Katharine Ashe Interview + giveaway

We are excited to welcome Katharine Ashe to our site today. This is Katharine’s first visit to our little spot in cyber space, and want to make her feel welcome, and want to come back.  She is here to talk about her brand new book, In the Arms of a Marquess, out this month, and let us get to know her a bit better as well. This book is also part of the K.I.S.S and Teal program.


TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

KA: Other novelists. Reading my favorite authors’ books I’ve learned what moves me, delights me, makes me weep and laugh out loud and feel intensely. My favorite authors include romance novelists, historical novelists, essayists, and writers from ages long gone by.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?

KA: I love professional and college ice hockey. Love. But maybe that wouldn’t come as a surprise to my readers. Hockey has all the danger, drama, and unpredictability I like to fill my books with. And strong, handsome men battling for their lives. Naturally.

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?

KA: St. Petersburg, Russia. Romantic, grand, full of spectacular, epic legends.

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?

KA: There are so many fabulous authors it’s hard to name just a few! I’m about to read Rachel Gibson’s latest, with Melissa Marr’s DARKEST MERCY next in line, and Tim Tyson’s BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME after that. For historical romance I go straight to Liz Carlyle, Eloisa James, and Lisa Kleypas.

TBRG: I loved the last Rachel Gibson book..what a great hero Sam made.  

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?

KA: Nothing! (Scandalous question!) Actually, I’m a professor of history. But I think I’d like to be a dog walker. Or maybe a gardener. Or a meteorologist. Or a test driver for Mustang convertibles. Or a researcher on Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso. Or a professional champagne taster.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?

KA: The playlist for my new novel, IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS, helped me shape the romantic journey of the hero and heroine, Ben and Octavia. And an intensely emotional journey theirs is! Here are a few songs from that playlist:

“You’ll Ask for Me” – Tyler Hilton

“Replace You” – Samantha Moore

“Vulnerable” – Secondhand Serenade

“Animals on Fire” – Kate Walsh

“Fear” – Sarah Mclachlan

“New Divide” – Linkin Park

“Here With Me” – Dido

“You and Me” – Lifehouse

“Shine” – Rosi Golan

TBRG: What a great play list New Divide is one of my personal favorite songs.

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?

KA: They present themselves to me. For instance, I first met Miss Octavia Pierce on the verge of sixteen sprawled in a chair with her coltishly long legs thrown over the arm like a thorough hoyden, reading an Atlas of the World. She was a minor character in the book I was writing at the time (her sister’s story). Still, instantly I knew Octavia would have a grand adventure.

Shortly thereafter I met Lord Ben Doreé on a snowy night in the corridor of a country greathouse that I was writing. In that scene in the first book of my Rogues of the Sea trilogy (SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS), that hero told his lady that the work he did upon the sea saving others — noble, honorable, perilous work — had a wealthy patron. And (here’s where it gets weird) there was Ben standing behind me while I wrote, telling me he was that patron, he the powerful man of mystery behind that noble work. I’d never met him before. But there he was, all tall and lordly and deliciously gorgeous, and quite confident of himself. And he said he wanted Octavia — a girl whose heart matched his perfectly — to be his heroine.

Yes, it’s nuts. But I swear to you that is how it happened. That is how it happens every time. A minor character — usually a woman — lifts off the page while I’m writing, and almost immediately her hero makes himself present to me.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?

KA: I begin with the couple — the hero and heroine — and their romantic dynamic. They tell me who they are (as I noted above), I throw them together (which makes them happy) and they tell me what they think of each other (honestly), then I torment them. I make it impossible for them to be in love easily. But since I care about them a lot I also give them a taste of bliss and satisfaction. Then I torment them again. Then more bliss, more torment, and so on until the ultimate bliss of Happily Ever After. At some point during the first few chapters of this I plot out their whole story. So yes I do plan, guided by the lovers’ needs and fears and dreams and by my own addiction to deeply emotional roller-coaster romance.

TBRG: How are the books in your Rogues of the Sea series connected?

KA: Loosely. The Prologue of my novella, A LADY’S WISH, actually best explains the connection between the heroes of the three novels of the series. (That Prologue is on my Yahoo Free Reads group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/katharineashenews/ ) The novels in the trilogy can easily be read stand-alone.

TBRG: Tell us about In the Arms of a Marquess?

KA: Seven years ago in the exotic heat of the East, a girl about to enter society and a wild young lord tumbled into first love… passionate love… forbidden love. Then they were torn apart. Now Octavia has returned to England, but Ben is no longer the man she lost her heart to. Instead he is a powerful, wealthy lord. He has never forgotten her, the taste of her lips or the touch of her hand. This time danger threatens, and he will do anything to protect her… and to have her again.

TBRG: What do you love most about Ben and Tavy?

KA: That they’re perfect for each other. That they’ve been in love for years despite forces that have kept them apart, including their own fears and misperceptions. That they cannot get enough of each other. That ultimately they will do anything — anything — to be together.

TBRG: Where did this story come from?

KA: Since reading M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions as a teenager, I’ve adored the history of British India — the dangers and adventures and beauty and passions of that time and place. Octavia and Ben’s romance, settled firmly in Regency England, nevertheless allowed me to write the sort of epic love story that defies society’s rules and expectations.

TBRG: What do you want us to know about this book?

KA: In her Barnes & Noble column on romance fiction last week, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James said, “Every woman who ever dreamed of having a titled lord at her feet will love this novel.”

TBRG: What are you working on now?

KA: My Falcon Club Series debuts in February 2012. One night, behind the façade of a townhouse that looks like a mere gentleman’s club, five British secret agents abruptly quit! But what’s an ex-secret agent to do now with all the spare time? In Book #1, WHEN A SCOT LOVES A LADY, a snowstorm throws a scandal-plagued London spinster into the arms of a roguish lord. The beauty suspects that succumbing to the beast’s seduction may be the only way to tame him, until she discovers the beast is in fact no beast at all…

TBRG: This book is a part of Harper Collins/Avon’s K.I.S.S and Teal program, what made you want to participate in it?

KA: As a writer and historian I’m all about spreading the word, especially when the word whispers but needs to be shouted out instead. Knowledge is empowering, and I love helping other women feel empowered. I also have friends who have suffered from Ovarian Cancer and wish they’d known earlier what signs to look for. I’m excited and honored to be part of Avon’s K.I.S.S and Teal campaign to spread awareness of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Let’s all SHOUT against the whisper!

TBRG: One a side note when I putting together this post I saw that Katharine has been inside the hallow halls of the Vatican Library..can I say JEALOUS!! Course I loved the fact that instead of looking at all the amazing works there she instead wrote a romance story.

***We have 4 copies of this book to giveaway, all you have to do follow us on twitter (if you aren’t already) like us on fb, oh and ask Katharine a question***

Katharine writes lush, sexy historical romances. A professor of European History, she lives with her husband, son, two dogs, and a whole bunch of plants about two hours from the Atlantic Ocean.

You can find Katharine around the web at these places


The Ballroom Blog (if you haven’t checked this blog out you have to stop over there it is hilarious)

Twitter and Face Book 





  1. Katharine Ashe

    Good morning, Heather and Melanie. Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s lovely to be here!

  2. Katharine Ashe

    LOL, ladies. Well, technically, I did read quite a lot of documents, manuscripts and books in the Vatican Archives and Library while doing the research for my dissertation. But a girl’s got to take a little break every so often. 😉

  3. Ora

    I absolutely love Ben and Tavy. I can’t wait for When A Scot Loves a Lady. I really want to read Constance story. When will you be writing hers? When you make a playlilst for your book, do you ever listen to Christina Perri? Right now I am in love with her song Arms.

  4. ClaudiaGC

    Hi Katharine! In The Arms of a Marquess sounds great! I love Latin names like Octavia. You’re in for a treat with Rachel Gibson’s latest book. I love her stories especially the ice hockey ones.

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I follow on twitter.

  5. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Ora. Thank you!

    Yes, indeed, Constance will have a book in my new Falcon Club series. I’m so glad you liked her. She is a warm-hearted, passionate soul, and even Ben doesn’t know the secrets she hides. I’m finishing up another book in that series right now and will start on Constance’s next, actually. I really can’t wait; her hero is absolutely delicious. 🙂

    I don’t know Christina Perri’s music. I love finding new singers, so thanks for the recommendation. I’ll go check her out!

  6. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Claudia. It’s lovely to “see” you again. I absolutely adore Rachel Gibson’s hockey books. I’ve been saving her latest as a celebration after I turn in my next book… mere weeks from now!

  7. Lisa

    Hi Katharine! 🙂

    Great interview! And how did you know that a Mustang convertible is my dream car? It just reaffirms to me that our meeting was meant to be, lol. I just love the idea of cruising down the highway with the top down and the wind blowing in my hair. But knowing me, it’d backfire a la Bridget Jones.

    I absolutely loved Marquess and fell in love with Ben and Tavy. It was so sigh-worthy, especially with Ben’s revelation that even with all the wealth, power, and influence in the world, it was meaningless without the woman he loves, and with Tavy by his side, he no longer had to bear the burdens of the world on his shoulders alone. That just made my heart melt!

    I am so glad to hear that both Constance and Alex’s sister Kitty are getting their story. Yay!!!! Can’t wait to read them! 🙂 And is Jin, Alex’s first mate in Rogue Lord getting his story too by any chance? I was definitely intrigued by him, and would love his story too.

    Thank you also for sharing your play list with us! Have you ever listened to Josh Groban? I love his music, and his voice is so rich and resonant.

    P.S. No need to enter me in the giveaway as I already have a signed copy of Marquess! 🙂

  8. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Lisa. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. 🙂

    Yes, indeed, Jin gets a book too — the second book in my Falcon Club series! With him, the moment I met him on board Alex’s ship, I knew.

    I have a Josh Groban song on one of my playlists, I’m almost positive. Must go look. 🙂

  9. Chris Bails

    Hi Katharine, if you could write any other genre of book, what would you like to write? (I also left this question of your facebook page. Was not sure if you meant leave the question there or put on this blog. So I did both.
    I also love love love the song New Divide. If has been on the soundtrack of many great movies and Linkin Park is awesome anyway. I love your books and can’t wait for the next one to come out.
    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    I love to read and spend time with my family. Keep on writing the great books.

  10. Desere

    Hi Kathrine

    Really lovely interview with a change of pace I loved it
    The book sounds sooooooo fabulous on congratz!

    Thx for the chance to win

  11. Angie

    What was the craziest fact you discovered while writing any of your books?..Which are all FABULOUS!!.I must say!

  12. Debra

    Hello Katherine, I have read your books from the beginning, have enjoyed them all!! Why did you choose History as your career? I can see why you write Historical with being a history Professor, but what influenced you to become a history Professor?

  13. Katherine Ashe

    Does your husband ever help you brainstorm for your books? What does he think of your writing?


  14. Lisa W

    Hi Katherine, great interview! I love seeing what authors would do if they were not authors~
    I don’t watch..ok any..hockey but I really must try sometime. I love football. I think I’m still in a bit of shock that my Packers won the Super Bowl 🙂 Do you watch football at all?
    Your next series of books sounds great and I am so happy that Avon and you and the other authors are part of such a great cause to bring awareness to Ovarian cancer!!

  15. Gayle C

    Looking forward to reading In the Arms of a Marquess. Well, on Facebook you said ask you any question, so here it goes. I’ve noticed on twitter that you like chocolate combined with many things. Do you have an absolute favorite chocolate treat?

  16. May

    Oooh, I love hockey too! My favorite team is Detroit. Love your other books… Haven’t read the latest one though and it sounds good!

  17. melanie Adkins

    As always a terrific interview…one question…If you could have any Of YOUR characters come to life…who would it be and why? *smile*

    Love your books..always one you can’t put down.

    macladie25 at yahoo dot com

  18. Johanna Jochum

    Hi Katherine, I have this book on my wish list and can’t wait to read it! Do you think of celebrities when your invisioning your characters? If so who would be the famous celebs to star in your latest book? Thanks for sharing with us today!

  19. Diane P. Diamond

    Hi Katharine,

    Does your husband ever get jealous of the heros’ that you write about? Does he read your books?

    Thanks you for another opportunity to win your book. I think that you’re an awesome writer. I love the front cover of “In The Arms Of A Marquess”.

    F/B and Twitter follower.

  20. Heather-admin

    What great questions everyone…

    Okay here’s one that I want to know..

    What part of history do you teach?

  21. Candy Gorcsi

    First just wanted to say that the books i’ve read by you have been enjoyed!
    Okay here’s my question…If you can pick any time, place and person to be with when,where and who?

  22. Lucy

    What sort of research do you do for your books? Have you been to England on any research trips and, if so, what did you think?

  23. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Chris. Thanks so much! I agree, Linkin Park’s “New Divide” is fantastic. I’ve planned a contemporary mystery-adventure series with a big element of history to it (and of course romance!). Hopefully some time I’ll have the opportunity to write it, but for right now I adore writing historical romance. 🙂

  24. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Desere. Thanks for stopping by today!

  25. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Angie. Thank you! The craziest fact… hm… I think in the early days of researching pirates I was pretty astounded that pirate ships operated like little democracies, not at all like monarchies or tyrannies like Hollywood likes to paint it. There were rules the sailors had to abide by — rules agreed upon by all. Really fascinating stuff!

  26. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Debra. Thank you so much. 🙂 I love stories, I love legends, I love mythology, and I love trying to understand why people do and did they things that they do and did. When I was a wee one, my father and sister used to tell me fabulous stories from the past. I think that engendered in me a love of history. When I realized there was a profession where I could spend most of my time studying fabulous stories from the past, I jumped at it. 🙂

  27. Katharine Ashe

    Katherine, my husband is enormously supportive of my writing. He has been from the start. Usually when I’m in the beginning stages of a book we get a sitter for our son for a night, go out to a fantastic restaurant, and talk through my ideas. He is fabulously helpful. He also happens to be a scholar of the eighteenth and nineteenth century — empire in particular — so he’s wonderful for fact checking! 🙂

  28. Holly wright

    I am so glad to find this. What is your favorite thing about your fans?


    Hollybwright at comcast.net

  29. Na

    Hi Katherine! St. Petersburg, Russia is on my top list of places to visit. There is definitely a lot of history there, heartbreaking but also inspiring when I think everything it has overcome. Also, hockey happens to be my favourite sport so I’m happy to see them featured more and more in books, still need to meet Rachel Gibson’s players.

    My question for you is what are some of your favourite storylines to read about? Are they also the same as what you like to write about?

  30. Nahal Momin

    Hi katherine, I loved ur book swept away by a kiss…thank u so much for the giveaway. My question to u is which one is ur favorite hero/heroine in ur books so far and why??? Once again thnks for the giveaways…:)

  31. Diane Sallans

    I saw you wnt to the Vatican Library – was that for research for one of your books? If so, which one, if not, what were you researching or looking at?

  32. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Lisa W. Oh, really do try watching ice hockey. There’s so much testosterone flying around, it’s delectable. 😉 I used to teach at a Big 10 school and watched a lot of college football then and loved it. But now I’m at a university with a very strong basketball team and a great men’s and women’s soccer program, but a really pathetic football team. Since I tend to watch the sports that are most exciting for my schools, I haven’t watched much football lately. That said, I still can’t get enough hockey… but we did have an NFL champion team here just a few years back, so that’s my excuse. 🙂

  33. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Gayle. My favorite chocolate treat is Toll House Cookies, done my special way. But really, chocolate in any form will never find rejection here. 🙂

  34. Katharine Ashe

    Thanks, May! I became a hockey fan, in fact, while living in Michigan and the university where I worked had an NCAA champion team one year. That was fantastic, especially since one of the players was a student in my class!

  35. Katharine Ashe

    Oh my gosh, Melanie — I’ve never considered that! Hm… Well, I’d love to meet any of my heroes and heroines, but since I care for them all so much I simply can’t choose between them. And I really love all my minor characters too! They’re all a little piece of my heart, you know. Except the villains. :} If I had to choose one, though, I think I’d go with Mellicent Fitzwarren from IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS. She’s a stitch, and a good-hearted person, and I think I’d feel entirely comfortable with her.

  36. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Johanna. Actually I don’t usually have a celebrity in mind when I create a character. Occasionally I do come across a man, an actor usually, that inspires me a little. For Ben (the hero of in In the Arms of a Marquess) the Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal offered me lovely inspiration. But Ben isn’t a dead ringer for Arjun by any means. That said, I always enjoy hearing what actors my readers picture for my heroes and heroines. That’s great fun!

  37. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Diane. Happily, my husband doesn’t get jealous of my heroes. He’s quite a confident guy (with good reason!). 🙂 He does read my books, sometimes while I’m writing them (as with my next book, When a Scot Loves a Lady, which he helped me with quite a bit), and sometimes after they’re published, depending on how busy he is any given semester. He’s wonderfully supportive!

  38. Katharine Ashe

    Heather, my research speciality is religion in the later Middle Ages, but I’ve taught everything from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome through the colonial era (across the globe). I have a particular fondness for British Imperial history, and have been studying that in school and independent of my formal training as well since I was a teenager.

    Thanks again for hosting me today! It’s been so much fun. 🙂

  39. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Candy. Thanks so much!

    Martin Luther King Jr. Or Mahatma Gandhi. Or Olympe de Gouges. And a hundred other revolutionaries who saw the world in terms that few others did, and — despite opposition — with intelligence, wit, compassion and fortitude made a difference for people without power.

  40. Katharine Ashe

    Lucy, great question. I do pretty exhaustive research. Usually I start with a subject with which I’m already a little familiar, then I do the book learnin’ thing — lots and lots of books. Then I consult with colleagues (one of the perks of my job as a professor!) who are experts at whatever it is I need to know. Then I do more book learnin’. I do often travel to the places about which I write. I have indeed been to England many times and loved every second of every visit. Most recently I’ve taken a few trips to Wales and Scotland, preparing for my next series –the Falcon Club Series — which features a Scottish hero, a Welsh hero, and a Scottish heroine in various books.

  41. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Holly. I love love love chatting with readers about romance and hearing what they love to read, how they read, and about their lives. And it’s pretty much a dream when a fan wants to talk with me about my books — the characters, the settings, whatever. It’s such fun!

  42. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Na! I’m glad to know you’re a hockey fan. Really, you should pick up a book by Rachel. They’re so fantastic. (See Jane Score is a great hockey book.)

    I don’t think I have any particular story lines I like best to read. Mostly I read for the depth of emotion between a hero and heroine, and the thrill of the romance as it grows — whatever shape that relationship takes. In terms of what I write, my heroes and heroines tend not to fit perfectly well into their normal society, or not at all in some cases. Their struggles to come to terms with who they want to be, and the way in which they help each other discover that, is at the core of every one of my stories.

  43. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Diane. I spent quite a bit of time as a graduate student in the Vatican Library and Archives doing research for my PhD. I was reading fourteenth and fifteenth century books, manuscripts and documents about the many churches in Rome and about foreigners who traveled to Rome on religious pilgrimage, as well as a whole bunch of other related things.

  44. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Nahal. Thank you! I suspect most writers would say that their favorite hero and heroine are the ones in the book just published. 😉 But it’s actually true. I’m really in love with all my heroes and heroines, so whichever ones are most on my mind any given day are the ones I adore most. That said, Ben and Tavy hold a special place in my heart, probably because they were with me in my imagination for nearly a decade before I ever wrote their book. Also, I first got to know them when they were still quite young, so I feel like I’ve known them a lifetime.

  45. Sheila

    Hi Katherine-

    How long does it take you to write a book, from start to finish, and when it’s all done and off to the printers do you ever say…’oh no I forgot to…’

    It’s so nice that all my authors take the time to talk to us on facebook or blogs.


  46. eli yanti

    hi kat,
    great to know your books will release.
    i just want to why you choice india?

  47. eli yanti

    hi kat,
    great to know your next books will release on 2012.
    i just want to know why you choice india?

  48. Jeanne Miro

    Katherine –

    I love your books not only for the characers and the storyline but for the locations in your stories as well. Have you ever visited somewhere and known immediately that you needed to write a story that included that location and if so where was it and why did you fall in love with it?

  49. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Sheila. Great question. It depends on the book, but usually it takes me about 5 months to write the first draft. Then I do some edits and rewrites as necessary. A print book goes through so many stages of editing and production that by the time it’s actually printed there’s very little or nothing I would change. I’ve found a few tiny things here and there, it’s true, in every book, but nothing major… so far! 🙂

  50. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Eli. Thanks! I’ve been fascinated by Indian culture and especially India under British rule since I was a teenager, for probably far too many reasons to say here. 🙂 Suffice it to say, I think I’ve probably had this book in my head and heart for a few decades!

  51. Katharine Ashe

    Jeanne, thank you! My first experience of that was the northern coast of Wales. I’d been thinking about writing a Regency with a medieval ghost for some time, and I knew I had to get the hero and heroine out of England to do it (for various reasons). My work in medieval history suggested Wales could be the place, so while I was planning the book I took a little trip there. I fell in love!! Not only was it the perfect setting for my Regency ghost story, but I knew I would have to write more stories about Wales and Welsh characters after that. So I’m doing just that; my Falcon Club series includes a very yummy Welsh hero. 🙂

  52. Jeanne Miro

    Just wanted to let you know I tried to get to your facebook page through the link but it didn’t work. I went to facebook and put in a “friend” requet there – waiting to hear back!

    I spend to much time reading Katheine’s books so I don’t twitter, tweat or even have a cell phone! To much to do, to many books to read!

    Once again Katherine, I love your books and if you ever would like a traveling companion just let me know – I volunteer!

  53. Katharine Ashe

    Hi, Jeanne. Hm… I tried the Facebook link above and it worked for me! But here’s the url again: http://www.facebook.com/KatharineAsheAuthor

  54. Jeanne Miro

    Vanessa –

    I’m already a fan on your page but I couldn’t connect with The Reading Gals facebook page. I’ll try from my home computer – maybe it will connect there!

    Thanks for the help. Now relax for a bit and have a cup of tea or coffee!

  55. Mariee

    Hi Katharine!
    I loved Swept Aways by a Kiss and can’t wait to read this one!

    Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

  56. aurian

    Great interview ladies, I enjoyed reading it. I am curious about your book, as I especially like the second chance at love storyline.
    But I am not active on Twitter or Facebook, ao no eligible to win.


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