Romancing Lord Ramsbury: Coming soon!

The wait is almost over for book 3 of Brides of Brighton! This story has been both challenging and seriously fun to write. Lord Ramsbury was a difficult character to tackle, but I really enjoyed getting to know him and his motivations better. To get you excited about this story, here is the cover reveal, blurb, and a fun excerpt 🙂

It will be releasing this month, so stay tuned for an announcement!



About the Book

Miss Grace Weston has read countless books involving courtship and romance. Putting her knowledge into practice, she offers her assistance in finding a match for her sister, declaring herself an expert in romance. She is well-read on the subject, after all.

When a bargain between sisters is struck, Grace is unable to resist a challenge. She must prove her expertise by gaining a proposal, one she plans to reject, from the man whose fleeting flirtation left her heart in ruin years before: Lord Ramsbury, the next Earl of Coventry.

But Lord Ramsbury’s pride does not take well to rejection, especially when he learns he must marry to keep his inheritance. And so he undertakes a challenge of his own: He will change Grace’s mind. In a battle of pride and proposals, his heart becomes more involved than he ever thought possible. To win the battle and Grace’s heart, he must employ his most harmful weapon.

But what is so harmful about a bit of romance?

***

Excerpt:

Her sister leaned forward, lowering her voice. “If you can manage to woo Lord Ramsbury into a proposal, I will believe you are indeed an expert in love, and I will trust your counsel to court Mr. Harrison.”

Grace gasped, pulling away. “I would never marry Lord Ramsbury!”

“I did not say you had to marry him, only coerce him into a proposal.” Harriett’s smile, broad and wicked, showed that she felt the odds were in her favor for winning the wager. “No doubt he has dozens of women seeking his hand. It would indeed require an expert to catch his eye.”

The idea sat heavy and sharp in Grace’s stomach, filling her with dread. She could never face Lord Ramsbury again. And she could certainly not romance him.

“If you are successful,” Harriett said, “I will surrender all my pin money to you for the next three months and agree to court Mr. Harrison. I will even declare to Mama and Papa that your reading should be condoned, giving you full responsibility for the match. But if you fail, you will give me your pin money and never mention Mr. Harrison again.”

Grace narrowed her eyes. “I see you have great confidence in me. You would never offer your own pin money if you had even the slightest fear of losing it.”

Harriett gave a loud laugh.

Grace’s breath came quickly, catching in her chest like fire. She had never put into practice the advice she so readily gave to her sister. How could she succeed? Why would a man like Lord Ramsbury pay her any notice? He had once before, but it had been a game, a trap. He had used her young heart like a plaything, cruel and unforgiving.

A thought struck her. But if she could manage to win his proposal, she could have the pleasure of offering him the rejection he unwittingly gave her three years ago.

A slow smile touched Grace’s lips.

Aside from being well-read on the subject of courtship and romance, she was also well-read on the subject of revenge.

A Convenient Engagement: 99 cents for a limited time!

Book one in the Brides of Brighton series is live on Amazon, and it’s only $0.99 until Nov. 3rd! Be sure to snag your copy while it’s such a great price!

This story was so much fun. I don’t think I’ve written characters that have been so vivid in my mind, or a plot that has come so quickly to my imagination. This story was begging to be told, and didn’t give me writer’s block like my stories have done. Ha 😉 That was a pleasant surprise!

So far this new series has four books, but who knows? Maybe there will be more. I love writing books that have characters in common. I love to revisit characters from past books and get to know new characters from different points of view. That’s what makes this series so much fun!

If you’ve already read A Convenient Engagement, who would you guess is our hero in book 2?

I’ll be announcing soon! But for now, enjoy this story. It was such a joy to create.

<3,

Ashtyn

 

 

Masquerade

We hear the phrase “be yourself” all the time, and yet people walk around with more than one face–a public face and a real face. I know which one is the real face because it’s the one I always like better. In high school I would see a kid in the halls at school, see their social media profiles, see the way they acted at dances and in the lunchroom with their friends, and would brand them with my official punk sticker. Judgmental? Definitely, and I later learned that I should not have branded their mask before meeting the real person.

I would get to class, have a new seating arrangement, and be beside one of these decided punks. But they were smart. They led meaningful group discussions. They laughed and smiled and were easy to talk to. They were real. Then I saw them in the hall and they avoided my eyes, or made mean jokes to their friends, pushing forward the image they thought people wanted. It’s a masquerade.

 

Masquerade

 

I see the perfection painted with a delicate hand

Maybe if they didn’t like you, they’ll like your mask.

You hide because you don’t want to be found, but soon

You’ll forget where you put yourself.

It’s a masquerade.

 

First you wear the mask and then the mask wears you.

You smile, but it’s painted–

You speak, but it’s rehearsed, read from a script instead of a heart.

You walk on a map, sinking into footprints made by the ideal you

Back when you had a vision of the person you wanted to become.

You are a masquerade.

 

When you designed the mask

You doted the task

And no one asked

Who you really were.

The perfect personality is like a punishment

But it’s what you think the spectators want.

The real person is rattling bars of a cage

But no one can read between the lines so they just turn the page.

They don’t go deeper because your skin is made of steel.

Nothing remains that’s real.

People have forgotten that you even know how to feel.

You are trapped in the masquerade.

 

But when you’re all alone, and the spotlight is gone

The stage is clear, and empty auditorium seats sway

You tear off the mask, clipping off stitches of insecurity

But you still don’t throw it away.

For a moment authenticity is back

And the lights fade to black

And you breathe for the first time all day.

 

I see the reality painted with an unsteady hand

And I like the kid I see.

But you’re too afraid to let him stay

Tomorrow you’ll wear the mask again.

You can’t stop the masquerade.

***

I wrote that slam poem for an assignment once. I had to read it for my class (which was really scary) but chose that topic because I wanted it to sink in to the other people in the room. I needed it sometimes too.

We play roles, we have a ‘phone voice,’ we want to show the perfect side of our lives instead of the unimpressive, ordinary side.

I want to be the person I am with my family, with my closest friends, all the time. I’m tired of freezing up or turning into a shy person that I know I’m really not when I’m in social or public situations. I love to talk. A lot. I love to laugh. I get the incurable giggles at least once a day. But when I meet new people, or find myself among people that intimidate me, my mask comes on and I hide. My mask is shy, reserved, keeping my words to myself unless I can type them. My mask worries about what other people will think if I say what I really want to say, or if my heart will stop pounding enough that I can raise my hand and make my comment.

My mask isn’t the same as the masks of these kids I saw in high school, but what I didn’t realize then is that I still had my own. But my mask isn’t the face I wish I could be, it’s the face I wish I could overcome. Every mask is different.

Throw the mask away. Take a deep breath. I want to see the real face, and I want to learn to always show mine.

#stopthemasquerade 😉

<3

Ashtyn