Today I have the lovely Lisabet Sarai stopping by with info on her new release, The Gazillionaire & the Virgin. To celebrate her book tour, Lisabet has a couple of giveaways, so read on for a sample of her refreshing role-reversal BDSM romance, and to learn how to be in the running for a $50 gift card or a paperback copy of The Gazillionaire & the Virgin!
Letting My Characters Lead
By Lisabet Sarai
On the plotter versus pantser dimension, I usually lean more toward plotting. I don’t do really detailed outlines or character sketches before I begin a book, but normally I have a pretty clear idea of the story arc. Often I will create a scene list. In particular, I know how I want the book to end. The process of writing is something like directing a film, as I walk the characters through the scenes, moving them in the direction of the climax and resolution.
The Gazillionaire and the Virgin was different. This was the first novel I’ve written using the Character-driven Random Walk Method. When I began writing, all I had was a title and the two main characters (reflected in the title), Rachel and Theo. I really had no idea what they’d do, other than having sex and falling in love.
I did know this was going to be an erotic romance. In fact, although the book deliberately shreds romance stereotypes, it preserves the essential core of romance, namely, the characters’ journey toward a loving relationship. So I understood there had to be obstacles or conflicts that would stand in the way of the happy ending. At the start, though, I couldn’t have told you the nature of those obstacles. I didn’t plan. I didn’t outline. That’s not like me at all! I simply sat down at my computer, invoked Rachel and Theo, and let them interact. At each point in the plot, the focus character in some sense decided what would happen next.
I’d expected the book would be 20K at most. As I let Rachel and Theo lead me deeper into their story, I discovered I was wrong. They did not want to be rushed. It took four chapters for them to get to their first erotic encounter. The revelation that they shared kinky interests took another four. By the time I reached the book’s climax, the events that tear them apart, I had more or less figured out how they’d reconcile, but I couldn’t make them follow my script. Theo turned out to be far more stubborn than I would have guessed. Fortunately, Rachel’s imagination came to the rescue. Still, every time I sat down to write what I thought would be the final chapter, I’d come to realize there was yet another one needed.
When I finally wrote “The End”, I was seriously relieved. I wasn’t sure Rachel and Theo would ever let me finish their story!
I know a lot of authors always write this way. Some of my writer friends talk about hearing voices in their heads. For me, though, this was a new experience—alternately fulfilling and frustrating. I have to admit that I am really pleased with the result. I hope readers will be, too.
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This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or a print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list here: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2016/01/blog-tour.html
Trust can’t be bought—it has to be earned.
When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.
Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from
extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.
That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.
It won’t go away. All through the day—every day—need gnaws at my spirit. Whether I’m reading my email, meeting with my board of directors, preparing a presentation, closing a deal to acquire a promising start-up, discussing deployment of the next release with my engineering managers, I can’t shake the sense that something critical is missing. In yoga class, the aching knot just above my solar plexus doesn’t unwind, no matter how deeply I breathe. Driving to work, I have to force myself to pay attention. Otherwise, I drift off into recollections of my time with Theo—what he did, what he said, how I responded.
I miss him, miss him dreadfully, though it’s been only four days since we were last together. We’ve Skyped every night since the weekend, but somehow that only makes the hunger worse. When I see him there on my screen, grainy and over-exposed, all I want is to touch him—to brush the unruly hair off his forehead, to stroke his cheek, to trace the line of his plump, sensitive lips with my thumb. To offer up my own mouth for him to claim it, tear off my blouse and press my tits against his solid chest, sink to my knees and beg him to take me.
I’d be more than willing to strip and perform for him, to act out whatever lewd actions he ordered, but he refuses to become involved in any sort of phone or cyber-sex. “Everyone’s listening in,” he asserts. “The government. The neighbors. What you and I do should be private.” So we chat about safe topics—our work, what we’ve been reading, where we should go for dinner next weekend. All the while, lust burns in those bright eyes of his. I know what he’s thinking. I’m thinking the same thing.
I’m not expecting him to call Thursday afternoon. The trill of my phone interrupts me as I’m giving Diane instructions for tomorrow. Still, the sound of his voice kindles a warm joy in the pit of my stomach as well as a wetness between my legs.
“Hi, Theo. What’s up?”
“I want you to come early tomorrow. Around noon.”
“I—um—I really can’t. I’ve got an all-day meeting up in San Francisco, some investors from India.”
“What? I can’t do that. These guys have come half-way around the world to talk to me about a franchise deal. Think of the potential profit! More than a billion people, a soaring GDP, and Internet growth that’s doubling every year…”
It’s the wrong thing to say. I realize this the moment the statement’s out of my mouth.
“So you care more about money than about me.” Not a whining complaint, but a dry statement of the facts, at least as Theo sees them.
“No, of course not, but I can’t put my personal life above my business…”
“You should.” I can picture his face, the stubborn set of his jaw as he retreats, distancing himself from me. “But never mind. Of course you’re too busy. I should have expected that.”
“Wait! Wait, don’t hang up, Theo.” I struggle to keep him engaged. “What’s so important about tomorrow noon?”
“I want you to meet my sister. Ellen. She’s free for lunch tomorrow.”
“Can’t we do it Saturday?”
“She’s flying to Jamaica for a two week vacation with her partner Saturday morning.”
“What about when she gets back?”
“She doesn’t want to leave without talking to you. She says she’s worried about me, worried about our relationship. She’s afraid you’ll hurt me, break my heart.”
I’d never hurt you, I almost say, then understand I’m doing so at that very moment. And it feels horrible, like a knife twisting in my gut.
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LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.