Saturday 26 April 2014

Before The Storm by Claire Ashgrove Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Title : Before The Storm
Author : Claire Ashgrove
Pages : 304

She held no faith in magic.  Now, fate is calling her…
Halle Rhoads has a terrifying gift--she can kill with the fury of the storm.  

She should have known that kind of power wouldn't go unnoticed. Thrust into a world full of dark magic with a handsome stranger who claims he can teach her, she struggles to master her abilities and stumbles onto a dangerous truth. She's a windwalker, the chosen vessel of the ancient dragons who once ruled the world. Many will stop at nothing to possess the power in her blood, should they discover her secret.  With necromancers hunting her and Halle's closest allies guarding secrets, mastering her magic becomes a matter of necessity.    
But accepting her destiny is altogether different.  For doing so means she must sacrifice everything.  

Buy Links:

Amazon US  

During the tour Claire is releasing a part of chapter one and two at each stop, below is my excerpt and I hope you enjoy because this book was amazing. If you want to start at the very start the tour stops are below

4/20 – Under the Covers (Meet Halle Rhoads)

4/21 – Book Passion for Life (Melanie Interviews Claire)
            -- Reading Between the Wines (Meet Kale Norwood)

4/22 – Wicked Lil Pixie (Meet Marcus Wintergrave)

4/23 – Got Fiction (Heather Interviews Claire)

4/24 – Lola’s Reviews (Meet Spring)

4/25 – Literal Addiction (Meet and Greet with Halle and Kale)

4/26 – Book Lover’s Life (Meet Gerard Norwood)

Excerpt : 

Chapter Two Continued – Read previous at Literal Addiction!

My heart began to race as panic overrode all concerns about who this guy was and what he wanted with me. I hadn’t meant to harm him. Certainly not to kill him. Yeah, he was a hindrance. But…crap!

I gripped his shoulder more tightly. “Kale, can you hear me? You can’t die. Got it? No dying.”

Time passed like someone locked us in stasis. Where my sister went, I had no idea. If someone else passed by, I couldn’t say. It was just me and this big, handsome blond guy isolated in a little bubble of static existence. His body spasmed, doing its best to dislodge me and thrust his face back into the leaves and damp earth. Every muscle I possessed strained against the effort of holding him in place so he wouldn’t suffocate.

Eventually, his convulsions ebbed. He punched the air one last time, his left leg jerked hard, and he lay still. Uneven, hoarse breaths rasped from his bloodied lips.

“Kale?” Ever so gently, I shook his shoulder.

He gave no indication he felt the light push. Just lay there unmoving, his body as limp as a wet dishrag.

Now what? Glancing around the woods, I searched to see if anyone had witnessed what happened. My sister no longer lurked in the circle of thorn bushes. The close lightning strike must have sent her racing for shelter. She was probably trying to figure out how a clear sky could produce an electrical bolt.

“Kale Norwood, you have to wake up.” I shook him again.

No dice. He was totally comatose. And I needed to get out of here. But I couldn’t just leave him lying on the ground for anyone to stumble onto. Not to mention the fact that I had somehow summoned the lightning meant the atmosphere was significantly unstable. If it started to rain or storm, I didn’t want to bear the responsibility for further harm coming to him.

Why me?

Holding in a groan, I sat back on my heels and huffed a lock of black hair that had escaped my ponytail out of my face. “You have to wake up, man. Seriously. I can’t leave you here, and I sure as hell can’t take you with me.” No way could I drag him anywhere—looking at him now, he had to be at least six foot tall, and the width of his shoulders nearly doubled mine. No wonder he’d been able to hold me in place. This guy was nothing but hard muscle.

He’d have been cute if I hadn’t wanted to kick his ass so badly. I so didn’t need this today.

The sound of boots clomping through the woods snapped my attention toward the tree line near the front of Allen’s property.

~~You have reached the conclusion of the progressive blog hop.~~

Now as well as the excerpt I've a wonderful character interview Claire did with Gerard. Ill pass you over to the interview!!

Character Interview : Meet Gerard Norwood

Good morning, everyone!  Thanks bunches for letting me stop in today and share Before the Storm, my new Urban Fantasy release!  I sat down with Gerard, the leader of the Tolvenar camarilla, and asked him a few questions.  Here’s what he had to say:

Claire:  Tell us about your responsibilities within the Tolvenar camarilla?

Gerard:  Simply put, my duty is to look after my people and insure their survival.  If this means going to war, we go to war. If this means taking shelter, then I find shelter.  I govern based on the collective input of selected elders, and then act in the manner that is best for the entire camarilla. 

Claire:  How is the leadership passed on?  Is it inherited like a Kingdom?

Gerard:  Inheritance plays a large factor.  But magical strength also plays a considerable part.  If someone is too weak, he or she would naturally step aside for the benefit of all, and the rule would fall to another of our extended family. Luckily for us, the Norwoods have always possessed great strength and we need not consider that.

Claire:  So it’s similar to contemporary precedence and royalty? 

Gerard:  Exactly.

Claire:  And your wife Beth—she seems so…opposite…of you.  How’d you two meet?

Gerard(his expression hardens) Beth is not without her faults, to be certain.  I have always known her, but we became closer when I suffered a serious injury.  She has given selflessly of herself, and I will not easily forget her sacrifice.  Though perhaps she wishes I would.

Claire:  A very cryptic remark there, Gerard.  Anything you care to elaborate on?

Gerard:  No, it is family business.  I’m sorry but you’re—

Claire:  Not family.  I get it.  Sorta like Halle.  Speaking of –what did you think of her when you first met?

Gerard:  I presume you want the truth.  In that case, I was surprised to discover she was not the gullible, easily manipulated civilian I expected.  However, I found her particularly selfish and more than a little childish.

Claire:  That seems awfully harsh.  Has your opinion changed now?    

Gerard:  I’ve not spent the time with her that I would like to.  But I have learned most of her attitude is a façade.  Beneath it, she’s shrewd and perceptive.  Intelligent.  If not a little headstrong and abrasive.  Her judgment is not where I would like it to be, but she has been uneducated for too long, and her motives for making the decisions she does, are pure of heart.  And she challenges Kale—which he needs.

Claire:  What do you think her destiny is?

Gerard:  You know as well as I.  I know precisely what she is.  Whether she is capable of fulfilling that fate, or whether it is too much for her to bear, remains to be seen.  There is great darkness in her future, and the significant chance it will consume her, as it did Rafini.

Claire:  And your son’s fate?

Gerard:  I am no seer.  But my gut says theirs are intertwined.  However, I’m not certain I care for that either. While she possesses the chance for greatness, her path brings great danger to my son.

Claire:  How so?

Gerard:  Others will hunt her.  That will never change.  And when the heart becomes involved, wisdom is not always employed, as we have seen.  (He smiles faintly)  But it can also be an anchor of unspeakable proportions.  We will have to see what tomorrow holds, when it arrives.

Claire:  Sound advice, particularly if you cannot see the future.  Hm.  Can anyone in the Tolvenar see what’s to come? 

Gerard: Spring, perhaps, but not in any reliable way.  It is all just possibility based on uncertain choices.

Claire:  Hm.  Too bad.  Well, I should let you get back to business.  Thanks for sitting down with me!

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about the circumstances from Gerard’s perspective.  If you’d like to get to the heart of the matters at hand, Before the Storm is available for a short while at only .99 cents.  I’d love it if you’d check it out!

Author Bio:

Building on a background of fantasy game design, a fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, award-winning author Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart. Her paranormal series, The Curse of the Templars, marries the history of the Knights Templar with the chilling aspirations of the most unholy--a must-read for speculative fiction fans. She also writes as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire and historical romance author Sophia Garrett.

In her non-writing time, she’s runs Finish The Story, a full-scale editing house co-founded with Bryan Thomas Schmidt.  She lives in Missouri and enjoys cooking, studying ancient civilizations, and spending downtime with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs.

Keep in Touch via:


For the duration of the Before the Storm Blog Hop, Claire will be giving away, daily, one digital copy of anything on her backlist to one random commentor.  The Rafflecopter Giveaway for the Blog Hop is for a $15.00 Amazon / Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate, and a full digital set of her series, The Curse of the Templars. Be sure to comment and enter the Rafflecopter both!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now after all that if your still here here's my review of Before The Storm!!!

My Thoughts :

When Halle kills her father she lets everyone think she is dead too. She doesn't know how she did it or how to control her "power". When her emotions are very strong she tends to loose control and something bad happens. She is keeping an eye on her sister from afar when her uncle starts hitting her. Halle starts to loose control and wants to kill him but she is tackled by a stranger. This stranger seems to know alot about her and her powers and tells her that he can help. She agrees to go with him for 3 days to see if he can help. Next thing she knows she is drawn into a world she never knew existed. Who can she trust?  Can she control her power and find out exactly what she is?

This is the first book I've read by this author and I don't think it will be the last.

Halle is one kick ass girl!!! She has no idea what she is doing or whats happening and when she finds out that someone may be able to help her, even though she is hesitant to trust, she still goes. She is strong, smart, sassy and kick ass with a side of kick ass. Her father was an abusive asshole so when she killed him her aunt had her go into hiding because everyone thought she died too. She trusts and relies on no one. I loved her character. So complex but with a ton of spunk. 

Kale is the mysterious stranger who seems to know everything about Halle. He was totally swoon worthy!!! I loved seeing his character unfold. He has secrets and we slowly learn them during the book. I loved his and Halles relationship as well. They sass each other but you can feel the sizzle between them from the start. 

Before the Storm is one heck of a ride. From the very first page its non stop action, suspense and plenty of twists and turns. Its a breathtaking magical journey through a land that Halle didn't know existed. I flew through every page and the authors style had me breathless constantly. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. I have to say though that the duck totally stole the show!! I want one ;) If all of Claire's books are like this then I say bring it on!! Absolutely riveting and I cant wait for more. 


  1. I am itching to know whose boots those are! great Exerpt!

  2. Its so good!! You should definitely check it out!!

  3. sounds really good thanks so much for the giveaway denise smith