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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hi! How Have You Been?

So how have ya'll been? Other than my set weekly posts on Stephen King and various photographers, I feel like I haven't done much here lately. There will be more of the usual this weekend and a guest author post in a couple of weeks. For now I think I'll just update everyone on what's been keeping me busy.

If you heard the screams of "Hallelujah!" coming from down here in my part of the world, it's because school started back up on Monday. Now, I love my daughters with all my heart and soul. But damn it's good to kick them out of the house for a few hours a day again. I haven't gotten any writing done in almost two weeks as we prepped for back to school and it's driving me crazy!

On the writing front I've got a couple of things going. I'm waiting to hear back on one submission, got a contract offer on another, and am now working on edits for a short story. The short and the approved submission are both going to be with Ellora's Cave's Blush line. If you're not familiar with that one it may be because it's the tamer side to the romance genre. It's also apparently not as popular as the steamy erotics. However, I feel the stories and characters I've written don't necessarily need the hot sex. Now don't worry. This doesn't mean I've gone from writing erotic to sweet exclusively. I actually have a very hot cougar story I'll be finishing once I'm done with the edits for my short story.

The not so erotic novella is going to tie up a pseudo-trilogy. If you've read Two-Week Trial and Two Dates Max then you know what I'm talking about. This next one (title pending) will be Elle's story. I really love this one and hope ya'll will too. I also hope you understand that Elle needed her knight in shining armor more than a hot stud to ride all night long. Which is why this will be a Blush title rather than an Exotica. There is definitely closure in this book, which she sorely needed, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I call it a pseudo-trilogy because each book can definitely be read alone and they're mostly tied together by common characters rather than plot.

So that's about it. Just more writing to come as well as a few public appearances in October when Day Shift is released in print. Don't worry, that will be a whole other post. ;-)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shutterbug Sunday: Igor Amelkovich

When it comes to my personal preference, I'd have to say I lean more towards black and white photography. There's just something about sharply contrasting shadow and light in a photo that really calls to me. Today;s offering comes from a fabulous photographer who is a master of this medium Welcome, Igor Amelkovich!

How long have you been capturing the world around you, either professionally or from the first time you picked up a camera?

I started photographing in 1999, but took a serious start in 2002 with a camera Hasselblad 503CW

What/who is your favorite subject? Do you find humans difficult or intriguing to shoot?

My favorite subject to shoot - a woman and nature. I like to photograph a self-assured subject, ones who's comfortable sharing her beauty. Yes it is very difficult to photograph humans, but in this lies the intrigue.

If you could choose any one person in history, alive or dead, to do a full photo shoot of, who would it be and why?

Hmmm, an interesting question ....
If we talk about the departed from this world people, Stalin. Why?
This is an interesting controversial personality. In addition, these photos will stay in history.
If we talk about living people, then a great gymnast, which are capable of insane stretching and twisting.

Do you have a fantasy location you would love to shoot? If so, is there a specific subject to go along with it?

I want to do a shoot on a tropical island with white sand and blue water.
Of course, I'll take my beautiful girl to shoot her as a goddess.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

SK Saturday: Update VII

I'm sorry to say that today's update is another non-update. I'm on the home stretch to finishing Wolves of the Calla but will have to hold off on beginning Song of Susannah for a few days. School starts on Monday and the first week is always hectic. Plus I've gotten my first (and hopefully only) round of edits for Winning Back Wednesday. Those shouldn't take but a couple of days now that I'll have a quiet house again (thank God!). So, I expect to start the sixth installment of The Dark Tower series late next week. It's also a rather large tome so I won't be posting an update at all next Saturday, or the next if it takes that long to read it.

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shutterbug Sunday: Pedro Saudek

This week's installment comes from the amazing Pedro Saudek. He is a world traveling shutterbug who captures fabulous photos in fashion as well as the erotic arts. Welcome Pedro!

How long have you been capturing the world around you, either professionally or from the first time you picked up a camera?

I started using a camera when I was seven. It was my daddy's Russian manufactured camera. I was attracted by that magic steel and glass heavy object. I remember the first time I put my eye on the viewfinder and realized that reality can be viewed from different angles... reality, it's a point of view.

Of course it took time (much time) before I was able to properly use a camera, but that was probably the very first step into my photography passion and career.
But It was when I saw Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up" movie for the first time that I really felt in love with photography. At that time I was fifteen, I was about to start high school and I decided that I had to study photography. It took a while to convince my parents but in the end they agreed and was admitted to the Visual Art Academy in Milan.
During my 5 years at the Academy I developed a real passion for cinema and I decided to continue my studies at the prestigious CSC in Rome where I graduated as DOP (Director of Photography). The rest is history ... :-)

What/who is your favorite subject? Do you find humans difficult or intriguing to shoot?

Let's say that I'm interested in anything that looks photogenic (at least from my point of view). From still life objects to landscapes and nature. But my favorite subjects are humans. I'm primarily interested in capturing female beauty, soul and sexiness in all hits forms.
In too many of the images with female subjects in my opinion women are treated, depicted and portrayed as objects instead of subjects.
I think the most essential element overall is always human dignity and I do believe in the educative (or dis- educative) power of photography as well as of the image in general.

That said, I always do my best to get into the intimacy of the people I shoot. The result of my work comes from a mix of my "talent" (if any :-)) and what my subjects are able to give. On a 50/50% share base. No, I've never found it difficult or intriguing shooting people!

If you could choose any one person in history, alive or dead, to do a full photo shoot of, who would it be and why?

It would probably be Giovanna D'Arco. She was revolutionary and brought a very important emancipation wind into women's conditions history. She was fighting the church and human chauvinism with incredible braveness. She was absolutely modern not only for that time! 

Do you have a fantasy location you would love to shoot? If so, is there a specific subject to go along with it?

Well let's say that I have a kind of strange and personal relationship with locations. I usually like to shoot in very "normal" places. I think that every place has a story to tell if you are able to listen to it. It's not only the story of the people who live in the places, it's the places themselves. That's where I like to shoot. I always try to get the stories out and translate them into my images. Especially when I shoot erotic photos and videos, I always try to tell stories which would be able to give emotions to the spectators. I love to put extraordinary beauties into ordinary environments and locations. I think it's very erotic, stimulating and moving for the people to recognize something that belongs to real life, something related with their everyday life.

Contrariwise I think it's not always good, emotional and intimate to locate shooting in a "million dollars house" or a private jet. This could be perfect for advertising which needs to sell products representing a certain kind of status and lifestyle, but it's not exactly the same if you want to deliver emotions.Eroticism is related with emotions, intimacy and basic instincts which are better stimulated by the imagination of reality. Sex is something which involves a big part of human relations. I've been working in the fashion and advertising business for almost 20 years and I realized that many communication instruments and rules are very often based and related in various manners of sex. Sometimes explicitly, sometimes under double sense, and always hooked to an idea of hedonism. That's probably why "sex sells".But when I shoot erotic content I have to deal with different drives. 

It's very important for me to create erotic and emotional situations, not only sexual images. The difference can be thin but it still makes a difference. Above all there is the absolute respect I have for women, which I would never ever put into any humiliating or uncomfortable situations. That means that I consider the models, the women I have the pleasure to work with, as protagonists of their own sexuality. I first talk to them about my ideas for the shooting and I ask them to play around it with their own point of view and their own personality. They really have to enjoy it! If they have to be sexy they first have to feel sexy... and who would ever feel sexy in a crappy cheep situation? I also think that a female's eroticism and and a female's brain in general is much more evolved, sophisticated and open-minded than a male's. 

That's why I work already eleven years with my wife, Asta, which is my soul driver and right hand, other then a continuous inspiration and supervisor!Together with her and a small group of close friends with great professional skills we have been producing content for several erotic magazines and websites including Femjoy, Met-Art and Joymee during the last six years. Three years ago we created a new erotic website with the idea and the aim to give to eroticism and its protagonist (the models) the right attention. Virtualrealitychannel's core concept is to enhance a model's personality, and includes self-made content telling about their life and private moments, voting on the models to drive them to the top, choosing a girl from the casting, and following her climbing up to the top by producing continuous new professional and fine art content, and much more. 

We want to put models and users in a closer (virtual) relationship. We believe in hi-class, elegance and quality content to bring a small but important contribution to the eroticism on the web. People can be educated to a better level of fruition, can be driven into the world of sex with a new point of view which can deliver a better entertainment experience. We also believe in good and very selected cooperation and we are now producing high quality photo and video content with the best and most naturally erotic European girls and developing a new iPad application in cooperation with Fleshlight which is a great company and a great family business continuously creating and developing new incredible first class products for men and women's pleasure and fun. I really love what I do and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to make the living doing what I like with the people I love. 

I think that life has been generous with me on both the private and professional side and I think it's a must for me to enjoy every single moment doing my best at the highest level possible. Life is a beautiful journey if you have the right people traveling with you.I want to thank my amazing wife Asta for the continuous support, inspiration, love and patience. And I want to thank my wonderful kids Nicola and Lucas for teaching me what happiness is with their beautiful smiles.

-Pedro Saudek

Saturday, August 18, 2012

SK Saturday: Wolves of the Calla

Okay I have a confession to make. I'm not actually done with this, the fifth, installment of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series just yet. I'm about halfway there and it's very slow going for me.

Part of the problem is I feel no sense of urgency with this one even though I don't remember everything that happens. Of course, the fact that there is more to the series tells us at least Roland carries on the quest after this tale. Another reason may be that it is a slow tale. There's much telling going on and at least three different threads. 

First we have Father Callahan's story. To muddle things up he is the priest from Salem's Lot. That wasn't a problem for me the first time I read this but time has had a way of changing me as a reader. It kind of bothers me now that SK decided to put so much of himself in this book. I know there's much more later on but had forgotten how much was in this one. Not only is Salem's Lot mentioned, but also characters from a few others. It's not confusing to me just kind of annoying.

Second is the story of the Rose sitting in an abandoned lot in New York. The ka-tet has to save it by buying the lot to prevent an evil corporation from doing the same. Right now their plan is simple in word but difficult in deed. It involves time travel, which I'm not a huge fan of in stories, as well as for the cosmos to align correctly and shine favor on them. That's not something SK is known for. We'll see what happens.

Third is what the book is named for, the wolves who are on their way to Calla Bryn Sturgis. The farm/ranch town has been suffering from these invaders for centuries and need heroes to save them and their children. Roland and his crew arrive just on time to do so, but will they succeed? Time will tell.

So right now I'm at the point where all of the stories are told but it still remains to be seen where the chips will fall. I'll get back on it this week in the hopes of finishing by next Saturday.

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shutterbug Sunday: Marlen Boro

Today's offering is the amazing Marlen Boro. In my quest for shutterbugs I've come across some outstanding images. What I love most about Marlen's site is how real these men are. Marlen offers boudoir photography for men, so these aren't necessarily professional models. As I perused his gallery I almost felt as if I was in the room with them, waiting for the subject to overcome their inhibitions and show off their best side.

How long have you been capturing the world around you, either professionally or from the first time you picked up a camera?

Photography was always the family hobby - so my first camera came at age 10.  But it really was digital photography that changed things for me.  So many photographers talk about the magic of the darkroom, but I couldn't stand it.  The tedious timing of the steps, and the chemical smells.  So it was 2009 when things really changed for me.

What/who is your favorite subject? Do you find humans difficult or intriguing to shoot?

My favorite subjects are real men.  Of all shapes and sizes and ages.  They are both difficult and intriguing to work with - and that's what makes it amazing.

If you could choose any one person in history, alive or dead, to do a full photo shoot of, who would it be and why?

It changes so often.  This week it's Paul Newman - at just about anytime in his life - as a dashing 20-something/30-something - to his silver fox years.  But I think it's one of my favorite things about photographs, and nude photography in particular - the camera doesn't care about your fame or your accomplishments - it shows each person as a unique piece of magic.

Do you have a fantasy location you would love to shoot? If so, is there a specific subject to go along with it?

I would love to spend a day at the infinity pool in Singapore ( - just me and Daniel Craig.  We'd start with those square cut swimming trunks from Casino Royale.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

SK Saturday: Update VI

So, I nearly forgot to post this today...I was reading. I hate to admit I wasn't reading Wolves of the Calla, though I'm not done with it. I picked up a paranormal romance to balance out the acid trip feel of SK's 5th installment into The Dark Tower Series. Don't know that it worked but I promise to get back on it tonight. I'm finally at about the halfway mark. Next Saturday will bring a review whether I'm done or not, promise.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shutterbug Sunday: Mateo de la Rioja

Today's offering comes from another amazing photographer, Mateo de la Rioja, and definitely leans toward the more erotic. His work is sensual, enticing and can be very graphic. Enjoy!

How long have you been capturing the world around you, either
professionally or from the first time you picked up a camera?

I have been fascinated with photography since I was a young child. My first camera, which I received when I was about five years old, was a Fisher Price. I later got a Polaroid camera as a gift from my grandfather, and when I was in high school, I bought my first SLR. This was before digital came along and revolutionized everything, so back then I was mostly shooting Fujichrome Velvia color slide film. I put the camera aside when I went to college, and only reconnected with photography some years later when I first had the opportunity to play around with a digital camera. When I realized that I could focus on capturing moments without the need for any intermediaries, an entire universe of possibilities opened up. I have not stopped making images since then.
Bestiary, the project that I’m currently working on, was started in 2009.

What/who is your favorite subject? Do you find humans difficult or
intriguing to shoot?

I will always prefer to shoot people. I think photographing humans entails performing an extrospective exercise: you have to connect with the model, communicate your vision, and then transform it into an amalgamation of your idea and the model’s interpretation of it. In other words, the end image is the product of a dialectical dynamic between model and photographer. This does not really occur with other subjects. When shooting landscapes, for example, the process is much more introspective: the image is the product of the photographer’s deliberate choice to put a frame around a section of nature. In that respect, there is no communication, no tension between subject and photographer.

Moreover, how a person is framed reveals as much about the photographer as the model. A good portrait, in addition to capturing the essence of the person being portrayed, should also reveal something about the photographer. What the photographer chooses to highlight of the model, the setting, the mood, and so on, reflect a great deal about the photographer’s disposition.

In short, I believe photographing people can be a great exercise of self-exploration.

If you could choose any one person in history, alive or dead, to do a full
photo shoot of, who would it be and why?

I would love to photograph the olympic athletes. I am fascinated by the story that each of their bodies can tell. I would love to be able to convey in images the long hours of training, the sacrifices made by these athletes to shape and condition their bodies to do the amazing things they do. There is a story in every every limb, muscle, and scar.

ESPN, of course, has already done something along these lines in their body issue.

Do you have a fantasy location you would love to shoot? If so, is there a
specific subject to go along with it?

I would love to do some underwater photography in a style similar to the work of Elena Kalis, except mine would involve nudes, naturally. The perfect setting for that would most likely be some remote island in the Caribbean where water is translucent and the sand is white. If I could throw in a sailboat and some surfing into the mix, I would be a very happy guy.

Erotic photography by Mateo de la Rioja

Saturday, August 4, 2012

SK Saturday: Update V

As I sit here writing this it's actually Thursday evening. However, the current installation I'm working through, Wolves of the Calla, is a massive tome and I'm not even to the halfway point yet. So, I promise to read more and hopefully more quickly, this next week. But my muse has been active and I can't ignore her when she starts yapping in my ear.

Happy reading!