Friday, September 9, 2011

Romancing Ashley March!

by Anna Campbell

I've got a treat for you all today, including two wonderful prizes for you and a friend at the end.

Ashley March is one of a bunch of wonderful new historical romance writers who have hit us over the last few years. Booklist singled Ashley out as a rising star of historical romance and praised her 2010 debut SEDUCING THE DUCHESS:

"With its addictive combination of richly nuanced characters, elegant writing spiced with a soup├žon of wicked wit, and abundance of sizzling sexual chemistry, March's exceptional debut is literary gold."
Ashley's second book ROMANCING THE COUNTESS came out 6th September and is already garnering widespread praise.

Here's the blurb for ROMANCING THE COUNTESS:

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....
You can find out more about Ashley and her books and read excerpts on her website: www.ashleymarch.com

Ashley, congratulations on the release of your second historical romance ROMANCING THE COUNTESS. Can you tell us about this story?

Thank you, Anna, and thank you so much for hosting me today here at The Romance Bandits! You guys always know how to have fun. ;) 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. The heroine Leah, who knew of the affair and kept it secret for a year, is ready to move on with her life. However, Sebastian, the Earl of Wriothesly, is shocked to discover the betrayal of both the wife he loved dearly and the best friend he considered closer than his own brother. Yet when Leah begins to engage in reckless behaviour, Sebastian has to get past his grief and anger to keep her from revealing the affair to all of Society in order to protect his son.
Goodness me, you’ve been busy! We have two novellas to talk about as well as ROMANCING THE COUNTESS. Firstly, can you please tell us about ROMANCING LADY CECILY and how it relates to your other historical romances?

I’m hoping to become busier. ;) ROMANCING LADY CECILY actually serves as a sort of prequel to ROMANCING THE COUNTESS. In RtC, the hero’s dead wife’s name is Angela. ROMANCING LADY CECILY is the story of Angela’s best friend, Lady Cecily. RLC is an e-short of about 15,000 words and has its own HEA with Lady Cecily and her hero.

Sounds great. I also notice you have a contemporary novella coming out in November in an anthology with Bernadette Marie and Tiffany James. Can you please tell us about this story and also how it felt to leave the Victorian era and dabble in the 21st century?

Oh, thanks so much for asking! This will be my first contemporary work, so I’m very excited to see how readers respond to this different style and voice. Each of the novellas in the SWEET TALK ME anthology feature a heroine that works in an occupation related to food—and actually, they work specifically with desserts, hence the title. My novella in the anthology, titled ‘Forbidden Desserts’, is about a former ballerina turned pastry chef and the engaged owner of the restaurant who doesn’t want to face his attraction to her.

I had a lot of fun writing this contemporary novella. I tend to write emotional and sometimes angsty historical romances, so the lighter contemporary allowed me to experiment with a different type of voice. Depending on the success of the anthology and the feedback I receive, I have plans to write a series of full-length contemporaries in addition to my historicals soon. *crosses fingers*

What’s next for Ashley March?

This week (on September 6th) I just started a fun new reader-interactive experiment where readers get to help me write a novella on my website at www.ashleymarch.com! Over the next 10 weeks, readers will vote on how the chapter for the next week develops, and will get to read the chapter based upon their vote after I write it. At the end of the experiment (which hopefully readers will find as much fun as I believe it will be!), I plan to edit the novella and self-publish it. The idea behind this is a preface to a new project of mine I plan to start in 2012 called Romance with Heart, which I’m calling right now a reader-interactive romance charity adventure.

Ooh, sounds intriguing. Can you tell us about your writing journey?

Oh, boy. I’ll give you the short (or somewhat short) version. After finishing my first romance in 2006 and realizing it was truly horrific, I gave up the idea of writing and resigned myself to working a 9-to-5 for the rest of my life. Then in 2008, after reading a wonderful romance written by someone else I was inspired to try again. I finished my second manuscript that year, then completed my third manuscript, which later became SEDUCING THE DUCHESS, my debut, in 2009. I sold SD in a three-book contract to NAL Penguin in December 2009 and SD was published as my first book in October 2010. I have been very, very fortunate.

I know you have two young children. How do you fit your writing around your family commitments? Any hints for time management?

I used to work full-time, but fortunately I’m now able to be a SAHM, which has always been a dream of mine. Funnily enough, I find I have less time to write now than when I was working (as I could write during my lunch break, etc.) Right now I mostly write in the evenings after the girls have gone to bed—usually from 7 or 8—and stay up to somewhere between 12am or 2. If I didn’t love what I do so much, not just the writing but also interacting with readers, I honestly don’t think I’d be able to do this day in and day out. I love sleep. Unfortunately, I don’t have any hints for time management. I’m trying to figure out a way to inject enough caffeine into my veins directly so I NEVER have to sleep. ;)

Ashley, do you have anything to ask the Banditas and Bandita Buddies?

As you can see, I obviously need help with time management, especially with two young children in the house (mine are currently 27mo and 10mo). What tips would you give for either making the most of your free time or, if you’re already as bad at it as I am, figuring out how to stay awake longer?

One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, and will get a chance to send a copy of my debut, SEDUCING THE DUCHESS, to a friend (open internationally, of course)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting www.ashleymarch.com!

Oh, I love this phone a friend contest. How cool is this? Spreading the good oil is always, uh...GOOD. (Hmm, maybe I should become a writer. I clearly have a gift for description.) Get commenting, people, and good luck!

126 comments:

Sonali said...

The chook seems to be enjoying Fiji so i'm gonna him here for another day. Although his starting to throw a little temper tantrum because the poor chook has been deprived of his normal dose of chocolates for a whole day. Do you think i should let him have some chocolate now?

Sonali said...

Sorry Ashley, i am as bad as you are at time management. I won't be able to give you tips on how to better manage your time if my life depended on it...LOL..that is how bad i am.

To stay awake longer, i drink heaps of coffee. Sometimes i feel i could have a shower in the amount of coffee that i drink when my finals are approaching or when i have assignments due. *G*. Apart from that energy drinks. That has always worked wonders with me.

Louisa Cornell said...

You can let him have the chocolate, Sonali, but hide the car keys first!

Ashley, I LOVED Seducing the Duchess! Thanks for the really great read!


Wow, I WISH I knew how to fit in more time for my writing. Between work, taking care of the house and animal care I end up burning the midnight oil to write and then drinking tea like a camel preparing for a desert trek to stay awake at work.

I can't begin to imagine trying to work around two small children and a husband (they sometimes qualify as small children as well!)

I think having a set time that is sacrosanct for writing without interruptions unless imminent death or destruction of property is involved is a good way to start.

Helen said...

Well done Sonali he is really enjoying being in Fiji have fun with him

Ashley

Congrats on the release I hang my head in shame I have your debut on my TBR pile I really need to find more time to read see so unfortunatley I am no help with time management either LOL I work 40 hours a week and although my children are adults now I have 6 beautiful grandchildren aged between 5 and 5 months and I spend a lot of time with them (love every minute of it) although I have been known to read all night when I haven't been able to put the book down but work the next day isn't usually a good one LOL.
As for staying awake yep plenty of coffee and pepsi max and Tim Tams they will give you the staying power.

Again congrats on the release Ashley and thank you so much Anna for inviting Ashley along today

Have Fun
Helen

Ashley March said...

Wow, you guys like to get the party started early! ;) Thanks again for letting me visit today! I'm thrilled to end my week with the Banditas!

Ashley March said...

Hi Sonali! I've tried energy drinks, and they make me sick. Unfortunately--because they worked well otherwise! Right now I've taken to drinking sweet tea, but I don't think it's doing much good. =) I guess someday soon I'll just have to buck up and make myself acquire a taste for coffee!

Ashley March said...

Hi Louisa! I'm so glad you enjoyed SD. =D And wow, you sound even busier than I am! *ahem* No comment on the husband thing, though. *whispers* He SEES things. Never know when he'll read a post I write. (I love you, honey!) ;) I've planned to dedicate a certain period of time to writing. *sniff* "Planned" being the operative word. I just need to execute now!

Ashley March said...

Hi Helen! So nice to see you again! =) Out of curiosity, what are Tim Tams? Your grandchildren sound absolutely wonderful. And if your children are like me, I'm sure they love you spending ALL the time you want with them, too. ;) No worries on the book being in the TBR pile. I have DOZENS to be read on my end. *sigh* I've been saying I need a reading vacation--maybe I should go to Fiji, too. =)

Helen said...

Ashley

Tim Tams are the best biscuits (cookies) they are chocolate biscuits wrapped in chocolate and you can get all sorts of flavours these days black forest dark chocolate white chocolate caramel yummo. We will have to send some to you.
I love having what we call a Tim Tam slam I have a cup of coffee (or you can have hot chocolate or tea) take a small bite from diagonal corners of the biscuit put one corner in the hot drink and suck the liquid through from the other bitten corner the best LOL.
You get lots of energy that way.

My kids do love it when Nana has the kids and so does Nana and Poppy LOL.

Have Fun
Helen

marybelle said...

I found with two small children that it paid for me to be super-organized. Decide what is important & forget the rest.

Sonali said...

Car keys hidden...chocolates given...the chook wants to thank you Louisa.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Time management is definitely not my forte Ashley. It sounds like you write the way I read. 30 minutes at lunch, ten minutes at each of my breaks. Waiting on my son at Blockbuster, just give me 2 minutes and I can get a couple of words read.

Maureen said...

Congratulations Ashley on your new book with a gorgeous cover! My kids are both in college now and I never did figure out how to find that extra time because there is always something to do.

barb said...

Have a good time with GR Sonali

Congratulations on your books .... I love historical books...not sure about time management as I am now retired and don't have to rush although I can't think how I used to fit work in LOL

oeamis said...

When my two oldest boys were young (they are 11 months apart), I used to have gates up and doors shut so it would be easier for me since they enjoyed hiding from me. When I needed to get stuff done, I would bribe them with Barney or Thomas the Train, they were completley fasinated with both shows. When that didn't work, I would take them to the park and wear them out. I would like to say that I did stuff when they took morning naps, however I usually laid down with them so I could get through the rest of the day without feeling I was sleep walking all day.
One thing I was able to to do that mad sure I had well behaved boys when they got passed the terrible twos, is having cookie parties. We would make sugar or butter cookies, and then they got to decorate their own. We did it for all holidays and sometmes just because. It was a wonderful motivater for them to behave because they loved the entire process of making the dough and then choosing on how they wanted each cookie to look.

Rebekah E. said...

cograts on your release.

Laurie G said...

WOW You do have a hectic life. I have 4 grown children, 2 are married and 2 are still in college.

In order to keep my sanity, I needn't some my time. Everyday I played with, read to, or took walks with my children along with the cooking, eating, and bathtime etc.

I found that they loved to watch a Disney movie or song tape while I read or paid bills etc. As they grew older, interactive games kept their minds and hands occupied.

Your daughters are very young but the room monitors sure help ease the anxiety you feel when you can't be with them constantly.

I loved to use a Nordic Track machine while they played. I always had a movie going or a movie of a music concert. They all developed very ecletic tastes in music.

I always woke up early, at least an hour before they woke up. This became my time to do whatever I wanted. My husband also helped pick up the slack when I needed to get something done, even if it was house cleaning. Could your mom, sister or a friend watch the children occasionally? Play groups were also helpful with my children.

I love chocolate. I don't drink soda.

Keep a positive attitude! You'll be amazed at how quickly the time goes by. Next thing you know they'll be in school for a good part of the day.

Give them lot's of love and kisses. You are truly blessed!

Antonia said...

Congratulations on your newest release!

Sadly, I'm terrible when it comes to time management and most of the times I start and/or finish everything at the last minute. My mom doesn't have that issue, however, and I think it's because she takes the time to do something for herself as well. It helps her focus.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, Ashley. Good to see you here. Romancing the Countess sounds wonderful, and that cover is stunning. I love that blue dress.

Donna MacMeans said...

Sonali - I'm not sure about the rooster but I wouldn't mind staying a while in Fiji (grin).

Ashley - Just wanted to wave hi as I'm really at a loss to give time management tips. Actually, I'm hoping to find some here myself in the comments. While my kids are now adults with working lives of their own, I remember trying to write when they were younger. I used to take my laptop to karate lessons and boy scout meetings and find a relatively quiet spot nearby so I could write while the kids did their thing. Softball and soccer games - I tried to write the old fashioned way with pen and paper, but it's hard to keep one's mind in the nineteenth century, and cheer on the kiddies at the same time (grin).

Good luck keeping all those balls in the air.

Donna MacMeans said...

Wanted to echo Trish's comment - Love that cover!

LSUReader said...

Bless you for writing in the gaps of taking care of such two small ones. I don’t have very much to offer for time management, other than keep the kiddos on schedule at night (as much as that is possible with a 10-month old!) so that you do have dedicated time for yourself. I wouldn’t ingest too much caffeine, but drinking cold water should help keep you awake (and keep your complexion nice, as well!) Good luck in all your efforts.

Virginia said...

Sorry Ashley no help here. With two babies like that I am suprise you have any time at all.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Ashley, welcome to the Lair. I'm always looking for a new historical author and your books sound angsty and tense enough to fit the bill!

Congrats, Sonali, that's two days in a row, isn't it? Aww, go ahead and give the poor chook a taste of the chocolate. He might expire otherwise and we can't have that!

jo robertson said...

About the time management question, Ashley, I'm probably no help at all. Since my little ones have grown up, I've lost all control of my own time!

I do remember, however, having one rather inflexible rule with my children: when the sun goes to bed, so do they. Great in the winter when it gets dark around 6:00 pm (and yes, they did go to bed then), but problematic in the summer LOL.

This gave me and my husband the evenings to relax.

TerriOsburn said...

I say it all the time. I don't know how you do it. And you don't even mention here the other projects you do on a daily basis. :)

Oddly enough, I asked this same question in my own blog today. HOW do you manage the dayjob, the running a house/family, and churn out the pages? Never mind revise those pages to a shine.

My body doesn't react well to losing sleep (or caffeine!) so I'll be scanning these comments for any tips I can get.

Ashley March said...

Helen--Oh, Tim Tams sound great! I'll have to figure out how to get me some. And now I know how to eat them properly, too. ;)

Ashley March said...

Hi marybelle! I've been saying recently that the first thing I'm ever going to do if I win the lottery is to hire a maid so my house will stay clean AND organized. I'm looking forward to the day when March Toddler understands the concept of organization. ;)

Ashley March said...

Hi Dianna! You know, that's what I love about my Kindle. It's so easy to pick up wherever/whenever for a quick read. And I need to read, I've discovered. It helps with my sanity, which I think is missing most of the time with the kids. =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Maureen! Thank you for the congrats! =) And I'm kind of thinking that's going to be the problem once the kids are out of the house...there will ALWAYS be something to do. Good thing is, though, that I'm having a blast doing all of it! (Except for the cleaning, I really do need a maid...or a cabana boy...for that ;)

Ashley March said...

Hi barb! Thanks so much for the congrats! =) Since becoming a SAHM now after working full-time, I too wonder how I used to fit it all in. On the other hand, I sometimes feel like I got more accomplished at work because I had lunch breaks then! =)

Ashley March said...

Oh, Ora, you are one strong woman. 11 months apart! I can't even imagine. And boys! =) Thank you so much for the suggestions, though. I agree with you about the naps. Just this morning I had to do the same thing, although sometimes I wish I had the discipline to get things done (such as the dishes) when they're napping. I LOVE the cookie party idea. =)

Ashley March said...

Thank you, Rebekah E! =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Laurie G! Thank you so much for your post! =) I do have a wonderful husband who helps out tremendously, for which I'm very thankful. I can't imagine those women who do it most of it or all of it themselves. One of our favorite things to do with the girls is to put music on and dance, so I'm hoping like your kids that they'll develop great music preferences. =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Antonia! Thanks so much! =) I think your mom might be onto something. I know the few times I've allowed myself to read a chapter of a book before I start to work at night, it usually lets me relax to the point where I'm more focused afterward. Thanks for this reminder! I'll have to start indulging myself more often. =) (And I'll take any excuse to read!)

Ashley March said...

Hi Trish! Thanks so much. =) I've been very fortunate with the cover art on both books, I think. So good to see you again!

Ashley March said...

Hi Donna! Thanks so much! =) I love to use the excuse that I just can't concentrate unless I have a block of time to devote to writing. That probably needs to change.

Ashley March said...

Hi LSUReader! Thanks for the tips! I had no idea about the cold water. Hmm. Shall have to try that tonight. =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Virginia-Lol. It's okay, I can use sympathy, too. ;)

Ashley March said...

Hi Jo! Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I have a trick I have to admit to you guys. Both of my daughters' rooms have dark blue blackout curtains in them. So even if it's still daylight outside, we can try to put them to bed at their usual bedtimes without any problems. My oldest can still be ornery sometimes, but this has helped SO MUCH with the baby and with late summer hours.

Ashley March said...

Hi Terri! I keep telling myself that one day things will slow down a little. =) Of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm having fun, too. I have learned recently that after becoming ill that I need to shove some things off of my plate that aren't necessary to moving forward with my writing, and I'll be doing exactly that within the next year. It'll be interesting to see if that works, and if I'm tempted to take on more to replace those things I shove off. =)

TerriOsburn said...

Ashley - I spent about 2 yrs saying yes to everything. Plan that conference? Why sure. Coach that softball team while finishing the last quarter of my business degree? Why not?!

It took a lot but I've learned my lesson. I don't even join the PTA now. LOL!

Minna said...

These days I always try to think what I absolutely have to do today and what I can leave until tomorrow and not to try to do everything the same day. Especially now that I've moved I seem to have million things to do. So, instead of trying to do everything the same day, I've put my glasses plates to the cupboards one day, clothes in the closet the next day and so on, so it hasn't been too overwhelming.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Ashley! I find it hard to believe you have time management issues considering what you accomplish! My advice - set small goals everyday!

Eventually, your small children will grow bigger to the point that they can take care of themselves (with adult supervision). By then you'll have a legion of fan letters to answer!

Danielle Gorman said...

Ashley, I am as bad as you. I just wish there was more time in the day. I just stay up all night doing everything.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Ashley and Anna,

Not really likely to be of aid with
the organization problem. As several
of the commenters, I'll also watch
for good hints. Fitting in more time
for reading is my problem, because
sleep seems to cut into my book time!
Hmmm, perhaps I should allow for more
sleep, I did read recently that sleep
deprivation affects brain function.
Or is it that I'm aging too rapidly!!

Oh, well, Thanks for visiting today,
Ashley! Thanks to Anna for bringing
such an interesting new author to us!

Congrats, Sonali!

jo robertson said...

Ashley said, "Both of my daughters' rooms have dark blue blackout curtains in them."

Smart move! My daughters do the same thing! Do both your daughters still nap at the same time? That frees up a bit of writing time LOL.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

HI Ashley! Welcome to the Lair! I have to confess to being fairly good at time management...now. My boys are young, but not quite THAT young. Those ages are "constant motion" ages. And you've got one running (27 mos) and one trying to walk - or crawling REALLY fast. :>

I remember those days, and even the best time management systems can't cope with those rascally fast munchkins. Grins.

Sorry.

That said, congrats on all the laurels for Seducing the Duchess!

Louisa Cornell and I, as fellow Duchesses, approve! Hahaha!

May said...

Ohhhh... two of my favorite authors here together! :)

Anyways, I am definitely not one to give advice on time management. I only have one kid and I still want more time in a day... Coffee helps for sure! :)

Anna Campbell said...

testing, testing...

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, cool, I'm on. Only two comments eaten. Grrr! If I drop out it's because of the internet connection, OK? I'm doing a workshop at the Brisbane Writers Festival today with the lovely Christina Brooke. So it's a mini Bandita reunion!

Thanks so much for making Ashley so welcome, everyone.

Anna Campbell said...

Sonali, congrats on the chook! And no, I think a day without chocolate would be fine. Might even make him behave.

Hmm, not sure about that.

Anna Campbell said...

Sonali, showering in coffee? Eeep!

Anna Campbell said...

Drinking tea like a camel, Louisa? You live and learn in the big city, don't you? Snicker! Speaking of which, I really feel like a cup of tea right now.

Anna Campbell said...

Goodness, Helen! Looks like you're addicted to the stimulants too. You know, Tim Tams and a good romance novel!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Ashley, congratulations on the release of the book and lovely to see you here at the Romance Bandits. As you know, this has been a long time in the planning. We originally set this up when I was at the Orlando RWA conference in July 2010!

Anna Campbell said...

Goodness me, Ashley! You don't know what Tim Tams are? They're our national dish and they're delish! Target over in the US was selling them at one stage. Not sure if they still are. Do we have any Tim Tam reporters out there?

Anna Campbell said...

Mary, I think you're right (even without the small children in the equation). If you make something a priority, you will follow through.

Anna Campbell said...

Maureen, oh, no, sounds like Ashley has many years of loving chaos ahead of her!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, I've definitely read books like that but the best way is just a big long wallow. I'm reading a wonderful Roxanne St Clair right now and I just want to curl up and finish it - isn't it terrible when the world makes you get out and about and you really just want to finish your good book?

Anna Campbell said...

Barb, your life sounds loverley!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Oeamis, what a great idea about the cookie parties. And also has the added benefit of bringing up a couple of males who aren't allergic to the kitchen!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Rebekah! Thanks for swinging by!

Anna Campbell said...

Laurie, what wonderful advice. And I think developing eclectic music tastes is a good thing.

Anna Campbell said...

Antonia, I think having that time that's yours is wonderful - and it helps so much psychologically when you're dealing with stuff perhaps you'd rather not deal with!

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, I was transfixed by that gorgeous dress, too. I love the fashion in historical covers for women in really glamorous gowns.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Donna, that time shift thing can be really tough when you write historicals, isn't it? Wrenching yourself away from a glamorous ball at Almack's to clean the toilet? Not right!

Anna Campbell said...

LSUReader, I'm in awe of people who write and juggle small children. A lot of my writing friends do it and I always feel like a wimp when I complain about the requirements of my time management in comparison.

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, I'm with you! I don't know how she does it!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, is this be kind to chooks week? Sheesh! I'd make the blighter suffer!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, I love the sun and children will not be around after a certain hour rule. Great idea!

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, I'm completely with you on not managing without sleep. I turn into a horrible monster (like the chook on chocolate) when I'm tired.

Anna Campbell said...

Ashley, I agree with you about needing to read. It keeps me sane. When I first got published, I didn't read nearly so much as I used to and I think my creative life suffered. These days, I factor in reading as an essential part of every day.

Anna Campbell said...

Uh-oh! Warning, warning, search Ashley's bags when she leaves for tied-up cabana boys - she SAYS she just wants them to clean but we're not convinced!

Anna Campbell said...

Ashley, sometimes things like illness or injury are a good wake-up call, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, I think for the sake of your own sanity you have to learn to say no occasionally. I used to think the world would end if I did, but somehow it just keeps spinning around.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, I really find lists are great for time management. Even if it's just putting down what I've got to do in a day so it's not a big pile of everything mounting up in my head.

Anna Campbell said...

Kim, I like your thinking!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Danielle, I can't stay up all night. I turn into a monster the next day if I do!

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, there's some great historicals out there at the moment, aren't there? I've been really looking forward to introducing Ashley to the Bandits and Bandita Buddies. I've actually decided that I could solve my problems with a reading clone. And then I could do everything else, no worries! Well, maybe a cleaning clone, too!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, having stayed with you, you need a taxi clone. The boys seems to be going in opposite directions all the time! A chauffeur, that's what you need!

Anna Campbell said...

Awww, May, how lovely. Thank you!

Anna Campbell said...

Phew, caught up! I'm away all day now but I'll try and get back when I can. Thanks again for keeping the pot bubbling when hostess is off painting the town pink!

Laney4 said...

I was a SAHM who typed several hours a day for a living. I typed at nap time and as soon as my husband got home from work (depending on his shifts). I typed through till 3-4 am or so quite often but kept on pushing through, as that's what moms apparently do. I would get up and go to the bathroom just to stretch and take a break. I put ice cubes in my drinks to help keep me awake.
When it was just me and the kids, we went for long walks with the wagon. Sometimes I could read a few pages while pulling that wagon (because where there's a will, there's a way). Sometimes I held a child in my lap on the swing and read a few more pages. And sometimes I read a bunch of pages while in the bathroom when my husband was home (shhhh, he still doesn't know 20 years later).
I had customers coming to my home several times a day. Most times I had a kid on each hip while discussing their assignments.
I cooked roasts for my own family, as well as for lots of relatives, most weekends, and then we had leftovers to carry through the week easily/quickly.
We had tons of weddings, barbecues, parties, etc. to attend, and we did it all. I just didn't get more than 6 hours of sleep at a time. Sometimes I conked out when the kids had their naps, though.
Best of luck, Ashley. As others have said, they'll soon be in school and you will have more time then.

Barbara E. said...

Hmmm, I don't think I'm much help, because I don't have any hints on better time management. As far as staying awake longer, I'm good at that, I never get enough sleep except on the weekends. My method is to get up and do something else when I start getting tired, or just walk around a bit and then go back to whatever it was I was doing.
I'm really looking forward to reading Romancing the Countess. I enjoyed Seducing the Duchess very much.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said:

Jeanne, having stayed with you, you need a taxi clone. The boys seems to be going in opposite directions all the time! A chauffeur, that's what you need!

Yes, yes I do!! :>

Johanna R Jochum said...

Being a stay at home mom, I can relate to time management problems. I actually have less time to do things than when I was working! Weird huh? LOL! I don't have tips but I try to go to bed later (to read and to play on facebook) I get up early to do household chores. Then I have the rest of the day to play or to run errands. I always try to make big easy dinners that I can freeze and use through out the month too. That seems to help. I make simple chore lists for the girls and try to only go to the grocery store only once a week so I'm not constantly running to the market. Thanks for sharing with us today!

Amber said...

Hi Ashley! Congratulations on your new release ROMANCING THE COUNTESS. I really can't wait to read it!

As for tips for time management I have no clue, but I do hope to learn some from other people's comments today. However, I do know to stay awake longer I need to drink plenty of caffeine.

Amber E.

Jen B. said...

I am sitting here writing this exhausted and bleary eyed. I wish I could do with very little sleep or that I could give up taking care of my family or even eating (yeah, right!). Thanks for the giveaway. If I win I will share my good luck with my niece. Yippee!
jepebATverizonDOTnet

LilMissMolly said...

Hi Ashley!
I loved your first book and am really looking forward to the next one. I really wish there were more time in a day, so I could read more! With work, kids and a house that needs cleaned occasionally - plus yard work - I never seem to have time just to relax and read.

Ashley March said...

Hi ladies! I'm back! Where did we leave off at the party? =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Terri--I have a feeling that I'm going to get there soon. Which is kind of sad to me, because I WANT to do everything. I just wish there was more time in the day and I didn't have to sleep. =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Minna! I like this approach. Someone (I wish I could remember who) recently told me that I should just write down the three most important things I have to get done in the day, make sure I do those, then move on. Sounds good in theory. Now I just need to practice it. =)

Ashley March said...

Aloha, Kim! Lol--that's so nice to hear, thank you! I think you're right about the small steps. I am trying really hard right now not to wish for the girls to be older; I already hate how fast they're growing! But I am definitely looking forward to the self-care thing. ;)

Ashley March said...

Hi Danielle! This is just another thing we have in common. ;) If you figure it out first, let me know! =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Pat! Oh, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that thing about sleep deprivation affecting the brain. (maybe this is why I threw the sippy cup in the trash the other day and the napkin in the sink...) Yes, let's not talk about that. ;)

Ashley March said...

Hi Jo! We're lucky if they nap at the same time. Fortunately, the baby swing helps with the 10mo, but we can never know when the toddler will decide that she's going to nap. We try--really hard. But she's stubborn. Not that she gets that from me, or anything... ;)

Ashley March said...

Lol. Hi, Jeanne! Or should I say, Your Grace? =) Yes, you're completely right--the 10mo crawls REALLY fast, and if I gave in all the time she would use me to walk her whenever she's awake. I'm praying right now that she's going to start walking on her own soon, just because a lot of her frustration seems to come from her inability to do so. She wants to follow after her sister, of course. =) I'd love to hear of your time management tips!

Ashley March said...

Hi May! *waving* *writes coffee on grocery list* =) I'll try anything right now, lol.

Ashley March said...

Hi Laney4! Thanks for visiting with me today! =) You sound like the woman I'm trying to be right now. =) And yes...I have to admit that I have recently started reading in the bathroom just for some "me" time. Lol. I look forward to the day when I don't have to use that excuse anymore. Thank you for the encouragement! I have hope now! =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Barbara! I think you might have hit on something there with the moving around. I'm definitely lacking that at night. However, now I have even less of an excuse not to exercise... ;) Hope you enjoy ROMANCING THE COUNTESS!

Ashley March said...

Hi Johanna! Yes, I can completely understand what you mean by having less time now than you did while working. I feel the same way! I've been meaning to try to do those once-a-week cook freeze-the-rest meal plans for a while, but *ahem* can never seem to find the time. =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Amber! Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it! =) I hear you on the caffeine. I'm actually starting to think I need a plan in the morning, too, because I'm frequently so out of it from staying up late that it takes me FOREVER to get started in the morning. Maybe if I start drinking coffee, it'll help with that, too. =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Jen B.! =D Thanks for stopping by--I hope you get enough sleep for both of us! =)

Ashley March said...

Hi LilMissMolly! =) Do you have a long commute to work? One of things that I was thinking about doing before I became a SAHM again was investing in audio books so I could at least get some "reading" in that way. I had an hour's commute both way and that would have meant 2 full hours. Not bad, I think. =)

Ashley March said...

Hi Anna! I hope you guys are having a blast! =) Thanks again for hosting me today. The long wait was well worth it. ;) I think I actually have heard of Tim Tams before, but didn't actually know what they were. Hopefully I'll be able to come to the 2013 conference and see for myself, if Target no longer carries them. =)

Sheree said...

Hm, when my niece was a baby, I demonstrated how to do bicep curls with her and scared my mother. However, I think your baby is too big to do that exercise with.

Jo's Daughter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blodeuedd said...

That is so cool, send to a friend :D

And aye here I am again, lusting after this book lol

Lexi said...

I have three kids at home, a two year old and 9 mo old twins...and I can't even fathom how you manage to write (very successfully I might add because I loved Romancing the Countess) and keep up with your two girls! Your amazing! I keep up sort of, my house is usually a mess, and after the kids are in bed I steel a few minutes with a good book before falling asleep. Not quite so amazing.
But I still love it!

Linda said...

Hi Ashley
I hope that you won't abandon the Historical Romance genre for contemporary. I love Hist. Rom but don't much read contemporary. Somehow I just like books which are totally different from what can be experienced now. Kinda explains why i read SFF & Historical Romance.

I'm lucky. I get away with 3-4 hrs of sleep every night. I reckon that equates to having an additional 5 hrs in a normal day! How's that for time management? LOL

thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

Anna Campbell said...

Laney, wow, what an amazing story! I love that you kept what made you sane as well as what you had to do. Yay, you!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, by the way, I'm back home now. Had a wonderful time at the festival but didn't manage any more internet time for various reasons. Looks like the party carried on perfectly fine without me, though!

Anna Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Barbara, cool you enjoyed Seducing the Duchess. Actually I just feel permanently sleep-deprived. I wonder if that's just normal. And isn't that an awful thought? Mind you, I had MANY late nights while I was away so I'm definitely feeling the need for ZZZZZs right now.

Anna Campbell said...

Johanna, they're some good hints about time management! Good on you!

Anna Campbell said...

Amber, caffeine seems to be the time management tool of choice. Have you noticed?

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, good luck in the draw. I hear you on the bleary-eyed bit. I was a bit of a social butterfly over the weekend! My liver isn't happy!

Anna Campbell said...

Molly, reading keeps me sane. I sacrifice other things to make room for it (ahem, housework!).

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, cool, Ashley! We'd love to see you down under!

Anna Campbell said...

Sheree, bicep curls sound kinda scary!

Anna Campbell said...

JD, I've heard that about oatmeal. I've also heard it zaps the bad cholesterol too. Hmm, clearly it's SUPER food!

Anna Campbell said...

Blodeuedd, I think the friend thing is great too!

Anna Campbell said...

Lexi, sounds like you've got your hands full too. I admire you girls. I don't think I could do it and still manage to write!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Linda, 3-4 hours a night? I'd be a raving loony!

Anna Campbell said...

OK, looks like I've caught up. Thank you so much to Ashley and all the wonderful people who swung by to wish Romancing the Countess well. I'll put up a prize announcement over the next day or so - so stay tuned.