Friday, January 20, 2012

Author Claire Ashgrove Shares: A Day in the Life

Karen: Claire Ashgrove writes contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance that are sure to please. KMN Books is just one of the stops on her Blog Tour, so make sure to drop by the other blogs, too. Not only is she promoting her new release, Immortal Hope, she's also giving away two Amazon Gift Certificates to two lucky winners. (More details below so read on and enjoy!)

A Day in the Life by Claire Ashgrove

I hate talking about myself.  Ask our gracious host – when I sent over the material for today, I remarked the bio could be included or casually forgotten, and it wouldn’t matter to me.  Now, I like talking about my books, but me?  Nah.  I’ll pass if given the opportunity.

That said, I have been asked a lot lately to share bits and pieces of me.  So, to appease that call, I’m sharing a glimpse of a day in the life.

6:30am – I make a mad dash out of bed, cursing over the snooze I somehow hit twice (because, of course, I’ve been up until at least 2 the night before), race into the kitchen and scrounge through the cupboards for something for my sons to eat.

6:40am – With hot water ready for hot cereal, or the toaster fired up for waffles, I race back up the stairs, trip over a dog or two en route, and wake up my eldest demi-demon for school.  Amidst much, much, fussing (Gee, wonder where he gets that from.) we get dressed.  About 20 minutes later, we’re out the door for school.

8:00am – My eldest is in school now, and I sit down at the computer to wade through a sea of emails.  I delete anything solicitous and answer anything that’s personally addressed.  I check status on the manuscripts I free-lance edit, and line up my work for that evening.

10:00am – I’ve downed at least three cups of coffee and managed to change my clothes somehow.  Now it’s off to build websites for my day-job for a few hours.  I chat with my boss a bit, tell him anything new on the publishing front, and fire up Twitter so I can keep in touch with the world while I’m getting cozy with code.

3:00pm – Time to pick up the eldest from school, line him up for an after school snack, then wade through much complaining about how playtime is far more fun than farm chores.  We eventually finish the theatrics, (he should really consider acting!), and head off to take care of horses.

7:00pm – all the menial things like chores and dinner are finished.  The demi-demons are fighting in the playroom, the electric train is whistling around the track, Alpha and Omega are on the television.  Now, I get to do for myself a bit.  I’ll work in a chapter’s worth of words before I can’t take the noise anymore and bribe them with some sort of snack.

9:00pm – One demi-demon down for bed, the eldest is now sitting at the table beside me, practicing his letters while I’m on my second chapter of words.  This one takes a bit longer than the other, as I’m routinely polled about letter shape and drawn into animated conversations about matchbox cars and wrecks and tow-trucks as well.

10:30pm – The children are fast asleep, the dogs have all been out, the cat’s come out of hiding and is sitting on my lap, and the pet mouse is on the dining room table to entertain me when I’m stuck on a thought.  Now it’s my time.  Coffee is fresh.  Snacks are nearby.  If I can just keep the phone from ringing now that the whole world knows my house is quiet enough to talk…

1:00am – Time to call it quits.  The dogs are passed out, the cat is now drooling in my lap in sleep, the mouse is burrowed back in his den.  My house is silent.  My eyelids are drooping.  I’d really love to finish out this scene, but if I wait a moment longer, I’ll wake up cursing again.

Somehow it all works.  Some days I know I’ve done a whole lot but have little physical evidence of such.  Others, I can manage to get five chapters written. 

No, I don’t require a silent household to work.  But I’ve found I work much better without the interrupts.  I can tune out the noise, but “Mom!” isn’t so easy to ignore.  Even if I know it’s being screeched only because someone took a toy away, or the other demi-demon drove his matchbox car on the brother’s imaginary road.

What about all of you – when you sit down to read, or write, or engage in whatever hobby you might enjoy, do you have to have utter quiet to focus?

Twitter:  @ClaireAshgrove

Claire will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a second $25.00 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.

Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever 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. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers 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 he 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, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she's destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.


He took a deep fortifying breath at Anne’s door. A small portion of his soul demanded he let himself inside and take the liberties he would have enjoyed had she wandered into his life nine hundred years ago. Whilst he shared the residence with many others, the simple fact remained, she resided in his house. Once he had dreamed of such a circumstance. Now the fantasy only created a bitter taste in his mouth.

Resigning himself to reality, he knocked twice upon her door.

She answered as he lifted his hand for the third, concurrent rap. Briefly, she stared, bewildered. Then, her gaze fell to his armload of supplies, and her porcelain features lit with such delight a fist clamped around Merrick’s heart.

“My things,” she murmured as he moved past her. “Oh, Merrick, you brought my radio.”

The whimsical quality of her voice, the gratitude that turned her words into music, swelled his chest. Damnation. She had turned him as soft as butter. This trial of loyalty would surely be the death of him.

He set the bags down, unwilling to look at her for fear she would see how deeply she affected him. “I brought what I thought you might desire. Should you find something missing, we shall discuss it in the morn.”

“Oh. You’re leaving again?”

His back to her, he closed his eyes. The touch of disappointment that fringed her question disturbed the accursed hollowness in his gut. “Aye.”

Before he could fully shrug off the thick straps digging into his shoulder, her hand settled against the small of his back. “I’d hoped you might stay with me for a while,” she murmured.

Her fingertips slid up his back, warming his skin. As he righted himself, she ducked under his elbow and looped her arms around his neck. Stepping in close, Anne pressed her body to his.

Everything inside Merrick coiled tight. Her warmth, the feel of her breath upon his neck, the perfume in her hair, she overwhelmed him in a heartbeat. He battled with the urge to slide his arms around her waist and draw her even closer. The longing to capture her mouth and drink from her honeyed lips assailed his senses with the force of a battering ram. Like a strangled man desperate for one gulp of fresh air, he disentangled himself from her embrace and took a step away.

He knew only one way to combat the fierce desire she awakened. “I must fight tonight.”

About the 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 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:
Twitter: @ClaireAshgrove


Laurie said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much, Claire, for the glimpse of a normal day...Makes me so glad my own kids are grown with kids of their own (payback). Gave me a much needed chuckle this morning!

You need a couple of my cats to help you out with your little mouse problem! LOL
Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews

BTW - I would be delighted to feature you and your book(s) on my blog!

booklover0226 said... Best Blogger Tips

What a busy day you have, Claire. And you get so much accomplished; I admire you!

I like to have background "noise" when I'm reading or cooking or doing whatever. I usually have a radio on in a couple of rooms. Sometimes I listen to it, sometimes I don't; I just like the noise!

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Joanne said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great glimpse into your life. How do you have any time to write? Thanks for the blurb and excerpt. Can't wait to read Immortal Hope.


Jannine Gallant said... Best Blogger Tips

And I thought I was busy! LOL Way to keep those balls in the air, Claire. I write when it's quiet (that means while my girls are in school). There's nothing like the word "Mom!" screamed with an explanation point to disrupt your flow of thought.

Claire Ashgrove said... Best Blogger Tips

Laugh -- Jannine, no kidding! That screech can be a total inspiration killer.

Tracey - a little noise is okay. Lately I've had the radio on in the background. That doesn't bother me. It's "active noise" that intrudes.

Joanne -- I have to go back to -- if you want it, you make it happen :)

Laurie -- LOL! No more cats! We just lugged our Christmas Kitty home yesterday. He was living at the gas station and we could never get by there without dogs in the car at the same time he dropped in for feeding. Finally said to heck with it and tossed him in the truck with the little dogs. Went well. Now if the 3-legged cat would stop harrassing him. :Roll eyes:

I would LOVE to drop in on your blog. Email me? Let me know what's available?

Catherine Lee said... Best Blogger Tips

It's exhausting just reading about your day! I did have to laugh when you referred to firing up the toaster for waffles. I thought, "Waffles don't go in toasters." I'm so spoiled...My hubby whipped up a batch of waffles this week for breakfast (and whipped up pancakes this morning). Sometimes I forget how great that is. Thanks for the reminder.


Sophia Rose said... Best Blogger Tips

Whew! Those kind of days feel like you are spinning your wheels, but they still must be gotten through.

I do not require absolute silence and I can even ignore direct conversation if it is in a conversational tone. Unfortunately, those I share my home with realize this. (-;

Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway opportunity.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much for making KMN Books one of your stops on your blog tour.

With such a busy day, I don't know how you find the time to write let alone tour. lol

I wish you the very best success. Your tale sounds great.

Claire Ashgrove said... Best Blogger Tips

Catherine Lee -- I envy your inhouse chef :) I cook, but usually only dinners. I do love to cook though when time allows!

Sophia Rose -- I used to be able to do that. Then I started writing when the house was quiet. Now I'm rather spoiled.

Karen -- thanks so much for having me here today! I love participating on your blog.

marybelle said... Best Blogger Tips

I love my peace & quiet. Anything going on around me is distracting.

Thank you for sharing your day.