Sometimes it’s not just all about love. Sometimes it’s also about the animal magnetism that draws you in, a soul-searing tempest, a maelstrom of temptation that no matter how hard you try to resist it, you simply can’t… So what happens when two very independent, strong-willed people, who happen to be this undeniably and explosively attracted to one another, are in constant competition to be the best? War!

Cheryl Oliver is a young, sexy woman of color, who’s single and definitely ready to mingle as she goes undercover to write an exposé on pick up artists. She starts her story by scoping out Vietnamese-American entrepreneur Joseph Vu, who’s so well versed in the fine art of PUA, that he trains others on his “game.” Joe V.’s personal brand of pick up is the stuff of legends and if Cheryl isn’t careful, she could find herself swept right up by the storm of sexual tension brewing between the two of them. As her story’s deadline draws ever nearer, will she be able to play the game better and beat the player himself in their complicated engagement of matching wits?

Above is the synopsis for the book I’m currently writing, “The Chocolate Chronicles Volume 3: Chocolate Rau Câu – PUA War Games!” As I’ve been undergoing the process of plot creation and character development for my latest book, I’ve been “field testing” some of the pick up artist techniques and tips that I’ve been researching. The truly amazing thing to me is just how effective some of this advice is.

What it all boils down to is that some people have the game honed to both an art as well as a science. From neurolinguistic programming (using key words to have the opposite sex associate specific feelings with you in their brains), to creating and maintaining a sense of mystery. To memorizing routines on how to approach the opposite sex, to teaching seminars, TV shows, books and articles, I have been simply amazed. There’s such a plethora of reference material available on the subjects of attraction, seduction and basically “training” or manipulating people to do whatever you want, if you know how to utilize the correct strategies that I find it simply fascinating and incredible. Okay, and maybe also a bit appalling.

However, in the general scheme of things, some people see the whole basis of lust and the dating and mating process as a game. Fundamentally, if you remove the morality component (i.e. isn’t this exploitation) from this scenario and strip the reasons for the existence of lust and thus the dating and mating “game” down to the bare essentials, there are physiological motives for both genders to have sex, such as procreation and satisfying or “scratching” biological urges or “itches.” Yet there are also psychological factors such as ego stroking and self-esteem boosting that goes along with the whole courtship process too. Interestingly and perhaps ironically, a lot of the same principles apply whether you’re seeking a one-night stand or a life-long commitment.

So the whole song and dance interactions that men and women go through as we game each other on a myriad of different levels isn’t without merit. While we sometimes as women have been socialized to want to be wined, dined and romanced with some flawed expectation of a happily ever after in the long run, men have a different and usually more pragmatic and almost always much more short term approach to sex instead. It’s much more separated as a physical act for them, with emotions not nearly as tied to it.

Then when you put two people together who are both trying to get what they want from the other person, but each has two completely different set of expectations, desires and reasons for initiating and engaging in the whole dating/mating deal, what we often end up with in the final analysis is a big ass mess. Especially when people don’t tell the truth upfront about their real intensions, either because they were intending to be deceitful, or haven’t spent enough time reflecting and truly understanding their own motives and what drives them, or they simply are indecisive, and don’t really know what they want. Indeed, as I watch the rules of engagement play out between people who are physically attracted to one another, I often times think that they’re using the same words, and still managing to speak two completely different languages.

Cheryl and Joe are navigating through those very murky waters now in the latest installment of The Chocolate Chronicles, as they’re playing with each other, each with different ulterior motives. Yet, while I personally think all the head games that men and women play with each other are exhausting, it definitely makes for some exciting suspense and lust-filled moments both in real life as well as in fictional storytelling. 😉

Anyway, here’s to happy reading and a wonderful week ahead.



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