<![CDATA[A. L. GOULDEN - author - Blunt Blog]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 23:31:59 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Couples Role Play Monday - #2 Eager Applicant]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:00:00 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/couples-role-play-monday-2-eager-applicantAn Eager Applicant and The Head of Household
Who hasn't known the nervous energy of an interview? What would make an interview even more tricky? If the person you're hoping will hire you is so attractive that you're willing to do anything to work for them. This scenario can work so many different ways, but for those who don't want to spend time talking it out, I've included examples below. This fantasy is specifically tailored to a domestic job where personality, close proximity, and care is involved.
Homeowner Ideas
1. Husband/wife working out of the home
2. Soccer mom/dad with limited time
3. Wealthy and bored
4. Professional musician who tours a lot
5. Writer of erotic fiction
Applicant Ideas
1. Nanny (virgin)
2. Maid or Butler (bossy)
3. Skilled Gardener
4. Personal Assistant
​5. Pool Man/Woman
Examples to get you going:
1. Wealthy and Bored looking for a Bossy Maid

Wealthy and BoredInterview the person while barely paying attention to them. Make them work for your attention and this job. Pull out a ladder or chair and ask that they show you how they would dust something very high. Wait for them to perform this act. Watch them. Maybe even direct them as they perform it for you. 

Ask questions like: How badly do you want this position? - What would you be willing to polish to be hired? - Do you know how to clean very hard to reach places?

Twist Ideas: Ladies - wear a long sexy dress with nothing underneath or a negligee. Layer large jewelry to show your wealth. Think fur coats and pearls. Men - pull out the suit and tie for this one. Wealthy men dress well so own your tailored look. Stand tall and fiddle with your tie if she gets you hot. 

Bossy Maids - get their attention by laying your ground rules. Those who leave clothes on the floor will be punished. The house will be maintained the way you see fit or suffer the consequences. Be firm but reassuring that no self-respecting wealthy man/woman would go another minute without your services. Show them what you would be willing to do or how you would be willing to dress. 

Ask questions like: I only clean in the nude. Would that bother you? - I believe all things must be cleaned by hand and mouth in order to truly be clean. Do you want to see my technique? - Will you watch me clean?

Twist Ideas: Ladies - Forget the French Maid costume if you don't have one, wear a trench coat over lingerie or a skimpy sundress with nothing underneath / Men - wear small briefs or speedo or if more daring, trench coat over nothing. Interview in the nude to see if she can sit still

2. Husband/Wife Working from Home looking for Skilled Gardener to trim his hedges

Husband/Wife Working from Home - Interview the person while outside. Maybe walk the backyard to review plant knowledge. Pull out a knee pad and some pruners and ask them to show you how they would trim the roses. Wait for them to perform this act. Watch them. Maybe even direct them as they perform it for you to do it as you like. 

Ask questions like: How badly do you want this position? - What would you be willing to polish to be hired? - Do you know how to clean very hard to reach places?

Twist Ideas: Ladies - wear a bathrobe over a negligee. Show them the window of your home office with the perfect view of their services. Men - relaxed clothing for this one but air on the side of unbuttoned and casual sexy.  

Skilled Gardeners - show them how badly their garden needs you. Ensure you would make their garden grow healthy and strong in your hands. Show them what you would be willing to wear or not wear to do your work. Even if it's just to water the houseplants, let them know you're willing to get down and dirty to get the job done.

Ask questions like: I only garden in an apron. Would that be okay with you? - I have a green thumb and strong hands. Do you want to see my technique? - Do you have cameras on the property?

Twist Ideas:  - Find an apron, some gloves and a garden tool, even if it's a spatula. Props are fun and a little real time naked in the yard can go a long long way on this one. If you don't have a private area outside, water the plants indoors naked to show your skills
<![CDATA[Couples Role Play Monday - #1 Handyman & Housewife]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:00:00 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/couples-role-play-monday-1-handyman-housewifePicture
So the hubby and I took a stroll through a couple of adult toys shops this weekend. Yes we braved two shops in search of a replacement for my dearly departed Mr. Feelsky (don't knock vibrator pet names) but the first place was a cheap disappointment, so we sucked it up, braved traffic, and went to The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood. Anyway, toys aside we got a kick out of the board games they had, mostly intended as bachelorette or gag gifts but fun in the right frame of mind. We like to laugh and anyone in a long relationship knows that sex isn't always passionate or inspired when there are kids and laundry and dogs and chores. But one of the things you can do is make sex playful, even if it's only once a week. Playing can be a great reminder that you're in this thing together.

We read through one role playing game and decided to think of it as a fun challenge to try once a week. What the hell. But when we got home, we doubted we could really make it through a full scene pretending to be these characters? Some of the cards would take more imagination than we thought, which had us shaking our heads, feeling stupid for buying the damn thing. I mean, how is he going to be a firefighter rescuing me without renting an expensive uniform or spending more money on a silly Halloween costume? We aren't actors. Neither of us were even in a school play, so the idea of suspending disbelief far enough to get turned on seemed like too much. But then, for the sake of all that is sexy and fun, we gave it a shot and I drew a different card. Sure there were a few laughs in the beginning, but when we committed to it, it was hot. Seriously. That silly handyman/housewife card I drew got sexy real fast. How? The element of surprise. Making sure he was reacting, not acting was the key. 

Since it was my "turn" to draw a card, I took control of the scene. Ladies, set up this first scene right, and even a timid man will see the fun in playtime. I briefly discussed the scene. - I'm talking, I said, "After you walk the dog, get into some old jeans, commando, and a wife beater. You're a handyman coming to fix something before my husband gets home." And he said, "Cool." - Yep... that was it. I said it was brief.

We watched a movie, cleaned up for the night, and then he left to walk the dog. I came up with a couple of twists to surprise him that kicked all humor out of the game. I will say that when he changed into the requested jeans and tank top before he went for the walk, I was a little turned on just by his commitment to the effort. It was all the motivation I needed to go for it. I inserted the Lelo pleasure beads that I got years ago and never use. My doctor recommends them to women over thirty-five, believe it or not, to keep things tight down below. I threw on a sundress with nothing underneath and took out the little box we keep hidden away with all the fun toys we've amassed over the years. Again - many things we rarely use.

When he came in from his usual nightly chore, I went for it. I thanked him for coming, as if he were a stranger, and led him into the bedroom. I didn't let any of our life creep in and ruin it, even when the dog came running into our room I simply directed him out and closed the door. I told him I had something that was stuck and I needed him to take a look before my husband came home. He smiled. I showed him the box of toys and said there may be something in there that could help. When he asked what was stuck, with a smirk again, I lifted my skirt and showed him the pull string to the beads insided. Boom. The little surprise and tease set-up the game. He had a goal that was more than just, "show me your hammer," and I had foreplay. Needless to say, the rest was just as fun. It was a matter of using what we had and thinking up something unexpected.

So why am I sharing something so intimate and personal? Because I think everyone could benefit from a play date with their significant other. Even if your man isn't the type to go along with games, there are ways you can prove the imagination we used as kids can still be useful as adults. I'm going to post a different Role Play scenario every Monday because Mondays usually suck and too many of us make excuses not to have sex on Monday nights. Why not find a reason to make the 1st day of the workweek something to look forward to? 

​Don't worry, if Mondays really don't work, you can fit it in any day. It's the effort that counts. Try your own version of Handyman and Housewife. Turn the tables and have him be the Husband calling the Repair Expert. You don't have to assume the old-fashioned heterosexual roles at all. This would work for any couple. You just have to set the tone, the scene and bring the fun.

<![CDATA[Audible Giveaway Win 5 FREE Audio Book Copies]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:51:44 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/audible-giveaway-win-5-free-audio-book-copies
Don't miss your chance to win 1 of 5 Copies of the
NEW Chasing Swells Audiobook from Audible!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below
Contact me directly for your review copy of this Must-Read summer romance. 
<![CDATA[Are Book Blog Tours Necessary?]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 19:00:00 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/are-book-blog-tours-necessaryPicture
When it comes to getting visibility and reviews a blog tour is your best bang for the buck, but do they translate to actual book sales? Every time I'm about to release a book I find myself scrambling to put together all the materials needed for a big book tour. I'll spend hours putting together "Fun Facts," excerpts, interviews, dream casts, favorite parts, etc... only to see that the only participation I seem to get are a few people entering the Rafflecopter Giveaways to try for an Amazon gift card. I have doubts the winners will use the GC for my books either.

Now I don't want to come across bitter about the process but over the last four years I've seen stay-at-home-moms all over the country ramp up "blogs" that are just a series of random book releases splashed on their pages to draw those visitors to enter giveaways. These are the same people who host Facebook pages that are just blasts of the same nature constantly. It's like they discovered Buffer or some other post scheduler and set out to bombard the world with information they aren't looking for. Many of these "blogs" also make money off of advertising based on hits from those readers trying to win a free book. In the end... there are very few readers actually discovering your book and using the links to go buy it. That doesn't mean it never happens. I would say I sell a few books each tour, but the $35 I may make from direct sales doesn't really cover the cost of the tour which can run anywhere from $40-150. I've also noticed in the last year or so that rarely do "bloggers" actually review the books anymore either. I always give the option since I think it's better to get feedback and also I'm more willing to promote that blog after they've reviewed my books. 

I've been using quotes around "blogs" and should explain why before I get hate comments. A blog in the traditional sense has original content. Whether it is blabbering like this post or a valuable How-To, it gave a reader something personal or at the very least selected specifically by the blogger for a specific audience. I'm seeing my book releases posted on some sites between a sci-fi thriller and a YA post apocalyptic series which means it's probably not even a site where romance readers regularly check in for their next read. That doesn't mean I don't want to expose the book to a new audience, but it's not a valuable business venture. Part of the problem too is that many book tour companies don't guarantee their blog hosts or even give you an assurance that the book release will be targeted to the right audience. They just open to anyone to sign-up and it's spun out to a few dozen random sites. 

So this has digressed into a rant. Sorry. I hate sounding negative towards a process that is supposed to support writers and readers equally, but it leaves you feeling like the effort is pointless at times. All I can say is that if anyone is reading this... can you please leave a positive experience you've had in this game to inspire us into a better place. I need it and many other authors out there may need it too.

<![CDATA[Behind the Making of the Chasing Swells Trailer]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:30:00 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/behind-the-making-of-the-chasing-swells-trailerAfter II love trailers. As a filmmaker I know how to cut together a tease that represents the mood and plot to entice people to watch. In a book trailer the goal is no different, but you’re working without visuals. It’s important to me to create the world of the book and its tone without weighing too heavily on a reader’s imagination. I start with finding the right cleared music to use.

For Chasing Swells I went through hours of music stock libraries and free music exchanges online until I came across an artist name Cullah that I absolutely loved! His mix of genres and styles made choosing which piece to use difficult, but I knew he was my guy. After I downloaded most of his albums and made a donation I contacted him through his website to get clear permission for use in my trailer. The donation was not required or even asked for, but I believe in supporting artists, especially ones I want to continue to pump out great stuff.Picture
In the past, for all three trailers in the August Fog series, I contacted Warner Brothers music as well as the Icelandic artist Soley directly. She and her label gave written consent for the use of three different songs in those book trailers.

Cullah was great. He, like many other artists out there, give away their art under a Creative Commons license for use in commercials and videos. (He does welcome donations though and he's so worth it.) I would caution that you should always try to get a direct approval from the artist too though. It was a win win for us both, since he posts videos in which his songs are used on his website and that draws a wider audience to know about my book. An audience that may not even know book trailers are a thing.

After the song was laid in I wrote a short script of what I wanted, then hunted through hours of stock footage, both paid and free. If you don’t have the ability to edit your own trailers there are quite a few resources out there who offer for a reasonable price. I have also have been paid to put together trailers for other authors, so if you like my style, contact me. I'll give you a quote and my ideas on your project. It’s an investment in your marketing and your brand, which is invaluable to the business side of things.

Give my trailer a watch and tell me what you think. Likes welcomed!

Chasing Swells Purchase Links

NEW! Available in audiobook format starting from July 31.

Also, other formats available now for $2.99 only.
<![CDATA[DREAM CAST for Chasing Swells]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:30:00 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/dream-cast-for-chasing-swellsMaybe because I work in film and television I find coming up with a "Dream Cast" a daunting exercise. I don’t always have a Hollywood inspiration for my characters either, so the idea of casting Chasing Swells would be daunting. But how fun is it to know who inspired the characters you love in any book? I know I love it when other authors share their ideals. So I'll give it a shot.

​There are few actors in Hollywood that could pull off the intense surfing Chasing Swells would require (we've all seen surfing movies like Point Break and Blue Crush where the surfing is not done by the cast.) So my “Dream Cast” for this particular book would include real professional surfers. It's easier to just pretend they’re great actors too.
Dean “DeBaz” Bazner
Dean is a little of each of these pro surfers:
Kelly Slater  /  Luke Stedman  /  Mick Fanning  /  Owen Wright
If there really were a film of this book, I think I’d push for one of the Hemsworth brothers to play Dean. They can surf a little and walk the line between serious athlete and light romantic comedy with as much sexy heat as the story needs. For every scene Dean smolders, he can also make you laugh. That kind of sexy is hard to find in Hollywood.

If you've read the book already and have cast ideas of your own, please-please tell us who you vote for. Here or on Pinterest... I want to know.

Azure Thomas
Olivia Munn
Picking Azure is a lot easier than Dean, obviously because she doesn't have to surf. But the humor, intelligence and sadness could only be brought to the big screen by a select few woman. Though Olivia hasn't had the chance to show her serious side as much, I have no doubt she could nail this role.
Peter Mel
Tanner Gudaukas meets Spicoli
2 Real surfers that inspired the characters - I'll leave this one to a real casting director to find the next be unknowns to fill these important roles.
If I could have a time machine and get Tom Skerritt from the 80s, he'd be Lennox in a heartbeat. But I could also see Jeffery Dean Morgan taking this role to new places. He would also keep the sizzle on the screen.
Alana Blanchard
Emma Stone

Chasing Swells Purchase Links

NEW! Available in audiobook format starting from July 31.

Also, other formats available now for $2.99 only.
<![CDATA[It's Finally Here... Chasing Swells Audio Book]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 17:30:01 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/its-finally-here-chasing-swells-audio-book
The long wait for the final audio version of Chasing Swells is finally here! I can't wait for you all to listen to this book. It's so much fun!

In an earlier post I explained the process of getting the book made but I didn't expect the final phase of getting uploaded to retail to last so long. ACX said it would be 10-15 days after the producer was paid for the final project, but that wasn't the case. I think their estimate is based on some other milestone or maybe dog years. So caution to other authors out there... I planned a blog tour (which I hope you are all checking out) but the audio book wasn't out yet. I couldn't stop the tour so I let it go to bloggers without the links--the whole purpose of the tour. Oh well. Live and learn. 
Go download this summer MUST-Listen for some adventure, love, and laughs. Matt Haynes had to go through countless accents to get this book voiced, and he did it so well. There were times we would laugh because a conversation would be going on with three or four different accents and it was crazy. He did such a great job playing out all these roles, but most importantly, he gave Dean that sultry deep voice of his that lingers in the waves. Don't miss this one!
<![CDATA[HP Spectre x360 - Don't Fall For The Pretty Package]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 21:49:16 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/hp-spectre-x360-dont-fall-for-the-pretty-packagePicture
The moment you get a new laptop: jumping for joy as you sign the UPS signature, carefully opening the pretty packaging, assessing every little piece of paper or foam that comes in the box. This time I even posted a photo because it really was so beautiful. It felt like I was getting a mink stole (in my imagination it's the 1920s and fur is still fashionable). But I'll be honest, I dreaded turning it on. Why? I'm about to tell you a secret.

My last brand new laptop, an HP Envy that I customized with the highest memory, processor, and gaming cards available, didn't work for more than an hour before the screen went black. It wasn't a dead battery or a bad joke... the screen died. Before I even entered all of the registration information. I had to send it back and wait two weeks until HP could send another to me. I think they sent the same one refurbished in honesty... which I guess I accepted with quiet embarrassment because I'm feeling pretty angry about it now. 

So I'm about to turn on my new HP Spectre x360 with the 15.6" screen, stylus pen, and all the pixels humanly possible and it boots up... and... it's beautiful. Really beautiful. I'm doing a happy dance. So I start downloading my most important and most used programs like Spotify, Photoshop, Illustrator, Scrivener, Vectorworks, SketchbookPro, Office, etc., and I hit play on some music. Again, freaking amazing sound. My old laptop had Beats by Dre which I was sad he went to the Mac dark side... but B&O sounds great. I'm in love. So I play with the pen and sketch on the giant screen... yep... it's love. Then I settle down and open the book I'm writing now. It's my 2nd full draft and I'm coming into the third act where there are major structural changes I've planned. I start typing a paragraph and then hit ENTER to start a new paragraph, because that's how it work when you're on a roll but... nothing. I hit ENTER again... and... nothing. It won't even move. I wiggle it for a while until it moves but the function wasn't happening. I restart the fucking thing and try again. This time I get it to function once or twice but it's not consistent, certainly nowhere near working properly every time the button is pressed... like it's supposed to work! Ugh! I want to cry or scream or BOTH!!!

Meanwhile, my hubby, Mr.MacBook-Apple-Cult-Lover, asks how it works, because he remembers everything that malfunctions on all of my PCs or Android phones. He, like most Mac people I know, loves to throw it in my face too. It's the only thing I truly dislike about the man in all honesty. Anyway... so I tell him I love it and try to get a hold of tech support. Nothing. They won't even chat LIVE with me like they have before because they claim my issue is beyond the scope of a LIVE chat. WTF is that? You either give customer service or you don't. They sure as hell have had good service for the last 10 years that I've owned HPs but now... not only have their computers gone up so much that they're the cost of a MAC but they've let their customer service completely fall away.

I'm ranting today because I don't want you to suffer the same fate as I. Don't be fooled by pretty packaging or fancy features. HP has gone down hill in every aspect of quality... so I'm switching to the Lenovo touch screen. I need a fast machine that can allow me to draw, design, and play while giving me a laptop I can write novels on. It may not be pretty, but I bet it will work out of the box. 

Below is the email I posted to HP's Customer Service help board when they wouldn't answer my phone call (on hold for half hour) or my LIVE chat attempts (8 attempts the day I opened the box) or when I responded to many of the similar complaints I found once I looked for help (there are many, many other customers with keyboard issues right out of the box). 

HP Support Message Board:

I am so upset. I just received my new Spectre x360 that I was so excited about and spent way more money than I planned to... and right away there is a problem. The ENTER key was completely stuck. I wiggled it for a while until it loosened a bit but the function wasn't registering when pressed. I then typed and typed, each line holding down the ENTER key until it functioned. It will not function properly nor consistently.

I'm debating whether to send the laptop back because I need it for work this week. This happened with my last Envy notebook three years ago which also came broken and had to be returned. I waited for almost two weeks for the replacement laptop to be sent to me. Furthermore, it's impossible to actually get LIVE help through HP anymore. At least with the Envy I was connected to a LIVE chat with a person who arranged for my computer to be sent back on their dime. I can't get a LIVE chat at all. The website says my problem isn't included in the chat list of issues. I just want to not pay $1,500 for a piece of shit. Is that so much to ask? When you pay as much as a MacBook would cost but get a piece of junk in a pretty box, it makes me reconsider the platform I've worked on for ten years. I've always purchased HPs, but it's getting too embarrassing to justify it to my husband when I have to send them back every time.
<![CDATA[Chasing Swells Excerpt #4- Invasion of the Man Snatcher]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 14:00:00 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/chasing-swells-excerpt-4-invasion-of-the-man-snatcherExcerpt #4- Chopes Pirate (invasion of the man snatcher)
​“Where did all those people come from?” Oh my god! Azure moves towards the middle of their boat to take photos of the crowd. The boat unexpectedly goes vertical, as the waves get more aggressive. She grips onto the canopy, nearly dropping her camera to the deck.

“I gotcha,” Pilson says, scooping his shoulder under her arm. “Hang on. It’s gonna get real wild out here.” He laughs before his smile drops. “Holy shit!”

Azure’s head whips around, unable to breathe. At first, she doesn’t grasp the direction of his shock is towards the shore, not Dean. She’s lost until the small yacht aimed directly for them blows a horn. “Are they going to hit us?” she asks Pilson. The Captain skids the boat sideways, and the yacht occupants cheer with crazed delight at his skills.

“No,” Pilson says. “They’re just going to ruin our day.”

Azure’s eyes land on a familiar female body. The woman walks gracefully onto the bow pulpit, her black string bikini barely visible against her dark skin. “Is that—?”

“Unfortunately,” Pilson says, stomping his foot. “What the fuck are you doing here?” he shouts, making Azure jump. The woman turns her large black sunglasses and huge rimmed sun hat towards them, flashing her award-winning smile. Her wave is not even slightly intimidated by his tone.

Abigail fucking Leland? Is this happening? What was left of Azure’s stomach just jumped overboard, and their boat is steadily drifting closer to the yacht in the building current.

A loud laugh escapes Abigail’s lips as she grips the pulpit railing, dangling over the large swell. “Hey, Pilson! How ya doing baby?”

Pilson moves towards the railing near the stern and hangs over, as if two feet will give him a more private realm for discussion. “Seriously, what are you doing here?”

“I scheduled the New Zealand leg of my tour around this last year, remember?” She waves for her captain to get even closer while she moves towards their side of the yacht. The current does the hard work, and soon Azure realizes just how much taller the obscene vessel is. A telescoping gangway, or plank, starts extending above them, as her crew rushes to manually adjust its trajectory. She poses along the railing, provoking whistles from the crowd. The ramp settles against the deck of their now diminished boat, and before Azure really grasps what’s happening, Abigail Leland prances aboard.

Pilson reaches out to help her while Hamilton and his friends gather around. Azure can hear Lennox, still at the bow, cursing loudly under his breath. “For fuck’s sake.”

“Surprise!” Abigail says before hugging and kissing the guys. When she gets around to Azure, she says, “Hey there. I’m Abigail. But you probably already know that.”

A simper crosses Azure’s lips at the singer’s ego-filled laugh.

“We’re missing him!” Abigail runs to their bow.

Lennox looks back at Azure, moving to a new spot along the railing, away from Abigail. All Azure can really do is shrug and throw her arms up in defeat. Hamilton and Pilson instinctively reach for her hands. They escort her back to the bow just as Dean drops and grabs rail. Positioned deep inside the huge tunnel of water, he looks completely in control.

“Whoahoo!” Abigail shouts, her arms wide. “Your good-luck charm is here baby!”

All eyes not gawking at the Grammy star seem to stare at Azure.

Chasing Swells Purchase Links

NEW! Available in audiobook format starting from July 31.

Also, other formats available now for $2.99 only.
<![CDATA[If Someone Gave You An Open Plane Ticket, Where Would You Go?]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:15:00 GMThttp://author-algoulden.com/blunt-blog/if-someone-gave-you-an-open-plane-ticket-where-would-you-goPicture
Paris? London? Tokyo? Serengeti? Yeah, when I think about a dream ticket I lean towards the far away and amazing. The kind of ticket I can't afford on my own. Africa. Dubai. New Zealand.

Where would you go? What would you do? I like to find out where the locals eat and sit there to soak up the vibe. I usually find a neighborhood to roam around in, but for the Serengeti I think I'd stick with a guide. Ha! 

For today, I daydream of places far away. Beautiful places. Tell me where you want to go today in the comments. Share your dreams.

I went to New Orleans for work recently... not exotic or far away, but a new city for me. It's also one that everyone seems to agree is absolutely unique. So I look with an open mind and try to approach the new place with loving eyes and ears... hoping some jazz and southern hospitality seeps in the after-work mix.

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