Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Abyssinia'll later folks!

The rock-hewn Church of St George, Lalibela

... because I'm off on an *ahem* research trip to Ethiopia. The sequel to Cover Him with Darkness is partly set there, and that's all the excuse I need!

Back in a fortnight :-)

Monday, 2 March 2015

Blue Monday - Terrance Aldon Shaw guests

Every Monday I post a filthy excerpt for your entertainment!

This week's guest post is from the story Mr Friday's Midlife Crisis: an erotic entertainment by Terrance Aldon Shaw. And since this is going to have to tide you over for two Blue Mondays, it's a double-length treat :-)




Sami:

     “Sit on the bed.” Mr. Friday’s all business, “Put your legs together, and don’t move them apart.”

     He adjusts her limbs, fussing over the naked girl until her legs and torso form a rigid L in profile atop the mattress.

     “The Japanese call this wakamezake; I was introduced to it by a particularly talented Geisha girl on Okinawa. Over there they use saki. I prefer a good aged Scotch.”

     The old man uncorks an expensive-looking bottle.

     “Don’t move a muscle,” he commands, “This is single malt, and I’m not wasting a drop.”

     Slowly, carefully, he begins to pour the whiskey over her breasts. Sam can feel her nipples hardening as the warm liquid trickles down through the narrow channel of her cleavage and over her tummy, pooling in the natural basin between her tightly clenched thighs.

     “Very nice.” Mr. F bends down to lap up the fluid that now engulfs her mound.

     It feels fantastic, especially as he begins to preen the dregs, simultaneously whipping her clit into a state of adamant delight. He holds the throbbing bud between his lips for a few seconds, creating a painful vacuum, and with it, an almost unendurable ecstasy. Sami cries out as he releases her, though she resists the temptation to grab his head or stroke his hair or touch him in any way—all the little gestures of encouragement that come so naturally. She must retreat into herself in order to maintain control—must think of other things if she is to keep from coming. Tonight she is his Geisha girl and will not disappoint; will not move till he orders it.

     He works his way up her torso, imbibing the essence of twelve-year-old Glenlivet on her skin; licking the damp residue from her belly, slurping up the puddle formed in the miniature shot glass of her navel; tasting the tiny droplets that fall from her swollen nipples, kissing the fiery nectar from her breasts. He raises his head, looks her in the eye; brings his mouth close to hers.

     Sami opens to him slowly, lips forming a perfect ‘o,’ wetted invitingly with the tip of her tongue. “Just this once?” she murmurs, her voice a sibilant caress, words like the tickle of a soft feather, so low and still as to barely trouble the air.

     “Hm,” he appears to consider the prospect for a moment; frowns, looks away. “Why?”

     “Because . . . maybe it might be fun?”

     “It’s rather . . . intimate.”

     “Yes.”

     “Beg for it, then. I want to hear you.”

     “Yes.” She takes his hand and guides it to her inner thigh; lays her cheek against his so that he can feel the subtone of her soft plaintive whispers vibrating deep in his loins.

     “I’ve been saving for something—ever since that first night at the old hotel downtown. I thought that once I’d made enough to get what I wanted everything would go back to the way it was . . . before; with my life; with school; my boyfriend and all that . . .”

     “But?”

     “I had enough money three weeks ago.”

     “Meaning?”

     “Meaning . . . that tonight you can have me for free—I’ll give myself to you for nothing, only—”

     “Only . . . what?”

     Sami is breathless, undone; a feverish urgency invading her tone as if she’s about to climax.

     “I want to do it face to face. I want you to look me in the eye while we fuck. Oh my God! I want to see your expression when you’re about to come. And, just this once,” she breathes, “oh, please, yes! I want you to come inside me.”

     “Is that all?” He pushes her down to the mattress, pinning her arms above her head. “Shall I order room service, too?”

     “Just fuck me,” Sami spreads her legs, “Fuck me like the world ends at midnight.”



Dustin:


The camera zooms in on her face; the image repeated a dozen times, filling the bank of monitors in the security center, now a wall of erotic icons, stacked in neat immutable symmetry; three horizontal rows of four; four vertical columns of three. It reminds Dustin of an Andy Warhol print he saw once in a book. He stands in front of the screens, despising himself for being so turned on; staring, awe-struck, a small-town hick getting his first taste of big-city porn, belt and fly undone as he coaxes his pole to rigid life; the new instrument of his hate.

     There’s no sound, no closed captioning; but it hardly takes a lip reader to guess what Sami’s saying to the old man; no mistaking what “fuck me” looks like, even viewed in infrared. There’s the way the flesh surrounding the mouth puffs out ever so slightly to release the initial ‘fffff’ on a narrow stream of breath; the little explosion as the lips jerk apart to form the ‘uh’ sound, and the quick sharp click of the ‘ck’ between the roof of the mouth and the back of the tongue; then, the subtly kissable upside-down smile, after-image of ‘me.’ Dustin’s heard her—seen her—say it many times, whenever they’ve been together that way. But the word—that ugly, ugly word—never really turned him on. Not until tonight.

     Sami’d wanted to hear him say it, too; but he just didn’t have it in him; couldn’t quite bring himself to that casual state of mind where those kinds of words come easy—not for something that was supposed to be special—not for what they had. Why was she so eager to cheapen it all when she knew it made him feel like dirt? He’s beginning to understand now. Sami never really felt the same way. And tonight she’s doing it with this stranger, and saying it, over and over, as if she knows Dustin’s using the CCTV to spy on her; as if she’s planned this whole thing just to punish him for being the way he is.

     A quick glance at his watch. He’s supposed to be making his rounds about now; check to make sure everything’s in order; see that all the guests are squared away, snug and smug; all potential discontent efficiently contained. Fat chance! Dustin pauses the live feed on screen 12. He’s done the same thing with all the monitors on the top row; capturing Sami and her lover in every conceivable variation of the act; freezing them in the moment. He’ll set them in motion again, just before his final release.

     For the moment he brings up another view—this one on the lower right of the array—technically vacant room 230, where Mr. Patel has whisked the chambermaid for an “employee evaluation.” No clothes have come off yet—thank God!—they’re still talking, negotiating, setting ground rules. Branka’s a brunette this evening in a shoulder-length hime-cut wig, an uncanny echo of Sami’s latest look. Patel’s sitting on the end of the bed, patting the coverlet at his side, inviting her to join him. Good. There’s time.

     Back to Sami, still live on screens 2 through 8. She’s tossing her head from side to side. Dustin imagines her moaning, pleading, praying; making all those needy primal feminine sounds that come when arousal takes her past the point of no return. He grits his teeth; biting down on his rage. She’s got to be out of her mind. How else could this guy, this stranger have gotten to her? Dustin doubts straight seduction; more probably money or drugs were involved; maybe even some weird form of brainwashing. That has to be it; the guy’s a cult leader; one of those charismatic control freaks who’re always prowling around college campuses, on the lookout for impressionable young girls . . . But this is Sami—his Sami! She’s holding her head still now, arching her body from the neck down; throwing herself at this cradle-robbing, youth-sucking monster that might as well be from another planet. It’s bizarre. It makes no sense.

     She never really felt the same way. Remember?



     A sudden blur of movement on the screens. With his free hand, Dustin pulls back on the joystick that controls the camera, adjusting for a wider view of the room. Sami and the old man have switched positions. She’s on top now, bobbling up and down, straddling him cowgirl style as she works up a frothy rhythm. Dustin fine-tunes his stroke to match. He’s been there, knows exactly how it feels to fill and be surrounded by her; infected by the wild, shameless enthusiasm that masks her vulnerability. He’s sensed the terror of it, even as he embraced its wonder.

     She’s leaning forward so that the stranger can kiss her breasts before they jostle for the top again. Another smudge of motion as they switch and the bastard’s humping her, his lean frame floating, seemingly weightless above her; supporting limbs taut, muscles wound tight with kinetic potential; body animated by a ferocious desperation. Dustin imagines an alligator doing pushups as it prepares to devour its victim. But Sami’s no damsel in distress; she’s begging for it—he can see it on her lips; practically hears her telling the old man; “Come in me. Oh god, fuck yes! Fill me up. Please, please! Come in me, now!”

     “You’re mine,” the boy snivels, startling at the sound of his own voice. “Mine!” He nearly loses control before un-pausing the earlier feeds, a jumbled fugue of images, playing themselves out one by one, dovetailing like choral voices in a round; past advancing inevitably into present again and again. His scrotum’s tingling, that ticklish pressure building at the base of his wood, rising inexorably towards the head. He keeps his hand steady, pushes forward with his thighs, threading the needle of his fist as he angles the shaft upwards, aiming for the beautiful silent face that mocks him still.

     “You’re mine!”

     The tide surges all at once; the whole world slipping toward the edge of consciousness. He’s erupting; spewing, overflowing; translucent filaments spattering the monitors, showering the control panel, all momentum spent but for the sticky trails dripping down over the sterile hi-tech surfaces to pool and dry on the carpet below.

     “Mine . . .” The word’s a strangled sob at the back of his throat. Dustin slumps forward, surrendering to the maelstrom within; and suddenly, in the calm eye of the storm, knows a dark peace; an all-encompassing certainty; the clear vision of what he must do.



Buy at Amazon US : Amazon UK

Terrance Aldon Shaw was born and raised somewhere to the left of Chicago in that vast whitebread wilderness known as the American Heartland. TAS' stories often feature strongly erotic, transgressive themes and situations elucidated in the language and style of mainstream literary fiction. He blogs at Erotica For the Big Brain, a site he founded in order to help raise literary standards, and foster greater respect for the erotica genre.

TAS is old enough to know better, but still young enough to wonder why.


TAS at Erotica for the Big Brain
TAS' Amazon Author Page

Friday, 27 February 2015

The horror, the horror


I occasionally get to blog about my activities whilst wearing my Horror Hat. This is a BIGGIE and I am just SO thrilled!

My short story The Coat Off His Back has been chosen by legendary anthologist Ellen Datlow for The Best Horror of the Year vol. Seven (due out in August).

Pre-order at Amazon US : Amazon UK

It was originally published in Terror Tales of Yorkshire (ed. Paul Finch). Writing it involved a lot of research into highwayman Dick Turpin and some very careful stitching together of genuine historical facts. It's a nasty little story and I am quite proud of it!

TToY at Amazon US : Amazon UK

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Yes, I saw the bloody movie


And yes I know I said I wasn't interested. It wasn't my fault - Jennifer Denys dragged me along. "No Jennifer, please!" I cried. "Shuddup, bitch," she told me, "or it's off the the Red Room of Pain with you."

So it's NOT MY FAULT.

Okay, I suppose there are some positives. I now know the plot of the book without having to wade through eight billion pages of ditzy present-tense internal monologue (a literary style I tire of particularly swiftly), inner goddesses dancing in hula skirts, and lines like this:

"In the elevator" is a new one on me...
So here goes, if anyone cares. [SPOILERS ... though, like, it's not like you're going to be surprised by anything]

For a movie aimed at women, there's an amazing amount of her naked flesh and remarkably little of his...

Okay, first of all, I'm not the target audience for this movie. That's because
  • I don't find billionaires sexy
  • I don't find BDSM scary or shocking
  • I don't find Jamie Dornan even slightly visually interesting
No, seriously. There are a number of men in the film. They are ALL better looking than the black-hole-of-charisma that is Christian Grey.
 
The chauffeur: definitely fuckable

Christian Grey's twink younger brother. Oh yes.
Hell, I'd do Ana's-mother's-fourth-husband in a flash!

But that's okay, I can accept that Ana finds him sexy. In fact from the second she slaps eyes on him it is so clear that she is throbbing with lust, that you can practically hear her squelch as she walks.

Dakota Johnson is pretty, perfectly-cast and acts a lot
For all the BDSM/abuse hoo-hah, this isn't actually a movie about sex. There's really not that much sex! It's a romance, in the style of made-for-TV movies, only with less plot and better cinematography. In fact, it's the slightness of the plot that's most noticeable - despite a largish cast, the only inter-character tension or conflict is between the two leads. Ana has a flatmate, who is nice. And friends, who are nice. She has a family, who are nice. Christian Grey has a family who are nice. EVERYONE IS FUCKING NICE. No drama of any sort occurs except between Ana and Christian, and that drama is hugely padded out with pretty scenery. We could have lost about forty minutes, especially of the pointless meet-the-relatives sequences (and "Oh Christ, not another scene where he takes her flying!") without it making the slightest difference to anything except my poor aching back.

All the sex is consensual. The BDSM is scrupulously consensual, with safewords and everything. Even in the final scene where Christian goes too far, it's because Ana has instructed him to. No wonder the poor ickle billionaire looks confused when she stomps off in a hissy fit.

This movie sponsored by the Acme Elevator Company

Actually, I thought the ending, with its clever reprise of an earlier scene's dialogue, was great. Possibly the best bit of the movie. But it might have just been the relief of being able to stand up and stretch my back AT LAST.

The tension between the two romantic characters is not really down to his kinkiness vs her stupifying ignorance. It's his emotional unavailability that drives her up the wall (e.g. he won't let her touch him spontaneously, whilst she is a walking bag of Feels). Christian Grey is indeed "fifty shades of fucked-up" and it's clearly not a healthy relationship, but I think - and I have read a great number of articles about how abusive he is and how bad this is for the collective psyche of women everywhere - that it is abundantly clear in the movie that he is a mess, and that he needs to overcome all this. He's a romantic icon despite his flaws, not because of them. It's that struggle and the emotional journey toward redemption that fans like.

So overall: Not nearly as bad as I feared, but a bit dull really and way too long. Nine and a Half Weeks was dirtier.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Blue Monday

Every Monday I post a naughty excerpt for your entertainment!

This week, in view of certain news I've received (but may not yet announce), I'm going with a horror theme and taking another look at The Blood of the Martyrs, which I think was my first ever vampire story. Set in modern-day Venice, it features a medieval vampire who has somehow been venerated as a Catholic saint. That doesn't stop him wanting blood... 


I wondered which was worse; lying to a saint, or lying to a vampire. The visions had shaken me, moved me, filled me with heat and awe, but they had not convinced me. These days we no longer believe that spiritual enlightenment can be found in hallucinogens

‘Your blood, though…’ His fingers were gentle on my throat, stroking the pulse, even as the lift of his lips betrayed the tips of his teeth. ‘Tithe me a little, Emily. I have starved for nine centuries.’

My eyes widened.

‘I will not hurt you.’

Yes, I thought: like an alcoholic will stop at only one glass. But I couldn’t resist his need, and not just because he was physically so much stronger. The charged particles of the vision were still pouring through my body. My limbs felt heavy, my heart pounded thick and fast, my skin fizzed with the chemical memory. And he was holding me still, close against him. My unhinged mind could not respond to something so overwhelming, so my body was left to its own instinctive responses: terror and submission. I lifted my chin.

Gratitude lit his eyes, momentarily holding hunger at bay. He shook his head. ‘Too much.’ He slipped the buttons of my pyjama top instead, one at a time like a lover, until he was able to bare my shoulder. ‘Here.’

I nodded, certain he did not need my permission. He stooped to my shoulder. His mouth was hot.

The first wave was sharp, pure pain, the second euphoria. It was like when the Professor laid me over his knee and smacked my bare cheeks as hard as he could, until bottom and hand alike were burning with heat. It was pain, but it was good pain. It made my heart race. It made me soar. It made me open up like a blossom of sensation. I suddenly realised that my panties were sopping wet and had been since I came round from my visionary journey, that my sex was heavy and hot and my breasts tingling with need. I groaned out loud.

Aronne’s hands tightened on my hips. I pushed up into him. And again I felt the insistent jut of his erection.

Slowly he withdrew his mouth so he could look me in the eye. His lips were dark with blood.

Holding his gaze, I reached between my breasts and slipped the remaining buttons, opening the pyjama top, revealing my flushed breasts. My nipples were engorged and hard. Paolo had enjoyed putting sprung paper-clips on those deceptively fragile points, then playing with them until I begged for release. ‘Bite those,’ I whispered, shaking. Aronne’s eyes widened.

‘I remember this…’ He shook his head slightly. ‘His memories of you are very strong. He was obsessed with you.’ His gaze burned. ‘Your breasts, still so young and perfect. ’ He touched them, just with the very tips of his fingers, and I shook with fear and pleasure. Then he turned me, rolling me to face the ornate bars and pulling down my pyjama bottoms. I felt the cold church air on my skin. His voice was almost dreamy as he caressed me. ‘Your sweet round bottom, that rolls so temptingly as you walk.’ His hot hands cupped and stroked my bum-cheeks, sending aching messages through to my clit and belly. ‘Your hot wet fica, hidden from sight yet always there for him to touch,’ he growled, finding it with his fingers, delving deep. ‘The perfume of your body lingering on his hands and face, tasted secretly while he lectured or wrote notes or attended meetings.’

My pussy was all juice and plump, swollen flesh. He painted me wet up the entire length of my crack, right to my puckered hole, and I gripped the metal until my knuckles went white. But then he turned me back to face him again, his nails light yet threatening on my skin, scoring faint pink trails down my flanks. I knew they were longing to find the blood beneath, that he was barely restraining himself.

‘The look in your eyes when he gave you an order and you obeyed so gratefully ... Oh, he adored that. He needed that.’ He shivered, his eyes hooded. ‘Whatever he asked of you, Emily, you would do it. You would submit to every one of his deepest and most unthinkable desires. You knelt down in that church, Emily, and sucked his cock like an angel worshipping at the Throne of God. That was his memory.’

I wet my lips and he caught his breath.

‘Let me live to remember him,’ I whispered. ‘Please.’


Amazon US : Amazon UK

Sunday, 22 February 2015

9 out of 10 dragons recommend it!


I've seen it in the flesh - the paperback version of Fierce Enchantments is out at last and available for sale RIGHT NOW!

AND it comes in a strangely satiny feel-good cover designed to appeal to dragons of all kinds! I have caressed it with mine own fair hands :-)

Amazon US : Amazon UK

Friday, 20 February 2015

Munich: dragons, demons and death

I spent Valentine's weekend in Munich, southern Germany, where we yomped around as many art galleries and churches as our poor feet could cope with. And yes, we found a Sanctified Corpse. No holiday would be complete without one :-)

Paying my respects before the "Altar to Sin" at the Villa Stuck. I do not make this stuff up, guys!

Here are some of the artistic highlights...

Dragons:

St Margaret's

St George's
On the corner of the new Town Hall

Demons and Devils:

The Devil's footprint ("Teufelstritt") in the Frauenkirche. He's a size 9, FYI.
Detail of St Gudula - the teeny devil is trying to blow out her lantern so she can't get to church
St Anthony is being tempted by a pair of "beautiful ladies" ... BUT WAIT - Why have they got horns and claws?!
St Anthony's demons resort to more direct methods

Judgement Day ... The thongs were visibly a later addition, btw

Death:

No grave is complete without toads, snakes, lizards and a crayfish (!)
I think this is Salome dancing (with Death) for the head of St John the baptist

The veiled skull of St Honoratus
And yes - here she is: the bejeweled skeleton of St Munditia in Old Peter's church! She has staring glass eyes... (at least I hope they are glass) ...

... and a spare head up top

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Dominion

The Archangel Michael: he can row my boat ashore anytime he likes

I've been watching Syfi series Dominion, because it came out shortly after Cover Him with Darkness was published and I was all "Argh, it's about warring angels - I have to know the angel zeitgeist so I can't be accused of copying!" (Copying from centuries-old sources like the Bible counts as research, not plagiarism, lol).

Dominion is set after a war between angels and humanity which humanity has comprehensively lost. The last major population centre exists only under the protection of the Archangel Michael, who has decided they shouldn't really go extinct ... for reasons that may or may not be altruistic.

It's surprisingly good, IMO. The visuals are a bit too American-TV-squeaky-clean, but it has a bunch of neat ideas - like that the remnant of US civilisation, being based amidst the ex-casinos of Las Vegas, has adopted the kitsch faux-historic setting as part of its culture. Which is a clever use of pre-existing sets.

The plot is VERY political, quite gritty, and the writers seem to delight in subverting your expectations of who is "good" and who is "bad". Also there are a several important female characters who do not fit into neat virgin/whore boxes but are genuine political playas. This is SO obviously post-Game-of-Thrones as a piece of writing, and that is no bad thing.

Also Anthony Head makes my skin crawl :-)


Best character though is the angel Michael, not just because he is very very pretty and WAY cool as a warrior, but because the actor manages to convey an air of detachment from normal human emotions that is actually pretty unsettling. He's saved humanity (this time round, anyway), but everyone hates and fears him. He's charismatic but all but impossible to read, rather like a sexy Vorlon.


"Don't be afraid." Yeah, right.


This is a series that definitely deserves a chance, and I'm glad I came across it.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Blue Monday - Oleander Plume guests

Every Monday I post a filthy excerpt for your entertainment!

This week's guest post is from the short story Coffee Break by Oleander Plume, which appears in Chemical [se]X, the chocolate-themed anthology she edited. Chocolate has never been so hot!




"Crazy, huh? Do your balls feel funny? Mine feel like two softballs that have been baking in the hot sun all day."

He clawed at my shirt. "Take off your clothes, all your clothes, right fucking now."

"Yeah, you too, let's get naked. Buck ass naked. Then I want you to fuck me. In my ass. With your dick. Your big, black dick."

"The dirty talk is sexy as fuck, keep doing that."

Zak pulled off his shirt, and the rubber band holding his dreads together came loose. His hair floated around his head like a mane of black ropes. I grabbed some in each hand and pulled him closer.

"You look like a lion, a big, wild, sexy lion, I want to jump on your back and ride you all around the  jungle."

"Oh yeah? Do you want to fuck me?"

The idea of putting my cock up his ass made me breathless and unable to speak. I was drowning in lust and desire and want, all I could do was nod my head. Zak grabbed me by the face and mashed his lips against mine, I shoved my tongue in his mouth and tasted chocolate. We made out like feral animals; I shoved my hands inside his boxers and squeezed two handfuls of smooth, muscular ass. My dick was rubbing against Zak's, but the friction wasn't enough, I craved more.

"Fuck me, Zak, fuck me now."

"Not yet. I've wanted to suck your dick for five fucking years, and I'm not waiting any longer." Zak pushed me against the refrigerator, and dropped to his knees. "Look at this bad boy, he's got to be nine inches, at least. I always knew you were packin' some heat."

He squeezed my sac like he was checking a peach for ripeness. Intense, sexual mania took over my body, my cock was oozing so much precum, I appeared to be having an orgasm.

"Yeah, baby, drip for me." He lapped up every drop while using a firmer hand on my balls. "More."

The muscles in my legs were stretched taut; I clawed at the cold stainless steel that was pressed against my back, determined not to come, wanting to prolong the moment.

"Zak, I'm trying not to but, your mouth is so fucking hot-"

"Do it baby, shoot your cum down my throat."

Zak clutched my ass and I watched every inch of my dick disappear behind his plump lips. He looked like a god, a chocolate covered, dreadlock sporting, deep throating god. I was his supplicant, offering my cock to him like a sacrifice. And he devoured me.

Between the warm, wet, suction, and the feel of his tongue rubbing against the underside of my shaft, I exploded, drowning his tonsils with the biggest load my balls had ever unleashed. While he gulped down the thick spunk, he made the same kind of noises I do when I eat a hot fudge sundae. He peered up at me through his thick fringe of lashes while he sucked the tip, milking me for every drop. My knees buckled and I slid to the floor.

"Nectar from heaven," Zak said after licking his lips. "Want a taste?"

Once again, I could only nod. He licked my tongue, I could taste semen and chocolate and mocha and a thousand other flavors.

"Is it weird that I like kissing you?"

"No, baby, I happen to be an excellent kisser, you have no choice but to enjoy my hot lips."

His tongue fluttered against mine, then slid deeper into my mouth. I sort of felt like I was giving him head, which gave me an overwhelming urge to do just that.
"Put your cock in my mouth." I sounded like a preschooler begging for candy.



Chemical [se]X on Amazon US : Amazon UK (paperback and download)


"I like to write sexy, kinky stories that have a bit of sugar sprinkled on top. I enjoy adding a touch of darkness. Sometimes my tales are steeped in fantasy and the paranormal.

I also try and inject a generous dose of humor into anything I write, because I truly believe laughter is the best aphrodisiac.

My stories sometimes delve into other gender pairings, but my first love is m/m hotness. I adore writing steamy scenes about hot men getting naked and sweaty.

I hope you enjoy my stories. I hope I make you laugh. I hope I turn you on. But most of all, I hope my words will leave you wanting more, because there are thousands of words in my head, all are clamoring to be set free."

Oleander's Amazon Page


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Oh my inner goddess

 I understand there is some movie or other out this weekend?

No, I haven't read it.
And though I hear the movie is better than the book, I think I'll stick to ...


Friday, 13 February 2015

Take Me to Church




1) This is a disturbing and topical video
2) I love the song, which is a total earworm with powerful lyrics
3) Hozier himself is pretty cute :-)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Pietà

Mr Ashbless is no longer working in Bologna, so it is with some regret that I realise I'm never likely to return to a city whose history, cuisine, and art are nothing short of sublime. I had some wonderful times there.


Here's one last hit of Bologna: an extraordinary work of religious art like nothing else I've ever seen in my life, tucked away to the side in the otherwise unremarkable church of Santa Maria della Vita. I think it's the best piece of devotional sculpture in the whole world ... though you'll never have heard of it.


The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell’Arca is a group of seven lifesized terracotta figures dating from the 1460s. This is a fragile medium, so even its survival in this condition is impressive, but what the sculptor has managed to depict in dynamic action is just incredible:



And the expressions captured in clay, of the most uncontrolled grief and anguish, are heart-rending:



This is what grief feels like.


I wish I could have taken more photos, but snapping even these few was a bit dodgy.  If you ever go to Bologna, it's well worth visiting in person. I went back several times, and it never lost its distressing power.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Blue Monday

Every Monday I post a naughty excerpt for your entertainment!

"Janine and Dan Savage sitting in a tree, K. I. S. S. ... er no, maybe not..."

Well, given the fabby fabby podcast release of The Ingénue this week gone, what else shall I excerpt for Blue Monday but this ... and if you like it you can listen to the whole story, read by the délicieuse Rose Caraway, for free here




“Take a look.” When she did not obey, he added, “Are you afraid? How can you be afraid of me, Zephine?”

How could she be? Her pride prickled. He was bound, spread-eagled - helpless. He could not be more vulnerable, nor less of a threat to her. Why then, was she feeling like this? 


Clumsily, she pulled aside the flaps of silk. They clung to him a little, as if his skin was damp, and she felt against her hand the impatient nudge of what lay beneath. Then the cloth was gone, and she could see.


He was nothing like a statue from the Louvre. He was flushed dark, hairy - and erect. His phallus stood out at an impossible angle, to what seemed like a monstrous size. It looked like a weapon.
    

“Now touch it.” They was no mistaking the authority in his voice. And Zephine had run dry of protest or questions--of any words at all. She looked once into his eyes and then obeyed, running her fingers down its shaft. It kicked against her as if in irritation and she jumped.
    

“Take it in your hand. How does it feel?”
   

 Her fingers barely circled its girth. “Hot,” she whispered. “Hard.” There was a peculiar satisfaction to its bulk and strength too, though she couldn’t put that into words.
    

“Do you like it?” His voice was a murmur now. “It likes you, Zephine - very much.”
    

She didn’t know if she liked it. She just knew that this made her feel as if nothing else in her life had ever mattered, in comparison. “My aunt will be so angry,” she said, with wonder. To her surprise a surge ran through the flesh in her grasp and it grew even harder.
     

“Yes.” His eyes were darker now, the pupils dilated. “She will beat me.”
     

Zephine’s own eyes, which had been strangely heavy, shot open. “Surely not!”
    

“She will. With a riding crop, or a garden cane, or a leather strap.”
   

“She can’t do that to you!” Doubt crept in then: “Can she?”
    

“She’s done it before, Zephine. She left me covered in broken welts, all across my chest and my thighs and my derrière.”
   

 “What for?” In her shock, Zephine could not help thinking of the flagellation of Christ. In the church at her school the Stations of the Cross were depicted with wax models of startling realism. One in particular--the whipped and bloody body of Christ, kneeling in his agony--always drew her, horrified and fascinated and full of pity. She feared it, but she’d spent hours gazing at it.   She wondered if Piotr would resemble that, if he were to be horse-whipped.  
    

“For her pleasure.”
    

She swallowed. “I will let you go.” Yet her hand did not desert its post gripping his thick meat. He shook his head, just a twitch.
    

“I don’t want you to, Zephine.”
    

“But it will hurt!”
    

“Very much so.”
   

 “Aren’t you frightened?”
   

 “I’m sick with fear.” His lip crooked in a thin smile. “You’re my only comfort, ma chérie. Move your hand, Zephine; move it up and down my cock.” 
    

 “I...I don’t think I should.”
    

“But you must. And if you do, I will tell you what else happens at these parties your aunt throws.”
    

Zephine bit her lip, but her resistance was only momentary. She wanted to know; indeed she felt she had to, now. Her hand began to slide up his shaft, stroking the hot flesh.
    

“Good girl. A little firmer. Oh...yes, that’s right. ” He cleared his throat and blinked, his eyes starting to lose focus. “Tonight...Oh, there’ll be so many people here tonight, Zephine, after you are tucked safe in your virgin bed. People from the highest and most respectable echelons of society; and from the lowest, though the poor must be very beautiful to be invited inside these walls--or prodigiously talented. In the twilight the torches will be lit, musicians will play, and all the food and drink you might ever want will be laid out upon the tables. Our salvers will be the bare bodies of young women and men, their nipples garnished with cream and gold leaf, their open thighs displaying the most delectable of banquets. A bath will be filled with champagne, and in it will lie a young beauty, offering her cup for anyone to drink from. From under the trees, in the dark, will come soft cries of pleasure and sharper gasps of pain.
    

“But do not worry Zephine: on a night such as this the pain is only part of the pleasure. The world is turned upside down in this place and the ancient iron-clad laws of civilisation are dissolved. Men are used as women; women rule as men. The rich bow before the poor, and the great beg indulgences of the lowly. Tonight, were you to mingle with the guests, you might see a bishop on his hands and knees, a bridle about his head and a bit in his mouth, being ridden by a fair whore clad only in spurs, while another jade plunges a huge horsetail plug between his willing cheeks. You might see a general of the army spread-eagled upon the lawn, and a queue of matrons taking it in turn to straddle him and lift their skirts so that they might relieve themselves upon his face. You might, if you were inclined, seek me out here among the roses.”
    

Beneath her hot, tightly corseted dress Zephine was melting, her body dissolving into trembling boneless weakness, her long drawers clinging to her moist skin and growing sodden with the flow of her sex. She felt almost as if she would faint, and it was all she could do to cling to the great solid stake in her hand. “And what ...what will they be doing to you?” she asked.
    

“They will do anything they like."



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