Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog tour with romance author Claire Ashgrove

Please welcome romance author Claire Ashgrove! 

Good morning!  It’s so good to be back here today.  Since we’re five days into the release of Immortal Surrender, I thought it might be nice to check in with our fearless Templar commander, Merrick du Loire, and see what he thinks of the new turn of events.

ClaireMerrick, it shows through Immortal Surrender that you still don’t trust or care for Tane, but Anne has forgiven him. Why do you think she can but you can’t?

Merrick:  ‘Tis a most unpleasant subject, Lady Ashgrove.  Must we continue this course?  I do not make it habit to speak of the traitor.

Claire:  I know you don’t.  Humor me for a moment or three, please?

(Merrick grumbles, but gives a short nod.)  If ‘tis necessary for the comprehension of our plight, I shall suffer the inquisition.  Quite simply, Lady Anne possesses a gentleness of heart that I do not.  Nor do I possess the desire to cultivate such outside of my relationship with her.  My duties are such that softness and tender-heartedness could be deadly upon a battlefield.

Claire:  But this isn’t a battlefield – not in the temple at least.  This was once your brother.

Merrick:  Indeed.  The very same reason why his betrayal runs much deeper.  Were he another knight, his actions would not be so grievous, though indeed they would warrant punishment.

Claire: Do you think you will eventually forgive him?

Merrick:  I foresee that I will be forced to abide by his presence before I find forgiveness.  ‘Twould be like Mikhail to grant this boon of eviction from the Order until such a time another sword becomes necessary.

Claire:  Okay, changing subjects.  What did you think of Farran’s actions toward Noelle when he thought to speak the oath and leave her?

Merrick:  A difficult question, indeed, Lady Ashgrove.  As commander, my first duty is to that of my men.  Farran’s oath secures that, regardless of how it is assumed.  He did not propose to sully her honor by taking liberties and abandoning her.  He intended to restore her to the life she wished.

Claire:  But as his friend – did you feel differently?

Merrick:  Farran has suffered much in his long life.  Mayhap more than many others within the Order.  The betrayal he experienced, the consequences thereof, were most severe.  I confess, however, ‘twas my wish to see him heal those wounds.

Claire:  When you thought you had lost Farran, were you prepared to deliver the blow to send him back to the Almighty?

Merrick:  If my battles put me face-to-face with a turned brother, ‘tis my duty to deliver the dark knight unto the angels.  ‘Tis kinder, and what we all wish to happen.  The alternate fate is standing against those we call brother, battling the purpose we have upheld for centuries, and working against the Almighty’s plan.  ‘Tis never easy to fell the fallen, but ‘tis humane, and a duty we accept. Men who are on the brink, who cannot withstand another kill—as I was—fall unto Mikhail’s governance and await the salvation of his holy blade.

Claire:  I see.  Well, are you satisfied with how things have turned out?

Merrick:  Indeed!  I could ask for no better outcome.  Though I do wish we had word of Phanuel.

Claire:  Yes, that was pretty brutal.  Well, we’ll leave it there, Merrick.  Thank you.  I’m sure we’ll be talking with you in the future.  Oh, real quick, one more question.  Has the honeymoon worn off, or are you and Anne still enjoying newlywed bliss?

Merrick smirks.  Anne would have my head should I entertain an answer.

Claire: I’ll take that as a newlywed bliss response.  Thanks, Merrick!  Take care.

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


“Damnation,” he hissed through clenched teeth.

He stalked back to the bed. No longer concerned for her injuries, he snatched up her fingers and inspected the scar once more. Nay, his eyes did not play tricks. She bore a dagger on her hand. It matched his as if someone had miniaturized the eighteen-inch-long weapon and scalded it into her flesh.

She belonged to him.

The door opened, and Farran’s head snapped up. He returned Louise’s pleasant smile with a glare. “You may undress the wench.” He shouldered past the aging caretaker, ignoring the way she spluttered.

So Gabriel sought to pair him with a maid, did he? ‘Twas no wonder the archangel did not forewarn him of her nature. Gabriel well knew Farran would rather swallow his own sword.

He took the stairs two at a time, in desperate need of fresh air. His fingers twitched with the need to pummel something. A seraph! His seraph! God’s teeth, would he be allowed no mercy? Could he not just leave this world and be done with life?

In the wide front room, Farran braced his hands on the table and squeezed his eyes shut tight. Duty bound him to accept the pairing. With the oaths they were fated to take, the Templar would gain much needed strength. Much as he would like nothing more, he could not walk away from the woman in the bed upstairs.

And yet . . .he did not have to stay either.

“Brother? Is something amiss?” Lucan’s voice drifted down the stairs.

Farran turned around and raised his glower to Lucan’s face. “You will go to her apartment. Fetch her cat. Fetch her things. Deliver them all to Mikhail.”

Lucan’s gaze narrowed with suspicion. “I trust you do not seek to have the maid to yourself?”

“Nay!” God’s teeth, nay. He would no more touch her now than he would touch a snake. He would say his oath, deliver her to the temple, and leave with the first light.

Cocking his head, Lucan studied him. Slow dawning filtered into his expression, and he answered with a thoughtful nod. “You recognize her mark. I shall have her mate sent here.”

Farran exhaled through his teeth. At his thigh, he clenched a hand into a tight fist. “There is no need for such.”

“Farran, you cannot be serious. She must be paired at once. ’Tis written—”

“She is mine, Lucan.” With the vile truth exposed, Farran stormed out the door.

About the author 
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. Thank you for the interview. I love it when I get to know characters & see them more fully.



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