Spotlight & Giveaway: Lord Sebastian’s Secret by Jane Ashford

Posted January 8th, 2017 by in Blog, Spotlight / 48 comments

Today, HJ is pleased to share with you Jane Ashford’s new release: Lord Sebastian’s Secret



A Passionate and Whimsical Regency Tale from Bestselling Author Jane Ashford

Will the secrets that brought them together tear them apart?

Proud. Cunning. Battle-hardened. Lord Sebastian Gresham is the epitome of military might and excellence. He’s wealthy. The son of a Duke. There’s just one problem: he can’t read. It’s those damned words. He doesn’t see them in the same way everyone else does. It’s a secret he’ll never tell, certainly not to his new bride-to-be.
Brilliant. Witty. Beautiful. Lady Georgina Stane has always known she’d make the perfect bride, that is, if her eccentric family didn’t scare off every potential suitor from London to Bath. After carefully orchestrating a London season with her parents out of the picture, she secured an engagement to an impeccable gentleman. And when Lord Sebastian arrives at her family’s estate to meet her parents, she’s not about to let their antics ruin her perfect marriage.
But what happens when these two learn that some secrets aren’t so easy to keep?

Read an exclusive excerpt from Lord Sebastian’s Secret 

One of my favorite scenes in Lord Sebastian’s Secret involves the roving mob of pugs belonging to his future mother-in-law. One in particular, Drustan, continually embarrasses Sebastian with inappropriate assaults on his leg. There seems nothing to be done, until Sebastian gets a little help from his fiancée’s sister. She has two, and they’re a handful. Read about it in the excerpt below.

What was worse, the ringleader Drustan had developed a positive obsession with Sebastian. And as he was the dog most often let loose in the house, he was unavoidable. On a sunny afternoon in August, as the pug followed him about the garden, Sebastian seriously considered dousing himself with vinegar after all. It might be worth offending the noses of his human companions if he could permanently repel Drustan. It wasn’t as if he was getting close enough to Georgina for her to notice, he thought sullenly.
The dog’s latest trick was to weave in and out under his feet, tripping him up and then yowling as if he’d been kicked each time Sebastian stumbled. His piteous cries had drawn Georgina’s mother once already, and she hadn’t seemed to find Sebastian’s explanation persuasive.
Sebastian sat on a bench under the spreading branches of a great oak. Drustan rushed over to throw his front paws around Sebastian’s boot and offer the leather his customary unwelcome attentions. “You are a thoroughly repellent dog,” Sebastian said.
“He’s spoiled,” a feminine voice replied.
Sebastian looked up to find Emma standing on the pathway. Blushing, the girl kept her eyes well above ground level. “I brought you this,” she said. “He hates it.” She held out a tattered lump of fabric. “Mama told me you’d kicked Drustan, but I knew you never would have done so. And that he must be playing his tricks.”
Sebastian gazed at the offered object. It was some sort of cloth animal, he decided. There were four stubby legs and an indeterminate head. It had clearly been chewed and battered over a long period of time.
Emma extended it further. “Show it to him,” she urged.
Sebastian took the thing. It was a little bigger than his hand and meant to represent a rodent, he guessed. A rat? Feeling foolish, he pushed it toward Drustan’s flat face. The intrusion broke the dog’s obsessive concentration. Brown bulging eyes took in the gnawed snout, the hint of broken whiskers. Drustan gave a sharp yip. Then, whining, the dog backed off. Hardly daring to hope, Sebastian waved the stuffed animal at him. Drustan moved further away, his pug face seeming anxious.
“Yah!” cried Sebastian, thrusting his newfound weapon forward. Drustan turned tail, literally, and fled. Sebastian gazed at the drooping toy in triumph. He’d feel like a fool carrying it about, but the cause was well worth the humiliation. He checked. Yes, it would just fit in his coat pocket.
“Drustan is a living example of the word pugnacious,” Emma commented.
Sebastian turned to stare at her. “Pug…nacious,” he repeated. “That’s where it comes from.” A link between a word and the world often came as a revelation to him. He noticed Drustan, crouched on his belly, peering out from a clump of long grass as if he hoped Sebastian had forgotten what he held. Sebastian shook the cloth rat at him. Whining again, Drustan actually took himself off. “Thank you for this,” Sebastian said to Emma.
“I’m sorry I didn’t think of it sooner. Mama keeps it shut away in a cupboard. It’s been ages since any of us saw it.”
“Why does he hate it so?” Sebastian turned the thing in his hands. It was ugly, but hardly frightening. “No one knows,” Emma told him. “He used to play with it all the time. Indeed, he would hardly let any of the other dogs touch it. And then one day he developed a horror of it. He’s been that way ever since.”
“Maybe he met a real rat and tried batting it about,” Sebastian said. “A big one.”
Emma looked surprised. “That could very well be it. How clever you are!”
It didn’t seem clever to Sebastian. Merely common sense.
“Clever about what?” asked Hilda, slithering out of the bushes behind them.
Sebastian suppressed a start. Georgina’s youngest sister was as stealthy as an army scout infiltrating enemy lines. She clearly had a network of unseen ways here in the garden. He hadn’t been able to trace them, perhaps because of his larger size. But you could never be sure when she would suddenly appear.
Emma repeated the story of Drustan.
“It seems obvious when you say it,” Hilda replied. “In fact, there’s a family of water rats living down by the stream.”
“There is?” replied her sister.
Hilda grinned at her. “Big ones!” Emma looked around apprehensively.
“They don’t come up the bank. Very often.”
“How do you know?” asked Emma.
“I watch them sometimes.”

Excerpt. ©Jane Ashford. Posted by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.


Giveaway: Print copy of Lord Sebastian’s Secret (The Duke’s Sons) by Jane Ashford


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: What’s your funniest story of an ill-trained pet?

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Meet the Author:

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, and Spain as well as the United States.
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48 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Lord Sebastian’s Secret by Jane Ashford”

  1. Mary Preston

    A full sized, very large poodle, trying to fit through a doggy door meant for a fox terrier. The poodle almost wrecked the door trying.

  2. Katrina Dehart

    My new boyfriend came over and my cat jumped in his lap and peed. I thought it was pretty funny because my cat had never done that before.

  3. debby236

    I had a dog which I took because she was on her third owner. She was a bit wild. I was babysitting a young girl while her mother was in rehab and she would only eat buttered noodles. Buffy came running by, put on the brakes and ate every single noodle because the poor girl picked up her fork.

  4. Kari Angeles

    We had a pug who would scratch the door when she wanted out. When we’d walk to to door to let her out, she’d get so excited-she’d tinkled on floor. Happened every time.

  5. Cecilia R. Rodriguez

    We really never bothered training our pets. However, we had a dog that was more cute then smart. When scared the dog ran in-between the legs of our very calm mare. Luckily for the dog, she was not hurt.

  6. Janie McGaugh

    My son opened the back door to let the (young) cat in, and he ran in, leaped up to the table, grabbed the meat off my husband’s plate, and was gone, before we could even react. We all sat or stood there with our mouth’s open in stunned disbelief.

  7. Linda

    My previous dog never learnt how to fetch, so it was more me chasing after her once I threw the ball

  8. Teresa Williams

    My grandchildren has a large Husky.and I walked in set down in their house and she came running out of another room and jumped on me tearing the skin off my I don’t mess with dogs .We had a cat once that stood in the litter box and pooped over the side in the floor..We could not get it to stop

  9. erahime

    The tiny dog only tolerates one dog, and when another dog wants to play with the tiny dog, she barks. She makes this ‘ugly’ face when another dog is in her personal place. Truly not trained enough.

  10. Chey

    My dog wanted to play so she barked to come in and then every time I opened the door she ran around the corner of the house.

  11. kim hansen

    We had a bassett hound when i was little that chewed off all the legs on any furniture that had wooden legs. My father found another home for him immediately.

  12. Joye

    When my Jack Russell terrier was young, he used to pick up my paperback books and take outside and destroy them before I could chase him down. I can’t tell you how many times I had to go to a bookstore and read the last chapter to see what happened in that book. All of that stopped when I got a Kindle.

  13. lesley McIntosh

    Our cat loves water and has managed to clear our outside fish pond of all the goldfish

  14. Nancy Luebke

    We had a dog when we were overseas. Anyway this little dog was a mean little cuss. We lived in an apartment building. When it came time to pack up to leave, we kept hearing him growling at the movers. Turns out they were double marking some of the boxes and trying to put some upstairs. So we probably didn’t loose as much from being stolen, as some did.

  15. Connie Lee

    We have a lab that loves to go for a ride. We have one car that we ride her in because we keep a cover on the back seat so her toenails don’t wreck the seat. We keep the car the same place under the car shelter most of the time. One day we had this car in the backyard and she was also in the back yard. We asked her if she wanted to go ride. Even though the car was practically right beside her she took off to the place it usually stays under the shelter. We had to call her back and show her where the car was.

  16. rachael constant

    my friend’s Yorkshire terrier was banned from dog training lessons due to his amourous attentions to all the other dogs, and people’s legs.

  17. kgholliday

    I bought my kids an expensive dog the first Christmas me and their Dad were separated. I was hoping having a puppy would help ease some of anxiety of not seeing their Dad everyday. They named him Gizmo, and that dog absolutely refused to house train. And he was even a vindictive little pooch, in that he would go do his business in the middle of anyone’s bed that didn’t pay him enough attention (usually my teenaged daughter). Needless to say, that dog was adopted out before too long and we were all glad to see him go!

  18. Natasha Persaud

    At 4pm every afternoon he has to go out whether it’s snowing or the sun is shining or else he starts to misbehave I don’t know how he knows the time but at that exact same he starts to whine to go outside

  19. Diane Sallans

    not sure if he was ill-trained or just being a dog – Einstein took advantage of our distraction with speaking to our Minister in the living room – he pulled the pot roast off the kitchen counter & had a few bites – who can blame him!?

  20. erinf1

    my parents had a weimaraner who had severe separation anxiety. To “show” his displeasure if they both left the house, he would seek out the last thing they touched and shred it. They found a pot holder, a toothbrush, a slipper, a towel, a magazine, to name a few, in the middle of the living room. The things were so random, it took a while for them to figure it out 😉 He was very sweet otherwise! Thanks for sharing!

  21. eawells

    My 8 pound Yorkie mix thinks he must protect the entire block, not just our house. Heaven help anyone walking, jogging, or biking past our house as he will start barking at the affending person. The worse are people walking other dogs, the UPS or FedEx trucks. Also, if you say the word “mailman” he starts barking. It’s not the person per se, it’s delivering the mail to the house. My pup is crazy!!

  22. Glenda

    I work in a pet store, so I see horribly behaved dogs all the time… Most of the time it is the owners’ fault. There is one customer who always stands and watches when his large dog pees all over the store. Last month he wasn’t paying attention and his dog peed on him. It’ll be interesting to see what he does next time he comes in. . . .

  23. Banana cake

    Our 37 pound whippet really likes to sit in chairs, it doesn’t matter if someone is sitting in it or not he likes to sit in a chair.

  24. Vicki

    My story is about an old yellow cat we had. He use to pounce when we would walk by. One day my Mom was getting ready to leave and she picked up the cat to put him out, she proceeded to throw her purse out the door rather than the cat

  25. Cathy P

    My 12 year old Yorkie-Chihuahua will wake me up during the middle of the night to go out. When I get up and go to her side of the bed to pick her up, she runs over to my side of the bed and lays down. When I go to my side of the bed, she runs over to her side and lays down.

  26. Patricia B.

    Our golden retriever puppy was a sweet dog. What we didn’t realize was she was teething on the furniture. We had a Boston Rocker that sat in a corner. One day we pulled it out to use it and the entire rocker form the back to the leg was gone. She had chewed it all off teething.

  27. Julie Lundstrom

    My beagle likes to bark the whole time we are gone at the window. When I came home she took she got stuck in the curtains and took them down.

  28. LauraJJ

    Oh this fall…we had to get our 110 pound lab…into a car which he hates….on a leash which he hates…to go and get him inside the vet door to get a shot he hates. UGH…lol…was a comedy of errors all the way around! We did it…but he as not happy! Need to really work on the leash training!

  29. kermitsgirl

    My husband used to work second shift (11am – 8pm), and one Cinco de Mayo, he would not be able to make it to the liquor store before it closed. I had already ordered a pizza and it had just been delivered when I realized we didn’t have tequila, so I decided to run out to get some – the liquor store was literally a five minute walk from our doorstep and I DROVE, so it’s not like I was gone that long, mayyyybe 8 minutes.

    Our dang dog jumped on the dining room table, knocked off the pizza and ate the ENTIRE THING in 8 minutes. She is a 10lb dog and it was a large. I still don’t know how she was able to fit it in her stomach.

  30. BookLady

    My dog Sandy ate the tops off a whole batch of freshly baked muffins that were cooling on the kitchen counter. She would have eaten the whole muffin, but she could only reach the top.

  31. lorih824

    When my hubby and I wed I brought my cat to live with us. My hubby had not been raised with cats and didn’t really like them. My cat did not warm up to him and he would tease her. One day, when she had enough, she pooped in his drawer that he had left ajar. She had never done that before and never did it again after that but he did not leave his drawers open again for fear she’d retaliate again

  32. Irma

    I own a German Shepard, she’s an old lady now. I remember when she was little and we brought her home. She slept by my bed and some time during the night she must have crawled on my bed and did her thing, lol.

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