Giveaway: Please help me celebrate the launch of Demon Interrupted. I’m giving away a $30/£20 Amazon gift voucher. Enter via the Rafflecopter for chances to win!
Erotica for All is one of my favourite sites, and I’m so excited to be invited over to celebrate the release of Demon Interrupted, the fourth book in the Lakeland Witches Series. Thanks for hosting me, Lucy!
One of the very best parts of writing the Lakeland Witches novels and Demon Interrupted, was that in the stories I got, not only to use rituals that already existed, but to create new rituals for the Elemental Coven to participate in. Some of those rituals were sexy, like the ritual involved in doing dream magic in the Elemental Coven, which is essential to Ferris Ryder’s healing in Demon Interrupted. Some of those rituals were chilling, like the ritual of setting a mental clock while in the Ether so that one didn’t get lost there and starve to death before realizing how much time had passed. And some rituals were just flat out fun, and yummy, like eating any of the delicious meals or delectable treats Fiori cooked.
I’ve had a love affair with ritual for as long as I can remember. I was always making up rituals when I was a child and, for a good part of my life, I was involved in different religions, from conservative Christianity to practicing in a Wiccan coven, and all routes in between — drawn in by the ritual. I spent three years training to be a spiritual director with a Catholic organisation, though I was not Catholic myself. I did it for the ritual and the sharing of those rituals. Contemplative prayer, meditating upon passages of scripture, the use of movement, dance, chants, music, among other things, are tools with which all spiritual directors are familiar, tools of ritual. During my time in the Wiccan coven, the year itself was lived out in ritual — full moon, new moon, the welcoming of the seasons, the celebrating of spring and harvest. My husband and I even underwent the ritual of hand fasting in Avebury Stone Circle on Beltane.
In all of my studies and practices, it was always the experience of ritual that fascinated me most. I love ritual because it’s so much a part of being human. Our lives are steeped in ritual whether it’s making pancakes every Sunday for breakfast, as my mother did when I was a child, or folding the towels a certain way after we’ve done the laundry – my sister was a fanatic about how towels should be folded. Whether it’s the way we choose lottery numbers or the way we bathe and prepare ourselves to face the day, rituals engulf us in all we do. In some cases rituals bring order where there might otherwise be chaos. In some cases rituals bring focus and a sense of direction and anticipation. In still other cases ritual is a very important part of healing. While we first encounter the witch, Elaine performing a ritual that will result in revenge and possibly her own subjugation to a demon, the main purpose of ritual in Demon Interrupted is to heal the main character, Ferris Ryder and restore his past to him.
I like the Wikipedia definition of ritual — a set of actions performed mainly for their symbolic value.
But that’s just the beginning. The real power of ritual, for me at least, is that it’s the gateway to something beyond itself; it’s the gateway to a deeper understanding of what it represents. Why my sister folded her towels a certain way, why my mother made pancakes every Sunday was probably more about order from chaos, probably more about creating a stable routine, but it was ritual nonetheless, and to me, it was symbolic of home and safety and being loved.
Though I’m much more of a skeptic now than I was in my religious days, ritual, whether it’s the way my husband and I say good-bye to each other every morning when he leaves for the office or whether it’s the walk that I take to prepare myself to write, is still very much a part of my life. It’s most especially a part of my writing. It’s not just important to the routine of the writing process, but it also plays a crucial part in all my novels and stories, both contemporary erotica and paranormal.
The fact that ritual infuses my erotica should come as no surprise. Few acts are more steeped in ritual than sex. The rituals we practice before sex are strikingly similar to religious rituals. We often wear special clothing for the occasion, just as priests and acolytes do. We may share a romantic dinner together before hand, with special foods, just as the priest serves the Eucharist. Flowers and gifts may be offered. And all this we do in hopes of experiencing and celebrating le petit mort, our version of death and resurrection.
Back in our distant past, not only were religion and sex similar, but they were often the same thing. Fucking the world into existence was an act of high magic, sympathetic magic, an act in which one hoped that by having sex in a field or a cave or possibly a stone circle, the birds and the bees would see what was happening, and take a hint. Procreation would take place in the animal kingdom, pollination would happen, plants would grow, animals would give birth and the next generation would be guaranteed. When life was a lot more tenuous than it is now, it’s no wonder that the early religions were fertility cults. Our ancestors got it — that there was something in the act, something in the lust driving the mating rituals of all living creatures that brought about new life. New life was in itself magic.
Now sex is not so much about procreation as recreation. The urgency is no longer there, nor is the belief that our efforts will make the difference as the whether the cattle in farmer Jones’s field breed or not. The urgency may be gone, but the ritual is still there. Strangely and wonderfully, so is the magic, albeit a different kind of magic.
In a way it feels as though my writing of erotica has brought me full-circle, back to the same place of ritual that led me to explore religion so deeply. For me, at least, writing sex is always writing ritual. Erotica is a way of exploring sex as ritual. Sex is the ritual that can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and a deeper relationship with the other. And sex is the only ritual I know of that allows us to literally get inside the skin of another person. Sex is the ritual, which can take us deeper into our animal nature while at the same time transporting us to places reserved for the gods.
The act of giving and receiving pleasure is the ultimate ritual of human connection, even if it’s just connecting with ourselves. It’s a ritual that has as many versions as there are people to practice it. It’s a far more personal ritual than any offered by organised religion and far more universally compelling. That’s powerful stuff! Perhaps that’s why so much effort has been made through the centuries to regulate it, control it, limit it. And certainly that’s why I chose to use sex as the catalyst for generating magic and for bonding the coven family in the Lakeland Witches trilogy. I could think of nothing more powerful than that visceral urgency to fuck the world into existence. Our ancestors knew that the ultimate ritual, the ultimate magic takes place in the arms another. And that knowledge is the driving force behind the sex magic practice by the Elemental Coven in the Lakeland Witches novels just as it is in Ferris Ryder’s journey to healing in Demon Interrupted.
Thanks again for hosting me, Lucy. Lovely Readers, please remember to enter to win the Amazon gift card.
Giveaway: Please help me celebrate the launch of Demon Interrupted. I’m giving away a $30/£20 Amazon gift voucher. Enter via the Rafflecopter for chances to win!
Ferris Ryder has a choice to make. He can reclaim the past, which he now consciously keeps from his memories, or he can let all that he fears to remember destroy the present and the Elemental Coven he has come to love. Has the mysterious Elaine come into his life to be his guiding angel or will she tear his world apart, along with that of his coven family?
Available from Amazon: http://mybook.to/demoninterrupted
‘What the hell?’ Ferris roared like an angry beast as he fought his way out of a blackberry bramble to land hard with his naked arse on the rocky ground. The thick summer night effervesced with the tingle of strong magic, and the sting and bite of the bramble were evidence that he had been called, very unceremoniously, into physical form, but who would have treated him with such disrespect? And other than Lucia, the Fire Demon, and the demon who now possessed that evil aberration spawned in the Americas — what was it he called himself Deacon — there were few who could have done such a thing. Besides, what would either of them want with him? And certainly it behoved them to treat him with a little more respect than to up-end him bare-arsed and bleeding in a thicket. Whoever had done it, when he found them, they would be sorry for humiliating him so. He would make certain that they …
The yelp of a female voice put a halt to thoughts of punishing the transgressor. As he turned, the dance of firelight dazzling his eyes made him think for a moment that it was Lucia, who had summoned him. The Fire Demon’s sense of humour was evil at best. But the flames were nothing more than a tiny blaze set in an insignificant fire pit. And then he saw her. Beyond the blaze the woman stood as naked as he was with lustrous dark hair that hung down her back and over the swell of her breasts. He would not have imagined it to be possible, but the slender woman, body burnished golden in the firelight was the source of the magic that had summoned him.
‘What do you want, little girl, and why have you called me in such an uncivilised manner?’ He said, making his voice as thunderous as possible and pulling the shadows around him like a cape because it lent him at least a little of the dignity she had stolen from him.
But she did not cower. Instead she squared her shoulders and stood to her full height, which, as with most mortal women, was not significant compared to his. ‘I am no little girl, Rider, and I have summoned you to do my bidding.’
Though he made no effort to hold back the roar of his laughter, the mortal did not so much as cringe. ‘You summoned me to do your bidding, little one? You are either very brave or very stupid.’ With a sudden flick of his wrist the wind rose and swirled around her, whipping her hair across her face and then back over her shoulders, and he saw that she was, indeed, no little girl. Her breasts were in the full bloom of womanhood crowned by roseate nipples that peaked in the cool kiss of the wind he had summoned. His cock rose in response to her, and for the first time since his unceremonious arrival, he was pleased to be in physical form. This human, this mortal woman was delicate of build, skin as pale as the finest porcelain, skin that seemed lit from within, skin that contrasted with hair that was night itself and eyes that were like a moonless sky. Her hips flared away from her center as though they hugged the soft pillowing of dark curls that caressed her womanhood, and she stood unladylike, with her feet set wide apart on the ground so that even his tempest did not unbalance her.
‘I am neither brave nor stupid,’ she said, when the wind settled enough that she could catch her breath to speak. ‘I am without recourse.’
He moved closer to her, so that the fire did not interfere with his vision of her, and still she did not flinch. ‘You must be desperate, indeed, if you would summon a Soul Rider to do your bidding.’
She ignored his statement. ‘You have it within your power to visit horrible hallucinations upon those who displease you, do you not? It is within your power to drive them form their sanity, and it is said that you have power even to drive them to their death. Is that not so?’
He moved still closer, until he could see the rapid rise and fall of her chest that belied the nerves she hid so well, until he could feel her warm breath against the body that now held his essence. ‘Shall I demonstrate that of which I am capable upon you, little one?’ As he reached for her, she stepped back.
‘I do not need your demonstration, Rider. I only need you to use those powers in my service.’
This time he stepped close enough that she had to bend her slender neck back as far as she could to look up into his eyes. ‘And might I ask what’s in it for me?’
‘Anything.’ Her breath caught in her throat and for the first time he felt the passion of her request with the intensity of the powerful magic she had just performed and what that magic had cost her. And was that passion tinged with more than a hint of despair? ‘Anything you ask.’
‘And if you are the payment I demand?’
Her eyelids fluttered and her voice was little more than a whisper. ‘As I have said. Anything you ask.’
That she did not frighten easily, that she was braver than most men who had, ultimately, cowered before him made him want to taste her fear all the more. ‘Then I shall have you.’ He pulled her to him and took her mouth, not expecting the full pout of her lips to part for him, not expecting her body to relax and soften into his embrace nor her arms to encircle his neck. As his tongue flicked over hers, he was stunned to find it was not fear he tasted; it was power, exhilaration, need, mixed again with a heavy patina of desperation, and all of those tastes in this woman made him want her even more. His cock stretched hard, pressed against the tensing muscles of her belly. The pillowed press of her breasts against him in her battle for breath made him want to take more of her breath, so that the pumping of her lungs would keep her fullness rising and falling and nestling against him.
He unclenched her fingers from behind his neck and guided her hand down between them, down to rest on his cock. ‘It has been long since I have worn flesh. My need is nearly beyond my control. It may well be that I would split your fragile frame in two, little girl.’
Before the words were off his tongue, she circled his hardness with slender, but strong fingers, and began to stroke the length of him, whispering in his ear. ‘I told you, whatever you asked, and I am not nearly so fragile as you might think.’ But then the brazen child did something he could have never anticipated. She stepped out of his embrace, back just enough that he could not easily touch her. ‘But I am not yours for the taking until you have done my bidding, Rider. Then split me in two, you may, or in a thousand pieces if it please you.’
He growled his frustration, and his cock bucked against his belly. ‘I do not need your permission to take you, little one.’ He took a menacing step closer to her, and she stepped back again until she stood flush with the bramble behind her. ‘Nor do I need to do your bidding. After all, your invitation was not very polite, now was it?’
‘There was no invitation, Demon. There was a summoning and a bargain to be struck.’
‘Again, I will ask you why should I not take what I want now rather than wait. I am the one who –’
His words died in his throat as her power buzzed over him, a bolt of lightning and a touch of silk and he sucked breath to keep from humiliating himself as the content of his balls threatened to spill at her feet. Though in truth, he was not sure that perhaps it was his very life force that this woman, this witch threatened to coax from his cock with her magic. He raised his hands, palms facing her, in a gesture of peace. ‘Tell me then, what is it you want, little witch.’
She studied him for a moment with eyes bottomless as the night sky. ‘I want you to ride the soul of my enemy. Make him suffer long and hard, make him pay for what he has done. If this you do for me, then I am yours to do with what you will.’
‘Are you sure this is a price you can afford to pay, little witch?’ With a move that was no more human than he was, he pulled her into his arms and fisted her thick mane of soft hair and shoved it off her shoulders, seeking to admire the delicacy of the mortal form, as one did art in a gallery — beautiful creations that were far too fragile for any practical purpose. Their fragility in itself a part of their attraction, and his ability to break them somehow made them even more valuable to him. With his eyes shut, he tracked the beat of her pulse to the soft spot on her throat, then bent to nuzzle her there, and just as she moaned a sigh, he bit her in that spot against the thud, thud, thud of her tenuous life force.
At first he thought the near sob that breeched her lips was a release of her pleasure, disappointingly easy, he thought. It was as he opened his eyes that he saw the bruises on her neck, green and angry in the dance of the flames, and he realised the sob had been one of pain. Though he was no fire demon, the thought of his little witch — for that is how he thought of her now, as his possession — the thought of her in pain kindled a strange inferno in his belly that burned with the same rage he would have felt if someone had so marred the Mona Lisa’s perfection. ‘Who did this to you?’ Even as he spoke, he noticed other bruises on her arms, on her hips … on the insides of her thighs. ‘Who did this to you,’ he growled.
She shoved her way free from his embrace and stumbled backward nearly falling before she caught herself. He could taste the rage rolling off her, overpowering the desperation, overpowering the longing, overpowering all else to the point that it was he who was rendered breathless by it. ‘The one whose soul I wish you to ride, the one who I seek revenge upon. He did this to me and more than even your demon eyes can ever see. He took everything from me, and I want him to pay! I want him to pay!’
About K D Grace/Grace Marshall
Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
KD has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace,Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.
Find K D Here:
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://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/k-d-grace-8/