Sunday, November 16, 2014

What It Takes --by Kathryn Ascher

I can't say enough good things about Kathryn Ascher's debut novel What It Takes!  

What it Takes has all of the elements in a classic romance novel which appeal to me; believable main characters,  a great storyline and a well- crafted villain.

I was drawn to the book's heroine Kelsey Morgan. Her work ethic, honesty and family values resonated with me.  Kelsey has pursued her dreams of becoming an actress and  is working on her first movie. Her co star is Patrick Lyons  a well known, handsome actor. His photos appear weekly on the covers of  the tabloid newspapers. Although Kelsey is attracted to Patrick, she keeps her distance from him as she craves her privacy. 

I enjoyed reading the scenes when Kelsey joined her co-stars Grayson, Veronica and Patrick for a night out dancing. Kelsey was at ease with all of her co stars except for Patrick.  She wouldn't dance with Patrick and she was jealous when he danced with other woman. Grayson is a great supporting character in the novel. He is Kelsey's friend and confident and she trusts and  listens to him. Grayson sets Kesley straight about Patrick  and reminds her that Patrick and Kelsey have love scenes to shoot. He advises Kelsey to ignore what's she has read or heard about Patrick and get to know him herself. This is a turning point in the  novel as Kelsey needs to overcome her trust issues.

The relationship between Patrick and Kelsey was well paced and believable. I liked that the romance took time to develop and that both Kelsey and Patrick chose to move forward with their relationship. The last few chapters of the book were excellent and the ending was well- crafted.

Congratulations to Kathryn Ascher for an excellent debut novel! I am looking forward to reading the next book in the Rocky Creek series.

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

Lady Celeste  asked Kathryn a few questions about writing and of course got a scoop about the next Rocky Creek book!

What inspired you to write What It Takes?
I had often wondered why it seemed to be a regular occurrence that a couple of celebrities would appear in the tabloids after filming a movie together with headlines about a budding romance. I wondered if, like fans often do, did the celebrities themselves confuse their characters feelings for each other for their own. What would that be like? This is how Patrick was created, the actor who always ends up dating his female co-star, seeming to be in love to the rest of the world, but never really. That was the impression Kelsey has of him in the beginning, but she eventually learns the truth.

How did you find the time to write the novel with three young children, a husband and a busy family? Do you set a daily page goal or word goal?
I wrote the bulk of What It Takes and most of the early revisions while my two boys were in the public school system, so that did make it easier. When I began to homeschool three years ago, I had to find a routine that suited us all, usually the gym first thing, then school, then I could sit down when they were finished and write. Since our move in January, I have found that the best time for me to write is late at night after everyone has gone to bed. My mind is constantly working on my stories, so I have occasionally been able to sit down during the day, or on weekends, if the pull of the story is too strong to be ignored, or I have a thought that I don’t want to forget.
My only goal is to write every day. Recently, though, I’ve started tracking my weekly progress and try to exceed my previous week’s word count.

What are your favorite scenes to write?
I loved writing the scenes that Kelsey and Grayson shared. When Grayson teased her, she gave it right back to him and that relationship helped her to be her true self when she was pretending to be someone else (off camera).
I enjoyed the scenes between the Janelle and Kelsey, the way they supported each other and worked seamlessly together. As an extension, I loved writing the scenes with the kids. Kids are always so innocent in how they think and what they say, it was fun to explore that and how it might affect Kelsey’s impression of Patrick.
I absolutely loved the tender moments between Kelsey and Patrick. The arguments were fun to write (they always are), but the sweet moments that sometimes came out of nowhere, are always fun.

Is Rocky Creek based on your own home town?
Yes. I always imagined Kelsey’s house being on the road I grew up in, very rural, a lot of acreage, and a close knit community. My house was half an hour away from the town my high school was in, and almost an hour away from the next largest city. When Kelsey took Patrick and the kids to the movie, it was to that small town and when Kelsey flew home at the end, it was to that city.

Do you have a favorite character in the Rocky Creek series?
It’s hard to say, they’re all like family to me. I've seen them all grow from ideas to three-dimensional (I hope) characters. I like them all for different reasons and they all bring different things to the table.
If I wanted an awesome girls’ night, I’d probably stay in with Kelsey and Janelle, but I’d go out with Veronica.
If I wanted to go bowling or play mini-golf, I’d pick Grayson, he can turn anything into a good time.
Patrick would be the shoulder to cry on, but George would be the man I’d seek advice from (he’s deeper than he seems).
What's next?
Janelle gets her own story, On The Line (September 2015). It begins the morning after the final events of What It Takes and shows her dealing with the aftermath of her husband’s final acts while finding her own happily ever after.
After that, there will be a third book in the Rocky Creek series, the hero of which you will get to meet in On The Line.

Born and raised in Virginia, Kathryn Ascher tried her hand at poetry and fiction in high school, but put it all aside when she went to college. It wasn't until after the birth of her third child that Kathryn decided to give writing another try. When she picked up her first romance novel, she immediately knew that was the genre for her. She was drawn to the strong lead characters and the quirky secondary characters, the settings, the humor, and most importantly the feelings of falling in love for the first time. She hopes that her readers enjoy these aspects in her writings as well.
Kathryn resides with her husband and three children in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

Website . . . Facebook . . . Twitter . . . Pinterest . . . Goodreads


  1. Great review, Sue! I loved the interview with Kathryn. It is always fun to learn more about your friends.


Thank you for stopping by!