Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice  

Posted by Heidi

Next in my Miss Delacourt series:  Sir Anthony Crenshaw and his friend, Mr. Colin Lloyd-Jones, are both nursing broken hearts.  They make a pact that they will not participate in the delights of the London Season so as to avoid the fair sex altogether.  And then Sir Anthony is conscripted by the Dowager Duchess of Marcross to escort her great-niece, Ginny Delacourt, to the country after her lackluster debut.  When Colin first sees Miss Armistead of the emerald green eyes and coal black hair, he forgets all about whomsoever it was who broke his heart.  What's a newly free bachelor to do?  

Available as an ebook on pre-order at Amazon now!

The RONE Awards and Me  

Posted by Heidi

I am super delighted that both of my 2013 releases, Lord Haversham Takes Command and The Lord Who Sneered and Other Tales, a Regency Holiday Anthology, have been nominated for a RONE Award.  This is sponsored by InDtale Magazine. For either of these books to become finalists in the competition, they need votes.  If you would like to vote for either of these books, you will need an InD'tale log in.  It is super easy to sign up and super easy to vote.  Voting for my category does not begin until March 24th.  

Lord Haversham Takes Command was also nominated for a Whitney Award.

The Lord Who Sneered and Other Tales is my most recent release.

My Favorite Gluten Free Products--Easy, Cheap and Delish!  

Posted by Heidi

I have been eating gluten free for over three years and have tried a lot of different products.  Different taste buds have different, well, tastes, so what I think is perfect might not sit well with you.  However, if you are just starting out on the gluten free journey, this list will give you a great place to start.  As always, check ingredient lists for products that do not clearly state they are gluten free as formulas change. Also, if you have nut allergies, be wary as nut flours are often used in gluten free products.

By easy, cheap and delicious, I mean, when comparing apples to apples.  None of this stuff is truly cheap but I feel that the items below give the biggest bang for the buck.

Mary's original All Gone Crackers--a serving of these have half a serving of protein and are filled with seeds--these are a staple of my gluten free diet.
Calbee's Snapeas, original flavor--these are not technically a gluten free food since gluten is not present to begin with (like an apple or potato), however, I adore these and so I thought I would mention them.
Sof'ella Chocolate Cake Mix--has more lift than other mixes and tastes divine.
Glutino's Perfect Pie Crust Flour--this is a miracle!  I use it when I bake from scratch, sometimes by itself and sometimes in combination with other cup for cup gluten free flours, depending.  It certainly makes the best pie crust of any other flour I have tried and it's great in cookies and other delicate baking.
General Mills Brand Corn/Rice Chex--every flavor is delicious but I like the cinnamon rice chex best because cinnamon is an awesome energy booster.
Crunchmaster's Multiseed Cracker, Rosemary and Olive Oil--Yum!  The original and garlic flavors are good, too.
Udi's White Sandwhich bread--for a gluten free peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, this bread can't be beat.  It actually has more nutrients in it than their multi-grain bread.
Costco brand multi-grain bread--a delicious, dark, multi-grain bread great for toasted cheese and lunchmeat sandwhiches.
Pamela's Pancake Mix--this makes great pancakes and waffles.  I have used it to make chocolate chip cookies per the directions, but I prefer others for that.
Costco Frozen Pepperoni Pizza--best ready made frozen pizza, in my opinion.  (I think it is Kirkland brand.)
Udi's frozen pizza crust--if you are going to assemble your own pizza, I really like Udi's crust.
Trader Joe's chocolate cupcakes--TJ's just unveiled their gluten free cupcakes. They are a dollar each (compared to $3-$4 each at gluten free bakeries) and loaded with delicious buttercream frosting.  They are 330 calories each and taste like it.  Simply divine!
Lucy's Cookies--I prefer to make my own but if you want store bought cookies, the kind that crunch, Lucy's chocolate chip, maple, sugar and chocolate chocolate chip versions are the best I have ever tasted (these are pricey, people but worth it!)
Noodles--I prefer Schar's.  Noodles are probably the easiest thing to find that tastes close to the original but I prefer a blend of rice and corn noodles--Schar does it best.
Trader Joe's GF Joe-Joe's--there are lots of GF Oreo substitutes out there--these are the best.  The others are too sickeningly sweet.
Betty Crocker Brownie Mix--pretty much like the real thing.  Honest.
Glutino brand pretzels--both plain and chocolate covered.
Amy's Black Bean Soup--I haven't found a truly tasty canned soup but this is edible and has some high notes.
Schar's shortbread cookies--both plain and chocolate covered--also their version of Mother's Fudge Cookies is pretty good.
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix--the only one I have found that says Gluten Free right on the box.

Sadly, I have not yet found a ready made gravy mix, rolls, doughnuts or gnocchi that I find worth eating.  Let me know if you find any.

Items I have bought but have not yet tried:  Trader Joe's new Mac and Cheese, Whole Foods brand ready made pie crust (this is a tough one--all the others I have tried was like eating bricks) and Trader Joe's brand new cup for cup gluten free flour--much cheaper than King Arthur's (it's okay) or Better Batter (which I hate) and about the same as Glutino's Perfect Pie Crust flour which I use for more than pie crust.

Recipes I love that taste pretty much like when made with wheat flour:

Any Chocolate Molten or Lava Cake
Any cream puff recipe
Cookies with almond flavoring

In short, any recipe that contains enough flavor from chocolate, eggs (such as cream puff choux) or other strong flavorings like almond, and requires a smaller amount of flour than a cake or regular cookies, is going to come out pretty well.  You might need to add xanthun gum (I have developed a sensitivity to this which I hear is common) or Guar Gum to make things stick together better but most cup for cup gluten free flours contain one or both.  Also, extra egg white can create miracles.

Bon appetit!

A Holiday Pick Me Up  

Posted by Heidi

Need a lift after all the bad news of the day?  The Lord Who Sneered and Other Tales is chock full of warmth and inspiration.  Three holiday tales full of love and romance as well as sacrifice and charity.  Available now as an ebook or paperback on Amazon.com.

The Lord Who Sneered and Other Tales by Heidi Ashworth

A New Book!  

Posted by Heidi

Isn't this cover the bee's knees?  I love it!  The Lord Who Sneered and Other Tales:  A Regency Holiday Anthology comes out the first week of October and features a ghost story for Halloween, a Thanksgiving tale (though it is never Thanksgiving in England, that is true) and a Christmas story.  It was a lot of fun to write!

This is my second book out this year which explains much about why I rarely blog these days.  However, I was asked to be a guest blogger at Birth of a Novel, the dynamic and always interesting blog of author Sandra Cody.  Be sure to check it out!

Goodreads Giveaway for Lord Haversham Takes Command!  

Posted by Heidi

Have you ever wondered what the children of Sir Anthony and Ginny Delacourt might be like?  Or that of the obnoxious Lucinda Barrington and her Lord Avery?  Lord Haversham Takes Command is a delightful look into the marriages of these well-loved couples and their offspring.  

You can enter to win a free paperback version of Lord Haversham Takes Command via this Goodreads giveaway (see below).


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Lord Haversham Takes Command by Heidi Ashworth



          Lord Haversham Takes Command

          by Heidi Ashworth


            Giveaway ends July 21, 2013.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

      Enter to win

Why Two Whole Books About Ginny Delacourt?  

Posted by Heidi

I wrote Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind in 1993.  It was the year that the traditional Regency Romance genre crashed and burned.  When I began writing it, there were six publishers who bought regency--when I had finished it six months later, there were only two.  By the time I had received a rejection from the publisher I preferred, the other publisher's regency line had sunk, as well.  Thoroughly disenchanted, I put Miss Delacourt away in a box and focused on raising my children.

Twelve(ish) years later, a friend published one of her traditional Regency Romance novels through Avalon Books.  Avalon had been in business for over 60 years but when I researched those who published regency, I skipped right over Avalon for the simple reason that they referred to their clean, regency-set romances as Historical Romance.  Back then, that was French for "smut".  Since all of their books were clean (they were a library publisher and never changed their guidelines the entire 70 years they were in business) those at Avalon didn't see the conflict.  However, the misnomer put paid to any pretensions I might have had of publishing with them.  Thank goodness for my friend and her tenacity.  She strongly encouraged me to submit Miss D and so I did, even though I had made up my mind that I could not do a proper job of raising my children (they were tough kids to raise) and immerse myself properly in the world of an author at the same time. 

And Avalon Books bought it! (You can read about my reaction to this on my blog HERE.)  I saw this as a lovely experience, one that was never likely to happen again, one to be cherished . . . And then a friend who I had met blogging said how much she loved my characters and that I should write a sequel so she could spend more time with them.  My reaction was, Of course not!  The book had been written as a stand-alone and, furthermore, sequels in this genre were unheard of.  Series happened, usually featuring the same perpetually engaged couple who solved mysteries together, but not a second book about the romance of the very same couple.  And then one morning, I woke up with an idea.  I wrote to my editor and ran it past her.  Her reaction was, Of course not! But then she thought about it and suggested I write it and see how it flew.  And it did! 

Some say that it is technically not a romance because Ginny and Sir Anthony had already met, fallen in love and become engaged to wed.  However, the fans of Sir Anthony and Ginny Delcourt loved reading the futher adventures of . . . As such, Miss Delacourt Has Her Day has been my best selling book, to date.  It was also a finalist in the historical category of the Whitney Awards.  In June of 2012, Amazon bought Avalon Books and in September 2012 they brought out my Miss Delacourt books as ebooks for the first time.  Their promotion machine pushed Miss D 1 and Miss D 2 into the numbers One and Two spot on the Top 100 Best Selling Regency Romance list in May of 2013. 

Before that happened, however, I decided it was time to write another book.  Though I had begun writing several others during the 14 years between writing Miss D and its publication, none of them felt quite right.  And then I began to wonder what Ginny's and Sir Anthony's daughter might be like--and an idea was born.

Lord Haversham Takes Command is the result of my curiosity and, as a bonus, I had the opportunity to explore and write about the relationship of Sir Anthony and Ginny 25 years later.  (As such, it is not, officially, a regency era romance--it is early Victorian--however, since it is part of a regency series, it has been labeled a regency.  Mea culpa if it has led anyone astray.)  Whilst I was writing this, however, I decided to take the plunge into the self-publishing world and last Thanksgiving I wrote a Christmas novella featuring Miss Delacourt, now Lady Crenshaw, and her love, Sir Anthony Crenshaw, six months after their marriage.  Lady Crenshaw's Christmas hit the Top 100 Hot New Releases in Regency Romance list on Amazon twelve hours after I hit the publish button and continues to sell well six months later, despite the fact that Christmas is long gone.

Though my next work is another novella featuring ancillary characters in the Miss Delacourt world (namely, the Dowager Duchess of Marcross, for one--see sidebar for details) I have written a story featuring completely different characters.  It was published in a Christmas themed anthology in October of last year.

A Timeless Romance Anthology:  Winter Collection features short romances in historical settings (all clean!) set during the winter holidays, all by award-winning authors.  It is currently a finalist in the RONE awards, winners to be determined in August of this year.  Meanwhile, Lord Haversham Takes Command is my most recent release as of June 21st.  Since its release, it has hit the Hot New Releases in Regency Romance list, the Hot New Releases in Historical Romance list, the Top 100 Best Sellers in Regency Romance list, the Top 100 Fiction and Literature list in the historical category and the Top 100 Best Sellers in Historical Romance, as well. 

Shound I fret when I hear that people simply can't understand why there are two whole novels about Ginny Delacourt?  No.  I love Ginny Delacourt and her Sir Anthony and hope to write about them, one way or another, for a long time to come.