Archive for August 2nd, 2012

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.


Hi, everyone!  Thanks for having me here today.

Years ago, when I started writing, I started with historicals.  Fate and happenstance (and a friendly dare) saw me published in other genres first, and I’ve finally returned to what I consider my roots.  But I remember being plagued over the question of how historically accurate does a historical romance have to be.  I mean, down to the nitty gritty, things like what type of bird would have most commonly supplied the feather for a quill.

Finally, after talking to several historical authors, I discovered there are two camps for the most part.  Those who are painstakingly detailed about every nuance of the story, and those who weave in historical setting, historical background, and let the story tell the rest.  Obviously you can’t throw a pair of shorts on your regency heroine, but whether her buttons are bone or wood—heck, just let them be ‘buttons’.

Anyway, my happy medium is more of the latter.  I write fiction, and I like the ability to have a little freedom in my stories.  That’s not to say that my historicals aren’t heavily grounded in historical fact.  But I simply don’t give a damn what color was fashionable for a lady’s dress in any particular era and if it is taboo to put her in the silk that compliments her eyes the best.

What makes the decision I make hard though, is that historical readers are also equally rooted in one camp or the other.  Some will spit nails if the heroine’s hair isn’t styled just so.  Others won’t notice at all, or care.  I’ve learned there’s no pleasing everyone.  An author has to do what feels right to her within reason.

And that’s exactly what I did with Bound by Decency—I followed my heart.  My setting is rich with historical detail, the surrounding events and supporting cast are backed in factual accounts.  I employed myths and legends, and commonly understood aspects of the era, but I allowed my creativity and my imagination to navigate the gaps.  You’ll find Cain can list every sail, every part, every nuance of his ship.  Will his name be found someday on a list of Henry Jennings’ employed seamen?  Eh, probably not.  My job is to make you believe he might.

And that’s the fun of fiction and the beauty of a historical romance.

Here’s a brief glimpse:

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!”


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.


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.

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