Monday, 13 June 2011

Welcome Muse It Up Publishing author, Lisabet Sarai!

Welcome, Lisabet! Until you contacted me for a spot on my blog I had never heard of Muse It Up Publishing and I'm sure my visitors will want to know as much as you can share about them as I do. How did you find them? What are they like to work with?

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to reading your post...

Culture Clash

By Lisabet Sarai

If you've ever traveled outside your own country, you've probably experienced culture clash. What do I mean by this term? Differing assumptions between individuals from different cultures. Disparate behaviors in response to the same stimulus. Values and priorities that don't agree with those that are typical in one's own country. Culture clash can produce both humorous and dangerous consequences, depending on the situation. At very least, it can make you feel insecure and uncomfortable.

You're strolling by yourself down a quiet cobblestone lane in some Tuscan village. A swarthy, muscular guy with a hairy chest and tight jeans passes you going in the other direction. He gives you a very obvious once over, then lets out a low whistle. "Ciao, Bella!" he calls, moving closer, giving you a smile that bares his intensely white teeth.

If you're American, as I am, you probably feel concerned for your safety. That sort of blatantly sexual overture seems like a threat. In Italian culture, though, this is a common way for a man to express his appreciation of female beauty. You might be flustered, but you should probably feel flattered too. Certainly, you shouldn't be worried that the guy is going to attack you. Culture clash.

You're touring Japan, struggling with almost complete absence of English. An older couple sees you trying to figure out the train schedule and offers their help. You start to converse, intensely grateful to be able to use your own language. After a while, the couple invites you to their home. Embarrassed and sure that they're only trying to be nice, you decline. You don't want to inconvenience them. Most likely, they will continue to smile, but in reality, they feel offended and hurt. You've scorned their hospitality and also robbed them of the "face" they'd gain from having a foreign guest. Culture clash.

In a "third world" country, culture clash can be even more extreme. A traveler from the wealthy west may feel that every individual who approaches has some monetary agenda, when in fact the local person is offering friendship or is simply curious. The opposite occurs, too. Innumerable men have visited Thailand and fallen deeply in love with some elegant Thai beauty. The women of their dreams may claim to love their new boyfriends, but what they're really seeking is financial security in a world where it's often difficult to survive.

My new release, Citadel of Women, is partly about culture clash. Doa George is a bisexual graphic designer from New York City. She and her lover Laurel have long been looking forward to their journey to Cambodia, to visit the ruins of the Angkor empire. When Laurel severs their relationship just before they're scheduled to leave, Doa stubbornly decides to travel alone, but the marvelous sights of the ancient Khmer empire do little to heal the rift in her heart. Che, the mercurial Cambodian tour guide, senses her loneliness and offers her comfort and passion. Their connection is far more than physical – but the vast gulf between their two worlds makes that connection difficult to maintain.

Doa thinks she knows something about Cambodian history and culture, but she reads Che wrong almost from the start. Meanwhile, Che is sensitive to his status as a impoverished denizen of third world, and misinterprets Doa's reactions as well.

Here's a brief excerpt (explicit) which highlights the clash between their respective cultures.


His arms snaked around me, pulling me to his chest. He was stronger than he looked. He nuzzled my neck, licked his way up to my ear lobe and flicked at it with his tongue. A bolt of pleasure shot through me, targeting my pussy. He silenced my moan with his mouth, capturing mine in a wet kiss. I tasted the beer we'd drunk, the chiles he'd eaten.

I let my arms clasp his slender body to my riper one, accepting what he offered. My rational self warned I'd regret this. When I grasped his rigid cock through the well-worn shorts, his groan drowned out the voice of caution.

As I stroked his hardness, he unknotted my sarong. His hands sought the weight of my breasts. He cradled them, kneading my ripe flesh and tracing voluptuous circles around my nipples. Warm honey flowed through my limbs. I pulled the boxers down over his lean hips so I could sample his nakedness.

A musky funk rose from his privates. His cock was long like his fingers, slender and graceful as the rest of him, and harder than the stones of the ancient city. Wrapped in skin as soft and delicate as a baby's, it pulsed in my hand, alive with need.

Che played with my tits, twisting my nipples between his fingers. Every touch traveled straight to my pussy. He flicked his thumbs over the twin nubs, plump and sensitized from my fantasy play. My clit jumped in response, aching for more direct stimulation. I squeezed his cock, trying to get the message across, but he seemed mesmerized by my breasts. Urgency overcoming shyness, I grabbed one of his hands and dragged it to the hungry cleft between my legs.

“Here,” I whispered. “I need you here.”

He spread his fingers, opening my soaked folds. One digit stroked my clit. Another penetrated deep into my slit. Exquisite sensation washed over me. I ground my pussy against his hand, trying to force him deeper. He rubbed his cock against my thigh, painting it with his pre-come.

We managed to stagger over to the bed without letting go of one another and tumbled onto the mattress, Che on top. He weighed no more than Laurel. His cock fit neatly between my thighs. The bulb mashed against my pubis, sending shock waves rippling through me. Braced above me, he bent to kiss me while his cock tried to work its way into my pussy.

“Wait!” This time I listened to the inner voice, despite my arousal. “Do you have a condom?”

He sat back on his haunches, looking miserable and needy. “No. Don't you?”

“I'm a lesbian, remember?” I regretted the words as soon as they left my lips. Especially since they weren't strictly true.

Che's face turned bitter. “I'm sorry. I misunderstood. I shouldn't have bothered you.” He started to disentangle his limbs from mine. I grabbed his wrist, pulling him closer.

“No, don't go. I want you, really I do...”

“You don't trust me. Because I come from a poor country you think I'm diseased.”

“Baby, it's not you.” I brushed his hair out of his eyes. “It would be the same with anyone. But look, even if we don't have a condom, you don't have to leave. Turn around. Let me suck you. And you can lick me. God, I'm so horny, just the thought is almost enough to make me come.”

“I don't know... are you sure?” Che's uncertainty made him look young again.


Quite a few of my stories are set in foreign locales, and they often highlight the clash of cultures. For several examples, visit the Free Reading ( page on my website. Both "Vows" and "Butterfly" deal with the gaps in expectations and values between characters from different countries. And if you like what you read, you might want to pick up a copy of Citadel of Women, which will be released by Muse It Hot Publishing on June 16th!

BIO: A dozen years ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published two single author short story collections and six erotic novels, including the BDSM classic Raw Silk. Dozens of her shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.

Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre. She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her highly tolerant husband and two well-traveled felines. For more information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory ( or her blog Beyond Romance (

Great blog (and excerpt!), Lisabet - really enjoyed it as I love experiencing different cultures and when you throw sex into the mix...all sorts of discovery to be had!



  1. Hello, Rachel,

    Thank you so much for having me as your guest!

    To answer your questions about Muse It Up/Muse It Hot - they're a relatively new imprint (a bit more than a year old), headquartered in Canada and headed up by the amazing Lea Schizas, a publishing veteran. Muse It Up publishes a wide range of genres including suspense, young adult, and woman's fiction. Muse It Hot is the branch for erotica and erotic romance.

    I've been very impressed by Muse. Their covers are incredible, their editing is intensive and the energy that animates the authors' loop is astounding. One reason I submitted to them is that they publish shorter fiction as well as novellas and novels.

    All in all my experience with them has been very positive.

  2. Hi Lisabet and Rachel!

    Hot excerpt. I agree with you about the culture shock. In Italy, I once saw two men screaming at each other in the middle of the street. I thought a fight would break out and then they hugged and walked away. ? ? My sister lived there and said it was common.

    I've also experienced culture shock here in America. My daughter has been close friends with a girl from traditional Hmong family for about 6 years--there've been some interesting moments. Another of her friends was recently immigrated from Russia and of Armenian descent. When visiting one evening, I realized not accepting the offered coffee and food would be considered really rude...have you ever had Turkish coffee? It's really good but Woo! I was up all night.

    I love the idea of exploring different cultures and throwing them together.

  3. Hello, Lynne,

    I love Turkish coffee! Yes, culture shock is one of the dangers of traveling - or even moving outside the circle of one's own ethnicity. The benefits, though, make it well worth the risk.