Guest Author: Katharine Ashe & Giveaway!

I’m so happy to have the fabulous Katharine Ashe on the blog today.  Katharine writes gorgeous, critically acclaimed historical romances full of adventure and sensuality.  Her new book, In the Arms of a Marquess, will be released on August 30.  It’s already getting fantastic buzz and reviews, which doesn’t surprise me one bit!  I’ll turn the blog over to Katharine now, as she tells us about her secret cravings…

Indulging in the Exotic

I am a homebody. I love my cozy family room, my sink-into-it couch with fuzzy pillows (I bought on sale!), sun shining through the leaves of my potted palm, my pups napping on the floor. Sometimes when I write I sit at my kitchen table, coffee mug and a little plate of cookies beside me, or on the back deck where a hummingbird occasionally visits and I can hear boys playing basketball in the park through the woods. I love my quiet little street, my friendly neighborhood, my local café, the grocery store where I know everybody, and the laundromat where I chat each week with Millie about our latest romance reads.

I am a homebody.

But sometimes… I crave the exotic.


I’ve had this craving for years. I haven’t tried to curb it. Instead, I indulge it. In the 70’s, my mother learned from a dieting guru that “humming foods” – foods you crave while dieting – can be the ruination of your diet if you don’t hum back to them, i.e. nibble them occasionally. I like this theory.

But I don’t nibble. I feast.

Usually my feast is a book, a delectable novel about some far-off place I’ve only seen in pictures and dreams… deserts where the heat rises in waves off the sand while caravans of bejeweled camels march along… glittering island seas where the water is so blue it hurts the eye with its perfection… golden pyramids that rise into the heavens… towering pinnacles on sparkling temples… fortress walls that stretch hundreds of miles across windswept mountaintops… the sumptuous sprawl of palaces built entirely for luxury and pleasure. It’s all the better if it’s a historical novel, especially a romance. When I read one of these I can sit in the comfort of my cozy house and, for a handful of hours, live a very different life. A life of fantastic adventure. It’s magical.

Sometimes, though, I answer the “humming” by writing. From the delicious comfort of Regency England, I take a step into the exotic, then another, and another into the vast, magnificent British Empire of the early nineteenth century. I don’t go for long! I adore the flirtations of London ballrooms, the witty banter of drawing rooms, romantic drives in the park and scandalous gossip around the tea table. I never stray far from those. In fact, what I love to do most is bring the exotic home to enjoy.

So that’s what I’ve done in my next book, IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS, coming on August 30. Sensible, shockingly honest Miss Octavia Pierce has a taste for the exotic, and the daring to go after it. Dark-eyed and delectably handsome Lord Ben Doreé, a man of mystery—raised like any English nobleman but not fully English, on the edge of society but never fully within it—has secrets Octavia is determined to discover. And he may just let her, but only if she agrees to a shocking proposition…

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.

Vanessa, here.  Just for us, Katharine is a giving away a copy of Swept Away by a Kiss, the first book in her critically acclaimed Rogues of the Sea series.

Here’s the question she wants you to answer:  do you ever allow yourself to indulge in the exotic? Whether it’s adding a dash of cinnamon to your morning coffee or haring off on a trip around the world, how do you feed your cravings?  One reader who shares her secret craving (mine is chocolate cupcakes!) will win a copy of this marvelous book.

And don’t forget – as part of its K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign, Avon Romance is donating 25c from the sale of each copy of IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS (print or e-book) to support Ovarian Cancer research and support for victims and families.