Monday, February 13, 2012

It's all about the ROMANCE... with Claire Ashgrove of Immortal Hope (Guest Post)

Good morning lovelies and welcome to Reading Between the Wines 'It's all about the ROMANCE' Valentine's Event! Make sure to stop in every day because we have some great authors stopping by for Valentine's themed posts as well as romance reviews and giveaways!
Today I would like to kick things off by welcoming a new favorite, must-read author of mine, Claire Ashgrove! You can check out my 4.5/5 review on Claire's recent release, Immortal Hope, HERE.

Hope for Non-Believers

When our ever-so-gracious host suggested my post be themed along Valentine’s Day, I suffered a great deal of panic.  You see… my version of Valentine’s Day goes a little like this:

Ahh.  A blessed, beautiful little image.  So very heartwarming, I must say.

And somehow I suspect I’m not supposed to confess those things. Why?
a.       I’m guest posting on a romance blog
b.      I write romance.

I’m supposed to be all over this holiday!

I even worked for Hallmark for a while.  Maybe that’s why I have no attachment to the holiday—sheer overload of sappiness. One can only look at so many cards, or copy for cards, or websites that include hearts, music, and phrases syrupy enough to clog the arteries so many times.

Or maybe it has something to do with fact that my senior year of high school I delivered flowers to my boyfriend’s other girlfriend… who I didn’t know existed until that moment in the delivery van.  That was a fun day.  I still remember my friend trying to hide the event by suddenly wanting to exit the driver’s seat and run to the door after a full day of the opposite arrangement.  His subtly was a little too obvious.

Perhaps his energy would have been better spent several hours later listing all the reasons it was a bad idea to go to my boyfriend’s house that night.  I’m sure my boyfriend would have appreciated it.  Funny how at reunions he pretends I don’t exist.  Prolly better that way—I’m still not certain I don’t have a few choice words to spew.

I digress.

It could be because the only flowers I’ve ever received for Valentine’s were from my best friend.  Sweet and lovely as they were, expensive as they were, there’s just no getting around the card that said:  “Figured since XXX didn’t send any, I should.”

Really?  No.  No, you should not.  Because pity flowers are so not doing it for me.

Suffice to say, for many years I’ve lived in a bubble.  I’ve never had a Valentine’s to know what the fuss is all about.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy romance, or that I don’t believe in romance.  I do.  Wholeheartedly.

I believe that romance and love can give hope in the darkest of times, as it does for Merrick in IMMORTAL HOPE, my paranormal romance that released January 3rd.  Though Merrick believes Anne isn’t destined for him, she gives him hope to continue on in his duty and confront the imminent destruction of his soul.  She, and the love she spurs in his heart, gives him strength in his darkest hour.

Now, before you give me grief about being a Valentine’s party pooper… I have a secret to confess.  This year, I’m celebrating my first Valentines ever.  I guess that means there’s hope for us non-believers too!

Which I suppose means that next year, my adorable little cupid is going to have to change.  But does Cupid have to be so chubby and cute? He kinda reminds me of chocolate syrup poured over double-fudge ice cream—way too full of gooey sweetness and destined to give me a toothache. Can’t we go with something more like this: 

That’s an imp I tell ya.  Just look at the mischievousness in her eyes.  I say we kick the chubby angel to the side and go with a little bit more spunk.  What do you all think?

Thanks for having me here today, and I sincerely hope the rest of you have a lovely holiday full of romance and magic!



  1. Oh geez...delivering flowers to your Ex's new girlfriend. Ouch :( Thanks for the post. Have a Happy Valentine's Day.

  2. Hi Claire! :D

    Wonderful post--I think I'm in the same boat as you.

    I may believe in romance and love, but I'm not a fan of Valentines day. For one thing it has become too commercialized (like Xmas and every other event) and as I've never received a Valentines present from anyone but family or my friends, I just don't see the big deal about it.

    Maybe once I find Prince Charming I'll change. But even then, I would prefer something small and heartfelt to something that screams "Sugar and syrup"-y sweetness. :)

    Looking forward to reading your book--it sounds like a good one! :D


  3. LOL, loved your post. I have been married awhile now (in the 9th year) so, I have had a steady valentine. However, I'm not the biggest V-day fan myself, I would rather go for the spontaneous romance at any other random time during the year....sometimes it feels forced on V-day, you know?? Either way, I am happy to always have a valentine, and yes, I like your new cupid much better too :) Book Savvy Babe


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