Addy: Today I welcome Ashe Barker to my blog with her sizzling new release, The Laird and the Sassench. Please tell me a bit about it.
Ashe:The Laird and the Sassenach is a story of a man with justice to mete out, and a dilemma to face. Sometimes the truth seems to stare us in the face, at other times it may be not so clear where the blame lies. In the middle ages, of course, matters of crime and punishment, guilt or innocence were simple enough. The social hierarchies of the time placed authority and power in few hands and there were no qualifications required which entitled the privileged to rule. They were just handed the job and the common folk had to hope their leaders would turn out to be wise and fair. Sometimes they got lucky, and The Laird and the Sassenach is a story of one such instance.
I love to write historical stories. I am especially drawn to Highland fantasies, and why not? Who can resist the soaring Scottish scenery and sexy men in kilts. I find myself fascinated by that heady cocktail of honour and lawlessness, the atmospheric sensuality of the time and the way an all-powerful laird will reveal his soft centre just when it matters. But the Sassenach in the story also has her little quirks and faces some unique challenges. And look out for an unlikely star of the show. Freya the wolfhound has her part to play and I absolutely adored her.
Addy: You say you love the Highland fantasies. Why do you enjoy writing historical fiction?
Ashe: History was my favourite lesson at school, though some periods are more fascinating to me than others. I always preferred the medieval or even earlier times, though the Victoriuans were an interesting bunch too. In many ways life was simpler in the past, if a lot more brutal, and of course some of the moral issues we would have to deal with in a contemporary setting don’t apply. Inequality was the norm. Women were expected to obey – or else. A spanking author can have a field day.
Addy: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Ashe: I think it was always there, though I only started writing properly about three years ago. I have always tended to plot stories in my head though, often when sitting in traffic jams on my daily commute. I now work at home so all that time spent inhaling exhaust fumes is finally paying off.
Addy: Ugh. I completely understand. I only have a ten minute commute and I'd rather be writing. :smiles: Last question. What advice would you have for writers who decide to try their hand at erotica?
Ashe: I’d tell them to have a go, but to have a decent thesaurus to hand. And an internet connection. Youtube is the erotica writer’s friend.
Addy: Aha! I will certainly keep that in that mind. I do love a good thesaurus though. Do you have anything else to tell your readers?
Ashe: I hope readers enjoy The Laird and the Sassenach as much as I loved writing it.
Addy: Come back anytime. I wish you the best of luck on your release!
An hour later Blair ascended his private stairs leading to his solar. Roselyn had gone up some twenty minutes earlier, at his bidding. She should be ready for him by now. Aiden had also completed his allotted task and the products of the man’s labours now awaited the laird, suitably prepared and soaking in a bucket of water in the hallway outside his chamber door.
Blair halted to check the switches. Aiden had done his work well and Blair could detect no sharp edges which might cut Roselyn’s delicate skin. He crossed the solar to the door which led to the smaller chamber where he slept.
Roselyn had obeyed his instructions to perfection, particularly considering that this was the first time he had required her to be naked in his presence. He had been tempted on many occasions and as his prisoner there would have been little she could do had he decided to take advantage of her vulnerable situation. When her very life hung in the balance his innate sense of honour would not permit him to stoop to such an act, but all had changed now.
She turned her head as he entered the room. “My lord…?”
“You will not speak, Roselyn, unless I ask you a direct question. You may of course scream—indeed, I believe my people will expect it.”
She nodded and bowed her head.
He paused for a moment to peruse her slim body. Had there been the slightest mark remaining, any residue of her beating at Kelso, he would have insisted that this issue between them be deferred. There was not.
Very well then, we continue. He strode past her to fetch the bolster from the head of the bed and moved it to the foot. Blair considered the arrangement for a moment, then took a length of folded plaid from a chest and added that to the pile. It would do. He turned to regard Lady Roselyn.
“I shall require you to lie across the foot of my bed where I have placed pillows which will lift your bottom up for me. I expect you to remain still and in position until I am finished, and I have no doubt that you will find that difficult. If you move I shall be obliged to start all over again, so to avoid disappointment to both of us I shall tie you in place. Your wrists shall be secured, and your ankles.” He moved to stand immediately in front of her and tipped up her chin with his fingers. “I will hurt you, Roselyn, for that is what I intend, but I will do you no lasting harm. Do you understand the difference?”
“I… I believe so, my lord. You are not at all like my brother.”
“No, I am not. So, may I help you up?”
She nodded and reached for his hand. Blair helped her to her feet then paused to peruse her naked form. “You are quite lovely.” He meant it, but now was not the moment to pursue that disruptive line of thought. Instead, he brushed his lips across her forehead then led her to the foot of the bed. “Lean forward and rest your body on the pillows. You may take your time to get settled, and when you are ready I shall tie you in place.”
He stepped back to allow her the space to move, and moments later he was rewarded by the sight of her upturned, naked buttocks presented prettily for his punishment. His unruly cock stood to attention as Blair admired the vision before him. For several moments he did not move, but then he heard her whimper. She was afraid, utterly terrified. He should conclude this as quickly as he might and ogle her later.
“Spread your legs as wide as you are able, Roselyn. I shall secure your ankles first.”
He crouched and fastened her delicate feet to the bedposts, his actions both swift and deft. He used leather straps, sufficiently flexible not to cause undue discomfort, but neither could she escape or kick. He had every confidence she would do her utmost to achieve both before they were done.
Next he moved to her side and took her right hand in his. He pulled it into the small of her back, then drew her left to join it. “I shall bind your wrists like this.”
She lay still as he finished his preparations, her breathing rapid. Satisfied that she would remain quite still during the proceedings and not wishing to prolong her ordeal unnecessarily, Blair returned to the outer solar to select his first bundle of switches.
After her half-brother attacks the kinsmen of Blair McGregor, Lady Roselyn of Etal is brought before the stern highland laird to answer for her reluctant, unwitting role in the crime. Once she has told her story, she throws herself at his mercy.
Blair soon realizes that Roselyn is as much a victim of her half-brother as anyone, but his people’s demands for justice cannot be ignored entirely, so he strips the young Englishwoman bare and chastises her firmly with a switch applied to her naked backside.
The painful, humiliating punishment both assuages Roselyn’s guilt and leaves her yearning to be even more thoroughly mastered by the handsome laird. Though Blair makes it clear that she is free to return home, she instead chooses to remain with the him in his castle… and in his bed. Their passion soon blossoms into romance, but can the highlander protect his beautiful Sassenach when the villain who caused them both so much pain tries to tear her away from him?
Publisher’s Note: The Laird and the Sassenach includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
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More about Ashe Barker
USA Today best-selling author Ashe Barker has been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres. She still loves reading, the hotter the better. But now she has a good excuse for her guilty pleasure – research.
Ashe tends to draw on her own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea.
Ashe lives in the North of England, on the edge of the Brontë moors and enjoys the occasional flirtation with pole dancing and drinking Earl Grey tea. When not writing – which is not very often these days - her time is divided between her role as taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, tortoises. And a very grumpy cockatiel.
At the last count Ashe had over forty titles on general release with publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and several more in the pipeline. She writes M/f, M/M, and occasionally rings the changes with a little M/M/f. Ashe’s books invariably feature BDSM. She writes explicit stories, always hot, but offering far more than just sizzling sex. Ashe likes to read about complex characters, and to lose herself in compelling plots, so that’s what she writes too.
Ashe has a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keeps thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from her.
Ashe loves to hear from readers. Here are her social media links:
Or you can email her direct on email@example.com