Book Blitz: Excerpt & Guest Post - Ashley’s Dream by B.R. Kingsolver

Book Details:

Ashley’s Dream by B.R. Kingsolver 
Publication date: January 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Ashley isn’t looking for love. She has a dream to travel the world, and getting tied down by a man doesn’t fit into her plans. Relationships always get so complicated, and men always lie. It’s better just to have some fun and no one gets hurt.
When she graduates college and the job offers don’t come rolling in, her life continues as usual: working as the manager of a college town bar and hanging out with her friends. Then a tragic event pushes her to take a chance on romance.
But things are not always as they seem, and Ashley’s white knight has secrets. Her friends try to tell her something isn’t right, but her common sense is smothered by his kisses and soft endearments.
When the job offer she has always wanted arrives, will she follow her heart and choose love, or follow her life-long dream?

Purchase: Will be found here come release time (date TBA - Will be in January): Amazon


When Jeff came over after his softball game, I still had a lot of anger and resentment that I hadn’t taken out on Marcie. I didn’t even know it was there until I had another convenient target.
He pulled me into his arms and kissed me, but I pulled away. Walking away from him, I said, “Why didn’t you tell me you were rich? Or that your father’s company is Owens, Hart and Collins?”
“You never asked me. Why, is it important?”
“I guess it isn’t if this is just a temporary fling. I just think it’s polite to let a girl know that you’re never going to take her home to meet your parents. It sort of puts everything in perspective so that she can decide whether or not she’s comfortable just being a casual fuck.”
“Ashley, what is going on? I’m not trying to hold anything back from you. We hardly know each other.”
“Yeah. I was asked earlier today, what your last name is and I didn’t know it. My fault, I guess. Normally you find that sort of thing out on a first date, but I guess we haven’t had our first date yet, have we? We just jumped into the fucking part and left the introductions for later.”
“I’m not the one who did the seducing,” he said. “I told you that we should wait. You’re the one who was hot to trot, and now that’s my fault? You’re being incredibly ungrateful. I think you’ve got issues, and I’m more than willing to let you work them out. Good night.”
He didn’t exactly slam the door, but he didn’t close it gently, either. I stood staring at it with my mouth open. What the hell just happened? The last thing I wanted to do was fight with Jeff. When he knocked on the door, my heart jumped in my chest, and I skipped to the door to answer it. And then I opened my mouth, and the same bitchy crap I’d laid on Marcie earlier came spilling out.
Guest Post

#1 My most memorable negative reviews

I was asked about how I handle negative reviews of my novels. I know that some new authors obsess about negative reviews, to the point of arguing with the reviewer or even asking the reviewer to remove the review. I’ve read some of these exchanges on Goodreads, and the author always comes off looking like a boorish idiot.

Thankfully, I haven’t had too many really negative reviews. My novels have either been well-received, or I assume the reader was so disgusted that they couldn’t bear to think of the book long enough to post something negative.

So, how do I handle a negative review? Cry a bit, drink several shots of vodka, and take a long hot bath. Then wander around in a depressive fog for months, unable to write or even get out of bed in the morning. 


Everyone gets bad reviews. If you look at Amazon or Goodreads, you’ll see bestselling books with a thousand five-star reviews and twenty one-star reviews. It happens. Reading is such an exercise in personal attraction. Almost every Nobel Prize winner has some negative reviews.

But there are some one-star reviews that I remember fondly because they made me laugh.

This review on my first novel, The Succubus Gift, stands out. “Read it as it was written by a favorite author, but did not like it at all and will be cautious about future works by an author who previously had written some of my favorite reads.”
As I said, this was my first novel. The reviewer obviously thought that the book was written by my famous cousin. I guess if my name was Smith, this would happen far more often.
The other one that I will always treasure was also about The Succubus Gift. The reviewer said that the succubus main character not being monogamous bothered her, and gave it three stars. Then she edited the review the following day and gave it two stars. Her reason was that the book was “too mature” for a 22-year-old character. A couple of days later, she reduced it to a one-star rating. She said the ideas in the book made her so uncomfortable that she couldn’t get the book out of her head.
I think that any author would be proud of actually making a reader think. 

  Relationships in NA - A Disturbing Trend in New Adult

One of the hottest categories in popular literature is New Adult, usually defined as having protagonists in the 18-25 age range and involving “coming of age” themes. Its detractors are calling it Young Adult plus sex, or Older YA Smut.
I’ve also become increasingly aware of a trend in NA that I find disturbing. If you check the list of recommended NA books on Goodreads, four of the top five on the list are romances that involve abusive relationships. All of these books are best sellers, and their authors have developed rabid followings. All of them also appear on Goodreads shelves for “abusive relationships”, “abusive boyfriends”, “books I wouldn’t want my daughter to read”, etc.
I raised this topic on Twitter’s #nalitchat a few weeks ago. Some people agreed with me that this trend disturbed them. But one woman said, “It’s better that a girl find out about abuse from a boyfriend than a husband.” WTF??? I checked, and her NA book involves an abusive relationship. 
Cycles of abuse usually start when the victims are young. Her answer seems to indicate that it’s easier to escape from an abusive relationship if it’s not a legally binding one. Or maybe she thinks that the abuse of a boyfriend is somehow less damaging than the abuse of a husband. I don’t know. Her answer completely baffled me. 
While the myth of the Alpha Male is ubiquitous in romance literature, the domineering Alpha seems to fit better in the Historicals. When I read of a contemporary Alpha who won’t take no for an answer, and a female protagonist (I refuse to call a doormat female a heroine) who says no, but who afterward loves him for “taking” her, I want to throw up. I hope that the myth of enjoyable rape would be completely dispelled in the 21st century.
In all too many of the NA romances, the bad boy takes a break in his busy schedule of devirginating all the bad girls to fall in love with the good girl. She all too often protests silently that she knows he’s bad for her, but gives it up with hardly a whimper when he turns his deadly charisma in her direction.
And that is what bothers me. Go to Amazon and read the 1-star reviews for the best-selling NA books. A minority of us are outraged by the misogynistic portrayals of NA romance. What is unsettling are the 5-star reviews where young women swoon over the bad-boy Alphas who are treating women like crap. 
Anyone who thinks that men, and teenage boys, are not reading these books is living in a feminine fantasy world. These boys and young men read the 5-star reviews and think that is the way women want to be treated. You can’t tell me that the women writing those reviews don’t fantasize about the hunky Alpha protagonist. How have we reached a point where young men and women are reading about abuse turning into love, book after book after book?
Anyone who thinks it’s realistic that bad boys can be rehabilitated by the love of a good woman needs to read the daily newspaper in their hometown occasionally. Try the police report section. Rehabilitating misogynistic players is not something that happens in real life. They say they’ll reform, and may even act okay for a while ... before they land in jail for killing their lovers.
The reformed abuser is a bigger fantasy than vampires and werewolves. This brings me to the question of why literate, educated women are buying this garbage.
I mean, I get it. Who wants to read a novel about an accountant who goes to work every day and faithfully comes home to help with the dishes and play with the kids?
Glittery vampires. Fabio-covered bodice rippers. The Alpha werewolf who both dominates and protects his mate. The abusive billionaire who chooses to be a monogamous abuser. The holy grail of capturing the gorgeous bad boy, reforming him, and making all your friends swoon.
But can’t we write an Alpha who takes no for an answer, just because it’s the right thing to do? An Alpha who respects women? A strong man who doesn’t feel the need to expend his rage on someone smaller than he is?
Sadly, as long as such novels have success, we’ll see more. The portrayals of abuse will get worse. More young women will read them, swoon over the abuser, and perhaps think that their love will somehow magically change an abuser in real life.
Perhaps we should make Looking for Mr. Goodbar required reading in high school.
  10 things you wish every aspiring writer would know?

1-All writing needs editing.
2-No one is qualified to edit their own writing.
3-Typos, misspellings, homophone confusion, and poor punctuation pull the reader out of the story.
4-Writing should be invisible. The reader should never notice the writing, only the story.
5-If someone thinks a section or a sentence is confusing, there will be other people who think so.
6-Don’t fall in love with a sentence or a scene, if it needs to be revised or cut to make the story better, then bite the bullet.
7-Unless you’re writing a historical novel, such as a regency romance, avoid flowery writing.
8-Read your dialog out loud. If it doesn’t sound realistic, if your character would not speak that way, then fix it.
9-Don’t force the characters to do things that are contrary to their natures.
10-The final product needs to be perfect, the first draft doesn’t. Don’t get hung up on the little things early. Write the story, then worry about revising and editing. 

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and somehow found a career working with computers.

As to my other interests, I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I’d like to see Banff.

Author links: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads  
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