A Family Saga Full of Romance by Clare Ashton (plus two FREE books!)

Congratulations to Lyn and Bev! They are the winners of this drawing.

Today we are joined by the fabulous and generous Clare Ashton. She’s graciously offering up two books, paperback or e-book, to two lucky winners. To enter, drop your answer to this question in the comments below. We’ll draw the winners on Friday, September 7, 2018.

Maggie Goodman is a formidable older woman – one of my favourite types of character. To enter the giveaway tell me your favourite mature female character – film or book!


It took me four books to realise that one of the elements I enjoy writing most is the heroines’ families – the sassy older relative, the mischievous sibling, the warm glow that family support can engender. So for my fifth novel I’ve centred the story on a family – The Goodmans – and in Maggie Goodman, the matriarch of the family, I’ve found my most complex and colourful character yet, and I don’t mean just her language.

Goodmans

The story starts with Maggie’s daughter Jude returning home one autumn evening to the beautiful rural English town of Ludbury to see her parents and best friend Doctor Abby Hart. It seems a friends to lovers story might be on the cards. The lovely local doctor Abby has an almighty crush on her friend Jude but the stakes are high for this relationship. Abby has no family of her own and over the years the Goodmans have all but adopted her. Reveal her passion to the straight Jude Goodman and Abby could lose everything – soul mate and family. Even if things went right, there would still be drama with Maggie, she definitely wouldn’t approve. While Maggie loves Abby, almost as much as her own daughter, she will just keep dropping her wish for Abby to find a man, not a woman, into every possible conversation.

The homophobic mother is a character that crops up in many stories – often as a simple villain – but in this story I wanted to dig a little deeper. What if she was understandable in a way? What if the reader could even come to like her?

Maggie is a perplexing woman and far from being the uptight stereotype. She is liberal. She has the heart of a lioness when she defends her relatives, including Abby. And she infuriates her family and friends with her raging against the world at the same time that they are bathed in the warmth of her love.

And she’s turned out to be one of my most popular characters – this infuriating older woman, with an enormous heart and a sharp tongue that can make you laugh or cry, sometimes in the same sentence.

The book gives her a second chance and weaves her story in with Jude and Abby’s in this family saga packed with romance together with the colourful supporting characters of Jude’s grandmother and 60s child Celia, mischievous brother Eli, amiable father Richard and a surprise guest or two.

I hope you enjoy their stories.


ClareAshtonAuthorPicLargeClare Ashton is mad about romances and love stories, both dark and light, and sets her novels in the UK. Her twisting romance After Mrs Hamilton won a Goldie Award and the heart-warming Poppy Jenkins won the Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Contemporary & Erotic Romance.

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46 comments

  1. It’s tough to pick a single favourite but a new favourite older character for me is Fleur in Andrea Bramhall’s latest book, Lost for Words. Fleur is a firecracker of a woman and as Mum to main character Sasha is either the coolest Mum in the neighbourhood or the most embarrassing one depending on the moment. She lives life on her own terms and loves her daughter fiercely; Fleur is quite a character to say the least.

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  2. Oh, that is a difficult one to answer. So many fabulous women to choose from. I am going to have to say that I am currently fairly obsessed with Cate Blanchett‘s character, Carol, in the movie of the same name.

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  3. Maura Isles from Rizolli and Isles by Tess Garrison, book and Television series. Though Scarpetta is easily a tie. I really like that more mature female characters are showing up in lesbian fiction. I look forward to finding new and additional favorites there.

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  4. There’s only one goddess for me at the top of the most formidable women. Miranda Priestly, Devil Wears Prada. Dear god, what she does with a single glance and barely whispered word. I tremble in her presence. I’m not sure what type of trembling that is come to think of it…. 🙂

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  5. Lots to choose from. but I am going for two characters in the same book, Elise Wainwright and Lauren Prescott both in their 60’s and would like to do more than just cuddle, very realistic characters from the marvelous book Changing Seasons by BJ Phillips

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  6. I may have to toss a coin or something to decide between Miranda Priestly (movie, The Devil Wears Prada) or Arabella Henley (another ice queen, from A.E. Radley’s novel The Road Ahead). Maybe I’ll pick Arabella 🙂

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  7. I have to say, Candace Reid in the By Design series written by JA Armstrong is my mature female character! She strives to be President while helping her family get through life’s ups & downs. Awesome storylines & storytelling!

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  8. Jane Lawless from Ellen Hart’s series. Jane is a strong independent woman with a fabulous side kick best friend. Jane runs her own business and is a PI. She has dogs and a heart.

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  9. So many. And, WHY OH WHY can I NEVER think of their NAMES when I enter these kind of things … Ellen Ripley, “Alien” movie series, comes to mind … But, is she an “older” woman? LOVE Helen Mirren, Det. Inspector Jane Tennison, her character in “Prime Suspect” … I KNOW there’s TONS in my Les Fic books … but, names … Robin Alexander always has older, aunt or Mother characters that are great …. I’ll go with the ‘flawed’ Jane Tennison. Oh, just thought of another GREAT, older woman character! Jane Marple (best played by Joan Hickson)!!!

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  10. Elena Bartell in Lee Winter’s The Brutal Truth is my current favorite Ice Queen, and Barbara Stanwyck, from the television show The Big Valley (1965-1969) I watched every week because at she wore a killer leather vest and at least once a show slapped someone who deserved it.

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  11. My favorite is Captain Kathryn Janeway. She is a multifaceted woman. Intelligent, Confident, Formidable, Kind, Beautiful, and can kick some major alien butt. Also when she comes from the future she is even more formidable and willing to break the rules for what she wants!

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  12. There are a lot of good ones. Some already mentioned are definitely memorable. First one that comes to mind for me is Miss Fanny from R E Bradshaw’s Waking Up Gray.

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  13. Top of my list would have to be Helen Mirren as Victoria, former MI6 agent turned freelance assassin. She is totally kickass and not just in this movie.

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  14. So many come to mind – Rosalind Russell’s Auntie Mame, Lucille Ball, studio executive in the 60’s and an brilliant actress with a comic timing that is astounding, Maggie Smith in just about everything, esp. Downton Abbey, Cher in Mama Mia, Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, Glen Close is always memorable and her new movie The Wife looks powerful

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  15. I suck at remembering names when asked. I also love Helen Mirren in Red. Professor McGonegal. The older women in Just Jorie were hilarious. I haven’t read enough books with mature characters though!

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  16. I just have it with the Kates…..

    Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway.
    Kate Delafield in Katherine V. Forrest’s books,
    Katharine Hepburn in (almost) all of her movies.
    Hmm…. 🙂

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