Laid Bare With Flair Contest Day Seven!

Today’s prizes come from the fabulous writing duo – Ashleigh Raine! They’re giving away a copy of Lover’s Talisman and a necklace (check the story below!)

Here’s a story about the necklace:

In Lover’s Talisman, Mariah’s best friend, Twyla makes fancy beaded necklaces. She puts little spells on some of them for love, happiness, etc., for good luck. She’s been making them for years and selling them through various boutiques in town. But that’s not where Twilight’s Fancy started.

Ten years ago, I needed a fancy necklace to wear to an awards show in Hollywood. I was a seatfiller, not a ticket holder. I couldn’t afford a truly fancy necklace so I took apart a few old, broken necklaces and upcycled the beads into a glorious necklace with lots of dangles. I got tons of compliments and eventually requests for me to custom make others (which is tons of fun for me!). I just can’t stop. The addiction runs so deep!

When Lover’s Talisman was written, Twyla just really seemed like the kind of girl who’d be into making fancy beaded necklaces, so my passion became her passion and now I make Twilight’s Fancy necklaces all the time. I never make the same one, twice, though. They are all unique and very special. The one in this contest (entitled Precious Memories) will never be made again, so I hope you win it! Otherwise, others can be found at!

Blurb: For twelve years Stephan Rashleigh has lived in the shadows, patrolling the city streets as leader of the Talisman Bay Shadow Walkers. The danger of his world leaves no room for a woman in his life. Until now. It should have been easy–rescue Mariah, then let her go. Except once she’s in his arms, he can’t walk away. Vibrant, breathing life into him, she makes him feel again.

Mariah DeSilva isn’t interested in falling in love, even with the gorgeous hero who rescued her from a brutal attack. When her best friend is kidnapped, she turns to the only man she can trust to help. The more time she spends with Stephan, the less she can hide her growing feelings for him. There’s so much more between them than an explosive romp between the sheets, against the wall and everywhere in between.

As they search for Mariah’s missing friend, a sinister evil is revealed, someone who’s been watching, waiting for Stephan to reveal his greatest vulnerability–falling in love. This enemy will stop at nothing to wipe out the Shadow Walkers and claim Mariah for his own.

Warning, this title contains the following: Bondage and knife play (don’t worry, no one gets hurt). A fantasy ménage scene—two brothers loving one woman, yay! Magical orgasms. Pleasure sparks. Lots of demon killing, lots of cursing while killing demons, and even more sex (without the demons).

An excerpt from Lover’s Talisman by Ashleigh Raine (Contains adult content)

“We gotta go back to the import store. It’s safer there.”

Mariah pulled from his grasp. “I need to go inside and check the machine, to make sure no one has heard from her or that she hasn’t been trying to get a hold of me.”

Stephan studied the dark house. No lights on—anybody or anything could be hiding inside. “No. First, I gotta clear the perimeter. After it’s clear, then and only then will I determine if it’s safe for us to enter. Stay close to me.” Stephan extended a hand to her. Mariah looked at it for a moment before placing her hand in his. The heat from her touch infused his entire body with warmth, shifting all thought to sex. This was not a good time to get distracted.

“You sound like a commando. Clear the perimeter. Safe to enter. Do you really think we need to do this?” Mariah’s voice lowered to a whisper as they approached the back of the house.

“I’m not taking any chances. Anything could be waiting in the shadows.” He wished he could say more, make her understand the extent of danger she might be in. But he couldn’t. Not without compromising his job and the secrecy of the whole Shadow Organization. He’d already started down that path by having Fiero heal her yesterday and by bringing her to the compound in the first place. What was it about this woman that made him break his own rules?

“Twyla’s missing. This doesn’t have anything to do with me, does it?” Mariah paused and Stephan tried to think up an answer that wouldn’t scare her. “Oh God. Is this because of my attack last night? Was Twyla taken because of me?”

Stephan gazed into her big, bright eyes, glistening with unshed tears. He didn’t know what to tell her. It probably did have something to do with last night, but she already felt guilty and he didn’t want to add to that. The last thing he needed was a hysterical, terrified woman on his hands.

Convinced he was doing the right thing and that it had nothing to do with how damn bad he wanted to feel her soft body pressed against him, he wrapped his arms around her. She sighed, settling into his embrace, fitting against him, her head tucked beneath his chin, like they’d come together this way a hundred times before. His hands had a mind of their own, stroking the silky length of her hair, kneading circles into her back. The subtle scent of shampoo and clean, beautiful woman filled every breath and he inhaled deeply, taking that small part of her inside.

Each moment spent with her convinced him that maybe she really could be his. He remembered her ice-cold stare from the night before. It had to be a man. Someone must have fucked her up and scared her off men. He’d seen that kind of abuse happen all too often while growing up. Stephan vowed to kill whoever had done that to her.

“I’m not sure what’s goin’ on, but I won’t take any chances with you. We’ll find Twyla, I promise.” He didn’t mention that by the time they found her, it might be too late.

Mariah had never felt this secure. In the middle of her darkened yard, while searching for her best friend, she was completely safe. She wrapped her arms around his waist beneath his leather jacket, luxuriating in his strength. Stephan’s breath wafted against the top of her head, and his heart beat steadily beneath her cheek. The soft cotton of his tight black T-shirt felt comforting against her face. She closed her eyes and let herself enjoy how he made everything feel so right.

She started to pull away, but not before lightly brushing her lips against his chest. His back muscles tightened beneath her hands and she knew he’d felt her kiss. Her gaze returned to his eyes, her breath catching at the desire simmering there. He pulled her back toward him, quickly, fiercely, and ground his mouth to hers.

Mariah’s body lit up, an explosion of sensory awareness that set her ablaze. She wanted to draw him closer, she wanted to jerk away. She wanted to strip naked and fuck him right there against the back wall of the house.

Instead, she returned his kiss, opening her mouth and inviting him inside. It had been so long since she’d been kissed, but she didn’t ever remember feeling one down to her toes. He surrounded her, consumed her and she wanted to give him more to take. Lifting her hands to his hair, she ran her fingers through the short strands in the back. She heard a moan, but wasn’t sure if it was his or her own.

Strong hands anchored on her ass, fingers hot and demanding, searing through her jeans. She ground against him encouragingly and he responded with a deep growl, picking her up, trapping her between the house and his rock-hard body. Her legs circled his waist, their sexes crushed together, his erect cock demanding entrance. If their damn clothes would only disappear, she’d insist he come inside and stay for awhile.

One of his hands remained on her ass, keeping their clothed bodies locked in tortured limbo, while the other wandered over her hair, her cheek, caressing the length of her neck. Abandoning her mouth, he kissed and nipped along her jaw. She took in deep gulps of air between the moans and whimpers. When his teeth scraped roughly down her neck—which was one giant erogenous zone—she forgot to breathe, swallowing her shout and bucking against him, on the verge of climax.

Her body had never reacted like this before, never crested so high so fast. Now Mariah wanted penetration. Wanted Stephan to slam into her, fill her, mate with her until the only thing between their bodies was sweat and come.

But instead of getting closer, Stephan minutely pulled back, allowing room for a hand to travel under her shirt, fingertips brushing the underside of one breast. He explored her with tender caresses so at odds with the frantic tension exploding between them, palming her breast, rubbing his thumb over her nipple until it blossomed, begging to be sucked deep into the warm recesses of his mouth. Thrumming liquid heat swelled low in her belly, threatening to boil over.

She, too, could play the slow seduction game. Letting her fingers do the studying, she trailed down his chest and abdomen. He was rugged perfection beneath her hands, muscles rippling wherever she touched. When she landed on the bulge of his cock, that rippled too, the rigid steel pulsing against her palm. Curling her fingers, she grasped him through his jeans. Her neck muffled his guttural groan as his hips jerked.

His jeans were button fly. The top button came undone with little effort and she impatiently reached inside, desperate to feel his cock against her bare flesh. He was molded fire—large, powerful, hot. She wrapped her hand around him, loving the wicked thrill that came from being in control of pleasuring such a strong man. He moaned again, this time louder. She continued her ministrations, tactilely exploring what she wanted to see and taste.

Stephan’s hand slid from her breast to her jeans and made quick work of her button and zipper. Mariah spoke a prayer of thanks that she had worn sexy pink lace panties and not her comfortable, man-hater, white cotton granny underwear. Long, lean fingers grazed the damp lace stretched over her cunt and she almost cried. It had been so long since anyone’s hands but her own had traveled there.

One finger slipped under the silky barrier and rubbed back and forth, spreading her juices from her pussy to her clit. She whimpered and rocked against him, moments from orgasm. God, she wanted him inside her now, needed the slick feel of flesh invading flesh, turning her desperate ache into exquisite release. If she could just get the last few buttons of his jeans undone…

A shaft of moonlight broke through the clouds overhead, illuminating someone rapidly approaching them. She pushed against Stephan, scrambling to get away, her desire fast becoming fear. A figure covered in dark hair, long fangs dripping, with red glowing eyes, was almost upon them. “Stephan, run! We have to run!”

Today’s question: Do you like romantic suspense and/or thrillers? Why and who are your faves?

A winner will be chosen from the entries and announced at noon pacific, tomorrow! Remember, winners must claim prize within 3 days or I’ll redraw!

69 comments to “Laid Bare With Flair Contest Day Seven!”

  1. jennifer cecil
    July 9th, 2009 at 5:27 pm · Link

    I like romantic suspense novels. I love to read Nora Roberts.

  2. Kammie
    July 9th, 2009 at 5:58 pm · Link

    I love romantic suspense. Not so much on the thrillers. Need a bit of romance for me. Some of my favorites are Karen Rose, Linda Howard and J.D. Robb

  3. Amy S.
    July 9th, 2009 at 6:21 pm · Link

    I do like some romantic suspense books. Linda Howard is one of my fave authors for those.

  4. Jane
    July 9th, 2009 at 6:22 pm · Link

    I love thrillers and romantic suspense because of the action, mystery and drama. I’m a big fan of Allison Brennan, Karen Rose, Meryl Sawyer, Laura Griffin and Carla Neggers.

  5. Caffey
    July 9th, 2009 at 7:35 pm · Link

    I heard so much wonderful about the re-written of this book! The necklace is beautiful! Oh my, that excerpt smoldering, love it!

    I like romance suspense where they are hot 🙂 I love a good intense romance and suspense along with it! I love Jaci Burton’s Wild Riders! They are so yummy and the passion is so real and strong and the suspense is gripping! I too like Shannon McKenna, and Lora Leigh’s Romance Suspense!. Oh too how could I forget, Cindy Gerard that I tried one and ended up reading all of her Bodyguards book. Those too have great suspense with them as bodyguards and the sexual tension for the stories are good too!

  6. Shelly A
    July 9th, 2009 at 7:36 pm · Link

    I like a story with a little bit of a twist at the end. Linda Howard, Shannon McKenna, Sandra Brown, Shayla Black are a few of my favorites. 🙂

  7. E.L.F.
    July 9th, 2009 at 7:37 pm · Link

    There are so many wonderful suspense/thriller authors that I enjoy because I like a little conflict with my happy endings! Some of my favs. include Catherine Coulter, Sandra Brown, Iris Johansen, Jayne Krentz, Brenda Novak, Suzanne Brockmann and Nora Roberts.

  8. Amelia
    July 9th, 2009 at 7:41 pm · Link

    I like Shannon McKenna, Lora Leigh, Suzanne Brockmann, Marjorie M. Liu. I like to picture the action in my head as I read the books.

  9. Martha Lawson
    July 9th, 2009 at 7:53 pm · Link

    I love romantic suspense! My favs are Karen Rose, Jayne ann Krentz, Christy Reece, Leslie Parrish, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard, Beverly Barton, and I’m sure ther’s more just can’t think of any more right now! Gorgeous necklace.

  10. (Mickey) m-square
    July 9th, 2009 at 8:14 pm · Link

    How could any self respecting romance reader not love a little suspense? I like mine as Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb, JAK, Amanda Quick and Cherry Adair. Who could go wrong with these ladies?

  11. Llehn
    July 9th, 2009 at 8:17 pm · Link

    Yes, I do. My favorite is the Anita Blake series.

  12. Michelle B.
    July 9th, 2009 at 8:51 pm · Link

    I’m a great fan of romantic suspense and love Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake & Meredith Gentry series as well as Linda Howard, Christine Feehan, Catherine Coulter, Katie Macalister and many others… 🙂

  13. Tabitha
    July 9th, 2009 at 9:13 pm · Link

    I love romantic suspense!! My all time favorites is Karen Rose — love almost all her books except one! Other authors I enjoy are: Andrea Kane, Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, and Pamela Clare (go I-team!).

  14. Cathi O
    July 9th, 2009 at 9:58 pm · Link

    Ramontic suspense is the way to go!

    Nora Roberts / JD Robb
    Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Laurell K. Hamilton
    Iris Johanson
    Catherine Coulter
    Suzanne Brockman
    Alyssa Day
    Karen Marie Moning
    Charlaine Harris
    Kelley Armstrong
    JR Ward
    Christine Feehan
    Heather Graham
    and the list goes on

  15. Laney4
    July 9th, 2009 at 10:33 pm · Link

    I like both. As others have said, they keep you on your toes. I don’t really sit there and figure out who writes what kind of books; I just read them and enjoy almost all I read! I’m learning from these blogs, though, that I should start writing down my faves and even those that are NOT my faves! Live and learn!

  16. LaRonda
    July 10th, 2009 at 12:48 am · Link

    I really love romantic suspense. Romantic tension is good but a little dramatic suspense makes it all that much better.

    Some of my favorites:
    Karen Rose
    JD Robb
    Julie Garwood
    Linda Howard
    Karen Robards
    Christine Feehan

  17. stacey smith
    July 10th, 2009 at 12:56 am · Link

    Not sher if she is one or the other but my fav is Christine Feehan I just love her books.

  18. Heather
    July 10th, 2009 at 1:44 am · Link

    yes i like romantic suspense and Thrillers as it is good to have a change of scene and challenge to the story.

    I enjoy the Harlequine Intrigue series, many authors and Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Carla Neggers, Jayne Ann Krenz and many more

  19. Arianna
    July 10th, 2009 at 6:32 am · Link

    I LOVE romantic suspense and thrillers! You’ve got passion going both ways in them. The passion to stay alive, get out of danger, get revenge, etc. And the passion to get under the covers and do the nasty! 😉 My favorites are J.R. Ward, Laurel K. Hamilton and Jennifer Rardin.