Monday, October 8, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Claire Ashgrove

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.

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for hosting me today. We’re going on the third week Immortal Surrender has been on the shelves, and I’m so excited about this book’s release. Probably a little more so than all the other releases this year, combined.

It seems every reader I talk to has a favorite series. Whether that’s a vibrant historical family saga, or a clan of demons (or Immortal Templar Knights, right?), they are avidly chasing down the next book to come. And I think I’ve figured out why.

We bond as readers with hero and heroine. Series books allow us to keep those bonds intact. We don’t have to reinvest a whole new set of emotions for every new book each time we pick something up. When we read in series, often we meet continuing characters before we get to their book, and we are immersed in that world. We see our friends more than just once.

We’re also allowed more time to stay in touch with our world. We can spend more time in Rome, in Atlantis, on Mars, or simply in your own contemporary backyard. The author builds a fascinating setting, and we want to stay there longer! When the next book comes in series, we return to the fantasy world we feel like we’re a part of. It’s kinda like going home after an extremely pleasant trip. Comfortable, inviting, and familiar.

Sure, in some cases, its unresolved plot or subplot that draws us back. Sometimes we’re so addicted to the events we can’t stand the idea of letting them slip by. But at least for me, if I don’t have a bond with the world or the characters, I won’t return. There’s nothing holding me there. I read to return to the experience I had before. To lose myself again, and meet new, but familiar, faces.

What about all of you? Are you series driven too? What keeps you coming back for more? 

Answer Claire's question in the comments below for your chance to win the book of your choice from her backlist (outside of the Templar series.) In addition, commenters’ names will be added into the tour-end drawing of a 25.00 Amazon gift card. Follow the tour – the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. Complete tour dates can be found here.

In the meantime, here is an excerpt from Immortal Surrender:

“Damnation,” he hissed through clenched teeth.

He stalked back to the bed. No longer concerned for her injuries, he snatched up her fingers and inspected the scar once more. Nay, his eyes did not play tricks. She bore a dagger on her hand. It matched his as if someone had miniaturized the eighteen-inch-long weapon and scalded it into her flesh.

She belonged to him.

The door opened, and Farran’s head snapped up. He returned Louise’s pleasant smile with a glare. “You may undress the wench.” He shouldered past the aging caretaker, ignoring the way she spluttered.

So Gabriel sought to pair him with a maid, did he? ‘Twas no wonder the archangel did not forewarn him of her nature. Gabriel well knew Farran would rather swallow his own sword.

He took the stairs two at a time, in desperate need of fresh air. His fingers twitched with the need to pummel something. A seraph! His seraph! God’s teeth, would he be allowed no mercy? Could he not just leave this world and be done with life?

In the wide front room, Farran braced his hands on the table and squeezed his eyes shut tight. Duty bound him to accept the pairing. With the oaths they were fated to take, the Templar would gain much needed strength. Much as he would like nothing more, he could not walk away from the woman in the bed upstairs.

And yet . . .he did not have to stay either.

“Brother? Is something amiss?” Lucan’s voice drifted down the stairs.

Farran turned around and raised his glower to Lucan’s face. “You will go to her apartment. Fetch her cat. Fetch her things. Deliver them all to Mikhail.”

Lucan’s gaze narrowed with suspicion. “I trust you do not seek to have the maid to yourself?”

“Nay!” God’s teeth, nay. He would no more touch her now than he would touch a snake. He would say his oath, deliver her to the temple, and leave with the first light.

Cocking his head, Lucan studied him. Slow dawning filtered into his expression, and he answered with a thoughtful nod. “You recognize her mark. I shall have her mate sent here.”

Farran exhaled through his teeth. At his thigh, he clenched a hand into a tight fist. “There is no need for such.”

“Farran, you cannot be serious. She must be paired at once. ’Tis written—”

“She is mine, Lucan.” With the vile truth exposed, Farran stormed out the door.

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At Monday, October 8, 2012 at 7:27:00 AM CDT , Blogger booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed the post and the excerpt; both were great reads. I can't wait to read this.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

At Monday, October 8, 2012 at 12:04:00 PM CDT , Blogger Rebe said...

With series I like worldbuilding and continuing characters. Depending on the series, I like to see the same hero/heroine develop over a couple of books or different H/hs in each book. Either way, the characters have to draw me in or I won't come back to the series.

At Monday, October 8, 2012 at 3:47:00 PM CDT , Blogger Victoria said...

I love series. We get to develop a relationship with the characters and it's fun to see how things progress. It's also wonderful when past characters make appearances in later books. Thanks.

At Monday, October 8, 2012 at 10:35:00 PM CDT , Anonymous JanD said...

I follow a series if the world is intriguing and the characters are engaging. The nuggets of mysterious secondary/tertiary characters as well as plot points guarantees buy for the next book in a series.
bituin76 AT hotmail DOT com

At Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 7:37:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Christina K. said...

Series are awesome if the characters and stories are appealing. Then it's like following along with them

Awesome excerpt:)

Thank you:)

ccfioriole at gmail dot com

At Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 1:01:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jolene and Family said...

I have a love, hate relationship with series. It's actually hard to find stand alones now, most books are a continuation of a series or the start of a new one. I have to read a series in order, so now, if I'm out shopping and come across a book that looks good, I have to first figure out if it's part of a series and how far into it before I buy it. There are some series that are a little overwhelming. I really want to start them, but when I look at the backlist and see how much catching up I have to do, it's a little overwhelming and then I will keep putting it off :) Then there are the series that contain the same characters. I love those as long as they get a promised happily every after at some point in the future and not just years from now with no ending. I love Stephanie Plum but I can't help but be dissapointed that things never seem to be tied up for her. Another thing is series tend to be draining on my wallett :) Not that I mind, I'm just assuming that my kids and husband mind lol The plus's are that it's always fun to see the continuation of a couple and the characteristics and personalities and the storyline itself is more flushed out and engaging over several books. We get so much more than can be offered with just one book. Series that centers around a family or group of friends is just as good because we get to see everyone have their own happily ever after all the while getting a tiny glimpse of characters from past books. It's like they never left and are still there showing us how great everything turned out


At Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:28:00 PM CDT , Blogger erin said...

Thanks for a fun post and congrats on the newest release! I love series. Mainly b/c we get to revisit characters and worlds that I've fallen in love with and it's always so much fun to see how much an author will expand that :)


At Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:01:00 PM CDT , Blogger Linda said...

It depends. Some of the fantast series I read don't end until the final book; you get a cliffhanger/unresolved until the last book. It's like arghs! *biting nails* when you come to the end of the book! So if I like the story I follow the series diligently until it's concluded. But sometimes you think authors drag it out too much! Like 13 books in a series over XX years? Ugh.

For most romance books, each book is a standalone with the next books focusing on different characters. I'm cool with that if I like the authors writing.

At Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 3:20:00 AM CDT , Blogger Cheryl S. said...

I LOVE to read series! I like to live in the stories I'm reading and the longer the series the longer I get to live in them. I think I'm more sad at the end but it's totally worth it ;) Thank you for this amazing giveaway.

At Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 10:59:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello HOT COVER.... I love series. I like to get characters from the begining and follow along.



At Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 11:08:00 PM CDT , Blogger donnas said...

I love series. I always want to know what happens next.

bacchus76 at myself dot com


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