Tour Stop: Shelf Envy [11] with Claire Ashgrove

Hello, Loyal Readers!
Today on the blog, Claire Ashgrove, author of Immortal Hope and Immortal Surrender pops in to give us a peek at her bookshelves. The one and only reason why I started this feature is because I’m an incredibly nosy person. And let’s face it, some look at naked pictures of men, well, I look at bookshelves! What? Is that wrong? Lol. 
Thanks for having me here today!  So you want to peek at my bookshelf, eh?  Well… I’m game, but it might bore you!  My reading tastes are eclectic to say the least.  And I’ll preface this that I geared this post toward fiction, while my passion lies in the huge stack of non-fiction that I have on the Middle Ages. 
The absolute top 5 books in my collection:
  1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien– must be the trilogy
  2. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  3. Gods and Generals by Jeffery Shaara
  4. Anything Meredith Duran – I cannot pick one.  Cant.  Do.  It.
  5. Anne Rice’s Lasher
The last book I purchased was a couple months ago, The IronDuke, by Meljean Brook.
What book is the one that I always re-read when I hit a wall in my writing process?
            I don’t go to books, I go to movies.  And I usually go to the Rome series or to Gladiator.  Anything that is high intense drama with a lot of conflict will work.
Is there a book in my collection that I wished I wrote:
            Yes.  There are many of them.  Most of which are outside the genre I’m published in, and mainly epic fantasy.  Right now, glancing at one of my bookshelves, I can say I wish like Hades I had dreamt up R.A. Salvatore’s character Drizzt, and the ensuing books he participates in.
What is the most controversial book in my shelves?
I don’t think I really have any.  If I do, I wouldn’t likely know.  You could probably name the classic books that get “banned”annually, and I have them.  HuckFinn, Catcher in the Rye, etc.
Wow. Talk about a lot of heavy reading. Let’s see…fantasy, Civil War – intimidating! Anyway, thank you, Claire for stopping by today. 🙂
And readers, please check out her books! 

BACK COVER BLURB

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.

“This series (The Curse of the Templars) is explosive, sexy, riveting, and Claire Ashgrove is a master of her craft.” ~ NYTimes Bestselling Author, Maggie Shayne


EXCERPT

Farran stared up at Noelle, cursing her bad luck, the Almighty, and his fate. He well knew how terror could trap a person, had seen it countless times with unseasoned knights. In her unmoving position, he recognized the signs too clearly. This was no act meant to gain his sympathy. ’Twas no ploy to soften his anger over her attempt at escape. She was truly terrified.
“Damnation,” he muttered beneath his breath.
He closed his eyes with an inward prayer his stomach would not revolt and made the mark of the cross over his chest. Eyeing her, he strode to the ladder. She would pay for this later. He would find a way to make certain she came to regret her attempt at escape.
Do not look down. He chanted the mantra as he climbed the icy rungs. In less time than he had imagined, he arrived at her feet. Holding on with one hand, he placed the other on her calf. “I am here. Climb down.”
’Twas then he noticed the shaking of her shoulders, heard her muffled tears. When she did not move, he gave her leg a squeeze. “Noelle, come down. I will not let you fall.”
“I’m scared,” she murmured.
Saints’ blood, she did not intend to make this easy. Aye, indeed, he would lock her in her rooms at the temple for a week.
He assessed her position, made note of the little space her tiny body occupied. Carefully, he tucked his feet between hers and the side rails and eased his body up her legs. When he had pinned her between the ladder and his chest, he stopped. “Grab on to me.”
She let go with one hand, then clutched at the rail with a fierce shake of her head. “I can’t. I can’t, Farran.”
At the sound of her broken voice, all his defenses shuddered like a door under the barrage of a battering ram. The anger her defiance provoked dissolved with her sniffle. Deep in his gut, a heavy knot unwound. He pressed his body into hers, molded his thighs around her legs. Holding on with one hand, he pried her fingers off the metal and guided her hand to his shoulder. “Turn around, damsel,” he encouraged quietly. “Wind your arms around my neck, and we shall descend together. I swear to you, I will not let you fall.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-Winning 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 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.

To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com.  You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.