Friday, January 27, 2012

Guest Post with Author Claire Ashgrove


Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever 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. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers 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 he 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, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she's destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.

Name:  Gareth of Aletorp
Profession:  Knight Templar (European branch)
Height: 6’0”
Hair Color: Sandy Blonde
Eye Color:  Soft brown

Thank you, Gareth, for meeting with us before you head back to England and Raphael.  I was wondering if you might provide a little more insight on the division between the two temples, the two commanding archangels?

Gareth: Of course, damsel.  You have but to ask.  And when one is as fair as yourself, ‘tis no difficult chore to converse.  I serve Raphael, the European commander of the Knights Templar.  Mikhail is commander of the North American forces.  Our roles are similar, but the knights who serve Mikhail are older.  (He smirks.)  Soon they shall be fat and lazy.

Somehow, I can’t picture any of you fat and lazy.  Do both branches serve the same purpose?

Gareth:  Indeed.  We are all sworn to guard the gates to Azazel’s realm and protect both mankind and the holy relics Azazel desires.

So why is it you are younger?  And did I hear correctly that the curse doesn’t seem to affect the European faction as much?

Gareth:  Aye, ‘tis true our health is better, but the reasons we do not know.  We are younger because we joined the Order just prior to its eradication.

I see.  Do you work well together then?

Gareth:  (Chuckling)  At times.

Othertimes not quite as much?

Gareth: Several of Mikhail’s knights – Merrick’s sworn brethren – resent myself and my brothers.  Let us say only that at times it becomes tedious.

You and Anne are fairly close, right?

Gareth:  We have become such, aye.  ‘Tis my understanding that I somehow spurred both she and Merrick together.  I shall miss her greatly upon my departure. 

Spurred them together?  I sense a story.  Do tell.

Gareth: (shaking his head) The details were not shared with me.  I suspect ‘tis told in IMMORTAL HOPE, Anne and Merrick’s biographies.

Okay okay, I was hoping for some secrets.  Let’s talk for a minute about the archangels.  Is it true that what we’ve been taught as a foundation of Christianity is not entirely true?  That the archangels play different roles than documented?

Gareth:  Over time, man has made a few, shall we say, adjustments to the truth.  At the core, the archangels are the same, but they carry many aspects of simple man, and in some cases their roles are different.  For instance, damsel, Raphael.  He is cited as the Master of Healing.  In truth, ‘tis Uriel who heals.”

Will we learn more about this in IMMORTAL HOPE then?

Gareth nods, and his grin flashes.  “Indeed.  You will learn far more than such, as well.  There are many things that have been mistakenly recorded.

Oooh, that sounds fascinating.  One last question and I’ll let you get back to packing.

Gareth:  Ask, damsel.  I am willingly at your service.

Any chance we’ll be reading about your seraph next?

Gareth:  Ah, milady, only the mighty Gabriel knows the seraphs.  Though perhaps… (a devilish grin lights his eyes) we might expedite Gabriel’s disclosure by investigating whether you might possess my mark?  T’would only require the removal of your clothes.

(He doesn’t give me a chance to respond.  Before I can stumble out a few words, he kisses my cheek, and strides to the door, where he stops to flash me a wink.)  “Good day, milady.”

While I recover from that pulse-tripping experience, enjoy this excerpt from IMMORTAL HOPE.


“Dine,” Merrick insisted as he jabbed at her bowl with his spoon, the gesture jerking her out of her thoughts.

Anne stared down at the greasiest bowl of . . . glop she’d ever seen. Merrick said it was stew. But her eyes—and her stomach—refused to consider this mushy concoction as anything but garbage. “Oh. Hell. No.”

She pushed the bowl away and fought back the urge to whimper. She was so hungry her stomach was in knots. But even starving people had their standards, and that bowl of crap defied the minimal ones she possessed.

Spoon poised near his mouth, Merrick lifted one reproachful eyebrow. The men on each side of him—men Merrick hadn’t wasted time in discovering they weren’t meant for her—stared at her as if she’d just committed blasphemy. A blush crept up her cheeks, and she offered Merrick a weak, apologetic smile.

“ ’Tis food, Anne.”

“No it’s not.” No wonder everyone around here had massive chips on their shoulders. How long had it been since they’d had a decent meal? “Is there maybe some salad somewhere?”

Merrick’s other brow shot up. “Salad?”

His companions continued to stare. Behind Merrick, a stranger with long ash-blond hair turned to looked over his shoulder. His gaze narrowed. Cold blue eyes flashed. Dangerous energy assaulted her.

Anne swallowed down unexplainable foreboding and met Merrick’s soothing onyx stare. The uneasy tension in her belly dissolved. “Yeah, you know— lettuce, celery, carrots, croutons?”

A chuckle shook his shoulders, but he refrained from smiling. “A man does not eat leaves.”

Just like they didn’t believe in radios. Somehow that didn’t surprise her. She dropped her spoon to the table, folded her arms over the scarred surface, and gave each gawking face a sugary-sweet smile. The two men hastily turned their attention to their meal. Behind Merrick, the nosy stranger abruptly turned back to his meal. Anne gestured at her bowl. “If I’m going to eat greasy crap, I think I’ll take McDonald’s. Or maybe Pizza Bob’s. He delivers, you know.”

Merrick indicated her food with his spoon. “What did you tell me earlier? Ah, aye, get used to it.”

Claire will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a second $25.00 gift certificate to a second randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour.  Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! 

Claire Ashgrove (Blog Tour)


miki said...

great post

i'm really interested in this book now

thanks you for the giveaway too


marybelle said...

Hello Gareth!! Soft brown eyes - beautiful.


Joanne said...

It's nice to meet you Gareth! Such knowledge you possess. Hopefully your story is next. Great interview and excerpt, " A man does not eat leaves." Funny! Thanks for the blog your.


roro said...

gr8 humor
so exited to 'meet' him


Mary said...

That was awesome. So glad to get to know Gareth.

June M. said...

This sounds like a great book. I have enjoyed following some of the tour for this book and your other new release. Congrats on the releases and I can't wait to read them.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Victoria said...

I really am loving this tour :). That was so cute. Gareth is too much ;).


Unknown said...

Hi Claire,
i am having so much fun following the tour, thank you for all of the fun posts.
i love the cover of the book, it's gorgeous and the excerpts have been wonderful. i can hardly wait to read the rest.

tammy ramey

Sophia Rose said...

Gareth sounds like a cutie- a sharp cutie. That is interesting about how one group is not going into darkness so quickly. Sounds like there are some mysteries that will be revealed in the series.

Linda Henderson said...

This sounds like an excellent book, I can't wait to read it and meet them all.

seriousreader at live dot com

booklover0226 said...

I love character interviews and this one was great. I like Gareth and look forward in reading more about him.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com