Showing posts from 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!

Top Ten List!

I'm so honored to have the three novels I wrote in 2012 appear on a top ten list over at Jessewave Reviews.  Here's the complete list for those of you haven't seen it yet and want to add more great books to your To Buy list.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from me and Santa's little helper. 

AJ kept us on our toes last night as he systematically ripped open everyone's presents.  Pausing to admire and inspect each gift was wishful thinking on our part.  His squeals of delight made up for the mess.  The big hit of the evening was this little rocking horse. 

I'd like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

Happy Holidays!


Behind the Cover Art-Dan Skinner

Behind the Cover Art

How often have you seen this comment by readers?  “I was drawn to the book because of the beautiful cover.”  Or sometimes, you see this. “The story was great, but I almost didn’t pick it up because of the ugly cover!”

Writers labor over a manuscript for weeks, months, and sometimes, years.  Once it’s accepted by a publisher, their “baby” goes through several processes before it finally hits the shelves.  One of the most stressful of these steps is choosing a book cover.  First, you have to decide which artist will be able to bring your vision to life.  Do you want it drawn or Photoshopped?  Do you have a preference for colors?  Should there be nudity, or should we take a more subtle approach?  What type of background did you envision?  What do your main characters look like?  Did you wish to convey passionate love or not?  The questions are endless, and most writers provide more information than necessary.  It takes a skilled artist to sift through the jumble of w…

Horizons Series Reviewed

The Horizons series was recently reviewed over at Hearts On Fire Reviews.  Horizons was my first published novel (2009)and appeared on several best seller lists for many weeks.   Despite a few errors in football timelines (I'd love to re-edit the entire novel) it's a great love story and continues to be very popular with readers.  Taste is the spin-off and Daddio is the recently published sequel. Here are the links to the reviews. 

Review for Horizons: 4 stars of 5

Review for Taste: 5 stars of 5

Review for Daddio: 4 stars of 5

Book 4 in the series is my current WIP.  I'm jumping ahead a few years so you can expect some new challenges for Lil and Grier as they learn how to deal with a teenager and all the drama that goes on at that age.  Stay tuned!

What Inspires A Story

I like to share pictures of the places I write about.  Here are some  photos I borrowed from Trip Advisor of the Albay Province in the Philippines where my story Mayon takes place.

                                        This waterfall is located in one of the mountain parks.

                                              Spanish style architecture.

Zipping through traffic jams and avoiding potholes is a lot easier in a pedicab. This popular means of transport is the preferred choice of many locals who'd rather depend on their study legs than pay for imported gas.

The World War II Willis Jeep was refurbished and turned into a  means of public transportation. Owners outdid each other with colorful (and oftentimes garish) designs to make them as attractive as possible.   They changed the name to "Jeepney" and continues to be used throughout the country..

      Rice paddies abound in the shadow of the volcano because the soil is so rich.

This is all that remains of the chu…


A friend sent me this for inspiration.  You think he wants to read another book in the Horizons series?  Hmm...I'm thinking , yes.

Aside from the lovely visual, this post is a test.  I've switched my feed on Goodreads to this blog and want to see if it cross posts without a problem.  I'll have another surprise post next week.  Stay tuned.

Momentos: Mick's Journey Reviewed

I came upon this lovely review of Momentos: Mick's Journey
yesterday and I'm re-posting it here with Adara's permission. I know this is a tough series to read but it's very special to me and whenever I see a positive review I can't wait to share it.

5 ***** Star review on Goodreads by Adara O'Hare

Do not read this series out of order. This is book 3 of 3.

My God, these books just absolutely wreck me. Where Loving Edits leaves you knowing that what will come is inevitable, you don't actually see the worst things happen. The second book, Tono, starts after Mick's death has occurred, so you see the aftermath, and not the pain.

This book shows us the pain of loving someone slowly dying from the later stages of ALS.

This is actually what I expected Loving Edits to have in it (before I first read that story). And it's very truthful. It reads very quickly, and with such a joy of life for the most part. I didn't want to put this book down.

The first third o…

Mayon Reviewed

A couple of reviews of Mayon I'd like to share.

Amos Lassen here:

On Amazon: 5 stars for Mayon.

As a reader, i enjoy learning about new places, and MAYON, Ms. Ashling's historical romance set in the Philippines, immediately following World War II, accomplished that and more. In reading the author's biography, it's obvious that she has an insider's knowledge of the topography, food, and cultural mores of this complex and multinational country. Seeing it all through the eyes of John Buchanan, Ms. Ashling's American protagonist, kept me fascinated and spellbound. The budding romance between the former Marine and Gregorio Delgado, a Filipino of mixed descent, is the heart of the story, but the secondary characters help to maintain the high tension and add the necessary conflict to make this book a page-turner until the final scene. If you are looking for something different, you've come to the right place. This is a must-r…

Mayon Excerpt

Here's a new excerpt from my latest release, Mayon.  Walk in John Buchanan's shoes for a while as he braces for another new experience.


“Now, what was it you wanted to do today?” John asked.
“Sabong means cockfighting.”
“Oh… I’ve never been to a match.”
“Then we should go. Ignacio raises some of the finest roosters around these parts; in fact, some of them are right here on this hacienda.”

THE cockfighting ring turned out to be nothing more than a large open-sided nipa hut with an enclosed pen in the center. The floor was packed dirt and there were no seats to speak of. The crowd milled about with peso bills in their hands, waving and gesticulating loudly. Most of the spectators were men. There were a few women in the periphery of the area but they stayed far back and were only there to peddle local street food. There wasn’t much chance to eat during the fight, but afterward, there would be. The vendors hung around like the constant cloud of flies, hoping to reap a pa…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for almost everyone I know. Unlike Christmas, it's stress-free, and the anxiety of gift-giving, and fighting the mobs at the mall, is eliminated.  This holiday is about food, family, and football (at least in my testosterone-filled clan).  I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my online friends and readers a wonderful and peaceful day.  The cutie in the pumpkin patch is my darling grandson who brightens our lives each day and makes me grateful that I'm alive, healthy, and productive.  In the end, that's all you can ask for.

Five Star Review for Taste

Taste received a wonderful review from Don over at Hearts On Fire Reviews

Review for Taste: 5 stars of 5

Reviews for Daddio

Daddio received a great review from Barb over at Jessewave a few days ago.  November is off to a great start!  Here's the review:

Another great review from Don over at Hearts on Fire Reviews:

Now Available

Did you know that Mayon volcano is surrounded by deep coconut forests and rice paddies?  Because of the rich volcanic soil, farmers refuse to leave the area, despite the ongoing danger of a possible eruption.


Gregorio waved at a group of women washing clothes by a riverbed. John asked him to pause for a minute so he could watch them beat the cloth with flat boards against the river rocks. It looked like backbreaking work, and they were soaked with soap and water, but appeared to be enjoying themselves by laughing their chores away.

“Haven’t you ever seen this before?”

“Not really,” John admitted. “Back home we use washing machines.”

“How can a machine do as good a job as a human being?”

John shrugged. “I never really thought about it; my mother does the laundry.”

“I can’t imagine the clothes would get any cleaner that way.”

“You’re probably right,” John said. “Shall we move on?”

“We should stop and eat soon. Aren’t you hungry?”

“You don’t need to persuade me to eat,” John said, smiling…

Book Trailer

Presenting the book trailer for Mayon, created by Qafmaniac, aka Marita Deters.