Tag Archives: Writer

Liquid Friday with author Paula Scardamalia

This week we are featuring author, book coach and dream consultant for People Magazine Paula Scardamalia and her book: Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom.

But before we even dream of looking at her work, let us find out what is Paula’s favorite cocktail that she recommends for us this Friday evening.

Mojito with Citron Vodka

My favorite drink, especially in the summertime, is a mojito. I love the bright summery taste of fresh mint from our yard mixed with the tang of fresh lime juice. And unlike some mojito recipes that use mojitirum, I use citron vodka. The drink holds good memories of playing with friends in San Diego several summers ago at a hotel bar that had a special on mojitos. When I ordered one the bartender said she’d run out of rum but would use citron vodka and that I would like it. I did. And that’s the way I’ve fixed my mojitos ever since.

In large tumbler:
Put 12 large mint leaves with the juice from ¼ of a lime.
Bruise mint in lime juice, and then fill glass with crushed ice
Add 1 1/2 oz citron vodka (optional)
Fill glass with Mist Twist (old Sierra Mist) and stir.

Find a comfortable spot, put your feet up, take a sip, and relax. Ahhhh!  Time to check into the book.

Blurb

“The thoughtful and challenging spiritual lessons found here may indeed draw from ancient myths and the timeless activities of weaving-a-womans-life-195x300women of wisdom—but any man lucky enough to encounter them will learn as much about his own life textures as he will of the intricacies of female experience. This is a gentle and instructive book that reconnects all of us with some of the deepest fabric of our shared past and living present.” ~Joanna Bull, Founder of Gilda’s Club Worldwide

 

 

Excerpt from Lesson Five: Intention and Perspective—Creating the Vision

“Remember how many of our favorite fairy tales begin with a woman expressing her heart’s deepest desire? Often that desire, as in Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Thumbelina, and Rapunzel, is a woman longing to give birth to a child. The story does not really begin until the vision or intention is expressed. Then magic happens.

In order to wind a warp for the loom, I must first express or envision what I want to weave. The “story” of my weaving will not come to a happy ending if I wind a narrow warp of seven inches, put it on my loom, and then decide after the warp is threaded and tied on that I want to weave a shawl that is twenty-eight inches wide. I must then either unthread that warp, putting it aside, and wind on a new one that is the required width, or I can weave off the narrow warp first and then put on the wider warp for that shawl. Either option wastes time, effort, and perhaps even yarn. I will not be able to make up this loss later.

For our lives to unfold like the fairy tales of old, we must express the intention or vision for our lives—our heart’s deepest desires.”

Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom, won several awards, including a Bronze in the Self-Help category in Foreword Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year Awards.

About the Author:

Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, dream consultant for PEOPLE Magazine (Country), is an author, book coach, and tarot and dream paulaintuitive. Since 1999, Paula’s shown writers how to use tarot, dreams, rituals and other intuitive tools to write stories from the deepest part of their imaginations. She’s presented workshops at small private events on the East Coast, and at both national and regional Romance Writers of America conferences and meetings, at the 2014 San Diego University Writers Conference, and the International Women’s Writing Guild summer conference. Paula publishes a weekly e-newsletter on writing, dreams, and tarot, and is the award-winning author of Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom.

You can learn more about Paula by following the link to her Divining The Muse website:

divining

Liquid Friday with author David Ellis

This week we are featuring International Award winning Author, Lyricist, Poet and a Humorist: David Ellis and his book Life, Sex & Death – A Poetry Collection Vol. 1

But before we cross the line into his book, let us find out what cocktail does David recommend for this evening.

My drink would be a Gin, Elderflower & Prosecco cocktail because it is elegant and when drinking it I feel like I’m James Bond on an exotic island 🙂 I also have a very sweet tooth, so if I can’t have biscuits or cake then this will do very nicely.

gin_proseccoHere is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 parts Gin
  • 1 part Elderflower Liqueur
  • Prosecco
  • Lime Wedges
  • Sugar (for the rim of the glass)

Instructions

  1. Fill a shaker with ice and add the Gin and Elderflower Liqueur. Shake to combine.
  2. Place the sugar on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a martini glass and press the rim of the martini glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass and top with Prosecco. Squeeze a lime wedge in the drink and garnish with an additional lime wedge.
  4. Serve immediately.

Book blurb:

Life, Sex & Death – A Poetry Collection Vol 1″ is an International Award winning volume, having won an award in the Readers’ Favorite 2016 Book Award Contest for Inspirational Poetry Books.
Life, Sex & Death” is all about exploring themes of Inspirational, Philosophical and Love/Romance. There is humour, art, wit, passion lifeand self help throughout all the diverse styles found in this book. My poems explore emotional depth of the human condition and try to make sense of the world, even when it is at its most extreme and unforgiving, there are still beautiful things to inspire us and give us courage. I write to give people hope and confidence in their lives, to take chances on the unknown and above all to love and respect themselves, along with sharing endless kindness with others.

Here is a sample poem from my poetry book Life, Sex & Death:

A Double Edged Sword (by David Ellis)

Pride can be a sword
That can stab you in the back
Don’t be the one
To take the fall
If confidence is what you lack

Hate can be a mistake 
A jealous enemy you can forsake 
Consumed by evil 
You derail your goals 
Hampering any progress you make 

Be proud of yourself 
Focus on all your achievements 
Look at how far 
That you have come 
The lives touched now have purpose 

Face your fears 
Your mind is now crystal clear 
An ocean of serene calm 
Where once was a storm 
Now you’re the pilot and the bombardier 

Asking for help 
Is not a weakness 
And neither is 
Helping others 

So wear your proudness 
On your sleeves 
And remember 
To inspire others 
As they have done for you 

A perfect circle 
That makes us all complete 
No need to compete 
No need for anger, fear, loathing 
Just love and peace

About the Author:

David Ellis is a Humorist, Lyricist, Poet, Short Story Writer and davidellisAuthor.  In addition to his poetry book, he has recently published a collection of his Flash Fiction and Short Story pieces in a collection called “A Little Bit of What You Fancy.”  He has also published a collection of Short Stories to donate the proceeds to Children’s Charities written by a variety of talented authors called “A Blend of Tea Break Tales”.  David has collaborated internationally on Poetic Duets with people from around the world. His current passion is to expand his Author Interviews section and he welcomes any enquiries from people who have published books that would like to be interviewed that wish to share information about themselves, their work and their own creativity tips.  He is a field reporter for The Nudge Wink Report where he writes spoof news articles.

His website contains many tips, tricks and techniques to inspire creativity in writers, authors, artists, photographers, poets and musicians.  The website can be found at www.toofulltowrite.com. His Twitter handle is @TooFullToWrite.

In his spare time, David enjoys Netflix, tea and biscuits and dreaming up endless puns to make people smile.  Indiana Jones is his spirit animal.  David tries not take himself too seriously and neither should you.

Liquid Friday with author Aimée Marie Bejerano

This week we are featuring Christian YA author of inspirational, historical fiction and paranormal thriller/horror novels Aimée Marie Bejerano and her book Angelica: You Have Chosen Well.

But before we take upon the quest of learning about Aimee’s book, let us find out what is her favorite drink.

I’m a huge diet Coke lover. I started drinking it to help with chalky mouth DietCokefrom my medication, lol. Now, if you’re talking about an adult beverage, I don’t do social drinking or drink on a regular basis unless it’s according to

1 Timothy 5:23: “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” King James Version (KJV)

This basically means, if you have sickness in your stomach or other infirmities, to have a LITTLE wine to help. That’s precisely what I do. I have chronic digestion issues, diverticulitis and sour stomach. I also have chronic pain due to Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. So, according manishewitzto God’s word, I drink a little wine to help, not to get a buzz or to get drunk. The one wine that helps me the most, is chilled Manischewitz wine. I put a lot of ice into it, I know this sounds strange, but it’s a very sweet wine. I only need a tiny amount and just as the Bible says, it completely helps my stomach or my body.  I started drinking it probably over 10 years ago when my mother reminded me of the Bible verse and encouraged me to have a little to help. I’m thankful she did because it does help me quite a bit lol. 

So let us grab a little glass of Manishewitz wine or a Diet Coke (for those who would rather abstain for tonight, and dive right into the pages of Aimée Marie Bejerano‘s book  Angelica: You Have Chosen Well:

Blurb:

“There are crucial decisions Angelica must make regarding her life and purpose.”

angelica“Will she expire in a jail cell? Will she select death for the One she loves?”
“Aimee’s descriptions of the era are done so well that you will feel like you are right there with Angelica. At times I was bold with her and other times, well most of the time, I wished I was as courageous in the Lord as Angelica. Don’t miss out on this truly inspirational read, geared toward introducing a very personal relationship with Christ as well as encouraging one in their faith to stand up for him no matter what life may bring.”- Victoria Simcox

One prophetic night of birth, shakes and shapes history as we know it.

The life of a beautiful girl from Bethlehem, born that same prophetic night as Jesus, faces her final end when she is forced to decide either renounce Jesus and live or acknowledge Him and die.
Angelica was arrested and imprisoned, by Saul of Tarsus, for preaching on the narrow streets of Jerusalem. While awaiting a angelica2horrible death of stoning, she decides to write her life’s story which begins in Bethlehem when her father an inn keeper met a young couple one night. He had no room in the inn. All he had to offer them was a stable. Follow her on the journey of her life as she meets Bible characters and sees things her innocent eyes have never seen before.
Will Angelica’s life mission end in a prison cell…will she choose life or will she choose death for the One she loves?

This novel will make you walk away a believer and broken questioning the very core of your being. Are you brave enough to read it?

Excerpt:

Jesus has already suffered the ultimate crucifixion.  Rising again causes fear in the heart of the King, jealous of any arrival of a so-called “new king”.

Jerusalem is in utter mayhem, full of soldiers and stampeding horses, a complete panic. Those who believe in Jesus are arrested, imprisoned, and put to death by Saul of Tarsus.  He zealously persecutes the church, seizing men and women, called the ‘followers’ or ‘Christians’ for causing uproar.  The uproar, telling people about Jesus Christ, the One many speak of, Who was dead and His body stolen. The Christians however, faithful to Jesus, know better.

Early one dusky morning, a man saunters down a steep, stony staircase leading into a cold, underground prison where the walls seep of water.  A wretched, lingering scent reeks of death throughout the dark, damp and brisk prison.  Its walls hold the memory of those dying and having perished inside the grey and black encumbrance.

At the end of the stairs sits a wooden chair and a small, round table where a candle, dripping of wax, remains lit.  The only light illuminates throughout the darkened prison.  The man passes by the cells, to the right and left, holding men and women, who will be put to death for their crimes.  Their only crime is to preach Jesus Christ.  angelica youThe prisoners sing songs to the Lord, while many others pray, fearfully eyeing the man who passes their cell. Thoughts prick their mind, “Am I next?”  His armor clinks and his sandals sweep across the hard, stoned floor until he finally stops at the last cell of the prison.  Disdainfully, he looks down on one prisoner.

“Woman, I have what you sent for.”  Speaking abruptly and callously, there stands the prison guard, dressed in red and gold armor. He leers at the young woman through the cell bars.  She lies on a bed of hay, her legs tucked tightly to her bosom.  Her arms are crossed as she sleeps. Struggling to keep warm, her eyes barely open, from sheer exhaustion.

The woman of fair complexion snuggles, with a head wrap. She wears an off-white gown with a colored, striped sash.  In an unlit cell, lying in a puddle of putrid water, her hair shines like the sun, in long ringlets.  Her sky blue eyes distract from the obvious dirt and grime staining her body and clothing.

About Me

Reverend Aimée Marie Bejarano is a Christian YA Author of Aimeeinspirational, historical fiction and paranormal thriller/horror novels. She’s a country girl living in the great state of Texas. Aimée’s a musician and has worked with the youth for years. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, and gardening. Her inspiration comes from the Lord and delves into good books, movies and things of the supernatural and paranormal enlightening people to what God’s word says on the controversial subjects. On cool evenings, she loves taking leisure walks. Writing is not only a calling but a means to get away into the world of imagination. Aimée is an ordained Reverend and loves the youth, personal prayer and welcomes prayer requests.
Aimée began writing at the age of 16 when home schooled. A simple creative writing assignment turned into a book.

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.

 

Liquid Friday With Author Di Storm

This week we are featuring Erotic Romance author Di Storm.  Lets hear from her directly about her favorite cocktail:

“My favorite cocktail is Long Island Ice Tea, until I  discover something new.”

Ingredients: Long Island Iced Tea - 1

  • ½ fluid ounce vodka
  • ½ fluid ounce rum
  • ½ fluid ounce gin
  • ½ fluid ounce tequila
  • ½ fluid ounce triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
  • 1 fluid ounce sweet and sour mix
  • 1 fluid ounce cola, or to taste
  • 1 lemon slice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple longislandsec, and sour mix over ice; cover and shake. Pour cocktail into a Collins or hurricane glass; top with splash of cola for color. Garnish with a lemon slice.

 

Now that we heard from the author, lest grab a glass of this delicious sounding Long Island Ice Tea, kick back and relax while learning more about  Di Storm’s new release:  Yes Sir! available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from Green Ivy Publishing.

TEASER

A world of intrigue and deception. Underworld clubs with high-profile members. A powerful circle of friends, and strangers, who meet in select places where one must know the hidden path in

yessirEarly in her adult life, Jessika finds herself attracted to men who are more dominant: controlling, forceful, her superior. And somewhere down her path of exploring sensual feelings, it all falls into place—she needs a master, a man she can serve in every way. But the further she delves into the world of domination, the more she realizes a part of her is still empty.

Surprisingly, Jessika finds that missing ingredient in a man who is anything but dominant. He is a cockold—a man who finds eroticism in watching enjoy herself with others but knowing that she isn’t getting pleasure from him.

Yes, Sir is a journey of lost love, lost connections, and the struggle for self-control. Jessika finds herself experiencing drastic changes deep within. The reserved, quiet, and submissive person she once was—fading. She is becoming stronger, more vocal, and dominant, standing up for herself, and others. These changes create a roller coaster of conflict within, a transitioning woman who struggles with an ever-present and seemingly contradictory need to be controlled and mastered.

Yes, Sir is an erotic, sensual, and emotional journey, bringing you to places you did not believe truly existed—but they do!

About the Author

distormBio

Liquid Friday with Author Jenn Nixon

This week we are featuring a Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy  author Jenn Nixon.  Lets hear from her directly about her favorite cocktail:

My characters drink much more than I do. I’ve never really warmed up to the taste of alcohol. If it doesn’t takes like alcohol, I’m more likely to drink it. One of my favorite drinks is the Jolly Rancher-jolly rancherJenn Style. I make it with Sour Apple Schnapps, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice and a splash of Orange Juice. I make mine on the light side, so they never really do anything but give me a slight buzz. LOL

Most of my characters like wine. Why? No clue. I hate it. It’s possible that someone will crack open a beer, too, and I know that Lucky likes Gin and tonic. I try to remember that other people DO like to drink when I’m creating my characters, it helps make them realistic to me. I think the next character I create will be more like me and not drink at all or very rarely at special occasions like Weddings and parties! J

Thanks for having me on your blog, Eden!

  • 1 oz. Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
  • 1 oz. peach schnapps
  • 4 oz. cranberry juice
  • splash of orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake until icy cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. You can garnish with a slice of apple, or a lemon wheel

Now that we heard from the author, lest grab a glass of this delicious sounding Jenn style- Jolly Rancher and indulge in an excerpt from her “Lucky” book series.  In particular from “Lucky’s Charm.”

Excerpt:

          August 14

           Nevada

Through a small gap in the grimy motel curtains, Lucky watched Conrad Andersen pull a Screenshothooker over his lap and playfully spank her ass. The woman shook her bleached head and kicked her legs in false protest, shaking the entire bed. She slithered against his portly belly and gave him an exaggerated kiss before vanishing from the scope.

Andersen wiped his mouth, and traces of bright red lipstick smeared across his face. Frowning, he got up and moved out of view.

Two hundred yards away, Lucky shifted on the rooftop, using the free time to ease the tension built up after an hour-long stakeout. First, a stretch and twist sideways popped a few vertebrae. Flexing both hands and then rotating both ankles brought the circulation back.

Wonder if military snipers do this shit when stalking a target. Doubt any of them ever had to endure an Olympic, Viagra-induced sexcapade.

Lucky eased back into position just in time to see Andersen appear in the rifle’s scope again. Even with the obstructed view into the room, she saw him dressed in a blue pinstriped suit with a white shirt. A decent-looking older man but knowing everything he’d done made him vile enough to eliminate.

The woman reappeared and gathered her belongings off the ratty nightstand. The lights dimmed; Lucky took deep breaths to maintain a slow, steady heart rate.

Lucky directed the scope three feet to the right and targeted ten inches below the top of the motel room’s door frame: the perfect height to hit the man. Once she had a clear shot, the window of opportunity would last five seconds. She already calculated the wind factor, distance, and bullet drop. The door opened. Lucky let out one last breath and then counted in her head.

One. The hooker emerged laughing.

Andersen appeared and draped his arm around the woman’s shoulders. Two.

She glanced up at him. Three. Lucky eased the crosshairs of the scope on his head.

Four. He leaned down and kissed his escort.

The mark lifted his head to search the parking lot.

In the fifth second, the bullet penetrated his skull. His eyes popped upon exit. Pink bits of his brain spattered on the door behind him. Andersen’s body slumped against the door frame.

The hooker’s scream filled the air. Other rooms instantly sprang to life with commotion. A dog even barked in the distance.

The remnants of his face stared back into the scope, confirming the kill.

Burn in hell, bastard.

The brass catcher on the rifle trapped the bullet casing. Lucky removed the silencer and popped off the shoulder stock. Then she packed the Heckler and Koch MSG90 in the trombone-shaped case in record time.

She rolled up the blanket and surveyed the roof for noticeable evidence before slipping down the side of the house. The quiet development she found behind the motel provided excellent cover. However, the occupants and their neighbors might be home any moment, and she had to move.

Lucky pulled the worn French beatnik beret down her forehead before weaving through the backyard. She hopped over the fence of the adjoining property, emerging on Margo Drive. She walked the length of the street, listening for any sign of the police behind her.

Though her heart pumped as if she just rode a roller coaster, she felt completely at ease. Yet another sign she’d been doing this job too long. Less than a mile from the scene and she didn’t have a stitch of worry about the cops catching her.

She was getting that good at killing.

Rounding the corner, Lucky noticed a young girl crying in front of a makeshift lemonade stand that her father was tearing down. The dollar sign, forgotten on the parched grass, had drops of tears streaking through the lettering. She slowed, feeling her stomach tighten as the sobs grew louder.

“We’ll try again tomorrow, honey,” the father said, ruffling the girl’s blonde head.

“But I dinnit sell anything, Daddy,” she squeaked.

Lucky had thirty seconds, maybe less, before someone called about Andersen. Response time in Vegas, at dusk, was never routine. Even if LVPD arrived within the next two minutes, she’d be long gone. She had to walk past them. Can’t let the poor girl go to bed sad and disappointed. Lucky knew how that felt. Fishing out two dollars from her jeans, she approached the stand.

“I need something to drink,” she said, clutching the trombone case tightly, her attention on the child “Think I can have one before you close?”

“Really?” The girl’s eyes bugged wide like little swimming pools.

“Get a cup, Daisy,” the father suggested and glanced up from his work on the wooden stand. The kid filled the cup all the way to the rim and decorated the lip with two cut lemons.

“I made it myself,” she announced proudly.

Lucky took the cup, guzzled half, and smiled. “Ahh, that’s very good lemonade.” She placed the two dollars in the girl’s hand. “Keep the change.”

“Thank you,” the father and daughter said simultaneously. That fatherly tone warmed her for a moment, but she didn’t make eye contact.

“Welcome. Gotta go,” she said, swinging the trombone case. “Gonna be late. Bye.”

“Bye! Come back tomorrow.” Daisy waved.

A minute after finishing her lemonade, Lucky found her rental car on Pacyna Street. The smell of Vegas, sex, booze, and money lingered in the air. Streetlights sparkled, waiting for the last of the sunlight to vanish from the horizon.

Lucky opened the trunk, secured the case, and slipped into the car. She sighed. Her boss wanted her to get rid of the sniper rifle despite pleas to keep the weapon for sentimental value. She knew he was right; she used the execution method several times. Still, it was a great gun—one she had for years—and she hated to melt it down.

Sirens screamed in the distance, breaking into her head. Not wanting to push her luck any further by sticking around, she took off, traveled south to E. Tropicana Avenue, and picked up her cell phone when she turned onto the main drag.

“It’s done,” she said while checking the rearview mirror. “Our boy had a thing for working girls, apparently.”

“Leave the package where I told you, he’ll take care of it for us. I’ll see you when you land, okay?” the man on the other end replied.

“Sure, Phen. Tell Bet she owes me dinner.”

“She does? Why?” He huffed. “Don’t tell me you two are wagering over your jobs.”

“No, she owes me because I told her you’d make me get rid of Heckle today.”

“Don’t be sore, you still have the other rifle.”

“Yeah, yeah. Talk to ya.” Lucky clicked off the phone. Annoyed and physically high from the adrenaline rush, she went to drop off her weapon at the butcher’s lock box, hoping to find a way to work through the pending madness that followed her jobs.

* * * *

Two days later, Lucky Fascino sat at the back of the plane, flipping through the complimentary magazine. She smiled up at the male flight attendant when he stopped the beverage cart.

“Drinks?” he asked.

“Gin and tonic, thanks,” she said.

“Make it two,” her neighbor added.

Her row mate, a pink-skinned, gray-haired man, had curiosity etched on his face. Next to Lucky, any Caucasian looked pale so she understood their interest. Being naturally bronzed, due in part to an unknown, mixed heredity, gave her an all-year color most women would kill to have. As part of her normally disguised travels, she hid her curly, honey-brown hair and slight almond-shaped, amber eyes—now considered exotic instead of strange—behind a jet-black wig and brown contacts.

Talking to a stranger was the last thing she wanted to do. Getting far away from the job was the only thing on her mind. She’d been in Vegas for nine days, watching the target, learning his habits, hangouts, and daily rituals. During the last five, she’d seen him with three women in two different motels.

Gotta love Vegas.

Afterward, she had worked off the adrenaline high from the job in the hotel gym, while waiting for news of the target’s death. It came in the form of a small article in the local newspaper. The city had well over a hundred murders so far this year. One more, under seedy circumstances, didn’t get much attention.

The man beside her tried to make conversation while she nursed her drink. Mundane chitchat mostly. I really don’t care where you live. It was natural for normal people to want some type of contact to ease the boring flight. Thanks to her second cocktail, she felt more social. Besides, she didn’t have a choice. He wouldn’t shut up.

“So, what do you do for a living?” Frank asked after the exchange of names and destinations.

Kill people like you. Well, she didn’t really kill people like him, unless he had some sordid history of crime. Unlike Andersen, who used his corporate success to embezzle, commit fraud, and murder, Frank seemed like just another guy.

“I’m the Comptroller for an international furniture company.” Lucky watched the man’s eyes glaze over when she described what she did for “work.” Accountant types never impressed anyone. During long jobs, she made up a personal history and itinerary to go along with whichever fake ID she used for cases like this. Today she played Lucille Summers from Baltimore, Maryland. It was one part of the job she still enjoyed.

“Sounds lucrative.” He rubbed the side of his gin-reddened face and covertly tried to ogle her legs. “In Vegas for business or pleasure?” The way he enunciated the latter made her skin crawl. She wouldn’t give him the time of day if he were the last man on the planet able to donate sperm to keep the species alive.

“Business meetings, you know how it goes, have to get those fiscal reports in order for the CFO,” she said, smiling, mostly to suppress the gag reflex.

He laughed, continually eyeballing her and gabbing about his trip. The trite, one-sided conversation continued until the plane began its descent.

*****

About Lucky’s Charm:

To protect her family and find a killer, Felicia “Lucky” Fascino assumed her adoptive father’s identity and joined the network of moral assassins to finish the job he began. Eliminating the man responsible for murdering her mother has consumed her for the last five yearsIMG_6680. Completing the job is the only way Lucky and her family can return to a safe and normal life. Lucky’s uncle, Stephen Chambers, hasn’t come close to tracking the killer. He announces he’s stepping down as her handler to concentrate on the investigation and names Elizabeth, his daughter, as successor.

Keeping secrets is a family trait, and Elizabeth’s addition to the business tests Lucky’s ability to maintain the pretense that the job doesn’t affect her despite the fact that all network hits are hardened criminals. While keeping her family at arm’s length, Lucky begins to feel the weight of her career choice and reclusive lifestyle. Then a chance encounter with an enigmatic hit man during one of her jobs turns into a provocative and dangerous affair. Distracted by the secret trysts with Kenji Zinn and mounting tension within her family, Lucky starts to make mistakes that threaten her livelihood and almost claim her life. When her family is targeted, Lucky must make several rash decisions she believes can save them and preserve her own sanity.

Author’s Bio:

21EsXZZnr+L__UX250_Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.dogs

You can learn more here.  You can also follow Jenn on Facebook and on Twitter @JennNixon

 

 

Lucky’s Charm Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008RG8V4Q

Author website: http://www.jennnixon.com

Author contact email: jenn@jennnixon.com

Twitter: @JennNixon

http://www.facebook.com/JennNixonAuthor

 

 

 

Liquid friday with author Roz Lee

This week we are featuring  USA Today Best-selling Author of Contemporary Erotic Romance Roz Lee.

Her beverage of choice is wine.  Which one you say? …

Why don’t you find out yourself by joining Roz Lee and thirteen other authors for “A Day of Wine and Romance”, tomorrow Saturday April 30, 2016 at the Brook Hollow Winery, 594 NJ-94, Columbia, NJ 07832.  Admission is Free,  optional wine tasting $5.00

So grab a glass of your favorite wine in anticipation of this event, sit down and relax checking Roz Lee’s newest release:  The Backdoor Billionaire’s Bride

backdoor 2Blurb:

Ford Adams had led a charmed life, but if he doesn’t figure out how to make the equivalent of a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and sell a boat-load of them, he and his mother might find themselves flipping burgers. Determined not to let that happen, he’ll need all the help he can get—especially from his sexy new business partner. If he can get her to take a chance on his crazy new idea, then maybe he can convince her to take a chance on him.

Becky Jean Parker’s life has been anything but what she’d imagined it would be, but she’d been content until a recent turn of events once again left her no choice. Unless she wants to wallow in bankruptcy for the rest of her life, she’ll have to go along with her new business partner’s insane plan and pray he knows what he’s talking about. The only thing crazier than Ford’s plan to sell sex toys is her attraction to him. Typical of her life, she’d had no choice but to fall for the one man she can’t have.

Click on the book links for more:

Amazon US Amazon UK –  Amazon AU –  Amazon CA –  iBooksKoboB&N

All Romance eBooks Smashwords

Interested in reading more, hold on here comes an excerpt, but before that let us drive home the concept of more wine and more authors below:

winetasting

Excerpt:

“The first-ever, lock-in-place butt plug!”

BACKDOOR_OP4Her insides turned to ice while, inexplicably, heat infused her skin. She didn’t need a mirror to know her face had turned tomato red. Her gaze automatically went to the printer dripping plastic droplets onto an ever-growing pile. Could the item really be…? She had no idea. She’d read about their use in a few steamy romance novels, but she had no firsthand knowledge of the devices.

“You can’t be serious.” Needing to steady her nerves before she went ballistic on her business partner, she reached for her wine, brought the cool glass to her lips, and drained it.

“I’m dead serious, Becks. It won’t take much to retool one of the machines to make them. We’ll keep packaging to a minimum—a plastic bag with a cardboard header. We’ll earmark the first five hundred as free samples, which you’ll send out, worldwide, to wholesale adult toy distributors. I tell you, this will work. People will buy this product.”

“Are you insane? First, this is Butte Plains. If we start making… those things”—she nodded toward the printer—“all our employees will quit. Second, I don’t know anything about the adult toy industry. I wouldn’t know where to start if—and that’s a very big if—I were to agree to your ridiculous plan and we could convince our people to produce the… things.”

“First,” he mimicked her not-quite-business-like shrieking voice, “our employees will make what we tell them to make if they want to keep their jobs. If they quit, then what is the unemployment rate in Butte Plains? Ten? Fifteen percent? We’ll replace them. Second, you’re a smart woman. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Internet. It shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to acquaint yourself with the major adult toy wholesalers.”

She barely heard what he said after he called her smart, but evidently, her subconscious had been listening. She caught up quickly. “Even if we could accomplish a miracle turnover, do people buy those things?”

“The adult toy industry is huge, Becks.”

“I wouldn’t know.” She forced her thoughts away from the cute pink vibrator she kept in her nightstand for those times when she needed release in order to remain sane. Ford might be right about sex selling, but she’d never in a million years let him in on how lonely she’d been since returning to Butte Plains. Some things a girl had to keep to herself.

“Trust me, sex sells.”

“Even if it does, what makes you think your… item will sell?”

“Mine locks in place. It’s a huge improvement over anything on the market today.” He got up and crossed to where the printer put the finishing touches on his creation. “There will be some assembly required before packaging. I’ve already contacted Scott about the locking mechanisms. He designed one a couple of years ago for a project that never went anywhere. He’s willing to let us use it for a few pennies royalty on each unit sold. He’s sending me a case of them by special messenger to try out. They’ll be here tomorrow.”

“Who’s Scott?”

“My best friend and business partner. He’s an incredible designer in his own right. Luckiest day of my life was the day we were assigned as roommates at MIT.”

“Oh.” Did Ronny know about Ford’s relationship with Scott? Maybe they had a three-way going on or something. Not my business.

Becky gathered the dirty dishes and put them in the sink. Leaning back against the counter, she gazed at her insane business partner’s back. He had one thing right—they needed to do something different, but did they have to dive ass first into the adult toy manufacturing business? Turning, she rinsed the dishes and put everything into the dishwasher. When she spun back around, Ford stood in front of the table, his new creation in his hand.

“It doesn’t look any different on the outside. The locking mechanism will be what separates it from the run-of-the-mill variety.” He flipped the item over, examining it from every angle.

“I just don’t see it working, Ford.”

“Have you ever used a butt plug?”

Heat rose to her cheeks. “No. I’ve never even seen one.”

“You through there?” He nodded toward the kitchen prep area.

“Yeah. Why?”

He set the plug on the counter. “Come on. It’s time for us to take a field trip.”

“Where are we going?” she asked, sinking into the soft leather seats of his luxury rental car.

“Don’t ask.”

“I don’t like this, Ford.” She reached for the door handle.

“Okay, okay.” Before she could bolt from the car, he cranked the engine and drove down the driveway. “There’s an adult store out on the Interstate. I saw it when I drove in from the airport.”

She knew the place—by sight only. “You can’t be serious.”

“I wish you’d quit saying that. I’m dead serious, Becks. I appreciate what you and my dad were trying to do, but the fact is we need to change course, and fast. We’re headed straight for the iceberg. If we hit it, we’re all going down. You, me, my mother, all our employees.”

He painted a grim picture, but, in truth, she’d seen the same one hanging on the wall. But there had to be another way.

“If you’ve got a better idea, this is the time to speak up.”

Damn him for being logical. “No. Sadly, I don’t have any idea at all, much less a better one.”

“Then give me the benefit of the doubt here, Becks.” He pulled into the blessedly empty parking lot and cut the engine. “There are thousands of these stores across the country. They’re springing up in malls and respectable neighborhoods, too. Many are women-owned businesses. You should like that.”

“Impressive.” Not.

“Come on. Let’s go inside.”

“No.”

“Come on, Becks. Consider this your first class in Marketing to the Adult Toy Industry 101.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “What if someone sees us? What will they think?”

“I hope you do see someone you know. It will help convince you normal people are buying this stuff. As for what they’ll think… well, I suspect they’d wish they could help you with whatever it is you’re buying tonight.”

“I’m not buying anything.”

“Just wait until you see what they have to offer. You might change your mind.”

“I hate you.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Yes, I do.” She reached for the door handle. “I’m going to go inside, but only so I can gather enough information to point out the errors in your plan.”

Ford placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her through the aisles toward the back of the store where a flashing neon sign said Anal Play.

“It’s okay to look around, Becks.”

“I don’t want to look around.”

“Sure you do. This is the kind of place you can’t not look around. It’s like an old-time carnival—filled with oddities you’re drawn to even though you know you shouldn’t be.”

Damn. Why did he have to be right all the time? She’d already spotted several things she wouldn’t mind taking a closer look at, but Hell would freeze over before she’d admit being curious. “Let’s just do what we came to do and get out of here.”

“Sure you don’t want to look around?”

“Positive.”

Meet the Author:

rozLeeUSA Today Bestselling Author, Roz Lee is a displaced Texan who lives in New Jersey with her husband of almost four decades, and Bud, an overly large rescue dog who demands regular romps in the woods no matter how busy his parents are.

The mom of two daughters, one a police officer and the other an economist married to a pilot, Roz collects Depression glass, and teacups with rose patterns. Her favorite food is Tex-Mex, and she’s never met a piece of chocolate she didn’t like.

When Roz isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traipsing around the country on one adventure or another. Warning—she brakes for antique stores!

 

You can follow Roz Lee via to Blog, Facebook,  Twitter, Pinrest, Google, or learn more on Amazon Author Page or Goodreads.

And just in case you are still wanting for more, we have another excerpt for you:

“Ford?” Becky knocked on his open office door then stepped inside. “Got a minute?”

He put down his pencil and rocked back in his chair. “Sure. What’s up?”

He’d been working on a new design the last few days, and seemed to have lost track of routine things—like shaving and combing his hair. He looks like he just climbed out of bed.

She had no business thinking about a sleep-tumbled Ford. They had a purely professional relationship that, due to the nature of the business, included him seeing her naked ass on one occasion—but it had been a one-time occurrence, and an emergency to boot. Nothing remotely similar would happen again. Becky wouldn’t be seeing his adorable disheveled countenance across the bed, so best to quit imagining it. Besides, as soon as they put Adams Manufacturing back on an even keel, Ford would start looking for a buyer for the share of the company he controlled. He’d been clear from the beginning about his desire to go back to his life in New York, and she couldn’t blame him. Butte Plains didn’t rate a dot on most maps. The nightlife here consisted of high school football games in the fall and catching lightning bugs in the summer. The pace of life was two steps behind slow and getting slower with each passing day.

She closed the door and approached his desk. “I have good news and bad news. Which would you like first?”

“Might as well start with the bad.” He sighed and held his hand out for the paper she extended to him. “Don’t make me read it, just tell me.”

“We’re running extremely low on raw materials. If we don’t pay some of our suppliers, we’re going to have to scale back our production of the Safeguard Backdoor Locking System.”

“Bottom line?”

She named a figure that made him whistle. He dropped the paper on his desk. “And the good news?”

“We need more raw materials.”

His brows knit as he stared up at her. “Isn’t that the same as the bad news?”

“No. It’s the opposite of the bad news.” She could barely keep the smile off her face, but she loved turning the tables on Ford. “See?” She handed him another sheet of paper. As he read, his face relaxed then his lips curved upward in a tentative smile.

“Tell me this isn’t a joke.”

“No joke. I just got off the phone with the head buyer. They want fifty-thousand units as soon as we can ship them. I promised ten thousand a week for the next five weeks with a promise to fill the order faster if we could manage it.”

A giant smile split his face. “You did it, Becky Jean. You really did it!” He jumped up, rounded the desk, and threw his arms around her, lifting her off the ground with a whoop they probably heard in Dallas. She laughed right along with him.

After printing out the purchase order the buyer had emailed to her, she’d danced around her office until she’d been able to control her expression. Seeing Ford this happy filled her with joy. She laughed and hung on as he spun her around until she became dizzy.

“This calls for a celebration.” He set her down then went back to his desk. Chest puffed out, he produced a bottle and two glasses from a lower drawer. “Tennessee’s finest,” he said, removing the top.

She laughed and accepted the tumbler with a splash of amber liquid.

Ford lifted his glass in the air. “Out with the old, in with the new,” he said. “And, to the latest incarnation of Adams Manufacturing.”

They tipped their glasses together until a crystal-clear clink rang out. Becky sipped at her drink while Ford finished his in one gulp, then refilled it and downed the second helping. They were a long way from being out of the woods, but this first order did warrant a celebration. She tipped the rest of her drink back. Coughing as the liquid burned its way down, she held her glass out for a refill.

“We did it, Becky Jean.” They’d done significant damage to the bottle of Tennessee’s finest. Ford had called Scott to let him know, then drank a toast to his best friend whose locking mechanism was the true success behind the new product. Never mind it had taken Ford’s genius to marry his design with a lock with no other practical application. Several drinks later, he’d waxed poetic about Becky’s marketing skills.

If anything reeked of donkey doo-doo, his statement did. She’d named the product, slapped a bunch of them into boxes, and shipped them off to adult toy suppliers then prayed they’d see what Ford saw—the chance to make a fortune.

She still didn’t believe more orders were imminent, but Ford thought differently, and for the time being, she chose to believe him. For the first time since the reading of Mr. Adams’s will, the doom of bankruptcy seemed less certain.

“To butt-plug wearers everywhere,” she said, lifting her glass.

“Here! Here!”