Today we would like to welcome the talented Claire Ashgrove who manages to write not one but three romance genres!
Lexi: How you manage to write and release so many books is beyond me. And that you write contemporary (Lie to Me published just last month), paranormal, and historical! Is it a little bit like letting different sides of yourself out to play when you switch up the genres?
Claire: Laugh – Yes, in many ways it is. I am a history buff at heart, so delving into historical lets me entertain the side of me that thrives on research. (Yes, I’m one of those people) Paranormal entertains my “What if?” passion, and Tori is just flat out fun.
Lexi: Your new series, The Flying Gang Legacy starts out with Bound By Decency. Cain is one hot pirate yet gets hung up on his sense of honor. Did you have fun writing this unusual pirate? Or was it a bit of a challenge bringing him to life?
Claire: Actually… all of the characters in Bound by Decency jumped up screaming and hollering from the very beginning. I really didn’t have to work at them as I’ve had to dig, and dig, with some other characters in different books.
Cain was a very comfortable write… I think there were many people in that era (and perhaps in all eras) who feel more or less forced into a box. I know I’ve been there, back when I was working in the corporate world. And while he is a bit reversed, in the sense he’s not being constrained and wants to escape, but would rather be relieved of his freedom, he was fairly natural to write.
India allowed me to play on the more typical desire to escape conformity. And the complimentary pairing made everything really come together smoothly. Add in a little antagonism from Drake… and Cain became really entertaining to work with.
Lexi: I think ever since Pirates of the Caribbean people have a newfound love for anything pirate. (Thank you, Johnny!!) How long have you had the idea for this series floating around in that creative head of yours?
Claire: I actually wrote the book and developed the series over a year ago. I’ve been involved with other deadlines and projects though, and couldn’t really devote full time to getting it released until this spring.
Lexi: I have to say I fell in love with Alex, aka Nightshade. What a strong personality combined with the talent of being a good captain and dangerous pirate. Not to spoil anything, but is there any way you can tell us if this pirate will be the focus of book two, Captured by Freedom?
Claire: Heh. Um… Let’s just say that Nightshade’s story will be told. And let’s combine that with the fact that book 2 in the Flying Gang Legacy will be out before the holidays. But I’m really glad you enjoyed Nightshade. That will be an incredibly fun tale! I promise
Lexi: This series is self published; do you have a time frame you would like to have all four books released?
Claire: I am targeting about four months between releases, which would put the next book, Captured by Freedom, out near the end of November / early December. The third will be out in the spring of 2013, and the final in early summer.
Lexi: I for one can’t wait for the rest of this series! Thanks for stopping by to answer some questions about it Claire. Do you have any questions you would like to ask our readers?
Claire: Because I agree with your comment that the world seems to be crazy about pirates, I would very much love to know what draws you to the sexy swashbucklers?
The Flying Gang Legacy #1
by Claire Ashgrove
Paperback, 420 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
ISBN 13: 9781477535820
After inheriting a portion of Spain’s Royal Inheritance, Cain left The Flying Gang for a c hance 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.
The Flying Gang Legacy
With Europe in chaos over who would claim the Spanish throne, the Atlantic waters bred a most despicable lot. Privateers who pillaged and claimed, loyal to no country, more thief than noble mercenary. One man would claim Spain’s inheritance. He would pass it on. To a band of cutthroats more terrifying and deadly than the nightmares of the deep.
As the nations settle into peace, The Flying Gang knows no boundaries. No sea is safe. No shore unchartered. Chilling Rogers raised to the sky, they reign with fear, bound only to the wind, the brotherhood, and the ships they love. One tiny jeweled box strikes a gleam in their eyes. A golden trinket four rogue Captains risk danger, capture, and even friendship to possess.
Until love interferes with their rapscallion hearts…
EXCERPT: (Thank you Claire!)
India refused to be swayed. She’d found freedom. She wasn’t about to let it slip through her hands because of a little danger. Life was meant to be lived, not treated like a sickly child. “Then come with me. You’ll keep me safe. Teach me how to defend myself, if you must. But I’m going down there, with or without you.”
Cain opened his mouth to speak, spluttered something unintelligible, then quickly snapped it shut. Clearly, he had expected her to listen to reason and take refuge from the scourge within a taxi. As he struggled to recover his tongue, she fought back a giggle. She’d won. She had actually won a round with Cain.
Or perhaps she’d lost. Dismay settled into her veins, weighing down her heart. She pulled her hand free of his arm and turned to gaze at the shore in longing. They didn’t fear a stroll down the streets. What made those women so different than she? The fact they couldn’t size their clothes correctly, or that they opened their legs for coin?
She stiffened her chin, stalked to the rail, and swung a leg over to catch the ladder dangling off the bow. “This taxicab—where shall I find it?”
“I’ll hail one when we reach the end of the dock.”
“No. I’m afraid you don’t understand. I’m going to walk, Cain.” With that she disembarked.
In seconds, his feet appeared on the rope rungs above her head. He glanced over his shoulder, looking down at her. “What in the name of the seven hells do you think you’re doing?”
India shimmied down the last three rungs, and her toes touched the wet wooden dock. She dusted her hands on her trousers, then flashed him a broad grin. “Seeing the things I want to see.” Turning, she took four steps toward the fray of people.
He hit the dock with a thud. “India!”
Claire Ashgrove has been writing since her early teens and maintained the hobby for twenty years before deciding to leap into the professional world. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write steamy, sexy stories for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire’s paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars debuted with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes for Berkley Heat as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, and her local RWA chapters, Heartland Romance Authors, Midwest Romance Writers, North Texas Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. Claire lives in Missouri with her two toddler sons, and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her “free” time, she enjoys cooking, winning at Rummy, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending quiet moments with her family, including the critters. She credits her success to her family's constant support and endless patience. To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com.
Claire will be giving away a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to one random commenter during the tour (leave an email with your comment). Follow the tour – the more times you comment, the better your chances of winning! Complete schedule can be found here.