Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cast the Cards - giveaway

This wonderful schematic is The Map of Non-Monogamy (click to enlarge unless you have eyesight like a electron microscope). It's by Franklin Veaux, who is a smart, cool, polyamorist tech-guy whose blog I enjoy very much.

A long time ago I used to think that monogamy was the ideal that every committed relationship, gay or straight, aspired to. Hah! - what did I know? These days I've a much better grasp of the wonderful variations that human love and sexuality are capable of.

And if you want more polyamory in your life ... go on over to Good Reads, where they are offering multiple FREE copies of forthcoming Tarot-themed anthology Cast the Cards. You've got until the 15th October to sign up for a chance!

The call for this collection stipulated a romantic plot about a relationship that wasn't ordinary heterosexual m/f. My story, The Grief of the Bond-Maid is about a young slave woman who becomes involved with two men who are already partners in war and love (It's also about Viking runes and a shamanic quest and death magic and suffering, but that's what happens when you get me started on a a romance). I've crammed more supernatural action into my 10K than I think I've ever done before...

Cast the Cards is published on 31st October and contains six eye-opening romances. The perfect Hallowe'en present!

Giveaway on Good Reads
Pre-order (e-book or paperback) from Storm Moon Press

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

George Bush killed Black Lace!!!

Thanks to Jules, my spy in London, I can bring you this amazing snippet from the pages of satirical magazine Private Eye (No.1269, last month, p.26):

Random House will publish not only Tony Blair's memoir "A Journey" next month, but also his pray-mate George W Bush's "Decision Points" in November (inauspiciously on the 9th, a date known in Germany as "Schicksalstag", fateful day). While the ex-PM is with Hutchinson, however, the ex-pres will be published by Virgin, a far from prestigious arm of RH whose choice suggests Gail Rebuck was daintily pinching her nose while doing the deal. The signing of Bush by an imprint best known for sex and celebrities helps to make sense of a decision last summer that then seemed curious: Virgin MD John Sadler declared that no new books would be published by his erotica lists, Black Lace and Nexus, in 2010. It's now clear that Virgin was limiting the possibility of embarrassment for the godly Bush and other politicians Sadler publishes. But Dubya will nevertheless be a stablemate of soft porn purveyors such as Portia da Costa ("In Too Deep", "Kiss It Better" etc) and, gratifyingly, of the US TV satirist Stephen Colbert, a Virgin author and famously his tormentor at a White House correspondents' dinner in 2006.

Okay, I'm not sure I believe it. But ....!
And of course I told Portia - congrats to her for getting a mention in Private Eye alongside George Bush. Now that's notoriety!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Eyecandy Monday

I'm a pro-porn feminist. At the moment the anti-porn feminists in the USA, in unholy alliance with the anti-porn Christian Right, are causing a bit of a media storm. I want to recommend this article from Carnal Nation which strikes a personal chord with me: the writer is firmly on one side of the fence but understands the feelings of those on the other, because that is where she used to be. My journey was similar.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sexy Cyborg

Thanks to Adam for this gem of, um, subtle and highbrow humour.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Siege Engines

Damn. For the last couple of months my wordcount dials in the right margin have barely shifted. I'm just not getting any writing done. This is because my house is currently under siege by hoards of men. Which is fun and all, but it doesn't make for a good writing atmosphere. They are VERY NOISY - even the ones that don't sing along to Magic FM. I can do website tweaks, edits, posts ... but not one-handed typing, *ahem.* Mostly what I do is go out and buy boxes and bring them home to pack stuff up in.

Here is one of the men (actually an Oppressed Teenager) taking a lunchtime siege break in his wheelbarrow. Sadly I do not dare take a picture of my Hot Roofer to show you, because I would get a bad reputation (currently my reputation is The Weird Dog Lady Who Asks a Lot of Irritating Questions, like Would it be possible to have an external tap after all? and You do know that is supposed to go on the other wall, don't you?). But you can find a very reasonable approximation to Hot Roofer and his hair here.

Yesterday they broke through into the house itself for the first time. Ayeee - this was my pantry! Was I the last person in Britain to still have a pantry? Well, it's gone now. It's going to be something different ... Perhaps a room to wall up enemies with a Cask of Amontillado ... heh heh.

Now I have retreated upstairs and am hiding in the furthest corner. They are installing a RSJ downstairs. It feels like the biggest dentist drill in the world, only it's coming up through my feet. (RSJ = "reinforced steel joist" - I love learning the jargon. I also love climbing the scaffolding at night and having a nose around, but don't tell anyone because that is so not allowed by Health and Safety)

But when it's all done I will have a sparkly new Extension. And for the first time, a proper guest bedroom! Only another month and a half to go...

P.S: I'm sorry. I promised I would try not to turn into an Extension Bore.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Dear Dr Ruth

I recently discovered that my husband likes to watch Glee.

Now he tells me that, for his birthday,  he wants us to go have a cream tea and catch a live musical.

Should I be worried?

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Rain down on me...

Eeek. I've volunteered to do a 2-hour guided walk on the subject of Tree Folklore - this afternoon - for a local charity. It's taken me the best part of two weeks to prepare. And right now it's pissing it down. I suspect it's going to be just me and the trees. *sigh*

Friday, 17 September 2010

In Appreciation - new cover

Heh heh heh. Ellora's Cave have sent me the cover for my first story with them - In Appreciation of their Cox - and I can't help giggling every time I see it. It's shuffled up onto Page 2 of the Coming Soon Screen and is heading toward release on October 14th.

Here's the official blurb:

“Well, what we really need are small girls who are good at shouting and like hanging out with tall, muscular blokes.”
“Sign me up!”
And that was how I got into coxing.

Eight tall, muscular men straining every sinew, and one itty-bitty young woman urging them on with all her might.

Joanna is the coxswain for a British university rowing crew, all of them fit and muscular and hot. Although she’s fantasized about each of the men, she has always been careful to keep her relations with them strictly platonic. But now she’s leaving for a new job—and they’re going to have a farewell party that they will never forget, as all Jo’s wildest dreams come true on this final night together.

Yes - eight men! I outdid myself, I must say. Eight men and a lot of filthy fun.

Oh yes - and I've got an Ellora's Cave author page! Yay!  I intend to fill it with lovely goodies (and pink paddles) over the years to come.

But what I'm wondering is ... Why has nobody mentioned the pun in the title?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Welcome the Pope

Well, the Pope is about to start his visit to Britain and I say we should give him a hearty welcome. He's bound to be feeling a bit shy, what with this being a Moral Wasteland,  and the Geopolitical Epicentre of the Culture of Death (according to the office of the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster). And goodness, all those churlish television documentaries running this week taking issue with the Pope's perfectly high-minded and reasonable stance on ethical issues:
  • Telling his bishops to actively fight against our equality legislation
  • Failing to address the systematic covering up and enabling of child-rape that has been a part of the Church's culture right the way up to the top of the heirarchy (thanks to Billierosie for a succinct roundup of the subject)
  • Promulgating poverty, the death of women and the spread of AIDS, particularly in the Third World, by ordering Catholics not to use condoms in any circumstances - even say, if you're an African woman whose eight children are already malnourished and your husband is a long-distance trucker who uses prostitutes and is HIV positive. (British Catholics, btw, largely ignore the man and use birth control)
  • Opposing the right of women to control their own fertility.
  • Defining gay people as having an "a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil" (It's their wanting to do awful things like get married and have kids that is responsible for the shitty state of the world)
  • Being the head of a religion that's about as phallocentric as it's possible to get (For example, did you know that if you are impotent - say through disability - you are not permitted to get married?)

I mean, what's there possibly to object to?

So let's welcome the evil mysogynist homophobe Pope with open arms. Even if, in a time when we're paring public services to the bone, it's going to cost the public purse £12million + policing costs.

Here's some nice appropriate music from Apocalyptica, and Corey Taylor of Slipknot:

(Sorry about the subtitles, but I went looking for a good quality picture and no inane advert at the front. Now I'm going to stop ranting and go back to watching my HOT roofers)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Happy Birthday Danielle!

I missed it because I was away from home, but Happy Birthday wishes to Danielle de Santiago, who is only thirty!

Eyecandy Monday

... And a public service announcement for people in Britain: don't forget the second series of True Blood starts on Thursday, C4, 10pm!

And boy does that photo shoot look like it was fun! The creators of True Blood give the definite impression that sex is a theme cheerfully at the forefront of their series, rather than an embarrassing subtext. Good on them.

In the meantime, check out new website Erotica For All, which aims to provide an online space for erotica readers and writers to get together. There are competitions, free short stories, a chat forum, author profiles and news of latest releases. It's the brainchild of Lucy Felthouse, who is to be applauded for taking on such a huge task!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Spider Win!

I broke Spider! It's actually impossible to move from this point because you can't lay the next row while there are empty slots.

This may be one of the proudest moments of my life.    :-D

Friday, 10 September 2010

Magazine review: Filament #6

When issue 6 of Filament magazine arrived in the mail, Mr Ashbless said to me, "This magazine could have been written for you."

You can see what he means. This "myths and monsters" themed issue features
  • an article on Live Action Role Play (well yes, done that for a few years)
  • a big interview with Laurell K Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake books, which rather raises her in my estimation
  • a feature that has persuaded me to give a zombie flick (Colin) and some zombie graphic novels (The Walking Dead) a shot, even though I'm not a fan of the genre*
  • a showcase of work by fantasy artist Nykolai Aleksander
  • and a slew of photo features of purty nude men, all with genre themes: elven warrior, vampire, green man, blood-stained revenant (!), werewolf, and a couple of gods. I admit to being crazy for the Erebus pics, even though he's not the sort that appeals to everyone - but one of the joys of Filament is its eclectic and unstereotyped mix of models.

In addition there's an admirably sensible article on sex education and a big feature on Endometriosis (by, um, someone I've shared a hotel room with...) which is a medical condition I knew next to nothing about and now am profoundly grateful not to suffer from. And more - like three short stories.  

Filament is certainly value for money and frankly I feel grateful to have such an intelligent, thought-provoking and stimulating magazine available in this day and age. It's a crying shame that it, along with the whole erotica genre, is considered to be on the fringe of normal society. Hey: count me out of "normal" ... along with the LARPers, the werewolves, the fantasy fans, the graphic novel readers, the adults who admit to liking sex...

You can buy Filament here. I'm off to renew my 4-issue subscription now!

*I don't have a problem with rotting bodies. I have a problem with live people being ripped to pieces. Unless they deserve it, of course.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Best Bondage Erotica lineup

Rachel Kramer Bussel has released details of the official author lineup for Best Bondage Erotica 2011. In which I am included ...(?) among whom I am to be found...(?) Um ... Oh look: there I am!

The Long Way Home  - Elizabeth Coldwell
His Little Apprentice - Jacqueline Applebee
Foreign Exchange - Evan Mora
The Ingénue  - Janine Ashbless
Reasoning - Tenille Brown
Subdue - Dusty Horn
Relative Anonymity - Emerald
Closeted - Emily Bingham
Vegas Treat - Rachel Kramer Bussel
The Cartographer - Angela Caperton
The Apiary  - Megan Butcher
Wired - Lisabet Sarai
How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back - Andrea Dale
The Lady or the Tiger - Bill Kte’pi
Sealed for Freshness - Jennifer Peters
Stocks and Bonds - Rita Winchester
Helen Lay Bound - Suzanne V. Slate
The Rainmaker - Elizabeth Daniels
Do You See What I Feel? - Teresa Noelle Roberts
Truss Issues - Lux Zakari

You can read the full foreword - "The Joy of Restraint" here

Pre-order from Amazon US : Pre-order from Amazon UK

Monday, 6 September 2010

Eyecandy Monday

I can't think of anything to say about this picture. It steals my words away.

If you want more words, there are nice reviews of  Alison's Wonderland and Fairy Tale Lust over at Erotica Revealed this month:

You’ll recognize "Sleep Tight" by Janine Ashbless as a Sleeping Beauty tale, but you won’t expect the ending. I sure didn’t see it coming. That’s all I’ll say. Nicely executed. 

And a glowing review of Fairy Tale Lust at ERWA:

“Sleep Tight”, by Janine Ashbless, offers a visceral first person account by the hapless landscaper penetrating Sleeping Beauty's palisade of thorns.  The final twist is shocking and yet, in retrospect, feels inevitable.

It's a pretty good start to my week!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

We're all doooooooomed

[click to enlarge]

And this, apparently, is how atheism will bring about the collapse of society and the extinction of the human race. I am delighted to see that I am responsible in my small way for such a momentous change. However I am disappointed that there is no mention of smutty literature. Surely:

Pornographic fiction --> excessive masturbation --> fewer fertile impregnations --> human extinction!


Friday, 3 September 2010

Now that's my idea of a fun weekend

Yes, I'm off to play Dungeons & Dragons  :-)

We've been playing this particular campaign for ... oh, years. Years and years. Several of us have moved house in that time and one of us has got married. Yet Dragonlance goes on, a constant in our lives.

I suppose one day it will have to end - and then we'll start a new game. After all, we've known each other since 1987. We bicker about rules. We share jokes that mean nothing to anyone outside our group. We reminisce about travels together both in the real world and imaginary ones. We argue about movies, as we span the range from trash action thrillers to arthouse. We try to avoid getting into stand-up rows about politics (well, usually). We cook experimental and amazing meals for each other and whine at (1) the vegetarians, and (2) the guy who will only eat meat. We occasionally get drunk and a bit maudlin.

We may be growing old together, but we will never really grow up.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Blond ambition

Last night I watched the last episode of mini-series The Deep (downloadable if you live in the UK only, I'm afraid, and you'll have to hurry). It's a nu-cold-war/oil thriller set in the waters under the Arctic ice and it's ... okay, yeah. It was made very much more of a "must view" for me by the presence of ex-Spetsnaz Russian submarine mechanic Arkady. He's played by a German actor, Tom Wlaschiha.

I haven't really ever written a blond hero in my erotic romance. Grey, yes. Dark, loads of times. Even a redhead with dreadlocks. But blonds have had short shrift from me, reduced to single-act characters in a few short stories. I can see that this is about to change. He just looked so goddamn good bruised and desperate - and you know how mean I like to treat my heroes!