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The Naughty Book – A Guest Post by Janine Ashbless (@sinfulpress) #giveaway

I’ve been very naughty. I know, as an erotica author I’m supposed to be, right?  I’m supposed to use transgression and shock for erotic effect in my work. Well, in my novel The Prison of the Angels, which is all about – surprise! – fallen angels and their wickedness, there’s an intricate scene in which I turn the kinky sex up to eleven – and I kick it all off by quoting the Bible. Extensively. Egregiously. With malice.

My heroine, Milja, has a lot of issues by this stage in the trilogy. She’s a Christian who has betrayed God, according to all that she’s been told. She has a definite propensity for public exhibitionism and submission. And she is carrying a TON of guilt regarding how she has treated her angelic lover Azazel. So in a scene that is pretty much her ultimate guilt/BDSM fantasy, she finds herself naked and surrounded by a load of leering guys, and there’s a preacher excoriating her with bible verses.

The Bible’s got a lot of filthy stuff in it, if you know where to look. Much of it’s under the guise of condemnation: “I will shew unto thee the judgment of the Great Whore that sitteth upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication”. (Revelation 17)

That’s metaphorical of course – Babylon, the Great Whore, is a symbolic figure. But there’s a strong Biblical thread of denouncing nations/peoples/cities by slut-shaming them in the symbolic guise of errant wives and/or prostitutes who just can’t give up the game because they just love to fuck.

“She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of the Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after. She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt, when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.” (Ezekiel 23)

The Prophet Hosea, for example, was commanded by God to marry a “harlot” in order to provide a living sermon. “Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born.”

In Milja’s fantasy all this bubbles up to shame, frighten and excite her, because there’s really nothing like a sense of transgression and sinfulness to get people thoroughly overwrought:

“For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest: And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted.” – (Ezekiel 23)

And the filthiest verse in the Bible? That’s in Ezekiel 23 too: “There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

That’s a simile even I would balk at, normally – but hey, it’s in the Good Book! Thank you, Biblehub!

xxx

Janine

*****

Excerpt from The Prison of the Angels:

The cold water flashed like white fire over every inch of my skin. It burnt my eyeballs and my lips and the inside of my throat, and beyond the white fire was a darkness so immense that it swallowed me whole.

I fell forever.

Something grabbed my wrist. Something so hot that it boiled away the darkness, so that there was suddenly light flashing in my eyes. I felt myself grabbed up bodily and lifted. I felt heat against my lips, blowing fire into my frozen lungs. I saw the wooden posts of a flight of steps, and then I pitched forward onto hands and knees in the shallow snow, choking up pond-water. In front of my blurred vision an inchoate swirl of darkness poured up the steps onto the lit porch and then disappeared. Unseen, something slammed against the door, a knock that made the house shake.

I was on the ground beneath the back porch of John’s house, I realized, shuddering.

Mama. Oh Mama. The thought seemed to come from nowhere.

Three times the knock sounded, and on the third the door burst open—outward, onto the porch—to reveal Egan in the lit room within; shaven, shirtless, and frozen mid-lunge for what I could only assume was a weapon of some sort.

He stared.

I tried to cry out.

“Milja?”

Grabbing his pistol he ran out barefoot onto the porch and looked around for enemies that were not there. Then he clattered down and pulled me up into his arms. I pressed my face to his neck and he carried me up the steps and over the threshold—not like a bride, but like a child he could hold tight against his torso, his wrists locked under my thighs. His skin blazed against mine. He hefted me into the kitchen and propped my ass on the table in front of the range.

“What the hell?” he demanded in a low fierce voice, sweeping locks of sodden hair back from my face. My hat seemed to have disappeared. “What happened, Milja? What were you doing out there?”

“Ice. I fell in the lake.” My jaw chattered. It was obvious I was telling the truth—I was soaked from head to toe, and after clasping me so close he wasn’t much drier himself.

“Feckssake, woman!” he growled. “What the hell were you thinking of?” He shucked off my coat, which lifted a sodden ton from my shoulders, then stooped to pull my boots off; ice-water spilt all over the floor.

I tried to strip off my gloves but my fingers weren’t capable of gripping anything.

“Come here, come here,” he said softly from where he knelt at my feet, grabbing my wrists and peeling away the useless gloves. He pressed my hands on either side of his warm neck, holding them there. They must have felt like ice-blocks to him, but he didn’t wince.

He looked like a knight kneeling before his queen, I thought. I could feel his pulse.

“I’ll go get towels, Milja. Are you going to be okay a sec?”

I nodded, though he probably couldn’t see it through the shuddering. He rose and hurried off, leaving me with the radiant warmth of the stove. I thought I should probably get the rest of my clothes off, but even after I struggled with my fly zipper my jeans seemed determined to cling to my bum-cheeks.

I heard the back door bang shut and I flinched.

Azazel?

Had he been gathering himself to come get Egan? Was he the one who had saved me from the black waters? Where was he now?

Egan came back in carrying armfuls of towels. “Alright?”

“I’m okay,” I told him, smiling through my shudders. He was still shirtless, and I could see the faint Ethiopian scars on his arm and chest.

He wrapped my hands one at a time in a towel, chaffed them dry, and then set them deliberately against the hard, hot wall of his torso.

Oh God.

Then he slipped all the buttons on my thick flannel shirt—the one I’d chosen this morning precisely because it wasn’t provocative or distracting—and he only slowed when he realized I was wearing just a bra-top underneath. My nipples stood in shamefully hard points under the stretch cotton. I tried to wriggle out of the long tartan sleeves of my shirt on my own, to spare his blushes, but everything clung like a freezing cold second skin and he had to help.

The shallow slash on my forearm wasn’t bleeding anymore, but each brush of his fingers felt like hot coals.

My wet garment made a slap as it struck the floor.

He draped a towel around my shoulders and another over my head. He started rubbing the water from my face and hair and scalp, his movements precise and gentle. For long moments I was buried in a soft darkness. I reached out, blind, to put my hands back on his bare ribs. I could feel his heart pounding beneath them, like a beast pacing a cage.

I have no idea when it all changed for him. When his grueling self-denial simply fell apart, like a garment worn and washed until the fabric was weakened beyond all use. All I knew was that he dropped the towel off my damp head, cupped my face in both his hands and—absolutely without warning—kissed me.

*****

Blurb:

Milja Petak’s world has fallen apart.

Her lover, the fallen angel Azazel, has cast her aside in rage and disgust. The other contender for her heart, the Catholic priest Egan Kansky, was surrendered back into the hands of the shadowy Vatican organization, Vidimus, after sustaining life-threatening injuries.

She has killed and she has betrayed. She is alone, homeless, and at the end of her tether – torn apart by guilt and the love she has lost.

But neither Heaven nor its terrifying representatives on Earth have finished with Milja.

Both her lovers need her in order to further their very different plans, and both passionately need her, though they may try to deny it.

Milja is once again forced into a series of choices as she uncovers the secrets Heaven has been guarding for centuries. But this time it is not just her heart at stake, or even the fate of a fallen angel.

This time, the choices she makes will change everything.

This time it’s the End of the World.

The Prison of the Angels is the third in the acclaimed Book of the Watchers trilogy, following on from Cover Him with Darkness, and In Bonds of the Earth.

Buy links:

Amazon

Kobo

iTunes

Google Play

Barnes and Noble

*****

Author bio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try “Cover Him with Darkness,” “Heart of Flame,” or “The King’s Viper.” If you prefer challenging erotica, go for “Red Grow the Roses” or “Named and Shamed” instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. 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’.

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

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)

Author Links:

Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/

Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless

Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk

*****

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/janine-ashbless-4/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

A Free Snog in the Snow

 

 

 

It’s a double whammy today here on a Hopeless Romantic. It’s not only the last day of Blissemas and another chance to win the fab Blisemas grand prize with a Snog in the Snow, but this sizzling, snowy snog is from my MM paranormal, novella, Landscapes, which is free at the moment along with a lot of other fab MM reads for the Love Under the Mistletoe MM Christmas Frolic. Follow either of the above links for your copy.

 

Comment on any of the Snog in the Snow blog posts offered up today for another chance to win a fully-loaded Kindle Fire 7! 

Landscapes Blurb:

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

Note: Landscapes has been previously released as part of the Brit Boys: On Boys boxed set.

 

Landscapes Snog in the Snow Excerpt — Heart’s Blood:

‘You could have told me.’ The sound of his voice clenched my heart. For a moment I was certain I was dreaming. Reese constantly tortured me from the dream world. But I was awake, wide awake, and as the breeze shifted I could smell his sweet blood. ‘You could have come to me in the beginning. I’m not that unapproachable.’

With difficulty I found my voice, as though it were something long lost from me. ‘Perhaps you were too approachable.’ I gathered my wits, what little were left to me, and turned to face him. His hair was a bit longer, blown by the wind, and the stubble of a long day caressed his cheeks, and God, he was as beautiful as I remembered. Then I smelled Talia on him, felt her magic tingling over his skin. ‘She shouldn’t have come to you. If you’re back here because you feel sorry for the poor vampire, then maybe I’ll rip your throat out and drain you and you can see where your sympathy gets you.’

He moved to stand next to me, knee-deep in the snow that buried the half-finished garden. ‘You won’t get any sympathy from me. You were a complete twat. You should be damn glad I’m not wearing garlic and sporting a stake. You didn’t ask for what happened to you, Alonso. I get that. And even if you did, we play with the hand we’re dealt. All of us.’

There was a hitch in his breath and I could almost taste the heat of his blood in the soft spot at his throat. In a wave of dizziness I stepped away. ‘Afraid I’m not very good at cards. What did you come for Reese?’

‘I came to say I’m sorry, to say that I forgive you and to ask your forgivness.’

I dropped onto the bench as though I were suddenly boneless. To my distress, he sat down next to me and pulled the wool scarf away from his exquisitely tender throat. His pulse was rapid with excitement. With fear. ‘You need to feed, Alonso, you look like hell.’ He pulled open the collar of his shirt. ‘Take from me.’

‘Christ, Reese,’ I shoved off the bench, back-pedaling until I nearly tripped over a pile of stones buried under the snow. ‘You can’t make that offer, not now.’

‘I … I don’t understand. You still want me. I saw that. Talia showed me, and God knows I want you.’

‘Of course I want you. Like I’ve never wanted anything in my life, but I’m not safe Reese. I haven’t fed in … too long. The very scent of you is driving me mad. If I take from you, I won’t be able to stop.’

‘I don’t believe that,’ he said. ‘I’m willing to risk it.’

‘Well I’m not. Your death may mean nothing to you, but it’s not a risk I’m willing to take, and believe me the risk is very real.’

I smelled the sharpening of fear, as he scrambled off the bench. The night was icy cold and heavy with the threat of snow. I could sense him shivering even through his coat. He squared his shoulders and spoke between chattering teeth. ‘What do you want me to do, Alonso. Tell me, and I’ll do it.’

I took a deep breath, struggling to clear my head. ‘Go to the house – to the kitchen. Cook is asleep but there’ll be food. Eat.’

‘I already ate, Talia insisted.’

‘Eat again,’ I commanded, turning to face him just to make sure he was really there and not something my desperate imagination had conjured. ‘Because when I return,’ I held his gaze ‘you’ll need all of your strength. We both will. Go! Now!’

 

Reese paced Alonso’s study while Talia sat on the Cordovan leather sofa pretending to read a novel. ‘It’s almost dawn,’ he said, for the third time in ten minutes. ‘Where the hell is he?’ The snow had set in soon after Alonso had left. How well a vampire could cope with a blizzard, Reece didn’t know.

‘It’s not like going down to the pub.’ Talia sat the book down and gazed up at the monitor above his desk, the one that showed what Alonso would see if there had been a window there. ‘He’s careful when he feeds, never leaving any trace. Besides, he knows the Lakes like the back of his hand. He won’t get caught out. High View is honeycombed with caves. There are also a few old slate quarries, as you know.’ She motioned him into the rough stone corridor and led him down to the Day Room. There, the only space that wasn’t filled with monitors and controls was a worktable to one side spread with a large, laminated map of the area. She ran her finger along a bright red line leading from the house out to the backside of the fell. ‘There.’ She circled a spot on the map with a grease marker. ‘Pull up camera eight.’

At first the display on the big monitor looked blank, then the night cameras kicked in and they could see the rocky walls in monotone shades of green and gray. Reese recognized the cave he’d discovered Alonso in with the walker. At first they could see nothing, but suddenly there was a flash of movement across the screen, and then it was gone.

‘There,’ they both said at the same time.

‘Is there any way of adjusting that camera?’ Reese asked.

‘Not from here, but that cave opens into a tunnel that leads to the wine cellar. It’s wired to send a signal if anyone but Alonso or a designated person is there.’

‘Show me where it’s at. It could be that he’s in there and he’s hurt. Look,’ he said when she raised a skeptical eyebrow, ‘I can’t lose him before I get the chance to properly make things right between us, so where’s the damned wine cellar?’

She gave him directions, then stayed near the monitors to watch. The fell tops were already tinged with gray from the coming sunrise, and Reese could barely keep back his rising panic.

He was down the steps and halfway across the cavernous wine cellar, when a door at the back burst open, and Alonso pushed his way in, dark hair glistening beneath the bare light bulb with a generous dusting of snow. For a moment neither man spoke, but only stood gazing at the other. And then Reese found his voice. ‘I was worried. The sun’s coming up.’

‘It was the sheep,’ Alonso said. ‘They slowed me down a bit.’

‘Sheep?’

He brushed snow from the shoulders of his black wool coat, then offered Reese an embarrassed grin. ‘If I’d gone straight for the shepherd without an appetizer, I’m afraid he wouldn’t be home shagging his wife senseless right now.’

‘You had … sheep … for an appetizer?’

‘Well their blood at least. It’s a poor substitute, but it was necessary this time.’ The shepherd had managed to get all but three into the barn against the weather, which was bad enough that he had to hole up there until it passed. Good thing for me.’ He’ll think the sheep were lost in the storm, and when the weather clears enough that I can arrange it, he’ll find a nice fat wad of £20 notes stuffed in the seat of his Land Rover.’

‘You’re OK, then?’ Reese stepped closer, relief flooding his senses and making him weak.

Alonso held his ground. ‘That depends on you.’

The next step forward was uncertain. The one after that wasn’t, as Reese moved into Alonso’s arms, feeling the chill of the wet snow, smelling the scent of Cumbrian winter and beneath that the spicy, earthy scent of the man. For a long time they stood in each other’s arms, until Reese began to shiver, and Alonso opened his coat and pulled him in to his body, warm from feeding.

‘You’re well fed then?

He lowered his mouth to Reese’s throat and kissed the shudder of his pulse. ‘I am. Now all I’m hungry for is you.’ The rocking of his hips alerted Reese to the erection nestled in his trousers. That and the careful rake of his canines against Reese’ throat made his own cock rise to attention.

Much later, Alonso lay with Reese pulled into a spoon position in his big four-poster bed, his hand absently cupping first Reese’s cock, then his sac until, in spite of the whirlwind of sex they’d already had, Reese rocked his hips slowly back and forth into his grip. ‘I know you have questions,’ Alonso said. He rose up on one elbow and kissed Reese’ ear. ‘Don’t be afraid to ask. I’ll try very hard to give you answers. But there may be times when I won’t be able to. There may be times when I’ll have to work on it. But know this,’ he said,’ moving his hand over Reese’s hips to cup his arse and stroke the cleft in between. ‘I won’t lie to you, even though there’ll be answers you won’t like, answers that may shock you.’

‘I was with the succubus, remember? You’ll find I’m not so easy to shock anymore.’ With a contortionist twist of his upper body, he curled his fingers in Alonso’s mussed hair and guided his mouth down to meet his, kissing him hard leaving them both breathless as he pulled away. ‘I know your heart, Alonso. That’s why I came back. That’s what will hold me here.’

 

 

Dry Canyon Dreams

I’ve been living in the world of mythology and the paranormal for the past few weeks while I’ve been busy with the final rewrites and check-throughs of Blind-Sided and Buried Pleasures, the second and third novels of the Medusa’s Consortium Series. They’ll be coming out right on the heals of each other, since they are happening in the timeline at the same time. That has meant it has taken me a little longer to get them ready. But I promise you they’ll be worth waiting for. You’ll be hearing news next week about release dates. So hold on to your hats. With paranormal being the name of the game, I thought I’d share this little short with you from the Archives. A FREE read. Dry Canyon Dreams is a complete story with plenty of desert heat and a little bit of chill thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

AAAAND! Don’t forget the Super Summer Reads Giveaway going on right now at Book Hub until the 15th of August. Three lucky winners will walk away with a HUGE bundle of books. This is a a multi-genre giveaway with chances to win other fab reads as well as the chance at the book bundle. I’m very proud to announce that my novel, In The Flesh, the first book in the Medusa’s Consortium Series, is included in that massive bundle.

 

Dry Canyon Dreams

From the archives: a free story complete in this post

The night of that first encounter I was restless, and my imagination had been running wild ever since I’d landed in the States two nights before. I had been having dreams, crazy dreams, lust-filled sexy dreams that had driven me from sleep to find myself in sweat soaked sheets aching and wanting and needing … something. ‘Be present,’ I kept telling myself. I needed be present. I needed to learn to be in the moment. That’s a part of what this holiday was all about. Being in the moment was something of a struggle for me with one tight deadline bleeding into another and then another. The insane pace had been going on for over four years and now, for the first time in a long time I had given myself space between projects, space to breathe, space to rest, space to regroup. The problem was; now that I had the time and the space, I didn’t know what the hell to do with it. I’m a writer. That’s not just my job, it’s my vocation, and my identity is tied up in it – very possibly more so than I had imagined.

It had been the dreams that had driven me to the dry canyon in the middle of the night. In my dreams someone I never saw, someone holding me in a close, sensual embrace, someone nuzzling and cupping and caressing, kept whispering in my ear that I needed to write the story, that I needed to get it all down, but they would never tell me what story I was to write, and when I burst into wakefulness restless and uncomfortable in my own skin, the feeling of being stretched and expanded and then shoved back into myself was overlaid with a shimmering patina of arousal. Feeling like I’d suffocate if I didn’t get some air, I’d dressed quickly and left the house, leaving a note on the kitchen table for my sister just in case she should wake and find me missing.

In ten minutes I was in the dry canyon alone in the middle of the night wondering why I wasn’t at least a little bit nervous about my choice of how to spend my time in the wee hours. My sister said that in spite of the fact that the canyon ran through the center of the town with five miles of paved walking path from one end to the other as well as other footpaths meandering along the canyon’s edges, in spite of the fact that the canyon was almost never deserted, occasionally there was a mountain lion spotting, occasionally warnings were posted. There had never been an attack, never been even a threat, but it wasn’t all that uncommon in areas where human habitat encroached on puma territory for the two to come in contact with each other. But not now, I told myself. In my visits to my sister’s I’d seen deer in the canyon, myriad birds, rock chucks and other wildlife, but never a mountain lion. And if I were being completely honest, I found the shiver up my spine at the thought of seeing one of the beautiful cats at least as exciting as it was frightening. The full moon hung heavily just over my head, almost like I could reach out and touch it. It gave off enough silver light that I could see in exquisite monochrome layers, juniper and sage and the rise of the steep volcanic cliffs of the canyon walls.

IMG_5578The dry canyon splits the town of Redmond, Oregon right down the middle and until recently the only way to get around it was to drive to the end. Now there’s a huge bridge that spans it joining the two sides, the architects and builders having taken particular care that the bridge should blend in with the canyon and the high desert’s natural beauty. The bridge glistened pale in the moonlight, giant concrete arches rising like the bones of some graceful prehistoric monster whose death throes had spanned the canyon in rib-boned arches. It’s the landmark I always walk toward. And that night, when I got there, I drank deeply from the water fountain placed strategically in the shade for passing bikers, runners and walkers. There’s even a fountain for dogs next to it. Then I settled on the lone picnic table beneath the bridge, lie down on my back and look up at the shadowed underbelly of sinuous concrete.

I heard the runner before I saw him. I heard his heavy breathing, I heard the scuff, scuff of his feet against the ground, and I stayed still, listening, not wanting to startle him. I knew I should make good my getaway, or at least make my presence known, but I didn’t. For some reason I just lay there and watched as he drew near. The moonlight glistened on his bare chest, and I didn’t even pretend not to look. He was light footed, slender of build, long and well muscled. His hair was tawny pale and unkempt, clinging in wet curls around his ears and onto his shoulders. At the fountain, he drank long and deep, then tossed several cupped handfuls of water onto his head, down the back of his neck and onto his face. His nipples beaded, and goose flesh bloomed and spread across the rise and fall of his pecs where the water dripped onto his chest and over his taut belly. It was then that his gaze lit on me and the little breath of his surprise sounded like a soft growl in the muted night.

“Strange dreams,” I said in response to his unasked question as to my presence. I made no attempt not to stare at him, which didn’t seem too impolite, since he stared right back at me. ‘I needed some fresh air.’ Frankly I was surprised I could speak at all, let alone that I can be so brazen about it.

He bent for another drink, and I noticed he was barefoot. My insides quivered at just how little clothing the man really had on. The running shorts were thin and rode low on his hips revealing his navel and the slender path of soft hair disappearing into his waistband, a path I found myself wanting to follow with the stroke of a palm.

I was surprised when he moved to the table next to me, and settled a large hand in my hair, fisting it and stoking it until I sighed softly and moved against his palm. I was even more surprised when he stepped back, stretched his arms high above his head, yawned deeply, and then lay down beside me, settling himself around me in a spoon position. The dry desert air had dried the sweat from his flesh almost entirely. He was surprisingly warm and he smelled of desert heat, juniper and sagebrush. For a second I panicked as his strong arm snaked around my waist and pulled me back tight against him. Then I felt his mouth on the back of my neck, first parted lips, then tongue, then a slight nip of teeth. I found myself inexplicably calming under his touch, calming to the low rumble of satisfaction deep in his chest, to the steady hard pumping of his heart as he pressed his chest tight against me.

Once he was certain I wouldn’t run, his hold on me relaxed and his palm, flat against my belly, slid beneath my tank top and up to cup my breasts. I caught my breath in a startled moan as he thumbed my nipples alternately until they rose stiff and sensitive against calloused skin. I’d not bothered with a bra when I left my sister’s house. I never expected to meet anyone in the canyon. Easy access for anyone’s hands other than my own had not been my plan. While he cupped and kneaded and pinched, his mouth went back to work on my neck. He raised himself on one elbow to tongue and nip the hollow of my throat and I could feel the shape of him, hard and urgent, beneath the thin fabric of his shorts.

I barely had time to think about the hard rub and shift of him pressing against the back of my sweat bottoms before his hand migrated back down my belly and eased under my waistband with me shifting forward into the cup of his palm as he fingered and worked his way down. My legs parted and shifted and moved of their own volition to allow him access, and the shiver down my spine was not from the cool of the night as he stroked and fondled, all the while nipping and tonguing the back of my neck and the lobe of my ear, an effort leaving me weak and trembling with need that felt bone deep.

I don’t know how his hands could be everywhere, but they were. He slid my sweats down over my hips and, for a split second, I felt the cool night air against my bare bottom. Then I felt him bare and hard and anxious against me. The biting of my neck became more urgent and, God, I wanted him to bite me hard, I wanted to bite him back. I was only half conscious of the sounds he was making, animal grunts and groans, growls deep in his chest, sighs that I felt hot and moist against my skin. Then the nipping and the suckling and the caressing migrated down the length of my spine, and strong arms lifted me onto my hands and knees until my bottom was raised high in the moonlight and, before I could even think to protest, he continued his explorations, spreading me and kneading me with strong hands until his tongue found what he was looking for — me wet and restless and needing. I don’t remember much beyond that point except intense desperate pleasure, except his breath hot and fast against the swell of me, except him tasting me in hungry, lapping mouthfuls. And when I was boneless and weak from his efforts he pulled away, rose up and bit me on the shoulder, bit me hard enough to make me cry out, then he plunged into me, crushing me to him, holding my hips tight against his body, wrapping his arms around my waist, burying his face in my neck. I remember rearing back against him with each thrust, matching him growl for growl, holding my breath, bracing for impact, anticipating the breaking and shattering and falling apart as we came together and collapsed in desperate gasps back onto the table. Then he curled around me and we slept.

I remember waking alone on the picnic with the moon setting and dawn just beginning to gray the rim of the canyon, or at least I think I remember. I was barely aware of the walk back to my sister’s house, and the stripping off of my clothes and the falling into bed and into unconsciousness. In fact when I woke later in the morning snuggled down in the bed with the cool desert breeze blowing the curtains at the open window next to my bed, I figured I’d probably dreamed the whole experience. I mean the whole experience of dressing and walking in a dark canyon in the middle of the night alone, of sharing my body with a man I didn’t know, a man who never spoke, it wasn’t me at all. Surely it wasn’t the kind of thing I’d do. It was my imagination, I was sure. Jet lag often makes for powerful dreams, though it was strange the way my body felt that morning, I woke to the achy tenderness that follows rough sex, that follows a ravenous encounter too wild to really be just fucking, and yet just tame enough not to scare me into running away in fear of being completely devoured.

After breakfast my sister and I walked the canyon – her anticipating a good bit of morning exercise and me wanting to see if just maybe something would jog my memory, if just maybe something would bring the vividness of the encounter back to me. The dry canyon has been one of my favorite parts of where my sister lives for a long time. Walking it together has been a major part of our visits. We’d just descended the side road into the canyon and I was admiring how the bridge shown in the morning sun, thinking about my dream encounter, when my sister drew my attention to a sign on the notice board.

mountain_lion_petroglyph_photo_print-r1c1d777189c04e63a2426808aab6f0e1_wyy_8byvr_512Caution: Mountain Lion Sighting.

 

The breeze that had been warm felt suddenly chilled and the hairs on my arms rose.

‘There hasn’t been one in awhile,” she was saying when I finally managed to turn my attention back to her. “Usually people see them at dawn or at dusk, people out for a late or an early run. They’re nocturnal, you know?”

“Yes, I know.” I said, remembering with a shiver low in my belly the nip of teeth on the back of my neck and the rough push and shove of flesh against flesh.

 

Why Angels? Janine Ashbless Discusses Her New Release, In Bonds of the Earth

In Bonds of the EarthIt’s an absolute pleasure to have one of my favourite writers on my blog today. Please welcome Janine Ashbless as she talks about her new release, In Bonds of the Earth, the 2nd instalment of her Book of the Watchers trilogy. I asked Janine why she chose to write about angels, and here’s what she had to say.

Why Angels?

Janine Ashbless

“The story as I know it isn’t told from the point of view of the guys in the white hats. Azazel is one of the damned. Which means, I guess, that I am too.”

— In Bonds of the Earth

I’m no stranger to using mythology in my erotica and erotic romance. I’ve taken inspiration from Celtic, Greek, Islamic, Hindu, French, Persian, East European and Ancient Sumerian myths and folklore lore … and that’s just off the top of my head.

And since my first Medusa story in my very first collection back in 2000, my subtext has been “The gods are a right bunch of bastards.”

But with my Book of the Watchers trilogy about fallen angels, I got to grips for the first time with Judeo-Christian mythology. Now I come from a born-again Protestant family background myself, so in many ways I was familiar with the tropes – but I also discovered I had a lot to learn.

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. – Genesis 6: 1-2

Now isn’t that just crying out for an erotic novel spin-off?!

Angels (the “sons of God,”) are intermediaries and messengers between God and humanity. We are made, according to the writers of Psalms and Hebrews, “a little lower than the angels.” So they’re presumably better than us, or more powerful, or both. They can appear in naturalistic human form (like they did to visit Lot in the city of Sodom) but according to Ezekiel’s crazy visions of heaven, and The Revelation of St. John, they’re not naturally humanoid – they’re described in terms of wings and eyes and wheels turning within wheels, flames and chimerical animals.

Yet clearly, when human, they’re capable of human lust. Now that is a writer’s dream – the warring instincts of the spiritual and the physical; obedience to God versus personal desires; the fraught relationship between angel masters and human wives and children; the whole question of free will and original sin. In fact, Biblically, angels have a pretty poor track record of obedience (just like humans!). Since Satan is held in Christian belief to be a former angel, clearly they are capable of rebellion. He’s supposed to have led legions into the Fall from Heaven!

Now that’s really interesting.

Imagine you’re an angel. You’ve been in the actual presence of God and know all its manifold joys. You know first hand His omniscience, His glory, His justice, all the infinite riches of Heaven. And yet, despite having no hope of winning any fight with Almighty God, you choose to rebel.

You. Choose. To Rebel. Anyway.

Why?

That’s fascinating, from a writer’s point of view. Characters with complex backgrounds, conflicting desires and warring motivations are irresistible. Add to that the theme of angels and humans engaged in sexual relationships and trying to understand each other despite all their differences, and well… I may have found my perfect subject matter.

(Also, when I’m looking for inspiration, this sort of thing doesn’t hurt )

 

 

Xxx

Janine

 

Would you defy God, for love?

 

Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. Youd be wrong.

 

Janine Ashbless is back with the second in her paranormal erotic romance Book of the Watchers trilogy: In Bonds of the Earth.

 

Unafraid to tackle the more complex issues surrounding good and evil in mainstream religion, Janine has created a thought-provoking and immersive novel which sets a new standard for paranormal erotic romance. The first in the series, Cover Him With Darkness, was released in 2014 by Cleis Press and received outstanding reviews.

 

In Bonds of the Earth is published by Sinful Press and is due for release on March 1st, 2017.

 

In Bonds of the Earth Blurb:

“I will free them all.”

 

When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.

As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.

 

Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.

 

In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.

 

 

In Bonds of the Earth Excerpt:

 

I was giving my long-dreaded presentation on the anniversary footbridge to Misters Ellis, Singh, Constanzo and Mackenzie…when Azazel walked in.

Oh hell.

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” I said loudly, lurching around from behind my desk, grabbing Azazel’s arm and spinning him back to face the door. “Not here, come on, please,” I implored through clenched teeth.

If there was one thing I’d learned by then, it was to not ignore warning dreams. If I’d paid them more attention from the start, things between me and Egan might have gone very differently back in Montenegro…

No, better not to think of Egan, not when Azazel was around. One guy at a time was quite enough to wrap my head around. Especially this guy.

He humored me though, this time, letting me pull him out of the meeting room and through the open plan office without resistance. We attracted a lot of stares, but there was nothing I could do about that except hold my head high.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“Out. Anywhere.”

“You’re so impetuous.”

I didn’t need to glance up at his wicked smirk. I could feel it burning its way into my breast.

Bryce, the beardy guy in my new team who’d shown me the ropes of the job and seemed just a tiny bit too eager to talk every morning, stood up from his cubicle to intercept us. “Milja, is everything okay?”

“It’s just fine,” I rasped, towing Azazel faster.

“She’s insatiable,” my demon lover confided with a helpless shrug to my colleague as we swept past.

Bryce stared, mouth open.

“Goddamnit,” I muttered, and Azazel chuckled.

Sometimes it was hard to remember that he’d risked everything to save me.

We reached the doors at the end of the room and I pushed through, past the lobby with the elevators and into the concrete stairwell of the emergency stairs beyond. The only people who came here were smokers on their way to the roof, and it looked empty for now. My panicky momentum fizzled away and I swung to face him.

“What are you doing here?”

“What do you think?” he countered, taking my face in his hands.

“Azazel—” But he cut off my protests with his hungry kiss; a kiss that lanced through me all the way to my core. I gave up resisting, and speaking, and almost breathing, as his lust rolled over me in a hot wet wave. I slid my hands around his neck and tangled my fingers in his messy hair, pulling myself into his embrace. His body was hard as rock, his hands heavy on my waist and hips. The yearning for his touch that smoldered in my flesh day and night woke to a roaring heat.

I’d missed him. His skin, his smile, the peppery scent and salt taste of him. The sweetness of his lips and the harsh rasp of his stubbled chin. I’d missed him so much—like an addict missing her hit.

 

Buy In Bonds of the Earth Here:

Ebook:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bonds-Earth-Book-Watchers-ebook/dp/B01N6W7EL4

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Bonds-Earth-Book-Watchers-ebook/dp/B01N6W7EL4

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/in-bonds-of-the-earth/id1201654085?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/in-bonds-of-the-earth

 

Print:

Sinful Press: https://sinfulpress.co.uk/product/in-bonds-of-the-earth-by-janine-ashbless/

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/in-bonds-of-the-earth/janine-ashbless/9781910908082

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-bonds-of-the-earth-janine-ashbless/1125264279?ean=9781910908082

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bonds-Earth-Book-Watchers/dp/1910908088

 

In Bonds of the Earth will be available from all major online bookstores in both digital and print. Please contact Lisa Jenkins at admin@sinfulpress.co.uk for any further information.

 

About Janine:

Janine AshblessJanine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

 

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. 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’.

 

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

 

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)

 

Find Janine Here:

Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/

Janine Ashbless blog: http://janineashbless.blogspot.co.uk/

Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless

Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk

 

 

Lily Harlem’s Take Me Just in Time for Halloween

I’m very excited to feature sister Brit Babe, dear friend and fab writer, Lily Harlem’s new paranormal release, TAKE ME, and WOW! Does she have a sizzling Halloween treat for you. Check it out!

 

New from Lily Harlem TAKE ME a super-sexy shifter story to spook up your Halloween! Set in Ireland this paranormal tale will take you from the centre of Dublin and Temple Bar to the beautiful Wicklow Mountains. But watch out, there’s a cunning vampire about…

 

TAKE ME Blurb:

Megan’s weekend just took a dangerous, sexy turn…

 

What’s not to love about a girl’s weekend in Dublin? Megan Sanders loves being out on the town and out on the pull with her mates, but unfortunately, she’s attracted the attentions of a man with downright murderous intentions.

Seth Martin knows vampire Samuel Bennington is evil, and only his pack of elite wolf shifters can protect Megan. That is, if they can convince her that she needs their help.

Soon Megan finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of fear and lust. She’s being hunted for her blood, yes, but she’s also crazy about the guy who has sworn to protect her. But which man will win? Will her blood sate Bennington’s hunger, or will Seth remind her why it’s good to be alive, and give her pleasure beyond anything she’s known before?

 

takemeTake Me Excerpt:

She stared at him, then, “Abraham is a shifter, isn’t he?”

Seth was silent.

“The wolves here looking after me are all shifters. They can switch between being human and animal. Don’t try and tell me they’re not.”

“What do you know about shifters?” He pressed his knuckles against his biceps, the muscles bulging.

“Only what I’ve read in books. That they’re humans who can turn into animals, that they have special powers.”

“Special powers?”

She swallowed. This was getting more surreal by the hour. “Will you just tell me the truth?”

He said nothing.

“Seth.”

He clamped his lips together.

“Goddammit.” She stepped up to him. “Don’t you think I deserve the truth? I’m a sitting duck. There is nothing but a
few doors and bolts between me and a supernatural murderer who is out to get me. I’m being pretty calm all things considered, but this…” She banged her fist on his shoulder. “Tell me the truth.”

He didn’t budge but shook his head slightly.

“Don’t do that. Don’t say no. Tell me.” She whacked him again, harder this time. Fear, anger, and frustration warred within her. Her sanity was slipping as was her ability to maintain a brave face. If Seth couldn’t be honest with her—the man who’d fucked her not long ago, who’d said he’d die for her, who she’d entrusted with her life— then what did she have left?

Tears sprang into her eyes, making them prickle. Her throat tightened and a sob bubbled up from her chest.

She banged him again, with both fists this time.

“Hey.” He grabbed her wrists.

She tried to pull free but it was to no avail. “Megan, calm down.”

His words had no effect. She had to get out of there. What the hell was going on? She was a prisoner.

“Megan, please, stop.” He trapped her wrists in just one of his hands and pulled her close so her head was beneath his chin. “Calm the hell down. This isn’t helping anything.” He tightened his free arm around her body.

“No, but…I need to know, I need you…to be honest…with me.” She screwed up her eyes. In spite of her frustration she sagged against him. “I might die. This is my life. I need to know what’s going on.”

“I know.” He leaned back a fraction.

She looked up at him as a tear escaped from her right eye, and trickled down her cheek.

“Can you handle the truth?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Can you keep a secret? An ancient secret that very few humans have ever been told?”

“Yes. Absolutely.”

He pulled in a breath. “In that case, yes, Abraham is a shifter. The wolf you saw, that was him, in his other body.”

She nodded. A sense of relief washed through her. Far from being worried or scared, the knowledge was a comfort. It confirmed that she wasn’t going mad. Her imagination wasn’t running away with itself. She wasn’t adding up two and two and making five.

He stroked his hand over her hair. “How do you feel now I’ve told you?”britbabes_kink_hotnsaucy_3

She nodded. “Better. Thank you for trusting me.”

“Well, that goes both ways. You’re trusting us, a lot.”

“I know, but I believe in you.” She paused. “And Nia, she’s a shifter too?”

“Yes.” A muscle flexed in his jaw. It was clear he wasn’t used to talking about theshifters.
Megan looked into his dark eyes; his long lashes cast shadows on his cheeks and his messy black fringe hung forward.

“Are you a shifter?” she asked quietly.

His eyes narrowed a little. “What would you say if I was?”

“I’d say thank you for saving me, in the alley.”

He pulled in a breath, his nostrils flaring. “That was a close call.”

“It was.” She tugged her wrists to free them from his grasp.

He released her.

“And if you hadn’t been there…” She pressed her hands to his cheeks, his thick stubble tickling her palms. “I wouldn’t be standing here now. I’d be a murder victim.”

He kissed her, hard and quick. “Shh, don’t talk about that.”

“It’s hard not to think about it.”

“I don’t want you to. I want you to feel safe, to feel cared for when you’re with me.”

“I do.” She paused. “So, you are a shifter.”

“You know what?” His eyes narrowed.

“What?”

He paused, then, “I’m hungry, like really fucking hungry.”

“Wolf’s appetite, huh?” She raised her eyebrows.

“Yeah, something like that.” He grinned suddenly. “Come on, let’s make food. I’ve used up a lot of energy this evening.”

“Bedroom energy.” She stepped back and released him.

“Yeah, and I’d like some more bedroom action later if that’s okay with you.”

“I’m sure it can be arranged.”

 

Buy TAKE ME Here:

ARe

Amazon

Amazon UK

iBooks

Kobo

 

 

lily-harlem

Find out more about Lily Harlem on her website

 

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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