From Cereal to Serial

 

By A.J. Llewellyn

As a kid, I was obsessed with my morning cereal. It wasn’t so much the crunchy stuff that got my attention but the toys at the bottom of the box. The other thing I loved was that I ate my Coco Pops (the Australian version of Coco Puffs) I could read the Superman serial on the back of the box.

I looked forward to those little yarns each week and kept them for a while. I cut out the stories and kept the cardboard pieces in a box until my step mother did a sweep of my bedroom one day and tossed out the box which not only contained the Superman serial but the beginnings of lots of little story ideas I’d developed. She didn’t realize this was important to me and I guess all these years later it still bugs me.

Serials have always intrigued me. As I grew older and went to school and college, I was fascinated to learn how many of my literary favorites had started producing their stories as serials. I did find an old copy of a Charles Dickens story and an Agatha Christie piece that had been serialized. In fact, I adore Agatha Christie and I was surprised to learn many of her short stories were published as serials.

This idea has lived in my brain for so long that when it popped, finally, I asked the astonishing and talented D.J. Manly to work on it with me. As we wind up our 12-month serial, Blood Slave: Nibiru Vampire Warriors, I feel satisfied and full. We invested so much into each 16,000 word chapter, every snippet of ideas tossed into the mix that I feel as if I finally got my own cereal box. I love the idea of our readers receiving big chunks of action-packed drama and romance and having to wait a month for the next installment.

Judging by the emails we are getting it worked! I am grateful D.J. said yes and that our readers have taken our heroes, Zero and Stride to heart. We are almost done with Chapter Eleven and Chapter Twelve will start taking shape soon. I don’t want to say goodbye to these beloved characters but I hope that in the future we can revisit them in a different format, a novella or novel perhaps. In the meantime, enjoy the serial, whether you read it with cereal or not. I know it’s one of my great pleasures still, to enjoy reading over breakfast.

Coco Pops boxes may no longer be involved but my heart is always open to great adventure.

And the perfect bowl of cereal.

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Dinner With a Hero

 

By A.J. Llewellyn

I was asked by the wonderfully talented author Silvia Violet to guest blog at her website as one of my characters on the subject of food. Silvia and I are foodies and frankly this idea totally intrigued me. One of my favorite series to write was the Waikiki Vampires and I still miss Div and Tem.

Being in Honolulu this past week evoked so many memories of elements in my stories, especially the food, that I had to blog from Div’s POV. I wrote it from my kitchen window looking out over the garden that inspires the one in the series. In my heart and mind I can see Tem, Clancy and Heavenly pulling vegetables from the garden as Div waits for his supper. He might not be handy in the kitchen but he always makes it up to Tem in the bedroom right after dinner.

Ahem.

Yes, my vampires eat and Div has a passion for exotic flavors. he is, after all, a tropical vampire in Waikiki. Please stop by and check out the blog and leave a comment to qualify to win a free ebook from the series.

http://silviaviolet.com/blog/2011/09/16/dinner-with-a-hero-aj-llewellyn/#comment-1311

Yum yum!

A.J.

Not Here, Not There

By A.J. Llewellyn

My good friend, the yummy model Adam Killian, is a persistent traveler. Getting on and off planes is a daily thing for him. Until I got my dog 15 years ago it was for me, too. Now, everything has to be planned, and saved for.
When I first moved here in the 80s from my native Australia, I lived like Adam. I traveled extensively and have probably seen more of the US than most Americans have. In those days a wonderful–alas, defunct–airline existed called The People’s Express. Looking back it was hilarious. You took your suitcase on board and it sat in the aisle next to you. You paid for your ticket on board.
99 bucks one way. It was packed, it was chaotic and I wonder now about the safety standards, but anyhoo, I flew everywhere. I picked a different city each weekend. There were no snacks, no movies, no niceties, but it was bloody fantastic. And then for some mysterious reason it went belly-up.
I am getting ready to fly to Honolulu this morning. It is the land of my dreams. Like many Hawaiians-at-Heart, I am filled completely when I land and bereft immediately upon departure again. It’s hard to believe that a few short weeks ago a few close friends talked me into going.
I had no intention of leaving my beloved, and elderly dog, but the truth is, I really need the break. I have a great dog sitter and the lure of showing three wonderful people My Hawaii is proving irresistible. Not only have they never been there but Ruth. Lynne and David are my kind of travelers. They want to see Oahu’s sacred places and meet my favorite Goddess, Pele.
For weeks the emails have been going back and forth until we decided. We all have things pulling at us to stay home but this is what we need. It’s not The People’s Express, but the spirit is there, willing us to be free…fly!
It’s interesting however that in the day leading up to this trip I’ve been in a kind of limbo. Not here, not there. I am somewhere in between. A boarding gate that feels both good and bad.
I worry about my pets, about taking time away from work. I worry about random, obscure fears and can’t help being mindful that the anniversary of 9/11 is next week. My plan is to visit the military cemetery, Punchbowl, the Cemetery of the Pacific. Hawaii has endured more losses in the war against terror than any other state. her cemeteries are filled. I will take a lei to a fallen soldier I do not know and thank him for his priceless gift.
I called my friend Lynn last night and asked how she was feeling. She and her husband David were waiting, just like me. It’s a strange waiting room in which we’ve dwelt. Perhaps as we’ve gotten older, travel has become such a luxury we taste and savor every moment, even the waiting and preparations to travel.
This time 10 years ago I was waiting to fly to New York to see Mike Tyson fight at Madison Square Garden. Those plans were derailed by the attack on the twin towers. I was lucky. As we all know, so many were not.
So I will happily exist, not here, not there, knowing that so many others are not. I will wallow in this day of travel, and feel humbled that I am in fact, thanks to the sacrifices of men and women I have never met, free to fly.
Aloha oe
A.J.

Come By Chance

Come By Chance: A new M/M, M/M/M, M/M/M/M, contemporary cowboy comedy set in the Australian outback is OUT NOW at eXtasy Books!

Purchase Link: http://bit.ly/puyM89

Come to where the flavor is…crazy Aussie outback cowboy country where men are men and kangaroos are nervous…

Synopsis: When photographer’s assistant Gary Holland meets three Australian underpants models–all called Bruce–on what should be a routine shoot in LA, it turns out to be anything but. He falls for the geekiest, yet sexiest, Bruce of them all, but soon learns Bruce has not only never been with another man but is an anxious virgin.

Bruce lives in the whimsically named town of Come By Chance in northern New South Wales, population 178. After a torrid fling starts in California, Bruce wants Gary to visit him in the land down under. Shocks, laughter, love, a shy kangaroo named Phillip, a goose called Zeus and a tractor that thinks it’s a horse, soon welcome Gary to a life he never thought he’d want to live. Can two men who are such opposites make a life together? Does love like this really…come by chance?

For a HOT eXcerpt and for purchase:  http://bit.ly/puyM89

Kaleidoscope

 

By A.J. Llewellyn
Like most writers, my ideas come from actual life happenings. Last year, I attended a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and one of my friends was late. Keren is an emergency room nurse and arrived to tell us a breathless tale about a couple rushed in after suffering a head-on collision. The woman had been going down on the man who, lost control of the moving vehicle and swerved into an oncoming lane and crashed.
In the ensuing catastrophe, the woman giving head severed the man’s penis with her teeth.
In the emergency room, Keren and the others worked to save the couple. The penis was still lodged in the woman’s throat.
Keren never thought about the couple’s relationship, she only worked to save them. She and her crew did so. The man’s penis was reattached and all was good…until out in the waiting room a woman approached her.
It was the man’s wife!
Keren described the woman’s complete breakdown as she learned how her husband suffered such an unusual injury. Keren never found out what happened…but I came up with my own conclusion in a gay twist on this story.
Having been cheated on myself several years ago, I took it hard. It was fun to re-examine those early emotions in hindsight. I, like Teddy, became obsessed with the other man. With the internet being what it is, it’s easy to follow someone on Twitter or Facebook (back then MySpace was the hot social networking site) and I found out things about my lover that I never knew…
Kaleidoscope has been described by a couple of reviewers as “unconventional” because my character, Teddy, goes through great anguish on discovering the truth of his husband’s affair…then becomes obsessed with finding out the truth about the ‘other man’ in Auguste’s life.
Unconventional?
Perhaps…
But Kaleidoscope is part of the Amber Pax collection in a series entitled The French Connection. To my mind, telling unconventional stories is part of a romance writer’s job. Besides, being a story set in Paris, it gives the writer the opportunity to explore the themes of love, second chances and…how life really is like a kaleidoscope.
 
Here is the blurb:

Teddy Bardin married Auguste, whom he thought was the man of his dreams, and to start a new life with his husband, he moved from New York to Paris, the city of light. Now, on a rainy afternoon, a life-shattering telephone call arrives, and Teddy learns that Auguste has been in a car accident.

After racing to the hospital to visit his stricken husband, Teddy is in for another emotional shock—listed among Auguste’s injuries is a nearly severed penis. It comes as an even bigger surprise when Teddy learns that Auguste was with another man who was orally pleasuring him at the moment of impact. And that’s only the beginning in a series of heartbreaking discoveries.

Teddy quickly comes to realize he must make some tough decisions about his future, especially about his marriage and unfaithful husband…and also his growing obsession with Pierre, the other important man in Auguste’s life…

I hope you get the chance to read and enjoy Kaleidoscope, one of my favorite stories! I love Teddy and Pierre and miss writing about them.

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Kaleidoscope.html

 
Aloha oe,
A.J.

Opening the Bedroom Door

 

By A.J. Llewellyn

There is a literary agent who I sometimes wonder about since she is a prolific blogger and has some huge names on her roster. As I tuned into her daily rant this morning, I clicked on the right side of her page for her archives and laughed so hard coffee was coming up through my nose.
A year ago, this beacon of all literary knowledge predicted that erotic romance was on its way out.
Yeah, right. Her blog went on to say that in spite of publishers “opening the bedroom door” on a huge number of previously released books that closed them once the readers got to share in a “kiss and a feel”, the trend was cooling.
Well you know what they say about opinions and everyone having them…just like we all have a certain often-functioning part of our anatomy.
What it showed me was a general ‘literary snobbiness’ about our genre. I experienced this myself from both writers and other industry professionals I know who view what we do as ‘porn.’
With more and more hopeful publishers joining the ranks of erotic romance, I think it’s safe to say the agent was very wrong. I am asked all the time by both published authors and aspiring ones in the area of erotic romance if they need an agent. My answer is always, NO.
If you are keen on giving up 15% of your income for no apparent reason, go for it. A literary agent won’t get you in the door of a Hollywood studio with your erotic romance novel, especially if it’s M/M.
They won’t even push you toward New York publishing houses even if you sell tons. No…I’ve seen it too many times with other authors. I also experienced it myself.
Four years ago I was able to disengage from a contract with a literary agent who was never able to do much but set meetings for me with production companies who stole my ideas. When I started writing my books, she pooh-poohed them. After a bad situation where an episode idea I pitched to a TV series was swiped – yet again – I severed my ties with her.
She eventually lost all her clients who experienced the same heartbreak and she recently contacted me saying she is working as a package producer for a big agency. That means she is trying to sell all the components of a movie in one: screenplay, producer (herself), director and stars.
I realized that she is typical of the type of agent who really thinks they are producers and/or publishers. They think they know what sells and I guess since all my ideas were stolen, she was right.
The truth is in spite of all the dire predictions about the publishing industry, there has never been a better time for us authors. We can contact publishers directly and hey, they sometimes even approach us once we’ve built a track record.
I’ve also learned through my day job as a screenplay reader that erotic romance authors are generally derided by quality agents. Yes, many companies that used to lock those bedroom doors are looking to open them, but getting agents to take us seriously will still take time.
And that’s okay as far as I’m concerned because we’ll all still be here, tearing those damned locks off those bedroom doors one at a time.

Aloha oe,

A.J.

The Camino

By A.J. Llewellyn
Some years ago, I was in Spain with my brother. He had a mad urge to run with the bulls in Pamplona. I love bulls and saw the whole thing as animal abuse, especially since the bulls are running for their lives to a certain death in a bull ring.
We went to Pamplona for a couple of days and it was gruesome because a young man was gored to death. People chastised him for not being prepared for the annual festival. He was ill dressed, too casual, I remember people saying.
Me, I was more interested in the people who’d arrived around the same time to participate in The Camino, the spiritual walk thousands of people take each year through Spain and France.
To me, this was more worthy than killing a bunch of bulls. I like bulls. I guess being a Taurus maybe I feel an affinity. I certainly feel a respect for them. I am certain they could kill me and I have no desire to prove my superiority.
I became obsessed with The Camino, the antidote to this mindless pursuit.
My brother and I walked only to the first town on the route. To be honest it was not much fun because it was jam-packed and we stayed in a crummy hostel that had no sheets and scrubbly blankets.
He has not stopped reminding me of that long, long night ever since.
What I learned long after that was that this particular route of The Camino is called the French Way and is the most popular because the towns are picturesque and designed to cater to the pilgrims, as those who walk The Way are called.
I am sorry now we didn’t keep going and I know my brother is, too.
Recently I had lunch with my friend Gina who walked The Camino for thirty days. She took a different Way and it changed her life.
She is married with kids and was questioning her life. On The Way she met a man who dazzled her. His name was improbable, he was sexy and she fell hard. She almost called her husband and asked for a divorce when she glimpsed her new man’s passport and opened it up. He wasn’t who he said he was. He was just a guy, like her, walking The Way.
The Camino is like that. You search for your truth and find it. It’s just not necessarily the truth you think you’ll find.
When I started writing my book, The Camino, I remembered what Gina had told me. She said, and I get emotional writing this, that she missed hearing her children’s voices every day. I like that. My story is about Antonio, a young man destined for the priesthood who meets a Storm Demon on The Way. Improbable?
Maybe, maybe not.
The Camino is a story of love, lost voices…and finding your Way.
We are all pilgrims in this life, no matter which way we walk.
The Camino is out now at eXtasy Books, I hope you’ll feel inspired to check it out! Here is the purchse link:

http://bit.ly/mQxauK

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Two New Releases!

Two Very Different Books are out TODAY!

What happens when your hubby has a car accident and is found in a compromising position in the front seat with…another man? KALEIDOSCOPE is out now at Amber Allure!

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Kaleidoscope.html

What happens when a trainee priest meets the hottest guy ever…only the hot guy happens to be a Storm Demon? The Camino is out NOW at www.eXtasybooks.com !!

http://www.extasybooks.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=3295

How Hot Should You Trot?

By A.J. Llewellyn

One of the questions new authors often write to me about is their sex scenes.It is obvious from my books that I am pretty comfortable writing the ‘hot stuff’ and as I always say, sex sells. But how hot SHOULD you trot?
In short my response is as hot as you can make it, but it HAS to make sense – AND it must be alluring.
Write what you know is the old cliche for authors and it is a cliche for a reason. It’s true. We’re writing fiction so this gives us a whole world to explore and titillate our readers.
However…
I’m seeing a disturbing trend in er…alleged M/M romance books that have scenes that are just grim. There is no other word for them.
I had to stop reading a book that had had an extensive scene with a coffee enema in it as a rousing sexual practice.
Eeeww~
Look, I am sure there are people out there who like ‘brown sports’ but most of your readers won’t like it. And most publishers won’t take it.I was surprised this one was published for that reason but I have since heard this scene was removed from an updated, renamed version of the book.
In other words, it was repackaged to actually sell…
So if you can’t write what you know, know what you write.
So at least do some research and find out if gay men really enjoy doing this and if your straight female readers will get their romantic highs reading it.
It’s easy to ask your friends on FB, Yahoo,Twitter, whatever…a plain old Google search also works…
Similarly, I stopped reading a book written by a prolific author in which her virgin male lead is fisted without any preparation, no lube and, improbably sitting on the roof of a car on an open road.
Hello? Is this hot?
NOT!
Plausible? Oh, hell no.
I think fiction is a safe place to explore your fantasies, good, bad, bold, whatever…but do a little homework first.
D/s relationships still seem to have a healthy fan base but the few I’ve read make no sense. Yes, it’s fiction, but it takes me out of the book and makes me laugh my ass off when your sub is ordered to go to the supermarket dressed in his dungeon wear of puppy ass dildo (you know, the ones with the wiggling tail), leather g-string and a dog collar.
Judging by the extensive torture this clueless sub had just received it’s apparent that blood is on his nipples and chest – all those needles, you know.
I mean, come on. Seriously?
Wouldn’t you call the police if you saw a guy sniffing around the produce section looking like a torture camp survivor?
No, in this book, he shops and returns to his Dom, and more painful torture ensues.
Hot, or not?
Not to me.
Now, how about you?
I am curious about the weirdest, funniest, un-hottest scenes you read. Please don’t name names, just give us the SCOOP.
Let me know what you think – I really want to know!

Aloha oe,

AJ

Two New Releases!

 

The Sins of Summer Anthology featuring hot M/M stories from me, D.J. Manly and Serena Yates is OUT now at Total-e-Bound.

Book one in The Seven Deadly Sins Series

The seven deadly sins: lust, wrath, greed, gluttony, envy, pride and sloth.

The Sins of Summer weaves a general thread of deception loosely tying these tales together. Envy, lust and wrath are explored in these scorching m/m tales involving action, burning hot sex and sinful adventures that will have you cranking up the Air Conditioning.
‘Mayze’ by D.J.Manly
D.J. Manly tackles the sin of lust in his paranormal tale

Jas’s joy of being reunited with his sister is short lived when one night she is murdered by a madman, a madman his foster brother claims is a vampire. Sent out on a mission to find a monster, Jas meets Mayze, and he’s like no one he’s ever met before. Is he the monster who killed his sister, or could he just be the answer to his prayers?
‘Burnt Island’ by A.J.Llewellyn
A.J. Llewellyn tackles the sin of jealousy in Burnt Island

Manhattan-based private investigator, Leo Gannet, accepts an assignment to tail his father’s boyfriend, theater director Thane Covey on a clandestine trip to a tiny Greek island. With only three hundred inhabitants and four miles to cover, Leo worries about pulling off his mission. He soon discovers he’s got bigger problems: Thane Covey is the sexiest man he’s ever seen. And he’s not alone. Leo soon becomes insanely jealous, then very worried. To top it off, Thane also seems to have somebody else’s attention…a hitman’s.
‘Summer Escape’ by Serena Yates
In Summer Escape, Serena Yates tackles the sin of wrath.

New York banker Carlton Jaymes Pearce receives an ultimatum from his doctor: accept a lifestyle change and early retirement to reduce his astronomical stress levels or be prepared to have a heart attack – soon. Being only thirty-eight, Carlton isn’t ready to die and decides to finally learn how to sail. Neither he nor his private sailing instructor, Troy Nicholls, are ready for the almost instant attraction that leads to a hot and heavy summer fling. But all is not well because someone from Carlton’s past appears on the scene to exact revenge for a perceived injustice. Carlton and Troy are kidnapped and left on a deserted island. Will the mysterious man’s wrath cost them their lives?

Purchase Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1313

and over at eXtasy Books, Peridot Dreams, book 2 in the Wizard in Waikiki series is out now!

Ancient Tahitian wizard Konu has settled into daily life in Waikiki, Hawaii. Entrusted with a sacred mission to bring healing and hope to the islands, he begins to grieve his past more and more. Ripped away five hundred years ago from his lover, Loho, he has found a new relationship with Jason, who runs a local homeless shelter. But things are not easy. Jason is stressed, busy and not easy to connect with.

Things take a strange turn when Konu finds himself in old Waikiki as it was five hundred years ago. There is Loho waiting for him. Konu wants nothing more than to be in his lover’s arms, but he loves Jason, too. Then a young girl vanishes, having followed Konu into the mystical realm. Her disappearance causes a great spiritual catastrophe only Konu can avert, but how does he get back inside those beautiful, brilliant, peridot dreams?

Purchase Link: http://www.extasybooks.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=3265

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