Thursday, April 19, 2018

Made in China

I spent about six years living in China. It was amazing (the people I met, the bargains I struck while shopping, $8 massages, and seeing incredible places) and terrible (being completely in a foreign place, no clue how things worked, not speaking the language) all at once.

I wanted to share the apartment I designed, built, and lived it. The Made in China currently live in the apartment. Made in China 1: The Great Wall  











The apartment was on the corner of Ling Long Lu > which meant many of the places I shopped called me Ling Long Laura  LOL.

I loved my time in China and still miss it. I keep in touch with several of my friends from Suzhou.

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Many hugs, Z.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Turkish Oil Wrestling


Sometimes someone will say something or show me something and it gets stuck in my brain. I saw a video on Turkish Oil wrestling and was enthralled. I was fascinated by how such a masculine culture could add such a homoerotic component to their favorite sport.

My librarian in The Librarian’s Rake is trying to explain the ins and outs Turkish wrestling which is a centuries old tradition in Turkey. The men rub themselves down with olive oil and wear special slippery pants. One of the ways to win is to control your opponent by sticking your hand down their pants… (think on that… then ask yourself why Turkish oil wrestling isn’t a subgenre in romance?)

Just kidding! It’s a serious sport and looks incredibly difficult. Take a look at this video: 




Excerpt from The Librarian’s Rake:

“I’m telling you, Turkish oil wrestling is a real sport.” Tristan locked the library and chuckled at Phillip’s reaction.
“Right! But come on, they stick their thumbs up the other guy’s ass to win.” Phillip shook his head.
“It’s called hooking.” Tristan supplied him with an easy setup.
“Maybe I can get into sports after all.” Phillip batted his eyelashes.




The Librarian’s Rake
Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?

Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to find quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free. 

Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more—until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.

With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might find the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives.



The Librarian’s Rake Blurb
Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?
Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to and quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.
Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more— until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.
With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might and the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives....



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Thursday, April 5, 2018

What is a self-fulfilling prophecy?


Any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events or people that affects the person's behavior toward them in a way that causes the expectations to be fulfilled." (Business Dictionary).

My definition is belief so strong it becomes a barrier preventing any other outcome. Our beliefs cause us to act in certain ways reinforcing what we think will happen.


Any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a person's behavior toward them in a manner that causes those expectations to be fulfilled.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/self-fulfilling-prophecy.html

Any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a person's behavior toward them in a manner that causes those expectations to be fulfilled.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/self-fulfilling-prophecy.html
The Librarian’s Rake is a perfect example of self-fulfilling prophecies at work. Tristan (the librarian) sees himself as boring and lives down to that expectation quietly living his lonely life. Philip (the rake) doesn’t believe in happily ever after only happy endings that are done right after he swallows.

Both men are in a rut. When they meet, Tristan decides he’s ready for a change and asks Phillip for assistance. Phillip starts with superficial changes: hair, clothing, glasses. As a hairdresser, Phillip knows physical makeovers change how people see themselves. Once Tristan begins to view himself as no longer bookish and boring, he can take other risks he may have been too timid to try.

Phillip knows how the world works and doesn’t expect much out of life. Guys are for getting off and having fun with but companionship comes from his friends. When Tristan treats Phillip like a friend rather than a fuckbuddy, Phillip’s world view is turned upside down. Tristan makes him want things he never thought he could have… and that’s bad, right?



The Librarian’s Rake Blurb
Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?
Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to and quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.
Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more— until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.
With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might and the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives....



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Thursday, March 29, 2018

10 Things You May Not Want to Know About China

10) Don't drink the water, rinse dishes without sanitizing them, or brush your teeth with the water.

9) Prior to the Beijing Olympics, protestors and concerned citizens were told to fill out forms so they could protest legally. A few days before the Olympics the people who filled out these forms were picked up and detained for questioning. When the foreign camera crews were taken to the protest area empty. They were stunned to find no protestors in China.

8) Many decisions are based on will it give face or not. Face is the avoidance of embarrassment (perceived or real) at any cost and to give face is to give status to another (allowing them to help you, praise them in public, showing respect, etc.)

7) When toasting in China: Ganbei!!!! Make sure you put the rim of your glass lower then than the other people you clink glasses as a sign of respect. Sometimes, a game is made out of it this practice and friends will toast down at floor level.

6) Power, gas and water need to be purchased before you use it and you don't receive a bill. And if the prepaid amount runs out the service will just stop. You can't send a check, and as of a year ago, you couldn't pay with online banking. A member of your family or your maid needs to go down to the offices with a stack of cash to put money on your card, then your card must be put into your meter (gas/electric & water) so the credit for the payment can be registered.

5) While dining out, most Chinese would never take home the left overs because that would suggest you were poor. (I've horrified more than one Chinese friend by requesting the leftovers be packed up).

4) Recycling of leftover food in local restaurants isn't unheard of... meaning food served and passed over by other customers could arrive at your table after it was reheated.

3) There's no social security. Your child and grandchildren are your family's security, that's why it's very rare to find an unmarried Chinese person. Usually women are married by the time they are twenty-five and men maybe a little bit older. There are still active marriage markets where the parents take the picture of their children, along with a resume of talents and jobs, to share with potential in-laws.

2) The word for question in Mandarin is the same for problem, so to have a question is to have a problem. Many people won't ask questions so work can be done wrong or not done at all.

1) There is no gay in China…. it's one of the reasons I chose to write Made in China: The Great Wall. I wanted give some Chinese men a happily ever after even if they are only characters in my series.


The Great Wall Blurb:
Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Free Read

Yaoified Love is my gift to readers who want to explore something new. 
I usually write in a more yaoified style so I thought I'd share a story that begins at YaoiCon. YaoiCon is a convention that takes places each Fall in San Francisco. Bishie Boys, artists, writers, readers and publishers meet and share their fascination of yaoi. 
One of the reasons I found m/m romance was through Yamane Ayano, who penned the Viewfinder series. I was so overwhelmed I traveled from China to go to my 1st YaoiCon to met her in 2010. It was a highlight but the convention was like walking in a living yaoi... to be with so many incredible people who loved yaoi as much as me >>>I was hooked. Yaoified Love is my way of sharing my love of yaoi and YaoiCon with you. 
Big hugs, 
Z. Allora

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Interesting sex facts

Where did the vibrator come from... (pun intended).
Enjoy the video.
Hugs, Z.