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Janine Ashbless on Tour ~ Fierce Enchantments

Today we’re thrilled to welcome Janine Ashbless, spinner of erotic fairy tales. You’re going to love this!

Back in December I was stuck in an airport lounge, alone, waiting four hours for my delayed flight home. I had my Kindle with me, full of books. Classics and novels for proper grown-ups, erotica and action thrillers … all sorts of things to choose from. I could have picked something improving. I could have picked something inspirational for my own writing work. What I actually did for three hours was read fairy stories. First E Nesbit’s collections of the ones she wrote herself, and then an anthology of traditional folk tales from the Slavic regions.

I think there’s something about fairy tales that draws us back. As reminders of childhood pleasures, they are uniquely comforting when we are alone and tired and insecure (That day in Schiphol Airport I’d had to say goodbye to my husband for another week, and I hate doing that). But there’s also something instantly gripping and gratifying about fairy tale plots – young women lost in the forest, young men off to see what the world has to throw at them, serendipitous encounters with strange unearthly beings, the unexpected kindness or brutality of strangers, suffering and hunger, sudden wealth and fortune. They intrigue us, despite their familiarity. They lead us down familiar-looking paths to unknown places. And they hold the promise, every time – or nearly every time – of a triumphant and happy ending.

So when I write my erotica, I return every so often to the fairy tale format. There are two in my Fierce Enchantments collection: Too Much of Water is my take on the The Frog Prince, and it sits at the crueler end of the genre. Is the ending a happy one? That’s really down to your perspective. The Merry Maid is warmer and sweeter- but not too cosy.

Fairy tales sometimes have a sting.

Fierce EnchantmentsCover Blurb for “Fierce Enchantments”

Inside the covers of this, Janine Ashbless’ third collection of erotic short stories, you will find delight and terror and lust – and perhaps even unexpected tenderness.

The wayward daughter of Shakespeare’s sorcerer Prospero; a runaway slave who becomes king only for as long as he can stay awake; a servant girl whose three dead lovers return for one last tryst; vampire-hunters haunted to the point of madness by what they have been through; warriors in a desperate future war for the survival of humankind – and one very dangerous frog prince – all appear in this collection of erotic stories that will take you to the edge and then pull you over into the glittering darkness beyond.

Weaving worlds of fantasy, Janine Ashbless draws from fairy stories, history, myth and the darkest depths of her imagination to bring you tales of passion and desire that will enchant, shock and dazzle you.

Buy links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt from Fierce Enchantments:

(from the story Too Much of Water)

Willow is a treacherous tree. A narrow stem snapped under her hand and, slipping suddenly, she had to snatch at another trunk to stop herself going down the bank. The golden ball dropped from her fingers and rolled down the slope, bounding into the millpond with a hollow splash.

For a moment Zorya could not believe what had happened. She slithered down to the water’s edge and stared, trying to glimpse a gleam of gold beneath the dark surface. But in a moment even the betraying ripples vanished, and there was nothing to show where the Tsar’s gift had gone. The pond lay like polished malachite, and the willow saplings only sighed.

“No,” said Zorya to herself, pressing her knuckles to her lips. The second “No,” built in her belly then came out as a long moan of pain. She hunched down, unheeding of the wet on her skirts, and dappled her hands in the water; it felt cold as ice and there was nothing but soft mud beneath her questing fingers.

“Why are you crying?” said a voice.

Zorya looked up and through her tears saw a man standing before her in the pond. She could only see him from the waist up, and what she could see was naked. Her heart clenched within her and crammed into her throat, but she was too frightened to scream. She felt the last tears roll down her cheeks.

“Well?” said he.

“I lost my golden ball in the water,” she whispered. Her fingers twitched but she couldn’t cross herself, despite being in no doubt as to whom she was speaking. This was a Vodyanoi: a water spirit. She’d heard that they could appear in human form, though more often they looked like sunken logs or moss-draped toads of monstrous size. This one wore the guise of a young man, and his long wet hair hung about his face and shoulders like drips of tar. His lithe body was pale, almost greenish in hue, each muscle visible under the wet shine on his hairless skin. He was very handsome. She wasn’t fooled: the Vodyanoi are evil, and delight in drowning the unwary.

“Aren’t you a little old to weep over lost toys?” he asked, his thin lips crooked in a smile.

“It’s not a toy.” She wondered if she could jump to her feet and dash away among the willows, but she was fairly certain he would catch her with a single lunge.

“What, then?”

“It was a betrothal gift from Ivan Vasilyevich, Tsar of all the Russias.” It was the symbol of her faithfulness to him, and his public trust in her; to fail to treasure it would be counted an unforgivable insult. “He will have me buried alive for betraying him.”

“Then I’ll fetch the ball back for you.” His black brows were wickedly arched, as proud as Satan’s, and his smile was dagger-edged. “For a price, of course.”

“What price?” The breath seemed to have deserted her lungs.

His smile broadened. “An hour in your arms.”

Zorya drew herself up, straightening her back. Acid found its way into her voice at last: “Then I might as well leave the ball where it is. If I’m not a virgin on my wedding night, the Tsar will kill me anyway.”

“What’s your name, Daughter of Eve?”

His eyes were gold, she realised—not the pure gold of her gilded ball but dark and flecked like those of a frog, and quite beautiful. Somehow thrown into confusion by this—was she not a foolish girl as well as a wilful one?—she answered “Zorya,” without thinking to lie. She didn’t even recoil when he reached out a finger and drew it down the line of her throat, leaving a line of chill damp that made her shiver, before tracing a spiral upon the top of her breastbone just above the lip of her bodice. She couldn’t wrench herself away, only drop her eyes before his impertinent gaze.

“You’re quite comely.”

“So they say,” she answered through her teeth. A cold bead of water found its way from his fingertip into the cleft of her breasts, where it trickled down the slope of her warm flesh like a secret caress.

“And beloved of the Tsar. Such good fortune.”

She clenched her jaw.

“Are you thankful?”

“Beyond words,” she said in strangled voice.

Bio:

Janine-AshblessJanine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure – and that’s “fantasy” in the sense of swords ‘n’ sandals, contemporary paranormal, fairytale, and stories based on mythology and folklore. She likes to write about magic and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000, and her novels and single-author collections now run into double figures. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology Geek Love.

Her work has been described as: “hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.”   (Portia Da Costa)

Links

www.janineashbless.blogspot.com

Goodreads

Janine Ashbless Facebook

Amazon UK Author Page

Amazon US Author Page

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RELEASE DAY Detour Ahead! @MFRWAuthor

For an author, there’s something magical about the day a book is officially published—and even after more than thirty novels and novellas, it still doesn’t get old. We are excited to announce the release of the fourth and final book in our Riders Up romantic suspense series set in the horse racing industry, Detour Ahead.

For those who’ve been following the series, you’ll remember Traci as the svelte, cool and collected lawyer who is Cassie’s best friend. In Book One, Traci took Cassie sailing for a day to help her heal from what looked like the end of her relationship with Clint.

It turns out cool and collected was a mask Traci hid behind, even from Cassie. Now in her early thirties, Traci works tirelessly as a prosecuting attorney. Her goal? Keeping rapists off the street. It’s Cassie’s turn to help Traci heal, though Traci isn’t sure she likes her friend’s M.O.

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BLURB

Threatened race horses, city slicker attorney, sexy California wrangler—what can possibly go wrong?

Hot-shot Chicago prosecuting attorney Traci Steele works tirelessly keeping rapists off the street to prevent other women from suffering the hell she’s endured, so she resists her friends’ insistence that she take a two month R&R in their California Live Oak condo—until they persuade her to help their rancher friend as a private investigator.

Though he runs the stables at Live Oak, well-muscled mustached wrangler Scott McCord much prefers working with the race horses he trains at his ranch, and he can’t believe his old friends have sent a greenhorn female to help him with horse troubles.

The improbable dance between this mismatched pair barely fits in around the escalating suspense of whoever’s after Scott’s horses. Traci is as tenacious in her sleuthing as she is terrified about her inability to ever love a man. Can Scott succeed in gentling her – like he does his horses – before she flees in panic?

REVIEWS

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick This is a story about letting go of your past so you can move on to your future. It is a story about letting go of being the victim and becoming a survivor…Add into this touching story of recovery a mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end, and you’ve got a story you won’t be able to put down. Angi

You Gotta Read Reviews Rich in romance and suspense, this book had me mesmerized from the first page. I was definitely drawn toward the main character, Traci, and all of the emotional barriers that she faced… a sensational job of combining just the right amount of suspense with a sauciness that leaves you longing for more. Run, don’t walk to your nearest book store for this sensational book. Val

LINKS

BUY at Amazon

Goodreads

EXCERPT

Scott McCord stood at Traci’s emergency room bedside. He must look a mess. A nurse had already asked if he wanted a sedative. Hell, no. He wasn’t going to soften his guilt with drugs.

God damn, how had it happened? He replayed the scene over and over again. He still couldn’t understand it. One minute Traci and the horse had been working together as a team, and the next she was tossing about like a child’s rag doll.

Until she landed in the dirt. He hadn’t been able to move fast enough. Her words and the magnitude of her distress had temporarily paralyzed him. Without a doubt, this accident involved more than a woman learning how to ride a horse. But she was his responsibility, and he’d let her down.

So there Traci Steele lay, ashen, but breathing steadily. The doctor said nothing was broken. There were no apparent internal injuries. She’d be bruised some. And they’d want to keep her overnight to check her for a concussion.

He followed behind the gurney when they moved her from emergency to the second floor. No one seriously challenged his presence. Since he didn’t know about her insurance carrier, he’d signed to cover financial responsibility. Looking at the pale woman, who was becoming a bigger mystery every day, he knew she wouldn’t be pleased he’d taken over. But they could straighten things out later.

During the night, Traci came to enough to complain to a nurse about the IV, but he could tell she still had little understanding of where she was or what had happened.

Scott dozed off and on until sunshine bounced off his closed eyelids. Sputtering, cussing himself for having fallen asleep, he pushed himself up in his chair and looked at his patient. She stared back at him with a wan smile on her lips.

Leaping to his feet, Scott fumbled for words. She held out her hand to him; he clasped it between his own.

“Hi,” Traci said, softly. “You don’t look so good.”

“Maybe.” Scott ducked his head so she wouldn’t see the moisture forming in his eyes. “You don’t look quite ready to walk down a fashion show runway, either.”

“I’m sore and maybe a little weak, but otherwise I’m fine,” Traci offered. “So where am I?”

“You’re in the regional hospital. The doc wanted to keep you overnight for observation. They couldn’t find anything wrong other than being knocked out. Do you remember what happened?”

He watched the competent lawyer withdraw behind shuttered eyelids. Her body quivered and then gradually calmed. She stared at him with renewed energy. “Yes, I remember. It wasn’t Cory’s fault.”

“No, I should have–”

“It wasn’t your fault, either. It’s hard to explain. I lost control of Cory. And then I got into a terrible place, and I lost control of myself.” She smiled weakly. “But I’m alive. I’ve survived worse.” Traci squeezed his hand. “Please don’t blame yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“So are you going to tell me about it? Somebody hurt you badly.” His fingers curled into a fist.

Series-Timeline

 

Evie’s Sexy Morning #MySexySaturday

Welcome to another round of My Sexy Saturday, where authors offer seven words, sentences, or paragraphs from their work for your entertainment. Be sure to click on the graphic at the bottom of the page and visit the other participants.

This week’s theme is My Sexy Morning. We’re thrilled to announce the re-release of our erotic romance holiday romp, A Gift for Adam, coming to Extasy Books Monday, December 15, so we thought we’d give you a taste of what Evie wakes up to:a gift for adam 

EXCERPT

Evie caught her breath as she studied Adam. He seemed so male. Yet he’d shown her a gentler side that had simply amazed her. Would she ever be able to walk through automotive and see him waiting on a customer without remembering how he’d taken her to erotic plateaus she’d thought were only somebody else’s fantasies? Would she ever be able to cleanse his male scent from her nostrils? Did she even want to? How could she slink back into her existence as merely the assistant manager of home and garden? For nearly three days she’d been treated as something incredibly special—pampered, praised and loved. Spelled with a small “l,” she quickly added.

She exhaled sharply. Damn, she hated feeling like Cinderella.

BLURB

Home and Garden assistant manager Evie Strand has painstakingly embroidered a set of seven thongs as a gag gift for her best friend—only she brought the wrong box to the store Christmas party, and now Adam Grant from Automotive is holding them up for everyone to see: Kiss my…, Tight Fit—could things get any worse? Adam may seem like a total rake, but he can tell Evie’s deeply embarrassed and he resolves to make it up to her. Who knew where a simple dinner date would lead?

BUY LINK

December 15, 2014   http://www.extasybooks.com/

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