Please welcome debut author Ashley March to my blog! I know you’re going to love both her and her fabulous story, Seducing the Duchess!

Sharing Reading and Romance with My Daughters

Ashley MarchWhen I first had the dream of becoming a romance writer, I was newly married. I knew that a family would come down the road, but I didn’t really think about how being a romance writer might affect my children. Now that I’m published and have a 19-month-old as well as a 2-month-old daughter, I can’t help but think about the day when they actually understand what I write about.

My own mother never read romances. Actually, she didn’t read much of anything. I think the only book I remember her reading was a picture biography of Princess Diana after she died. But she wholeheartedly believed in the importance of reading, and always encouraged my brother and me to read.

Like my mother, I want to instill the importance of reading in my daughters. One of the first things we bought my oldest daughter when we found out we were pregnant was a book. Whenever we go out to the bookstore, she gets a book. We have a tradition of buying books for presents. To us, books aren’t a luxury; they are a necessity.

Now that I’m a mother, I get to look back at my own mom and see what I want to do differently. There were so many things that she did right, but still I want to take it a step beyond. I want to be able to read together with my daughters, to share their delight in the worlds created by words. I hope they develop a crush on Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables like I did; I want to be able to discuss our disappoint in Jo letting Amy have Laurie in Little Women instead of choosing him for herself, but also discuss how that plot point actually fit with the characters.

And if they ever decide they want to read romance, and I think they’re mature enough, I’ll allow them. Just like Anne or Jo or Scarlett O’Hara—one of my personal favorites—I believe girls can learn from romance heroines.

I know that the heroines I write about are strong women, independent and intelligent. They are women who are vulnerable enough to fall in love, but don’t need a man to rescue them from their problems. A romance heroine isn’t afraid of what society thinks about them if they depart from the expected…or, if they are, they learn how to stand tall and embrace who they are over the course of the character journeys. I want to be able to read together with my daughters, and that includes romance novels. I want to sigh over heroes with them, and cry at one of those my-chest-literally-aches moments. I want to talk about the morals of the characters in romance novels, about what my daughters do and don’t like. I want to discuss our favorite authors and laugh together about some of the absurd titles.

I want to share with them.

Seducing the Duchess by Ashley MarchAnd when they grow into young women and begin dating, if they compare all the boys to the romance heroes they’ve read about and the boys come up lacking…well, then they’ll make their dad happy by staying single forever. ;)

Does your family share a love of books? Are there any particular books that have become family treasures? Please share!

One lucky commenter will win a copy of Ashley’s debut, SEDUCING THE DUCHESS, which features one of the strongest and most independent women you could ask for…and one who knows the only true chance at happiness she has is to trust her heart with the man who once betrayed her.

38 thoughts on “SEDUCING THE DUCHESS by Ashley March

  1. Ashley March says:

    Hi BRN:
    Then I think that makes you the lucky one, then. Your family just doesn’t know what they’re missing…unfortunately. =)

  2. Ashley March says:

    Wait. I haven’t even finish reading through your post yet, but…your son got in trouble for reading ahead of his class? That’s crazy! What kind of teachers work there??? Now I’m sad.
    Okay, now I’ve read through everything. You know, I really do wish we could just get rid of our TV. Yes, I would miss some things, but I really think not having one can draw you closer together as a family and help you develop actual hobbies (like reading). Unfortunately, I doubt my husband would ever go for that idea.
    I love your idea of shopping for historical books while traveling..I hadn’t even thought of that! One thing we love to do is go to used book stores…I’ve found the greatest history books there for a great price. Thanks for visiting with me today! =)

  3. Jeanne M says:

    I always loved reading but I think the one book I can credit with my love of reading was The Secret Garden. I can remember my parents getting angry with me because I wouldn’t put it down! The following summer before I enterred 5th grade I read every biography they had on women at our local library. My favorite genre now is historical romance – I consider it my Calgon take me away reward.

    My husband loves to read history books so we do a lot of stopping at historical sites whenever we travel. Our children learned to lvoe reading because we read to them and they always saw us reading. My oldest son actually got in trouble when he was in school for reading too much and too far ahead of his class (he read the Trilogy of the Rings in the 5th grade).

    A group of my friends and I have decided that our love for reading was probably aided by the fact that when we were in grade school most of us didn’t have a TV or if we did only got to watch it on Saturday mornings. There really something to be said for the quot;good old daysquot;.

  4. BRN says:

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway. Ashley, your book sounds good and I wish you good luck with it.

    No, my family does read much. I don’t know where I got my love of reading from, lol.

  5. Ashley March says:

    Hi Tina:

    You know what’s funny…I don’t think I’ve ever read the actually stories of the Little Mermaid, etc. I guess just growing up with Disney versions, I thought that was good enough for me. And I think you and your sister should make an agreement: she has to read a romance and you have to read anything she suggests. Then she’ll be hooked! ;)

  6. Ashley March says:

    Hi Karen H. in NC!
    (Btw, I love NC; been there once, and can’t wait to go back.) Thanks so much for commenting…although I have to wonder about your daughter. Technical and non-fiction books? Over romance?!? Pshaw! =) I think your description of book as friends is a great one. Non-readers may not understand it that way, but how else can you describe something that lets you escape, keeps you entertained, and takes you on different adventures? =)

  7. Tina says:

    The books we shared when I was younger were mostly fairy tales like the Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Now that my sister and me are older we suggest books that we think we’ll like to each other. I still haven’t gotten her to read a romance novel but I’m hoping that she’ll come to enjoy them when she’s older.

  8. Karen H in NC says:

    Coming late to the party but wanted to join in anyway. Ashley, Congratulations on the release of your debut book. I haven’t read it yet, but it is on my list of books to buy!

    I didn’t have many playmates as a child since most of the kids in my neighborhood were 5+ years older than me and didn’t want to both with the little kid. So books were my closest friends growing up and they still are. I don’t recall seeing my mother reading many books for her own enjoyment, but she did read to me at bedtime everyday. My favorite stories were in a large volume of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I never got tired of those stories. Later, as I became an adult and she had more time on her hands, she began reading more for enjoyment. We both developed a love of romance books.

    I read to my children when they were small and gave them books as gifts. Both are adults now and they both still enjoy reading…although my daughter reads more technical and non-fiction books rather than losing herself in a good old-fashioned hot romance book!

    Books are still my best friends. I always have a book nearby and have a huge TBR library of my own from which to choose the next good read!

  9. Ashley March says:

    Hi Margay–I love it! So so cool. =) I wish that every family could raise readers like that. I have to admit I haven’t read the Harry Potter series yet, but now I tell myself I’m waiting to read it with the girls. ;)

  10. Ashley March says:

    Lol @Kate. Let me guess, the reading is on the maps? *sigh* But you’re right; some people have the personality for it, and some don’t. It does make me a little sad, though; I can’t imagine not having that escape, or never having read some of the fantastic books I’ve read. A great one that I never thought I would like because I wasn’t a boy, but LOVED: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Amazing book. Hmmm…I really should read that one again, too. =)

  11. Margay says:

    Both my girls and I read and liked Twilight, but the book that has become a real treasure for my older daughter and I is Pride and Prejudice – we love Jane Austen! We both also like The Great Gatsby. And where I’m still trying to get her to read Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, she’s still trying to get me to read Harry Potter.


  12. Ashley March says:

    Hi Johanna! I know EXACTLY what you mean. We have a three-shelf bookcase in each daughter’s room, one in the living room, and a tall bookcase just for children’s books downstairs. We look through them sometime and are amazed at what we have, because we have so many we forget. =) Books are and will always be the BEST presents. P.S. And thanks for joining me on all my guest blogs!!

  13. Ashley March says:

    Hi Barb (Revbritton)!

    ACCELERATED READER PROGRAMS! I’m from Texas, and we had those throughout school, and I was FLUMMOXED when we moved to Colorado and discovered they don’t have anything like that here. That was the number one reason why I ever voluntarily read the big books: Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, Great Expectations, etc. in middle school. It’s really a wonderful program. I’m all for anything that rewards kids for reading.

    And I really admire you for reading Harry Potter out loud. Your voice must have been hoarse for a year. =)

  14. Kate Pembrooke says:


    My non-readers are boys who love video games and try to convince me that they involve lots of reading. (I’m not buying it though) Even before they discovered video games, neither liked to read, although they do like being read to.

  15. Ashley March says:

    Hi Sandy:

    =) That’s so great to hear. One of the things my husband and I agreed on when we first got pregnant was that we would read to the kids every single day. Ha! It sounds easy, but at least for us, it’s been difficult to remember to make it a priority. And it’s strange, considering how much we believe in the importance of reading. Trying to get better at it, though!

  16. Ashley March says:

    Aw, Mia, I had the perfect image of you sitting with your daughters reading with them. =) It’s so difficult trying not to wish for mine to grow up so I can experience all of that with them…I keep telling myself I need to cherish THESE moments. I love that my oldest daughter already likes books, though. When I was 9 months pregnant with #2 and couldn’t really play with her, I would sit in a chair in her room, she’d be on the floor, and she’d read her books while I read mine. It’s one of my favorite memories.

    And I totally get the weird-o-meter. My sister-in-law was the same with mine…took her about a month to read it because she just couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact that I had written a romance! =)

  17. Ashley March says:

    Thanks, Barb! Oh, Georgette Heyer…now there’s another author I really need to read. I know, I know, you would think I’m illiterate from all the books I’ve missed out on! Thank you for the rec and the good wishes!

    Oh, and my mom was the same way with my reading. Encouraging, but later it got to the point where they MADE me come out of the room to interact with the family because I’d rather have been reading. =)

  18. Ashley March says:

    Hi Tsueversteeg:

    Thank you so much for the congrats. I still feel like the luckiest woman in the world. =) I’ve always heard that children will imitate what the parents do (at least when they’re young), so the girls should definitely have the inclination toward reading at a young age. It’s the time when they become teenagers and are likely to be distracted by the world outside the home that makes me worry that they’ll put reading aside…okay, honestly everything about teenage girls scares the heck out of me!

  19. Ashley March says:

    Oh, Kat. You make me want to go down to my basement to the furnace room that we’ve designated as our library and start reading all the classics we have now. (FYI to anyone who doesn’t know, Bamp sells BEAUTIFUL copies of the classics, usually in the Bargain section at the front of the store.) But just like YA, it’s so hard for me to choose anything over romances when I only have a little time each (if anything) to read. *wistful sigh*

  20. Ashley March says:

    Hi Linda. =) I think that is so wonderful. My husband and his mom regularly lend books back and forth and discuss them together, and it kind of makes me envious that my mom and I never were able to do that. I’ve mentioned to my husband quite a few times that he and I should start our very own romance book club to discuss books together, but he wasn’t very keen on that idea. ;)

  21. Ashley March says:

    Hi Kate:

    You know, I’ve thought about this. My nephew (who is now 9) used to LOVE to read…but then along came video games. I wonder how many kids out there would read more (and enjoy it!) if there weren’t video games/computer games in the home? I’ll have to see what happens with my daughters. We have a rule about no video systems in the home (due to my nephew’s obsession, and seeing how it’s affected him), and I’d like to see if the girls take up reading or if they find some other hobby to fill their time. (Note to self: limit Internet, too!)

  22. Johanna R Jochum says:

    I love reading and try to incourage my little girls to share my love of books! Like you I always buy a book when I’m at a bookstore and they always get one or two books for special holidays and Birthdays or just because! They don’t even know how to read yet and their bookcases are overflowing! I try to read to them several times a day and always a few before bedtime! I hope one day too they will have crushes to on Gilbert just like me! Anne of Green Gables, Little house on the Prarie and the Secret Garden are just a few of my childhood favs. Thanks for the great post and for sharing with us today!

  23. Ashley March says:

    Yay Marcy! I wish I knew a TON more people like you! It makes me sad on FB when I see friends I went to school with who STILL don’t like reading. I’m like you–what’s wrong with those people?? ;) I read Heidi as a child, too…I don’t remember much about it, but have a good memory of it…guess I need to read that one again, too! I think I knew I was made for romance because of how UPSET I got when Jo rejected Laurie. I BAWLED…and now I’m getting upset again, lol.

  24. Ashley March says:

    Hi She:

    Your comment about Scholastic made me remember the book fairs when I was in school. Oh, I loved those! They were seriously one of my favorite reasons for going to school (you know, apart from all that learning junk ;). I hope they still have book fairs when my daughters are old enough. I’m thinking that with the digital revolution that might not be the case, but it just doesn’t seem as much fun to me to share digitally (i.e. with an iPad).

    And I’ve yet to get on the YA train…I love my romances SO MUCH. I think that’s going to change this year, though. I’ve heard so many recommendations about good ones (including the Mockingjay series).

  25. Ashley March says:

    Hi Jane L.! Oh, I’m so sorry! I can’t imagine kids that don’t like to read as much as I do. But then, it always drove me crazy that my mom didn’t like to read, either. Best of wishes on writing your book and getting it published, and let me know when it is–I’d like to read it, too! =)

  26. Ashley March says:

    Hi Kathleen B.! Wuthering Heights is one of my favorites; I actually prefer it over Jane Eyre. And I read Pride and Prejudice when I was in 6th grade, but I think I need to read it again because I don’t remember much of it and I want to know what everyone keeps raving about! =) Also, I think I’m going to take your tip about your mom and start it now, because the girls are going crazy today!

  27. Revbritton says:

    I have two sons, but thanks to accelerated reader programs at their schools, we have read together often. We have read all of the Harry Potter series–the last book I actually read outloud–throat lozenge anyone! My youngest son still reads for fun-anything from Twilight to Aldus Huxley (sp). Time spent together reading is one of my treasures. We started reading together in preschool–time flew– and now my sons are in high school!br /Barb Britton

  28. Sandy says:

    I can remember my mother reading children’s books to me from the age of two. She read to all of us and because of we learned to read early.

  29. MiaMarlowe says:

    I didn’t discover romance till I was married with kids of my own, but it was my mother who put The Flame and the Flower in my hands.

    My girls and I have always done read-alouds. We laughed together over Beezus and Ramona. We cried through Where the Red Fern Grows. And Anne of Green Gables was one of our favorites.

    My girls are old enough to read my books now, but the fact that their mom wrote them sort of pegs out their weird-o-meter. However, my mom, the romance lover, still reads them all!

  30. Barb H says:

    Like yours, my mother wasn’t a reader, but she encouraged (and put up with :) all my reading, as long as my chores were done.

    I never had a favorite romance book–I loved them all, certainly the Bronte sisters and Jane Austin. But once I discovered some Georgette Heyer re-releases, her Frederica and Venetia quickly became dogeared. With that, I realized there was a whole other world of wonderful reading from romance writers.

    Good luck on your very first book. I can’t wait to read it.

  31. tsueversteeg says:

    My mother ALWAYS had a book on her bedside table and another next to her favorite chair. I read my first romance at 14 (she wouldn’t let me read them until then) and was hooked instantly. I can’t imagine reading anything without a happily ever after :) Can’t wait to read yours as well. Congrats on breaking into NY!

  32. Kat Ducan says:

    My family loves books. My dad was a big non-fiction fan and I followed in his footsteps first, by reading tons about science and math. My mom’s first love is biographies, her second love, romances! :) My mother’s father was a manager at a large New England newspaper. He thought reading and education were THE most important things a person could do. He owned the 6 foot shelf of Harvard Classics. I’ve read every single one. And that’s just a drop in the bucket….

  33. Linda Henderson says:

    I am lucky that both my daughters love to read. They are grown with families of their own but they still come to mom to borrow books. They like to read my Nora Roberts and J.D.Robb books, so does my sister.

  34. Kate Pembrooke says:

    Hi Ashley,

    How wonderful that you want to instill a love of books in your girls. Reading has been a life long love of mine and one I’ve tried to pass on to my kids – with mixed success. My older two kids are readers and I enjoy talking about books with them. The younger two only pick up a book during summer vacations when I make them spend at least one hour a day reading. Oh well. Maybe someday. My dad didn’t turn into an avid reader until he was in college, so there’s still hope for my non-book lovers to change into book lovers.

  35. Marcy W says:

    I was lucky: my parents are both avid readers, and started reading to their five children in the womb, I think! We went to the library every week, and always brought home as many books as allowed. I read Heidi while we drove through Switzerland (my dad was in the army, and we lived all over), and books from the adult section by the time I was twelve. The first time I babysat as a young teen for people who didn’t have books all over the house, I went home and asked my mother what was wrong with those folks?? How could anyone live without books all over?! Their house was eerily empty.

    I don’t have an ereader yet, and even when I give in to progress, I’m going to keep most of my books, including my set of Louisa May Alcott and Swiss Family Robinson from my childhood … they’re part of my life and home, and as much comfort as money in the bank or food in the pantry. And, as my UPS guy can attest, I’m still buying books that I can hold in my hands and have to find space for on shelves … and don’t intend to stop anytime soon!

  36. She says:

    My parents did not read books often but we always had the newspaper delivered. On Sundays my dad would read the comics to us kids. As we began school we had to sit down every night and read out loud. We read The Beginning with Books series that had Dr. Suess and P. D. Eastman’s books and the Let’s Find Out About series. As we got older and brought home Scholastic Book lists to buy we were each able to usually buy one or two books each list. The books cost 40 cents or less back then. Then we began going to the library and checking out books. As I got older I took a subscription to Harlequin Romance then began hanging out at the book store where I eventually got a part time job. My house is filled with books. I give books as gifts. While some of us read some of the same books, most of the family is into their own genre. One of my sisters and I are the most eclectic readers of the bunch. We read almost anything. I read a lot of romance. My favorite book growing up was Little Women. I cried every time I read it. Today one series of books I recommend is The Hunger Game series by Suzanne Collins. I discovered so many authors and books while hanging and working at the book store. My life would not be as rich without my books.

  37. Jane L says:


    Good Morning! I started reading romance when I was very young, maybe 12 or 13,The Flame and The Flower. Which ironically is still one of my favorites. I only have one daughter and she does’nt like romance like I do. A few contemporaries, thats about it. My sons are not advid readers, sadly (OK I don’t know whose kids these are? LOL!) But they swear if their mom gets published they will read my book! WHOO HOO! Thats worth the goal!

    I have been reading wonderful reviews about you out on the boards and blogs! Wishing you the very best of luck!

    Have a great week!

  38. Kathleen B. says:

    Oh, I am still carrying around two books I received for my 8th birthday, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice. Yes, got them at that age and they follow me around, to Europe and back. I was always an inveterate reader, got that from my mother and passed it on to my son. My mother had six children. When we would get to squabbling, she would get that look on her face as though she’d just left the scene, go get a book, sit down and read and no matter who did what to whom, she never lifted her eyes off the pages!

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