Janine Ashbless is without a doubt one of the most sexually imaginative erotic writers I have had the pleasure of reading. My review of Named and Shamed (buy your copy here) shows how impressed I was with that saucy novel, urging all the go read the explicit and deviant tale. Now, I am honoured to feature Janine Ashbless in my erotic authors Spotlight Series, where you can get to know Janine a little more intimately. There’s details all Janine’s erotic books and short stories – as well as a saucy free excerpt to whet your appetite mercilessly.
You can find the Janine Ashbless website here and find her erotic stories & books on Amazon.
– Cara Sutra
Photography credit: David Woolfall
Janine Ashbless is unusual in the erotica genre in that she prefers to write fantasy in the other sense – swords ‘n’ sandals, contemporary paranormal, fairytale, and stories based on mythology and folklore. She wants to write about magic and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human. Occasionally she does a bit of romance too, but don’t rely on her giving you a happy-ever-after.
In the flesh, Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage, and any movie or TV series featuring men in very few clothes beating hell out of each other. She’s a roleplaying geek and can still sometimes be found running round in the woods hitting other geeks with a rubber sword. It is unlikely she will grow up anytime soon. She particularly enjoys sneaking references to H. P. Lovecraft into completely inappropriate stories.
Her work has been described as:
“Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore)
“Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa)
“One of the hands-down masters of erotic writing.” “Janine Ashbless showed me that erotica can be literature.” (Violet Blue)
“The best erotic fairytale writer around,” (Saskia Walker)
“One of the most talented, original and brave authors in the erotica field” (Shanna Germain)
Janine has had nine books published and there are currently two in the pipeline for 2014. She’s had five erotica books published by Black Lace: Cruel Enchantment (2000) and Dark Enchantment (2009) – both short story collections. Divine Torment (2002) and Burning Bright (2007) are linked Game of Thrones-style fantasies. Wildwood (2008) is a contemporary fantasy about earth-magic.
More recently she has written for Ellora’s Cave – The King’s Viper (2011, erotic romance), for Samhain Publishing – Heart of Flame (2011, Arabian Nights romantic adventure) , for Mischief Books – Red Grow the Roses (2012, multi-layered vampire horror-erotica) and for Sweetmeats Press – Named and Shamed (2012, a XXX-rated contemporary erotic fairytale).
She’s had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Catscratch, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, Seal Press, Ellora’s Cave and Racy Pages. She is co-editor of the nerd anthology Geek Love, alongside Shanna Germain. Currently she’s writing a trilogy about fallen angels for Cleis Press.
Janine lives in Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. You can catch up with her by visiting her website at www.janineashbless.com and her blog at www.janineashbless.blogspot.com.
Red Grow the Roses – Free Excerpt
Blood lust and sexual desire; for vampires the two are inseparable.
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.
Wakefield 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.’
– Janine Ashbless
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