Paco


Current mood:  determined
Category: News and Politics

 

By A.J. Llewellyn
Meet Paco. He was a lost, homeless dog scavenging for food on a beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when a kind hearted American couple rescued him. Josiah Allen and Erin docking fell in love with this funny-looking, adorable little guy and decided to give him a home. They went through all the procedures of traveling with a dog, took him to the vet, got him treated for ticks, an eye infection and got him all his shots.
They bought a special, airline-approved crate and trusted Delta Airlines to safely load the dog on board for the trip to his new home in Detroit, Michigan.
When the couple arrived, they were shocked to find Paco had not made the flight. Delta staff said they ‘forgot’ to board the dog but he would be cared for until he was put on the next available flight.
When they called the next day to check on his arrival, nobody knew anything and the story changed.
Delta said the dog somehow escaped his crate.
How?
Where is Paco?
This is a devastating story when it is obvious Paco went through so much before this ordeal.
Now it appears that Delta’s changing stories is especially worrisome. To top it off, the airline says they have stopped searching for Paco.
Is he dead or alive?
I’ve lost luggage thanks to airlines. A friend of mine lost his championship surfboard.
Nothing however compares to the loss of life, especially one that is entrusted to us. I am haunted by Paco’s story because I am an animal lover and because I plan to move to Hawaii soon. I will be transporting three animals.
Should anything happen to my dog or my cats, believe me, the airline responsible for screwing up so royally will have more than a petition to deal with.
In the meantime, please consider signing the petition started by the wonderful Care 2 group which is putting pressure on Delta to keep searching for Paco – and to admit the truth about what happened to him. Paco’s humans need 10,000 signatures to persuade Delta keep searching for the little guy.
Aloha oe,
A.J.

Currently listening:
Keola Beamer & Raiatea
By Keola Beamer & Raiatea Helm
Release date: 2010-05-04

‘Til the Clouds Roll By

Current mood: contemplative

Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

My love affair with Hawaii began with my love of a woman – Princess Kaiulani, whose beauty and tragic story touched me so deeply as a young boy visiting the islands that I had to read everything I could about her.

She died young, too young at the age of 24, but her passion for her people, her violent struggle to protect her island nation from foreign rule was one that affected me in more ways than I can say. As I grew older, I still loved Kaiulani. I still do.

But my admiration for her morphed into a mania for Queen Lili’uokalani, to whom Kaiulani was the heir apparent.

Readers of my predominantly Hawaiian stories are probably familiar now with this last Hawaiian queen. Just as she was a woman of consequence, so was Lena Horne, another queen, another American original and although she was 92 when she died Sunday night, I feel bereft at her loss.

Like Kaiulani and Lili’uokalani before her, she fought racial hatred, rose above restrictions and cruelty and challenged the status quo.

Two of my upcoming books deal a little with the subject of racial intolerance – Creed: Honeybone 2, coming to eXtasy Books in four days, May 15 and The Mediator, coming to Total eBound on August 15. In both books the subject is peripheral but I thought it interesting that as I finished up Creed on Sunday night, that it was somehow apt that I’d made reference to another woman of consequence, another American original, Ruby Bridges.

My character, US Marshal Dean Honeybone, has been transferred to New Orleans. For those who don’t know or don’t remember, it was this unit that accompanied 6-year-old Ruby Bridges to school in 1960 when she became the first black girl to attend an all-white school with the abolition of segregation.

1960. It wasn’t that long ago.

The adult Ruby Bridges is as magnificent as you would hope a woman of historic consequence would be. She is amazing.

I hope one day to meet her and tell her how inspired I am by her courage. I cannot imagine what it was like to be 6 years old and not be allowed to trade food with my classmates because white parents have said they would poison you.

I cannot imagine what it was like for Ruby to see the coffin somebody left outside her classroom with a black baby doll in it.

Similarly, I cannot imagine how Lena Horne endured so much to be who she was. A civil rights pioneer from 1941, long before Ruby Bridge played her part in the story of change. Miss Horne defied the US Army by refusing to perform in front of segregated audiences.

And yet, for all of this, her voice, her talent and beauty were never squandered. She soared above it all. I watched her old movie ‘Til the Clouds Roll By last night, just to see her beautiful face.

Ever since I saw Leslie Uggams portray her in the stage musical Stormy Weather last year, I’ve been catching up on all things Lena. I can’t help feeling I have so much more to learn and yes, as I said before she was 92 but there is a huge hold left in this world by her passing.

I hope in God’s heaven there is no segregation, no intolerance or pain. I hope there is nothing but peace, love, beauty and lots and lots of rainbows. I hope one day I get to go there and meet her, to let her know how much she means to me. I want to meet them all, these daring, darling, women of consequence.

But I will have to wait.

‘Til the Clouds Roll By.

A.J.

Currently listening: Stormy Weather By Lena Horne Release date: 2008-03-01

The Book and the Rose

The Book and the Rose
Current mood: bouncy
Category: Writing and Poetry
By A.J. Llewellyn

I blogged last month about my new novel The Book and the Rose which has just been released. Last month I talked about the inspiration behind the story – my friends who met and fell in love during Barcelona’s book and rose festival celebrated this very day. I wish I were there right now celebrating this big occasion, Barcelona’s version of St. Valentine’s Day.
Today however is St. George’s Day and how apt that the Spanish would choose to celebrate the slayer of dragons because I think ultimately that’s what love is – having to slay dragons.
I’ve come to know several porn stars in the course of writing gay erotic romance and a few of them inspired my character Mio-Alejo Cortez.
A friend of mine has been dating a porn star. She is a woman, he is gay-for-pay. Mio on occasion, performs straight-for-pay which is something some gay porn stars really do – such as Ricky Sinz and Francois Sagat.
Can love redeem Mio who seems caught up in the web of high-priced sex? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
In the meantime, if you believe in love, if you are struggling with a romance, say a prayer to St. George and keep slaying those dragons…

The Book and the Rose Purchase Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/BookRose.html
The Book And The Rose by A. J. Llewellyn
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-678-9 (Electronic)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-794-6 (Paperback)
AVAILABLE NOW!!
Hollywood show runner Evans McCoy’s hit TV show has just been yanked off the air thanks to its star Nora North’s spectacular drug bust. Desperate to find work to qualify for Writer’s Guild health insurance, Evans finds every door closed due to the problems associated with his show. His recent fling with mysterious and sexy Spanish businessman Mio-Alejo Cortez is heating up, however, and it’s hard to resist the lure of Mio’s invitation to visit him in Barcelona.
The city’s most romantic holiday, Dia de Sant Jordi—St. George’s Day—is approaching. Mio wants Evans there for the big day when lovers traditionally exchange a book and a rose. With the memory of their scorching rendezvous and constant hot faxes from Mio teasing him, Evans is unable to turn down the invitation and lands in Barcelona, full of expectations.
Evans soon learns that Mio is a man of many, many secrets and a dangerous double life. Barcelona and Mio are seductive conquerors, but when Mio’s truth emerges, Evans must decide—should he cut bait and run? With his career seemingly in tatters and Mio’s secret now his to share, Evans takes a gamble. He plunges headfirst into Mio’s world of high-class, high-stakes sex.
But will Evans lose it all? Or can their relationship survive beyond the book and the rose?
Genres: Gay / Contemporary / The Arts / Ménage (M/M/M) / Group Sex Heat Level: 3 Length: Novel (50k words / TBD paperback pages)
Excerpt:
Evans leaned his head back against Mio’s shoulder.
“Look at me,” Mio said, but Evans felt utter devastation. As much as he wanted Mio and, yes, as much as he realized now he’d fallen in love with the man, his heart ached.
Mio was talking as he turned Evans around to face him, but Evans felt his world crashing…crumbling. His birth parents hadn’t wanted him, and now his lover, the one he thought could possibly be it, wanted…the whole world, apparently.
“You look so sad and that makes me unhappy. Please, Evans, please don’t be so sad.”
“I don’t know what to think,” Evans said finally as Mio kissed his eyes, his nose and mouth, kept whispering words of love in Spanish. Evans couldn’t breathe, couldn’t understand a quarter of what Mio said. He fought his own insecurities, squashing the waves of desire. And yet, when Evans looked down, his fingers entwined with Mio’s as if they belonged there. Mio kissed him as if they had always been together. Nobody had ever affected him this way and he wanted it so much he suddenly felt he would die without this man.
“Please, please give me a chance,” Mio said. “Let me show you how fun this can be. Let me love you.”
“I don’t know,” Evans said again, but his body betrayed him. Obviously schooled in the language of physical love, Mio lost no time in stripping Evans’s clothing and throwing off his elegant suit and shirt. He wore tight boxer briefs under his white suit. Evans once again marveled at his lover’s amazing body. He hadn’t seen him naked since they’d been in Miami. He dreamed of this man’s hard cock, his ripe, juicy balls. His hand cuffed Mio’s cock and it responded.
“You know how to touch me,” Mio said and surprised Evans by picking him up and carrying him to his bedroom. His mouth clamped down on Evans’s as if to silence any chance of protest. The room lay in darkness as Mio put him across the bed.
“Who did you fuck tonight?” he asked as Mio moved away from him. Evans felt he was close. Wow, he weaves such a spell on me. He couldn’t have got up and walked out if he wanted.
Mio struck a match and lit candles by the bed. Evans’s eyes adjusted to the light. He heard the crackle of wood wick and could smell tuberose. Mio leaned across the bed to light more candles on the other side.
Evans knew from the glass holders, the scent and the crackling that these were Dayna Decker candles. Each one retailed for around ninety dollars. Evans counted at least a dozen. The bedroom was a visual feast of silk, wall tapestries, large paintings, and the gorgeous man on the bed crawling across the cream silk duvet toward him. Mio’s hands came to Evans’s face and he resumed the potent kiss he’d started in the living room. He seemed to need Evans the way Evans needed him.
They began a long exploration of one another with their tongues. Evans could still feel Mio’s seed left in him from their torrid romp earlier in the day. He reached up his hands, no longer caring where Mio had been or who he had been with. He slid down Mio’s underpants and felt joy, swift, sorrowful, and consuming desire as Mio lowered his body to his.
“I missed you,” Mio said. His eyes seemed to burn as his knees parted Evans’s thighs. His cock sought for instant immersion and he powered into Evans with a cry. He fucked Evans the way he’d fucked him in Miami. It was more than lovemaking. It was supersonic. As he and Mio came together, he felt the way his lover gathered him in his arms and held him in his moment of release. Evans also felt a glimpse of something else.
He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was somehow Mio’s salvation.
“I have a question for you now,” Mio said.
“What’s that?”
“How do you know what a woman’s pussy smells like?”
The question struck Evans as so funny he laughed. “I fucked a couple of them…until I realized I was gay.”
“You’re not fucking other men?”
“No. Would you be jealous?”
“Of course I would.” Mio put another sensual kiss on his mouth. “I want you to think about making a couple of trips with me, as my companion. A couple of the guys like threesomes. We could fuck them together. They could not know we are lovers in real life…we would be there for them. They pay for everything.”
Evans couldn’t even respond. The idea of being a high-price call boy with his own private call boy was crazy. Just crazy…

Aloha oe,
A.J.
Currently listening:
Reviens
By Garou
Release date: 2007-01-08

Needed

Needed
Current mood: bouncy
Category: Writing and Poetry

One of my closest friends Alex got the chance of a lifetime very early last year. One of his business clients and golfing buddies offered Alex his home on the Caribbean island of Anguilla for five days as a thank you for a huge deal.
I was so mad I couldn’t go. Alex, bless him, took full advantage of the offer and took his dad and his closest male friends for a few days of drinking, rest, drinking, rest, drinking…well, you get the idea. It’s not that I didn’t want a knees-up, I just couldn’t manage the trip at the time. I was so upset I couldn’t even stand calling Alex to ask how it went.
I saw him recently and finally manned-up and asked how it went.
I hadn’t seen him for a while and I was surprised by the sour expression on his face. Anguilla is a place I am pining to visit…but I digress.
His lip curled.
“You are so lucky you missed it,” he whined.
He told me the wildest and funniest story of being caught in a hurricane in St. Martin. They hid in a hotel bathroom there for days as a storm ripped the islands apart. It’s not that the storm and damage were funny.
I loved the idea of all these macho guys huddled in a bathtub!
He gave me a lot of detail and gave me his blessings to use it. And I did!
This gave me the basis of my book Needed, which published at http://www.extasybooks.com/ at midnight.
Purchase Link: http://tinyurl.com/y6rllpa
It’s the sequel to Wanted, my best-selling book about Honolulu forensic accountant Mingo McCloud. I am thrilled Wanted sold so well and I had a blast writing Needed. As an extra thank you to people who buy my book, I am giving away a free copy of Hula, a short store I penned for the Emerald Envisage anthology in which Mingo first appeared.
I am loving this new M/M erotic mystery series.
In this story, Mingo must rescue his missing lover, Francois…and has some fun and pretty hot sex into the bargain. Using a real life adventure in this story gave it added texture I think. But my point is this. Do we writers all use real stuff in our stories? I’m betting more of us do than we care to admit.
Of course, my pal Alex didn’t have sex with the men in his tub…that stuff only happens in my books.
I think…
Aloha oe,
A.J.
Currently listening:
Hawaiian Paradise
By The Brothers Cazimero
Release date: 1995-03-14

Wordscraper


Current mood:  cooky/wacky
Category: Games

 

I’ve fallen in love. Thanks to my awesome pal Jackie Kallen, the First Lady of Boxing, I’ve discovered the awesome joys of Wordscraper, a Scrabble-style game played on Facebook. I had no idea the game existed but it’s one of the many applications available on the social networking site and it has saved my life.
I used to be one of those socially-awkward people who punished friends and family members for a game of ScrabbIe. Yes, my nieces and nephews run when they see me searching for them with my board in hand. I have a Travel Scrabble and have hit up strangers on planes who feign sleep after several rounds.
Pikers!
I lived in eternal frustration because I love word games and I love Wordscraper. You can play with one person or more and I currently have several games going.
Jackie and our mutual friend, author Norma Zager play, Scrabble and eat cheap Chinese food at Fu’s Palace…not as often as we’d like, but the beauty of Wordscraper is that you play if and when you feel like it. I happen to think Chinese food goes great with the game, but that’s just me.
You can eat, drink, do anything you want when you play Wordscraper. You can play naked!
Just click the application link and check if it’s your turn. You make your move and leave it to your opponent to make their move.
Jackie and I are on our second game and unlike Scrabble, which requires your immediate attention, the beauty of this game is that you make your move and go about your day…and still get to keep what Hercule Poirot called “the little grey cells” active.
Studies show that playing word games keeps your mind young and things like Alzheimer’s far away. I currently have seven games going, including one with author Serena Yates and others with my pals Caroline, Sandra, Cynthia and Silver.
Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t have outed them all like this?
Anyway, I have no idea who created this game or how long it’s been on Facebook but it’s one of my healthiest obsessions (my other most lethal one being cupcakes).
So if you find yourself at a loose end and wanting to join the e revolution of mind and word games, check out Wordscraper. Hit me up, I challenge you and welcome you to the fun side of social networking. Your secret fetish will be safe with me.
It’s your move,
A.J.

Currently listening:
‘Ikena
By Tia Carrere & Daniel Ho

Should Writers Sue Reviewers?

 


Current mood:  bouncy
Category: News and Politics

I am blogging today at The Many Shades of Life and Love and here is what I posted:

It doesn’t matter how great YOU think your book is. It matters not one whit that you’re selling huge numbers of copies, or that you’ve gotten awesome reviews.
It takes one clown to post a negative review and you feel like total crap.
Then you start to think, “Will this affect my sales?”
Should this lead to a writer suing a reviewer for a bad review? I personally don’t think so but I ask this question in light of director Joshua Newton suing the showbiz bible Variety over its very bad review of his movie Iron Cross. Until this lawsuit was filed, I hadn’t read the review. Since then, Variety has yanked the review from its online archives and sacked most of its long term review staff. You can bet freelancer Robert Koehler who penned the review won’t be getting any work out of the mag again).
Here is yesterday’s article detailing the lawsuit.
http://tinyurl.com/ya7jlwh
I’ve since located a paper copy of the review and yeah, it’s a bad one.
Koehler dismisses Iron Cross saying, “It will be remembered as [the late actor] Roy Scheider’s Swan Song and little else.”
Ouch.
Personally, I hate bad reviews. I hate the ones that seem to derive pleasure out of being hateful. I hate the ones that have the characters’ names wrong and a storyline that doesn’t resemble what I wrote. I hate the one star reviews of books I haven’t even WRITTEN yet…
But should writers and directors sue?
I don’t think so.
I understand Newton’s point, though. According to him (and others I have spoken to) Variety’s reviews are positioned to not only critique a movie’s content but its marketability. Have you seen Iron Cross at a movie theater near you?
No, you haven’t and according to Newton, he couldn’t get distribution once the review came out. How likely is this? I wonder.
To be honest kids, I’ve had books that had rave reviews and didn’t sell so well.
I’ve had books that have been rated poorly and I’ve even had my covers attacked.
My book A Vampire Christmas had the dubious distinction of being awarded the Worst Cover (thanks Jessewave!) yet remains one of my best-selling and, most pirated books.
So, go figure.
I say ignore the bad reviews, preen over the good ones if you’re having a sucky day, but mostly, don’t place too much value on their financial influence.
Reviews can help you sell. Sometimes not. It’s a crap shoot. It really is.
Having said that, I think reviewers need to be mindful that while it’s fun to dish out sarcastic and negative comments, remember that there is an author and a publisher behind the book.
Should this temper a reviewer’s comments? No.
Depending on the reviewer, I find the negative and positive comments helpful. However, I find very inexperienced reviewers are the ones who are most often quite…vile in their critique and not especially insightful in their comments.
A few years ago, I took on a gig as a sub editor on a daily paper in Los Angeles. There was a college student who came in that summer as an intern. She was excited to be reviewing rock concerts. She was even more excited once she landed the plum assignment of reviewing her favorite band.
I happened to pass her in the hall the morning after the concert and asked her what she thought of the show.
She raved about it. Her eyes shone and she bubbled with joy.
Then I got her review. It was horrible. I couldn’t believe it.
I could have edited it and sent it to bed (as we say in newspapers) but I called her to my desk and asked her to take a seat. I was gentle with her, but I needed to know.
Why had she raved about the show to me, yet panned it in print?
She blushed. She confessed it was harder for her to put into words what she appreciated and loved about the show. She was worried about what people would think.
“It’s so much easier to write a negative review than a positive one,” she said.
I disagreed and sent her back to rewrite it. She didn’t. The review went to another sub editor and I’ve often wondered if that writer ever thought twice about her actions.
She, to me, was a sloppy sort of writer and I hope she got editors in the future with a lot more power who could make her write an honest review.
As for the paper, they had to endure irate calls from the promoter who had gone to great lengths to provide her front row seats, backstage passes…yeah.
Life sucks when you are held accountable.
You can bet when the intern graduated, the paper wasn’t so keen to hire her…so there are always consequences.
That’s not to say reviewers shouldn’t speak their minds, they should. Be mindful however that there should be legitimate reasons behind your bad review, beyond wanting to be cool, sarcastic, amusing and bitchy.
How about you? How do you feel about bad reviews? And should people sue? I really want to know your thought.

Aloha oe,

A.J.

Currently listening:
The Legend of Pele: Sounds of Arthur Lyman
By Arthur Lyman
Release date: 1998-06-09

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