Friday, July 6, 2012

Author Guest Blog + Contest with Tori St. Claire

Good morning, readers! I’m absolutely thrilled to be here today, and excited to share my new erotic romantic suspense, Lie To Me, with all of you. It released on July 3rd, and if you like sexy thrillers I recommend you check it out.

One of the things I am often asked when people find out I write erotic romance is how much of my own life goes into my writing. I don’t know if other authors experience this (I haven’t particularly asked), but I swear, every conversation leads to this at some point.

Let’s think about this: My Black Opal books are about covert spies who technically don’t exist on paper. If you really want to be correct, they are assassins. I can’t kill a mouse. I have difficulty squashing spiders. (Though wasps? Oh pass me the wasp-spray and I will cackle in glee). I don’t own a handgun, I’ve never left the continental US, except for Hawaii, and the vast majority of people who know me would say I am modest, leaning toward being a prude.

I think that pretty much answers the question there. But giving the benefit of the doubt, most of these people who ask don’t know me intimately. They are readers, the conversations happen on the fly, and really no one knows about my life outside of being an author. So my standard response has been, “Some personality quirks but I’ve never put a real life incident in my writing.”

Boy, you should see the expression on men’s faces when I say that. It’s like a wave of disappointment. Sorry to disappoint, guys!

I will say this: The plots that I’ve created about spies and the technical elements of each Black Opal book are meticulously researched. I have some contacts that I employ to give me feedback on “Is this plausible”. (Usually the answer is “Hah. No.” Which leads to a lot of rewriting.) And, ironically, some of the most realistic scenarios are the ones that get pulled out and criticized as being “impossible” or “contrived.” Which amuses me to no end.

Keeping that in mind, if you do decide to check out Lie To Me, and you start understanding what exactly Sasha did professionally, what she knew to lead her to her current threats – as outlandish as those elements might seem, they were the ones that spent the most time back and forth with, “Can I do this? No. What about this? No. Well then… what about this? That would work. Tweak this, tweak that, and you’re good to go.”

Meanwhile, take a peek at some of the easier stuff to craft – the emotional bonding between these two damaged people, Alexei Nikanova and Sasha Zablosky.

When you’re finished, I’d love to know your thoughts on authors – do you tend to automatically believe the author is writing first-hand experience?


Lie to Me
by Tori St. Claire
BUY: Amazon

A man of action…

After helping to break up a Russian human trafficking ring as part of the CIA’s elite Black Opal team, Alexei Nikanova’s newest assignment is to rescue one of the stolen women and return her to her father. When he arrives in Dubai, he discovers his target is Sasha Zablosky—a woman he knows all too well, and who has haunted him ever since their unforgettable time together in Moscow, two and a half years earlier. But he finds Sasha reluctant to leave her sheikh, the only true friend she’s ever known. Only Alexei can’t give her a choice.

A woman of deception…

With their yearning roused by intrigue, Alexei and Sasha can no longer resist temptation, and spend night after night in forbidden pleasure. Soon Alexei finds himself falling for her, even as he battles a shadowy menace to protect her. But Sasha is no innocent. She has a past darker than she could ever admit, one that Alexei could never forgive. And it is about to explode into her life once more. As the lies they tell themselves—and each other—pull them deeper into a perilous desire, what began as simple passion becomes a love certain to destroy them and end the lives of countless innocents.

R-Rated Excerpt (You've been warned)

He swallowed down the sound, and his kiss took on more languor, aggressive demands ebbing into a gentle play until his mouth left hers altogether and he lifted his head. His lustful gaze scorched into her. The hard fall of his breath stirred the fine blonde hairs on her forehead. He pressed his cheek to hers, grazed her sensitive skin with the coarse stubble along his jaw.

The pleasant friction sent another bout of delightful shivers surging through Sasha’s body. She dropped one hand to his waist, plucked his shirt free, and slipped her fingers beneath to explore his warm flesh.

“Ah, Sasha,” he murmured against her temple. “Tell me you don’t hate me.”

Her hand stilled at the base of his spine. Hate him. How could she explain that feeling had never once struck? If she confessed to the truth, she’d look weak, sound like a fool. She should hate him. And yet . . . she didn’t. After everything, even after all he’d done to destroy her life, she could not hate Alexei. Turning her head, she met his gaze. “Alexei, I—”

He closed his eyes, but not before he could shutter away a flash of anguish in those green depths. “Lie to me, princess. I need to believe.”

It was a plea he hadn’t needed to utter. She lifted up into him and caught his lips with hers. “I don’t hate you,” she whispered against his mouth.

A low snarl rumbled in the back of his throat a second before his mouth crashed into hers and claimed her savagely. His hands speared into her hair, holding her head in place, imprisoning her to the fierceness of his desperate kiss. She met the stroke of his tongue eagerly, tugged on the hem of his shirt, pushing it up, exposing his abdomen, equally desperate to feel the warmth of his skin against hers.

When that moment of blissful contact came, Sasha let out a plaintive mewl. Blessed torture. Perfect.


National Bestselling author 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 will be giving away a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to one random commenter during the month of July. Two additional commenters will receive a basket of swag. Follow the tour – the more times you comment the better your chances of winning! Complete tour dates can be found here.


  1. I'm just following the tour, I really like the sound of all the books by this Author,,thanks for the the giveaway!

  2. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest.

  3. thanks for a great post! Congrats on the newest release and have fun on the tour!

  4. BLACK OPAL... I am liking the sound of that and the characters are Russians! Exciting indeed! I grew up with Ludlum and Sheldon and Russians are good source of some quality espionage.

    If her work is similar to Lie ato Me then it's a sin to let her work gather dust bunnies.

  5. I'm so excited to read this one! :) Love all of Tori's books and this one looks fantastic! Congratulations on your new release :)

    brunettelibrarian AT gmAil . c0m
    The Brunette Librarian Blog

  6. I love that people (men especially) think if you right a sex scene you must be "into" whatever the scene involves lol!
    please enter me in your drawing :O) Carin

  7. Congrats on the new release. Thanks for the great post. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it to see more of Sasha and Alexei.


  8. I'm enjoying the tour thank you.

    Certainly an (R) excerpt.


  9. Hello everyone! Thank you so much for dropping in today!

    Carin, I've mentioned this before here and there, but as a single woman, writing romance period, the pick-up lines I've been fed are astonishing. "Do you need help with research?" "I'm happy to provide any research you need to do." Gee. Did I somehow cross into virginal lines. Thanks bunches, now you're definitely OFF my list.

    Braine, trust me, you don't want to see that poor story. While I love the characters and they are very close to my heart... it just simply is embarrassing. Laugh. Want a hero who can do *everything*? Yep, that'd be him.

  10. Congrats on the release! I have already put this book on my must buy list :) Enjoying the blog tour, excerpts and can't wait for more.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  11. congrats on the new release. thanks for the excerpt ^^


  12. i want to read this book. the interview and excerpts are awesome!


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