Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bound By Decency Blog Tour - Guest post and Giveaway with Claire Ashgrove


Welcome to this stop of the Bound By Decency Virtual Blog Tour with Claire Ashgrove. I am currently reading this book and really loving it. These pirates are definitely smexy. Now I will pass the blog over to Claire.........

Thanks for letting me stop by United By Books today.  I’m thrilled to be here talking about my debut historical, Bound by Decency.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Cutting Corners As An Author

One of the things I get asked often is “How do you find the time?”  I write in many different genres, and with the combined titles under my second pen name, Tori St. Claire, I have 16 books out.  The vast majority of which have released since August of last year.

So… I’m sharing my secrets with you now!

First, understand, that the Story is God.  This is something that I’ve had to ingrain in my family.  The Story is God…and I Must Answer Its Demands.  This means that when the calendar says I have to have x done on y day, we are not having a gourmet dinner.  We’re having macaroni and cheese if you’re lucky.  Most likely, it’s hot dogs.  If laundry needs to be done?  Well… there’s the soap, there’s the machine…  Carve off a few minutes here and there with the mundane household chores, and that time adds up!  Do the important things.  Let the others wait until the deadline is met.

Second, train your friends, not just your immediate family.  This means all those people who think you’re at home luxuriating in the life of an author, not actuallyworking…get a rather rude awakening when you suddenly just don’t answer the phone or decline a trip down the street for shoes.  (Er… wait… shoes are excusable.  Let’s try new towels.)  They will learn, eventually, that work calls.  And you, dear writer, will be so much more pleased by not having to deal with the interruption of a ringing phone if you simply turn it off.  And tip!  No awkward moments about declining a shopping spree if the invitation comes to voice mail.

Third, abolish your need for sleep.  What?  You can’t function without at least eight hours?  Hah!  You can.  And sometimes, when a deadline is pressing, you must.  On any given night I get around 5 hours of sleep.  I juggle farm life, school for the kids, a part time day job, and home life for the kids.  That means the downtime usually hits on the hours the family is asleep.  Don’t be afraid to burn the midnight oil – you might be surprised how a tiny does of sleep-deprived delirium might actually work in your plot.

Okay all of that is rather tongue in cheek… but what I’m trying to get at is simple:

a.
Carve off the extemporaneous and cut back.  Just like you’d budget finances, budget your time and readjust as you need to when a deadline is staring you in the face.
b.
Once you carve off the time, make the time work for you.  Cutting time out of your lunch hour so you can leave work that much earlier is great.  Spending that time doing anything else but writing as you intended isn’t in your favor.
c.
Use every moment you can.  If this means staying up late, then so be it.  If that means fifteen minutes to review a few pages of edits on a break, use it.  But typically, writers are sleep deprived, and that’s something an author should embrace.

Writing is work, plain and simple. It’s enjoyable work, and when someone has a passion for what they do, it’s even more enjoyable.  Still, it’s a job, and like most self-employed ventures, it requires motivation, drive, and above all, commitment.  I don’t know exactly what I do to accomplish all that’s on my plate.  But I do know that it requires careful juggling of everything, and without my family’s help and support, it simply wouldn’t happen.

So tell me… whether you’re a writer or not, what tricks do you use to make hectic schedules work?


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.


Series Concept:

The Flying Gang Legacy

1717...
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*********

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.
Unacceptable.
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!”

Author Bio:  

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, 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.

********* GIVEAWAY DETAILS *********

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.

10 comments:

Cassie Hoffman said...

I loved reading the interview. Thank you for the giveaway!!!

Pimpin' Reads said...

My family helps out. I write mostly in bits and pieces atm. It's not as easy as most people think. Patience is a virtue. Thanks Pimpin' Reads jokestner at yahoo . Com

Tinab said...

Love your advice pn writing and can't wait to read your books.

Meg said...

Awesome interview and awesome giveaway!

Chelsea B. said...

I make lists. Not only do they help, but writing them relaxes me *so much*. I'm a bit OCD, you see, so writing lists *is* like going shoe shopping for me ;-)

justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

June M. said...

I guess my ideas are pretty common. I make lists and try to put off anything that is not necessary (if it can be put off, then do it until you have more time).
I pretty much always function on 4 or 5 hours of sleep (often less). Unless I am sick, then sleep seems to be all I want to do, lol.
June
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Linda said...

I´ve realized that if it gets too hectic at home/work, i tend to take a nap =/ It doesn´t make me do things faster, but i do feel better. =) I´m no fan of stress. And i´m not cleaning as much as i should. I rather read.
Love the giveaway!

Best wishes, Linda xo

marybelle said...

It always amazes me how much time is taken up doing things around the house & extras.

This was very interesting. I can see how a writer would need to be 'ruthless' at times.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

smartmouthtexan said...

Great interview and thanks for the giveaway.

Ashley

ps: Love the cover....

smartmouthtexan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Claire Ashgrove said...

Thank you ladies! I too am a fan of lists. And lists to make lists... cough. (I was a former project manager.)

Re the cover, Ashley -- thank you!! Trish Pickey me is the lovely artist. She's fantastic!