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, January 21, 2011

When Desire and Ability Don't Mesh

Posted On 12:29 AM by Claire Ashgrove 0 comments

I've long been someone who preaches "You just have to make the time to write." Along with, "Write every day."

These last couple of weeks, I'm realizing that I have a burning desire to write, and my writing hours aren't meshing with that desire. My ability to produce, has been blindsided by one thing after another.

Sure, I'm still putting in words daily, and I'm still making sure I devote the effort, but I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the number of things that are intent on deterring me.

The latest was my living room.

Today while I'm getting things in order and gearing up for what would be a productive night of writing, with the ability to knock out at least half of my remaining words needed to complete a book, a friend of mine walks into my kitchen and says, "There's a puddle in your living room."

Well, my first instinct was, "Damn dog."

Oh no. It couldn't be that simple. My roof is leaking. Which put my mind on roof repairs for the rest of the day. And that means my weekend is now devoted to repairing the roof. Now, I have a pan keeping water off my hardwood floor and praying for everything to freeze solid. Snow, that I was bemoaning and hoping would go away, I want to stick around. Heck, big fat chunks of ice that take years to thaw out would be awesome right now. Anything to stop the plink plink plink background noise and the reminder that I have a headache to deal with that I can't fix immediately.

All of which is making it terribly difficult to focus on conflict resolution and happily ever afters.


But for those of you who are having similiar experiences with confined muses, take heart. If you can manage to drown out the noise, when you can tap into that muse and escape the reality for a little while, it does make the pounding in your head a little easier to deal with. The hammers might start up again the minute you get away from the computer, but as I've learned in the short tidbits of time I've been able to steal since January started -- for a little while, everything is normal and calm when I can craft words.

If I can just figure out how to, say, keep the kids from drowning the cat when I send one to help the other wash his hands... I might be able to eek out a few more words each day.


Happy writing all.


Thursday, January 13, 2011


Posted On 12:43 AM by Claire Ashgrove 1 comments

Several weeks ago, perhaps longer, I read a post by Dean Wesley Smith about how authors should not be afraid to mention how long it takes them to write a book, and that the perception that writing a book in a short time is a bad thing is hogwash. He went on to say that prolific writers are the writers of the future. At the time I read that, I had really no idea attitudes or perceptions like this existed.

Oh, could I have not begun to realize how quickly my little delusions would shatter.

I am a prolific writer. I write quickly to boot. (It drives my critique partners nuts sometimes -- right gals?) I have been fighting constraints related to this. Been told to slow down. Been advised to steer away from areas I want to pursue. Been told to not admit how quickly I can put a book together start to finish.

All since I started reading Dean's blog -- maybe he jinxed me. Laugh!

So today, after hitting a final plateau in my frustrations, I bit the bullet and reinvented myself incognito so I can pursue some of my other passions. And you know, it felt liberating to take that jump. To embrace this evidently shady side of my nature and celebrate it by promoting it. I'm still Claire, still writing romance, and that won't change. But I also have an alter-ego, and my alter-ego doesn't write romance at all.

Let's change this, authors, if we can. It's really a shame that an author can't be congratulated for multiple accomplishments under the same identity. We've been branded, we've given control over our careers to others. I read an agent who said once, "Revisions should take at least six months to complete." -- Says who? Doesn't that depend on how quickly the author grasps what's being asked of her, how quickly she can apply that, and how much time to spend with her craft she has?

There's something wrong with the belief that quality is only established within certain parameters of time. Quality is only dependant on how seriously the author applies herself to her craft. I can't buy into any other philosophy. I mean, we're talking sheer math to a degree. If one author has 12 hours in a day to write, and another author has 2 hours to write... yeah... those revisions might take six months for the second, but that time is going to be significantly shorter to the first author.

It's like saying the only way to achieve an "A" in school is to study by one method and one method only. And as authors, people who exercise -- really exercise -- the creative part of our brains, telling us there's only one way to write and only one acceptable approach is simply... unacceptable.

So here's to escaping frustrations, and here's to embracing the red-headed stepchild of my personality :)