Friday, December 3, 2010

Phillipa Ashley Interview (and GIVEAWAY!), Author of Dating Mr. December

I recently read, reviewed, and enjoyed Phillipa Ashley's Dating Mr. December. I am very excited that Phillipa Ashley is on Laura's Reviews today to answer all of my questions I had while reading the novel. I have my DVR set to record the 12 Men of Christmas this weekend (the movie based on the novel) and I can't wait to see it!

LAG: What was your inspiration for Dating Mr. December?
PA: I’ve always been an admirer of mountain rescue teams and this book gave me a chance to chat up our local team and ask if they’d mind getting their kit off! Seriously, I did tour a base (literally about 5 mins walk from our apartment - see below.) The team had to raise lots of money to build it and that’s how the idea came about.

LAG: Forgive my ignorance of England, I know the Lake District exists and I loved it as the setting for Dating Mr. December. Do you live near the Lake District? Why did you choose it as the setting?
PA: Well done on even knowing the place exists, Laura, because it’s a very small region of England. We have a holiday apartment in the Lake District which we also rent out. Whenever we arrive, something just clicks in me and I instantly relax and feel inspired. The natural beauty, the changing weather moods, the literary associations and the tight-knit community all strongly appeal to me.

LAG: Will Tennant is a very athletic man. Do you do any of the climbing or bungee jumping that he so enjoys?
PA: I did abseil (rappel) off a small (50ft) cliff for one of the scenes because the editor had suggested I could make more of Emma’s fear of heights. It made the scene stronger but I would never do it again and as for bungee jumping or climbing – no way! However, I do love hiking in the mountains. When went to see the movie set, we walked some trails in the Rockies – terrified in case we saw a bear or a cougar!

LAG: Have you seen the movie, 12 Men of Christmas, based on your novel? How do you think it transferred to the television medium?
PA: I’ve seen it many times. When it was optioned, a writer friend said it was very filmable because there are lots of action and conflict and a strong sense of place. The men are a dream for a movie too, of course, although they are more obviously hunky and handsome in the movie than in my book. No complaints there! However, there are big differences, not least being my book is set in Britain rather than the USA. I also think that the screenwriter made more of the comedy aspects, whereas in Dating Mr. December the romantic relationship drives the story and you learn a lot more about the character’s motivations – particularly Will’s back story. And my book is much, much sexier than the film!

LAG: What other novels do you have coming out in the U.S.? You write a great romance novel!
PA: Thank you! I’ve been genuinely delighted with the response to the book and the warm welcome I’ve got from the US romance community – you’re very passionate about the genre here. Sourcebooks are publishing another three of my novels. The next one is Wish You Were Here, released in summer 2011.

Praise for Phillipa Ashley:
"Ashley’s writing is deft, sexy, and full of humor."

"Lovely books filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!"
—internationally bestselling author Jill Mansell

"Sharp, sexy, and exuberant."

She doesn’t need rescuing, she only needs a change of scenery...

After a disastrous discovery loses Emma Tremayne both her boyfriend and her high-profile PR job in London, she moves to the Lake District to recover her confidence and live a simpler life. She loves her new job with the tourist board, and she’s settling into small town life just fine—until she ends up responsible for a fundraising effort that calls for twelve naked mountain rescuers...
Buy it here: Amazon Barnes & Noble Borders


Phillipa Ashley studied English Language and Literature at Oxford before becoming a
freelance copywriter and journalist. Dating Mr. December (called Decent Exposure in the UK) was the basis of last year’s Lifetime TV Movie “The 12 Men of Christmas.” A frequent guest on BBC national, local and independent radio on all matters romantic, she lives with her husband and daughter in Staffordshire, UK. For more information, please visit, follower her on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

Giveaway Details
Danielle of Sourcebooks has been kind enough to offer two copies of Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley for this giveaway.

If you would like to win a copy of Dating Mr. December, please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the novel or this interview.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

I will be using to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday December 10th.

Good luck!


  1. Hi Laura, thank you so much for having me over at your blogsite and for the interesting questions!


  2. Dear Phillipa,

    I am totally in awe of your abseiling in the name of research,I tried it once and it was horrid!

    I've also heard rumours that you've been swimming outdoors in sub-zero temperatures recently. Is this for a new book or just for fun?!

  3. This sounds wonderful I love the setting. So romantic.

    kwanawrites (at) yahoo (dot) com

  4. Love the idea of mountain recue teams. My grandson has been involved with ski patrols here in the US. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I didn't know you abseiled for research. Respec'

  6. I have never been to the Lake District in Britain but the area has always intrigued me. Would love to win and read this book!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  7. Hello ...

    I've been having trouble posting replies so hope this works!

  8. It does... just wanted to say that this is my last blog tour date and that's a bit said.

    Rachel - that pool is heated so it's not too bad, even in the snow. When we went to the Rockies where 12 men was filmed, we all went to Banff hot springs.

    Kwana - it is very romantic. :)

    Linda - your grandson is very brave. The only place you can ski in the UK is Scotland, although there is one Lake District ski club and with the very unusual amount of snow we have this week, they have been out apparently.
    Jenny - It wasn't very high but I was petrified.

    PoCokat - hope you can come over one day.

  9. Blogspot appears to be experiencing some technical diffculties today with comments. If you're comment does not post, please send me an email at laarlt78(at)hotmail(dot)com and I will post your comment.

    Amanda S. sent me an email and this is her entry!

  10. i have my dvr set for the movie too! I'm glad to hear that the author approves of the film version :) I'm intrigued b/c i've been searching for a great holiday romance to read this year! Thanks for the chance to win!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  11. I have always loved the romance of England. I set my own novel in the countryside of Kent. Never been to the Lake District, altohugh I have read about Beatrix Potter's love for the place. I'm interested in checking this book out whether I win it or not.

    Email - jesilea (at) charter (dot) net

  12. Sounds like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for thr giveaway. I am going to look for the movie too!

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  13. I love the setting for the book it sounds very interesting and romantic.
    Love & Hugs,

  14. I am intrigued by the fact that their is also a movie and the author is able to see her characters come to life and she can make comparisons. I think that is really neat. Thanks for the great giveaway :)

    mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

  15. Hi,

    Thanks for all the comments about the Lake District setting, novel and film - hope you all get to read the book and see the movie. If you do, let me know what you think (and good luck to everyone.)

  16. The English countryside is very romantic. I still have a picture in my mind after watching The Holiday.

  17. Great post! Thank you for hosting!

    from Canada
    New follower :)


  18. Hi, ladies. Phillipa had sent me a list of blogs she was going to be visiting, and Laura, this was the final one. So, at Phillipa's request, I've posted about this at West of Mars Win a Book -- I do hope you'll stop in, check us out, and send us your links.

  19. This book sounds romantic and one-of-a-kind. I'd love to read it!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  20. I love books that are set in a setting that is so different from my own. I am also intrigued by a heroine who leaves one life for another and seeing the complications and benefits of that decision. Please include me in the giveaway.


  21. OOO, I've been meaning to pick this one up. It sounds like a fun read for Christmastime too. :)


  22. This book sounds so good. I can't wait to read it

    brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

  23. Hi everyone ...great to read your comments. If you join me on Facebook, there are some great pictures of the real mountain rescue team carrying out rescues in our current snowy weather.

    I hope you all get chance to visit the Lake District one day.

    Thanks for the warm US welcome. P x

  24. I love the cover of the book - it would be one I would be curious about if I didn't know anything about the book. The review was great and I look forward to reading this as well as watching the movie the 12 Men of Christmas.

  25. This giveaway has now ended and winners will be posted shortly.