Stark Seasons by Jacqueline Brocker

One thing I love about living in England, as an Australian from the coast, is the seasonal change. Ok, I could do without the icy footpaths during winter, but I really love watching the seasons move from one to another. Having an apple tree in the garden highlights these changes, and every second year it has a fine crop of apples right in time for autumn. And I love apples.

autumn-picture-660x330

There is something magical in the seasonal change, but also something ominous. The sense that while things are beautiful and seem like they will remain so, they are going to change, that leaves and petals will change colour fall away, and leave us with the bare, stark whiteness of winter.

Autumn is that season hanging between the brightness of summer and the winter dark. The memory of summer is still present, the leaves richly coloured, but seeing them that colours means winter is almost upon us. Beautiful, but slightly threatening.

I love it.

The Ravening Season, a short story, was written in a near trance-like state. Images and words played a stronger role than plot in the early stages. The thing that really hooked me in, and gave me the structure, was the idea of a creature who changed as the seasons did, beginning as all sweetness and light in spring, then shifting and changing to something else entirely as our infatuated hero is drawn closer to her. Sex and innocence, sex and darkness, and sex and death all come out to play in this story. This is a dark tale, about the ravenous appetites of creatures for whom we have no name.

StrangeAppetites_400x600

The Ravening Season will also be appearing in Strange Appetites (along with another short story of mine Oasis Beckoning, an anthology of erotic horror coming out from Forbidden Fiction on 28 October.

RaveningSeason_400x600Excerpt:

Through the snow, he ran. But there is no speed in a fresh drift, unmarked, untracked by another. Had he some path to follow he may have gone quicker, but the snow came up to his knees, and all he had was the snow-slabbed land and the forest of white birch, skeletal hands clawing at the sky. As it was, he clawed at the fragile snow that offered not stability, but the illusion of solid form.

He was hunched over, chest heaving, his breath puffs of white lost in the landscape. Never had he been so aware of his black coat, his black boots. How little they protected him now. They warmed his body, yes, now hot from the running, scarpering trudge. But behind him, she came. And his black clothes were a spot on a map of shining light, and he had ploughed the way to reach him. As he passed through the sharp, bare birch, he came to an oak. The looming thickness overwhelmed him, and he sunk to his knees, hands in his face to shut out the colossus of the tree and the brightness all around, and thought;

I have paved the way for my own death.

It was not long before the whisper of her steps was behind him. He would not turn to see her, for perhaps if he did not look, she might vanish like a snowflake.

She was not so delicate, though. Her hand dropped to his shoulder. He was too afraid to be surprised, but still proud enough to wipe his face, and peer up at her, with her claws and her icicle teeth.

BLURB:

When he saw her in the glade, he went to her, believing her to be a creature he could tame and claim as his own. He was drawn to her youthful beauty, her sweetness. But as their relationship grew, so did her appetite, and before he knew it, he was in thrall to a creature whose claws and teeth would likely bring his downfall. (F/M)

For more information (including content notes) about The Ravening Season please see Forbidden Fiction’s webpage.

You can buy The Ravening Season from Fantastic Fiction Publishing.

 

jbrocker_bio_imageAuthor Bio:

Jacqueline Brocker lives and writes in Cambridge, England. Her short erotic fiction has appeared in anthologies such as More Smut for Chocoholics (House of Erotica), South Bank Seduction (Velvet Books) and Best Bondage Erotica 2014 (Cleis Press). Her novella Gods Among Men and short story The Ravening Season have been published by Forbidden Fiction. Originally from Australia, when not writing she is a Scottish Country Dancer, a recent convert to Lindy Hop, and dabbles in foreign language (current dabblings being German and Korean). Her website is: http://jacquelinebrocker.net/

*****

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Howling With Rose Caraway

thingsthatgohump300x200Hello Everyone! Rose Caraway here. Thanks so much, KD for letting me come out and howl with you. Today I have a little scene that I’d like to share. It is a scene taken from my Erotic/Horror novel, WOLF. I know, I am all about the erotica, but as Halloween is so close I can taste it… I felt it best to celebrate by offering a little sample of something spine-tingling.

WOLF is my first full-length novel and current WIP. I began it last year for NaNoWriMo and have been slowly pecking away at it. This book couldn’t possibly be written in a single month. I expect it to be ready for beta-readers by mid-2015, (fingers crossed!).

Okay, since it is nearly Halloween let’s talk about fears. So, what am I most afraid of? Spiders make me jump. Heights terrify me. But, honestly, it’s the being alone thing that is the worst. I think it could very well be my kryptonite. Of course I enjoy me time whenever I can, but I have the security of knowing that there are four other people living with me. If I were all alone I just might go a little “Renfield”, without the eating of the spiders thing, of course! Because eww!

So, in WOLF my sweet Virginia is stuck with this very fear gnawing away at her brain, day by day. She’s trying to keep herself together for the sake of her older sister, Elise, who is dying. The death clock is ticking and Virginia feels like she is the one running out of time. Between handling the family business, taking care of her sister, teaching 6th grade—there is no personal time to spare. No boyfriends, no casual dates, unless you count the school principle who keeps hitting on her.

This scene I am posting here is the very last scene in Chapter One. It is titled; Alone. I am going to go ahead and leave you here, all by yourself, lying on the side of a winding road deep in the Colorado Mountains with Virginia. It is about nine in the evening and she is just coming to after being bitten by one of the wolves…

WOLF1st draft/Unedited Excerpt:

Alone

A slow rhythmic thud.

Her heart… siphoning.

Pain.

A pyre pulsing up her arm.

Jointed warmth webbed around her cerebellum.

Something watching her.

A wolf.

Monster!

 

Virginia opened her eyes, awake and attuned to a new crystalline night. Before she put thought into action, she cataloged her surroundings, knew them. She was lying on the cold ground, breathing in the distinct mineral-mulch scent of earth at her cheek. Her nose took stock of her surroundings. The breeze that combed through the ancient aspen colonies covering the mountainside brought with it the rejuvenating scents of pine, spruce and fir. The wind also delivered the caustic acrid scent of rubber—the Audi’s tires, about twenty feet from where she lay. An oily, actinic signature that coated her tongue.

As she lifted her head from the ground she heard the unmistakable sound of an owl’s wings, beating—no echoing against the air as it flew away. In her mind’s eye she saw with perfect clarity that as it flew away from the cliff and over the quarry, it’s meal; a furry morsel, struggled feebly until the owl’s sharp talons embedded themselves into the tiny creatures soft belly. Virginia detected the faint, sweet metallic scent of mouse blood.

But how?

She shook her head, sat upright and paid dearly for it. Her vivid night-world swooned as blood rushed to her head, disorienting her. She groaned and then held her breath. Remembering suddenly why she lying on the road in the first place. Wolves! She scanned her surroundings. Nothing hairy lay crouched in wait for her. Though her rational mind knew it was impossible, she imagined that she could just catch their fading canine scents still lingering in the air. One scent belonged to a female, which she curiously detested. The other—the other was male and for the briefest of seconds she rather liked the virility of it. She wiped the cold sweat from her grit-covered brow and peered deeper into the shadowed tree-line across the moon-lit road. For several breathless moments she concentrated. Her eyes bulged with the effort. There were no monsters cloaked in the blackness. She dusted her hands together and suddenly remembered her arm and the long gleaming teeth that had sunk into her delicate flesh. Holding her arm up to the moon’s light, she saw that the sweater’s sleeve was shredded beyond repair and stained dark red. She swallowed. The sickly scent of her own blood caused her to wrinkle her nose as she slowly pulled back the tattered fabric to see how bad her injuries were. There was no gaping flesh, no carnage, the only evidence of the attack; a few long dark lines— scars. “What? But how? I felt it… there was blood!” her voice was a shrill whisper that bordered on hysteria.

Shock.

It had to be because of shock. Shaking, sweating, unable to think clearly, all symptoms of her recent attack. She couldn’t possibly know for sure if anything out there might actually be stalking her. Yet, as she looked around once more, some part of her felt certain of it. She licked her lips and continued counting off symptoms. Loss of blood, exposure… that had to explain it. But there weren’t any gashes. Nothing but scars! Had she imagined everything, then? She couldn’t have, her sweater was shredded and stained. Even in the darkness she could tell that it was blood all over her sleeve. Hell, she could smell the heady metallic scent of it! Her stomach rolled when she could feel herself almost falling off the cliff again. Then the sight of the wolf’s head as it loomed over the edge, the moon behind it accentuating its shape, and the teeth that bit and tore into her arm and then dragged her back up—it was real.

Clutching her arm to her chest more out of the need to be consoled than anything, Virginia gathered her feet beneath her. She took a breath and then mentally counted.

One

Two

Three

Move your ass!

She sprinted, helter-skelter, her heals on fire as she imagined that she was wrong. That she wasn’t alone on the mountain road. That the shadows themselves were hungry wolves wanting to finish the job.

Her white tennis shoes slid on the gravel road, crunching too loudly in her ears. It felt like she was moving in slow-motion toward her Audi. It took ages before her fingers curled around the door’s trigger handle, swung it open, got in and then slammed it shut and shoved the locks down. Her heavy breaths were loud. The tangy scent of adrenaline—fearfilled the car. Her head jerked left then right as she checked each window, verified that nothing was barreling after her, ready to devour her.

Relief washed over her skin and tears of exhaustion blurred her vision. Trembling, she reached for the key, and her fingers felt the empty ignition slot. Her scalp tightened, her palms became damp.

“God damn it!” she pounded the steering wheel. “Why?”

The keys were somewhere out there on the ground still.

“God damn it,” there was no way that she was going to leave the safety of her car and search for her keys. She had no recollection of which way she’d even flung them.

She was alone.

Helplessness settled into Virginia’s bones with a heavy silence. If she’d only remembered her phone, then she could call a tow truck.

The tears flowed until exhaustion closed her puffy eyes. Virginia fell asleep in the driver’s seat.


KMQ CoverRose Caraway BIO

“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” ― Stephen King

Rose Caraway is a native Northern California writer, editor, blogger, narrator, audio book producer and podcaster for the hit show “The Kiss Me Quick’s” Erotica Podcast. She freely celebrates all things erotica with her wonderful Lurid Listeners and is fondly know as “The Sexy Librarian” who scours the globe searching for more sexy stories for her fans, which includes inviting many of today’s most influential erotica authors to guest write for her show.

You might also find Rose Caraway over at her newest hit podcast, “The Sexy Librarian’s Blog-cast” where she not only discussing her own journey in writing and her latest audio book projects, she also interviews and gets to know some of her favorite erotica authors, fellow narrators and anyone else interested in just hanging out for fun and engaging conversation, while along the way, offering helpful tips of the trade to aspiring writers. “The Sexy Librarian’s Blog-Cast” is a new way to get know Rose Caraway and her amazing friends!

Rose’s writings have always prominently showcased her sex-positive approach to life, as well as shown her commitment to both feminism and masculinism. Being a staunch supporter of the LGBT community, she believes that people of all genders and orientations should be considered complementary and interdependent and are necessary for a truly healthy and functional society.

In addition to writing, Rose’s other passions revolve around her soul mate, Big Daddy, her three beautiful children, her dogs and her avid erotica reading tortoise–Spike. Rose keeps an active lifestyle and has a deep love of music and its many incarnations. She is immersed in the martial arts and has earned a Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. She also studies and practices, Brazilian Jujitsu, Krav Maga, and Mixed Martial Arts.

 

Contact Links

Web: thekissmequicks.com

E-mail:  thekissmequicks@gmail.com

Phone # 202-810-KISS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rose.caraway.7

Twitter:  @RoseCaraway

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/rosecaraway

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/rosecaraway7/boards/

Tumblr:  http://rosecaraway.tumblr.com/


Stupid Fish Productions

P.O. Box 2962

Orangevale, CA 95662

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Why We Love Vampires by Barbara Elsborg (@BarbaraElsborg)

thingsthatgohump300x200Vampires have always repulsed and fascinated, these days they more fascinate than repulse. The fact that vampires are human-like creatures enables us identify with them to a certain extent, letting us believe we can understand the way they think and behave, or at least explain it in human terms. They’re pure predators. They deal in death. They consume the substance that keeps us alive. They have superpowers – super speed, super hearing, super sexual recovery (!) and can read minds. They’re stronger than us, more powerful than us and therefore can exert control over us. They’re dead and yet still with us, which might strengthen belief that death is not the end.

The vampire is probably the most popular fictional monster ever created. How ironic that these super-strong, human-like creatures who are able to seduce with a few words and might suck their victims dry can be repelled by the smallest cross and a whiff of garlic, and unless invited in cannot enter a private dwelling. In the early days, that is. The first vampires in fiction were true monsters and really did terrify readers. Dracula is a story of sexual seduction and rape. It must have been comforting to know that with a simple stake through a vampire heart — they die, though of course, it’s never quite that easy. Even now, vampires in horror movies continue to terrify — Let the Right One In and Thirty Days of Night had me cowering behind the couch.

So are we obsessed with blood, sex, death, fangs? More likely we are fascinated by the idea of a life that can go on forever but without our bodies aging, a life unencumbered by problems of ill-health or any sort of weakness. Yet how could we cope with the loneliness when those around us die and we live on? Vampires give us an insight into what life would be like if we could indeed live forever. Anne Rice is the master at exploring the tortured vampire psyche. LeStat remains my favorite vampire of all time. While Christine Feehan’s vampires, though they might go through hell to reach their mate, are assured of a happy future. There’s room for all sorts of vampires and there always will be.

Modern vampires are more sophisticated and have evolved to suit our needs, and that, I believe, is the key to our continued fascination. In literature, we’ve mostly turned them into gorgeous tortured guys on the fringes of society, who never age and are brilliant in bed, especially if they’re feeding at the same time. We dress them immaculately in black, make them enigmatic, and in need of rescue from their torment by the love of a worthy woman. Once they find their mate, and they’re prepared to spend centuries looking – how romantic is that? – they are the ultimate romantics, devoting themselves to their partner’s happiness. We’ve created an anti-hero that can go on forever- literally.

There are no longer any ‘rules’ about what a vamp can and can’t do. They might even sparkle! Garlic is no longer a problem, they laugh at crosses, some can go out in daylight, they don’t have to sleep in coffins, they don’t have to drink human blood, they’re not all beautiful and yet they’re still compelling.

But they’re the ultimate bad boys and we all know how much we love those.

 

Lightning In A BottleLightning in a Bottle

Lightning is the third in my Trueblood series about a vampire family but all the books are standalone. The link being that a sibling appears in each book, so you don’t have to read one before another – though the last does sum everything up at the end. The vampire in Lightning is Erin – but she has a slight problem. She doesn’t remember that she’s a vampire.

Blurb

Felix feels like he’s been hit by lightning. After successfully avoiding responsibility for most of his life, it’s thrust upon him when his parents die. As the thirteenth Earl of Sherbourne, he inherits Pevenhurst Castle, the home that’s been in his family for four hundred years – and when he can’t afford to repair it, he’s forced to sell.

Lightning isn’t supposed to strike twice, but when the electrifying Erin Markov whirls into Felix’s life she gives him more to worry about. Erin’s exciting and unpredictable, in and out of bed, if only he could get her to stop dancing in thunderstorms, rollerblading in the middle of the night and leaping around on unsafe roofs. Plus she has this annoying habit of biting his neck.

Erin wishes she could remember who she is. The couple who claim to be her parents leave her in a dilapidated stately home with supplies of a revolting energy drink and instructions not to go out in the sun. Then she discovers sculptor Felix living next door and life becomes far more tasty.

Until the day Erin finally remembers who she is and wishes she hadn’t.

Buy Links

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Loose ID

 

Excerpt

Felix’s hollow fibre duvet had never seen so much action. It bucked and heaved as he writhed beneath it. The faster he moved the better. The harder he thrust the better. Felix groaned and flung out his arms and legs like a frenzied starfish before he curled up into as small a ball as possible. The chill crept back. Nowhere near energetic enough. He needed to keep moving. Felix rubbed his chest — and, oh shit, by default his cock — against the bottom sheet. Before he grew overexcited, he flipped onto his back and kicked his legs in a bicycling action. He was warmer now but exhausted. Ah, and horny.

The flash of heat resulting from his acrobatics was so fleeting Felix might as well have saved his energy. The bedroom window was closed, the thick curtains drawn, but the arctic wind blasting the coach house had managed to find a way through every crack to torment him. Felix could see bursts of transient ghosts each time he exhaled. With no warm body to cuddle up to and no spare cash to install central heating, he’d end up freezing to death before the will was sorted and he received his share of the money.

Too cold to stay in bed, yet Felix had no desire to get up. Doing so would mean acknowledging Black Friday had started. He pulled the duvet tighter around his shoulders and rolled over, wrapping himself in a blue cocoon. Maybe he wouldn’t get up. Maybe he’d lounge in bed all day, and while he slowly turned into an ice pop he’d pretend he had plenty of money, a faithful girlfriend, and a flashy sports car.

Felix gave brief consideration to what he’d like most and had to admit it was the car. How sad was that? Yeah, well, while he was frozen in de-Nile, he’d also need to pretend he hadn’t signed away his ancestral home, the place that had been in his family for almost four hundred years.

He threw the duvet over his face and cringed. For the first time in his life, he was glad his parents were dead. Lucky for him he didn’t believe in an afterlife, so there was no chance of them looking down in disappointment from heaven. Still, he did believe in hedging his bets, and just because he didn’t believe, didn’t mean his parents weren’t reclining on clouds, clutching gin and tonics and scowling down at him.

“Sorry,” Felix turned to mutter into his pillow. “Sorry I let you down. Again.”

Though this time, the mess he was in wasn’t entirely his fault. The fact that Felix had remained in blissful ignorance of how far things had deteriorated in his absence brought guilt he had to live with, but if his father were alive, Felix would have strangled him. Fucking inconsiderate to get himself killed before Felix had a chance to do the deed.

 

Bio

Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop. Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they are to write.

Links

http://www.barbaraelsborg.com

https://www.facebook.com/barbara.elsborg

https://twitter.com/BarbaraElsborg

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2856948.Barbara_Elsborg

*****

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Fierce Enchantments by Janine Ashbless

thingsthatgohump300x200Inspired by my love of M R James – and by a bunch of like-minded friends – I started writing ghost stories years before I wrote any erotica. The very first story I wrote (Wah!) was about a man who murders his wife by throwing her into the sea. She doesn’t stay there. This is how it ends, as he gets into bed with – he thinks – his lover:

After a few days of being unoccupied the air here in the master bedroom was, he thought, a bit stale. Tomorrow he would see to that, but it wouldn’t matter while they slept.

He blew out the candle. Darkness thickened around him.

“Goodnight, love, he said softly, as he pulled back the coverlet. Then Richard climbed into bed with a woman in whose hair was the smell of the sea.

 

From the start, it now occurs to me, I was combining Bed and “Boo!”

When my erotica career kicked off, I made sure to include at least one ghost story in every one of my collections. From Cruel Enchantment (2000) comes Montague’s Last Ride (See what I did there?), in which a very icky revenant is summoned from his tomb by the power of lust:

“My poor Lord Montague,” she murmured, “lying there all alone in a cold bed. No warm body to hold you close. I’ll bet that never happened to you when you were alive.”

Then she discovered that, standing, her mons was directly on a level with the top of the tomb slab. Where she stood now the corner of the stone pressed into her groin, and she could rub her swollen, needy sex against its cold thrust.

 

Dark Enchantment (2009) includes two ghost stories among all the gods, monsters and other scary mythological creature. Pique Dame is about a ghost who haunts a theatre and possesses two opera singers:

What if he comes back? I asked myself. Would he stand and watch, delighted, or would he pull up the back of my skirt and wrench down my knickers and stuff me hard from behind with his eager cock, just as I deserved? 

Reflected behind me, in the shadow behind the costume rack, two eyes glinted. A dark figure stirred.

 

Whilst Cold Hands, Warm Heart is about a night in a haunted house that goes incredibly wrong for the two upstanding Edwardian gentlemen who dare it:

Directly at my shoulder, barefoot in the pool, stood a young woman. She had not been there a moment before; she was there when I turned. My heart nearly flew out of my mouth. She wasn’t looking at me; she was staring up at Morgan, her eyes wide and unblinking. She was soaking wet. That was what you noticed about her first of all: she wore a sleeveless white linen shift of some sort and it was so sodden that it clung to her body and had turned half transparent on her pale skin. Her long dark hair was plastered to her shoulders.

 

This autumn Fierce Enchantments (Sweetmeats Press) is being published and I’ve included stories about a zombie apocalypse, a group of traumatized vampire-hunters, Shakespeare’s Tempest, a Russian water-demon … and At Usher’s Well, a Scottish-set tale of three brothers who come home after being lost at sea for weeks:

‘Meg, stay here and serve at table. Bring them anything from the kitchen that they choose. My sons are to have all they desire, tonight.’ She turns away and walks off down the hall, leaving me alone with the dead men.

There’s a long, unpleasant silence. I know there’s no point in offering them food. The three men watch me from eyes filled with the grave’s darkness.

‘So Meg,’ says Rory quietly, pushing out his chair. ‘Will you sit on my lap, for old times’ sake?’

His thighs are as broad as ever, though his slowly drying clothes are stained with salt. I remember his playful embraces and the rasp of his hairy skin, rough as bark, against mine. I shake my head. ‘I think not, Master Rory. Your lap has grown cold since last I knew you.’

He doesn’t react, except with the slightest inclination of his chin. He doesn’t even blink. Not one of them has blinked since they arrived, I’m suddenly sure.

I fold my hands before me, determined to wait it out. The platters of wasted food steam.

‘Pretty Maggie,’ says Allan, with something approaching expression in his voice and—to my horror—a movement of his grey and bloodless lips that approximates a grin, ‘will you play at bob-apple between my thighs once more, for old times’ sake?’

Oh how well I remember the fever-heat of his lithe body beneath mine, and the unaccustomed narrowness of his bucking hips, and the urgency of his thrusts.

‘I will not, Master Allan,’ I answer him. ‘That’s a fruit that does not keep well in salt water.’

He nods.

Finlay presses his hands to the table and bows his head, and then lifts it to look at me directly. ‘Will you kiss me, my Margaret?’ he asks, his voice as stripped and thin and strange as sea-worn driftwood. ‘For auld lang syne?’

Oh Lord, help me.

His kisses had always made me blush, unaccountably. They’d been nothing like his brother’s straightforward pecks, but instead gentle, lingering creatures of breath and warmth, caresses bestowed on my mouth and throat that seemed to have no other purpose than their own pleasure. They’d made me feel almost uncomfortable. I feel a tear escape and run down my cheek, which I don’t doubt is as pale as theirs.

‘The taste of your clay-cold lips would be awfy strong now, Master Finlay,’ I say. My voice is hoarse, but I try to speak gently. ‘It would do me terrible harm, I fear.’

He doesn’t reply, but his expression holds me. I don’t know what to read in his still, harrowed face. It seems to me that there is pain there behind the mask of cold flesh: an ache that cries for respite. But whether it is the fires of Hell or the gnawing cold of the sea that torments him, I cannot tell.

I want to stroke back his damp locks. I want to see peace in those troubled eyes.

‘I’ll go fetch more wine,’ I mumble, though they have done no more than touch their full cups to their closed lips until now. But I cannot bear this. I have to get away. My insides are knotting under my ribs.

I get as far as the passage to the kitchen before my Mistress blocks my way. ‘Meg!’ she cries forlornly. ‘Their bedchambers are damp and drear—the rain has entered and ruined the linen. I didn’t know!’

‘Wheesht now,’ I say, daring to place my hand upon her arm. ‘It’s the weather; it’s not your fault.’

 ‘I wish them to sleep in my own great bed tonight. It’s warm and dry. We will make shift elsewhere tonight.’ Her voice, so weak and plaintive, becomes suddenly stronger as she pulls away and looks me in the face. There is something in her eyes—something that burns, that hurts, and that frightens me far more than the darkness in the open, watchful eyes of the dead brothers. ‘Go pile the fire in my room high, Meg. Don’t stint with the wood. I want them to be warm.’

No, I want to say. But she is my Mistress, and she is so alone, and love has broken her heart and her mind. I bite my lip and I nod. And I go out to the woodpile.

Up the dark stairs with the log-basket on my back I go, as I have done a thousand times. But not like this night. When you lay a corpse out for a vigil you normally keep the room cold, for obvious reasons. But not tonight.

On my knees in the split ashes, I build up the fire, coaxing the flames with my breath until they roar. The blaze scorches my pale cheeks. My insides are in turmoil. I don’t know what to feel. I am torn between horror and exultation at this dreadful miracle. I am torn between pity and a wicked, secretive pleasure I will not confess to anyone until my dying day: the joy of looking upon a face thought lost forever, a face longed-for and hotly desired. I am outraged that God has let them walk again—and yet, in my deepest core, sick with gratitude.

I am so afraid.

But not just of the dead.

Then I hear their feet, heavy and measured, upon the stair, and my heart nearly climbs out of my throat and bolts across the room. What do I do? I cast about myself in panic. I don’t want to be cornered here in their bedchamber. But to go to the top of the stairs as they ascend—to see those corpse-faces looking up at me through the darkness, while they tramp slowly toward me—that I cannot bear. There’s no other way out, only a door to the tiny garderobe. I might go hide in there all night, crouched over the draughty, stinking hole. Would I be safe in there? I’m as sure as I can be that they have no need for such facilities.

Ach—I have dithered too long. Their tread is at the door. My heartbeat punches me in the entrails, over and over and over.

The door creaks and falls back with a slam.

I look up. I have to. All pretence is over.

The dead men stand, all three of them, beyond the foot of the bed. Finlay is a little to the fore, his brothers to either side. There is no sign of my Mistress; perhaps she kissed them goodnight downstairs. They are still as posts, still as earth: no breath, no flicker of an eyelid.

* * * * *

 

I love writing spooky. Have a very happy Hallowe’en season!

xxx

Janine Ashbless

 

*****

Fierce EnchantmentsCover Blurb for “Fierce Enchantments”

Inside the covers of this, Janine Ashbless’ third collection of erotic short stories, you will find delight and terror and lust – and perhaps even unexpected tenderness.

The wayward daughter of Shakespeare’s sorcerer Prospero; a runaway slave who becomes king only for as long as he can stay awake; a servant girl whose three dead lovers return for one last tryst; vampire-hunters haunted to the point of madness by what they have been through; warriors in a desperate future war for the survival of humankind – and one very dangerous frog prince – all appear in this collection of erotic stories that will take you to the edge and then pull you over into the glittering darkness beyond.

Weaving worlds of fantasy, Janine Ashbless draws from fairy stories, history, myth and the darkest depths of her imagination to bring you tales of passion and desire that will enchant, shock and dazzle you.

Buy-links for Fierce Enchantments:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

*****

JA-colorBio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure – and that’s “fantasy” in the sense of swords ‘n’ sandals, contemporary paranormal, fairytale, and stories based on mythology and folklore.  She likes to write about magic and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000, and her novels and single-author collections now run into double figures. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology Geek Love.

Her work has been described as: “hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.”   (Portia Da Costa)

 

www.janineashbless.blogspot.com

Goodreads

Janine Ashbless Facebook

Amazon UK Author Page

Amazon US Author Page

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Werewolves: Scary or Sexy by Sommer Marsden (@sommer_marsden)

thingsthatgohump300x200When I was growing up werewolves were definitely scary. They were never portrayed as hot, buff men with raging libidos and a secret tender side. There were only Werewolf in London werewolves. And then, eventually, in the 80s, we got Teen Wolf werewolves. But a lot of time when werewolves were mentioned, they brought to mind the Wolfman. And that wasn’t sexy.

Boy, how far we’ve come. We have hot werewolves everywhere in fiction and in TV shows. I’m a happy girl. I’ve always been more about claws than fangs (not that werewolves don’t have fangs, mind you, but I’m referring to the vamp versus wolf debate). I want warm and hard and fast and strong not cool and smooth. I guess, technically, they share the fast and strong thing. Okay, you got me.

I came up with the idea of Ellis Bach on a walk. His name was a magician’s trick performed by my brain triggered by a sign for local politics. I took the last name of one man—Ellis and the last named, which I truncated, of another—Bach(man).

And once I had the name my imagination took off. What it supplied me with, all those years ago, was a handsome, big, kind wolf who had a past. Physically, Ellis was inspired by Scott Conant, celebrity chef, because—truth be told—writers and chefs are my rock stars. I gave him the same hair of indeterminate color—sometimes brown, sometimes red, sometimes a bit of a lighter shade shines through. And I gave him his soul mate—Ruby.

Talking about Ellis brings to mind a few of my favorite werewolves now. You can’t go four feet without tripping over them—it’s true. I’ll name just a few:

Alcide on True Blood. Um…yeah. What’s not to like?

Derek Hale on Teen Wolf. Yes, please!

Isaac on Teen Wolf. I must say, when I found out the actor who played him was 26 I was relieved. Because a girl could feel like a weirdo crushing on a teen wolf. But he’s not a teen so…whew.

Scott on Teen Wolf (yeah, yeah, we watch a loooooot of Teen Wolf)

Garrett from my book Base Nature. Yeah, it’s cheating but I wrote him because I lusted after him, so technically it’s cool.

Lucian from Underworld. See, now I would have, upon a glance, cast him as a vamp. Until I really started to pay attention and then…Yeah!

George from Being Human. I must admit to loving that girly pitch his voice hits when he’s startled. It’s brilliant considering he’s a bad ass killer when he sprouts fur.

Josh from Being Human (USA version). Adorbs.

Jake Marlow from Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf. The grittiest of all listed. And I love it.

 

Those are mine. For now, I’ll leave you with a blurb and a passage and wish you a Happy Halloween. Be on the lookout for big, furry men with glowing eyes and bulging pecs. If you see one, by all means, call me!

 

XOXO

Sommer

*****

Big BadBlurb:

Lust according to Ruby:

You read those books where they explain it all away. They make it fine with rationalization. But what if I just want to? What if that’s my whole reason? My life is not a romance novel. I don’t need justification. I’m a grown woman who knows what she wants.

I want Ellis. And I want Tyler.

And I won’t apologize…

What’s worse than wanting both your best friend who’s a vampire and the just-back-in-town alpha werewolf you find yourself fixated on? Finding out that the werewolf in question wants you, too. But he isn’t too keen on the sharing part. Oh, and by the way, you’re his dead mate.

Okay, okay, dead is harsh—reincarnated.

What’s worse than that? Realizing that you believe the whole crazy tale of reincarnation. Because it seems to be true.

And yet you still want them both—together. Vampire and werewolf and you in the middle. Stuck between two predators who want you and only you. To complicate it all, you find out that you can have it. With your new/old mate’s blessing. But just one time before he claims you as his.

Are you brave enough to take it? That one shot?

Well…Are you?

*****

EXCERPT:

“I need to go back,” I whispered.

Ellis gave a short nod. He looked a lot of things at that moment. Happy, sad, angry, determined. His personality was so big, his presence so huge. He scared me on so many levels and many of them good. In a moment of impulse, I turned and kissed him. Pressing my hands—shaking and freezing in fingerless grey gloves as if they could help me—to his rough cheeks.  I held his face as I kissed him. He growled low in his throat. A constant drone of aggression and want as a back beat to the kiss. Ellis grasped my hips with strong fingers, sank them in so I worried I’d bruise—hoped I’d bruise.

Without thinking, I clasped my hands behind his neck and brought my legs up to wrap his waist. He had only three inches on me and maybe thirty pounds. He was strapping and burly but not bulky, I was curvy and solid but not fat. Our bodies pressed together in the perfect meld and I felt the hard ridge of his cock pressed the cleft of my pussy.

“You’d better stop or I’m taking you right here,” he said. His voice was rough and righteous and I believed him beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I stroked my tongue down over his and tugged the finer hairs at the nape of his neck and the growl turned dangerous. He started to move, to lay me down and I let go of him—falling away as quickly as I had latched on.

“Not yet, not yet!” I said, my hands up in mock surrender.

“Ruby,” he drew the word out and made it sound dirty and sexy and fine.

“I’m sorry. I am. Soon. I will. I just—” I didn’t know what so I shook my head instead of finishing that sentence.

“I can smell the lust on you. It’s thick and smells like lilacs.” When he grinned at me, I wanted to change my mind.

“I know you can.”

“I don’t scare you being a lycan but my want of you does?”

“And the whole dead mate thing,” I said, turning so fast my coat swept open for an instant. I hurried through the dry and brittle grass with Ellis right on my heels.

“Why are you drawn to me? Certainly not because I came into your store and bought sausage as Tyler explained.”

I snorted, shaking my head. How stupid that sounded but in a way it was true. “That’s when you caught my attention. That’s when I started…” I blew out a breath.

“Coveting me?” he chuckled, taking three big steps and grabbing my hand in his big warm one. Heat baked off of him like I was standing close to an oven or a grill. It felt good, that heat. I swore I could smell him even above the cold winter wind. He smelled like a man. Campfires and tobacco and earth.

“Coveting, yes.” My hood flew back off my head and my hair rose up. Tendrils got caught up in the wind and swirled around my head.

“But you want Tyler too,” he said and tugged me so I had to stop.

“Yes, not as…” I stared at my beat up boots until he pushed my chin up with his fingers.

“Not as…?”

I had been about to say not as much as you but realized that wasn’t so accurate. More like “In a different way.”

“He’s your friend?”

I nodded, pushing my unruly hair back even as the wind yanked it away and tossed it asunder again.

“But you want to fuck him?” He grinned.

I felt a stain of embarrassment flood my cheeks but I forced my shoulders back and my head high. “Yes,” I said defiantly.

“Okay. I can live with that. For now.”

I wanted to ask Ellis why the hell I would care if he could live with it. But I did. Why I’d want his approval. But I did. And why it mattered that he accepted it. But it did.

So I simply nibbled my bottom lip until he pulled my hood up and pressed my hair under it. He kissed my nose and said “Come on, I’ll walk you home.”

 

Buy Links

Excessica | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Amazon UK | Amazon US

bigbadposter

*****

Bio

Professional dirty word writer, gluten free baker, sock addict, fat wiener dog walker, expert procrastinator. That sums it up.

Sommer Marsden has been called “…one of the top storytellers in the erotica genre” (Violet Blue), “Unapologetic” (Alison Tyler), “…the whirling dervish of erotica” (Craig J. Sorensen),and “Erotica royalty…” (Lucy Felthouse). Her erotic novels include Restricted Release, Restless Spirit, Boys Next Door, and the Zombie Exterminator series. Sommer currently writes for Ellora’s Cave, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief, Pretty Things Press, Excessica and Resplendence Publishing.

You can find Sommer’s short works in well over one hundred and twenty-five (and counting) erotic anthologies. Visit her at Unapologetic Fiction http://sommermarsden.blogspot.com

Media Links

Blog: http://sommermarsden.blogspot.com

Twitter: @sommer_marsden

Facebook: http://facebook.com/sommermarsden

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/sommer_marsden

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sommermarsden

*****

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© 2014 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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