We first met Janine Ashbless at an in-store event at our Hoxton shop – US author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel was in town, and Janine Ashbless were amongst the exciting authors reading on the night.
We melted at her hot story, of course, and we are thrilled to have Janine launch her new book Cover Him with Darkness at Sh! next month!
We asked Janine to tell us about how her new book came about…
Another Goddamn Angel Romance?
I never wanted to write genre romance – I wanted to write erotica. I wanted to write dark and dirty. I wanted to write no-holds-barred-turned-on. I wanted to write stories that had no guaranteed happy ending, that weren’t predictable, that could shock and surprise readers not just with their erotic detail, but with where their plots went to.
So I did. I wrote three collections of erotic stories. I wrote a brutal vampire novel (Red Grow the Roses) and an inexcusably filthy fairy tale (Named and Shamed) and several other fantasy/paranormal novels. And during this time I discovered that sometimes romance is a brilliant driver for an erotic plot. Sometimes it works perfectly!
Because romance messes with your head. It makes you take giant risks. It makes you lose your grip on common sense. It can make you sacrifice everything, or it can drive you to do terrible things to other people.
What if there was a fallen angel imprisoned beneath your family home? What if God Himself had given your family the task of keeping him there in torment forever? What if that was the only way the world was kept safe from a power beyond anything human?
And then what if you fell in love with him? Would you risk your life, and your family’s lives, and your immortal soul?
Lust might drive you to abuse your position – but only love could make you set that angel free.
So that is how my novel Cover Him with Darkness came to be written. Innocent, kind-hearted Milja risks everything for the fallen angel Azazel. Azazel becomes obsessed, sexually and emotionally, with Milja. Love is what drives the plot. Love is what makes the world fall apart. Love wrecks everything.
So it’s a romance, I guess. But not as the genre normally knows it.
Janine Ashbless will be launching Cover Him with Darkness at Sh! Hoxton on 18th October, 6.30pm-8.00pm. She will be appearing in a double-bill of reading and treats with Kristina Lloyd, author of erotic thriller Undone. All welcome!
“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.”
“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 Wolf Tales
“In a remote part of Europe, a priest keeps a dark secret beneath his chapel: an imprisoned angel. The priest’s daughter is determined to free him even though she risks her family, her life, and her soul.”
“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? Can 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. Janine Ashbless amazed me over and over again with her presentation of the sort of tribal religious mystique of Montenegro and especially with her detail of its jagged scenery. I felt I was on a tour and actually bearing witness to the stunning mountainous landscape-I walked along the narrowest of goat trails, could feel the drafty little church atop its cold mountain, taste the bean soup… and the dream sequences between it all?… help me. No… Gimme.”
-Rose Caraway, author of The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica
“One of the hands-down masters; Janine Ashbless showed me that erotica can be literature.”
– Violet Blue
Want to find out mare about Janine Ashbless? Of course you do! Here’s where to go: