Friday, March 11, 2016

A Searing Acquaintance Character Interview & Giveaway!

Greetings, dear readers! I know it has been a while since I have posted on my blog, but I am so thrilled to have author J.L. Ashton here today promoting her debut novel, A Searing Acquaintance! Isn't the cover beautiful? The story is equally as good! However, enough of my talking. You came here to see what Ms. Ashton has for your enjoyment. And let me say, she doesn't disappoint with her character interview! Make sure you enter the giveaway for one (1) of eight (8) copies of A Searing Acquaintance!!

The Best Friends: Charlotte Lucas Interviews Charles “The Moppet” Bingley

Two fairly important characters in Pride and Prejudice and A Searing Acquaintance offer their best friends sympathetic shoulders, unheeded advice, and reasons to be in the same place at the same time. Yet Charlotte Lucas and Charles Bingley barely share a scene in either story. One of them was oblivious, but the other is indignant, so we sat them down for a conversation over a bottle of chardonnay.

Charlotte: “So. Charles. Finally we meet. You do realize we never have so much as a conversation in Pride and Prejudice.”

Charles: “So true, Charlotte. Yet we do meet in A Searing Acquaintance.”

Charlotte: “Yes, in the very first scene or so…though we never talk. Or make eye contact. We remain on opposite sides of the ‘Great and Tragic Yet Magically Wonderful Romance.’”

Charles, sighing: “Yes, Jane is an angel.”

Charlotte: “I meant Darcy and Elizabeth.”

Charles: “Oh. Of course! Though she is a little tough on him when they meet…”

Charlotte: “But he is such a jerk at first, a Mr. Noir.”

Charles: “He was uncomfortable. And the sock inquisition was a bit scary, for him anyway. I thought it was hilarious. So did Jane. We bonded, totally, in that moment.”

Charlotte: “Yes, yes. The bonding of the blond angels…we know.”

Charles: “So cynical, Charlotte! I found my soulmate, my life’s love. So did my best friend, and lord knows, he needed Elizabeth. “

Charlotte: “He did. Lizzy changed him, made him a better man. And he softened her. She never wanted anyone to see how vulnerable she was. She barely showed me that side of her.”

Charles: “Exactly.”

Charlotte: “So, when did you know he liked Lizzy?”

Charles: “When he offered to pick her up at the train. He would have done it if I asked, but he didn’t wait for me to say anything. And he didn’t complain about being stuck at Netherfield, alone with her.”

Charlotte: “So he is an erstwhile whiny pants?”

Charles: “No! He was never a `whiny pants.’ You know him now. He was wary of opportunistic women. He never saw Lizzy that way, and that was unusual.”

Charlotte: “Hmm.”

Charles: “So, when did you know Elizabeth liked Darcy?”

Charlotte: “Well, I knew she noticed him because she complained about him, and it was kind of irrational anger. There was a little more passion in her dislike than she ever showed in her like for her boyfriends. Oh, and she refused to watch chick flicks with me. She got fixated on horror movies and bad sitcoms. Good thing Bill loves rom coms.”

Charles: “Right…Bill. You learned Klingon for him, didn’t you?”

Charlotte: “And Yoda speak, which I really hate.”

Charles, smiling dreamily: “True love, Charlotte. It knows no bounds. Jane is even learning how to play Call of Duty.”

Charlotte: “So, back to that. What was the dealio in this story? You and I met in the first chapter, and we never meet up again until we’re both dancing and partying and attached to other people.”

Charles: “At my engagement party? And my wedding? And Elizabeth’s?”

Charlotte: “Why is that? Jane Austen kept us apart but for the assembly, a dinner, and the Netherfield ball. Did she fear we might be lured to one another?”

Charles, glancing at Charlotte’s ring finger: “You do know I married Jane, right? And we’re blissfully happy?

Charlotte, laughing, reached for her wine glass: “Blissful, I know. And I am content with my lot as well. It’s simply that I see missed plot twist opportunities.”

Charles: “Like you and Richard? Rumor has it the two of you clicked at the Yankees game.”

Charlotte, blushing: “He was cute but a little too suave. And he was very intent on interrogating Lizzy.”

Charles: “On his cousin’s behalf?”

Charlotte: “Yeah...he definitely had seen some signals. Darcy had marked his territory, so to speak….Sorry, was that too crude?”

Charles: “You are blunt! I see why you and Lizzy became best friends.”

Charlotte: “It all started with fight over a lunch box when she was in first grade.”

Charles, rolling his eyes: “Well, this story—the one that matters—is really about Elizabeth and Darcy and how they fill each other’s blank spaces and heal the hurts and heartaches and pains.”

Charlotte: “Lots of pain and heartache.”

Charles, draining his wine glass: “Yeah, lots of sadness for them both.”

Charlotte: “But then it gets happy and she teaches him about American pop culture and bakes him cookies and writes awesome books.”

Charles: “And he makes her endlessly happy by talking about books and music and history in that secret language they have, full of big vocabulary words.”

Charlotte: “And they take exotic vacations, and they have Pemberley.”

Charles, sighing happily: “It’s all so wonderful.”

Charlotte replenished his empty glass with the last of the wine.

Charles: “And they’ve filled their house with love.”

Charlotte: “Man, you are a softie, Chuck.”

Charles: “I am. Now please stop pouring me wine.”

Charlotte: “So, how about Jane’s allergies? Lizzy was always frustrated at growing up with fish and turtles instead of cats and dogs. How does Jane handle things now when visiting her sister? The Darcys have quite the menagerie.”

Charles, laughing: “Drugs. And honestly, I think those allergies were exaggerated by her father. Ted Bennet just didn’t wanted to deal with more dependents, even the furry kind.”

Charlotte rolled her eyes. “Typical. Well, Lizzy couldn’t have a found herself a man less like her father.”

Charles nodded and looked at her expectantly.

Charlotte: “Same with Jane. You are the antithesis of a detached husband and, rumor has it, soon to be father?"

Charles beamed. “And to think it all started because our best friends had an argument.”

Oh, that was good! I bet you are now wanting to know exactly how Darcy and Elizabeth fill in each other's blank spaces and heal hurts. Well, there is one way to find out.... Pick up a copy of A Searing Acquaintance
Thanks again to J.L. Ashton for providing us with such an entertaining scene between Charles and Charlotte!


Book Blurb: 
“I don’t know why I ever thought we made sense.”
Smart, educated people are fools in love, especially when they’re mired in denial and misunderstanding.
In this modern spin on Jane Austen’s classic tale, Elizabeth Bennet, a grad student with literary aspirations, has found her big career break—and broken up with yet another forgettable boyfriend. While grateful for the professional lifeline thrown by sports agent George Wickham, she is intrigued by the man she calls Mr. Noir. 
Fitzwilliam Darcy, marked by tragedy, is a man accustomed to living his life in the spotlight even as his heart dwells on the dark side of loneliness. When he first meets Elizabeth, he thinks she looks like “a bloody pumpkin,” but he soon sees so much more. She, however, can’t even decide what to call him. Mr. Noir? Nurse Darcy? Sleazy British playboy? Ferdinand?
“So, it’s Fitzwilliam, right? That’s an amazing name, you know. Which came first—the name or the accent?”
He looked at her.
“Oh, come on. It’s like the name of a subdivision or a sofa at Pottery Barn. `Please note the extra firm cushions on The Fitzwilliam.’”

Can an accidental encounter that leads to shocking intimacy change the course they’ve both set and bring them into love’s light? Or will they stay mired in cold words and angry misunderstandings, overshadowing the deep connection they each feel? Getting beyond their own mistakes to find each other again is one thing; they also have to heal the wounds of their pasts. Can they do that together?


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Thanks to Meryton Press, we have a Rafflecopter giveaway where readers have a chance to win one (1) of eight (8) copies of A Searing Acquintance! To enter, please comment on this blog post, and fill out the Rafflecopter form! 
*An entrant may only win ONE (1) copy of A Searing Acquaintance and must use the Rafflecopter form. Rafflecopter will randomly select the winners, who will then be contacted via email. 

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A Searing Acquaintance Blog Tour Schedule

3/7: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
3/8: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
3/9: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
3/10: Author Interview & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton
3/11: Character Interview & Giveaway at Leatherbound Reviews
3/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at Babblings of A Bookworm
3/13: Review at Liz’s Reading Life
3/14: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
3/15: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
3/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
3/18: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
3/19: Review at Just Jane 1813
3/20: Excerpt & Giveaway at Delighted Reader
3/21: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews