Series: The Book of the Watchers #1
Published by Cleis Press on October 1st 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Also by this author: Red Grow the Roses
provided by Cleis Press
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, perhaps, 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 the prisoner, a beautiful being like the most handsome of men, and yet not. She looks into his eyes and sees pain and wisdom and eternity. Unable to keep away from this silent creature chained to an altar stone, 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. Cover Him in Darkness is a dark and thrilling story of an archangel banished from heaven and the human woman with whom he falls in love.
Welcome to the Cover Him With Darkness Blog Tour stop here at KissinBlueKaren!
Janine Ashbless, the author of this dark erotic read, is one of my favorite authors. She was kind enough to allow me to review her book and also answered some questions so we can all get to know her better. Janine and the publisher, Tempted Romance, have also agreed to let me host a giveaway for this book. I can’t wait to give one of these away so you read and enjoy it for yourself.
Milja is trying to forget what her father is charged to keep secret, but she knows and the secret won’t let her go. Her father, a priest, is guarding over a fallen angel in the bowels of his church in Montenegro Italy. His name is Azazel and Milja is haunted by his punishment. The beginning of the story finds Milja in Boston, trying to be a normal young adult. She tries at love and higher education. She is called home when her father becomes ill. Upon seeing Azazel again, she gives in to her empathy and passion, and makes a choice that changes her whole life forever.
That is about all the synopsis I can write. Anything more and I will spoil the whole story. I honestly started off reading this book and then thought, I have read this before. I was angry thinking this was a stolen story until I realized a short version of this tale was in a book I have read and was penned by Janine Ashbless. Cover Him With Darkness was the second story in the anthology Red Velvet and Absinthe which I read back in 2011. That story was much less detailed and only outlined the foundation for this story.
Cover Him with Darkness is a great erotic story with religious undertones. It may offend those who hold strong christian (or catholic) religious beliefs. I don’t. I found this story of a fallen angel really enticing. The characters are very well written. The scene is described with enough detail to envision easily. I really enjoyed the spooky elements of this. An angel that haunts dreams with erotic delights, what is not to like about that? Milja is a believable character. I found her home town strange, but then again, so did she after living in America. The prejudices she encounters are so stereotypical of old Europeans. I bought her relatives completely.
This book had the right amount of action, romance, erotica, mythology, and religion. It kept me reading deep into the night. Totally worth lost sleep. This story ended with the notion that more was coming. Yes! I am thrilled that this is part of a series. Bring it Janine! I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
1.What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I love writing bits where lots of complicated threads come together and there’s a tidal shift in the plot – someone changes, something is revealed, that sort of thing. I also love foreshadowing scenes. So I really enjoyed the sequence where “nice guy” Egan first meets the fallen angel Azazel, not just because it’s hot ‘n’ dirty, but because it’s full of hidden plot (like the lipstick writing) that will only become visible later in the book and make readers go “Oh!”, and because it completely shreds the nascent relationship between Egan and Milja, forcing them to re-evaluate each other. It’s a pivotal moment.
2.What was the hardest part to write in the book?
The Burning Man scene involved a lot of online research, because I haven’t been lucky enough to go there … yet. I’m so glad reviewers have said they found it convincing!
3.You usually write paranormal erotica, what draws you to this genre?
I like writing about sex and I like reading eerie stories that make me feel uneasy about the real world. Paranormal erotica is the ideal combination of both obsessive passion and horror.
4.What is your writing routine?
On an ideal day, I get up and have a cup of tea, return to bed and write there until lunch. Afternoon is for walking the dogs and doing online/admin stuff. I might go back and write more in the evening too, but I’m very bad at seizing five minutes here and there – I like a good interrupted run-up.
5.Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?
Scenes come first. I’m a visual creator – I start with an intense visual idea for a scene, and I work back and forth from there trying to pin down how it happened and what follows on. So drama comes first.
6.What book/s are you reading at present?
“Collapse: how societies choose to fail or survive” by Jared Diamond.
7.What are your ambitions for your writing career?
In ascending order of ambition: I want to continue the story of Milja and Azazela and Egan started in “Cover Him with Darkness,” and complete the trilogy. I want to carry on writing hot dirty beautiful books for the rest of my life. And I would like to see erotica taken seriously in the UK/USA, as it is on continental Europe – that’s my gigantic career ambition.
8.Which writers inspire you?
I’m inspired by anyone who manages to hold down a paying career and/or look after children and family, while at the same time writing books. That seems to me an extraordinary achievement.
9.Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! I know that what I write is not the usual stuff in the genre – thank you for understanding and going with me on the path.
10.What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
When I was a child I thought that a good book would be loved by everyone, that you could write something that would make the whole world applaud. That’s just not true – no book is loved or approved of by everyone. Even close friends wildly disagree. So I love good reviews – what author doesn’t? But I don’t go looking for them. I know I’m a bit of a “marmite author” (i.e. you love me or hate me). I accept that I’m going to piss a bunch of readers off – either because I’m too rude, or too opinionated on contentious subjects. That’s okay.
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese.
About the Author
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)
A paperback copy of Cover Him with Darkness
Giveaway is over