Death Notice

Death Notice


A killer has something to say—and he’s using her obituary column to get his point across...

When columnist Monroe Donovan receives an obituary notice with a date of death two days in the future, she dismisses it as a typo. Then, a second incorrect obituary comes in, and a woman whose name matches the name of the deceased is murdered—on the date listed in the obituary. Now, Monroe realizes...

Misunderstanding Mason

Misunderstanding Mason


Sometimes the most vivid pictures go unseen...

When Kirstin Jones agreed to work with her live-in boyfriend, Mason, on a free-lance job for a wealthy client, she never thought it might destroy their relationship. But the client’s keen observations show her that she’s been little more than Mason’s shadow. Fed up with his insensitivities, she moves out. Weeks later, desperate to stand on her own, she accepts work with the same client once again. Only this time...

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

Twenty-Eight and A Half Wishes


“It all started when I saw myself dead.”

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain...

A Perfect Bride for Christmas

A Perfect Bride for Christmas


Alex King wants to follow the family tradition and marry his perfect bride on Christmas Eve. There's one little hitch -- Bianca dumps him at the altar. He wakes up in Vegas with a hangover, a ring on his finger, and in bed with his best friend, Zoe Hillman. She's overweight and plain, nothing at all like his image of the perfect wife. So begins the shortest Vegas marriage in history...




Body of secrets…

As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss. His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games. Natalya’s business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts. But the stakes are raised when she learns...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reviews, Reviews!

Posted On 11:55 AM by Claire Ashgrove 1 comments

I'm sharing two reviews that I received this month:

Both reviews were conducted by Marissa at Sizzling Hot Books.

The first is for Seduction's Stakes, my Contemporary romance centered around a passionate race for the Triple Crown.


"Seduction's Stakes is full of unforgettable characters, and an amazing love story. The story between Riley and Maddie is amazing, and like a fairy tale come true."

For full details, go here.

The second review is for All I Want For Christmas... Is Big Blue Eyes, a Christmas romance between two high school sweethearts who got everything wrong the first time around.


"All I want for Christmas... is Big Blue Eyes, proves once again that Claire Ashgrove is a talented author. The characters are unforgettable, and the story is believable. You can add All I want for Christmas.... is Big Blue Eyes to your list of Holiday traditions because it is defiantly one for the keep shelves."

For the full review, go here.

If you'd like to find out a little more about these two titles, and my other stuff available while we're waiting on those darkly sexy Templar Knights, take a peek at my Contemporary Romances on my website.

Next time I'll go back to witty and mundane :)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Writing Is Like Chess

Posted On 4:55 PM by Claire Ashgrove 0 comments

Stolen from the Cascade Literary Agency Blog

Occasionally while doing the total mundane (such as brushing my teeth) a few gems of wisdom pop into my head. Well, maybe not wisdom. But I like to think they are. Tonight while working through the next scene in my current work in progress, it occured to me to pull off what I'm striving for, I have to move each player very carefully.

Like chess. And thus the thought took root.

For anyone who writes with secondary characters, or includes extensive sub-plots, chess is a very appropriate term. Each person and element has to play off the other. The "Checkmate" is the resolution to the story. Getting there requires strategy, not just haphazard relocation of pawns and bishops (and if you're writing about Templars, the occasional Knight.)

Characters and elements can't just appear. Readers get highly annoyed by this. They have to be layered in, embedded in a plausible fashion, and dropping these little tidbits isn't nearly as easy as it may sound. Those who've faced the delimma of how to expose just the right amount of detail without giving away the whole package, should be jumping up and down in agreement. I think for some writers this comes more naturally. Others practice it (Romantic Suspense authors) so regularly it becomes habit. But those of us who are focused on different aspects of different genres have a bit of a difficult time with the chessboard.

Who moves to black? Who kills the pawn. When? With what piece? And how does that affect the pawn behind him?

I admire pantsers for this reason. I would seriously go into fits if my characters changed an aspect of my plot. I have to plot and in detail. But to sit down at a keyboard and possess the ability to navigate unexpected twists and turns? Simply amazing. Kudos to those of you who do.

Others, like myself, dictate out our plots over several pages, and then still stare at the screen, or pace, or chew on our nails as we realize "Oh. THIS must be in here. Now how to do it."

My current WIP is pushing that aspect of my brain a great deal and I am finding the challenge immensely enjoyable. But I'm curious -- how do you do it? Are you a strategic chess player, or are you the sort that takes the move, and then re-evalutes how to make the next one?

While you're considering that, I'd like to share with you the teaser for my Templar series.

For the higher quality version, go here: My Paranormal Website Page

For the faster-loading, but lower graphics quality YouTube version, go Here

Be sure to come back and share your thoughts on both.