Immortal Hope -- Fact and Fiction

./Immortal Hope
TOR Romance
(January 3, 2012)

Mass Market Paperback
ISBN-10:  0765367580
ISBN-13:   978-0765367587

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"The story is well researched, with interesting characters, and you'll be sucked into the novel within the first chapter."

Romantic Times Reviews

“This series (The Curse of the Templars) is explosive, sexy, riveting, and Claire Ashgrove is a master of her craft.”

MAGGIE SHAYNE, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Ashgrove's Templars will steal your heart and her world building will leave you wanting more.”

KARIN TABKE, National Bestselling Author

“Claire Ashgrove weaves complex layers of history, paranormal worlds and romantic fiction seamlessly.”

CATHERINE BYBEE, New York Times Bestselling Author

Fact and Fiction

In Immortal Hope there are many historical facts that I both built upon and then also tweaked to fit the storyline.

If you have a particular question about something mentioned in IMMORTAL HOPE, please feel free to email me!


The archangel Raphael is considered an angel of healing. He is portrayed as having reddish hair. In the book of Enoch, he was also instructed to bind Azazel and cast him into darkness.

In IMMORTAL HOPE, I used the "binding of Azazel" to cast Raphael as one of the key players in both the cursing of the Templar and the subsequent leading of the armies. I changed his appearance to a fair-skinned blonde, and altered his role as that of fighter, not healer.

The archangel Gabriel is considered "God's Messenger", he who will blow the horn on judgement day. Gabriel is of variable appearances in historical art, and in modern art is portrayed as feminine in some instances.

In IMMORTAL HOPE, Gabriel maintains his role of messenger, working with the seraphs under the directive of the Almighty. Even his fellow archangels are not privvy to the knowledge Gabriel bears. I played off his variable appearances and have made Gabrial appear to seraphs differently. Also, as he directly works with the modern women and modern society, he is the most contemporary of the archangels.

The archangel Michael stands against Satan in the New Testament and defeats him in the name of the Lord. He is a leader of holy armies. In Roman Catholic teachings, he is also considered the Angel of Death, giving each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing. Historically he was revered by military orders during the Middle Ages.

Keeping with the vast majority of accepted fact, Mikhail in IMMORTAL HOPE is the Templar leader. He also acts as the redeemer of souls by carrying out the task of bringing a nearly-transformed knight to death before his soul can fully turn. The spelling variant of his name depicts old world Hebrew pronunciation.

Uriel plays variant roles in differing religions.

In Immortal Hope, Uriel assumed the position of healer, and is as mystical as his precise purpose.

Templar Knights:

The Templar Code specified knights must maintain a vow of chastity. The punishment for not doing so was to confiscate the knight’s sword and surcoat until such a time that the leader decided to return them. At the time, it would have been a grave punishment – a knight is not a knight without a sword.

In IMMORTAL HOPE, I chose to assume the belief that expecting men to be chaste for hundreds of years was implausible and amended this oath to be a minor vow.

p. 88 - Anne references: "Templar discovered the Holy Grail and it now lay in the modern order’s possession, carefully hidden and cared for. Others swore the knights discovered the ark of the covenant, and now ancestors of Ralph de Sudeley kept it secret. Still others claimed the Order found lesser relics, like pieces of the true cross, shrouds, and articles belonging to saints."

This is, as it can be considered, historical fact. When the Order was eradicated by the Pope and the King of France, King Edward, in England had been excommunicated by the Pope and allowed the Templars to continue in England. In 1322 when the Templar refused to finance the king, Edward changed his tune. Upon Ralph de Sudeley’s death (a leader of the Templar), the Herdewyke preceptory had been bequeathed to the Templar order, and they were still in residence at the time of Edward’s purge. Some of the treasure was claimed by the crown. Locals relayed stories the Templar hid some of it away, which led to vigorous excavating by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1600.

  p 46 "Asterleigh? She knew that name. It had once been a medieval village, but now was little more than dust and dirt."


p 47 "“Lucan of Seacourt.” Again, Anne made the connection to a lost medieval village. Although inventoried by the Normans, the tiny town was nothing but rubble by the mid- 1400s."


p 112 - Anne and Merrick discuss the Hebrew texts written in the ancient language of the Essenes, which Anne remarks internally were the Dead Sea Scrolls. Merrick claims these were found under the Temple Mount, and reburied to hide them from mankind. Discussion also reveals the gates to Azazel's realm are documented in a strange scroll, the Copper Scroll. She tells him archaelogists believe the Copper Scroll documents the Lost Treasure of Jeruselum which archaelogists dig for on the Temple Mount now.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are as Merrick describes, however, whether they were ever buried beneath the Temple Mount is left for you to decide.The Copper Scroll is an actual artifact found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. It mystifies scholars today because it is written differently than the other items found with it. The descriptions are written in familiar language, such as “behind the red barn”, and it is believed to document, in some fashion, the lost treasure of Jerusalem.

In the begining of IMMORTAL HOPE, Anne is taken to the Templar Stronghold in North America, a creepy old building just north of Kansas City, near Liberty, Missouri.

The building that houses the Knights Templar in North America, does in fact exist. It is the Odd Fellows home, in Liberty, MO, and it was also owned and founded by a secret society. To my knowledge, the Knights Templar do not have a temple beneath the dilapidated brick shell. But ghosts evidently linger on the premises. It is now known as the Belvoir Winery.

p 317-318 Merrick discusses his heritage. He is the son of Geoffrey Martel, who is the brother of Fulk le Rechin. His cousin is also named Fulk – the first’s son.

Fulk I did imprison his brother at Chinon, thus claiming all Geoffrey’s power and property, and Geoffrey did stay in prison until near the end of his life. He did, in fact, die shortly after his release. He did not, however, have any heirs.

Chinon is mentioned several times throughout IMMORTAL HOPE, and most poignantly as Merrick's ancecstral territory where he was to later be tortured by the Inquisition.

Chinon did house Templar prisoners after King Phillip’s forced Inquisition. There are Templar engravings in the stone walls where the men were confined. In recent years, documentation has been discovered showing that these particular men were given pardons from the Catholic Church for reasons unexplained. This pardon has been essentially ‘buried’ in Church history.


Anne purchases a house in Atchison, Kansas that has implications of being haunted - a strange smell she can't identify. Further, she's been told it was owned by an old witch.

Anne’s house in Atchison Kansas is indeed on the city’s list of haunted attractions. It is currently unoccupied, and it is believed an “old witch” last lived in the house… her and her many cats. The tower room does not have power running to it. Yet often a light is seen on in the room. Cats have been heard purring inside, but no cats are in residence.

Anne states that she possesses her Masters degree and is working on her doctoral for a conditional promise of a promotion to Department Head.

Contrary to many larger, urban areas, the practice of teaching classes at the college level with only an MA is common in the midwest, particularly in smaller, private schools, not state-funded universities. Often the college itself will pay for the classes necessary to obtain one's doctorate. Further, conditional promises do occur, as politics is an undercurrent of higher education, in many environments. But conditional means exactly as it sounds - if the conditions are not met, the outcome is not given.

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