I'm a writer of erotic fiction, mostly of a paranormal/fantasy bent. Welcome to my Blog! Adults only please ... you know the drill. All commenters welcome. All text copyright Janine Ashbless unless otherwise stated.
As you may have twigged, I'm on holiday at the moment. I've flown out to join friends in Italy ... and two of us are going to be going home the slow route - we're driving back to the UK! Frankly, given how much we're eating I really should be jogging the distance. But anyway, I'm taking a short break from the blog.
Back at the end of the month...ish. With pictures of tombs and who-knows-what else!
In the meantime you ought to be able to follow our trip over at Rae's Nomady.
It's Day 7 of the Named and Shamed blog tour and I'm being interviewed over at Blood, Lust and Erotica. It's a fun interview - she describes N&S as "no holes barred" erotica, and she asks "If you
were stranded on a desert island with four other people, fictional or real, who
would they be and why?"
Talking of blood, lust and erotica ... my vampires have not been forgotten! Red Grow the Roses has garnered a fantastic review by Kathleen Bradeen over at Erotica Revealed:
"I thought I was done with the whole vampire thing,
but Janine Ashbless writes compelling stories that explore the essence
of human nature, even among the fanged."
Full review here. Erotica Revealed can be a hard audience to please. But she even liked the mosaic novel structure!
[Is there an emoticon for sarcasm?]
... or, indeed, a soup for anyone who likes beer :-)
I can say "indeed" because I've been LARPing, btw. In fact it's more or less compulsory. I've been cooking my annual medivalishy feast, and I'm going to share the recipe for Beer and Cheese Soup that we served as the first course. I think it tastes great- hearty and creamy and moreish, but you do really have to like the taste of beer.
Be careful with the beer if you try this. It gives the dish a distinctly bitter aftertaste, so don't sling the whole bottle in without testing.
Butter for frying.
2 sticks Celery
3 cloves Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
Stock - about a pint: vegetable or chicken.
1 can or bottle of real Beer (not lager) - I used about three quarters of a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale
1 lb Cheddar Cheese (this needs to be a good sharp cheese, none of your sliced crap)
Whole Milk - about a mugful
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Mustard - English or Dijon
2 teaspoons Worcester Sauce - I used a vegetarian version
3 tablespoons of Plain Flour
Chop and fry the onion, carrot and celery in the butter. Add the bay leaf. Cover and simmer until soft - about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the garlic and grate the cheese.
Remove bay leaf, but retain. Add garlic and then flour, stir and cook for a couple of minutes - it'll make a thick lumpy paste.
Take off heat. Puree in a food processor.
Return to pan. Put the bay leaf back in. Stirring, slowly add the milk, beer and stock, allowing the paste to absorb the liquid and become smooth.
Add mustard, worcester sauce, salt and pepper
Bring to the boil. Simmer 5 mins.
Remove bay leaf. You can throw it away this time!
Add the cheese, a handful at a time. When it's all melted in you're ready to serve.
I've got an interview up at Satin's Bookish Corner today ("What's the biggest secret you have ever kept?") - The text colours are truly eye-watering even if my answers aren't.
And now I want to rave about Brian Froud! Most of the fairy artwork I admire comes from the Golden Age of Illustration - that's getting on for a hundred years ago now. But Brian Froud (who was heavily influenced by Rackham et al) is still alive and kicking, and so are his goblins. He's the mastermind behind the visuals of The Dark Crystal movie:
And Labyrinth, which is still one of my favourite films ever:
His goblins can be charming, but there's a streak of anarchic black humour even to his cutsiness - he produced Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, which was entirely full of, well . . . squished fairy corpses.
His grotesques are weirdly convincing, as if drawn from life ...
And when he wants to do beautiful and sensual, oh boy can he do that!
And yet it still has an otherwordly and menacing undercurrent ...
From his books Faeries:
"And here we must make one thing very clear. The real faerie experience
is very diffrent from the general view of faerie built up by clouds of
sentimental fiction with legions of inevitable happily-ever-after
...Faerie is a world of dark enchantments, of captivating beauty, of
enormous ugliness, of callous superficiality, of humour, mischief, joy
and inspiration, of terror, laughter, love and tragedy. It is far richer
than fiction would generally lead one to believe and, beyond that, it
is a world to enter with extreme caution, for of all things that faeries
resent the most it is curious humans blundering about their private
domains like so many ill-mannered tourists. So go softly-where the
rewards are enchanting, the dangers are real."
So I'll shut up and leave you with some pics that I find inspirational. And when I describe beautiful fairies in Named and Shamed, this is the sort of thing I'm thinking of.
I'm totally smug about finding this pic for today, because not only does it allude to fairy tales for my Named and Shamed tour, it also is pertinent (in a metaphorical way) to my petplay short story Being His Bitch, which appears in Bound by Lust (ed. Shanna Germain).
Let's link to that one first - I've been over at Teresa Noelle Robert's place talking about the inspiration for the setting of Being His Bitch - which was the first time I went to a fetish club. Find out what it was like for a newbie! With a pic of me in costume!
As for Named and Shamed ... I'm starting to get some reviews, and they're good 'uns! Books, Books and More Books has one up today, and says:
"I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds
and a chili pepper rating of 10. I’m
tempted to add a kink rating just for this book and would put this at 6 out of
5. (and no that wasn’t a typo)."