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July 28, 2010

No Problem, Man! by Lisabet Sarai.

I’m thrilled to welcome author, Lisabet Sarai as my special guest today. She’s discussing two of my favorite topics–travel and paranormal romance. I’m always ready to travel, be it virtual or the real thing. Add a little of the woo-woo factor and I’m hooked. So sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of exotic Jamaica with Lisabet.

I want to thank Shelley for having me as her guest today. When I asked her what sort of topics she preferred for her blog, she suggested I browse through previous entries. One thing became immediately clear―she’s as much of a travel fanatic as I am! So I thought that I’d talk a bit about Jamaica, which just happens to be the setting of my upcoming release Fire in the Blood.

As I’ve shared in other blog posts, my husband seduced me in a Burmese restaurant with tales of his own international adventures. Jamaica was the first foreign destination we visited together. This was almost thirty years ago and I haven’t had the chance to go back, so readers should recognize that my impressions are a bit dated. Nevertheless, I suspect (from my research and reading) that the country has not changed that much, especially not physically.

We got a cheap deal on a package―round-trip airfare and a week’s hotel in Montego Bay. Actually, the resort where we were booked was a good ten miles outside the city. It had a lovely beach but was quite isolated from Jamaican culture. Fortunately, the tour was cheap enough that we felt comfortable using the hotel as a base of operations and making overnight excursions to locations elsewhere on the island. We also took in some tourist activities around Montego Bay. I recall a trail ride into the mountains above Montego Bay (brilliant blue sky, blazing sun, the smells of horse and growing things). I vividly remember a night-time swamp cruise that concluded with a party on an island―reggae music, dancing and lots of Red Stripe beer!

We took a bus eastward to Ocho Rios, famous for its waterfall. Jamaica Ochos Rios That side trip also included a tour of an old plantation, buried in the forest. I remember the sense of the past hovering over those quiet ruins. The country has a bloody history. Britain, Spain and occasionally France all had commercial interests in the island, with its rich soil and strategic location. Slaves labored to produce sugar, coffee and other valuable commodities. Frequent revolts led to draconian responses from the Jamaicans’ colonial masters. Fugitive slaves called Maroons waged guerrilla warfare from the inaccessible, jungle-clad heights.

Later in the week, we traveled to Negril, the westernmost point on the island, where sheer cliffs of lava rock plunge into the turquoise sea. These days Negril has been developed into a major tourist destination, with five star resorts and so on. At that time, it was quite remote, with a couple of thatched roof bars looking out over the ocean and a few simple cottages. After more than thirty years of travel, to every continent except Australia, I still recall the scenery and atmosphere at Negril as extraordinary.

In addition to our sightseeing, we also met some local people: an American woman (whom I’ll call Jill) who was making her living as a performer (dancing with a live boa constrictor!), her Jamaican boyfriend and their social circle. We had the chance to hang out with Jill and her guy in their simple two room house made of concrete blocks, near the railroad tracks in Montego Bay. They didn’t have much, but their whole attitude was laid back. There was always music playing. There was always the scent of ganja in the air. No one seemed to worry about the future. “No problem, man,” was the response to every concern.

Fire in the BloodI started writing Fire in the Blood in response to a call for Halloween vampire stories. I wanted to create something really different. Almost all my stories are set in specific locales―atmosphere plays a big role in setting the scene for me. I thought back to our long ago trip, the sparkling sun of Jamaica and its dark history, and decided that a Jamaican vampire might be just the thing. When the publisher read the resulting tale, they asked me to expand it into a stand-alone book, which will be released on August 16th. The book is all fiction, of course, but it incorporates snippets of my own experience: a trail ride into the mountains, a ruined plantation, a naked midnight swim in the volcanic grottoes of Negril. I like to believe these contributions make the book more vivid. I hope that my readers will agree.

Here’s the blurb for Fire in the Blood
M/M/F vampire erotic romance from Total-E-Bound.

Maddy and Troy hope that a carefree vacation in tropical Jamaica will re-ignite the passion in their five year relationship. On a scenic mountain trail ride, Maddy’s horse bolts and carries her deep into the jungle. Injured and lost, she is saved by a seductive giant of a man whose mere presence kindles unbearable lust. By the time she understands his dark nature, it is far too late for her to escape.

Bitter and alone, Etienne de Rémorcy haunts the forest around the ruined plantation of Fin d’Espoir. He has sworn to never again taste taste human blood, but when slender, raven-haired Madeleine begs him to take her, he cannot resist.

Troy is hugely relieved when Maddy makes her way back to their hotel after her ordeal in the mountains. But he finds her greatly changed―fiercely passionate in bed, restless and disturbed at other times. The tall, elegant stranger he meets on the beach holds the key to her transformation―and soon has seduced Troy as well. Even Etienne’s most potent magic can’t extinguish the fire in Troy’s and Madeleine’s blood.

You can read an excerpt here.

Fire in the Blood goes on sale Aug 16 at Total-E-Bound


LISABET SARAI has published six 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.

Do you have any questions for Lisabet? Have you visited Jamaica before? Do you like vampires?


  1. N.J. Walters

    All that travelling sounds amazing. I’m more of an armchair traveller. *g*

    Congrats on the upcoming release of Fire in the Blood. Sounds fascinating.

  2. Shelley Munro

    Hi Lisabet – Welcome to my blog. A Jamaican vampire sounds very different. Can you tell us how he might differ?

    And writer’s schedules always interest me. What is your writing schedule like? Do you like to listen to music while you write?

  3. Lisabet Sarai

    Hello, N.J.,

    Thank you for dropping by to read my travel reminiscences! I hope you’ll hop over to my site and read the excerpt from Fire in the Blood if it interests you.


  4. Lisabet Sarai

    Hello, Shelley,

    Thanks so much for hosting me today. The blog looks super!

    Etienne, my Jamaican vampire, is an ex-slave. He’s not part of any kind of vampire society. He’s a loner. And he’s been living alone in the ruins of his old plantation for more than a century.

    He’s handsome and seductive, but he’s also appealing because of his deep grief. I don’t want to say much more because I don’t want to spoil the story, but he’s a far cry from the cocky Lestat.


  5. Mary Preston

    So when are you going to visit Australia? We would welcome you with open arms.

  6. margaret west

    Great post, Lisabet. Interesting book too. I love all things paranormal :grin:

  7. Lorrie

    Hi Lisbet,

    How wonderful to see so much of the world and to set your novels in different locals.
    That alone tempts the readers to purchase your novels. The story also sounds like a winner. I love paranormal.
    Good luck with the novel

  8. Cate Masters

    Never been to Jamaica, Lisabet, but it sounds wonderful. So does your new release! Best of luck with your release.

  9. AJ

    Congratulations on your new release, Lisabet!

    Veronica, I didn’t find the offering of her ripe breasts comical. It was sensual, erotic, and visual. You want funny, try the stories that refer to how pungent the “tang” is. Believe me, they are out there. I’ve also seen one or two “gleaming” cocks in my reading day as well, which had nothing to do with being polished (at least not yet!).

    By the way, you misspelled following:

    You might also like to slap your proof reader on the hand for missing the folowing typo:

    Stones, glass houses, and all that.

  10. Mary

    The story sounds great! I love Vampire stories.

  11. Patricia K

    I love that you use your travels help let some of learn more about different areas.
    can’t wait to read the latest.
    [email protected]

  12. Lisabet Sarai

    Hello all! Thanks so much for joining in the fun!

    Mary — Australia is definitely on my list! The problem is that it’s such a big country. Like the U.S., you can’t possible see all “the good parts” in a single visit. So where would you suggest?

    Margaret – Hello! I personally like to write paranormal with “minimal magic”. I mean, one or two magical assumptions that drive the whole story. In this case, it is the addictive nature of Etienne’s healing blood. (Then there’s his sex appeal. But I’m not sure that’s supernatural. Even if he was mortal he’d be a hunk!)

    Lorrie – Hello and thanks for your comment. I think that romance readers fall into two camps. Some really don’t care about the setting of a story. They are focused entirely on the relationship which could happen anywhere. The others are like you. Needless to say, I do better with the latter segment of the market!

    Cate – Thanks for visiting and for your good wishes!

    AJ – Thanks for defending me ;^)

    Mary – Hello, and thank you for commenting. This is the longest vampire story I’ve written so far. I have several others in anthologies. There’s also a free vampire read called “Prey” on my website. (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/prey.html)

    Patricia – Great to see you here! Thank your for your loyal support!

  13. Word Actress

    Lisabet – u have been such a resource for me,
    atmosphere, that sounds so romantic and intriguing. I need to focus more on that in stories.
    Great post, fun new title…hope ur completely back to normal after ur surgery!