Guest Blogger: Rosalie Ash

Rosalie AshRosalie Ash, an author who has published more than 20 successful romance novels worldwide through the legendary Mills and Boon brand, has launched her first e-book on Amazon Kindle.

She has re-written MELTING ICE, her first novel, updating it from a world of 1980s shoulder pads to 21st century smart phone communications and re-published it as book one of a trilogy.

I asked her to tell us more about the book, and about herself.

What is the story about?

“The theme is of a cold, emotionally damaged man meeting a warm, impulsive girl, and their subsequent relationship.  Matt thinks Victoria is gorgeous but way too young, and he is averse to any kind of involvement.  Victoria is only 18, naive and a bit self-obsessed, when she falls in love with Matt during the first weekend they meet.

I like the idea that being with the right person can effectively change someone’s whole life and outlook.  Both main characters, Matt and Victoria, grow and change over the course of the story, and finish up more likeable and better balanced by the end.”

Do you fantasise about which actors would play your characters in a movie?

“Yes. While re-writing MELTING ICE I was thinking of Daniel Craig as the hero, MATT. I was visualising Liv Tyler as VICTORIA, Julia Roberts as JESSICA, and Scarlett Johansson crossed with a  young Sinead O’Connor as MEGAN.”

What made you want to re-write MELTING ICE?

“This was my first book, originally published in 1989. When I got the copyright back from Harlequin Mills and Boon, I could have just re-published it digitally as an 80’s Classic, but when I re-read it I felt the urge to give my characters a bigger story.

And then there were little things, like coming across an old 2001 5-star USA review of MELTING ICE on the internet. This reader had bought my book in a ‘thrift shop’, and wrote things like ‘an emotional trip’, ‘a refreshing break from the average cheesy romance’. She went on to say she’d tried to find other Rosalie Ash books but discovered most were out of print.

The hero and heroine in MELTING ICE, their love story, the location of rural Warwickshire, all felt very personal to me. I also wanted to bring them into the 21st century. At the very least, I wanted them to have the benefit of smart-phones, texting, email, I-pads, sat-nav, and to wear clothes that didn’t resemble the wardrobe of ‘Dynasty’!

I decided the book just needed a few more characters, a couple more plot twists, and it would turn very well into a longer book, and into part one of a trilogy.

The striking new cover was created for me by Birmingham-based illustrator, Gareth Courage.”

What made you choose the location?

“The village and farmhouse setting create an effective ‘crucible’ where the characters all live and work in a close-knit environment. Harbridge is fictional, but is typical of many small South Warwickshire villages, not too far from the border with the Cotswolds, where the farms and cottages are built of mellow stone. Warwickshire is where I’ve lived all my life. It is known as the ‘leafy heart of England’. The scenery is not dramatic, but timeless rolling English countryside.”

Tell us more about the hero

“Matt Larson comes from the classic ‘school of hard knocks’ background. He is tough, cool and sexy as hell! He had a tragic childhood and he’s a self-made multi-millionaire.  He seems cold and uncaring, but inside he is vulnerable, honourable, kind, caring, all traits that Victoria eventually discovers. He’s part Danish, with icy grey eyes, blond hair and olive skin – what’s not to love?!” :)

What’s the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to you?

“Eloping. When I got married second time round, we sneaked off to the Registry Office at 9:00 am one morning, then immediately flew to Florence for our honeymoon. We rang our families to tell them the news, on our way to airport. We felt like two naughty children playing truant from school.”

If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?

“I’d have a cottage in Cornwall and a villa in Italy.  I’ve recently discovered the Cilento region, south of Naples. I rent a stone-built cottage high on a hill, overlooking the Bay of Cilento and the Amalfi Coast.  It makes you feel almost literally ‘on top of the world’. You can see the sun set over Capri. The weather, the scenery, the food, the people, are all wonderful. The only downside is the death-defying Italian driving!”

Which author would you love to meet?

“I’d like to have a ‘girlie’ lunch party with Jilly Cooper, Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell. Their books are so warm and funny, I imagine they’d reflect their attitude to life in general.

What are your plans for 2013?

“Book Two of MELTING ICE is going well, and I’m making this my priority. But I obtained the copyright to three more of my early books, UNSAFE HARBOUR, LAW OF THE CIRCLE, and THE GYPSY’S BRIDE, and I intend to re-publish at least two of these original Rosalie Ash classics as e-books. THE GYPSY’S BRIDE was a top favourite of mine, though. Sex, horses, and a smouldering part-gypsy hero. What’s not to like? So, I don’t know, maybe I’ll feel driven to re-write and extend the story of sexy SAUL GALLAGHER and gorgeous CHESSY…”

Book two of the Roundwell Farm series, telling Jessica’s story, will be out as an e-book later in 2013.

Rosalie will be putting more of her 90’s classics on Amazon Kindle over the next few weeks.

To find out more, go to Rosalie Ash’s website  http://rosalieash.wordpress.com

Melting IceHere’s the book:

‘Men with those half-hooded eyes always look as if they’re inviting you to bed with them,’ Jessica gave an enjoyably exaggerated shiver, ‘But Matt is so deliciously detached. All steely reserve and suppressed passion. I think he’s gorgeous!’

Victoria hunched her shoulders in a casual shrug. ‘I’d hardly describe him as gorgeous.’

‘Decided that while you were gazing at him longingly on the terrace, did you?’

When Victoria meets Matt she is instantly infatuated with him. But he makes it clear that she’s not his type, and in any case she is far too young for him. But everything changes one night, forcing them both on a journey of self-discovery that transforms their lives forever.

One of the 5-star reader reviews already posted on Amazon for MELTING ICE:

By Jan  Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

Rosalie Ash is back and better than ever. Melting Ice is a well written, compulsive read. I admit I had the free download but I would have happily paid money for it and can’t wait for the second book in the trilolgy.’

And here’s an excerpt:

‘Will you please go?’ she said, ‘I don’t want you to come here again.’

Matt rose to his feet in a fluid, powerful movement, and the pale, lidded gaze was so scathing she longed to drop her eyes under the onslaught. Only pride and fury kept them level.

‘Don’t be so fucking ridiculous, Victoria.’ he said tautly, ‘I’ll go, but not before I’ve proved that you’re lying to me and to yourself.’

Before she could duck him, he had pulled her into his arms. He controlled her furious struggles with easy strength. His fingers were hard as he twisted her chin up until her mouth was beneath his, and then he kissed her.

In the midst of her anger, Victoria felt a wave of despair. She knew that her body was going to betray her. She wanted to fight and struggle and scream, but instead she circled his neck with her arms and ran her fingers into his hair, pulling his mouth down harder on her own and returning the kiss with a shudder of passion she had forgotten she was capable of feeling.

When their lips parted for a moment she drew in a breath that sounded like a sob, but her whole body was on fire, as if all her anger and resentment were transformed into heightened sexual desire.

In response he swung her into his arms and took her to the sofa in front of the fire, trapping her on his lap as he kissed her more deeply. Victoria couldn’t think any more. All she wanted was to be closer, closer, to surrender to this glorious melting feeling in her bones, and this fiery ache in her stomach. Her struggles to escape had changed to struggles to be as close to Matt as possible, and with a groan he pushed her full length on the sofa and responded to her urgent movements by flicking open the buttons on her jeans and pushing up the soft fabric of her jumper.

Then at last she felt his lips on her skin, her throat, and his hand could flick open the clasp of her silky lace bra and expose her breasts to receive the caresses they ached for.

She gave a choked cry of pleasure as she felt his tongue on her hardened nipples, and he drew back for a moment, his face shadowy and almost unrecognisable above her, the pupils dilated with desire.

‘Victoria,’ he breathed unevenly, stroking the softness of her with an almost reverent gentleness, his eyes narrowed as he gazed down at her, ‘Did I ever tell you that you have the most perfect breasts I’ve ever seen?’

‘No,’ her voice was muffled with emotion, everything melting into surrender, ‘You didn’t…’ Not even when she’d flashed them at him on their first meeting, she thought dazedly, almost finding the strength to giggle but dissolving instead into quivering desire.

‘And you’ve gained some curves,’ he said, ‘In all the right places. God, Victoria…’

He was peeling down her tight jeans and sending another convulsion of desire through her. Lost in sensation, she hungrily moved one hand up inside his T-shirt, felt the warm hardness of his abdomen and chest, trembled over the flat hard nipples and the coarseness of his chest hair, all her long years of needing and wanting pooling into one hot, liquid tug of desire low down in her stomach.

‘Matt, oh God…,’ she heard herself whispering against his mouth, as her body strained towards him. He slid the jeans down further, tugged them so that he could pull them right off her. He slipped his hand inside her lacy briefs and cupped her already damp sex with his hand. He groaned, sliding two fingers inside her until she whimpered with need.

‘You smell and taste gorgeous, I’ve never forgotten the scent and flavour of you,’ he said, running that same hand up the length of her body, putting his fingers into his own mouth and then into hers.

That was all it took. Something raw and elemental in Matt’s sexuality ignited a desire in her so powerful, so overwhelming she couldn’t stop herself, couldn’t fight it. She needed him, hungered and thirsted for him, in a mindless, blind way that had her fingers ripping at his white T-shirt, wrenching it over his head, allowing her hands the luxury of stroking and exploring the irresistible lines of his body.

In front of the fire, on the warmth of the sofa, he lifted her to straddle him, stroked the soft fullness of her breasts, moulded her small waist and the flare of her hips, his eyes dark as smoke as they hungrily scanned her body,

‘You’re stunning, but completely crazy,’ he murmured huskily, ‘I don’t have a clue what goes on in your head!’

‘Right now, nor do I,’ she whispered breathlessly, ‘I don’t have a clue how you do this to me, if I did I’d know how to stop you.’

‘Don’t. Don’t stop me.’ His voice was thick with desire and laughter. ‘If you knew how much I’ve been wanting to do this to you again, you wouldn’t be so cruel.’

She slid a trembling hand to the fastening of his Levis, moved her fingers over the long hard bulge under the button-fly with a rush of heat all over her. Slowly, she eased open the top two buttons, her eyes caught and held in his narrowed gaze.

The only sound was dull tick of the grandfather clock in the shadows, the hissing of the logs in the hearth, and their combined ragged breathing.

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