Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Very Witchy Rant for Halloween









So, I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff online about allergens and trick or treating. And quite honestly, it’s all pissing me off.

First, we have a parent who apparently posted bright orange flyers all over calling people assholes (not verbatim—it was implied) for giving out treats that contain gluten, nuts, and dairy because his kid has a nut allergy. Then we had a shock jock respond to this…well, like a shock jock would. No real shock there. And then today I read a very angry blog by a woman about how she can’t be expected to treat all these kids special and as a parent it is YOUR (her caps, not mine) responsibility to raise your kids because you are raising ADULTS (see previous parens).

Okay, call me crazy but I’m just going to toss this out there. Given Halloween is a holiday that is very much for children—

*You put up flyers—if you must—asking people to consider having allergen friendly candy or non-food items for kids with allergies. That it would be appreciated to help Halloween be truly all-inclusive.
*If you see these flyers instead of flapping your obnoxious yap on the radio, or in the other case, writing a very angry, ranty blog about all these special kids and how parents are raising adults…you just…NOT PARTICIPATE.

Seems pretty straightforward.

As an allergy sufferer myself, I have chosen, of my own accord, to have allergy friendly treats and non-food item treats at my door. And no, I don’t have a teal pumpkin on my porch (this was a major issue with this blogger—all the colored pumpkins and what they signify. She took great offense.)

Why am I doing it? Because I know how thrilled I am to walk into a restaurant and see Ask us about our gluten free menu. I have to do the I-have-gluten-peanut-issues cha-cha every time I sit down in a restaurant or go to a party. And by God, it is a pain in the ass. Especially with the uneducated wait staff/restaurants. So to walk in and see that makes me feel normal NOT special. There is a difference between the two. Seeing that sign in a restaurant makes me feel at ease. It makes me relax and enjoy my meal and feel more a part of the meal with my family. It makes me the girl who doesn’t have to go through her ‘spiel’ and decipher what she can eat.

So if having alternative treats for kids on Halloween who might have similar issues makes them feel more normal and more included, hell, I’m all for it.

As far as the whole “You are raising adults” thing, let me say this:

As an adult, if you have allergies and you walk into a party or a restaurant or a lunch meeting at work, you are expected to say, “I have issues with fill in the blank, do you know what’s in this? Can I see the list of ingredients?” (or similar) Speaking up and asking questions to protect yourself is being an adult. So by educating our kids on how to speak up and keep themselves safe, we are very much raising adults, thank you very much.

So instead of all the poo slinging back and forth about parents insisting on raising special kids or how it’s not your job to protect children—how about we remember that it’s children we’re talking about. Who all want to be included and all want to feel “normal” (whatever the hell that is) on Halloween. How about everyone take a breath and remember that this is supposed to be a fun holiday, and being kind to kids who already have shit to deal with is a good thing. As simple as maybe making one or two choices as far as candy/treats so there’s something for everyone.

No, it’s not your job but it would make you a damn fine human being. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Oh, and one more point while I’m here. This one bloggers big argument was that her kid was diabetic and she took her trick or treating and there were no colored pumpkins to indicate who had sugar free candy, blah, blah, blah. Well, I’d like to thank her for making this point. Because next year in addition to ‘normal candy’, candy I know to be gluten and nut free (it’s normal fucking candy, it just doesn’t have those ingredients!), snack bars that are free of 8 major allergens, and Halloween bookmarks—I’ll make sure to have some sugar free candy on hand.

If my little sign that reads WE HAVE ALLERGY FRIENDLY TREATS. PLEASE TELL US IF YOU HAVE AN ALLERGY makes me some modern day, special-kid-raising, bleeding heart…So be it. Because if a kid does knock on my door who tells me they have an allergy and I can give them a treat that makes them feel “normal” and included, I’m going to feel pretty damn good. Even without a teal colored pumpkin.


Happy Halloween,
Dr. Johnny Fever






Sticky-Sweet Procrastination

So, I've discovered that when I'm procrastinating on writing (usually, this means I have to figure something out mentally so I don't tend to panic), I don't always do things that are necessarily unproductive. I sometimes, hallelujah, finish things I've been fiddling with for a while. For instance, this Sticky-Sweet Duo.

My new duo (I love that term) holds inside two stories previously only available through a pay site. Now they're available to anyone. Huzzah!

Why sticky-sweet? Well, I'll let my intro posted below explain that.

Happy Halloween, by the way! When you burn out on candy, maybe try something equally decadent with, hey, good news, no calories :)

Boo to you,
Sommer

Intro:

Sometimes we just want the good stuff. We want to skip the meal and head right to the sticky, sweet satisfaction of dessert. That’s what this Sticky-Sweet Duo is all about. The stories are erotic, straight forward, and definitely sticky-sweet.
 

In Project Melissa thinks she’s being subtle coveting her neighbor’s handyman. Turns out he’s on to her. Her request for a quote on some work leads him into her house, which leads them into an intense kitchen situation that’s anything but subtle.
 

In Up to No Good Bex gets a very special present from her husband Michael in honor of her recent promotion. The present’s name is Tom. And he’s an old friend of Michael’s, but a new intimate friend for Bex.
 

I hope you enjoy this indulgent duo. I know I always get excited about skipping right to dessert.
 

XOXO
Sommer Marsden
October 29, 2015


Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/20iywVj


Monday, October 26, 2015

"Ruth is No Heroine" A Guest Post by Giselle Renarde



I'm baaa-aaack...another Monday another guest post pour vous. :) Today we have Giselle Renarde talking about her newest novel "The Other Side of Ruth". Before you read her post, let us all just take a moment to admire this lovely cover...Ahh...that's better. 

Carry on. Happy Monday. Look for more current stuff here probably starting November. You don't want to miss all my NaNoWriMo rants do you? And if you're doing NaNo, make sure to look me up and friend me. I'm Sommer Marsden (of course). Bring wine and gluten free cookies and possibly a cattle prod O_o

XOXO
Sommer
 




Ruth is No Heroine
A Guest Post by Giselle Renarde

I’ve always found it strange that the main characters in romance novels are called heroes and heroines.  My characters aren’t heroic.  They haven’t pulled a single person from a burning building in the entire 9+ years I’ve been writing.  If anything, I consider most of my characters anti-heroes and anti-heroines… and none more so than Ruth from my lesbian novel The Other Side of Ruth.

Her anti-heroicness might not be obvious from the start.  She’s a pretty ordinary person: middle-aged, middle class, neither bored nor enthused by her career as a high school guidance counsellor.  It’s not until she develops a mad crush on an eccentric young woman that some might cry foul. 

Ruth is married (not entirely happily and certainly not sexfully), but when Agnes, a girl who is thirty years her junior, goes in for a kiss… Ruth can’t resist.  In that moment, she awakens to a reality she’s denied her whole life: Ruth is desperately attracted to women.

So she tells her husband she’s a lesbian and he’s very understanding and they come to an amicable agreement.  The End.  Right?

Haha, no.  That’s not how it goes.

Ruth lies, cheats, sneaks around, conceals the truth.  She doesn’t feel great about her illicit actions, but it’s easier this way.  Maybe she’s prepared to be out in the privacy of her own bedroom (when Agnes crawls through her window and into her bed, that is), but not in the world at large.

And that’s not the worst of it—not by half.  When it’s revealed that Agnes is living with a mental illness that hasn’t been properly diagnosed or treated, do you think Guidance Counsellor Ruth goes to work accessing resources? She certainly knows how. It’s what she’d do for any student at school. But for the woman she loves?  Of course not! 

When Agnes needs help, Ruth can only think of herself, of how Agnes’s problems impact her.  Love might be selfless, but relationships?  Not so much.

The older partner isn’t necessarily the more mature one.  Ruth proves that point.

Here’s the thing:  I didn’t write Ruth as a hero.  I didn’t write The Other Side of Ruth as a romance, for that matter. Do I expect readers to necessarily fall in love with Ruth? Weirdly… they just might love her despite her failings. She’s definitely human, and even strangely relatable. 

It’s entirely possible that some of us have and some of us will take kindly to a flawed character, but in the end I don’t think it matters.  I don’t think readers need to view a character as the perfect pinnacle of saintliness to care what happens to them.
I think you’ll care about Ruth’s journey. I think you’ll care about every side of Ruth.

The Other Side of Ruth is available as an ebook published by eXcessica, and also in print.

Get the paperback at http://amzn.to/1kHl9xE
Or buy from https://www.createspace.com/5794017 and use Coupon Code AN5EWZTX for $5.00 off!

Get the ebook at…





Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Janine Ashbless, Fallen Angels, The Inside Scoop and...An Exclusive Excerpt!


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

Blurb:
“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.”

Bio:
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) 



My review:


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.