Saturday, December 31, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

As we say goodbye to 2011, I decided to share a faux memorial that my father, Ken Johnson wrote after reading the famous chimp Cheetah recently passed away. My father said he thought the story on Cheetah's passing may be a hoax or not accurate but decided to pay tribute anyway.

Some who know me well, know my cracked sense of humor. Below is a sample of my father's humor and my mother Ann Werner, well, she writes thrillers about serial killers and a career criminal who pickles his toenails and eats them. It's no wonder I find humor in odd places.

Happy New Year!!

Hollywood is in mourning today as another one of it's own passes on. Cheetah the Chimpanzee, 80, died peacefully at Cedars Sinai Medical Center after choking on a banana. His long time friend and agent Cecil the ferret said, "The primate community lost someone special today, no animal star could throw his own feces as far as he could." Cheetah is survived by his 623rd wife LuLu, who currently tests vaccines for the CDC. She will speak through her attorney, a rat of no fixed address who has not been found. 

Among Cheetah's memorable films was "Bed Time For Bonzo" with Ronald Reagan, Shakespeare's "Richard The Third" and a short , "Coming Home" co-starring himself masturbating. It won an honorable mention from "SWP"(sex without partners) in 1978.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Excerpts from CRAZY - A Thriller by Ann Werner

ARK Stories will soon be releasing CRAZY.

It's a book about a serial killer---with a twist. You haven't seen this story before.

Look for it on Amazon (paperback and kindle) in May 2012.

Upon it's release,  a Kindle version will be FREE on Amazon for ONE DAY ONLY!!!!

Stay tuned.......


Emily Simonson is a successful chef, store owner and has an eatery on the trendy side of West Los Angeles.
She is six feet tall, blonde and after giving up a career in acting, found her bliss writing cookbooks and running her two related businesses. She has a problem though. Someone out there doesn't like her. Someone out there is looking to make her life a living hell...for the time Emily has left on this earth.

Here is a glimpse into the next ARK Stories release:

         The Guardian was talking again. It had been a long time since he had had anything to say but now he was back. The Guardian had always been the means to control the world, because the Guardian knew. He knew everything, things that were hidden from others. The Guardian knew when parents and siblings lied. Knew when teachers and employers were plotting behind your back. Whenever this happened, the Guardian stepped in with a warning and a plan of action. And now the Guardian was back. 
            Nobody else knew about the Guardian. He was private, a voice meant only for deserving ears. This had been made plain. To reveal his existence would be the ultimate betrayal and so he was kept secret. As long as he was secret, the protection would continue. The protection and the insights and the solutions. 
            It was hard to remember when the Guardian had first appeared. It was almost like he’d always been there: hovering, protecting, sympathizing when no one else cared. Now the Guardian was a part of everyday life again. He’d gone away for a while, chased by the medication that had made life so unbearable, so bland. It was a relief to have him back. Especially now, when that bitch was everywhere.
            “Have you been keeping up with your lessons?” The voice of the Guardian, soothing and welcome, a reminder of things to remember for self-preservation.
            “Yes. I’ve taken karate, judo and kickboxing, as well as firearms training.
            “Good. Such skills can come in handy in times such as these.”
            “What else can I do? How else can I defend myself?”
            “There is nothing right now. That woman.... That bitch is out to get you. You know that, don’t you?”
            Head bowed, eyed closed tight against tears that would indicate weakness. A whispered answer, “Yes.”
            “There is no need to fear. She is a weak creature. You are strong. She feels a sense of false security because she spends her days surrounded by people. But we know her weaknesses and her vulnerabilities. We know where she lives.” Silence now as the import of that last statement is allowed to settle in. “I liked what you did with the note and the phone call.”
            A feeling of pride swells from within, for this was an original idea, not formulated and suggested by the Guardian. A smile. “Thank you. I thought it rather clever myself.”
            “Don’t get too cocky!” The Guardian was never one to appreciate self-aggrandizement.
            Then, in a more conciliatory tone,  “But it was rather clever. However, not nearly severe enough. She’s always envied you, you know. And now she’s out to show you that she’s better than you could ever be. But we both know she’s wrong, don’t we?”
            A nod of the head, no words are needed to answer, for the answer is clear. 
            “But it is annoying, is it not, that she gets all this attention? Especially since she’s so unworthy. You should be the one on television. The one being interviewed in the Times. You’ve got more talent in your toenail than that bitch has in her entire body.”
            Beaming, basking in the adulation that is so damned deserved and never forthcoming from those who should bow down and kiss the earth blessed by the touch of such talent.  “She probably fucked the producer of the show. Probably sucked the interviewer.” Warming now to the subject.
            “And that stupid twit Cassandra trying to put her together with that oh-so-pretty-co-host. What in the hell would he see in her anyway? She’s so tall. Looks like a giraffe!”
            Laughing now, at the thought of Emily Simonson with large orange and brown spots all over her big, ugly self.
            “I think she should pay. How about you?”
            “Oh yes. What shall we do?”
            “Oh, we’ll think of something.”

            It was in a 9 x 12 brown clasp envelope. When Emily pulled it from the tight slot of her mailbox, she hardly noticed it, thinking it was just another piece of junk mail. But then she saw the carefully printed address. In pencil. With no return address.  
            She held it in her hands, remembering the first envelope and then that phone message. Almost without thinking, she checked to see if there were any suspicious bulges or too much tape or anything out of the ordinary, remembering stories seen on the news about letter bombs. There was nothing. It was a perfectly ordinary envelope. Except for that printing.
            She stood there, motionless, in front of the bank of mailboxes, staring at it. All of her other mail slipped unnoticed to the ground. Her stomach clenched into a knot and a ripple of foreboding crawled up her spine, raising the fine hairs on the back of her neck
            A car turned into the driveway, jarring Emily out of her trance. Quickly she gathered up her dropped mail and went back along the walk to her apartment. Inside, she threw the other mail on the small table next to the front door, then turned her attention back to the brown envelope. She didn’t want to open it but she had to know what was inside. Again she found herself checking if it contained some sort of harmful device but all that she’d been able to remember from the news stories she’d seen told her this wasn’t a bomb. Still, there remained an irrational fear. 
            She took it into the kitchen and laid it on the counter as she searched the drawers for a pair of tongs and a long knife. She held the envelope in place on the counter with the tongs and slit the flap with the knife. Nothing happened. She inserted the knife into the envelope and held it in place as she opened it with the tongs. From inside she withdrew what looked to be a piece of folded newspaper. Satisfied now that she wasn’t handling an explosive device, Emily put down the knife and tongs and unfolded it.
            It was the cover of the Calendar section from the Times. The one where they’d done the story on her and the Kitchen Witch. Staring back at her was a picture of herself, the name of the restaurant captioned beneath her. Only the person who’d sent this had taped a B over the W in witch. Around her neck a noose had been drawn and a red tongue was painted onto her mouth, hanging out in a cartoon parody of a person strangling. On the front of her blouse a bull's eye had been drawn over her heart and in the center was a dagger, thrust up to the hilt, the blade buried deep. At the bottom of the page was a neatly printed message. “Hey, Kitchen Bitch. I’m watching you!” She went to the phone and dialed the West L.A. Police Station with trembling fingers.           

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Virgin Diaries & The Adult Virgin

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Anthony Tarquinto,  and he shared what it feels like to be a 42 year-old male virgin. Anthony read my book The Virgin Diaries and expressed gratitude that someone wrote a book for him. It was a wonderful thing to hear! I wanted this book to be helpful and informative to virgins because people who've never had sex, have questions about it. I did. The Virgin Diaries has the answers to what it feels like the first time, for any virgin of any age.

TLC aired it's controversial new show The Virgin Diaries (no relation to my book) on December 4, 2011.
Hype about the "first kiss" of a couple who just married was all over Twitter. From the tweets and comments I saw, TLC is being accused of exploiting virgins.

I watched the show. I personally do not believe TLC was exploiting anyone. They followed the lives of a group of adults who have chosen to either "reclaim their virginity" or wait until marriage to become sexually active. It is an odd thing in modern day society to be in your 30's and still be a virgin. Whether you think these folks are to be revered or ridiculed is not the point. Abstinence is their personal choice and TLC just captured a glimpse into their lives.

One thing that struck me is the fear and emotion displayed by the bride talking with a friend about her wedding night. As an adult who's never had sex, the expectation was extreme. She specifically stated that she didn't know what to expect and it was then I then shouted to the television "HELLOOOOO!!! I CREATED A BOOK FOR YOU!"

The older you are and the longer you wait to have sex puts more and more pressure on what it will and should be like. After consummating their marriage, The groom stated it wasn't what he was expecting and that it wasn't like the movies. The bride said it was painful. Well, this is no surprise to me. A.) I am not a virgin so I have real life experience here and B.) There's more than one story in The Virgin Diaries where the author states how the media glamorizes first time sex and how their first time was nothing like what they've seen portrayed in TV and film.

When I came up with the idea to collect stories of what it felt like to have first time sex, I focused more on targeting teens. Anthony Tarquinto and TLC opened my eyes to the fact that there are plenty of adults who have yet to take the leap and they have their own specific set of questions, fears and expectations. Perhaps the prolonged build-up of anticipation creates a more urgent sense of curiosity?

When Anthony thanked my mother and me for making The Virgin Diaries, it really made me think about who can benefit by reading 72 people's accounts of what it felt like, both emotionally as well as physically to go all the way. TLC's show convinced me that those who choose abstinence, for whatever reason, would like to be able to utilize the information I've collected.

Nothing compares to first-hand experience but to fill the gap while waiting, The Virgin Diaries promises to help answer whatever questions may arise. Of the 72 men and women who shared their story, a good portion were 20 and older before they lost their virginity.

Watch a Youtube of an animated avatar reciting a story from the book: VIDEO
***As a result of the TLC premiere, the video has gotten over 8000 hits since 11/29/11.

The Virgin Diaries is avaiblable for purchase on Paperback and eBook.
See more information on