Rodin and Darkness

I was born in the dark dream-time of the year, being a January girl, so there has always been something about the darkness that fascinates me. It seems to be a shared fascination among most writers and authors, maybe among people, not only for what it conceals, but for what it reveals. Darkness is always a great subject for this time of year when night’s are long and days are anaemic as the year closes in on itself and we all wrap up in memories of warmth and dreams of the returning light and the new beginnings the New Year brings.

 

 

 

 

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to attend an exhibition at the British Museum. While any visit to the British Museum is a little slice of paradise, this particular visit was even more so because it was Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece. One of my very favourite sculptures ever is Rodin’s The Kiss. One of my very favourite exhibitions to visit regularly in the British Museum is the Elgin Marbles. Imagine my delight when this special exhibition turned out to be an intermingling of the two with the focus on how the Parthenon and a trip to the British Museum influenced all of Rodin’s work. Seeing Rodin’s works displayed next to some of the exquisite pieces from the frieze of the Parthenon was not only enlightening, but inspiring and thought provoking. Add to that the wonderful insights into the heart of a creative genius by another creative genius, Rainer Maria Rilke, who was briefly Rodin’s secretary, and the afternoon was a treasure trove of inspiration that just keeps on inspiring me long months later.

 

 

 

 

What I had not known before and what I found most insightful was the darkness that Rodin never shied away from in his work. As a writer, I feel it’s my duty also not to shy away from the darkness, even, maybe most especially, when I really want to. The darkness is quite often the journey of passage into new beginnings, and therefor maybe the most terrifying treasure for any artist, anyone, who must pass through it to the other side.

 

 

 

 

Much of Rodin’s work found its beginnings in his Gates of Hell, which was to be a representation of Dante’s Inferno. The sculpture was commissioned in 1880 for a museum that was never built. But Rodin was so pulled into the effort, so inspired by it, that he continue to work on it and off until his death in 1917. Many of his most famous sculptures, including The Kiss and The Thinker, were inspired by and taken from the Gates of Hell.

 

 

 

 

That got me thinking that perhaps I am inspired by my own gates of hell, perhaps we all are. The recurring themes of darkness in my stories are, as was Rodin’s Gates of Hell, less about sin and punishment than they are about the human condition, my own condition, the fragmenting of self and the constant reworking of that self. Which raises a question I have often asked myself, and especially this time of the year when the days are dark and short. Are we inspired by the darkness to seek out the light, or is it only the presence of the darkness that allows us to see the light? I’m leaning heavily toward the latter.

 

 

A Ghost, A Succubus and NaNoWriMo

Two of my favourite characters in all of my novels are Anderson, the ghost from my Lakeland Witches Series, and Cassandra, the succubus who becomes his lover in the second novel of the series, Riding the Ether. Of all the incredibly sexy, deliciously fun love stories I’ve ever written for my character, theirs was maybe the most fun. The whole Lakeland Witches series was one of the most fun series to write as well. Since this month is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month, it seems appropriate to share something that had its roots in NaNaWriMo. Body Temperature and Rising, novel one of the series, was my very first NaNoWriMo success. This year I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the fifth time, with three of those novels having been published. The other two aren’t quite ready for the world to see yet. I hope you enjoy Cassandra’s observations of and reflections on Anderson.

 

 

 

 

Book two of the Lakeland Witches trilogy (Click here for: Book One | Book Three)

 

Cassandra Larkin keeps her ravenous and dangerous sexual appetite secret until she seduces Anderson in the mysterious void of the Ether.  Anderson is the sexy, insatiable ghost who can give her exactly what she needs.

But sex is dangerous in a place like the Ether…

When the treacherous demon, Deacon, discovers the truth about the origin of Cassandra’s powerful lust, he plots to use her sex magic for revenge on Tara Stone and the Elemental Coven, who practice their own brand of sex magic.

Cassandra must embrace the lust and sexuality she fears and learn to use its power. Will she stand with Anderson, Tara, and the Elemental Coven against Deacon’s wrath or suffer the loss of friendship, magic and love?

 

Excerpt Riding the Ether:

CASSANDRA WOKE TO THE cold mist of her own breath rising in the room above the mattress and pulled the thick duvet up tighter around her. She had expected the fire to be out by the time she returned, though she had banked it as best she could. It was then she realised she had the tiniest bit of a headache. The fact that she had a headache at all caused a clench in her stomach that was far more painful than her head.

She never had headaches unless she had taken too much. And she never, ever, did that. Not any more. She hadn’t done since she was in uni, and then she hadn’t known any better, hadn’t known what would happen, hadn’t known how to control herself. And once she did know what would happen … She pushed that thought out of her head. Still, how could she have taken too much? She had been so careful with her research, so careful with her training. Anderson was a ghost, and they’d been in the Ether, and he had seemed fine, had said he was. He’d certainly seemed all right when she had left him. More than all right, actually.

Suddenly, the clench in her stomach and the ache in her head were both overshadowed by the rhythmic thrumming between her legs that buzzed up her spine. It was the feel of him. The feel of his energy still on her, still in her. She reached between her legs and felt his wetness still there. Even though they’d been in ethereal bodies, sometimes a bit of the Ether escaped back into the World of Flesh. Fooling the Ether, her grandmother used to call it.

Even the feel of his semen against her fingers tingled. She brought it to her mouth, strangely scentless for semen, but that was the curse of ghosts who wore the flesh. They could generate no scent. She wondered if he had been able to smell her scent on him after they’d left the Ether. There was always a scent on her when she came back from the Ether. It was the scent of high- altitude cold and metallic bite. She hoped it was more than that that lingered on him when he left. But then it would be, wouldn’t it? Much, much more, though she wasn’t sure about scent.

She licked his juices from her fingers and instantly she knew that he was indeed all right, if a bit confused. He was very all right. She slid her hand down for more, feeling the buzz of energy relax the knot in her stomach and clear her headache until her whole brain felt like a window, open to all she needed to see, to feel, to experience. And fuck, it was amazing! It had always been amazing, like a drug she dare not allow herself for fear of becoming addicted to it, but this was bloody awesome! It was more than her research had ever prepared her for, way more!

With little more than a stroke, she came, trembling all over as she reached between her legs for more of his juices, unable to hold back shudders that led to moans and, embarrassingly, nearly to bellows that vibrated her whole body. With each clench and tremor, her pussy forced out more of his delicious essence, and she wiped it, rubbed it, slathered it all over her body. Great Christ, she wondered what the man must have smelled like when he lived. He was … He was a rider of the Ether. And he had been for damn near ever. He was power and virility and physicality in ways she had only dreamed of. And she could make love to him. She had made love to him. Great Goddess, how she had made love to him!

With her orgasm mellowing to ripples, she sent out her fetch, that magical part of her that was, in itself, almost like a ghost, her essence, sent forth to explore beyond her body, sent forth whenever she rode the Ether.

She could have never breached the protective magic of Elemental Cottage before. But now she was connected to Anderson. She wore his essence inside and out. She passed through those boundaries and protective spells like water. And she would be able to find him anywhere, in the flesh, or not. She paid no attention to the house, took no time to marvel at the domain of the witches she so admired. She was sure it was amazing, but she had no time for that. She had sent her fetch out for one thing, and one thing only, and that was to find Anderson, to look, just look at him, to reassure herself that she hadn’t dreamed such a man, such a coupling.

And he was there, exactly as she knew he would be. He slept in the arms of his high priestess, slept the deep, even sleep of dreams, dreams which he didn’t need – and yet he chose to have them, in the vulnerable act of sleep that he also didn’t need. He slept wrapped around her. They had had sex. Though Cassandra could not smell him, she could smell the woman, earthy and slightly piquant from the labour of lovemaking. He slept, but the woman, Tara Stone, did not.

She could sense the woman’s worry, her restlessness, but that didn’t concern her at the moment. It was Anderson in his unnecessary sleep that interested her, fascinated her, drew her. He was erect. In a thought she felt was worthy of a teenager with a crush, she wondered if he was excited by dreams of her. She could find out easily enough, but she never invaded people’s dreams on purpose. She never entered people’s private places.

She ran her hand along his flank, feeling her own essence against his flesh as surely as she felt his on her. She could take him now while he slept and he would never know it. She could give him such sweet dreams of her, such passionate dreams that he would come in his sleep, and she would wear the energy of his release, the energy of his dream, like a tight- fitting skin – a skin that would nourish her, give her strength in a way her own never could. That she could do such things frightened her. That she still wanted to do such things frightened her even more. She bent over him and pressed her mouth against his parted lips, breathing a kiss against them, and he sighed softly.

The woman started and sat up, looking around the room. Cassandra couldn’t imagine that she was able to sense her presence, but she knew Tara Stone’s reputation so just in case, she quickly pulled her fetch back to herself, back to her own bed, and her flesh felt all the more vibrant, all the more alive for having been with him, even if it had been from a distance.

Her clit felt heavy. Her nipples ached, and she masturbated again. It was in the receding tremors of orgasm that she noticed the ghost watching her, peeking around the edge of the hanging blanket that separated Cassandra’s sleeping space from the rest of the bothy.

 

 

 

Out Now—Yes Ma’am: Six Tales of High Class Fem-Dom Erotica by Kay Jaybee (@kay_jaybee) #BDSM #femdom #kink #erotica

Kay Jaybee is delighted to announce the re-release of one of her most popular erotic anthologies.

Re-edited and re-covered, Yes Ma’am is back with a vengeance from 22nd November!

 

Blurb

Could you write your wildest fantasies on your best friend’s boyfriend, or sell your sexual soul to a woman in black?

Find out how far army cadet, Luke Porter, will go to improve his standing within his regiment, and discover the consequences of losing your temper on London’s Underground in this collection of wrist binding, whip wielding, butt spanking tales of female domination.

Yes Ma’am contains six straight and bi-sexual encounters of the S&M nature.

All six stories deliver a different take on the FemDom experience.

Lying in Wait– Cadet Luke Porter is the least successful army recruit in the squadron. His female counterparts are determined to find out how far Luke will go to improve his standing within the regiment…

Black – He is intoxicated by the woman in black. He can’t explain why he needs to see her or why he willing does precisely what she tells him to…

Dear Claire – Ali has secretly lusted over her best friend’s lover Rick, for a long time. At least, she thought it was a secret…

“Don’t You Emma” – Sitting in an armchair has never been so difficult…

Not Taking the Tube – Venting his frustration at being delayed yet again by London’s Underground system on the nearest official, the harassed businessman finds his complaints aren’t received in quite the way he’d expected…

Rachel’s Twisted Tale – Rapunzel never suffered like this….

*****

Here’s an extract from “Don’t You Emma.”

… Lee sat back in the leather armchair. She’d told him that all he had to do to get a damn good fucking was to stay in the chair until she decreed otherwise.

As he watched Daisy move around the living room Lee thought, not for the first time, how inappropriately named she was. The name suggested someone meek, gentle and childlike. It didn’t conjure the image of a tall, fit, fake blonde, who could get her rocks off simply by beating your arse until it glowed purple.

She was clearing the space in front of him. The coffee table had already been repositioned to the side of the chair, and the newspapers that usually lay all over the place had been stacked up. All the cushions he’d thrown off the sofa had been neatly placed back where they belonged.

‘You are going to reward me for watching you clean up?’ Lee was amused by this uncharacteristic fit of tidying.

Daisy gave him a stare that would have chilled a lesser man to the bone, but Lee had known her for a long time and all it did was increase the arousal of her promise to give him a good seeing-to.

‘I don’t believe I said you could talk to me while you were waiting.’

‘Come off it, Daisy. You’re only doing the chores.’

Ignoring him, his partner brushed her hands together, and glancing at the increased floor space across the now uncluttered pale green carpet, left the room.

Lee’s imagination had already moved on to what reward he was going to get for being a good, patient boy. He wondered if he’d have to endure a spanking, or if she’d bind or gag him. Flickers of tense longing played in his stomach and stirred his groin.

Glancing at the clock on the corner of the bookcase, he listened to the quiet tick. It seemed to fill the room as he waited with growing impatience for Daisy’s return. He assumed she was fetching her sex toys, or perhaps changing into something less comfortable. It was with a sense of a surprise and unease, however, that Lee heard the front door open and the sound of muffled voices.

Despite only wearing a red T-shirt and some lightweight black combats, Lee suddenly felt rather hot as Daisy re-entered the lounge with company.

The warning glint in Daisy’s eyes confirmed that Lee should stay precisely where he was, his legs outstretched before him, his arms resting on the chair’s soft padded arms, his mouth shut.

His dark brown eyes moved from his lover to the girl with her. About 25 years old perhaps, with long ginger hair that hung in two perfectly tied pigtails. Slim, but with enough of a curve to catch the eye, her green gaze had a keen, eager to please gleam, that just hinted at mischief.

Lee swallowed very carefully. Daisy hadn’t, had she? Not really? He opened his mouth to ask her if he was right, or if his imagination was running away with him. No sound came out though. He didn’t want to risk her saying he was mistaken and ruining the fantasy that roller-coasted around his lust driven head.

The girl, without taking off either the boots or the long winter coat she wore, even though it was a warm summer’s day, answered his unspoken question, as she lowered her head and knelt on the cleared floor before Daisy; her mistress.

‘Oh my!’ His words were barely audible. Daisy either hadn’t heard them or had dismissed them as unimportant. Lee concentrated very hard on breathing; forcing himself to sit still and not lean forward in the chair….

 

Buy Links

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2OLCU0Y
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2B6fgEF
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07YZP2HNC
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07YZP2HNC
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yes-maam-kay-jaybee/1106910229?ean=2940163359196
iBooks UK: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/yes-maam/id1483228798?mt=11&app=itunes&at=1010lSvp
iBooks US: https://books.apple.com/us/book/yes-maam/id1483228798?mt=11&app=itunes&at=1010lSvp
Kobo: https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=2uLYNRmz8QE&mid=37219&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kobo.com%2Fgb%2Fen%2Febook%2Fyes-ma-am-9
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/985492?ref=cw1985

*****

Bio

Kay Jaybee was named Best Erotica Writer of 2015 by the ETO

Kay received an honouree mention at the NLA Awards 2015 for excellence in BDSM writing.

Kay Jaybee has over 190 erotica publications including, Yes Ma’am, (KJBooks, Second ed., 2019),  A Kink a Day- Book One, Two, Three & Four (KJBooks, 2018-2019), The Voyeur (Sinful Press, 2018), Knowing Her Place-Book 3: The Perfect Submissive Trilogy, (KJBooks, 2018),  The Retreat- Book2: The Perfect Submissive Trilogy (KJBooks, 2018), Making Him Wait (Sinful Press, 2018), The Fifth Floor- Book1;The Perfect Submissive Trilogy (KJBooks, 2017), Wednesday on Thursday, (KDP, 2017), The Collector (KDP, 2016), A Sticky Situation (Xcite, 2013), Digging Deep, (Xcite 2013), Take Control, (1001 NightsPress, 2014), and Not Her Type (1001 NightsPress), 2013.

Details of all her short stories and other publications can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

You can follow Kay on –

Amazon – – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kay-Jaybee/e/B004O0S9GO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1534155776&sr=1-1

Twitter- https://twitter.com/kay_jaybee

Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/KayJaybeeAuthor

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3541958-kay-jaybee

Brit Babes Site- http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk/p/kay-jaybee.html

Kay also writes contemporary romance and children’s picture books as Jenny Kane www.jennykane.co.uk  and historical fiction as Jennifer Ash www.jenniferash.co.uk

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Rescuing the Phantom

 

One of my favourite novels of rescue is Phantom of the Opera.I read Gaston Leroux’s novel long before I saw the wonderful musical. I found all the old movies based loosely, very loosely, on the book missed the point entirely. While Phantom of the Opera weaves together our worst nightmares so tightly with our deepest hopes and wildest dreams that it’s impossible to pick the threads apart, ultimately, it is the story of rescue and redemption.

 

I think stories in mythology about seduction of mortal women by the gods are really stories of inspiration. What better description of inspiration than divine seduction. But sometimes, occasionally, they are twisted and turned in such a way that the heroine is more than just a victim of a horny god. The story of Psyche and Eros is an example. Ultimately Psyche is brave enough to rescue herself, with a little help from the gods. That doesn’t happen very often.

 

Leroux’s Phantom of the Operatwists that plot even further. There is no help from the gods, and the hero is not the dashing young viscount from Christine’s past. The god in the story is not irresistibly beautiful, but horribly disfigured. He knows the soul of an artist, and he knows the real seduction is in offering a deeper understanding, a deeper mastery of her gift, and the lovely Christine is willingly to accept what her Angel of Music offers. The Phantom’s darkness is the balance to Christine’s light, and his music of the night allows her true gift to shine. Through it all, Raul, the viscount, is clueless, convinced that he can keep Christine safe. But Christine knows the darkness now. She’s seen it, embraced it, and a part of her loves it, longs for it. Her seduction by the music of the night has a chilling price that the whole story revolves around. In the end there is no sword battle, no cunning tricks, no magic wand. In the end there is simply a kiss, far more devastating than the sharpest blade. Compassion and acceptance does what muscle and gunpowder cannot.

 

I still get shivers when I read the descriptions of the Phantom’s lair and the dark lake under the opera house, when I revisit the terrifying scene in the graveyard. Yet throughout the whole of the book I felt an ache for the Phantom that was much more about seduction than pity. Phantom of the Operais a compelling, beautifully woven mix of fear and awe and raw desire for a man who is so much more than human. But though his actions tell us he is a monster, he compels the reader to desire him, and we long for him and Christine to be together, for all wounds to be healed. We long for the happy ever after.

 

 

But there can be none. Instead, the happy-ever-after is gifted to Raul. He is to claim what the Phantom has nurtured and longed for but can never have. It is Christine, however, who earns that gift for Raul by being willing to pay the price for his life. There is no doubt she is the hero of this story. She is the goddess hidden, then revealed only at the end when a choice must be made between the death of Raul and Christine’s submitting willingly to life with the Phantom. She not only chooses, but she chooses unconditionally, unreservedly to love the Phantom, to understand him, in as much as it’s possible to understand such tortured genius. She is the true giver of the gift in this story. She restores the balance. Just as the Phantom’s darkness has infused her gift with the music of the night, her light heals him, enabling him to let go of that which he knows does not now, nor has it ever belonged to him, the gift and the possessor of that gift.

 

And what does that have to do with inspiration? In the Greek stories and myths, it takes time for the magical child to be born and trained up to fulfil the task for which he was conceived, and it is usually a he. In Leroux’s story, we aren’t told how long Christine has been studying with her ‘Angel of Music,’ but it is clearly enough to make her singing enthralling to anyone who listens.

 

I think Phantom of the Opera is a story of the compelling seduction of the creative force. It is inspiration and hard work moving through the fear to restore balance, and coming out on the other side to places we never could have imagined. Then it’s repeating the whole process over and over again. Inspiration is rescuing the phantom in each of us, redeeming the darkness and overcoming the fear.

 

Is this what Leroux wanted his story to convey? I don’t know, but I do know that the sensuality, the deep driving hunger coupled with the fear of moving past the point of no return is something every writer encounters. Our story, my story is about overcoming our fears and rescuing our phantoms. That’s not just the hero’s journey or the writer’s journey, that’s the journey of every person.

 

What we create, what we bring forth is the result of passion leading us down into the depths of ourselves, the results of seducing ourselves in ways that terrify us as much as they attract us. We are changed by that passion, by that deep connection with what inspires us. Innocence is lost and something totally new is created out of our fears, and we are inspired to move forward and to face unconditionally what comes next.

 

 

Out Now—Stateless (Stateless Series, Book 1) by Meli Raine (@meliraineauthor) #romanticsuspense #romance #suspense #newrelease

Release date: October 15, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.

I lie for her.

I hunt for her.

I kill for her.

And above all, I betray my mission for her.

She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.

I do.

Treason comes in many forms.

Love is one of them.

Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.

Our teachers forgot one important detail:

Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.

Yet we do.

It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.

And I know exactly where mine are aimed.

 

The Stateless Series also includes:

Traceless (releasing 11.19.19)

Fateless (release date TBA)

 

Links:

Amazon (everywhere): https://geni.us/statelessAMZ

Barnes&Noble: https://geni.us/statelessBN

Kobo: https://geni.us/statelessKobo

Apple Books: https://geni.us/statelessApple

Google Play: https://geni.us/statelessgoogle

 

Audiobook narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt!

Audible (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAudible

Amazon audio (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAMZaud

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2mSDQ8B

BookBub:  http://bit.ly/2ozxs6w

Website:  http://bit.ly/2mSPzUE

*****

Excerpt:

The word feel is foreign. It’s as if Callum speaks another language. My heart jumps inside the cage of my chest.

“Feel,” I murmur.

Just then, Callum’s hand brushes against mine.

My organs have become trampolines, it seems, because my heart jumps into my throat.

He slides his index finger against mine, the touch no more than an inch of skin.

Revealing a mile of need.

*****

Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://meliraine.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meliraine

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/meliraineauthor

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meli-raine

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536295.Meli_Raine

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/beV0gf

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 
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The Romance Reviews

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