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Review: Immortal Trust by Claire Ashgrove


Immortal Trust
Author:  Claire Ashgrove
Series:  The Curse of the Templars 3
Publisher:  Tor Books, March 26, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765367600 (print)

Review: Immortal Trust by Claire Ashgrove
When archaeologist Chloe Broussard accepts the contract to lead a dig in Ornes, France, she has no idea she will uncover the Veil of Veronica. When she does, she discovers a danger far greater than the demonic presence stalking her at 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.




Melanie's Thoughts:

Immortal Trust is the third in the Curse of the Templars series by Claire Ashgrove and this instalment focuses on the Templar, Lucan of Seacourt. Lucan is on his way to meet his seraph, the fiesty archeologist Chloe who is about to to uncover the find of her career - the Veil of Veronica  - a highly prized religious artifact. Despite the fact that the series is based on the Templars the story is largely told through Chloe's POV.  Chloe believes that Lucan (and the other Templars) are representatives of the church who are sent to secure the artifact when her dig is complete. Little does she know that Lucan is actually a centuries old Templar and that she is destined to be his 'one true love' and save his soul. Lucan is drawn to Chloe but knows how important the Veil is, to the not just to the Templars but also to the evil Azazel who also determined to get the Veil using whatever nefarious means necessary. With the fate of mankind in the balance Lucan is torn between doing what is right and what is right for him. Chloe however, is torn between her growing affection for the hunky Templar and uncovering the discovery of her career. All this happens within the backdrop of rural France in the winter with a healthy dose of demonic possession just to make things interesting.

I liked Immortal Trust but that could have been down more to the model on the front cover rather than to the actual contents of the book. I thought that the story focused more on Chloe rather than Lucan in contrast to the book description. The story was a very easy read and the characters likeable (except of course, for Azazel) but I think they could have all been fleshed out a bit more. There was very little of Azazel until near the end which I think Ashgrove could have expanded on.  The dynamic between Chloe and her brother was written in quite a realistic way, as was the interaction between Chloe and Lucan. While attracted to Lucan she didn't act like many heroines in this type of novel by falling immediately into his arms (and bed).  Without giving too much away I didn't agree with the choice Chloe made at the end of the book in relation to her brother as it was inconsistent with how both characters were written.

The Templars make for great characters as they can quite easily be either the heroes or the enemy and Lucan is a great example of the heroic version. If you like a novel with a bit of a mix of historical fantasy and paranormal romance then this is a good choice, especially if you want it in an easy to read format. Do I like the series well enough to continue? Perhaps not although it really depends on what the model on the next cover looks like (shameless, I know!)

Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013


Well it was a bumper crop for me this week. I got back in my reading 'groove' and got through 4 books this week. Please insert happy dance here.


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013
I finished reading Rogue's Possession by Jeffe Kennedy (Carina Press, October 7, 2013). I really liked it. If you had read my 'WIR' last week you would know that I had forgotten some of the plot points from book 1. I wish I had gone back and re-read the ending of the previous book as there were some significant parts of the plot that I couldn't remember that were discussed in this one. I did appreciate how Kennedy didn't write big re-caps as some authors tend to do. Despite some 'fuzzy' bits I still thought it was a great story. I like how Kennedy doesn't pull any punches with her heroine. Some pretty nasty things happen to Gwyn who is trying hard not to be anyone's slave, especially Rogue's. In this installment Gwyn is looking for answers. She is searching for an answer to why fae firstborn children are going missing and trying not to end up having Rogue's. Kennedy has also created an interesting relationship between Gwyn and Rogue. Gwyn is strong and is trying to do the right thing whereas Rogue is manipulative and a little bit selfish. Together they make an interesting couple and you spend a large part of the novel wondering when or if they would ever get together. The book summary makes Rogue's Possession sounds like just another romantic fantasy but it is so much more. This is a great book but if you haven't read Rogue's Pawn then you need to start at the beginning of Gwyn's story. There is an added bonus that both books have gorgeous covers (apart from Rogue's rather dodgy mustache in book 2) but try not to do what I do by spending more time looking at the cover than reading the book!


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013I then discovered that the final book of the Blood Destiny series, Bloodlust by Helen Harper had been released. I had discovered this series from my Kindle recommendations. This is one of the few series that the books actually get weaker and weaker as the series progresses. By the time I got to this final book I was almost at the point of being bored. I think I predicted all of the plot developments including the ending. I also couldn't figure out how the main antagonist, Endor the necromancer could be more powerful than the Fae, the mages, shapeshifters and girl who can transform into a dragon who have teamed up to fight against him. Everything is wrapped up with a bow at the end. It was a quick, easy read so not all bad plus I quite liked the cover.

I finished Bloodlust on my way home from a conference so needed a really short, very easy on the brain book to read on the train ride home. I found one from my Kindle recommendations.  All I can say is boy it was bad. It was so bad I am not even going to admit to the name of it. Lets just say it was SFR and involved cyborgs....which don't make convincing love interests by the way.


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013I moved onto a book that Qwill sent me awhile ago called Immortal Trust (Curse of the Templars 3) by Claire Ashgrove. I started it a few weeks ago but kept forgetting to put in my bag so didn't make very much progress as I don't usually read that much at home. I am planning to review this one so don't want to say too much. One thing I can say is check out the cover. 'Hubba hubba' (very immature of me, I know!).

Finally, I started King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence which is the second book of The Broken Empire series. Lawrence excels at writing gritty, unlikeable but wildly engaging books. I am hoping to finish it this week.



I am feeling quite smug at what I managed to read this week so on that note I am going to wish you a good week in reading. Until next week Happy Reading. 

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013

Please welcome back Claire Ashgrove. Claire and I were 'chatting' on March 14th when we were interrupted by Merrick du Loire, one of the Templar knights.  In the interim Immortal Trust (The Curse of the Templars 3) was published on March 26th.




Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013




TQ:  Welcome back. I hope that whatever Merrick was upset about was nothing too serious!

Claire:  Well, yes and no, but it’s nothing I can relate right now. Something to do with Tane and a reassignment.



TQ:  How do you pick the names for the Templars in the series?

Claire:  Oooh! I just explained this in the Templar Discussion Group during my release day party.
Merrick du Loire: du Loire comes from the Loire valley of France, and Merrick's father really did, in history, spend time locked in Chinon.

Farran de Clare: Clare, England still exists, and did see Saxon/Norman strife, per Farran's history.

Lucan of Seacourt: Seacourt is a deserted medieval village in Oxfordshire, which first made record in 955.

Caradoc of Asterleigh: Asterleigh is also a deserted village in Oxfordshire, later known as/cominbed with Kiddington, which fairly recently was just auctioned off.

Tane du Breuil: The de Brueil name is first found in the diocese of Nevers (Fr.) and belonged to a very distinguished family.

Declan MacNeill: Is a Scot, with a really old family name, who has no linking history with the particular area/region of my little world. But the surname was exceedingly common during the era, and was found in some Templar documentation I discovered.
And if you’d like to join the group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/123070587851258/



TQ:  The Curse of the Templars is now up to 3 books and 1 eNovella, what is the most difficult thing about writing a series?

Claire:  I’m a plotter, so when it comes to the actual writing of the series, it goes pretty smoothly for me, with few hitches in the get-along. But that planning phase can be a real witch. Sometimes I know there are things I want to happen later on, but layering what’s necessary first can get really complicated. I have to figure out not only where, but how much to drop in. Where do the hints come in, where do the reveals fall. For instance, a side-project I’m working on the planning went really smoothly for the first three objectives, but the critical fourth became so complicated that suddenly, what was supposed to be a 4-6 book series blew into ten, just to incorporate all the necessary elements for that final resolution. Two days of planning blew into a week, and a lot of backing up, scratching out, reconstructing, and so forth.



TQ:  Which character in The Curse of the Templars series has surprised you the most?

Claire:  Frankly, Lucan. In Immortal Hope he was introduced as the gentleman, which really left me sort-of cringing when it came to having to flesh out his personality and put him in a full-length title. But thankfully (perhaps luckily) once I spent some time really thinking about how he was going to work out with Chloe (one of the rare situations where I knew the heroine better than the hero), he ended up being a delightful surprise. Patience, subtle alpha aggression as opposed to in your face, dedication. And a tender side that really captured my imagination and made writing Immortal Trust a wonderful experience. Trite as that may sound.



TQ:  What's next?

ClaireImmortal Sacrifice is next! All I am saying ;)

Meanwhile though, I have some other things going on while you’re waiting on the next Templar installment. I’ve made a hard decision to take the above-mentioned side project completely indie, under a completely new name. I’ll be sharing those details on Facebook as I move closer to fleshing out a concrete plan and hope my readers will embrace that project too! I also have some Tori St. Claire goodness coming very soon too! And THAT I am really, really excited about.



TQ:  I'm glad that we made it through without further interruptions from Merrick! Thank you for joining us again!

Claire:  Thank you so much for having me and for all your support on this series! Those knights can be really demanding about having things their way, as you know. But I have to confess, I don’t particularly mind, given how amazing it is to be included in their secrets!





About The Curse of the Templars

Immortal Trust
The Curse of the Templars 3
Tor Books, March 26, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013
When archaeologist Chloe Broussard accepts the contract to lead a dig in Ornes, France, she has no idea she will uncover the Veil of Veronica. When she does, she discovers a danger far greater than the demonic presence stalking her at 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.



Immortal Protector
The Curse of the Templars 2.5
Tor Books, March 13, 2013
eBook, 132 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013
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…



Immortal Surrender
The Curse of the Templars 2
Tor Books, September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013
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.



Immortal Hope
The Curse of the Templars 1
Tor Books, January 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013
Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll that revealed the locations of the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they now roam the earth, protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation—the return of the seraphs.

Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul, releasing him from the clutches of their enemy. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers that she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As Merrick struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.

Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache that he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she is destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.





About Claire

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013
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. 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. You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.


Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013

Please welcome Claire Ashgrove to The Qwillery. Claire is the author of The Curse of the Templars series. Immortal Protector (an eNovella) and Immortal Trust (The Curse of the Templars 3) are both out this month.



Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013



TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

Claire:  Thanks for having me! I really love being here!


TQImmortal Protector was published on the 13th. Tell us something about Immortal Protector that is not in the novella description.

Claire:  I’ll share two somethings. A) For those of you who’ve been knocking on my door about Tane – you’ll see him quite frequently. B) More secrets, questions, and possibilities unfold than originally presented, and there’s a particular knight at the end who took me by surprise… and I’m becoming significantly attached to him. He might have a story to tell in the near future.


TQ:  Next up is Immortal Trust (Curse of the Templars 3) on March 26th. Tell us something about Immortal Trust that is not in the novel description.

Claire:  Oh, gosh… Now this is harder. Because there’s so much going on and so many things I don’t want to spoil. How about setting – that’s a little safer.  :-)   It states we’re in Ornes, France, but you’ll also get to visit the Paris catacombs, which hold a really nasty secret. Character-wise, Gareth is present here, and there’s a major hint dropped to the next story coming down the pipe if you pay attention to the sub plot.


TQ:  Tell us about one character (villain or hero) who has been the most difficult to write in the series so far. Include a secret about him or her that they would not want us to know!

Claire:  Declan is the most challenging character to write, simply because of the secretive nature of what’s going on with his role in the plot. And because of that – see how I hedge! – I can’t tell you things that he wouldn’t want you to know. His past dictates his present, his present dictates his future. Is he on the archangels’ side? Is he on Azazel’s? That’s what makes him really hard. I can’t push him too far in any one direction or things get really messed up. So I often find myself really taking time to think through *every darned word* that is used when he makes an appearance.


Uh-oh, I hear Merrick roaring about something.  Hm.  Maybe I better go check that out.  Seems like something’s up.


TQ:  Oh no! We're going to take a break since Merrick wants Claire's attention now... in the middle of the interview!  Without any additional Templar interference, Claire will be back on March 30th to answer a few more questions.  Stay tuned...




About The Curse of the Templars

Immortal Protector
The Curse of the Templars 2.5
Tor Books, March 13, 2013
eBook, 132 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013
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…



Immortal Surrender
The Curse of the Templars 2
Tor Books, September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013
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.



Immortal Hope
The Curse of the Templars 1
Tor Books, January 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013
Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll that revealed the locations of the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they now roam the earth, protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation—the return of the seraphs.

Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul, releasing him from the clutches of their enemy. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers that she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As Merrick struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.

Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache that he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she is destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.




And coming on March 26th:

Immortal Trust
The Curse of the Templars 3
Tor Books, March 26, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013
When archaeologist Chloe Broussard accepts the contract to lead a dig in Ornes, France, she has no idea she will uncover the Veil of Veronica. When she does, she discovers a danger far greater than the demonic presence stalking her at 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.




About Claire

Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013
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. 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. You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.



Review: Immortal Trust by Claire AshgroveMelanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - Part 2 - March 30, 2013Interview with Claire Ashgrove, author of The Curse of the Templars - March 14, 2013

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