Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

IMMORTAL SURRENDER by Claire Ashgrove


GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE! 

 
Thank you, Vonnie, for having me here today and helping me celebrate my release day!  I’m so excited that Immortal Surrender is finally here and everyone can meet one of my favorite Templar Knights, Farran de Clare.

 

I wanted to talk a little bit about history – you know that subject everyone shied away from in school, unless like me, you were one of those kids.  Yes, I looked forward to history class, and I loved the essay tests. Which paired rather nicely, I discovered—writing about history.  

The past surrounds us.  It’s in everything we see, everything we touch, everything we are.  And so often we forget about the little things, like how someone went from building houses of thatch, into houses of wood, and made nails out of little wooden pegs. 

And we writers like to romanticize it.  Think of all the wonderful regency romances we’ve poured over.  Or the contemporary dramas that use history to craft sweeping mysteries about artifacts.  While you’re at it consider how many time travel romances are available. 

I for one put history in almost every book I write.  Starting with my very first, there’s pages out of horse racing history included.  Tiny facts that fascinated me.  With the series, The Curse of the Templars, it’s evident from page one.  While it’s by no means a historical romance, my knights are a product of the era of their birth—chivalrous, stoic, arrogant, and seasoned to war.  They live by the sword, not pistols and rifles.  And heaven forbid should a lady be mistreated in their presence, particularly their seraph. 

 

Even the dark, horrific Azazel is grounded in historical accounts of the fallen angel.  Sure, I embellished him a bit, but that’s where the writing part gets liberty! 

For me, writing about history—even if it plays a minor role and is more or less background scenery—allows me to step back in time and live the lives that came before us.  I can be a medieval maiden, or sail on a pirate ship, or run through the Scottish hills with the painted Picts.  

And even better?  As an author, it doesn’t always have to end the way the text book says. Sometimes, the power of a simple woman can have world-altering events. Which makes pairing history with writing even that much more romantic. 

So what are your thoughts on history?  Boring stuff best left to weirdos like myself?  Or does it capture you and take you to places far away?
 

Immortal Surrender Back Cover Blurb 

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

EXCERPT:

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.
 
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 www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com.  You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.

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.  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.

10 comments:

Karyn Good said...

Congratulations on Immortal Surrender's release, Claire. Your book sounds fascinating and I love it when history and modern times collide inside a story.

LisaRayns said...

Congratulations on the release! Love the excerpt and cover.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hated history then, love it now. Fascinating, Claire. Congrats!

Jannine Gallant said...

You are a woman after my heart, Claire. I adore history. So much so that I majored in it in college. Best of luck with your wonderful series!

Mackenzie Crowne said...

I was one of "those" kids, Claire. History mesmerizes me and there's nothing I like better than an story combining it with romance. (my other love)

Can't wait to settle in with this series.

Susan Macatee said...

I love historical fact and fiction, especially romances. But when I was a kid, I hated history class. I think it was in the presentation and having to memorize all those facts. lol

But I've rediscovered history as an adult. It's fun to read and think about all those who've lived before us. And time travel stories are my absolute favorite seeing how a modern day person interacts with people in a historical setting. It's a lot of fun.

Claire Ashgrove said...

Thank you everyone for the well wishes! And for stopping in! I'm so excited about today's release...it feels like it's my debut novel!! Thanks for sharing the day with me.

Sandra Cox said...

I confess, history was one of my favorite subjects back in the day.
Good wishes with your new release.

Hey, Ms Vonnie:)

katsrus said...

Congrats on your new release. Loved the excerpt. That is a great cover.
Sue B
katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

Leah Weller said...

I did not enjoy history in school. It wasn't until a friend gave me The Wolf and the Dove almost 20 years ago, that I came to love history, medieval history the best. Although I have documentation that will get me a DAR membership, American history isn't where my heart and soul are pulled. It's across the water and my soul aches for times and places.... events, from between the 1000's and 1500's. I didn't enjoy reading until my friend begged me to read TWATD. Now, you will never see me without a book.