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Four Days in Zagreb

 

 

I’m just back from a quick, and fabulous, trip to Zagreb. Mr. Grace was there on business, and with a cheap plane ticket, I was able to tag along. Just so you know, I never miss a chance to go to Croatia these days – especially Zagreb, which was my home for four years before the war in the Balkans. In fact, I met and married the lovely Mr. Grace there. While having to leave as the war began and watching the place I adored descend into chaos was a time full of heartache, Croatia itself holds four years of amazing memories for me, and I consider it a major turning point in my life, the point at which I discovered the world at my door step and realized there was no going back to the insular way of life I’d grown up in.

 

 

 

Returning after so many years to find the best of Croatia still there, still vibrant, but even more so since joining the EU has added a new dimension to my life and given me the much-needed chance to heal old wounds and reconnect, the chance to make new memories and new friends.

 

 

Zagreb has always been a beautiful, fascinating city full of history and culture, but now, with a growing tourist trade and wonderful balance of independence and cooperation, the place has become a true jewel in Central Europe. The people, the location, the culture, the history make me want to go back again and again. Here are a few pictures from my last glorious visit.

 

 

Cheese Burek with yoghurt, delicious fast food in Zagreb. The two are traditionally eaten together, only because they are a fab combo!Burek is basically a layered thin pastry with a meat, cheese or fruit filling. This little place off the Dolac Market sells nothing but burek — cheese, meat or apple.  And it’s the very best.

 

 

The Croatian National Theatre, a pilgrimage I couldn’t resist.

 

 

And this is why. I love Ivan Meštrović’s work and this is my very favourite piece, called the Well of Life. No way I could do it justice in a photo and no way I could resist the chance to sit in the sunshine and just take it in.

 

 

The most important pilgrimage I made, however, was to visit my old home on Goljak Street.

 

 

Strangely enough while almost the whole street has been renovated and is full of new flats and houses, my house was like stepping back into time. I got goosebumps just being there. It felt like I could just dig out my house key, walk right on in and make myself at home.

 

 

I created great deal of wonderful memories in this place on this very steep hill. I lived on the bottom floor, below where the laundry is hanging out to dry. I’m viewing it from the street below in this photo.

 

 

There were so many photos I could have taken, so much I would love to share with images, but this time, this trip, I spent most of my time in the moment, just walking and remembering and taking it all in while I shared my evenings and mornings with good friends. Oh! And coffee. There was LOTS of coffee shared with good conversation and laughter.

 

 

I was lucky enough to be able to be in the city for the opening of the Zagreb Festival of Lights. It was a wonderful warm night, perfect for walking about and enjoying the displays. This one was done by painting on small glass slides and projecting it onto the building. We were lucky enough to meet the amazing artists, Gordana & Zorislav Šojat  from the Zagreb School of Light Art. This was most definitely our favourite display.

 

 

The second favourite was in Tuškanac, which is a gorgeous walking part of the city, green and full of trees and grass and parks. I had walked the area the day before in the warm spring sunlight. What a transformation night makes. This area is very near my old flat. You can see how hilly it is.

 

 

I would like to thank Melina Popovic, for the wonderful private tour of the Old City provided by her son, Tom, who is a tour guide. Tom was amazing! And I’d also like to thank her for sharing the Festival of Lights with us. She knew exactly where to look for the best displays.

 

 

I’d also like to thank Tanja Miloš for pointing out all the best places to “graze” while I explored Zagreb, and for lots more good laughs and naughty talk over lots of coffee. She’s the one who introduced me to the best burek in Zagreb .

 

 

Wonderful friends and wonderful memories, those are always what give prominence of place in my heart, and Zagreb, without question, holds a very important position therein.

 

Lisabet Sarai Launches Butterfly: Asian Adventure Book 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contemporary multicultural erotic romance (X rated)

7400 words

Smashwords and Amazon KDP

ISBN: (Smashwords) 9781370492565

ASIN: B079KR62XL

HFN ending

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love never lies

 

Butterfly Blurb:

 

My job makes it hard to have a real relationship. I never know where my next project will be, but I can bet that it won’t be in America’s heartland. So I read a lot, and seek my own five-fingered companionship. Busy with my construction gig in the Thai northeast, I didn’t think I needed what Bangkok had to offer.

 

Then Lek stepped onto the stage at the Butterfly Bar and began to dance. I fell for her during the first five minutes of her set. The weekend we spent together was pure heaven. How could I know our love would drag me through hell?

 

 

Butterfly Buy Links:

 

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079KR62XL

 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079KR62XL

 

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/787824

 

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/butterfly-lisabet-sarai/1127922517?ean=2940155120964

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38456644-butterfly

 

 

Butterfly Excerpt:

 

“They want you to buy them drinks,” Charlie told me. “Whenever a customer buys them a drink, they get ten baht.”

 

“Is that all they want?” I was overwhelmed by the feminine flood surging around me.

 

“Well, of course they want tips. And if you like one of them enough, you can pay to take her out of the bar.”

 

“They’re prostitutes?” All at once I felt slightly queasy. The atmosphere was so different from a State-side joint, light-hearted and playful. I didn’t want to think about how it might be tainted.

 

“Well—it’s up to them. The bar pays them to dance and to push drinks. If they want to make a private arrangement, that’s their personal choice. When they decide to leave for the evening, they simply compensate the bar for lost drink income.”

 

“Hmm.” As I pondered this, the music changed, becoming slower and more sensual. Meanwhile, the leftmost dancer stepped down from the bar, and the remaining women moved left to new positions. A figure appeared at the right end of the bar.

 

Something about her caught my attention. With casual elegance, she shed her kimono and draped it over a bar stool. Then she turned toward the shrine in the corner near the ceiling. Touching her fingertips together, she brought them to her forehead and bowed, her reverent gesture totally at odds with the environment.

 

I felt a strange ache in my chest as I watched her mount the steps to the bar, smooth and sure on her stiletto heels. She was taller than many of the girls, slender and willowy. Her long hair rippled around her as she moved, perfectly attuned to the melody and rhythm.

 

She was a natural dancer. Her fluid gestures held me transfixed. She grasped one of the poles leading from the bar to the ceiling and arched backward until her hair brushed the floor. Waves flowed through her, sweet undulations that began in her pelvis and shimmered up her spine. By comparison, the other girls appeared clumsy and coarse. She was not trying to entice, it seemed. She was lost in the music. Yet there was something supremely sexy about her performance. I found myself hardening as I gazed at her, turned on for the first time since entering this den of flesh.

 

Inspired in Paris

Paris is always a place that inspires. I’ve only just returned from my 8th trip — this time with my sister. The strange thing about Paris is that as familiar as it feels, it somehow manages to always be new. Like most tourists returning home from a great holiday, I’m just bursting to show off my photos, so I’m going to share just a few of the shots of the places that inspired me most this time.

Paris in the snow is just another one of the ways that the city was new and breathtaking to me this time.

 

Notre Dame

 

Sacre Coeur

 

 

 

 

The Latin Quarter near the Cluny

 

 

 

The Louvre is always a place that inspires by bringing the myths I love to life in exquisite ways. Most of you know that The Initiation of Ms Holly was based on the story of Psyche and Eros, and to some degree so was The Pet Shop. And this sculpture of Psyche and Eros never stops inspiring me. It’s always one of the works I seek out in the Louvre.

 

 

 

 

Then there’s The Captive, which I don’t know why I don’t remember seeing last time I was at the Louvre, but it’s the sculpture I can’t get out of my head from this trip.

 

 

Somehow I always migrate to the Three Graces on every visit to the Louvre. No visit is complete without my inspiring ladies.

 

 

And for a few minutes, the Three Graces becomes the Four Graces.

 

 

Colour and light at Sainte Chapelle inspiring even in the bitter cold.

 

 

 

Who can resist a Phantom fix? I’ve been a fan of Phantom of the Opera long before I saw the stage production multiple times. Gaston Leroux’s book still terrifies and intrigues and moves me, so the Opera Garnier, which inspired the book couldn’t help but be one of the highlights of my trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paris on a winter night, an unforgettable first for me:

 

 

 

 

 

Parting shots always inspire the longing for the next visit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Lisabet Sarai Launches Citadel of Women: Asian Adventures Book 2 with a Giveaway

 

 

 

Passion flares among the ruins of an ancient empire

 

 

 

 

 

Win a free copy of Citadel of Women:

To celebrate the launch of Citadel of Women, Lisabet is giving away two copies over at her blog to randomly selected commenters. Giveaway ends next Saturday. just follow the link below:

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2017/12/sizzling-sunday-new-release-and.html

 

 

*****

 

Contemporary multicultural erotic romance (X rated)

8,700 words

#Cambodia #AngkorWat #multicultural #bisexual #romance #travel #FF #MF

 

 

*****

 

 

Citadel of Women Blurb: 

When her lover severs their relationship just before a long-planned trip to Angkor Wat, Doa stubbornly decides to travel alone. The marvelous sights of the ancient Khmer empire do little to heal the rift in her heart. Che, the mercurial young tour guide, senses her loneliness and offers her comfort and passion. Their connection is far more than physical – but how can two people from such different worlds share a future?

 

 

Buy Citadel of Women Here:

 

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Citadel-Women-Asian-Adventures-Book-ebook/dp/B077TVWGVV/

 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Citadel-Women-Asian-Adventures-Book-ebook/dp/B077TVWGVV/

 

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/761487

 

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/citadel-of-women-lisabet-sarai/1127544089?ean=2940154632604

 

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/th/en/ebook/citadel-of-women-asian-adventures-book-2

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36672227-citadel-of-women

 

 

Citadel of Women Excerpt:

Dinner was served on the hotel terrace overlooking a small garden. The moist air was a soft, heavy blanket, laced with the scents of jasmine and mosquito coils. Two dim bulbs lit the scene with a golden glow. Our group sat together at a long table, consuming spicy fish, garlicky vegetables, and mounds of rice. I sat at the far end, nearest the garden, listening to the multi-lingual chatter, the clink of silverware, the droning of the insects in the trees. I had never felt so alone.

 

All at once, he was there, settling his loose-limbed frame into the chair across from me. He plunked an amber bottle misted with condensation down in front of me. “You look like you could use this.”

 

He took a swig from his own beer. Not knowing what to say, I did the same. The icy liquid slid down my throat.

 

“Good?”

 

I nodded and drank again before turning the bottle to examine the label. “Angkor Beer?” I laughed.

 

“Why not? One of our leading exports.” He tilted the bottle back. I watched his brown throat move as he swallowed. “Possibly the only thing most people know about my country.”

 

“Really?” It was difficult to talk to him, difficult not to stare at his mobile, expressive face.

 

Fortunately, the beer offered a convenient alternative to conversation.

 

We drank for a while in silence. I wondered how I could politely excuse myself.

 

He replaced his bottle on the table. “You really miss her, don’t you?”

 

My eyes filled with tears. Somehow, though, it was a relief to admit it to someone, even to him.

“Yes. Yes, I do.”

 

“Is she your lover?” I’d read Cambodia was a conservative country, but Che didn’t seem shocked by the idea at all.

 

“Was. She broke it off just before we were supposed to leave on this trip.”

 

“Why?” The question was completely inappropriate, but I could see he wanted to know.

 

I buried my face in my hands. What could I say? How could he ever understand?

 

I heard the scrape of his chair as he rose. His hand rested briefly on my bare shoulder. “Whatever the reason,” he murmured, “I think she was crazy.”

 

 

 

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 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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