Guest Post + Giveaway: Claire Ashgrove, Author of Immortal Hope
Happy Friday everyone! Today I am welcoming Claire Ashgrove, author of Immortal Hope, the first book in her new paranormal romance series called The Curse of the Templars.
Today she’ll be talking about two of the types of characters we see a lot in our favorite paranormal books, witches and angels (or more specifically, archangels). Then she’ll be sharing an excerpt from Immortal Hope!
Afterwards, she’ll be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! So stick around and be sure to enter to win after the post!
Witches and Archangels
Chances are, when you think of witches you don’t envision them as being protected by Christian archangels. Witchcraft is the antithesis of Christianity. Until you enter IMMORTAL HOPE and meet the cursed, Knights Templar.
Witches (though they aren’t directly specified as such) are sacred vessels to the archangels. They are protected by Gabriel and have a precise purpose, for which they’ve been given extended life.
What’s that? A divine subject of the Most High gave a pagan woman extended life? That’s absolutely right, and that is just one of the fun twists that I embedded into The Curse of the Templars series.
Now… the why.
I love situations where things aren’t always what they seem. Where embedded surprises are discovered. No, I don’t mean the big surprise when you realize that who you thought “did it” wasn’t the man at all. I mean little nuggets of unexpected discovery. Hidden gems, for me as a reader.
And taking two opposing forces, uniting them in a plausible manner, is extraordinary fun for me as an author. I like the unanticipated, and when I write, I use the things that appeal to me as a reader.
Logically, however, something I never put in the series… It makes sense, somewhat, for the archangels to employ witches. On one hand, for a true witch to be such, she must have power that goes beyond physical strength. If the archangels have an important duty that requires something above normal mortal power, employ those who can get the job done.
On the other hand, if witches are indeed vessels of the unholy, who better to work against the dark lord, than one of his kind? Perhaps a little of the approach: “Keep your enemy closer.”
In either analysis, I can justify why Gabriel would specifically turn to witches, and why the rest of the archangels haven’t destroyed these key women.
Beyond the analysis, however, I have to confess… it was just plain fun.
How do you feel about unexpected surprise in a novel? Is it something that gives warm fuzzies, or does it drive you batty to have your presumptions upended?
Excerpt from Immortal Hope by Claire Ashgrove
Seeing a thin white scar that spanned across the back of his hand, she traced the mark with her nail. “I want to know about you,” she added more quietly. “What caused this?”
Merrick looked down to where she touched him. Using his opposite index finger, he traced the same path her fingernail had taken. Briefly, their fingertips touched. “’Tis a mark from a lance.”
“A lance?” Anne struggled with the urge to twine her finger around his.
“Aye. ’Twas a battle that came to us unexpectedly. I was not given time to don my armor before the riders set upon us. The knight struck me there, and here.” He touched his ribs beneath his right arm.
Anne’s gaze lifted to the vulnerable spot and pictured the battle as it might have occurred: Merrick standing down an armored knight on horse back, the sharp metal spear that punctured his flesh, the way his face might have contorted as he bit back a painful cry. Impulsively, she gathered his hand in both of hers and lifted it, bringing it to her lips to place a gentle kiss over the scar. “I’m sorry.”
Merrick said nothing, and in his silence, she began to question maybe she’d taken one too many liberties. They’d hardly begun to get along—what if her unchecked impulse just crossed some invisible boundary? Slowly, cautiously, she lifted her eyes to his. What she found in his fathomless dark eyes, however, said nothing of anger or annoyance. They gleamed with startling intensity, light bright enough to make her catch her breath.
“Do not be sorry,” he murmured. His eyes canvassed her face, lingered on her mouth. “’Twas a scar borne from duty. An order I was sworn to obey.”
The husky quality of his voice sent shivers coursing up and down her spine. She tried to look away, ordered her eyes to settle anywhere but on the sudden softening of Merrick’s expression. But her body refused, leaving her unable to do anything but choke down a dry swallow. When her thoughts cleared enough to form coherent words, she sought to lighten the moment with a bit of humor. “Orders can do that to you, I guess. Like now, you’re stuck with me.”
“I cannot say I find these orders entirely displeasing.” Merrick lifted his free hand to push a length of her hair away from her shoulder.
The back of his hand grazed the side of her neck and goose bumps scattered down her arms. “No?”
Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll that revealed the locations of the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they now 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, releasing him from the clutches of their enemy. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers that 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 Merrick 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 that he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she is destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.
Okay, now it’s time for some winning! Here’s what you could get:
Claire will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter (or in this case Rafflecopter entries) during the tour, and a second $25.00 Amazon.com gift certificate to a second randomly drawn entrant at the end of the tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! Click the Blog Tour badge for a complete list of blog stops.
That’s right people, free book spending money. Who wouldn’t want that? But here’s the catch…ONE DAY ONLY. Did you hear me? Don’t bookmark this and come back tomorrow cause you won’t be able to enter *sad face*. So enter now and cross your tosies!
- You must follow our RSS feed (follow elsewhere for extra entries).
- One winner will be chosen randomly by Claire.
- Open ONE DAY ONLY, January 27th. Form closes at 12:01am on January 28th.
- Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Just click “I Did This” after you’ve done each step.
- The winner will be notified by email.
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