I’m delighted to welcome to my blog today the multi-talented Ashley Lister! Writer of the Dead Good Blog, ERWA supremo, poet, and the man behind the pen of his alter ego, Lisette Ashton!! Over to you Ash…
According to Chinese astrology, this has been the year of the dragon. Perhaps that was at the back of my mind when I began writing Dragon Desire: Quest for Satisfaction.
This story was written under my pseudonym Lisette Ashton. It’s a story set in a pre-medieval Britain and I have to admit it was a lot of fun to write. I got to research lots of fun stuff for historical accuracy, I got to research an enormous amount of magic and mythology, and I got to learn a lot about dragons.
Dragons are supremely interesting.
I learnt about Wessex wyvern and the lesser-known sea-wyvern. I learnt about Polish smok and the Ljubljana dragon of Slovenia. I studied texts on Portuguese cacoa and Catalonian víbria. I learnt the difference between five-toed Chinese dragons, four-toed Korean dragons and three-toed Japanese dragons. I also read up on the crypto-zoological history of Y Ddraig Goch – the Welsh red dragon.
“How interesting,” I can hear you yawn. “It sounds so erotic. NOT.”
But the maddening thing is: dragons are unexpectedly erotic.
Like sexual urges, they represent something primal. Like arousal and intimacy, they come to life from our shared fantasies and are made real by our boldest flights of imagination.
You might be a reader who sympathises with the distressed damsel who is bound and possessed by a metaphorical beast. You might be a reader who empathises with the heroic dragon slayer who delivers a lethal penetration with his massive broadsword. Or you might simply be a vicarious reader who enjoys seeing these two extremes of character enjoying their moment on the page and heading toward an inevitable resolution.
Whichever dynamic you favour, it’s hard to argue that the involvement of a noble yet dangerous dragon symbolises something strong and powerful and irresistibly sexy.
These are the opening pages from Dragon Desire: Quest for Satisfaction, by Lisette Ashton.
“Dragon horn!” declared Robert of Moon Valley. He said the words the way a court conjurer might whisper voila before triumphantly unveiling the effects of his stage magicks. There was a broad grin across his handsome features. His leer of devilish anticipation sparkled.
Tavia and Caitrin asked the question in unison.
Tavia and Caitrin were twin daughters to Duncan, castellan of Blackheath. The young women were famed throughout the fiefdom for their complementary beauty. Although their faces were identical, Tavia’s tresses were as fair as a unicorn’s pelt, whilst Caitrin’s locks were as dark as raven wings. Both women were of age, chaste and desired by every able man in the fiefdom of Blackheath.
Tavia took a wary step back toward the chamber door.
Caitrin made an eager step toward the crystal carafe. It stood surrounded by three silver goblets on a ceremonial tray beside the four-poster bed.
“Dragon horn?” Caitrin marvelled. “Are you serious? Where did you find it?”
“Are you tempted?” Robert asked.
“Dragon horn has been forbidden by the castellan,” Tavia whispered. “There shouldn’t be a drop of that stuff in this shire.”
“Is it true what it can do?” Caitrin’s eyes sparkled as she switched her gaze from Robert to the carafe. She was ignoring her sister, mesmerised by the temptation on offer. “Is everything I’ve heard about dragon horn true?”
“What have you heard?”
As he spoke he lifted the carafe and splashed a gill of the golden liquid into each of the three waiting goblets. He didn’t need Caitrin to reiterate the legends that were associated with dragon horn. He knew all of them and had made up many more. Nevertheless, he longed to listen to her whisper all the salacious rumours about the reputed benefits of the drink. There were few things more arousing than the voice of a chaste woman talking about illicit sex.
“I’ve heard that the sight can melt the clothes from a maiden’s bosom,” Caitrin breathed. “I’ve heard the smell can wring woman’s oil from her petticoats. I’ve heard the taste can fire a princess with such a wanton lust she’d happily rut with slaves and stable lads.”
“Caitrin!” Tavia gasped. “Where have you heard such things?”
Caitrin wasn’t listening. She had taken a step closer to the goblet. Her nostrils flared as she drank deep lungfuls of air with the obvious hope of inhaling the drink’s forbidden aroma.
“I’ve heard that dragon horn can spark a fire within a woman’s nether regions that is so strong it could melt iron – a fire so constant it makes her thighs sweat rivers.”
“I’ve also heard that,” Robert admitted. He smiled and said, “I’ve seen that.”
She gave him a sideways glance. Her eyes had grown wide. “I’ve heard that a taste of dragon horn can harden a healthy man’s hardness and lengthen his longing.”
Robert laughed. He used the heel of one hand to rub at his hip. “I have also experienced that,” he agreed. “And it is a formidable sight.”
Caitrin stepped closer. Her fingers stretched out toward a goblet. “I’ve heard that it heightens the pleasure of the flesh to a degree that makes every other pleasure seem false and flat and as stale as week-old beggar bread.”
“And I’ve heard that none of this is true,” Tavia sniffed.
Robert and Caitrin studied her in silence. Caitrin’s fingers fell away from the goblet she had been about to take.
“I’ve heard that these rumours are nothing more than the lies of rogues and fairy-wing traders,” Tavia said tartly. “I’ve heard that the effects of dragon horn are only the self-fulfilling prophecies of idiots and the wilfully deluded.”
Caitrin looked set to respond but Robert silenced her by raising his hand. Instead of arguing with Tavia he nodded agreement.
“If that’s the case, would you care to take a sip?”
She stepped boldly up to him and snatched a goblet from the ceremonial tray.
“I’ll take more than a sip,” Tavia said. She swallowed the contents in one mouthful. Hurling the goblet to a corner of the room she said, “And I’ll now go and report to my father the castellan that you were trying to seduce his daughters with an outlawed drink.”
Robert said nothing.
Caitrin reached out to grab her sister’s arm but Tavia was too quick for her. She was walking toward the doorway of the tower room with a determined stride.
“Tavia,” her sister called.
“The castellan is not known for his leniency toward lawbreakers,” Tavia said over her shoulder. “Branding? Imprisonment? Banishment? Hanging? Which do you think he will suggest for a man who tries to tempt his chaste daughters with the dubious promise of outlawed dragon horn?”
“Tavia,” Caitrin pleaded. “Don’t tell father. Please. For our sake. For the sake of the fiefdom. This could ruin our reputations. It could ruin everything.”
Tavia stopped stock still.
She turned slowly to study Robert and Caitrin. There was an expression on her face that Caitrin had never seen before. Tavia studied Robert with a gaze that lingered between loathing and loving.
“Did you enjoy your drink?” he asked.
She rushed at him.
Pushing him backward toward the padding of the cushions on the four-poster, Tavia devoured Robert’s face with kisses that looked as carnal and avaricious as anything that could be witnessed in the shire’s farmyards. She tore at his clothes. Her painted nails clawed to reach his manliness. His tunic was rent from his shoulders exposing a broad, manly chest. Tavia straddled him as he lay on the bed.
She writhed her groin against his loins.
“Take me,” she insisted. “Take me and then take me again.”
Dragon Desire: Quest for Satisfaction, by Lisette Ashton, will be available from December 20th.
Thanks ever so much for coming to visit today Ashley. As I long time lover of dragons, I can’t wait to read this one!