Memoirs of a Gigolo – The Third Wives Club


The good news and the bad news. Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume Seven is not coming out today. As I make the transition from self-publishing to working with Lori Perkins and her team at Riverdale Ave Books, there will be a delay with the release of the next installment in the adventures of Oliver. BUT!!! As promised – the good news. I will be releasing a series of short Memoirs stories on my blog during the intervening weeks. I’ve been looking for an excuse to dig deeper into the lives of the men and women in Oliver’s life. This is my chance. I do hope you enjoy reading. So although there is no Volume Seven today, I bring you the following: Memoirs of a Gigolo – the Third Wives Club.
Were I an architect of the underworld and the task of designing the perfect purgatory fell to me, I would make it an airport in a snowstorm. There is no place in which time grinds to a halt more completely than an airport in a snowstorm. As the architect of purgatory I would further carve down this small corner of limbo.
A terminal.
Not just any terminal.
A terminal at night.
Under construction.
This place would have the following – one fast food restaurant, an insufficient number of chairs to accommodate the number of people waiting, notice boards that never changed, and uniformed minions that were well practiced at sarcasm and derision. Instead of a proper duty free shopping arcade, a table.  One table filled with perfume, booze, fags, and large Toblerone chocolate bars.  Whatever was purchased would be bagged, sealed, and waiting at the gate only to be retrieved whilst boarding. I would also randomly allow persons to leave on flights. Not with any regularity or pattern. Just often enough that the damned would never leave out of fear their number might come up the second they left the terminal.
This is my perfect hell.
My voyage of the damned.
I fly with Elizabeth from Los Angeles to London with what should have been a brief stop in Chicago.
I’ve never been to Chicago beyond the airport. I will not judge a city based on its airport. I’m from London. We have Heathrow. Enough said.
My experience probably would have been a lot less traumatizing if I weren’t saddled with Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is not an easy traveling companion in the best of circumstances.
She makes Olga look like a seasoned flight attendant with a knack for packing light.
When we arrive in Chicago, we have perhaps ten minutes to get from gate to gate.
This is before we realize we’re about to enter the seventh circle of hell. The inner ring. The one for the blasphemers and the sodomites. By the time we leave Chicago I’ve cursed the holy trinity and fate enough to guarantee my spot. Or maybe I’d belong in the eighth. In the ditch with the panderers, seducers and the flatterers.  The shit that has come out of my mouth in the name of both seducing and flattering is worthy of being bathed in excrement or whipped by demons.
I run Elizabeth’s arse through the airport. I nearly abandon her as she clicks along in her stupidly tall shoes.
I told her to change her shoes.
I fucking told her to change her fucking shoes!
What is it with these women and those shoes they insist on wearing? Who is going to see them on an airplane or in an airport that they need to wear these stupidly tall shoes?
Shoes that they cannot run from airplane to airplane wearing?
You’d think they’d learn considering how often we have to do this.
But no – she has to wear stupid shoes. At least I have effectively harassed Olga into dressing for travel in such a way that she is able to wear either boots or shoes that have a manageable heel.
But not Elizabeth.
No.
I finally just pick her up and toss her over a shoulder when I realize we are getting nowhere and have to be somewhere very quickly.
If nothing else I am like Moses parting the Red Sea as I carry the blond woman through O’Hare International Airport.
All make way for me.
The men recognize in my face one of their brothers that has had enough.
The women just think I’m crazy.
When we arrive at the gate, I am confused. 
The boarding area is full. Based on my calculations, we should have been lucky to make it to the doors before they were shut tight.
Quickly I check the monitors.
There is nothing indicating our airplane shouldn’t be taxiing down the runway without us on it.
I set Elizabeth down and order her to stay.
Elizabeth has this way about her that makes me wonder if waitresses haven’t spit in our food.
I go to the counter looking for answers.
London?
Delayed. The man behind the desk points at the board behind him with his pen without offering the courtesy of looking up from his monitor.
Delayed. I could throttle him, but I am calm. Elizabeth, who does not listen to me, joins me at the counter.
What is the problem? I think she’s examining at her nails, but it’s hard to tell as she is masked by her sunglasses.
The gate agent looks at Elizabeth. He stares like service people tend to do when Elizabeth comes into their lives. They know a pain in the arse when they see one.
I might have had a chance with the man before Elizabeth crossed his path. That’s gone. 
Go sit and wait for the announcement like everyone else. You’ll get your seat assignment when you’re boarded.
What?
Go and sit and wait for the announcement like everyone else. We’ll get your seat assignment when he calls us.
Elizabeth snaps her fingers.
Oliver. Give the man our tickets. Clearly he doesn’t know who we are.We are first class passengers. Not in steerage.
(I should have left her scrawny arse back at the other gate. I should have.)
Darling…
Give the man our tickets. (A fingernail taps the counter) The flight is listed as boarding on the monitors. She just ran at least a mile for no reason.
Actually, darling, I ran. You complained that I was jostling you too much.
(The gate agent has had enough of Elizabeth at this point) Go and sit and wait for the announcement like everyone else. You’ll get your seat assignment when you’re boarded.
(But Elizabeth is just getting started) This is ridiculous! What is wrong with you people? She slams her angry fist against the counter. She demands service. She demands justice.
(A small smile touched the corners of the gate agent’s mouth) Does he need to call security? (He grinned like a guard in a Soviet era gulag.) He suggests she goes away, sits down and remains quiet, or else.
Or else what? (Elizabeth growled at the man.)
(He gestured to her to lean in and we both did.) Three words. No. Fly. List.
He can’t do that. She has rights.
Try him. He may not get us permanently grounded, but he can make our lives very inconvenient for at least twelve to twenty-four hours. This isn’t his only delayed flight today, and she, princess, is not the only person that has been inconvenienced. Now, go away and don’t bother him. When we’re ready to board, get in line like a good little sheep. Until then, go find a place to sit
(It was like watching a standoff in a Clint Eastwood western)
How much longer?
Listen for the announcement.
She needs to get home. She has a very important thing coming up that she cannot miss.
Oh!!! (the gate agent sighed – there was danger in that sigh) He didn’t realize. Hold on just a second. (He lifted up the phone from behind the desk.) Hi there! (he spoke into the phone.) Is this God? Hi God! This is Dwayne at O’Hare. (He paused for a moment.) No really I’m fantastic. Thanks so much for asking. Look, I have this lady here that really needs to get to London for a thing. Not just any thing, but a really important thing that she can’t miss. You see the snow is causing all sorts of problems. (He paused again.) Sure God, I can hold. (He put his hand over the mouth piece.) I’m holding for God. He’s going to see if he can do anything about the weather just for you princess.
At that moment I understood how normally sane people could commit murder.
Elizabeth is paralyzed by a mixture of anger and outrage.
Fortunately I am capable of recognizing that, although this man might be a petty underling, he still had the power to make my life a hell merely by being associated with Elizabeth.
Go go. (The Gate Agent shooed us away with his flapping hands.) Go go. Off with you.
Elizabeth very nearly started mouthing off again. I grab her with an arm around the waist. I pull her away from the gate.
Has she lost her mind?
He was impertinent.She will be writing a very firmly worded letter when we are home.
Could she please just stop being such a pain in the ass?
It’s not like I’m exactly a treasure.
(This is what happens after traveling together for nearly three weeks.)
It is late in Chicago.
We are in a terminal that is under construction.
There is a single fast food restaurant.
There is no bar.There is a bar, but it’s closed. It’s being refurbished. A sign asks me for my patience.
What kind of airport terminal has no bar?
I walk to a window.
Large flakes of swirling snow fill the sky.
Elizabeth is at my shoulder.
Do I think the snow has anything to do with the delay?
I stare at her through our reflections in the glass.
Could be. I check my watch. I check the boards. It’s after ten. We were sat on the tarmac in Los Angeles longer than I realized we were. Elizabeth has pissed off the Gate Agent. He will be of no help on principle.
I’m starving. Is she hungry?
She shrugs.
Has her supply of celery sticks and apple slices run out? (I’m being a bit bitchy at this moment – I can’t abide a woman that starves herself in the name of squeezing an already bony arse into a smaller size).
Yes.
I suggest we go and find somewhere that is open and serving food.
There is a bitter irony in that the only place that is open and has food is a fast food restaurant owned by my former fiancée and her father. There is irony in this the depths of which I haven’t even begun to plunge as I order the food I know from inside experience to be the safest. I order only deep fried foods. That which has been plunged in scalding oil is probably the least likely to be contaminated. Nothing could get me to touch a salad in one of these places. The threat of colitis is far too great.
We don’t get a seat. The seats are already taken up by people that are clearly entrenched. They have laptops open and papers spread before them. These people aren’t going anywhere.
I try to explain to Elizabeth that she will not find a table to be empty simply by standing around. Besides, there are many other people standing around. If anyone moves from a table, the rest of the people will be on them like vultures on carrion.
She gives me the sigh, hair toss, tongue click, combo all of the girls have mastered.
She’ll get us a table.
We walk past a table as the two men who are sitting at it look like they just might be ready to leave. In an hour or so. They have papers and laptops open. They are wearing ties. Who the hell wears a tie at this hour when they are clearly stuck in an airport?
Elizabeth gives them a smile. This is all she has to do. There was a time when it would have worked on me too. So I don’t judge them too harshly.
They happily offer to let her join them. They aren’t expecting me. There are two open chairs.
She sits down.
I sit down.
Then they give me a look like they could pummel me.  
I don’t care.
I have a bucket of freshly fried chicken parts and a gallon of coleslaw. I know I should have passed on the coleslaw, but part of me just loves to live dangerously.
I introduce myself as Elizabeth’s brother. Suddenly I’m okay. They can flirt without fear of the retribution of an angry lover.
I’m allowed to gnaw at my chicken in peace. I can even read my book. Every once in a while I shake the bucket of fried chicken parts under Elizabeth’s nose. She politely declines my offer to take a wing each time it is made.
It turns out the two are consultants.
I’ve never really been able to get my head around what a consultant does other than make a lot of money telling people how to run their businesses.
My former fiancée would have been able to explain this one. She routinely hired and fired consultants. This was one of those things she enjoyed doing when feeling peevish.
The two have very good jobs. Very good jobs indeed.
They’re American.
They went to fancy schools.
They drive German cars.
They know baseball players and politicians.
They’ll be in London.
Elizabeth only needs to choose and either one of them would be happy to spend a small fortune on her.
She offers each of them her number. But it’s not her number. It’s the Matchmaker’s number. The one that she takes bookings through. They’ll each be in for a shock if either of them decide to call that number. As far as they can tell, she’s my lovely sister Victoria, an art student and occasional model.
They leave us when they both realize that to linger would be to blow their chance with the lovely “Victoria”.
Why did she give them the Matchmaker’s number?
Because she always gives men that are interested in spending time with her the Matchmaker’s phone number. The Matchmaker always clears first time clients.
Here’s my thought, take it or leave it, but they actually seemed nice.
They did seem nice.
Why not actually go on a date with one of them? I mean if we’re being totally honest, either of them would probably be a pretty decent man to hook up with. Okay fine they were a couple of twats about the money and the cars, but clearly they’re decent earners.
She agrees. But they’re just not right.
(This is when I should have gone back to my book, but yet did not.)
If they’re not right, then who is right?
Someday they’ll be ideal. But that’ll take a while.
I’m a pretty good judge of age. I’d say they’re both mid-twenties. Clearly they take care of themselves. What more could she want?
They’re both single.
Yes. They’re both single. A good characteristic to have when one is embarking on a romantic relationship.
She’d never be a first wife.
Come again?
She’d never be a first wife. Both of them, nice as they are, haven’t been through their first wives yet.
(Why do I need to know more? Why can’t I just let some of these statements flow past me and out into the universe?)
First wives? Is there something wrong with being a first wife?
Everything! (she laughs at me like a simple child) There is nothing good about being a first wife.
I… Why not just tell me what’s wrong about being a first wife. Because I’m sort of dying to know.
Well – the first wife is the one that has to do all of the hard work. The first wife is the one that has to put up with all of the bullshit. The first wife is the one that has to push out the kids. The first wife has to raise the kids on her own while the man is off making the first pot of money. The first wife is the one that has to make casseroles and budgets and pretend she doesn’t know when he’s fucking someone younger and prettier that hasn’t gone fat in the hips birthing his babies. The first wife is the one that breaks him in.
I get the idea.
When the first wife is all broken down and gray with saggy tits and wrinkles from those years of having to worry about mortgage payments and that kind of bullshit, the man trades her in for the second wife.
That’s a bit harsh.
She didn’t make the world. She just tries to live in it.
So she’d like to be a second wife?
God no! No one in their right mind would want to be a second wife. That’s worse than being a first wife.
Pray do tell me how.
The second wife has to deal with being that bitch that usurped mummy’s place. Worse than that, the second wife is always a younger version of the first wife. Always. Guaranteed. The second wife is just a way station on the way to the third wife. Honestly, the second wife is the human equivalent of buying a ridiculously expensive sports car.
Is she saying that a second wife is the response to a mid-life crisis?
Exactly. She couldn’t have put it any better. Which is why she longs to be a third wife.
Okay. Interesting. Not fourth?
No. Never fourth. The fourth wife is just one among many. The man with a fourth wife has learned he can replace them easily when he gets bored.
Dare we use the car analogy again?
We can. The car analogy works. Third wife is the best wife to be. By the time the third wife comes along, he’s already had two very messy, probably fairly painful and ruinously expensive, divorces. Wife three is the oasis in the desert of love he’s been looking for. The third wife gets him. She’s still young, beautiful, fit, and fun. The third wife appreciates his money and all the work it took to get it.
And she’ll happily spend it.
Of course. Best of all, there is no stress in being a third wife. By the time the third wife rolls into town, the kids are raised and have their own lives. The man has achieved the success the first wife worked so hard to help facilitate. He’s over the first marriage thanks to the second wife. He has time to travel, enjoy life, and appreciate the third wife.
Which is why she wants to be a third wife.
Precisely.
Clearly I’ve been drinking Elizabeth’s Kool-Aid for a bit too long, because, for reasons I don’t want to understand, all of this sort of makes sense to me. She has a point. She’s also in the right business if she wants to be a third wife.
Can I ask one question?
Sure.
What if she meets a man, a great man who was kind and good, who would love her to be his first and only wife?
Does he have a lot of money?
No.
Then definitely no.
Is money the number one factor that motivates her?
Yes.
Charming.
She stares at me. Her head cocked to one side.
Hypocrite.
Huh?
Hypocrite.
How so?
At least she’s honest.
She’s right. She’s absolutely right. I’m a hypocrite. At least she’s honest. I hope she finds a wealthy man and becomes the best third wife there ever was.
It’s going to be hard to top Melania Trump, but a girl can try.

Memoirs of a Gigolo – The Third Wives Club


The good news and the bad news. Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume Seven is not coming out today. As I make the transition from self-publishing to working with Lori Perkins and her team at Riverdale Ave Books, there will be a delay with the release of the next installment in the adventures of Oliver. BUT!!! As promised – the good news. I will be releasing a series of short Memoirs stories on my blog during the intervening weeks. I’ve been looking for an excuse to dig deeper into the lives of the men and women in Oliver’s life. This is my chance. I do hope you enjoy reading. So although there is no Volume Seven today, I bring you the following: Memoirs of a Gigolo – the Third Wives Club.
Were I an architect of the underworld and the task of designing the perfect purgatory fell to me, I would make it an airport in a snowstorm. There is no place in which time grinds to a halt more completely than an airport in a snowstorm. As the architect of purgatory I would further carve down this small corner of limbo.
A terminal.
Not just any terminal.
A terminal at night.
Under construction.
This place would have the following – one fast food restaurant, an insufficient number of chairs to accommodate the number of people waiting, notice boards that never changed, and uniformed minions that were well practiced at sarcasm and derision. Instead of a proper duty free shopping arcade, a table.  One table filled with perfume, booze, fags, and large Toblerone chocolate bars.  Whatever was purchased would be bagged, sealed, and waiting at the gate only to be retrieved whilst boarding. I would also randomly allow persons to leave on flights. Not with any regularity or pattern. Just often enough that the damned would never leave out of fear their number might come up the second they left the terminal.
This is my perfect hell.
My voyage of the damned.
I fly with Elizabeth from Los Angeles to London with what should have been a brief stop in Chicago.
I’ve never been to Chicago beyond the airport. I will not judge a city based on its airport. I’m from London. We have Heathrow. Enough said.
My experience probably would have been a lot less traumatizing if I weren’t saddled with Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is not an easy traveling companion in the best of circumstances.
She makes Olga look like a seasoned flight attendant with a knack for packing light.
When we arrive in Chicago, we have perhaps ten minutes to get from gate to gate.
This is before we realize we’re about to enter the seventh circle of hell. The inner ring. The one for the blasphemers and the sodomites. By the time we leave Chicago I’ve cursed the holy trinity and fate enough to guarantee my spot. Or maybe I’d belong in the eighth. In the ditch with the panderers, seducers and the flatterers.  The shit that has come out of my mouth in the name of both seducing and flattering is worthy of being bathed in excrement or whipped by demons.
I run Elizabeth’s arse through the airport. I nearly abandon her as she clicks along in her stupidly tall shoes.
I told her to change her shoes.
I fucking told her to change her fucking shoes!
What is it with these women and those shoes they insist on wearing? Who is going to see them on an airplane or in an airport that they need to wear these stupidly tall shoes?
Shoes that they cannot run from airplane to airplane wearing?
You’d think they’d learn considering how often we have to do this.
But no – she has to wear stupid shoes. At least I have effectively harassed Olga into dressing for travel in such a way that she is able to wear either boots or shoes that have a manageable heel.
But not Elizabeth.
No.
I finally just pick her up and toss her over a shoulder when I realize we are getting nowhere and have to be somewhere very quickly.
If nothing else I am like Moses parting the Red Sea as I carry the blond woman through O’Hare International Airport.
All make way for me.
The men recognize in my face one of their brothers that has had enough.
The women just think I’m crazy.
When we arrive at the gate, I am confused. 
The boarding area is full. Based on my calculations, we should have been lucky to make it to the doors before they were shut tight.
Quickly I check the monitors.
There is nothing indicating our airplane shouldn’t be taxiing down the runway without us on it.
I set Elizabeth down and order her to stay.
Elizabeth has this way about her that makes me wonder if waitresses haven’t spit in our food.
I go to the counter looking for answers.
London?
Delayed. The man behind the desk points at the board behind him with his pen without offering the courtesy of looking up from his monitor.
Delayed. I could throttle him, but I am calm. Elizabeth, who does not listen to me, joins me at the counter.
What is the problem? I think she’s examining at her nails, but it’s hard to tell as she is masked by her sunglasses.
The gate agent looks at Elizabeth. He stares like service people tend to do when Elizabeth comes into their lives. They know a pain in the arse when they see one.
I might have had a chance with the man before Elizabeth crossed his path. That’s gone. 
Go sit and wait for the announcement like everyone else. You’ll get your seat assignment when you’re boarded.
What?
Go and sit and wait for the announcement like everyone else. We’ll get your seat assignment when he calls us.
Elizabeth snaps her fingers.
Oliver. Give the man our tickets. Clearly he doesn’t know who we are.We are first class passengers. Not in steerage.
(I should have left her scrawny arse back at the other gate. I should have.)
Darling…
Give the man our tickets. (A fingernail taps the counter) The flight is listed as boarding on the monitors. She just ran at least a mile for no reason.
Actually, darling, I ran. You complained that I was jostling you too much.
(The gate agent has had enough of Elizabeth at this point) Go and sit and wait for the announcement like everyone else. You’ll get your seat assignment when you’re boarded.
(But Elizabeth is just getting started) This is ridiculous! What is wrong with you people? She slams her angry fist against the counter. She demands service. She demands justice.
(A small smile touched the corners of the gate agent’s mouth) Does he need to call security? (He grinned like a guard in a Soviet era gulag.) He suggests she goes away, sits down and remains quiet, or else.
Or else what? (Elizabeth growled at the man.)
(He gestured to her to lean in and we both did.) Three words. No. Fly. List.
He can’t do that. She has rights.
Try him. He may not get us permanently grounded, but he can make our lives very inconvenient for at least twelve to twenty-four hours. This isn’t his only delayed flight today, and she, princess, is not the only person that has been inconvenienced. Now, go away and don’t bother him. When we’re ready to board, get in line like a good little sheep. Until then, go find a place to sit
(It was like watching a standoff in a Clint Eastwood western)
How much longer?
Listen for the announcement.
She needs to get home. She has a very important thing coming up that she cannot miss.
Oh!!! (the gate agent sighed – there was danger in that sigh) He didn’t realize. Hold on just a second. (He lifted up the phone from behind the desk.) Hi there! (he spoke into the phone.) Is this God? Hi God! This is Dwayne at O’Hare. (He paused for a moment.) No really I’m fantastic. Thanks so much for asking. Look, I have this lady here that really needs to get to London for a thing. Not just any thing, but a really important thing that she can’t miss. You see the snow is causing all sorts of problems. (He paused again.) Sure God, I can hold. (He put his hand over the mouth piece.) I’m holding for God. He’s going to see if he can do anything about the weather just for you princess.
At that moment I understood how normally sane people could commit murder.
Elizabeth is paralyzed by a mixture of anger and outrage.
Fortunately I am capable of recognizing that, although this man might be a petty underling, he still had the power to make my life a hell merely by being associated with Elizabeth.
Go go. (The Gate Agent shooed us away with his flapping hands.) Go go. Off with you.
Elizabeth very nearly started mouthing off again. I grab her with an arm around the waist. I pull her away from the gate.
Has she lost her mind?
He was impertinent.She will be writing a very firmly worded letter when we are home.
Could she please just stop being such a pain in the ass?
It’s not like I’m exactly a treasure.
(This is what happens after traveling together for nearly three weeks.)
It is late in Chicago.
We are in a terminal that is under construction.
There is a single fast food restaurant.
There is no bar.There is a bar, but it’s closed. It’s being refurbished. A sign asks me for my patience.
What kind of airport terminal has no bar?
I walk to a window.
Large flakes of swirling snow fill the sky.
Elizabeth is at my shoulder.
Do I think the snow has anything to do with the delay?
I stare at her through our reflections in the glass.
Could be. I check my watch. I check the boards. It’s after ten. We were sat on the tarmac in Los Angeles longer than I realized we were. Elizabeth has pissed off the Gate Agent. He will be of no help on principle.
I’m starving. Is she hungry?
She shrugs.
Has her supply of celery sticks and apple slices run out? (I’m being a bit bitchy at this moment – I can’t abide a woman that starves herself in the name of squeezing an already bony arse into a smaller size).
Yes.
I suggest we go and find somewhere that is open and serving food.
There is a bitter irony in that the only place that is open and has food is a fast food restaurant owned by my former fiancée and her father. There is irony in this the depths of which I haven’t even begun to plunge as I order the food I know from inside experience to be the safest. I order only deep fried foods. That which has been plunged in scalding oil is probably the least likely to be contaminated. Nothing could get me to touch a salad in one of these places. The threat of colitis is far too great.
We don’t get a seat. The seats are already taken up by people that are clearly entrenched. They have laptops open and papers spread before them. These people aren’t going anywhere.
I try to explain to Elizabeth that she will not find a table to be empty simply by standing around. Besides, there are many other people standing around. If anyone moves from a table, the rest of the people will be on them like vultures on carrion.
She gives me the sigh, hair toss, tongue click, combo all of the girls have mastered.
She’ll get us a table.
We walk past a table as the two men who are sitting at it look like they just might be ready to leave. In an hour or so. They have papers and laptops open. They are wearing ties. Who the hell wears a tie at this hour when they are clearly stuck in an airport?
Elizabeth gives them a smile. This is all she has to do. There was a time when it would have worked on me too. So I don’t judge them too harshly.
They happily offer to let her join them. They aren’t expecting me. There are two open chairs.
She sits down.
I sit down.
Then they give me a look like they could pummel me.  
I don’t care.
I have a bucket of freshly fried chicken parts and a gallon of coleslaw. I know I should have passed on the coleslaw, but part of me just loves to live dangerously.
I introduce myself as Elizabeth’s brother. Suddenly I’m okay. They can flirt without fear of the retribution of an angry lover.
I’m allowed to gnaw at my chicken in peace. I can even read my book. Every once in a while I shake the bucket of fried chicken parts under Elizabeth’s nose. She politely declines my offer to take a wing each time it is made.
It turns out the two are consultants.
I’ve never really been able to get my head around what a consultant does other than make a lot of money telling people how to run their businesses.
My former fiancée would have been able to explain this one. She routinely hired and fired consultants. This was one of those things she enjoyed doing when feeling peevish.
The two have very good jobs. Very good jobs indeed.
They’re American.
They went to fancy schools.
They drive German cars.
They know baseball players and politicians.
They’ll be in London.
Elizabeth only needs to choose and either one of them would be happy to spend a small fortune on her.
She offers each of them her number. But it’s not her number. It’s the Matchmaker’s number. The one that she takes bookings through. They’ll each be in for a shock if either of them decide to call that number. As far as they can tell, she’s my lovely sister Victoria, an art student and occasional model.
They leave us when they both realize that to linger would be to blow their chance with the lovely “Victoria”.
Why did she give them the Matchmaker’s number?
Because she always gives men that are interested in spending time with her the Matchmaker’s phone number. The Matchmaker always clears first time clients.
Here’s my thought, take it or leave it, but they actually seemed nice.
They did seem nice.
Why not actually go on a date with one of them? I mean if we’re being totally honest, either of them would probably be a pretty decent man to hook up with. Okay fine they were a couple of twats about the money and the cars, but clearly they’re decent earners.
She agrees. But they’re just not right.
(This is when I should have gone back to my book, but yet did not.)
If they’re not right, then who is right?
Someday they’ll be ideal. But that’ll take a while.
I’m a pretty good judge of age. I’d say they’re both mid-twenties. Clearly they take care of themselves. What more could she want?
They’re both single.
Yes. They’re both single. A good characteristic to have when one is embarking on a romantic relationship.
She’d never be a first wife.
Come again?
She’d never be a first wife. Both of them, nice as they are, haven’t been through their first wives yet.
(Why do I need to know more? Why can’t I just let some of these statements flow past me and out into the universe?)
First wives? Is there something wrong with being a first wife?
Everything! (she laughs at me like a simple child) There is nothing good about being a first wife.
I… Why not just tell me what’s wrong about being a first wife. Because I’m sort of dying to know.
Well – the first wife is the one that has to do all of the hard work. The first wife is the one that has to put up with all of the bullshit. The first wife is the one that has to push out the kids. The first wife has to raise the kids on her own while the man is off making the first pot of money. The first wife is the one that has to make casseroles and budgets and pretend she doesn’t know when he’s fucking someone younger and prettier that hasn’t gone fat in the hips birthing his babies. The first wife is the one that breaks him in.
I get the idea.
When the first wife is all broken down and gray with saggy tits and wrinkles from those years of having to worry about mortgage payments and that kind of bullshit, the man trades her in for the second wife.
That’s a bit harsh.
She didn’t make the world. She just tries to live in it.
So she’d like to be a second wife?
God no! No one in their right mind would want to be a second wife. That’s worse than being a first wife.
Pray do tell me how.
The second wife has to deal with being that bitch that usurped mummy’s place. Worse than that, the second wife is always a younger version of the first wife. Always. Guaranteed. The second wife is just a way station on the way to the third wife. Honestly, the second wife is the human equivalent of buying a ridiculously expensive sports car.
Is she saying that a second wife is the response to a mid-life crisis?
Exactly. She couldn’t have put it any better. Which is why she longs to be a third wife.
Okay. Interesting. Not fourth?
No. Never fourth. The fourth wife is just one among many. The man with a fourth wife has learned he can replace them easily when he gets bored.
Dare we use the car analogy again?
We can. The car analogy works. Third wife is the best wife to be. By the time the third wife comes along, he’s already had two very messy, probably fairly painful and ruinously expensive, divorces. Wife three is the oasis in the desert of love he’s been looking for. The third wife gets him. She’s still young, beautiful, fit, and fun. The third wife appreciates his money and all the work it took to get it.
And she’ll happily spend it.
Of course. Best of all, there is no stress in being a third wife. By the time the third wife rolls into town, the kids are raised and have their own lives. The man has achieved the success the first wife worked so hard to help facilitate. He’s over the first marriage thanks to the second wife. He has time to travel, enjoy life, and appreciate the third wife.
Which is why she wants to be a third wife.
Precisely.
Clearly I’ve been drinking Elizabeth’s Kool-Aid for a bit too long, because, for reasons I don’t want to understand, all of this sort of makes sense to me. She has a point. She’s also in the right business if she wants to be a third wife.
Can I ask one question?
Sure.
What if she meets a man, a great man who was kind and good, who would love her to be his first and only wife?
Does he have a lot of money?
No.
Then definitely no.
Is money the number one factor that motivates her?
Yes.
Charming.
She stares at me. Her head cocked to one side.
Hypocrite.
Huh?
Hypocrite.
How so?
At least she’s honest.
She’s right. She’s absolutely right. I’m a hypocrite. At least she’s honest. I hope she finds a wealthy man and becomes the best third wife there ever was.
It’s going to be hard to top Melania Trump, but a girl can try.

My big news! I’ve signed with Lori Perkins at Riverdale Avenue Books

Time to start shouting my wonderful news to the world. I’ve signed with Lori Perkins at Riverdale Ave Books. I am simply over the moon about this new step forward in my career. Working with Lori has been a dream of mine for years and now I have my chance. Best of all – I am joining forces with the Riverdale Ave Books team to bring to my lovely readers the remaining volumes in the Memoirs of a Gigolo serial.

What’s better than having a best friend with an MBA in Marketing? Having her write my press releases for me!From the Marketing Maven my first press release:


 25 April 2013
 Attention Reader and Fans!  Breaking News!  Acclaimed Author Livia Ellis, author of the “Memoirs of a Gigolo” serial has joined Riverdale Ave Books (New York, NY).  Effective with publication of Volume 7 of the “Memoirs of a Gigolo” serial, Riverdale Ave Books (RAB) will become the exclusive publisher of “Memoirs of a Gigolo”, including future Volumes and Omnibuses.  New Volumes of “Memoirs of a Gigolo” and the second Omnibus are due out in June.  More details on the launch will follow at a later date. 
“I’m thrilled to be working with such a talented team!  Working with RAB and especially founder Lori Perkins will help get Memoirs the exposure it deserves.  Lori’s experience and success in the publishing world will get Memoirs into new readers hands and I couldn’t ask for more!” stated author Livia Ellis. 
About Livia Ellis –  Livia is a successful romance and erotica writer based in Dublin.  She began her “Memoirs of a Gigolo” serial in September 2012 via self-publishing.  To find out more about Livia or her other works, such as “Sport of Kings” please visit www.liviaellis.com or visit http://www.amazon.com/Livia-Ellis/e/B0093XV43M.  Livia has a new book launching this summer from The Wild Rose Press – please look for “Bare in Bermuda” this summer! 
About Riverdale Ave Books (RAB) – Riverdale Ave Books is at the leading edge of the changes in the publishing industry.  Riverdale Ave Books was created to give readers the same immediate gratification they have come to expect from all forms of entertainment. RAB will give readers the books they crave.  www.riverdaleavebooks.com
About Lori Perkins – Lori Perkins, Publisher, has worked in the publishing industry for more than 25 years as a journalist, editor, author, and literary agent. Originally a journalist who owned a newspaper in Manhattan, Perkins has been a literary agent for two decades, with 8 titles on the New York Times best seller list. She was awarded the Outstanding Achievement as an Author Representative from Romantic Times Magazine as well as The Agent of the Year Award from the Romance Writers of America’s NYC chapter. Perkins wrote The Insider’s Guide to Getting an Agent(Writers Digest Books), has edited twenty erotica anthologies and more than 100 erotic novels, as well as published erotica under a pseudonym. She has taught writing and editing as an adjunct professor at N.Y.U.’s Center for Publishing for two decades. She can be reached at Lori@RiverdaleAveBooks.com

Volume Six of Memoirs of a Gigolo – Ollie and I are halfway there

When I started writing Memoirs of a Gigolo, I thought it would be fun. It is fun. I can’t deny that. I’m having wonderful fun writing the adventures of Oliver. But it has been hard. More than that- it has been my trial by fire. I have pushed myself to my limit then pushed a little bit more. In D&D parlance my mana is increasing and every time I raise the bar the pool I can draw from gets deeper.

What have I learned about myself as a writer: 

  • I am capable of producing a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time. 
  • I can work even when I don’t want to work. 
  • I don’t need to be inspired to get my but down and the fingers tapping. 
  • I am better at this than I originally thought I was. I’m not going to say that I thought I was just an okay writer, I’ve always believed I had talent, but now I’m starting to get that people other than my BFF think I’ve got it. 
  • I’m not afraid to put myself out there anymore. 
  • I don’t need a safety net. 

I will say that it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Not the writing. But the emotional and physical drain. I’m writing about 40k words a month. And by a month I mean within about a two week period.

That’s insane.

Just to be clear, 40k words a month is an insane amount of writing. In the ten or so dedicated working days a month I put into each volume I’m producing about 4k words a day. I work eighteen hour days on these days.

This is insane.

Maybe as a one off I could imagine a writer would need to produce like I have been, but I’m doing this month after month. I am running a marathon here and I’m just hitting my stride now I’m halfway through the story.

I can say that the journey (because it is a journey) has taken me to places I never thought I would imagine.

What is different from what I thought would be:

  • Oliver and Olga are far more complex characters than I ever thought they would be.
  • The ending is not what I expected. 
  • The ending is not what I expected – I’m going to repeat that one for effect. The ending has gone to a place I never thought it would. 
  • Each volume is a lot longer than I originally planned. 
  • There are more characters that are far more complex than I thought they would be. 
  • Oliver is far more sympathetic than I thought he would be. 
  • Olga is less sympathetic than I thought she would be. 
  • It’s not as fluffy as I thought it would be. This started out as a bit of fun while I was plugging away on another project and I needed to shift mental gears. The distraction has turned into the focus. I’ll be back to the original project when I’m done with Memoirs.

 What has stayed the same:

  • Twelve Volumes. I need eighteen, but I’m going to do it in twelve.

There are moments when I have considered quitting. But I am not a quitter.

Something unexpected happened when I started to publish Memoirs.

  • It’s popular. I figured my BFF, my sister, my cousins, my friends, and a few random people that came across Memoirs would read it. 
  • I underestimated the number of readers that would grab a handle and hold on during this wild ride. 
  • I underestimated the popularity of the serial format. 
  • I never expected that I would be approached by the industry professionals that have contacted me. 
  • I never thought that Memoirs would be the way to get my name out there. 
  • I never anticipated the vitriolic responses from some reviewers that find Memoirs personally offensive. Crazy stuff.
  • I never imagined how much the experience would force me to grow as a writer.

Moving on and getting back to work. Thank you for sticking with me through the first half. I can only promise that the second half will be just as much of a thrill ride.

One final thing… if you think you know how it ends, you might be wrong.

Love Livia!

Volume Six of Memoirs of a Gigolo – Ollie and I are halfway there

When I started writing Memoirs of a Gigolo, I thought it would be fun. It is fun. I can’t deny that. I’m having wonderful fun writing the adventures of Oliver. But it has been hard. More than that- it has been my trial by fire. I have pushed myself to my limit then pushed a little bit more. In D&D parlance my mana is increasing and every time I raise the bar the pool I can draw from gets deeper.

What have I learned about myself as a writer: 

  • I am capable of producing a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time. 
  • I can work even when I don’t want to work. 
  • I don’t need to be inspired to get my but down and the fingers tapping. 
  • I am better at this than I originally thought I was. I’m not going to say that I thought I was just an okay writer, I’ve always believed I had talent, but now I’m starting to get that people other than my BFF think I’ve got it. 
  • I’m not afraid to put myself out there anymore. 
  • I don’t need a safety net. 

I will say that it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Not the writing. But the emotional and physical drain. I’m writing about 40k words a month. And by a month I mean within about a two week period.

That’s insane.

Just to be clear, 40k words a month is an insane amount of writing. In the ten or so dedicated working days a month I put into each volume I’m producing about 4k words a day. I work eighteen hour days on these days.

This is insane.

Maybe as a one off I could imagine a writer would need to produce like I have been, but I’m doing this month after month. I am running a marathon here and I’m just hitting my stride now I’m halfway through the story.

I can say that the journey (because it is a journey) has taken me to places I never thought I would imagine.

What is different from what I thought would be:

  • Oliver and Olga are far more complex characters than I ever thought they would be.
  • The ending is not what I expected. 
  • The ending is not what I expected – I’m going to repeat that one for effect. The ending has gone to a place I never thought it would. 
  • Each volume is a lot longer than I originally planned. 
  • There are more characters that are far more complex than I thought they would be. 
  • Oliver is far more sympathetic than I thought he would be. 
  • Olga is less sympathetic than I thought she would be. 
  • It’s not as fluffy as I thought it would be. This started out as a bit of fun while I was plugging away on another project and I needed to shift mental gears. The distraction has turned into the focus. I’ll be back to the original project when I’m done with Memoirs.

 What has stayed the same:

  • Twelve Volumes. I need eighteen, but I’m going to do it in twelve.

There are moments when I have considered quitting. But I am not a quitter.

Something unexpected happened when I started to publish Memoirs.

  • It’s popular. I figured my BFF, my sister, my cousins, my friends, and a few random people that came across Memoirs would read it. 
  • I underestimated the number of readers that would grab a handle and hold on during this wild ride. 
  • I underestimated the popularity of the serial format. 
  • I never expected that I would be approached by the industry professionals that have contacted me. 
  • I never thought that Memoirs would be the way to get my name out there. 
  • I never anticipated the vitriolic responses from some reviewers that find Memoirs personally offensive. Crazy stuff.
  • I never imagined how much the experience would force me to grow as a writer.

Moving on and getting back to work. Thank you for sticking with me through the first half. I can only promise that the second half will be just as much of a thrill ride.

One final thing… if you think you know how it ends, you might be wrong.

Love Livia!

What’s Up?

ImageI decided I needed to take a moment, show my blog some attention, and catch up after what was a hectic start of the year.

First off – Sport of Kings was released by Liquid Silver on January 1st.

Second – Volume Four of Memoirs of a Gigolo will be out on February 1st.

A few readers have asked me if there is something else on the horizon. First – thank you. I’d probably be doing this if you weren’t buying my books, but that you keep coming back for more tells me I’m doing something right.

A very very brief glimpse inside of what’s coming up. I have a romance coming out sometime later this spring through TWRP. I have a couple mainstream romances (which are pretty spicy but not erotica) I’m trying to get agented. I have something completely different which I’m working on that will appeal to readers who like mainstream contemporary fantasy. A YA dystopian in which I indulge my love of ancient cultures, mythologies and religions. Finally, after Memoirs I’ll be launching a new serial.

That’s it for the moment. Now I’m back to work for the next couple of days in advance of the launch of Volume Four of Memoirs of a Gigolo.

Fifty Shades of Telling it Like it Is – Meet the Reviewers Part One

Your mother loves your book. Your sister, your aunt, your best friend, and that guy that is desperately trying to get you into bed all think you are the next Hemingway. So you publish your book. Then it gets reviewed.  Someone who doesn’t know you and has no vested interest in your happiness, loves your book. Five whole stars from a stranger! Or, to your utter amazement, someone that neither knows nor loves you,  thinks your seven hundred page tome on the joys of accounting, thinks it stinks.Who are these people and where the heck to they get off not loving your book? Meet the reviewers in the first of a two part interview.

Livia Ellis

  • Question 1 – Who are you people? Why do you like making writers cry? Don’t you know we’re entitled to the sort of fame and glory that comes along naturally when we figure out how to self-publish on the internet?

Cat Alley

  • Cat alley avid reader and big mouth…lol. I am a single mother of a 3-year-old boy; I work full time and read every time I get the chance in between. I don’t think I have made a writer cry, ever… or anyone for that matter… at least not in years. The majorities of the writers I have read for deserve all sorts of fame and glory for their work.

Samantha Truesdale

  • Samantha Truesdale. A mom of 2 boys and a total book nerd. I work part time, and I wish there were more hours in the day so I would have more time to read!

DelSheree Gladden

  • DelSheree Gladden…writer, reviewer, reader of just about everything, mom of two very smart and very silly kiddos, married to the most supportive husband ever, and dental hygiene student. That last one is currently eating up the majority of my life!

PW

  • I’m a mom, former active duty Marine and Executive Assistant.

Livia Ellis

  • Question 2 – How and why did you start doing book reviews? I know from my personal experience, the first few times I wrote book reviews was because I was very angry I spent good money on a really terrible book.

Cat Alley

  • I have been a heavy reader for many, many years. Within the last year, I have made close friends with those who are writers. That is when I learned the importance of writing a review on Amazon. I than joined a couple of groups on Facebook where I could beta read and published read/review. For me, it was a way to get free books and help someone at the same time. After doing that for a while and needing a hobby, I decided to start my own blog with my reviews. I have only been doing it for a few months in a blog, but I have been enjoying getting my thoughts out there for people to read…good or tastefully bad.

Livia Ellis

  • I’ve thought about doing reviews, but I’m worried that as a writer there might be a lot of backlash. As writers do, I’ve spent a lot of time reading what’s out there in my genre. I just have two things to say – It’s a Japanese kimono, not a Japanese Komono and a wench is a woman and a winch is used for lifting heavy items. I fear I would just be too mean. How do you keep it nice?

Cat Alley

  • It is hard; I have a very sarcastic voice even when I am trying to be nice. It takes me time. If I don’t like a book and I know the stars are going to be low, I always try to state why they got the stars they did without giving away anything about the story line, I don’t like spoilers. I have given zero stars before. I have also given three stars, because I didn’t like its contents … even though the story was OK. And if I see a grammar issue, I will point it out, because they have to be big for me to even notice them… so I point them out…
  • Lol… and that is funny…about the wench…

DelSheree Gladden

  • I actually started doing book reviews after reading Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus.” It was such a fantastic book, I had to tell people about it. My review blog started out as just a place for me to talk about books I was reading, then it became a serious effort a few months later when review request started coming in.

Samantha Truesdale

  • I have always loved to read. In elementary school, while other kids were playing on the playground, I was in the corner with a book. In January of this year, I had a baby and am now home all the time. I used reading as a way to fill my time and decided that if I was going to spend so much time reading, I should look into doing reviews. I found that there was not much to it so I created a blog.
    I am really enjoying this new chapter in my life. The way I look at it, authors have given me so much in life just by writing books. This is one way for me to give back to them. I know it can help tremendously!

PW

  • I started because I love to read and the amount of money I was spending on books, I decided to start reviewing when I noticed a request for reviewers from one of the online sites. The big draw for me was the free books. I still spend over $100 a month for books, but it is not close to what it used to be. Another advantage is that I get to read authors I may not have looked at before.

Livia Ellis

  • Question #3 – where do you get your books from? What is your preferred method to acquire a book?

Cat Alley

  • There is a site, eReadrIQ.com. They send me an email daily with free books from Amazon. Other then that, I get them for beta reading or reviewing. I read all my books on my Kindle. I do however have a few authors that I will buy their kindle vs. but also buy a paperback for my personal library.

Samantha Truesdale

  • I get a fair amount of books from Amazon. I would say at least half of the books I receive are in exchange for an honest review. I also receive quite a few from Goodreads first reads giveaways.

DelSheree Gladden

  • I have several small press publishers that regularly send me their new books and put my into touch with the author. I really like this setup because I know the quality of the publishers.

PW

  • I too subscribe for the email re free books from Amazon. Of course there are free books I review, but I have purchased a few. There are a few authors I buy instead of review since I email back and forth with them sometimes. I also buy books at thrift stores, online, and at B&N. The book club I belong to also has a book exchange.

Livia Ellis

  • Question #4 – do you have a preference? Is there anything on your “I will not read this, not even if the paid me” list?

Cat Alley

  • Anything scary or historical I won’t read. Other than that, I like a synopsis of the book. I have learned in this process to ask for those as I have gotten books before that I have not liked and had I had the synopsis, I would have known that from the beginning.

Samantha Truesdale

  • I will read almost anything. I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi or history, but I have still read them.

DelSheree Gladden

  • My first love is YA. I’ll read just about any subgenre of YA, but I am a pretty eclectic reader. The only things I will NOT read are erotics, self-help, and political books.

PW

  • I don’t read a lot of historical unless I really like the blurb, I prefer not to review YA though I do read a few books. I am a fairly eclectic reader with a bent toward erotica, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Livia Ellis

  • Question #5 – I’m guessing you are asked to read/review more books than you could ever get through. What is the best approach a writer can use when asking you to read/review their book?

PW

  • I have reviewed a few books for a couple of authors I am friendly with, but I don’t do it often. Two of the three sites I review for has lists that the reviewers can choose from and the other will send a book depending on the number they get, though a couple of times I had to request a different book, as I had reviewed for another site. One of the sites though, we can follow the entire series if we want, which sometimes gets a small backlog if a lot come in at once. One site allows authors to request a specific reviewer if they want to. I have also been asked to review a couple of print books through these sites as well. One thing an author needs to understand when asking me to review a book is that I will give an honest assessment of what I think regardless of my relationship with them.

Cat Alley

  • I am still fairly new at this so I don’t have a long list of people I read for nor am I in that many groups to obtain a large amount of books. So I tend to have free time for my own interests in reading. When someone approaches me for the first time I usually want to know how they found me, how much they write and what they write. Then I decide if I want to read for them. Usually once, I read for someone, I get repeat performances…

DelSheree Gladden

  • Be thorough. I’m much more likely to be interested in a book if they send me a summary of the book and a little info about themselves. If all I get is a title, and I have to go look it up on Amazon to see what the book is about, I’m much less likely to review. I’m incredibly busy with school and family that I don’t always have time to do that. Plus, my blog is booked six months out, so I’m being very selective lately.

Livia Ellis

  • Question #6 – What isn’t going to work? What advice would you give to an author that wants a review?

Cat Alley

  • Don’t make the reader pay for the book, if you are working with a new reader and you have a series and on book 2, offer the first book so the reviewer can get caught up. (I personally will turn away an offer if it is in the middle of a series without reading the others), and be nice.. no one is perfect. Ask a lot of questions from the reviewer about your book. That way if they did not like it, you can find out why, if it is truly something about your book, or if that person just doesn’t like “those kind” of books. Some people may not explain why they do not like a book. If you are looking for a beta reader, once they are done reading, schedule some face-to-face time with them… so you can get a true feeling of what they thought about your book. It is always good to have 3-5 beta readers you trust. (I personally like to beta read more then read/reviewing)

Samantha Truesdale

  • Don’t pay for reviews! Know that you don’t have to give away swag or anything to get reviews, although a copy of the book in exchange for a review is nice. There are plenty of readers out there that want to review your book just to do it. Be prepared because there is inevitably going to be someone that doesn’t give you that great of a review. It doesn’t mean that your book is a flop, it just means someone didn’t understand it like you meant them to.

DelSheree Gladden

  • Offering a free book in exchange for a review is expected, at least for me. The only books I buy are when it’s an author I know personally and want to support. As far as advice to authors, offer a giveaway along with a review. This is a great way to increase exposure and get more comments.

PW

  • I agree with Cat about series books. Reviewers like me expect the free book but that is all. Samantha is right about payment, I feel that puts the reviewer in a conflict especially if they don’t like the book. One rule of thumb, is always give constructive comments in that case. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes authors will do giveaways on blogs, then it is always nice if the person winning does a review as well.

Cat Alley

  • Thank you PW. I agree with all you said. Me personally I know a lot of authors that do contests and give a ways. It is a great way to get people involved. I personally do not participate as I don’t want to take the chance of getting the book away from someone who has not read it and who can become a potential fan. But that is a personal preference.