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A Woman on the Wildside - Sex and the Cemetery in Argentina

"The place was tranquil, in a disturbing way, beautiful in a gothic manner of opulent splendor, a facade for darker stories - a ghost town in the literal sense."

NOTE:  A Woman on the Wildside is a series of blogs currently being written by Anastasia Blackwell, chronicling her experience as a single woman traveling in Argentina, with the purpose of publishing the complete series.

"I imagined a late night tryst beneath a full moon, bare skin against cold stone, alive in the shadows of death, a delicious shock of electricity riding spine to heart, and the drive to create new life”.  

     I strode down bustling Avenida Alvear, past the Cathedral with  open door confessionals and prayer stalls lined with candles.  The sweet smells that wafted from the bakeries and candy shops filled my senses with delight, and. I ached to stop and try the fine leather boots and jackets in the windows of upscale boutiques, but I was running late.

     Tamerlane Rivera appeared as I made my way past Our Lady of Pilar Church to the entrance of the Recoleta Cemetery, its stone façade in stark contrast to the swirl of white clouds floating, adrift in a sea of blue. He wore a black cashmere coat over a white collared shirt open at the neck, and dark wash jeans.  His embrace was firm and confident, affording a kiss to my cheek that left a trace of musk and spice.

     At the finale of the demonstration at the Tribunal he had offered an invitation to show me the sights of Buenos Aires. I had agreed, despite numerous warnings that a single woman must be cautious when traveling in Argentina. I did not regret the decision, as his beguiling good looks had the same affect in the harsh light of day as the romantic warm hue of moonlight..

     “I grew up in the barrio of Recoleta, on the street that houses many of the embassies.  Most of the wealth in Argentina is held by the people who live within the district.”

     He guided me past a vendor cooking glazed walnuts, through neo classical gates and Doric columns into one the most famous cemeteries in the world. Inside the walled gates was a city of extravagant mausoleums that housed the remains of wealthy, famous, and infamous Argentinean citizens.   

     “Most locals born to the neighborhood are baptized in the church, educated, build careers, get married, raise children, retire, and move to the exclusive city of the dead, when they pass on.  It is expensive real estate and there are no simple stones, the kind used to mark the remains of common people.”

     “No Exit,” I remarked.

     “I’m sorry?”

     “Your description reminded me of an existential Jean Paul Sartre play.”

     “He is one of my favorite philosophers,” he said.

     “Mine too,” I said, in half earnest, distracted, by the vast array of artistry used to render the essence of a human life.

     The place was tranquil, in a disturbing way, beautiful in a gothic manner of opulent splendor, a façade for darker stories - a ghost town in the literal sense.   

     The elaborate marble mausoleums were decorated with statues in a wide range of architectural styles, tightly attached, like miniature houses, decorated with sophistocated sculptures, art, and photographs. 

     A strong French influence was apparent, but pyrmids, Egyptian motifs and Masonry symbols added an eclectic flair. Laid out like city blocks, the main walkways lined with trees led to narrow streets meandering for what seemed like miles.  There were thousands of homes, and many offered clear views inside doors and windows, of elaborate, wood caskets adorned with precious metals.

     The most touching was the crypt of a young woman who had mistakenly been buried alive, and then died of fright when she awakened. She had been reburied behind glass, in case she reawakened a second time.

     “Eva Peron is buried further down this walkway,” he said, and led me along a narrow path to an elegant crypt lined with flowers and notes from her fans.”      “She would have been forgotten beneath a slab in the country had she not used her beauty and eloquence to reform the country. “

     “I read she was embalmed by her husband.” I said..

     “Yes, and was stolen by thieves after he died.  She was held as the property of his widow for a period of time.”

     "A woman’s worst nightmare,” I said..

     “Beauty and power exact a price,” he remarked, with a warm smile.

     Evita rose from poverty to become an international icon for her rhetoric, personal style, and tireless work on behalf of women and the poor.  A victim of uterine cancer, she lost her life to what created life and defined her as a woman. 

     “Is her husband, Juan, buried beside her?” I asked.

     “Her family would not let Peron lie beside her since he remarried after her death.  The crypt next door is for sale for $500,000.  Money buys position.”

     “It’s heartbreaking that she lies here alone, a spectacle to tourists, with a plot ‘for lease’ next to her, when her passion and commitment to her husband and her country were unconditional.”

     “Legacy is all that matters.”

     We passed the statue of a warrior on horseback. ”This famous general was revered for his slaughter of the local natives. A monument to genocide,” he said.

     Tamerlane paused before a broken-down crypt, with glass shattered and laced cobwebs. The dusty coffins inside could be clearly seen and a top was slightly ajar, which made the scene even more macabre.

      A high pitched cry came from inside the crypt and the wrought iron door began to open. I gasped and I jumped back, nearly into Tamerlane’s arms.

     “It’s a feline not a ghost,” he reassured me, while barely stifling his amusement.  “Cats are brought here to live when their masters are laid to rest. They keep the rodents at bay.”

     A tabby cat stepped outside and sauntered leisurely down the street to the next abandoned home.

      When a citizen dies their surviving family members are required to pay the caretakers to keep up the property.  If their relatives fall into hard times or lose interest in their old relatives, the deceased are left to the ravages of nature.”

     “Foreclosure in the cemetery,” I replied.

     A dark shadow passed overhead and the sultry scent of the aquatic permeated the air.  A shroud of black clouds threatened to flood the streets of the departed.

      Tamerlane turned to me with a mysterious smile.  His gaze lowered to my lips, my heart began to race, and for a brief moment I was lost to fantasy.  I imagined a late night tryst beneath a full moon, bare skin against cold stone, alive in the shadows of death, a delicious shock of electricity riding spine to heart, and the drive to create new life”.

     “There is no escaping Capitalism if you choose to lie with him,” he remarked, and looked deeper into my eyes as though to capture the image of forbidden love I had conjured.

     “Who owns your soul?” I asked, in a shallow voice. 

     “My soul is not for the taking,” he replied.

     “Does that mean it’s not been given?”

     “It means it has not been bought.”

     The heavy clouds began to give way to a torrential downfall.

     “Come, let’s find shelter,” he said, and took my arm to lead me outside the walls of the city of the dead.

Recoleta Cemetery

 

Recoleta Cemetary
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Anastasia Blackwell Interview on Trap of Women Who Marry for Money

In a recent interview at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Oregon I was asked about the character of Ruth Sandeley, wife of wealthy Ramey Sandeley in The House on Black Lake. Here are my thoughts:

 

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Anastasia Blackwell Reveals Inspiration for Novel 'The House on Black Lake'

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Author Anastasia Blackwell Interview on Taming Bad Boys

 

In a series of interviews set in Jacksonville, Oregon I was asked about the bad boys in The House on Black Lake. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

 

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50 Books for Lovers of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Scene from 'The House on Black Lake' trailer.

Sugar and Spice (The Duty and Destiny Series Book 6)

Please Note:  The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay. Visit Home Page to view cinematic trailer.

The themes of obsessive love, BDSM, alpha males, control and submission, the use of wealth and power to allure, exploit and control, are all explored in The House on Black Lake. Ramey Sandeley is a man who it has been said that "God gave too much and so he has price to pay".  He has everything that a man or woman could possible want, but he has never known a truly soulful love. When he meets Alexandra their perfect lives are blown apart and they are taken on a journey that compels them to explore the dark side of human behavior and dig deeper into their psyches. He believes the body must be contained (and sometimes beaten) for the soul to to be released. He threatens Alexandra with a whipping when she returns from a liason with a young French Artist Andre Labat and warns her that once the soul has been released from its human bondage there is no turning back.

The House on Black Lake mirrors many of the same themes as the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Yet, the characters are at different points in their lives. Ana and Christian are fortunate to meet when they are both without responsibility and available.  Ramey and Alexander fall in love at first sight.  However, they are both are newlyweds when they first meet, and have children when they reunite (she has divorced and he is still married). Yet, the longing and desire for something deeper, more profound and primal are universal at any age. Their journey is both exciting and torturous, as integrity and faithfulness are at stake as well as the confinements of society.

Other books popular with women who loved "Fifty Shades of Grey follow. The list offers a wide selection that includes recommendations from readers of all ages, and levels of  sophistication and education.

1. Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

2. Innocence Tempted (Generational Sins Series)

3.An Ordinary Girl by Barbara Elsbord

4. Sleeping Beauty Series by Anne Rice

5. Sempre by J.M Darhower

6. Insufferable Proximity by Z. Stefani

7. Wicked Burn by Beth Kery

8. Sweet Restraint by Beth Kery

9.  Sweet Surrender (Complete Series) by Maya Banks

10.Forever Wicked: A Wicked Lovers Novella (1001 Dark Nights) by Shaya Black

11. Naughty Bits Part II: The Training Session by Joey W. Hill

12. An Irresistible Bachelor by J. R. Ward

16. Bound (Forbidden Series - Book 1)

18. Surviving Passion (The Shattered World Book 1)

21. A Tall, Dark Cowboy by Mackenzie McKade

22. Rocky Mountain Heat(Six Pack Ranch Book 1) by Sarah McCarty

26 Lost Star[Interstellar Service & Discipline] by Morgan Hawkes

28. An Ordinary Girl by Barbara Elsborg

30. Liberating Lacey by Ann Calhoun

31. BDSM Positions: The Beginner's Guide to BDSM

32. Bound, Spanked and Loved: Fourteen Kinky Valentine's Day Stories

33. The Wicked West  by Victoria Dahl

34. The Principal's Office by Jasmine Haynes

35. The Taker by Alma Katsu

36. Beautiful Disaster by Jaime Mcguire

37. Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn

38. Breaking Sin by Teresa Mummert

39. Love Unscripted by Tina Reber

40. Honor Student by Teresa Mummert

41. The Story of O by Pauline Reage

43. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

44. Master of Shadowland Series by Cherise Sinclair

45. Sweet Series by Maya Banks

46. Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

47. Existance Trilogy by Abbi Glines

48. Bared to You by Sylvia Day

49. Untouchable by Lindsay Delagair

50. From Rags by Suzanne Wright

Author Anastasia Blackwell grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is familiar with the world of Christian Grey.  In a series of interviews set in Jacksonville, Oregon she discusses the controversial novel.

 

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25 Sexiest Alpha Heroes in Romance Novels

Please note: Go to Home Page to view cinematic trailer and new music video for The House on Black Lake.

Scene from "The House on Black Lake" trailer

Every romance novel has at least one sexy hero, many books have numerous objects of desire. Each individual has their own notion of what is sexually appealing, so all tastes are different. However, there are a number of alphas who appeal to a broad range of women and are consistently mentioned as the sexiest of the breed.

In the House on Black Lake there are three alphas competing for the sexiest slot, although only one will merge a hero.  Ramey Sandeley is the scion of an old Montreal family as well as a successful entrepreneur with preternatural good looks and devilish charm, Georgie La Pointe a glamorous French Canadian rock star with a flare for dangerous love, and sultry French artist Andre Labat a master of romance and seduction.

The top 25 sexiest heroes are in no particular order.

1. Thomas Walker - Smoke in Mirors by Jane Anne Krentz

2 Luthor Malone- Running Hot by Jane Anne Krentz

3. Rafe McCay - The Touch of Fire by Linda Howard

4. Elvis Donnelly - Exposure by Susan Andersen

5. Jacob Caitlin - Tell Me No Lies by Elizabeth Lowell

6. Jack Sheridan - Virgin River by Robyn Carr

7. Joe Ramsey - Tempt Me Tonight by Toni Blake

8. Derek Taggart - Kept by Jami Alden

9. Iain MacKinnon - Surrender by Pamela Clare

10. Dageus Mackeltar - The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

11. Alex Markov - Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

12. Jared Maxwell - Condition of Marriage by Emilie Rose

13. James Diaz - Cry no More by Linda Howard

14. Burke Halifax - Betting Hearts by Dee Tenorio

15. Colby - Guilty Needs by Shiloh Walker

16. Theo Buchanan - Mercy by Julie Garwood

17 Max - Wild Orchids by Karen Robards

18. Hunter Hawksworth - Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas

19. Derek Craven - Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

20. Jacob Jarmon - Tender Torment by J. Archer

21. Zsadist - Lover Awakenedby J.R. Ward

22. Jamie - Outlander by Diana Galandon

23. Broderick - Ransom by Julie Garwood

24. Bones - Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost

25. Ethan MacCarrick - If You Deceive by Kresley Cole

 

 

 

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Sexiest Giant Alphas in Romance Novels

Khor play by Jason Momea in the HBO hit A Game of Thrones, based on the novel of the same name, has awakened many women to the sexiness of giant alphas, particularly the primitive sort. The novel I am currently working is titled "The Chamber of Curiosities" and features a very sexy giant, Darney Vasquez, who is purchased as a young man and displayed in a carnival freak show. He is a very popular feature of the show, and soon both performers and patrons are transformed in very unexpected ways by the preternaturally beautiful  and soulful creature.

Also, the primary male characters in "The House on Black Lake " are all tall and well built. Though not giants, most women are frail and vulnerable in comparison to their girth and stature. There is something very sexy about an unusally large male specimen, both men and women are intrigued by the breed, which is an element of  the popularity of sports spectacles. They are anomaly and the more exaggerated their physicality, the greater the appeal.

The sexiest giant alphas in romance novels, as voted for by women who are experts in the romance genre, are as follows:

1. Raziel from Raziel by Kristen Douglas
2. Men of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward
3. Men of The Darkness Chosen Seriesby Christina Dodd
4. Men of Lords of the Underworld Seriesby Gena Showalter
5. Acheron from Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
6. Men of The Sentinel Wars Series by Shannon Butcher
7. Men of  The Breeds Series by Lora Leigh (erotica)
8. The Wolf" from A Kingdom of Dreamsby Judith McNaught
9. Lorenzo Vasaro from The Wind Dancer by Iris Johansen
10. The warriors of Ransom by Julie Garwood
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Top Ten Dominant Alpha Males in Romance Novels

The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay. Go to Home Page to view provocative trailer featuring scenes from novel.

The House on Black Lake  has three powerful, dominant alpha men. Ramey Sandeley has never tasted failure and expects he will always win, whether in business or pleasure.  His uncle, Roger Sandeley, is a member of a group of international businessmen in Montreal that make up a nearly invincible power elite. Georgie La Pointe is the cousin to Ramey Sandeley, a spoiled rock god, born to great privilege. A supreme narcissist, Georgie has never slept with the same woman more than once,  grooms his hair in the eyes of his lovers, and makes love to himself while listening to his songs.

 Alphas are great fun to play with and when a woman wins in the game of love with an A - it is a triumphant battle indeed. Alexandra is lured by all three of powerful dominant alphas. A broken and world weary divorced mother when she journeys to Black Lake, she seems ill equipped for such a task. But as Alexandra is drawn into the underground and mentored by the mystics and gypsies dormant powers are unleashed, and she begins a dramatic transformation. Will the romantic beauty beat the dominant alphas at their games and tame each and every one? Perhaps not tame, but their lives will never be the same.

 I have taken a poll from the romance community, and the following have been voted the top ten most dominent Alpha men in romantic novels. Thanks to Amazon Romance Forum.

In no particular order, the winners are:

1. Domenico, The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys - cult favorite  - dark historical romance set in renaissance Italy about Duke who sees peasant girl in window and buys her from her brother and forces her to be his mistress

2. Jamie, The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabledon - historical romance time travel 

3. Wrath The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward -leader of vampire warriors set in New York

4. Lucan, The Midnight Breed Series by Laura Adraian - eight books in vampire series

5. Bones Night Huntress Series by Jeannine Frost - an urban vampire fantasy

6. Jericho The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning - fantasy/paranormal set in Ireland

7. Zadist, Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward - six vampire warriors gravitate between turf battles and sensuous delights

8. Raphael, Guild Hunter Series by Nalili Singh -  female vampire hunter and powerful archangel

9. Rolfe the Relentless, The Conquerer by Brenda Joyce - romance set in England in 1069

10. Gregori, Dark Magic Series by Christine Ferham - heavy on romance and intimacy with vampire, magic, paranormal twist

Pamela Palmer's Hunger Untamed series follows feral warriors in all their glory. Looks like this alpha might must make it to the top ten very soon!! The model on the cover, international model/actor Tos Yanez  plays Andre Labat in the Trailer for 'The House on Black Lake' which can be viewed on Home Page.

Hunger Untamed

 

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30 Best Alpha Heroes in Romance Novels

To view film trailer for The House on Black Lake go to website home page.

Ramey Sandeley, the alpha male antagonist in The House on Black Lake has it all. It has been said that “God gave him too much, as so he has a price to pay”. Born with astonishing good looks and enormous wealth, he proceeds to become educated at the finest universities, to learn how to ride a horse like a native, hunt wild game all over the world,  and become a highly successful international entrepreneur. He has never known failure, and that is what makes him highly vulnerable. His power and wealth do not protect him from personal tragedy.  Eventually his gilded life becomes a claustrophobic prison, and he, in turn, becomes little more than the animals he brands with his hand-made tools.

When he first meets Alexandra Brighton he realizes she is his soul mate, yet he is married with a wife carrying his child, and she is also committed. Their union would carry great sacrifice, and so they proceed with their lives. However, a vow at a shrine leads Alexandra back to confront the attraction that brought them together, and the battle for their souls to unite creates a struggle that threatens to destroy them and all they hold dear. This is the nature of the alpha spirit.

There is also a gamma male in the mix. Ramey’s first cousin, the supremely narcissistic rock god, Georgie La Pointe. A sociopathic master of seduction, he is a master class in why this kind of male needs to be avoided at all costs, no matter the level of social status and desirability. 

I have compiled a list of the 30 top alpha male heroes taken from romance novel communities. Add your own, and submit to forums and book clubs for your pleasure.

1. Alexander Belov, from The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons

2. John Medina,  from “ All The Queen's Men by Linda Howard

3. Jerico, from   Fever Series by Karin Marie Moning

4. Domenico, from The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys

5. Lucan,  from Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian

6. Jaime, from Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

7. Wolf Mackenzie, from Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard

8. Wrath, from Dark Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

9. Lucas Hunter, from  Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

10. Raphael,  Guild Hunters Series by Nalini Singh

11. Hohn Huntington, from Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice

12. Iain sinclair, from Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood

13. Ian Mackinnon,  from Surrender Book One of Mackinnon's Rangers, by Pamela Clare

14. Hunter of the Wolf, Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson

15. Lachlain,  from A Hunger Like No Other, Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley cole

16. Darius, Lucian, from   Immortals After Dark Series", by Christine Feehan

17. Bones, from  Night Huntress series by Jeaninne Frost

18. Adam from   Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs

19. Lucky Douchet, from Lucky's Ladyby Tami Hoag

20. Drustan, Dageus, Cian,  from Kiss of the Highlander Series by Karen Marie Moning

21.  Zadist,  from Black Dagger Brotherhood Series , by JD Ward

22. Julian Darcagelo,  from  Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare

23. Damion de Jarnoc, from  The Last Knight,  by Pamela Proctor

24. James Diaz, from  Cry No More by Linda Howard

25. Takashi O’Brien,  from Ice Blue by Anne Straight

26. Drake, from Dangerous Passion by Lisa Marie Rice

27. Rolfe the Relentless,  from The Conquerer by Brenda Joyce

28. Tegan, from Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian

29. Gregori Daratrazanoff,  from “Dark Magic , book 4 of the Carpathian Series, by Christine Feehan

30. Sean Culhane, Stormfire by Christine Monson

It is well acknowledged that JR Ward and Linda Howard are masters of creating provocative alphas. It’s generally better to read about one than to have a serious relationship with an alpha. But then again . . . . They are fun to play with, as their egos make them highly vulnerable, and that’s why they make great romantic heroes. Dominance makes the game all the more fun, as it raises the stakes for the woman and creates an exciting emotional adventure. Also, they're usually wildly physical in all aspects of their lives.

And, of course, one must not foget the number one, most alpha male – Rhett Butler, from Gone With the Wind But the story ended before she twisted him around her finger one more time.

What would it take to tame his hunger, and take him as your own?

Hunger Untamed from Pamela Palmer's Feral Warriors Series.

 

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Trapeze Artists In Rehearsal for Music Video for "The House on Black Lake" at Trapeze Pro in Sonoma

Trapeze artists Tany Hoover and Marek Kaszuba of Trapeze Pro in Sonoma are in rehearsal for a music video based on a scene from the novel. The piece titled "Dangerous Games" will integrate an intoxicating new song and music  by Peter Busboom along with special effects. Actor's  will recreate scene culminating in trapeze act. The rare combination of static and flying trapeze is a sensuous interpretive movement piece that illuminates the dangerous game of love.

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