Welcome to my RITA® award celebration! Hosted by the Romance Writers of America®, the RITAs celebrate outstanding romance novels and novellas. I’m so thrilled to be a finalist in the Romance Novella category, and I’ve asked my fellow RITA® finalists to come tell you more about themselves and their books. I hope you meet some new favorite authors!
Today we welcome Katharine Ashe!
KATHARINE ASHE is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How to Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the 10 Best Romances of the Year, and 2014 RITA® Award finalist How to Marry a Highlander. She lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt.
A professor of history, she writes romance because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about her books, please visit www.KatharineAshe.com.
1. Which of your books has been nominated for a RITA, and in what category?
I’m positively thrilled that How to Marry a Highlander has been nominated in the novella category.
2. How do your hero and heroine meet, and what are their first impressions of each other?
Miss Teresa Finch-Freeworth and Duncan, the Earl of Eads, first see each other at a ball in London. Neither can stop staring. But Duncan has a dark past; Teresa’s best friend knows this, and whisks her away. Months later Teresa has had enough of the prosy parson her parents want her to marry, and determines to make her dream come true of kissing the only man who ever made her heart stop. And possibly do more than kiss. Hopefully. If she can finagle it. A woman with a mission, she goes to Duncan’s flat and, finding him with his seven half-sisters, proposes marriage to him on the spot. But Duncan is down to his last guineas, and he doesn’t have any intention of marrying–especially not the girl he hasn’t been able to get out of his head since he first saw her. He’s been down that road before, and it ended in tragedy. What’s more, he has seven half-sisters to marry off. Undeterred by the shockingly large and virile Scotsman’s refusal, Teresa convinces him to agree to a wager: if she can find husbands for his sisters, he must marry her, but with each husband she finds Duncan must give her increasingly intimate rewards…
3. What are their best and worst characteristics?
The Best Teresa: She’s bright, optimistic, and willing to do anything to achieve her dreams.
The Worst Teresa: She tells tall tales. All the time. Insanely outrageous tales. It’s an outlet for her frustrated, pent up imagination. Only to Duncan can she seem to tell the unvarnished truth. He makes her want to be honest.
The Best Duncan: He is intensely loyal and loving to his half-sisters, responsible, and honorable with women.
The Worst Duncan: After the tragedy he suffered, he did dark deeds for years, for money, and for revenge. For the sake of his sisters, he turned his life around, but his heart has yet to heal enough to let a woman in.
4. Where is this book set, and what makes the setting special?
Teresa’s courtship of the Earl of Eads happens in London. Duncan’s sisters are country girls and ducks out of water in town. In search of husbands, Teresa leads them all over London to the most fashionable venues — drawing rooms and balls and parks and shops. All to no avail. For it seems that the Highland maidens’ suitors are to be found in the most unlikely places…
5. Is this the first time you’ve been a RITA finalist? If not, what books have previously finaled?
6. Have you read any of the other books that are finalists in your category? If so, which ones?
I haven’t yet. It’s my gift to myself in July for finishing my current book, and I can’t wait!
7. What was the first thing you did when you found out you were a RITA finalist?
I texted my husband and sisters. 🙂
8. Do you write in genres other than the one you finaled in? If not, are there any genres you would love to write in?
I usually write stories set in the Regency-era British empire, and only a few Scots so far. I’ve written time-travel and medieval romance, a Regency ghost story romance, and I’m now writing my first contemporary romance novella.
9. If you win the RITA, who’s the first person you’ll thank in your speech, and why?
The two readers who most inspired me to write the novella. One fell in love with Duncan from the novel in which he first appears (and in which Teresa and Duncan first see each other at the ball), How a Lady Weds a Rogue, and begged me to write his story. The other’s loving, warm, and vivacious personality inspired Teresa’s character.
If you could bring one of your heroes to life for a day, who would you choose?
Jin Seton from How to Be a Proper Lady.
What kind of dessert are you hoping they’ll serve at the award ceremony?
Chocolate! Always chocolate!
What’s the best compliment a reader could give you?
I am grateful for and honored by every compliment that readers have given me. They make me smile, laugh in happiness, and sometimes weep with joy. Here’s one that did all three: “You inspire me to be myself and to love like the heroines I love so much.”
With seven troublesome half-sisters to marry off, Duncan, the Earl of Eads has one problem: he’s broke. With the prospect of marriage to the pompous local vicar, Miss Teresa Finch-Freeworth has one dream: to wed the handsome Highlander she saw at a ball.
How does a desperate lady convince a reluctant laird that she’s the perfect bride for him? She strikes a wager! If she can find seven husbands for seven sisters, the earl must marry her.
Duncan has no intention of wedding the meddlesome maiden, and he gives her a deadline even the most audacious matchmaker can’t meet, one month. But Teresa sets terms too: with each bridegroom she finds, the earl must pay her increasingly intimate rewards . . .
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be announced on Monday July 21. Make sure you come back on Monday for more interviews and chances to win!