Interview and Giveaway with Jennifer Ashley

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~Jennifer Ashley~


What can you tell us about your latest book in the series RULES FOR A PROPER GOVERNESS?

Writing Rules was a terrific experience. I never knew what Bertie and the kids were going to say. In sum: Bertie (Roberta) Fraser is a pickpocket sent to rob barrister Sinclair McBride because he got a friend of her beau’s arrested for murder. Bertie happens to steal the watch given to Sinclair by his now-deceased wife. To Bertie’s surprise, Sinclair pursues her, all the way to the slums of London, determined not to lose the watch.

Bertie gives it back, fascinated by this man, and sets out to learn all about him, including following him about London. Coming upon his spoiled, demon children who have gotten themselves into danger, she saves them and takes them home. Because the kids go through a governess a week, the servants in the house seize on Bertie (who can make Andrew and Catriona mind), and beg her to stay. Sinclair comes home to find his house amazingly serene, and the pickpocket installed in the nursery.

Sinclair hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her and convinces her to stay. Much fun ensues. It’s a sweet, sad and happy (and hot), emotional story with a heroine who is a bit different from the usual ladies I write.

If you were casting Sinclair and Bertie from Rules For A Proper Governess, who would be your ideal choices?

I’d say Sean Bean just because I love the guy and would want him in my movie. Though I think he’d be best at playing Hart Mackenzie (from Duke’s Perfect Wife).

I’m not up on the latest stars these days, so I’ll leave it to readers to suggest the actors. Sinclair is a hot Scot with blond hair and gray eyes; Bertie is a vivacious Cockney with dark hair and blue eyes.

With all the Mackenzie men paired up and married off, are you approaching the new books featuring the McBrides any differently?

The McBrides are different men from the Mackenzies, but still hot in their own way. They’re middle-class gentlemen, and all three were soldiers at some point in their lives. The older two, Sinclair and Elliot, left the army to go into professions, while Steven remains a career officer.

The McBrides had happy childhoods and then faced hardship in the world,  whereas the Mackenzies faced hardship within their childhood home and in their personal lives. That makes for different outlooks and characterizations.

Plus I get to show the Mackenzies making their way through their lives and bringing new Mackenzies into the world!

Family has always been important to the series. Was this something you tried to emphasize between the characters?

When I started this series, I did not think of it as a string of loosely related romances. I thought of it as a continuing family saga, with every piece of it fitting into every other piece. I do this with Shifters Unbound as well.

So the characters will interact with each other in every book, whether it’s their romance or not. The relationship between the Mackenzie brothers, which is not all hearts and rainbows(!), is an ongoing development. Even though Hart and Fellows both got their stories, there’s still some tension there, which will be worked out as we go. Ian still deals with issues, though he’s much better, and life is easier for him now that he has Beth and his kids.

I like to think of all these people as going on with their lives, growing and getting happier, not stopping when we close the books.

What’s the trickiest thing about writing Historical Romance?

Not putting in too many modern-isms! I try to look up words as I go, to see when they were first in use. It’s surprising, actually, how many of what we think are modern terms were in use in the nineteenth century (even the eighteenth century). Other than that, I’m very comfortable writing historicals. I grew up reading historical novels, both YA and adult, and it felt natural to me to write them. I couldn’t contemplate writing anything contemporary for the longest time—the past is a much more interesting place!

Have you had to do a lot of research for your historicals?

Goodness yes. I’ve researched not only clothing, houses, and transportation but: Scottish history; Old Bailey trial procedure; whiskey making, horse racing, photography in the 1800s (small pocket cameras were available by the 1880s); Victorian BDSM; 1800s insane asylums (and how people were committed to them); early psychology/psychiatry; Asperger’s Syndrome; art forgery; oil painting techniques and supplies in the nineteenth century (I learned how to oil paint, so I could understand composition and how to mix colors); late nineteenth century firearms; Queen Victoria and her ladies in waiting; history of the Punjab and the British presence in India; Sikhism; Punjabi cuisine (seriously enjoyed that research!) early ballooning; fake mediums; history of the kilt; the layouts of London, Paris, Monaco, Marseilles in the nineteenth century; the geography of the Scottish Highlands; and much, much more. 🙂

Which one of your heroes would from the Highland Pleasure series would you…

Sneak a kiss on the terrace with

Mac Mackenzie!  Or Daniel when he’s grown up

Have a scandalous but short lived affair with

Hart or Cameron, or Steven or Elliot McBride (I’m not picky)


Elliot, Ian, Sinclair, or Lloyd Fellows (again, not picky)

How did you find the addition of young children to the story? Did this make you change the way you approached the romance in the story?

Kids add an element of surprise and fun, but I feel they need to be important to the story to be included. They can’t just stand around and be adorable. Fatherhood adds a facet to a man’s character, which is a great thing to explore, not only in Sinclair in the current book, but in all the Mackenzie men. Bertie in Rules for a Proper Governess loves the kids and has a good rapport with them—both she and the children are kind of outsiders in Sinclair’s world. Because the Mackenzies are married and busy having children, kids occur in all the stories now. They add yet another layer to the family saga.

What can we expect in the future for Jennifer Ashley?

Many things! I went through my writing schedule for the rest of 2014 and through 2015 (a huge spreadsheet). I am continuing to publish through Berkley and also on my own. I am writing: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (an Ian and Beth story, though all the Mackenzies/McBrides will be there); The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (I’m going back to 1746 and telling the story of Malcom Mackenzie when he was a young man and stole himself an English bride). Those will be out in Fall 2015.

Before that, in Spring 2015, will be more Shifters Unbound, with Mate Bond, introducing a new Shiftertown and some new Shifters (but with plenty of interaction with the Austin and Las Vegas towns).

Plus I’m writing a couple Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries; another Stormwalker book; and one or two other things!

Readers can check my website for everything coming up for Jennifer Ashley and my pseudonym Allyson James; and for my Regency mystery series. Book 9 of the mysteries is out October 20, 2014; and book 10 follows in 2015. I’m very busy!!


To Kiss A Thief…

Scottish barrister Sinclair McBride can face the most sinister criminals in London – but the widower’s two unruly children are a different matter.Little Caitlin and Andrew go through a governess a week, sending the ladies fleeing in tears.

Roberta “Bertie” Frasier enters Sinclair’s life by stealing his watch – and then stealing a kiss. Intrigued by the handsome highlander, Bertie winds up saving his children from a dangerous situation and returns them to their father. Impressed with how they listen to her, Sinclair asks the lively beauty to be their governess, never guessing that the unconventional lady will teach him a lesson or two in love.



goodreads shelfari amazon-icon nook ibooks kobo



madness-ian-mckenzieBook 1 Lady-Isabella's-Scandalous-MarriageBook 2 The-Many-Sins-of-Lord-CameronBook 3 The-Duke's-Perfect-WifeBook 4
The-Seduction-of-Elliot-McBrideBook 5 The-Wicked-Deeds-of-Daniel-MackenzieBook 6 scandal and the duchessBook 6.5  Book 7

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads Our Review
The Duke’s Perfect Wife: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
The Seduction of Elliot McBride: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
Scandal and the Duchess: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
Rules for a Proper Governess: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review


About Jennifer Ashley

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.

Jennifer’s/Allyson’s/Ashley’s more than 83 novels and novellas have won RWA’s RITA award, the Golden Quill, RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer’s novels have been also been translated into French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Norwegian, Hungarian, Italian, Thai, and other languages.

Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses.



Ms. Ashley is giving away a copy of Rules for a Proper Governess (in print or e-, winner’s choice). Or if the winner already has it, they can pick anything from her backlist (they can browse

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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marta Cox

I love your paranormals but have not read your historicals yet, where do I start? Oh and if honest I do like a saucy read with an alpha male!

Jennifer Ashley

Marta: Start this series with The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. It’s a bit like my Shifters series, except they’re Scotsmen in kilts and don’t shape-shift. (Well a few parts of them shift…) 🙂

Marijke Gosselin

I have already read Rules for a proper Governess and I absolute loved it! Such beautiful emotions. You’re definitely one of my favorite authors ever 😀 xxx

Cynthia (aka Artemis)

This is an absolutely wonderful series! Of all the authors and books I could purchase, this is one of a very few on auto-buy and pre-order! I’m delighted to know the series will continue through the fall of 2015. Print only – the covers are too beautiful for ebooks!

Congratulations on another fabulous story!


I have not read this one yet.I’ll be sure to get it.I have all your MacKenzie and shifter books. I love them all!

jodi marinich

love jennifer’s covers for her books

Kathy N

I LOVE this series.

Jacqueline Higgins

This series is great i love all her books.

Irma Jurejevčič

I like this. You are a new author to me andI love to read historicals. I love Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Enoch, Laurens, Quinn, Foley, Garwood,… My hero has to be honorable, he has to play hard to get, be tough, hot, a little bit mysterious, dark, and he has to love his lady in a way he would do anything for her.


I love the Mackenzie’s series!

Kimberly W

My favorite historical hero is someone who is a spy.


That was an interesting list of things that you’ve had to research. I’ve enjoyed reading this series and my favorite books were Ian’s and Cameron’s.


Finished Rules for a Proper Governess in a day. Oh how I love the MacKenzies and MacBrides!! Can’t wait until the next release!!

Chris Alexander

This looks fabulous. I’m going to have to read this series.

Amanda E

I love your shifter series and am now reading your historical romances; I’m reading Elliot’s book now. I just love them.

Tammy V.

Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie is my fav with my fav type of hero. I like the unusual or underdog type.


My favorite historical hero is a highlander.

Deborh K.

Wow! The research you have done for your stories is quite extensive. Almost made my head explode reading the short list you gave us but it was really interesting. Pocket cameras in the 1880s – incredible. My favorite type of historical hero is one damaged in some way, physically or emotionally. Then along comes some young miss to heal him or accept him as he is which is a kind of healing, like a balm to the soul.


Thanks for the chance luv

Lori H

I enjoyed the interview and thanks for sharing 🙂
I really like this series and am looking forward to reading this book as well.
All of this author’s books are wonderful! She has a great paranormal series I have been enjoying as well 😀

Janie McGaugh

It’s a toss-up between a Regency lord and a Highlander of any era!

Kristy Petree

I’m not very familiar or well-read in historical fiction or historical romance. I think a royal–maybe a prince–could be a cool hero. In the interview you mention the research to write historical romance; I feel like I need to do research to read it. 😉 I don’t even know where to begin! Thanks for the chance. 🙂

Lori Moore

Awesome interview & giveaway

Kim Fox

I can’t wait to read the new book! This series is among my favorite historical series and, as for the ultimate historical hero, Ian is the most perfect one ever written! SWOON!


Congrats to Jennifer on the new release!!! I’ve only read her PNR but I just got the the first book in the Mackenzie series and I can’ wait to get caught up 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


This was a delightful interview 🙂 Jennifer is on my top 5 favorite authors and I devour ANYTHING she writes! I’ve got almost all of her books! My favorite is Ian ~ that book made me cry and hug it when I finished it. I’ve given it to several people to read. The sensitivity in which she wrote Ian’s story made me really appreciate what a great author she is. My favorite series of hers is her Allyson James Dragon series and Nvengaria Fairytale series. I really would like her to explore the gargoyle in the Nvengaria series someday and… Read more »


I’m looking forward to reading this. I love the Mackenzie series and am also a big fan of Jennifer’s shifter series. I especially love that she was not afraid to write a hero like Ian Mackenzie. I keep hoping more authors will follow her lead and write characters that aren’t perfect, but they rarely do. I also think it’s great that the newest entries feature male leads that are gentlemen, but not nobles and actually have to work for a living.


i, too, love ian mackenzie. so excited to read about the mcbrides!

Sophia Rose

I haven’t read any of Jennifer’s books yet, but I’ve recently gotten back to enjoying Historical Romance so she is on the list. I really don’t have a preference about hero types. I enjoyed the interview and getting the background on the series.

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

Jessica Stout

Now I really want to read the series. 😀 It sounds like some awesome reads. I need to put these books on my wishlist so I can get them.


Yummy scots!…some cool research

Tonya Coleman

Thank you for the chance. I have read a lot of Danielle Steel’s books because she does a lot of historical romance. It was interesting how much research is involved with setting romance in the past.


Great interview! It was especially interesting to learn about the type of research required for historical romance and the difficulty with modern-isms. Thanks for sharing.

Deb P

I liked the interview, and I like highlanders. 🙂

Sharlene Wegner

I love your idea about a continuing family saga, rather than loosely related series books! I tend to like an alpha, but damaged hero, but I am not that picky!

Another series to add to my list! I love a good historical but I adore the ones with highlanders or a little paranormal thrown in! Great interview. 🙂

Diane Sallans

I just “discovered” this series last year – I loved Ian’s story and that he is such a different character.

Lori Meehan

I love the tortured hero.
Ian Mackenzie is my all time book boyfriend.

Shannon Cole

I haven’t read this series yet but love the authors paranormal books.
Beautiful covers!!
Any book with a hot male and strong female grabs my attention! 😉

Nicole O

Great interview. Adding books to my wishlist. I like strong alpha shifters

Pansy Petal

Would you believe, I am in the middle of reading the Shifters Unbound series? And now you want to know what I like in an historical romance hero. Hmmmmm . . . The arrogant ones are often interesting. Especially when they get brought to their knees by some sassy minx. They are usually so full of their own self worth, they forget about the world. OR They are so busy portraying that image that it is fascinating to meet the real person under the mask. Those are really fun and interesting. Sounds like this one may have a guy kind… Read more »

Barbara Elness

I love the irascible loner who resists the heroine with all he’s got, but is won over in the end. Of course there’s the witty, fun loving rake as well, that never takes life too seriously, even though there may be heartache behind all the smiles. It’s really hard to choose one favorite, I love them all. 😀

Jacqueline Higgins

I love this series and all her books.


It depends… I don’t know that I have a hard and fast fave type…. maybe a rogue?

Tammy S.

Love this Series. Can’t wait to read!


I love this series to the moon and back, and then to the moon and back again as well as her shifters series. I love how she connects family, friends and children together and how they all care for each other. =D


I guess that really doesn’t answer the question but it kind of does because I my favorite historical hero is the kind of hero she writes 😉


I used to love the Duke of Avon from Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades, but these days I prefer there to be more equality between the hero/heroine in terms of power. I loved The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie!


Can’t wait to read this one……

Lisa M

Great interview
I like historical romances/fiction … I like my hero bold, brave, dressed in a kilt preferably but not necessarily … I like them strong,a little rough around the edges but dedicated and loving!

Jennifer Ashley

Thanks you all for your comments! I spent most of the day either having or recovering from a root canal (dang thing still hurts), so sorry for not being as comment-y. I appreciate all the responses!! 🙂

Amy R

The Scottish Highlander is my favorite type of historical hero.

Chelsea B.

I loooove this series! Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite authors!