My Books!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today's special guest is Claire Ashgrove. Claire and I are both authors with The Wild Rose Press. Claire, welcome to the blog. Tell us a little bit about you.

I’m Claire, a paranormal and contemporary romance author. I’ve been with The Wild Rose Press, writing sexy horse-themed romances for their Champagne line since late 2008. (No, you won’t find cowboys and ranches in my equine worlds.) And I will be debuting a Paranormal series about immortal Knights Templar, arch demons, and descendents of the Nephilim with Tor Books next year.

2.How did you get started with your writing?

I have always written. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t. But the bug to shift hobby into professional pursuit bit in the spring of 2008. Shortly thereafter, I joined three RWA chapters within my area, studied the craft non-stop for the majority of the year, and sold Seduction’s Stakes in December, shortly before Christmas.

3.You're a girl who knows how to get things done! What’s the hardest part of writing for you? The easiest?

The hardest part of writing is not having more hours in the day, or more aptly, not having two of me. I suffer from idea overflow, and have projects planned through late next year. If there were two of me, I could work on two projects at one time and possibly catch up on the ramblings in my head.

Conversely, the easiest part of writing for me is actually putting the words on paper. Along with those planned projects, I have outlines. Detailed outlines. Which makes the process of developing the idea into a full-fledged novel, thoroughly enjoyable and very simple for me.

LOL. My head gets kinda cluttered too. What are you working on now?

As I mentioned, I have a paranormal series releasing next year, which is my first foray into the world of paranormal romance. I’m currently working on the third book in that series. It’s a sweeping saga that uses some speculative fiction twists and historical loopholes. I’ve had a great deal of fun intertwining myth with fact and developing super-sexy knights who are a product of their 12th century roots and forced to eternally battle both the ever-growing darkness of the world and within their souls. Lots of action. Lots of struggle. Lots of passion.

That sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read the first book. As a history teacher I find the Templars fascinating. What’s your favorite genre? Have you considered trying something different?

My favorite genre to write? I don’t really have one, honestly. I write broad-spectrum to prevent boredom from settling in. Contemporaries flow because I don’t have to think hard about the historical terminology that’s heavily incorporated into my paranormals. My paranormals force me to use a different thought process and exercise different portions of my brain. Historicals give me the ability to research – which is one of my greatest pleasures. (As twisted and wrong as that might be.) I like the variety and I like doing different so I don’t get stuck in the “same old same old”.

If the research is for a book I don't mind either. Would you share your links with us please?

My website is: I have a monthly newsletter you can sign up for there, also. You can find me on Facebook under Claire Ashgrove, as well.
I am also an author member of Romance Books R Us, and blog usually on the 9th of each month.

We’d love to read an excerpt from one of your books. Don’t forget to give us a buy link if possible.

My upcoming Contemporary title, A Christmas To Believe In, will release through The Wild Rose Press on November 24th. It is the third book in a trilogy about the three King brothers who return home for Christmas. I worked with fellow authors Alicia Dean and Dyann Love Barr on this project, and once again returned to the world of horses.

When a man's dreams are in ruin,
All he needs is someone to believe...

Struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, hasn't been home for Christmas in five years. This year, his prize mare's due to foal any day, and in the wake of his father's death, Clint can't stand the idea of returning. Except, Alex is getting married on Christmas Eve, and their mother's put her foot down. With his mare in tow, Clint prepares to meet a sister he's never known, and Alex's unexpected triplets. The one salvation he looks forward to is childhood companion, tomboy Jesse Saurs. Yet when he reunites with Jesse, he uncomfortably discovers she's become all woman.

Jesse has everything she needs -- financial security, a home, and a foster child who's about to become her son. With Ethan's final hearing scheduled just before Christmas, her dreams will come true. When she learns Clint and his brothers are returning, she anticipates a holiday reunion that's sure to entertain Ethan. But on the night of Clint's return, the "brother" she expected leaves her trembling after a hug. Even worse, Ethan makes it clear Clint's not welcome.

Will Christmas destroy hopes and dreams, or will it become the gift they've all been longing for?

“You’d like him, Ethan. He was a lot of fun when we were younger.”

“Uh huh.” Noncommittal, he answered in a flat tone.

Jesse lapsed into silence, sensing she walked a thin line. Still, she couldn’t let the subject rest. There had to be a way to convince Ethan that Clint wasn’t a threat to his stability. Until she achieved that, she couldn’t just let go and let him harbor hate. Clint didn’t deserve it. Cautiously, she ventured, “Horses could be a lot of fun.”

Ethan snorted.

“You might give it a try. Something new and different. It can’t hurt, at any rate. If you don’t like Angel, well, then you’ve at least given it a shot.”

He tossed his controller in front of him, his interest in the game lost. She braced herself for the inevitable, knowing full well, whatever came out of his mouth next would hurt.

“Give it up, would you? I don’t want to know him. I don’t have to like your friends.”

“But Ethan-”

He scooted away like she’d cracked a whip in his face. “Enough! Don’t you get it? I don’t give a fuck about him.”

“Ethan Scott!”

“What? Too crude for you, Jesse?”

She flinched, drew in a deep breath and held it. Jesse. He hadn’t called her by her first name for over a year. Exhaling slowly, she set her controller down and slid off his bed. Though she knew in her heart, too many years of pain drove his emotions, the barb stung. On the same hand, she’d pushed. Ethan couldn’t tolerate pushing. He had to come to things on his own time.

Foregoing the lecture, she crossed to the door. “Goodnight, Ethan.”

He said nothing. Merely picked up his controller and set the options back to one-player.

On a heavy sigh, Jesse left his room.

Inside hers, she clicked on the lamp by her bedside and reclined against her pillows. Tears brimmed in her eyes. She closed them to keep the salty flow at bay and curled her fingers into the sheets. In a thousand years, she never would have imagined that the only man she’d ever truly wanted would be Clint. In his arms, she felt safe. Protected. Undefeatable. He lit her up in ways she had only begun to comprehend, and it seemed as if fate determined to work against her.

If she weren’t careful, she’d lose Ethan. Every agonizing step she’d made would crumble under the weight of his fears. He’d close up, inevitably turn back to the life he’d known before he entered hers, and she couldn’t stomach the thought of where that would lead him. Jail, if he were lucky. Dead, if he wasn’t.

Yet, shouldn’t she be allowed some personal happiness as well? There were so many unwritten rules to parenthood – sacrifice for the children, put all personal goals aside, give up everything to see to their happiness. She’d exchange her life for Ethan’s in a heartbeat, but Clint offered something no child could. Even if it was only temporary, and this giddy feeling that brimmed in her soul would end when he left, he promised fulfillment of a need that ran so deep she couldn’t name it.

A tear slipped between her eyelashes and trickled down her cheek. She sniffled to hold the rest in check. She never should have let him kiss her a second time tonight. The first had been catastrophic enough. The second…

She wouldn’t be satisfied with anything but all of him after that second kiss. Instinct demanded she leap at what lay in front of her. Hang on to it until it burned itself out with his inevitable departure. Logic, on the other hand, warned her that if she did, she’d lose the one thing that mattered most – her son.


Debra St. John said...

Hi Claire,

It's always nice to "meet" a fellow rose.

I remember hearing about this series. It sounded good at the time and it sounds even better after reading your except.

I totally agree with you about not having enough hours in the day.

Jill James said...

Hi Claire, what a touching excerpt. Talk about 'a rock and a hard place'. Never easy being a mom. I will have to get this when it comes out.

Claire Ashgrove said...

Hey, ladies! Nice to meet you too, Debra.

I hope you do find the trilogy interesting. We had a *blast* writing it, even though it required a lot of tedious communicating.

Clint really struck a soft spot with me. He kinda hit out of the blue, even though his "Shell" was present when we gathered to plot out the series.

In the end, I fell in love with all three men. If you want to peek in on the other brothers take a gander at: