Book Blitz: Ashley's Dream by B.R. Kingsolver

Take a look and nominate this book on Kindle Scout!

But first, what is Kindle Scout? 
Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published.

With Kindle Scout, Amazon is taking a 21st century approach to publishing, letting readers nominate which books progress to funding. It’s like your favorite reality TV show, except for books. It means you can now read excerpts from hitherto unpublished books and, if you like them, give your thumbs-up.

Each book, across the romance, science fiction and mystery & thriller genres, has 30 days to get as many votes as possible. After this period, Amazon checks which titles have the most backing, and selects which will be published.

So why would you wish to nominate a title? Well, if you like what you’ve read in the short extracts, it means you can read the full novel when it hits publication. But more than that, you also receive a free Kindle edition a week before it’s officially released.

(Voting for this book ends on December 16, 2014).


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

Purchase: (TBA this January)

 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?

Marcie flew in to Denver on Friday and drove up to Fort Collins that afternoon. We had dinner together at the bar and then I went back to work. She showed up at my place the next morning at nine, and I would have killed her if she hadn’t had a key and been quiet about it. She let herself in, and though I woke up, I fell back to sleep when she didn’t come into my room.
The smell of bacon and fresh coffee woke me the second time. I staggered into the kitchen and watched in a daze as she shoveled pancakes and bacon on a plate and set it on the table.
“Eat,” she said, pouring coffee in a mug and setting it beside my plate. God, I thought, she’s going to make someone a great wife. As I ate, I decided that it should be me.
“Will you marry me?” I asked.
She threw back her head and laughed. “We might as well, considering our luck with men.”
We finished breakfast and I showed her my new clothes.
“Kind of a bummer,” I said, modeling one of the dresses. “I look gorgeous, but I don’t have anyone to wear them for.”
“Get Tyrell trained,” she said. “Things can’t be that busy during the summer. We should go out when I’m home.”
“How much longer are you going to keep the apartment here?” I asked. I knew it had to be a pain driving up here from Denver every week.
“I don’t know,” she said. “The lease is up next month. But from what they’re telling me, I’ll probably be on the road, either working on audits or project work, for the next couple of years. Some people do that their whole careers.”
She watched me change and then said, “You know, we could get a two or three bedroom place for less than we spend on two singles.”
I looked around. I’d had the apartment for a year, since Marcie left the previous summer for her internship in New York. I wasn’t particularly attached to it. We’d lived together for four years, and were comfortable together.
“Do we have to get a bunch of cats?”
I didn’t think it was that funny, but she laughed until tears ran down her cheeks.


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 bestsellers, 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.

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.

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1 comment :

  1. That guest post I agree with 200%- I don't like NA that much, but the whole alpha-male thing has turned me off of many romances (historical, paranormal, etc.). I feel there is a difference between an alpha male and an abuser- an alpha shouldn't need to force/threaten to get his way, he should be able to find other non-abusive ways to show his power. Any use of force/the hero inflicting pain on the heroine in books makes me gag and one/two star a book.
    ~Litha Nelle