Fresh Find: The Pornographer’s Apprentice by Lisabet Sarai

I’m honoured to be taking part in Lisabet Sarai’s book blast for her latest release, The Pornographer’s Apprentice, a steampunk erotica novel featuring BDSM, menage, Victorian delights, and a feminist heroine.

Here’s Lisabet to tell us a little more…

Born Again Victorian

by Lisabet Sarai

Sometimes I think I lived a past life in the Victorian age. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been drawn to architecture and costumes from the period. My siblings used to tease me about how much I liked “gingerbread” houses. In my high school yearbook picture, I’m wearing a high-necked, 1880’s style blouse with an antique cameo brooch at my throat. I’ve been a huge fan of Gilbert and Sullivan – the consummate chroniclers of Victorian culture – since I was introduced to their operettas at age five. I had devoured the complete Sherlock Holmes before I turned fifteen.

Although I haven’t yet found the patience to write a full-fledged Victorian historical novel, my erotic romance Miranda’s Masks features a parallel plot that unfolds in nineteenth-century Boston. I’ve also penned a number of steam punk stories, all set in an alternative Victorian world with more advanced technology than actually existed (although in fact the latter half of the eighteen hundreds was a hotbed of invention and entrepreneurship). Possibly due to all the nineteenth century fiction I’ve consumed, I find it surprisingly easy to write dialogue and description that can pass as Victorian. I certainly can’t produce the same level of authenticity for any other historical era.

It might seem strange that I’m so attracted to things Victorian. Given my interest in sexuality (both literary and personal), I probably would have had difficulty adapting to the prudish societal norms of the time. Of course, perennially popular Victorian erotica like The Pearl and My Secret Life suggest that there was a quite a gap between what people professed in public and what they did in private (or in the company of like-minded libertines).

That’s my theory, anyway: that the Victorians were a far lustier group than they pretended. That’s certainly true of the characters in my Victorian-themed novels, including The Pornographer’s Apprentice.

A woman with her eyes obscured, dressed in Victorian garb, on the cover of The Pornographer's Apprentice by Lisabet Sarai

The Pornographer’s Apprentice by Lisabet Sarai

She wants to build sex toys… if they’ll let her.

In prudish, patriarchal Victorian England, nineteen year old prodigy Gillian Smith finds a secret society dedicated to the erotic arts. She’ll need both her intellect and her physical charms to earn the permanent position she craves.

If you like steam punk erotica with a kinky feminist bent, you’ll love The Pornographer’s Apprentice.

The Toymakers Guild series: Defying the repressive morality of the Victorian era, the Toymakers Guild uses advanced technology to fabricate bespoke sexual artifacts for the discrete pleasure of select clients. Its members are not only brilliant engineers but also sexual renegades seeking freedom from the prudish society that surrounds them. These are their stories.


Amelia rested her hands on Gillian’s bare shoulders and leaned in to kiss her. Bold as brass, the intruder used her tongue to tease Gillian’s lips open, then plunged inside. With distinctly unladylike ferocity, she took possession of Gillian’s mouth.

Thoroughly awake now, and more aroused by the second, Gillian met Amelia’s kiss with equal passion. Meanwhile, confident that Amelia would not object, she reached out to cradle and caress the woman’s full bosom. Amelia’s magnificent breasts, far more opulent than Lettie’s, felt wonderfully firm and pliant in her hands. The taut nipples that poked through the thin cotton nightdress spoke volumes about their owner’s excitement. Gillian gave one nub a light pinch. With gratifying swiftness, it hardened further.

“By the gods, you’re delicious,” Amelia sighed. Her mouth slid away from Gillian’s to nibble along the jaw line, then she licked her way down Gillian’s throat to the hollow between her breasts. “Every inch of you,” she added.

Gillian rolled both of Amelia’s nips between her fingertips. She gave them a tug. Amelia released a choked cry, then dove in to suckle Gillian’s teats.

Now it was the young apprentice’s turn to moan, as bright pleasure shimmered from her peaks down to the valley of her loins. She tightened her thighs for a moment, savouring the friction that created against her throbbing clit. Then she spread her legs wide, baring her secret garden to the other woman’s eyes.

“Take me,” she pleaded. “I’m wet as rain for you, Amelia.”

About Lisabet Sarai

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, 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, Pinterest, and Twitter. Join her VIP email list.

What I’m not reading — Aug 2020

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

There must be something about this time of year that gets me doing stuff other than reading. It’s Djilba in these parts, according to the Noongar calendar, described as “a transitional time of year”. Now, I don’t know if that refers to people and emotions as well as the weather, but I’m certainly feeling a sense of flux.

Although, if you were to watch me through the window, it would appear I’m only fluctuating between gaming at the computer or bingeing Netflix on the couch 😅

Well, it’s not reading, at any rate, and here are the lovely books that are taunting me from my house-sized TBR:

Forbidden Storm by A.R. Vagnetti

A pensive heroin clutches a sword against the backdrop of watchful lupine eyes, on the cover of Forbidden Storm by A.R. Vagnetti

Newly released and hot off the press, this is the long-awaited sequel to Forgotten Storm. This time, we track the escapades of sexy Kurtis (I loved him in the first book, but who doesn’t love a hot martial arts hero?) and the enigmatic Lucretia.

The Kyanite Press: Volume 1, Issue 1

A ghostly hand reaches towards us from a starry night sky on the cover of The Kyanite Press Volume 1, Issue 1

This is one book I wish I had taken with me on my last plane ride. It features speculative shorts of all sorts, and knowing what kinds of stories Kyanite Publishing likes to collect, this would have kept me properly distracted on the long transit home.

The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole

A Black woman holding a laundry basket chats to a Chinese guy holding a cat on the cover of The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole

This book was an insta-buy when I saw it on Instagram, which is a shame because I’ve since done some research and learned that Mindy Kaling is one of the audiobook VAs. Oh how I wish I got the audiobook edition instead, because I love Mindy Kaling’s voice! It’s not ridiculous to buy the audiobook of something if you already have the Kindle version of it, right? Maybe it’s time to dust off the ol’ Audible subscription…

Not Meeting Mr. Right by Anita Heiss

A redheaded lady contemplates the mediocre men in her life on the illustrated cover of Not Meeting Mr Right by Anita Heiss

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m looking for until it finds me. That was this book, another insta-buy from an author I’ve heard good things about. I eagerly await a chance to get stuck into it, though if it’s as “Sex and the City”-esque as it sounds, I should probably load up on wine and snacks first.

Dirty 1st Dates: The Arcade by Harley Laroux

A tattooed guy stands in a gaming arcade on the cover of Dirty 1st Dates: The Arcade by Harley Laroux

Harley Laroux is a top shelf smut writer. While a few of her books await me on my Kindle, this one in particular is bubbling to the top. The next book I read will most likely be this one.

Reverb: Live, Die, Rave, Repeat by David Fuente

A crowd of clubbers dance the night away on the cover of Reverb: Live, Die, Rave, Repeat by David Fuentes

Another insta-buy—everything about this book sounds like a riot. This bit from the blurb was what got me in the end: “Expect Sun, Sex and Sangria all mixed in with EDM, even more Sex and Narcotics.”

The Heart of the Deal by Lisabet Sarai

A business woman sits in an executive chair on the cover of The Heart of the Deal by Lisabet Sarai

Lisabet Sarai has been on my reading list for ages, but it was the “Ruby and Rick compete for ownership of a strategic factory in Malaysia” bit that drew me to this book. Who says representation doesn’t sell?

Endgame by Aisha Tritle

A skull stylised with an abstract circuitboard theme on the cover of Endgame by Aisha Tritle

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but the circuitboard-styled skull really sold me on this. That and the techno-thriller vibes in the very intriguing blurb. I have a thing for guys named Alexei too, so that’s a trifecta right there. Oh, Kindle, my Kindle, we shall spend time soon ❤️