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Ashes in the Wind Mass Market Paperback – Aug 28 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (Aug. 28 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380769840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380769841
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #277,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

(1939 - 2007) Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, creator of the modern historical romance, died July 6, 2007 in Minnesota. She had just turned 68. Her attorney, William Messerlie, said that she died after a long illness.

Born on June 3, 1939 in Alexandria, Louisiana, Mrs. Woodiwiss was the youngest of eight siblings. She long relished creating original narratives, and by age six was telling herself stories at night to help herself fall asleep. At age 16, she met U.S. Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross Woodiwiss at a dance, and they married the following year. She wrote her first book in longhand while living at a military outpost in Japan.

Woodiwiss is credited with the invention of the modern historical romance novel: in 1972, she released The Flame and the Flower, an instant New York Times bestseller, creating literary precedent. The Flame and the Flower revolutionized mainstream publishing, featuring an epic historical romance with a strong heroine and impassioned sex scenes. "Kathleeen E. Woodiwiss is the founding mother of the historical romance genre," says Carrie Feron, vice president/editorial director of William Morrow and Avon Books, imprints of HarperCollins Publishers. Feron, who has been Woodiwiss's editor for 13 years, continues, "Avon Books is proud to have been Kathleen's sole publishing partner for her paperbacks and hardcover novels for more than three decades." Avon Books, a leader in the historical romance genre to this day, remains Mrs. Woodiwiss's original and only paperback publisher; William Morrow, Avon's sister company, publishes Mrs. Woodiwiss's hardcovers.

The Flame and the Flower was rejected by agents and hardcover publishers, who deemed it as "too long" at 600 pages. Rather than follow the advice of the rejection letters and rewrite the novel, Mrs. Woodiwiss instead submitted it to paperback publishers. The first publisher on her list, Avon, quickly purchased the novel and arranged an initial 500,000 print run. The novel sold over 2.3 million copies in its first four years of publication.

The success of this novel prompted a new style of writing romance, concentrating primarily on historical fiction tracking the monogamous relationship between a helpless heroines and the hero who rescued her, even if he had been the one to place her in danger. The romance novels which followed in her example featured longer plots, more controversial situations and characters, and more intimate and steamy sex scenes.

"Her words engendered an incredible passion among readers," notes Feron. Bestselling author Julia Quinn agrees, saying, "Woodiwiss made women want to read. She gave them an alternative to Westerns and hard-boiled police procedurals. When I was growing up, I saw my mother and grandmother reading and enjoying romances, and when I was old enough to read them myself, I felt as if I had been admitted into a special sisterhood of reading women."

New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, a leading voice in the women's fiction arena, says, "We all owe our careers to her. She opened the world of romance to us as readers. She created a career for us to go into."

The pioneering author has written 13 novels over the course of 35 years, all New York Times bestsellers. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's final literary work, the upcoming Everlasing, will be published by William Morrow in October 2007. "Everlasting is Kathleen's final gift to her fans," notes Feron.

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, who was predeceased by her husband and son Dorren, is survived by sons Sean and Heath, and numerous grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The romance in this book was sweet and passionate, and this could have been a perfect romance novel if only...I am a great lover of flowery, pink and purple prose, But Woodiwiss took it a little too far in some parts (in my opinion). If she had cut out a few descriptions of the scenery and added in a few more passionate love scenes, I think it would have improved the book quite a bit.Another problem I had was that Woodiwiss included too much of her research in with the story. About 5,000 words all dealing with history and politics could have been been cut out of the novel without affecting the story.Once again, her villains are stereotyped and typical.I wish someone would sit down with this author and teach her how to weave romance and intrigue together! Once again, the main characters declare their love for one another much too soon and the resolution of the mystery came so late in the story I no longer was interested. I just wanted the story to end!!!! The resolution was just too contrived, in my opinion. COME ON, all of the little mysteries just can't lead to one source! It's too Nancy Drewish, too unrealistic even for a romance novel.I really liked the characters, even if Alaina's stubborn pride was too overdone. (If she really appreciated Cole's generosity why would she embarass him by wearing tattered clothing?) But she was clever and fun. And Cole *sigh* what a man... and a doctor too! This story had so much potential and enough tenderness to be worth reading. So, inspite of the problems I do recommend it!( I wonder if Ms. Woodiwiss would consider hiring me as a personal editor? Hee hee...)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you have read the forty something reviews you can tell this is still such a popular book after over twenty years. Ms. Woodiwiss is still writing wonderful books even now. But this still remains one of my favorites. Everybody has gushed, but nobody told anything about the let me try..
The book is set during the aftermath of the Civil War. The Southerners are trying to put the lives back together. There is still hatred and bitterness on both sides. Most people would not dream of marrying anybody on the opposite side.
Alaina MacGarren flees from her Southern home after it is ravaged by Yankee troops. She travels up North to stay with her relatives. In order to escape notice, she dresses like a ragged boy. She stays with aunt and uncle and cousin Roberta & keeps up her boyish appearance in order to work in the Yankee hospital, where she meets Yankee Captain Doctor Cole Latimer. He takes pity on "Al." Roberta takes a shine for the handsome doctor & tricks him into marriage. During this whole long situation, this very bright man, doesn't happen to notice Al is really Alaina.
Needless to say, the relationship between Al and Cole deepens and things change as his marriage to Roberts goes downhill. I won't go into any more spoilers here. Cole and Al/Alania are very strong- willed people used to getting their own way. So it is a battle to the end; but a very interesting battle, to say the least.
Suffice it to say, this is one of the most famous historical romances ever. Anybody who has read romance has read "Ashes in the Wind" and "Shanna."
Ms. Woodiwiss is one of the founders of the modern romance. Read this wonderful book and find out why.
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By A Customer on July 9 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
wOw. This is one of KEW's best books. I LOVED it. She so artfully ties historical facts into the love story that you can almost be there, and all of her research is correct. She is such a talented author, writing classics like, The Flame and the Flower, Shanna, A Rose in Winter, ect. I disagree with people who say that Alaina was too stubborn or that the story was too long or that so many little mysteries tied into one was a bit unreal. Alaina had been through so much, and I found "Al" funny and fresh. The book isn't too long in my opinion, and I was sad when I had finished it. I never would have suspected the ending. The way KEW ties it all into one is wonderful, and I really enjoyed this book. Ms. Woodiwiss never ceases to amaze me. I highly recomend this book to any romance fan or, really, to anyone who loves to read. I love this book, and I will come back to read it again and again.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While this is not Gone With the Wind, it is still a highly enjoyable civil war romance, heavy on the romance and light on the history. Sometimes, one still has to resort to the guilty pleasures of romantic fiction and this is a good choice. Alaina and Cole are very sweet, and "Al" and "his" antics are hysterical, as are Cole's reactions to him. Of course it takes forever for our H&H to get together, but the scene where they argue chasing each other back and forth between adjoining bedrooms was very entertaining, and the sparks were flying.

The ending was a bit trite and predictable, but I loved the epilogue. I had hoped the author would resolve that one last issue. All in all, very entertaining, I had a difficult time putting it down for more than a few moments, and I will read this again and again.
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By A Customer on March 27 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read each and every one of Kathleen Woodiwiss' novels. "Ashes in the Wind" is by far the best! This is one of the most original storylines I have yet to come across in any romance novel. The main character changes her identity so many times that it keeps us on our guessing at who she will be next. There is enough drama and suspense to keep us reading but not so much that it seems it could never happen in real life. On the contrary, this book almost seemed like something that could have happened in real life (the end mght be a little farfetched) but the majority of the book could pass. This, as most of her other novels, would make for a great romantic movie! If you've never read Kathleen Woodiwiss, I suggest this book as well as all of her others!
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