I'm happy to introduce Lisabet Sarai and her new release, The Gazillionaire & the Virgin.
By Lisabet Sarai
Write what you know, we authors are often told. This oft-cited advice may not be useful for some genres, of course. How many of us have met a vampire? Or a billionaire, for that matter? Even so, our real world lives will necessarily have a significant influence on our stories. We write about places we’ve been, jobs we’ve done, situations we’ve observed. It’s not just that this is easier (though that may sometimes be true). Our writing is likely to be more authentic and realistic when it’s based on what we’ve actually experienced.
My long bio says “Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre.” I have spent many years in universities and research institutions. Hence, it might not be surprising that some of my characters tend to be better educated than average. The heroines of my first three novels all have masters degrees. Miranda, in my second novel Incognito, is working on her doctorate, and her lover Mark is doing post-PhD research at her university when they meet. In fact, the plot of Incognito revolves at least partially around the content of Miranda’s thesis—an academic study of Victorian erotic fiction.
In my new novel The Gazillionaire and the Virgin, Rachel is a physicist turned businesswoman. Theo is a junior professor of computer science. The story more or less requires that both main characters have PhDs. There’s even a bit of technical stuff in the book, though I’ve tried to keep it simple.
I worry a bit that some readers might not identify with characters that have such lofty academic credentials. Really, Rachel and Theo are just like anyone else. They have desires, fears, and needs. They get up and go to work in the morning. They brush their teeth. They make love. Yes, they are both pretty brainy, but their intelligence reveals itself in fairly subtle ways. They’re not Mr. Spock or Doctor Who.
When I start having these doubts (and all of us authors do have these crises, when they’re sure nobody will like their books!), I remind myself that romance is, at some level fantasy. The market makes it clear that readers have no trouble imagining themselves in a relationship with a billionaire. Hopefully the same will be true for a hero with a lot of education.
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This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or a print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list here:
Trust can’t be bought—it has to be earned.
Contemporary BDSM erotic romance (Five flames)
Approximately 62,000 words, 240 pages in print
When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some
reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.
Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.
That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.
PG Excerpt 2 (Theo)
She’s not what I expected. She’s soft and full, not lean and angular like most Californians. None of the gym-toned muscles everyone sports here in the land of sunshine. And she’s young, much younger than someone so filthy rich has any right to be. Her designer watch must have cost more than two months of my professor’s salary. On the other hand, I can hardly complain about her wealth, can I, since my pet project is the beneficiary of her largesse?
Hunkering down in the leather-upholstered back seat of her disgustingly opulent vehicle, I try to calm myself. I’m sweating like a pig, and my muscles are in knots. I gulp down orange juice from the bar I’d ridiculed and focus on my breathing the way Dr. Hopkins has taught me. I force myself not to count the telephone poles whizzing by. I know that will only make it worse.
When I pat my pocket, I can’t help grinning a bit. Two hundred fifty thousand! We can equip a new mobile development lab and hire two trainers for a year. Or take our outreach into junior high schools. Or even expand to some of the Rust Belt cities where the recession has hit particularly hard...
No, this wouldn’t be enough for that. But Dr. Zelinsky—Rachel—had indicated there might be more.
Rachel. Bringing up the search engine on my phone, I type in her name. I should have done this before the meeting, of course, but I was much too nervous. Up until the moment her limousine pulled up in front of my building, I still thought I might back out.
The screen fills with images and links. There’s even a Wikipedia article. I flip through the text, digesting the basics. Born in Brooklyn. An MBA from Harvard and a PhD—in physics!—from MIT. Looking Glass is her third company. She sold the first to IBM and the second to Microsoft.
A real high roller. And MirrorWorld is a huge hit—the main article on the virtual environment runs pages and pages. Since the Looking Glass IPO almost two years ago, the company stock has increased in value by an unbelievable 224%.
She can afford a quarter of a million for charity. For her, that’s petty change.
By the time we arrive back at my complex, I’m pretty much back to normal. At least what counts as normal for me. I nod at the uniformed driver who opens the door for me, trying to pretend I do this every day. The Vietnamese gardener is spreading new mulch on the flower beds in front of my building. Averting my eyes and ignoring his greeting—after all, I can barely understand his English— I hustle up the wooden steps to my second floor condo.
It’s quiet and cool inside. The soft hiss of the air conditioning soothes me. I flip on the stereo, something by Brahms, turn the volume down low, then stretch out on my bed, fully clothed.
I made it.
The money is mine, free and clear. I’ll ask my sister to deposit it tomorrow. I don’t need to see Rachel Zelinsky again.
I can’t stop thinking about her, though. I recall one of the pictures from the web article, a black and white photo of a skinny teenager with a mop of curls, standing in front of some science fair project. She didn’t have those curves yet. No, but I recognize the expression, that determined set of her mouth and those laser-sharp eyes under the dark eyebrows. She was going to win—there was no question.
“Lisabet Sarai writes the most beautiful erotic prose. Her stories tease at the senses and transport you to a world of sexual pleasure.” ~ Desiree Holt, queen of BDSM erotic romance and author of Forward Pass
"I’ve always been a fan—Lisabet Sarai's erotic fiction is certain to captivate, dominate, and leave readers begging for more." ~ Alison Tyler, best-selling author of erotic BDSM memoirs Dark Secret Love and Even Deeper.
Ebook Buy Links (Print coming soon!)
Barnes & Noble
LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.
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. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.
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