Friday, March 3, 2023

March Comes in Like a Lion

This Week's Newsletter
YA Romance Whodunit
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?

You know that old saying, March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb? Well for me, that is certainly true. I'm not talking about the weather (although we did get a nice storm this week). No, I am talking about story ideas.

That's right. This week, I got hit with a bunch of shiny new ideas. And I want to share one of them with you.

Have you ever played a Choose Your Own Adventure game? My kids love these on television and I've participated in some reading ones. Last weekend, I came up with the idea of doing one for my newsletter.

Now, previously I have asked if anyone wanted to read a chapter a week and received an overwhelming no. However, this would be different because it is interactive. (And don't worry. If you miss a newsletter, I will always include a link to the story so far.)

What would the story be? Well here is a sample. (Please note: If you have signed up for multiple emails, each will have a different story)

The Detention Adventure
A story for Young Adult readers

"It's not fair," you mumble to yourself as you push the shelving cart down the aisle. Gabe started that fight, but Mrs. Vile, the evil librarian gave you detention. Why does Gabe get to enjoy a sunny afternoon while you have to reshelve library books in the darkest recesses of the library?

Why are these books even on the cart? It's not like anyone even reads them. The only people ever in the library use the computers.

With a sigh, you turn into the next aisle. Is it your imagination or is it getting darker the further you walk? A shiver runs down your spine and you pull out your phone. "I'm just checking the time," you tell yourself.

Yeah, right. You can't hide from yourself.

You glance at the books on your cart. Maybe you should have organized them before disappearing into the stacks. If you put them in order, you won't have to zigzag your way through the shelves. Maybe you'll even finish your detention with enough time to enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Bolstered by this idea, you grab two books from your cart and examine the numbers on the spine. 432 definitely went before 920. Placing the dictionary in front of the biography, you arrange them on the opposite side of the cart and pick up the next two books.

It takes hours to sort all the books, though your phone says it has been less than five minutes. Finally, you pick up the last two books. They are both novels, arranged by author last name, not subject.

Before you can check their spines for the call numbers, one of the covers catches your attention. Which is it?

Late For Work
A Romance

"I don't have time for this," you mumble to yourself as you pull into the coffee shop parking lot. You're late for work. Again. Does everyone in town really need to get their coffee right this second?

You circle the lot three times before finding a place to park. The guy in that black sports car doesn't look too happy, but you were clearly there first. You had your signal light on and everything.

Rushing into the store, you anxiously tap your foot at the back of the line. You can't see the menu, but it doesn't matter. You order the same thing so often, they should name a drink after you.

The door opens and someone gets in line behind you. With nothing better to do, you glance over your shoulder. The guy behind you looks familiar. You try not to stare, but you turn your body. To the casual observer, you are reading the community bulletin board. But out of the corner of your eye, you are examining your line buddy.

His hair is the color of freshly brewed coffee while his eyes resemble a mocha latte. About a head taller than you, he is dressed in jeans and a polo. Where could you have met him?

The line moves forward about a step and the guy leans forward slightly. He's probably trying to see the bakery case, but you can't help catching a whiff of him. Vanilla latte with a hint of musk.

Smiling at you, the guy gestures to the front of the store. When he says nothing, you follow his gaze. The line has moved while you're drooling over the eye candy behind you. Feeling your cheeks grow warm, you turn around and head to the register.

Five minutes later, you escape the building, drink in hand. You have ten minutes to get to your office on the other side of town. Not going to happen.

As you pull out of your parking space, you hear someone blasting a horn. Slamming the breaks, you check your mirrors. You almost backed into a black sports car. Your eyes go wide as you recognize the driver.

Who is it?

A Weekend at Munson Manor
A Mystery

"Welcome to Munson Manor. May I take your coat?"

Nodding, you remove your windbreaker. As you pass it to the butler, you can't help but feel underdressed in your jeans and sweater while he is wearing a three-piece black suit with a matching tie.

The butler drapes your jacket over his arm and gestures you inside. "Please come in. What is your name?"

Your reply is automatic, but before you reveal your real name, you remember the information packet you received when you registered for this weekend.

"Dr. Poole."

The butler nods. "Welcome, Doctor. My name is Charles. Allow me to show you to your room."

He grabs your suitcase, extending the telescopic handle and dragging it into the hall. Paintings hang on burgundy walls with ornate walnut wainscotting. Doorways lead to a number of rooms, but the butler gives you no time to explore. You have just enough time to notice a grandfather clock on your left before realizing the butler is already halfway up the stairs with velvet carpet the color of a fine merlot.

You hurry to catch up, passing a second clock on the landing. When you reach the top of the stairs, the butler turns right into a hallway with white marble floors and three white doors. The one on your right is ajar. The butler pushes it open and gestures inside.

"Your room, Dr. Poole."

Compared to the rest of the house, the room is small. A four-poster bed sits to the right and an oversized arm chair to the left. Between them is a white door with frosted glass.

The butler points to an armoire behind you. "You best get dressed. Dinner will be served at seven."

With a nod, he leaves, closing the door behind him. You open the armoire and see two outfits from the 1940s.

Which should you put on?

Updated Email List

As you may know, I periodically clear out my email list to unsubscribe people who are no longer opening my emails. Last month, in doing so, I also rearranged some things within my email client. If you were accidentally unsubscribed from one of my lists, please use the links at the bottom of this page to resubscribe.

Ashleigh's Reading Challenge

I am so excited by how many people have joined this year's challenge. Two months into the year and some of our members have already reached 20% of their reading goals!

Don't forget to update your progress!
If you haven't joined us yet,
it's never too late!

Hartfield Chronicles

Hartford Chronicles

Season 5 of Hartfield Chronicles is here!

Melinda loves Pat, but sometimes she wishes he had friends of his own. When he starts spending time with her dance partner, however, Melinda can't help the feelings of jealousy that surface, especially when he starts choosing him over her. Will their relationship survive Pat's new bromance?

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 missed:

Episode 118
Hartford Chronicles
Episode 119
Hartford Chronicles
Pat brings Melinda to the mysterious water tower, but a disagreement ruins their time together. Could a disagreement between Sarah and Larry mean the end of their relationship?

Want to get notifications
when the next episode is released?

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As a thank you, you will receive access to bonus chapters from the Hartfield Chronicles.

Announcing the New Hammerhead Club

Hammerhead Club

Membership benefits:

  • Read new episodes 4 weeks in advance
  • Receive new episodes directly in your inbox
  • Access to new bonus chapters every season
  • Each month you are a member, $1 is added to your club credit. This credit can be used to purchase e-books and signed paperbacks at the Ashleigh Stevens Bookstore. Credits never expire.

Free Books

      The Legend of the Glass Stars & Running in the Rain

The Legend of the Glass Stars & Running in the Rain
Two short stories worlds apart, yet both teens attend the same high school.

Trapped on a snowy mountain in Oregon or in the rain in Argentina...the stuff legends are made of.

Over the winter holidays, Violet, 13, and her family are trapped in a mountain cabin in central Oregon during a freak snowstorm. Will this be the worst Christmas ever or will Violet and her family be able to salvage it? What is supposed to be their first family ski trip ends up being so much more as they cope with their isolation. Along with a mysterious white cat...a legend is born.

Nearly four thousand miles away, future classmate Brylee, 16, has no one but the cows and crows on her father’s ranch in Argentina to keep her company. Or does she? Find out what happens one morning when she goes running in the rain.

Violet and Brylee are two characters in the upcoming novel, Glass Stars. They just haven’t met yet.


Find out what happens in the prequel novella to the Billionaire Blind Date Series!

Is Jenna the one who will make him rethink bachelorhood?

Owen is a man who always knows and gets what he wants, but when he goes to the bar to grab a nightcap, he gets more than he bargained for. He meets a woman who’s unlike any he’s ever known but saying goodbye to bachelorhood will take some convincing.

Jenna isn’t thrilled with the idea of going on a blind date, but a deal is a deal, so she shows up. She meets a great guy, who saves her from what would’ve been a disastrous date. Unfortunately, she never hears from him again.

Even though, the unplanned date goes well, Owen has a big decision to make. Is Jenna the one who will make him rethink bachelorhood?

Find out what happens in the prequel novella to the Billionaire Blind Date Series!

             Leah's Story

Leah's Story
Heartwarming story of starting over.

NYPD Cop flees to quiet, rural town to escape certain death.

Deputy Leah Patton loves keeping her tight-knit community safe. Having fled certain death, she carves her niche in the horse-breeding home of Sweetwater, Kentucky; makes friends and finds unexpected love. A dangerous past and career threaten to shatter Leah's future.

Would you like some free books in exchange for an honest review?

      Clean Action, Adventure, Fantasy, SciFi - Ends 3/7 - All Genre

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

     It's all about family - Ends 4/5 - All Genre

Do you have Kindle Unlimited? These books are free for you!

   A journey through magical realm - Ends 4/1 - All Genre

Other Books on Sale

      I'm Not a Stalker

I'm Not a Stalker
The Stalker Mystery Romance Series

When Anissa accidentally confesses a crush via group email, she finds herself in the middle of her hot-but-shy crush, a jealous ex-boyfriend, and an email chain full of nosy classmates.

But when mysterious secret-admirer messages start arriving from a guy who seems too good to be true, and Anissa begins falling for him, there's a new problem: she has 31 days to figure out who he is or he'll vanish forever.

I'm Not a Stalker is a comedic love-story-mystery told entirely through emails and texts, and is Book 1 of The Stalker Mystery Set.

  Sweet Bliss

Sweet Bliss
Harper Landing Book 1

Welcome to Harper Landing, a small town filled with people who believe in happy endings.

Left raising his newly orphaned nephew after a tragic accident, Aaron Baxter fears he’s not cut out to be a single dad. But to give baby Jack the life he deserves—and to find a peaceful refuge for himself—Aaron moves to the idyllic Pacific Northwest town of Harper Landing.

Julia Harper, descendant of the town’s founder and successful frozen yogurt shop owner, is mostly resigned to her role as the often-overlooked girl next door. But when the town newcomer, Aaron, reaches out for help with Jack, she finds herself yearning to take part in a sweet love story of her own.

To Aaron, the grace Julia extends is a balm for his aching heart and the guilt he feels over his sister’s death. To Julia, Aaron’s adoration is the key to finally realizing her own worth. With a baby in the middle, can these two hurting souls find completeness in each other?

 The Deep End Killer

The Deep End Killer
A Psychological Thriller

When a dead body is found floating in their hotel pool and her son is the only person around, Daphne knew their lives were about to change.

Single mother, Daphne Verdon, only wanted a relaxing trip and time to reconnect with her son Chase.

But now, Daphne must do all that she can to find the killer to prove her son’s innocence.

Chase has made bad choices in the past, but Daphne knows her son isn't a murderer.

Daphne doesn't know who she can trust on this island of secrets, but how can she find The Deep End Killer alone?

The killer makes it very clear, they aren't happy with all the snooping around, and Daphne comes to fear for her own life.

Anything can happen in Monta Nuela, the beautiful island with dark secrets.

You may also be interested in these books

                    Women Authors Celebration - Ends 3/3 - All Genre
             Second Chance Romance - Ends 3/3 - Romance

               Mystery - Ends 3/5 - Mystery
        Romance A New Read - Ends 3/3 - Romance

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Check out my books

Adjusting to a New Life A New Home Innocent Bystander Camp Piquaqua Elephant on My Chest Becoming Birgit
Mooncrossed Kayaks, Kisses & Monsters One Night in Sedona

Or visit my bookstore to purchase a signed paperback.


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