Monday, May 24, 2010

The Price of Power with Guest Author Lisabet Sarai

Warning: R and Softcore X Rated Excerpts Ahead, Some Feature M/M Situations

I think it's safe to say that all paranormal stories revolve around at least one character with extra-human powers. Vampires are immortal and preternaturally strong. Shape shifters exhibit the powers of their beast sides: fleetness, ferocity, heightened perception. Psychics can read thoughts, mentally control inanimate objects, or see the future. Fairies, witches, demons and similar fey folk have access to a wide variety of magical capabilities. Even ghosts have the power to appear and disappear and to walk through walls.

Encountering individuals who can defy everyday laws and logic is one of the joys of reading paranormal romance. We all like to imagine what it might be like to fly, crush our enemies to a pulp, or psychically meld with our lovers. One of the fascinating things about power, though, is that it almost always has its price. In return for their powers, the characters lose something. Vampires pay in guilt for their blood-sucking ways, and often in loneliness. Werewolves live at the mercy of the moon. Psychics suffer social isolation; it's difficult to have a normal relationship when you know what everyone else is thinking.

The dark side of power, the payment it exacts from the one who wields it , often plays a central role in paranormal plots. Sometimes it is the primary source of conflict, particularly when it divides the powerful character from his or her beloved.

I've been fascinated by the dual nature of power ever since I started writing paranormal romance. In Serpent's Kiss, Jorge is the shape-shifting reincarnation of an ancient god. The fate of the world lies in his hands. Though he recognizes Elena as his soul-mate, his destiny requires him to leave her behind.


Jorge pulled her into his arms. Her worries seemed to evaporate in the heat of his body. “Ah, querida! It’s true that you are hot-blooded. But you should not blame yourself for desiring the devil. If evil were always ugly, it would not succeed in gaining so many converts.

He leaned back, fixing her with a stern gaze. “This just shows, though, why you must stay here. If you are there with me, he might succeed in swaying you.”

“No! Never! I’m prepared now. I know his treacherous ways. I love you, Jorge. I’d never betray you.”

He fought briefly before surrendering to her hungry mouth. As they kissed, she could clearly sense his conflict, his desire for her warring with his concern about the trial that awaited him.

“You know that I love you as well, Elena. I believe that our love was born ages ago, and will be reborn in the future. But our personal feelings must take second place. Everything depends on me. I must become a warrior, with a heart of stone, in order to defeat Tezcatlipoca.” He held out his hand. “Give me the feather.”

Reluctantly, she removed the cord from around her neck and handed him the talisman. He hung it against his own chest. It blazed even more brightly against his dusky skin. He stood tall, his hair streaming over his shoulders. His voice grew deeper and more resonant.

“You will stay here and wait for me. As your lord and your master, I command you.”

Her lord and master. Normally, independent, self-sufficient Elena would have bristled at his imperious tone. Now, though, it thrilled her. And it seemed natural, correct. She crouched at his feet, subdued by his authority, surrendering to his power.

“Will I see you again, Lord?”

He reached for her hand and raised her to her feet. “If the gods are kind. And if not in this life, then in the next.”

“Then let me ask you for one last favour. “ Elena pulled the huipil over her head. She unfastened the multicoloured sash and let her skirt slip to the floor. Spreading her arms wide, she offered him her nakedness. “Make love to me now, one last time, before you go to battle. Be with me once more as a man, before you take on your form as a god.”

Jorge gazed at her for an eternal moment, his ebony eyes glittering with unshed tears. Then he took her hand and led her to the pallet at the back of the cave.


In Necessary Madness, Kyle can see the future, but his terrible visions drive him to the edge of sanity. He is on the street, trying to drink himself into a stupor in order to escape from his power, when Sergeant Rob Murphy rescues him. Rob knows all too well about the price of power; his telepathic sister lived as a recluse to isolate herself from cacaphony of other people's thoughts before being murdered by someone jealous of her abilities. He fights his attraction the psychic Kyle, but the two men connect in a way that neither has ever experienced. Finally Rob is forced to admit he loves Kyle and accept the consequences of Kyle's power.


Kyle and Rob sat across from one another in the booth at Eduardo’s Cantina. Empty plates smeared with refried beans and salsa littered the rough wooden table. With one blunt-fingered hand, Rob crushed fragments of left-over tortilla chips to yellow crumbs. He wouldn’t meet Kyle’s eyes. Kyle reached for his nervous hand and brought it to his lips. He licked the greasy, salty valleys between Rob’s fingers. Rob’s cheeks flushed red. Kyle’s balls tightened inside his jeans.

“Tell me,” he ordered. “You can trust me, Rob.”

Rob’s eyes were deep wells of pain. “My little sister Mary,” he began. “She was like you.”

Kyle listened to the story of Mary’s trials and her murder. He felt a physical ache as the other man finally shared his anger and grief. No wonder Rob had panicked. Such a sad, tortured life the woman had endured, and such a horrible death. Kyle had believed in Rob’s public face, the strong, self-confident, uncomplicated cop. Now, he saw how vulnerable his lover really was.

“Maybe I can help,” Kyle offered as Rob concluded his tale. “Maybe I can see something that will give you a clue.”

“But you only see the future, not the past.” Rob extricated his hand from Kyle’s grasp and brushed his hair back from his forehead with a sigh. “How can you help?”

“Perhaps whoever killed her will try to kill again.” Kyle remembered the blond man from his last prescient attack and shuddered. Could there be a link? There had been some talk of cutting out his heart, though Kyle had been so bemused by lust he’d hardly noticed.

“I really don’t want anything more to do with psychic powers,” Rob muttered.

“But you want me, don’t you?” Kyle reached under the table and stroked Rob’s thigh. The man across from him started, then grinned.

“Yeah, I do. Heaven help me, I want you more than I’ve ever wanted anyone.”

“Well, then take me. And let me help ease your pain.” Kyle couldn’t reach Rob’s cock, but he could feel the heat coming from the man’s erection. His own trousers became tighter by the minute. “Or at least help you forget it for a while.”


I have a new paranormal book called Fire in the Blood, coming from Total-E-Bound in October. It's a somewhat non-traditional vampire ménage. The vampire hero, Etienne, has sworn to abstain from drinking human blood. His power makes him irresistible to humans, however. He inspires lust in both men and women, without any active intent on his part. And when Madeleine offers him her body and her blood, he is not strong enough to refuse.


Madeleine couldn’t stand it any more. She laid her palm on the kinky nap covering his head. He raised his eyes. In their depths she saw wisdom and pain. “I’m Madeleine,” she said. “What’s your name?”

“Etienne.” He settled back on the stool. “Etienne de Rémorcy.”

“I want to thank you, Etienne. For all your help.” Casually, with one hand, she loosened the sash holding the robe closed. She leaned forward, so that the silk gapped open and revealed her gleaming white breasts.

“I could hardly do otherwise. My mistress taught me how to be a gentleman. You obviously needed my assistance.” His rich voice sounded strained.

“Oh, I did.” Maddy shifted on the bed. The dressing gown slipped off one shoulder. “I still do.” The peacocks slithered away, exposing her pale thigh and her wound, crusted with dried blood.

Etienne’s eyes glittered. His blunt hands shot out and grabbed her wrists. “Do not play with me, girl.”

Lust gushed through Maddy’s body. Etienne’s nostrils twitched. He tightened his grip until she cried out. “Do not tempt me.”

“You’re hurting me,” she whimpered. “Please…” Dimly she understood that she was not begging to be released.

“Believe me, I will hurt you far more if we continue.” Etienne forced her down on the bed, her captured arms above her, and straddled her with his massive thighs. “Although I was taught to be a gentleman, in truth I am a savage beast.” The fragile silk tore away from her nakedness.

“Don’t you want me?” Maddy’s eyes swam with tears.

He brought his mouth close to her ear. “You could not possibly understand how much.” His breath was the icy exhalation of a glacier.

She shivered under his weight. His coolness only stoked the fire in her pussy. “Then take me.”

He freed her wrists and sat back on his heels, searching her face. She cupped her ripe breasts and offered them to him. Please, she prayed silently, let him see my need. She opened herself to him, letting those luminous eyes probe her deepest desires.

He licked his full lips, and his white teeth gleamed in the fire light. He reached for his belt. “Let it be as you will, then,” he growled. “I am no longer responsible.”


In the romance world, one can always expect a happy ending. There may be darkness, though, along the twisted road to that bright conclusion. Personally I prefer romances which recognize that power has its price. Otherwise, it's just a fairy tale, sunny and superficial.

~LISABET SARAI has published six erotic novels, two short story collections and dozens of individual tales. She also edits the single-author charity series "Coming Together Presents" and reviews erotica for Erotica Readers and Writers Association and Erotica Revealed. Visit Lisabet online at Lisabet's Fantasy Factory and Beyond Romance

Lisabet has offered to give away an e-copy of Serpent's Kiss
to one lucky person who comments on this post

Want it to be you?

Leave a comment with email address to be entered

Winner will be announced on Wednesday June 2


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Roxanne!

Thank you for having me as your guest at your gorgeous blog! I want a red corset like the one in your header!

Readers--share your thoughts with me on the downside of paranormal power and you might win a copy of my shifter novel SERPENT'S KISS.


Unknown said...

Hi Lisabet,

Wow, three winners, two out and one on the way. They all sound yummy and will be joining my TBR list.
Great excerpts, nice post.
The downside to paranoramal powers, to me, would be the fear of helplessness at times when the power takes over and the main character may not be able to control himself/herself.

Audra said...

Hey Roxanne and Lisabet I hope your having a great day-paranormal powers must always have a downside in that the person who has the powers must always pay for them by trouble in their relationships,families. or in their physical well-being without this conflict life would be BORING and what is a great story without the angst.

Margaret West said...

As a working medium/psychic I'm yet unable to read minds, but I live in hope that one day I might know what goes on in my kids minds lol I haven't found a downside to my gifts yet!! I say, yet, because I actually had an author refuse to be on my blog because I'm a spiritulist!!! Thats a first lol

So many excerpts, Lisabet. All fabulous.

ladybirdrobi said...

I enjoyed your excerpts for two of your books. I'm sorry I'm not a fan of M/M because I'm uncomfortable with graphic details of their love scenes. If a book just touches lightly on those scenes I'd be happy to read them but alas they don't and others out there do enjoy such scenes.

The downside of power can be hard to handle and there is always a downside. I think in the cases of shape-shifters it is the fear that others have of them be they wolf, cat or seal. And yes there is also their ties to the moon. Regardless of said downsides shape-shifters are my fave supe beings. Most of the books be they in print or e form on my TBR mountain which is currently 1426 high according to my wps file.


k_sunshine1977 said...

spicy stuff, lisabet! can't wait to read these! :)

the downside? i think it would depend on the power - like if you read minds, you might read stuff you're probably better off not knowing....

Estella said...

Great excerpts, Lizabet!

booklover0226 said...

Hi, Lisabet.

I guess a downside of paranormal power would be using it for "ill gotten gains." It should be used for good, like protecting the innocent.

I enjoyed the excerpts and look forward in reading the books.

Tracey D

Anonymous said...

The down-side of paranormal powers...I don't know if this would qualify as the "down-side", but I can think of only one thing that is a downer. That would be people not believing you have them. Do you try to convince them you have a power or do you put up with them not believing? That would be hard to take.

The Scarf Princess said...

The excerpts were great! Since I'm a big fan of reading menages I was particularly intrigued by Fire in the Blood.

The downside of having powers would be getting drunk on the power and harming people in the process. You'd start thinking you were better than others and treat them in a lesser way.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Crystal Kauffman said...

Very hot excerpts!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Thanks to all for your excellent comments!

@ Lorrie - I agree. Uncontrolled power can wreak havoc in characters' lives. Yet sometimes the effort to stay in control will be equally traumatic.

@ Audra - I strongly dislike stories where characters have unlimited power and can do anything they like. Characters need difficult choices in order to make them interesting.

@ Mararet - Hi, lady! Someone refused to host you? I don't get it. Did they think you were possessed by the devil or something?

Do you think that your ability to act as a medium is a result of unusual personal sensitivities?

@ Robin - yes, you're right. It's common for beings with power to inspire fear--rational fear, really, considering the damage that a shifter could do.

@ Sunshine - Interesting notion, that knowledge can be dangerous. Actually that gives me some story ideas...Thanks for your comment!

@ Estella - Thanks. You're such a loyal reader! I really appreciate it.

@ Tracey - Hello! Thanks for dropping by and adding your thoughts to the conversation.

@ Patsy - Your post gives me story ideas, too. I think this dynamic affects many vampires (at least those who are not part of a vampire coven or society). Certainly Etienne is very much alone.

@ Joder - Yes, getting drunk on power - this is related to losing control but it has to do with the way the character views himself or herself--letting go of control as opposed to trying to keep hold.

@ Crystal - Thanks for dropping by!

Andrea I said...


Great excerpts, I always enjoy your interviews.
I guess a downside could be a loss of control to the powers.

Sherry said...

Great excerpts your books sound very good. I loved the interview it was very interesting.

Aik said...

I'd love to enter!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Mindy said...

Hi Lisabet :)
Awesome excerpts!
3 new stories? COOL 8D
I'm especially looking forward to
"Fire In The Blood", the excerpt ROCKED. I LOVE a heroine who isn't afraid of a paranormal hero.

Mindy :)