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Do-It-Yourself Romance


St. Valentine's Day -- [after St. Valentine (d. A.D. 270)] -- February 14, day on which valentines and gifts are exchanged with loved ones.

Are you tired of watching the delivery boy bring flowers to everyone in the office but you? Are you sick of seeing your buddies smooch with their girlfriends while the only way you can get a liplock is to freeze your beer bottle?  

Pay attention all you wannabe significant others -- Crescent Blues has scoured the book stores and come up with a how-to list of manuals to aid you in your quest for the perfect date (or mate) for Valentine's Day.  

Ready? Good! First things first -- finding the perfect date. Not so easy you say? Baloney, we say. And so do these authors. 


How to Make Anyone Fall in Love With You by Leil Lowndes; NTC/Contemporary Publishing, Paperback; ISBN: 0809229897 

Bestselling author Leil Lowndes presents a surefire guide for anyone seeking romantic bliss. How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You offers 85 techniques based on scientific studies regarding the nature of love, finding potential love partners, making an unforgettable first impression, dodging "love bloopers" and establishing sexual rapport. This well-known author has appeared on more than 200 television shows. 


Guerrilla Dating Tactics : Strategies, Tips, and Secrets for Finding Romance by Sharyn Wolf; Plume, Paperback; ISBN: 0452280117 

This guide to finding and being a good date is packed with practical information, including tips on approaching a target, scoping out the terrain, choosing ammunition and more. 


See? That wasn't so hard, now was it? You finally managed to find someone dumb enough…ahem, compatible enough to go out with you. That's good, but you still have to get through that first date and then make them want to go out with you again. According to the next two authors, this is not a scenario from Mission: Impossible


Mars and Venus on a Date : A Guide for Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship by John Gray; Harper Mass Market Paperbacks; ISBN: 0061044636 

A self-help guide for single people looking for love, this book examines the five stages of dating -- attraction, ambivalence, commitment, true intimacy, proposal/marriage -- and offers advice on how to find a soulmate, develop a committed relationship, and more.


Complete Idiot's Guide to Seduction by Janet O'Neal, Sydney Biddle Barrows; Alpha Books, Paperback; ISBN: 0028627385 

For those still looking for "the one" in a singles bar, this practical guide redefines seduction for today's man and woman. Readers learn how to become proactive in their love lives. 


You say you're still having problems getting a date? Why not try a little magic? Real magic, that is. Dust off your cauldron, put on your pointy hat and repeat after us: "Eye of Michelle Pfeiffer and toe of the Gibson Mel, conjure me…" 

Victorian Grimoire : Romance, Enchantment, Magic by Patricia Telesco; Llewellyn Publications, Paperback; ISBN: 0875427847 

Magic with a Victorian flair. Love potions and spells in abundance to help you find the one you love. 

Modern Sex Magick : Secrets of Erotic Spirituality by Donald Michael Kraig, Linda Falorio, Nema, Tara;
Llewellyn Publications, Paperback; ISBN: 1567183948 

This is one of the first books to clearly reveal the secrets of Western sex magic without relying on Tantric theory. (Crescent Blues warning: Kids, don't try this at home. We recommend the back of your parent's SUV.) 


Turning to the subject of sex, Crescent Blues wants to know: how's your lovemaking? What? You say the last person you kissed was your Aunt Martha when you were 14 -- and you still haven't recovered from the mustache burns? Tsk. Tsk. For those of you whose closest physical relationship has been with their chiropractor we offer the following: 


The Art of Kissing by William Cane;
St. Martin's Press, Paperback; ISBN: 0312117442 

A kiss is just a kiss -- or is it? Since the initial publication of his comprehensive kissers' manual, The Art of Kissing, William Cane has received thousands of calls and letters from readers with questions and comments about their kissing techniques. In this revised edition of the international classic, he responds with more lip-smacking wisdom -- and five new kisses. 


Sex for Dummies by Ruth K., Dr. Westheimer;
IDG Books Worldwide, Paperback; ISBN: 1568843844 

Vowing to educate and inform millions of people about sex in a fun and interesting way, Dr. Ruth Westheimer provides a complete guide to sex in the Nineties, featuring information that all sexually active people, parents of teens, grandparents, and others should be aware of. The book even includes a tear-out "cheat-sheet." 


The Art of Spooning : A Cuddler's Handbook by Jim Grace, Lisa Goldblatt Grace;
Running Pr, Hardback; ISBN: 0762402709 

Spooning is a kind of horizontal hug, two bodies curling up so they fit perfectly into each other's nooks and comfy places -- like two spoons in a drawer! Never spooned before? Well, fear not! Expert spooners will guide you through with ease. With helpful tips on simple pleasures to set -- and keep -- a romantic, spoonful mood, The Art of Spooning will bring out the spooner in you. 


And now for Valentine's night. Perhaps you're planning an intimate candlelit dinner for two? Instead of nuking two frozen dinners, why not heat up your partner with some very special recipes guaranteed to not only tickle their palate but jump start their hormones? Everyone knows that the way to a man's (or a woman's) heart is through their stomach. But we bet you didn't know that you can get even more than just their hearts pounding with the right kinds of food. 


Intercourses : An Aphrodisiac Cookbook by Martha Hopkins, Ben Fink (Photographer), Randall T. Lockridge; Terrace Pub, Hardback; ISBN: 0965327507 


Ever since Marc Antony first fed Cleopatra grapes, sensual foods have been intertwined with romance. InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook follows suit, bringing more than 85 heart-melting dishes to the table, the bed, or wherever one might be entertaining. The array of full-color photographs reveals the sensual side of seemingly normal food. 


Food As Foreplay : Recipes for Romance, Love and Lust by Cooking Couple, Ellen Albertson, Michael Albertson, Michael Miracle (Illustrator); Alexandria Pr, Paperback; ISBN: 0964664909 

Contains over 100 quick, easy, fun recipes and dozens of tips that will get you out of the kitchen and into the bedroom. The authors are happily married, due in no small measure to practicing what they preach. Food as Foreplay covers every aspect of a romantic meal, from appetizers to dessert, and proper kitchen etiquette. (By the way, cleaning up means showering together).


You found the date, you had the romantic night, now -- you have the rest of your lives to look forward to. Once there's nothing left from Valentine's Day except drooping roses and a squished chocolate cream, you'll need to know how to keep the excitement going in your relationship.


101 Nights of Grrrreat Sex : Secret Sealed Seductions for Fun Loving Couples by Laura Corn; Park Avenue Pub, Paperback; ISBN: 0962962813 

Intriguingly packaged, 101 Nights is reminiscent of the book-in-plain-brown-wrapper, except in this case each page is sealed. No peeking! Once a week, according to 101's instructions, each lover picks a sealed page and tears it out of the book, keeping it a secret. Scenarios include "Up Against the Wall," "Angel with a Lariat," "Fire down Below," and "Point of No Return." Follow the scenario and, throughout the week, expect any number of erotic surprises. 


2002 Days & Nights of Sex by Richard Smith; Black Dog & Leventhal Pub, Hardback; ISBN: 1579120458 

Make the most of your sex life every month of the year. A great gift for newlyweds as well as silver anniversary couples, this hysterical compilation offers witty tidbits, sexual horoscope readings, recipes, intimacy tests, and much more, making it the perfect bedside companion. 


Hey. Wait a minute. You -- there at the back of the Web… Yeah, you. Why aren't you out with the rest of the poor schmoos looking for love in all the usual places? Oh we see -- you just got dumped. Ouch. Crescent Blues feels your pain. How about the following books to help you through this troublesome time? 


The Woman's Book of Revenge: Tips on Getting Even When 'Mr. Right' Turns Out to Be All Wrong by Christine Gallagher; Carol Pub Group, Paperback;
ISBN: 0806520361 

Whether sewing a chicken leg into his mattress or calling time information in Tokyo and leaving his phone off the hook, these devilish tips help women get over their anger with humor, imagination, and, if need be, get even! 


How to Stay Single Forever by Jenny Lombard;
Warner Books, Paperback; ISBN: 0446671940 

Serious relationships are risky, time-consuming, expensive -- and often end up with someone getting hurt. Who needs that? Using these 101 strategies -- including talking baby talk in bed, wearing a bathing suit that has a skirt and being brutally honest -- today's independent woman can easily avoid meaningful relationships with aplomb. 


No matter if you're looking for love, enjoying life with your soul mate or lamenting the loss of your latest significant other, Crescent Blues hopes that you have a great Valentine's Day. As for us, we're keeping a weather eye out for that rotten little brat with the bow and arrow. Oh no! Get the butterfly net; he's headed for the White House. Again!  


Teri Dohmen