Archive for November, 2015

korey-daneHello and happy Monday!

Be it a Cyber Monday, or a Music Monday, I hope you have a fabulous day!  We’re only one day away from the last month of 2015!  Have you made your Christmas plans yet, prepared all the gifts and wrote all the greeting cards?  I am not there yet, but almost!

Today I’m listening to Korey Dane’s version of Fade Into You by Mazy Star.  I love the original, and I love Korey’s vision of it as well.

I hope you enjoy it!  Have a fabulous Monday,

Madison Lake

The History of Sex- Part 182 – The King of Cool

Posted on: November 26th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

Steve McQueen- the iconic motorcycle-racing cigarette-smoking costar-bedding King of Cool.  Hollywood’s first real crossover star, he started on TV and then charmed his way onto the big screen, those piercing blue eyes certainly couldn’t have hurt.  But how did a man who came from nothinsteveg win over the hearts and souls of the American public?  It certainly wasn’t luck, it was dogged hard work and constant reinvention, with more than his fair share of romance along the way.

Born in 1930 to a teen prostitute and a stunt pilot, young Steve McQueen bounced around between his family’s homes.  At 14 while living with his mother in LA for a stint, McQueen was repeatedly beaten badly by her new husband.  These violent incidents eventually landed him in The Boys Republic, a boarding home for delinquent boys in Chino Hills California.   It was here that his life finally gained structure and McQueen learned how to follow the rules in order to get ahead.  Decades later on movie sets handlers were shocked at his diva-esque demands for hundreds of jeans, t-shirts and razors.  Only later did they find out that Steve was donating them all back to the Boys Republic.  When he visited the school after striking it rich in Hollywood his first wife Neile would ask him “Why are you wearing a fancy suit to visit these poor boys?”  Steve told her that he wanted to inspire them and show them their lives had possibility.   steve + neile

Without getting into too much detail of his rise to fame, McQueen worked odd jobs including towel boy at a brothel and the Military.  In 1952 he started studying acting in New York city as a way to meet girls and boy did that work out for him!  Shortly after completing a few projects in the Big Apple he set his sights on Hollywood and the small screen. 

His TV ventures were mildly successful and it was then that he met his first wife the successful exotic beauty, dancer and actress Neile Adams.  They married a mere four months after meeting and stayed together for sixteen years, despite all his open philandering and drug use.  One haunting story of McQueen’s extramarital affairs was that of a dinner party that he missed because his date (not his wife) insisted they stay in and get naked instead.  The infamous dinner party was in 1969 at the home of Sharon Tate and none of the guests made it out alive due to the horrible Manson Family massacre that interrupted the evening. 

Steve and Neile had two children whom McQueen was devoted to despite his busy work schedule.  In 1972 after discovering that his wife had embarked on an extramarital affair of her own (despite turning the other cheek at his dozens of affairs) the celebrity couple split.  steve ali kiss

McQueen’s next romance came while filming the Getaway in 1972.  The star insisted that the Producer, Robert Evans, cast his wife Ali McGraw, the statuesque star of Love Story.  McGraw showed up on set totally out of her league- a self proclaimed “repressed New England non-actor”.  But the minute she met McQueen she was a goner, they attraction was visceral and undeniable.  She literally gave up her marriage and her career for him.  They were married for 5 tumultuous years which reportedly ended in her screaming “I WANT A DIVORCE!!!” on a car ride with Steve’s son in the backseat.   In true McQueen fashion, he had already moved on to the young model Barbara Minty whom he’d spotted in a Club Med ad and set up an “interview” with at the Beverly Wilshire hotel, they were married shortly after his second divorce was finalized. 

By this time in eyesthe late 70s, McQueen had retreated from Hollywood, grown his hair and beard long, moved to the country and almost stopped making films entirely.  Friends and family believe that he finally seemed at peace living this simplified life, away from the spotlight.  Unfortunately, it didn’t last long as he was soon fatally diagnosed with cancer due to asbestos exposure during his stint in the military. 

The man, the icon, the sex symbol sadly died at age 50 after saying goodbye to each of his wives one by one.  Steve McQueen’s legend lives on through his films, his beautiful family members and those piercing blue eyes.

Thank You!

Thanksgiving is approaching and while I try to express my thankfulness and gratitude to people around me as often as possible, here are some of the top reasons I’m grateful for being a (romance novels) writer.

  1. I am Thankful for having a tool to channel all my passion and imagination.
  2. I am Thankful because I get to live a thousand lives through the characters in my books. And because my readers get to live these lives as well.
  3. I am Thankful because I am never alone – there is always an imaginary friend, a character from my book, who wants to have a conversation with me.
  4. I am Thankful because I can work all day in my pyjamas.
  5. I am Thankful because I can write from an office, terrace, beach or a snowed-in mountain.
  6. I am Thankful for being a romance novel writer because everyone thinks that the love scenes in my books are inspired my rich love life. Maybe they are, maybe they are not. 😉
  7. I am Thankful for chilled wine and guacamole, which are always a great conversation starter.
  8. I am Thankful for my dog Pippa. Even though I was the one who rescued her from the shelter, she is the one who daily rescues me with refreshing walks and warm cuddles.
  9. I am Thankful for my honest readers.  Their feedback is always invaluable and appreciated.
  10. I am Thankful for love, laughter, music, family, friends, writing community and safety – I am thankful for all the things we all often take for granted.


In the end, I don’t want to forget; as somebody once said:

“Today, I’m thankful that I’m not a turkey.”


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Good morning my friends!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  This morning I took my dog Pippa for a long beach walk (not a bad start for Monday, right?), and now she’s having a nap, and I’ve made me a latte, and I’m ready for my writing hour(s).

On my speakers today are El Vy, I love their new album Return to the Moon, and the song below, Silent Ivy Hotel, is just one of my favorites.

What’s your new favorite song? I’d love if you’d share it with me!

Happy Monday and a wonderful week,

The History of Sex – Part 181 – Let’s Twist Again

Posted on: November 19th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

In this week’s History of Sex column we are keeping it light and fun with one of America’s cultural phenomenons, the game of Twister. 

Submitted for patent in 1966 by Charles F. Foley and Neil Rabens this notoriously simple game involves a spin wheel, a mat with coloured circles and one’s own body parts.  1966_Twister_Cover

Originally thought to be called “Pretzel” it was the first family game that used people as the game pieces.  But when it was first released that same year the Sears Roebuck department store refused to carry or market the Milton-Bradley game due to it’s risqué nature and underlying sexual themes.  Those opposed to the game labelled it “sex in a box” and despite the public controversy, it’s sales started off quite low. 

Then one night in May 1966 Johnny Carson invited his guest, the sultry Eva Gabor, to play a round of the new game with him.  Suddenly Eva and Johnny were on the floor their “gamepieces” all twisted up on top of each other and the crowd went wild.  The next day, people lined up around the block to purchase the game and thanks to this elaborate PR stunt, Milton-Bradley sold over 3 million  copies of Twister in it’s first year on the market. 

Like the hula-hoop the phenomenon spiked and then plateaued, never really having a decade as amazing as their first.  But the game was so cheap to make and simple for all ages to play that it has never disappeared.  Actually, in the past 12 years, since Hasbro toys took over Milton-Bradley, Twister has been having a bit of a comeback with a variety of spin-off games including “Twister Dance” promoted by modern pop star and sex icon Britney Spears.carson twister

The once scandalous game has been featured in all kinds of songs, TV shows, and movies throughout the decades.  Bill & Ted famously defeat Death at Twister in order to be set free from Hell on their (not so excellent or popular) Bogus Journey.

Whether at a house party, a stadium filled with colourful mats or on a celebrity talk show, Twister is a guaranteed ice breaker with any group.  By using your bodies as game pieces and forcing them into compromising positions everyone has a chance for action when they play sex in a box.