Claire Ashgrove is the author of dark, sexy and timeless romances. She's here today to tell us about her new release, Waiting for Yes. She'll also share with us why the book cover is extra special to her. Let's give her a warm welcome!
** There will be a drawing today! Claire will be giving away a signed copy of her new release, Waiting for Yes! Read on and find out what you need to do. I promise, it's really easy. :)
Hi, Karen – thanks for having me here today!
First of all, tell the readers about yourself.
I’m going to give you the official bio because, while talking about my books is fun, talking about me – not so much!
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 line. Adding to these critically acclaimed contemporaries, Claire’s paranormal romance series about the Immortal Knights Templar will debut in January 2012 through Tor. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes under the pen name Tori St. Claire for Berkley Heat.
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.
Without giving too much away, tell us about your upcoming release, Waiting for Yes. What inspired the story?
Waiting For Yes, is one of those life-experience twists. I’ve raised Arabians, Thoroughbreds and Oldenburgs for several years, and my Straight Egyptian Arabian stallion was such a wonderful inspiration I wanted to plot something that related to him. I’d also done horse racing, and to a degree general breeding, in novels, and wanted something a little different. So I pulled on my background in showing Arabians, combined a few dreams, and… voila! And I even managed to land my stallion’s face on the cover, which really made the story special after he passed away.
Tell us about Gabrielle Warrenton. What is her dream and what made her decide to pursue it? When she first meets Jake Lindsey-Sullivan what does she think of him?
Gabrielle grew up in Arabians. Only, her father focused on Polish Arabians, and Gabrielle was enchanted with the Straight Egyptians. Tired of being under her father’s thumb and controlled, she struck out on her own to see her dream of establishing a premiere Straight Egyptian Arabian breeding program. When she meets Jake, she’s stunned by his good looks. His charm helps, and the fact he got her out of a sticky situation with an impromptu kiss doesn’t hurt at all!
Tell the readers about Jake. What does he look like? (It’s okay to make us drool. Lol) What is his first impression of Gabrielle?
Jake is tall, dark and handsome – hm. That’s not terribly interesting is it? He’s got black hair, a powerful but not over-done body, and the brightest blue eyes Gabrielle’s ever seen. He oozes confident strength.
Jake is rather spellbound by Gabrielle… until he discovers she comes from horses. Then, despite his body’s intentions, he’s convinced she’s a spoiled little rich girl who’s made foolish decisions that are going to get her killed. He learns… eventually. And when he does, he finds his world turned upside down and his worst nightmare coming true.
I love your website—Beautiful! I noticed you have Meet the Horses Who Inspired the Story. Tell the readers a little about this post.
Thank you very much! Hot Damn Designs did my website and I’m uber pleased with it.
Meet The Horses was something I put together to showcase the Arabian breed and those individuals I’ve had the pleasure of sharing back-breaking work, tears, and dreams with. Yes, I wanted to highlight my stallion, WDA Orion, but as I began to think how I could do this, I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring in other horses and show off the overall breed. There are several horses there who inspired those in the book, and several who flat-out inspire me.
This also started with the idea of using “real” horses in my book trailer. I can find all kinds of Arabian stock images, but it’s impossible to know, at a glance, who is Straight Egyptian, who’s not, who might be part. I put the call out to my fellow breeders asking if they’d like to put their horse in a trailer, and from there we went to the webpage. (The trailer’s available on my website too!)
What are your current projects and works in progress?
Current Projects… Well, I’m working on a multitude of things right now. I am anticipating the thumbs up to two Contemporary Novellas, and hopefully moving into edits there. One is a fun story about misunderstandings. The other is an emotional journey about a broken soldier’s Christmas homecoming.
I am also in edits for my Paranormal series about Immortal Knights Templar, which comes out through Tor in January, 2012. And my alter-ego is working on revisions for a new endeavor, an erotic romantic suspense, coming through Berkley in 2012.
As I have time, I’m working on some very short paranormal stories for The Wild Rose Press.
Anyone interested in knowing more should sign up through my website for my Newsletter! You’ll hear it first there.
What genre inspires your writing?
Nonfiction. I have little time to sit down and read cover to cover. I have a few select romance authors I follow, but even those, while I sing their praises, I find it difficult to read all the way through. So I tend to speed read so I can stay current on the series I started. If I am wanting to read, I have to be able to justify my time, so to speak, and that leads me back to nonfiction. History, Legend, and to a degree Social Sciences.
Do you have a favorite reference book or favorite website?
My favorite reference material is the History Channel International. I’ve lucked into many snippets there, which has led me into deeper research on topics. With shelves full of what’s, for the vast majority, reference material, it’s difficult to pick just one.
Tell the readers where they can find you:
My website is www.claireashgrove.com – there you can sign up for my newsletter and access my blog.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?
I love hearing from you. If you’ve read something you enjoy, or something’s struck your fancy, drop me a line!
To be entered in the drawing to win a print copy of Waiting for Yes, answer this question: Readers, what do you look for in a hero?
Don't forget to leave your email address so Claire may contact you if you should win. Good Luck!!
Again, Claire thank you so much for being here today!