Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Brought to (Face)book


Buggery buggery, blast and arsebiscuits.

*sighs* Okay, I've joined Facebook.

I know: I've resisted for years. Vituperatively.  Because what I really don't need is another addictive platform for my ego that demands maintenance and steals writing time. But ... I'm supposed to be raising my internet profile for the sake of book promotion. I am being nudged, with pointy sticks, in the direction of the Communication Age.

So if you are on FB you can now find the fledgling Janine Ashbless page. Whooohoo! You can't Friend me because it's a professional/author-artist page, but you can Like me, which I gather is a similar if unrequited thing. I have no idea what I'm doing, btw. You may have worked that one out. I will post ... er, stuff.

Inside a week I will be loving it: I know my weaknesses.

And No, I am NOT joining bloody Twitter!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Eyecandy Monday


It's either soft focus, or I'm going blind from looking at it too long ...

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Hayseed Dixie



I saw Hayseed Dixie a couple of weeks ago at the Cropredy festival and they rock. Or whatever the equivalent bluegrass verb is. I'm not sure I'd ever want to buy a CD, but as a live band they are just the best - funny, charismatic, jaw-droppingly talented. Go see them if you ever get the chance! They show no mercy to the audience either ...

Only, not pretty. Never mind. They still won over our "black English hearts," heh.

In action with some more trad material:

Friday, 26 August 2011

Book review: Bonk


A couple of years ago I watched this TED talk, online, by Mary Roach, and I was moved to go and buy her book. It took me a while to get round to reading it (I have too many books in that queue!) but Oh, it was well worth it.


Bonk: the curious coupling of sex and science is just the cuddliest, funniest book you'll read about sexual physiology in your life. Concentrating on the hard science rather than social history or gender politics, Roach takes a wry (sometimes flippant) look at the history of scientific study of that physiology, carried out by some very eccentric, obsessive people and often in conditions of secrecy, peer opprobrium and public outrage.
She has chapters on the clitoris, penis, orgasm, erection and surgical enhancement (monkey glands, anyone?) but keeps getting swept off into strange diversions covering sex toys and penis cameras,  MRI scanners (she did it in a tube, for science) and sewing machines.



I learned a lot in the midst of my giggles. The book is just littered with weird facts you'd love to bring up at dinner parties. Like...

  • Foetuses masturbate in the womb.
  • Allowing for age, social class etc, the risk of death among men who have two or more orgasms a week is 50% lower than for men who orgasm less than once a month: Catholics priests die younger than Protestant ones.
  • Women get nocturnal erections during sleep in the same pattern that men do.
  • Not only are there penile, clitoral, vaginal and anal orgasms - there is such a thing as a non-genital orgasm. Orgasms during sleep are often non-genital. So are the orgasms of people with spinal injuries. Some people can do it by brushing their teeth, or sneezing, or just thinking about it.

  • Or - and this is a particularly good one for an uptight maiden aunt tucking into a bacon sandwich - pigs, unlike cows and horses, don't take well to artificial extraction of semen for AI purposes, so boars have to masturbated by human hand "hard and without let-up - for the entire duration of the ejaculation: from ten to fifteen minutes. You should see the size of their hands." 

And sex with animals is not limited to agricultrual workers, on or off the clock. You will not believe what scientists get up to in the lab...

I totally recommend Bonk - for anyone into sex, or popular science, or both - so long as they have an open mind and a sense of humour. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Sale: Repaint the Night


I'm (in) Irresistible! This anthology is edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and is aimed at women and men who want to share stories about couples. It's out in February 2012, on Valentine's Day no less ... though knowing Amazon it'll sneak out a couple of weeks early.

Blurb:
In this new collection of erotica, Rachel Kramer Bussel has gathered couples' most popular fantasies and created a sizzling, no-holds-barred series of explicit encounters in which couples turn their deepest desires into reality. These powerfully written stories meld the nasty and the sweet to fill 24 hours of sex—fom early morning wake-up calls, through mid-afternoon quickies, to late evening romps, Irresistible is filled with sex around the clock.

My story, Repaint the Night, is a sweet, positive one (Yes! I know you're shocked!) about a married couple who use outdoor sex in a daring act of sexual healing.

Goodness knows how long I can go on playing nice, so grab this rare example while you can ;-) 

Pre-order at Amazon USAmazon UK

Monday, 22 August 2011

Eyecandy Monday

Something a little less in-your-face this week. I can do subtle ;-)


This is Russian marine scientist Natalia Avseenko, swimming with Beluga whales in the White Sea. Apparently she can cope with Arctic waters for up to 10 minutes.

Note that her fellow-scientists are not nearly as hardy...


What ... you want a picture of an underdressed man doing something amazing in lethally cold condtions too?
Okay:


This is Aussie Michael Kemeter, wirewalking 150ft between  two peaks in the Alps. He went topless "to reduce wind-resistence," but kept his trousers on - honestly, what a wimp!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

After the storm


If you have bought a copy of my new novel The King's Viper, you may be interested in the notes I've put up about the book on my website - on the main page, find the "Author's Notes" button just under the cover pic.

Written well into the wee small hours over several nights, they include a ghastly writer's confession but are, I hope, not entirely incoherent.

Btw, this is what Severin looks like in my head:

Villain material :-)

Friday, 19 August 2011

The King's Viper - OUT TODAY!

I'm so so pleased to be able to bring you my new baby - my erotic romance e-novel The King's Viper. A tale of forbidden but overwhelming passion, sexual frustration, and suffering for love, it's now available as a download from Ellora's Cave - in four wonderful formats, each more lovely than the last. And it only costs $5.95!

You know the set-up:
When Lady Eloise of the Isle of Venn becomes betrothed to the King of Ystria, she looks forward to a life of luxury and status at the royal court. She certainly doesn’t anticipate being shipwrecked on the way to her wedding, escorted by the King’s assassin, Severin de Meynard, the most hated man in the kingdom. Nor does she anticipate them having to make their way back home to Ystria on foot, through hundreds of miles of enemy territory. Above all, she doesn’t expect to fall in love with the cynical, ruthless Severin.

Eloise and Severin struggle to control their growing attraction to each other because if they do not—if she returns to the King no longer a virgin—then they will both be executed. Yet their passion threatens to be far stronger than their self-control. Severin and Eloise are torn between duty and their burning need for one another, and both will face bitter sacrifice before the end.

Well here's an excerpt. Eloise and Severin are about to make a break across the border back to their homeland, and on their last night they stay in an inn, pretending to be a married couple.


She hadn’t locked the door. Foolish, Severin thought to himself. What if he’d wandered away and another man had tried the latch? He slipped back into the room. Small oil-lamps had been lit and set at the head of the bed. Eloise was by the fire, wrapped in a sheet to dry. It covered all of her but her bare arms and shoulders and the graceful dip of her neck, as she knelt to let the fire’s warmth dry her long hair.
 

Oh God, he thought, dizzy with the pleasure of that sight.

“There’s hot water left if you want to wash. I didn’t use it all.”


“Oh? Are you saying I smell bad?” He felt so much happier in here with the woman he could not swive, than outside with one he could, that he was almost jocular.


“Like a whole pen of cattle,” she answered cheerfully.


“And where will you wait while I bathe?”



“I won’t look. I promise.” Her fingers stroked through her locks, picking out the tangles.


“Can I trust you though?” he asked with a smile.


She widened her eyes, pretending outrage. “Do you think I went to the trouble to wash, only to sleep next to something that stinks of cow?”


“Your delicate sensibilities are my first priority, wife.” The moment the word was out of his mouth he regretted it, but Eloise laughed.


“Then see you’re clean enough for me, husband.”


Severin bit his lip. Getting naked in the same room as Eloise was a bad idea, even if she had sworn not to look.  He knew he shouldn’t. Yet the boundaries of propriety between them were so eroded now—by nights together, by fierce embraces, by exhaustion and cold and danger—that it was hard to see where the line was to be drawn any more. “Fair enough then,” he answered.

He stripped to his waist and poured water into the basin to wash himself. The soap wasn’t of the quality they were used to in Court, but it worked well enough to strip off the gray scum of dirt from flesh and hair. He didn’t hurry. His shadow cast by the firelight danced on the wall. He managed an awkward scrubbing between his shoulder blades with the washcloth and wished there was someone to do his back for him.


He cast a wary glance round at Eloise.


She was still bent forward over the fire, running her fingers through her damp hair to clear the tats. The tresses were steaming a little. She was absolutely silent, her face averted from him.



Of course she would keep her word.


Carefully, he stripped off his boots and trousers, wrinkled his nose at the smell of his socks and kicked them away. He placed the bucket on the floor and stepped into it to wash his lower body. The water wasn’t much more than lukewarm, but the sensation of cleanliness was luxurious. He scrubbed his legs and soaped his genitals, sliding slippery hands through his pubic hair. His cock was turgid with the thrill of illicit exposure, with the proximity of Eloise. Ignoring it as best he could, he bent to scour his feet one at a time. When he was thoroughly clean he stepped out of the bucket and reached for the linen towel.


He was busy buffing his wet hair dry when he felt the soft touch on the small of his back.


Fingertips.




A hot flash of shock ran across every inch of his skin, like the strike of lightning, and his spine arched. The fingertips shifted with his movement, an infinitesimal caress, and he felt the blood surge to his groin in response. He turned, and as he turned he forced himself to take a step back. Eloise clasped her hands to her throat. He met her eyes, and read in them shame and fear—and need.


So, said the small cold part of his mind that stayed that way even when he was cutting a man’s throat, you were not imagining things. And how are you going to get out of this one, Severin?


“My lady,” he croaked. He hadn’t called her that since the shipwreck.

She had her lower lip trapped in her teeth. She took a wobbly step toward him. He opened his mouth to tell her No, and at that moment she dropped the arm holding the sheet about her, and let the fabric slip to the floor. And then she was naked, and he had no words anymore.


The body he’d come to know by night and through clothing and by partial glimpses was every bit as sweet and slender as he’d sculpted it in his mind, but so very much paler, and scattered with flat brown moles like dark stars on a cream sky. Each mark invited the touch of a fingertip, the reverence of a kiss. Her pubic fluff was the color of sand, a shade lighter than her hair. She looked frighteningly vulnerable. His cock surged, filling with the blood that was draining from his head so fast he could hear the roar in his ears.


All that had been so complicated was, suddenly, very very simple.


Her eyes flicked to that heave of his flesh, widening. Scared but determined, he thought. That was how she’d always been, since the beginning. His heart was slamming against his breastbone. He hadn’t been this excited by a woman in years. And still he couldn’t speak, and could not move.



She closed on him and laid the fingertips of one hand over his hip. She didn’t seem to know where to look; not at his face, not at his rising shaft. She focused somewhere about his chest, even as her fingers trailed blindly to the hot column of his flesh, their coolness soothing, their hesitant touch inflaming.


No! He shaped the word in his head even as he reached out and pulled her against him.


”This is high treason,” he said raggedly. Then he kissed her.



Download from Ellora's Cave

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

"It is just so ... perverse"




That's what Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust said about my story, Forsaking all Others, in With This Ring. In fact this is the quote:

I enjoyed most stories—here are a few standouts: Janine Ashbless' 'Foresaking All Others' struck a nerve, it is just so, and I mean this in the best way, perverse.

Heheheheheheheheh. Isn't that just fabulous?
:-D

Other things in my life are, if not perverse, certainly bizarre. I mean, I'm braced for a certain number of odd e-mails from strangers, in my line of work. But the other week I was contacted by a professor from an Australian university - he'd found my picture of Galli's glass uterus on my blog, and he wanted permission to use it in his research paper on Simulators in Medical Education. (I said Yes, of course.)

So - I have, in a small way, made medical history ;-)



Other pervy news, in brief(s) ...


I've (almost certainly) found a publisher for my downright filthy vampire novel Red Grow the Roses! Yayyyyyyy!!! I will tell more when it's no longer classified as Top Secret!

Steampunk antho Carnal Machines (including my story, The Servant Question) has been garnering praise from, among others, Eden Fantasys, Kisses and Kinks, Erotica Revealed, Getting Naughty Between the Stacks, Night Owl Reviews, and Erotica For All.  It seems to be a book that makes people very happy!


And last but certainly not least, Oh No -

My erotic romance e-novel The King's Viper is out THIS WEEK. Did you hear that? ON FRIDAY 19th AUGUST!!

Squeeeeeeeee!


Friday, 12 August 2011

Meet on the Ledge



I'm away at Fairport Convention's annual reunion in Cropredy - which is a weeny weeny little village that hosts this one festival every year, and turns into a morass of ambling, amiable, aging folk-rockers. I may even end up watching some morris dancing, if I'm not careful.
Every year they finish with this song and we all hug each other and blub. It never fails to remind me how much I love my friends. I think I want it played at my funeral...

Back on Monday!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

This is for Shanna!


The New York Times, bless 'em, ran an article this week suggesting that writers of erotica are pasty-faced, furtive, compulsive masturbators. This has caused Shanna Germain to wax wroth and call us smut-pedlars to arms. So my contribution is a picture of me outdoors, with a healthy - nay, ruddy - glow, looking directly to camera. (If I'm squinting slightly it's because of all the light bouncing off the feckin' glacier.)

And what's more I'm not actually masturbating in this photo. No, not even a little bit.
See, I can stop any time.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Friday, 5 August 2011

I'd like to Phone A Friend, please


I'm so thankful for my circle of friends, for many reasons ... but one of them is to do with research. When I'm writing I look stuff up in books and online of course, and I draw on my own experience, but sometimes there's no substitute for asking someone else. Like this week, when I'm writing a story which references MMORPG World of Warcraft. How much research would I have to do on my own before I could answer the question "Okay, if you've got a maxed-out longterm player who's off on his own somewhere killing monsters in a repetitive manner; where might he be, what's he killing and what's the reward? Oh, and what titles might he have earned?"

In fact, as I glance over my ego-shelf back-catalogue I can see a slew of stories and novels where I've gone to various friends on a wierd and wonderful range of subjects. Just in erotica I've asked about

They're called "Pteruges"

And that's off the top of my head - I'm sure I've missed some.

What's next? Well, I've got this character, see, and he's very old fashioned. I need someone who can translate into Old English and get the cases right...

And what's more I'm sure I know someone who can help!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The King's Viper - release date


Boy, when e-publishing moves it moves fast! The official release date for my Ellora's Cave novel The King's Viper is 19th August!
Download price: $5.95

When Lady Eloise of the Isle of Venn becomes betrothed to the King of Ystria, she looks forward to a life of luxury and status at the royal court. She certainly doesn’t anticipate being shipwrecked on the way to her wedding, escorted by the King’s assassin, Severin de Meynard, the most hated man in the kingdom. Nor does she anticipate them having to make their way back home to Ystria on foot, through hundreds of miles of enemy territory. Above all, she doesn’t expect to fall in love with the cynical, ruthless Severin.

Eloise and Severin struggle to control their growing attraction to each other because if they do not—if she returns to the King no longer a virgin—then they will both be executed. Yet their passion threatens to be far stronger than their self-control. Severin and Eloise are torn between duty and their burning need for one another, and both will face bitter sacrifice before the end.

Readers beware: this is me writing erotic ROMANCE. There is plenty of sex, but also lots of my idiosyncratic take on love. Let's just say, its course ne'er did run smooth...
 
Find The King's Viper here in all its agonising romantic yumminess.
And there's a link to a taster excerpt too!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Eyecandy Monday


Mm. ... This is what I want. Anything more energetic is beyond me at the moment, I'm afraid.

A weekend of LARP and alcohol and I'm practically a zombie...