Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Excerpt - The Auction

I'm actually quite shy and inept in social situations, and easy to embarrass. Maybe that's why I like writing about shame - the hot and helpless thrill of public exposure and humiliation. Fiction takes my worst fears and transmutes them into something not just bearable but actually filled with delight and power - which is one of the extraordinary magics of writing. Here's the science bit: we often write about stuff that we don't want to experience in real life. How hard is that to grasp? Apparently, for some people, pretty difficult:  if you've been unaware of the Paypal Censorship shitstorm going on ... well, here's a catch-up. It's stressing the hell out of erotica authors right now.

And as promised some time back, here's an excerpt from my short story The Auction, which appears in Mischief anthology Shameful Thrills: girls who should know better. It's a very, very dirty story even by my standards - and a really rough ride for the heroine. Enjoy it with her...

‘First time on the block,’ said the auctioneer, grinning. His skin gleamed with sweat. ‘Can you see that blush? She’s practically a virgin.’

She squirmed with shame as the catcalls and whistles rose to a new crescendo. She was wearing only tiny cut-off jeans and a deep-necked tee-shirt hacked off so short that it barely covered her breasts. There were big manga-style boots on her feet but they didn’t make her feel any less vulnerable, only clumsy and uncertain of her footing, like a newborn calf. Above the boots, hold-up stockings covered her to mid-thigh. They had been white to start with but they were stained with dust, and the lace was torn.

‘What do we call you, Red?’ he asked.

‘Antonia.’ The word seemed to burn on her lips. 

‘Sweet. You scared, Antonia?’

‘Please. . .’

‘You should be.’

Her legs nearly gave way under her and only his grip on her elbow kept her on her feet. The shift of her hips made the tight shorts press into her ass crack and she gasped with discomfort, but the sound was masked by the gales of laughter from their audience.  

‘D’you know what’s going to happen to you?’

She shook her head.

‘Of course you do. I’m going to sell you to the highest bidder, bitch.’ The insult was savored, and Antonia felt the heat run through her body like a shockwave. ‘Whoever wants your cunt the most tonight is going to get it. Of course, you’ll be lucky if he only wants your cunt—and not every other orifice. See anyone out there you like the look of, Antonia?’

She twisted her face away, shutting her eyes, but he transferred his grip to the nape of her neck and squeezed warningly.

‘Look at them. You’re here because you’re worth money to them. Look them in the eye—it’s the last chance you’ll get.’

She looked. There were—what?— maybe a couple of hundred people out there, men and women, standing near the front or sitting on the hoods of cars and lolling across parked motorbikes further back. Black clothing and leather predominated, where they had bothered to cover up against the night air. It looked like a scene from a Mad Max movie. There were a lot of grins, but not one of them reassuring.

‘One of those lucky people is going to be fucking you real soon. One of them’s going to own you, bitch. You know what that means? They can have anything they want from you.’

Antonia couldn’t help whimpering. She was shaking with tension and she knew he could feel it.

‘Shall we have a look at the goods then?’ he called out, and they answered with enthusiasm.  ‘Right.’ He parked the beer bottle between his belt buckle and his stomach—where it stuck up like a crude glass erection—and tugged a small piece of plastic from his pocket. It was a cable tie. Scooping up the smooth fall of coppery hair that Antonia was so proud of, he twisted it into a rope and secured it with the tie. His movements were swift and practiced. ‘I like to see a good handgrip on a slave,’ he informed her, wrapping the bright ponytail around his left fist and pulling her head up and back. Tears brimmed in Antonia’s eyes.

‘Now, I see we’ve got a good big pair of tits on this one,’ he remarked to the crowd. Retrieving his bottle, he took one last sip and then upended it over her breasts, dowsing both thoroughly. Shame burned through her body all the way to her core. The liquid was chilled and the smell of cheap beer made her head swim. She was aware of the sudden pull of her nipples as they tightened in response to the unexpected cold shower, poking out against the taut and now clinging cloth.

The auctioneer tossed the empty bottle back over his shoulder. She heard it smash.

‘Yeah, that’s nice,’ he purred, flicking her nipples with his nail to accentuate their jut and pinning her as she flinched. ‘Imagine getting your cock between these, gentlemen. Look at the size of them! And real too! But don’t take my word for it; see for yourselves.’

Buy Shameful Thrills at Mischief : Amazon US : Amazon UK
(You don't need a Kindle to read Amazon e-books - download the app to PC or phone)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Eyecandy Monday - and OOOOH! Look at this!!

I found this pic on Wikipedia, of all places. Education is a wonderful thing :-)

Another website of some interest to me: take a look at Mischief Press!  It's just gone live!

That means that you can buy Red Grow the Roses direct from the publisher, if you have some sort of aversion to doing it on Amazon (same price too!).  On the Mischief blog, this is what they said about me:

"This month we’re opening our account with one of the most original and thrilling vampire erotica novels in recent times – Red Grow the Roses by Janine Ashbless. Author of the now legendary Cruel Enchantment, Janine Ashbless injects freshness and originality and the most eye-watering erotica scenes into the ever popular vampire genre."

"Now legendary" : "eye-watering erotica"- now that made my cup of tea go up my nose the wrong way ;-)

Mischief launches officially to the press in March, so I'll say more about that later. But in the meantime, please do go ahead and look at their early lists, the blog and the preview snippets, and you can buy anthologies including my short stories too - here (Woohoo! - the page features a great big excerpt from my story Issues and Returns) and here.

"Allow us to seduce you with Mischief, a new series of erotica and erotic romance ebook fiction. And our mischievous mission is to arouse your imaginations by featuring the broadest range of sexual and romantic fantasy fiction possible within one imprint. Four original ebooks will be published each month featuring contemporary stories written by leading authors across three formats, so you can dip in and out of our short story collections, turn the lights down low for a petite novel, or sit up all night with a novel.

Our storylines are about men and women, and men with men, and women with women, and women with lots of men. Mischief stories are forbidden pleasures and private thoughts and Mischief’s fiction is where hot explicit fantasies hit the ground running to discover a second life in your imagination. We’re available to all those women and men with a sense of adventure and an open mind. It’s our aim to be your literary harlot and your scarlet mistress.

BDSM, dirty vanilla, female domination, exotic locations, paranormal worlds, tireless lovers, wanton women, passion, the thrill of shame, kinky fetishes, illicit encounters, everyday and extraordinary adventures; we will deliver a broad spectrum of erotic fantasies and explicit romance every single month.

So read Mischief in bed, read Mischief on trains, read Mischief on planes, read Mischief on the beach ... wherever and whenever the mood takes you, and the tingle becomes an urge, it’s time to get mischievous."

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

Shorts coming down

I've barely recovered from a tipsy night at the Naked Muse preview and I'm off to take part in the More Bang Charity Reading Slam tonight, so I have to go practice my reading, but there's just time to catch up with story sale news.

I've sold three shorties (all around 1500 words) to Harlequin Spice: they're going to appear in a book edited by Alison Tyler but I don't have a title or a cover or a line-up or a publication date (given it's Harlequin ... probably not any time real soon). I believe there are going to be 69 short-short stories in the anthology. Mine are called Attic MomentLove, Honour and Obey; and Hare Coursing.

I have an outrageous BDSM story called Teppanyaki in Anything For You: kinky couples erotica (ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel) and due out in August. Teppanyaki,  if you haven't tried it, is a Japanese style of hotplate cooking and my story is about a dinner party that would NOT feature on "Come Dine with Me."  Heh.

And ALREADY OUT - but we've only just got permission to talk about the books -  are two stories in Mischief e-anthologies:

Issues and Returns, a exhibitionist story about a frustrated librarian (I've been there!) in Exposure: those who love to watch and be watched.

And The Auction, a hardcore fem-sub story in Shameful Thrills: girls who should know better.

More about brand new publisher Mischief and these stories next week, I promise :-)
Now going to shut myself in the bedroom and time myself, *snigger*.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Arthur of the Britons

Before there was Camelot, or Merlin ... before girly pagan Michael Praed in his tight leggings in Robin of Sherwood ... there was Arthur of the Britons. It was gritty, it was slightly pervy, it was violent and political - it was the Game of Thrones of its day.

Well, except filmed in a wet field in Somerset on a shoestring budget.

You probably have to be really old, like me, to remember it (it was first aired in 1972), and even most Brits don't recall it. But oh boy, what fond memories I had! One of my first TV crushes was on ... one of the leading men :-)  So when the two series came out on DVD, me and my similarly ancient friend Lucilla sat down for many happy hours of nostalgic viewing.

Arthur of the Britons was like no other interpretation of the famous legend: doing away with the knights in shining armour and the Round Table, and the Holy Grail and all that malarky, it made a grab for historical plausibility instead. Arthur (played by Oliver Tobias) is a Celtic warlord in the aftermath of  the Roman Empire's retreat from Britain. The many Celtic tribes are at each other's throats, Christianity and Mithraism jostle for influence, and bands of Saxons are staking claim to the land. Arthur is a great warrior but also a shrewd (in fact, not to put too fine a point on it, sly and manipulative) politician whose overriding aim is to unite the Celts to withstand the Saxon invasion. He is also enormously fucking hot.

He has a hot blond best buddy called Kai (played by Michael Gothard), who was a Saxon foundling and so suffers from quite a lot of racial prejudice. Kai is a total horndog, and he pursues anything in a skirt. Sometimes he and Arthur are after the same woman, which gives me ... ideas I was not capable of entertaining in the 1970s.

There are numerous cameo roles and repeat characters, including Brian Blessed as Mark of Cornwall, who of course rolls his eyes and shouts a lot in the way that Brian Blessed does.

Now, this was filmed in the Seventies, so you have to cut it some slack. You need to be able to tolerate some VERY BAD HAIR indeed, for a start.

And TV scripting has changed over the decades. It's fascinating to see how much. There's very little witty banter or plot exposition. You, the viewer, are expected to read between the lines and work things out for yourself. Plots move at a stately pace. Whole MINUTES can go by without anyone saying anything - in fact one episode consists of one extended fight scene between Arthur and Kai (despite their intense bromance, they are very competitive), which is - surprisingly - really gripping.

And it shows its age in some odd ways. The blokes have a habit of guffawing at each other. And Arthur, despite, his intelligence and relative sophistication, seems very confused about women. If he ever meets a woman he fancies, his immediate reaction is to pick a fight with her, as if he were a six-year-old running up to girls in the playground and pulling their pigtails before shouting "Ewww! Girls! They stink!". It makes me glad that we did escape the Seventies, since men then were clearly off their trollies.

But the DVD is fine fine entertainment in many other ways

  • The fight choreography is really pretty good. This was in the days before martial arts got included in screen combat so it's largely men walloping each other with hard objects and they look like they mean it. It looks rough, and incredibly hard work, and I bet the bruises were real.
  • The guys keep getting their shirts off :-)  They get whipped. They get tied up. In one memorable episode Kai is yoked to a  plough and made to till a field by a Saxon woman.  There's just this whole undercurrent of sex ... or maybe that's me.
  • The plots are simple, but forceful. And interesting. Like ... do you fall out with one of your hard-won political allies if you find out he's trading slaves and you really don't approve?
  • Arthur's main love-interest over the two series is Rowena, princess of the Jutes (played by German actress Gila von Weitershausen), who is a spunky, charming, indefatigable proto-feminist in spite of everything the guys do, and will one day be queen of her people.
  • The evolving Celtic/Saxon relationship is handled well. Neither side is good, neither bad.
  • On a limited budget, they did really well with the scenery: the muddy villages, the feasting halls, the pens of rare-breed livestock. This was cutting-edge historical verisimilitude at the time. 
  • I still fancy Kai just as I did all those years ago. Which sort of surprised me. But now I fancy Arthur too. Bonus!
  • It's just fun! 

I think the thing I really like is the way it seems completely self-contained, in its tiny muddy corner of Ancient Britain; completely convinced of its own reality. It made me happy. If only they'd gone to third series, and not left the story hanging in the air like that ...

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Naked Muse 2012 - this week!

Naked Muse Calendar 2012 Preview from Adam Clarke on Vimeo.

The Naked Muse 2012

41 Photographers and Poets Unite in Unique Charity Project

What do poetry, beautiful male poets, creative women and Type One Diabetes have in common?      Answer: The Naked Muse 2012.

“...beautiful photography, astounding quality, lovely men...” (Filament Magazine)

Faced with a two year old son diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, mother, poet and Wild Women Press founder, Victoria Bennett decided to take creative action.

She has created a unique project in which 27 UK based women poets and photographers worked with 14 UK male poets who agreed to pose in a nude calendar and exhibition, exploring the male muse and female creator.

The poems feature alongside each of the 14 images in the final limited edition Naked Muse 2012 Calendar, which was recently rated in the Top 10 Calendars of 2012 by The Independent.

The Naked Muse “Unveiled” exhibition opens February in London, and features 30 limited edition nude studies of the 14 male poets featured in the Naked Muse 2012 charity calendar. All artists and designers involved have worked for free to help Victoria raise as much money as possible for JDRF.

John Siddique says, on being a Muse in the project, “It was a bit like diving in for a swim, life affords us opportunities to make things of it; this was one of those things. Either you live or don’t live, it is a choice in each moment. I found it a very rich and nourishing experience as Leonie Hampton is a real artist...For me to be looked at this way gave me so much back...To be seen, to be acknowledged is a basic human need...”

Commenting on the project, Victoria Bennett said “What we have created is a beautiful work of art that explores and celebrates the male muse. It has been made possible through the generosity and creativity of all involved, who have kindly supported our vision and our cause.  I hope the project will attract the attention of anybody interested in photography and poetry, as well as people who simply want to support the vital work of JRDF".

The Naked Muse “Unveiled” exhibition will feature at The Space, Hackney, London and is open to the public 24th and 25th February 2012, 11am -8pm.
The Big Project Space, SPACE, The Triangle, 129 -131 Mare Street, London E8 3RH
If you want to go to the Private Viewing - with auction, raffle and CAKE - on Thursday 23rd Feb, there are limited free tickets available on application
The calendar is also available direct from at £12.99 including shipping. All profits from the exhibition & calendar will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Alternative Literature

[click to enlarge] From XKCD

For those of you who still like traditional books on paper, with actual words ... Lovehoney UK has a nice little special offer going until the 29th February:

If you buy any one of the Black Lace books they have in stock, you get a free bullet vibe worth £4.99.  They don't have any of my novels but they do have four anthos with my stories in (follow post labels below for more details, and excerpts from each story).

I buy from Lovehoney myself quite often - incredibly prompt FREE delivery of all sorts of stuff (*ahem*) under a plain wrapper ;-)  Way better service than Amazon, and in fact better than any other internet company I can think of.  Lovehoney rocks!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Public reading at Sh!

I'm taking part in a public erotica reading on the 24th February in London  - that's NEXT FRIDAY - so please do come along and watch us getting all hot under the collar for charity.

More Bang Reading Slam

Organised by K D Grace, (with her co-sponsors, the Fannies Rule Group headed up by Sarah Berry), the More Bang Reading Slam presents a plethora of sizzling 5-minute erotica, prose and poetry.

This evening of
hot reading is very special because all proceeds will go to the Sexual Advice Association. There’ll be a charge of £5 for guests and participants, all for a good cause!

There’ll also be raffles and giveaways. There’ll be fizz and cupcakes. But mostly there’ll be lots of fun and lots of sexy readings from lots of sexy readers strutting their stuff and making the audience squirm deliciously in their seats.

Wanna read? Come prepared with five minutes worth of filth and fun. Warning, any attempt to read longer will result in a good spanking.

Wanna just listen and sip fizz? Come prepared for a good time. Warning, those not prepared for a good time may also be spanked at the digression of the management.

Fun for a good cause is the yummiest kind of fun. Come celebrate with us! 

Lineup (so far):

Kay Jaybee
Lucy Felthouse
Lexie Bay
Ernesto Sarezale of Velvet Tongue fame
Sarah Berry of Fannying Around fame
Liz Coldwell
Scarlett French
Annie Player
The Dragon King's Daughter
Katie Walsch
Lynn Mann
Meg Phillips
K D Grace
Janine Ashbless

18:30 (for 19:00 start) - 21:00, Friday 24th Feb.

Sh! women's erotic emporium (Portobello branch)
253 Portobello Road,  
W11 1LR 

Nearest tube: Ladbrook Grove. Shop entrance is actually on Lancaster Rd, just round the corner from Portobello Rd. Men are welcome with a woman.

Offical details here, including an e-mail link  - due to space restrictions in their basement you need to book in advance.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Thrones of Desire

Bloody hell - is that not the most AWESOME cover for an erotica anthology EVER?! I've only just seen it and my heart is still racing. I love it! 

Thrones of Desire, edited by Mitzi Szereto, is out from Cleis Press in September. It includes my story, Of High Renown, which is romantic and full of clanky armour, and all about a knight who tries to be good but does something very bad.

And here's the full title/author lineup for the collection:

Hot as a Dragon’s Blood – Eric Del Carlo
Of High Renown – Janine Ashbless
At the Sorcerer’s Command – Kim Knox
Silver – Anna Meadows
In the Kingdom of Roz – Madeline Moore
Key to the Queen’s Elixir – Jo Wu
Here There Be Dragons – Ashley Lister
Flesh and Stone – Sacchi Green
Saints and Heroes – M. H. Crane
Escape – Mitzi Szereto
Eyekeeper – Aurelia T. Evans
The Widow’s Man – Nyla Nox
Jericho – Megan Arkenberg
The Last Sacrifice – Zander Vyne

Mitzi Szereto is the editor of Red Velvet and Absinthe and I think she's an editor not afraid to push the boundaries of erotica. She gives us stories that are challenging, sometimes dark, but are - above all - real stories. If RV&A is anthing to judge by, I cannot wait for this new anthology!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Eyecandy Monday

This is the beautiful, sexy picture that got Harley Moore of eBook Eros into trouble this week.

The whole sorry story is over on her blog. It just demonstrates how messed up some people are when it comes to sex.

There are times I just want to ... I dunno. Leave the planet, I think. Why can't the human race just grow up?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Write here, write now

If you haven't seen this,  it probably means you're not on Facebook.
Which is, coincidentally, now the second biggest thief of working time in my day, after spider soltaire.

I have, however, managed to drag myself away from it long enough to put up a page of notes for Heart of Flame, over on my website (as usual: main page, find "author's comments" button under the HoF cover). I've tried not to put in any spoilers, so they might not make too much sense unless you've read the book first.

Useful "Buy Heart of Flame at Samhain link" :-)
(Also available on Amazon)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Excerpt - Repaint the Night

I think this how vampires see the world.

Oops, anyway, taking a break from those filthy dirty vampires ...  today I'm going to post an excerpt from my short story Repaint the Night, which is out right now in Irresistible: erotica for couples, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.*  That's because Irresistible would make a fine Valentine's Day gift for someone, and if you live in the States you have time to order it, if you hurry!

The collection has a great author line-up, which you can find here. All the stories are about established couples proving that it's not just first-time sex that's blistering hot:

This Irresistible read features stories of couples turning their deepest fantasies into reality for uninhibited and imaginative sex. You’ll delight in discovering all the exciting erotic possibilities, and ways of getting and staying turned on. Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel notes that the lovers in this daringly romantic anthology are “able to open up in the ways they do is precisely because they have another person to rely on, coax them, challenge them, tease them and seduce them into traveling down a new sexual path. Whether that means outdoor sex, kink, a trip to a strip club or a very sensual massage, we get to see how the layers of trust that have been built up get used to stoke the fire that burns between them.”

Repaint the Night is about a woman who has a terrible fear of going outdoors after dark, due to an incident in her past. But on the last evening of a holiday, with the help of her husband, she decides to face her fear...

The first field beyond our garden fence is all grass, left tall and ungrazed, and slopes down to the hedge of tall hawthorn and oak trees at the bottom. Yellow wildflowers grow here and there among the feathery purple seed-heads of the grass. In the dark I can’t make out any colors, but I can feel the soft brush of the hip-high grasses through my thin skirt, and just make out the dark line of the path that cuts through that pale pelt. I’ve got to be careful with my footing here, not like on the mown lawn; I walk close in Callum’s footsteps.

There’s a picture of this meadow over our bed in the cottage. I recognized the shape of the clustering hills, but there the naturalism ends. The grass is painted in fiery, aching reds and purples, as if it’s burning.
That first day here, in the middle of the afternoon, Callum took me in his arms and nuzzled up against me. “I should lay you down here in the meadow,” he growled, “and have my wicked way with you. Bring you home all pink and happy and stuck with grass-seeds.”

I giggled and pressed up against him, then was impressed to find it was not entirely a joke on his part: there was a semi-hard erection stirring already in his jeans. The spring sunshine, I reasoned; the start of a week off together. The isolation. “I don’t think the farmer would appreciate us flattening his hay,” I pointed out, as Callum kissed my throat.

“Mmm...” He gripped my hips, pressing both thumbs just above my pubic mound, making me squirm deliciously. “You’d love it, Leah....”

I would love it, he was right. Well, part of me. I was excited by the thought of the freedom and the impropriety, but too much of me was self-conscious. “Don’t be silly,’ I giggled. ‘We’re overlooked here.”

“What?” He nibbled at my earlobe. “There’s no one in miles!”

“There’s a bridle-path up the hill there, under the trees. We could be seen.” I pushed him away. “Save it for the bedroom, Romeo.” 

Callum sighed and bumped me against his crotch. “You’re wasting a magnificent opportunity here, you know,” he said, his lower lip thrust out boyishly.

I patted his stiffy in consolation, allowing myself a greedy fondle of his ball sac. “And it’ll still be magnificent when we get back to the cottage. I promise.”

“You expect me to walk that far with this?”

“For this,” I answered, pulling his hand down to cup my sex and speaking with my lips brushing against his: “Yeah; you’ll walk that far.”

“I’d walk to the moon,” he admitted.

That was in broad daylight. Now, in the dark and nearly a week later, we stand in the same field and there’s no levity, no teasing. Sweat is crawling down the small of my back and my heart is smacking like a clenched fist against my breastbone. The night circles me and I hear its eagerness in my own shallow breathing. It’s only Callum’s warm grip that’s stopping the great dark beast sinking its teeth into me.

For ten years I’ve been scared of the night. I close the curtains at twilight. I sleep with a bulb on in the hall and the bedroom door wide open. I won’t open the front door at all after dark.

Isn’t ten years too long?

Isn’t it enough, now?

Excerpts from all the stories here

*Wheee! I know something about RKB and Mischief Books! But we're not allowed to say any more about Mischief until the press release comes out. I'm biting my lip, people.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

State of Grace

It's Confession Time!

K D Grace, author of the The Pet Shop and The Initiation of Ms Holly, and possesor of the naughtiest gardening mind this decade, asked me to tell The Story Behind the Story of Red Grow the Roses. How did I, of all people, come to write a vampire novel?

It's all here on her blog today! With another excerpt too :-)

Buy Red Grow the Roses at Amazon US : Amazon UK

(and no, you don't need a Kindle! There's a FREE "kindle for PC" (and Android, and iPad, and iPhone) app available just beneath the "buy" button.)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Out now!- Red Grow the Roses

It's here! - Red Grow the Roses is released TODAY on Kindle! My cruel, tender, filthy mutha of a vampire erotica novel is out on the prowl, in the dark, looking for blood...

Here's a excerpt. Wakefield has just done something very very bad indeed; something that will detonate an explosion under the city's whole vampire society.  But this is a flashback to when he first became a vampire, back in the 1850s...

He remembers trying to reclaim his life, to pretend that nothing had changed – and the time his model Clara broke a lamp and cut her hand, and he’d come within a hairsbreadth of rape and murder before he even realised what he was doing. He’d fled, out here, to the asylum. It had been easy to purchase a lease upon a suite of the best rooms whose barred windows looked out upon the wild green sea of the rushes, whose heavy door could be bolted from the outside and never opened. He’d refused to see his father after the first visit and the only things that crossed his threshold went on a tray pushed through the flap in the door. Thirst  - an unending burning thirst for warm blood – had pushed him to raving.

He remembers the evening he had a visitor, unannounced. The bolts had grated back to admit a tall man, very well dressed, with a foreign look to his complexion but perfectly well-spoken. He’d explained his name was Reynauld, that he knew all about Wakefield’s condition, and that he was here to help. Wakefield, crouched in a corner as he had been most of the day, banging his forehead dully off the plaster for the faint sense of relief it gave him, had been too stunned to realise what was strange about his visitor.

‘Gwendolyn my dear – would you join us?’ he’d said.

The cell door had opened for the second time and a young woman had walked in, bringing Wakefield scrabbling to his feet. He’d dimly judged her for a servant of some sort, because although her skirts were full she didn’t wear a proper crinoline. Her dress was neat and respectable though, her gloves clean, and her large brown eyes had moved to Reynauld with simple, direct trust. When she’d divested herself of her grey bonnet she’d revealed dark hair neatly parted down the centre and drawn back into a bun. But it was only when the scent of her body – that warm, delicious scent part new-baked bread, part sex, part saffron – reached Wakefield and made his mouth run with water, that he’d realised that he hadn’t been able to smell Reynauld at all. And though he could faintly hear her heartbeat, it was the only one audible in the room.

‘You can’t bring her in here,’ he’d rasped, choking on fear and hunger and arousal. ‘Please. My blood-mania...’

‘Lesson One,’ Reynauld had answered, unperturbed, signing the girl to sit in an armchair: ‘You don’t have to harm anyone.’

She’d looked Wakefield full in the face with a faint, complacent smile and slipped the buttons of her fitted woollen jacket. The tiny pearl buttons of the white blouse beneath had followed suit. Under that she was uncorseted and wore no shift: her stunningly big, firm breasts had emerged through the trimming of white lace to reveal for his inspection brown nipples with areolae the size of teacups. For a moment Wakefield had thought that he might actually black out. He’d been faintly aware that he was half-crouched, his erection straining painfully against the fabric of his trousers, his teeth bared in a rictus snarl. If he’d been himself he would have felt utterly ashamed, but as it was the only thing stopping him hurling himself on the girl was the tall cool presence at her side, one hand on  her shoulder. There’d been an indefinable something about Reynauld that chilled the hottest appetite.

‘Please, do come and feed. Not the throat – never the throat or the insides of the thighs where the arteries are, never on a joint or over a bone. Your bites are self-sealing unless you strike a major blood-vessel. Choose soft tissue. Her breasts will do very well: she will enjoy it greatly. And she does have magnificent breasts, don’t you agree?’

They were breathtaking.

Dazed, nearly drooling, Wakefield had stumbled forward to kneel before her and sink his teeth into one of those irresistible orbs. As the blood flooded his mouth he’d lost all sense of himself and his surroundings, his head full of a black rushing wind, his body – even the red-hot column of his cock – lost somewhere far away. He wasn’t aware of anything but the delirious pleasure of the warm liquid in his throat.

It is after all the most primal of instincts: to suck.

Then, slowly, as his overwhelming thirst abated, he’d become aware of his surroundings once more. Aware that the girl was shifting beneath him, moaning sweetly, her hips undulating. Distracted, he’d lifted his head, but as she’d cupped and hefted her bosom he switched immediately to the other breast she offered him so eagerly.

'See,’ Reynauld had murmured. ‘She’s more than willing to suckle you.’ Pulling up the girl’s many layers of petticoats and skirts, he’d revealed for Wakefield her plump stocking-clad leg, then her glossy pubic bush. She’d been wearing no drawers. ‘Stroke her quim.’

He’d obeyed, dizzy with shock, easing his fingers into that pelt to find whorled skin and heat and moisture – slippery as marsh-mud, slippery as oil paint – delving that complex mysterious furrow until she tensed and heaved beneath him, crying out shamelessly in what was obvious even to him as her orgasmic crisis. And he’d tasted it too, in the blood he was sucking from her swollen teat: that first rush of a sharp flavour he was unable to compare to anything else until years later when he first smelled lime zest. The taste of her climax.

As she fell back, gasping and heavy-lidded, he released her breast to look down at her open sex. For the moment his need for blood was slaked and now another appetite demanded satisfaction. ‘May I?’ he’d asked hoarsely, squeezing the ridge of his trapped erection.

‘I think she’d be most disappointed if you didn’t,’ Reynauld had answered.

So he’d freed his prick and pulled Gwendolyn’s unresisting body to the edge of the chair and draping her legs up over his shoulders in order bring his ram to bear on the portals of her citadel. It was almost the first time he’d ploughed a living woman, and after Roisin she’d felt feverishly hot and padded like a cushion, her wet grip wringing his seed from his bulging scrotum in racking spasms of release. She’d climaxed for a second time too, under his assault, and he’d tasted it as he bit her.

‘Remember this,’ Reynauld had said as Wakefield slumped to his knees on the rug. ‘We must bring them pleasure, not terror. We take what we need, but we ourselves are a gift to the living. Immortal guardians who confer our own blessing, in a balance of mutual joy.’

But Wakefield, despite the erection that thrust up unquelled from his loins, had at that moment been feeling nauseous: the same queasiness he’d felt so often after a model left him alone in the studio and he’d finished masturbating ferociously, spurting all over the costumes they’d worn for the sitting until his balls were empty and his head ringing. It was, he imagined, a spiritual nausea. He didn’t believe the wonderful vision of the promised land that Reynauld described.

‘Who are you, to try to tell me?’ he’d groaned. ‘I’d like very much to believe you, but I fear I do not, sir. This thing that I am – whatever that is – it is no blessing, but an offence against God Himself and against Nature.’

‘Which leads us,’ Reynauld had said with a certain relish, unbuttoning his own trousers and easing out into view an engorged member of intimidating proportions, ‘to Lesson Two.’

Buy at Amazon US : Amazon UK

Monday, 6 February 2012

Eyecandy Monday

Red Grow the Roses is released TOMORROW, so no apologies for showcasing my muse for alpha-vampire Reynauld. Way back at the dawn of time, when I finished the first draft of this novel, I put up a post showing what all six of my vampires looked like, so if you want a reminder you can find them all here (and yes, "Jason" became "Ben"!).

The shadows whispered as they flowed in Reynauld's wake. He looked down into my face. ‘Am I presentable?’

Of course, he couldn’t check himself in a mirror. His reflection would be nothing but a blur, as if the glass were warped. I reached up a hand to pull a long blonde hair out of his small beard and studied him critically. Dark beard, dark brows, dark eyes, prominent cheekbones. I burned to kiss his lips but I didn’t dare. He’d feel warm to the touch now, I knew, because he’d just fed. ‘You look fine.’

‘You’re nervous.’

‘Am I?’

‘I can hear your heart, remember.’

I looked down, hoping he wouldn’t see the yearning in my eyes. He didn’t like neediness in his women. It was one of the reasons I’d stopped joining him in bed so often: I’d been too fond of being bitten and I’d needed to take control of that. ‘I’m always nervous on these nights,’ said I quite truthfully. ‘I don’t want you to get hurt.’

A smile escaped his lips on a breath: ‘You worry for me, Amanda?’ He touched my face, gently, then drew me into his arms to plant a kiss softly on my forehead and then my hair. I was right; his lips were warm. ‘How can there be anything to worry about? You’ll be there to look after me.’

Not always, thought I. Not forever.

Buy at Amazon US : Amazon UK

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Shameful Thrills

Books are like buses - they all turn up at once!

On the same day that my vampire novel Red Grow the Roses is due out next week (7th Feb), Mischief Press is also releasing Shameful Thrills: girls who should know better on Kindle.

It contains my short story The Auction, and all I can say is that if every story in the collection is as hot and filthy as that one, it's going to melt your e-reader to slag. I really did not hold back for The Auction. The Mischief editor described it as "uncomfortably arousing" and "very much a raw and unfettered exploration of the thrill of shame."

Heh :-)

Quick summary: BDSM, slave auction, fem-sub, rough.

‘We’ve got ourselves a pretty little copperhead here,’ the auctioneer said, taking her elbow and steering her to the front of the stage. His other hand held a sweating beer bottle just as casually. He was a lanky man with a shaved head and tattoos that crawled over every bulge of his muscled arms, and he was miced up so that he didn’t have to raise his voice to be heard. ‘Looks shy, doesn’t she?’

The crowd bayed and jeered.  

She dipped her head, her long hair falling over her face. She couldn’t hide it any other way because her elbows were joined by a twist of rope behind her back, leaving her hands free but tethered helplessly low. The tautness of the rope forced her to arch her back and thrust out her tits and ass – just as they wanted.

‘First time on the block,’ said the auctioneer, grinning. His skin gleamed with sweat. ‘Can you see that blush? She’s practically a virgin.’  

I'll give you a longer excerpt next week...
Pre-order at Amazon US : Amazon UK

Friday, 3 February 2012


If you read my guest blog on Negative Reviews over at We Fancy Books, you might remember that I started with a rather bitter quote from Christopher Hampton.

I admit to a weakness for quotes - distilled shots of cleverness and wisdom, like miniatures of flavoured vodka. Today, I thought I'd share some other quotes I've found about critics - literary and otherwise. Enjoy!

"A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution."
Dustin Hoffman (1937-)

"If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much."
Donald H. Rumsfeld (1932 - )

"After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others."
Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)

"To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962)

"Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger."
Franklin P. Jones

"Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!"
Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)

"Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

"Having the critics praise you is like having the hangman say you've got a pretty neck."
Eli Wallach (1915-)

"I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic.""
Richard Pryor (1940 - 2005)

"People ask for criticism, but they only want praise."
W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)

"Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship."
Zeuxis (~400 BC), from Pliny the Elder, Natural History

"Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them."
Samuel Goldwyn (1879 - 1974)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

They don't sparkle

Hokay! - *deep breath* - this is it! My latest erotic novel: Red Grow the Roses, available NOW for pre-order! It's all about vampires. Well, no ... it's all about sex and power, and the players are vampires.

It is not romantic. It is not remotely nice. It is not Twilight.

Here's the blurb:

Maybe you’ll be lucky. Maybe he’s not human. He’ll take you in his arms and you’ll feel his strength - a strength that makes it impossible to fight him. But you’ve already lost the will to resist, that moment he looked into your eyes and showed you all his hunger and his promise. You knew then. You knew that this is what you are for – what we are all for - with our warm beating hearts and our aching sexual needs.

We are for them.

There are six vampires in the city. Ageless, terrifyingly beautiful and always hungry – not just for blood but for the other pleasures the human body offers. Sadistic chanteuse Estelle; feckless Ben; Roisin, the mirror-ghost; Wakefield, haunted by his own damnation; Naylor, the most feral of them all. 

And Reynauld is the Good Shepherd, the one who holds them all in check. But his grip on his own humanity is fading, and when Wakefield accidentally kills a woman and Naylor gets the blame, a power-struggle erupts between the city’s immortal undead.

Red Grow the Roses tells of bloodlust and sexual desire; for vampires the two are indistinguishable. These transgressive, startling stories draw the reader down the darkest and most seductive paths of pleasure - to where the monsters are waiting.

Red Grow the Roses is a novel told in series of linked short stories. It's full-on erotica with (count the symbols down the cover!) tales covering group sex, fem-sub, fem-dom, bondage and whipping. (Something for everyone, eh?) There's pain, and there's blood, of course. There's love too, but it's rarely the healthy sort.  

And nobody sparkles.

Red Grow the Roses is out in Kindle format on 7th February, from brand new publisher Mischief. You're going to be hearing a lot more from them in the near future too!

Amazon US : Amazon UK

Are you scared yet? I bloody am...