Thursday, 29 March 2012

Freedom! . . . sort of

I just finished my second short story this month ... which means I have HIT EVERY DEADLINE I have for this year! Wahaaaay!

Things to do, now that I'm not racing to get novels, stories or edits in:

1) Mow the lawn

2) Sort out the heap of filing and junk mail that's been accumulating on the floor for 6 months (at least).

3) Redecorate the bathroom

4) Write a new book :-)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Making Mischief

Today is the official Mischief Books launch day - happy birthday Mischief! - and I'm delighted to be able to mark it personally with an interview up on their blog.

(The Mischief Blog is run by the inestimable Rachel Kramer Bussel, by the way. How great is that?!)

Mostly I'm talking about Red Grow the Roses, of course, and sexy vampires in general. Rachel was quick to spot the touches of humour in what is a relatively dark book. I'm glad of that!

Now if I could only learn to write "Mischief," instead of "Mischeif" EVERY blinking time, I'd be laughing...

My other appearances at Mischief* to-date:

The Auction, in Shameful Thrills: girls who should know better
Issues and Returns, in Exposure: those who love to watch and be watched

And I can also let you know that I may well be appearing in this anthology too :-)

* yes, I did it again. Kicks self.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Eyecandy Monday - vamps

Tomorrow sees the official official launch of Mischief Books, who publish Red Grow the Roses.  So here are some vampires for y'all.

I've actually drawn a surprising blank on finding genuinely raunchy/X-rated pics of vampires. Anyone got any suggestions? (Warning: If you point me at Twilight porn I will NOT be pleased.)

This one has blood and nipples, see - excellent! (Don't go searching for that combination on Google btw - a weird legal message flashes up, too fast to read. The police are probably on their way for me already.)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Friday, 23 March 2012

Romantic Times review!

Catching up on a couple of novels ...

Angsty, angry romance The King's Viper has received a 4 Star review in Romantic Times! WHOOOO! (For those who don't know, RT is a very big deal.)  They said :

"Ashbless paints a vivid picture of a man struggling between honor and passion—and the woman caught in the middle. Ashbless' characters and her story are a reflection of a time when a man's honor was everything. With scorching passion shimmering between the characters, readers will sigh over the love that takes second place to duty."

I'm really delighted at this. I shall wear my stars with pride!

The full review is available online, but I don't think you can read it yet unless you're a paid-up subscriber (the review becomes visible to all in two months). Which I'm not . . . so I'm just taking my EC editor's word for all this!

Buy direct from Ellora's Cave
Download from Amazon US : Amazon UK

But if you're not into that soppy romance stuff, there's an excerpt from my distinctly unromantic vampire novel Red Grow the Roses up TODAY, at Erotica for All.

It's from the first story, and Ben is luring a couple of girls back to meet his friend Naylor...

Download direct from Mischief Books
Download from Amazon US : Amazon UK

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sommer has Angry Sex!

Something a bit different today: I'm delighted to welcome the very wonderful Sommer Marsden to my blog, to talk about her new novel Angry Sex. (What a great title!)

First, here's the blurb so you know what the book's about:

Luna Watkins can’t remember feeling so stressed. Her teenage son Nick’s health issues are reemerging and her ex Ben wants to help but is just making ends meet with odd jobs. Her catering business is thriving but too hectic for her to handle, at least that’s what it feels like. Not to mention since she’s been divorced, she hasn’t dated much and has had sex even less. When Nick decides to visit his grandparents for the summer, Luna is devastated. And yet, she sees a chance to work through her anger and her angst. Maybe some time to feed her body, mind and soul knowing he’s well taken care of.

Enter Adam Singleton, her new, last minute server. Handsome, gruff Adam who’s working through his own anger.  Flirting turns to sparring. Sparring turns to angry sex—like therapy but naked. As time goes by and Luna and Adam become even more entangled, with their hardships and each other, the question becomes,  does angry sex turn to more anger…or peace?
Next, I asked Sommer to reveal something about the inspiration for the book ...

She’s a Bad Mama Jama…

What I loved most about writing my shiny new book Angry Sex was exploring the relationship my character had with herself…actually herSELVES ... the woman Luna thought she should be (as a mother, former wife, boss, partner) and the person she really was. The moment where she discovers that she needs a sexual release, that it helps her with her emotions and anger, is the moment that Luna really comes alive for me. Women often tend to think we need to be something we are not and we’re very well known for putting ourselves last. When Luna gives into her own urges and lets herself have something for herself (in the form of a fine, fine man, might I say), I rejoiced.
It made me love her.

Writing Luna was a form of therapy for me, but watching this character unfold and go after what she wants and then rethink what she wants as circumstances and emotions change, was an honor. Sounds like she’s a real person, yeah? Well to me she is. In one way she’s her very own independent “person”, and in another she is little bits and glimmers of me glued to a cardboard cutout labeled FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

The fact that she is a mom and also has some maternal hurdles to jump over brings her character even closer to home. It was a marvel to write my first book that involved someone with a child (in a novel) and how that shaped the plot and the emotion within. But I must say, for the most part, Luna is a bad ass. As so many day-to-day, working, trying, running, planning, loving, worrying mothers are. Angry Sex was my little way of proving that not only do moms have anger and feel helpless and are very often imperfect non June Cleaver types of people, but they do in fact (*gasp*) have sex. Good sex. Rough, dirty, sweet, tender, fast, lazy, intense … even angry sex.

Alert the media ;)


Excerpt from ANGRY SEX 

There was that pregnant pause—that loaded moment—where they stared each other down. Each silently telling the other that now was the time to back out if that was what they planned to do. Luna saw it in his eyes, that Adam had no intention of doing so. And neither did she. She proved the point by grabbing him by his muscular hips and pulling him in so that he slid into her fast and deep, his cock as thick as she’d imagined. As impressive and as capable.

Waxing poetic about a cock. When have you ever done that…

She silenced her internal taunts and thrust up to take him. Adam hovered over her, his fists buried on either side of her, shoved down into the sofa cushions, nearly creating a moat around her thighs. Her fingers climbed up his sides and she clutched him hard, loving the foreign feel of his skin under her hands, the warmth of him. Luna pressed her palm to his chest, feeling his galloping heart even as she rose up greedily to get him exactly where she needed him to be. Her cunt grew tighter with each thrust, the air grew thinner too. Her head was buzzy and light as the pleasure she felt held her tight and yanked her under a crushing wave of impending orgasm.

Already wet, already slick, already sated not once, but twice, she expected it to be weaker. But it wasn’t. When she came, it was as powerful as an explosion deep in the center of her. Luna wrapped her legs around his middle and bit his shoulder hard enough to make him growl. The orgasm slammed her again, not letting go, but amping up. All her anger, all her rage, all her frustration rode out every wet spasm and she sighed softly when they finally stopped.

He hadn’t come.

“Hey, you—“

He pulled free of her and shoved his hands under her hips. When he flipped her she yelped but then laughed. When Adam pushed his big hands under her hipbones and angled her for penetration, she wondered, dear God…could she? Would she? And when he slid into her, his cock slippery with her juices, she thought yes, she just might come again.

He pushed her shoulders down and held her, driving into her so her hips bumped the cushions and her sofa squealed a little on the hardwood floor. He wasn’t wooing, or asking, or being soft, or worrying. He was taking her. He’d given her what she wanted and needed and now, he was taking. As this flashed through her mind, she felt the skin along her back pebble with goose flesh.

Adam held her firm with one hand, looped the other around her waist before knifing his hand between her legs to press hard against her clit. “Come with me,” he demanded.

“I came three times. I don’t know if I ca—“

“You can. Come with me,” he said again.

There was no room for argument. Luna felt the barely controlled need in his movements. His cock filled her and pressed her, making her gasp for air. Adam rotated his hips just enough to trigger all the happy nerve endings deep in her pussy. Her body spasmed fast, milked his cock hard enough to make him grunt, “Christ”.
And then he was pushing her face to the cushion as he came. Using her to grab his pleasure and take it from her.

Grab and take…grab and take…take…

Another soft wave flowed through her as a small, weaker orgasm curled in her center.

And then there was silence in the dark purple room. Dusk had come and the air had turned to shadow. 

“God,” she said.

“Just Adam,” he joked and surprised her by dropping a chaste kiss on the middle of her back and then the nape of her neck. He pulled free and stood, leaving her there, catching her breath while on her knees, her upper body spread across the red couch cushion.

When she turned to face him, he was zipping up, watching her with curiosity.

“Are you hungry?” she asked.

“Are you offering me food?” He grinned.

“I am.”

“Then I am,” he echoed.

“I’ll be right back,” she said and ran upstairs to find something to wear. Her black short kimono would have to do, with fresh panties and her crazy fucked up hair clipped up in a twist. She hurried back down to see him examining a line of photos of Nick and other family on the mantle.

“Good looking kid.”

“Thank you. He’s fifteen. And he knows everything.”

Adam nodded. “As all fifteen-year-olds do,” he said and smiled at her.

There was something in that smile. Something that hadn’t been there before, and she felt her stomach twist in a painful but pleasant way.

She cleared her throat. “Yeah. I know, right?”

“He’s why you’re so…” Adam didn’t finish the sentence but waved his hands around in a pantomime of worked up.

“I have chicken. I can make chicken salad,” she said, walking past him. Luna had no interest in sharing her feelings right now. Maybe not ever. She just wanted the fucking to be what it was—recreational fucking.
He followed her in. It felt strange and wonderful to feel a man’s presence in the house. A new man—when Ben came over it seemed almost normal, he’d lived there so long. But to hear the heavy footsteps of a big man as he followed her through the dining room was sort of surreal, but cool.

“Ah, changing the subject are we?” He touched an old coffee sign made of pressed tin and then a wooden spoon angel that Nick had made her in the third grade.

“No, I’m avoiding the topic seeing as I don’t want to talk about it,” she said softly.

He laughed. “TouchĂ©.”

Buy Angry Sex (will also be available at most online venues and coming soon in print)
And if you nip over to her blog you can catch up with the other posts on her Angry Sex blog tour.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Eyecandy Monday - well hung

A few weeks back I was invited to the Naked Muse photography exhibition - a night of naked men (all poets), wine and cake. Clearly, they knew all my weaknesses. In a fit of giddiness I bid at auction for one of the pictures ... so now I've got my very own Naked Muse up on my living room wall!

He's gorgeous! Also, he suits my house perfectly. I could not be happier. And I'm sure visitors will cope fine ... won't you, Mum?

Personally I'm very strongly reminded of my hero Ash in my nature-magic novel Wildwood. That hair, that shamanic vibe...

It was taken by photographer Tamara Peel and the poet who agreed to bare all is Dreadlockalien, a.k.a. Richard Grant.

The poem that goes with it is called Love, the Blackmailer, by Penelope Shuttle:

All Love's demands are final
All Love's threats are carried out,

Love The Blackmailer with his ledger of secrets,
his I know where you live...

What he knows will wreck a career
or a marriage, start a war.

You can still buy the Naked Muse calendar (price £12.99) at Wild Women Press, with pics and poems. Dreadlockalien is Mr February, though it's not the same pic as the one I got :-) All proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Thank you to the lovely Vik and Adam (and the very sweet Django) for my beautiful Muse!

Sunday, 18 March 2012


 Jeremy lyrics

So tell me how I managed to TOTALLY overlook the existence of Pearl Jam, heh?

Especially since they have a lead singer who looks like this . . .

Friday, 16 March 2012

Today the BBC, tomorrow the world

Mischief Press have officially announced to the world that they exist, and will be launching on March 27th (No, they haven't launched yet ... don't ask me what the difference is).

Which means that not only have I had my name (and Red Grow the Roses) mentioned in The Bookseller, but also on the BBC website! Whoooooo!

I will not let this massive international fame go to my head, I promise. I will keep it real. I'll still be the girl from the 'hood.

Applications are now warmly invited for the position of Ashbless Minion.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Prick up your ears

Protect your ears, people ... there's smut out there!  

Last week I was asked to provide a couple of snippets from Red Grow the Roses for recording by a voice actor. I'll let you know if they ever go up on Youtube as intended ... although to be frank there is nothing more embarrassing for me, as an author, than listening to someone else read my work out loud. I don't know why that is, but I just grit my teeth and cringe!

In the meantime, I recently discovered that there are several audio recordings already available from Audible that include my wicked words:

Cruel Enchantment  - my first short story collection
(sample listener review: "I was distubed by the images this author painted. Therapy might help.")

Alison's Wonderland (ed. Alison Tyler) - includes Gold, On Snow

Frenzy (ed. Alison Tyler) - includes Pirate Treasure 

Sweet Love (ed. Violet Blue) - includes Jump or Fall?

Best Women's Erotica 2011 (ed. Violet Blue) - includes Abigail's Ice Cream

The Handsome Prince (ed. Neil Plakcy) - includes Reckless

Happy listening!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Eyecandy Monday - al fresco special


We have sunshine here - so much so that yesterday we ate lunch in the garden :-)
All this Spring weather makes me long for the great outdoors ...


Deer oh dear

Sunday, 11 March 2012


If someone had told me this rule back when I was 18, it would have saved me years of angst.

Of course, the meme proliferates...

Friday, 9 March 2012

Goblin Market

The starting point for my forthcoming fairy novel Named and Shamed is the discovery of a very unusual manuscript copy of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. Which is, ostensibly, a narrative poem about two sisters - one who falls for the wiles of wicked goblins and eats their, *ahem*, poisonous fruits, after which she craves MORE AND MORE, and the other sister who rescues her.

She never tasted such before,
How should it cloy with length of use?
She suck’d and suck’d and suck’d the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;
She suck’d until her lips were sore;

Written in 1859 (when Rossetti was 28), Goblin Market is a most peculiar work - not least because although it was touted as a children's poem (and was hugely popular as such) it is full of sexually charged verbal imagery.

“Did you miss me?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me;
Laura, make much of me"

Was this totally unconscious? Really?

And this is not just any old sex - it's incestuous lesbian sex! Which ultimately triumphs over the horrors of drug(/heterosexual sex) addiction!

Christina Rossetti was a very successful poet - she wrote the carol "In the Bleak Midwinter" - but she wrote nothing else like Goblin Market. Her interior life revolved around a particularly masochistic Christianity in which she strove to give up everything she enjoyed, for the betterment of her soul, and longed to be dead and safely in heaven. I think we can safely say her attitude to sex was not one of carefree indulgence:
Lizzie utter’d not a word;
Would not open lip from lip
Lest they should cram a mouthful in:
But laugh’d in heart to feel the drip
Of juice that syrupp’d all her face,
And lodg’d in dimples of her chin,
And streak’d her neck which quaked like curd.

Goblin Market comes across to me as the last crazed firework display of her libido before she buried it forever. It's a moral fable, warning of how indulging in the "joys brides hope to have" leads to obsession, addiction and death.

But it's also a rollicking good read, full of brilliant rhymes and sumptuous temptations. The full text is here, among many other places - or you can read the poem and a lovely article on it over at Billierosie's blog

To enjoy as my protagonist Tansy does, read it out loud while someone gives you oral :-) But beware ... the themes of Goblin Market come back to haunt Tansy in a very personal and literal way...
“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?” 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Named and Shamed - the cover!

This is it! - the cover for Named and Shamed. That's my awesome kick-ass Tansy with her red hair, and her dirty dirty smile, and her luscious bottom (which makes a guest appearance in almost every chapter). Florian has captured her personality beautifully. I am delighted. And I can't wait to see the interior illustrations!

I also believe it is my first book with an actual tentacle on the cover, so this is a very proud moment for me.

When's it going to be on the shelves? - well, according to the Sweetmeats website - THIS MONTH!!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Eyecandy Monday

I've promised to get the corrected proofs of Named and Shamed (including the extra 4K words) back to Sweetmeats Press TONIGHT.  Which means turning my back on the Interwebs today.

No Spider or Facebook until I finish.

Oh ... It hurts.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Issues and Returns - out now

I've been waiting years for the excuse to use this picture on my blog!

And now I have my chance, because my story Issues and Returns (see what I did there?) is available from Mischief press, in their e-anthology Exposure: those who love to watch and be watched. It's all about a library assistant in a university library (I wonder where I got that idea, ahem) who gets up to naughtiness among the stacks. Despite my pic, Kelly isn't actually a nymphomanic ... just bored out of her mind by her miserable bloody job.

(No actual resemblance to any of my past employment history intended. Honestly. You believe, me, don't you?)

"The highlight of my day was morning coffee, because if it was a staff member’s birthday she’d bring in packs of biscuits to share round. Seriously, that was the most exciting part of the working day."

I'm not going to post a proper excerpt on this blog because there's a great big one already over on the Mischief page for your reading pleasure. Enjoy - but remember to keep the noise down!

Buy at Mischief : Amazon US : Amazon UK

(NB: You do not need a Kindle to read Amazon e-books. Download the app to read on PC or phone)

Friday, 2 March 2012


Well, yeah, it's possibly a bit late to register now, as it's on tomorrow. So that's where I'm spending my weekend (Yes, driving up and down the M5 to Bristol). I'm excited!

Eroticon is a new workshop/networking/talking-ourselves-into-a-panic event for erotica writers and sex-bloggers ... which is an interesting combination really. In my (limited) experience the overlap between people who write fiction about red-hot sex, and people whose real lives are racy enough to sustain a regular blog about it, is ... not broad. We writers may have our moments. But if we had too many of them we'd be too tired (and too self-satisfied) to actually write, I suspect!

So, it's going to be interesting. There's going to be a TV crew there, I believe. And there will be wine and food and quite possibly a little bit of discussion about Paypal.

See you there, if you're coming!