Being a reviewer definitely has its perks. One of those perks is being able to read an
advance copy of books way in advance before they hit the shelf. Another perk, I get to interview some of my
ultimate favorite authors. Today I have
the pleasure of chatting with the phenomenal Katharine Ashe. Every time I pick up a book by Katharine Ashe
I know I am in for one sensational emotional ride, with strong characters and a
story that grips my heart leaving its indelible mark. Please give a warm welcome to my favorite
author, Katharine Ashe.
Thank you for your lovely words, Christine. I’m honored by
them, and so happy to be here today.
Katharine a few months ago I was chowing down on my favorite
veggie lover’s pizza. I was flipping
through one of several of my RT Book Reviews magazines. I came across this
fabulous fun article by Liz French,
Stephanie Klose, Faygie Levy and Elissa Petruzzi titled “Legacy
of Love.” In short, the article
explained about how the market might be changing but romance, which I agree
whole heartedly, is forever. My curious
readers and I would love to know your thought on what you believe is the
“Legacy of Love.”
Agreed! Love never goes out of style. Now, I think many of
your readers know that in addition to writing romance I’m also a professional
historian, and historians really don’t like to make sweeping statements using
words like “never”. (Like Sherlock Holmes, we’re obsessed with finding concrete
evidence to prove each case.) Nevertheless, for every era I’ve studied, in the
literature of history we can always find love stories. Some are triumphant,
others tragic. Still, the yearning of hearts to connect and the thrill of
bodies entwined in ecstasy seem to drive humans beyond all other needs and
desires. Stories about that ultimate adventure may be more or less popular in
certain decades or centuries, but I don’t think they’ll ever disappear. I for
one am so glad we’re living in a romance friendly age!
(p.s. Yum, veggie lovers pizza!)
I know you are in the thick of your new A Falcon Club Novel
series. Can you tell us more about it?
A wealthy lord… A lethal warrior… A brilliant spy… A
stunning temptress… A cunning strategist… Five friends dedicated to a secret
ongoing mission: find the missing and bring them home. Concealed behind the
façade of an exclusive gentlemen’s club, the Falcon Club is known only to a
select few in the government. Spies within society, the club’s members prowl
London’s sparkling ballrooms and squalid hells, seeking out valuable, elusive
prey amongst the aristocracy — whoever wishes to remain hidden, whoever must be
revealed for England’s safety.
In wartime, the young agents used every weapon at their
disposal to serve their kingdom, including amorous promises, reveling in the
thrill of adventure. But the war is over now, and peace blankets Europe.
The agents have been reassigned to other tasks, the tranquil tasks of
peacetime. And they’re through with it! One by one the agents quit the club,
but the past won’t seem to leave them behind.
I’m crazy about road trip stories, and the
next book in the series after HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY is a road trip romance.
Like two of my favorite movies of all time, It Happened One Night and The Sure
Thing, in HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE an unexpected journey sets a mismatched pair
on the most exciting adventure of all, falling in love! It’ll be out September
I am addicted to your Falcon Club Novel series and its
characters. Katharine, you continue to give readers an extraordinary romance
time and time again. Now, with HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY you have given readers,
once again, a powerful emotional love story with two of the most engaging
protagonists that will rip readers’ hearts out all the while having them
rooting for their happily ever after.
Can you tell us more about it?
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Christine. Thank you! HOW TO BE
A PROPER LADY is the story of a man with a mission, a woman who refuses to be
controlled, and a delectable wager that both of them just might win. On the
high seas, Captain Jin Seton finally discovers the lady he’s been searching out
for two years, Miss Viola Carlyle. He’s determined to return her to her noble
family in England.
But Viola won’t be corralled. Jin’s struggle to make this feisty sailor into a
proper lady takes them on a wild adventure from Caribbean
islands to society ballrooms… and, of course, to love.
What inspired you to begin the Falcon Club Novel series?
The characters. Many of them first appeared in my CAPTURED
BY A ROGUE LORD. Jin was the first to demand his own story. Even as I wrote his
first line in CAPTURED, I knew I had to write his book, and it wasn’t five
minutes before I realized his heroine had to be Viola—the girl everyone
believed dead for fifteen years. Other characters claimed their own books too.
Kitty Savege plays a small but crucial role in CAPTURED, but I couldn’t leave
her behind; she was just too full of heartbreak and yet a glimmering of hope
still. Not only those, but Lady Constance Read from my IN THE ARMS OF A
MARQUESS hid secrets from me while I wrote that book that I didn’t even know at
Then, one day, I realized they all knew each other, worked
together, and were the best of friends. They were the Falcon Club. It happened
just like that, truly. I know, it sounds insane. But to me writing is not so
much constructing a story from thin air than it is revealing what already
exists and only needs me to uncover it. But I’m not the first to say that. “The best artist
has that thought alone which is contained within the marble shell; the
sculptor's hand can only break the spell to free the figures slumbering in the
stone.” Thanks to Helen Lively on twitter who found this quote from
Michelangelo for me. J
Is there any part of your personality that bleeds into your
characters while you write?
I give them those qualities of myself that will take them to
the depths of misery and the heights of joy. Life is a roller coaster, and I
love it that way. So I give them that.
I noticed that most of your historicals are placed between
the Georgian and Regency era. This time in HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY you deal
with slavery and abolition of slavery.
How difficult was it to research for this story? Was there one interesting fact that you
learned that rocked you to your core?
I am fortunate to be married to one of the world’s foremost
scholars on slavery in the Atlantic in the 18th
and 19th centuries, and close friends with his colleagues. So I’ve
been learning about the Atlantic slave trade over the dinner table (and
everywhere else!) for the past twenty-five years. Still, all the details
of this hugely important piece of history—both the tragic and triumphant
ones—never cease to rock me to the core.
Jinan Seton first appeared in CAPTURED BY A ROGUE, the
second release in your Rogues of the Seas series. Did you have Jin Seton’s full
character arc in mind when you started the Rogues of the Seas series or when
you began the Falcon Club novel series?
Did you know what would happen to him in the end?
Yes, and yes. Jin’s story came to me very easily. That
doesn’t happen for all characters, but Jin spoke his story to me quite clearly
in the first things he said to Alex Savege, the hero of CAPTURED, in the
opening scene of that book. By the end of writing CAPTURED, I knew Jin very well.
I adore writing all my heroes (or else I wouldn’t write romance!). But I loved
loved loved writing Jin. He made it
Okay, I want to give a warm welcome to Viola Carlyle and Jin
Seton. I know you two have gone through a lot to get to your happily ever after
so I will try to be brief. (Blushes scarlet as she catches the intimate glance
between the newlyweds, clears her throat).
I’m curious. Viola what was your first impression of Jinan? Jinan,
I would love to hear your thoughts about the first time you laid eyes on Viola.
Viola: I though
he was an arrogant son of a humpbacked whale.
Jin: You could
not stop staring at me.
Jin: And I could
no stop staring at you.
Viola: (melty smile)
Was it love at first sight or lust at first sight?
Jinan, what was
it like to be a pirate, then a privateer in the Georgian era? How surprised where you when Viola not only
captured you and your crew, but sank your beloved Cavalier?
Jin: (stony silence)
Katharine: (embarrassed throat clear) Um, can we
move on to the next question, Christine?
(Giggling) Okay, I am beyond curious how you took to being
captained by a woman, Jinan? Not
only that, but what was life aboard a privateer ship at that time.
Jin:(slight smile) She was a more than
Viola: He hated
it. And he found life aboard my ship unbearable.
Jin: With one
Jin: It was an aged
Viola: I believe
you once called it a dilapidated old barge.
Jin: Which, of
course, it was.
Viola: (sighing) He’s unrelentingly honest.
Most of the time.
Viola after your father, an Irish smuggler, kidnapped you and
brought you to America
to be brought up by his sister, what was your life like? How old were you when you first sailed with
your father? Do you believe the
adventure of the sea is in your blood?
Or would you say that you were born with an adventurous heart?
Viola: Fionn took
me from England
when I was ten years old. After that I eagerly sailed every spring and summer
with him for several years until he took me on his crew permanently. I suppose
I always longed for adventure, though, even before that. At least the baron and
my sister Serena claim that I always did.
I know that Jinan’s
whole point in finding you was to bring you back to your family in England,
but you, Viola, had other plans. Why did
you decide to make the proposition of the ‘wager”?
Viola: I didn’t
quite decide… as it were…
Jin: (grin) As it were.
Viola: (elbowing him in the ribs) It just sort
of popped out of my mouth.
Jin: You had
Viola: Do you see
what I have to put up with, Christine?
Jinan, why did
you accept the wager? Did you actually
believe you would win?
Viola: Ha! He—
Jin grabs her and [censored].
Viola and Jinan,
I absolutely adore you two!! Lately, I have become addicted to time traveling
adventure. This got me to thinking. If I handed you both my time traveling piece
would use it to go back in time to change anything.
Katharine:(gaping) No? Nothing?
Viola: (shaking her head) Especially not the
Jin:(slight smile) Especially not them.
You’re welcome. But you wouldn’t change anything even long ago, perhaps in your
Jin: If you
altered that history, this present would not have come to pass.
Viola: (a bit starry eyed) He’s a man of few
words, but they’re very good words.
Viola what was the transition from ship captain to learning
HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY like?
come on. It wasn’t that bad.
Viola: (folds arms in a remarkably unladylike pose
and commences unprecedented meaningful silence)
delivering Viola to her family back in Devonshire, do
you still believe everything you did, such as lying to Viola, was worth
it? Do you believe that being in England
is the best place for Viola?
Jin: Wherever she
wishes to be is best. And I there with her.
you can answer too, if you would like.) where do you consider home to be? America?
England? Or the
Viola: All three.
Viola and Jinan
do you believe that love conquers all?
Viola: Yes. And I’ll
answer for him, too. Yes.
Jin: Woman, I
have a voice.
Viola: (saucy smile) Then whisper it in my ear.
Are there many more adventures ahead for you two? Care to
Jin: I understand
that a London publisher has gotten
hold of a certain ship’s diary…
Katharine: Oh my—
Jin, you weren’t supposed to mention that. Oh boy. I mean, Viola, I was going
to tell you…
Viola: (eyes wide)
on to the next question please, Christine!
One more thing before I let you go. Do you believe that everything you two went
through to find one another, fall in love and finding your happily ever after
was worth the price you had to pay?
Viola: Yes, yes
Jin: No price
would have been too high.
Viola: (shy smile) My hero.
Now back to Katharine.
How did you mark the occasion of finally finishing HOW TO BE
A PROPER LADY?
I popped a bottle of bubbly, danced around the living room,
and took a long run with my soundtrack to the novel playing. Though not
necessarily in that order. J
What do you hope readers walk away with after reading HOW TO
BE A PROPER LADY?
A heart filled up with adventure and love.
You’re clearly very busy.
What do you do in your limited spare time? Are you reading anything right now? Any reading recommendations while we wait until
your next release in your THE FALCON CLUB NOVELS?
I’m reading history books on European royalty and gypsies,
and it’s fascinating and great fun. Also, I’ve recently discovered Laura
Kinsale’s delectably fabulous historical romances. If you haven’t read Laura
Kinsale yet, you are in for an amazing gift.
Katharine, please share with desperate readers where they
can connect with you in cyber world. =)
On my website, http://www.KatharineAshe.com
, readers can find everything: details about my books and series, links to
excerpts and where to purchase my books in paperback or e-format, news items,
contest information, the sign up page for my e-newsletter and Yahoo Free Reads
loop, links to me on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest, and how to get custom
made bookmarks for each of my books before they come out, and lots more
including a page to email me directly. I adore hearing from readers and I
always write back.
Katharine, you rocked RCJR eZine blog and its readers. Thank you so much for stopping by to dish
about Viola and Jinan from your new Avon Romance historical romance release HOW
TO BE A PROPER LADY.
Thanks for having me back on the blog, Christine. You are a
wonderful hostess and it’s been such a pleasure!
The Rules of Being a Proper Lady
1) Never take steps greater than six inches apart.
2) Never look boldly at a gentleman.
3) And never, ever, kiss a man who is not your fiancé.
But beautiful, bold Viola Carlyle doesn't care about the rules. And she desperately wants to kiss the notoriously tempting Captain Jin Seton, the man who brought her kicking and fighting back to English society. Kidnapped as a child, now she longs to return to that life of freedom where she was able to live—and love—as she wished.
Having hunted Viola for two years, Jin Seton has finally found his good luck—for, by finding Viola, his oldest, deepest debt will at last be paid. And although he has vowed not to let her win his heart, this very improper lady might finally be the one who tames him.
RCJR eZine is proud to present once again one of historical romances rising star with an extraordinary talent of drawing readers into her emotional gripping and high-octane adventures. Historical romance author Katharine Ashe is thrilling audiences with her latest Avon Romance ,HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY, second in her fabulously intoxicating a Falcon Club Novel series.
THE PRIZE:Two (2) lucky reader will win a copy of HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY. TO ENTER: Leave a comment for Katharine Ashe including your email address
(Email address are required for ALL entries.) (Please specify which book you would prefer when you enter)
*Connect with RCJR eZine at:
Contest is open to ALL
It will runs untilJuly 1,2012
I will contact the winners directly on July 2, 2012
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