“Never open a book with weather.” That's Elmore Leonard's rule number one for writing. But then, I've never been a fan of following the rules. In fact, weather is almost a character in a number of my stories. Consider the beginning of my M/M/F historical romance Monsoon Fever.
The rain drops are Lakshmi’s tears. That is what Lalida had said—tears of pity wept by Vishnu’s consort at the sad state of mankind. From the sheltered veranda, Priscilla watched sheets of rain sweep relentlessly across the land. The silver curtain alternately hid and revealed the shapes of the green hills rising in the distance.
Priscilla swallowed the last of her biscuit and leaned back in the rattan chair, drawing her shawl around her shoulders. She knew, from the past week’s experience, that the downpour would end in a few hours. The lush wet bushes would sparkle in the sun, as though someone had scattered handfuls of jewels over their leaves. For now, the muted hues of the landscape matched her mood.
Indeed, the relentless, sometimes violent monsoon rains of hilly Assam, where this book is set, play a significant role in the plot for this tale of physical and spiritual connection.
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 storm 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.
An unseasonable spring heat wave motivates the action in my paranormal erotic romance Hot Spell. My heroine Silvie can't stand another moment in the blistering heat of the city, and heads for her beloved mountains, where she encounters her soul mate Aidan.
Naked, she tossed in her sweat-damp sheets, drifting in and out of uneasy slumber. The muggy air settled on her skin, a stifling blanket she couldn’t kick off. Like a physical weight, humidity pinned her to the mattress. The feeble breeze coming through the open window offered no relief. If anything, it was warmer than the air in her bedroom, carrying with it all the heat that had been trapped in the concrete and asphalt during the day.
Her limbs were leaden. A dull ache pounded behind her forehead. When sleep overtook her, she found herself wandering barefoot on empty, baking sidewalks. The sun’s relentless glare reflected down upon her from the glass-walled towers on either side. Rivulets of perspiration trickled down her spine but failed to cool her. Her skin felt scorched, ready to crack and peel.
My latest release Rough Weather is a prequel to Hot Spell. Ondine and Marut, the main characters in Rough Weather, showed up suddenly at the end of Hot Spell, sharing their paranormal knowledge with Sylvie and Aidan. When they did, I knew I'd have to write their story at some point. Rough Weather is the result.
These characters do more than experience the weather. They can, in some cases, control it.
Curious to know more? Here's a blurb and an excerpt. And keep reading – I've got a contest at the end!
Destiny hides in the tempest’s heart
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 scepticism 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.
Excerpt (Rated Hot!)
Shadows had gathered overhead. The pellucid depths turned grey. Choppy swells churned above. Then with terrifying suddenness she’d been hooked--arrested in her liquid trajectory, dragged up into the air, sputtering and thrashing like the fish she sometimes resembled.
She had found herself suspended in lightning-shot blackness, hung by some pivot between her shoulder blades. Fierce winds swung her back and forth, whipping her hair into her face. Anger and terror warred in her chest.
“Release me!” she’d cried. The gale had ripped the words from her and flung them into the skies. “Let me go, whoever you...”
Firm lips had sealed hers before she could finish. Invisible in the swirling dark, someone took possession of her mouth, forcing it open with an unseen tongue and plunging within. She’d tasted winter frost and summer fruit, salt and iron, a hint of smoke. Hands wandered over her bare flesh, cool and knowing. A rough twist to an aching nipple. The scrape of a fingernail down her spine. A plump thumb prodded her quivering clit. Then a rigid bulk rooted itself in the slick cleft between her thighs.
She’d been soaked, despite her fear and indignation. She liquefied further as her shadow-clad assailant slid into her depths. Her simmering lust leapt to a boil. “Please, no...” she’d moaned into his demanding mouth, even as she clenched around the exquisite hardness invading her. A storm of sensation raged inside her as he arched up and inward, dragging the taut length of his cock across her clitoris. Electric bliss flashed from her core to her extremities.
He’d pulled her to his chest, mashing her breasts against smooth planes of skin and muscle. The arms restraining her were iron bands, inescapable despite her squirming. Wild winds coiled around them in a tightening spiral. She fought the pleasure, unwilling to be taken by a stranger, to have her freedom stripped from her so completely, but he was inexorable, driving closer to her crisis with each powerful thrust.
“Surrender to me.” His voice pierced her as surely as his cock, straight to the core. Melodious, gentle, it coaxed her to relinquish control. His soft words were not a command but an invitation.“You will never be complete until you surrender.”
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Win a copy of Rough Weather plus a copy of its sequel, Hot Spell, the book in which Ondine and Marut first made their appearance. To enter, send an email to contest [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com with the subject line “Rough Weather Giveaway”. Contest closes on March 31, 2014.
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).