Wednesday, November 04, 2009

ALL OR NOTHING - Ashley Ludwig - Free Book

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

As a starting point, I tend to imagine myself in a certain situation - pose that “what if” question – and imagine how I’d respond to the pressure, the problem, then ultimately seek out a resolution. When I first started writing, I’m sure I was the heroine of every tale! But now, I am attempting to branch out more – in fact, many things I’m working on at present are starting from the hero’s point of view. One thing is for sure – my characters all have my same core of beliefs – or will, by the end of their journey.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

What a funny question! I’d say, if you mean – quirky interesting – I would tell you that I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Anthropology/Archaeology – and worked across Arizona and part of New Mexico studying prehistoric and historic people. Thus – my love of the west. However, it wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds! I spent 6 months living in a trailer on the outskirts of a postage stamp of a town in eastern Arizona! Some of my fondest memories are of that extended survey…

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

As a child, my mom always helped me transcribe my stories. As a kid in school, I loved our journaling class. Most kids loathed it, but I still remember the green notebook where I kept all of my innermost thoughts, and the thrill of seeing the A+s on the page! Now, not all teachers were that generous as I went along, but I’ll never forget that. I still have a trunk full of my early writing – someday, I’ll share it with my daughters… but every word helped me learn the art of storytelling.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I love all genres – I’ll plop down with a historical fiction, romance, a sci-fi adventure, paranormal, thriller, and of course westerns! Every book is unexplored territory.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Who said I was sane? Seriously, I belong to several groups of like-minded writers and we’re all in similar life situations. Women who write, have families, are trying to find balance. I also have a new-year’s resolution to say “no” whenever prudent. (This is a BIG one for me, who never wants to turn ANYTHING down.) It seems to be working so far! Time will tell.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I start with a theme, and choose names for the hero and heroine that are appropriate. For example, All or Nothing is loosely tied to the Book of Ruth – so, the main character became “RuthAnne” and her love interest – a strapping cavalry soldier named “Bowen Shepherd.” All other characters just either jump up, fully named or – if I’m stuck, my husband’s a pro at naming people. Usually, he just makes me laugh, but his names always find their way into my stories somehow.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

My two daughters – at 5 & 3 ½ - they’re 19 months apart and full of energy. Seeing them turn into sweet, thoughtful kids – that is the joy of my heart. The novel is quite a thrill, also, and finding a publisher who believes in me doesn’t hurt!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

Oh, that’s easy. I’m a desert girl – so you can call me “Packrat.” I save EVERYTHING.

What is your favorite food?


A desert girl who loves sushi? Interesting. Tell us a little about your journey to publication.

I wrote All or Nothing while on maternity leave, with my baby in the crook of my arm, typing one handed! That book sat on my desk. I took chapters to critique group when I could get out of the house, and one day – after many rejections by agents, and reading up on a new publisher, I decided to send them my query letter. Two days later, I had a request for the full manuscript. One week later, I had a contract in my lap. I had no idea if I’d made the right choice, but after the experience I’ve had with my editor and the publisher as a whole, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve since published a short story with them, "By Another Name," and am working on two more submissions at present.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Was and still is – finding the time to write. Really write. Not edit, not do promotion. It takes dedication – sitting down whether you feel like it or not. Pushing through the rough spots until you’re in the groove and words flow like water. Whenever I start a new project, I pledge myself three pages a day. If I can just get through three pages a day, I have a short story within two months. A novel within four. And usually less, because if the words are flowing, I’ll write fifteen. If I’m in a lull, I’ll eke through those three, but I’m always moving forward.

I think what you're calling short story is actually a novella. They're totally different things. What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?

Join a critique group of like minded folks. Find writers – not just friends who’ll praise you for your eloquence. Learn your craft. Have someone you can trust to call you on those POV slips, or the use of passive voice! You’ll never be sorry. Learn the rules of writing, practice, and share your pages.

Tell us about the featured book?

A young widow starting over nearly dies on the perilous, winding road to Tucson, Arizona, in 1876.

An accident turns out to be a cover-up for a heinous crime at the hand of a murderous bandit. Robbed and left for dead, all that remains for RuthAnne Newcomb is her faith, and the talents God gave her. She needs both to endure the handsome, vengeful cavalry captain who saved her life.

Captain Bowen Shepherd offers aid in exchange for information leading to the criminal’s capture. El Tejano, as the bandit is known, is bound to strike again and RuthAnne is the only living witness to his crimes. Left with nothing but her savvy and unwavering faith, RuthAnne is forced to return to the scene and help with the intolerable soldier’s quest.

Already, the criminal is after the lone witness who can destroy him. Bowen and RuthAnne must risk everything to unmask the bandit once and for all, before he can strike again at the one who cost him the most. Will their newfound love, or their lives, be the cost of bringing a murderer to justice?

Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter 1
Arizona Territory, 1876

It’s too steep!

RuthAnne Newcomb’s mind raced as she clung to the rattling stagecoach door.

“Easy! Steady!” Their driver hollered at the horses from up above. There was nothing easy or steady about the twisty pass over the rugged mountain or the sheer drop into the jagged canyon below. Suddenly, at the bend, the road vanished into a wall of tumbling boulders and clouds of dust.

Wind whipped RuthAnne’s honey-blonde hair into her eyes and stung her cheeks, burned from exposure to the desert sun. Fear gripped her heart as she stared ahead in disbelief. Debris buried the road by half. Rocks and pebbles flowed down the mountainside in an insane torrent that rained onto the carriage roof and pelted her forehead through the open window. Her quick touch yielded fingertips flecked with blood.

Still, the horses showed no signs of slowing. She could do nothing but hang on and pray for herself and her sister, trapped and at the mercy of the out-of-control stagecoach. …

That beginning really grabs a reader. How can the readers find you on the Internet?

You can find me at my web site:  or at  

I twitter @wiremamma

Thank you, Ashley, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link where you can order the book. If you're planning to order the book from Amazon, using this link will help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Mark said...

I'd like to enter

Casey said...

Sounds interesting- one I would enjoy reading!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mark! nice to see you here. Thanks for joining us on Lena's lovely blog.


Anonymous said...


If you'd like to see the book trailer, it's over at my website... feel free to take a look:

All or Nothing Trailer


Nicola said...

No need to enter me (I've got a copy :0) ). Just wanted to say, "great interview!"

Miss Mae said...

Love the book! It was great!

Cheryl St.John said...

I admire anyone who writes with small children. I am impressed sweetie pie. My oldest two were exactly ths same months apart as yours and both girls. Then I got really crazy and had a son and another daughter. I'm afraid my writing took a back burner until they were all in school. I often wish I'd gotten serious sooner, so GOOD FOR YOU!

Linore said...

I read "All or Nothing," and I can say that all of Ashley's experience in that arid western region comes through vividly in her writing. She's got spunk, and so does her heroine, making it a book to enjoy for sure.
Looking forward to more from this author.

Dona Watson said...

I already have a copy so I'm not entering the contest, but I wanted to stop by and add my two cents. I love the themes in All or Nothing and I think the book is well written. Nice interview!

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Ashley: Neat interview. Do not enter me into the book contest. I've sent you an email, Ashley, to order All or Nothing directly from you. I envy your persistence in writing. I need to take a chapter out of that book of dedication. Larry

Kimberlee said...

Sushi is awesome! We'll have to do that someday :) Great interview. I am getting ready to read your book. Look forward to it.

Joanne Bischof said...

I have yet to read All or Nothing, But the first page was great and I cant wait to read more!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your enduring support - and for stopping by! White Rose Publishing is a wonderful place to be, and I'm honored and blessed to be one of your authors.


Anonymous said...

Miss Mae,

Thanks for dropping in! so glad to see you, and appreciate your kind words.

Miss you, sweetie!


Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for the kudos, and for stopping over. You're a far crazier woman than I! we're blessedly done with two little angels...

Looking forward to chatting with you later in the month!


Anonymous said...


Coming from you, this is a wonderful quote. I appreciate your endless support, and look forward to your new release, as well!


Anonymous said...

I would love to read Ashley's book!
Please enter me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


Great to see you. Thanks for all of your encouragement! and for having All or Nothing as your book club read. For those of you who are interested, All or Nothing's Book Club Questions are available for download from White Rose Publishing Here

See you soon!


Look forward to seeing YOUR interview soon.

Anonymous said...


You are dear to my heart, and thank you for your kind words.


Anonymous said...


You say when and where! I'm always up for sushi. We'll have a White Rose Authors/Cover artists meeting. Hmmm. Is that tax deductible? Is there an accountant in the house? :)

Thanks for dropping in -- and for those of you who don't know, Kimberlee Mendoza did the beautiful cover art for All or Nothing. I'm very blessed to be in SDCWG with you!


Anonymous said...

Hi, Jackie,

Thanks for entering! and have a wonderful day.


Anonymous said...

JoAnne - nice to see you! Congratulations, again, on winning the Bayless Award from SDCWG for Cry of My Heart!

Many blessings, my friend. THanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

I have just found your site and I
just love Christian books, please
enter me for this exciting giveaway.


Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds fun. Certainly a scary ride.

Abi said...

oh, please enter me. Thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Katherine said...

This book looks very good. Please enter me for the drawing.


Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

G.R.I.T.S. said...

Sounds like a great read! please enter me!


mamakane said...

Thanks for sharing the interview with the author. Please enter me.

Lady Di said...

Ah, the arid west! Please inter me for a chance to win a copy of this book! Thanks!

CherokeeTeaRose said...

Awesome first page! It has me wanting to read more! I sure hope I am picked to win it! It sure would make a great Birthday present! Today is my birthday!

Patty Wysong said...

This looks great!

Sherry K said...

I would love to be entered in the drawing.

Sherry K

Hope said...

Please enter me in the drawing!

yes said...

Great interview my friend! I love learning more about you and how your writting came to be....job well done.


Linda said...

Sounds like a daunting experience. Please enter me. Thanks.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Brenda said...

Please enter me!

dancealert at aol dot com

Wendy said...

Please enter me.

Anonymous said...

I am just getting into Christian Fiction Novels. I am glad to see so many great authors.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, everyone who's entered to win a copy of All or Nothing - once again, the trailer can be seen here:
All or Nothing Trailer

We'll post the winner soon!

Please contact me if you would like an All or Nothing bookmark ashley (at) ashleyludwig (dot) com

Many blessings!


Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Always fun to learn about a new author. Please enter me. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Cherie J.!

Thanks for stopping over.

I was just informed (and if I would have read the fine print! ha ha) that this contest runs until a week from Saturday! That's November 14, everyone! so, good luck! and many blessings to all of you.

Feel free to visit my site to learn more about writing for the christian market, how authors use twitter and other social networking sites, and information on my other titles.


Julie said...

Great interview!

Sounds like a great book. Please enter me.


Amber S. said...

This books sounds intriguing! I'd love an opportunity to win it! Beautiful cover, too! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in this giveaway...thanks. Sounds wonderful.

karen k

Michelle said...

Sounds like a wonderful read! Thanks for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Ausjenny said...

Oh please enter me I love the sound of this book. the cover is great too. Love this sort of book.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Awww man this looks gooood! I love historicals and westerns are awesome! I would love to read All or Nothing!

xoxo~ Renee

Virginia C said...

Hi, Ashley! I am sure you will always remember "All or Nothing" as the book you typed up with your baby cradled in your arms! The story sounds exciting, and the cover is beautiful! Congratulations.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Judyg54 said...

Always love to read a new author and Ashley Ludwig is new to me, and her book sounds really good. Please enter me in the drawing for a chance to win.

kristen said...

AHH!! What's going to happen to RuthAnnes?!
Thanks for the interview.

Carole said...

Well, I've just added a new author to my reading list! Thank you for an interesting interview and chance to win a copy of All or Nothing.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Ashley said...

Hey, Carole, and all

Thank you for your continued interest.

If any of you want to come over to see more White Rose Inspirational Romance Authors are chatting, over at Coffee Time Romance for the month of November.

I'm also discussing last year's Easter contest winner, an inspirational, contemporary read: By Another Name -- you can read an excerpt on the Smashwords Site

Thanks for leaving your comments! One week to go!


Marla said...

I like this storyline. sounds good. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Megan said...

Sounds like a great book! And Ashley, I love the story about how you wrote it - on your maternity leave! congrats! I hope I win!

Ashley said...

Hey, everyone - and thanks again for stopping by.

Just so you know, ACFW has All or Nothing in the running for Book Club pick of January, 2010 - if you belong to that Yahoo Group, please swing by and drop a vote!

ACFW Yahoo Book Club Link

It's a worthy book club, and I've enjoyed every selection they've ever picked. Thrilled to see I'm paired with so many of my favorite authors!



Anonymous said...

This sounds awesome...please enter me in the drawing. Thanks, Esther