Guest Author & Giveaway: Claire Ashgrove featuring Bound by Decency

Wednesday, August 8

I know you all probably panicked when I contemplated getting rid of Monday's Muse.  But knowing it was not only my inspiration for not completely hating Monday's, but also yours...I just couldn't give it up.  Motivation is a great thing, doncha think?

Author Claire Ashgrove is my guest today to share a bit about where she finds her inspiration and motivation to write, as well as a special excerpt from her new book Bound by Decency.  Enjoy!


Thanks for having me here today!  I’m really enjoying this blog tour and had a great time here the last time I stopped by.  I thought I’d talk about inspiration and give you a little insight on what motivates me to write.

Top Three Ways I Find Inspiration

I can grab inspiration from many places and many things.  Sometimes, it’s rather random, but here are a few of the things that most frequently trigger the muse.


It used to be that music lyrics played at my heartstrings, and I’d want to write “that” particular story.  Not by any means anymore.  It’s more of a flash of a scene based on a line, and almost immediately following is a punch to the gut on emotion.  Even better are orchestral arrangements—particularly for action/adventure scenes.  If I can listen to a clip from a movie that’s in the same genre, the adrenaline will really get flowing and I find action scenes write better under those influences.


I love, love, love high powered drama and action.  Romance is nice, but in my movies, I’m not one who wants a lot of it.  And if they are tearjerkers I usually end up despising the movie.  A movie will hit me in the gut by bringing out character struggles, and its those emotions that I’m witnessing that inspire me to write.  If I can put the depth of expression and voice tone that are seen with the eye into my words, I’m a happy girl.


People-watching is an incredibly fun pastime, and if you haven’t attempted the hobby, do so for a day.  You’ll be surprised what you can see when you’re really looking.  I’ve grabbed onto characters by witnessing people in passing, watching the way they relate to others, and sometimes how they move.  An elderly couple holding hands; the outcast child hanging at the edge of a playground; the hot guy jogging with his dog – all are fair game.  My muse loves these little snippets because it allows a picture to form that I can then elaborate on.

There are many other minor ways: shopping trips, grocery store excursions, picking my demidemons up from school, and even personal experience to a degree. (Though very, very few are ever in my books as they actually occurred.)  But these are the biggies, the most frequent.

So what about you?  If you’re a writer, what inspires you?  If you’re a reader, what about books fires your inspiration?

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.

And enjoy this special excerpt for Musings readers:
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!”


Thanks Claire for being my guest today, and congratulations on the release of the first book in your new Flying Gang Legacy!  Personally, I love a good Pirate romance, don't you?

If you'd like to learn more about author Claire Ashgrove, the books she writes, check out her
website, her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.  And if you'd like to learn more about the upcoming books in this series, the Flying Gang have their own blog :)  How fun is that!

To celebrate the release of Bound by Decency, author Claire Ashgrove 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! 

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Answer the question Claire asked readers in her post.  (good for 1 entry)
How to enter:
  • Leave a comment at each stop on the blog tour to earn additional entries for the $25 GC. 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • The winner(s) for the $25 GC will be selected randomly from among all of the comments of the blog tour by the author who will also be responsible for contacting the winner(s).  Please see all of the details, rules,
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.


Carin August 8, 2012 at 1:33 AM  

I am a reader and books fire my imagination because I am able to visualize new worlds, different times and new people. Carin

Claire Ashgrove August 8, 2012 at 1:58 AM  

I'm sneaking in here real quick this morning... for anyone interested, Bound by Decency just went on a two-day promo. It's .99 cents for Kindle and Nook. Don't miss out.

I'll pop in later today and catch up on comments.

lorimeehan August 8, 2012 at 8:30 AM  

I'm a reader. I love to get lost in the story and imagine myself there watching the story line unfold. It's a wonderful escape.
GFC: lori meehan

erin August 8, 2012 at 11:26 AM  

Thanks for a fun post! Congrats on the newest release!

I'm a reader and I'm along for the ride :) I love losing myself in a story and being amazed by the author's imagination.


Tore August 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM  

I am a reader and reading inspires me to use my imagination and imagine different worlds and different people. It lets me lose myself in a good book and forget my real world for a while. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

June M. August 8, 2012 at 11:36 PM  

I guess what it is about books that fires my inspiration is the variety of characters and settings in romances. And of course the hot guys both on & in the books ;)
I have always loved music and found it inspiring too. There are certain bands/singers that can dramatically change my mood. I have passed on my love for music to my nieces & nephews (especially 80's hard rock/hair band music)
Thanks for the giveaway. I have already bought the Kindle version of this book and look forward to reading it.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Claire Ashgrove August 9, 2012 at 1:35 AM  

Thank you ladies! I didn't mention books did I... huh, odd. You'd think that a primary inspiration would make it to the guest post. Guess I took it for granted. I'm a reader as well as an author, and I agree with many of you...getting lost in my imagination is such a treat.

marybelle August 9, 2012 at 6:09 AM  

Just to lose myself in the worlds created is amazing. I find inspiration in all that the characters go through.


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