Ready, Set, Action!


Ex-porn star and cutthroat businesswoman Julia Giovanni is intent on building her adult film company into a financial gold mine. Despite the usual hazards that plague most actors in the porn business, Julia is still fiercely protective of her girls, her projects, and herself. But even she knows she is fighting an uphill battle against the rampant drug abuse that threatens every aspect of their lives.

Behind the scenes at Giovanni Films, Julia's husband, Boyd, enjoys the lavish ...

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Ex-porn star and cutthroat businesswoman Julia Giovanni is intent on building her adult film company into a financial gold mine. Despite the usual hazards that plague most actors in the porn business, Julia is still fiercely protective of her girls, her projects, and herself. But even she knows she is fighting an uphill battle against the rampant drug abuse that threatens every aspect of their lives.

Behind the scenes at Giovanni Films, Julia's husband, Boyd, enjoys the lavish excesses their lifestyle affords; yet he is growing tired of babysitting his brother, Pete, who longs for the simple existence of years past when all three survived the streets with little more than their wits and a fresh supply of drugs. Meanwhile, Julia is focused on Lillian Cardinal, a beautiful Native American whom she hopes will be her next star-if she can hold together the unraveling threads of her home life and leave the stripper's spotlight behind. Unfortunately, Julia is about to take on a secret project that she has no idea is laced with deception.

In this raw, gritty tale that exposes a dark and realistic glimpse into the porn industry, only time will tell if a headstrong entrepreneur can rescue her company-and all those she loves-before it is too late.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462083398
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/10/2012
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Ready, Set, Action!

Not every desire should be captured on film.
By Lynne Martin

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Lynne Martin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-8339-8

Chapter One

"Life is not the amount of breaths you take. It's the moments that take your breath away." –Hitch, 2005

"You sure it's just weed? I thought meth was the drug of choice for all the serious partiers nowadays," Julia mused, dangling a slim packet of grainy white powder in front of her husband's face. "Because you realize, that I had to make a special trip all the way back to the old neighborhood, just to pick this shit up?"

Her husband never looked up, continuing to review his personal notes.

"So you're absolutely positive our girl's not a crankster?"

"You told me to check, so I checked," Boyd finally relented, slamming his Daytimer shut before angrily tossing it down on the seat. "If you don't trust my Intel, then I suggest you do your own damn leg work!" He took a second to straighten his Hermes tie.

"Relax, baby," she attempted to soothe her husband's fragile ego. "You sound like you could use a drink," Julia encouraged from across the limo. Slipping the crystal methamphetamine back into her Gucci bag, she quickly took a moment to check for her alternate stash of pre-rolled joints. Satisfied that she had more than enough, she focused her attention on pouring herself a liberal shot of vodka as the car swung around yet another tight corner. "You know I just want everything to be perfect."

"I know," he grabbed an empty crystal glass from the limo's built-in bar. "But trust me; it's just weed and beer, nothing hard core for our little Indian princess."

"Where we dropping you?" Julia dug out two additional ice cubes and plopped them unceremoniously into her tumbler.

"Back at work. I got shit to do."

"Please take Mr. Giovanni back to the office," Julia repeated to the driver through the car's intercom system.

"I guess it's safe to say that I'm on my own for dinner?"

"Depends," she sipped her drink. "Last girl, I was done in under an hour."

"Yeah, and you remember the one before her? Melanie? You didn't stagger in the door 'til noon the next day?"

Julia generously allowed her prospects as much time they needed for their initial interview. Some opened up quickly. Others, you had to work on for hours. Either way, by the time they both stepped out of the company limo, Julia had definitely decided whether she was going to hire the new prospect to join her stable of contract workers.

Working for Giovanni Films was a job coveted by nearly every porn star in the business. The take home was triple the usual pay, and even when you were busy; you never worked more than seven or eight days out of an entire month.

To her credit, in all her years at the helm, Julia had never thrown a girl out of her stable for being over exposed. She encouraged them to evolve, to change their looks with the passing of time. Develop talents, practice foreign accents, anything that could prolong their life in front of the camera. Julia wasn't naive enough to demand they stay clean and sober while in her employ; she just counteracted their wild ways by monitoring their health with regular checkups and mandatory STD tests.

Her small stable of male talent was treated equally as well. Although men were fewer and far between, house cock, as contract males were referred to in the industry, would walk over hot coals for the security of a Giovanni Film Contract.

Only one golden rule existed at Giovanni Films, and that was absolutely, under no circumstances, would there be any moonlighting on any other film projects. During a porn star's days off, they could strip; they could hook. Hell, they could even stay at home and play happy family, but you could not work in the film industry. Period.

Only one girl had broken the cardinal rule, and by the time Boyd Giovanni was finished making the rounds, nobody would even hire her on set as a fluffer. The last word on the street was that she'd ended up selling her ass for quarters off the strip, in some crack house near Vegas. Whether or not the story was true, it didn't matter. The message had circulated through the industry and the rule was now accepted as law.

"Call me when you're done," Boyd threw the rest of his drink down his throat.

"And don't you forget to call your brother Pete," Julia continued with few last minute instructions. "He was supposed to have arranged for all supplies from the master list that I'd left on his desk two weeks ago. Tell him I wanna go over his purchases before he files the invoice with payroll."

"Why?" Boyd demanded, still a little hot under the collar from having his Intel questioned.

"Cuz last time he paid over a hundred bucks for a cheap case of dollar-store lube, and nearly half the actors got ugly rashes and were ready to walk off the set. I need a little quality here. Right?"

I need, I need; Boyd mimicked his wife's voice in the privacy of his own head.

"Fine, I'll check off your list against Pete's deliveries. But I'm warning you right now Julia; he's not going to be very happy about it. You know what I mean?"

"Screw him. He's just an overpaid errand boy as it is."

"He's my brother."

"Whatever," Julia changed the topic with a wave of her manicured hand. "And one more thing. When you're talking to the Asian clients, you tell them that there's no way in hell one of my girls is going to do that film without some kind of eyewear to protect her vision."

"I don't know. They were pretty fucking picky about the look they wanted."

"Well, how about we throw a little orange juice in their faces? See how they like it?"

"Okay, okay, I'll take care of it. Maybe some sexy black sunglasses or clear lenses with teacher-like horn rims," he began to think aloud. "Just leave it with me; I'm pretty sure I can work something out."

Julia always managed to get what she wanted. But then again, it was in the best interest of the company, as she repeatedly reminded every member of her staff. "Can I have a kiss, doll?"

Boyd obliged, lifting up his Daytimer in the same motion. "You'll need this," he handed her a copy of the address. "She's expecting you by four."

"What's her name again?"



Quickly reopening his book, Boyd shuffled to the appropriate page. "She strips under the tag of Cherry Blossom, but she was born Lillian Anne Cardinal. She's eighteen, and she's never starred in anything other than a high school production of Our Town."

"How's she been paying the bills?"

"She's been stripping down at Cheeks. That's where I spotted her, remember?" Boyd called out over his shoulder as he turned his body to exit the car.

Julia winced, fully aware of the life on and off the stage. "Well, then I'd better move if I'm going to beat the downtown traffic," she dropped the note next to her bag.

Standing alone on the sidewalk, Boyd shook his head, watching his wife speed off toward another one of her little discovery projects.

* * *

Slitting open the cardboard crate of sex toys, Pete Giovanni grabbed the first individual box his fingers could reach and flipped open the top. "Fuck me! This ain't what I ordered." He threw down a handful of cheap plastic nipple clamps, angrily watching them bounce across his desk.

"So what we got?" Boyd strolled unannounced into his brother's office.

"I don't know yet." Pete quickly closed up the lid. "I'll go through it tonight after supper. You know, when everybody's gone home and I'm alone. Last thing I need is people looking over my back and trying to grab a couple freebees."

"I thought you were going home to Ma's for supper?"

"I am. I am," he nervously confirmed.

"Well it doesn't make sense to drive all the way back cross town just to sort the delivery."

"Right, then I'll do it Monday."

"No, I need some of it for a shoot this Saturday. We'll do it now."

Pete could tell by the tone in his older brother's voice that there wasn't going to be any further negotiations. "Fine, we'll do it now," he shrugged. "Roll up your sleeves and lets finish cracking all the boxes."

Hanging his suit coat on the back of his brother's chair, Boyd scanned the desk for the original order. "Where's your paperwork?"

"Filed," he answered. "Hey Boyd, look at this mother," he picked up a gigantic dual-ended dildo and playfully brandished it like a weapon.

"Cute. Now pull your file. I wanna match your order forms with their delivery invoices," he instructed, yanking the company's delivery information off the side of the original box.

"When'd you become such a stickler for paperwork? I remember when we lived off the cash in our pockets, having a good time and not worrying about tomorrow until we sobered up the next day."

"That was a lifetime ago. Now we have accounts payable, a six-figure advertising budget, and a whole stable of contract actors counting on us to pay their goddamn rent. It's just not you and me anymore, bro. Lot of people depend on us, and we can't piss around like we're running this show out of that old diner."

"I liked it when it was just the two of us. Now you've got her as the boss, and everything's changing. She's a fucking bitch on wheels."

"Julia's my wife, or you too fucked-up on dope to even remember that?"

"Oh, don't worry about me, bro," Pete threw down the bright pink dildo and walked straight to his office's bar cart. "I don't get a chance to forget for a damn second."

"Look around you," Boyd spread his arms wide. "That little blonde piece of ass you been banging for the last couple months is your secretary. Your ... personal ... secretary," he drew out the words to emphasize his point. "And this," he continued to wave his arms. "This is your private little office."

"Fuck me, I know. You don't have to rub my face in it!"

"Well, I think I do. Cuz lately, you're starting to forget who's been buttering your bread. You're dropping the ball, buddy, and if you don't pick up your game real fast, you'll be replaced."

"By who?"

"By a fucking monkey. Who cares? Bottom line, you're out of a goddamn job and back on the street, running a couple hoes for cash."

Pete knew his back was up against the wall, and of all the people he could snow in the world; his brother just wasn't one of them. "My job ain't that easy," he said as he dropped back down onto his couch, downing a double shot of whiskey. "You guys hit me with really fucking weird lists of supplies, and barely any time to find them. I'd really like to see somebody else do my job. It's not as easy as you think. You try and find a fucking baby crib that'll support the weight of two grown adults. Don't exist. I know, cuz I've been looking. Don't even know where to look anymore."

"I thought this was going to solve all your problems?" Boyd pointed to the twenty-one inch flat screen monitor sitting on the corner of his brother's cluttered desk. "You wanted state of the art; we got you state of the art. What about your Blackberry, with Internet on the go? Just had to be able to access on the go," Boyd continued to rant. "You fuckin' leave that at the track again, too?"

"I hate fucking computers. You ask me, the Internet's for horny teenagers who can't get laid. I'm a man of action. My word is my bond. You shake hands with me, and you've got a deal, bro. That's how I do business, by my word," he slapped his thigh to emphasis his point.

"Well, bro, your word is starting to mean shit in this company."

"Says who?"

"Says me! You got one damn job. Bring in the supplies and props. We hand you a list, and you chase it down. Simple. Cut and dried. How come you gotta make it so fucking hard?"

Pete knew he'd lost the fight; it was now time to surrender and see just what could be salvaged. "You know, ma's really proud that both her sons are working together."

"Don't you dare bring our mother into this," Boyd warned.

"But she is so proud. Just last Friday, she was crying and telling me that nothing makes her happier than seeing both her sons working together for the same company."

"So I'm supposed to keep you on payroll cuz it keeps ma happy?"

"No, but I was thinking that maybe I could get out of the office and work more with you. Maybe get into a little of the directing and shit? You know, work with the talent, not the supplies?"

Boyd began pulling more out of the box, angrily dumping the supplies all over his brother's desk. "You know jack shit about directing."

"I know," Pete said, jumped to his feet. "But you could teach me."

"Like I taught you to be a Purchasing Agent?" he laughed. "Cuz I can see how well that worked out." Boyd emphasized his point by yanking a rubber enema bag out of the box and throwing it clear across the room.

"Come on bro, give me another chance? I'm good with people. I'm shit with numbers."

Boyd knew his brother had a point. Pete's computer skills sucked, and he didn't have an eye for details. As far as Boyd was concerned, his brother wasn't good for much, excepting maybe smoking dope and making his life hell. "Julia will never let you direct any of her girls. You know how protective she is with all of her projects. But ..." he stalled for a second.


"But I might have another job for you."

"I'm in."

"You don't even know what it is."

"It ain't this." Pete set his glass down on the coffee table. "Anything's gotta be better than being stuck in this office."

"We'll see," Boyd grumbled. "Now give me the original list so we can go through these damn boxes."

Pete stood up and walked over to his filing cabinet, reluctantly extracting the crumpled order. "Just to warn you, I think they might have made a couple substitutions."

"Well, just let me warn you," Boyd threw back. "Whatever we can't return, it's coming off your pay check."

* * *

"Hello," Julia thrust out her hand the minute Lillian had slid into the opposing seat.

"Hi," she smiled back, nervously returning the handshake. "Nice car. Is it yours?"

"Company car," Julia handed the girl a cold beer.

"Cheers," Lillian motioned her bottle toward Julia's glass, a little surprised at just how beautiful the boss-lady actually was. She kind of reminded Lillian of a real movie star, with her silky blonde hair and her flawless face, and what looked like a set of killer legs, perfectly crossed at the knee of course. But then Lillian had been fooled by beauty before.

"So, you wanna go for a little ride? I thought we might have a little more privacy in my car rather than at my office."

"Whatever," Lillian nervously shrugged, suddenly uncomfortable with the tone of her supposed interview. "I'm not a hooker, you know? I just dance in the pit for tips. I think you might have got yourself the wrong idea."

"Calm down," Julia reached for the vodka bottle to freshen up her own glass. "This ain't that kind of interview. We're just gonna talk for awhile."

"Like I said, whatever," Lillian sucked back a good third of the bottle, confident that she'd be able to handle herself should the woman decide to lunge at her across the seat. "So what you wanna know?"

"Would you like one?" Julia opened a designer cigarette case, causally offering her guest a joint as the car pulled away from the curb.

Hesitating, Lillian took a second to soak in her surroundings. "You sure you're not going to try and jump my bones after you get me a little stoned?"

"I'm sure," Julia confidentially smiled, casually taking a second to tuck in an errant lock of hair that had somehow managed to escape her professionally set French knot. Not that she hadn't experienced her fair share of women during her years in front of the camera, but truth be told, Julia had always preferred the strong touch of her Italian Stallion, a nickname a few of the girls in the business had bestowed on her husband Boyd, many years before.

A man, not only recognized for his wavy black hair and wide shouldered stance, Boyd had also been touted as a charmer. He was a director, who when push came to shove, had somehow been able to coerce his actresses into performing sexual acts they'd previously refused; an ability that was almost unheard of in the porn industry.

"All right," the young girl slowly reached out, delicately lifting a hand-rolled joint from the case. "You wanna share?"


Excerpted from Ready, Set, Action! by Lynne Martin Copyright © 2012 by Lynne Martin. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 25, 2012

    Wow. Just…WOW. I’m still trying to process what I j

    Wow. Just…WOW. I’m still trying to process what I just read, and I have a feeling this story and its characters will continue to stay with me for a long, long time. Ready, Set, Action! by Lynne Martin reads like a nonfiction ‘behind the scenes’ of a life many of us are familiar with, but have never really experienced first-hand (and hope to never experience). I can’t even begin to describe all the ways that this book is pure genius. The writing was near flawless, the pacing is perfect, and the way that all the characters’ stories were divided up but still entwined with each other’s showed how things are all connected…that we are all connected. It kinda reminded me of the movie Traffic in that way. One thing I noticed was that Ms. Martin really showed the story and the characters…never told us. I felt like I was a part of every little thing that happened, almost as if it was happening to me (I actually cried a little for Pete). And I really loved the way that I was able to feel such deep sympathy for even the most unlikable of characters, especially at the end (no spoilers); this shows how well-rounded they were. I could go on and on about how amazing this book is but you really just have to read it and experience it for yourself. Obviously this novel is best suited for adults as it deals with the adult entertainment industry. There is much language, violence, drug use, and sexual situations. Nonetheless easily the best, most powerful book I have read in recent memory

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    Powerful. Shocking. Enlightening. Heartbreaking. “Ready,

    Powerful. Shocking. Enlightening. Heartbreaking.
    “Ready, Set, Action!” is a true tour de force in exposing the underbelly of society in a way that is free from sanctimonious judgments or clichéd hyperboles and stereotypes. Not to say the actions of the characters aren’t without consequences…they are most definitely there. Just written in a very organic way that made me feel like the author wasn’t pushing some sort of agenda, which I, for one, really appreciate. Instead, the story unfolded in a natural and tragic way, with a few getting off easier than the others, but no one remains unaffected by this brutal lifestyle. Ms. Martin’s writing style is, for lack of a better word, brilliant. She manages to capture the tone and voice of the characters with such genuine authenticity, it almost defies explanation. Although this book is at times quite graphic – it has to be with its subject matter—at no time did it feel gratuitous and cheap. This is by far the most compelling and moving piece of fiction I’ve read since A Million Little Pieces and I cannot recommend it strongly enough. An absolute MUST read.

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    Eye-opening and jaw-dropping! I wasn’t sure quite what to

    Eye-opening and jaw-dropping!

    I wasn’t sure quite what to expect when reading this book and still can’t believe how totally blown away I was by it. It is definitely not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It is a real, frighteningly authentic look at the way that pornography and drug use affects the lives of people. The brilliance of this novel for me was how it was written…we really see into the characters lives and come to care deeply for each of them. Despite their flaws, we see them as real people…people who are lost, confused, suffering…just trying to get through life, and some having more luck at surviving than others. The dialogue was brilliant and real, and the personalities were distinct and achingly honest. I really wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. Most wholeheartedly recommend for anyone who wants to see the dirty nitty gritty of the “glamorous” world of porn.

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  • Posted March 24, 2012

    Lynne Martin has such an amazing gift for writing...her talent i

    Lynne Martin has such an amazing gift for writing...her talent is apparent from not only her fascinating blog entries on her website, but this fantastic book itself! Having been enticed by the idea of a novel portraying a realistic look into the pornography industry, I immediately set out to order "Ready, Set, Action!". What I read completely surpassed my already high expectations. From the first sentence, this writer gained my undivided attention, piquing my interest through her character's initial dialogue and interaction. How she slowly, yet effectively, describes the attributes and personalities of these realistic individuals throughout the span of the story is inventive; setting the atmosphere and tone of the book expertly, she creates a world that made me forget I was reading a fictional novel (though obviously based on real-life people working in this business).
    The writing style succeeds perfectly to illustrate the gritty truth in the lives of individuals who are associated, in one way or another, with the pornography industry. Not only does the author delve into the inner-workings of the film company, and the thoughts and feelings of those who created this business, she also includes other vital and well fleshed-out characters; their ideas and opinions regarding this "taboo" world are necessary in order to portray how outsiders respond to the making and distribution of pornography.
    Readers will undoubtedly ask many of the same moral questions that these characters themselves wonder; through their own doubts and hesitations, I was able to empathize with them, and understand more about what they had experienced in life - and what had brought them to their current situations.
    Through describing the blatant drug use that infests and infects not only this specific industry, but society in general, I was able to visualize a detailed mental picture of the horrors that plague so many in this world. The physical and psychological affects that a porn star suffers are sadly disheartening at best, and grotesquely monstrous at worst. Lynn Martin explicitly captures the degradation and tortures inflicted upon them, enlightening readers regarding the true nature of this industry, and the secrets that lurk behind closed doors, when filming wraps.

    With "Cures for Cash" written as a prequel to "Ready, Set, Action!", I am already anxiously awaiting its release in April - as well as any future books! I've found a new favorite author, and her work is an undeniable success.

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