Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year!

To all my friends, readers, reviewers  and fellow writers - wishing you hope and joy and peace in the year to come!


Friday, 29 December 2017

2017 in the rearview mirror

This is my annual post where I look back at the cultural touchstones of the year.

Best Movie:

I watched 20 movies on the big screen in 2017 - a rather low number for me (and TBH we intend to see Jumanji this week, but somehow I suspect it won't be a major highpoint). In retrospect the five I enjoyed the most were (in order):

Worst movie of the year? Hands-down it was Valerian and the city of a thousand planets, a SF wannabe-epic-that-just-looks-embarrassingly-dated that I believe I described on Facebook as "a gilded turd".

Book of the Year:

It was about time I got round to this:

And it did not disappoint. Fascinating and eye-opening in its detail, it is also (I believe) profound in its insights and supremely relevant to the world regime we find ourselves in now.

Best TV:

Two standouts this year: hard SF masterpiece The Expanse on Netflix:

And we started trekking through the whole of Breaking Bad on boxed set too. I'm loving it!

Best Music:

I belatedly discovered Muse. Don't laugh.

Quote of the Year:

May we all persist through 2018...

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Friday, 22 December 2017

Blogtour roundup #3

Frantisek Kobliha, Cosmic Vision (1946)
So, falling through the vast and starry void, I come at last to the end of The Prison of the Angels blogtour - and what a way to end it, with this wonderful 5-star review from author Kate Douglas:

"Of course, my main thought was, “How the hell is she going to pull this one off?”

I should have known that an author this talented would find a way, and she does. Perfectly. The trip to the finish is like a roller coaster ride through Hell as, one by one, the cadre of fallen angels are released from their bonds; creatures not human, and yet guilty of so many human foibles. As the story played out, scene by heart-wrenching scene, I wondered how it would end, how the author would pull together so many terrible events. I really shouldn’t have worried, but I’m not going to give any hints of anything, other than to say this entire series is something that will stay with you, and might, in some ways, even change the way you think about heaven and earth."

Full review on Amazon 

This week's blogtour organised by Writer Marketing Services

On Monday I was hosted by the Brit Babes for a post about how to use your writerly "mistakes" to expand your characters.

Pick a Genre has an exclusive reveal of the preface of The Prison of the Angels, so you can get a headstart on the book!

Here come more pantsing confessions: at Erotica 4 All I list 10 things I didn't know when I started writing the trilogy.

Jacqui Brocker has interviewed ME (not one of my characters, lol!)

And today at K D Grace's blog I talk about using the filthiest verses I could find in the Bible.

DON'T FORGET - all the Writer Market Services blogposts above  have a Rafflecopter Giveaway going on too - enter to win an Amazon Voucher!

And on the 23rd Day she rested 😜
(because she had an awful cold and she hadn't got any of her Xmas prep done yet, AARGH)

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

From the wood:

Some more spy-camera pics from our wood to prove that we do have BADGERS, yay!

We also have a FOX:


Check out the colour variations!

And we have MUNTJAC DEER:

As well as the usual pheasants and grey squirrels of course:

No wonder all my saplings have been eaten πŸ˜›

We've also seen hares run through, but no pics  yet.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Blue Monday - the award-winning book

Every Monday I post an excerpt for your entertainment!

Today I'm posting an exclusive excerpt from the newly-republished Named and Shamed, because it has just been named a winner in Erotica for the Big Brain's BEST OF 2017 πŸ’πŸ’–πŸ’
(As was In Bonds of the Earth, btw - that's TWO accolades for me and Sinful Press!)

"Since its initial publication in 2012Janine Ashbless’ Named and Shamed has attained the status of a modern erotic classic. It is apropos to cite the title for this year's Best-Of list, as the author has recently re-issued the book in a new independent e-book edition. Named and Shamed is a relentless, orgiastic tour de force, a groaning board of pansexual delight unencumbered by the sort of repetition or slacking off in intensity that dooms so many full-length erotic novels." - Erotica for the Big Brain

Fairy tales were always thought to be childhood fancies. That is until the fairy folk returned.

As the closest thing to an expert on all things otherworldly, nobody knows better than Tansy the dangers of Them There. But with the world thrown into chaos, and another’s life in her hands, she has no choice other than to accept a magical offer of help. And as Tansy soon finds out, there is always a price to pay for dealing with the Fairies. A price that may include her own life, if she can't find the True Name she is looking for.

So begins a descent into the wildest realms of Faerie - and into the darkest depths of Tansy's own out-of-control desires.

“Have you ever shared a guy before?”

We shook our heads. Despite all that we'd done together over the years, we hadn’t done that.

“Sweet.” Vince’s grin was beyond disguising now. He pulled his shirt off over his head, revealing an athletic, nearly hairless torso that gleamed in the firelight as if polished. His hand brushed his abs and down over his belt to the bulge of the erection already tenting his jeans. I guess he could be forgiven for that hard-on, considering what he’d had to witness earlier. “You want some of this, girls?” he asked.

“Oh yes,” I answered gratefully. Gail stood up and kissed my cheek.

Oh thank you, thank you, god of horny Tansys! thought I. Thank you for broad-minded cousins and dirty-minded boyfriends!

“Then let me see you kissing, girls. I want to see that.”

We swapped a smile — an odd mixture of playful kink and shyness — and moved into an embrace. Gail’s lips were soft beneath mine, her hips narrow, her little breasts achingly soft and sweet, her skin fragrant. I always feel that handling her is like handling a kitten. She feels so small and delicate compared to the men I’m used to, like I’ll hurt her if I’m not careful. But I also know she’s quite capable of whipping out her claws. I admit we put on a bit of a show for Vince, knowing how much he was appreciating what he saw. We got a kick out of arousing him, let’s face it. We sighed and giggled and murmured as we slipped buttons and tugged down zips and slid each other out of our clothes. The firelight lit a warm glow on our bare flesh, painting it rosy as if we were blushing coyly. We made sure he got a good eyeful of our bottoms and thighs and boobs as they bounced into view, and of the caresses we bestowed on all those parts. I smacked Gail’s ass, delighting in the sound it made, and she squealed with pleasure and wriggled up against me in a way that sent a fresh surge of arousal through my already melting body. Our breasts nestled together, soft upon soft. I sank my fingers into her bum-cheeks and bit her lower lip.

“Kiss her titties,” Vince said hoarsely. “Kiss those big, beautiful tits, Gail.”

Obediently, she grabbed an overflowing double handful and pulled them right up so she could fasten her mouth on them. Her tongue left my skin glistening.

“Oh, that’s hot!” he groaned.

Her kitten teeth were sharp and her tongue an unmerciful tease; the pain was exquisitely judged. I could feel my legs growing weak. I gasped and arched my back to ease the strain on my flesh, as she pressed my orbs together hard and caught both my nipples in her mouth at once, nipping me till I squealed, “Oh fuck, Gail!”

“Poor Tansy,” she crooned, licking those swollen points roughly. I could feel myself about to fall. My wide eyes met Vince’s over her head.

“Come here, girls,” he ordered, tugging at his belt buckle.

She let go of me with a show of reluctance, but we were both more than happy to try a new game with the body he offered us. Smirking and utterly naked, we crossed to where he stood on the mattress and snuggled up to him, our breasts rubbing against his bare chest. I heard the sharp intake of his breath, and then he kissed Gail tenderly, slipping an arm around each of us and pulling us close. His skin was warm and firm and the masculine smell of him was intoxicating. His palm cupped my butt. I licked the lobe of his ear as I awaited my turn. Then he kissed me, and his hand snuck into the crack of my ass, one fingertip playing with the pucker of my hole.

A reminder of our kitchen conversation, I thought, as his tongue poured over mine. My head swam.

“Yo, bitches,” he teased, grinning, as he came up for air and surveyed us both.

“Yo, dawg,” we laughed back, but I was at least half in earnest. I was more than willing to be his dirty bitch if he’d be my big stud dog and mount me. My pussy was already ripe for the taking. We kissed him, nuzzling against his bristly cheek, licking at his throat, sliding our hands over his chest and his stomach, plucking at his jeans buttons, stroking his cock through the denim. That member of his was as solid as tyre rubber.

Please fuck me with that, I prayed.

But it was Gail who took the lead. And it was only polite to let her. I followed, falling to my knees with her as she wrenched open the last fly button and released the beast. It sprang out proud from its cage, just as magnificent as I remembered from our illicit fooling around, weeks before. In unison we moved to pay homage with our mouths — lapping eagerly at his balls, kissing that shaft, licking its beautiful length all the way up to the tip. Our tongues entwined as we fought for the privilege of sucking on his turgid bell-end, both of us hungry for his meat, our kisses half-competitive and half-loving.

Vince put a hand on each of our heads, his fingers raking though our hair. I guess it must have been quite a sight from his angle: the blonde and the redhead kneeling before him, peeling off his clothes and mouthing passionately at his erect cock. Our pale skin and wet lips and half-closed eyes.

“Halle-fuckin-lujah,” said he hoarsely, as if he’d seen the light. Holding us in place, he slipped his cock first into Gail’s mouth and then into mine, pushing right to the backs of our throats as if testing the fit. I sucked joyfully. I’d never met a cock so stiff.

Gail lifted her lips from his scrotum. “Do you like my boyfriend’s cock?” she asked me in a sweet voice.

I licked it from root to crown, making it bounce and weep salty drops upon my tongue.“I love your boyfriend’s cock,” I assured her.

“Think you’re ready to take it all inside your pussy?” she wondered.

I swallowed eagerly. “I’m ready to try.”

 Buy Named and Shamed at:

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Things of beauty

Look what arrived in the post - my author copies of Named and Shamed and Fierce Enchantments!

These are beautiful beautiful books in the flesh - I'm so grateful to Sinful Press not just for taking these two on for re-release but for Lisa's efforts in finding me the loveliest covers πŸ’–

The new Named and Shamed is now fully available from all distributors:

And so  is Fierce Enchantments:

Friday, 15 December 2017

Blogtour roundup #2

Leon Bonnat: Jacob Wrestling the Angel (1876)
"Wrestling", huh?

The second week of my Prison of the Angels blogtour wriggles to an oiled and panting climax today, with some help from Writer Marketing Services😈

Last week saw an interview with my heroine Milja, so this week airs character interviews with sexy, screwed-up heroes Egan (over on the F dot Leonora blog) and Azazel (at Adriana Kraft's place).

"You know when you have a crush on a character? First let me say that Janine Ashbless is a magician, this series is so compelling and more time for me to spend with my crush, Egan!" - F Leonora Solomon

Punya Reviews takes a bird's-eye view of the international locations I used for this novel.

I ask Lisabet Sarai "WWJD?" and promise to really upset my mother with the answer.

And I confess my secret feelings about writing "The End" on this trilogy, to Ian Smith.

GIVEAWAY: All posts on this tour sponsored by Writer Marketing Services include a Rafflecopter competition to win a £20/$20 Amazon voucher - so go to the posts and get clicking!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Say "Cheese!"

Well, what else is an author supposed to do when their beautiful contributor paperback copy arrives in the post? The urge is irresistible, lol 😁You can blame Spencer Dryden for kicking off the cheesecake pics for The Sexy Librarian's Dirty 30 Vol.2 (in which appears my Norse story Sweet Hel Below). πŸ’ͺ😈

If you live in the USA there's a GIVEAWAY COMPETITION being run by editor Rose Caraway, incidentally:

Email Rose at:
contactstupidfish at gmail dot com
Type: Best Dirty Giveaway in the subject line.
Tell me which sexy erotica anthology you’d like to win - Dirty 30 Vol.2 or Best Women's Erotica of the Year Vol.3 
*This giveaway offer is limited to USA residents only.
Drawing ends Sunday, December 17th MIDNIGHT!

In other anthology news, I've had honourable mention from Erotica for the Big Brain for my stories in TWO collections! First, Thrones of Desire (ed. Mitzi Szereto):

"Much more than a facile quickie, Janine Ashbless’ Of High Renown offers readers a tale of realistic moral complexity and suffering that is also sensually rewarding." 

And second, Sinful Pleasures (ed. Lisa Jenkins):

"The Pier by Night by Janine Ashbless: What makes this story stand out is its sustained ambiance, always in the service of inner truth. The setting, strikingly described, perfectly mirrors the main character’s sense of wonder, emotional uncertainty, and awakening desire. Nobody is better at evoking that rich, vivid atmosphere in which readers may dream, and Ashbless is here at the very top of her form."  
You can read both reviews HERE


Monday, 11 December 2017

Blue Monday: Kay Jaybee guests

Every Monday I post a naughty excerpt for your entertainment!

Today's guest is the award-winning Kay Jaybee with a teaser from The Fifth Floor- the re-edited and revamped version of her BDSM novel previously titled, The Perfect Submissive. Kay says "It has been over five years since the first novel in The Perfect Submissive Trilogy was first released. It felt high time therefore, that I took the entire series off the market, gave its words a brush and polish, and invested in new covers, before releasing it into the wild."

Hidden behind the respectable faΓ§ade of the Fables Hotel in Oxfordshire, five specially adapted rooms await visitors to the fifth floor. Here, Mrs Peters is mistress of an adult entertainment facility pandering to the kinky requirements of its guests. When she meets Jess Sanders, she recognises the young woman’s potential as a deliciously meek addition to her specialist staff. All it will take is a little education. Under the tutelage of dominatrix, Miss Sarah, Jess learns to cope with an erotically demanding training schedule and a truly sexy exercise regime. But will she come to terms with her new career? Meanwhile, Mrs Peters is temporarily distracted from her intimidating rule over Fables’ fifth floor by artist, Sam Wheeler – who she believes can help her in her mission to transform Jess into the perfect submissive…

Satisfied that her pupil was now paying attention, Miss Sarah returned to the client, who was lying perfectly flat on her back on the examination couch. Raising the woman’s head, Miss Sarah undid the ponytail, and placed a cushion beneath her head. Black hair hung loose around the pillow, making Madam appear younger and more vulnerable. Then, operating a previously unseen catch from under the bed, Miss Sarah pulled out a wide PVC strap and passed it over the flat stomach, fastening it beneath the opposite side of the bed. Jess could see that it was being pulled very tight, for the white band was digging into the flat sun-tanned stomach. It was as taut as an elastic band ready to snap.

Madam didn’t make a sound as Miss Sarah took both her arms and levered them high above her head, so they were stretched out beyond the support of the couch. Tying the wrists deftly together with surgical tape, Miss Sarah left them hanging unsupported, before moving to her customer’s ankles.

Jess held her breath as Miss Sarah pushed her guest’s legs up and outwards at the knee, so that they were almost off the bed. Then, with more surgical tape, she attached each ankle to Madam’s thighs, trussing her up so that her channel was fully exposed and vulnerable.

The clerk could only imagine how uncomfortable the woman must be, yet it was clear from the pertness of her dark brown nipples, and the light sheen glistening around her pussy, that she was excited by her lack of control.

Silently checking each of the bindings she had put in place, Miss Sarah said, ‘I am ready. Remember, to stop this session early you must say “Quit”, no other word will end this. Yes?’

‘Yes.’ As she confirmed her readiness to begin the game, Madam’s tone, and the increased rise and fall of her tethered ribcage, told Jess just how keyed up she was.

‘Very well.’ Miss Sarah adjusted the sound system, and flooded Room 53 with the soothing strains of Beethoven. Then she opened one of the white cupboard doors and brought out a metal tray of medical instruments.

The moment she saw them Jess’s stomach contracted. Surely Madam didn’t get off on that, did she?

A speculum, medical gloves, and a tube of lube lay on the tray. Immediately Miss Sarah snapped on the gloves, but rather than picking up the metal tool that Jess associated with uncomfortable yet essential smear tests, Miss Sarah began to stroke a single latex-covered finger over and around the tethered woman’s mound.

The sound that came from the businesswoman’s lips was dark and yet full of relief.

Jess shot her gaze from Miss Sarah’s busy digit, to Madam’s face and back again. The grey eyes were closed and her thin red lips were firmly together. A trickle of sweat ran between Jess’s shoulder blades as she observed the scene. Her PVC outfit was becoming stickier by the minute, and she could feel her tits chaffing against the inside of the costume. Shuffling her feet, careful not to alert the others to her fidgeting, the booking clerk tried to ignore the jealous ache of her pussy as Madam began to react more obviously to Miss Sarah’s ministrations.

Unable to move her hips or stomach properly, their guest’s buttocks rose marginally, and her arms swayed a little behind her head. A protracted groan escaped from her closed lips as Miss Sarah added a second finger to the first. Moments later the groan developed into a low whimper, as Madam struggled not to beg Miss Sarah to put something inside her.

Suddenly Miss Sarah stood back, causing Madam to gulp with loss. ‘I believe,’ the mistress said slowly, ‘that Session B doesn’t allow you to make more than “reasonable noise”. If you make a row like that again, I shall have to gag you.’

Rather than protest, Madam nodded like a chastised child.

Standing to one side of her guest, Miss Sarah placed one gloved hand back over her clit, and the other on the very tip of her right breast. Jess’s nipples grew in aching sympathy as the skilled fingers of the pseudo-nurse played over the tip, caressing it in a fashion designed to drive the recipient to distraction.

Madam’s intense expression of concentration doubled as Miss Sarah continued to work. Her body began to shake, making faint sucking sounds against the strap. The blue paper that covered the bed had stuck to her back, and tiny dot-like tears had gathered at the corners of her shut eyes.

Jess, her own fight against arousal having been given up almost straight away, wondered if she could have withstood such treatment without climaxing already, or without at least begging for permission to come. She suspected not. Not brave enough to turn from the action in case Miss Sarah noticed, Jess tried to decelerate her rapid breathing by thinking about something else, but it was impossible. She was just contemplating what would happen if the client did beg for some attention, when a weak voice from the bed said, ‘Please ...’

Miss Sarah instantly ceased her attentions. ‘Please?’ Her voice was stern, ‘To end this, you say “Quit”, otherwise you are not supposed to speak.’

‘The next stage. Pleaseeeee ... I ...’

Jess studied both women’s reactions carefully. Would Miss Sarah oblige? After all, Madam was paying for this.

‘A few more minutes I think. Then, perhaps I will continue to the next stage. If you are good and quiet.’

The tears that had gathered at the corners of the fake-patient’s eyes ran freely as Miss Sarah returned to her torturous rubbing. The nipple that hadn’t been touched was stiff with neglect, but the one receiving all the attention was bright red. As Jess watched, she was sure she could see the skin was beginning to crack. Yet it was how Madam hadn’t climaxed beneath the glove at her crotch that fascinated Jess the most.

The woman’s torso was rising up and down, her breathing was laboured and her hands were clasped together above her head. Jess couldn’t help speculating how heavy her arms felt as they hung off the bed. She glanced at the clock on the wall, another minute had gone by and the perspiration on Madam’s forehead had spread to her neck.

Jess bought her palms to her own chest. She couldn’t help it. The fabric under her palms was hot, and her nipples were trying to break out on their own as her chest swelled beneath the uniform. Cupping her breasts Jess failed to contain the sigh of relief her body gave at the brief hit of physical contact.

Miss Sarah regarded her sharply, her face darkening, but she said nothing as Jess guiltily dropped her arms to her sides.

Three more strokes of the sore nipple and the dominatrix stepped away from the bed. Once again the abrupt cessation of stimulation made Madam cry out. Saying nothing, Miss Sarah picked up the tube of lubricant and squeezed a generous amount between her fingers. She was about to administer it to madam’s pussy when she stopped, ‘I realise this is a deviation from your scenario, but I will allow Miss Sanders to distract you if you wish. I am ashamed to say it appears she cannot be trusted to just stand and observe as I had hoped, so she may as well be of some use to us.’

Madam, her skin flushed with red blotches, had no saliva left in her mouth with which to speak, but inclined her head a fraction, her eyes shining with a lustful desire that belied her exhausted state.

‘Miss Sanders, come here.’ Jess didn’t hesitate. ‘I am about to add the speculum. This can be a little uncomfortable; I’d like you to take her mind off things by suckling the neglected globe.’

Jess moved to the opposite side of the table and stared hungrily at the pert globe, which seemed to stare back at her beseechingly. She felt a moment of panic as the two women waited for her to act; Miss Sarah with impatience, Madam with a quiet desperation. Knowing that the fact she’d never pleasured a woman before wouldn’t be considered an excuse for delay, Jess leant forward and engulfed the nipple between her lips.

Some previously hidden instinct took over, and Jess was surprised to discover she knew exactly what to do. Swirling the pleasantly rough areole round her mouth, a frisson of satisfaction flooded her as Madam moaned with delight. Building in confidence, Jess brought a hand to the breast, stroking the underside in a way she knew she would enjoy herself, while her tongue and lips glided over the malleable flesh.

Madam’s body stiffened and Jess assumed the lube must now be being applied. She could imagine all too well how it would feel to have the freezing gel pushed up inside her hot snatch, perhaps with one finger, maybe with two or even three. Jess’s pulse tweaked up a notch and she closed her eyes, taking her own craving out on the flesh between her teeth; biting and pinching, making Madam squeak with pain and shake with longing.

The clatter of metal against metal told Jess that Miss Sarah had picked up the speculum. Then an impulsive jerk from the bed forced Jess to open her eyes. She saw Miss Sarah easing the fearsome medical instrument in place. To try and divert Madam’s attention Jess slowed down her licks, making them strong and steady, amazed as the nipple tighten further as her teeth grazed the tip.

‘Miss Sanders.’ Jess stood up at the sound of Miss Sarah’s voice. ‘Here please.’

Jess couldn’t contain her sharp intake of breath when she saw their client’s slick channel stretched so wide; wrenched open by the gadget in Miss Sarah’s hand.

‘Madam likes to get off on lack of control,’ Miss Sarah said in a hushed whisper. ‘The sensation of being completely empty and open, when all her body wants is to be very, very full. That’s what does it for her.’

As Jess’s forehead creased in confusion, the mistress added, ‘I see you don’t understand, but you will in time.’

Then, with a swift push of the speculum deeper into her client, making her squeal as it reached its capacity, Miss Sarah dropped to her knees. ‘I do not want to damage Madam internally in anyway, so I will be gauging her movements carefully.’

Jess said nothing, but stared, aghast, at what she was seeing.

The tense silence, punctuated only by Madam’s stilted breathing, was abruptly broken. ‘Make the girl strip.’ The words were stilted and broken between pants of air, but there was no denying what had been requested.

Buy The Fifth Floor at:

Amazon US :: Amazon UK : Amazon CA

Kay Jaybee was named Best Erotica Writer of 2015 by the ETO.
Kay was also nominated as the Best Erotica Writer in 2013 and 2014.
Kay has had over 100 short stories published by Cleis Press, Black Lace, Mammoth, Xcite, Penguin, Seal, and Sweetmeats Press. Kay also writes contemporary romance as Jenny Kane

You can follow Kay on Twitter- @kay_jaybee

Details of Kay’s work, past, present and future can be found at her Website
Brit Babes Website
Amazon Author Page

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Blogtour roundup #1

Wilhelm Alexandrovich KotarbiΕ„ski (1848-1921): Angel in a Cemetery

The Prison of the Angels was published a week ago, so of course I've been going round shouting about it  - thank you to everyone who has had me over at their gaff, wibbling about sexy angels!

Samantha MacLeod
had mercy on me for using Loki in the novel (when he's HERS) and let me interview my heroine Milja πŸ™‹

At Kryssie Fortune's place I bemoaned my own stupidity 😜

On Tuesday I took over the Blissemas facebook page FOR 12 HOURS and posted lots of pics. Only one penis though. πŸ’¦#OMGitnearlykilledme

On Wednesday Emmanuelle de Maupassant and I discussed the moral maze of the trilogyπŸ™

Billierosie got to hear about Milja's BDSM journey from vanilla to kink 😲

Jennifer Denys posted a  naughty excerpt😍

And today I confess my perverse love of Satan to Kay Jaybee 😈

Thursday, 7 December 2017

When I was 50...

Around my birthday every year I take a look back at what I've done for the first time EVER, just to check that I'm not actually dead of old age yet.

This year, sadly, has been very quiet on the travel front. Basically we have a frail and elderly dog so we haven't been able to go on holiday since last January. Maybe next year...

"No - I will live forever! Give me snacks!"

Anyway, when I was 50:

For the Very First Time:

  • I rode on a banana-boat

  • I finished a novel trilogy: both In Bonds of the Earth and The Prison of the Angels were published this year
  • I hosted a Facebook Promo Party - in fact I've done two now, if you count Blissemas on Tuesday
  • I discovered that neat alcoholic spirits give me terrible indigestion. BOOO! I am getting old!
  • I had a dishwasher installed. Don't tell Mr Ashbless, but I love it!
  • I used a Rug Doctor and was impressed
  • I used a juicer ... yeah, okay, someone shoot me now...
  • I watched a branding (at Eroticon 2017)
  • I went to the Leeds Festival (despite friends insisting it was VERY DANGEROUS)
  • I saw ELO, Muse and Kasabian play live
  • I sold all my vinyl records
  • I had to handle serious fly-tipping in my wood
  • I successfully escaped an escape room (we've beaten three out of four so far, in fact)
  • I used a robo-loo! 

  • I attended a sibling's wedding (my sister's ... I missed my brother's a few years back because I was on holiday)
  • I visited the James Herriot Museum AT LAST (it's up the road ... have I been there at any point in the last 27 years? Have I heck.) Thank you Jo πŸ˜‰

 I'm hoping by next birthday to have done some more travel to new countries, and be in a new house ... we'll see!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

5th Day of Blissemas 2017: Befana the Xmas witch

Welcome all!

This is a Blissemas post - which means that if you comment on it you will be entered into a draw for a Kindle Fire 7 pre-loaded with kinky lit and hot romance! What's more, if you comment on all the posts on the Blissemas blog-hop, you will be entered multiple times! (Oo-er!)

La Befana, the Christmas Witch

Pictured above are two Christmas tree decorations I bought in Italy a few years ago. Yes – both are Christmassy, and have nothing to do with Hallowe’en!

“But … the witch! On a flying broomstick!” you might be saying. Well, there’s an Italian Christmas story that you may not have heard before…

Once there was a widow woman called Befana who was very tough despite her years and ever so house-proud. She couldn’t stand to leave her home untidy. One day she was sweeping out her kitchen when three men rode up and stopped to ask for food and drink. This she gave gladly, because she was a generous woman, but she could see that these were not ordinary beggars or travelers. They wore crowns and their eyes were bright with the vision of their purpose.

“We are three Wise Men from the East,” they told her. “And we’re traveling in search of the Christ Child who was promised. Come with us to find him!”

Now Befana was tempted, because she loved children and longed to see the Christ and give him a gift. But she said, “First I have to finish sweeping my floor and tidying the house. I can’t leave it in a mess. What would people think?” So when the Wise Men rode away she stayed behind, and only at the end of the day did she lock up and set off after them, her broom in her hand and a basket of cakes, to seek the Christ Child.

But she never found him, from that day to this. From that day onward she has wandered the world with her broom, giving out gifts to every good child (on the 5th of January, the night before the Feast of the Kings) just in case one of them is the Christ.

So that’s an Italian folk story for you. In my latest novel, The Prison of the Angels, my characters Milja and Egan are actually in Italy in the run-up to Christmas – in Rome to be precise – but they don’t meet Befana … just several archangels ;-) My heroes are trying to stop the imminent Apocalypse, btw.

My Blissemas Kiss Present to you all is this little excerpt from that book:

Excerpt from The Prison of the Angels:

Egan grabbed my shoulders. “You okay?”

I nodded, still gulping oxygen. We had arrived, it seemed, exactly where we’d been aiming for. The little piazza, barely more than a junction of three alleyways. It was daylight, and it was drizzling; a cool rain that seemed like a balm after the emptiness, and a joke in comparison to Ireland’s scything, horizontal precipitation.

My legs wobbled as he pulled me to my feet.

“Please, let’s not do that again,” he said.

“I’m not sure I could.”

“It worked though.” He laughed. “And if we survive any of this, at least I’ll be able to boast that I’ve literally been to Hell and back.”

My stare must have been questioning.

“C’mon, Milja,” he said, shouldering his bag. “Where did you think your short-cut was taking us?”


Nobody seemed to have witnessed us, so we gathered ourselves and slipped out onto the main street. We pushed across stationary traffic and onto the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II. The flow of pedestrians was that way too; a vast crowd heading toward Vatican City just over the water. Many were praying out loud. Everyone looked nervous. I glanced up and wondered at the strange look of the clouds overhead; they were clotted and writhing, like spoiled milk.

“Where’d all the people come from?” I gasped, bumping along at his elbow.

“Rome’s filling up with pilgrims for Advent; they come for the Papal Blessing. I’m guessing they’re heading for St. Peter’s Square right now. Happy birthday, by the way.”


“You’re a December baby, aren’t you?”

Today’s date hadn’t even occurred to me. “How do you know?”

“I had a whole dossier on you to memorize when I was sent to Montenegro, remember.”

My mouth flapped a bit. I did remember. Of course, the Catholic Church had been keeping tabs on my family for years. “Birthdays weren’t a big thing in my family,” I said. “Our patron saint’s day is seen as much more important.”

“Who’s yours?”

The Archangel Michael. “One who doesn’t like me.”

Egan stopped abruptly, pulling me into the lee of a statue’s plinth. He put a warm hand around the back of my neck, inside my hood, and pressed into me for a sudden kiss that took me wholly by surprise and made my heart flutter and sing. “Happy Birthday,” he whispered.

“Well, I am a bit worried how it will all end,” I said in a small voice, “but at least I’m spending it with the man I love.”

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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Ohmigawsh Ohmigawsh Ohmigawsh

Once I'd stopped laughing, I had to post this reaction to The Prison of the Angels from Anna Sky of Sexy Little Pages πŸ˜€

She actually collected herself and posted a slightly less sweary 'official' review for the front pages:

"I adore Janine Ashbless' Watchers series, and The Prison of the Angels is no exception. Like the previous two books, not only is it extraordinarily well researched, but beautifully written. The pacing, dialogue and characters all combine to create a modern classic that's impossible to put down."
 ... which I've just added to the brand new TPotA page on my website


Friday, 1 December 2017

The Prison of the Angels - release day!

The angels have been released from their prison! Yes, the final part of the Book of the Watchers trilogy is NOW ON SALE - and what's more, the first Amazon review has been posted!

This is a romance with a lot of super-heated steam and the darkest shadows you can imagine, and I think it’s a fantastic conclusion to a story which has built up a serious head of steam over the previous two books.

In principle, this could be read as a stand-alone story, but I strongly enourage you to read the first two in the series. It’s imaginative, sweeping, full of twists and turns, and I genuinely had NO idea where Janine’s story was going right up until the end. She brings together myths from different cultures as well as archangels and angels who, being truly inhuman and created in a particular way, have a multitude of what we call human failings as well as unimaginable powers.


And the ending was, well, endearing.


I thought I was a good girl. I thought that no matter what others did for my sake, I could stay innocent. I thought that as long as I acted out of love, I’d be blameless. I was wrong, wasn’t I? 

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 make will change everything. 

This time it’s the End of the World