Darkest Hour, fine film-making

Image resultI made one of my infrequent trips to the cinema last night, being tempted by what I’d heard about “Darkest Hour”.

And I’m glad I saw it.

Overall, I found it very entertaining, interesting, engaging, and well-acted. I also had fun spotting familiar faces in the supporting cast and extras, male actors I knew from TV shows and films.

I don’t know exactly how accurate it is in strictly historical terms, but I suspect it’s safe to assume it’s a mixture of fact, fiction, and fictionalised versions of fact. I assume it must have been, because real life doesn’t usually provide such a good and consistent narrative!

The film starts the day before Churchill was summoned by the King to be invited to form a government, and ends with his “we will fight on the beaches” speech to the House of Commons, a period of just a few weeks. I’d never appreciated how tricky it must have been for Churchill to establish himself politically after taking office, and his doing this provides the tension and drama to the storyline.

I thought Gary Oldman was outstanding. His Churchill seemed like a real person, with moments of doubt as he struggled to establish himself, with a plausible private life (Kristin Scott Thomas made an excellent Clementine Churchill), and a fondness for the odd drink. Gary’s portrayal conveyed Churchill’s mannerisms and speech patterns beautifully. His delivery of some of the speeches was simply inspiring. I know good actors can deliver good writing well, but Gary Oldman delivered very familiar words in a way which had me on the edge of my seat, eager to hear him.

Viewed as a story, I found it pretty well-written. The story started engagingly by showing us Churchill’s new secretary Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) being dropped into the deep end and having a pretty awful first day. Her character plays a useful role in much of the film, when the story moves to Churchill himself. Both characters start off in difficult situations and grow as they deal with the problems.

I recommend it highly. It’s worth seeing on the big screen, rather than waiting for it to be on DVD and streaming services.


The Prison of the Angels, the new book by Janine Ashbless … and a give-away!

To help a fellow author whose work I’ve enjoyed a great deal, I’m delighted to have Janine Ashbless as a blog guest to talk about her latest book, “The Prison of the Angels, the third and final in the “Book of the Watchers” series.

After enjoying the first two books in this series, I was eagerly awaiting the third and final one. I read it as soon as I could, and it was worth the wait!

Janine talks about finishing the series below, then there’s an excerpt from the book, and right at the bottom is a link to a give-away, a paperback copy of the book and an Amazon giftcard for £20 or $20.

This is the review I posted on Amazon, awarding it five well-deserved stars…

“Excellent story from a turbo-charged imagination

This is a romance with a lot of super-heated steam and the darkest shadows you can imagine, but I think it’s pretty good conclusion to a story which has built up a serious head of steam over the previous two books. In principle, this could be read as a stand-alone story, but I strongly enourage you to read the first two in the series. It’s imaginative, sweeping, full of twists and turns, and I genuinely had NO idea where Janine’s story was going right up until the end. She brings together myths from different cultures as well as archangels and angels who, being truly inhuman and created in a particular way, have a multitude of what we call human failings as well as unimaginable powers.


Over to Janine…

Writing “The End”

Janine Ashbless

I wrote the short story Cover Him With Darkness in 2010 (It appeared in the Red Velvet and Absinthe anthology). I was asked to turn it into a trilogy and I wrote the first novel during 2013. Now, right at the end of 2017, the final words go out to my readers. “It is finished,” to coin a phrase.

Seven years of my life … Wow.

I’m a bit bereft, to be honest!

As a trilogy I always felt that it would be one volume to set up the characters and the situation, one to dig into the consequences of their actions and the secrets they’ve all been guarding, and one to tie everything up and reel in a Happy Ever After (Maybe).  Book 3, The Prison of the Angels, has turned out to be the longest of the trilogy, because the characters and their complications multiplied with the telling — and believe me it wasn’t easy to pull them out of the hole they were determined to dig for themselves!

It could have been even longer. Even now there are things I wish I could have written about. But I didn’t want it to sprawl out into an angelic soap-opera; this plot had an arc, in three acts, and it had momentum across that arc. It had to be wrapped up. It was by far the fastest of the three to write; it knew where it was going.

And I wrote the romance of my career, I suspect. It has everything I love in Romance: high stakes, self-doubt, sacrifice, physical suffering, emotional anguish, frustrated lust… and red-hot sex, of course! It had two gorgeous guys vying for my heroine, and I fell wildly in love with both of them. I struggle to imagine topping that — certainly it’s hard to imagine bigger stakes than the End of the World.

Can I tell you a secret? Right at this moment, I’m not sure I can ever write a romance novel again. That’s genuinely unsettling for me. I feel like I’ve thrown in my best hand imaginable and I’ve nothing left; and no writer ever wants to feel that way.

But I gave it my everything. And that feels … appropriate. That’s real love.



Excerpt from The Prison of the Angels:

The cold water flashed like white fire over every inch of my skin. It burnt my eyeballs and my lips and the inside of my throat, and beyond the white fire was a darkness so immense that it swallowed me whole.

I fell forever.

Something grabbed my wrist. Something so hot that it boiled away the darkness, so that there was suddenly light flashing in my eyes. I felt myself grabbed up bodily and lifted. I felt heat against my lips, blowing fire into my frozen lungs. I saw the wooden posts of a flight of steps, and then I pitched forward onto hands and knees in the shallow snow, choking up pond-water. In front of my blurred vision an inchoate swirl of darkness poured up the steps onto the lit porch and then disappeared. Unseen, something slammed against the door, a knock that made the house shake.

I was on the ground beneath the back porch of John’s house, I realized, shuddering.

Mama. Oh Mama. The thought seemed to come from nowhere.

Three times the knock sounded, and on the third the door burst open—outward, onto the porch—to reveal Egan in the lit room within; shaven, shirtless, and frozen mid-lunge for what I could only assume was a weapon of some sort.

He stared.

I tried to cry out.


Grabbing his pistol he ran out barefoot onto the porch and looked around for enemies that were not there. Then he clattered down and pulled me up into his arms. I pressed my face to his neck and he carried me up the steps and over the threshold—not like a bride, but like a child he could hold tight against his torso, his wrists locked under my thighs. His skin blazed against mine. He hefted me into the kitchen and propped my ass on the table in front of the range.

“What the hell?” he demanded in a low fierce voice, sweeping locks of sodden hair back from my face. My hat seemed to have disappeared. “What happened, Milja? What were you doing out there?”

“Ice. I fell in the lake.” My jaw chattered. It was obvious I was telling the truth—I was soaked from head to toe, and after clasping me so close he wasn’t much drier himself.

“Feckssake, woman!” he growled. “What the hell were you thinking of?” He shucked off my coat, which lifted a sodden ton from my shoulders, then stooped to pull my boots off; ice-water spilt all over the floor.

I tried to strip off my gloves but my fingers weren’t capable of gripping anything.

“Come here, come here,” he said softly from where he knelt at my feet, grabbing my wrists and peeling away the useless gloves. He pressed my hands on either side of his warm neck, holding them there. They must have felt like ice-blocks to him, but he didn’t wince.

He looked like a knight kneeling before his queen, I thought. I could feel his pulse.

“I’ll go get towels, Milja. Are you going to be okay a sec?”

I nodded, though he probably couldn’t see it through the shuddering. He rose and hurried off, leaving me with the radiant warmth of the stove. I thought I should probably get the rest of my clothes off, but even after I struggled with my fly zipper my jeans seemed determined to cling to my bum-cheeks.

I heard the back door bang shut and I flinched.


Had he been gathering himself to come get Egan? Was he the one who had saved me from the black waters? Where was he now?

Egan came back in carrying armfuls of towels. “Alright?”

“I’m okay,” I told him, smiling through my shudders. He was still shirtless, and I could see the faint Ethiopian scars on his arm and chest.

He wrapped my hands one at a time in a towel, chaffed them dry, and then set them deliberately against the hard, hot wall of his torso.

Oh God.

Then he slipped all the buttons on my thick flannel shirt—the one I’d chosen this morning precisely because it wasn’t provocative or distracting—and he only slowed when he realized I was wearing just a bra-top underneath. My nipples stood in shamefully hard points under the stretch cotton. I tried to wriggle out of the long tartan sleeves of my shirt on my own, to spare his blushes, but everything clung like a freezing cold second skin and he had to help.

The shallow slash on my forearm wasn’t bleeding anymore, but each brush of his fingers felt like hot coals.

My wet garment made a slap as it struck the floor.

He draped a towel around my shoulders and another over my head. He started rubbing the water from my face and hair and scalp, his movements precise and gentle. For long moments I was buried in a soft darkness. I reached out, blind, to put my hands back on his bare ribs. I could feel his heart pounding beneath them, like a beast pacing a cage.

I have no idea when it all changed for him. When his grueling self-denial simply fell apart, like a garment worn and washed until the fabric was weakened beyond all use. All I knew was that he dropped the towel off my damp head, cupped my face in both his hands and—absolutely without warning—kissed me.


Milja Petak’s world has fallen apart.

2016-1093 Janine Ashbless b03

Her lover, the fallen angel Azazel, has cast her aside in rage and disgust. The other contender for her heart, the Catholic priest Egan Kansky, was surrendered back into the hands of the shadowy Vatican organization, Vidimus, after sustaining life-threatening injuries.

She has killed and she has betrayed. She is alone, homeless, and at the end of her tether – torn apart by guilt and the love she has lost.

But neither Heaven nor its terrifying representatives on Earth have finished with Milja.

Both her lovers need her in order to further their very different plans, and both passionately need her, though they may try to deny it.

Milja is once again forced into a series of choices as she uncovers the secrets Heaven has been guarding for centuries. But this time it is not just her heart at stake, or even the fate of a fallen angel.

This time, the choices she makes will change everything.

This time it’s the End of the World.

The Prison of the Angels is the third in the acclaimed Book of the Watchers trilogy, following on from Cover Him with Darkness, and In Bonds of the Earth.

Buy links:




Google Play

Barnes and Noble


Author bio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try “Cover Him with Darkness,” “Heart of Flame,” or “The King’s Viper.” If you prefer challenging erotica, go for “Red Grow the Roses” or “Named and Shamed” instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. 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’.

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

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)

Author Links:

Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/

Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless

Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk



Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/janine-ashbless-4/



Finally Found, a new short FF romance from Lucy Felthouse

I’m delighted to help fellow British writer Lucy Felthouse promote her new publication, a short FF adult romance called “Finally Found”.

I’ve read the story and really enjoyed it – a nice “quick read”. The subtitle “A Lesbian Friends to Lovers Short Story” sums it up perfectly. Two British female friends, both lesbians, meet up in London for a girl’s get-together. Two British lesbians, long-term friends, meet up in London for a girl’s get-together. The two characters came across as plausible and different, and the emotional angst will be familiar to anyone who’s quietly longed for a friendship to be far more than that. The love scene is nicely done, and flows as logical part of the story, but the story is very much about these two friends.

Finally Found Cover


Natalia has been in love with her best friend Ashleigh for years, ever since they were housemates at university. Unfortunately, circumstances, and then Natalia’s unwillingness to jeopardise their friendship, mean that she has never confessed her feelings, choosing instead to be grateful for the close relationship they do have. However, on a weekend away together, a bottle or two of wine and an erotic book place the girls in a highly charged sexual situation. Will Natalia make a move, or is she too afraid to rock the boat and risk losing Ashleigh altogether?




Please note: This story was previously published as part of the Lover Unexpected: Sappho Edition anthology.

Available from:

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/finallyfound

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finally-found-lucy-felthouse/1127213165?ean=2940154581544

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finally-found/id1295030753?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/finally-found-6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/752769?ref=cw1985

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36401551-finally-found



Natalia smiled as she caught sight of the familiar redhead sitting at a table in the hotel bar. Thankful for the thick carpet masking her footsteps, she walked up behind her friend, ensuring she wouldn’t be seen. Then she slipped her hands over her eyes. “Guess who?”

An excitable squeak, then, “Oh, I don’t know. Is it Scarlett Johansson?”

“Hmm, close, but not quite. Guess again.”

“Oh, shut up you silly cow, and come here.” With that, the redhead stood and turned, throwing her arms around Natalia and pulling her into a tight hug. “Hey, gorgeous. I missed you! How are you?”

“I missed you too, Ashleigh. I’m good, thanks. How about you? You look great.”

Disentangling from their embrace, Ashleigh looked down at her clingy black top and skinny jeans and shrugged. “Thanks. I’m okay, I guess. All the better for seeing you. It’s been forever. Come on, sit down. Let’s get a drink.”

They sat down, and a waiter appeared. Natalia suspected he’d been waiting at a safe distance until they’d finished their enthusiastic greeting.

He smiled. “What can I get you ladies?”

Natalia looked at her watch. “You know what, it’s Saturday and it’s after twelve. I’ll have a glass of white wine, please. Something mid-range and not too dry.”

Ashleigh piped up. “Make it a bottle. Thanks.”

The waiter nodded, gave a little bow and walked away.

“So,” Natalia said, settling back into the plush armchair, “how was your journey? I always find getting into London a total nightmare, but it’s not so bad once you’re here. The Tube may be sweaty and crowded, but at least it’s fast.”

Ashleigh nodded. “It was all right, actually. The train into the city was on time and not very busy, and, like you say, the Tube is quick and easy. It was pretty stress-free. You?”

“Much the same. I’m just glad we’re finally here. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we’ve seen each other. It’s so easy to forget that when we talk almost every day.”

“I know. I’m sorry. It’s just life gets in the way, doesn’t it? Especially as we live so far apart. And then there was all that stuff with Kayla…” Ashleigh lapsed into silence and dropped her gaze to the table.

Natalia didn’t know how to respond to that, so she just nodded sagely. Kayla had been Ashleigh’s live-in girlfriend, until the discovery of some text messages and emails tipped Ashleigh off that she was being cheated on. Despite all of Kayla’s pleas and declarations of true and undying love, Ashleigh had no intention of being a doormat, so she’d thrown Kayla out, and that was the end of it.

Of course, Natalia had known that Kayla was going to be thrown out before Kayla did. As soon as Ashleigh had found the incriminating missives, she’d gotten straight on the phone to Natalia for advice. And as much as Natalia wanted to tell her friend to get the hell rid of the cheating bitch, she also wanted her to be happy, so instead she’d asked Ashleigh if she thought she was being too hasty.

“Fuck no,” Ashleigh had replied, “as far as I’m concerned, she’s destroyed my trust. Once that happens things are never the same, so it’s not worth it. And if I meant that much to her, she wouldn’t have done it, would she?”


Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter


Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.


For Sparrow, by Pandora Spocks

For Sparrow, the third book in Pandora Spock’s The Dream Dominant Collection will be released on October 3, 2017. It’s a steamy erotic romance with a light BDSM theme, told in 96,000 words. The rather striking cover was designed by Linzi Basset.

I’ve read another of Pandora’s books, Just One Night, which I enjoyed and reviewed on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’ve already pre-ordered For Sparrow and will post reviews once I’ve read it. There’s a generous pre-release price, if you like the sound of this story!



When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated.  He’s the only man she’s ever loved.  Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years.  Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.


But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.

Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend.  But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship.  With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her.  At her husband’s funeral.

A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking.  But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.

Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi.  She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies.  In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive.  But that’s simply ridiculous.  He’s five years younger than she is.  He couldn’t possibly be interested in her.  Could he?

Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom.  It’s perfect for the time being.  Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?

And could it all end at the hands of a madman?

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT SPECIAL PRICE OF 0.99 at this Universal Link: books2read.com/ForSparrow

An excerpt:

Jessi’s hands shook.  With her index finger, she traced the writing on the front of the envelope.  She glanced out the back door to see Judd kick off his shoes and sit on the edge of the pool, sinking his feet in the water.  Buddy flopped down beside him and rolled over, wanting his tummy scratched, and Judd obliged.

She turned her attention back to the envelope.  Her irrational self told her that if she didn’t open it, somehow everything could go back to normal.  But curiosity won the moment, and she slid her thumb under the flap and carefully opened the letter.

My dearest Sparrow,

I’m so sorry I’m not there with you.  I can feel my heart beginning to wear out.  Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you, I know how you worry about things.  We’ve had a good life together.  I’ve told you before and I’m telling you again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me.  The fact that you are the mother of my children amazes the hell out of me.  What did I ever do to deserve such a terrific family?

Jessi reached up to wipe a silent tear from her cheek.  Self-consciously, she flicked her eyes out to the pool deck to find that Judd was watching her intently, and he flashed a sympathetic smile.  Sniffing, she read on.

It would be pointless, I suppose, to tell you not to mourn.  Just don’t do it too long.  And don’t you dare wear black.  God, I hate all that maudlin bullshit.  Now Sparrow, you and I know that you are a natural submissive.  I don’t want you to feel lost without a Dominant in your life.  I want you to find one, a true Gentleman who will cherish you in the way you deserve.  One who will nurture the sexy, sensual woman you truly are.  Don’t you go back to some kind of vanilla half-existence.  That would really piss me off. 

Tears still streaming, she laughed because she could almost hear Graham’s voice.

If you have this letter, you’ve met Judd.  I’ve known him for several years now, and he’s a solid Dominant.  I’ve asked him to check in on you and to take care of some things around the house.  I’ve also asked him to help you out until you find a Dominant of your own.  Judd is willing to give you knee time, Sparrow, to help you settle your mind and find peace.  I don’t mean sex and kink.  He would be a sort of ‘emotional Dominant,’ just until you get back on your feet.

On the other hand, if you found yourself attracted to Judd, it would make me happy knowing that you’d be in good hands.  He’s a good man, Jessi, a gentle man and a Gentleman.  He would be a perfect sexual Dominant for you.  I worry thinking about the dangers out there, Sparrow.  You and Judd could make your own way. 

Mortified, Jessi glanced out the back door.  Thankfully, Judd was staring out across the pool.  “I can’t believe you’re telling me these things,” she murmured to herself.

Anyway, I trust you, Sparrow.  You’re smart and strong, and I’m so proud of you.  Never forget that you are absolutely the love of my life.  I’m forever grateful to you for taking my hard, stuffy heart and helping me to be a better man than I ever dreamed about being.  Be sure the kids know how much I love them.  I love you, my Sparrow, with all my heart.  Live happy.  Find love and cherish it.

Your loving husband and Master, G.

Jessi was completely undone.  Sobbing, she folded her arms on the counter and rested her head on them.  She cried until she felt she had no tears left.  Moments passed and she raised her head.  It hurt and her eyes felt puffy.  With a glance at Judd and Buddy still sitting by the pool, she went into the powder room and splashed water on her face.

Taking a deep breath, she forced her feet out the back door and across the pool deck.  Judd smiled up at her kindly.  “How are you holding up?”

Jessi shrugged as she stepped out of her sandals and sat beside him, slipping her feet into the cool water.  They sat without speaking, each gently sliding feet through the water, watching the ripples cross the pool and return to them.  Judd moved his foot under her leg and raised her foot to the surface.  The fuchsia nail polish was chipped and peeling.

“How long since you had a pedicure, Jessi?” he asked gently.

She moved her foot away and looked at him sharply.  “What exactly did your letter say, Judd?”

He exhaled forcefully.  “Like I said, he was worried about you.  He said that you’re submissive and that you might need somebody in your life until you find your way.”  He glanced at her knowingly.  “When was the last time your mind was quiet, little one?”

A tear slid down Jessi’s cheek and she swiped at it roughly.  “So, you’re my appointed Dominant, is that it?” she asked testily.

“It’s not like that.”  Judd looked at her steadily.  “Graham and I were friends.  We talked about Dominance and submission for hours over the years.  He trusted me.  Trusted me with the one thing that meant the most to him in the world.”

He paused, gazing at her thoughtfully.  “He didn’t want you to run into the wrong kind of man while you’re looking to ease your mind, to fill that emptiness that I see in your eyes.”  Jessi stubbornly looked away and swiped at her cheek again.

“You know, it’s entirely up to you.  I’m going to complete the list of things around your house.  I promised him I would.  But whether you accept me as a surrogate Dominant?  Only you can decide that.”

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair.  “You miss knee time, I know you do,” he said softly.  “A chance to just let go of all the concerns that weigh you down.”  Jessi turned back to look at him, her expression softer.  “I’m not talking about kinky sex, tying you up and all that.  I’m offering you a chance to clear your mind of everything, let me carry your burdens for a while.”

“Why?  Why would you do that?”  Her voice was strained.

Judd shrugged.  “I’m Dominant.  It’s what I crave, to be needed, to take care of a submissive.”  He laughed lightly.  “I’m a Dominant without a submissive, and you’re a submissive without a Dominant.  For the time being, it works out well.”

He gazed at her steadily, kindness in his brown eyes.  “Just say the word.  Do you want knee time, little one?”

Another tear rolled down her cheek.  And she nodded.  “Yes,” she whispered.  “I want knee time.”

He smiled patiently.  “Yes, what, little one?”

“Yes, Master.”

Judd shook his head.  “I’m not your Master, little one.  Yes, Sir will do.”

Unconsciously, Jessi bowed her head submissively.  “Yes, Sir, may I please have knee time?”

“Yes, you may,” he responded gently.  “There is a big leather chair in your den.  Be kneeling beside the chair in two minutes.  Your eyes will be closed and you will clear your mind.  Do you understand, little one?”

“Yes, Sir.”  Jessi stood and started to walk away, but then turned and looked at him anxiously.  “My clothes, Sir?”

“Your clothes are fine the way they are,” he answered.  “Hurry.  I’ll come to you shortly.”

“Yes, Sir,” she said, and she hurried into the house.



Author Bio:

Pandora Spocks is a sassy ginger and hopeless romantic, living her happily ever after in South Florida.

Pandora has had stories pinballing around in her head for years. At one point, she spent hours daydreaming in Mrs. Howe’s ninth grade algebra class. She didn’t learn much algebra, but she had some really good ideas. Recently she decided to try her hand at sharing those stories with others.

She enjoys reading and writing literary erotic romance.  She is the author of the three-novel epic romance Rannigan’s Redemption, and a naughty little romantic novella, Just One NightFor Sparrow joins Luke & Bella and Lost & Bound as the third book in The Dream Dominant Collection, a series of light BDSM stand-alone novels.

Pandora is currently at work on her next spicy romance.

Connect with Pandora:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PandoraSpocksAuthor/
Pandora’s Passionista Paradise: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PandorasPassionistas/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PandoraSpocksWP
Website: https://PandoraSpocksAuthor.com
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2u03Gcm
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pandora.spocks.author/
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2se6T2Z
Pandora’s Box Unleashed Newsletter: (Sign up and get a free book!) https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EvsRs



I’m always intrigued by the wide variety of ideas people come up with for stories. How do they think of them?

Yes, of course there are strong similarities in many genres. Where would a billionaire erotic romance be without (a) a kinky and implausibly young billionaire, and (b) an innocent young lady with an unsuspected taste for being spanked?

And let’s face it, most romance stories are broadly similar. Boy meets girl and they  overcome hassles before finding true love. Said hassles might be a love rival, abduction, being involved in a war, family or cultural hostilities, misunderstandings, being separated by cruel fate, or simply not liking each other to start with. But if they met, fell in love and lived happily ever after, who’d want to read it?

I’m sure you know how the modern detective is almost required to have some personal problems, like over-fondness for drink, sex or gambling, a missing limb or a personality fault.

The classic crime thrillers actually had rules to be followed. SS Van Dine listed twenty in 1928, and Ronald Knox published ten in 1929. These are still broadly followed, for instance in the popular British “Midsomer Murders” TV series. Even though these are contemporary, they seem to be set sometime in the past, and often revolve around a rich but dysfunctional and mad family, or a village/community/club generously stuffed with slightly potty people.

But writers still need some inspiration for a story, whether it follows genre conventions or not. They need characters, events, and a story arc. Readers enjoy following the adventures as the characters experience things and develop, and hopefully feel satisfied when the story ends.

Some of my stories are probably inspired by others I’ve read or watched, even if I can’t actually remember them. But some ideas seem to come completely out of the blue, or grow from an idea for character, a phrase, or even by writing the story to suit an ending I’ve thought of. I’ve even had an idea from my local paper’s “police report” column, about which I will say no more until I’ve written it!

Many writers admit to using family, friends and acquaintances as the basis for characters. Real people are a great source of the sort of mannerisms and patterns of speech which could really bring a character to life for a reader. And thinking about how to briefly describe them in writing is an interesting exercise too.

I’ve created two characters based on real people. One was a former manager, whose literary alter-ego has an, er, colourful demise. But that’s nothing to do with our unhappy working relationship…

The other character appeared briefly in my third novella. About 20 years ago, I saw a report on my local TV news show about a second-world-war Spitfire which had just been converted to a two-seater. The team involved tracked down a delightful elderly gentleman who’d actually flown that very aircraft in the later stages of the war, and invited him to take a flight. The brief interview he gave afterwards has  stuck in my mind ever since. He said it was just like it had been when he was a young man, except it didn’t smell of fear.

I’ve not thought of a story where I can really explore how I feel about his comments. Well, not yet.

If you’ve seen the film “Shakespeare In Love”, you may recall a brief scene where Shakespeare walks through London and overhears snatches of conversation, all of which are well-known from his plays. A nice idea for an amusing short scene. I don’t believe for a second that the Bard “invented” all the words which appeared for the first known time in his writing, but he had an awesome knack for putting them together in ways which still work four hundred years later.

But that’s not a bad idea, keeping your ears open and making notes before you forget.

My wife was once given directions to a conference being hosted in a museum. The phrase “turn right at the elephant” certainly stuck in her mind. And I’ve used it in one of my own flash-fiction stories, too.

I’ve used another example in a draft novella I’m working on, inspired by a real-life conversation where someone said something which all-too-easily be taken to mean that her sister’s late husband had been put down by a vet.

I noted a brief conversation a couple of years which I’d love to use, but it’s a challenging to find a suitable context. But I will. I walked past some burlesque dancers chatting during a break between performances and overheard one of them say, “He wanted her to ride in on a pony, bareback and only wearing a tangerine thong. I mean, you just can’t do it.”

Is it me?

What’s the problem with tangerine?


“Out of the Darkness”, the new book by Juliette Banks

“Out of the Darkness”, an erotic romance by Juliette Banks, has just been published by Blushing Books.

This book was previously published with the same title but a different cover, under the author name of Rachel de Vine.

I’ve read and enjoyed two other books by this author, “The Artist” and “The Russian Bride”. I’ve already purchased this one and will post reviews as soon as I’ve read it.

Buy links:

Amazon US : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B074W9S9SF

Amazon UK : www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074W9S9SF

Out of the Darkness Cover 3“A man could go to war in defence of a body like yours, you know. You hold most men in the palm of your hand.”

The missing father; the predatory stepfather; the abusive lover; they all let her down.

She is one of the most beautiful and photographed women in the world.

She lives the life many young girls dream about.

But sometimes the dream and the reality don’t match up.

William, a powerful and charismatic Dom, who excites her like no other man before, steps into her life.

Will he be different from the others?

Will he recognize her need for loving submission?

“I can’t keep traipsing three miles every time I want to spank that delectable little behind of yours.”


First excerpt…

I’m not sure that even I know the real me. My life had changed so often since I’d been ‘discovered’ at the tender age of fifteen, while walking down the King’s Road in Chelsea, and within two years I was pictured on the covers of all the glossy magazines. It all happened so quickly. One day I was a fairly ordinary London schoolgirl, and the next I was travelling the world and being wined and dined by the world’s glitterati. Then there were the men. Mostly, they were older, successful and wealthy men who bought me champagne and dinner and then thought they owned me. Some of them were very powerful, men you would not want to cross for fear of the consequences. A few were kind, but many were not. I sometimes wondered if the fault lay with me. Did I do or say things to attract the wrong type of man? Did I give off the wrong vibes, or was I simply unlucky? I had no idea.

The working life of most models is quite short; youth and beauty being such transient states. Make the most of it, was the advice I often received, especially by older models who knew that there were always younger and prettier women to take their place. Many of the girls, if they didn’t make it right to the top where the serious money was made, adopted the other route of marrying wealthy men. It wasn’t always a guaranteed success. I knew of several older models who had given up the catwalk and married such men, some of whom turned out to be serial philanderers. They became second or third wives, and probably realised with a sinking heart that they were destined eventually to be replaced, as their predecessors had been.

I had a few love affairs, but I had never fallen in love. I saw most for what they were, men who viewed a beautiful woman as another symbol of their success, like expensive sports cars, yachts, and luxury villas. I tried to stay away from that sort of man, but I wasn’t always clever enough to spot the ones who should be avoided at all costs. They didn’t all look like Russian gangsters.

“Oh I work hard, but I play hard, too. Do you play hard, Marianne?”

I want to see you (Twitter 1)

Second excerpt…

The man who introduced me to the ‘darker arts,’ as I often referred to them, was Leon, a French multi-millionaire who invited me for dinner, which turned out to be on his yacht in the Mediterranean. He sent his private jet to transport me from London to St Tropez.

“Isn’t this rather a long way to go for dinner?” I asked, telling him that I had a fashion shoot in Paris the following day.

“Not at all, ma chère. I will fly you down tomorrow at mid-day. We can have dinner on the yacht and you can stay overnight. In the morning I’ll have my plane fly you to Paris. I’ll n’y a pas de problème.”

Leon had a very slight air of menace to him, even though he was handsome beyond words, and I hesitated briefly. He leaned over and kissed me gently on the lips and, in a moment of insanity I accepted his invitation.

The yacht was enormous and very luxurious. He had a chef cook us a magnificent dinner and serve it on the private deck that lay outside his personal quarters where, he informed me, only very special people are invited. It was obvious that the price of dinner was to be sex, but it was to be of a type I had never encountered before, even if other men had hinted at it from time to time.

We drank champagne and the heady mix of that, together with the velvety Mediterranean night air and the gentle rocking of the boat, made me lower my defences. When he stood and took my hand and led me into his cabin, I offered no resistance at all.

I was wearing just a simple, silk shift, with spaghetti straps and a thong. It took a second for Leon’s practised hands to remove my dress, which fluttered down around my feet. He bent and kissed my breasts and ran his hands over my bottom.

“You are so beautiful. Do you understand how you make men wild with lust when they see you?” He didn’t seem to expect an answer to his question.

Was it to be pleasure or pain this time, or perhaps a combination of both, given in the way that only he can?

 Books from Rachel de Vine_Juliette Banks


I asked Juliette to tell us a bit about herself…

I write erotic romance as both Juliette Banks and Rachel de Vine, and love to write about sensual, romantic and erotic characters who lead interesting lives, and who often have to overcome challenges along the way. I prefer to write erotic romance, rather than straight erotica, because I am essentially a romantic person, but I also like to involve my characters in an exciting life of dominance and submission at different levels.

I am British, love the rural life and live in a beautiful home in the middle of the rolling English countryside. I also like to travel around the world from time to time, and have visited some beautiful and exciting places on the way. I am forever grateful that I was born in a place and at a time to take advantage of the freedoms and pleasures that are still denied to many people of the world. We must never take such freedom for granted.

Contact details:

Amazon Author Page                            http://amzn.to/2vNL39e

You Tube Channel                                   http://bit.ly/2v2oHUe

Facebook page                                          http://bit.ly/2u33KUE

Twitter                                                        http://bit.ly/2tHub2v

All Author                                                   http://bit.ly/2vczFXJ

Website                                                       http://bit.ly/2vc12B5









Sinful Pleasures could soon be yours to enjoy…

Okay, a deliberately cheeky title!

I’m sharing some advance publicity for an anthology called Sinful Pleasures, which is available for pre-order. The release date will be 20th August 2017.

I was immediately struck by the strong cover image, and am now rather intrigued by the idea of trying out some variations on that idea myself as a photographic project.

I enjoy reading anthologies, as the stories are all varied and I can sample the work of “new to me” writers. And this one includes stories by two writers whose work I’ve already enjoyed.

The invitation to share this publicity on my blog was accompanied by the offer of a copy to review. I took them up on this, even though I’d have happily purchased a copy, on the agreement that I’d post an honest personal review, which follows…

With this anthology, Sinful Press have drawn together eleven quite varied stories of different lengths, all engaging, erotic and imaginative. The stories include some which are plausibly real-life, one which hints at being a horror story, and another which is almost paranormal.

I always find it difficult reviewing anthologies, because it seems unfair for me to pick out my favourite story. I know fully well that it’s my personal choice, and others would say another is their favourite. And I think they’re all good. But “The Pier By Night” by Janine Ashbless was the one which struck me most, at several levels.

A five-star read as far as I’m concerned.

Sinful Pleasures: An Anthology of Erotic Tales by Sinful Press (@sinfulpress)


Sinful Press welcomes you to lose yourself in Sinful Pleasures.

Join us as we weave our way from mainstream erotic romance to surreal sex-filled dreamscapes and everything in between, created by some of the best new and established voices in the erotica genre – Janine Ashbless, Ella Scandal, Sonni de Soto, Jo Henny Wolf, Lily Harlem, Lady Divine, Gail Williams, Samantha MacLeod, Tony Fyler, Ellie Barker, and Lisa McCarthy.





Excerpt from On The Line by Sonni de Soto

If he wanted to call her, he could call her.

He didn’t have to wait for her.

Decisively, he reached for his phone and began to dial.

She answered on the first ring. “Twenty minutes past nine.” Danielle tsked. “I always wondered how long it would take for you to call me.” Even over the phone, he could practically hear her shrug. “Twenty minutes sounds about right.”

“So this was a test?” He raised an eyebrow, not sure he liked the idea of that.

“Not a test, per se.” Her throaty voice was a soothing purr that, despite his efforts, did calm his irritation. Which was kind of irritating in and of itself. “More of an experiment. To shake things up a bit.”

“Shake things up how?” He harrumphed back against his headboard.

“We’re in a rut, Christopher.” She sighed with an audible shake of her head. “We’ve got to Columbus our way out of this.”

A rut? They were in a rut? Chris frowned and adjusted his glasses. He supposed that, sure, they’d both been a little tired lately. A little overworked and stressed. But a rut? “How are we supposed to do that?”

“Close your eyes,” she urged into the phone.

He huffed a bit, pouting, but did as she asked. It was, after all, a simple request. “Okay.”

“Imagine us,” her voice whispered in his ear. “Imagine us in your room. On your bed.”

Chris let out a sigh and tried. His mind focused, picturing her painted and so-mobile mouth forming her words. He thought about her tongue, slick and sly, as it slid across those lips, leaving a sheen in its wake. Chris let his mind remember the taste of her kiss, an utterly illogical mix of heated want and cool mint.

He imagined the familiar flush that always swept over her cheeks right before he took her mouth, that visible sign of her excitement that never failed to fuel his own. He knew that a blush like that could travel down her neck, her shoulder, her spine in a tickled shiver with the simplest touch.

And then there, in his room, on his bed, in his mind, like magic, she was laid seductive and stretched-out before him. He imagined the dark fall of curls that clouded around her face and shoulders, framing bared, bronzed skin perfectly.

His hands itched to grab the curves of her body. The swell of her sweeping hips. The pointed tips of her delectable breasts. The length of her long legs. The soft spread of sun-ripened skin, that always held the sweet scent of citrus, over the generous lushness of her body.

He could hear his own breath rasp as his mind transported her from her dorm room to the foot of his bed.

“Good,” he heard her coo in his ear. “Now that you have me there, whatever will you do with me?” Her mockingly naïve tone left him feeling provoked and promised.


Sinful Pleasures will be available through all main online bookstores in print and digital on the 20th of August.

Pre-order links:

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/SPebookAmazon

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/SPiBooks

Google Play: http://smarturl.it/SPGoogle

Barnes and Noble: http://smarturl.it/SPBandN

Kobo: http://smarturl.it/SPKobo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35452279-sinful-pleasures


Pre-order blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.