Today, author Lisabet Sarai is guesting. She’s here to talk about her latest release Incognito, an erotic romance. Don’t forget to enter the contest she’s holding.
In My Footsteps
Most authors borrow from their own experience in crafting their fiction, to a greater or lesser extent. People, places, and situations from our lives get selected, altered and recombined. This helps to make our tales lively, realistic and believable.
In my most recent release, Incognito, I mined my personal history to a greater extent than usual. The novel is set in the historic Beacon Hill district of Boston, with parallel plot lines in the present and in the late Victorian era. As it happens, I had the good fortune to live in Beacon Hill myself for eighteen months, back in the nineties, and I loved every minute. As I wandered along the cobblestone streets, marveling at the ivy-covered row houses, I felt as though I were going back in time. I’ve mentioned in other blog posts that I have a peculiar affinity for Victorian architecture, fashion and culture. Living in Beacon Hill was a dream come true.
My heroine Miranda literally walks in my footsteps. In fact, her apartment on Charles Street, with its wrought iron fire escape looking out on the brick alley, is more or less based on the place I rented. The antique and bric-a-brac shop where she discovers Beatrice’s diary was a place I often browsed. Louisburg Square, where Beatrice’s home is located, is as elegant today as it was in her time.
I even threw in some of my favorite restaurants. Both Iruña and the Guernavaca Cafe are closed now, but when I lived in Boston, they were much as described in the book. The trendy sandwich bar across from Miranda’s building where she and Lucy have lunch is also based on a real place – and according to the Internet, it’s still in business!
Of course some of the book’s locations come purely from my imagination, like the Fantasy Factory sex club and the seedy bar down by the waterfront where Miranda plays billiards with the bikers. All in all, though, I shamelessly indulged myself while writing Incognito, recreating many happy memories.
I wonder if my readers can tell?
Author: Lisabet Sarai
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance,
Heat Rating: Ménage/Multiple Partners/Lesbian/Gay
Length: 87,000 words, 293 pages
Release Date: May 30, 2022
Shy and serious by day—insatiable by night.
Blurb: During the day, Miranda Cahill works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she has sex with strangers.
Public coupling, multiple partners, age play, spankings, bondage, lesbian lust—each salacious adventure exposes new dimensions of her depravity. Her secret life explodes when she realizes her masked partner at a kink club and the charismatic colleague courting her are in fact the same man.
Dickens scholar Mark Anderson seems like an affable, uncomplicated Midwesterner, but he has hidden depths, myriad talents, and an unlimited appetite for erotic variety. With Mark as her guide, Miranda comes to accept the intricacy of her own desires, as well as to trust her heart.
Reader Advisory: This novel is an erotic romance featuring a committed relationship and culminating in a wedding. Nevertheless, the main characters participate in a wide range of taboo sexual activities, both together and separately.
“…brings a fabulous level of intensity and sensuality to the reader.” ~ Dawnie, Fallen Angels Reviews (5 Angels)
“Sarai skillfully combines the present day storyline with some tantalizing Victorian history. This book is well researched, erudite, well plotted and very sexy. Highly recommended.” ~ Emma K., Amazon (5 stars)
“Truly a buffet of pleasures, with something for everyone. There’s the enjoyment of piecing together the mirroring, multi-layered narratives. Historical and literary echoes provide extra spice for the careful reader—in particular, Shakespeare fans might enjoy the parallels to Miranda in The Tempest—all sweetened with abundant humor and clever feminist twists. Always you’ll find masterful prose in sizzling erotic scenes that offer flavors to please any palate. And last but not least, the novel will change your view of the world in surprising ways.” Donna George Story, Erotica Readers and Writers Association.
A knock on her office door brought Miranda back to the here and now. She had been lost, uncharacteristically, in the manuscript, a classic piece from the collection of the British Museum. There were no annotations, no commentary, on the photocopied pages. Her laptop, neglected, had turned itself off to save power. She sighed and shook her head as if to clear away the lascivious images.
“Come in,” she called, wondering who it could be. She often worked on Saturdays, precisely because the department was deserted and she could read and write undisturbed.
The grizzled head of Harold Scofield poked through the door. “Hello, Miranda. I am sorry to intrude, but I have someone to whom I would like to introduce you.” Miranda smiled to herself; her genial thesis advisor always sounded like a grammar textbook. The gray-bearded figure in suspenders bustled in, followed by an attractive young man in dark-framed eyeglasses.
“Miranda, I would like to present Mark Anderson, our new lecturer. Mark will be handling the Dickens course for the summer session.”
“Mark, this is Miranda Cahill, my most promising graduate student.” Miranda blushed, and Dr. Scofield’s eyes twinkled. “Miranda has chosen a rather controversial topic for her thesis, a new interpretation of the corpus of Victorian erotica.”
The newcomer’s polite smile expanded to a grin. “Really. That’s fascinating. Sounds far more—stimulating—than my dissertation on the metaphorical significance of orphans in Dickens and his contemporaries.”
Miranda’s blush deepened as she noted the double entendre. She met his teasing gaze, almost defiantly. “Yes, it is an intriguing topic, and I believe one of considerable literary and social significance, as well.” He had thick, dark hair, slightly tousled. His eyes behind the glasses were velvety brown with glints of gold. In his face, she saw intelligence, energy, and humor.
“Miranda has championed an unusual theory, that the explosion of sexually-oriented writing during the latter half of the nineteenth century was a reflection of actual practices, rather than a reaction against repressive public morals.” Her advisor appeared to be enjoying the role of agent provocateur. “She believes that the detailed accounts of sexual adventure and aberration published during the era chronicled real experiences, not merely fantasies.”
“Hmm.” Their bespectacled companion looked both amused and interested. “What evidence do you have to support this proposition?”
“Well, to begin with,” said Miranda, automatically adopting an academic tone, “a significant fraction of these writings are first person accounts. And a surprising number are related from a woman’s perspective. If this were primarily a literature of fantasy and titillation, I would expect a male point-of-view to dominate, as it does in modern pornography.” Miranda was encouraged to see that her audience listened attentively and gave due consideration to her points.
“Secondly, these tales are full of real-world details and commentary that would be superfluous and even distracting in fictional erotica. The protagonists discuss social issues such as poverty, child abuse, oppression of the lower classes, things that can only detract from a work intended as escapist fantasy. Even a hack pornographer knows better than to mention the unpleasant or the mundane, illegitimate pregnancies, unpaid bills, rising damp. Yet references to such items are common in the corpus.
“Finally, I find in many of these writings a thoughtfulness that conflicts with the conventions of the pornographic genre. The narrators are engaged in a wide variety of sexual activities, which are described in vivid and provocative detail. At the same time, in many cases, they reflect on their own desires and behaviors, sometimes justifying themselves in the face of the official morality, sometimes castigating themselves for weakness and sinfulness. Either way, there is a psychological depth that would be redundant in fictional erotica.”
“So, what you are saying,” interposed Mark with a grin, “is that a fictional character would simply go ahead and bugger his maid, whereas an individual writing a clandestine diary would spend some time and effort wondering why he wanted to bugger his maid, before he got around to actually doing it?”
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 – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors.
Win a $10 bookstore GC or free books in my INCOGNITO giveaway. The contest runs from June 1 to June 15.
To enter, do any or all of the following. (Each action is one entry):
o Join my VIP email list: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh
o Follow me on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisabet-sarai
o Email me, telling me what book of mine you’d like to read: firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 16th, I will randomly select one grand-prize winner who’ll get a $10 gift certificate, plus two runner-ups who can choose any ebook from my indie backlist.