Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sex, witchcraft, and rock and roll - Rise of the Nephilim: A Blackmoore Prequel by Marcus James

"Marcus James is back to thrill us all over again. With a gift for storytelling and a passion that bleeds into every page, he brings us more words of wonder and excitement. [...]
This tale will leave you breathless, it bundles together so many parts of life. [...]
Breathless. Sensational. Riveting. Unnerving. Compelling. A page-turner if there ever was one! "- Wesley about Symphony for the Devil


Published: July 24th, 2017
Cover Artist: Ransom Graphics

LOS ANGELES, summer of 1987. 

Kathryn Blackmoore, the 26 year old heir to Blackmoore World Corp. and the future matriarch of the Blackmoore dynasty of witches has fled the haunted old monied neighborhood of South Hill in Bellingham, Washington looking to trade in a century of rumors, superstition, and her own heartache for the sun, sex, and music of the Sunset Strip. 

Taking up residence in the famed and decaying Chateau Marmont hotel, Kathryn quickly finds herself in an erotic and thrilling journey into the world of Niiq, Arish, and Kuri; members of the band Nephilim, who seem to have the women of the Strip enthralled by their dark and sensuous sound. When bodies begin to turn up all over town and a mysterious and haunting figure fixates on Kathryn, she quickly learns that you can never escape your destiny.

RISE OF THE NEPHILIM is the first of a two part erotic paranormal romance/thriller revealing the beginnings of one of the most captivating characters in The Blackmoore Legacy series. It is a standalone prequel of eroticism, romance, and suspense. 

The Gothic and the Erotic: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Gothic literature has a special place in my heart, a place filled with decaying houses with crumbling walls, trees that are always naked of leaves, or canopied and dripping with Spanish moss. It’s ghosts, vampires, and witches. It’s obsession, and unwillingness to let go of the dead, and a pervasive sense of foreboding that you just can’t shake.

Gothic horror and general Gothic literature share all of these elements. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Secret History, A Density of Souls, The Snow Garden, The Client, and The Virgin Suicides are all great examples of pedestrian Gothic literature; lacking in little to none supernatural elements but are Gothic nonetheless.

Gothic horror is most often what we think of when we think of “gothic”. We think Dracula, Frankenstein, the works of Poe, Joyce Carol Oats, Anne Rice and so on; giving us ghosts, monsters, twisted desires etc. All of it weaving into something darkly seductive and decadent in its use of language and description.

Gothic literature lives in the space of grief. Grief is a powerful thing, the constant sense of loss and a refusal to give up the ghost. Whether that ghost is metaphoric or literal. It is a bleakness and a pain that darkness life and keeps the dead from moving on.

I like writing about grief. I like the way it obsesses and yearns, and can push one into forbidden thoughts and deeds. It is not always the grief of losing someone to death, it can be grief over the loss of love-of innocence-the loss of everything you ever thought you believed in. It explores dark, deep emotions that most of us think but do not dare share aloud.

 Jane Eyre is an example of a piece of Gothic literature that takes us to the unforgiving and isolating landscape of the moors, and deftly explores the dark obsession of love and loss.

  Whether about terrors of the night or the dark cravings if our own desires, Gothic horror and Gothic realism share with one thing; the erotic.

All of these books explore sexuality and sensuality, and that what makes them so endearing and so powerful. Lust, desire, obsession, vengeance, fear, and quiet rage. Some explore eroticism more strongly than others, but it is there in every piece; along with the old houses and broken sidewalks.

 My novels explore eroticism to its fullest. I believe in taking my readers every step of the way on the journey of my characters. What’s the point of getting you so invested in the character's wants, needs, and desires, if in the end, all I’m going to do is fade to black?

I got my publishing start writing erotica for a dozen brilliant anthologies for Alyson Books (no longer around, but for decades they were the Knopf/Random House of LGBT publishing) and I wrote some pretty experimental pieces that to this day I can’t believe ended up in anthologies of sex. Stories that were about addiction to love and attention, stories about ghosts and witches, even a story about two boys who kill their parents in the south and run away in the end.

These were Gothic and erotic, and went all the way. There is a difference between pornography and erotica. In pornography, the story is for the sake of the sex. Often there isn’t really much to the story itself, but with erotica, it’s all about sex for the sake of the story. The sex scene has to be organic to the plot, it has to take you to the brink of what the characters are going through, and it has to stir emotion in the reader.

I personally think there is no “too little or too much” sex in a story. As long as it is organic and makes sense to the plot and isn’t just thrown in there to be shocking or daring. In all of my novels there is sex. In my latest, Rise of the Nephilim-which follows my character Kathryn Blackmoore from my witch series The Blackmoore Legacy, as a young woman in 1980’s LA-there is a lot of sex. It is purposely an erotic paranormal romance/Gothic horror, and I had a lot of fun writing it. Usually I have one or two sex scenes, but with this book, I got to explore the sexuality of a young woman in a time when the women’s liberation movement was still a relatively new concept.

 She’s a powerful witch from a powerful and troubled family, and in her future will be the matriarch of the Blackmoore family of witches, and this genre was a great way to explore the person she was before she became a wife, widower, and mother to the main character in the Blackmoore series.
I think to embrace the Gothic we have to embrace the erotic in all of its nuances, and not runaway from it or look down on it or see it as less than “quality” literature. It is intrinsic to what makes Gothic fiction so fantastic, just as intrinsic as all of the other elements, and it is worth being celebrated.

About the author:
Marcus James is the author of five novels and has contributed to several anthologies with Alyson Books and has been a contributing writer for Seattle Gay News. He lives in Seattle with his husband and Staffordshire terrier. He is 32 years old.

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