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Shameless Reading

(From the archives)

 

No doubt you’ve all seen the checklists that periodically go around with must-read books, or the hundred best books of all time, or the checklists that test how well read you are. Honestly, who can resist? And who can resist possibly even cheating just a little bit and ticking the boxes of a couple of the ones we’ve not actually read, but maybe we’ve started, then got bogged down and finally just gave up and watched the movie or the mini series instead. Oh come on! Admit it! I’ve done it. Being thought of as erudite, well read and worldly is just so damned appealing.

 

Right now there’s a link going around on Facebook to another such list. But this list contains the titles of ‘books you’ll never brag about having read.’ Some of them are just mindless guilty pleasures and smutty bonk busters. Some of them are infamous for being poorly written, but making their authors a mint. What writer isn’t a little green around the gills where those books are concerned? Some of them were the trend of the day — all the rage one week, forgotten the next. Some of them were written by people who were once admired, but have now fallen from grace. Some of them are rubber-necking books – you know the type – literary train wrecks and gossip fests just too juicy to resist. Some of them had me scratching my head and wondering why they were even on this list at all – especially when I could think of a few of my own I’d have added if I’d been making up the list.

 

Of course I had to test myself and felt slightly smug that I’d only read six. Yup! That’s me, Social Media folks! I pat myself on the back, I stick my nose in the air! I read only the highest quality literature. As for those six, well everyone lapses a little now and then, right?

 

But the lovely refreshing surprise that really got me thinking about what we read and why, was that most of the people who responded to my sharing this link on Facebook were unabashedly unashamed of reading their share of the books on this list. It’s reading, rights? These very smart people realise that. Whether it’s a bonk bust or a train wreck, the power of the written word is totally awesome! It’s an eye on the world that’s nothing less than magical.

 

The world we experience in the rarified air of what’s considered great literature is no more the real world than the one we get when we read fluff ‘n’ stuff. Reading isn’t now, nor has it ever been a reality check. If anything it’s the ultimate escape, the voyeur’s view into how the other half lives, the opportunity to be entertained, titillated and even occasionally transformed. Being educated and well read is a thing we all treasure, and rightly so. But the experience of the written word is as much about pop culture and gossip and trends and history unfolding in all it’s marred, messed-up glory as it is about being educated. In fact, it seems to me that there is a point of cross-over that we can’t really afford to miss if for no other reason than because it’s a part of our culture, a part of the world we live in — bonk busts,
bunny fluff, woo-woo and all. Besides, we need the escape, we need the view from outside ourselves. Guilty pleasures
are often the best, and they’re never better than when we feel we should be reading Dickens, but end up reading Dan Brown over a pint of chocolate ice cream consumed straight out of the container.

 

Don’t get me wrong, some of my best, most life-changing reads have been classics, and they were wonderful and transforming, and I see them as mile-markers in my life. But I have my own list of fluff, woo-woo and mindless pulp
novels, my own dirty little secret reading list, and I’m fine with that. Those books make me feel good when nothing else will. The fact that I can read, that I do read, that everything is out there for me to read; the fact that the written-word, no matter how shallow or forgettable is still the written word, well that’s nothing short of wonderful. At the end of the day, reading is an activity worthy of respect in its own right. The fact that we DO read is of far greater value than the purity of what’s on our checklist.

 

Vows: Asian Adventures III Now Out from Lisabet Sarai

 

 

 

 

The more you try to release desire, the more attached you become.

 

 

Vows Blurb

 

Travel brings out a strange recklessness in my wife, a hunger for extremes that I don’t see when we’re in New York. I would never have acted on my desire for male flesh if she hadn’t bullied me into my first homosexual encounter. Not that I regret it. I’ll never forget that incandescent night with the audacious young punk she bought for me in Amsterdam.

 

Now, she wants us to seduce the achingly beautiful Buddhist monk we’ve met in Luang Prabang. I try to reject her suggestions, to resist temptation. But I can’t banish the images of Souvannaphone— ripe lips curved in a half-smile, brown eyes sparkling with gentle challenge, smooth curves of golden flesh that cry out to be kissed. I yearn for his body—and his serenity.

 

Contemporary multicultural bisexual erotic romance (X rated)

7,400 words

 

HFN ending

 

 

Vows Excerpt 

We strolled northeast toward the far end of the peninsula, where Wat Xieng Thong was situated. The jewel of Luang Prabang, according to our guidebook. We had visited several of the other famous temples in the city. I had been saving this one for last.

 

Dani took my hand as we made our way through the quiet streets, in the lengthening shadow of Phu Si hill. “Relax,” she said. “Don’t worry. I’ll handle things. Just leave everything to me.”

That was exactly what I was worried about.

 

The vegetation thickened around us as we left the city center behind. We passed rough wooden houses on stilts, chickens scrabbling in the shade underneath, laundry swaying in the gentle breeze. Occasionally, we heard the muted babble of a television or radio, but we saw no one. It felt as though the whole of the city-village was dozing in the afternoon. I took a deep breath, and then another, trying to release the awful tension that gripped me, but it was no use. I was consumed by desire and dread.

 

Finally we reached the arched gateway to Wat Xieng Thong. Souvannaphone’s home. Gilded nagas, the serpent-dragons that sheltered the Buddha while he meditated, guarded the entry, their scales a riot of multi-colored mirrors. As we stepped over the sill and into the sacred compound, I felt something shift inside me. The choice was made, the effects would follow. Let karma do its worst.

 

At first, the place seemed deserted. Directly in front of us was the magnificent sim, or ordination chapel, with its five-layered, flame-tipped roof swept into dramatic earthward curves. Smaller but equally ornate buildings were scattered around it. Blue tile and gold leaf were everywhere.

 

An enormous, fantastically-twisted tree shaded the entire courtyard. At the same moment —I could tell from the way her hand tightened in mine—Dani and I noticed the figure seated, full lotus, on the turf at the foot of its main trunk.

 

It was, of course, Souvannaphone. His eyes were closed; his chest was bare. The golden, hairless flesh fascinated me. His nipples, more bronze than gold, drew my eyes and made my balls contract and ache.

 

It was his expression, though, that once again brought up my tears. It gave me a glimpse of total peace. Bliss. Perfect stillness and unearthly beauty. My craving to know his exquisite body faded and transformed into exquisite longing to know what he knew, to experience this state of completion.

 

Buy Links

 

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LKFC9R/

 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078LKFC9R/

 

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/771439

 

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vows-lisabet-sarai/1127731965?ean=2940155064060

 

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/th/en/ebook/vows-asian-adventures-book-3

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37751373-vows

 

 

About Lisabet

 

Lisabet Sarai has been addicted to words all her life. 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 – nearly 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. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter. Sign up for her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh

 

 

2018 Enjoy the Journey

Do you ever just NOT want to engage with a New Year? You know what I mean. It’s a little bit like that feel of not wanting to crawl out from under the blankets on an icy winter morning. It’s a little bit like not wanting to make that first leap into the cold waters of a swimming pool. It’s a little bit like not wanting to mess up the pristine new snowfall with your footprints.

 

I’m never quite sure if that feeling comes from the stay-in-the-warm-bed comfortable I’ve grown with the old year or the OMG terror of jumping out of a plane and hoping the parachute will open that the new year brings. Sometimes it’s a bit like those dreams in which I find myself naked on stage before a huge audience.

 

There have been times when I really did try to prepare for the New Year. I reflected on my successes and mistakes in the year past and made a serious and detailed plan for attacking the daunting new beginning. There have been other times when I’ve just sat back and let it take me by surprise and kick me in the ass. Whether it’s the paralysis of analysis or the deer in the headlights, whether it’s the planning and the scheming into minute detail or the burying my head in the sand, I can always count on two things. First of all, the New Year WILL come no matter how I prepare for it or not. Secondly, it will under no circumstances be what I expected it to be.

 

This year we welcomed in the New Year at a local pub with lots of friends listening to some seriously good live music. It was a great way of celebrating the best of 2017 and welcoming in 2018 with music and laughter and friends. And it was a wonderful place to gain courage, and encouragement to face new beginnings. On this January 1st 2018, there’s plenty of anticipation along with a very healthy dose of fear and trepidation as I prepare for major changes in my writing
career and my life in general. You’ll be hearing more my changes and adventures as the year goes on. This morning, I’m still in the girding my loins mode, still in that quiet space between letting go and plunging in head first. I’ll linger there just a little longer in the peace and quiet of bird song filtering in from the garden and a lazy second cup of coffee with my husband. Tomorrow morning will be soon enough, and by then I will once again remember that life is a continuum.It’s always about the journey and not the destination. The best goal I may ever have in any New Year is to simply enjoy the journey as much as possible and hang on tight for the wild ride that is the one thing I can always count on.

 

Happy 2018 my dear friends! Enjoy the ride.

 

 

 

Could it Be Magic?

I’m thinking about sex magic yet again. I think about sex magic a lot, actually. I’m always struggling to get my head around why sex is magic, why human sexuality defies the nature programme /Animal Planet biological tagging that seems to work for other species that populate the planet. I don’t think I could write sex without magic, and even if I could I wouldn’t want to. I’m not talking about airy-fairy or woo-woo so much as the mystery that is sex. On a biological level we get it. We’ve gotten it for a long time. We know all about baby-making and the sharing of the genes and the next generation. It’s text book.

 

But it’s the ravenousness of the human animal that shocks us, surprises us, turns us on in ways that we didn’t see coming. It’s the nearly out of body experience we have when we are the deepest into our body we can possibly be. It’s the skin on skin intimacy with another human being in a world where more personal space is always in demand.

 

When we come together with another human being, for a brief moment, our worlds entwine in ways that defy description. We do it for the intimacy of it, the pleasure of it, the naughtiness of it, the dark animal possessiveness of it. Sex is the barely acceptable disturbance in the regimented scrubbed-up proper world of a species that has evolved to have sex for reasons other than procreation. Is that magical? It certainly seems impractical. And yet we can’t get enough.

 

We touch each other because it feels good. We slip inside each other because it’s an intimate act that scratches an itch nothing else can scratch. During sex, we are ensconced in the mindless present, by the driving force of our individual needs, needs that we could easily satisfy alone, but it wouldn’t be the same. Add love to the mix, add a little bit of romance, add a little bit of chemistry and the magic soup thickens and heats up and gets complicated. I don’t think it’s any surprise at all that sex is a prime ingredient in story. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s any surprise that it is also an ingredient much avoided in some story.

 

Sex is a power center of the human experience. It’s not stable. It’s not safe. It’s volatile. It’s complicated. It exposes people, makes them vulnerable, reduces them to their lowest common denominator even as it raises them to the level of the divine. Is it any wonder the gods co
vet flesh? The powerful fragility of human flesh is the ability to interact with the world around us, the ability to interact with each other, the ability to penetrate and be penetrated.

So as I mull through it, trying for the zillionth time to get my head around it, I conclude – at least for the moment – that the true magic of sex is that it takes place in the flesh, and it elevates the flesh to something even the gods lust after. It’s a total in-the-body, in-the-moment experience, a celebration of the carnal, the ultimate penetrative act of intimacy of the human animal. I don’t know if that gives you goose bumps, but it certainly does me.

 

Doing the Gingerbread Man

And now that you’ve had your sweet romantic Christmas tale in The Matchmaker, I though it was time for dessert with some seriously filthy holiday fiction.

First of all, let me say that I absolutely adore gingerbread! I love it any time of year, but I especially love it during the holidays. I wrote Doing the Gingerbread Man last year for Christmas when I hunted all over Guildford for some gingerbread, ginger cake, ginger anything, with no success. I even thought to bake my own gingerbread but alas, I couldn’t even find ground ginger in the grocery stores. That is how this filthy little holiday ditty came to be. Not one to be deterred, I decided to be a little more creative and make my gingerbread man fictional. I didn’t need ground ginger for that.

My gingerbread man turned out to be so deliciously filthy and decadent, that I decided to invite you over again to partake. The story is short, very sweet, and complete. It’s gluten free, dairy free, even calorie free, but oh so very naughty. Enjoy!

BTW, I did find some totally delicious ginger cake this year in the local farmers market.

 

 

Doing the Gingerbread Man

It might have been too much mulled wine, or perhaps a sugar high from eating damn near as much of my holiday baking as I … well as I baked. It might have been just a longing for a little bit of that holiday magic I remembered from my childhood. Whatever it was, on a whim, I decided to bake gingerbread men. I mean why should kids have all the fun. I was alone over the holiday and I had decided that I was going to make the best of it, that I was not going to feel sorry for myself. I was going to have a good time if it killed me, and that good time involved making, decorating, and eating gingerbread men.

The recipe I found online not only promised that my ginger bread men would be tasty, but that they would also be chewy. My mouth watered at the thought. I had all the ingredients, and in my cupboard I found red hots for buttons, dried cranberries for lips and slivered almonds for eyes, plus I had several tubes of icing in primary colors all ready and waiting to spiff up those men when I took them out of the oven.

The recipe was supposed to make sixteen gingerbread people – gender of your own choosing, but I never was great at following a recipe. I reckon they’re just guidelines anyway. Instead of the requisite sixteen biscuit boys, I opted for one giant, macho, gingerbread man, one that would fill the entire cookie sheet. By the time I had the dough mixed up, I’d switched from mulled wine to Prosecco. Truth be told, most ginger bread men were entirely too unmanly for my taste. I intended to create a testosterone charged, hunk of a gingerbread man, one that would seriously make my mouth water and give me something to wrap my lips around. I wanted my big GBM – something that size had to have a name — to have bulging biceps. I’m a commercial artist by trade because it pays the bills, but I’m artsy fartsy by nature, and well-shaped biceps and decent pecs and abs sculpted from liberally-sampled ginger cookie dough were not beyond my artistic abilities. Strangely enough the more Prosecco I sipped, the more creative I became. In no time at all I decided GBM didn’t need red hots for buttons because GBM wasn’t going to wear a shirt. I was having visions of Magic Mike by the time I got down to GBM’s trousers. I had plans for a little blue frosting thong with just enough pouch to cover GBM’s junk. But then I decided maybe I didn’t want said junk covered. After all this was a private performance for an audience of one. “It’ll be much easier for me to eat you and taste your yummy gingery goodness without frosting,” I said to my creation. “Besides who needs all those extra calories?” I could almost swear I heard a low throaty moan, but then more than likely it was my own. I raised my glass to my buffed biscuit boy feeling a bit like Dr. Frankenstein in her laboratory as I polished off the alcohol, rubbed my hands together and went to work on making sure GBM was … um…err … anatomically correct.

When a girl has her hands on a man’s cock, and she gets the feel for it, the shape of it, the way it responds to her touch, well how can she not get a little wet, a little squirmy, a little hot and bothered, and who would have thought that was true even with a gingerbread cock? I’ll admit I took time out from my efforts for a little browsing of the internet researching just exactly how I wanted GBM’s cock to look, making him wait on the table unformed and unfulfilled while I checked out schlongs online. I decided to go for heavy, somewhere in between flaccid and semi, resting languidly against GBM’s golden tan belly so as not to obscure the view of his weighty balls.

I remember as a little girl secretly pretending that my Barbie and Ken were fucking, even though poor Ken didn’t have the equipment for the job. I only ever did that when my rather conservative mother wasn’t home, and even then I felt guilty. Not tonight though! Tonight I felt empowered. Tonight was all about indulgence, all about my fucking pleasure, and here I was making it up to poor Ken by creating right proper, and proportionately substantial, bits for GBM, shaped to suit my very active fantasy life. For a long time now, my sex life had been solo, so my fantasies tended to be doozies. That meant I saw and heard sexual innuendo everywhere in everything, and eating a hot gingerbread man was just too delicious not to fantasize about.

When I finally got down to serious hands-on with GBM’s meat and two veg, my buzz was way more than alcoholic. I was the queen, I was the creator, the dominatrix, I was GBM’s goddess and he lay before me passive and obedient to my will. And then the true artist in me came out. In my imagination, the feel of a cock became almost tactile. I imagined a man asleep not yet aroused to my touch. I imagined sliding close to him, under the blankets, all naked and needing, needing the feel of maleness — of maleness needing me back. In my mind’s eye, I traced the silken smoothness of hard growing beneath soft. I cupped the weighty sac, slightly cooler to the touch, full and tight, resting in my hand. My mouth watered anticipating the taste of maleness, ginger and spice and everything nice, everything so fucking nice.

“Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.”

“Oh trust me, my little humunculous, you don’t want to run from me, not when I have your cock in my hand. Oh yes, I can see that smile on your face. You can’t fool me. I know what you want, and when I’ve made it so hot you can’t stand it, I’m going to eat you.”

I would have considered taking a break to tuck my set of shiny love balls up inside me, to jiggle and tease me while I worked on my creation, but I couldn’t leave him alone in such an unsatisfied state. Instead I stood at the counter hunched over his prone body, shifting from foot to foot, pressing my thighs together. The heady smell of ginger and heat flaring my nostrils and filling my mouth with saliva as I touched and fondled and formed the cock of my dreams. Lust heated the kitchen far more than the oven did. Sweat trickled down my spine, and thoughts of Pygmalion, in love with his own creation, thoughts of breathing life into grain and spice, leavening and oil connected me to an age old story of wanting, needing to create something to love, something that would love me back, something that I knew intimately because I had touched him as no one else had or ever would. Even in my state of arousal, my state of need, I found myself waxing all Biblical to GBM, with my slightly enebriated, more than a little bit self-centered version of Psalm 139.

 

For I created your inmost being;

I knit you together on my kitchen counter.

 You are fearfully and wonderfully made,

Even if I do say so myself

 

In the heat, I had shed my shirt and jeans, standing before my man in my red Christmas knickers and bra with a sprig of mistletoe in my damp hair, anticipating some serious mouth action when GBM was complete. At last, pleased with the shape of him, I got down on my knees and tuck him on his non-stick surface into the oven raising my arms to the heavens as I shut the oven door and steamed the glass all but shouting, “live, damn you! Live!”

Okay, now I know this sounds insane, but the second I did that, there was a flash of lightning and the electricity buzzed popped and crackled, and then went out, leaving me in the dark with GBM in his super-heated prison. But never fear, my oven is gas, and while I lay half naked curled on my side with my fingers in my panties, GBM got hotter and hotter and more and more ready, and I swear, his cock got bigger and bigger. Okay, yes, I know that’s the result of baking soda, but you gotta remember, I was in an altered state, I was just this side of Nirvana, I was having a religious experience.

Perhaps I passed out. Perhaps I really was temporarily traipsing around Nirvana. I had to be dreaming, though, because when the lights came back on the oven door burst open and wow! GBM crawled out all bronze and rippling and fully grown. Some parts of him were way more fully grown than others. And what do you think? The first words out of his mouth were, “I want to eat you, my lady, and then I’m going to fuck you.”

I always figured I’d be a beneficent creator, so I laid back in front of the oven and let GBM open my legs and run his hot, gingery, very talented tongue all over my juicy landscape. And just when I was writhing and grinding and guiding his ginger head closer to my itch, he pulled away, and I got my first look at that magnificent spicy, bronze cock, raised for the occasion.

The heat of him all but scorched me raw as he shoved his sizzling thickness up inside me and began to hump and thrust, filling the whole kitchen with the spicy, humid scent of sex and ginger – some of it his, but a good bit of it mine. He rode me until I knew I’d have bruises on my ass, and I didn’t care. I wrapped my legs around his floury ribs and met him thrust for thrust, slipping and sliding up and down his well-buttered torso. When I came, he pulled out and straddled me, holding his heavy staff up to my lips. “Eat me. Eat me now,” he said. I barely managed a few delicious licks and sucks down his gingery length before he came in buttery, spicy purts at the back of my throat. “I heard you love cream fillings,” he managed as he exploded again and again until butter and ginger and crème ran down my chin and onto my tits and I sucked and slurped and mewled like a kitten. How could anything taste so good?

“There. That’s better, isn’t it?”

I came to feeling a little singed around the edges and looking up into startling brown eyes. I blinked, not sure but what I was still dreaming, then I blinked again as I took in the total package, looking up into an outdoorsy tanned face with strong cheekbones and a slightly crooked nose that looked as though it might have been broken at one time. There was a full-lipped smile and a dimpled chin and the whole lot was topped off with bed-headed ginger-bronze hair and matching stubble.

“What happened?” I managed through a parched throat.

“You had me really worried there for a minute,” his voice was a toffee rich baritone I could have eaten with a spoon. “I think it was some sort of an electrical surge, or something. I heard it from outside and saw this bright flash of light. When your door was standing open, I feared the worst.”

“I was baking.” I did a quick glance at my oven, then did a double take only to find that the cookie sheet was empty and smoking heavily.

“Mm,” the man said, glancing first at the recipe for gingerbread men on my phone, which now lay on the floor next to me. Then he stood, grabbed a potholder and pulled the empty cookie sheet from the oven with a hearty chuckle. “What happened, did your gingerbread men run away?”

“I guess maybe he did,” I replied, looking around the room, as he offered me his hand and helped me to my feet. “I did threaten to eat him, after all.”

“Him?”

“There was just one. A big one.” It was then that I noticed my state of undress. “Oh god, I’m sorry. It was, well it was really hot in here, so I …”

“It is, hot.” He said, the smile twitching at the corner of his lips as he looked away to give me a little privacy. “Could have been all the heat that caused the electrical surge.”

“I’m sure that was it.” I replied.

“I’m Nick, By the way,” he said, still keeping his eyes averted. “I just moved in next door.”

“Janet,” I replied, zipping my jeans and turning to face him. “Welcome.”

He shot me a quick glance and when he saw that I was decent, he offered his hand. “I was just delivering a little Christmas cheer.” And then he gave me a flirty little grin that made me feel hot all over again. He nodded to the plate of gorgeously perfect gingerbread men setting on the table. “Perhaps these’ll make up for the one that got away.”

“Thank you. I had my mouth set for gingerbread men.” Then I added quickly, “sometimes my imagination runs away with me.” I looked around, half expecting GBM to be peeking out from behind the pantry door. “With the size of the one I made though, I imagine he’d still be gooey in the middle.”

“Gooey in the middle is all right as long as he’s hard where it counts. Oh God, I can’t believe I said that.” He ran a hand through mussed ginger curls.

“Well you can hardly be blamed under the circumstances,” I replied. “What with finding me in my underwear all sprawled on the kitchen floor in front of the oven.”

He looked around. “You don’t suppose he has something sinister in mind, this giant runaway gingerbread man of yours, do you?”

“I did feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein when I was making him,” I said. “It’s possibly he’s now out on the street running amok.”
“If the villagers all turn up with torches and pitchforks later tonight, we’ll know why,” he said.

“Best be vigilant.” I put on the kettle and nodded him to sit at the flour dusted kitchen table, still wondering what had happened to GBM. “So what do you do for a living, Nick?” I asked.

“I just opened a bakery down the street. While I do seriously delicious cookies and cakes, my specialty is breads.”

“Oh my God,” I dropped into the chair next to him, feeling like I’d just stepped into the Twilight Zone. “You own The Ginger Bread Man?”

He raised his brown eyes to meet my gaze, and a smile split his face. “Yup, that would be me.” He pointed to his hair. “I am the ginger bread man.”

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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