Ashley Gardner Q&A and Giveaway: Romance Awareness Month

RomanceAwarenessMonth1Just a few weeks ago, I was happily surprised to find that August is Romance Awareness Month! I can’t find an origin, but it’s a real thing, and I’m ALL FOR IT!

To celebrate, I sent an *all call* to some of my favorite romance authors, asking each of them the same questions about romance (their own, their favorites, and their characters). All month long we’ll be sharing the authors’ answers, and EVERY ONE OF THEM is offering a giveaway!


Ashley Gardner has established herself in the historic mystery / romance world, but her “alter egos” have done pretty well, themselves. You may recognize her as Jennifer Ashley and/or Allyson James!


The newest in Ashley’s mystery world is a novella that starts a new series, full of gladiators, set in ancient Rome.


Blood Debts

Book 1: Leonidas the Gladiator Mysteries

Leonidas, freedman, once the most popular gladiator in Rome and champion of the games, now must fight for his life outside the arena. A man who owed him money was murdered, and Leonidas is a prime suspect.

With the formidable assistance of Cassia, daughter of a Greek scribe who was bestowed upon him as his slave, Leonidas fights for justice in the back lanes of Imperial Rome.

Cassia has no idea how to cook and clean or mend and weave, but she is very good at finding things out and writing things down, able to work through a dozen mathematical problems by the time most people can think of a sentence. Knowing both intuitively and empirically that Leonidas is innocent of the murder, she resolves to help clear him of the crime.

It’s the least she can do for a man who has proved to be far less brutal than his reputation and who protects all who come within his sphere.

And if Leonidas loses, he faces a short, painful future back in the amphitheatre, this time without hope of survival.


What is your simple definition of “romance”?

Happy Ever After–A very satisfying one

What is the most romantic thing someone’s done for you?

My husband leaves cards around the house where I’ll stumble across them–he never says a word, just lets me find them. For birthday, Christmas, anniversary, or Just Because.

Do you have any “romance mishaps” you can share?

Does thirty years of marriage count?

If your own romance was a novel, the title would be…

Two Clumsy, Geeky Booklovers Fell In Love …

What is the most romantic thing one of your characters has done for their love interest? 

In my very first novel, the naval officer stickler-for-the-rules hero abandoned his assignment and turned his ship around to go after the heroine, who had caused him nothing but trouble up to that point. But he refused to go on without her.

Do you have a favorite romance trope? (Either to read, or write.) If so, which one?

Fish out of water (hero or heroine must adapt to totally new setting / time / life situation with the help of the heroine / hero).

Who is your favorite (aside from one of your own) fictional romantic couple?

Remington Steele and Laura Holt


With a wide variety of romances to choose from, this giveaway might prove hard for it’s winner! Ashley is offering a lucky reader their choice of one title from any of her series. This might also be a good time to start her Mackenzies & McBrides series (as Jennifer Ashley), if you haven’t, since book nine, ALEC MACKENZIE’S ART OF SEDUCTION will be out in November! Be sure to comment with the book you’d like to win, and one of you will be selected, at random, from all entries posted by August 31st, and notified by email. Full winners list will be posted on September 1st.

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