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You can reach me at KatieAshleyRomance at gmail dot com

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Atlanta, GA, United States
I am the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best Selling author of The Proposition, Proposal, Music of the Heart, and Nets and Lies. I am represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich for all books except for Proposition and Proposal.
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Monday, September 30, 2013

Kick-Off to the One Year Anniversary of The Proposition/Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway



People often ask me out of all my books which one is my favorite. As an author, your books are like children--you can't pick a favorite. However, when it comes down to it, there is one book that changed my life, and that is The Proposition. It will always mean the most to me, not just because it made me a New York Times Bestselling author(a dream since childhood) or because it allowed for me to quit teaching and write full-time. No, it is most special because the book and the characters of Aidan and Emma, they saved me in every way possible.

The Proposition wasn't the first book I ever wrote. It wasn't the first one I tried to seek traditional publication with. No, my story starts four years earlier with a literary fiction adult novel called The Road to Damascus(think To Kill a Mockingbird and Fried Green Tomatoes). I then read Twilight and took a detour on the Young Adult path writing the Urban Fantasy, The Guardians. It wasn't until Don't Hate the Player, six months later, that I landed my first literary agent and my first almost publishing deal with Penguin. After the deal fell through in the Summer of 2010, fast forward two years and two new manuscripts later(and a whole lot of heartache of writing dreams being unfulfilled).

Here's where it gets a little personal. I can say that without a doubt 2012 was one of the worst years of my life. In May, I lost my grandmother, Big Mama, unexpectedly to a heart attack. As an only child and after losing my dad to cancer when I was seventeen and my mom, also to cancer, when I was twenty-three, she was the center of my entire world. She lived five minutes from me. I was with her every day, and she was my rock of support, faith, and encouragement. She had walked every step of the way along my writing journey, and she believed in me and my writing, even when I didn't.


With Big Mama at my Road to Damascus signing
In New York at Grease on Broadway

Her death began one of the darkest summers and periods of my life. In truth, I can say I didn't know if I would live to see 2013. The only escape I had was to think about this story I had started back in April--an adult novel that I had even told Big Mama about. I had 15K words written of the book before her passing. When the dark clouds overwhelmed me, I thought of Aidan and Emma. Certain scenes and dialogue would help pass the lonely stretches of time in between being the executor of her estate. 

Three weeks after her passing, my agent got in touch with me and said we had two interested publishing houses for my Young Adult manuscript, Jules, the Bounty Hunter(one was Bloomsbury who pubbed Harry Potter...I was ecstatic ). I couldn't believe it--it looked like I was finally going to achieve my dream of being published. I mean, who could have another "almost" deal with two interested publishing houses?

Yep, me. 

In mid July, my dream was once again shattered. Both publishing houses walked away even though my agent was certain a deal was going to happen. I don't remember much of the time after the deal fell through and I had to go back to teaching. Because of budget cuts, I'd been shifted to another high school. Everything in my life was tumultuous change. I remember crying on the way to school so many mornings. But one thing besides my dark depression remained the same--my love for Aidan and Emma and their story. 

September came and after submitting my agent's requested revisions on Search Me, she decided that she hated the book entirely. I decided I was done with traditional publishing, and I broke ties with her. I put all my energy into finishing The Proposition.

As a high school teacher, Katie Ashley was born out of necessity. I wanted to keep my same initials for my pen name. Katie was a girl's name I'd always like(in the original Don't Hate the Player, Maddie was named Katie), and then my real last name is Ashe. So huzzah, I had a pen name!

When I hit publish on October 30th, I never envisioned any of this. In the end, I just wanted validation for my work and for people to read and enjoy what I had written. I had been down the road too many times to believe that something extraordinary and life-altering was about to happen. On Halloween, I remember getting a message from a writer buddy telling me that The Proposition had debuted at 240. I was in shock. I'd put out Road to Damascus and The Guardians by then with ranks in the 100,000's. That evening as Trick or Treater's overran my neighborhood, I remember sitting in front of my laptop in shock. 

And almost a year later, I'm still in shock. I've been blessed beyond all measure. I've been able to quit teaching and write full time, I've been able to travel around the country, and soon to be world, meeting readers and fellow writers. I'm a multiple New York Times and USA Today Best-seller, and The Proposition will debut in Brazil in October while following soon in other countries.

Sometimes I wonder what it was about The Proposition that resonated with readers. It's an odd little book when you think about it--a desperate single gal, a manwhore, and some sperm, lol. But fundamentally it's much deeper than just that. Emma is me in so many ways--her struggles along with her hopes and dreams. The love of family and friends is what I've been blessed to experience in my life. 

So dear readers, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, there would be none of these amazing blessings in my life. To show some of my appreciation, I'm running a month long anniversary celebration. Each week, I'll be doing a giveaway for a grand total of 2 Kindle Paperwhites and 2 Kindle Fire's along with some other prizes like signed books and swag. 






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17 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your anniversary Katie! I had the privilege of meeting you in Vegas and I think you are amazing. I love all of your books but I agree, The Proposition is my favorite of yours. :) Here's too many more amazing books!

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  2. The Proposition is definitely my favorite! Congrats on your anniversary!

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  3. The Proposition will always hold a VERY special place in my heart as I met my sweet, wonderful adopted daughter through it. <3 Ms. Katie/Krista

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  4. Congratulations Katie. Your success is most definitely well deserved.

    Aiden and Emma's story is certainly one that catches your heart and stays there for a long long time. :)

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  5. When I can't find anything to read I always go back to the Proposition. That is my go to book. I cant' tell you how many times i re-read that story LOL. I love it!!!!

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  6. I love your writing so much. The Proposition drew me in and I make it a point to grab whatever romance novel you put out. Congratulations and much continued success. 3rd time will be a charm.

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  7. I love your story...it really brings things into perspective and that we shouldn't take anything for granted because nothing lasts forever right? I love your writing and hope to meet you someday.

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  8. Congratulations on your anniversary!! Whoo-hoo!!

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  9. Sometimes it's the darkest hours of our life that lead us to the brightest. You're an amazing person, Katie. Congrats on your continued success. <3

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  10. It was lovely to have met you here in Seattle and I hope you come back. Congratulations on your success and thanks for a great giveaway.

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  11. Katie, firstly I read 'Music of the heart' and I loved! Then, I read and read without getting drop one after the other, even before they reach Brazil, 'The Proposition' and 'The Proposal'... I really loved, love Aidan & Emma... e all of your beautiful and kind and cute characters.
    Congratulations for your writing. God bless you and your imagination. Make sure that your parents and Big Mama are seeing your success and helping to bless you.
    Love from Brazil!
    Cinthia

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  12. Congrats, Katie! It's writers like you who inspire other people to write like myself so thank you! Thank you for sharing your talent with the rest of us!

    Steph Nuss

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  13. Congrats Katie! I remember stumbling upon "The Proposition" while at work looking on Amazon for something new to read. It came up i n my suggested reads and I read the whole first chapter while sitting at work. I called Amanda right after telling her we had to get this book. "The Proposition" was the first book that made we throw my kindle with it's cliffhanger...lol I think we started facbook stalking you not too long after...lol. I'm so happy you followed your dream on your terms! Emma and Aiden will always hold a special place in our hearts! XOXO ~ Diva Veronica

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  14. Congratulations! You deserve all the success in the world. You are a doll and I'm so glad that I was able to meet you in person! Wishing you continued success!

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  15. Congrats! I loved The Proposition and all that went with it!

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