Monday, April 18, 2011

Interview with Claire Ashgrove


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.

I also blog at Cascade Literary Agency and Romance Books R Us.

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!


24 comments:

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Claire,

Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your new release with us. It sounds fantastic!

April 18, 2011 8:45 AM

Terra Pennington said... Best Blogger Tips

I have been waiting for this book since I saw it a few months ago.

Terra

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Terra,

Thanks for coming by. Claire's books sounds really good, doesn't it? :)

Robin said... Best Blogger Tips

I love a strong, smart, funny, loving, tall, sexy hero! Not much to ask, right???

Jennifer Jakes said... Best Blogger Tips

I love a dark haired hero -- but what I really love is an emotionally wounded hero. A man like that always seems to add depth to his character -- and of course it takes a special heroine to make him whole again!
Great post, ladies!

booklover0226 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hello, All.

I like a hero who is loyal, devoted, willing to sacrifice himself for his loved ones. He can be a bit flawed, too, either emotionally or physically.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Claire Ashgrove said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you everyone for dropping by! I'm going to participate in the comments just cause it is a subject that interests me greatly... I think my favorite hero is the wounded, dark hero. One who's running from a painful past and buries it all beneath a strong facade.

Looking forward to reading more comments as the night goes on!

hotcha12 said... Best Blogger Tips

HI CLAIRE! THAT'S A GREAT TITLE AND I CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT!

linda_bass@sbcglobal.net

Nightingale said... Best Blogger Tips

Once upon a time I bred straight Egyptian horses. My favorite stallion was Ansata Ibn Halima. I had a Dalul (Morafic) daughter. Dates me, doesn't it? I'm sure I would enjoy your books, especially the Knights Templar series. I've been in the 15 horses, cats and children world long ago and I don't see how you have time to write.

Alicia Dean said... Best Blogger Tips

Great interview. So happy for all your successes. Best of luck.

I like a hero who is wounded (seems to be a recurring theme ), but one who has made mistakes and seeks redemption...I like a little bad boy in my heroes. Damon Salvatore in Vampire Diaries is perfect...but he might be just a little too evil for a romance hero. :-)

Claire Ashgrove said... Best Blogger Tips

Nightingale--No it doesn't date you. Those are foundation names and I for one love them too! My boy was a Simeon Shai son. As to the rest... well I'm a full time author so I eek out writing time whenever I can in between everything. Look for the Templars in January. Those are some yummy tortured heroes!

Claire Ashgrove said... Best Blogger Tips

Alicia - thank you for stopping by! I like a little bad in the heroes too. And with the new erotica series that's been fun! Spike was my all time favorite. Morally ambiguous until it came down to the line and just enough charm to be redeemable. Mmm

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Claire,

This was posted on the post below your interview. Thought you'd like to see it.:)
Blogger hotcha12 said...

HI CLAIRE AND KAREN!

MARVELOUS INTERVIEW AND I CAN'T WAIT TO WHINE TO SCROOGE! LOL

Leigh D'Ansey said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice interview, ladies. 'Waiting for Yes' is such a cool title.

P.L. Parker said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh I love the History Discovery Channel too, so much material to pick from. Release sounds really really good!

hotcha12 said... Best Blogger Tips

HI CLAIRE, I'VE NEVER READ ANY OF YOUR BOOKS BUT THEY DO SOUND WONDERFUL!

catslady said... Best Blogger Tips

Who wouldn't love such magnificent animals (the horses that is lol). A hero must be honest, caring and have a good sense of humor. And willing to die for you is a nice bonus lol. Your book sounds wonderful!

catslady5(at)aol.com

Teresa K. said... Best Blogger Tips

I like a strong, loving, passionate hero who's not afraid to show his compassion or empathy and feel he's showing a weakness.
I also love for my hero to allow the woman to lead sometimes and doesn't feel threaten by it.

Thank you for the contest.

Teresa K.
tcwgrlup41@yahoo.com

hotcha12 said... Best Blogger Tips

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND MANY SALES CLAIRE!!

linda_bass@sbcglobal.net

Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

I enjoyed the post. Thanks for the chance to win your book. It sounds really good.

My favorite here is the dark hero.

cnickol at verizon dot net

hotcha12 said... Best Blogger Tips

I LOVE A WOUNDED HERO THAT THE HEROINE CAN RELATE TO AS SHE HAS HER OWN PROBLEMS AND THEY CAN COMFORT EACH OTHER

Pommawolf said... Best Blogger Tips

Great book! On my gotta have list..
Thanks for the great interview.

I like a hero that isn't afraid to be vulnerable even as his strength protects the love interest...*S*

But the alpha make is still always an alpha...*S*

Darcy
pommawolf @ hotmail dot com

Claire Ashgrove said... Best Blogger Tips

Hello everyone!

Dropping in with my winner -- Leigh D'Ansey.

Please email me so I can figure out where to send the book.

Claire (at) claireashgrove . com

Claire Ashgrove said... Best Blogger Tips

Also -- for those who didn't win the drawing, please visit my blog (via my website). There's one other giveaway that ends tomorrow (Friday) and later this month there's another one going on that I will post about.