Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guest Post by Tori St. Claire

As soon as I saw this cover, I knew I had to have Tori St. Claire over to play!  She's brought us a sizzling excerpt from her new release, STRIPPED. Tori will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card at the end of the tour, so make sure to leave a comment to put your name in the hat. And remember to stop in at her other blog stops too. Each time you comment you increase your chances of winning. 
Did I mention she's going to give a Gift Card to the blogger with the most comments? No? Well, she is, so please leave a comment so I can win!!

Thanks, Tori for stopping by to chat. Your heroine, Natalya sounds like a kick-ass, take names later, kind of woman. How much of her, if any, stems from Tori St. Claire?

You know, I’d love to have a mile-long list of qualities Natalya and I share, but the uninteresting truth, the plain old boring reality of me, is we have nothing in common.

I’d like to even be able to say that she’s the type of woman I’d like to be, or she’s repressed qualities of my ego… laugh!  Nope.  Natalya just “appeared” in my head.  I would have to say if she has any qualities of mine, it’s her loyalty to her sister, and her depth of heart. 

Someone recently told me when I was telling them about a character I’m working on presently, “It will be interesting to see your definition of a bitch, because you are the most un-bitchy person I know.”

While I don’t have any siblings, I’m loyal to a fault to those I care about.  Which has led me on some interesting excursions in life, and given me a lot of bruises as I’ve had to learn hard lessons about human beings and the world we live in. 

I would honestly have to say that if there’s a character I’m like at all in Stripped, it would be Kate.  There’s a line in there she says along the lines of, “You expect me to lie to my friends?” – that would totally be my reaction if I were in her circumstances.  But with her back against the wall, she does what she has to do to protect herself and her little boy.  And beneath all that, there’s a deep love for her fraternal twin, so when Natalya needs aid, Kate’s more than willing to help. 

There’s probably a bit of me in Brandon as well, strange as it may sound.  He has the inherent belief in goodness, despite all he’s seen.  It’s not a blatant theme in Stripped, it’s only present between the lines.  He’s also more “straight and narrow” than Natalya, even though they share backgrounds in undercover work.  He’s also from my home town ;)

But going back to Natalya, she is indeed, a kick-ass, take names later, kind of woman… before she gets to Las Vegas.  Those qualities are still present inside her, but by the time she meets Brandon, she’s at a precipice and becoming aware of the life she’s been leading.  To stay alive, she can’t shed the very traits and skills that have kept her alive all these years.  Still, she’s not entirely certain she likes the woman she sees when she looks in the mirror.

Now, I’m curious – what about all of you?  Who, out of the books you’ve read, is your favorite heroine, and briefly, why?

Thanks for having me here today – it’s been a lot of fun!


Blurb - 

Body of secrets…

As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss. His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games. Natalya’s business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts. But the stakes are raised when she learns that the next target is her own sister Kate, a dancer in the famed club Fantasia. Only now does Natalya realize how personal her mission has become, and how far she’s willing to go to complete it.

Body of lies…

The manager of Fantasia is Brandon Moretti, an undercover detective who keeps a close eye on his girls, and an even closer one on his sinfully sensual hire. For Natalya, working the club could be the break she’s been waiting for. But for Moretti, Natalya is a possible link to a killer. Only he never counted on her being so lethally seductive or so dangerous to get close to.  As every forbidden pleasure between them is stripped away, his own secrets threaten their security, but it’s Natalya’s that could destroy them both.

Grab a cool drink and a Cabana boy with a fan, if you can find one because here's that excerpt I promised .

“Tell me what you want, beautiful.” His breath rasped over her cheek. Featherlight kisses accompanied the whisper, trailing across her skin in a taunting path toward her mouth.

Kiss me. She turned her head in search of lips she instinctively knew would be warm, the words on the tip of her tongue. Kiss me until I don’t care whether I live or die.

Honesty. Just once.

He caught her lower lip with his teeth, the nip nowhere near gentle. But the lazy stroke of his tongue soothed the stinging bite. She parted her lips, dipped her tongue out to touch his.

Brandon’s body tightened like a whip. The pressure in her lower back increased as his fingers curled into her skin. Their breaths mingled. The tips of their tongues met in a slow, sensual dance. As another spasm of ecstasy threatened to send her tumbling into his solid chest, she braced her hands on his shoulders.

And then Brandon was gone, the magic of his fingers disappearing as he stepped back and set both hands on her waist. His gaze scorched in to flood her body with tingles. He waited, his question unspoken, but hanging between them.

Tell me what you want.

Clearly he intended to make her admit she wanted to feel him deep inside her. Wanted to experience the slide of his bare skin against hers. And God, how she wanted to kiss him. To taste the desire that burned in his gaze and the indescribable flavor of hot, aroused man.
Confessing might lead her to an early grave, but for once, her conscious would be clear. She swallowed hard and dug deep for the courage that had kept her alive these last three years. His gaze followed the sweep of her tongue as she moistened her lips.

“Kiss me.” Her senses honed in on her whisper, amplifying it and the ragged fall of their mutual breathing. She became aware of every minuscule sound as she waited for Brandon to either dip his head and honor her request, or shove her aside with a wicked sneer.

He took a step closer, bringing their bodies in contact from chest to toes. One arm wrapped around her waist, then slid up her back to offer support between her shoulder blades. The other tangled in her hair, tipping her head back. Putting her where he wanted her—subtle dominance that thrilled her in places she hadn’t known existed. Her womb clamped hard, sending another rush of moisture through her pussy.

His mouth descended. Warm lips played against hers, drawing her into the spell his body wove. Pulling her in so deep she struggled for air.

The sudden, brassy ring of her cell phone jolted her out of hazy desire. She froze. With Kate and Sergei due to arrive at Fantasia any minute, there could only be one other person calling at this time of day—Dmitri. It would be almost one in the morning in Moscow. The time Dmitri put aside his work and crawled into bed. He’d want to talk before he slept.

“Don’t answer that,” Brandon whispered against her mouth.

Damn if those lips weren’t compelling. She’d had his mouth on her breast, knew the incredible magic his tongue could create there, but had yet to experience the tantalizing slide of his tongue against hers. The need to feel his mouth on hers, to get lost in his potent masculinity pressed her to ignore the ringing tones.

Duty, however, rose up screaming. If she didn’t answer, Dmitri would get suspicious.

“I have to.”

A bit about Tori (since she claims Natalya isn't her in disguise).

Tori St. Claire grew up writing. Hobby quickly turned into passion, and when she discovered the world of romance as a teen, poems and short stories gave way to full length novels with sexy heroes and heroines waiting to be swept off their feet. She wrote her first romance novel at seventeen.

While that manuscript gathered dust-bunnies beneath the bed, she went on to establish herself as a contemporary, historical, and paranormal author under the pen name, Claire Ashgrove. Her writing, however, skirted a fine line between hot and steamy, and motivated by authors she admired, she pushed her boundaries and made the leap into erotica, using the darker side of human nature and on-the-edge suspense to drive grittier, sexier, stories.

Her erotic romantic suspense novels are searingly sensual experiences that unite passion with true emotion, and the all-consuming tie that binds -- love.

Tori can be found at:

Twitter: @claireashgrove

This is where you get to leave that comment. Since that excerpt is likely to make you forget your own name, here's Tori's question again!

Who, out of the books you’ve read, is your favorite heroine, and briefly, why?

If you click on the banner at the top of this post, it will take you back to the tour schedule. I wouldn't want you to miss the next stop on Tori's tour!

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