Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Back from vacation backlog

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?

As you know, last week we went away on vacation. As usual when we take week-long trips, Mr. Stevens and I brought our laptops so we could work at night when the kids went to bed. However, as is often the case when we go on vacation, I was so tired at night, I couldn't do anything but sleep. I couldn't even join Mr. S by the fire.

Not that it mattered. We had no internet. So, while I might have been able to write, I couldn't do any research or catch up on correspondence. You have no idea how relieved I was to have sent out my newsletter in advance!

Although I managed to sneak in some writing during the (seven hour) drive home, I didn't really get much work done.

And then Monday morning came around. I sat at my desk for a moment, intending to do one quick task then grab breakfast. Except for one quick trip to the kitchen for coffee, I didn't leave my desk for 5 hours. And when I did (to grab lunch at 2 pm), I still felt woefully unproductive. It wasn't until about 9 at night where I finally was able to say to myself, "Okay. I'm all caught up."

Unfortunately. I often feel this way. I enjoy spending time with my family on our vacations. I love unplugging and enjoying the moment. But the more i unplug, the greater the backlog of work when I return.

I'm not even going to ask if this happens to you. I'm fairly confident it happens to nearly everyone. (Unless, maybe, you have a personal assistant.) But my question to you this week is:

How do you handle the seemingly endless backlog when you go away?

Choose Your Own Path Stories

The Detention Adventure

The Detention Adventure is an interactive young adult story.

IMPORTANT NOTE: No one has voted on a path for this story yet. If you would like to continue this story, please visit the link below and comment on a path or vote using the email that you received last week. If there are no responses by next week's email, we will not continue with this story at this time.

Late For Work

Late For Work is an interactive romance story.

A Weekend at Munson Manor

A Weekend at Munson Manor is an interactive mystery story.

Hartfield Chronicles

Hartford Chronicles

Season 6 of Hartfield Chronicles is here!

For Hartfield students, Spring Break means two weeks away from campus. Pat has so many plans: earning his pilot's certificate, the Hollywood premiere of Tomodachi, auditioning for a new movie, and spending time with the friends in L.A. that he hasn't seen in months. Melinda's only plan, however, involves being bored for two weeks at home. After an adventurous night babysitting, however, her parents have a surprise for her: she can join her friends in L.A.

Melinda can't wait. There are so many things she wants to see. But most of all, she's looking forward to seeing who Walter and Pat become when they become Wally and Patrick McGregor.

But L.A. isn't exactly the experience Melinda expects. Between Hollywood parties, Pat's ex-girlfriends, crazy fans, and paparazzi around every corner, Melinda questions whether she would be better off back in Connecticut.

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 Wednesday.

Here's what you missed:

Episode 135
Hartford Chronicles
Melinda reads Pat's new script
Episode 136
Hartford Chronicles
Pat and Melinda discuss the new movie

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

Hammerhead Club

Membership benefits:

  • Read new episodes 4 weeks in advance
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  • 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

A Curse of Gold and Beauty

A Curse of Gold and Beauty
A clean romance fairytale retelling

What if Rumpelstiltskin and the miller’s daughter fell for each other?

Meg is cursed, bewitched with breath-taking beauty at the cost of absolute obedience to her father. Rhys, her best friend, is also cursed. He is able to spin straw into gold, but each pump of the treadle exacts a terrible price. Two souls were never so perfect for each other, but fate seems determined to pull them apart.

When the King holds Meg hostage and demands gold, she must decide… Is she willing to let Rhys suffer if it saves her own life or will she accept the King's punishment and let Rhys go free?

Dark Secret Lie

Dark Secret Lie
A Twisting Psychological Thriller

Emma’s life turns upside down after finding her husband murdered at their home. With no evidence left at the crime scene and no known motive, Emma is determined to find the person responsible.
However, her husband’s death uncovers a secret that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about him.

Emma believed she was in a loving and trusting relationship with Kendrick.
She thought of them as just another couple living a normal life.
However, Kendrick had a dark secret, one that got him killed.

Detective McKinley is working the case, as he continuously communicates with Emma throughout his investigation, he pleads for her to stop trying to play detective, as every clue she finds puts her life and those around her at risk.
He wants her to trust this murder case to the police before it’s too late.

Emma understands that her life is at risk, but she can’t quit now. She must find out who Kendrick was and why he got killed.
She needs answers and she is willing to put her life on the line to uncover the truth.

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

Books Love Reviews - Ends 9/16 - All Read & Review Romance - Ends 9/1 - Romance

    Reviews Wanted - Ends 9/1 - Mystery

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

Contemporary Romance - Ends 10/6 - Romance All Genre Giveaway - Ends 9/25 - All
Passionate Nights - Ends 9/15 - Romance Hearts on Cloud Nine - Ends 9/12 - YA, Romance

    Romance for the Ages! - Ends 9/7 - Romance
    Free All-Genre Romance - Ends 9/1 - Romance

All Things Clean/Sweet Romance - Ends 9/1 - YA, Romance
Summer Love - Ends 8/31 - YA, Romance

    Sweet Romance - Ends 8/31 - YA, Romance
Sweet Summer Romance - Ends 8/31 - YA, Romance

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

Summer Silence - Ends 8/30 - All

Other Books on Sale

The Last of the Silver Wings

The Last of the Silver Wings
A YA Dragon Fantasy Series

Below Nadine’s medieval village, the fragile peace that dragons and mankind had died to forge, is about to shatter.

A power-hungry King bent on revenge discovers the legend of a darkened dragon heart. The story explodes into a plot to eliminate the church hierarchy that destroyed his mother. He must have a dragon hatchling.

Nadine wakes to the screams of her village being destroyed by dragon fire, as the last dragon mother exacts her vengeance at this cruel betrayal of mankind. And she takes hostages.

The message is clear, “Return the hatchling or watch the villagers die in the ancient tunnels.”

Ripped away from an age of innocence, this epic fantasy thrusts Nadine into a world of kings, queens, and dragons. The stakes for victory are high.

The Chronicles of Nadine is an action-packed adventure series set in a time where the struggle for world domination is real. It weaves politics and religion into the lives of a series of well fleshed out characters, who call to each of us to reckon with our own inner demons.

This series has the complexity of Game of Thrones with the moral compass of Francine Rivers.

The Last of the Silver Wings, the first in the series, is an action-packed Medieval Fantasy novel that speaks to our most basic fears and aspirations.

Mr Fake Husband Grump

Mr Fake Husband Grump
a small-town, enemies to lovers, sweet romcom

Me marry Mr Grump… Not in a million years.

The opportunity of a lifetime involved a trade: life in Seattle for a Florida swamp.

My mission. To drain the swamp and build a luxury golf course spa resort.

No problem. Only Mr Grump on a Harley Davidson has made it his mission to save it.

Nick Anderson, my biker adversary, just happens to be my university professor crush from years ago.

And he is only more handsome with age.

At a surprise visit from my Japanese boss, words are lost in translation. He thinks that Nick and I are married.

But the pretense turns out to be a classic win/win.

We must appear as a devoted couple until we both get what we want.

No problem. I can pretend.

Although, being so close to my ex-crush means my feelings aren’t fake.

I need to keep my game face fixed and focus on the spreadsheets… not the bedsheets.

Mr Fake Husband Grump is a pulse-racing closed-door standalone clean romance, loaded with laughs and sizzling chemistry, but no bedroom scenes.

Claws & Conundrums

Claws and Conundrums
The Misadventures of a Cat Detective

Claws, Conundrums, and a Curious Cat... Unleashing Cryptic Puzzles!

Little did I know that a mischievous tabby cat would become my ticket to freedom, using his uncanny ability to grant me visions and help me solve a perplexing murder where I’m the prime suspect!

As a discouraged New York City bookstore owner, I receive a mysterious letter claiming that Mr. Livingstone is leaving his sinister mansion in Picklesquare to me.

Greeted by the estate lawyer and neighborhood scapegoat when I arrive, I have to spend the night to clear things up with Mr. Livingstone.

Chaos erupts when I stumble upon the lifeless body of Anna, the estate's lawyer, the next morning. Faced with suspicion by the cute Detective Grey, the stoic cat leads me to the clues that will clear my name.

Danger looms as the cat and I form an undeniable bond and Detective Grey turns into an unlikely partner.

With each vision, we get closer to unmasking the truth and exposing the malevolent forces behind the pain hidden in the mansion walls. Together, we delve into a web of intrigue, avoiding the watchful eyes of the real killer.

But meddling with the supernatural has consequences and we may not get out of this one unscathed…

You may also be interested in these books

The Calm Before the Storm - Ends 9/29 - Mystery Let's Grow Together - Ends 10/1 - Mystery
And Now For Something Completely Different - Ends 9/17 - All Women Sleuths - Ends 9/15 - Mystery
Back to School Book Fair - Ends 9/14 - YA Hugs & Kisses - Ends 9/8 - Romance
Cozy Mystery Books that Make You Smile - Ends 9/4 - Mystery Brace Up and Get Ready - Ends 9/4 - ALL
$2.99 or Less - Ends 9/3 - Mystery Summer's End Cozy Mysteries - Ends 9/1 - Mystery
SciFi & Alien Romance - Ends 9/1 - Romance Moderately Clean - Ends 9/1 - Romance
All Genres Book Sale - Ends 9/1 - All Women Authors Celebration - Ends 9/1 - All
Stories From Space - Ends 8/31 - All The Whole Shebang - Ends 8/31 - Mystery

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