Thursday, January 3, 2013

Guest Post: Ringing In the New Year with Claire Ashgrove


Last time Claire Ashgrove was on the blog, she was celebrating our Road to RomCon event with us. Today, she is sharing what she's got in her personal and writing life.

WELCOME BACK TO THE BLOG CLAIRE!!!

Meet 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 will debut 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.




Good morning, everyone! Thanks so much for having me here today.

Well, it's that time of year again. The holidays are winding down, the kids are headed back to school, and we authors are chomping at the bit for the publishing world to come back to work and look at our stuff that's sitting on their desks.

This last year has been a whirlwind of excitement for me: three new series' launched under two pen names, plus wrapping up some other projects and making plans for the new. I'm looking back though and realizing 2012 was about so much more than...words.

I met some wonderful people: readers, blog owners, authors, mentors and those just getting their feet wet with writing. I didn't have the opportunity to do much conference going until 2012, and I had no idea what I was missing out on. I've become really appreciative of the extended friendships I've made, and my eyes were opened to some behind-the-scenes things that I didn't fully realize. Business things, but the little things too, like how much work it takes to make a blog like this function.

We talk a lot about resolutions, and I'm as guilty as everyone else in making resolutions that I drop. This year though, I think I can pull it off, because the one resolution I am making (yes one), is to try and maintain and grow those friendships. And add into that, make some more. There are so many *fascinating* personalities in this world of publishing.

I have some new projects launching, and new endeavors I hope will launch. So there's always work involved, but in the last few weeks, I've found a whole resevoire of new energy and enthusiasm, and a lot of that has come from the readers who've connected with me lately. Thank you very much for that!!

In 2013 I also hope to tackle this TBR pile. I've languished in doing so, and in the last four months or so, I've accumulated a mountain of books. Literally. I'm out of shelf space. I hope to broaden my horizons a little and read some of the authors I don't know, who write in different genres than I, and I'm going to start with those authors my agent represents. I'm excited about that too!

Also in 2013, I'm making a commitment to set one night aside -- one full night -- to devote to my family. Last week I looked up and my two demidemons are so much taller and so much older than I remember them being the week before. Eye-opening, I tell you.

I also intend to get real cozy with Farmville and my XBox. Heh.

But in between all that fun stuff, there's work to be done, words to compose, characters to give life to. And those stories --the ones yet told-- are often the most fun, I think. I have so many accumulated photographs I can't wait to dig in and uncover the hidden tales there.

I think, this is probably the first year I'm really looking forward to being another year older, (gah! 40 is around the corner, how did that happen?!) and I'm not begrudging the turning of the calendar. And I get to kick off my 2013 with two fantastic releases, which makes January that much less cold and unbearable. The last book in my Inherited Damnation series comes out January 16 -- Marked for Death. Even better, I'm releasing a Templar novella, with a knight you've met before who had a rather tragic encounter the last time you saw him. I hope you'll take the time to check them out! If you follow the Templars, you'll love Iain's story.

But either way -- what are you most anticipating this coming year? A new series? A new life event? Anything in particular?

I'm anxious to hear your remarks!


MARKED FOR DEATH:
Taran McLaine knows the agony of his incubus father's curse more intimately than his siblings. A century ago he murdered the only woman he ever loved. When he finds her alive, he's faced with the ultimate heartbreak. They have no chance at a future--he's done all he can to insure that on his day of judgment the ancestors will deny him a mortal life.

Years ago, Solene Larouche embraced Taran and the dark curse that cloaked him. She knew the risk she faced, but when Drandar pulls her back to life, she agrees to aid the demon and damn Taran to eternal suffering. One look at the man who held her heart so long ago, however, changes her mind. She must find a way to free him, even if it means condemning herself to eternity as Drandar's slave.

As Samhain approaches, Solene and Taran conspire to destroy Drandar. But will their combined effort enable them to kill the incubus or will they be cast into Drandar's own special Hell and all hope of their renewed love marked for death?
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