His painting is mentioned in a Mills and Boon romance, When The Devil Drives.
Ashley, who considers himself a romantic, said a client from Elsecar, near Barnsley, made the discovery.
"A customer of my gallery, Mrs Anne Frost, was on a beach in Thailand, reading the book, when she saw my name and moorland paintings mentioned. She reported back on her return," he said.
Ashley said he was flattered to have been mentioned, although he had never read a Mills and Boon book.
"I like factual, not fiction, books, but I am a romantic in real life," he added.
And he revealed he was named after a character in one of cinema's most romantic classics, Gone With the Wind - Ashley Wilkes, played by Leslie Howard.