =)

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM  

Hi The Book Queen! I wonder if you were an older or only sibling. =) I was a younger sibling and for some reason always bucked against authority. Ahh--I really hope my girls are much better behaved than I was! =)

Thanks so much for your compliment on the cover. I love it, too. =)

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

Hi CrystalGB! Oh, congratulations! That takes some guts, especially when everyone around you is looking at you like you're crazy. ;) I had some of that, too, when I married my husband after we met online (this was in East Texas in 2003, so it wasn't normal back then). So happy for you. =)

The_Book_Queen September 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM  

Ashley, I'm an only child. :) I've always been pretty well behaved, but by no means am I docile. It just takes more to rile me up, lol.

Hmm, well, this may not be what you want to hear, but I bet your girls have at least a little bit of your fire in them, going against authority and all that. :D But hopefully they won't make you want to pull ALL of your hair out, especially as they reach their teen years!


jeanette8042 September 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM  

Congrats on the new book! I recently traveled to Europe on my own and it was a bit of shock for everyone but it was an amazing experience!

Love your writing Ashley and this sounds like another great read!

GFC follower

Barbara E. September 28, 2011 at 3:49 PM  

Congrats on the release of Romancing the Countess. I enjoyed Seducing the Duchess and I'm looking forward to this newest book.
I did something pretty unexpected when I sold my townhouse in California, left my job of 32 years, and moved across the country to Florida to be near my son. I was able to transfer to another office of the same company, and purchase a house for cash, but it was a still pretty big shock to my system to make such a change. It was scary, but very exciting as well and on the whole I'm glad I did it.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM  

The Book Queen-- Actually, I already told my sister-in-law (who has boys) that we're trading when the kids hit the teenage years. ;)

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 4:08 PM  

Thanks, jeanette8042! =) I would LOVE to go to Europe--heck, I'd love to travel pretty much anywhere--except Antarctica...and Alaska. (Can you tell I don't like the cold?) =) In fact, hubby and I are *hoping* to go to London for our 10th anniversary in 2013. I'm so glad you went and made a dream come true!

Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 4:09 PM  

Hi Barbara! Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed SD. =) Wow, that is a huge change! It's so great that you got to stay with the same company AND move to live near your son. =) One day when we win the lottery we're hoping to move to Georgia--1) we miss the South; 2) we have family nearby; and 3) can you say not much snow? =)

TinaBuriedUnderBooks September 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM  

About 6 months ago I requested to be move to another location (same job). Everyone thought I committed career suicide. I, however, am extremely happy and think it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It takes a lot of courage to follow through on a decision you made when everyone around you says it is a mistake. And if it turns out to be a mistake...*shrug* I made the decision so I can live with it. : )


Ashley March September 28, 2011 at 8:48 PM  

Hi Tina! Go you! And I'm so happy everything worked out. Yes, I've made a decision recently like that, where people look at me like I'm crazy--I hope my story turns out as good as yours. =)

Johanna J,  September 28, 2011 at 9:31 PM  

I have never done anything out of the ordinary. Never quit a good job cause I never had a good job! LOL! Never moved out of my home town. Have not done anything unexpected. Kinda boring!

Pam S (pams00),  September 28, 2011 at 10:25 PM  

This sounds like a wonderful storyline. I'm eager to see how infidelity was delt with and read about their path to HEA. Thanks somuch for sharing the great interview!!

The only thing I guess I could name off hand is deciding to work from home doing freelance design work full time and homeschooling my son. It makes for some interesting schedules as a single mom.

pams00 @

JenM September 28, 2011 at 11:39 PM  

I've always had a tendency to want to shake things up whenever I get into a rut. It started when I graduated from college, then ended up moving across the country, from Florida, then to Denver, then to El Paso, then finally to San Francisco (where I've now lived for 25 years). Every time, people would say to me, "I can't believe you are moving to a strange city where you don't know a soul".

After the last move, my dad commented that he hoped I was done moving since I couldn't go any farther west - to which I replied that I was actually thinking about moving to Alaska (never did that one although I did try unsuccessfully to get a transfer there LOL).

Best wishes on the book - I loved Seducing the Duchess and I'm sure I'll love this one also.
jen at delux dot com - GFC Follower

Johanna J,  September 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM  

I have never really done anything out of the ordinary! So I can't really say I have! I'm pretty boring or maybe just predictible. I always play it safe! Thanks for sharing with us!

LilMissMolly September 29, 2011 at 9:20 PM  

Hi Ashley! I'm in the middle of Romancing the Countess and I love it! I really like how your heroines are a little mature and independent. Please keep 'em coming!
lvsgund at

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