The Proposition by Katie Ashley ~ Happy “Book” Anniversary ~ Giveaway

7154_10151545916845851_642253540_nLast year I was stumbled upon the book The Proposition by Katie Ashley, purely by accident. Although I thought the book sounded intriguing, I was even more intrigued by this new author (who friended me on Goodreads) because she lived about 30 minutes away from me. So I purchased The Proposition and immediately fell in love with Aidan Fitzgerald and thus began my friendship with Katie Ashley.  (Of course, don’t let that fool you.  Katie will definitely tell you that I am one of her toughest critics!)  Yes, Aidan is my #2 book boyfriend, and I have greatly missed him.  I remember the night I finished reading The Proposal, I had dinner with Katie, JB McGee, and Yesi, and I was sulking and already going through withdrawal of that beast of a man named Aidan!

In honor of  the anniversary of The Proposition, below are my reviews The Proposition, The Proposal, and The Party!  Congratulations Katie, Krista, or whatever the hell your name is! Continue reading

Review: The Party ~ a FREE Novella by Katie Ashley

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Title:  The Party (The Proposition #.05)
Author:  Katie Ashley
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Rating:  5 out of 5 Star

The Party is a FREE novella on Smashwords which author Katie Ashley has offered to her fans for their incredible support.  Having read The Proposition and The Proposal, I felt The Party really brought this series full circle for me and helped me understand Emma and Aidan’s personalities so much more.

In this novella we learn more about Emma and Aidan’s lives before their first encounter at the work Christmas party. My heart ached for Emma while listening to her desperate plea to Connor for him to be the sperm donor so should could have a baby. And although Aidan was always referred to as a manwhore, we really get to experience what a jerk he truly was/is.

If you haven’t read The Proposition and the sequel, The Proposal, I still advise you to read those first and come back The Party. I think you will appreciate The Party so much more if you read them in the order in which they were written. We’ll get to see more of Aidan and Emma this summer with The Pairing: A Companion Novel to The Proposition and The Proposal.

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Click on the links to read my review of The Proposition and The Proposal.

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Photo created by Cris at The Book Avenue Review.

Exclusive Cover Reveal of THE PARTY ~ A FREE Novella from Katie Ashley Coming Your Way on Friday

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FREE ON SMASHWORDS

As most of you know, we are huge Katie Ashley fans.  So imagine our surprise and excitement when she offered to give us the privilege of announcing her new novella, The Party (a prequel to The Proposition).  Heck, we didn’t even know she was writing one.  We knew we would see more of Emma and Aidan in The Pairing coming in the summer.  But we knew nothing about this novella, which is going to be FREE on Amazon and Barnes & Noble beginning Friday!  Squeeee!  Thank you Katie; we can never have enough Aidan.  If you have read The Proposition or The Proposal, you can still read this novella, but what are you waiting for?  So without further ado, I present to you THE PARTY:

Coming off a break-up with his latest “friend with benefits”, the last thing Aidan Fitzgerald needs is a family hassle about his bachelor status. But after standing up as godfather for his great-nephew, Mason, that’s just what he gets at the Christening Party.  Escaping the wrath of his father and sisters, he wants nothing more than to get to the company Christmas party.  There he knows he can knock back a few stiff drinks and find some new no-strings-attached girl to take home for the night.

The last thing Emma Harrison wants is to attend another party—least of all one at work. After throwing the annual life celebration (for the anniversary of her fiancée’s death) with close friends, she’s finally gotten the courage to take matters into her own hands and become a mother. Convincing her slightly inebriated best-friend, Connor, to be her sperm donor was a lot easier than she thought, and all that’s left now is to start the process.  But at her best friend and work colleague, Casey’s, insistence, she decides to make an appearance at the company Christmas party for her new boss’s sake.

Neither Aidan nor Emma could imagine what fate had in store for them at the party.

Purchase The Proposition:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Purchase The Proposal:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

And just to entice you a little more to read these books, be sure to watch the book trailers made by the fabulous Cris over at The Book Avenue Review, one of our favorite sister sites.

Who is YOUR Book Boyfriend this Valentine’s Day?

What if someone asked you to choose ONLY ONE of the many guys you’ve fallen in love with (in reading of course) to be your book boyfriend? *shakes head* Nope! I can’t do it! Every time I read a book, especially romance, a little bit of my heart goes to each one of those guys. So thank you to every favorite author of mine for creating such swoon-worthy men! ;) It was a very hard decision for me and I couldn’t choose just one so here are my men. Drumroll please….*drumrolls*…. (announcer voice) TIED FOR FIRST PLACE ARE: Aidan Fitzgerald (The Proposition, The Proposal by Katie Ashley) and Michael Andris (Boycotts & Barflies by Victoria Michaels)!

Who is Michael AndrisYes once again I’m professing my love for Michael; he just gets me every darn time!  I’ve mentioned Boycotts & Barflies time and time again and it’s only because it’s a must read story! If you haven’t met Mr. Andris and his “piercing blue eyes” yet, please hurry and buy the book! Rosette & I were even lucky enough to chat with Michael and ask him some juicy questions. Grace you lucky girl ;) I posted the pic to the left because I still haven’t placed a face/person for him. Let me know if you envision someone as our lovable bartender!

Aidan - Charlie (2)Aidan. Fitzgerald. Marketing VP.  Wears Suits. *sigh* You all know what a man in a suit does to me. Thank goodness for Michelle and her insistence for me to read Katie Ashley’s work. PLUS I was urged even more when she gave BOTH books wonderful 5 star reviews! Check them out here: The Proposition & The Proposal.  While reading, I got those heart clenches that I usually do when I feel like the book is going to be a favorite of mine; and as it so happens, they both are! :) Aidan is the guy you find to be so full of himself and then you realize he actually has a heart. UGH! You got me Katie! I was in love the moment I met…er…READ…about him ;) “Aidan Fitzgerlad rubbed his blurring blue eyes.” Gosh, blue eyes get me every time!

Leave a comment or tweet us who your #BookBoyfriend is this Valentine’s Day! Hope you all have a great one! :*

Buy all the books NOW! :)

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Review: The Proposal by Katie Ashley

 Title:  2940016080338_p0_v1_s260x420The Proposal
Author:  Katie Ashley
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars

“It’s the love that goes through the hardest trials and survives that’s worth having.”

Okay, let’s face it, we all have book boyfriends.  It’s fun.  It’s safe.  But it’s something common that all of us women bond over and talk and swoon about.  Kellan Kyle has been my one consistent book boyfriend (with a few runner ups).  Well, that was until Aidan Fitzgerald came into my life.

I was first introduced to Aidan when I read The Proposition back in October.  Whew, I was so glad The Proposal came out in January close to its originally planned published date.   The night that I finished reading The Proposal I was already having Aidan withdrawals, and I kept thinking, “Why can’t he be real?”  And I was sad too knowing that most of Aidan and Emma’s story had been told, although they will be appearing in a companion novel.  That my friends, tells you what a fantastic writer Katie Ashley is as she has written a real, relatable character who has truly captured my heart and the hearts of so many other women.

The Proposal in short is about Aidan’s redemption for “screwing up!”  What was he honestly thinking when he decided to go home with another woman at the end of The Proposition besides the fact that he was scared and wanted to push Emma away?   Aidan was “absolutely broken by the ghosts of the past and present,” and he had a different way of dealing with those ghosts.

I did promise my late mother I would one day have children.  But it was also about being able to find redemption with myself…and with God.  I thought if I could help you bring a baby into the world, it might take away the hurt of the past.”

Unfortunately, Emma has endured quite a bit of stress lately, which lands in her the hospital with pre-term contractions.  She is placed on two weeks of bed rest.  Although Casey adamantly protests, Aidan gladly offers to take Emma home and take care of her during that time.

Let’s face it.  Considering I’m the only one out of the three of us who has a vagina and knows what Em would want, you’re going to need me.”

This is where Aidan’s redemption definitely comes into play, and we see a completely different side of him.  He is sweet, caring, attentive, and trying to become the man Emma wants him to be.  (But Emma soon reminds him that she fell in love with the “old” Aidan.)  You will also see another side of Emma, not the strong, confident woman that you saw in The Proposition.  Why?  Well, she’s pregnant and her hormones are going crazy!  One minute she’s crying, the next minute she’s not, she can’t decide what she wants.  I could definitely relate to those fluctuating hormones as well as the self-doubt.

I’m glad having Noah is a way you feel you can repent for what you did.  It’s never too late for redemption, Aidan.”

Don’t ever think Noah’s in the way. He will always be the string that ties us together. He’s our love growing inside you. He may not be the reason why I fell in love with you, but he’s the reason why I got another chance at life. You saved me, Emma.”

Of course, we do have a little “drama” when we enter Dr. Alpesh Nadeen into the story who is quite attracted to the beautiful Emma.  I am not going to post any spoilers about his role in their relationship or his relationship with Emma.  I love that once again the family, friends, as well as Beau, are involved throughout much of the book.  Family is very important to me so this is definitely a plus!    And, of course, I can’t forget to mention the use of a few old and new words:  douchnozzle, twatwaffle, and douchcanoe, just to name a few.

The banter between Em and Aidan is priceless, the love scenes tender, and the sex scenes on fire so get your extinguishers ready.  The story comes full circle and once again proves that love always prevails.

If I don’t clean my plate, are you going to spank me, Mommy?
No, but I will force feed you myself like the damn petulant toddler you insist on acting like.”

You’re the sexiest, most beautiful pregnant woman I’ve ever seen.
Aw, baby, you’re so sweet. But you don’t have to keep complimenting me because you’re so getting laid tonight.”

Once again, Katie Ashley, you have done a fantastic job in making me fall in love with the characters all over again, and even more so this time!

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Big Mama’s Homemade BBQ (Katie Ashley ~ The Proposal)

BBQ Sauce Ingredientsbbq-pulled-pork-240x240-Crock-Pot-BBQPldpk

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  • In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.
  • Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Roast Directions

  • Pork shoulder roast (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • Place pork roast in CROCK-POT® slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 10 to 12 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours.
  • Remove pork roast from CROCK-POT® slow cooker; discard cooking liquid. Shred pork with two forks.

Serve pulled pork with BBQ sauce and buns.

The Proposal ~ Katie Ashley

Title:  The Proposal (sequel to The Proposition)
Author:  Katie Ashley
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publish Date:  January 11, 2013

2940016080338_p0_v1_s260x420Book Synopsis:
In the weeks following Aidan’s betrayal, Emma has tried her best to move on. Ignoring his countless texts, voice mails, and flowers, she isn’t sure she wants to be won back by him. But Aidan isn’t going down without a fight—especially not until Emma lets him reveal the secret of his past that caused him to be so commitment phobic.

But fate intervenes when premature labor forces Emma on strict bed rest for two weeks. Aidan steps forward with a shocking proposal. To prove his love and commitment for her and their unborn son, he will take a leave of absence from work to care for her around the clock. Vowing to guard her heart, Emma reluctantly agrees.

While she is touched by Aidan’s attentiveness and tender loving care, Emma is thrown for a loop by the amorous attentions of ER doctor, Alpesh “Pesh” Nadeen. Pesh is everything Emma could ever want—successful, stable, and ready to settle down and be a husband and father. Pesh wants nothing more than to win Emma’s heart, but she is not sure she’s able to give it.

Her heart may still belong to the very man who broke it—the one who is so desperately trying to win her back.

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Click on the links below to order your copy of The Proposal

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Amazon UK | Smashwords

Author Spotlight ~ Getting to Know the “Real” Katie Ashley

545339_133293510162340_822372535_nThank you for joining us today Katie.  Why don’t we start by you telling us a little bit about Katie Ashley.

Well, I love piña coladas   and walks in the rain…just kidding! I’m a born and raised Georgia girl. I’ve lived in the same town my entire life. Up until December, I’ve spent the last eleven and a half years as a MS and HS English teacher. I’m now a full-time writer, which is an amazing blessing!

I’m a huge animal lover. I have two dogs, Chance and Duke, and a cat named, Sam.

I love to travel, but I’m also a big homebody. I love just having people over, watching movies, or talking over good food. Although I’m an only child, I come from a large extended family. My faith as a Christian is one of the most important facets of my life.

Katie Ashley is in fact a pen name, which accounts for why Emma’s middle name is Katherine!  I’m not so obsessed with my name that I meant to do that.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

It’s a mixture of both. Someone once told me, “To write well, you have to write what you know.” At the time, I didn’t quite understand that—I just knew I wanted to be a writer, and it felt demeaning(I was nineteen at the time, lol) But with time, maturity, and wisdom, I’ve come to embrace that statement as a personal mantra with my writing.

Without the personal loss I’ve experienced in my life, there would be no Proposition or Proposal. Like Emma, I’ve lost my parents—my father died of cancer when I was seventeen, almost eighteen, and I lost my mother to cancer as well when I was twenty-three. Emma’s desires for motherhood are also my own. Love of family, strong faith, and good friends are also an integral part of my life, and they are a staple of every book I write.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write in The Proposition/Proposal and why?

Oh that’s too hard!! There’s so many scenes I love in both books. In The Proposition, I love Aidan and Emma’s first encounter and then drinks at O’Malley’s, then Aidan’s nephews and the pool scene, and when Emma meets Patrick and Aidan meets Granddaddy and Grammy.

The hardest was Aidan’s betrayal in The Proposition. In The Proposal, it was trying to find the balance to illustrate Emma’s dilemma. It’s ironic because people who were hating Aidan at the end of The Proposition were so quick to forgive him, yet so unforgiving of the position Emma found herself in. Not only is she inexperienced with men, but she’s six months pregnant. It’s quite a predicament to be in, hormonally and emotionally. But I can understand why readers were ready to throttle her.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Hmm, that’s a tough one.  I’ve earned my stripes, so to speak, by trudging through the trenches the last three years seeking out traditional publishing.  I’ve had two literary agents, two almost publishing deals with two different books, and I’ve gotten countless rejections.  So, I guess you could say that I’m pretty war-torn and thick skinned.  However, having Emma’s motives questioned (that she wanted a child to combat her loneliness and grief was selfish and irresponsible) by some readers was very hurtful and felt almost like a personal attack.

The best compliment….every time someone loves your book. That it kept them up, that they let the world disappear, that they fell in love with your characters, that they laughed and cried and swooned…those are the most magical words an author can hear.  I can’t tell you the times since The Proposition and The Proposal have come out that I just sit at my computer with either a beaming smile or happy tears sparkling in my eyes.

How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while?

Lol, I am such a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal.  Many times, I just write when the mood hits me.  I also work well under pressure.  Most people would probably be surprised to know that most of The Proposition was written in a month.  When it comes, it flows.  Usually though, the story, images, or certain scenes have been with me for days when I finally sit down.

Some authors listen to music while writing, others prefer a quiet space. Which is your reference? If you do listen to music, do you have a playlist? Care to share?

Most of the time, I write in silence or to movie scores like Last of the Mohicans, Meet Joe Black, Legends of the Fall or Lord of the Rings.  If I listen to songs with lyrics, I get lost in the music and lose my train of thought!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmm, maybe plotting in the most unlikely places—in the shower, driving down the road, in meetings, lol. I may look 100% present, but I’ve got a movie going on in my mind.

You’ve been given the task to host a last-minute dinner party. Which authors are on your ultimate dinner invitation list? Alive or Dead.

Harper Lee, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and Poe…yeah, my English degree and years of teaching are showing through, right?

6 Smooches (first answer that comes to mind)

Cowboy hat or cowboy boots?
Boots….I know, I’m a traitor to The Proposal, right? LOL

Craziest thing in your fridge right now?
The bottle of champagne I bought when it looked as if my Young Adult novel was going to sell to traditional publishers this summer. I think I’ll pop it if The Proposal hits New York Times!

Favorite fictional male (or female) character who you have not written?
It’s a tie between Atticus Finch and Kellan Kyle—I know, those are two major extremes!!

Do you have any birthmarks? If so, where?
Yes, I do have an orange mark in the back of my neck/into hairline.  It’s probably disappeared now, but I know it was one my grandfather told my mother was a sign of his family. Who knows!

Do you believe in love at first sight? 
I believe people can be attracted to each other, and then that can turn into love, but true love often comes from work and the unlikeliest of people.

Can you roll your tongue or tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue?
Um, no….what the heck? LOL I can roll my tongue though.

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Cover Reveal & Synopsis: Katie Ashley’s The Proposal

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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication: January 5, 2013

Synopsis: In the weeks following Aidan’s betrayal, Emma has tried her best to move on. Ignoring his countless texts, voice mails, and flowers, she isn’t sure she wants to be won back by him. But Aidan isn’t going down without a fight—especially not until Emma lets him reveal the secret of his past that caused him to be so commitment phobic.But fate intervenes when premature labor forces Emma on strict bed rest for two weeks. Aidan steps forward with a shocking proposal. To prove his love and commitment for her and their unborn son, he will take a leave of absence from work to care for her around the clock. Vowing to guard her heart, Emma reluctantly agrees.

While she is touched by Aidan’s attentiveness and tender loving care, Emma is thrown for a loop by the amorous attentions of ER doctor, Alpesh “Pesh” Nadeen. Pesh is everything Emma could ever want—successful, stable, and ready to settle down and be a husband and father. Pesh wants nothing more than to win Emma’s heart, but she is not sure she’s able to give it.Her heart may still belong to the very man who broke it—the one who is so desperately trying to win her back.

Cover Vote for Katie Ashley’s The Proposal

Your opinion counts: Katie Ashley is having a difficult time choosing the final cover for The Proposal, the highly anticipated sequel to the The Proposition, which is currently taking the charts by storm.  (The Proposition was released on eBook on October 30, 2012, and is already an Amazon Best Seller at #126)   And since we want Katie to finish writing The Proposal as quickly as possible, why don’t we take this dilemma off of her hands and make the decision for her by popular vote.

You may vote only once for one of the covers shown below. Voting will close at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.  All participating voters will be entered into drawing to win one of Katie’s e-books.  There will be four winners.  Winners can choose an e-book of  The Proposition or The Proposal, which is scheduled for release on January 5, 2013, or sooner!  Squeeee!!!

Cover Option 1

Cover Option 2

VOTING IS CLOSED ~ THANK YOU