Blog posts and how-to books aimed at authors often recommend that we keep an idea notebook. “Capture your inspirations when they’re fresh,” the pundits counsel. “Don’t let your ideas slip away.”
For many years, I’ve followed this recommendation. Typically I keep the notebook next to my bed, so that I can jot down the details of dreams that contain the seed of a story. Also, I tend to be more relaxed at night. Sometimes I’ll write a page or two, in longhand, before falling asleep.
It’s not uncommon for me to be fired up, initially, when I come up with a new idea and write it down. When I review my scribbles a few days later, on the other hand, my enthusiasm may have cooled. What seemed like a brilliant premise in the heat of inspiration will strike me as hackneyed or boring. Still, it’s there in the notebook, in case I change my mind.
The concept for the Toymakers Guild series showed up in my notebook way back in 2010. At the time, I was writing – or trying to write – traditional romance for Totally Bound. My original vision of the Guild was quite close to the portrayal in the series, a secretive Victoria-era establishment located in a remote part of England and dedicated to the creation of steampunk sex toys. I knew I’d have characters named Gillian, Amelia and Rafe, though I wasn’t sure who they were. I even had the titles for the series volumes. However, I pictured the series as romance. Each book, I assumed, would focus on a different relationship between a different set of Toymakers. Each book would also deal with the creation of some outrageous sexual artifact for a particular client.
I spent some time thinking about this, but I was busy with other books as well as real world responsibilities, and the momentum slipped away. One problem was that at that time I’d never before been successful in writing a series. I wasn’t confident I could maintain a fictional world over more than one book.
Time passed. I gradually shifted to self-publishing and in the process away from classic romance. Without intending to, I wrote my very successful Vegas Babes erotica series. I started to understand the dynamics of series creation. And I saw that from a commercial perspective, series were the way to go.
Then, late in 2019 I remembered the Toymakers. I dug out the old notebook and read the few pages I’d penned back in 2010. And the creative juices began to flow.
Three years later, I’ve finally completed the Toymakers trilogy. It has diverged dramatically from my original vision, but still, the core concepts haven’t really changed.
If I hadn’t captured those notes, I might well have forgotten about Gillian and her companions out on the Devon moors. I’m grateful I listened to advice!
A few minutes later, he pointed to a summit some hundred yards ahead. It was crowned by a finger of stone, pointing toward the sky. “That’s Brigit’s Tor,” he said. “Supposedly the standing stone is more than five thousand years old. Some claim the site was an ancient shrine.”
Trudging up the last, steep slope, they paused for breath. Gillian peered up at the granite pillar silhouetted against the blue background. Its shape was surprisingly regular and when they finally arrived at the shallow, grassy bowl at the top, she noticed it was free of the grey-green lichen that bloomed on most of the moorland rocks. It wasn’t that tall, perhaps half again her height, but when she passed beneath its shadow, she found herself shivering.
Other oblongs of stone lay scattered around the hilltop, some partly buried in the earth. Rafe seated himself on one sun-warmed slab and patted the spot beside him. “Sit, Jill. I’ve brought some tea.” He rummaged in his bag and pulled out a vacuum flask and two mugs, which he proceeded to fill.
“How clever of you!” The beverage was lukewarm, but sweet and wonderfully refreshing after their climb. She sipped it gratefully while admiring the view from their elevated vantage point. The moors rolled away to the north and west, draped in velvety shades of olive and sage. Far to the east, she glimpsed a brick-coloured, smoke-hung smudge that had to be Tavistock. Closer to their perch, she noted a dense patch of emerald-green vegetation that was undoubtedly the grounds of Randerley. Despite the height of its towers, the hall itself could not be seen.
Faced with such an inspiring expanse, she found her spirits rising. She reached for Rafe’s hand. “Thank you so much for bringing me here. It’s truly marvellous!”
Rafe cupped the back of her head in one hand and pulled her into a fiery kiss. He didn’t embrace her, not yet, but his mouth sealed to hers with a finality that left her burning and breathless. Like some parched desert traveller who’d stumbled upon an oasis, he drank her in, desperate and thankful.
She opened to him, ready to give him whatever he needed or desired. His familiar flavour lit up her senses, quickening her pulse and making her nipples peak. The kiss consumed her. Surging desire and a lack of air combined to make her giddy. The earth wheeled around her, blue and green turning somersaults in her head.
“Oh, Jill,” he moaned when he finally set her free. “I can’t stand this any longer. Lie down!”
He eased her back onto the slab. She bent and parted her knees of her own accord, and began to unbutton her bodice.
“No, no, let me, please!” He half-rose, then fell to his knees in the grass beside the granite shelf, to one side of her. With typical speed and precision, he unfastened and opened her top, then slipped both hands inside to cradle her breasts through her shift.
Electric pleasure coursed through her, the sparks kindled by his touch racing to ignite her core. “Oh God, Rafe! I’ve missed you,” she panted, as he pulled up her chemise and applied his mouth to her aching nipples. He tongued and sucked the taut nubs, every touch adding fuel to the blaze between her legs.
She wanted him there, filling her cunny, as she’d never wanted anyone or anything. She craved the sensation of his irresistible hardness stretching her wide. At the same time, his exquisite attention felt too delicious to forego.
Closing her eyes, she surrendered to his mouth and his passion. Let him do whatever he wished. She had no doubt it would suit her own desires. As she lay on her back upon the altar-like stone, she imagined herself a willing sacrifice to the ancient earth gods, awaiting ecstasy and enlightenment.
Lost in a lascivious trance, it took a moment for her realise that Rafe had abandoned her nipples for other parts of her anatomy. He fumbled with her skirts, pushing them up over her knees so they pooled over her belly. Then he leaned in to sweep his tongue through her fully exposed cleft. She’d discarded her undergarments when she’d gone upstairs to change shoes, suspecting that Rafe might harbour carnal intentions with regard to their walk.
She gasped at the sudden, intense stimulation and arched up off the stone in an attempt to stay connected to his divine tongue. “Let me,” he repeated, forcing her hips back down. “Trust me to give you what you need.” He licked her again, more firmly this time, ending with a flick to her swollen clit. “Lie back and let me eat my fill.”
It was difficult to relax, nearly impossible to obey, but Gillian tried valiantly. He used his knowledge of her body to bring her to the very brink of spending, again and again, but he held back from the final stroke that would push her over the edge. Before long she was whimpering and moaning, struggling not to thrash about as he gorged on her slick, sensitive flesh.
“Oh, by the stars and planets, don’t tease me anymore, Rafe! Give me your cock, before I go crazy.”
How do you train a steampunk sexbot?
Gillian Smith’s promotion to journeyman proves she’s ready to lead the Toymakers in producing astonishing new erotic artifacts. Creative, brilliant, and debauched, she’ll stretch her capabilities to the limit as she juggles a talent shortage and a pair of jealous rivals. Then there’s the challenge of their latest commission—a life-sized programmable sex doll intended to replace a client’s deceased paramour.
Normally she would consult the enigmatic Master Toymaker, but he seems preoccupied with his own concerns. Though her lusty crew of sexual renegades can offer technical and carnal assistance, Gillian is ultimately responsible for delivering the promised, near-impossible technology.
It’s fortunate she’s not one to give up—not even when events threaten the Guild’s very survival.
Kinky Literature – https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/976-the-masters-mark-the-toymakers-guild-book-3/
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BRHGN35L
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BRHGN35L
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1306694
Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940165993299
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-master-s-mark-the-toymaker-s-guild-book-3
Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id6445290161
Add on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/75611538-the-master-s-mark
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, BookBub and Twitter. Join her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh
Lisabet Sarai is running a contest to celebrate the release of The Master’s Mark. The prize is a $10 book store gift certificate, plus an ebook copy of the new novel in your choice of formats.
To enter, do the following:
- Send an email at contest [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com
- In the body of the email, list the names of two characters in The Master’s Mark. (You can discover this from various blog posts and excerpts.)
One entry per person, please. On the first of February, Lisabet will randomly draw a winner from among all the entries. Be sure to send your entry to the “contest” email address above.