LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are pleased to welcome Claire Ashgrove to our sites today.
Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove has been writing since her early teens and maintained the hobby for twenty years before deciding to leap into the professional world. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write steamy, sexy stories for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire’s paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars debuted with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes for Berkley Heat as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire.
She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, and her local RWA chapters, Heartland Romance Authors, Midwest Romance Writers, and North Texas Romance Writers of America.
As mentioned above, Claire is the proud creator of the CURSE OF THE TEMPLARS series, the INHERITED DAMNATION series, several amazing single titles, and the BLACK OPALS series as Tori St. Claire. You can check out her entire bibliography HERE.
The INHERITED DAMNATION series has 5 books, with 3 more on the way – “Cursed to Kill”, “Tormented by Darkness”, “Destined to Die”, “Ensnared by Blood”, and “Fated for Sacrifice”. “Doomed to Torment”, “Enslaved by Fear” and “Marked for Death” will be coming soon.
THE CURSE OF THE TEMPLARS series currently as 2 installments – “Immortal Hope”, and “Immortal Surrender”, which was just released on 9/25/12! “Immortal Trust”, book #3, is slotted for March of 2013.
For those of you new to Claire’s work, we thought we’d give you the book blurbs for the CURSE OF THE TEMPLARS series and a handful of the INHERITED DAMNATION books to get you up to speed:
“Immortal Hope”, Book #1
Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll that revealed the locations of the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they now roam the earth, protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation—the return of the seraphs.
Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul, releasing him from the clutches of their enemy. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers that she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As Merrick struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.
Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache that he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she is destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.
“Immortal Surrender”, Book #2
JUST RELEASED 9/25/12!
Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again—he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him.
Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty—but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her.
As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice – his heart.
“Curse to Kill”, Book #1
One of eight children born to an ancient Celtic priestess and sired by a demonic incubus, Cian McLaine suffers from a centuries-old curse. Though his immortality allows him to enjoy the pleasures of mortal life, he is plagued by the desire to kill. As long as he doesn't fall in love he can keep the compulsion at bay.
When Cian walked into her rare bookstore months ago, Miranda Phillips never imagined she'd lose her heart to the handsome playboy. Her reward for doing so was abandonment. Cian left as mysteriously as he appeared, in the middle of the night with no explanation, no goodbye. Now he's back, and passion flares just as hot. But Cian has secrets. If Miranda is to survive, she must uncover the truth and free his darkened soul.
“Destined to Die”, Book #3
Haunted by his mother’s betrayal, Belen McLaine surrendered to his demonic half long ago. For centuries, he’s roamed, doing all he can to corrupt those he encounters. But Belen’s life changes when a little Yuletide fun goes wrong, and the one woman he can’t stay away from is suddenly in need of his protection. Unable to cast her aside, he finds himself on a deadly path to love.
Faith Winters shared one glorious date with Belen complete with fireworks, but he stayed away until the night of her brutal attack.
As danger escalates, he becomes her only safety net. Shared passion gives way to something deeper, hotter, than she’s ever known before. Yet Faith has no idea her greatest threat is the very man who holds her heart. For Belen, even if it means hurting Faith, he must not succumb to love. If he fails, his father’s curse promises he’ll take Faith’s life.
“Fated for Sacrifice”, Book #5
When Reese Hamilton is abandoned in the snow-laden woods, she must find her way to Dáire McLaine’s cabin—a friend she’s known for years, and the man who makes her pulse triple. Little does she know that a cozy night in the woods will lead to passion they both have been longing to explore. But with the new change in their relationship comes something darker and more terrifying, and Reese must confront danger, even death, before she can be free to love.
Dáire McLaine will do anything to escape his demonic blood and attain mortality, even if that means defying nature’s laws and manipulating Reese’s thoughts for his own means. But when he delves into her hidden secrets, the staggering emotion he encounters makes it impossible to deny the forbidden longings of his own heart. He’s yearned for Reese over the years. Yet to love Reese will demand the ultimate sacrifice—his life.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Claire! Congrats on the recent release of “Immortal Surrender” and the rave reviews it’s been getting! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to come and chat with us today, and to let our followers and members get to know you and your books a little bit better.
Claire: Thank you! I’m thrilled with the way Immortal Surrender is being received, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s great to be here today!
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always start by getting to know our guest author a little bit better…
Q1): Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we can't find out easily on the internet?
Claire: I studied classical piano for… gosh…12 years.
My college nickname was “Tori”, and I acquired it by refusing to give my name to a guy I later ended up dating, because I wanted nothing to do with him. Evidently I resembled Tori Amos.
I’m a techie at heart and have a Bachelor’s of Science in Telecommunications Management…though I’ve never worked a day in my degreed field.
Q2): What are 2 things that always make you smile, and 2 things that never fail to piss you off?
Claire: Two things that make me smile: my boys, in a variety of antics, even if they are in trouble, which is usually always. Watching a newborn foal take its first steps.
Two things that invariably piss me off? Being micro-managed and waking up to find it rained, and now I have to slog through mud first thing in the morning to feed the horses. I hate mud. Blech.
Q3): What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business?
Claire: Baking, especially this time of year. And I love to spend time with my horses, even if it’s just wandering through the pasture petting heads.
Q4): What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have something you can’t do without, interesting writing quirks, something you need to get the creative juices flowing, etc?
Claire: It’s really, really, uneventful. I have to have coffee, and lately more quiet than noise, but I sit down and type until I can’t keep my eyes open.
Q5): If you could have 1 superpower, what would you want it to be and why?
Claire: I want to fly. It seems I’m always in the car going somewhere that takes entirely too long to get there, which kills the time I have left to do everything else. Flying would definitely help! For that matter, I could go with a teleporter.
Q6): Are there any specific authors and/or titles that you feel inspired you to become the writer you are today?
Claire: I get asked this so frequently, I feel like the answer is a little rote. But yes, Tolkien, Johanna Lindsey, and Steve Berry are my dominant inspirations. There are so many other authors I admire and enjoy though, it makes it really hard to nail down specific names. A love of reading has been my greatest contributor, overall.
Q7): What are the best and worst parts of writing for you?
Claire: Best part? Plotting and the actual writing of the story. Worst Part? Waiting to see if someone *wants* the story. Laugh. Patience is not my strong point, though I’ve learned to sit on my hands most of the time and not pester my agent too much.
Q8): Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of THE CURSE OF THE TEMPLARS series?
Claire: Aside from a fascination with the Templar history, no. I love history, I love the Templar, and I’m a paranormal addict. Their rich environment and the open-ended disappearance of the vast majority of the Order, made the perfect breeding grounds for a paranormal romance.
Q9) How many books do you have planned for the series?
Claire: We’ll just have to play that one by ear. It would be very nice to accomplish six, though!
Q10): You write with incredible detail. What kind of research did you do to be able to write the particulars of the CURSE OF THE TEMPLARS so well?
Claire: Thank you! My research really encompassed the better part of a year. It was more or less an accumulation of historical documents, historical fact, archaeological findings, and researching some of the Christian legends about the relics. I spent a lot of time planning this particular series as it was my first big, epic-type of writing endeavor. I didn’t pen a word until I thought I could do it reasonable justice.
Q11): What about the INHERITED DAMNATION series? Any particular influence for that one? Will “Marked for Death” be the final installment?
Claire: Marked for Death indeed concludes the series. And there really wasn’t a particular influence. Wild Rose had a submissions call for dark paranormals that revolved around the Pagan holidays. I wanted to write some shorter romances. So I went with the Pagan holiday concept, dug into the Celts, and chose a tribe that really has no documentation in History so I could bend it the way I wanted.
Q12): Is there anything outside of the series/books that we featured in the intro that you’re working on and can share with us?
Claire: Oh goodness! Always? Laugh! No, seriously… I released my first historical romance in August, Bound by Decency. I’m working on the sequel to that, as well as a sequel to the Black Opals (as Tori St. Claire). I have another proposal out that’s entirely different from what I’ve done before—no clues there!—and I hope to see it pan out. If it does, you can rest assured I’ll be yelling at the top of my lungs about it.
Q13): What are you the most proud of with regards to your career thus far?
Claire: Gosh…I achieved National Bestselling Author as Tori St. Claire and that was a pretty monumental moment for me. When Immortal Hope won Best Paranormal at the Reader’s Crown Awards, that made me teary. But you know, I don’t look at what I’ve done and really think, “Wow, you’ve accomplished something.” I’ve written stories I enjoy, that I hope my readers do as well. There’s so many more things that I want to achieve though before I’ll feel like I’ve actually accomplished something significant enough to warrant true pride over it.
Q14): What has been the hardest part of your journey to date?
Claire: Mm. The agent search. I have over 300 rejections for various completed books. It took probably 2 years and a lot of writing and querying to obtain an agent, and it was the most frustrating, humbling, determination-provoking experience of my life.
Q15): Would you like to say anything special to your readers and fans while we have you here today?
Claire: Thank you. I know that sounds somewhat trite, but really… I write because others enjoy it. If I simply wanted to write for my own enjoyment, I’d still be journaling. It’s my readers who give me the biggest sense of gratification and the determination to work through sticky spots. And I’m super appreciative of the support they’ve given.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Claire, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed having you with us today and are excited to turn some new readers on to your work. We would love to have you back again for your next big release if you’re interested!
Claire: I’d love to come back! This has been fun, and I hope we can do it again. Maybe for Immortal Trust in March!
If you want to keep up with Claire, you can find her online at her Website,
Claire is graciously offering up one digital copy of any one of her backlist books, excepting those in the Templar series, to one winner Book Monster Reviews.
In addition, commenters’ names will be added into the tour-end drawing of a 25.00 Amazon gift card. Follow the tour – the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. Complete tour dates can be found here.
Fill out the Rafflecopter widget for Claire’s Event, follow the directions, take action, and mark as ‘Done’.
Make sure that your Rafflecopter email address is correct!
Want a 2nd chance to win?? Go to LITERAL ADDICTION and enter the contest over there as well.
GOOD LUCK!!!a Rafflecopter giveaway