Today we are really excited to welcome back author Claire Ashgrove in celebration of her newest release, Bound by Decency, the first book in an all new Historical Romance series featuring sexy pirates! Claire stops by today with a character interview, so please give her a warm welcome and don’t forget to check at the end of the post for the giveaway details of the tour 🙂
Good morning everyone! Thanks for having me back here at Love to Read for Fun! I’m thrilled to be able to talk about my debut historical, Bound by Decency. And I thought I’d kick off today with a personal one-on-one with Cain.
What did you think the first moment you saw India? Be truthful, Cain.
Cain: Beyond the fact that she was a means to an end, Miss Prescott was quite captivating. I have never seen eyes that are so very blue. I found myself taken aback, which was a reaction I could ill afford given the circumstances. As to the rest…it would be ungentlemanly to discuss the nature of my thoughts upon our first meeting.
In The Battery – did you think you’d ever walk free again?
Cain: The Battery was a most foul experience. I could go the rest of my days without recalling the time I spent confined within those musty walls. No, I did not presume I would see daylight as a free man again. I had made peace with my maker and awaited my march to the gallows erected beyond my small window.
Could you tell us a little more about how Drake freed you?
Cain: (Chuckles). Drake has a certain, shall we say, way about him. It’s one occasion where I find myself grateful for his roguish ways. He sent a whore in to alert me to his plans, and paid the same wench handsomely to (Cain coughs) distract Lieutenant Jacobs. When he was quite otherwise disposed, I believe the good Lieutenant found a pair of willing lips replaced by the tip of a sword. You can well imagine what came next.
What was it like sailing with Drake again?
Cain: Again? (Cain laughs). My dear Miss Ashgrove, we have never sailed together before. And thank the saints we shall never do so again. I fear I would have to pitch him overboard if such a trial were imposed upon me again.
Somehow I have the feeling he might say the same.
Cain: The Far East. They possess such rich goods. Fantastic designs I have never laid eyes on before, and medicines I found good use for when ports were distant.
Can you tell us where The Kraken is now?
Cain: (Wincing) I daresay I do not care to consider where she may be… or what condition she may be in. Drake is more oft to lose his ships than not. What he has done with her, I could not begin to presume. I know only that I left her, intact, on the water.
All right – I have to ask. Would you tell us more about that little gold box?
Cain: You know all there is to tell. It will be returned to its rightful owners as soon as I have a trade vessel sailing for Spain.
Darn. I was hoping for something more. Like what’s inside it.
Cain: It has brought Jennings and myself luck. I will not risk the fates by sating curiosity.
One last question for you, Cain. What can we expect from the other captains in The Flying Gang?
Cain: (Laughing again.) Dear lady, one can never predict what trouble may come to those brigands. It is best not to have expectations.
I think I can understand that. Well, I’m sure you have other important things to attend to. Thanks for taking a little time to talk with me, Cain.
Cain: It is, indeed, my pleasure.
About the Book:
After inheriting a portion of Spain’s Royal Inheritance, Cain left The Flying Gang for a chance 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…
For a moment, he could do nothing more than stare. Richard had said his intended was lovely, but somehow, Cain had never pictured her as a beauty. Yet now, as she stood before him, her chest heaving with indignation and her hair a sopping mess, he realized Richard had once again played him false. India Prescott wasn’t merely lovely. She was breathtaking.
“What in the name of Mary do you think you’re doing?” she snapped. “My father will see you hang for this.”
Her sharp tongue yanked Cain out of his stupor. He collected himself quickly, and for the first time since his arrest, gave into a broad grin. “Indeed, he will have to get in line.”
India’s eyes widened a fraction, but anger drew delicate brows downward, and those sky-blue eyes narrowed. “I see no amusement in this. Do you have any idea who I am?”
As a rumble of laughter broke through the men within earshot, Cain’s humor subsided. His smile faded, and he reached out to twine a thick lock of her hair around his finger. Turning his wrist, he wrapped the silken length around his hand, slowly bringing her closer. So close that the wet fabric straining across her breasts dampened his shirt. The heat of her skin grazed his. “I know well who you are, Miss Prescott.” He ran the back of his free hand across her dainty collar bone, over the slope of her shoulder, then lifted it to draw his thumb across her parted lips. The audible catch of her breath ricocheted through him. So she was not unaffected by him. Good. He could use it to his advantage.
His gaze held hers. A flicker of fear passed behind her eyes, but to her credit, she didn’t shrink away. She stood straight and proud, even as she shivered in the stirring breeze. Courage Cain didn’t often encounter from the gentle born. God’s teeth, men far stronger and larger than she didn’t hesitate to grovel at his feet. Yet she, no bigger than a lark, defied him with stubborn silence.
To drive her subservient position as his captive home, he tightened his hold on her hair until she winced. Leaning forward, he lowered his mouth to her ear. “You are the daughter of a powerful man and presently my prisoner, to do with as I will.” Stepping back, he untwined his hand and smirked.
India’s palm cracked across his cheek. “Rot in hell!”
About the 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, 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. Follow the tour – the more times you comment, the better your chances of winning! Complete schedule can be found here.
All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment/question for Claire.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Tour ends on Friday, 31 August 2012.