Monday, August 29, 2011

Katharine Ashe

Get Lost in The Arms of a Marquess…

She had never forgotten him…

Miss Octavia Pierce is witty, well off, and shockingly unwed. Still, she is far too successful in society to remain on the shelf forever, and her family has hopes that Octavia will finally make the perfect match. What they do not know is that years earlier Octavia was scandalously tempted by the one man capable of sweeping her off her feet—the man now known as the Marquess of Doreé.

A third son, never meant to inherit, Lord Ben Doreé has abandoned his past and grown accustomed to his illustrious new position of wealth and power. But he has never forgotten Octavia, and now she desperately needs his help in a most dangerous, clandestine matter. Although she claims she has put the memories of the passion they shared behind her, Ben is determined to once again have her in his arms—and in his bed.

Excerpt from IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS

Ben pushed to his feet in the gin-soaked pub. His clogged head spun.

Styles laid a hand on his shoulder. “I’ll take you to Hauterive’s. Why you came in here when the company there would welcome you, I haven’t the slightest.”

“No. I’m for home.” He started toward the door.

“You disappeared from Lady Ashford’s party so swiftly I hadn’t an idea of it until you were gone. If I’d have known you were heading here I would have dissuaded you.”

“Couldn’t have.” Ben pushed through the lollers at the tavern’s entry and headed toward the mews down the alley with bleary eyes but hound-like precision. If he hadn’t trekked this path hundreds of times in his university days, he would be lost now. Lost in London’s hells and lost in confounded memories, neither of which locations he particularly wished to be.

“Who was that girl you were dancing with, the one that looked like an Irish Athena, all sublime figure and eyes of soft steel?”

Ben blinked to shut out the image of Octavia’s body wrapped in the shimmering gown, her soft lips, pinkened cheeks, and the sensation of her trembling fingers within his. But behind his lids the image was even stronger, and his hand still felt hot where hers had lain.

“Good God, Walker,” he grunted, “you and Constance would make a perfect pair, both of you curious as a couple of magpies.”


“Lady Constance asked about the girl too? Is she jealous?”

“Only of your paramours.”

“Then the lady at Ashford’s is a paramour?”

Ben shook his head, his stomach rolling. “Not mine.” Not any longer.
He moved across the street in unsteady strides.

But why not? No one controlled his destiny now. His life was his own. Why not seduce a beautiful, deceitful woman, a woman whose flavor yet remained upon his tongue? Why not take pleasure where he wished?

Because he could not then and still could not believe in her deceit, although he had tried to convince himself of it again and again. To absolve himself of guilt.

He stumbled into the stable and pressed his face into his horse’s satiny neck. Taking to the bottle tonight had been a mistake. He needed clarity. A pitcher of icy water over his head would do it, just as her smile had earlier, so brief it seemed she didn’t even know she smiled, washing his vision clear for an instant as it always had…


Today, I am thrilled to welcome historical romance author Katharine Ashe to the back to the blog! (Be sure to click the link at the end of her post if you missed Katharine’s first visit for more fun interview questions). I got the chance to hang out with Katharine this summer at RWA’s conference in New York, and I can tell you that not only is she a fabulously talented author, but smart, savvy and wickedly funny! Please visit her at www.katharineashe.com

So let’s get to know Katharine better!


The American Library Association’s Booklist named Katharine Ashe among its “New Stars of Historical Romance” and her debut, Swept Away by a Kiss, was a 2010 nominee for Best First Historical Romance in the Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Awards. Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her husband, son, two dogs, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt.

And now, for the Get Lost Interview!

Heather:
How often do you get lost in a story?
Katharine: Always. I adore deep, powerful romances that hurl me up and down through bliss and torture then joy and torment and back to complete happiness in the end. The more roller coaster-y the romance, and the more it makes me feel deeply, laughing and crying on the same page — as long as the conclusion is deliciously satisfying — the more likely I am to get lost in it. Lost In A Story is my middle name: Katharine Lost In A Story Ashe. Honest. Check my driver’s license.

I also get really lost in the story when I write. (see below!)

Heather: What sound do you love?
Katharine: Favorite: The sound of one person saying to another, “I love you.” Second favorite: The ocean breaking on the shore with gull cries above.

Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Katharine: While writing I prefer silence (or the sound of my dogs snoring, which is, um, kind of inevitable). I do make a playlist for each book, and I listen to it all the rest of the time — in the car, walking the dogs, running, grocery shopping, gardening, rotating my tires. I have a tough time stepping away from a story while I’m writing it. I adore every moment of the lovers’ tangled journey toward their happily ever after. Listening to the playlist is my way of staying in their emotions even when I must be somewhere else.

Heather: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Katharine: Writer. (I can’t believe you asked that question.) Actually, I’m also a professor of history. But I’d like to be a gardener. Or a dog walker. Or a meteorologist. Or a Shakespearian actor. Or a test driver for Mustang convertibles. Or a professional champagne taster.

Heather: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Katharine: Weep and laugh with joy for my hero and heroine. Dance around the living room. Crack open the bubbly. Not necessarily in that order.

Heather: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Katharine: I build model nuclear submarines and solve calculus equations. No. (Ye-ah.) I walk my pups, hang out with my son, watch romantic comedies, sit on my deck listening to cicadas in the treetops or basketball players in the nearby park.

Heather: What soundtrack or playlist do you recommend for your current release?
Katharine: Here are a few songs from my playlist for IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS:

“You’ll Ask for Me” – Tyler Hilton
“Moonlight Serenade” – Klaus Badelt (from POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl)
“Replace You” – Samantha Moore
“Vulnerable” – Secondhand Serenade
“Animals on Fire” – Kate Walsh (The beat of this song is like a heartbeat. It’s amazing.)
“Fear” – Sarah McLachlan
“Am I the Only One?” – Barenaked Ladies
“I Shall Believe” – Sheryl Crow
“New Divide” – Linkin Park
“Here with Me” – Dido
“Come What May” – Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman (from Moulin Rouge)
“You and Me” – Lifehouse
“Shine” – Rosi Golan

Heather: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Katharine: Coffee for breakfast, decaf (because when I drink caffeine I start thinking I should become the captain of a tall ship and have perilous seafaring adventures, but that just wouldn’t be practical at this time in my life, you see), with heated milk. I became accustomed to this while living in Rome, taken with a plumcake, a little breakfast treat that, having mentioned it, I am now of course craving. (*opening my browser to search for a store that will mail plumcakes from Italy*)

Tea late at night when all are abed save me and my laptop. Tea when I am in the British Isles where the misty rain at dawn and the lush green hills of Wales and the winding stone walls of Scotland and the clattering streets of London require such elemental comfort. Tea when the sniffles threaten. Tea when a friend comes over to chat. Cream Tea when True Snacking is a must.

Heather: What does it mean to love someone?
Katharine: To give your heart without reservation. To protect the beloved’s heart, body, and precious uniqueness from danger. To inspire the beloved to become the best person possible.

Heather: Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero/heroine but he/she wouldn’t go away?
Katharine: Octavia Pierce, the heroine of IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS. She was the little sister of a heroine I was writing at the time, on the verge of sixteen, a straightforward, shockingly honest miss with an adventuresome spirit. A very minor character.

At first Octavia didn’t actually tell me she must have her own story. Ben did. Her hero. He saw her (from a distance, when I wasn’t paying attention) and he told me quite clearly that he wanted her for his heroine. Since I barely knew him at the time, frankly I didn’t have any reason to trust him — not even twenty and full of confident, tall, dark and handsome lordliness. But he wouldn’t leave me alone about it. He was very certain. And you know, when a mysterious and powerful lord insists on something like this, it’s kind of hard not to buckle under. So I said he’d have to wait until she became a lady, about three years, and then, well, he’d have to lose her after that… for a while. Another seven years. (Remember that torture-bliss thing I mentioned above?) He glowered. I cowered, but I held fast. Come to think of it, when I promised him the billiards table scene, his glower relaxed a little.

And so I wrote their story.
(BTW, nobody actually plays billiards in the book.)

Heather’s GOTTA ASK – Katharine’s GOTTA ANSWER
Heather:
So, Katharine, we know from your last visit that you are a professor of European history. I see that you've lived in both France and Italy. Can you tell us what you loved, or didn't, about living abroad?

Katharine: I loved walking the paths that people I’ve read about walked hundreds of years ago. I loved the food (plumcakes!), speaking in other languages, and the people. I loved all the new scents and living a different texture of life.

It was tough not having an ample supply of English-language novels. They’re expensive in Rome (where I spent most of my time abroad) and I was a (very) poor graduate student. When I discovered a little English bookshop that sold Penguin Classics for $1.99, I was in alt. I read every Jane Austen novel first.

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
Katharine: What do you neglect/ignore/forget/accidentally-misplace-in-your-sock-drawer when you’re lost in a great story?

WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS?
Katharine: I'll be happy to give away a set of Romance Trading Cards and a gorgeous "Fight Like a Girl" ocean-glass and silver pendant made for September's Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, related to Avon's KISS and Teal campaign (of which I'm a spokesperson).

Thanks so much for being with us today, Katharine! Where can your fans learn more about you?

Website Facebook Twitter

Want to know even more about Katharine? Take a look at her first GET LOST appearance.
Get Lost Interview

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

DON’T FORGET to check back daily to GET LOST in your favorite stories! FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join us this week as we host Lisa Kessler, Karin Harlow, Sandra Orchard & Best Selling Author Susan Wiggs.

34 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new release, Katharine. I definitely lose all sense of time when I'm lost in a great story. I sometimes ignore the phone and maybe neglect my hunger.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on your new release!

    I definitely have stayed up waaaaaay too late reading although I no longer stay up ALL night reading anymore. I also read while brushing my teeth and in the shower (while the water heats up and while I wait for the conditioner to do its magic).

    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Katharine! :)
    Congrats on your new release-can't wait to read it!

    I love getting lost in a good story too. I too have been known to forget to sleep when I end up going to bed at 2 or 3 am because I just couldn't put a fantastic book down. And I also have to be careful because there have been times I almost missed my train stop because I was too busy reading to pay attention, lol.

    But I definitely relate to how hard it is to find novels in English when you're abroad. When I visit my family in Taiwan, it can be tough to find a bookstore that carries books in English!

    P.S. Hope you and your family came through Irene ok!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I absolutely love how you talk about your characters. When I read your books, it feels like they are real and ready to jump off the page to come to life.
    Usually the first that gets neglected is laundry. My absolute least favorite chore. It isn't too bad as long as I don't have too many interruptions from my kids or husband and can read without feeling like I am fighting to complete a chapter. If that happens I put the book down because I usually have to reread it to make sure I didn't miss anything because of getting frustrated with wanting to read and being pulled in other directions.
    I am thankful that school is back in session and my husband has to go to London tomorrow for a few days. WHOOHOO! I will have at least the mornings to myself to enjoy reading.
    I can't wait until tomorrow, there are seven new releases that I am getting. In The Arms Of A Marquess is at the top of my list to read. Thank you so much for releasing the rest of chapter two and three. It defintely wet my appetite this weekend, and will hold me over til tomorrow. I have already pre ordered the e-book and am looking forward to downloading first thing in the morning.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Heather, and my other lovely hostesses at GLIAS for having me on the blog today. It's so lovely to be here!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jane, I'm with you. When I'm writing a book I'll often neglect meals until late in the afternoon when I get woozy. This means I end up eating a lot of cookies and coffee -- easily grabbed. Not such a bad thing, I suppose. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, Sheree. I can't believe I have to admit this, but I still pull all-nighters to finish books. My 44-year-old body can't take it, and I'm a zombie the next day, but a happy zombie floating in HEA Land. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, Lisa! It is really hard not to be able to have novels when you're abroad. I think my experiences back then would have been so different if I'd had an e-reader; I wouldn't have explored so many back streets of the city searching for English language bookstores! Oh, and there was this little bakery in one neighborhood in Rome near the English-language bookstore that I wouldn't have gone to nearly as often. Guess it's a good thing I didn't have an e-reader then!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much, Ora! And thank you for supporting Avon's KISS and Teal campaign! It's so exciting. I can't wait to see how quickly Avon reaches its goal of $50,000. With books by Stephanie Laurens, Tessa Dare, and the other K&T authors, I suspect it won't be long!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love how you mention that "living a different texture of life" is one of your favorite things about living abroad. What great firsthand experiences and knowledge you must have gained, particularly as a professor and writer of history. Very interesting interview!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Katharine:

    What a great interview! I've been looking forward to IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS after devouring CAPTURED BY A ROGUE LORD.

    Congrats on the new release!!!

    Addison

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi, lolldolly. Thanks for visiting today. I truly treasure the experiences I've had living abroad. Because of it, I often write characters who've had some experience traveling abroad in their past. In fact, although the book takes place in England, my hero and heroine in IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS meet thousands of miles from there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Welcome to GLIAS, Katharine. Hope you enjoy your visit AND I soooo want to be eligible for the give-away.

    Thanks for being a spokesperson for Ovarian cancer awareness. They tell you that every family is touched by cancer...you never know just how true those statistics are, but I've never met a person who hasn't.

    Personally, my son is batttling now, my father died from a mis-diagnosed melanoma, my next door neighbor just celebrated 1 year clear from Breast cancer, and my daughter has had two professors unfortunately lose the battle. She's always planned on being a doctor, but in the past year has begun to focus on Oncology.

    THANK YOU !!
    Can't wait to read your newest book!
    ~Angi

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you, Addison. I'm so glad! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks, Rebecca. It's lovely that you dropped by. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for having me, Angi. I offer you my greatest sympathies for the loss of your father to cancer. I'm truly honored to be a spokesperson for Avon's K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign. So many of us know very little about the symptoms of various cancers -- women about Ovarian Cancer in particular. But if we catch it early, we have a much better a chance of beating it. I'm glad to be able to get the word out about it.

    Btw, every copy of Avon's K.I.S.S. and Teal books (mine and five others) has a few pages in the back on information about Ovarian Cancer, including the signs and symptoms.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, Katharine. Is Get Lost in a Story blog great or what. Thanks to Heather for the fabulous introduction of your work. And, thank you soooo much for listing your playlist. I will check out every song... My son's getting married next May and (gasp)I'm in charge of the music for the rehearsal dinner.

    You have so much in common with Eloisa James in my mind; would you agree? Congratulations on your rising star status. Sock drawer? The last time I looked in there hunting and pecking for something. I found a lot of loose change and candle motives ;) Thanks for joining us today!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Katherine,

    Congrats on IN THE ARMS OF THE MARQUESS. Your new release sounds delightful. And what an honor to be a part of the Kiss and Teal campaign!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Katharine! My co-worker's mother is currently battling bone and lung cancer. It is a devastating disease.

    I am patiently waiting for IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS to download to my NOOK.

    Now when I start reading and am totally immersed in the book, I forget to eat. I also become very absent minded, like putting the cat in the bedroom and not the garage. But generally it is I forget to eat.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congrats on your new release! I try to get everything done before I get lost in a story! Sometimes I will forget something but thats just part of life.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I always try to get everything done before I get lost in a story! I want let myself pick up a book early in the day because I need to get things done first. Sometimes I will forget something but thats just part of life.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi, Donnell. Thanks so much for having me on the blog today! The songs in this playlist are particularly suited to the romance in this book. I hope you like them. And I'm flattered by your comparison to Eloisa James. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi, Jillian. Thanks for your kind welcome. I'm thrilled to be part of the K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Susan, LOL! I forget to eat, too. And I'm sure your cat doesn't mind your mistake at all. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks, Virginia! Sometimes at about 10PM when I get into bed I'll start a book saying to myself, "I'll just read a chapter or two to wind down before I go to sleep." Then I find myself at dawn finishing the book, bleary eyed and having to take the dogs on their morning walk. Once I pick up a great book, it's really hard to put it down, no matter what else I should be doing. I'm impressed with your discipline! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love stories that makes me forget everything. It's just me, the characters and their journey. I easily neglect and forget to sleep when I'm lost in a great story. Sometimes I will tell myself one more page, one more chapter and before I know it the book is halfway through (sometimes even finished) before I realize it's way past my bedtime. Sometimes I don't even realize how close till the end of a book until I get there and then it's a bittersweet moment saying goodbye to the characters.

    ReplyDelete
  27. When I am lost in a good story, I often forget everything else. I will generally just leave my sliding door open so my pets can go out into the yard and come back in because I don't want to forget they are outside. I have a hard time stopping reading until my eyes are so tired I can't read another word, and I have stayed up too many nights reading to count. LOL
    I can't wait to read this book. It sounds great and I love that Avon is donating to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. I have already preordered some of the books and will be picking up more of them.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Na, I am completely there with you. That last page of a book I love is always bitter-sweet. I end up rereading over and over just so I won't have to leave those characters behind. It's why I love reading connected series. And I definitely started writing connected books because I couldn't bear to let go of characters I loved so much.

    ReplyDelete
  29. June, I do that with the sliding door too. A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do, I guess. :) Thanks for supporting K.I.S.S. and Teal. It's such a wonderful cause.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I forget that there are only so many hours in a day and, whoops, I spent them all reading :-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. :) Chelsea. I'm guilty of that myself!

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a great contest! I own a few of Katharine's books and they are fantastic. I can't wait to read this one too!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Congrats on the new release Katharine. I love your books and would love to also win this one. I love love love New Divide by Linkin' Park. I have to say a sound that I love is when you are laying outside on a blanket reading a book and the sound of the wind going through the trees and just quite. I also love "Mommy I Love You".
    My question for you is when you are not writing what do you do in your free time? Also do you have any favorite authors that you just love to read?
    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete