Wednesday, April 23, 2014

**Blog Tour-Giveaway** Author Claire Ashgrove interview-Before The Storm

Today it's my great pleasure to bring back to The Reading Frenzy an author that I first met waaay back when I first started reviewing for Long And Short Reviews and guess what she just revealed yesterday during her book launch party that I was her first review ever, how cool is that. She's here today talking about a new venture, her debut novel in a brand new Urban Fantasy series.
Claire is also offering during her blog tour a great giveaway so be sure and enter below using the Rafflecopter form.
Enjoy the interview then at the bottom for old times sake I'm posting courtesy of LASR my review of Claire's very first novel, Seduction's Stakes.Plus be on the lookout for my review of Before the Storm coming soon to a blog near you :).
Claire the floor's all yours!

  • BN ID: 2940149374274
  • Publisher: Untamed Spirit Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/17/2013
  • Series: Windwalker Series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 305


Halle Rhoads has a terrifying gift--she can kill with the fury of the storm.
She should have known that kind of power wouldn't go unnoticed. Thrust into a world full of dark magic with a handsome stranger who claims he can teach her, she struggles to master her abilities and stumbles onto a dangerous truth. She's a windwalker, the chosen vessel of the ancient dragons who once ruled the world. Many will stop at nothing to possess the power in her blood, should they discover her secret. With necromancers hunting her and Halle's closest allies guarding secrets, mastering her magic becomes a matter of necessity. 

As part of Before the Storm’s release celebration, Claire’s sponsoring a giveaway of a $15.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below. In addition, she has several other opportunities over the next two weeks to win more prizes. To see complete tour dates, and the other release-week events, check out the Before The Storm Tour Schedule!

Claire welcome back to The Reading Frenzy
Tell my readers a bit about Before The Storm.
Sum it up, eh? I’m terrible at this. It took me weeks to come up with the back cover copy and about five people to tweak it. Laugh.

But in short, Halle, the heroine, has a magical ability of calling on the elements, only she can’t control her gift. While trying to use it to protect her sister, she’s sidelined by a man who claims he can teach her. She wants nothing more than to learn her powers, and so she agrees to accompany him to a clan of magic users.
Once she arrives, however, she discovers dark truths about her past, her family, and just what her abilities are. As she struggles to master her gift, she struggles to find herself—a task made more difficult by the fact she doesn’t know who she can trust. Her journey is fraught with danger, and she must face challenges she never dreamed could be possible.

And on that note, I’m going to fall back on the back cover copy. It’s so much more interesting! ;)

Will this be a series or is it a stand-a-lone?
It is a series—the first in my Windwalker series. And as to series length, it will all be told in trilogies so readers can hop on or hop off depending on the level of interest in a given character or subplot element.

This is a break from your Templar series.
Is it permanent or are there more Templars and curses coming?
Oh, there are more Templars coming! The next one will be out in September.

Claire your bio state that you started writing as a hobby in your teens and subsequently
it’s when you started your first romance novel, which you say remains your favorite.
What was it? Can we buy it?
Naw, you can’t buy Lance and Josie – and you likely wouldn’t want to. It’s so full of errors. Not the simple kind either, otherwise I’d invest the time to clean it up. But I wrote that historical romance when I was seventeen (in English class while the class watched and read Watership Down). I rewrote it when I was nineteen, twenty, and again at twenty-two. Then my computer ate it and I’ve been left with the digital version at nineteen and a hard copy from twenty. While the story itself may not be marketable, I love the characters. LOVE the characters. Probably because I spent so long working with them. It needs a total overhaul. And perhaps some day I will get that done. But right now, I have other projects working that demand way too much time.

Claire is Happy Ever After important to you?
Oh goodness. No, not really.

I write in a multitude of genres—not all of which I’m published or seeking publication in—so I find the need for a Happily Ever After to be more part of the particular genre. Obviously if I’m writing a romance, it’s expected, so considering an alternate ending without one doesn’t ever enter my head when I’m planning it out. But if it’s a non-romance genre, I write what needs to be said for the story as a whole.

Claire you also write in different genres under different pseudonyms.
Why did you choose this path?
Cause a) I’m addicted and b) I’m a glutton for punishment. LOL! Actually, it all started when I wrote a really hot romantic suspense that Berkley contracted for their HEAT line. I didn’t want my readers picking up a new book, expecting what they were used to, and stumbling into erotica. So I chose a second name – Tori St. Claire. Sophia Garrett was an extension of that as well. The Templars really sort of sealed “Claire” as a PNR / Urban Fantasy author. I’d have to build an entirely new audience for the most part, to see any traction with my historicals, and in many ways, it’s easier to do that with a new name that can be known for certain qualities.

Claire are you a plot driven or character driven author?
Plot usually.

Does this ever change?
Only very occasionally. I pantsed all of Before the Storm because I didn’t have time initially to plot it out and was squeaking in a few minutes here and there of writing time. Iain, from Immortal Protector drove that story. But otherwise, I can’t think of any at the moment.

When you set down to start a novel do you already know how it ends?
Nine out of ten times, yes. Until very recently (this book) someone could bet money that I would have the entire book plotted out before I wrote a word. Before I get to that outlining stage, I have a rough idea of the opening, the ending, and the “big blowout”. Then I fill in the gaps as I outline. By the time the first words hit, I’m just fleshing out what I’ve jotted down.

What do you find is the biggest drawback of this era of total information and social media?
Interpersonal relationships. I’m guilty of it too. Some of my closest, local friends, I talk to more on social media than I do in person or even via the phone. If I stop and think about that, I find it very sad. But it’s how it goes. I’d like to say I’m going to change that and do better… I know it won’t happen.

So you've sent the final edits to your publisher, the book’s been put to bed.
What is the first thing you do?
Usually housework. Laugh. No, I don’t really have any celebratory activities. I edit professionally, work a day job, and have farm responsibilities. It’s usually a matter of what’s next on the list. However, when I’m coming off a project that’s demanded a lot of my time, that also usually includes a day to find the dining room table beneath everything that’s been piled on it, or like this time, it’s time to, ah, take down the Christmas tree. ;)

Claire thanks for sharing with us today. Good luck with the novel!
Will there be any events/signings?
Thank you for having me! I have a lot of online things taking place – a Blog Hop, a Blog Tour, a Twitter Chat, a Facebook Page Takeover, etc. Check out the full schedule for all the details.

Connect with Claire –WebsiteFacebook - Twitter- Goodreads

Author Bio:

Building on a background of fantasy game design, a fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, award-winning author Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart. Her paranormal series, The Curse of the Templars, marries the history of the Knights Templar with the chilling aspirations of the most unholy--a must-read for speculative fiction fans. She also writes as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire and historical romance author Sophia Garrett.

In her non-writing time, she’s runs Finish The Story, a full-scale editing house co-founded with Bryan Thomas Schmidt.  She lives in Missouri and enjoys cooking, studying ancient civilizations, and spending downtime with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs.

Keep in Touch via:


Claire's Templar series

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for the very intersting interview! I agree with pen names for different genres. Its easier for the reader to follow a genre that way.

    1. Hi Twins Spell thanks and thanks for the comment and good luck!

  2. I enjoyed reading this interview. I find it interesting that you know the end 9 out of 10 times. I do not write books but maintain a blog and half the time I have no clue what I am going to write until I actually sit down at the laptop.

  3. Oh that's so neat you were her first review ever! I've still got her books to read on my tablet. They're on my hopefully soon list. lol

    1. Hi Anna, yes this is something I just learned at her book launch party :)
      I had no idea
      thanks Hope you like them as much as I do!

  4. Thanks for hosting me today, Debbie!

    And thank all of you for participating! I sort of lost track of the entire day to get here earlier. I had 'real world" stuff to deal with at every turn. But I'll pop in tomorrow and see if there are any questions or the like.

  5. And yep! I looked it up. You were the first review ever. Nov 11, 2009. Night Owl came in on your heels :) And that book also went on to a nomination for LASR Best Book of the year. Ah. Nostalgia. :)

    1. Wow time flies when you're having fun! Hope we're still having fun in 20 years :)
      It was great having you here Claire