Thursday, July 24, 2014

If you've been following the blog for very long, you know that I am a huge fan of Katherine Longshore's Tudor-inspired series of companion novels. Her characters and stories are everything I could ask for in a historical fiction novel: witty, daring, and terribly unruly. And the romance in each book is charming and completely swoonworthy!

Several of the stops on this tour have Katherine focusing on her historical hotties, but today she's stopping by to answer some of my questions. Check out her responses about romance, the Tudor period, and see what's next for the author, then scroll down to enter to win your very own copy of Courted, the paperback compilation of Gilt and Tarnish, the two books that precede Brazen, her newest novel and the last in this series.

Midsummer Romance Blog Tour
featuring Katherine Longshore

As an author of romance yourself, what do you look for/prefer to read in a romance novel?

That’s such a difficult question to answer! Maybe this is because I don’t look for anything in particular. I generally pick up books about characters and situations I find intriguing. It might be a futuristic societal divide, as in Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky trilogy. Or assassin nuns in Robin LaFevers’ historical series that began with Grave Mercy. And I love romances that also include strong friendships (like the two I’ve just mentioned). In our lives, our friendships are equally (and sometimes more) important than our romantic relationships, so I like my fiction to reflect that.

I completely agree...I actually really like relationships in books where the couple starts as friends first. But when you do want a feel-good romance, who is your go-to romance author?

I will read anything by Huntley Fitzpatrick—her romantic plots are strong and believable, but so are all the other relationships involved. And she writes people who are fully-formed and crafted in such a way that even the secondary and tertiary characters stand out. And of course, I love Stephanie Perkins—I can’t wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After.

I think the whole world is waiting for Isla! Those are two of my favorite YA romance authors, too. :)

What drew you to write about the Tudor period?

When I decided I wanted to write a novel, my husband brought up the old adage, write what you know. I didn’t really want to write anything autobiographical—one of the reasons I enjoyed acting, and one of the reasons I love writing is that I get to try out all these other lives besides my own. But I had been reading about Henry and his wives off and on for years, so I thought that might be a good place to start. My interest in the Tudors followed on from an obsession with Richard III after seeing Ian McKellen’s portrayal in the 1995 film. With both kings (Richard and Henry) I wanted to find out if either one was really as bad as they have been portrayed in fiction and popular history.

I have to admit, I knew very little of this period before reading this series. Which of your books is your favorite, the one you enjoyed writing the most?

I don’t know if I can answer that! It’s a little like being asked which of my children is my favorite. J I can say that writing Gilt was great fun because I didn’t know what I was doing or if it would ever sell, so I could write anything I wanted and didn’t have expectations (or bad reviews) hanging in my mind. I adored writing Anne in Tarnish because her voice was so strong and the dialogue came so easily—it was almost like taking dictation. Manor of Secrets was a delicious challenge—third person, two points of view all written from an outline when I usually fly by the seat my pants. But Brazen is probably the book of which I am the most proud. It was by far the most difficult book to write and certainly the one I cried the most over. But I think the hard work paid off.

I would say that Brazen is my favorite, too, because I just adored Mary and Fitz and their predicament. But you've reminded me that I still have one of your books to read!

What's been your favorite scene to write?

I love dancing and kissing scenes. There is so much tragedy in the Tudor court—imprisonments and bad marriages and untimely deaths—so I love to give my characters a chance to have a little fun. One in particular is a scene in Brazen where Mary and Fitz are alone, outside and looking at the stars. Mary makes a confession and gets an unexpected response.

*winks* I know which scene you're referring to. :)

How much research goes into writing your historical fiction novels, and do you take a lot of liberties with your characters' stories?

I try very hard not to take any liberties with the actual history—the contemporary accounts that tell us who was where and when. If Fitz wasn’t at court during a particular time period, I couldn’t write a scene with him in it. Period. But the meaty, juicy stories of people’s lives are often the ones that go unwritten—thoughts and feelings and desires. And even when a certain action got recorded (Henry FitzRoy was given Baynard’s Castle after Anne Boleyn’s death) we still don’t know what motivations lay behind it or how all the participants reacted internally. That’s where the fun part of historical fiction comes in.

So my research has to be both broad (including the general atmosphere of the court at the time, what people ate and how they dressed, political intrigue at home and abroad, etc.) and meticulously detailed (timelines that include the daily actions of all the characters, the exact wording of conversations if they were recorded, even the Christmas gifts—who gave what to whom). The liberties I take are only what I deem necessary for the good of the story, and can usually be justified as being possible. In Brazen, the lists that Mary and her friends write in her little blank book are not in the actual document (the Devonshire Manuscript) in the British library, but they seem to be the sort of thing that they might have written.

Can we expect more historical fiction from you soon, or can you tell us what you're working on next?

I always have a couple of historical ideas percolating in the back of my head! I think I’m ready to move onto other eras—I’m fascinated by the English Civil Wars, World War I, the social upheaval of the 1960s. At the moment, I’m working on a contemporary YA novel, but I will also be contributing to the Pistols & Petticoats historical fiction anthology edited by Jessica Spotswood that is scheduled to be published in 2016.

That all sounds fabulous, Katherine! I'll definitely be checking out that anthology.

A big thank you to Katherine Longshore and Penguin Young Readers Group for putting this tour together!

About the Author:

Katherine Longshore is the author of Gilt, Tarnish, and Brazen. She lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshipping dog.

Find Katherine:

Website | BlogTwitter | FacebookGoodreads


Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Obsession, seduction, betrayal, desire.

Love always comes with a hidden agenda...

Available together for the first time in one volume, the first two of Katherine Longshore's Tudor England novels. Gilt, a story of friendship and betrayal in the court of Henry VIII, and Tarnish, the story of a young Anne Boleyn. Plus a sneak peek excerpt of Brazen!

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

  • This giveaway is US only. The publisher will be providing the prize for this giveaway.
  • One entry per household. 
  • Entries will be verified. Any entry found to be falsified will result in disqualification of all entries for that participant. 
  • Winner will be notified via email. Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. Please check your SPAM folder!!! 
  • We are not responsible for lost packages. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow along with the rest of the blog tour for more interviews with Katherine Longshore and to read about her favorite historical hotties!

Midsummer Romance Blog Tour Schedule:
Tuesday, July 8 – Good Books & Good Wine
Thursday, July 10 –Perpetual Page Turner
Tuesday, July 15 –Alice Marvels
Thursday, July 17 – Confessions of a Book Addict
Tuesday, July 22 – Novel Sounds
Thursday, July 24 – Starry-Eyed Revue -- that's us!
Tuesday, July 29 – The Midnight Garden
Thursday, July 31 – Novel Thoughts

Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!


  1. I would have to say Eleanor of Aquitaine. Not only is she my ancestor, which fascinates me in itself, but she was an amazing woman, to have went through what she did, and stay sane!

  2. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    Definitely Shakespeare because he must've been so much fun and romantic to know :)

    Thank you :)

  3. Such a pity this is for US only ! I am going to add them on my to-read pile anyway, I love everything about the Tudor and the Borgia dinasty *w*

    Thanks for sharing !
    Sara @ Sara In Bookland

  4. this looks and sounds fantastic!!! Thanks so much for sharing! I'd also have to go w/ Shakespeare... I always thought he'd be very interesting in person :)

  5. I loved Manor of Secrets, and I definitely think I should read the Katherine Longshore novels as well... heard they're really good :) *awkwardly winks*

    1. PS I've nominated you and April for the Sunshine Award! (Visit my blog for the details:

  6. I think Tarnish is still my favorite, but I've enjoyed these books so much!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  7. I really never thought about this but maybe Shakespeare. I think he was fairly a calm person.

  8. I loved reading about Queen Elizabeth 1! :D
    Mary G Loki

  9. Tough question! Hmm. Lady Jane Grey of England. She got a rough deal. Also Tesla.

  10. I do not have a favorite hotty or heroin but I love Tutor and Victorian times in romance books

  11. I really need to give this series a read! I love everything Tudor England, so I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet.
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
    I'd have to say Che Guevara as portrayed by Gael Garcia Bernal. But I love reading about Tudor England and Ancient Greece/Rome/Egypt in particular.

  12. Historical Fiction has never been one of my top genres, but recently my best friend has been encouraging me to give more of them a try. And I am glad that I have! But, since I am new to the scene, I don't really have any hotties yet. Believe me though, I will! And hopefully, with Katherine's books, I will have one on my hands soon. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  13. I like more recent history figures. My favorite is Nikolai Tesla.

  14. Hmmm...I think my favorite historical figure is George Washington


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