Thursday, May 7, 2009
My first shape shifter romance!
I want to thank Ms. Ginger for inviting me to guest blog. This is a big month for me.
I'm not a particularly prolific writer – real world demands get in the way. But this month I have two new releases, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm really excited. Serpent's Kiss, my first shape shifter romance, was published by Total-E-Bound last Monday, May 4th. My menage short, Truce of Trust, is due out on the 18th, also from TEB.
I thought that I'd share the story of how I got the idea for Serpent's Kiss. I was down in the gym, slogging away on the Nordic Track and pondering, as I often do to relieve the tedium of exercising, what I could do to improve my book sales. I knew that shape shifters were popular, but it seemed to me that the last thing the romance world needed was yet another werewolf, were-bear or were-tiger.
As the sweat dripped into my eyes and my joints complained, I thought about men and beasts and the ties between them. I remembered that many so-called primitive cultures believed that their deities could take animal shapes. Something reminded me of Queztalcoatl, the fabled Feathered Serpent god of the Mayans. Mayan carvings in Mexico, Guatemala and Hondurus show him as part man, part animal. What if the ancient gods survived into modern times, normally taking human form but shifting to their beast-shapes when pure power was required? I recollected reading that the Mayans had an epic view of history. They believed everything was cyclic, that the world was destroyed and remade and destroyed again with predictable regularity.
There was also this itch at the back of my mind, from some book or other, something about twin gods. When I began to do some research, I discovered pairs of twins, dualisms of light and dark, played a central role in the Mayan mythos. So I could create a counter-force to my hero/god, a villain who could also roam in a beast-shape, and they could battle it out, with the fate of the earth hanging in the balance.
I had my hero and my villain, but what about the heroine? For Elena, I went back to relatively modern history, the vicious civil war that tore Guatemala apart in the 1980's and the atrocities committed by the government against the peasant opposition. Dr. Elena Navarro grew up in America with her Guatemalan father. On his deathbed, he confesses to her that he was responsible for torturing and killing hundreds of people during the war. Trying to atone for her father's misdeeds, she returns to Guatemala and opens a rural health clinic in a remote, poverty stricken village. There, she encounters her destiny in the form of the beautiful and mysterious Jorge, who collapses on her doorstep, his chest torn open by some terrible weapon.
I had a fabulous time working on Serpent's Kiss. It was like nothing I'd written previously. I found myself getting more and more interested in Mayan civilization, to the point where I shelled out a significant fraction of a month's royalties on research books. By that time, I was nearly done with the writing. I was delighted to discover that I'd made some lucky guesses on the details in the story.
Now I'm thinking of writing a sequel – if only to amortize the cost of my research material!
Anyway, here's a short excerpt that I haven't shared on any other list or blog. Serpent's Kiss is erotic romance, labeled “Total-E-Burning”, meaning that it includes explicit sex. The excerpt below is rated R as it includes a naked man...
Enjoy! And if you like my writing, please visit my website, http://www.lisabetsarai.com, for lots of excerpts and free stories, as well as information on my other books.
For some immeasurable time, Elena drifted in a warm swirl of greenish mist, sated, at peace. Finally, though, her physician’s mind dragged her back to reality. The weight of Jorge’s body reminded her that he hadn’t moved since his orgasm. Was he all right? Or had the strain of making love been too much for his convalescent body?
With difficulty, she rolled him off and onto his back. He was breathing regularly. His pulse was within the normal range. He even had a bit of a smile on those luscious lips of his. However, he was definitely not conscious.
Elena surveyed his naked body. Her eyes lingered on his sculpted thighs, his narrow hips, the rippled planes of his belly. His penis drooped against one thigh, shiny with her juices, thick and meaty even in its quiescent state. Her mouth watered as she stared at it. Perhaps she could rouse him with an intimate kiss.
On the other hand, he may already have had more sex than was good for him. Elena flicked her gaze up to his wounded torso, checking that her stitches had not worked loose.
She gasped in wonder and horror. His chest was perfectly smooth, the swell and dip of his pectorals unblemished by any flaw.
The terrible gash she had treated only twenty-four hours ago was completely gone. There no signs of the two dozen stitches she’d inflicted on him. There wasn’t even a scar.
She shook her head, unwilling to believe what she was seeing. It couldn’t be true. It was impossible. Yet here was the evidence, physical evidence that her rational doctor’s mind could hardly ignore.
Who was this man?
She grabbed his shoulder and shook him, far from gently. “Wake up. Hey, Jorge! Rise and shine. Come on. You’ve got to wake up and tell me what’s going on.”
The thick dark lashes fluttered. The man sighed, stretched, opened his eyes. When he saw Elena leaning over him, he gave her a beatific smile that warmed her despite her suspicion and disbelief.
“Querida! Thank you. That was–world-shaking…”
“Who are you?”
“You know who I am, querida. I’m your lover.”
“No, that’s not enough. I need an explanation…for this.” She gestured at his perfect torso. “What happened to your injury?”
Jorge looked embarrassed. “It healed.”
“In one day? That’s not possible. I’m a doctor. There are limits to the regenerative capabilities of the human body.”
He grabbed her hand and squeezed sympathetically. “I know that’s hard to believe. But try.” He brushed a stray lock of hair out of Elena’s face. “Trust me. I’m only trying to protect you from knowledge that might endanger you.”