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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Romance and Revelation

By Lisabet Sarai

My last post talked about BDSM, one of my favorite styles of erotic romance. I write in a variety of genres, however. Recently, I've begun to explore paranormal erotic romance. My first attempt in this realm was my Halloween short, Rendezvous, in which a young woman stranded in a seedy motel room on Halloween discovers that it's haunted by a very virile and seductive ghost. Then there's Serpent's Kiss, a paranormal shape-shifter romance set in Guatemala and based on Mayan mythology. I had a fabulous time working on this. It's full of prophetic dreams, talismans of power, and apocalyptic battles between supernatural beings.

My most recent paranormal release, which has been receiving four and five star reviews, is Fire in the Blood, a M/M/F vampire ménage set in Jamaica. Although this book is contemporary, it has a gothic quality, a dark eroticism that draws its power from the vampire's magic.

I started writing paranormal partly because I wanted to challenge myself, to see if I could do something new and different in the genre. I didn't want to pen something predictable. Although vampires seem to have eternal appeal, I wanted to ring some changes on the familiar lore. I wanted to create human-animal composite that would be surprising, even a bit shocking.

I've come to understand, however, that paranormal is a difficult genre, precisely because it is so popular. It's not enough to create a world and populate it with magical or supernatural beings. Readers have become blasé. In order to succeed in the paranormal realm, you have to be able to evoke a sense of wonder. Your world needs to be truly marvelous and truly terrible. You have to make your readers believe in the unbelievable, while at the same time recognizing how incredible it is - to accept your magic, and yet be overcome with awe. You have to provide not only romance, but revelation.

Needless to say, this is a tall order. I don't know if I've been 100% successful. I'm still learning, and enjoying every magical moment.

You can find excerpts for all the titles mentioned above on my Books page. Let me leave you with a very brief snippet (rated PG) from Serpent's Kiss:


The feather woke her, trembling between her breasts like some trapped wild animal. Her eyes fluttered open. A virid radiance flooded the cave from outside, as if the sun had risen green instead of golden. The wind had risen, too, twining her hair around her face as she sat up and gazed around.

"Jorge?" Her voice sounded tentative to her own ears.

Gusts of air swirled around her, tearing at her clothing.

The cave was clearly still empty. But something was happening outside. Elena crept to the edge of the porch and gazed out at the night.

It was, in fact, still night. The sky was ebony velvet. The glow emanated from nearer the earth. Down in the field of maize, the stalks were whipped into a frenzy by the wind. And amid the stalks, or perhaps on top of them, something - someone - danced.

Hovering in a pool of emerald light, the figure was taller than a man. However, it was not shaped like a man. From above, Elena could barely make out the outline of the creature that swirled and coiled in that core of brilliance. She had a sense of limbs that folded at impossible angles, glittering sparks of red and gold, and plumes of extravagant feathers.

The pinion hung around her neck vibrated with joy.

Elena found that she was humming some wordless tune that she could not place. The creature below seemed to be dancing in time. She slipped on her sandals and headed down the slope, drawn irresistibly to the flashing, leaping form below.


CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT! To help celebrate Valentine's Day, I'm giving away a copy of my latest release Almost Home, a M/M/F contemporary ménage, to someone who reads my posts on the Whipped Cream blog. All you have to do to enter is send me an email, to contest [at], with the subject line: "Whipped Cream Valentines Contest". I'll randomly select one lucky reader on Valentine's Day!


Elie said...

The paranormal offers something for everyone. While some characters are predictable like vampires they are still loved by many. Plus in the paranormal world, you can create your own rules.


Jean P said...

I enjoy reading paranormal, because it is something different, it takes you to a different realm

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Virginia said...

Sorry to say I am not much into the paranormal but some are ok.


Amy S. said...

I love reading paranormals. I love the different worlds authors can create. I love reading shifter stories, can't get enough of them, but I also love reading vamps and ghosts.

Kasey said...

Couldn't agree with you more about the fun of writing paranormals.And you're right...readers can get tired of the genre pretty fast if you don't offer something new. I'm going to check out your work though, especially the one about the seedy ghost in the motel. That sounds like my kind of story! LOL

Anonymous said...

I agree that shifting genres is a challenge and an enjoyable one. I like the distinction you make here about needing revelation. And I enjoyed your excerpt!


joder said...

I love PNR writing because of the infinite possibilities. You can just let your imagination run wild and you enter a sexy and exciting world. Thanks for the blurb and contest!

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Caffey said...

Hi Lisabet! Super on the reviews for FIRE IN THE BLOOD. That is so an exotic setting too! I so love the uniqueness and creativity of the paranormal romance books! I'm always trying new to me authors and the like. I don't want to miss anything. I say you're doing fab from all I've read. Keep believing!

cathiecaffey @

JoAnna said...

I love paranormal. I will be adding you to my TBR list, Fire in the Blood sounds great!


Cindy L said...

I love reading paranormals! You get to escape to a different world! I like to mix up my genres...I usually pick by what I'm in the mood for.


S said...

It seems to me that you have a good grasp of what paranormal readers want. I though your description was exactly what I looked for when reading a book. Keep up the excellent work!

Cathy M said...

I am a huge fan of paranormal romances, and love the variety of storylines.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Terra Pennington said...

Love the cover if they would just move the vase a little to the right it would be to hot to handle.


desitheblonde said...

the book and the cover is great hope it goes good for year i love to blog on it and then will let you now and tell a lot

Nancy G said...

It all looks and sounds great and paranormal is such an open genre.

Paradox Sinner said...

So it looks like I have even more books to purchase. Hubby is not gonna be happy with you gals and guys by the end of the weekend :)