Saturday, March 30, 2013

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.

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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, or You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.

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