Laid Bare With Flair Contest – Day Ten!

Today’s prize comes to us via the uber fabulous Anya Bast! She’s offering up a copy of her latest Berkley Sensation book – Witch Fury!

Blurb: Sarafina Connell is having the worst week of her life. It takes an even darker turn when an infamous playboy kidnaps her and reveals a world she never knew existed….

It’s a world where magick is real, and where Sarafina is given a chance to join a secret cabal that is bent on gaining absolute power. They could use a woman like her—a witch with an untapped gift for creating fire. But she isn’t about to get in league with the devil.

Rescued from her captors, Sarafina is introduced to a coven that is duty-bound to fight the forces of darkness. She’s pleased that her savior is the imposingly seductive Theo—until the trust between them goes up in flames. However, as the war between good and evil is waged, Sarafina and Theo realize they have no choice but to unite in the battle for supremacy—that’s getting hotter by the minute.


Shouting came from beyond the room. Stefan turned his head and Sarafina took the distraction as opportunity.

She fumbled for a moment, wondering what the hell she should do next, when an uncontrolled burst exploded from her. It felt like she’d fired a cannon and hadn’t aimed well. It went wide, toward the door of the room.

The door burst inward, ripped from the hinges at the same time the uncontrolled blast of fire hit it. Sarafina screamed in surprise, stepped backward, tripped and fell on her ass.

For a hazy, confused moment she thought her magick had exploded the door. Then she focused past the smoke and saw the dark outline of a man–tall, muscular build, long dark hair, grim expression on his face.

The man glanced at her for the barest of moments. His long hair blew around his face from the force of the magickical battle behind him. His eyes were hard and dark. In his brutal expression lay control and power. Knowledge–deep and wide. Sarafina noticed all that about him in a second and it took her breath away.

What new nightmare was this man?

The newcomer turned and deflected an aggressive attack from Stefan. The room exploded into chaos. Two men barreled through the door after the intruder. Instead of using magick to defend himself, he punched one in the face, grabbed him by his shirt front and threw him into the second. Then he whirled to once again face Stefan.

The scent of white hot fire and dark, rich earth filled her nose as furniture slid across the floor and slammed into the walls. The floor itself rippled. It was like a battle of supernatural titans.

Sarafina clutched Grosset to her chest and crawled behind an overturned table, holding her trembling dog close and wishing like hell this was all some really strange dream fueled by her grief. Any second now she’d wake up and shake her head over it, tell herself she’d never eat cold enchiladas before bed again.

But this was no dream.

Shouting, cursing. Explosions. Fire crackling. Growing hotter and nearer until thick bursts of earth extinguished the flare-ups.


Footsteps pounded through the rest of the house. Shouting in the distance. In the room where Sarafina and Grosset hid behind the overturned table there was no sound. Nothing.

Maybe the intruders–whoever they were–had forgotten about her. Maybe the hulking man in the doorway had gone away. Maybe this was her chance to get out of here.

Moving slowly, she peeked around the edge of the table and saw only a smoldering fire in a trashcan over in the corner of the room. Smoke wafted through the air. She inched out a little more, straining to hear any other sounds from inside the house. She didn’t know who the party crashers were and wanted to avoid them. With her luck they were worse than Stefan and his ilk.

Movement. The swirl of a long black duster.

The man was still there. Peeking out, she watched him circle the room, languid, lethal. His muscular body seemed tense with the desire to kill something, didn’t really matter what. The man turned toward her and she ducked back behind the table and closed her eyes, praying he’d pass her by.


A hand grasped her collar and lifted her straight up. Sarafina screamed and Grosset exploded in a flurry of Pomeranian rage. He snapped and growled at the man who’d trapped her in his big, sweaty, meaty hands–hands big enough to snap her neck in two seconds flat, she noted with unease.

Today’s question: When you’re reading a book with a lot of action, does it bother you if the heroine waits to be saved by the hero? Or does it bother you if she rushes in ahead of him? Neither? Both?

I’ll choose a winner at noon pacific, tomorrow! Remember to check in. Winners must claim prize within THREE days or I will redraw.

70 comments to “Laid Bare With Flair Contest – Day Ten!”

  1. jennifer cecil
    July 12th, 2009 at 4:08 pm · Link

    I perfer a proactive hero and/or heroine. Total helplessness is boring.

  2. Christine
    July 12th, 2009 at 4:09 pm · Link

    I don’t expect my heroine to be saved. If something is going down I’m screaming to something anything to save yourself. It doesn’t bother me if she goes in ahead of him but I don’t want her to do something stupid or careless.

  3. Alex D
    July 12th, 2009 at 4:34 pm · Link

    I enjoy a book more when the heroine or/and the hero are always ready to fight. It annoys me when they’re helpless or waiting for someone else to save them. When they can kick butt, it’s empowering.

  4. alba
    July 12th, 2009 at 4:55 pm · Link

    I do like action and I like the Fact that the gal can take care of herself but a wee bit of team work goes a long way for me too though.
    I excited about this book love Anya Best she is at the top of my must buy list….

  5. Blanche
    July 12th, 2009 at 5:30 pm · Link

    Either way is good for me! 🙂 I have read some really good books with kick-ass heroines and I think that is great!!! I guess it really depends on the storyline and the characters/personalities!!

  6. Diane Sadler
    July 12th, 2009 at 6:10 pm · Link

    absolutely great book

  7. Denice
    July 12th, 2009 at 6:32 pm · Link

    I prefer a heroine that jumps into the battle to help rescue herself. Sometimes, the results wind up being funny, but I prefer her trying to help herself instead of cowering. I hate seeing women as being meek and defenseless all the time. It makes me angry to see us being timid when we know that we can take care of matters ourselves.

  8. Mary Preston
    July 12th, 2009 at 7:35 pm · Link

    I love it when the heroine rushes in & then comes to the realization that she doesn’t have to do everything herself or go it alone. That it’s OK to need/ want/ask for help. I don’t like helpless damsels in distress waiting for the hero to step in to save the day.

  9. Fedora
    July 12th, 2009 at 9:04 pm · Link

    I agree with some other commenters–it depends on the characters and the story. I can’t stand when either rushes into a situation unprepared simply to “prove” s/he can handle it, when the opposite is true. I also can’t stand if someone sits around because s/he feels that’s the “right” thing to do. Gah!

  10. Andrea
    July 12th, 2009 at 9:23 pm · Link

    I completely agree with what many people have already said: it has to be natural. I’m okay with either, but it has to be natural. Sometimes I’m so angry with heroines because they’re fully capable and just sit around, but other times I’m upset with them because they aren’t patient enough. So, I guess it’s a balance and really depends on the situation and the characters.

  11. Llehn
    July 12th, 2009 at 9:40 pm · Link

    It depends. If she’s already saved herself a few times before, I am more forgiving if she gets saved once in a while. But if she is a damsel in distress, it really irritates me.

  12. Beverly G.
    July 12th, 2009 at 9:52 pm · Link

    I like a little of both sometimes i want the heroin to be rescued sometimes i want her to head head long in

  13. stacey smith
    July 12th, 2009 at 11:17 pm · Link

    I like it best when the man saves the girl but both ways are good in diffrent storys depends on how its written that madders.

  14. Edie
    July 13th, 2009 at 12:03 am · Link

    ooo.. one of my favourite rants!!
    I can not stand it when the author paints the heroine as completely kickass, then has her wait for the hero to save her butt.. sigh
    Yes it does depend on the character, and sometimes, say the average human chick in a paranormal, she is going to need to be saved..
    But if the heroine has been billed through the entire book as kickarse, why have her do something stupid or not be able to help herself??

  15. Heather
    July 13th, 2009 at 12:28 am · Link

    it depends on the powers or strenghts that each has.

    if both male and female are pararnormal and have skills – strengths or spells that can be used in the fight i want both of them to be using their strenghts.

    if she is a human amoungst vampires or other supes then she should stay out of it until it is over

  16. Ilona
    July 13th, 2009 at 2:14 am · Link

    When I read an action packed story I like the characters to stay true to themselves. If that means the heroine/hero kicks butt first then so be it.

    What I hate is if the heroine/hero joins in the action when it isn’t what the character would do but what the author wants to push the action forward.

  17. Tamsyn T.
    July 13th, 2009 at 6:21 am · Link

    I think I prefer something in between, not just a passive heroine but one who is strong and can act and think for herself.

  18. Lori T
    July 13th, 2009 at 7:47 am · Link

    Either is fine with me…I just think that it needs to feel “right” for the story. I definitely think that women can take care of themselves, but hey why turn down help when you can get it.

  19. catie james
    July 13th, 2009 at 10:19 am · Link

    As long as the hero’s not being a macho a–hole, I don’t mind him saving the heroine, nor do I mind her jumping into the fray so long as she’s not being TSTL.

  20. Jeanette Juan
    July 13th, 2009 at 11:45 am · Link

    Neither really bothers me at all unless the book is being dragged through too long.