Romance By Catherine: Make Welcome, Claire Ashgrove ~ Giveaway

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Make Welcome, Claire Ashgrove ~ Giveaway

Please make welcome my friend and fellow author, Clarie Ashgrove. I've known Claire for some time now and roomed together at RWA this last year. She has many different faces in publishing, the author of the Knights Templar being one of my personal favorites. Here is a bit about her yummy Knights. 

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.
“Claire Ashgrove weaves complex layers of history, paranormal worlds and romantic fiction seamlessly.” ~NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of WIFE BY WEDNESDAY, Catherine Bybee on the Templar Series

Oh, wait...that's me. LOL. Welcome Claire!

Good morning, everyone!  Thanks so much, Catherine, for letting me come over to your place for the day as part of my Immortal Surrender Blog Tour. I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with Catherine at RWA this year, and if I learned anything, it was that she’s never afraid of tongue and cheek remarks.  Be sure to check out the end of the post, where my giveaway info is listed too.

So let’s talk swords for a minute.  And no, I’m not talking about the 1980s Romance, ‘burgeoning sword of throbbing ecstasy” that was so prevalent.  You can thank me now for putting that image in your mind.  Hee.

I’m talking about the metal kind.  The kind that’s on Immortal Surrender’s cover.  What is it about a sword-wielding hero that makes us all “oooh” and “ahh”?

Personally, I think it speaks to power and strength.  I don’t know many men who can swing a 3 lb length of metal with any finesse for great amounts of time, much less find enough upper body strength to drive it clear through bone and dismember an opponent.  But a man who knows how to use a sword, really use a sword, can.  And he does so easily.  How’s that for sheer upper body strength?  Or emotional strength and power?  Let alone stamina.

I think also that a knight, or any sword-wielding hero, gives off personal strength.  Conviction if you will.  Arrogance.  The ultimate alpha attitude that inspires a degree of pleasant femininity in women.  A sword bearer is a take charge kind of guy who knows how to protect and will do so unhesitatingly.

Courage also comes to mind when I see a sword bearing hero.  Guns can be fired from a distance, battle made somewhat impersonal.  But this man has taken that shining blade to the enemy. He’s stood less than five feet away and looked an opponent in the eye.  He’s ducked his own share of felling blows, and he’s administered far more.

I don’t know about all of you, but when I see a sword in a man’s hand, there’s something about the scene that makes me melt.  Maybe it’s the link to the past that I’m addicted to.  But whatever it is, I can’t get enough.  I’ll take him, and his sword, home with me anytime.

With that, I leave you with Farran, who knows more than any man ought to about using swords.  And that, ladies, you may absolutely feel free to take the wrong way.


Her nerves chafed at his bold intrusion. But the sight of him rendered her unable to speak. She stared, wide-eyed, at the strange man who had seemed so outwardly normal only a few hours earlier. Where he’d worn jeans and a casual long-sleeved shirt, he now dressed in a costume straight out of the Middle Ages. A long white surcoat, embellished with a bold crimson cross, draped down to his calves. Beneath it, he wore a hauberk of linked chain, complete with a coif to cover his sandy hair. Well-worn vambraces on his forearms matched the supple leather of his boots. The sword he’d brandished in Mikhail’s office hung from a belt pulled so tight, it accented the trimness of his waist.

Only, where the actors she’d seen at the Renaissance festivals looked stilted and uncomfortable in their costumes, Farran wore his with the practiced comfort that belonged in the movies.

As if he wore the stuff daily.

Noelle blinked. She found her cobweb-covered tongue and managed to squeak, “What are you doing here?”

He pulled at the fingers on his gloves. One by one, they gave, and he slapped them lightly against his thigh before setting them on the small table near her door. “We are paired. Here is where I shall stay.”


The short retort was all she could find, and she sagged back against the couch cushions. She ought to be surprised, ought to be furious. But the dilemma with the torc had sapped her energy so completely she didn’t care. She’d spent the last two days with Farran. It was becoming almost natural to have him in her personal space. Besides, while she’d never admit it aloud, she’d rather not spend another minute alone and let her mind run away with possibilities.

“I shall sleep where you sit. The bed shall remain yours.” Farran’s hands dropped to his waist to give the buckle a tug. His belt fell away from his hips, and he leaned his sheathed sword against the wall. “I require a bath. Then I require rest.”

His fingers stilled over the vambrace strings. For several silent seconds he gave her a thoughtful stare. He opened his mouth, shut it. His brows tugged together. Then he let out a nearly inaudible sigh. “If you wish to watch your television, I could rest in the other room. I would remove myself when you are ready to retire.”
The bone was small, nearly tooth size. Yet Noelle realized the thrown offering in an instant. His quiet tone, the warm light in his eyes, the sheer work it took to summon the words—Farran was trying to be friendly.

Claire’s Giveaway:

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.

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.


Catherine Bybee said...

Thanks for coming today, Claire.

Jill James said...

Claire, love the beautiful cover. I imagine that a man who knows how to wield his sword, knows how to wield his "sword." :-)