Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Claire Ashgrove

After inheriting a portion of Spain’s Royal Inheritance, Cain left The Flying Gang for a chance at honest wealth. With the secrets of his piracy tucked away, he achieved his lofty aspirations. But when his partner and best friend betrays him to the Royal Navy, Cain’s dreams are ripped to shreds. He’s left with his ship, the tattered remnants of a stolen future, and a piece of Spanish mystery. Wanted by three nations and destined for the gallows, he returns to the legendary band of buccaneers for one purpose -- vengeance.

 Kidnapped by the formidable Cain, India Prescott discovers he intends to kill the man she’s to marry. Cain’s story reveals betrayal. Treachery that extends to her as well. Although she holds the key to retribution, India refuses to become another man’s pawn. Freedom lies before her, the liberty to shrug off propriety, make her own decisions, and claim her destiny. But when she uncovers goodness in Cain’s soul and he awakens passion in her heart, she must combat the chains of convention once more.

 Only this time India's not fighting society. She’s battling a pirate bent on keeping her decency intact.

Morning, all! Thank you for hosting me today. I’m delighted to be able to share a little more about Bound by Decency with you!

I’m frequently asked what sort of research goes into any given book. With a historical, it’s all the more important to incorporate fact. And I thought I’d give you a peek at what was involved with putting Bound by Decency together.


Understand that I knew very little about ships and sailing when I went into this project. And this is by far, where I spent the most research time. I read a few articles that were preserved from the era about sailing and sailor’s life. But I also dug, and dug, and dug for the parts and pieces of a ship. I compared different types of sailing vessels… I spent HOURS looking for the name of one particular part that connects the rudder to the helm. Did I use that part? Nope. But I needed it to understand how steering worked. I plastered a diagram written in the 1700s on the wall after having it blown up by Kinkos, and another on my printer. And bit by bit, I was able to understand how ships functioned and what life aboard was like.


I think most of us understand the basics of pirates. But I needed more than what movies, fiction books, and online research could grant. I wanted to know what these people ate day-to-day. In detail. I wanted to know what they drank, beyond rum. I wanted to know how they handled injuries and illnesses. And by gosh, I wanted to know what kept them all from randomly killing each other. So this time I went to Borders (still open then), and lugged home an armload of historical books. Learn it I did, as you’ve noticed if you followed this tour and read the pirate menu earlier in the month. I even tried Absinthe this last year, just to experience it first hand. An experience I don’t recommend. But hey, it warranted me much praise from the frat boys at the bar to see a woman trying the stuff. I started a trend that night. Laugh!


Coming into the project, I knew bunches about Tortuga. But that wasn’t where I wanted to base my operations. And so it was time to hit the history books… and the period maps… for Nassau and New Providence. This was fun research, let me tell you! It’s simply a colorful, amazing experience. And while I am teased profusely for my ability to correctly pronounce Bimini, I can describe the islands now by heart. I also had great fun with the native wildlife. That incorporated a good day or two.


In general, Spanish history has never quite interested me. So it was a surprise that the “necessary components” led me to researching Spain’s rulers and heirs to the throne. But my treasure needed to come from somewhere, and the link between France and Spain’s monarchies provided the perfect tie. All that led to a very unentertaining study of descendants, offspring, and convoluted lineages that I wrote down for purposes of easy reference, and quickly brain-dumped. Still this took a good week of research.

And there you have it, folks – the core components of what I had to dig into to put this all together. All told, I spent about a month of solid research, 8-5 daily, if not longer, taking notes, watching documentaries, scanning written accounts that were difficult to read. With the exception of Spain, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But then… I love research… and that’s why I love historical romance.

Now, it’s your turn.  

What draws you to historical romance?

Claire will be giving away a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to one random commenter during the tour.  Follow the tour – the more times you comment, the better your chances of winning!  Make sure you include your email address. Complete schedule can be found here. In the meantime, you can check out this excerpt of Bound by Decency:

     For a moment, he could do nothing more than stare. Richard had said his intended was lovely, but somehow, Cain had never pictured her as a beauty. Yet now, as she stood before him, her chest heaving with indignation and her hair a sopping mess, he realized Richard had once again played him false. India Prescott wasn’t merely lovely. She was breathtaking. 
     “What in the name of Mary do you think you’re doing?” she snapped. “My father will see you hang for this.” 
     Her sharp tongue yanked Cain out of his stupor. He collected himself quickly, and for the first time since his arrest, gave into a broad grin. “Indeed, he will have to get in line.” 
     India’s eyes widened a fraction, but anger drew delicate brows downward, and those sky-blue eyes narrowed. “I see no amusement in this. Do you have any idea who I am?” 
     As a rumble of laughter broke through the men within earshot, Cain’s humor subsided. His smile faded, and he reached out to twine a thick lock of her hair around his finger. Turning his wrist, he wrapped the silken length around his hand, slowly bringing her closer. So close that the wet fabric straining across her breasts dampened his shirt. The heat of her skin grazed his. “I know well who you are, Miss Prescott.” He ran the back of his free hand across her dainty collar bone, over the slope of her shoulder, then lifted it to draw his thumb across her parted lips. The audible catch of her breath ricocheted through him. So she was not unaffected by him. Good. He could use it to his advantage. 
     His gaze held hers. A flicker of fear passed behind her eyes, but to her credit, she didn’t shrink away. She stood straight and proud, even as she shivered in the stirring breeze. Courage Cain didn’t often encounter from the gentle born. God’s teeth, men far stronger and larger than she didn’t hesitate to grovel at his feet. Yet she, no bigger than a lark, defied him with stubborn silence. 
     To drive her subservient position as his captive home, he tightened his hold on her hair until she winced. Leaning forward, he lowered his mouth to her ear. “You are the daughter of a powerful man and presently my prisoner, to do with as I will.” Stepping back, he untwined his hand and smirked. 
     India’s palm cracked across his cheek. “Rot in hell!”

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At Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 8:35:00 AM CDT , Blogger JenM said...

I love history, so historical romance combines two of my favorite things. I love going to historical places and imagining what peoples' lives were like. I wouldn't want to live back then, but it's fun to read about it.

At Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 12:47:00 PM CDT , Anonymous Fire Truck Book said...

Nice work bro ! you have share good romance combination book with the free gift card of amazon. Keep it up and share more.


At Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 1:31:00 PM CDT , Anonymous Chelsea B. said...

What draws me to historical romance is that every little thing-- the touch of a hand, a look, a kiss on the hand...-- was still *romantic*! So super, super romantic. That's what I love at historicals.


At Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 7:05:00 PM CDT , Blogger June M. said...

I have to agree with JenM. I love learning about history and really love romance books, so the combination is great to me. However, I would not want to live in the past, I love the modern conveniences too much. Would not mind visiting for a day, but definitely would not want to stay. But I do like to imagine what their lives were like and what their cultures, etc were.
manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

At Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 3:17:00 PM CDT , Anonymous Natasha said...

I love reading about the history and the settings in historical romances. Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

At Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 11:01:00 PM CDT , Blogger Linda said...

I love the elegance of the period; everything from the language, the people, the setting.....I agree with Chelsea too; the simplest & smallest of things is/was romantic then.


At Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 11:53:00 PM CDT , Blogger Amber Daulton said...

Historical books for me takes you out of mundane life to a time that no longer exists. Everything is different and much more simpler. Researching for books have always been fun. I love learning about new eras and people.



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