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

Pocket Dialing

By A.J. Llewellyn

I’m currently working on “Peridot Dreams” in which my protagonist, Konu, a 500-year old Tahitian wizard, is sent from the spirit world to modern Waikiki to help in the centuries-old war between good and evil. He has tremendous trouble with modern conveniences. Things like flushing toilets, light switches and cell phones confound him.
I’m discovering he’s not the only one.
How many times have you picked up your ringing cell phone to hear a series of random, ambient noises….vague chattering, traffic, indistinguishable conversation, only to find whoever called you probably did it by accident?
And I don’t know about you but these accidental calls can be damned hard to get rid of. I’ve ended the call, picked up the phone a few minutes later only to find the line tied up with someone else’s gibberish.
In the good ol’ days, stationary phones didn’t have minds of their own. They didn’t embarrass you by calling people you didn’t really want to speak to.
And I wouldn’t mind being pocket dialed – yes, this strange phenomena even has a name – if the strange, echoey sounds on the other end were kinda interesting.
I’ve listened sometimes to try and figure out if somebody really is trying to contact me or to see if their conversation holds any fascination and let me tell you, most people are damned BORING!
I did some screenplay critiquing work for an actress three years ago. It was a horrible experience. She’d written a dreadful screenplay and flailed about like a drunken dolphin as I tried to help her improve her work. Instead she ran out of here in screaming tears.
And she’s been pocket dialing me ever since.
Her calls come in at inopportune times. She must be a bit of a party girl. She always seems to call me around midnight. And her conversations with whoever she’s driving with would have you snoring in your salad.
My friend Greg’s cell phone called me 14 times the other night. I didn’t want to wonder what he was doing to nudge his pocket that it decided to call me every twenty seconds.
It drives me nuts.
I rarely use my cell phone so I don’t call anybody unwittingly, or pocket-wise. As a five year old growing up in Australia, we used to think the odd prank call was the bomb. I’ve learned my lesson, trust me…but I think cell phones’ inner five-year olds need a time out.
After all, it can get expensive for the dialer and I’m sure, sometimes for the dialee, if he/she has left their cell phone on. These pocket-dialed calls don’t end quickly. They go on and on and on…
Pocket dialing also has other potential hazards for those who make them.
A dear friend of mine overheard her husband’s entire, sex-talk filled conversation with a woman he’d met online. She was aghast, he was in denial and last I heard they were in therapy.
Another friend I know told me her cell phone bill skyrocketed when her darn phone chose to keep reaching out to her brother in Tokyo. Repeatedly.
Niiiice!
I am filled with angst about this because last night my niece Eleanna came to stay and her parents pocket-dialed us. She answered the phone and looked at me.
“I think my parents are having sex,” she said.
“Really?” I grabbed the receiver and listened. Just to be sure, you know. Ahem.
They were. It made me smile. Go Daddies! Her two horny fathers were having sex in their car. And I will never let them live it down…lol
But how about you? Are you a dialer or a dialee? Does it bother you? Or should I just shut up, grab a pocket and dial?

Aloha oe,

A.J.

The Sins of Summer

By A.J. Llewellyn

With much of the US gripped in a rare and terrifying heat (Iowa officially reached boiling point today) it seems apt that I’m part of a new and spicy-hot anthology with my wonderful co-authors, D.J. Manly and Serena Yates. The Sins of Summer, coming to Total-e-Bound on August 1 is the first of four seasonal anthologies that addresses the seven deadly sins.
Several months ago I came up with the idea and pitched it to DJ who always listens to my hair brained schemes. He said, “I’m in!” We approached Serena Yates, with whom I’d co-authored The Cake and we were off and running.
With our first group of stories set in the summer , it didn’t take me long to pick my location – the Greek Islands or my sin. Jealousy.
I admit I’m a jealous guy. I’m jealous of my friend in Argentina who writes to tell me how chilly the weather is there when I’m dying of heat over here. I’m jealous of people who can eat and not gain weight. I’m jealous of John Barrowman’s husband (only half kidding. And I would willingly share John B. with D.J. who always calls him “our guy”).
Some years ago I had a boyfriend and I played amateur detective when he canceled a date. And I mean amateur. I got in my car, drove by his house with my best friend who thought she was cleverly disguised in a Santa Claus hat and to my horror, said boyfriend was standing outside his house in his boxers. The poor man was enjoying the cool night air having a quiet cigarette.
Not only did he see me, but the shock of being caught sent me off the road into a fire hydrant on the corner of his street. He called 911 when the street became flooded. My car was soaked and had to be towed and…he was absolutely right to break off our relationship.
I assure you, Leo Gannet, the Private Eye in my story, Burnt Island, is a lot more savvy than me. He’s just…unfortunately dealing with a jealous guy.
The Sins of Summer weaves a general thread of deception loosely tying tales of sin 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.
In his wonderful tale, paranormal tale Mayze, D.J. addresses the super-hot sin of lust. In her wickedly simmering tale, Summer Escape, Serena addresses the sin of wrath.
Having read all of these fine stories, I can only say it’s soon gonna get a whole lot hotter everywhere when this antho is released.
You can check it out here: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1313

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Naked in Hong Kong

By A.J. Llewellyn

No story is safe with me. Just ask any of my friends who’ve told me something naughty…or nice… and they know that somehow, some way, their story will wind up in one of my books. Only sometimes the story is so outlandish even I can’t use it!
I recently had dinner with a wonderful friend I haven’t seen for a while because she’s madly in love with her new man.
She took a couple of hours away from him to spend a little time with me. Knowing my passion for travel, she told me how he took her to Hong Kong and she mentioned how an ‘unfortunate incident’ almost wrecked their hot romance.
Of course, I had to know more. She told me a complicated story that boiled down to this: one night, she waited naked for him in their hotel bed and had champagne chilling on ice along with a few essential sex toys on hand (God, I love this woman!!).
For some reason, she had the urge to check if the ping of the elevator across the hall was him.
Don’t ask me how, but she wound up TRIPPING herself as she peered out of the door and fell SPLAT in the hallway.
Naked.
In Hong Kong.
With the hotel door locked closed behind her.
Did I see a book in this? Hell, yeah…except my story of course involves a man and has a different kind of ending.
My friend told me that a group of Chinese businessmen rallied around her (I bet the did!!!) and one of them lent her an itty-bitty towel. But hotel security wouldn’t let her back into the room without ID (she’s naked, people) and when they did let her back in, they got an eyeful of her sex toys laid out on the bed.
Then her boyfriend arrived to find her Naked in Hong Kong with five strange men and her in an itty bitty towel.
Aahhh…that was a good laugh. For me. Not for her.
It begs the question. Is truth stranger than fiction? Absolutely. Had I written her story as told it, it would not be believable. Her story went on. She will never live it down…not now that she’s inspired a book. Naked in Hong Kong was released this weekend and I hope you’ll check it out:
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/NakedHongKong.html
How about you? Have you heard a story that’s really cool but so UNREAL it needs to be toned down?
Please post a comment to win a free ebook from me!

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Manacled is OUT and a New Interview!

Manacled: Mingo McCloud Book 6 is now available at eXtasy Books! And in a fab coincidence, the gorgeous and generous Erin Sinclair interviewed me. Please stop by and comment for a chance to win a free ebook! http://erin-sinclair-author.blogspot.com/?zx=57d506f8335f9bdc

 MANACLED

Mingo McCloud Honolulu Mysteries

 Book Six

 By A.J. Llewellyn

Purchase Link: http://tinyurl.com/6lxedzy

Logline: Mingo McCloud is launching the criminal investigation he never dreamed possible. The perp? Himself.

Synopsis:  It’s wedding bells in Waikiki! Honolulu’s hottest forensic accountant, Mingo McCloud is set to marry his lover, Francois. Friends and family are coming from all over the world and just as the intrepid pair gets ready to say “I do”, they don’t. A mysterious woman shows up at the service claiming to be the long lost wife of…not formerly single and straight Francois but Mingo!

       Mingo is stunned. Not the least because he’s never dated a woman, much less married one. The whole family’s now in an uproar, especially when the shady lady produces wedding pictures and love letters allegedly written by Mingo. He and Francois are determined to unravel the plot. For Mingo, the shocks don’t stop coming. Seems he has a trail of busted female hearts behind him, as well as some serious grifting. What the heck is going on? Is he the victim of a conspiracy, or is something else afoot? Are parts of him awake when he is sleeping and doing things he knows nothing about?

Note to readers: This title is Number 6 in the Mingo McCloud series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone book.

 For a hot eXcerpt and Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/6lxedzy

An Open Letter to Woody Allen

From A.J. Llewellyn

Dear Mr. Allen,

A few days ago I was in a bit of a creative funk which perhaps only another author can understand. The funk was brief, but deep. It stopped me in my tracks. Seriously messed with the muse.
On Saturday I finally took time off from struggling with words and went to see Midnight in Paris. My boyfriend and I were mesmerized.
I am atill emotional from the impact of seeing this movie and what it did for me. It made me so happy in a way no other movie has for a long time. I want to thank you for that. It is not just an exquisite piece of art but a total sensory immersion into another realm. I went to a July 4th barbecue last night where family members now living in Paris, came for the summer vacation. They too, raved about the movie. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard such diverse people all saying the same thing. It’s the best movie we’ve seen all year.
Now I know that you know something about the muse being messed with, right? Well, your muse is back and we are all grateful for that.
My only quibble is that I can’t buy the soundtrack until it’s released at the end of the month. And I will buy it, not filch it for free even though I am sure it will be online within minutes of its release.
I feel as if I really spent time with Mr. Hemingway, Mr. Dali -sorry, Dah-LEE!, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Mr. Bunuel, Mr. Fitzgerald and his crazy-adorable wife, Zelda, Mr. Porter, Mr. Picasso and oh, of course, Mr. Matisse, Mr. Degas and…Gauguin, Touluse-Lautrec, and T.S. Eliot. You are so imaginative!
Of course, I feel an urge to run to Paris and find those stairs and wait for the car to pick me up. I would love to be transported back in time to revisit the great voices of our artistic heritage. I’m not fussy. I’ll take midnight in Paris at any given generation when artists and writers were respected and serious discussion on the nature of creativity was normal.
On a personal level, I enjoyed your sly digs at Hollywood and how screenwriters are not taken seriously…I always worry when great authors tell me it’s their fondest wish to be screenwriters, but I digress.
If I could go back, I’d like to meet Ms. Stein. I would treasure every critical word she had to tell me. I’d like to drink Absinthe with Mr. Hemingway and dissect words. What am I saying? Thanks to you, I already have. And when I forget, I’ll just return for another dose of Midnight in Paris.
Readers of this blog…I am curious…if it were possible and you could go back in time to some golden age which one would you choose? Who would you meet? What would you say?

Thanks again,

A.J.

Weighty Thoughts

By A.J. Llewellyn
You know the infamous food pyramid? What would your ideal one look like? I ran across this photo yesterday and it is the epitome of mine.
Recently I blogged about my new closet, which by the way is still not finished but that’s by the by. As I was turfing out old clothes, I came across a pair of jeans from my college days. And boy, was I fat! It made me sad to see them, remembering how bad I felt in those days and how weight has always been an issue for me.
I’ve struggled to maintain a healthy weight – not easy when I have a sedentary job and I LOVE to eat, but I remembered as I threw out the jeans that I had kept them to remind myself of how I used to look and how I DO NOT want to look now or in the future. It spurred me to write a new story, a topic I previously visited in one of my favorite books, Beyond the Reef.
In many ways that book was very autobiographical, right down to my taking a job as a personal assistant to an obnoxious movie star.
In my new story, Full, for my Sins of Fall anthology (in which D.J. Manly, Serena Yates and I tackle the seven deadly sins), it should be no surprise my story tackles gluttony.
I found myself resisting the urge to eat candy as I wrote. I found myself becoming quite emotional. I called a dear friend and super-successful screenwriter, Elizabeth Hunter and told her that the story was flowing but bringing up a lot of old emotions for me.
She said, quite sensibly, that all writing raises issues for us.
“That’s why we write,” she said.
I think it was the only thing she could have said and yes, she is right, I sometimes wonder why food and weight is such an enormous emotional issue. I will be honest. I read an interview with two well-known M/M romance novelists and both women were extremely overweight. One of them was even photographed eating an enormous piece of cake.
Then on Facebook, I saw a recent photo of a bunch of romance writers at a convention and my God, they were all huge! Perhaps it is a hazard of our trade, but maybe that’s also why we do write.
There was an episode of Absolutely Fabulous, in which Eddy told her mother, “Inside me, darling, is a thin person screaming to get out.”
Her mother responded with, “Just the one, dear?”
I often think about this and laugh, because for me, the opposite is true. A fat person lurks and seeks to reclaim lost, gluttonous territory. At the height of my weight loss, I sometimes woke up in the middle of the night to check my weight on the scales. I have calmed down a lot because I am frankly, not that vain. The Vanity Gene as my friend Rob calls it, is seriously lacking in me.
My father just came to visit last week and whined about the state of my clothing. “Buy yourself some new clothes, for God’s sake,” he said. But he forgets I’m a writer and paying my bills is my priority.
Now, my friend Rob who coined The Vanity Gene theory, struggles with his weight and we discuss this issue a lot. My Dad has the gene in spades. He’s never had a weight issue. It kills me. I asked him if he ever dreams about gummi bears and he looked at me as if I was nuts.
I wish some of his Vanity Genes had rubbed off on me, but I’m afraid, I think about Good and Plenty too much. I think about books. So many stories crowd my head. I need food to comfort me as I empty my brain of so much stuff.
I do know this.
I recently joined Weight Watchers because I felt the need to be with my people and I am so grateful I did. I’ve met so many wonderful people in all shapes and sizes. It’s given me a wealth of new material. And the Weight Watchers candy bars are so yummy, too.
Ahem.
I have a safe place to exercise my fledgling vanity gene. I am afraid I might be a lost cause, but I might be slowly adjusting my mental food pyramid to include a few pieces of fruit and a veggie or two.
How about you? Is weight an issue for you? Do you eat and write? Or are you one of those lucky souls firmly in the grip of The Vanity Gene?
Please leave a comment to qualify to win a brand new paperback of my novel, The Love God of Indian Frybread. How ironic it should have food in the title…
Aloha oe,
A.J.

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