Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Show & Tell: Immortal Trust by Claire Ashgrove


Immortal Trust
The Curse of the Templars,
Book III

When archaeologist Chloe Broussard accepts the contract to lead a dig in Ornes, France, she has no idea she will uncover Veronica's Veil. When she does, she discovers a danger far greater than the demons that stalk her in the night. Azazel wants her, as well as the Veronica, and his chosen minion is her brother. Her hope lies with immortal Templar Knight, Lucan. Her life depends on oaths she knows nothing about.
For countless centuries, Lucan of Seacourt has lived with the knowledge that his brother killed their family. Now, as Azazel's darkness eats away at his soul, old betrayal stirs suspicion. He trusts no one. Not even the seraph who can heal his dying spirit.
With the fate of the Almighty hanging in the balance, Lucan must find faith in something more terrifying than the dark lord's creations. He must learn to believe his heart.

Purchase at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

For more about The Curse of the Templars, discover all the books at Claire’s Templar Webpage

Excerpt:

“No,” she answered in a strained whisper. Tugging her hands free, she grabbed at her courage. She shook her head and added in a stronger voice, “No, Lucan. You just usurped my authority with my student. Despite your assurances you trust my intentions, you insulted me nonetheless.” Pulling on her coat, she took a deep breath and attempted a final blow that would forever terminate any thought of a less than professional involvement. “No dinner tonight, no dinner tomorrow. No dinner ever.”

“Chloe—”

She lifted her hand to silence his protest. “I don’t want to hear it. You just kissed me without my permission. Consider yourself lucky I’m not planning on turning you in for sexual harassment.”

Taking two purposeful steps toward the door, she glanced over her shoulder and met his frown with courage she didn’t feel. “Now, you have my relic in your vehicle. As long as we are here, I’m in charge of its care. You can either transfer it to the Mercedes, or you can take me back to the hotel.” She zipped her coat with more effort than necessary, nearly catching her chin. “When we do get there, that golden trunk is going in the safe in my room. Because, quite frankly, I don’t trust you.

The widening of his eyes told her he hadn’t expected that remark. But Lucan refrained from comment and merely gestured at the door, inviting her to exit first. She pushed it open and stepped onto the snow-covered steps. When he exited behind her, she tugged her keys out and locked the double-wide. “So, what’s it going to be?”

To her complete surprise, despite her lecture seconds earlier, he grabbed her by the hand and twined his fingers through hers. “Caradoc and I shall drive you.”

She scowled at their locked palms. Tugging, she attempted to break free from his possessive hold.

He held fast.

She pulled harder. “I don’t want to hold your hand, Lucan. Turn me loose.”

As his boot crunched into a newly formed mound of snow, he came to an abrupt halt and swiveled around as if she’d called him out. “If you are not careful, milady, you will force me to prove just how false your words are by kissing you without your permission once more.”

Shocked, Chloe gasped. She opened her mouth, but words failed her. What the hell? Surely she hadn’t heard him right. He hadn’t just announced he’d assault her again.

A strange, completely unacceptable thrill slid through her veins. The first kiss had been so damnably nice. A second . . .

She stopped the thought by clamping her teeth into the inside of her cheek until she tasted blood. Good grief, what was the matter with her? She was starting to resemble the foolish Miranda.

“Do it and I’ll—” The threat stopped on the tip of her tongue as Lucan’s gaze flared with annoyance.

“You shall what?”



About the Author:

Building on a background of fantasy game design, a fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire's paranormal series, The Curse of the Templars (Tor), marries the history of the Knights Templar with the chilling aspirations of the most unholy--a must-read for speculative fiction fans. Her books have received multiple nominations for "Best Romance of the Year" awards as well as placements within a variety of contests, including the rigorous, Reader's Crown Awards, where Immortal Hope was named Best Paranormal Romance of 2011. For those who prefer the more erotic side of life, she also writes darkly arousing espionage novels for Berkley 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 young sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her "free" time, she enjoys cooking, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending downtime with her children and the critters. She credits her success to her family's constant support and endless patience.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sexy Saturday: The Lady is a Thief



One Thief…

Wealthy, titled, and very privileged, Lady Katherine Hardwicke successfully eluded some of the best thieves in the world in a quest to obtain the Fortunate Buddha. Her time is running out and her enemies are closing in, and one deliciously enigmatic man seems determined to get in her way. Will he save her or end her quest forever?

One Hunt…

Jarod Parker wears many faces and lies for a living, but when the same thief steals the Buddha out from beneath his agents not once but twice, this handler returns to the field. His target? The last woman anyone would suspect of being the thief. But is he really after the Buddha or has this brilliant woman stolen his heart?

One Choice…

Their sensuous game of cat and mouse turns deadly when a third player turns up the heat, but can these two liars come clean with each other or will they lose it all?



Read an excerpt after the jump!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rites of Spring: You Never Forget the First Time...



Spring is about renewal. It's a beginning. A fresh start. It's also about making magic. You never forget the first time you...
  • Read a romance
  • Went skiing
  • Had a child
  • Wrote a book
  • Shared a first kiss
  • Published a book
  • Had a best seller
These are the moments that stand out for me when I think of those magical firsts. I debated a little what I wanted to share today--would it be a book? A first for a character? Or would it be something more personal? I decided the split the difference.

Escape from Desire

My grandmother used to read Harlequin romances to me when I was a kid. She didn't like picture books, so she would read me her romances. She loved Harlequin, read them up to the day she died. I used to give her subscriptions to her favorite series...and the Presents line remained her primary go to from the first. In 1983, I read my very first Harlequin on my own. I remember being shocked by the fact that the characters didn't nap or clean as often as my grandmother used to say they did and even more shocking...I loved the story so much I wanted to read another and another and another.

That first romance novel was Escape from Desire by Penny Jordan.

Escape from Desire
What I remember most about the book was the adventure. Tamara went to the Caribbean to vacation, little did she know she would find herself captured by rebels or that her only hope was Zach Fletcher, a man who was also a prisoner.

Their flight through the jungle had me on the edge of my seat and their passionate clinch amidst all the danger seemed natural, even then. But the spider bite Tamara got? That creeped me out. Worse was when Tamara finally woke up in a hospital and Zach was gone. My heart broke for her. When she turned up pregnant, that shocked me--it was a first for me in any book. Worse, when she found herself facing Zach again and they had all this passion and tension and secret between them...my pulse raced.

I've never looked back from my love of romances. Not once. Hard to believe that I read this book thirty years ago, but like Tamara, I went on my magical vacation and my life was changed forever.

What was your first romance novel?  Leave a comment about it and be entered to win a $10 gift certificate to Amazon. And don't forget to join the hop. You could win a Kindle Fire!

Rafflecopter #1 For Heather's Giveaway

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Rafflecopter #2 for the Kindle Fire/Blog Hop Giveaway

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

For the Love of Military Romance


I’m very excited to announce a joint venture with three other authors who write military romance!

For the Love of Military Romance is a blog that will feature Melissa SchroederCat Johnson, and DL Jackson, and me!  I can't tell you how excited I am to be working with these ladies! We will chat up military romance, military life, and feature our books. We are planning a soft opening April 1 so be on the look out for all the fun. And we have a Facebook Page you can like also and a Pinterest page to follow!
Make sure to check us out and follow along. April is just around the corner:)
Be Sociable, Share!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Immortal Protector by Claire Ashgrove


Immortal Protector
The Curse of the Templars,
Companion Novella

After the brutal murder of his seraph, Iain Donnelly's salvation is eternally lost. Damned to become a dark knight of Azazel, he can no longer embrace his immortal purpose as a Templar Knight. When the archangels send him on Sabbatical to find his faith once more, his quest leads him straight into the forbidden arms of a Benedictine Sister, whom Azazel is threatening.  But this woman arouses far more than his protective instincts.  He wants her as he's wanted no other woman, and he's willing to provoke the archangels’ fury to keep her safe.

Catherine Grady has devoted herself to the fellowship of faith and forged a path of eternal dedication to a higher calling.  But when a traffic accident forces her to accept Iain's aid, she discovers that her chosen path is not what her heart craves.  Iain awakens a buried yearning to be needed and loved in a way her broken childhood denied her.  As she struggles to reconcile her desires, she stumbles into the truth about her heritage, ancient secrets, and unholy danger.  Iain's immortality is all that can protect her.

For Iain, it's an impossible choice.  The archangels have decreed if he walks away from the Templar, they will reclaim his soul.  Yet returning to the Order only guarantees his inevitable death…

Purchase for only $1.99 at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

For more about The Curse of the Templars, discover all the books at Claire’s Templar Webpage

Excerpt:
“Catherine,” he began, his voice unsteady. He cleared his throat, tightened his grip on the steering wheel. “I return home in a short while. But I should like to see you again.”

She went absolutely still.

Horns of warning echoed in his head. A woman who returned his interest would not behave as if she had suddenly turned to ice. And yet, he could not still his tongue. “I have not enjoyed an evening so much in too many years to count.”

Her teeth worked at her lower lip. In her lap, she twisted her hands together. “I’ve enjoyed it too. A lot.”

Her confession came so quietly, several seconds passed before it fully registered in his head. When the words connected, the space behind his ribs contracted pleasantly. “Then tomorrow—”

“Turn here.” Her unadorned fingernail rapped on the passenger-side window.

Iain navigated the turn and pulled into the abbey’s small parking lot. He nosed into a spot, turned off the engine, and jumped out to hurry around and open her door. She slid out of the seat, and her gaze connected with his. Before she quickly averted it and took a step toward the entrance, he caught the flash of appreciation that had so oft filled those pale blue eyes throughout the night.

She desired him, though for some reason she did not wish to acknowledge it.

Iain fell into step beside her, taking her small hand in his once more. She did not fight the contact. Indeed, her fingers slid between his in a most welcoming manner. “Tomorrow is Friday—do you have transportation to your school?”

“Not . . . really . . .” she answered hesitantly.

“Then what say you about allowing me to drive you in, come morning. After, I will take you to dinner, and I shall spend tomorrow planning the rest of the eve.”

She came to a halt on the top stair and turned to face him. “Iain, I—”

Her eyes locked with his, and her words fell into silence. A riot of emotions reflected in those blue depths. Desire, hesitation, uncertainty, and curiosity captured Iain like a tightly woven net cast over his person. The air around them transformed, filling with subtle heat. Her gaze lowered to his mouth. When she drew her upper lip between her teeth, an invisible fist thumped into Iain’s gut. Saints’ blood, he wanted to know the softness there. Wanted to taste the sweet sugar that lingered on her tongue from the minted tea she drank through dinner.

About the Author:

Building on a background of fantasy game design, a fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire's paranormal series, The Curse of the Templars (Tor), marries the history of the Knights Templar with the chilling aspirations of the most unholy--a must-read for speculative fiction fans. Her books have received multiple nominations for "Best Romance of the Year" awards as well as placements within a variety of contests, including the rigorous, Reader's Crown Awards, where Immortal Hope was named Best Paranormal Romance of 2011. For those who prefer the more erotic side of life, she also writes darkly arousing espionage novels for Berkley 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 young sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her "free" time, she enjoys cooking, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending downtime with her children and the critters. She credits her success to her family's constant support and endless patience.


To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Into the Spotlight Release Day! Discover the Soulgirls of the Arcana Royale!






Fifty years ago, Jeannie Williams made her way to Las Vegas seeking fame and fortune. Instead, she lost her soul and wound up performing nightly shows at the Arcana Royale. Every day, she straps on her feathers, her glitter, her stilettos, and she dances. Every day, it’s the same.

Until the day he walks in.

For six centuries, Malcolm Reynolds has been the go-to guy for anything his family needs: warrior, diplomat, wrangler, researcher, and now an attorney. He enters the Arcana Royale Casino, intent on negotiating the release of his cousin’s bad debt, but one look at the golden-skinned showgirl ignites a fire of need that he’s never experienced. When the fantasy come true sits at his table, words he never expected to hear come out of her lush mouth: “I need your help.”
Now he’s in for the toughest battle of his life, because the Overseers own both his cousin’s debt and her soul. And he’s not planning on leaving the Royale without either one.

This book has been previously published and has been revised and expanded from its original release.

Warning: Contains high-stakes games, sexy showgirls, and a powerful showdown between a vampire that can’t lose and the House that never does. Spells, slots, sirens and sex, oh my!

Excerpt:

Enjoy the following excerpt for Into the Spotlight:

“Ladies! Five minutes. Move your asses!” Heidi swept through the room, slapping bare bottoms as she passed. “Into those costumes. Let’s go.”

Jeannie flicked a glance at the stage manager’s blonde reflection striding toward her in the mirror. It was just another night. Another endless night tagged onto the caboose of an endless string of endless nights.

She didn’t bother even keeping count anymore.

Tiny black lines, ticks counting down the days of her sentence, marked the mirror. Somewhere around one thousand, she’d added a second layer. After three thousand, she’d stopped counting.

What was one more night?

“How you doin’, chere?” Heidi leaned against the side of the mirror, her gaze critical, her mouth pinched and her forehead puckered with frown lines. Their dressmaker-slash-stage manager-slash-backstage mother hen nursed headaches more often than not. The pain rippled across her facial muscles, tightening them in spasms.

But Heidi never commented on them.

Jeannie had long since stopped asking.

“I’m fine. I know. Five minutes.” She painted a line of glitter around each eye. Her stage makeup was heavy, dense stuff, saturating every pore and bleeding away her color for the face of the Midnight Mystery Lounge.

The swathe of glitter, crystals and diamonds decorating her eyelashes reminded her that she wasn’t Jeannie.

She was Pandora.

She was the showstopper.

God, I am so bored.

“Just another set, chere.”

“I know, Heidi. Just another set.” She didn’t even bother to inject enthusiasm into the words. Heidi didn’t care. Jeannie didn’t care. They could not care together. It worked.

“Dearly beloved!” A voice boomed from behind them. Heidi snorted, but Jeannie kept painting lines of glitter on each of her features, thickening the lines around her eyes and her lips. She would sparkle in the smoky darkness.

At least that was the goal.

“Dearly beloved!” Three mirrors down, Roseâtre clapped her hands together over her head, her silver and gold bangles jingling together in musical accompaniment. The chatter in the dressing room died, and all eyes turned toward her. Roseâtre’s real name was Ruthie, but as with Jeannie, no one cared about real names at the Midnight Mystery Lounge, the Arcana Royale’s premier revue. Their audience would only know her as Roseâtre.

“Does she even remember her real name anymore?” Jeannie murmured and Heidi shrugged. Somewhere after a decade, the dancers forgot. Some forgot on purpose, deliberately blotting out memories of a past before the Arcana Royale and whatever mistake landed them in the revue. Others just faded, forgetting that life existed beyond the smoke and the glamour.

And some just stop caring altogether…

Jeannie sighed and set the glitter brush down. Heidi moved on cue to help her don the weighted headdress with its red and white foxtails and diamond beads. It weighed over thirty pounds, and her head and neck would be in brutal pain by the end of the third number.

But she would look spectacular.

“Everyone forgets,” Heidi whispered, as her fingers worked through the headdress. Behind them the girls bounced up, adjusting arm sleeves of foxtails, which drooped to the ground. The golden lamé dresses hugged every curve, chains of crystal, diamond and pale-colored gems peeked out from beneath the fabric. The girls checked each other’s headdresses. Their foxtails were weighty, but only about ten pounds to Jeannie’s thirty.

Kiki danced in place at the head of the line, her hips bumping to a song only she could hear. The gyration warmed her up. She would be the first up the stairs and out onto the stage. She would burst through the door, potential energy unleashed, a payload delivering a megaton of enthusiasm, lift and sensation.

Jeannie sighed.

Heidi adjusted another strap, testing it against pull and murmured. “Two minutes.”

“I know.”

Two minutes to become Pandora.

Two minutes to let go of Jeannie.

She didn’t need two minutes anymore.

“Kiki!” Heidi yelled over her shoulder. “Go!”

“Holla!” Kiki whooped and charged up the steps, graceful in her five-inch heels. Sparks shot in every direction as the twelve bejeweled women bounced up the stairs.

Jeannie followed, but without the click-clack of running on the stairs. She ascended, shedding her humanity with each step. Years of practice shuttered her emotions, smothered her soul and silenced her sense of self.

At the top of the steps, Jeannie vanished.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Arcana Royale and the Midnight Mystery Lounge present Pandora!”

The music, velvet pulsations, squeezed her heart in time to the rhythm, and she surrendered. Across the sea of night, blue eyes blazed in the darkness. Pandora stared at them. Her heart paused, startled, and then the sluggish, ho-hum beat pounded, a descant bass to the sameness of the night.

She barely hit her first mark, waiting almost a full count from the first bars of the music. With every pop of her hips, every twist of her shoulders, every kick of her legs, she sought out those blue eyes, burning like icy flames in the blackness.
Her abdomen cramped, the chill of desperation quieting only when she found those burning eyes in the cold, empty dark.

Maybe tonight wasn’t the same after all.

March Madness Blog Hop - Loving What Brings People Together

It's March Madness time and while I'm not a big basketball fan, I am a fan of teams and team sports and those things that bring us together, uniting us and making us stronger. It's these elements that tie together my families in the Fevered Hearts series and my Marines in the Always a Marine series.


Always a Marine

The series launched within the 1Night Stand series at Decadent Publishing. Madame Eve is a magician at putting the right couples together.  Always a Marine focuses on helping the men and women who serve our country find love.  Currently eleven books are released in this series with several more on the way. What brings these characters together is more than sexual preference, race, or geography. It's a uniform faith to serve their country and devote their lives to service.

Fevered Hearts

The white man blamed the Indians saying they used their mojo on them. 
The Indians blamed the white man saying they angered the spirits. 
The survivors know it doesn't matter. 

Meet the fevered hearts, the men and women who survived spirit fever. Forever changed, these are their stories. Set in the 1850s, this series follows the Kane and Morning Star families as they fight to survive and find love.

“The Marshal of Hel Dorado is like X-Men and Young Guns wrapped up with not one but two families full of hot brothers to lust after.” – Cat Johnson, author of Hooked.

Book 2
One lucky commentator can have their pick of any book already released in either of these two series! Winner to be announced on April 1st!


  a Rafflecopter giveaway Linky: (The list of participants) Oh, and here's some info and RULES: (It up to you if you use them, but they will be up on the snsreview site. March Madness: That time of year when women across the country are left to their own devices during the NCAA basketball playoff tournament. Sure we could do some early spring cleaning, catch up on laundry, organize closets, and throw out all the junk in the garage/attic, but where's the fun in that? So, instead of work, we thought we'd host our version of March Madness: A prize filled hop presented by some of the best names in romance. And we've made it easy for you to join in. Simply hop from blog to blog—the links are below—and “follow”, “Like”, “Friend” etc. the authors sites then leave a comment on their blog post. Each author is running their own giveaway as well as participating in the Rafflecopter Grand-Prize Giveaway of a Kindle Fire OR Nook Color, A $50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card, A $25 Amazon/B&N Gift Card, and 6 - $10 Amazon/B&N Gift Cards, as well as a “basket” of books. The event is live from March 5 – March 31st, 2013 to give you plenty of time to tour all the sites. Rules: You must be 18 years or older as of 12:01AM March 5, 2013. No purchase Necessary. Avoid where prohibited. This event is open to worldwide participation (basket of books limited to US/Canada shipping address only)You are limited to one tweet, follow, like etc per day, however you can follow one blog, tweet about another, and like a 3rd's facebook page all on the same day. Be sure to follow the rules laid out by the individual authors about their respective giveaways, as they will vary form site to site. Rules and Terms are listed in the Rafflecopter. Grand-prizes will be announced on or about April 5th, 2013 on SnSreviews.blogspot.com. While we will make every effort to contact you, it is ultimately the winner's responsibility to check winning status and claim their prize. Posted winners will have 5 days, from the date of post to contact host and claim their respective prize. If the posted winner fails to contact host, prize may be forfeited and awarded to another randomly drawn entrant and distributed without further notice.