I know it's been what, like...eons since I published on here. Forgive me. But I know you will because I'm back today with Janine Ashbless's Cover Him With Darkness. Below you'll find her visual answer to my question: "Who! Oh who? Tell me who inspired the mysterious, dark, and brooding men of CHWD?"
There's also an exclusive excerpt published nowhere else. (You're welcome).
Alllllll the way at the bottom you'll find my review of CHWD written in a frenzy of "when is the next book?" the moment I finished. Answer...2016. And since it's already end of October that is not too far off, my friends. (You're welcome again).
I'll stop my only slightly caffeinated ramblings and turn this over to Janine and her men...
"...in answer to your question about the inspirations behind my two main male characters, I picture Azazel as something like Aidan Turner when he played the vampire Mitchell in 'Being Human' - convincingly scary and out-of-control a lot of the time! And suspiciously helpful, secretive Egan is based on Tom Wlaschiha (remember him from Game of Thrones? He's Jaqen H'ghar)"
Excerpt: “Cover Him with Darkness”
His forehead was pressed against mine, his breath burning my lips with each word. His fingers were relentless in their slow, teasing caress.
“Don’t be frightened.”
“I’m not frightened,” I lied. “Please don’t hurt me.”
“Hurt you? Do I not give enough thought to your pleasure?”
“You’re too much,” I whispered. “Too big for me. Too strong. Too fierce.”
I wasn’t talking about his cock. Not entirely.
“Oh my love.” His voice was coal and darkness and soot-black feathers. “I can’t promise that. Not to hurt you.”
I kissed him, eyes closed, nodding.
“But you will take it. And I will make pleasure from your pain. I will give it back to you as diamonds.”
There wasn’t much light in here—a blue gloaming of a fading evening through grimy panes, that’s all. I could barely make out Azazel’s outlined form, pale against the deep shadows. I had to explore his torso by touch, running my hands over his ribs and his scar, up to the burr of hair on his chest and down to the hard V of his hips, over the vertical slit of his navel—yet he’d never been born, I reminded myself; never earned that umbilical mark—and the muscled planes of his flat stomach. I felt him shudder when I touched the ridged scar tissue, and I could not tell in this poor light whether it was in fear or pain or joy.
“Milja.” There was a gloss of sweat on his skin. He was rigid with tension.
Without a word I pulled at the buttons of his pants fly, releasing the thing I wanted, that I feared—the thing that had brought down angels and condemned mankind and drowned all the world in a Flood. Such a stupid, insignificant trigger for a war in Heaven, in the greater context.
And yet…it seemed big enough in my hand.
“Stroke it,” he told me.
Hot and hard, like new-cast bronze. A weapon raised defiantly against God Himself.
“Kiss it,” he whispered, just as he had in my dream.
I bent forward from my perch on the table-edge and nuzzled it into my mouth. You see, that is the difference between me and Azazel.
I like to obey orders.
“Yes,” he said softly, as made I my throat into a sheath and took his length as far down as I could. “Yes,” as he wound his hands in my hair and pulled me tight to him. “Oh…Milja.”
At the corners of my eyes, light bloomed. Warm lamplight, point by point, swelling and filling the darkness. Candles, I realized, too busy with my task to look around me. He is lighting the dark.
But when I had him at my mercy and the slabs of his thighs were quivering under my hands, he surprised me once more. With a firm grasp of his hand in my hair, he pulled me up—openmouthed—and in one ruthless motion pushed me over onto my back upon the table.
Oh yes, his grip hurt, but it was a good, good pain. It gushed through me like a rushing storm. It sparkled like diamonds.
Now Azazel loomed over me, both illuminated and shadowed by the flickering candle flames all around us. Tiny reflected flames danced in his mirror-eyes. He drew up my legs, wrapping them about him, and then he took hold of the front of my awful frock and in three jerks tore the cloth all the way down from neck to hem, to lay me bare.
I was still gasping from the abrupt change of position, and from the sweet and utterly possessive pain of his grip in my hair. I did not stop gasping as he took himself in hand and guided hard male to soft female flesh, but I cried out as he entered me. And I arched my back as he laid one hand upon my mound and the other upon my breasts.
He was keeping his distance— only his hands upon me, his length in me, body leaning over mine—and holding back. Gliding with slow, deliberate strokes as his thumb slithered across the nub of my clit and his hands played with my breasts. It was as if he were teetering on the brink of a great abyss, stopping himself from falling. The brace of his hands against me was the only thing holding him on high.
White-hot delight shivered through me from the tugged points of my nipples, from the juncture of my thighs, from deep inside. I felt dizzy: tiny beneath him, huge as the world, all perspective gone. The candles hung around us like constellations. And as I looked up at his face above me, haloed with his unkempt hair, intent with concentration, golden and dark, light and shadow…I fell instead, blazing like a star wrenched from the firmament.
But when the last tremors rippled through me and died away, he forgot mercy. He didn’t give me time to recover. He ran his hands over my slick and shuddering body and lodged one on my hip for a good grip. Then his weight came down over me like the slow press of a mountain on the spaces beneath the earth.
I lifted my knees and wrapped my legs tight about him as he began to thrust. Every stroke was an earthquake. He beat the breath from my lungs. His hair hung in my eyes, and the surge of his breath was a growl in my ear. I couldn’t see his face anymore, but my blurred gaze took in the faces above me and over his shoulders: the sad eyes and the glimmering halos and the hands raised in blessing.
And I knew them. I knew this place, those frescoes painted upon the arched and plastered ceiling. I knew Michael and the hidden key he guarded. I knew the smoke-darkened Pantocrator in bearded majesty.
They were as familiar to me as family photos.
He’d brought me home.
We were in the tiny church my father had tended all my life. And Azazel was fucking me upon the church altar.
******Moment to catch your breath******
The Deets, the Author Info, and the Praise:
Cover Him with Darkness: a romance
Cover Him with Darkness, the story of what happens when a young woman releases a fallen angel from centuries of imprisonment, is available at AmazonUS : Amazon UK
“If you loved an angel, how far would you fall with him?”
“Calling Cover Him with Darkness a romance is like calling a Lamborghini a cute little car. Janine Ashbless has broken every unwritten rule of writing romance and makes it work most spectacularly—it’s dark and gritty and so beautifully written that the words are pure poetry.”
—Kate Douglas, author of the Wolf Tale series
“Janine Ashbless has long been a master at conjuring the erotic in myths and legends. Now she’s taking on religion and all I can say is wow. Just wow! What is evil? What is good? Could the faithful have completely missed the point? Sexy food for thought: Cover Him With Darkness is an
intensely wild ride.”
—D. L. King, editor of Seductress and The Sweetest Kiss
“This book was truly a fantastic read.”
—Rose Caraway, editor of The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica
"Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, only much better written and with much more sexiness involved. This is a roller coaster of a story, and one that will have you rooting for the very different and strong characters that choose to fight either good or evil, and there are times when it’s hard to tell whose side anyone is on." – Clitical
“Janine Ashbless writes erotica you can sink your teeth into, pulling liberally from mythology, folk and fairy tales, while crafting stories that are entirely modern, relevant, thought-provoking and really, really hot” - Malin James
“In a remote and mountainous part of Europe, a priest keeps a dark secret beneath his chapel—a prisoner. Even the holy man does not know how long he has been there—hundreds of years, or even longer. The priest's fear is that anyone in his parish would ever come in contact with his mysterious and unholy charge. But what happens is even worse than he could have ever imagined. His lovely young daughter Milja, whose innocence and devotion to God he prizes over all else, trails her father into the cavern and catches a glimpse of their unearthly prisoner. She looks into his eyes and sees pain and wisdom and eternity. Unable to keep away from this silent creature chained in the darkness, she is torn between family loyalty and her growing connection to their prisoner. One day her father discovers their forbidden intimacy and sends Milja off to America to be raised by her aunt in Boston – but nothing can keep her away forever.
Cover Him in Darkness is a dark and thrilling story of a terrifying archangel banished from heaven and the human woman with whom he falls in love.”
Janine 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)
on September 9, 2015
I can’t tell you too much about this book because…spoilers! I can say this: It has two scorching heroes (one fallen, one a mystery), a smart and tenacious heroin, and a rocking good plot. And have I mentioned steamy with a capital HOT? The entire book speeds along, angels, watchers, intrigue. It’s like a Bond movie but with the supernatural and religious undermining replacing the explosions. I was hooked from the first page and rocketed through at a pretty fast pace given severely limited reading time. I found that my ‘internet breaks’ were replaced by Cover Him with Darkness breaks. I read any chance I got until I reached the end. And then I was sad. Very sad. I am utterly ready for the second installment of Janine Ashbless’s smart-smart erotic romance tale. It was damn near perfect. And I only say ‘damn near’ because I never label anything perfect. If you like fallen angels, well written plots, intelligent story lines, twists and turns, and a heroin that stands on her own as a bad ass…well, you’d better get reading.