Katharine Ashe – The Romance of New Beginnings

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

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The Joy of Starting Over

Starting over can be full of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. Let’s face it; new beginnings KA_AML_125dpiRGB_Cvr_thumbare nerve racking. Fingernail biting. Cold sweat producing.

But new beginnings are adventures of a sort. In any new beginning there can also be great joy.

Like everybody else, I’ve started over plenty of times in my life. The first was in fifth grade after my beloved elementary school closed and I had to get used to a new school, new teachers, and new kids for a single year before heading on to that special sort of torture we call middle school. The next was when I moved away from home to go to college. Then on to the working world. And graduate school. And marriage. And a major career change. And parenthood.

Here’s the wonderful part: Amidst the uncertainties, nervousness, and downright terror of starting something new and wholly unknown, in every one of these new beginnings I fell in love. In my new school in fifth grade I fell in love with acting. In college I fell in love with the scholarly life. In my working girl years I fell in love with Washington, D.C. In graduate school I fell in love with my husband-to-be. In marriage I fell in love with sharing my life intimately with another person. In changing my career to writing romance full time I fell in love with going to work every day. And in parenthood I fell in love with my pups and my son and also with the act of caring for someone who needed I loved a lordme entirely.

Starting over — whether it’s a new job or a new stage in life — is never simple. It means letting go of the past and learning to walk into the future with your chin high, chest out, and stride confident. It means setting out on an adventure where you just don’t know what’s going to happen next.

The greatest of all human adventures is love.

And falling in love is the biggest Start Over. It’s new. It’s scary. It’s fingernail biting. It’s heart pounding. It’s exhilarating. And the potential for joy is limitless.

Every romance novel offers a new beginning. Sometimes it happens at the beginning of a novel when a character decides to jettison her former life and set out on a new adventure. Sometimes it happens in the middle of a novel when a character realizes he’s fallen in love with the last person he imagined he could possibly fall in love with—but there it is, love staring him in the face. Sometimes it’s at the end of the novel, when the mystery is solved, bad guys are defeated, inner demons are conquered, and overflowing hearts are finally ready to say “I love you!”

Lately I’ve been loving writing love stories about couples that meet again after years apart: a vicar’s daughter sets out on the road with her first love to solve a mystery (I LOVED A ROGUE); a woman determined to change her very rough life gets trapped in a country inn with the man who broke her heart (AGAIN, MY LORD); and an heiress is forced to work with the one man she could never have (THE ROGUE). Each is a story of new beginnings, starting over, trying again but this time better, stronger, with honesty and passion and a thirst for the greatest human adventure of all.

When love is at the heart of starting over, it’s all about joy.

Katharine recommends:

I recently read a fantastically good contemporary romance novel about the courage it takes to make a new beginning: THE BRIDGE by Rebecca Rogers Maher (rebeccarogersmaher.com) I devoured it, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. It was so, so, so good.

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

When I first saw my baby boy.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.IMG_2807

The Atlantic coast beach. I spent my childhood summers there. I wrote my first romance novels there. My husband proposed marriage to me there. When I’m there, I feel utter joy.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Birdsong. I don’t know what they’re singing about (“Check out this berry, dudes! It’s HUGE!”, “Hurry, we’ve got to get to the feeder before the squirrels!”, “My darling hawk babies, there’s a mouse down there with the word breakfast written all over it.”), but every morning when I walk my dog, listening to the birds chatting away, I am completely filled up with joy.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

Paolo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, which I actually mentioned in my RARM post last year and I happily quoted in my novella The Day it Rained Books. It’s a story of love and adventure and hope and the human heart and it is beautiful beautiful beautiful.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Tie! Christopher Plummer (because he’s such a fabulous villain and yet… CAPTAIN VON TRAPP sigh!!!) and Chris Hemsworth (because he finally made me fall in love with Thor — fall in love really, really hard).

Katharine is generously giving away three signed copies each of a book from her backlist, winners’ choice, to U.S. and international readers. To enter leave a comment here or on the Facebook post (you can find that hereor both by 11:59 pm CST on Sept 5.

Katharine Ashe author photoKatharine Ashe is the bestselling, award winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including 2015 RITA® Award Finalist MY LADY, MY LORD. 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 and on Facebook

Buy Katharine’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

  • alisha woods

    chris pine all the way

  • Piper Huguley

    Yes, Chris Hemsworth!!! A great post! 🙂

  • catslady

    I’ve enjoyed your books and love these kind of stories – thanks.

  • Marissa Yip-Young

    Sunsets over beaches are pretty.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I have started over and over also. Each time it was tough but eventually so rewarding.

  • mariannewestrich

    Living in Virginia Beach, I totally get your love of Atlantic beaches!

  • cheryl c.

    When love is at the heart of starting over, it’s all about joy.” Starting over is risky and scary, but the rewards can be wonderful.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    Starting over is hard at times but there is always that new adventure. I enjoy your stories.

  • Aye Lopez

    “Every romance novel offers a new beginning.”

    I love that this happens everytime I read a romance novel, they are my fav!!

    Thanks for the chance 🙂 You are a new author to me.

  • Carol Luciano

    A great post. I think falling in love is the most beautiful feeling in the world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the giveaeay chane.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Kim

    Thanks for your post. I enjoy reading romance books with a reunited lovers trope.

  • julie whiteley

    Great post Katherine!

  • Nova Manske Conover

    starting over gives you a chance to put the past behind you and look forward to new beginnings! love Katharine’s books.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for posting and adding to my TBR pile. I haven’t read any of your books yet but I’m looking forward to it.

  • Brenda Dickson

    Hi Katharine. This is a great post and I enjoyed it so much. I love your books and am dying to read I Loved a Rogue. Thanks so much!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Birds singing is one of my favorite sounds, too. I love listening to them all wake up about 4:30am.

  • Sue Gorman

    Katharine– Such a lovely heartfelt post. I will put The Bridge on my reading list.
    I love walking our small beach with my corgis and my husband and I got engaged on Martha’s Vineyard! Your books are fabulous and bring me joy!

  • Bernadette Long

    Thanks for your lovely post and for suggesting some great reads.

  • Kay Carlson

    Love this post and I now have another of your wonderful books to add to my TBR list!

  • Thanks for your words on starting over and new beginnings…it’s really a great part of the joy of romance! Thanks for the international part of the giveaway too.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for an enjoyable post. I remember the challenges of starting in a new school and in a new place as I attended over ten schools in twelve years. Thanks for the reading pleasure you’ve given me!

  • Kathryn Trask

    I haven’t read any of your books but love the cover of I Loved a Rogue so expect what is inside is even better!

  • Dawn Anderson

    I also love the sound of birds. It always gives me a sense of peace.

  • LSUReader

    We share the same Chris preference! I enjoyed your Prince Catchers series and look forward to reading more of your books. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  • Brenda E

    “The greatest of all human adventures is love.” I love that. It’s also the greatest human challenge to continue making it work, but it’s so worth it, in every way. I love that these romances let me relive that initial spark all over again. Joy.

  • Sheryl N

    I am a huge fan of Katherine’s. I found her books on Amazon as a recommended read. Can’t wait for the new series to start

  • Quinn Fforde

    This is a lovely post, but I especially like your birdsong interpretations!

  • Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Schroedle

    I’ll be going to the Buns & Roses tea in October and sitting at your table. I am so excited to finally be able to meet you.

  • Diane Sallans

    I love hearing the birds too, except the doves early in the morning and the crows that have been roosting outside my bedroom carrying on their sqwawky conversations (but they can be funny)

  • Connie Reynolds

    I love Katherine’s books. Enjoyed the interview. It’s nice to personalize my authors.

  • Erin F

    thanks for such a fun post! I think that’s exactly the appeal of “reunion” romances for me. That “starting over” experience 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa Hutson

    It is lovely to look at all those major life changes and find the joy in them. Its hard sometimes. Often, change hides the joy deep down and you have to search for it or make it up yourself. It can be hard.

  • Thanks for opening the giveaway for your international fans 😉

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    Babies are always sheer joy. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  • Texas Book Lover

    I moved every six months as a kid that I avoid it at all costs now. Unfortunately I was just laid off Monday so I’ll be starting over in that way as soon as I find a job.

  • LaurieL

    I love second chance romances, my husband and I were one, and will have to look up the books you mentioned.

  • Jerry Marlatt Pierson

    I love your books. Thank you for your giveaway and a chance to win.

  • May

    Love your books! 🙂 So much fun! 🙂

  • marypreston

    Do you ever pick up a book because of the luscious gown on the cover?

  • PhyllisC

    I love your stories <3 Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Alyn Yang

    LOL! I always thought birds were singing because they were happy.

  • Ren

    Your are a new author to me. I’m loving this romance month. Thanks for sharing

  • Marcy Shuler

    I love birdsong too, but I’ve never thought of the things they might be saying to each other. Because of your post…now I will. 🙂

  • Sharlene Wegner

    My husband proposed on the beach, too!

  • Sue G.

    Nothing like being in love and feeling whole. Love your humor with the birdsong! 🙂

  • Ellen

    Love the beach. My husband and I have had some very special times on the beach.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Thank you for your wonderful post. Although change is hard and scary, sometimes it’s necessary and full of good surprises.

  • Glenda

    Excellent post. You can’t have a new beginning without a change — it is obvious, but sometimes we forget. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  • Gretchen Miller

    Very fab post

  • Ada H

    Hi Katharine, thanks for sharing! Love reading about second chance romances. There’s just something about a relationship that has a shared history that seems to make the romance that much deeper and stronger the second time around.

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    Great post! I love the joy, excitement, and nerves all mixed together when you try something new!

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Love your books and I’ve shared them with so many of my other romance loving friends. I also really enjoy the second chance romances and it looks like I’ll have to check out The Bridge. Thanks for all of your interaction on social media and your mailing list. I love the fact that as readers we can get insight into the writing process via blogs, social media posts, etc. (I know that I’ve stumbled upon another good author on Facebook when I see that you also like them). I’ve always been fascinated by books and authors, especially Romance. This is an amazing time now that we have the technology to interact and really get a feel for how large this romance community has become. Once again, thanks for all you do and I look forward to reading many more of your books!!!

  • Martha B

    Your books are delightful and introduce interesting characters (e.g. I loved A Rogue). Thank you for giving us (readers) many hours of joy.Secondly, I appreciated your recommendation to The Bridge. Historical romance is my preferred genre. I will venture to another “type” when someone I trust gives their suggestion. To me, that is a bonus of these blogs on Read-A-Romance.

  • Joanna Moreno

    I never thought about it that way but falling in love is scary. It’s the feeling of the unknown and the what-ifs. It’s no wonder I love romance books so much, they bring me so much joy without having to go through the sorrow, what-ifs, and unknown myself!

  • Michele Hayes

    I love your books, thank you for the chance to win.

  • Pamby50

    I absolutely love that picture of the sunset along the shore. Reading a new book or a new author, is an adventure. You never know who the characters are but they take you on a journey to falling in love.

  • Rose K

    The alchemist has been in my TBR pile for a while now. I’ll have to move it to the top of the list!

  • Tanya Guthrie

    You are close to the top of my TBR right now, I have a couple paperbacks of yours that are calling to me! Thanks for the chance!

  • Carin Shaughnessy

    I love start over stories. There’s already a shared history of sorts and they have to have the courage to get past it and open themselves up for more. I will be checking out your books quickly.

  • kirsten west

    Love your books! I enjoy listening to and watching the birds, especially hummingbirds, in my backyard.

  • Claire Gilless

    just started reading your books and think they’re very enjoyable – thanks!

  • I love your books – thanks so much for the chance!! Nothing is better than a heroine on an adventure! 🙂

  • Diane Sallans

    just spent a week at the beach in SC – just love the ocean!

  • Anita H.

    New beginnings are often super scary and difficult. I couldn’t agree more about falling in love as the ultimate Start Over. Thanks for sharing your post!