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Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway from Author Ashley March

Book cover of Romancing the Countess by Ashley March Elise Rome

I'm absolutely thrilled to have author Ashley March here today as part of her blog tour for her newest release, Romancing the Countess!  If you haven't read any of Ashley's works yet, you're in for something special.  Romancing the Countess and Seducing the Duchess were some of my favorite releases over the past year, and I loved the plot twist in Ashley's recent novella, Romancing Lady Cecily.  Not only does Ashley have a gorgeous way with words, but her characters and plots are refreshing and so very real.  Be sure to check out her blog and follow her on Twitter for her insight on all things romance and non-romance.  Thank you so much, Ashley, for stopping by and giving readers a taste of all the characters in Romancing the Countess!

An Introduction to the Secondary Characters in ROMANCING THE COUNTESS

Picture of author Ashley March author Elise RomeThanks so much to Sarah for hosting me at The Brazen Bookworm today as I continue celebrating the release of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS!

I have to admit, one of the parts of writing a book that’s the most fun for me is coming up with the characters in the supporting cast. Not only do authors get to make up their names, but they also get to create secondary characters’ quirks and flaws. I once heard that in order for a secondary character to seem as real and three-dimensional as the hero and heroine, they should have their own goals and motivations as well. I try to keep this in mind whenever I create a new character, and I hope it shows in my writing.

Dear Reader, please allow me to introduce you to the main supporting cast of ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, in order of appearance. =)

Ian George, deceased husband of Leah George, our heroine:
Though dead, Ian plays an important role in the book as he epitomizes Leah’s past failure as a wife; handsome, popular, and outgoing, he was Leah’s idea of a fairytale prince and Sebastian’s best friend.

Angela Madinger, Countess of Wriothesly, deceased wife of Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, our hero:
Though also dead, Angela’s letters to Ian are featured in snippets throughout the story; beautiful and kind, she is the ideal aristocratic lady who just happened to fall in love with her husband’s best friend.

James Madinger, brother to Sebastian:
After Ian, Sebastian’s best friend as well as his brother. He is loyal, witty, and a fantastic uncle to Sebastian’s son Henry.

Adelaide Hartwell, mother to Leah:
The woman who has pushed Leah to be perfect her entire life. Critical and selfish, she believes that the end always justifies the means and that good intentions can erase any offense when it comes to her daughters.

Beatrice Hartwell, sister to Leah:
The object of her mother’s criticisms when Leah is not around, she remains quiet and obedient in order to avoid Adelaide Hartwell’s wrath. Inside, however, lurks a woman desperate to be as free as Leah.

Herrod, the butler at Linley Park, the George country estate where the house party is held:
The best of servants, Herrod is loyal, faithful, and shows his protective nature when a certain earl threatens to enter Leah’s bedchamber.

Alfred Dunlop, a guest at the house party:
Friend to the Baron Cooper-Giles. Attends the house party because he learns Miss Pettigrew, an heiress, will be attending, and he needs a bride to save him from failed investments.

Baron Cooper-Giles, a guest at the house party:
Friend to Alfred Dunlop. Also interested in Miss Pettigrew for her status as heiress.

Mrs. Meyer, a guest at the house party:
An older matron, she is kind but possesses more air than brains in her head. Friends with Lady Elliot, who also attends the house party.

Mr. Meyer, Mrs. Meyer’s husband and another guest at the house party:
Quiet, reserved.

Miss Pettigrew, a guest at the house party:
Daughter of a wealthy banker, she was sent to the house party by her father, who wishes her to marry an aristocrat; however, she is secretly in love with her father’s clerk. Although the party began among rumors of scandal, it’s the first time she’s been invited to a house party and her father seizes the opportunity for her to make friends among the ton.

Mrs. Thompson, Miss Pettigrew’s hired companion and another guest at the house party:
Book cover of Romancing the Countess by Ashley March (historical romance novel)Required to attend the house party as Miss Pettigrew’s chaperone, the widow is arrogant and contemptuous of Miss Pettigrew, though she hides it well. She may also hide a secret scandal in her past.

Lady Elliot, a guest at the house party:
Eccentric and direct, but also kind and loyal, Lady Elliot becomes a friend of sorts to Leah. As one of London’s premier gossipers, she’s attended the house party so she can be the first to report of any scandal.  

Lord Elliot, Lady Elliot’s husband and another guest at the house party:
An obedient husband to Lady Elliot, he is also the husband whom she boasts of as well-endowed.

Mrs. Neville, a dressmaker in Swindon:
She creates a rather scandalous ballgown for Leah.

Viscount Rennell, Leah George’s father-in-law (Ian’s father):
He loves Leah as his own daughter, but he must be careful to follow Society’s rules, he is the father Leah wishes she could have for herself.

Henry Madinger, Sebastian’s son:
Between one and two years old throughout the story, he is young and adventurous and adorable. Unfortunately, some believe he looks more like Ian George than Sebastian.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little about the supporting cast of ROMANCING THE COUNTESS! If you haven’t read the book yet, which of these characters would you be interested to read in their own book, just from the description given above? If you have read the book, which character are you dying to see in their own love story?

One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting
Romance Novel Book Reviews by Sarah The Brazen Bookworm (historical romance author Ashley March)


  1. Hi ladies

    I think Miss Pettigrew needs her own HEA based on the descriptions here. Can't have her being married off for money.

  2. I totally agree, Beebs! I'd also love to see poor Beatrice get out from under her mother's thumb!

  3. I'm with you about Beatrice Hartwell. I would love to hear her story too.


  4. I would love to read Miss Pettigrew's book. I really hope her love story will have a happy ending. Maybe not now, but after few years...

  5. Beatrice Hartwell sounds like she'd make a great heroine in her own story.


  6. I would like to know about Mrs. Thompson and her scandalous past!

  7. I have to agree with the majority at this point. Miss Pettigrew has the foundation of a terrific HEA based on the description.

    Thanks to much for the giveaway and congratulations Ashley! I have heard all good things about this book!

  8. I haven't read this book before but only from a few lines of description, I can already relate to Beatrice Hartwell. Her own love story would be adorable and well deserved!



  9. I would love to read about Miss Pettigrew and Beatrice. I was disappointed when you told me they wouln not be in your new series. I would love to know what happens with Miss Pettigrew's unsuitable love. I also think James would make a wonderful hero.

  10. I think that I would like to know more about Mrs. Thompson too. I'm curious as to why she feel's so bitter towards Miss Pettigrew.

    I have to say that I think it's brilliant that you've given us a cast of characters. It's nice to know something about them before one starts reading the book.

    Thank you for this opportunity Ashley.

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  11. Wow! Thanks for an awesome post! It's fun to have different descriptions of books and your cast of characters is brilliant! I'd have to agree w/ the majority and say Beatrice Hartwell and Miss Pettigrew. I haven't read the books, but it's always the sisters who need to have their own spinoffs!

    Thanks for the wonderful post and giveaway!


  12. I think I would love to read more about James Madinger and his HEA!


  13. Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for having me here today! =)

  14. Hi Beebs! =) Ah, Miss Pettigrew. Do you know that throughout ROMANCING THE COUNTESS I never gave her a first name? If anything else, I might need to write her own story so she can have one. =)

  15. Hi Sarah! Beatrice would be fun to write, I think. And I kind of like the idea of showing Adelaide Hartwell she's not in control of her, either. =) (And thank you so much for the lovely intro today!)

  16. I would definitely like to see Beatrice get her own story!
    Thanks for an awesome giveaway:)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  17. Hi marybelle! Regarding Beatrice. As you know, the saying goes: It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for. ;)

  18. Hi Natalija! I have to admit that after I finished writing ROMANCING THE COUNTESS I really wanted to write Miss Pettigrew's book. Alas, my publisher wanted to leave RtC as a stand-alone. However, I think this is a good idea. We see so many books where the guy goes after the girl--I'd love to write one where the girl goes after the guy. =)

  19. Hi Alexis! Thanks for visiting with me today! =) I also think it would be fun to write a heroine named Beatrice. Such a quiet name, something that might hide someone really amazing. =)

  20. Oh, Cathy, you're a woman after my own heart! I have a secret fondness for Mrs. Thompson, as she seems like a great flawed character to me. =)

  21. Hi GzNKz4evr! Thank you so much for the congrats. I'm so happy to hear you say that about RtC, as it was not the easiest book to write! =) (And thanks for your vote!)

  22. Hi Molly! I can relate to Beatrice, too. =) Actually, my mother was quite wonderful, but my childhood was still kind of strict. Thanks for your comment!

  23. Hi Ora! =) I am so glad that I can now say that I have the freedom to write about whoever I want! Thanks so much for your vote for Miss Pettigrew and Beatrice. I also think James would be a lot of fun to write. =)

  24. They all sound intriguing but I would really love to read Beatrice Hartwell's story as well as James Madinger's (maybe together? ;) ).

    claudigc at msn dot com

  25. Oh, thank you, Diane! I'm so glad you liked the post. =) I thought of it kind of like when you go to a play and you can see a little of everyone's backstory before the play begins. And I'd like to know a little more about Mrs. Thompson myself. ;)

  26. Thank you, Erin! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! =) And I completely agree with you about sister spinoffs--after all, we already know the character; it seems such a waste not to tell their love story, too. =)

  27. Hi jeanette8042! I have to admit that James only shows up a few times in the book, but when he does everything about him makes me want to write his HEA. =) Thanks for your vote!

  28. Oh, Claudia. =D There you go putting ideas in my head! I shall definitely have to think about this one... =)

  29. Hi Julie! =) I kind of like that idea, too. Especially after what ClaudiaGC suggested. ;)

  30. Sounds wonderful! I have to read it! Thanks!


  31. Wonderful post! I love reading about the characters and look forward to reading the book. I would have to say that James sounds nice and rarely do you see books about nice guys.

  32. I have yet to read the book, and it sounds as if Beatrice Hartwell deeply needs her story told! And needs a wonderful hero :-)


  33. Thanks for stopping by, Margaret! Good luck with the giveaway! =)

  34. Hi anonymous! I have to say that I think you're right--it's rare to read about nice guys, especially in historical romance. And I think James would be a great nice guy hero. =)

  35. Hi Chelsea! Thanks for your comment. =) It looks like we're about even with people who want to see a story from Beatrice and Miss Pettigrew.

  36. Even though I think Beatrice deserves her HEA, I would like to read Adelaide's HEA. I want to see you make her sympathetic enough to be a heroine. :) (because even with the epilogue, I still have my doubts)

    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

  37. I would love to see Beatrice get her own story. I like to meet the man that will give her the freedom to let loose her inner vixen. LOL


  38. I haven't read it (yet) but fingers & toes are crossed! I think Beatrice Hartwell would make an excellent choice - I love it when a put-upon girl breaks out to a confident woman.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  39. Definitely Beatrice. She needs to find her own HEA and to get away from Mommy Dearest!

  40. I want to read Beatrice's story!

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at yahoo (dot) com

  41. Haven't read the book yet, but would love a story about James ,Beatrice or Alfred.

  42. Hi Sheree! Oh, this is a good one. =) I do, however, think that if Beatrice's story is written, Adelaide would have to have a character arc in that story. Having two daughters "turn against her" would surely make her look at her own behavior and actions with a close eye...wouldn't it? ;)

  43. Hi Tina! Thanks for weighing in. =) I wonder if so many people are voting for Beatrice because we all want to let loose, too. ;)

  44. Hi Di! You ladies are really making me want to write her story now, lol, and my schedule is already full. If I stay up an extra hour every night and go to bed at 3am... =)

  45. Hi LSUReader! You're right, of course. =) Not only does a girl deserve a good man, but she also deserves getting a little peace in her life.

  46. Thanks for commenting, Robin! The votes are definitely stacking in her favor right now. =)

  47. Hi Anonymous! Oh, Alfred--no one else has brought him up yet. And can't you just imagine a hero named Alfie? =)

  48. From just the descriptions above, I think I would like to see James Madinger get his own story because it sounds like he has all the qualities that would make him a good romantic hero :)


  49. I read the book and I would love to see a story between Miss Pettigrew and James Madinger. Jame seems like rake while Miss Pettigrew thinks she is in love with one of her father's worker but I think if these two meet then I can see sparks flying between them

  50. I think it would be interesting to see what Mrs. Thompson would be like in her own romance adventure. I kind of like irascible people with a dark past!
    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  51. Sure glad Mrs. Neville created such a scandalous dress, it makes quite the beautiful cover art!


Thank you for your comments!

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