Alyssa Alexander here! Please join me in welcoming Katharine Ashe to Embracing Romance! Katharine is the author of historical romance, her latest being THE EARL, which released just this week.
Though Katharine now lives in the south, she was once a Michigander like myself. She lived and wrote just a few miles down the road from where I live and write now! Alas, I didn’t know her then, but I did have the pleasure of meeting Katharine in Paris this spring, at the Festival du Roman Féminin—a conference for romance readers and writers alike. Katharine was warm, funny and a pleasure to have lunch and dinner with!
So, without further delay…
Alyssa: What is your favorite aspect of writing historical romance?
Katharine: Everything! I love the gowns and magnificent country estates and balls and horses and swords (my heroes and heroines tend to do a lot of sword fighting). I love that incredible feeling of being swept away by the lovers’ emotions that are almost too powerful for them to bear until they finally declare them. I love how despite restrictive social rules that dictated how ladies and gentlemen should behave, they break through those barriers to fall head over heels in love anyway. I love the cozy comforts of daily domestic life, like taking tea. And I love the vast, spectacular, thrilling reality of the British Empire at the time—not just a backdrop for a great love story, rather the material from which a really rich and gorgeous love story can be fashioned. So, everything! 🙂
Alyssa: I know Mamas are not supposed to have favorites, but what is your favorite Book Baby, and why?
Katharine: I fall in love with every couple I write—not with the hero, or even the heroine; I fall in love with their love. So it’s really hard to choose. That said, I honestly think THE EARL is now my favorite. The hero is at once thoroughly arrogant and completely vulnerable, which turned my heart inside out to write, and the heroine is tender, loving, generous-hearted, and a feminist. She believes in equal rights for men and women—which did not exist in that era in Britain—and publicly fights for them. Also, they’ve been promised to each other since birth. Also, they each have secret identities in public and those personae have been enemies for years. Also, they’re running from an angry mob across the Scottish wilderness. Also, they fall in love harder and with more devastating consequences than any couple I’ve ever written. Telling their story tore me apart and I loved every second of it.
Alyssa: [As an aside, as I put this post together, I’ve already one-clicked The Earl. But if I hadn’t before, I would NOW!) But back to questions. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Katharine: The beach! (I’ve also dreamed of having a little apartment in Verona, Italy.)
Alyssa: Um. Yeah. I would totally live at the beach forever if I could! Tell our readers one thing about yourself they probably don’t know.
Katharine: To write the first book in my Devil’s Duke series, THE ROGUE—which stars a heroine learning to fence from the hero, who is a master swordsman—I took fencing lessons for over a year.
Alyssa: Oh, I so want to do that! Now, tell us a little about the book.
He’s sworn to expose her.
She’s determined to bring him down.
It must be love.
How does a bookish lady bring an arrogant lord to his knees?
Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is.
Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw. And he’ll stop at nothing.
Smart, big-hearted, and passionately dedicated to her work, Lady Justice longs to teach her nemesis a lesson in humility. But her sister is missing, and a perilous journey with her archrival into unknown territory just might turn fierce enemies into lovers.
Alyssa: See? I would one-click even if I hadn’t already! And, since I have you trapped, let’s do a little lightning round of fun questions. Ready? Set? Go!
Blue jeans or party clothes? Blue jeans 364 days of the year. Party dress, rhinestones, and heels the other day!
Sushi or steak? YUM. [lol, that’s my answer too!]
Cats or dogs? (Or hamsters?) My sweet dog is one of the best gifts from God I’ve ever received.
Beer, wine or water? Champagne.
Coke or Pepsi? (If you answer Pepsi I hereby disown you. Ask my father.) Yipes. Actually, I had to stop drinking soda a while back. Sugar and artificial sweeteners do Very Bad Things to me.
Favorite color? Green. Or blue. Or purple. Or… or… or… THE RAINBOW. 🙂
Favorite word? Puppy. Or kiss. Or love. Or hug. Or… (I am obviously a disaster at lightning rounds.)
Least favorite word? Boobs.
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning; tea in the afternoon. [Me too!]
And last but not least…Favorite character trait in your significant other? (Mr. Alexander says my most endearing quality is my ability to talk. He also says it’s my most irritating quality). Hee! I love your ability to talk. You say wonderful things! For my husband, it’s his kindness. (My father always said to his five daughters, “You can marry any man you want, as long as he’s kind.”) My husband’s thorough respect for women comes in a really close second, though.
Alyssa: Aw, very sweet! And very true. Your father is a wise man.
And now for a little GIVEAWAY! Katharine is giving away a signed paperback copy of THE SCOUNDREL & I! Just comment below and answer one of our lightning round questions. Favorite word, coffee or tea, whatever floats your boat, and you’ll be entered to win. Open to US only, 18 years or older, winner chosen by random.org.
Katharine Ashe is the USA Today bestselling and award winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including her acclaimed Devil’s Duke Series, an Amazon “Best Books of the Year” novel, and two finalists for the coveted RITA® Award. A professor of history, she writes romance because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. You can find her at www.KatharineAshe.com.