Thursday, September 27, 2012

Immortal Surrender by Claire Ashgrove (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Today I am happy to welcome back one of my favorite romance authors, Claire Ashgrove! Please give her a warm welcome!

What’s In A Name?

Good morning, everyone!  Thanks so much for hosting me today!

Names…we all have one.  We probably know what ours means.  Take mine for instance.  Claire means “clear” or “famous” and has French origins.  It still means clear in French.  It’s also traditionally male.

But what about character names? I tend to use historical names or names that could have been historical when I’m writing, and specifically in the series, The Curse of the Templars.  So let’s take a peek at our hero’s name:  Farran de Clare.

Farran comes from ‘fardi’ and ‘nanthi’, which means journey and venture, respectively.  It can also mean in French Iron Grey.  I went with the first meaning, because I felt that was more appropriate for his role.  Like critters who grow into their names (never name a dog Chewy!) I think characters do also.  He’s a Templar Knight who’s gone places and seen many things in life.

But his last name was a bit more fun and exciting.  Consider the Templar scoped throughout Europe, but were predominantly based out of France.  I began the hunt for surnames based on recorded names in the era, and then happened across ‘de Clare’.  Hmm.  That sounds good with “Farran”, onward we go.

Consider also that where surnames existed and/or were used, they tended to relate back to someone’s job, place, or physical traits.  So the literal translation from the French structure is  Farran of Clare.  And Clare is a village near SuffolkSuffolk?!  That’s not French!

Ah… nope, it sure isn’t.  But in this case, Clare received its name from the de Clare’s, of Normandy.

Digging a little further, I already knew what this “Farran person’s” issue was – what happened in his past that is haunting him now as the curse invades his soul more.  I’m not giving away spoilers, but suffice it to say, there’s a Norman / Saxon issue that plays into things.

And holy schmoly, when I set off on this path of investigating the name de Clare, and Clare, England, I learned the de Clares were Normans, but the town of Clare has had multiple pit excavations done throughout it, and archeological findings show significant Saxon influence in the area, prior to the Norman rule.

Sometimes… I have to confess… things just come together a little too conveniently to be sheer coincidence.  My “Farran character” who’s last name began with a shot in the dark “It has a nice ring to the ear”, fell together quite nicely.

So what’s in a name to you?  Do names inspire you?  Or are they simply a manner of address?

Giveaway Details:

Claire is giving away one digital copy of any one of her backlist books, excepting those in the Templar series, to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop on the blog tour.  

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

*Make sure to leave your email address in your comment!

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.
“This series (The Curse of the Templars) is explosive, sexy, riveting, and Claire Ashgrove is a master of her craft.” ~ NYTimes Bestselling Author, Maggie Shayne


Farran stared up at Noelle, cursing her bad luck, the Almighty, and his fate. He well knew how terror could trap a person, had seen it countless times with unseasoned knights. In her unmoving position, he recognized the signs too clearly. This was no act meant to gain his sympathy. ’Twas no ploy to soften his anger over her attempt at escape. She was truly terrified.

“Damnation,” he muttered beneath his breath.

He closed his eyes with an inward prayer his stomach would not revolt and made the mark of the cross over his chest. Eyeing her, he strode to the ladder. She would pay for this later. He would find a way to make certain she came to regret her attempt at escape.

Do not look down. He chanted the mantra as he climbed the icy rungs. In less time than he had imagined, he arrived at her feet. Holding on with one hand, he placed the other on her calf. “I am here. Climb down.”

’Twas then he noticed the shaking of her shoulders, heard her muffled tears. When she did not move, he gave her leg a squeeze. “Noelle, come down. I will not let you fall.”

“I’m scared,” she murmured.

Saints’ blood, she did not intend to make this easy. Aye, indeed, he would lock her in her rooms at the temple for a week.

He assessed her position, made note of the little space her tiny body occupied. Carefully, he tucked his feet between hers and the side rails and eased his body up her legs. When he had pinned her between the ladder and his chest, he stopped. “Grab on to me.”

She let go with one hand, then clutched at the rail with a fierce shake of her head. “I can’t. I can’t, Farran.”

At the sound of her broken voice, all his defenses shuddered like a door under the barrage of a battering ram. The anger her defiance provoked dissolved with her sniffle. Deep in his gut, a heavy knot unwound. He pressed his body into hers, molded his thighs around her legs. Holding on with one hand, he pried her fingers off the metal and guided her hand to his shoulder. “Turn around, damsel,” he encouraged quietly. “Wind your arms around my neck, and we shall descend together. I swear to you, I will not let you fall.”

Award-Winning Author 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, and North Texas Romance Writers of America.
Claire lives in Missouri with her two 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.
To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at, or  You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter


  1. I think in real life we grow into our names, but in books characters don't always have the chance to do that, so they have to have the perfect name to start with.

    shawny.jeann at gmail. com

  2. It's funny to have a name that everyone hasn't been used a hundred time. I wish that my name was different but oh well, just have to live with it. Names in book create an idea of where they come from.

  3. If only all parents put as much thought, effort & consideration before naming their children. Have you come across some unfortunate child saddled with an awful name? What girl would want a name like Fifi Trixiebelle?!

  4. Handsome book cover.

  5. Names become very personal, some names i just can´t stand *guffaws* but that´s bc i think of the person.. .
    Love the giveaway, =)

    best wishes, Linda xo

  6. Thanks for a great post! Names are everything and it helps when they are unique and meaningful.


  7. I enjoy seeing not so common names in books. Even common names seen to fit some of the personalities that are brought out.


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