Guest Post: Brit Envy

Although I now live in Asia, I was born and raised in the U.S.A. Indeed, I’m a true Yankee, having spent most of my life in New England. When it comes to writing, though, I sometimes wish I were a Brit.

I’ve visited the U.K. a number of times: London, Bath, Reading, Carlisle, Devon, York, Scarborough, Glasgow, Edinburgh. Most of what I know about Britain, however, comes from literature. From my earliest years, I devoured English classics, especially from the nineteenth century: Arthur Conan Doyle, the Brontës, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Bram Stoker and so on. I’ve also been strongly influenced by contemporary British authors like Sarah Waters and William Boyd.

Many of my closest friends in the erotica and romance community hail from the beautiful British Isles. Though the UK is not as relaxed about sex as Sweden or Germany, overall British culture seems less puritanical than American. Indeed, it was a UK company (Black Lace) who published my very first erotic title.

There are expressions in British English that just don’t translate into American, from an emotional perspective. Take, for instance, “shag”, a common term for sex. It’s much less harsh than “fuck”, but more importantly, to me it has a connotation of mutual fun and pleasure that’s missing from a lot of American sexual slang. Shagging is not about “getting some”, or “doing her/him”, or “making it”.  It’s not about power games or dominance, and it’s not gendered. Anyone can initiate shagging; anyone can enjoy it.

Another favorite of mine is “chuffed”. When I heard from Black Lace that they wanted to give me a contract for Raw Silk, I was definitely chuffed – excited, expectant, proud, on the edge of bragging. 

Then there’s “what are you on about?” I’m not sure why this expression tickles my funny bone, but it does. It’s simultaneously critical and humorous, with (to me) an edge of affection. It has echoes of Monty Python. You wouldn’t say this to a stranger or to an enemy.

So, I love British English. Between writing for UK publishers and hanging out with UK authors, I’ve published a fair number of books in the dialect, including my new release Getaway Girl. This story is set in a small, picturesque village in northern Yorkshire called Kirkby Malzeard (which actually exists). When I originally penned the story, I’d never been to Yorkshire. I just knew it by reputation. Now I am eager to go back and visit the real village, as well as the ancient Devon market town of Tavistock, which features in my alt-Victorian trilogy The Toymakers Guild.

It’s not easy for me, though, to write correct British English. (I will never forget my first editor from Black Lace, replacing all my references to “panties” with “knickers”!) Somehow I can never get the convention straight for building “storeys”, for instance. Fortunately I belong to a stellar critique group which includes several highly accomplished authors of the British persuasion.

If my British English is at all convincing, they’re at least partially responsible. And yeah, it’s easy for them… so I am a bit jealous!

But mostly, I’m just grateful.

MF Contemporary erotic romance – mild bondage
Five flames 
13,500 words, 55 pages
Smashwords and Amazon KDP
ISBN (Smashwords): 9798224981939


Be careful what you wish for

All Peg wants is a break, a bit of adventure, a relief from her mundane existence in the bucolic but boring Yorkshire hamlet of Kirkby Malzeard. When dashing, sophisticated journalist Lionel Hayes saunters into the pub where she’s tending bar, Peg suspects that he was just the sort of man to fulfill her fantasies of escape.

The seductive Lionel, however, is not what he seems. Before she knows it, Peg is a hostage, roped and gagged, speeding away from the scene of a daring crime. Lionel is armed and dangerous, but somehow Peg still wants him – regardless of the consequences.

Note: This book was originally published in 2015 by Totally Bound. This second edition has been substantially revised and has a new ending.


“What are you doing here, if I might ask?”

“Me? Oh, I’m a journalist. I’m doing a story on the find and its historical implications.”

Peg felt a twinge of suspicion. “The press conference was yesterday.”

“My car broke down halfway from London. I spent last night in a town even tinier than this one.” His smile was charming, apologetic. Peg’s uneasiness melted away.

He leaned towards her across the bar, putting his hand over hers. “That’s why I appreciate your help, in giving me the information I need.”

His skin was warm and smooth, none of the calluses of a manual labourer. Not like the farmers Peg had occasionally dated here, before she gave up on finding a man in her home village. He ran one fingertip up and down in the sensitive crease between Peg’s thumb and forefinger. The light touch was enough to turn her nipples to aching knots and trigger a throbbing between her legs.

She caught a hint of his scent, a balsam-laced aftershave or cologne that simultaneously conveyed masculinity and refinement. His forefinger ventured higher, stroking the back of her wrist, a gesture both delicate and bold. Her pussy clenched as though he were massaging her down there, instead of merely brushing a casual finger across her hand.

She stared at the bar, blushing, angry with herself for being so susceptible. Finally, she managed to raise her head and meet his eyes, which were a stormy hazel colour.

“What paper are you from?”

“Oh, I write for an upmarket travel rag. I doubt that you would’ve heard of it. This story should enhance the romance and mystery of your already delightful village. I expect you’ll see a surge in tourists after publication.”

“You should interview Peter Lofthouse. He’s been mayor for the last dozen years.”

“I have the feeling that I’m talking to a real authority right now. Lived here a long time, haven’t you?”

She bristled. How did he know that? Maybe because she seemed such a country bumpkin. “I spent some time in London, but I had to come back. Family problems.”

“Sorry to hear that…” He scanned her chest, seeking a name tag. Peg felt as though he were fondling her breasts instead of just looking at them. Could he see the swollen tips, pushing up through her soft green jumper?

“I’m Peg,” she said, snatching her hand from his and reaching for the bar rag. “And you?”

He bowed slightly. “Lionel Hayes, at your service. But I’ll bet you’re really Margaret, right? It’s much more musical, more sophisticated. It suits you.”

He was clearly trying to flatter her. She didn’t really mind. “Lionel—sounds like an aristocratic playboy from the nineteen twenties. Nobody’s named Lionel anymore.”

The journalist laughed again, soft and intimate, sending the blood rushing again to Peg’s cheeks as well as to other body parts. He drained the last of his pint, then reclaimed her hand. “I’ve got to go. But it’s been pleasure to meet you, Margaret. Perhaps I’ll mention you in my article.”

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About Lisabet

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, LGBTQ, 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 (, 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, BookBub and Twitter. Join her VIP email list here:

1 Comment

  1. Hello, Amber,

    Many thanks for your help in getting the word out about this story.

    You should give yourself a shout-out, too, for the fabulous cover!

Comments are closed.