Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight with Ashley Ludwig


Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! Today my special guest is friend and fellow white rose author Ashley Ludwig. Ashley is here to chat about her book All or Nothing.

Here is a blurb and excerpt:


A young widow starting over nearly dies on the perilous, winding road to Tucson, Arizona in 1876.

An accident turns out to be a cover-up for a heinous crime at the hand of a murderous bandit. Robbed and left for dead, all that remains for RuthAnne Newcomb is her faith, and the talents God gave her. She needs both to endure the handsome, vengeful cavalry captain who saved her life.

Captain Bowen Shepherd offers aid in exchange for information leading to the criminal’s capture. El Tejano, as the bandit is known, is bound to strike again and RuthAnne is the only living witness to his crimes. Left with nothing but her savvy and unwavering faith, RuthAnne is forced to return to the scene and help with the intolerable soldier’s quest.

Already, the criminal is after the lone witness who can destroy him. Bowen and RuthAnne must risk everything to unmask the bandit once and for all, before he can strike again at the one who cost him the most. Will their newfound love, or their lives, be the cost of bringing a murderer to justice?

Excerpt:

All or Nothing
By Ashley Ludwig

Print ISBN 1-60154-561-4

_______________________

“Mara!” Her voice choked; the raspy words burned like fire.

She searched the scene on hands and knees in the silver moonlight. Lord, not Mara. Where is she? She’s just a girl...please!

Footsteps crunched on the gravel-filled dirt. Nowhere to hide, RuthAnne willed herself invisible. Her hand closed around a fist-sized rock. The bandit wouldn’t take her without a fight.

He knelt down beside her. A large, rough hand cupped her cheek in an all too familiar way. “You’re awake. Thank God.”

With a ragged battle cry, RuthAnne lunged at her would-be attacker with the stone, cracking him just above the shoulder. He shied away from the blow, and the lump of granite glanced off him. With little effort, he peeled it from her fingers. “You’re coming with me, whether you like it or not.”

The brigand picked her up like a child and marched her off to her doom. Terrified, she fought and bucked while he carried her. Tears of frustration streamed down her face; her hair, a mass of golden curls, tumbled loose about her as she thrashed in his arms. RuthAnne hammered at him with ineffectual fists. He carried her so easily, as if she were feather light, though he did pin her arms close against her body.

“I’m not going to hurt you. I’m here to help.”

Sharon: Yells into the speaker over the rip roaring waves of the Pacific. Hey, Ash! Come sit here under the umbrella table. It’s time for your interview. Here comes the crew. Lights camera action!

Ashley struts along the coppery beach, bucket of shells in hand, waving madly to her fans. Music from Colbie Calait’s Coco blasts from the speakers.

Sharon and Ashley exchange hugs and scoot down into festive tiki lounge chairs, both wearing their designer shades.

Sharon: Oh this sun feels wonderful, Ash. And look who I brought with me. Why it’s my butler, Oliver with refreshments.


Oliver struts out in his spanking new fluorescent lime green speedos and Gucci sun glasses. With a winning smile, he balances a silver tray above his head. He winks wildly at Ashley and sets the coffee, lemonade and pitcher of ice water on the umbrella table. Then he places the basket of salsa and chips directly in front of Ashley and treats her to a sweeping bow. May I pour you a drink, Ms. Ludwig?

Ashley: Ooh, yes, Oliver. Let’s forgo coffee for lemonade. Did you make the salsa yourself? You look, I mean it looks delicious…

Sharon: Ah…Oliver…I wouldn’t mind you pouring me a nice cup of your gourmet blend. Oliver? And I don’t believe I can reach the chips all the way on the other side of the table.

But Oliver shuffles nervously, kicks his feet in the sand and stammers, May I be so bold as to ask for your autograph, Ms. Ashley?

Ashley: *giggling* Of course, Oliver. Anything for you *wink* (aside to Sharon) I’m still not used to people wanting me to give autographs. This still feels so completely surreal!

Sharon: So now that we’re settled and Oliver has gone surfing until I call him for dessert, shall we begin our interview? All or Nothing draws us in, right from the beginning. It has everything I look for in a book, an enticing hook and an intriguing aura. Tell us about this book. The characters? The setting? The main storyline?

Ashley: All or Nothing is actually one part of the first novel I ever completed. Fresh out of college, full of unbridled enthusiasm, I spent afternoons traipsing around the adobe ruins of Fort Lowell in Tucson, Arizona—daydreaming about the soldiers and people who used to live there. That museum curator answered all of my questions and then some, introducing me to the Fort Laundresses, who had to keep up with all the soldiers in some pretty horrible conditions. So, the fort and the army laundry seemed like a wonderful place to store RuthAnne while she and Bowen were hunting for the rogue bandit roaming the Arizona mountain roads!

Sharon: I love the name Bowen. How do you go about choosing names for your hero and heroine? Do you go back and forth like choosing baby names or do your characters demand certain names as their birthright?

Ashley: Well, this story’s inspiration stemmed from the Book of Ruth. RuthAnne, Mara, and Bowen (rather than Boaz) all grew from there. My characters tend to whisper their names in my ears while I’m figuring out their character traits. Sometimes I change them, but mostly the first time is the charm!

Sharon: All or Nothing has a bit of suspense in it, a bit of mystery, and obviously a lot of romance and faith. And it’s classified as a Historical, Inspirational Romance. Do you find it difficult to blend these all into one specific genre?

Ashley: *covering mouth not to spit out lemonade* Oh, Sharon! *laughs* I honestly never thought about it that way. My favorite stories are not just the romance, but creating a plot where my hero and heroine work together to uncover some sort of truth. In this case, a mystery. The suspense builds their relationship, and together they come to a deeper understanding of their respective faith. I love to see if they can work as a team. Life is about more than just falling in love, after all.

Sharon: Now let’s talk about reviews. LASR gave All or Nothing 5 books. Awesome. Congratulations! Can you describe the feelings a rave and glowing review evoke in you?

Ashley: I was floored. Really. When I saw that, my husband had to pick me up off of the floor by the computer. Then, we all danced around—including the children, though they weren’t quite sure what we were dancing for! I swear, I don’t think I could have been more excited if I’d found out I was a New York Times Bestseller!

Sharon: Now Ashley, is there a genre you would like to experiment with that you haven’t tried before? And if so, what is it and why would you like to venture into that genre?

Ashley: Funny that you mention that. Hmm. I’m out of lemonade. Where is Oliver? *scans horizon to see Oliver shooting the tube – pours own glass*

My current work in progress is a contemporary Action/Adventure Romance – staring a marine archaeologist on the trail of a historic mystery! I love reading adventures and of course am a huge Indiana Jones fan—having been an archaeologist myself—so, having a character capable of following historic clues, balancing science and faith, it’s all very exciting to figure out.

Sharon: Do the characters you create stay with you long after they’ve played their roles or do you think about them even when you are creating new characters?

Ashley: I do think about them. Their voices are locked in my head—in fact, I think that I heard Bowen and RuthAnne having a discussion about the children this morning. (Theirs, not mine!) Anyway, I think I’ll keep the Shepherd family in all of my novel-length stories for awhile. I like the idea of following one family through history, and maintaining their legacy as lives are touched from the old West to contemporary.

Sharon: Oh, here comes Oliver, all sopping wet from his swim and surf. And he’s carting a tray of chocolate dipped strawberries, rolled in raw sugar.

Oliver presents them, whispers to Ashley that he double dipped them just for her.

Ashley: *squee!* Oh, Oliver. You do know the way to a lady’s heart, don’t you? *bats eyelashes and takes a big bite*

Oliver clasps hands to heart and passes out in the sand. Two bikini-clad blondes rush to the rescue to revive him with mouth to mouth. Oliver comes around grinning, blowing kisses to Ashley as he rushes off to surf with the babes.

Sharon: Must be those lime green speedos. So what’s next for you, Ash? What are you working on?

Ashley: I’m elbows deep in my current Work in Progress. Sapphire Tears (working title) follows Chandra Drake, a pragmatic science-minded Archaeologist. Her hero, Troy Shepherd, is a real-to-life-hero. He operates by faith and instinct, and takes on almost more than he can handle with protecting Chandra on their quest. The story starts out in Washington, and globe hops to Mexico, and ultimately Arizona. I’m having loads of fun with the plot, and am about 30,000 words from the finish line!

Sharon: Now let’s talk about you. How does Ashley Ludwig keep it all together? You have a family, young children, a job and you write. Where and how do you fit it all in?

Ashley: Well, I don’t sleep. Seriously, I either get up very early or stay up long past everyone else’s bedtime. I do my best to take weekends off from promoting, or social networking. Thankfully, my husband is incredibly supportive of my writing, and loves taking the girls to the pool, the park, or on adventures to give me time when I need it.

Sharon: What is your favorite time of the day and why?

Ashley: I love sunsets by the ocean. On a day like today, when you can stroll to the end of the pier, grab a hot cocoa, and watch for the green flash as the sun dips below the horizon. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Sharon: Tell readers about your archaeologist background.

Ashley: I graduated with my B.S. in Archaeology from the University of Arizona. After college, I worked for an environmental company for a few years, surveying and excavating across the Southwest. Priceless experience.

Sharon: And you obviously love the beach and digging for seashells. What is your prize shell and where did you find it?

Ashley: We just unpacked a box of seashells that my husband and I collected off the gulf of California from before we were married. I made a lovely menagerie of the collection and displayed it on a table over some antique lace.

Sharon: You are so creative! Oh, dear, here comes Oliver. With a mischievous grin, Oliver bee bops to the music, snapping his fingers. He grabs Ashley and twirls her around in the sand, belting the lyrics to the Colbie Calait song.

Sharon: All right, Oliver, you’ve had your fun. Now go take a swim while I wrap up my interview with Ms. Ludwig.

Oliver blows kisses as he picks up his surf.

Sharon: He loves the beach and I dare say, I’ve created a monster. So that brings us to the end of our interview. But before we go, I have a few questions I simply must ask. I adore superstitions. Do you have any and if so, do share one or two of your favorites.

Ashley: I just love that about you! I’m superstitious, too. Maybe it’s that creative mind working over time, but I won’t walk under a ladder. I have rosemary growing by my garden gate, and lavender planted for luck. I don’t leave my purse on the floor, for fear of wasting my fortune, and I give a jade plant to all of my friends, for good karma. Covering all my bases!

Sharon: I love them! And every time I ask that question, I hear a superstition I have never heard before. And I’ll cherish my jade plant from you. Thank you, Ash. And finally, my three questions. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? If you could be the leading lady in any literary fiction, which would it be and why? And last but not least, who would you want playing your romantic hero?

Ashley: Anywhere in the world? Dare I say, I’d live right here in Temecula wine country, and keep a little beach bungalow for weekends. Does that count?

A leading lady in literary fiction? Hmmm. That’s tougher. How about Katherine, AFTER she’s had her way with Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew?

And, if I were to choose someone to play Bowen Shepherd? I’d have to select Josh Holloway—who plays Sawyer on Lost. Yes. He’s my Bowen.

Sharon: Thank you so much, Ash. This has been so much fun and I love being on location. Can you tell readers where they can buy All or Nothing as well as all your books? And where can readers and fans reach you?

Ashley: Thanks so much for having me, and coming all the way out here to California! Please tell me you have Josh Holloway stashed somewhere…or is that him I see, strolling, shirtless, down the beach?

Oh—and All or Nothing is available in print at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and from my publisher—White Rose Publishing. The links are all available on my web site: www.ashleyludwig.com

Sharon: LOL Sorry, Ashley. You’ll have to settle for the shirtless and very sun burnt Oliver! BTW, did I mention he no longer wishes to be referred to as my butler? He’s demanding to be called “Cabana Boy” and is certainly trying my patience. A group of pretty California girls encircle Oliver. Cabana Boy beams brilliantly and pops a beer and guzzles it down.

Thunderous applause explodes over the waves as Ashley waves good bye to her adoring fans.

Oliver: Ashley, come join us over here! Cabana Boy is about to sing a few Beach Boy hits! I’m diggin’ California. Will you hire me to be your Cabana Boy? Please. I wanna stay!!

Ashley: *Blows kiss to Oliver* You go on and play with the beach bunnies. Sharon and I have lots of catching up to do! I think maybe some friends will come join us?

Please listen to a bit of Jason Mraz, while we watch the sunset... My compliments, Sharon! ...

~Ashley

70 comments:

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello, Ashley! Ah, this is so great, being on location out here in sunny California. I'm lovin' it, girl! Oh, Oliver, if you can drag yourself away from the beach babes, bring us some lemonade and fresh fruit please. Oliver, did you hear me! Oliver!

Miss Mae said...

Um...did I hear...lemonade?

Miss Mae said...

I've read All or Nothing, and absolutely LOVED it!! Ms. Ludwig has a brilliant skill for description. I could see, hear, smell, feel that desert...while I was impressed at how she put me there, I was more convinced than before that I don't ever really want to travel there! LOL Too hot, too dusty, too many flash floods, too many dangerous critters! (and not just those who crawl or slither too...shudder).

But Josh as Bowen? Oooh, you know, I think he'd be perfect! Boy, I wish I had envisioned him when I read this. Now I'll have to go back through it and see him as that way! hee hee

Lovely interview, ladies, and love the beach and beach music...but those babes need to head over to Bay Watch. You hear that, Mr. Cabana Boy????

P.L. Parker said...

Great Interview. Could we perhaps share Oliver??? "Bowen" is a perfect name. So hard to pick names for guys.

Patsy

ashleyludwig said...

Good morning, all! Thanks for hosting me today, Sharon - and welcome to a slice of paradise.

I finally decorated the patio a bit... my apologies for any delay!

Getting ready for company is always so chaotic! but now that we're here, let's kick up our feet and have some fun!

ashleyludwig said...

Miss Mae, as soon as Oliver's done singing, he'll make some more Lemonade. I'm afraid i do need coffee, after all. Yawn. 6:30 am and all that...

The strawberries dipped in sugar, hmm... maybe a mimosa to go with them?

ashleyludwig said...

P.L.

Nice to see you here! What is it about our leading man's name that sets the tone of the whole story?

Bowen just struck me as the strong, silent type. He loves his mama, and he'd never, ever back down from a fight--and would rarely, if ever, start one on his own. Unless, of course, his RuthAnne got herself into a mite of trouble. Then, of course, all bets are off.

Thanks for popping in!

Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

P.L.

Nice to see you here! What is it about our leading man's name that sets the tone of the whole story?

Bowen just struck me as the strong, silent type. He loves his mama, and he'd never, ever back down from a fight--and would rarely, if ever, start one on his own. Unless, of course, his RuthAnne got herself into a mite of trouble. Then, of course, all bets are off.

Thanks for popping in!

Ashley

Helen Hardt said...

What a fun interview, Ashley and Sharon! Ashley, great to see you and learn more about what you're working on ;). I love the inspiration for your names in All or Nothing!

Helen

ashleyludwig said...

Morning, Helen!

Thanks for popping over. I'm overdue writing a note on your latest...

What's your favorite way to come up with a hero's name?

Mine usually just appear, brooding, and full of secrets. I have to needle them until they fess up and reveal their inner hero. Hmm. Sounds like my hubby on his way out the door this morning!

More coffee anyone?

Sharon Donovan said...

Sharon is back with Oliver--finally dragged him away from the babes--. Hello all! Isn't the beach great? Oliver, get us some coffee and chocolate dipped strawberries. Hehee, it's Miss Mae with...ah...did you bring something to liven up this lemonade, dearie? Hi Patsy. So glad you could join us and oh, that Oliver is a hunk, isn't he. Welcome, Helen. Let's all have a toast and enjoy this relaxing beach music. Oliver appears with refreshments, winking and blowing kisses.
Sharon

ashleyludwig said...

Just what I needed. *drinks deeply*

Isn't the sun delightful?

So glad we're here... My home town of Tucson, where All or Nothing is set--is supposed to be blistering hot today...

Sharon Donovan said...

Oh this hazelnut coffee is delicious. Thank you, Oliver. So how are those strawberries, Ash? Oliver was double dipping them all night just for you, sweetie! So what's it like to live so near the beach? I would love it to death. Did I ever tell you I went to Hawaii? The humidity is sooo low. It truly is like paradise and the islands are just like a dream. I would love to go back there some day.

Debra St. John said...

Ashley, Fabulous excerpt. And Sharon, do you loan Oliver out?!

ashleyludwig said...

Hi, Deborah! glad to see you here... Sharon has Oliver on a short leash... However I believe arrangements can be made. ;-)


~Ash

ashleyludwig said...

Sharon,

Hawaii is gorgeous, isn't it? We honeymooned on Maui... swam with sea turtles, snorkeled right off shore, and spent hours enjoying the sun, surf, and sand...

Bliss! Where'd you go when you were there?

~Ashley

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Ashley and Sharon,

I'm an Indy fan myself, though I didn't major in Archeology. As a senior in H.S., I did put it down as a field I wanted to study, but alas---a no go. I went into something more 'practical'---teaching, which I do not do!

Your excerpt and blurb sound fantastic. I love a story with a romance with a mystery.

BTW, do you think there are any strawberries dripping with chocolate. And would Oliver be willing to hand feed them to me? yum, yum
:-)
Julie

ashleyludwig said...

Julie,

Stick around. You never know WHAT Oliver will do by day's end! I'll whisper your request in his ear when he gets back from surfing.

Indy of course, is the end all be all archaeologist hero. All characters get measured up to him, don't they?

I'm enjoying playing with my current WIP -- with a lead female Marine Archaeologist... what I used to DREAM of doing while surveying in and around Tucson in 100+ degree weather!

Speaking of, it's supposed to be terribly warm there today, isn't it? *shudder*

Thanks for dropping by!

~Ashley

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Debra! And just in time. Here comes Oliver with a pitcher of Mimosa! Oh, Ashley, so you went too? What utter bliss! It was my first vacation when I worked in family court. My girlfriends and I planned the trip and I got called for jury duty. I had my supervisor get me out of it and he was not happy. But no way was I losing my money and opportunity. I vacationed on Waikiki Beach and went outrigging and sailing and snorkling! And how about Diamond Head. I went home and painted it, what a contrast--ebony against true blue. Awesome. I really regret not touring the other islands, though. Sigh. Maybe some day. Sharon holds up her glass of Mimosa. Cheers!

Cheryl St.John said...

Hello, Ashley, you sweet thing.

Does Oliver have any spiced chai tea over there? That's my latest passion.

Lovely to see you today.

Julie Robinson said...

I like that, Ashley! a female Marine archeologist. You know when I first read it, I confess that I instantly assumed a male in that role!! I know a guy who used to be in the Navy and did some deep sea diving, so I guess my mind automatically put him in that role. Ack!
Julie

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Julie. Hmmm. Good luck finding Oliver. He is in his glory here at the beach surrounded by all the babes. Don't look now but he's starting a game of volley ball. What would you like to drink, Julie? How about a chilled Mimosa? Coffee? Lemonade? And dig in to these warm tortilla chips and dips. Cheryl, here's a spicy Chai--just for you! Oh here comes Oliver, dripping wet, big smile on his face. He yanks Ashley off her tiki chair for a round of volley ball.

ashleyludwig said...

Cheryl,

Anything for you, my dear! isn't he dreamy?

Enjoy your tea!! glad to see you here, Cheryl! stay awhile!

Ashley

Sharon Donovan said...

So Ashley, do you sit out here gazing out to sea to stir your creative muse? Surely, you've written a book about romance on the stormy sea? Loveboat?The next Titanic? LOL

ashleyludwig said...

Sharon, honestly? I have a novel waiting to be edited - Working Title "Castles by the Sea".

My free read, available from my site: www.ashleyludwig.com - Tessa Takes a Chance - is set on the Malibu coastline.

Go on and give it a download, everyone! It's in my little "bookstore."

There's nothing more inspiring than being near the coast for my muse (Diva's her name). PLUS, shopping in Carlsbad offers the Outlet Mall with her favorite boys... Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Jimmy Choo. Always brings her out in full force!

~Ashley

Miss Mae said...

I'd like to know where you got your idea to create that naughty fort commander? He gave me creepy chills!

Sharon Donovan said...

Ohhh, I love it! Can't wait for that one to be published, Ash. And I'll go check out your free read. Hear that everyone? Ashley is offering us all a prize, her free read. Go jump on it. I know I will. And I've been to Malibu Beach and it was great! So your muse is Diva? Is she as tempermental as she sounds? I can't decide on a name for mine. She is full of mischief, intrigue, wisdom, suspense and enjoys guessing games to keep my thought process in gear and my wheels turning for what's next. Any ideas for a name?

ashleyludwig said...

Miss Mae,

I think we all know villains in our life who creep into the shadowy places of our works... I know YOU know one or two! *wink*

The Post Commander is an amalgam of many naughty folks, and the dark side of my imagination. His nefarious deeds poisoned the root of his whole family...

The old west is a wonderful place to dream up the best of the heroes, and the worst of the bad guys...

AND, in case you don't know... El Tejano is a real-to-life bandit who robbed stages across the west during this time period. They never found out his true identity... and his treasure remains, undiscovered, in the mountains beyond Tucson. But you'd have to brave a cactus or two to find it!

~Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

Sharon,

For some reason, I got the idea that your muse is that little girl with the huge eyes and playful nature you wrote in one of your blog-short-stories.

Of course, her playful side ran a bit to the naughty, didn't it? I've never been more shocked by an ending. You really can write them!

Unless, of course, it's one of Miss MAE's endings. Those always throw me for a loop!

She needs a prissy name, I think. I get a picture of her with hair in perfect ribbons, and a flouncy dress, & mischievous grin. But, that's just me.

~Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

What's that, Oliver?

Now you want to dig a SANDCASTLE??? Well, as long as there's room for all. We'll decorate it with these shells...

Keep talking you all! I'll be right back after I show him the ropes.

*Grabs beach bucket. Trounces off after Oliver with a slight grin.*

Kris Kennedy said...

Ash~
Your work-in-progress sounds wonderful! I am a sucker for Indy too, and I find I don't care how inaccurately it represents the work of most archeologists. :-) I just want action, drama, and fabulous heroes.

The beach sounded wonderful--I could almost feel the warm sand & hear the waves. I suspect the pictures helped, but Sharon & you did a nice job making it feel real!

Enjoy the lemonade, and can't wait for another story from you.
:-)
~ Kris

Sharon Donovan said...

OOh, Ash. I had to think for a minute which story you meant. Now I know. It was for a writing group I belong to and the assignment was for a good time turned bad. For some reason the little girl in the movie The Bad Seed popped into my head and hey, she would make a good muse, although a bit creepy! She can help me when I write my spine tingling suspense stories! More Mimosa?

ashleyludwig said...

Kris, you're such an angel. It's lovely for an author of your caliber to say such a thing!

For those of you who don't know it, Kris Kennedy is author of The Conqueror, the FIRST book in my summer beach bag this year.

Indy is a man's man, that's for sure! The hero to my marine archaeologist is an FBI agent, Troy Shepherd, who has been known to shoot first, and ask questions later. A man of strong faith, and lion's heart, he's forced to rescue our heroine on more than one occasion in the first hundred pages!

I really must get back to them... I left Chandra & Troy in a wicked predicament last night. I do wonder how they'll get out of this mess!

So, what's everyone's favorite beach read this summer? Any good ones? the best are paperbacks, all warped and sandy, and dogeared. I love the sight of a well read book...

~Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

Sharon! LOL

I think that little girl in my mind was my own daughter... up until she went bad!

She's such a lovely little girl with a slight mischievous streak. Not bad, just a bit on the naughty side from time to time!

Will go back to drawing board on your muse.

Yum! more mimosa. Those fresh squeezed oranges are just the thing.

Oh, look! There's a whole platoon of pelicans coming our way, flying in a V formation! Let's see if they start dive bombing for fish!

Miss Mae said...

Watch those pelicans! Oops, Oliver, too bad!

ashleyludwig said...

Miss Mae, it clearly missed him. (speaking of naughty streaks!)

That's alright. Look, he's darting back out into the surf with his surfboard.

All is well! Um, Sharon? Not that I want him to stop frolicking in the water or anything, but isn't Oliver supposed to be bringing around some snacks soon?

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Kris. We're honored to have you. Sigh. Oh Ashley. Since Oliver's hit the beach, there is no telling when...oh...but here he comes now with a fresh pitcher of margaritas, more chips and salsa, a fruit platter, fudge brownies and roasted almonds. And he's singing and bee boppin to the Beach Boys. Oops, he grabs Ashley for a little spin...and off they go!

Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver grabs the microphone and starts the karaoke singing with Jimmy Buffet. His sexy voice drifts over the beach... as he raises his chilled Margarita. "Some say there's a woman to blame...down here in Margarit a ville with my lost shaker of salt..." he winks wildly as thunderous applause breaks out.

Danielle Thorne said...

Sounds like a wonderful novel. Congrats on your 5 from LASR. That's awesome!

Sharon Donovan said...

Oh that Oliver! Over his voice and the sultry beach music, Sharon raises her glass in toast. Here here to a gorgeous day and California Dreamin'! So Ashley...about the summer reads? I'm currently reading the Bitter Creek series by Joan Johnston. Excellent. And I've just ordered the others because I've started with book 5 The Rivals. I am absolutely hooked. I love romantic suspense, my favorite genre and this author has me drawn in from the first page. I highly recommend this book as a must read for your beach bag this summer.

ashleyludwig said...

Hi, Danielle! and thanks for popping over!

This has turned into quite the beach party!

Sharon, I love romantic suspense as much as i love my historical romances. I'll put that note in my wish list!

I've just written a review of my three latest beach bag reads at:

Bowker reads (here's to hoping i did the html right! lol

Tessa Dare has some fun, regency romance, though a bit steamier than my favorite regency author of late, Linore Burkard. She's wonderful, if you haven't had the chance!

Skhye said...

You gotta love speedos! They make a man... Anyway, great interview. Wish I could have excavated somewhere in the Four Corners. :) I only got to sightsee.

Sharon, why didn't we get the full-body shot of Oliver in his SPEEDOS?

Larry Hammersley said...

Ashley and Sharon: A great interview. Well, I've read "By Another Name," and looks like I have another book to add to the read list. I appreciated you mentioning the Bible character, Ruth. She is definitely one of my very favorite characters. I've read Francine Rivers Novella on Ruth. My favorite scripture is Ruth 1:16-17. Larry

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Danielle and Skhye. So glad you could join Ashley and I here on the beach. We are having fun fun fun with Oliver! Hmmm. About that pic of Oliver in his speedos. Go on and try your luck, Skhye! Go for it.

Sharon Donovan said...

Still singing, Oliver rushes over and freshens Ashley's Margarita. Then with a wink and a flex of his biceps, he grabs Ashley and takes her off to the karaoke bar. Swooning, they croon away to...what is that, Ash?

ashleyludwig said...

Why, Sharon! Don't you know Kieth Urban when you hear him?

*Ashley listens, grinning as Oliver croons*

"I wanna kiss a girl! I wanna hold her tight! And maybe make a little magic in the moonlight..."

Oliver! You sure can sing!

(aside to Sharon) Thank heavens my sweet hubby had to work today!

~Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

Larry,

Francine Rivers is one of my all time favorite authors. If you've never read her Mark of the Lion trilogy, you should make a point to. One of the sweetest, best researched historical romances I've ever read.

Thanks for coming to visit! You're a dear, and I appreciate you as ever!

Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

Skhye!

Um, I think the whole line is, speedos either make... or break the man! lol.

I prefer swim trunks on my heroes, but Oliver does as Sharon bids! who am I to complain!

Glad to see you here, my dear! Digging the four corners would be hot hot hot! especially this time of year.

Love the cliff houses at Walnut Canyon -- and Montezuma's Castle... places that I remember visiting as a child, when they actually let you go UP!

I'm having lots of fun researching the Lost Kingdoms of the Maya for Sapphire Tears! Got a bit lost, studying pictographs and the Dresden Codex--as well as studying Mayan astronomy, the advances of the Catholic Missionaries into the Yucatan... oh, it's a romance adventure, to be sure!

My muse is having a field day! Just the thing for a research nerd like me, huh?

~Ash

Sharon Donovan said...

Oh, of course I do! Oh Oliver! You sweet thing you! You make me shiver! But Oliver plants one on Ashley's lips and grins.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Larry! So glad you stopped by the beach party. Have a seat and enjoy the music and refreshments. We are always so honored to have our romantic hero live!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Skhye! Did you get that pic of Oliver? Wink wink snort snort!!

Julie Robinson said...

I'm missing the luau! And unfortunately, I'm just popping in a minute to whistle at Oliver, as in "come here, boy!!" But he belongs to Ashley today.
Gotta go pick up my son and bring him somewhere. I won't be home til about 10:30 tonight.
Take care all,
Julie

Miss Mae said...

Ashley, the more you describe your latest WIP, the more I stand in awe. I'm loving it!!!

ashleyludwig said...

Julie!

Thanks for sharing! He's certainly having fun today... I'll return him in good order, I assure you, and keep him from running off with any of the Arizona beauties he's sure to find out there on the California beaches!

Always fun to have you here!

~Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

Miss Mae,

I decided to go more methodically with this one than full steam ahead... have been reworking some scenes and so the 2nd draft won't be such a nightmare. Am about a week away from making significant progress.

As it's a romance/adventure - I'll be shopping for an agent with this one. We'll see what happens. Thank you for your support!

;-)

Sharon Donovan said...

Ashley, I agree. Your new wip sounds really intriguing. I love suspense. Good luck with it and happy agent hunting. That's always a bit of a challenge, isn't it? How is your drink? Need another? More chips or strawberries? Oh, Oliver, refills all around.
Julie, your day is coming with Oliver. I haven't forgotten I promised you a spotlight! Then you can have Oliver at your beck and call all day long. Wink and double wink!

EA said...

Love the location. Just perfect for your writing. You novel looks and sounds like its a phenomenal work, and according to another poster it seems it also sounds, tastes and smells just as good!

Miss said...

Hi Sharon and Ashley - just popped in before going to bed after a hard day. Wonderful interview ladies, Ashley I'm really going to have to get All Or Nothing, it sounds like a fantastic read.

Oh Oliver, when you're finished here could I borrow you for a quick massage please? My shoulders and feet are killing me!

ashleyludwig said...

EA

Hey, lady! hope your day is going superb! I appreciate your comments! you know my writing better than most! wink! and hopefully have watched it improve over the past year! tee hee.

Glad to have you out! It's not quite 5 o'clock - yet! - but I'm toasting you all the same!

Ash

ashleyludwig said...

Miss

Thanks for popping in. It's been so much fun today--Here's to hoping All or Nothing makes a great beach read for your end of summer!

thanks for your comment, and here's to hoping you get that back rub! we all deserve one...

Ashley

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome EA! Thanks for dropping in. And thank you so much for the nice surprise I just found on my blog! Aw, I feel so honored. You are too sweet. Want a glass of tea or lemonade? Mimosa or Margarita? And here are some more tortilla chips and salsa and where is that Oliver with the chocolate strawberries? Oliver, over here!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, thanks for popping in. I know it's late across the way and you're tired after a long day. Get a good rest and oh sigh...you can borrow Oliver for a back rub. LOL

Miss said...

Hi Ashley! Great interview, Sharon.

Save some lemonade for me. And do try to pull Oliver away from those beach babes.

I've read Ashley's book. My advice: Don't take it to bed with you. It's not a book that will let you sleep. The first night I tried to put it down and go to sleep. But I couldn't. So I flipped the lamp back on and read some more. I just had to know what would happen next. The suspense was killing me!

Hugs,

Laurie

ashleyludwig said...

Laurie! it's not been the same without you, sweetie!

Thanks for the shout out, and so glad you came out to watch the sunset!

~Ashley

ashleyludwig said...

Marvelous day, ladies and gentlemen!

thanks, Sharon, for coming all the way out here!

Now, lets tilt our faces up to the setting sun, and light some tiki torches!

I've put Jason Mraz on the radio, can you hear him?

All the best, my friend! Let's do this again sometime...

~Ashley

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Laurie,
Thanks for stopping by to share the final scene with us. We missed you today and I hope things went well for you at your signing. Raise your glass of lemonade in a toast! Cheers!

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you for a delightful day here on the beach, Ashley. Oliver and I had a marvelous time and think you are simply the best! Best of luck with All or Nothing and in all future books. You will go far, my friend!
Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Well folks, that brings us to the end of another Wednesday Spotlight. Thank you all for dropping by with Ashley and I here on location. Please join me next week when my featured guest will be
Toni Sweeney.
Until then,
May the luck of the Irish be with you in all you do.

Hugs,
Sharon

Miss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hywela Lyn said...

Sharon - you're amazing, how did you know 'Miss' was really me?

I blame that wicked little unicorn of mine, Cuddles ran away with my real identity and has only just brought it back! LOL

Congrats again to you and Ashley for a great interview, and thanks for the loan of Oliver. He did my shoulders (and ego) the world of good! :)