Tag Archives: Cocktails

Liquid Friday with author Christie Adams

This week we are featuring romance BDSM  author and a 2016 Golden Flogger award nominee Christie Adams, and her latest book in the Club Aegis series,  called Passion’s Last Promise.

But before we dive in between the pages of her book, lets hear from Christie what does she like about the Mojito which is her  favorite  cocktail for Friday night.

What I like about a Mojito?: The combination of lime and mint, with the kick of alcohol! I first mojitibecame aware of the Mojito while watching Die Another Day (2002). A few years later, when I met a friend in Manchester UK for a meal at an upmarket hotel, that was my cocktail of choice, before a meal that included my first ever taste of snails!

And here is how to make a Mojito:

  • 50ml White Rum
  • 1 dash Soda Water
  • 2tsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 Lime Wedges
  • 1 Mint Sprig
  • Ice

Place ice in beverage shaker then add in the rum, 1 lime wedge and sugar. Shake well and serve over ice in a high ball glass. Top off  with a splash of soda water and garnish  with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

So let us kick back relaxing with this sinfully delicious cocktail while we learn more about Christie’s book Passion’s Last Promise:

Blurb:

Hers to protect…his to serve…

When a failed kidnap attempt leads to CEO Dr. Simon Northwood acquiring a bodyguard, passionslastpromise_400x6001he isn’t prepared for close protection specialist Ros Edwards, a former captain in the Royal Military Police. Experienced submissive though he is, having a woman stand between him and any further threat is completely untenable.

Assigned to protect the genius behind a project of national importance, Ros unexpectedly encounters the most delicious man she’s met in a long time. As a Domme, she’d love to play with him, but even if he weren’t in need of her professional skills, there’s no way he’s submissive.

A determined man. A stubborn woman. When passion flirts with danger, the last promise is the toughest one of all…

 

Excerpt:

“Problems, Miss Edwards?”

“Not at all, Dr. Northwood.” She turned towards him and slipped the smartphone back into her jacket pocket. “A minor logistical issue, that’s all. Is there something I can do for you?”

“I was wondering if we were still on schedule to depart for Oxford as planned.” From what he’d heard, Simon had his doubts.

“Of course, sir. As I said, a minor logistical issue.” She paused, fixing him with her coolly assessing gaze. “I was just about to make coffee—would you care to join me?”

He had a conference call in a few minutes, his third of the day, but Simon suddenly found himself more in need of a shot of caffeine, and another opportunity to try to goad her into going Domme on him. He’d been trying all week, and this morning was the closest he’d come yet. He strode over to the desk to call his PA.

“Alicia? Can you let Martin know that he’ll be handling the finance call in ten? Give him clubaegismy apologies—something’s come up that requires my attention elsewhere. Thanks.” He replaced the receiver and turned his attention back to his bodyguard. “I don’t mind if I do, Miss Edwards.”

She gave a brief nod in acknowledgement. He watched her disappear into the adjoining kitchen, only to hear seconds later the crash of breaking glass followed by the colourful and creative cursing he was coming to associate with his beautiful bodyguard. Simon headed for the epicentre of the disaster.

As if someone had flicked a switch, his nonchalant attitude came to an abrupt end. Ros was running her hand under the tap, washing away the blood oozing from a cut to her palm. Broken glass littered the counter and the floor.

Simon’s protective instincts kicked into action, sweeping aside all thoughts of provoking her again. He grabbed the first aid kit from one of the cupboards. “Let me help.”

“It’s all right, I can manage.”

“No—you can’t. What happened?”

To his surprise, she allowed him to take her hand in his. Strong and capable, it was at the same time neat and feminine, with short but immaculately manicured nails. No rings, but as he’d told himself the first time he’d checked, that didn’t necessarily mean anything.

“Kamikaze glassware.” Ros glanced up at the open cupboard. “When I was getting the mugs to make the coffee, I accidentally nudged a couple of tumblers. They decided to take their name seriously and try out for the Olympic gymnastics team. I can tell you now, their technique sucked.”

Simon pressed his lips together, trying not to laugh at the latest glimpse of her taste in humour. She’d caught him unawares like that once or twice before, with a little nugget of dry wit. “What were you trying to do? Catch them or juggle with them?”

She shot him a dark scowl. At that precise moment, she looked more like the recipient of a sense of humour bypass, then he realised she was more annoyed with herself.

“I was picking up the pieces. Some of the shards started slipping out of my hands and I grabbed at them on instinct. Stupid thing to do. At least it’s not my right hand.”

He quirked a questioning eyebrow.

“Trigger finger.” She waggled the digit at him. “Can’t pull a trigger if I’m bandaged up.”

“Or if you end up slicing through tendons.” Simon’s slightly harsh tone was a reflection of his discomfort at the way she spoke so candidly of using firearms. “A dustpan and brush might have been safer than trying to pick up the broken glass.” He nodded in the direction of the tall corner cupboard.

For a moment she looked like she was about to argue, but then the change in her expression and a tiny, careless shrug acknowledged the truth of his words. Simon turned his attention to her injuries. There were some superficial cuts but the main one wasn’t as bad as he’d first thought—she’d probably get away without needing any stitches in it. Having confirmed there was no glass in the wound, he pulled on some surgical gloves and ripped open a sachet containing an antiseptic wipe.

She was standing so close now. He tried not to be distracted by the calm rise and fall of her breasts, or the subtle floral scent of her perfume. He tried not to respond to her steady gaze resting squarely on him. He tried not to think of the probable reasons why a former RMP officer never even flinched at the sting of the antiseptic.

Having put a couple of Steri-Strips on the cut, he then made the move that was his downfall. It was the small, insignificant act of glancing up at Ros’ face. She was staring at his hands in rapt fascination, lips slightly parted, almost inviting a kiss.

Carpe diem. The Latin phrase blazed through Simon’s mind like a meteor. She hadn’t responded to provocation, so perhaps a different tactic was called for. He swept aside the memory of the altercation they’d had a few hours earlier, focusing instead on this moment.

Simon pulled off the surgical gloves with a snap. In a club, he’d never dream of doing what he was about to do—it went against everything he’d been trained for, but this was an opportunity he couldn’t afford to miss.

Before Ros could move away from him, he took her uninjured hand in his and raised it to his lips. Before his inner voice could convince him he was making a huge mistake, he pressed a gentle kiss to her palm.

“Dr. Northwood.”

He wasn’t expecting the sound of his name to send a delicious shiver through his body. The formality, though…just as guilty of that as she was, maybe even more so, but he wanted it to end. “Simon.”

Desire would be held back no longer—he claimed the sweetness of her mouth, and prepared to take his punishment for crashing through her boundaries…

About me:

After winning an erotic short story competition, Christie Adams waited over twenty years to follow it up with her first full-length erotic romance. The second publisher she christy adamsapproached picked it up, and after a brief spell with them, she moved into the exciting world of indie publishing.

When asked how she got into writing, Christie realised she’s been putting pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard—for longer than she thought. It all started in her teens, with stories featuring characters from her favourite TV shows—usually action dramas—but in her imagination, those characters were given a romantic life to go with the all-action one their audiences saw.

From there, she progressed to romantic novels featuring characters of her own invention, but success eluded her until she spotted the short story competition in a magazine.

Christie lives in north-west England. When not at the day job, she can usually be found wrestling with the characters in her latest novel. Occasionally she finds time for sleep, and maintains her social skills through, among other things, regular attendance at a pub quiz, which forces her to think about other things besides plots and characterisation.

To find out more about Christie and her books, please visit her website (http://christieadamsauthor.com/) or email her at christie@christieadamsauthor.com.


 

 

Liquid Friday with author Paige Matthews

This week we are featuring erotica author and a 2016 Golden Flogger award nominee Paige Matthews and her Rocker series: Double Cross. (Crossroads and Crossover).

But before we slide into these books lets find out what does Paige recommend to go with the books on a Friday Night?

I love “screaming orgasm.” Besides the name 🙂 I love Kahlua and Bailey’s and Vodka!  What’s screamingObetter then the 3 of them combined! Best served with a few girlfriends and take them shot by shot! Multiple orgasms are always good 🙂

Ingredients: 

  •  ½oz Vodka
  • ½oz Amaretto
  • ½oz Coffee liqueur (Tia Maria, Kahlua).
  • ½oz Irish cream  (Bailey’s)
  • 3oz Half & Half (50/50 Milk & Single Cream mix)

Preparation:

In a tall glass combine ice and ingredients. Shake profusely and pour over strainer into a glass with ice

So let us kick back and relax drinking this delicious cocktail as we dive full force into Paige Matthews’ books:

Crossroads: A Double Cross Novel

Everyone finds themselves at a crossroad in their life.
Caleb Cross is not your typical front man. He is not the bad boy, parting, love em and leave em persona, although his public image states otherwise. Being the lead singer of the popular rock band, Double Cross, there are a lot of things fans and the public do not know crossroadse-1about Caleb. Sure, Caleb likes to have a little fun now and again, but after a bad publicity stunt, he is determined to shed the ultra bad image.

Katherine “Kat” Summers is not a typical woman. Not a girl who gets star struck or easily impressed, Kat is content on being herself, who she is. Kat enjoys living in the moment, in both her personal and professional life. Her greatest moment-bedding rock star Caleb Cross, a secret she holds onto to this day.

When Kat’s company is hired by Caleb Cross to rebrand him, she finds herself testing everything she has known about herself and about her life. Trying to maintain who she is against what she begins to desire, proves to be difficult for Kat, especially when she sees Caleb as he truly is.

For Caleb, hiring a new publicist to help reshape his image was the easy part, but what he doesn’t count on is being reunited with the one girl that never wanted him more than a night. Caleb is forced to confront himself and Kat in order to learn what he truly wants and who is truly is.

Crossover: A Double Cross Novel

Secrets Can Destroy. Can they overcome theirs?

Faith Maguire has spent the last six years traveling the world in an attempt to forget the secrets that she hides. After finding her fiance cheating on her in Milan, Faith crossoverheads home to Fuquay Varina, NC to lick her wounds and take some time off-until she is offered a position documenting the upcoming tour for Double Cross.

Preparing for a new tour, Gabe Cross is not thrilled to be on the road. He much rather be living it up in Raleigh. Thinking back to the one person that left him a broken hearted man, Gabe prepares for another three months of drowning his sorrows and screwing her out of his mind- until she shows up on the tour.

Faced to confront the hurt and pain six years forgotten- Gabe and Faith must learn how to move on from their pasts in order to have a future, but will their secrets prevent them from having their second chance?

Excerpt:

Once inside the room, that familiar tension was back. We stood looking at each other again. I watched as he let go of the luggage and walked toward me. I stood frozen in my spot. His hands took my bag and placed it on the couch before circling around my waist. He pulled me close and I could feel his erection against my pelvis.

“You make me so angry! And in the next breath, I want to fuck you so bad,” he said as his lips grazed against mine. All rational thoughts left in that minute. My hands found their way to Gabe’s hips as he crushed his mouth down on mine. The feel of him against me made my body weak. It had been so long since we’d been together. My lips parted and allowed him deeper penetration of my mouth. Our tongues danced with one another.

Gabe’s hands ran up under my shirt pushing it off and over my head. I heard him growl as he pulled away. I ran my nails across his washboard abs. Before I knew it, I was pinned on the couch. Gabe had one knee between my legs as he took my mouth again.

“Faith…” he moaned against my lips.

“Gabriel…” I moaned back. We were lost in the moment that we didn’t hear the knocking on the door until it became a loud banging.

“Open up man! I know you are in there.” I could hear Jax yelling from the opposite side of the door. Gabe pulled back quickly and walked to the door, adjusting himself in the process. He bent down and picked up my shirt, throwing it at me. I threw it on as he opened the door.

“What?” The husky voice barked out.

“Have you seen my sis-“ Jax stopped mid sentence when he saw me.

“Right over there.” Gabe pointed in my direction.

“I didn’t interrupt anything, did I?” He looked between the two of us.

“Nope.” Gabe grabbed his sunglasses and stormed off, leaving Jax and me alone.

I stood up and walked to my luggage.

“Are you sure I didn’t interrupt anything?” he asked me again.

“Nope,” I responded sounding like Gabe.

“Then why is your shirt inside out?” he laughed.

“Fuck you, Jax.”

About Me

What do you say about yourself? Aren’t we supposed to write these in third person? Oh well, here I go! I have been writing and reading since I was able to pick up a pen and read a book. I can’t even begin to list the amounts of book that I’ve devoured over the course of paigemy life; from the Babysitter’s Club to R.L.Stein to the classics and the novels of my degrees. I have spent countless hours between the covers of classics during my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Western Connecticut State University, resulting in a BA English: Comparative Literature and a MA English: Professional Writing.

Recently, I have been focusing both my writings and my readings in erotica, BDSM and contemporary romance. And no, Fifty Shades of Grey did not get me on the BDSM bandwagon. If anything it opened the idea up more to me, but alas I have my own opinions on the trilogy.

I am trying to focus my writings on the emotional aspects of the erotic world, the emotional bondage of BDSM. I am interested in what makes people want to be dominant or submissive, the connection, etc. But I do like to read about a good flogging and bondage story too, the smuttier the better.:)

I live in New England with a wonderful family that keeps me busy when I am not at my day job or writing. I hope you enjoy your stay.

 

Liquid Friday with author Cecilia Tan

This week we are featuring long time erotica writer and novelist Cecilia Tan.  The newest book Wild Licks, from her series Secrets of a Rock Star, makes it Cecilia’s 12th published novel . (Just released this August 2nd)

But before we dive down in between her pages, lets hear from Cecilia about a favorite cocktail to go along with this book.

I invented this cocktail to represent my hero! It’s based on the traditional Harvey Wallbanger (vodka, Galliano, orange juice) except Mal Kenneally, the rough-sex-loving hero of Wild Licks, is Maltoo dark and mysterious for a vodka drink, so I replaced the vodka with a smoky Irish whiskey. I’ve been trying whiskeys in place of vodka in a lot of drinks with good results. Vodka is boring to me. I like my drinks like my romance heroes, dark, complex, and full of flavor. Meanwhile, the heroine is sparkly and bubbly on the surface, and sweet to the core. When you put her and Mal together you get the perfect combination!

Mal’s Wallbanger Recipe:

  • 3 parts whiskey (preferably Irish but rye, scotch, bourbon, or even cognac can work)
  • 1 part Galliano herbal liqueur
  • 2 parts orange juice
  • Chill/shake and pour over a tall glass full of ice

Optional: add 6 parts soda water (after shaking) to make it a summer spritzer

So let us kick back and relax.  As this delicious sinfullness slides down our throat, bringing us to the verge of ecstasy, lets begin exploring  Cecilia‘s book Wild Licks:

Blurb:

Gwen Hamilton is always looking for a thrill. Not even running a secret BDSM club can fulfill her true desires. It’s only when he’s backstage at a rock concert and attracts the eye–and experienced hands–of guitarist Mal Kenneally that she finds that perfect wild_licks_200x300combination of danger and excitement she’s been craving. Keeping her real identiy a secret from him she revels in his uncompromising dominance by night, while by day he knows her only as Gwen, his arm candy for public appearances.

Gwen blows Mal’s mind with her enthusiastic submission to his harshest commands. Even though he has a reputation for never seeing the same woman twice, he can’t help being tempted by the mystery woman who fulfulls his every fantasy. When Mal discovers who Gwen is, he never wants to let her go. Finally he can indulge his absolute power. But dancing too recklessly on the razor’s edge could cut deeper than either of them bargained for.  

Excerpt of WILD LICKS by Cecilia Tan (Forever/Grand Central Publishing), August 2 2016 release date

By the time I arrived at the Forum, the concert had already started. Thank goodness Ricki had gotten us VIP parking permits and backstage passes. The VIP lot was next to where the band’s tour bus was parked—a massive thing with the rough logo painted on the side—and I could see a security guard standing outside a side door into the arena.

I clutched my purse to my shoulder as I approached him. He was wearing black and the band’s crew jacket, a lanyard hanging from his neck with a cluster of laminated passes at the bottom of it. “Hi, yeah, is this the right door? I have a backstage pass waiting for me,” I told him.

He looked me up and down. “Oh, really,” he said, as if he didn’t believe a word of it and was merely humoring me. “And who exactly would be responsible for putting you on the list?”

“My sister. Or her boyfriend. Axel Hawke? Perhaps you’ve heard of him?”

He laughed. “Try pulling the other one.”

“Okay, seriously, I’m Gwen Hamilton.” His attitude was really starting to piss me off.

Amusement twisted his mouth. “You know, honey, if what you really want is a good banging, plenty of guys in your hometown would oblige.”

“Excuse me?”

Tan_WildLicks_mal_gwen_quote“Okay, okay, I get it. You came all the way here to get some genuine, grade-A rock star dick. Which one do you want? I’ll tell you if you’re his type. The only one who’s off-limits is Axel. He’s monotonous and his girlfriend’s here to boot.”

“You mean monogamous and that’s what I told you—his girlfriend is my sister!”

“He’s into some kinky shit but I don’t think incest is—”

The door opened and a guy stuck his head out. He was long and lean with a partially shaved head. “Gilbert, you got a problem here?”

“Excuse me,” I said. “Have you got the guest list? Because I am on it and this dimwit thinks it’s funny to sexually harass me.”

The guy came all the way out with a clipboard in hand. “Name?”

“Gwen Hamilton.”

“You got ID?”

“Yes.” I dug my driver’s license out of my bag and showed it to him.

“All right, come with me.” He punched Gilbert on the arm. “Be nice.”

Gilbert rubbed his arm and held the door open. “Come on, Nick, how was I supposed to know she was on the list? She looks like every other groupie.”

“By checking the list,” Nick said, waving the clipboard. “She’s probably some fan club contest winner or something. Be nice or you’ll go viral on YouTube.” As the door shut behind us, he said, “My apologies, miss. Here.” In the hallway stood a podium on wheels. From behind it he pulled out a lanyard with a laminated pass on it, and he signed his name on the bottom with a Sharpie.

I slung it over my neck.

“When the band comes offstage, they’ll go through there to the green room.” He pointed down a hallway to the left. “Main party’ll be over there”—then he pointed to the right—“and if you want to watch the rest of the show, straight ahead.”

I thanked him and went straight ahead, the music getting louder as I went. There was a handwritten sign taped to the cinder block at a stairwell leading up that said Stage Overlook. Up I went.

As I was climbing the stairs, I was still fuming a little about what an asshole the security guard had been, but then it struck me: He had treated me like a groupie trying to sneak into a concert because that’s exactly what I looked like. He’d bought it. Even when I’d told him who I was, he’d either not believed it or didn’t know my name. That was possible; I was far from a household name. But a thrill ran through me as I realized how convinced he’d been.

I came out on an upper platform where a couple other people with passes around their necks were watching the show. Several of them looked like groupies and I wondered if the guard had been partly serious when he’d said some of the guys were “available.”

But I didn’t spend long looking at the other people there once I started watching the band. Axel, the lead singer, was at center stage, but on the side of the stage closest to me was the guitar player, Mal. We’d met once or twice in passing at industry functions. My impression of him from those occasions was that he never smiled and rarely spoke, looming in the background like a judgmental gargoyle.

On stage, however, he was animated, explosive, leaping into the air with his guitar and then landing, flinging his long dark hair forward and then flipping it back with a head toss. He still didn’t smile, but he matched Axel’s energy with a feral grimace as he sang, and then he sauntered out onto the long runway into the audience, playing a solo and practically humping the guitar as he went.

Pure sex. One hundred percent pure sex that walked on two legs and played the guitar. When that song was over, he tore his shirt off and flung it into the audience. His arms and chest looked like something from a fitness-craze infomercial: You, too, can have these abs! These biceps! I certainly wouldn’t mind if he let me touch them for a while.

I was so caught up in the performance that I didn’t notice the others had left the viewing area until the band was taking their bows. One of the women I’d seen before came back up the stairs just as I was trying to figure out what to do with myself. “Come on,” she said. “If you want to get picked, right after the encore is the time.”

Get picked? I wasn’t sure what she meant, but I had some ideas. I followed her downstairs and toward the green room. We passed several doors with paper signs taped to them: Vocal Warmup Room, Wardrobe, Band Only. She led me into a room that was unmarked.

About a dozen women were there, some drinking bottled water from a tray on a table, some applying new lipstick, some gossiping. A few sat on folding chairs, but most of them were standing. I took my own lipstick out of my bag to give myself some time to figure everything out.

“I’ve been with Samson before,” a woman with thick black cat-eye liner similar to mine was saying to another. “But he tweeted this morning that he’s got a cold, so I don’t know if he’s partying tonight.”

“Last night of the tour? You better believe they’re all partying tonight,” the woman who’d come back to get me said. She had red hair and a thick studded belt wrapped twice around her hips. “I don’t care if he does have a cold. I wouldn’t mind being the bread on a Samson meat sandwich.” She gave the other woman a high five.

Okay, so it seemed as if “getting picked” did in fact mean what I’d guessed—that is, being chosen for sex.

“What’s your e-mail again?” Cat-Eye asked. “I want some of those photos you were taking tonight.”

“Oh, sure. I’ll be posting them on my website, too.” The redhead dug in her purse and pulled out a stack of business cards with a photo of the band on one side and her contact info on the other. “Here.” She handed them around. I took one so I wouldn’t be the only one refusing.

I should go to the party, I told myself. I didn’t really belong here. But I was curious how long I could keep it up. When would someone notice I didn’t belong?

A third woman joined us, downing a bottle of water. She looked like she had been dancing, her thin T-shirt sticking to her skin in places. “Is it true Mal is really rough?”

“Never been with Mal,” Cat-Eye said with a shrug. “You figure with all the bondage and stuff in their videos that at least one of them is mondo kinky. Mal seems the type.”

The woman who had brought me downstairs shrugged. “I saw them in Indianapolis with a friend. She said he’s huge.”

“Pictures or it didn’t happen,” I put in, and several of the women burst out laughing.

“Yeah, no pictures but she did have trouble walking the next day,” she said, which caused even more laughter.

The roadie who’d helped me earlier came in then and everyone quieted down instantly. He had a flashlight in one hand. “Okay, pussycats,” he said. “Mal’s ready.”

No one moved.

“Are you seriously telling me none of you is into the kinky shit?”

“I am,” I said, starting to raise my hand like I was in grammar school; then thinking a wild child wouldn’t do that, I ended it with a snap of my fingers.

“Great. Come with me.”

I kept thinking any moment now I’ll chicken out. Little did I know I was in for the night of my life.

About Cecilia Tan:

ceciliaI write about my passions, which include baseball, erotica, gourmet food, martial arts, tea, and travel. I write fantasy, science fiction, erotic fiction, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, BDSM romance, and anything else that stimulates my imagination.

I’ve been writing fiction professionally for over 25 years and lately I’ve started racking up awards–kind of neat! I was awarded Career Achievement in Erotica and the Pioneer Award in Erotic Fiction in 2015 by Romantic Times. My BDSM romance SLOW SURRENDER from Hachette/Grand Central Publishing/Forever won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in erotic romance, and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia chapter of the Romance Writers of America. A bunch more are listed at my website.

I’m the author of numerous other novels, many published as erotic romance with fantasy and science fiction settings, others published as sf/fantasy with erotic elements, some as erotica… which means I never know what to answer when people ask what genre they are. Fortunately here on Amazon they can be ALL of the above!

My work spans sexualities the same way it spans genres. I write heterosexual, gay, bisexual, and trans characters, and the eroticism runs the gamut from vanilla to bondage to transcendental magical sex.

I’m the author of the Magic University series, a four-book contemporary fantasy about a hidden magical school inside Harvard. The Prince’s Boy is my erotic gay high fantasy BDSM swashbuckling romance (not kidding). Daron’s Guitar Chronicles is my award-winning gay “coming out and coming of age in the 1980s” series. Struck by Lightning is my BDSM contemporary trilogy from Hachette. SECRETS OF A ROCK STAR is another three-book series of kinky rock star romances from Hachette. There is more in the works, too, of course! I’ll be starting an urban fantasy/paranormal series next year with Tor Books called THE VANISHED CHRONICLES.

In the erotic short story realm, I’ve been published everywhere from Ms. magazine to Penthouse to Nerve, and I’m in many, many anthologies and the Best American Erotica series. Susie Bright called me “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature.”

I’ve also edited many anthologies including Women of the Bite, Cowboy Lover, Sex In The System, Wicked Pleasures, SM Visions, for many different publishers, and many many books and ebooks for the independent publishing house I founded, Circlet Press. Those include Best Fantastic Erotica, Erotic Fantastic, Like an Animal, Like Crimson Droplets, and many others, both for Kindle and in paperback.

In science fiction/fantasy I have been published in Asimov’s magazine, Strange Horizons, Absolute Magnitude, and many other places.

I also write and edit baseball nonfiction under the name “Cecilia M. Tan.”

You can find out way more about me and my obsessions at http://www.ceciliatan.com

When I’m not writing, I’m traveling the world in search of foodie experiences, teaching martial arts, or geeking out about baseball.

 

 

 

Liquid Friday with Author and Host Eden Freed

Today we are featuring lite BDSM Erotica writer Eden Freed.

“First and foremost I would like to thank all the wonderful authors who have contributed to my blog so far.  I know many of you are having a blast at the #RWA16, I wish you success and lots of fun. You are all amazing and I could not have done this without you. For those readers who missed their posts, I’ll make it easier for you to catch up, just use the links below.”

belvedere“This week instead of just one featured cocktail I went with two.  Variations of both drinks often crisscross, so have a Hollywood Cocktail and a Raspberry Smash and think about our favorite starlet, Violet.  A couple of these gets me in the mood to continue her second adventure in the Acting the Part Series.”

Ingredients for Hollywood cocktail:

  • Strawberry / Lime Wedge for garnish.
  • Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 oz Black Rasberry liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka ( Belvedere or Chopin for the Top Shelf Crowd)

Preparation:

  • Fill glass with ice.
  • Pour vodka and liqueur to cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.
  • Strain into glass with ice
  • Garnish with lime and strawberry, serve and enjoy

Ingredients for Raspberry Smash (makes two):

  • 2 lime wedges
  • Sugar (for dipping)holl cock
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 6 tablespoons vodka
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup chilled Champagne

 

Run 1 lime wedge around rims of 2 old-fashioned glasses. Dip rims in sugar. Place both lime wedges, raspberries, vodka, and 4 teaspoons astisugar in cocktail shaker; using muddler or wooden spoon handle, smash fruit mixture. Add ice; shake 10 seconds. Divide between glasses (do not strain), top with Champagne, and serve.

“Can’t wait to release book two, but in the mean time, take a look at book one “Violet Blooms” and get ready for things to get shaken up.”

chopinWhile we’re chatting, lots of our favorite characters will be back to shake things up in book two. Be ready for a virtual rollercoaster ride, as Violet perfects her art and gives the performance of a lifetime.  Kick back and relax for a moment with these delicious beverages, and read up about  Violet Blooms. (now also available on iTunes)

A young aspiring actress, majoring in Theater Arts in her last semester of school, must overcome mediocrity and learn to take direction in time to be discovered by a talent scout VioletBloomsActingThePart1during her final performance. Her new acting coach decides to teach her direction through a non-conventional method: introduction to BDSM. Will Violet have what it takes to learn the art of role playing or will she end up on the “casting couch?”
Here is an excerpt from our book:

Excerpt:

Jericho Blythe sighed, “Chase was right. You are a handful.  Let’s go back to rule number one.”  He opened another file, Rules.  “Rule one.  Speak only when spoken to.  I can train you better than any actress to anticipate and respond to direction.  I give orders.  You take orders.  It will be like dancing.”  He put an arm around my waist and I gasped.  “I’ll lead and you’ll follow.  If your timing is right, it will be beautiful and if something is off I will offer correction until you achieve perfection.  Perfection is what a director will expect from you.  He will not tolerate excuses.”

My eyes widened. Some part of my idle brain woke up and understood what he was talking about.  I backed away from him.  This was more than I bargained for.  I shook my head no.

“Rule three,” Blythe said.

“No way. You thought I was, that I was…”  I started laughing.

Blythe looked furious. His blue green eyes got squinty and the corners of his mouth turned down a little before I saw him reach behind the counter for something and walk toward the couch.  DSC02921Looking at his serious face made me laugh even harder.  I grabbed my middle with one hand and covered my mouth with the other.  My eyes began to tear from trying to hold the laugh in but it didn’t last long.  The thought that I could be into that, whatever it was, kink, was more than my fragile mind could take.  In a moment, I was near hysterical with laughter.

He sat down on the round red leather couch and pulled me over his knee. Slowly, Blythe explained that my actions required punishment.  He asked for me to consent to punishment.  I thought the better of shaking my head no and a little voice inside jumped out and agreed.  Yes! Yes, please!

I felt him lift the back of my skirt up and tug my panties down. Crack!  I felt a sharp but brief pain on my rear and then his firm hand rubbing the sore spot.  It was electric.  I was melting into the sensation, melting into his strong warm hand on my tender skin.  I didn’t understand why, but instantly I loved it.  You’re crazy. What are you doing, Violet?  Wake up, stupid!

The shock of what I was feeling had me up to my feet, pulling up my panties, and heading out the door. What WAS I doing?  I wanted to stay and I wanted to run.  My body followed the latter suggestion.  Blythe didn’t shadow me even though I wanted him to.  I walked quickly past people clueless to what had happened only a moment ago.  Their eyes seemed focused and restrained, but I felt as wild and reckless as the night.  I was down the block at the crosswalk before I decided to turn around.  My feet carried me back to the shop as though I no longer had a will of my own.  My owns thoughts DSC03024frightened me and I felt my heart beat in a quick rhythm trying to get oxygen to the brain that was clearly working against me, against the very nature of my being.  How could I want more?

Blythe was typing on the keyboard, when I opened the door. He picked up his head long enough to smile at me.  I bit my lower lip, wondering what was next.  My heart was still racing and my cheeks felt warm.  I needed reassurance.  Mentally, I was torturing myself for my excitement over something I had been told countless times was wrong.

My own mother, Barbara, never even raised a hand to me. Any time I made a mistake or irritated her, I spent some ‘quality time’ in the corner while she sat there chatting on the computer with her latest internet flame. Come to think of it, I spent an awful lot of time in the corner, maybe too much time. As I stood there pondering the misgivings of my childhood, Blythe looked up and spoke.

“Remind me to shackle you next time before you are punished. Fight or flight response is normal but I want you to be as safe as possible.  Feeling any better?”

“Yes,” I said but my mind was racing.

“Yes, Master Blythe,” he said.

“Yes, Master Blythe,” I repeated, slowly, almost vacantly. He handed the iPad back to me.

“Read through the rules. We’ll talk shop later.  Make sure you understand the rules first,” he said but what did any of it really mean?  How could I even know?  There was a part of myself that I was just waking up to, a part I didn’t even know was there hiding under my skin like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Blythe was patient and waited for me to collect my thoughts. He stood there without any condescending looks or giggles.  I chewed on my lower lip confused and excited at the prospect of this new me I had found.

If you are interested you can get your copy from Amazon Kindle or  download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer.

To learn more about the author Eden Freed,  Just click here.

 

Liquid Friday with author Haven Cage

This week we are featuring Haven Cage, author of an adult, dark urban fantasy novel  Falter and  the first book in the Faltering Souls series.

But before we check out her book, let us hear directly from Haven on what cocktail does she recommend for tonight.

applePieMy favorite drink is Apple Pie on the rocks:

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Fireball Whiskey
  • 4 oz. Organic Apple Juice
  • Pinch of Ground Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar for the rim (Grind a little finer for more successful sugaring)
  • Optional: Cinnamon Stick for Garnish
  • Ice

I found this gem on Pinterest, credit belongs to Jackie of Vegan Yack Attack…super yummy!

I’m also very partial to Lemon Drop Shots: Sugar the rim of the shot glass.
Pour favorite Vodka, Gulp it down, then chase with a lemon wedge!

falter 2

In FALTER, a dark New Adult/Adult Urban Fantasy novel, Nevaeh Richards thinks she has found a chance to leave her homeless life behind. When the spirit of the only father she falter 1knows is wrongfully taken to Hell, Nevaeh is hurled into a world haunted by monstrous demons, rogue Guardian angels, love that is beyond her control, and a soul-threatening choice between the inherent evil inside her and the faltering faith she is struggling to grasp.

Nevaeh and George have lived on the streets as father and daughter since he found her, alone and unconscious, many years ago. When they start a new life employed at Joe’s cafe, Nevaeh experiences debilitating visions and frightening apparitions. Adding to the troubling path her life has taken, George suddenly becomes ill and an Animus demon takes his soul hostage in Hell. Unfortunately, the ransom may be more than Nevaeh can afford.

As Nevaeh spirals into this supernatural world, Gavyn—the handsome café-owner—tries to convince her that she belongs to a hidden race of people with God-given gifts known as Celatum, and she may be a key player in the Celestial war. However, even after all the otherworldly events she experiences, Nevaeh continues to deny her part in it all.

Meanwhile, Archard—a stranger she feels undeniably bonded to—mysteriously wanders in and out of her life, offering none of the answers she suspects he holds.

Will Nevaeh attain the faith it requires to fulfill her fate as a Celata and take part in the Celestial fight? Or will she give into the darkness that calls to her for the sake of George’s soul and damn herself to Hell?

Falter by Haven Cage (Excerpt)

I cursed under my breath and turned to walk away. My movement reflecting on the glass revealed a smudge on the smooth, translucent surface. I’d almost missed it. The smudge shimmered under the last sliver of sunlight inching its way out of Gavyn’s apartment. Its opalescent glimmer had a touch of gold, like mother of pearl on a seashell. The small, imperfect oval of film resembled a single fingerprint, yet there was no distinguishable print pattern.

I bent over to examine it closer, spotting a single fuzzy fiber sticking out from the center. It was creamy-white and soft as silk. I plucked the fiber from the spot and rolled it falter 7between my thumb and index finger. A familiar odor rose from the fuzz, pulling me into a vague memory. The smell was fainter than I remembered. It was intoxicating, indescribable, and invoked feelings that heated my cheeks to a rosy red.

I breathed in deeply, the vagueness of my memory clearing like rippling waters smoothing to expose the depths below. It was the same aroma from the bathroom on the first night of my stay here.

I closed my fist around the fuzz trying to place where it might have come from and how it got here. I opened my hand and lifted it closer to stare down at the small white strand, waiting for an answer to pop into my head. Finally, an “Aha!” moment. Down—the fuzz resembled down feathers. A bird must have flown to the sill and left the smudge and strand of feather.

I was happy to find a logical answer to at least one of my questions, though it didn’t render a reasonable connection to the familiar smell. I held up my palm and pursed my lips tofalter 6 blow the tiny feather away, but before the breath left my lips, the fuzz began to disintegrate. It crumbled into pieces so small I could barely see them, then drifted from my palm.

I stared at my hand in disbelief, flipping it over and back again, surprised by what I just saw. How does something just fall to pieces like that? It was solid when I held it—I was sure of that. This couldn’t be another trick.

I gulped, forcing saliva down my anxiety constricted throat. “George, do you remember a bird flying in? Did you hear any wings or rustling?” My voice trembled, afraid that I could be imagining this. I glanced over at the window. The smudge was still there. Not imagining.

“No, Nevaeh. What’s wrong with you?” He squinted, looking me up and down. Worry shadowed his face when he saw me standing by the window gawking down at my open hands, flipping them back and forth like I was losing my mind. I stopped flip-flopping the second I realized he was watching me and slowly lowered my arms to my sides. I forced a small smile to ease the stress I saw growing in the tight wrinkles on his forehead.

“Nevaeh…are…are you ok?” A wheezing came from under his gruff words.

“Do you remember when Archard left?”

“No, I think I had fallen back asleep before he went. Why?”

“You don’t remember him opening the window either?” My tone was as soft and calm as I could manage.

He coughed after every other word he spoke. “Dammit, Nevaeh, what is your problem with falter 5Archard, and what the hell is going on with the window?” His voice was louder and raspier than before, emphasizing that he would yell if he could.

“Nothing. Never mind. You need to relax. You’re using too much energy talking.” I tried to settle him back down and get his coughing under control.

“Well, quit asking me so many dag-blamit questions, and quit not telling me what they’re about.” The coughing subsided when his tone lowered.

I returned my shamed gaze back to the window, scanning the roof of the building across the alley, the narrow opening leading to the street, and the ground below. I was hoping to see something that could offer even the slightest clue of what left the evidence on the window. There was nothing. No animals, no people. There wasn’t even the empty boxes or trash you would normally see in an alley.

My eyes pulled back to the filmy smudge. The subtle shifting hues of the darkening sky outside brought the shimmering print to life. The faint afterglow from the dying day shined through the print and carried the colors out into a funnel of rainbows, flickering to falter 4the floor. Dust specks twinkled like tiny sparks as they swam in the air, swirling inside the light path.

My angst and confusion stilled while I stared at the beautiful colors. It was breathtaking. Warmth caressed my hand as I held it in the beam of light and let the colors reflect off my skin. Then, I noticed that the amount of flickering colors was quickly depleting. My eyes bolted back to the glass pane. The smudge was shrinking. Something invisible was wiping it off the surface of the window. Within seconds, the smear was gone. I touched the glass to feel for anything, any sign of the beauty that was just there. The surface was smooth and dry.

All evidence was gone without a trace, just as the fuzz had gone.

What the hell just happened?

This—the little insane things—made me feel alien in my own mind. I dropped to my knees to catch my breath and keep from hyperventilating—and for God sake, stop the room from spinning.

I thought about everything that happened over the past few days: the strange dream I couldn’t remember, the hallucinations, the vivid odors, the fast-healing burn, Layla’s cut, falter 3and the strange little things that just disappeared for no reason. They had to mean something.

Then there was Archard. In the instability of my mind, he drew me in.

My insides grew numb. I realized how much energy I had recently wasted trying to understand everything. Maybe I wouldn’t ever understand. I slumped against the wall, too exhausted to hold myself up anymore.

God, why is this happening? Haven’t I had enough confusion and humiliation in my life already? Am I even supposed to figure this out? Or, is this some sick joke you’re playing to teach a lesson to someone who doubts you so much?

Buy Links

http://www.amazon.com/Falter-Faltering-Souls-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01DDQVCJK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461256470&sr=8-1&keywords=falter+haven+cage

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/falter-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Falter-Faltering-Souls-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01DDQVCJK

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/625043

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/falter-haven-cage/1123766464?ean=2940158096778

Other sites of availability include  AppleBarnes & Noble, Scribd, Oyster, Yuzu, Blio and Inktera (formerly Page Foundry).

Print edition is available on Amazon, or you can purchase a signed copy, as well as digital in any platform, directly from me at http://www.authorhavencage.com/buy-.html

To further learn about our author: Haven Cage, we have a wonderful interview below from Paperback Junkie:

Q:What inspires your writing?

Haven: I didn’t find my love of reading until I was around twenty-three years old. A friend gave me the first novel in the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer and was hooked. After that, I researched Mrs. Meyer and found that a dream inspired her to write. I thought, “Hey, I could do that. I have thousands of crazy dreams locked away in my mind. Why falter 8not write a book about one?” I have always struggled with my spiritual side, not so much doubting my beliefs in God, but more myself and the “man-made” side of religion. I felt like writing would be a good way to work some of those inner demons and doubts out.

After years of learning the craft, and reading new books that opened my mind to the many worlds I could escape to, I finished my first novel. Now that I’ve nurtured my mind and soul into that of a writer’s, I don’t see myself any other way. This is who I am now. Though it’s still hard for me some days, I get a little better each day.

Q: Have you always wanted to be an author?

Haven: I had no idea that I would be an author as a child. Reading and writing was something I was forced to do in school, not something I did for fun. I was more of a visual arts kind of person, using paint and pencils to express myself, but looking back now, I know that I just hadn’t found the right book to spark the yearning in me. Thank God, I did later on!

Q: Who are your favorite authors?

There are so many authors that I admire and enjoy, but Leigh Bardugo, Karen Marie Moning, and Jamie McGuire speak to my soul and inspire me to be a better writer.

Q: What would you say to someone who is starting out as a writer?

Haven: Being a new writer myself, I would advise those following me to research everything on writing, publishing, networking they can. Get a good grip on the reality of it because publishing is an intimidating industry, and if you are not serious about it, you won’t get far, falter 9unfortunately. Discouragement is an emotion you will feel often, but I firmly believe that if you are diligent, you can make it. You may not have a fat wallet in the end, but it’s better to try and fail, knowing you gave it your best than avoiding the trials of being a writer when you could have been magical.

Q: Do you ever put any part of yourself in your characters?

Haven: My characters are very much based on fears and doubts that I have all the time. I also instill my sarcasm and emotions in them pretty regularly. On the flip side of that, they represent parts of me that I can’t be, or won’t allow myself to be, in real life as well.

Q: How old were you when your first book was published?

Haven: My release day is actually the day before my thirty-third birthday. I set it up as a new year’s resolution goal, determined to get this damn book published before my birthday!

Q: What books do you have out, and what are you planning for future publications?

Haven: I currently only have Falter up for publication, however, book 2 in the Faltering Soul series is under way. I also have the beginnings of a stand-alone novel in toe.

Q: What do you hope readers will take from your books?

Haven: I hope they find enjoyment in my story while considering the uncontrollable circumstances that drive people to make bad decisions. Life is not black and white, right and wrong.

Q: What do you do to get ready to write?

Haven: I am very much a creature that needs a good atmosphere. I mostly write at a fantastic local coffee shop, listening to rock music, and drinking the writer’s drug of choice…coffee! I personally don’t plan much when it comes to preparing. I’m more of a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal, leaving my outlining to a time after most of my thoughts are already on the paper.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you get past it?

Haven: I’ve been fortunate to avoid the dark abyss of writer’s block. If I do happen to be in a particularly difficult time of finding words, I tend to leave the work for a few days. Sometimes a little vacation can clarify the tunnel vision. This is also when the outlining comes in handy. I start going back through the chapters and summarizing them one by one, focusing on my plot and details. This usually brings me out of the slump.

Q: What is your favorite type of book to read? Does that type influence your books?

Haven: My favorite genres are fantasy and romance, and yes, it absolutely influences my own writing. I love being to get away from reality, to escape to worlds where anything is possible. As far as writing styles, I gravitate toward authors that use a lot of descriptive words. I need to play the scenes in my mind like a movie, which makes me a slower reader, but I enjoy it so much more.

You can ad more of Haven’s interviews on Book Readers Magazine

Fun Facts/ Favorites

  1. Food- Anything pasta
  2. Color- Purple (you can probably tell by all the purple I use in my graphics J)
  3. Sweet Treat- Dark chocolate
  4. Mixed Drinks- Forget the mixing, just give me some vodka and a lemon with sugar, or a glass of Duplin wine.
  5. Favorite things to shop for- Fingernail polish (not a big shopper like most girls)
  6. Number- Seven
  7. Book- Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
  8. Movie- It’s impossible for me to answer this question…so not fair to make me choose only one.
  9. Song- I Am The Fire by Halestorm
  10. Favorite sport: Soccer

About Haven Cage

havenHaven Cage lives in the Carolinas with her husband and son. After many years of dabbling with drawing, painting, and working night shift in the medical field, she decided to try her hand at writing. Unfortunately, her love for books came later in life and proved to add a healthy challenge during her writing journey. Determined to hone her craft though, she soaks up as much information as she can, spends her free time tapping away in her favorite local coffee shop, and keeps a good book in hand whenever possible.

Years have passed since she began to write and sculpt her first novel, and now it is finally ready for debut. What began as a hobby has grown into a way of escape and the yearning to take her journey farther, her love for writing and reading deepening along the way.

 

Author Pages

Author site- www.authorhavencage.com,

Facebook- www.facebook.com/havencage/

@havencage on twitter

Instagram- havencage

Amazon-  http://www.amazon.com/Falter-Faltering-Souls-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01DDQVCJK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29617606-falter?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true

Smashwords- https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/HavenCage.

 

Liquid Friday with Author R. L. Weeks

This week we are featuring  Fantasy and Horror Author of Into the Myth, Toad Prince and bestselling horror stories One Way Out ,See No Evil and #Yourenext  R. L. Weeks.

Her favorite drink is Sex on The Beach! So lets hear directly from our featured author:

I used to work in a cocktail bar and I just loved the combination of flavour from the cranberry and orange juice, and when mixed with my favourite sex-on-the-beachalcohol, vodka and peach schnapps (or sometimes archers instead) it’s just an explosion of flavour! Plus, it gets me pretty tipsy quickly 😛 

Ingredients:

Fill your glass with ice and add 1 oz Vodka, .5 oz of Peach Schnapps, 1 oz Orange Juice and 1 oz Cranberry juice, Garnish with a lemon wedge and Maraschino cherry.

OK, it’s time to pour a glass of this delicious sounding cocktail, kick back relaxing and read a bit about her newest release:  Beauty’s Beast (Haunting Fairytales Collection Book 2):

The Blurb:
Edward was cursed to be a beast, but the new curse had a cruel twist to it that could put Bella in danger.
beatysbeastThe beast isn’t the only thing Bella should fear that roams within the castle’s walls. The rooms all hold cursed hearts and one man who could be the undoing of them all.

The Excerpt:

Bella

James peered over the boat, looking down into the clear blue water. The top of the water glimmered in the moonlight.

‘Careful,’ Bella said and pulled him away from the edge. ‘Remember what Papa said, there are mermaids in this lake.’

‘Mermaids are nice, though, aren’t they?’ he asked his mum.

‘No, they’re really not. They lure men into the water, drown them, then eat their insides.’

He jumped back and sat at the back of the boat, looking cautiously out over the water. ‘Why are we even here then?’

‘We have a task to do. Papa is ill. I told you, I paid a witch to tell me of anything that could help him, and she told me about a magical rose that’s guarded by a monster. It’s in that castle,’ Bella said and pointed at the castle that was growing bigger the closer they got to it. It sat on top of a massive rock; it was larger than most of the cliffs they had seen on their travels.

‘Yeah, but I still don’t understand why I’m here,’ James huffed.

‘I need you to pick the rose, only one who has an innocent heart can take it from the jar,’ she replied and continued rowing. Her arms were aching, she wasn’t shy to manual labour, but she had been rowing for three hours and her arms felt like they were going to drop off.

‘Mama, when we get to the castle, will they have food?’

‘In my bag, there is some bread and butter.’

James scoffed. ‘Great.’ He begrudgingly took out the stale bread and bit off a piece. As he chewed on the bread, he spotted a tail by the rocks splash out of the water then disappear. It didn’t look that big; it was as if it belonged to a child mermaid. However, it was unmistakably the tail of a mermaid, he had seen pictures, the strange glimmer that covered the scales, the transparent tips of the fins, the golden lines that cracked their way up from the fins to the torso.

The boat rocked and shook as it sailed through the rocks. It stopped at the bottom of the weathered stone steps that wound their way up the surface. James got out first, the water sprayed him, soaking his light brown hair so it stuck around his face. He grumbled and slicked his hair back. Bella got out after and laughed, the water lapped around her ankles. They climbed a step so they were out of the water. Her pale yellow dress hung around her ankles, she lifted it up & followed her son.

‘I wouldn’t worry. I’ve heard that no one has actually seen this monster that guards the rose. I think it’s just a story made up so people wouldn’t try to steal it.’ They huffed as they climbed the steep steps, Bella helped her son by allowing him to put a lot of his weight on her arm.

‘So we will be safe,’ he asked, raising an eyebrow.

‘Perfectly safe,’ she promised. ‘I won’t let anything happen to you anyway. If there is anything dangerous in there, then you run back to the boat and leave me if you have too,’

‘I wouldn’t leave you mama, plus, if there is a monster, I will strike it with my sword.’

She laughed. ‘So where is this mighty sword?’

He looked up. ‘You see the front of the castle, where the steps stop, and the drawbridge starts?’ she nodded, smiling. ‘Just past there, to the right should be an armoury, there always is. Somewhere in there will be an enchanted sword and only one who can kill the monster will be able to find it…’

She grinned. ‘You’ve been reading my books again, haven’t you?’

‘Maybe, but, it’s true,’ he stated and climbed faster. He loved adventure; ever since his dad had died, he felt the need to protect his mother.

‘Well, we will first look for the enchanted sword, slay the beast, then grab the rose. We will be home within days,’ she said, fuelling his imagination.

‘Yes, and the beast will try to capture you. But, I will find the secret passages that are obviously hidden behind the tapestries and break you out.’

‘Oh, will you now.’

‘Yes,’ he grinned, getting excited. ‘Then the beast, I believe he will live alone. Cursed to remain at the castle. He will try to attack me, then plunge himself onto the sword which will glow brightly before he runs into it. By the time he realises that I am the one who was prophesied to kill him, it’ll be too late.’

‘You will return as a knight,’ Bella shouted. James punched a fist into the air and laughed, but wobbled a little on the step. Bella grabbed him and pushed him up further.

‘Let’s go get this beast,’ she said. She knew there wasn’t a beast, a monster, or anything in there. But, she would always play the game. He would come up with the craziest stories about men he had seen walk past, how they were cursed, how one was a dragon slayer, and she would always go along with it.

She wrote fantasy stories for children, and he had taken to reading them all. One dragon at a time.

‘So, where’s this armoury?’ She asked as they climbed the last few steps.

When they were in full view of the castle, Bella’s heart pounded loudly. Maddening screams were coming from the barred up windows, the two large doors creaked open as James approached.

About Author:

R. L. Weeks is a fantasy and horror author living in Exeter, UK. She grew up in Devon surrounded by local folklore which she incorporates into her writing.

RLWeeksInto the Myth, published by CHBB, One Way Out and See No Evil, published by Vamptasy, are available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle.

She wants to write novels to inspire and help young people in the same way that fantasy books helped her. Horror is a genre that she wants to bring people back to ‘it’s such a deep genre. It’s so much more than just scaring people, it gives them a sense of empowerment. I’m obsessed with the reality of the human condition and the darker shades of humanity. I try to tell my stories from a different viewpoint.’

 

Liquid Friday with author Susan Shapiro

This week we are featuring New York Times bestselling author of ten books and an award-winning writing professor Susan Shapiro.

Susan’s favorite drink is the Republic of Tea, Honey Ginseng tea. Are you surprised?  Of course not!  A wonderful beverage, served iced on a hot summer day from the author of self help books like:  Lighting Up, How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking and Everything Else Except Sex (A Memoir). and co-author of Unhooked: How to Quit Anything.

Honey Ginseng Tea from  The republic of Tea:

A relaxing blend combines the ancient health properties of China teagreen tea with Panax ginseng and full blossom honey. This delicious, subtly sweet tea offers a peaceful sipping experience.
Steeping Instructions:
Steeping green tea is easy. Simply heat fresh, filtered water just short of boiling. Then pour water over tea and steep for 1-3 minutes ice-tea-pitcher-iced-jug-cold-iced-drink-lemon-mint-44879245(if using a tea bag) or 2-4 minutes (if using full-leaf tea.)

Ingredients:

China green tea, linden flowers, pollen eleuthero, Panax ginseng, natural flavor.

 

So lets grab a pitcher of this amazing Honey Ginseng tea, some ice and learn a bit about Susan’s newest book:  What’s Never Said.

It’s dangerous to search for an old flame you never got over. What if you find him-and he doesn’t remember you? In her captivating new novel, Susan Shapiro explores the perils of whats neverrevisiting past passion. Lila Penn leaves Wisconsin for graduate school in the big city, where she falls for her professor Daniel Wildman. Decades after their tangled link, she arranges a tête-à-tête in downtown Manhattan. But the shocking encounter blindsides Lila, causing her to question her memory-and sanity. Switching between Greenwich Village and Tel Aviv, the saga unravels the sexual secret that’s haunted Daniel and Lila for thirty years. PRAISE FOR SUSAN SHAPIRO: “Frank, darkly funny, entertaining…” -New York Times Book Review “A promiscuously readable guilty pleasure…” -Elle Magazine “Sly, candid, disarming…” -Pam Houston “Shapiro’s voice is so passionate and honest, it’s bewitching.” -Erica Jong “Irresistible energy, winning humor… breathtakingly frank honesty.” -Philip Lopate “Unputdownable.” -Gael Greenereal

Setup: In February 1981, in Greenwich Village, Lila Lerner, an innocent graduate N.Y.U. student from a Jewish Wisconsin family, is upset when the professor she adores ignores her on Valentine’s Day. So she has dinner with a Turkish classmate, Tarik, at the Cookery on University Place.

Excerpt:

When the wine came, Tarik took a sip and nodded for the waiter to pour

“Why did you get a bottle from ten years ago?” Lila asked, wondering if it was still good a decade later, and if you got a discount for old stuff.
“A friend and wine best when old,” he said, clicking her glass.
Lila was intrigued by his accent and the way he sometimes left out connectives.

“You prefer red or white?”

“Definitely red,” she said, not mentioning that the kind they drank at home was Manischewitz.

“After graduate degree, you move home?” Tarik asked.

“No. I’ll get a job and stay here. I love the Village.” Lila drank up. The taste was growing on her.

“Your family let you do this?” Tarik poured more.

Lila shrugged. “Why not?”

“Dangerous alone. Before you marry…”

Lila finished her glass. “I might never get married.”

“Woman writer needs husband,” he insisted.

“Tell that to Sylvia Plath.” She poured a tall one she finished quickly.

He looked confused. “She had husband and two babies young.”

“Yeah, then her husband’s affairs ruined their family,” Lila said. “She would have been better off unmarried and childless. Like Emily Dickinson. Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bishop.”

“You don’t mean.” Tarik shook his head. “Something wrong with woman who doesn’t want to be wife and mother.”

“What do you mean by wrong?”

“Broken. Damaged. Not normal. Crazy,” he listed. “How you say — disturbed.”

“Why the f— would you say something so ignorant?” she asked, emboldened by the wine.

“Speak quietly,” he said through clenched teeth. “Not attractive for ladies to swear.”

“F— you!” she said louder, standing up.

He stood up too, his eyes jumpy, horrified. “Sit down,” he whispered.

Lila did not sit down. She marched out the door. She’d never walked out on a guy at dinner before. It felt totally cool, like she was the poet version of Gloria Steinem. Until she realized that she was overdressed and alone at 9 p.m. on the Saturday night of Valentine’s Day in a city of couples on dates. How humiliating.

Lila started to cry, heading back to her dorm to hide under the covers. Instead she went to Washington Square Park. Sitting on a bench, she lit her roommate Sari’s present: a red joint. Nobody noticed Lila amid the transvestites, hippies and students gathered around the fire-eater — even in freezing cold. A scraggly regular said, “Hey pretty clothes, what ya doin’ back here?”

“Dumped my date,” she said, handing him the joint. They shared it as a guitar player sang Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris.” She hummed along, tingly, dizzy, starving.

Remembering the $20 her mother sent her for Valentine’s Day, Lila decided to take herself out to dinner at Dojo. She changed into the flats hidden in her purse and waded through the hordes of bohemians and homeless men hanging out on decrepit St. Mark’s Place. It smelled of burning incense and the hot dog truck on the corner.

Lila marveled at the seedy bodega, dive bar, graffiti-lined record shop and tattoo parlor she passed. More crazy characters strolled this jam-packed East Village intersection than she’d seen in nineteen years in her hometown of Baraboo — population 10,000. She was awed by the downtown graffiti artists and foreign women selling used blouses and coffeemakers on the sidewalk — not noticing it was twenty degrees out.

All the oddballs were decked out as if Valentine’s Day was Halloween — girls in gowns with vampire capes, men in dresses, high heels and makeup. Everybody carried bizarre objects: antique chairs, bagpipes, a boa constrictor. She felt like she was floating, escaping from prison to live in this exciting drug-filled carnival.

At her favorite bookstore, St. Mark’s Bookshop, she treated herself to a poetry collection, Louise Glück’s “Descending Figure,” on sale for $2. Crossing the street, she sat inside at Dojo and read the angry female Jewish poet’s words, craving chicken yakimeshi. Sari had turned her on to this dive and awesome $4 meal. When Lila got her paycheck, she’d treat herself to this special dish. The only thing Lila didn’t like was the sliced onions. She’d pick them out one by one, putting a pile on the side.

Right after she ordered, she had a revelation. She stopped the waitress and said, “Excuse me, miss. I have a question. Can I get my yakimeshi without onions?”

“Sure, hon. No problem,” the waitress said.

Lila was amazed. Forget all her male Svengalis trying to teach her wisdom. She’d just learned the most important lesson on her own: You could order the world without onions! Just as it came, she saw Sari walking by through the window. She was alone too. What happened to her date Lenu? Lila ran outside and called out to her. “I left Tarik at the Cookery and smoked your joint alone in the park.”

“Lenu bangs me four times last night, then blows me off Valentine’s Day. It’s a stupid motherf—ing Hallmark holiday,” Sari muttered, then started crying.

Lila held out her arms, which Sari fell into. “I’m so glad you’re here. Come hang out with me.” Lila led her inside.

Sari sat down at her table, blowing her nose with Lila’s napkin. Then she stuck her fingers in the yakimeshi, picking out chicken and some carrots, plunking them in her mouth.

“Tastes different,” Sari said.

“I special ordered it,” Lila told her. “You can just order life without the onions!”

“Nice metaphor,” Sari said.

“Right? I know!” Lila cracked up, then asked the waitress for another fork, thinking she wound up with the exact right person she loved most on Valentine’s Day after all.

 

That was really good!  If you enjoyed what you read, we have another excerpt for you:

Scene: Lila Penn is standing in line at Barnes & Noble, nervously excited to see her old professor — and former flame — Daniel Wildman, who just a won a Pulitzer Prize. She whats neverhasn’t seen him in three decades. She knows it’s risky to be there, since they’re both married, and Lila never really got over him.

Excerpt:

Jittery all day, Lila had left work early to get her hair done, having her highlights frosted ash blond, her original color. She’d put on the black silk dress and Prada high heels she’d bought at Bergdorf’s. As the line winding around the huge bookstore crept closer, she scanned all the college kids in jeans and sweatshirts, feeling overdressed. She should have worn Levi’s and loafers, to look like seeing Daniel again was no big deal. Handing him the envelope in her purse felt too dangerous.

Even half-obscured by a pillar, his chiseled face was regal. He was powerful before the grand audience, more self-assured than he used to be. As she reached the head of the line, the clerk, who’d been marking names on Post-Its to show the author what to sign, had disappeared. Lila stood before Daniel, separated only by the thin table. Her hand sweated as she held out his slender book, feeling elated, a grad student again, younger, completely unveiled.

“Thanks for coming.” Unlike the last time they’d been this close, he was serene and sober.

“My pleasure. You killed,” tumbled out of her mouth, as if she were still his coed.

“Thanks.” He looked up at her. “To whom should I inscribe it?”

“To me,” Lila said.

He tilted his pen on the page, glanced up sideways and asked, “Your name?”

What? He didn’t know? Her breath stuck in her throat as he stared at her blankly. He was near seventy now. Was his eyesight failing?

“Sign it to Lila Penn.” She stared at him, waiting for her name and face to jar his recollection.

“One N or two?” he asked in a monotone.

“Two N’s,” she answered, dumbfounded, pushing her hair behind her ear. He didn’t know how to spell her married name? She felt flushed and frazzled. Maybe he’d inherited what he’d called “the forgetting disease” that had afflicted his father.

“With that last name, I hope you’re not a writer,” he said, looking pleased with his quip, the same cheesy joke every other idiot made.

“No, I’m a teacher.” She inverted their connection, trying to trick him into a reaction. But it was a lie. She’d recently been asked to teach a class, but still hadn’t responded.

“Okay, thanks for buying my book,” he said by rote.

Her eyes fell on his inscription: “To Lila Penn, All the Best. Daniel Wildman.” As if she were any stranger. Her forehead was hot, her heart knotting up in her chest.

Had he seduced so many students he couldn’t even recall who she was? She must have overblown their relationship in her head. Could she be the one whose memory was addled? Lila’s best friend Sari had insisted she had a distorted self-image. The teenage girl next in line, who had a pirate tattoo on her arm and a metal ring piercing her lower left lip, hovered right behind her, staring. Lila felt ashamed, as if she were just exposed as a pathetic hanger-on, an imposter.

“My maiden name is Lerner.” Lila blinked back tears, not believing he’d erased her. The whole room blurred.

“My wife kept hers,” he said smoothly, no recognition in his eyes. Then he reached his hand out for Lip Ring’s book and opened it. “Who am I signing it to?” he asked the youthful interloper, flashing the same polite grin, finished with Lila.

“To my mother, Mary Jonas. She studied with you a million years ago.”

“I know Mary! You look like her.” He laughed aloud, the big, hearty full-bodied laugh Lila used to love. “Must have been at least two million. Do you have a name too?”

Lila caught her reflection in the framed store poster, focusing on the faint marionette lines around her mouth, mortified to suddenly realize she’d lost her youth and beauty. She usually still saw herself as attractive. Yet she was obviously no longer a head-turner, the woman Daniel had called “his luscious muse.” Had she changed that much? The older suitor who’d adored her, exalted her looks more than any other male she’d known, had no idea who she was. But Daniel, you were the one who accepted me, discovered me, drew stars in the margins of my rough drafts.

She shouldn’t have lied to her husband about coming. She slinked to the register, fumbling for her wallet, so flustered his book fell to the floor. The rule: If you drop a book, kiss it, sacred like the Torah echoed from her childhood. She crouched down and quickly scooped it up, humiliated, invisible. As she went to pay, Lila spied the envelope she brought in the pocket of her purse, but it was too late to give to him. She had clearly overestimated her effect on him, her place in his romantic lexicon.

Out of all the conflicting scenarios she’d envisioned for almost thirty years, Lila had never once imagined that Daniel Wildman wouldn’t remember.

 

And for the first time ever, we can also indulge a bit in the story behind the story. In an article published in New York magazine Susan Shapiro reveals a bit more:

The Line Between Professor and Predator Isn’t Always So Clear

By

“Are you okay?” I asked my 22-year-old smart, pretty student Debbie last spring during office hours. She often susanhad questions about class or the ambitious book she was working on. But tonight she’d rushed over — still in a minidress, high heels, heavy eyeliner, and lipstick — upset about a bad experience she’d just had with a famous older novelist now teaching at my alma mater, whom she’d befriended on Facebook. “What happened?” I asked, worried.

She nervously combed her long, dark hair behind her ears. “He wanted me to be his date for this fancy award ceremony tonight. I was excited, got all dressed up. It was fun. But then he asked me to go home with him. Gross. I said no way.”

“What did he do?”

“Nothing. I got the hell out of there. It was creepy. There was another girl there he was flirting with.”

All the harassment, sexual-assault, roofie, and rape cases in colleges across the country were not distant news. Many of my students had shared similar sordid encounters, which scared me. I’d sent several distraught women to school authorities, to the police to report crimes, to therapists, and to editors who’d published their stories. Because I was a female professor and outspoken women’s-rights advocate who’d championed Debbie’s work, I knew she wanted me to be angry on her behalf, toe the conventional feminist line, take her side, see her as an innocent victim, and call the guy a harasser — or worse. Yet this time, I couldn’t.   

“I’m confused,” I said. “Why go on a date if you weren’t attracted to him?”

“I admire his writing. And I hoped he’d blurb my book,” she admitted. “But that doesn’t mean I was going to bed with him.”

“Of course not,” I told her. “Yet his proposition — and taking no for an answer — sounds fair.  We don’t have to vilify every man on the planet with a functioning libido.”

“Wow,” she said. “You’re taking this so personally.”

She was right. It wasn’t her actions that troubled me. I feared I’d done what I was accusing Debbie of doing when I was her age. She didn’t know that I’d had an affair with an older professor and tried to make him the villain. The truth turned out to be more complex.

Decades earlier, as an overeager graduate student in Manhattan, I’d dressed up for orientation, excited to introduce myself to the head of my program — a brilliant,  acclaimed author.

“It’s such an honor to meet you,” I said, shaking his hand.

“Planning to finish your PhD by the end of the mixer?” he quipped. He must have seen my application and knew that I was only 20, having skipped two grades.

“Why? Are you threatened by fast women?” I’d asked, not catching my double entendre.  

“Maybe I am,” he said, smiling, pulling his hand free from my grip.

He was about twice my age and academically dashing in his beige jacket and corduroys. I’d admired his dark, hilarious books, which seemed like Philip Roth put to poetry.

I was a tall, thin-skinned Michigan girl with a big mouth, a big appetite, and big feet. Although my conservative parents didn’t know what a master’s in creative writing was, they’d reluctantly let me sell my orange Cutlass to help fund three terms in the big city. The minute I got to Greenwich Village, I never wanted to leave. I dreamed of becoming a famous author with bylines in magazines and books, just like my professor.

Showing up to his every office hour, I’d hand him stacks of poems I’d been revising until four in the morning.

“Just one,” he’d say, then unleash his full, throaty laugh.  

I morphed into a downtown New Yorker. I lost weight, donned thick, black eyeliner, low-cut, tight black clothes, and spiked black boots. My professor noticed, I could tell. At a holiday party at his apartment, he stood close to me, pointed to my heels, and joked, “You’re trying to tower over me.” I removed them to help clean up afterward. Then we sat on the wooden floor of his dusty one-bedroom, drinking cheap Chardonnay from paper cups, me barefoot, chattering anxiously.

“You talk too much, too loud, too quickly,” he cut me off. Noticing me blush, he said, “Don’t be nervous, we’re not having an affair or anything.”

I wondered if I wanted to. Did he ever think of me outside of class, the way I thought of him?  From his work I knew he was single, straight, and lonely. I wasn’t sure if the spark I felt between us was my imagination.

“Will you look at my latest rewrite?” I begged, taking a revised poem from my purse.

He pulled out a pen and marked my page with squiggles and arrows. “You have too many words, not enough music.” I loved how honestly he critiqued me, our intellectual and erotic energy entangling.

“I think I’m falling for you,” I blurted out, avoiding his eyes.  

He cracked up. Humiliated, I couldn’t hold back my tears.

“I’m sorry.” His voice grew softer. “It’s just that everybody falls for the person who fixes their work.”

“That’s not why,” I insisted.  

“Listen, I would never date a student,” he said. I was crushed. Until he added, “If only I weren’t your teacher.” Hope!

After that, he invited me to book events, introducing me to his colleagues as “a talented newcomer,” elevating me socially — and creatively. Having his ear and his eyes on my work felt  magical, mystical, enthralling. I was honored when he asked what I thought of his first drafts, thrilled when he took my suggestion to retitle a poem.

Before I completed my degree, he recommended me for a coveted position at The New Yorker,  which I took, finishing my thesis by night. I told myself I’d landed the full-time gig because I’d aced their editorial test and hit it off with my fascinating female boss, who’d been there since World War II. But without my professor’s referral, I may have landed next to my classmate as an assistant at Soap Opera Digest.

That May, I graduated and decided to stay in New York. Released from the confines of  academia, my former professor took me to dinner. At a local Chinese dive, he told me how beautiful I was. Finally we kissed. Our connection intensified. It was awkward and scary, but switching from protégée to girlfriend made me feel special. His crowd embraced me. Friends my age were a little skeptical, perhaps because I’d disappeared into his much more intellectually stimulating world. He was the oldest, wisest man I’d ever dated. He said I was the only student he’d ever touched. I believed him.

Yet the fantasy of having my professor fall for me was more exhilarating than the reality. With our feelings for each other no longer illicit, I found I was more comfortable in his classroom than his bedroom. Hearing him kvetch about his lower-back pain and receding hair was a turnoff. He  didn’t like that the job he’d found me became my priority. He rolled his eyes when I exalted Gloria Steinem and analyzed different waves of feminism. I tired of him correcting my grammar and making fun of me when I read tabloids or watched TV talk shows. I nicknamed him “Henry Higgins.” He called my new short haircut “too butch.”

“You’re too controlling,” I argued. I’d once imagined us as Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. Were we closer to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes?

I started smoking, toking, and drinking, all of which bothered him. He recommended I see a therapist. I refused, insisting he’d been on the couch so long, I got analyzed by osmosis.

Rushing home from a meeting one day, he announced that he’d been awarded a one-year fellowship in Israel and wanted me to accompany him. Although I was flattered, I couldn’t afford it, I confessed.

“I’ll pay for everything.”

“I already have a job that you got me. I can’t gallivant around as an appendage to a boyfriend.”

“We can get married,” he said.

Two female students I knew had wed their former professors. Yet I felt rushed and overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to get married. Or whether I was in love with him or the idea of him. Rather than take vows so young, I was yearning more for a mentor, a father figure. “I’m nowhere near ready for this,” I told him, honestly.   

Wounded by my cold response, he took off, refusing to return my calls. He was mortified. While I’d put the brakes on a serious commitment, I hadn’t meant to end everything. I was confused. If he saw me in our shared neighborhood, he’d rush to cross the street. I felt guilty and grief-stricken. Yet completely ghosting me — not even returning a phone call — seemed cruel.  Wasn’t he supposed to be the mature one? I’d never felt more alone or vulnerable. Breakups were bad enough, but I was afraid this split would exile me from my newfound colleagues and the literati crowd.  

Indeed, when I later became a teacher, two students reported that he’d badmouthed me, telling them not to take my class, claiming I had no idea what I was talking about. I couldn’t believe he’d publicly maligned me. I felt powerless and persecuted by an angry ex who could ruin my reputation. Freaked out, I finally did call a shrink. She reassured me that nobody would take his word over mine at this point. Then she asked what had originally drawn me to my professor. I said, “He had this great apartment overstuffed with books, and brilliant writer friends, and smart editors publishing his work …”

“So you didn’t want to marry him, you wanted to be him?” she asked.

I nodded yes, awed by the distinction.

Amid debates of older men harassing, seducing, and manipulating female students and subordinates, it was tempting to see myself as the innocent prey and injured party, another  young, impressionable protégée manipulated  by a powerful man. Yet as easy as that narrative would be on my ego, it wouldn’t be psychologically accurate.  

I realized this after my husband, a scriptwriter, spoke to my writing class about TV and film. The next day, an envelope came from one of my undergrads. Assuming she’d dropped off a late assignment, I opened it, taken aback to find her sexy headshots, body shots, and a note to my husband about how brilliant his talk had been and how she’d love to buy him a beer to discuss career options in “our biz.”

“She just wants me to help her get a job on Saturday Night Live,” he tried to reassure me.

She was sharp and talented. Yet from the vantage point of being her writing professor and his wife, it seemed to me she was blatantly flaunting her sexuality to further her career. It reminded me of the way my student Debbie had posted half-naked pictures of herself on social media,  probably what had lured the acclaimed novelist. She felt I was being prudish. I thought I was being protective.  

I wasn’t always so conservative, of course. We each harness whatever power we have to get ahead, whether overtly or subconsciously. I’d once been a hot 22-year-old using my looks to fuel my ambition. Yet here I was, wishing my students would own their roles in this clichéd, coquettish game while I hadn’t been honest either. I suddenly saw how I’d deceived myself years earlier. If my professor was drawn to my youth and beauty, I’d been enticed by his experience and status, which I wound up usurping. It was a trade-off I’d chosen, a barter that launched me, benefitting me most in the long-run.

Seeing him at a crowded soirée not long ago, our eyes met. I went over to say hello. He pretended not to remember who I was, turning away as I approached. I was shocked. Then I wondered if he’d intentionally shunned me because he was still angry. I was actually flattered to think I could elicit so much emotion all these years later.

Had he spoken to me that night, I would have thanked him. He had, after all, improved my life, teaching me to be an incisive reader and critic. He’d helped me land an awesome first job in the city. He’d inspired me to write books and teach, demystifying the process. I might have even apologized, not sure if I’d been immature back then or just a typically self-involved single player in my 20s.

Now, after two decades in a happy union, I’ve learned I can be a feminist who loves men and marriage. This involves not lumping all men into the enemy camp, or labeling someone “sexist” or “predatory” just because they express desire.  

In retrospect, my professor was not a Svengali seducing an innocent rube — or  a skirt chaser abusing his position, like other infamous men in the news. I was never victimized. He was a gentleman who’d postponed our romance until I was no longer in his class. I’d been a consenting adult who’d actually initiated the relationship. I’d wanted him, went for him, got him — and his connections. When he’d pushed for more, I set the limits I needed to, and not all that gently. Then I published a book telling my side of the story.

Ultimately, he might have been more of a victim than I was.

See the original article in NY Magazine.

 

About Susan:

susan2Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writing professor, freelances for The New York Times, New York Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Newsweek, Elle, Esquire & Oprah.com. She’s the New York Times bestselling author of 10 books, including the acclaimed memoirs Lighting Up,Only as Good as Your Word, and Five Men Who Broke My Heart, the coauthored nonfiction booksUnhooked and The Bosnia List , and the novel What’s Never Said. She and her husband, a TV/film writer, live in Greenwich Village, where she teaches her popular “instant gratification takes too long” classes at the New School, NYU and in private workshops & seminars. You can follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet or reach her at ProfSue123@gmail.com.