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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!)

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.



The Immortal Surrender Virtual Book Tour with Claire Ashgrove - September 25, 2012

Please welcome Claire Ashgrove to The Qwillery. Immortal Surrender, the second novel in The Curse of the Templars series, is out today. Happy Publication Day to Claire!!


The Immortal Surrender Virtual Book Tour with Claire Ashgrove - September 25, 2012


Hi everyone! Thanks so much for celebrating with me today, on the release of Immortal Surrender. I thought we’d kick things off the fun way and dive right in with a little interview from the heroine, Noelle.


Claire:  In the beginning you didn’t believe in the Almighty. When did you realize and accept that you had started to believe?

Noelle:  Well, it didn’t hurt any that I had a big strong hunk trying to hammer the truth into me for starters. Immersion learning? Yup. But really, that whole arm torc thing. There was a specific event that really made the truth impossible to ignore, even though I wanted to. Man, did I ever want to.

Claire:  That begs the question, why?

Noelle:  (She laughs softly.) What if it was all true: that I was paired with a guy who admitted he’d rather have a whore? Eternally paired. I didn’t want to like Farran, or fall in love. Not with such heartbreak promised.

Claire:  At first you thought that all the Templar knights, plus Anne, were completely looney. What did you think of their "game" as you saw it?

Noelle:  It was pretty ridiculous at first. Really, who would believe in knights who are immortal, led by archangels, fighting Azazel. Particularly if you were kidnapped—would you just jump in and say, “Okay, cool! Let’s go.”

Claire:  ell us about Farran.

Noelle:  He’s not going to hear about this is he? Don’t tell him I said so, but he’s just a big softie underneath that hard shell. He’s as tough-guy as they get, and I wouldn’t want to be the person who truly crossed him. But beyond all the armor, the sword, the fighting and commitment to duty… I couldn’t ask for a better man. It took us a while to get things all sorted into place. Now—he’d die for me, and I for him.

Claire:  That’s really enviably sweet. Did you get the chance to know any of the other knights?

Noelle:  A few yes. Merrick is ferocious with a sword. (Noelle chuckles.) Lucan is a bit unsettling, unless you like Chivalry and all of that. Which, trust me, I can do without. I ran into Tane here and there. I’m still meeting and learning names and faces. There’s so many, both here in the States and over in Europe.

Claire: How do you deal with the mixture of religion/belief and scientific fact? Does it affect your work?

Noelle:  Science is still science. Nothing changes about chemical compositions and reactions. Amonia plus chlorine is still going to kill you if you breathe too much. For me, there’s just a different outlook in how it all came to be, and the universe we exist in. The supportive evidence, if you will. And shoot, it at least answers a few of the things I haven’t been able to prove with math and formulas. But that’s me. It may not work for everyone.


About The Curse of the Templars

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

The Immortal Surrender Virtual Book Tour with Claire Ashgrove - September 25, 2012
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 


An Excerpt:
“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.


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


The Immortal Surrender Virtual Book Tour with Claire Ashgrove - September 25, 2012
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

The Immortal Surrender Virtual Book Tour with Claire Ashgrove - September 25, 2012
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.



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Immortal Surrender (The Curse of the Templars 2) from The Qwillery.

How:   Answer the following questions:

Do you have any favorite stories, movies, comics that feature Knights
(Templar or other)?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 2, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


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.


Interview with Claire Ashgrove and Giveaway - January 28, 2012

Please welcome Claire Ashgrove to The Qwillery. Claire's most recent novel, Immortal Hope (The Curse of the Templars 1) was published on January 3, 2012.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Claire:  Writing quirk? Hm. I’m thinking it’s my very OCD-like approach to organizing each book. First come the spreadsheets. Sometimes in hordes. But they have to be in place with links loosely identified before I can do anything else. Then comes the outline. And by outline I mean… 5-10 pages with details per each chapter. After that, I have a folder. Inside that folder everything is broken out by: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and so forth. When I finish a chapter, I plug it into one file, named with the particular characters I’m working on, and tally the word count.

At that point, I then go on to the next chapter, and so forth until the book is finished. Then, I give it an editing pass, and resave the file with its final working copy title.

I don’t delete files, ever. And I can’t seem to function outside of that OCDish approach.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Claire:  Heh. If that wasn’t obvious in the above, I’m a plotter, and I drive my critique partners nuts with my plotting obsession. But, on the other hand, most of my books have sub plots that require a lot of forethought. So the plotting is a combination of necessity and habit.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Claire:  Right now the most challenging thing is finding the time to get everything done, along with my family demands, and along with promoting. Promotions are fairly new to me; in the past I didn’t put a lot of effort into major pushes. So now, I’m finding that I have to readjust my schedule.

TQ:  Describe Immortal Hope (The Curse of the Templars 1) in 140 characters or less.

Claire:  Eep! Um… “An exciting and sexy read involving archangels, demons, immortal Knights Templar, and seraphs who can lift the dark curse upon their souls.”

Shew! I have 2 characters left.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Immortal Hope?

Claire:  My passion for history, and in specific the Knights Templar. I’ve studied them for years, and of many different legendary societies, theirs has not only fascinating truths, but compelling mysteries. There are so many “unknowns”, even with all the recorded fact. My writer’s brain just couldn’t stay away!

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Immortal Hope?

Claire:  Cumulative – a lot. Years worth. But in depth, probably an active year of compiling what I already knew, digging for more specific things, and linking in the rest of the series components, such as locations, the history therein, Christian foundation beliefs, etc. I did go into the project with a lot of comprehensive knowledge, though, so that made it somewhat easier.

TQ:  What is the most unusual information that you found about the Templars?

Claire:  Oh, wow, there’s really so much…

Really though, I think it’s the impact of realizing just how large the Order was in its heyday. With over 40,000 members – not all were actual knights – spread throughout Europe, the Order had the numbers and political power to become their own nation, had they so desired.

It’s that last part “become their own nation”. For the era in which they were active, that is astounding.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Claire:  Easiest? Hm. Probably Merrick, with Caradoc coming in a close second.

I can’t answer the second question, as it would reveal a spoiler for Immortal Surrender. Suffice to say I had to craft a particular character very carefully so his/her actions in the second book were plausible and his/her later actions remained consistent.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Immortal Hope?

Claire:  Hands down, my very favorite scene is the second-to-last scene with Merrick and Anne. It was the scene I was always writing toward from the opening word.

TQ:  What's next?

Claire:  Gosh, 2012 is full of excitement on my end!

Immediately forthcoming, in February, the 4th installment in my Inherited Damnation series will be available. And that series will conclude (8 in total) in 2012.

Later this year, Immortal Surrender will also be available.

I also write under the pen name Tori St. Claire, and launched a debut series on January 3rd there as well. The second Black Opal book will be available in July.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Claire:  Thank you for having me! It’s been very fun, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely!


About Immortal Hope

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

Interview with Claire Ashgrove and Giveaway - January 28, 2012
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.

Excerpt:

“Merrick, wait,” she called softly.

“Nay,” he answered on a hard swallow. “Nay, Anne. If I stay another moment, I will have you in that bed.” He shoved a hand through his hair and reached for the doorknob.

“But that’s where I want you,” she whispered.

He nodded once, a sharp dip of his chin. Pulling the door open, he answered, “I know.” Another protest, and he would turn right back to her waiting arms, cart her off to that oversized bed. When he finished with her, he would hate himself.

He entered the hall and shut the door.

Determination narrowed his gaze as he descended the stairs. He trained his thoughts to his cousin, focused on the oath he swore to Fulk. The very moment Anne discovered her intended, he vowed to leave. No sacred nail, no protected relic, no other oath would he honor until he fulfilled the promise to his kin. In so doing, he would free himself from this torment and lift his blade in Azazel’s name. It was a price he no longer feared to pay.


Claire's Giveaway**


Interview with Claire Ashgrove and Giveaway - January 28, 2012

 Claire will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a second $25.00 Amazon.com gift certificate to a second randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! Click the Blog Tour badge for a complete list of blog stops.




** The Qwillery is not affiliated with Claire's blog tour giveaway and is providing this for informational purposes only. Please follow Claire's rules to enter.


About Claire

Interview with Claire Ashgrove and Giveaway - January 28, 2012
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 contemporaries, Claire’s paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars, debuts with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes for Berkley Heat under the pen name Tori St. Claire.

Claire lives on a small farm in Missouri with her two toddler sons, fifteen horses, four cats, and five 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 at:

www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com
Twitter: @ClaireAshgrove



The Qwillery's Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Immortal Hope (The Curse of the Templars 1)  from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Which historical person(s) would you like to have dinner with?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Review: Immortal Trust by Claire AshgroveInterview 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, 2013The Immortal Surrender Virtual Book Tour with Claire Ashgrove - September 25, 2012Interview with Claire Ashgrove and Giveaway - January 28, 2012

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