BUY: Lighthouse

The long-awaited sequel to The Heart Wants What It Wants has finally hit the digital shelves!

I’m very excited to release the sequel to my first novel entitled Lighthouse, featuring more antics from Devlin Blackthorn and Jase Morgan. Not to spoil the the ending of the first novel, but the sequel explores Devlin’s unique search for love.

Once again by the delicate hand of Vivienne Pintado.

For all vendors of the digital copy of the novel, you can find at this one universal link.

Purchase Lighthouse by Noah Malone

Happy reading!

For Spotify users, please enjoy this unofficial playlist while reading the book. It will definitely set the tone.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/1259455365/playlist/2j1nWTs3Rvw5d20r0E9dya

– by Noah La’ulu

The Problem of Being a Princess Traveller

Three and a half stars is my absolute minimum.

If you can’t tell by the travel part of Widow’s Lure, I absolutely love to travel. Seeing new places, meeting new people, trying new things… it’s all such an incredible experience. But so far, as a 24-year-old man, I have only been able to visit four countries (five if you include Australia).

But if I’m going to be honest, my country count probably won’t increase so much because I am a self-confessed Princess. And that really hinders my opportunities of travel for several different reasons.

Hanging a spreadie on top of the Rockefeller Center like a Princess.

If you want proof, just ask the people I went on my two Contikis tours with. In both End of Tour Contiki Awards, I won the Princess award. By a landslide.

Young Australians, including many of my friends, can pick up and go and travel across Europe and South America and stay overseas for months or even years. How do they do it? They stay in hostels, volunteer at organizations looking for young workers, and visit less-fortunate countries where the Aussie dollar has more value over there. I can honestly say that I am comfortable doing none of the above.

If you haven’t gathered by now, I have expensive a very specific taste in life, and my taste in life comes at a very high cost. For starters, I cannot stay at a hostel. Like point blank refuse will not do ever don’t even think about it. I don’t care how cheap the accommodation is there, why on earth would I want to share a bathroom with people I don’t know when I could have a bathroom to myself. In saying that, I can’t even stay at motels or hotels that are less than three and a half stars. I was once booked in a two star hotel in Los Angeles, and it was that traumatic that I don’t even want to discuss the finer details of it. Needless to say, I am alive and well. Also, a couple of the hotels I stayed at on Contiki had more than one floor, and no elevator. Like. I just can’t.

My style of travelling also means I can’t do it as much as other young people do. The other style of traveller can find cheap plane tickets, stay in Europe for six to nine months, live at a hostel or volunteer at an organization that offers food and accommodation, and Bobsuruncle. It’s so cheap that they could probably go back to Europe in another month or so. Meanwhile, I get flights, stay in hotels everywhere I go, eat out for every meal, and can essentially only afford to travel for five or six weeks. And that’s me done for about a year or two. My style of travelling is expensive and doesn’t last as long, but at least I am comfortable with it. I wish I could travel as long as the hostel travellers, I really do, but contradictory to what some may believe, I fund my own lifestyle. I don’t have handouts from the Bank of Daddy, and I am not swimming in inheritance money.

While I am interested in experiencing different cultures, I can’t see myself visiting the less than fortunate countries. I would like to think I am a decent person, and would love to volunteer for charity organizations in third-world countries that would need help, but the small problem of “I would have to stay there in those poor living conditions” is a red light for me. And I can’t do it. I need a bed, a roof over my head, some clean stylish clothes, and a nice meal on a dinner plate with a fork and a knife. If that makes me a snob, then so be it. I am a snob.

Culture shock for me was going to Subway in Texas and finding out that they didn’t have veggie patties. Imagine this Princess going to a country like Bangladesh… the culture shock would be so overwhelming that I may pass out. Admittedly, I will only ever feel comfortable visiting other westernised countries, like England, New Zealand, Ireland and Wales.

There will be some avid travellers out there who could potentially read this and think that I am a piece of shit for pretty much saying I am too good to visit certain countries, but I don’t regret saying any of this. It’s the fascination of humans; every human is raised differently, and therefore grows up differently. My parents raised me to appreciate the finer things in life, which means that I am too precious to stay in a motel with a single bed and a kitchenette. You are free to live your volunteering in a third-world country, but it isn’t for me, as much as I would like it to be.

Now, something that frugal travellers and Princesses alike can appreciate. Contiki. I cannot recommend it enough, even if some of the hotels don’t have elevators, and you’re stuck standing there waiting for someone to carry your suitcase up the flight of stairs because you just don’t do that kind of thing. If you’re looking for a unique kind of travel experience, and an opportunity to meet some new people, visit the Contiki website and book through your travel agent immediately.

– by Noah La’ulu

Wrestling Journal Entry #4

Hair-Flipping DDTs when you don’t have long hair…

After going through the basics of chain wrestling, we had more exciting things coming up, like takedowns and the exciting high impact moves. I remember the first time I properly executed a single leg takedown, I gasped and dramatically threw my hands up to my mouth because I genuinely thought I hurt my fellow trainee. Leigh’s exact words were “You were doing well until that.” Other takedowns learned included an arm drag, a side headlock takedown, and a snapmare. I am quite the fan of a snapmare.

After going through some takedown revision, we were ready to learn some awesome high impact moves. This was the week I was most excited for. Some of the moves taught to us include a snap suplex, a scoop slam, a DDT, a standing suplex, and a hip toss. Of all of them, I was most looking forward to the DDT. As I performed my first ever DDT, my leg unwillingly kicked out and I delivered the move safely. Coming up from it, someone made a comment about how “my DDT looked like Maryse’s”, to which I followed up with “I’ll do a proper Maryse DDT next time”.

And I did. Complete with dramatic hair flip and hand gesture. I’m mildly disappointed that I wasn’t told that it was a keeper, but should I need a quick move to hit in the middle of a match, I am going to pull out my hair-flipping DDT like it’s going out of fashion.

Inspiration

SABLE AT THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH 2004

Surprise, surprise. More references to Sable.

At the mere idea that I could be a professional wrestler, my mind ran rampant with ideas for wrestling gear. I imagine that a character like mine wouldn’t wear the standard trunks, kickpads and boots, so I had to think out of the box to get my character through simply through an outfit.

Enter the Queen of everything, Sable. At the Great American Bash in 2004, Sable wrestled Torrie Wilson in what I think to be an instant classic, but that’s because I’m extremely bias. Here, Sable wore what I think to be the most iconic wrestling gear by any female wrestler in the history of any company. What could only be described as “a catsuit with a fur hood”, Sable donned a red and black long sleeve bodysuit with shorts that went up her butt, that had a large hood attached to it.

To make it better, the Queen walked out with the hood up, strutting with a confidence only she had, and then took the hood down whilst sexy dancing. Like come on. How can you top that? Soz not soz Torrie.

I had to have something like this iconic piece of gear. Enter Paradise Gone, a clothing label that I was going to commission into making me something equally as iconic.

My first APWG show and the merge into the main class…

Prior to starting at APWG, I had never been to an indy wrestling show before, so I had no idea what to expect. During my training, I was unable to make the first show I would’ve helped out at due to pole dancing commitments, but I was going to make sure I could attend the second one.

Since this business is all about paying dues and earning respect among those who have been there longer than you, us rookies helped load the ring into the truck, take the ring down at the venue, set the ring up, and also help out in any way we could during the day. The rookies also got to train running the ropes and taking the corners, meanwhile all I could think of was how this was my first time in a wrestling ring.

I know Kelly Kelly despised running the ropes so I was pretty scared to take it, knowing that ring ropes are basically wire covered in tape. And I understand why she hates it. Because they hurt. A lot.

As the show was beginning to start, I was in charge of social media (Instagram, more specifically) and security. Experiencing my first indy wrestling show as actually amazing. I enjoyed every second of it, made all the more better by the fact that I knew the people on the show. And, more than anything, it made me hungrier to get in the ring and perform in front of friends, family and fans.

My time in the introductory course was up, and it was time for the rookies to merge into the main class to learn some more and train with the guys who have been around longer. I was disappointed to see that of the 12 people that started with me, only me and one other guy Dylan hung around consistently. But the show must go on, and that meant more time with the more experienced guys, and more attention from Leigh and Diego.

One day at training, Diego made me do something I had feared doing: a top rope move. I can hang upside down on a pole with one leg five metres in the air and feel completely safe and secure, but leaping off the top turnbuckle which would barely be 1.5m off the canvas terrified me. We built a stack, did a crossbody onto a training partner, and then the stack would get higher and higher. I was in over my head, but the support of the wrestlers I trained with got me through it, and I was able to deliver convincing crossbodies, each from different heights.

– by Nikki

Wrestling Journal Entry #3

Bumps and Rolls and Wrist Locks, Oh My…

We were told on week one that week two (bumps week) would be the hardest training session of our wrestling careers. And to buy knee pads and also elbow pads if you felt the need. Like how else am I meant to take that besides “I AM GOING TO DIE”. After Bree and I went on a trip around the world (or what felt like it anyway), we finally found knee pads the day before. Which meant I was ready to take on bumps week.

Now that I look back at it, I shouldn’t have been so scared of taking bumps. In fact, I quite enjoy taking bumps if I’m going to be honest. But as I braced myself for bumps week, I was terrified. I was in on my own head, anxious, scared, and didn’t want to do it. But I did it. Back bumps, front bumps, flip bumps, handstand bumps, jumping back bumps, the lot. It hurt like hell. But the day after felt like I had been hit by a truck.

In the first half of my introductory course, we learned rolls – front roll, dive roll, back roll, left shoulder roll, right shoulder roll – and revised them a lot. We also learned basic transition holds from a lock up, including wrist lock, side headlock, hammer lock, rear waist lock, including how to reverse them.

One thing that I notice, and that will forever be a thing, is angles. As a wrestling fan, I thought you could just slap on a headlock and Bobsuruncle. But when you’re actually wrestling, you need to be wary of angles in the ring, and also the placement of feet, or footwork. Which makes sense, really. Why would you put someone in a wrist lock near the ropes and face the corner when you could do it in the middle of the ring and face the audience?

Inspiration

MY PARENTS

Growing up, I was raised in believing I could do and be anything I wanted. This is because my parents raised me well. They have never pushed me to something I didn’t want to do – well, besides play spot when I was clearly a dancer, but I have forgiven them for that – and they have been proud of everything I do and excel at.

When I first made the decision to start wrestling, I withheld that piece of information from them, fearing that they would say I was “wasting my time” or “you could be doing something better with your time, like pursuing journalism”. I think it was a week or two after my first day at APWG that I told them, and their reaction could honestly be summed up in two words: “Oh okay”.

Needless to say, I shouldn’t have doubted their unwavering support of me in everything I do. I can pursue this dream of mine because of them, and I thank them every day for allowing me to do what I love.

The day I realised I can’t punch to save my life…

After some bumps, rolls and chain wrestling revision, we began to learn new exciting things, like splashes and strikes. Some of the splashes we learned included a standard jumping splash, a senton (or for Dylan, the Senton of Death), elbow drops, leg drops, and elbow drops to the leg.

It’s now that I will mention what a keeper is. When Leigh or Diego or any experienced wrestler tells me that a certain move is a keeper, that means I did it well to the point that I need to keep it and add it to my move list. My first keeper was a leg drop, which was initially not something I had in mind of adding to my moveset, but if Leigh thinks it’s a keeper, then I will keep it.

Strikes week is easily described as the second worst day of training in a wrestler’s career. Basically, you pair off, and hit each other with different strikes until it’s time for the next one. Also we had Diego and Drew Fulton walk around and give everyone a strike so we could get used to it. The strikes learned were punches to face, chops, forearm smashes to the head, clubs to the back, kicks to the leg and the shoulder, boots to the face/shoulder, clotheslines, back elbows, and dropkicks. While none of them were keepers, I had good feedback stating that I had big body language, which would help with my wrestling down the track.

Also, I can’t punch. Diego’s exact words were “Throw a punch, Nikki!” to which my response was “I can’t!” Forearms? I’m good with. Clotheslines? Relatively decent. Punches to the face? Would rather die.

– by Nikki

Keepers added to moveset: Leg drop