Friday, September 28, 2012

Guest Author & Giveaway: Claire Ashgrove

Good morning, everyone.  Thanks for hosting me today, Heather!

I think I need a theme song to be here today, given all the superhero talk and all.  Unfortunately, I’m sadly lacking in that department.  So let’s just queue my favorite score, that of Spiderman, while I entertain you with a different superhero—the Knight Templar.

What makes a Knight Templar a superhero?  Well, in case you weren’t aware, he’s giving up his very soul to keep you and I safe from the evils of Azazel.  He’s spent centuries fighting, each vile creature he kills draining away all that is good and noble in his spirit.  Soon, he’ll be as black as the demons he fights, and he’ll turn against the brethren he’s spent his life sworn to. 

Those who have found their seraphs, well they know healing.  But their battle is far from over.  Azazel has set his sights on the highest throne, and it’s these men who’ve found salvation with their preordained seraph, who will lead the call to arms. 

Farran, the hero from my Immortal Surrender, my newest book in the series, The Curse of the Templars, suffers alongside his immortal brethren.  Only a few battles away from transforming into the very thing he hunts, he looks forward to escaping life.  The last thing he wants is to continue on an eternal path shackled to a woman.  Even if his preordained, clumsy, atheist seraph is the most fascinating woman he’s ever met.

I’ll let you discover the trials and tribulations Farran and Noelle go through.  The book’s been out for a whopping three days, and I hope you’ll check it out!  But for now, I’ll let you have a quick peek.


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.

“This series (The Curse of the Templars) is explosive, sexy, riveting, and Claire Ashgrove is a master of her craft.” ~ NYTimes Bestselling Author, Maggie Shayne

In the blink of an eye, his serene expression morphed into a dark scowl. “You do not believe me.”

“No,” she answered on a chortle. “Did you really expect me to? I’m sure someone else would—you’ve put so much feeling into the tale. But I’m a scientist. I don’t even believe in God.” To soften his disappointment, she reached between them and patted his hand. “You did good though. Better than some of the things Gabriel has told me.”

He abruptly pulled his hand away. “Everything Gabriel has ever told you is true, damsel. He is an archangel. Whilst he may behave most strange, he is God’s messenger and cannot lie.”

Gabriel an archangel. Oh man, the two of them were in this together. When she saw him next, she’d buy him a drink for this. She grinned at Farran and shook her head. “You two are something else. I swear, I should have known. He tries to do this to me all the time.”

“Woman,” Farran barked. “’Tis no jest! You are branded as mine.” He grabbed the hem of his shirt and yanked it over his head. “Look for yourself.”

Noelle gaped at the vision that sat before her. Smooth bronzed muscle lacked any trace of hair and bulged even as he sat still. The chest she remembered so vividly was nothing less than a wall of corrugated stone. Thick forearms led to even thicker biceps, arms so strong she felt three times smaller than normal. He could crush a man—or so her imagination said.

Her appreciative stare dropped to his belly and stopped on her gasp. Scored into his taut abdomen, a white scar ran from his ribs down beneath the waistband of his jeans. A good three inches wide, and easily three times as long, the scarred flesh assumed the distinct shape of a ring-hilted dagger. Someone had heated metal and pressed it to his skin.

“My word,” she whispered.

Drawn to the horror of the mark, she leaned in and traced a fingertip down the length of the hilt. The pain he must have felt—her heart twisted hard. “What happened to you?” She glanced up at his face.

Eyes closed, he sat utterly still. “’Twas meant to gain my confession.”

Noelle winced. Looking back at the ugly scar she couldn’t take her hand off of, her chest tightened. What sort of person could do that to a man? His stomach bunched beneath her fingertips, mystifying her even more. As deep as the wound had been, he was lucky he could feel anything at all. Whoever had done this was sick. Sick, sick. “Were you in the war?” she asked quietly.

“Aye,” he exhaled.

“Oh, Farran, I’m so sorry.” And she was—sorrier than she’d ever been for anyone. All the stories she’d heard about beheaded captives, tortured soldiers, and political screw-ups amounted to nothing when faced with the stark truth of what he’d been through. He’d suffered. Through some miracle, he’d survived a wound that would have killed a lesser man.

On sheer impulse, she leaned in and pressed a kiss to the ringed pommel.

Giveaway Details:

Claire is giving away one digital copy of any one of her backlist books, excepting those in the Templar series, to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop on the blog tour.  A valid email must be included in your comment in order to enter. 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.

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.
Claire lives in Missouri with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her “free” time, she enjoys cooking, winning at Rummy, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending quiet moments with her family, including the critters.

To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at, or  You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. I can't wait to read this book!
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  2. That is an interesting premise. :)

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  3. Each stop gives me something more. Thank you.