Guest & Contest: Claire Ashgrove

Archangels in IMMORTAL HOPE

CENTURIES AGO, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever roam the earth protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever-closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation – the return of the seraphs.

Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As he struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.

Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she’s destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.

If you’ve been following the tour – and you should be so you can win! – I’ve talked a lot about the Knights, the development of IMMORTAL HOPE, and the world that they are reluctantly a part of. I’ve touched on the archangels, and today I’d like to discuss them a little more.

To some degree, developing the archangel characters was already done for me. As a society we hear so much about them that I don’t need to totally build from ground zero like I do a hero or heroine. We know they are powerful. We know they are gifted. We know they have the ear of the Most High.

But I really wanted to add a little different to my archangels. Otherwise, why have four or more, when one might accomplish everything? To accomplish this, I gave them specific roles, and in one case, I altered accepted theology to fit my unalterable mental picture of Raphael.

Once their roles were assigned, I needed personalities. And they needed to be different from each other not just in role, but in psyche too. So, I piddled, I tinkered, and in the end, I came up with the four you meet in IMMORTAL HOPE:

Mikhail – old world usage of his name; Leader of the North American knights; a man who is more like his men than anything else. Except for one passage where emotions get the better of him, he’s logical and stoic. He’s spent most of his time living with knights, he’s going to behave like them for the most part.

Raphael – Leader of the European Knights; more friendly and warm than perhaps Mikhail, but then, the men he leads are a bit…different… as well. And as the series continues, he has a very special role to play and a very significant role he played in the past.

Uriel – Master of Healing in North America. He’s a quirky man, a bit of a puzzle to figure out. And though he’s a genius when it comes to being him… to the outsider, maybe not so much.

Gabriel – the Almighty’s Messenger. Privy to the messages from High and tasked with gathering the seraphs. He has been the most fun to play with, as he has a unique ability. Which I won’t go into, but pay close attention each time he makes an appearance. You’ll pick up on it, I’m sure. As the one who interacts mainly with modern society, he is more apt to behave the same.

There are others developed as the series continues, but that’s for another time and place. Basically what I went with was that each archangel needed to behave according to his particular place in the Divine Plan.

Now, a question for you – if an archangel told you that your fate included sacrificing everything you knew, understood, and treasured, what would you do?

Twitter: @ClaireAshgrove

Claire will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a second $25.00 gift certificate to a second randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! Click the Blog Tour badge for a complete list of blog stops.

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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 contemporaries, Claire’s paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars, debuts with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes for Berkley Heat under the pen name Tori St. Claire.

Claire lives on a small farm in Missouri with her two toddler sons, fifteen horses, four cats, and five 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.

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