Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review of new release Immortal Surrender & Interview w/author Claire Ashgrove

Here's the blurb from the book:
(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.)

 Interview with Claire Ashgrove

Immortal Surrender

It’s my pleasure to bring to the forum another favorite Claire Ashgrove, I first became aware of Claire’s work when I reviewed for Long & Short Reviews and only read her contemporary romance and believe me they were excellent novels.
Now she’s entered into a vastly popular genre of paranormal romance with her new The Curse of the Templars series and the novel coming out today is the second in this series.

Debbie - Claire welcome to the B&N forum, tell us a bit about the new series and the novel Immortal Surrender too.
Claire - Thanks for inviting me over, Debbie!  I’m really excited to be here.
Okay… where to start.  The Curse of the Templars is a dark paranormal romance series, based on the premise that the Templar Knights discovered a document written by Azazel.  For their forbidden digging they were cursed to spend eternity battling Azazel’s demons.  But with each death they claim, their souls absorb a portion of evil.  Eventually, they’ll turn into the nightmares that they fight.
Now, as the Templar struggle to survive, Azazel’s might grows, and if he obtains eight holy relics, he will have the power to overthrow the Almighty.  An ancient Templar prophecy declares the seraphs will return, female descendents of the Nephilim who will turn the tides of war.  But the power they possess to heal the knights’ dying souls makes them more than tools to victory, they are salvation.
Immortal Surrender continues the struggle over the relics and tells the story of Farran and his intended seraph, a devout atheist, Dr. Noelle Keane.  It’s really an emotional struggle, with both of them needing to grow and move beyond obstacles from their past.  Of course, the longer they delay, there’s the ever-present threat of Azazel looming over their heads. If they can’t find a common ground, the Templar will lose yet another relic, and Azazel’s power intensifies.

On your blog info page it says in your spare time you like studying ancient civilizations does that have anything to do with this series and where did this interest come from.
Oh, absolutely!  I am a huge Medieval fanatic.  And the Templar are simply fascinating.  I can’t really begin to pinpoint where my interest started, other than to point to a Western Civ class in college.  But long before I discovered European history, I was an American history buff.  Now that love has been replaced with older, more imposing civilizations.

Are there a certain number of novels planned in this series?
I have a target I’m striving for.  But I’m not committing to a precise number – you never know how things go!  I can say this concretely, whatever number we end up with, there will be an end to the series.  It is not designed to continue perpetually.

You write in several genres Claire do you have a favorite?
Gosh… no… not really.  The more I can plot and subplot, the happier I am as a general rule.  I really have to hold myself back sometimes or I’ll get way too epic.  So in that vein, right now the Templars and my other pen name, Tori St. Claire fulfill that passion.

Do you have a favorite work?
A Broken Christmas is probably one of my most favorite stories.  And Immortal Surrender runs a very close second – I’m not just saying that cause it came out today, either!  The heroes in both have a lot to overcome and both of them really get me in the gut.

Tell us how you felt when you sold your very first book, and how does the excitement of that release day compare to this one.
Laugh!  Truth?  I had mixed feelings about selling my first book.  It was still back before small press was readily embraced, and I did some serious ruminating on whether I wanted to go that route or not.  I wasn’t caught up in that release day – I don’t think my family and I even really celebrated. 
Conversely, about a month ago, when I started planning the blog tour and all the giveaways I’m doing on my blog for Immortal Surrender, I really, really, got excited.  I’m thrilled to be here, to be talking about the book, and to be celebrating with everyone for the next few weeks.  It’s really almost like the first book should have been!

Now writing isn’t your only passion, you also train Thoroughbred and Arabian Horses.
Tell us a little how that came to be.
Well, first – that’s presently on hold.  I still have the herd, but two children pre-empted a lot of that.  However, when I was a junior in high school I started taking riding lessons in exchange for chores at a local stable.  A couple months later, I had a horse of my own – who still lives in my front yard! – and from there I went nuts with jumping over everything that was solid.  Eventually, I discovered it was young horses I enjoyed the most, not finishing out a seasoned competitor.  And while I simply don’t teach people how to ride, I love teaching an uneducated horse.  It’s challenging and rewarding and… just exhilarating. 

Are you a reader, who are some of your favorite authors/genres?
 I read.  Lately not as much as I’d like to.   I used to be able to finish a book in a day.  Now?  I’ve been working on finishing a book I adore for the last two weeks.  I’m a fantasy reader foremost, though I actually prefer non-fiction to fiction.  R.A. Salvatore has been a long-time favorite, and more recently, Kevin J. Anderson.  Romance wise, I’ll always be a Johanna Lindsey fan; I drool over anything Meredith Duran.  Karin Tabke and Shayla Black are hugely inspiration to me – and I cried when Karin cover blurbed for me J  And on that note, Maggie Shayne also really inspires me.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world or out of it what would your dream vacation be?
Ireland.  Take me there and I’ll never come back.  Laugh!  Seriously… I don’t think about vacationing to Ireland.  I think about going to live there for extended periods of time.

I’m sure that your fans here would love to meet you in person, do you have any B&N events or signings planned
I’ve been trying to work that out.  It seems to hiccup every time.  But, I do announce my signings on my blog, and on my website.  And coming up relatively immediately, on the 29th and 30th of September, I’ll be at the Kansas City Ren Fest.  I’d love to see people there!

Claire thank you so much for taking the time from your schedule to chat with us and good luck with Immortal Surrender.
Thank you, again, Debbie!  This was fun!  And readers—do keep in touch! I love to hear from all of you.

My review of Immortal Surrender

Immortal Surrender
Claire Ashgrove
Tor Publishing
448 pages
The curse came when Farran de Clare and his brother knights of the Templar went against orders and discovered a forbidden scroll. For their act of disobedience they were given immortality to fight the evil demon Azazel and his minions. And with every kill of evil they made they would absorb some of that evil. But all is not lost; there is a prophecy that tells of the return of the seraphs that will redeem them.

Farran is not looking for redemption; he doesn’t believe he deserves it so when it knocks on his door in the form of an unbeliever he does everything in his power to deny it and her. But she’s in grave danger from the demon Azazel who wants the artifact she’s responsible for and it’s he who must protect her. But at what cost, his life, his immortality or his heart.
Dr. Noelle Keane is a firm unbeliever in a higher power; she’s relied on the science of fact for all of her life. When she and her bodyguard Farran are attacked she suddenly finds the black and white of her beliefs in question. When Farran tells of prophecies, demons and immortal knights she’s convinced he’s crazy until fiction becomes fact and she has a choice to make and the choice becomes more difficult the more she learns about this knight, his past and their future.
Farran and Noelle are one of the fated pairs of seraph and immortal knight and are stronger together but they each have their own reason to fight against divine promise and must make their own path and live with their choices. Will those choices save them or lead to their demise.

Claire Ashgrove has given me many hours of happy reading starting with her contemporary romance novels and now with her newest and fantastic series about the Templar Knights and the women who save them. It’s inventive, imaginative, epic and a fantastic mix of medieval fact and fiction encompassed by a beautiful romance complete with all the obstacles I’d expect from this doubting Thomas fated pair. Her hero and heroine fill the pages with their personalities and keep the pages turning with their antics and their deeds. The dialogue flows with a hint of the old amongst the common language of today and the narrative is fast paced, action filled and at times nail-biting terror along with the very tempestuous and sensual love scenes.
If you’ve never read Claire it’s time you did, if you’re looking for a new look in urban fantasy/paranormal or the Templar legend give this series a try. Even though this is novel two of a series it stands well on it’s own.
Claire thank you for this journey into myth and lore, I can’t wait to see where you take me on our next trip.

Buy the book here visit the author's website here

here are some of Claire's other novels


  1. I feel about England and Scotland as you do about Ireland. I don't think about visits, I think about having the chance to go there for extended periods. There are so many places and battle fields that I want to explore and "feel". Like you, I'm a medieval nut. :)

  2. Hi Leah, welcome to the blog and thanks for your reply.
    I would love to visit the Highlands of Scotland, have you been there.
    I love medieval fiction too.

  3. Oh my goodness yes Ireland would be wonderful. I don't think I'd want to leave either ;)

    Really loving the sound of these two. It's always so nice to find characters that really come alive and keep you interested in what's happening to them.


    1. Thanks for the comment Herding Cats - Burning Soup
      Yes I think Claire is a wonderful storyteller. If you do read these let us know how you liked them.