Friday, December 17, 2021

Happy Holidays

This Week's Newsletter
Ashleigh's YA Reads           Ashleigh's Romance Reads          Ashleigh's Whodunits

This week's newsletter contains the following features:
(Feel free to skip ahead to what you want to read)

What's new with Ashleigh?

Like many families, we are getting in the middle of our holiday season. Half the presents have been wraps. The Christmas cards have been ordered (though not sent). The children are diligently counting down until Santa arrives. Many holiday crafts have been made. All that's missing is the snow.

That's right. The last time I sent you a newsletter, it was getting ready to snow. The occasional flurry here and there. Well, in the past two weeks, we have had one snowfall. A light dusting that didn't even affect the roads. Sure, the kids went sledding and made snow angels in the morning, but after five minutes, they had used up all the snow and they are eager for more.

I am as well. There is just something about curling up with a hot drink in my hand while watching the snow falling outside the window. It makes me want to curl up with a good book. Or read one.

The past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of reading. I started with some fun books, but then switched to my own projects. I have been rereading Hartfield Chronicles, hoping to get inspired to draft book nine while I finish preparing book one for publication. During the last week of December, I plan on rereading Mooncrossed, hoping to get inspired to draft its spinoff series this winter. I have been reading many cozy mysteries, hoping to be inspired to continue working on my standalone project.

The next few weeks promise to be busy. Christmas, New Years, and lots of family time in between. But, I'm hoping to have many new projects in the new year.

What about you? How are you spending the last week of December?

Hartfield Chronicles

Hartford Chronicles Melinda and Pat are both happy to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. But when rumors of Pat and another girl appear in the celebrity gossip columns, his relationship with Melinda is tested.

Hartfield Chronicles follows the lives of Melinda, Pat, and their friends as they navigate their way through boarding school life. Each episode features two stories, one from Melinda's point of view and one from Pat's, along with an excerpt from Melinda's writing journal. New episodes are published every ​Friday.

Here's what you've missed

  • Episode 63: Melinda confronts Pat about the Poppy rumors
  • Episode 64: Melinda spends the day at her friends' mansion

Reviews from Ashleigh's Bookshelf

Let It Snow

For Young Adult readers

Let It Snow

John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle

This book is a compilation of three intertwined novellas. Though they do all work well together, they can also each be read individually.
Story #1: The Jubilee Express It's Christmas Eve and sixteen-year-old Jubilee is looking forward to celebrating her one-year anniversary with Noah. Unfortunately, when her parents get arrested, she is sent to spend the holiday with her grandparents instead. What starts as an irritating inconvenience turns into a major problem when the worst storm in fifty years hits. Determined not to let fourteen rowdy cheerleaders ruin her holiday, Jubilee sets off to make the best of the worst holiday of her life.
Story #2: A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle When Tobin and his friends learn that Waffle house has been invaded by fourteen cheerleaders, they decide to brave the worst storm in fifty years to be the first to bring the girls a game of Twister. What ensues is a hilarious set of mishaps as they try to beat the two other teams braving the storm.
Story #3: The Patron Saint of Pigs Addie screwed up. She had a fantastic boyfriend and threw away her relationship with a drunken kiss with the sketchiest kid in school. Instead of spending Christmas with her boyfriend, she's now moping in her room. But when her friend suggests that maybe she's a little too self-absorbed, Addie sets out to prove her wrong, and maybe find a little happiness in the process.

check out my review
To Ride a Unicorn
For children

To Ride a Unicorn

Vanessa Westgate

A delightful step-by-step guide to catching a wild unicorn.

check out my review

Free Books

In the Shadow of the Cities

In the Shadow of the Cities

For fans of The Hunger Games, get the guard's perspective

Scarlett would never kill her best friend, no matter what the strange individual predicts.

Scarlett would never kill her best friend, perhaps a Citizen if the situation called for it, but never Rhys. There are quite a few rules in the training center, but a few are the kind that are never broken.

1. Greens are not sent into Cities without officially being promoted to Blue.

2. Blues don’t kill each other.

So why is Scarlett being sent into a City without the proper training? And why does a bizarre, elderly male say Scarlett will kill Rhys? In the Shadow of the Cities details Scarlett’s life in the training center before she is pulled unexpectedly into City life. Without the proper training, she is confused about these things called “families” and why the Citizens aren’t grateful that she is keeping them safe.

In this dystopian novel, In the Shadow of the Cities, the story is told not from a Citizen’s point of view but from a Guard’s. Why do the guards seem to tirelessly obey the government? How can they gun down Citizens mercilessly? Find out as you follow Scarlett on her journey into the Cities.

Corfu Capers

Corfu Capers

Sublime Retreats Romance Series

Five people, three secrets, a luxury holiday in Corfu. What can possibly go wrong?

For divorcĂ©e Kate Delaney, it’s time to show the world that she can get along just fine without a man.

Embracing her son’s desire to propose to his girlfriend with her usual overzealous planning, she organizes a vacation to Corfu and plots the ‘big moment’.

But when her plans start to fall apart, she is thrown together with the dashing Pericles and is surprised to find herself relaxing into the Greek way of life.

Can this holiday really be about to change her future, and offer her a second chance of love?



A Suspense Short Story

Who is that hiding in the attic?

A patient goes missing from the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center. A psychiatrist and his wife are murdered. Detective Michael Ray must solve the murder and find the escaped patient, while battling demons of his own housed inside the facility.

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

Middle Grade & YA Holiday Giveaway

Other Books on Sale

Complex Solutions

Complex Solutions

A young adult coming of age thriller

Math is easy for Lexi, but complex emotions are difficult, and A.P. Calculus won’t help her overcome guilt, fear, or self-destructive behavior.

Sixteen-year old Lexi Thompson believes she should’ve died in the car accident that took her parents. Now she slices her guilt into her skin, aggravating an already dangerous cutting habit. When Lexi is contacted about her parents’ lost proof of a famous math theorem, her guilt over her parents’ deaths intensifies. Math was her parents’ passion as well as her own.

Lexi enlists her friend and fellow math whiz, Joe, to help find the proof. As their relationship deepens, Lexi struggles to keep her self-harm secret. Further, she realizes she’s not the only one interested in her parents’ proof. A mysterious man hangs around her family’s vacant home and lurks in the woods where she runs with her dog. The stalker's presence exacerbates her anxiety, along with the frequency and severity of her cutting. The more she tries to conceal her self-harm, the more she pulls away from Joe and from finding the proof.

If she can’t let go of her fear and open up to Joe, she may lose him as well as the proof to a man who’s intent on stealing her parents’ legacy.

2nd Chance Ranch

2nd Chance Ranch

Wounded Warrior, Chance Gordon, had abandoned the woman he loves for her sake and devotes himself to armed service. Dory Farmer rejects a life of luxury and her father’s wishes in order to keep her son. She dedicates herself to improving lives of injured soldiers. Worlds collide. Chance's future depends on Dory.

Christmas in Escondida

The Princess of Escondida

The Treasure of Escondida Book 5

Escondida’s elite all-female spy team is ready to take down El Orden and secure the Treasure of Escondida, but first Princess Liliana must attend to her royal duties.

Liliana (Lily), Princess of Escondida and secretly trained spy, is tasked with meeting the Crown Prince of Creador in the hopes their families can form an alliance. Having been on many of these dates in the past, Lily relies on her training as a spy to get her through the evening but finds herself pleasantly surprised with the prince.

Lucas, Crown Prince of Creador, is nervous and excited about going on a date with Princess Liliana. Having pushed off pursuing her many times, he is now ready to do what his father has been urging for years after briefly meeting her last year at an official royal function. During their date he finds himself smitten and hopes that they can continue to get to know each other.

Is this a match made in heaven or does Lucas know more about the plot against Escondida then he is letting on? Join the team in this final showdown against El Orden and find out who the mastermind really is. Grab your copy today for one last thrilling adventure full of espionage, romance, and suspense.

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