Ashes in the Wind

Ashes in the Wind

by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss


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Historical Romance Large Print Edition In a brutal baptism of fire, a young nation comes of age and beautiful, proud, plantation-bred Alaina MacGaren seeks sanctuary from the devastation of her homeland in the passionate embrace of a handsome enemy. Through the conflict that divides North and South, Cole Latimer has served the Union faithfully. But a tender heart threatens the Yankee surgeon, impelling him to risk everything for the bewitching Southerner he has sworn to protect and aches to love. With over 36 million copies of her novels in print, Kathleen Woodiwiss is one of America s best-loved authors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380973279
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/1996
Edition description: REPRINT
Pages: 624
Product dimensions: 6.42(w) x 9.65(h) x 1.31(d)

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.

Date of Birth:

June 3, 1939

Date of Death:

July 6, 2007

Place of Birth:

Alexandria, Louisiana

Place of Death:

Princeton, Minnesota

Read an Excerpt

Intrepid young Alaina already knows the handsome Yankee captain, but in her disguise as a boy, she cannot allow her womanly reaction to the virile army surgeon to betray her. But one tempestuous night Cole finds himself in a Southern plantation, with a beautiful woman he does not recognize, and Alaina's defenses are bombarded in ways she had never thought possible.

Bright moonlight streamed in through the parted curtains, lightening the room until all was visible. Though the lingering essence of intoxicants still clouded his brain, Cole became aware of the woman who leaned against the door. His mind felt slow and listless, and he could find no reason for what he saw, nor could he explain his presence in a strange bedroom. His situation struck him as extremely precarious. For all he knew he might momentarily find himself confronted by an outraged husband or an irate father bent on restoring his daughter's honor.

"Ma'am," he began, sorely chafed at the thickness of his tongue. "I fear I have intruded."

Alaina realized escape was impossible, and knew she would have to brazen it out.

Her soft laughter broke the silence of the room. "Surely you haven't decided to leave us after you vowed to stay the night, Captain. Can it be that you have forgotten so soon?" She mimicked the relaxed familiarity of the most successful courtesan and her voice was as honey, smooth and cultured. The deception seemed simple enough; she could play this part as successfully as that of ragged urchin. Yet she was thankful for the shadow that shrouded Cole's nakedness, for the game might have dissolved in her own embarrassment and flight.

Alaina remembered her uncle had kept a decanter of brandyhidden away in the guest room, and she went to search the bureau for it. This was no time for the captain to sober up. If he would just drink enough and go back to bed, she was sure he would sleep the night through.

As she passed before the window, a shaft of silvery moonlight penetrated her garments. The slim but well-curved figure whet Cole's appetite and imagination no small amount. The lust flared through his starved senses, and he felt a familiar tightening in his loins.

"Here, Captain," the silky voice urged as the woman came back. "Have another drink." Alaina pressed a water glass, liberally filled with brandy, into his hand, then slipped quickly away as he reached for her. Her soft laughter teased him. "Drink first, Captain."

Cole lifted the glass and tasted deeply of its contents. He was rather pleased at its quality but accepted that too as logical. In the captive city, brothels were the only establishments that continued to operate affluently, and it was evident that this one was a step above the others he had seen.

"Now really, Captain." She rested a hand on his furred chest and pushed him back lightly. "You should return to bed. There's a chill in the air, and you'll surely catch your death." Cole tried to focus on her face, but it was only a vague blur. "I've an errand to do downstairs, but it won't take long, then I'll be back."

The idea was not to Cole's liking. He finished the brandy in an impatient gulp, hardly feeling its warmth with the heat that already throbbed through his veins, and set the glass aside.

"You rest yourself a moment, Captain," Alaina coaxed softly, moving away. "I really must be about my errand."

Cole cursed his stumbling gait but caught her arm as she reached the door. Alaina looked up at him in surprise, not daring to speak. Her heart pounded turbulently within her bosom. He seemed so tall and immense as he loomed over her like a threatening dark avenger.

"A kiss I would have," he murmured thickly, "lest I grow weary of the wait. Come." He pulled her hard against his chest. "Give me a sampling of your wares that I might better anticipate your return."

She found her lips entrapped with his, and though they were soft and gentle, they flamed with a fiery heat that warmed her whole body. Her eyes closed and the strength of his embrace, the brandy taste of his mouth, the hard pressure of his loins made her all too aware that this was a strong, living, healthy man, that he was treating her like a woman, indeed desiring her. Her head swam as he drew back slightly, and she wondered vaguely if she might swoon. In the quiet moment that passed between them, she tried to still the violent tremor that had seized her.

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Ashes in the Wind 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 155 reviews.
xXFire_N_IceXx More than 1 year ago
I am only 17 and totally in love with this book. I was reluctant at first to read it, and The Flame and The Flower, but my mom told me she would read my Twilight books if i read her books. Well im absolutely glad i agreed because all i can think about is this book and love between Cole and Alaina. I didnt want it to end, and when i finished it i felt lost. There was never a dull moment in reading it, and i will definately be reading it over and over!
Kkennedy More than 1 year ago
My mother had told me to read this book often,I never did read it ,until she picked it up and gave it to me! Wow this is a fantasic book one of my favorites ever ! It is a must read! The characters are so well written and the adventure they go through. Again it is a must read, all of her books are great!
minnieMG More than 1 year ago
I read several of these books many years ago and now that I have my nook, I have ordered several books to read agin. My favorite is SHANNA. Can;t put these books down. I find I cook with her book in my hand and one of these days I will have the book in my food. GREAT
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book back in the 1980's when I was just a teen. I loved the characters and the plot. I've read many books since then, but find them lacking in depth. If you are undecided regarding this book, purchase it! You won't regret it!
gypsyroseLA More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best Historical Fiction books I've read in a very long time. Its difficult to put the book down.
Mospeed More than 1 year ago
'Al' is unforgettable... I have loved this book for years. All of the characters are well rounded and brought to life vividly. There are a handful of books good enough and memorable enough to make my keeper list of re-reads and this isone of them. Cole and Alaina wont dissappoint!
Jane_Westcott More than 1 year ago
There are no words or enough stars to rate this book, it is just splendid! It is so very well written and every character is well rounded with purpose. The storyline is magnificent and it has that Gone with the Wind feel to it. The heroine, Alaina, is just so admirable for all her fortitude and bravery especially at such a young age. The hero, Captain Cole Latimer, is positively a true hero and I could only imagine him to be Rhett Butler. The book is in two parts. Part one explains Alaina's background and how the story begins by meeting Cole. Part two is where the reader begins to learn about Cole's background and his story a little more in-depth. Wow, Wow, Wow... All I can say is that I wish I hadn't finished the novel so quickly, I miss it. I can't express how much I encourage reading this novel, it really is one of a kind.
netLM More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy reading a book by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, I have all the paperbacks, but truly enjoy reading it on my Nook Color. I have been able to get the books easily.
Cartey More than 1 year ago
When I was a teenager, my mother gave me this book. She read it many times, in fact... It is her favorite novel. I have also read it many times. So many that the binding began to come apart and I had to buy a new copy. I gave the original copy back to my mother, she still reads it even though the front cover has fallen off and the book is rather tattered. Looks like I will be buying her a new copy too very soon. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has a passion for romance and the written word.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing from start to finish. This book and its characters were captivating. You must purchase this book you wont be disappointed.
Etch51 More than 1 year ago
No other book can compare to this book.
Bre_17 More than 1 year ago
This book has been a part of my permanent library for over 10 years! To me the sign of a great book is when you know the ending and it still doesn't take away from the read. I have read it multiple times and I'm sure that I will still read it many more. Thank you Kathleen!, another great book.
DelightedNovela More than 1 year ago
I believe this may be my favorite book of Ms Woodiwiss. I was reminded of the classic Gone with the Wind because of the era of the story. While reading I constantly visualized the characters and scenery. This story is full of drama, comedy & romance with a plot that unfolds at the very end. I could not put this book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the first part of this book while it was based in New Orleans. When the characters moved to Minnesota, they seemed to have a complete personality change. Cole, who was so likeable in the beginning, became totally unsympathetic. Alaina started out fiesty then became annoying. It was almost as if Kathleen Woodiwiss stuck a completely different story onto the second half of the book.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I hated for this book to end I have read all of this author's books and this one is my fave.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I love the book when I first read back in the 70s it has been a favorite ever since. I admire miss woodiwiess and all her books.
Anonymous 9 months ago
One of my favorites from Kathleen Woodwiss. She never disappoints me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great adventure!
EmScape on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a sweeping romantic tale set in Minnesota and New Orleans during the Civil War, Woodiwiss delivers heartache, laughter, and poignancy. Even though this story is riddled with implausibility, frustrating misunderstandings, and plain fool-headedness, it's entertaining to read and I couldn't put it down. However, I am glad that I never attempted to read it as a teenager, when I was reading romance novels mostly for the steamy bits, because the book is practically devoid of them.
sidhera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this first when I was a young teenager (maybe 1997ish), and I loved it. I remember reading it three or four times before I lent it to a friend who promptly lost it. Out of nowhere, I remembered the title recently, and I bought an eBook of the title. Boy, how times have changed. Where I once loved the dialogue and the buildup in the romance, as an adult, I find it extremely difficult to find anything positive about the relationship between the main characters. After she saves his life, he drunkenly rapes her (though the author clearly doesn't think he's committed rape). Then, they bicker for several hundred pages without ever really establishing a connection. I really do like belligerent sexual tension, but jeez, talk about melodrama. If you're looking for a 70s/80s Romance novel, I suppose I'd recommend it. The social mores definitely belong in a bygone age. If you're looking for a classic Romance? Just go ahead and read Gone with the Wind. You'll thank yourself.
dmcoco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I emnjoy reading this writer but the plots are always the same. You can almost always figure that the couple w9ill get together in the end - it is just the struggles to get there
cal8769 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book. read it in the early 90's and I still consider it one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put the book down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just read this book for the third time. I have read all of her books. She is a superb writer. Don miss any of her books. I miss her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many years ago a friend suggested Kathleen Woodiwish books to read. She was very surprised I had never read anything she wrote. I now have read every book. My favorite is Ashes In The Wind. Takes you back in time when women wore hoop skirts and the war between the North and South. Story never lags and the people seem so real. I have read this book many times and Always enjoy it as much as I did the first time.