Reader Girls is hosting the Virtual Book Tour today for In the Arms of a Marquess by Katharine Ashe and run by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Blurb: 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 don’t 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 Marquis 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.
We welcome Katharine Ashe.
I am an author of historical romance, but I’m also a professor of history. My lovely hostesses today asked me if my experience as a professional historian ever inspire my writerly life.
Yes, indeed! In a few ways.
That said, every time I learn about a new culture in a new place and era, my urge isn’t to sit down and write a rigorous history. It’s to use all the new colorful, juicy knowledge I have as the canvas upon which I can paint a love story. I’m addicted to writing love stories. Love — especially romantic love — is the most thrilling part of life! So when history offers me a fabulously rich world, I can’t help myself from creating a hero and heroine perfectly ripe for falling in love in that world.
History itself, of course, offers fantastically dramatic love stories. Many of the stories that have come down to us in the archives are about tumultuous loves that were wrapped up in power struggles and ended tragically, or at least unhappily. I think this is a little like the phenomenon of our newspapers reporting mostly depressing news; chroniclers in ages of yore liked to record the tragic stories better than the happily ever afters too. (The medieval Abelard and Heloise come to mind — good heavens, what a tragic affair, ending in castration for the one and endless longing for the other!). But when I teach history, I’m always discovering love stories that didn’t end tragically — a poem about an unlikely young pair blessed by the gods, a bard’s song about a knight and his lady cavorting in a May garden, and a powerful king who wed a woman he adored and had thirteen children who grew to be happy people, not only rulers of their world.
So, yes, definitely, my life as a teacher of history inspires me that way. But my professional life amongst scholars of other periods of history makes being a historical romance novelist almost too easy. You see, in my university department there are a number of world-renowned experts on the period of history in which my novels are set, the English Regency. When I wanted to write IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS featuring a hero raised and educated in England like any other nobleman of his time, but not fully English, I went to the expert for advice. Over a cup of coffee and blueberry muffins I sat down with one of the best scholars of the British Empire (in particular the East India Company), and asked his advice. He gave it, I ran with it, and within a few months I had everything I needed to write a story of passionate, forbidden love. The book is set in England—in the ballrooms and drawing rooms, parks and gardens of Regency high society that I adore and are such fun. But the world in which my characters live is embedded in Britain’s empire. It is a rich history, a delectably exciting history, and I couldn’t resist. It was also a tumultuous time, a dangerous one, and my hero and heroine aren’t safe from that. But of course in my story the lovers triumph in the end!
What do you like best about history? The fabulous battles, gorgeous clothes, exciting love stories? Share your favorite time and place and inspire me to write a novel about it! J