Today, for May’s Stormy Weather theme, I have a lady who needs little introduction—one of the most recognized names in erotica, Lisabet Sarai, genre-buster extraordinaire (check out Rajasthani Moon), who obviously shares my fondness for storms. It is a pleasure to host her. So strap in for the storm season, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, because we get several awesome excerpts AND a giveaway opportunity.
Now to the topic at hand. “Never open a book with weather.” That’s Elmore Leonard’s rule number one for writing. But storms are a vivid metaphor for the fierce, sometimes frightening power of desire. How can an erotic author resist using them to mirror the intensity of her characters’ emotions?
My story “Twister”, recently published in the charitable anthology Coming Together: Through the Storm, uses a tornado as the backdrop for a steamy BDSM scene in a cyclone cellar.
Already I could feel that weird electricity in the air, that heaviness that makes it hard to draw breath. The horses were restless. I opened their stalls, so that they would have a chance if the building collapsed. They huddled nervously in the corners. Leaving the upper windows open wide to equalize the pressure, I locked the doors and headed for the bulkhead.
The sky was a sickly green. A mass of inky thunderheads sat ominously on the horizon. It was perfectly still, no hint of a breeze stirring the July afternoon, as I swung open the doors and headed down the concrete stairs.
In my MMF historical ménage Monsoon Fever, the relentless, sometimes violent monsoon rains of hilly Assam play a significant role in the plot, as well as providing an atmosphere of urgency in this tale of physical and spiritual connection.
Through the fine wool of his tailored trousers, she felt the hardness that testified to his own need. Panic and lust fought within her. I am a married woman, she wanted to cry out, but his lips played upon hers and stopped her voice. His hands roamed freely over her body, massaging her buttocks, cupping her breasts, fingering the tight nubs of flesh that poked so obviously through the fabric of her blouse. He strayed to the damp crease between her thighs. She moaned into his spice-flavoured mouth, urging him on to more brazen explorations. He began to unfasten the first of the buttons that closed her skirt.
All at once, thunder cracked around them. Lightning flashed outside the arched door, momentarily blinding her. She smelled sulfur and charred wood.
Anil broke the kiss, looking around them, “Oh dear. It sounds as though the rain I predicted has arrived.” Another fierce peal of thunder echoed through the stone buildings. Priscilla cringed. “I think that perhaps we should head back. Come.”
Priscilla was simultaneously disappointed and relieved. She smoothed her skirt and ran her fingers through her curls, then followed Anil out into the courtyard. The rain had not yet begun, but the sky was a roiling mass of black clouds. Another lightning bolt lanced across the horizon, turning the clouds a livid purple.
Maybe the gods had intervened, to save her from herself. Or maybe they were angry at her faithlessness.
Anil hailed one of the carters huddled under a bamboo roof. “If we’re lucky, we can make it down the hill before the heavens open.” He held her tight during the bumpy ride back to the Bentley. The driver had wisely raised the convertible top. The two of them tumbled into the back seat and slammed the door just as the downpour started.
Buckets, sheets, torrents of rain assailed the car as it crept back along the road they had come. Huge drops battered the fabric roof, loud as gunshots. The windows were obscured by dense, lead-coloured curtains. Darkness descended, though it was barely three in the afternoon. The driver switched on the headlights, but the pale yellow beams did little to show the highway ahead. Priscilla prayed that livestock or other vehicles stayed out of their path, for there was no way that they would ever be able to see any obstacles in this storm.
My latest release Rough Weather also revolves around storms. The novella begins with a dreamed tempest, and ends with a real one. In this paranormal erotic romance, the characters do more than simply experience the weather. In some cases, they can control it.
Ondine has always felt at home in the sea. Orphaned at birth and raised by her grandmother on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, she has never really questioned her extraordinary affinity for the watery world. She concentrates on her work as a marine biologist, spends her weekends relaxing among the waves and worries about human threats to her beloved ocean environment. Fears of a deadly pregnancy like her mother’s make her cautious about sex.
When she encounters an attractive but arrogant engineer on her private beach, surveying the site for a prospective off-shore wind farm, anger is her first reaction. A casual touch, however, transforms that emotion to incomprehensible, irresistible, terrifying lust.
Ebony-skinned Marut has his own talents—aside from his uncanny ability to swamp Ondine with desire. He can control the winds and summon storms. He informs Ondine that they share a supernatural heritage and claims she is his destined mate. She responds with skepticism and tries to resist the charismatic Haitian, but ultimately her scientist’s training won’t permit her to deny the evidence of her senses—and her heart. As a brutal northeaster batters the island and Marut’s life hangs in the balance, Ondine learns that true power lies in surrender to her elemental nature.
Here’s a quick excerpt. And keep reading – I have a giveaway at the end of the post!
The winds of the northeaster still howled around them, but the surging ocean calmed, bit by bit. Gentle undulations rocked their bodies. She rolled Marut onto his back, her arm across his chest, and prepared to tow him to land.
“Uh—uch!” Racked by a fit of violent coughing, he sank beneath the surface for an instant. She hauled him up into the air and he twisted in her grasp, struggling to see her face. “Ah…uch…Ondine? Oh, thanks be to the loas! You’re here!”
“Don’t move! You’re injured, maybe badly…” She tried to flip him into a back float once more, but he squirmed like a snake in her arms.
“The storm…the plane… I had to get home to you…”
“Hush! Save your strength…let me…”
The wind snatched the words from her lips. Leaving the water behind, she rose on a pillar of air, cradled in Marut’s arms. He murmured endearments as they flew higher, covering her face with kisses. The gale swirling around them stole his words too, but she felt every one.
Now they were among the clouds, enmeshed in darkness with lightning crackling around them. Electric currents rippled through her flesh, awakening her senses. Marut’s eyes glowed with inner fire. He released her in order to tear off his tattered clothing, yet still the winds bore her up as steady as the waves below. Exhilaration and joy drove out any hint of fear. In perfect trust, Ondine surrendered to the prince of air.
The first brush of skin on skin kindled lust so fierce she nearly lost consciousness. Her body liquefied, vaporised, vanished among the fire-streaked clouds. Marut surrounded and invaded her, taking possession of his mate. More than willing, she welcomed him, opening both her body and her mind.
It was her dream come to life, but more intense, more powerful, more transcendent, because Ondine had abandoned the struggle against her nature and her destiny. He was her destiny, this hard-muscled, virile, tender man who could command the winds. As she was his.
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Win your choice of Rough Weather or Monsoon Fever. Just leave a comment on this post and include your email address. I’ll randomly draw a winner next Wednesday, here at Aurelia’s blog.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – more than fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.
Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre. She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.
For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com). She also hangs out at the group blog Oh Get a Grip (http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com), writes monthly reviews for Erotica Revealed (http://www.eroticarevealed.com) and contributes to the ERWA blog (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.com).