“Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. You’d be wrong.”
Janine Ashbless is back with the second in her paranormal erotic romance Book of the Watchers trilogy: In Bonds of the Earth.
Unafraid to tackle the more complex issues surrounding good and evil in mainstream religion, Janine has created a thought-provoking and immersive novel which sets a new standard for paranormal erotic romance. The first in the series, Cover Him With Darkness, was released in 2014 by Cleis Press and received outstanding reviews.
In Bonds of the Earth is published by Sinful Press and is due for release on March 1st, 2017.
“I will free them all.”
When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.
As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.
Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.
In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.
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In Bonds of the Earth will be available from all major online bookstores in both digital and print. Please contact Lisa Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information.
An interview with Egan
JA: Today I’m interviewing Egan Kansky, one of the heroes of In Bonds of the Earth (Book of the Watchers vol. 2). Hi Egan! You’re looking hot—the bruises suit you.
EK: I just want to say I don’t want to be here.
JA: Yeah, you’re not fond of answering questions, are you?
EK: I’m a private kinda guy.
JA: Secretive, I’d say. The number of things you have somehow failed to tell Milja, despite the fact that you love her, supposedly…
EK: I do love her.
JA: And that’s just one of the things you didn’t tell her, until you got ill and feverish and blabbed it out! Shall I list the other things you didn’t say? That you’re an ex-special-forces killer working for the Vatican; that you’re a—
EK: Okay. Yes. She knows now, right? Sure, words don’t matter, only actions do. And I’ve been there for her every step of the way. I’m not saying I’m a good man, but I’ve done my best to keep her alive and safe, whatever the cost. I’ve disobeyed direct orders from my superiors to let her choose her own future. She knows all that. And she knows I love her, more than that arse Azazel ever can.
JA: You don’t like the fallen angel much, do you?
EK: He’s an enemy of God.
JA: I think it’s a bit more personal than that, Egan. You’re so jealous you’re green.
EK: [sighs] I don’t understand what she sees in him. Well, apart from…the obvious. Look—he’s millions of years old and liable to kill people who even slightly annoy him: how can that be a proper relationship? How can she trust him? Where’s her consent? Where’s the respect? She’s a smart woman, independent and resourceful and with real insight, you know? He treats her like … a sex pet. He drags her around the globe making her look for his imprisoned brothers, and then he doesn’t even keep her safe when it goes wrong. And she’s just supposed to do whatever he asks of her!
JA: Wow…it’s almost like you’re describing God.
EK: Now you’re being fatuous.
JA: Only a bit. Look, I’m the author; I’d be the first to admit that Milja’s relationship with Azazel is, well, problematic. That’s what interests me about it, to be honest. I mean if it was just happy superhuman sex 24/7 …
EK: [shifts uncomfortably]
JA: But Azazel isn’t the one who messes with Milja’s head. He’s straightforward. She knows his weaknesses, she know the level on which to communicate with him. The one who really fucks her up is you.
EK: Now that’s not fair.
JA: Yes it is. You deliberately get close to her, then you blank her emotionally. You try to pull her away from Azazel, but you won’t commit yourself. You flirt and then you throw up walls. You love her and you know she loves you, but you play the martyr and it’s all “Oh, I can’t, there are REASONS—”
EK: There are reasons. And… I’d give my life for her.
JA: Yeah, that’d be an easy way out, wouldn’t it? All the love from your side, none of the difficult stuff like having to let her love you. You’re breaking her heart, you bastard. Do you think she deserves that?
EK: … No. She deserves far better than me. That’s what I’ve tried to tell her. Not the Fallen. But, not me. I’m not fit for her. Feck…there are just things I can’t say. I can’t.
JA: Yeeees. She doesn’t know the really dark secrets you’ve been hiding, does she? She doesn’t know what your lot have got locked up under St. Peter’s in Rome. And she doesn’t know about Mary…
EK: [Stands up and walks out]
And that, dear readers, was Egan, a character whom I love to bits, myself. And a guy I want to shake until his teeth rattle.
I was giving my long-dreaded presentation on the anniversary footbridge to Misters Ellis, Singh, Constanzo and Mackenzie…when Azazel walked in.Oh hell.
“Excuse me, gentlemen,” I said loudly, lurching around from behind my desk, grabbing Azazel’s arm and spinning him back to face the door.
“Not here, come on, please,” I implored through clenched teeth.
If there was one thing I’d learned by then, it was to not ignore warning dreams. If I’d paid them more attention from the start, things between me and Egan might have gone very differently back in Montenegro…No, better not to think of Egan, not when Azazel was around. One guy at a time was quite enough to wrap my head around. Especially this guy.
He humored me though, this time, letting me pull him out of the meeting room and through the open plan office without resistance. We attracted a lot of stares, but there was nothing I could do about that except hold my head high.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“You’re so impetuous.”
I didn’t need to glance up at his wicked smirk. I could feel it burning its way into my breast.
Bryce, the beardy guy in my new team who’d shown me the ropes of the job and seemed just a tiny bit too eager to talk every morning, stood up from his cubicle to intercept us. “Milja, is everything okay?”
“It’s just fine,” I rasped, towing Azazel faster.
“She’s insatiable,” my demon lover confided with a helpless shrug to my colleague as we swept past.
Bryce stared, mouth open.“Goddamnit,” I muttered, and Azazel chuckled.
Sometimes it was hard to remember that he’d risked everything to save me.
We reached the doors at the end of the room and I pushed through, past the lobby with the elevators and into the concrete stairwell of the emergency stairs beyond. The only people who came here were smokers on their way to the roof, and it looked empty for now. My panicky momentum fizzled away and I swung to face him.
“What are you doing here?”
“What do you think?” he countered, taking my face in his hands.
“Azazel—” But he cut off my protests with his hungry kiss; a kiss that lanced through me all the way to my core. I gave up resisting, and speaking, and almost breathing, as his lust rolled over me in a hot wet wave. I slid my hands around his neck and tangled my fingers in his messy hair, pulling myself into his embrace. His body was hard as rock, his hands heavy on my waist and hips. The yearning for his touch that smouldered in my flesh day and night woke to a roaring heat.
I’d missed him. His skin, his smile, the peppery scent and salt taste of him. The sweetness of his lips and the harsh rasp of his stubbled chin. I’d missed him so much—like an addict missing her hit.
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.
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)
Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/
Janine Ashbless blog: http://janineashbless.blogspot.co.uk/
Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless
Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk