Make-Up Sex

Currently listening:
Putumayo Presents: French Playground
By Various Artists
Release date: 2005-10-04Make-Up Sex
Current mood: loved
Category: Romance and Relationships
It’s my turn to blog at Seven Wicked Writers today and here is what I posted:

By A. J. Llewellyn
A couple I know very well, a straight couple I might add, argued last night and after it was all over and the sloppy kisses were exchanged, he wanted sex. She wanted to start a whole other argument.
He emailed me and asked what he’d done wrong.
“Did you indulge in enough foreplay?” I asked him. “Did you grovel enough?”
Here’s the thing. Men and women see sex differently. Guys are ready for it – generally speaking – almost all the time. I dated a guy once who told me on our first date that he liked sex twice a week and I quote, “any more and you’re bugging me.”
He told me from the get-go and being young and foolish at the time I was certain I could change him. I learned pretty fast I was wrong. So, I am saying this by way of explaining that some men, very few that I know, don’t want sex all the time. We love it. We want it. We want it now.
The wonderful British author and columnist Jilly Cooper once observed that she and her husband had sex one night after a long, dry spell. They’d both been fussing at each other for weeks. A brief argument led to a warm romp in the sack. Afterwards, he smoked a cigarette, she scribbled notes to herself: why did we wait so long? I forgot how good this feels! We both forgot we NEED this!
Many of my friends complain about the lack of sex in their relationships and most are jubilant when they get make-up sex. That blow-out bang makes up for the drought. Who doesn’t like feeling good? I mean, really. Making up your differences between the sheets beats a long, drawn out discussion any day.
I told my friend to softsoap his wife up a little with kisses, hot chocolate in bed and promises of massages, a spa day. “Hey, I know,” I said in a moment of sheer brilliance, “tell her you’ll spend the whole day Sunday taking care of the kids so she can have some time to herself.”
He called me an hour later. Apparently, my suggestions freaked her out ebcause they were so out of character for my pal. She asked him if he was having an affair.
“What do I do now?” he asked me.
“Don’t ask me,” I said. “I’m the one with the lousy suggestions, remember?”
My friend loves his wife and went back to bed and assured her with kisses and er…other things. This morning she emailed me and said since it was my suggestion he should hang out with the kids today, I should take them for a couple of hours so she and her hubby can have some adult time together.
I agreed, only because I was pleased to learn the kids were keen to go get ice cream and walk around Chinatown with me. And because when it comes to make-up sex, I believe in paying it forward. I like the idea there is love being made in the world, not just war.
How about you, do you believe in make-up sex?
Aloha oe,
A.J.

Romance Novels Pulped for Road Resurfacing

Current mood:  animated
Category: News and Politics

It’s my turn to blog today at The Many Shades of Life and Love and here is my post:

I have a mate who constantly ribs me about my erotic romance novels. He sends me snide little emails asking how the business is treating me. He asks how the panting and kissing and slobbering are going.

I email back, telling him I am making a living from the books he sneers at…well, I’m able to pay some bills, anyway. He, however keeps tilting at windmills. Not that I have anything against him tilting at windmills. I am a dreamer, myself.

But I am sick and tired of people putting down romance novels. This morning, he forwarded me an online item all the way from Wales, written by Robin Turner who reports that thousands of Mills & Boon novels [the British equivalent of Harlequin romance novels] have been pulped ‘into tiny fibre pellets, called bitumen modifiers, and are used to hold the ‘black top’ in place, resurfacing roads such as the M6 and M4.’

According to the article, ‘a mile of motorway consumes about 50,000 books and several million Mills & Boon novels have gone into them.’

That’s better than burning them, I suppose.

If you check the quoted lines above, it is clear that not only romance novels have gone into filling roadways, but romance novels take a licking and despite all the teeth gnashing, they keep on ticking.

The truth is, the publishing industry world-wide has been trashing, pulping and otherwise destroying books for decades.

This is the big ugly secret that publishing doesn’t tell it’s starry-eyed new authors. I knew about it because I worked in bookstores for years and I used to cry at night when I was forced to rip the covers of perfectly good books to be shipped back to publishers.

It was like killing babies to me.

I also work in a public library and I know how quickly newly released books become obsolete.

I am also a published author and I learned early on that the average shelf life of a new book in the stores is two weeks.

That is why ebooks are breathing new life into publishing.

An ebook can live forever. Paperbacks resulting from them also can live forever because most are POD, meaning when you order from Amazon or whatever, the book is printed immediately and shipped to you. Most of the big NYC publishers are going POD now for this reason.

No more pulp, no more street fillers.

I want to remind all the high-falutin’ authors out there that it is predominantly romantic and erotic fiction that sells in ebook format.

We have paved the way, literally, for the rest of you. So remember that as you pen your next Great American Novel, Romance Lives Forever.

 

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Currently listening:
Simple as a Sunrise
By Daniel Ho
Release date: 2005-07-04

Eat, Drink and be…Emailed??

Current mood:  hungry
Category: Food and Restaurants

 

It’s my turn to blog at Nice N Naughty blogpost today and here is what I posted:

I was having a rough day yesterday and my friend Cindy took me to lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant. The lone waitress was slammed and we were very patient and understanding. Cindy and I haven’t seen each other for a while and we had a great time catching up.
Except that I was getting hungrier and hungrier and I noticed people all around us rubbing their chopsticks together in happy anticipation.
And then the wait went on…and on…
I saw food coming out of the kitchen, but none of it reaching the tables. I strolled past the assorted Buddhist shrines and Japanese screen prints and realized all the food being prepared was heading out the back door for home delivery!
The desk manager was taking calls, running credit cards, scribbling illegible food orders and manning the computer. She was taking email orders!
I sauntered back to the table and reported my findings. Everybody around us fumed. One guy pulled out his cell phone and called the front desk.
It rang and rang and we all watched as the desk manager hauled out a huge order and ran out the back door.
She scrambled back again and answered the phone. By now, the entire restaurant was watching her.
“Hai!” she answered, panting and leaning on the counter.
“Hi yourself,” huffed her hungry patron. “I’m in your restaurant and I want my lunch!”
She looked so startled I thought she was going to cry. A flurry of small dishes arrived and Cindy and I got one of our appetizers: spinach with sesame seeds.
We fought over it.
What a man I am!
Our iced green tea arrived – just one – so we split it and I glimpsed a guy beside me licking his miso soup bowl clean.
And then…nothing.
“I’m sending her an email,” said the guy who’d been clever enough to call the desk manager.
The phone was ringing, there was a line at the door and the waitress was carting around a tray of drinks, but still no food in sight.
The desk manager focused instead on her emails.
She obviously read the one from her in-house patron. He gave her a finger wave when she glanced in his direction. Her look was venomous, to say the least.
“You think she’s gonna spit in my food?” the guy asked the rest of us.
“Prolly,” said Cindy, eyeing the check. “Let’s blow this Popsicle stand.” We took some cash to the counter and left the check beside all the outgoing orders.
“You no like?” the desk manager asked. I realized she was talking to somebody else. A very pregnant woman and her small son stared at her.
“No, I don’t like,” the pregnant woman said. “If I wait any longer, I’ll give birth right here.”
“You have mail,” the tinny, electronic computer voice announced.
“Please excuse,” the desk manager said and TURNED BACK TO HER COMPUTER!
“She’s an addict,” Cindy said, waiting to refute the multiple charges on our check.
“I’m sending her an email,” the pregnant woman said and whipped out her cell phone.
It’s good to know in tough times like these that customer service is alive and well, ha ha. I won’t say I will never go back to my fave haunt again…but I’ll email first and check that they want my business…

Aloha oe,
A.J.

Currently listening:
Let the Truth Be Told
By Laura Izibor
Release date: 2009-06-16

Pelo’s Heart

Currently listening:
Hawaiian Man
By Brother Noland
Release date: 2009-03-24

Superstition

Current mood:  amused
Category: Life

Have you ever realized how much of our daily lives and therefore movies and books are ruled by superstition? I had a grandmother who would say a woman was coming to visit if somebody dropped a fork. If it was a knife on the floor, a man was coming to the house.
Sometimes they did, making me and my brothers think that mad old bat was a witch.
Fear and ignorance have fueled mass hysteria for centuries and we, the writers capitalize on these things.
Actors are probably the MOST superstitious people I have ever met.
I know people are laughing this morning over actor Nicolas Cage Cage hiring a voodoo priestess to remove what he perceives to be a whammy from the set of his new movie “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
This doesn’t seem all that bizarre to me actually. I worked on two movies at Haleakala Volcano in Maui, Hawaii and kahunas were regularly brought it to leave offerings for Goddess Pele. I immortalized all this in my book Beyond the Reef.
Pele never said yes. She wants what she wants. And she doesn’t want movie stars on her precious crater.
Boxers are a superstitious bunch, too.
I once interviewed former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and he had a near-meltdown when a new assistant tried to lace on his right glove first for a morning of sparring at the Kronk Gym in Detroit. In boxing, you lead with the left and Lewis lives by the rule.
A few years ago, I took the job as personal assistant to an actor on one of the back-to-back movies shooting in Maui. He had so many superstitions I lost count of them. As a matter of fact, I had to write them down to keep track.
He was so deluded, the superstitions kept piling up. They made no sense to me, but hey, he was making the big bucks, I was making Walmart wages, so I shut up and did my job.
I lost sleep over his phone ringing four times before being answered. After the fourth ring he believed, he would hear of the death of someone close.
He was so irrational I sometimes feared the ‘someone close’ might be me.
I had to count the number of flowers in the bunches that the hotel staff routinely put in his room. They had to be odd numbers. Even numbers meant bad luck.
He held onto childish superstitions of not stepping on cracks on the sidewalk. He would spin his coffee cup around three times before taking a first sip…it went on and on.
I swear…he made up this stuff on a daily basis, but none of this is new.
Superstitions of black cats, vampires…you name it, have always fueled our fears and fantasies.
In 1576, when the plague gripped the city of Venice, some of the unfortunate victims were thought to be vampires. A recent mass grave discovery showed the skeleton of a very young woman buried with a brick shoved down her throat.
They thought she was a vampire. I was haunted by the image and it prompted me to write the book Quartetto, a paranormal, vampire tale set in the year Venice was almost destroyed.
My co-author Stephani Hecht and I had fun researching the period and actually a lot of our present superstitions about money and love seem to have come from that era.
I have my own superstitions but the less said about those, the better.
It might bring me bad luck.

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Currently listening:
Growing Pains
By Mary J Blige
Release date: 2007-12-18

The 99 Cent Store

Current mood:  artistic
Category: Life

It’s my turn to blog at Seven Wicked Writers today and here is what I wrote:

One of my secret, guilty pleasures is trolling the aisles of the 99 Cent Store. My goodaughter Eleanna and I have become proficient afficionadoes of the chain and whilst some of my friends are aghast that I shop there, many others are just like me.

Poor.

Recently, I’ve had so many bills – April was a wicked month with a major dental bill, personal taxes, property taxes and a drop in my freelance work – that I was on the hunt for food bargains. I normally shop the 99 Cent Store for things like paper towels, remaindererd picnic ware – I have an entire, eight piece tiki bar set I collected from 12 different stores over a 10 day period. Even my snobby sister in law covets this find! I buy Black Crow candies (the only place I can find them), candles (I burn a lot of those), bird seed, liquid hand soap, dish washing liquid, that sort of stuff.

Eleanna loves the makeup aisles for the pedicure kits, hair ties and budding woman that she is, she still checks out the dolls. At thirteen, she is blossoming at a scary rate. The bees are already buzzing over my beautiful, precious flower so it comforts me to see the little girl in her still checking out those dolls.

This week, I had a whopping twenty bucks available for groceries and my favorite partner in crime was anxious to blow her weekly allowance, so we motored on over the hill down Coldwater Canyon to what we feel is the best 99 Cent Store in the business, the one in Beverly Hills.

We swarmed the fresh food aisle of the Wilshire Boulevard location and were dismayed at the quality of fruit and vegetables. Flies buzzed in and around bags of dirty, rotting fruit. the vegetables were misshapen and otherwise peculiar. The watermelons looked awful and the freezer section was worse. It was crammed with mystery meats in packages with a lot of foreign writing we finally deciphered as “chicken breast” but underneath it said, “chicken-like meat.”

What the hell is chicken-like meat?

“Chihuahua,” Eleanna proclaimed, making me laughing out loud.

Closer inspection revealed these are the new ‘pressed’ meats made up of grains and possibly some actual meat…they are the food equivalent of chipboard. Eeeeww! 

Eleanna scored big. She found huge, summery tubes of Bonnie Bell ‘lipsmackers’ in tasty flavors like key lime pie and birthday cake, a butterfly-shaped lipgloss ring and a red Hawaiian hibiscus tote bag that matches her purple and blue ones.

She had a basketful of goodies but had spent only five bucks, champion shopper that she is. We left the store and treated ourselves to veggie burgers at one of the few remaining Johnny Rockets, this one on La Cienega. We ordered our burgers, split a plate of fries and Eleanna ordered Diet Coke (she must watch that figure, you know) and I ordered coffee. I was so pleased when our ketchup arrived on its own plate, the waiter having squeezed it on in the shape of a smiley face. Thank God some things don’t change.

Fortified, we braced ourselves for the ride back home. Eleanna suggested we hit the best 99 Store in the valley – for our 99 cents anyway – way up on Van Nuys Boulevard in a not very nice part of town made safe by heavy police presence. Boy, that girl must be psychic! We arrvied as they were unloading a truck full of fresh fruit. I bought a watermelon, two pineapples (for 99 cents), a bag of fresh green, red and orange bell peppers, eggs, milk, rice, a box of Black Crows, frozen peas and beans and a bag of baby zucchini you would normally get for around $4.

She found more lip gloss and a red hibiscus-print pedicure kit to match her new tote bag and we drove home happy. It just goes to show, the 99 Cent Store is still the deal for poor people…and their favorite side kicks.

What about you? Do you shop the 99 Cent Store? Have you found any cool bargains there?

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Currently listening:
Adam Cohen
By Adam Cohen
Release date: 1998-07-28

Prom Queen

Current mood:  adventurous
Category: News and Politics

It’s my turn to blog at Sensual N Secret and here is what I wrote:

Meet Sergio Garcia. He’s 18 years old, he is an openly gay student at Los Angeles’ School District’s iconic Fairfax High School and he is their new Prom Queen.
When the news hit the streets yesterday, I raced down to Fairfax High where many well-known celebrities once learned their ABCs.
First reports were that he was selected as a joke, but this was no joke. Garcia told the assembled media types, “I feel invincible. It shows you how open-minded my classmates are.”
He said he would not be wearing a dress on Prom night and declined to discuss a date, but did say he would be wearing a suit.
“Make no mistake,” he said, glancing with surprise at the huge throng gathered for a photo op. “Deep down I am a queen.”
Sergio Garcia has all the qualities you’d want in a Prom Queen. He seems very bright, he’s engaging, he’s very cute, he’s articulate and like my Waikiki vampire, Tem, he knows his way around a tiara. He held onto his jewel-encrusted gem with both hands.
Hey, I would too.
The feeling at Fairfax High School yesterday which sits on Fairfax near Melrose Avenue, was that anyone can achieve their dreams.
Gay, straight, male, female, who honestly hasn’t thought how nice it would be to be selected Queen or King of the Prom?
There weren’t any naysayers yesterday that I overheard, just a lot of good will. As I walked down Melrose after the ad-hoc event, I reflected how much the funky street itself has changed since I first moved here 25 years ago.
Most of my favorite stores alas, are gone. What hasn’t gone surprisingly is the feeling of hope. You can, as Sergio Garcia said, be yourself and you can WIN.
And that’s why I love my wacky-dacky city some days…

Aloha oe,

AJ

Currently listening:
A Wonderful Life
By Lara Fabian
Release date: 2004-06-01

American Idol?

Current mood:  contemplative
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

I’ve watched American Idol week after week, mesmerized and inspired by the true artistry and warm charisma of Adam Lambert. That he should lose the title he so richly deserved to a merely good singer was profoundly shocking to me last night.
Once again, the nine year old girls got it wrong, picking cute and cuddly over true brilliance. Kris is cute (my boyfriend is nuts about him) but the homophobic comments I’ve been hearing ever since the show finished last night confirm for me, at least, that there is still a sickness in our society, a sickness of intolerance.
Some of the comments said, allegedly in jest were cruel.
They make the dirt in my garden seem so clean.
I listed to the radio reports this morning. Frankly I was stunned at how vicious many critics have been of Adam. The truth is he doesn’t need a show like AI. Kris probably does.
Let’s hope he doesn’t squander his surprise gift like many others who have also won the title of American Idol. Have Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard, David Cook and Jordan Sparxx blown your socks into the next room since they became winners?
Not me.
The year that Chris Daughtry lost, he emerged a true winner. I think Clay Aiken has proven himself to be a solid, worthy performer as have many others ‘losers.’
It just saddened me this morning as I listened to the jokes and jabs about Adam’s theatricality, his makeup and his high-octave range, that this is the same week a high school student in San Diego was not allowed to present her school project to her class.
Why? her chosen subject – a PowerPoint presentation on a powerful political speaker – was Harvey Milk and school officials were worried some parents would object because he was gay.
It’s outrageous!
The ACLU stepped in and she presented her project – at lunchtime, with half the class missing.
Adam Lambert will not disappear and neither will the gay population of the world. In spite of the sniping, the lack of tolerance, the jokes and the bad vibes, talent, true talent, like a flower in dirt, grows and thrives.

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Currently listening:
Blondie Chaplin
By Blondie Chaplin
Release date: 2008-04-08

Chili Chucker

Current mood:  amused
Category: Life

It’s my turn to blog at Nice N Naughty today and here is what I wrote:

Have y’all heard about the woman who thwarted would-be burglars by throwing a bowl of chili at them? According to yesterday’s news reports, they were so petrified of her resourceful use of kitchen utensils and her good aim with food, they took off running.
The police caught up with the guys, easily identifying them by the bits of cheese and onions still stuck to their clothing…actually I just made the last bit up. But the guys really were arrested and will probably never touch chili again.
I bet it’s still in their hair and down their shirts, in their pubes…they’ll be tasting this for weeks to come.
I loved this story because I have a couple of friends who keep muttering darkly about “In this economy” and they are fortressing their houses against phantom invasions. It’s like that Millennium nonsense all over again. These friends of mine in fact paid a whopping sum of money to take shooting classes in some clandestine militant survivalist camp in Nevada. Yup, my lady friends had to buy all manner of uniforms, knives, sheaths, gun licenses, you name it. All in the name of self protection.
All it takes is a bowl of chili!
I know they say necessity is the mother of invention and being such a foodie myself I would probably never ever chuck food at a home invader, especially if cupcakes were at risk. However I feel inspired now and I can only hope I never have to resort to such drastic measures.
I mentioned this incident to my friend who survived two sleepless nights out in the open, having a miserable time learning how to embrace hysterical fear and contagious paranoid by shooting at anything that moves.
She was impressed by the ingenuity of the woman but scoffed at the idea that the $5,000 she spent to be expensively and harmfully armed and dangerous was a waste of money.
“Chucking chili wouldn’t work in my case,” she insisted. “I can’t cook.”

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Currently listening:
Blood Sugar Sex Magik
By Red Hot Chili Peppers
Release date: 1991-09-24

Q

Current mood:  amused
Category: Life

It’s my turn to blog at Seven Wicked Writers today and here is what I wrote:

As a writer, I collect lines of dialogue, names, places, little snippets like a bower bird. Names particularly intrigue me as I write so many books I am constantly on the lookout for unusual first names. I don’t go for the de rigeur Duncans, Connors, Logans, Chances, Chases etc that many romance authors opt for.
I guess I have been collecting names for decades because when I was writing “Black Point Surrendered” my May 1 release with DJ Manly, I remembered back in school a kid called Michael Hunt, who was called Mike naturally enough. Unfortunately his parents hadn’t thought his name through too well.

He was called Mike Cunt from the age of 9 and often went home in tears. I reached back into the future and used that name in my book.

Like I said, I beg, borrow and steal names. When I was covering the sport of boxing, I met an incredibly sexy boxer from New Zealand, a dynamic, powerful Maori named Jimmy Thunder. I asked him if I could use his name for a book character. He was thrilled.
I am not sure what he would have to say about the fact that the fictional Jimmy Thunder is a retired gay for pay porn star who is happily married to his husband Tem and that they just happen to be vampires who live in Waikiki.

I love names and the more unusual the better. When I was a kid I went to school with a Fredrick Frogmortten. He once asked me if I thought his parents hated him. I said, “Yes.”

He became known as Freddo Frog after an Australian chocolare of the same name. Poor Fredrick. I wish I’d been kinder to him but by now he’s surely changed his name. And I remind myself I didn’t give him the name in the first place. Freddo, I mean Fredrick hung out with the equally name-challenged Lucy Farkas.

Of course, kids would screech, “Lucy, Fuck us!”

Which leads me to my point.
What is up with people calling their kids weird-assed names? A Swedish family is fighting the court system this week to call their kid Q.
Q! My neighbor’s dog is named Q. It’s a dumb name for a child but not cruel. No, that label I’ll happily slap on the ignorant twats in New Jersey who’ve named their kid Adolf Hitler.

I met a kid called Balthazar Starblitz when I was living in London many years ago. His brothers’ names were Hugo Spinx and Fergus Pollen and their sistes were Petunia Petal and Spirit Wild. All fucked up, the bunch of ’em.

My father is a weirdo too, naming us after family members he confesses to dislike.

Why do parents pick crappy names?

David Bowie, my childhood icon called his kid Zowie. Understandably Zowie changed it.

I am betting Apple Martin when she grows up tells her parents Chris and Gwyneth to lay off the Limoncello when they’re dreaming up more sexy names.

How about you? What is your idea of a sexy name? And a scary one?
Aloha oe,
AJ

Currently listening:
Willie K Live at Hapas
By Willie K.
Release date: 2003-06-03

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