Isabel Allende

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post Holiday Blues

Greetings friends and fans! I truly hope you all had a fab holiday season no matter where you happened to be, or who you were with.

Traditionally, this is crash and burn time - after the festivities come to a halt - or seem to. But the fun doesn't have to end yet! Here are some ideas on how to keep the celebrations going, or at least hold off the inevitable.

PEAR AND CRANBERRY BELLINI (from our party girl, Martha Stewart)


1 cup pear nectar
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 bottle Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine


In a small pitcher or large liquid measuring cup, combine pear nectar and cranberry juice cocktail. Pour 1/4 cup juice mixture into each of eight champagne glasses. Dividing evenly, top with Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine.






Monday, November 28, 2011


Madison needs a short hiatus, to rest and to write. So, the first chapter of my next book will be posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012. Here's a little teaser to tide you over. 

At Edith Hornbrook’s urging, Henley Hornbrook III presents the wealthy local beauty, Proberta Gerber, with a brilliant five caret yellow diamond ring.
Unremarkably handsome, and seemingly dull, inexperienced Henley sets out to learn the ways of women before his impending marriage. He discovers Rosetta, the exotic gypsy who lives in the forest near the Hornbrook estate, whose lessons in lust soon blossom into a torrid romance. So, when Henley’s cousin, the dashing Wesley Arbuckle, arrives for a visit, he is greeted by Proberta with more than an open heart. 
However, Henley’s growing suspicion of his mother’s meddling in his romantic affairs soon becomes clear, and with the help of Rosetta, and some clever manipulation, the cards held in the hand of destiny are revealed. 

Meanwhile, please do check back for daily blog blurbs, contests, and mini musings to brighten your days. Also, please sign up with your email address so I can add you to my mailing list.
Until then, The Happiest of the Holiday Season to you and yours. 
Warmly, ML XO

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Frances Del Monte, Vivian Furlish, and Amy Richardson sat in three side by side chairs  at Snippets Salon while Liam and Genevieve applied the appropriate mix of color to each of their heads of hair. Magazines lay open on their laps, but they were too busy talking among themselves to be bothered with catching up on the latest Hollywood gossip. With all the goings on, there was enough scandal of their own to keep them gabbing for a few weeks at the very least. 
Wearing a simple white blouse, thigh-high black leather boots with her signature mini-mini skirt, kohl black eyes and flaming red lips, Genevieve had the appearance of goth vamp meets school girl, which is likely the look she was after. Her newly cut and bleached hair was teased into a beehive up-do. Without a doubt she turned heads, and not because her look was outlandish, but because she was drop dead gorgeous.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It was mid afternoon on a Tuesday and although on crutches, Liam Irish had been released from the hospital the day before and was now with the others waiting for Officer Billy and his partner, Fred, to arrive at the club. The police cruiser pulled into the back alley out of direct view of traffic, as directed by Della the day before. With the trashing, and then the shooting, they didn’t want to frighten off customers any more than they had already. Della met the two officers at the side door. 
“Hi. You must be Savannah’s brother, Billy,” Della said, looking directly at the handsome young man who was the spitting image of his sister. Then Della looked over at the other, older gentleman.
“This here’s my partner in crime, Fred,” offered Billy. “Fred, this is...”
“Della. It’s Della,” she said, almost choking out the words as she melted under Fred’s gaze. He wouldn’t take his eyes off of her until, finally, she turned away.
“Uh, c’mon over, fellas. I’ll introduce you to the others.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



Genevieve, Della, Miguel, and Savannah Porsche sat huddled close together in the waiting room of Cedars Medical Center, waiting for blood work and x-ray results to come back from the lab.  The emergency physician had reassured them that everything would be alright, but there were concerns as to whether the bullet had torn into ligaments in his femur, which would require orthopedic surgery then plastic surgery. They were also concerned the bullet had nipped an artery when passing through his leg. There had been a lot of blood. 
It had already been a long night. They had been awake, on and off, for almost seventy two hours. Miguel snored softly, his head leaning against the seat back of a hospital waiting room chair. Savannah stood and began pacing across the shiny, freshly mopped floor. 
“Boy, could I use a coffee,” she said, glancing around for a beverage machine.
“Me too,” seconded Della drowsily.
“Let’s go find the cafeteria, Savannah. I wouldn’t mind a hit of caffeine either,” Genevieve suggested, ready for a breather.
“I’ll stay and sit with sleeping beauty in case the doc shows up with some news,” Della said, nodding toward Miguel. “Would you grab one for me too?”
Genevieve stood up and the two of them walked toward the elevators. When they got to the cafeteria on the sub-basement level, they each filled a Styrofoam cup with fresh steaming coffee and sat down.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Shock and disbelief swept over the lot of them as the extent of the damage began to sink in. It was two days after the horrible incident at The Lady. An old ghetto blaster had been set up to drown out the din of clean-up while Harry, the bartender, and a crew of bouncers set tables and chairs back in place and swept away shards of broken glass. The atmosphere was gloomy. No one had heard from or seen Dominic Diaz, which spoke volumes, but no one really wanted to see him. They all knew from their simmering anger and frustration that if he were to walk into the club right now he might not make it out alive.
As usual, Liam and Genevieve were sitting with Della at the back corner table when Miguel entered through the backstage door. What lights were still functioning cast a dim glow in the room. Although clean-up had begun, based on the dismal state of things, it was going to be a long, slow process despite the need to get things up and running swiftly. 
“Hey,” Miguel said as he approached the table. “Glad to see someone’s still hanging around. Anything I can do to help out?”
“Have a seat, Miguel,” Liam offered. He scooted over on the cushioned bench of the booth to make room. Miguel obliged. 
“Where’s the rest of them? Where’s Mitch and Fran?” 
“They went home,” Liam replied. “It has all been too much for them, especially Franny.” He looked at Della, then to G, who was slumped in the corner, head bent forward. “They just need a break. I told them we’d take care of things.”
“Oh for sure, man,” Miguel said, jumping in enthusiastically. “I’ll do what ever it takes. No problem.”
Normally Liam would have smiled at that, but he was too distracted trying to make sense of this blatant show of revenge by who was now their enemy. The game had changed. With unspoken thoughts, it was clear to them all that this meant war. Each one bore their own outrage, their own grief, each had a bone to pick with Dominic Diaz. And, if Dom was capable of this, what else might he do? The scope of their plan felt overwhelming now, and they all wondered if they were in over their heads. But they all knew they were in it together, and Dom must be stopped - somehow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


        Miguel stood in the doorway, looking toward the small bed. She looked lovely and serene lying there, naked against the darkness. He still didn’t understand how he’d ended up there. He had gone out that night with entirely different motives in mind, and through a series of accidents had ended up there, with her. 
He continued to stare at those rosy cheeks, her smooth pale shoulders peeking out from under white satin sheets, her slender neck that irresistibly called out for him. If he had his way, he’d climb back in beside her, snuggle up to her warm body and make wild, passionate love all morning, all day. She was perfect - perfect for him. Had he paid more attention earlier to her needs, to who she really was, he may have determined her finer qualities much sooner, but he had been too distracted to notice. At least, he thought, he’d figured it out now, which is all that mattered.
  Miguel did not believe in accidents, nor did he believe the story she told him late last night was false. They all knew by now that Dominic Diaz was a good for nothing swindler and thief who had been ripping off The Foxy Lady for years, unbeknownst to its rightful owners Mitch and Fran Del Monte. What’s more, he had wreaked havoc there the previous night, busting the club up to the tune of thousands of dollars that neither Mitch nor anyone else had. Even though they all knew Dom was the culprit, without proof, they could hardly approach him outright. Miguel wasn’t sure why she had blurted out this new information to him, why she trusted him above all else. Not until now. 

Monday, October 17, 2011



When Liam arrived at the salon just before ten the next morning, Genevieve had already opened. The smell of freshly brewed coffee swept out from the back room to greet him. He smiled. He felt happier than he’d felt in a long time, even with all the drama going down at the club. He dropped his appointment book at the front desk and walked to the back of the salon. To his surprise, Fran was sitting in the last chair wrapped in foils and draped in a maroon robe. She looked up as he approached. 
      “Hey Irish, how’s it going?”  
Liam did not hide his surprise. 
      “Aren’t you a bit early, Franny? I thought we all agreed to meet at noon.” 
      Genevieve rounded the corner from the staff room, carrying a mixture of bleach for Fran’s hair. She looked so perky and radiant it took Liam’s breath away. He just stood there like a dummy until he was brought out of his stupor by the women’s laughter.
      “What’s with you, Irish? Fran said jovially. “Cat got your tongue?”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Chapter 13 - TACTICS
Miguel stepped through the backstage door into the dimly lit club. It was three am but he could hear The Way You Look Tonight sung by Billie Holiday, playing softly in the background while a second rate dancer performed an impromptu pole dance for the few stragglers that remained. It didn’t take much for Miguel to realize this was the time of night for young women vying for a job at The Lady got the opportunity to do their thing. Some made the cut, some didn’t. Judging from what he saw, this girl didn’t have what it took. She was young and beautiful, but had no rhythm, and lacked the moves and finesse that made a good dancer, stripper or otherwise. 
He walked over the bar and ordered a bourbon, neat. As he looked around the near empty room he saw Della, so he grabbed his drink and made his way over to where she was standing. As he approached she looked at him suspiciously, and he realized she was talking to someone in a low whisper. He stopped. Then he saw Liam and Genevieve tucked in the dark corner of the table and he understood Della’s hesitance. He turned to go, but Liam stepped out of the booth and stopped him.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Mitch arrived at the club around eleven, a bit early for him, but by the way he hovered around the bar tossing back shots, Liam figured he must have had some serious business to tend to. Fifteen minutes later Dom arrived. He was dressed to the nines, a maroon silk shirt, unbuttoned to his midriff, where a gold chain hung in among his chest hair. He left his tailored leather jacket hanging open, to show off a gold plated belt buckle the size of Miami. The bottom of his tight black trousers barely fit over his grey and beige snakeskin cowboy boots, which may as well have had spurs on them with the noise they made.

“Gimme a JD, Harry, will ya?” 
“Comin’ right up, boss.”
Harry grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels from the bar shelf and poured a generous amount into a tumbler. He handed it to Dom.
“Bottoms-up.” Dominic raised his glass to Harry and pounded back the whiskey, followed by a vigorous shake of his head. “Gotta keep up with my pal here.” Dominic winked at Mitch, who proceeded to turn away.
“Aw, c’mon now, Mitch. We’re pals, right?” Dominic slapped his hand on Mitch’s back and pulled him in close until he was breathing down his neck. Leaning in, but looking out into the crowd, he whispered, “We’re such good pals that you’re gonna give me a heckava fucking deal for this joint, ain’t that right Mitchy baby?”

Monday, September 26, 2011


Frances Del Monte was sitting on the sofa in the waiting area, holding a mug of coffee, tears streaming down her cheeks, when Genevieve and Miguel unlocked the salon door and walked in. Liam was beside her with his arm wrapped comfortingly around her shoulders, trying to console, but to no avail.
            “Why didn’t he tell me, Irish? That’s what I don’t understand. He usually tells me everything.” Fran began sobbing again.
            “Genevieve, would you mind closing the blinds on the door so people think we’re closed.” He looked back at Fran. “There, there Franny. We’ll sort this out.”
            Genevieve did as she was told, while Miguel walked to the staff room to get a drink of water. Really, he just wanted to get out of the way. He disliked seeing people upset. It made him uncomfortable. Genevieve remained with Liam and Fran.
            Suddenly Fran brightened and straightened up.
            “Irish, I want to go home.” She glanced over at Genevieve. “You can come too, G.”
            Genevieve looked at Liam, who looked bewildered.
            “What purpose would that serve, Fran? It’ll just make Mitch feel ganged up on. We have to come up with a better plan if we’re going to work this out.”
            Fran looked dejected. Her shoulders drooped again and her eyes began to well up with tears. Then Genevieve piped in.
            “I have a solution.”

Monday, September 19, 2011


Chapter 10 - MIGUEL

             “Come on in, G. The water’s great.”
            Genevieve sat on the beach in her red halter-top bikini, watching Miguel body surf. The sand was soft and warm underneath the blanket he had laid out for her. She was hot, with the sun beating down on her, and the water did look inviting, but not enough for her to join him. Miguel caught another wave then walked up from the shoreline to greet her, shaking his wet head of hair over her dry, sun-stroked body.
            “Miguel! Must you shake water all over me?”
            Miguel plopped himself on the blanket, playfully rolled on top of her, and smothered her with his sopping body. At first she resisted, but even in her agitated mood she couldn’t help give in to his mischievousness behavior. She was a sucker for spontaneous fun.
            They made out, there on the blanket, in the sand, for a long, luxurious while. For some reason she found his salty kisses very sensual, maybe because his lips were so full and wet. He groped around her warm body cautiously, as they weren’t the only ones on the beach. Miguel was sensitive about privacy when it came to matters of the heart and body, unlike Genevieve, who was much more of a free spirit. He had considered himself to be a bit of a risk taker when it came to sex, but on meeting Genevieve, he realized she had him beat. He found her sense of reckless abandon highly seductive, which was one reason he simply could not stay away from her. Her beauty, charm and now her aloofness were all a turn-on as well. How ironic, he thought, that he should be chasing a woman who seemed disinterested. It gave him all the more reason to conquer her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011



Miguel’s plan was to whisk Genevieve up the I-195 E to Surfside for the day. He knew a couple of secluded beaches where they could fool around. After their risqué encounter on the floor of Snippets the day they met, he figured she’d be up for some fun in the sun, but he soon realized his plan was not going to happen. Genevieve was now busy helping Liam out in the salon, even though it was her day off. Damn Irish, he thought. What does he have that I don’t?
            “I made plans for us, you know,” Miguel said to Genevieve, as she helped Kathy to her chair. “It’s your day off, for crissakes. Don’t you want to get the hell out of this blasted heat and head to the beach?”
He was almost pleading, but her interest in him seemed lost. He couldn’t figure out what had happened between their lustful tryst and now. Mind you, they hadn’t seen each other since that day, but that wasn’t his fault, nor was it to his liking. He had called her every day, but talking on the phone just didn’t have the same effect as spending time together. He liked Genevieve – a lot. Not only was she drop dead gorgeous, she was smart, sassy, and he had to admit, part of the intrigue was the fact that she was unavailable to him. If they spoke regularly and got to know each other, he thought she’d realize he felt more for her than a passing fling. He wanted to be her boyfriend, but getting close seemed next to impossible.

Sunday, September 11, 2011



Miguel was waiting at the door when Liam arrived to open the salon. It was ten o’clock.
            “Morning, Miguel. What are you doing here so bright and early? Not in need of another haircut already, are you?” Liam said sarcastically, as he turned the key and opened the door. Miguel didn’t seem to notice.
            “No, I have a date with Genevieve,” he said. Liam looked amused.
            “Really? Why are you meeting her here? It’s her day off. Why not pick her up at her place?”
            “I don’t know,” replied Miguel, who seemed to be realizing this for the first time. “She just said she had some unfinished business at the salon, and to meet her here, that’s all.”
            Miguel walked straight in and sat down in the waiting area. His tight white t-shirt showed off his naturally tanned skin, as well as his taut muscles. At thirty eight, Liam was fifteen years older than Miguel, and more than fifteen pounds heavier, and had long ago given up hope of ever sporting a body like that. He had always been taller and broader than most of his peers, which, over the years, gave way to a look which suited him, and that he felt comfortable with. He looked neither fat nor out of shape, just big, and he liked it that way. Although he wasn’t an athletic man, he did spend two hours a day, Monday through Friday, at the gym, and walked the seven blocks to work. That, he felt, was enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  
            He took off his lightweight cardigan and draped it over the back of his desk chair, revealing tattoo sleeves on both arms.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Fans and followers...Please accept my sincere apologies. Due to unforeseen circumstances, chapter 9 of Salon Antics will be posted next Tuesday, September 13th. Until then, continue to enjoy your romantica by reading up on previous chapters, posted on the tabs above.

See you next week!

Yours, ML

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Miguel was waiting at the door when Liam arrived to open the salon. It was ten o’clock.
            “Morning, Miguel. What are you doing here so bright and early? Not in need of another haircut already, are you?” Liam said sarcastically, as he turned the key and opened the door. Miguel didn’t seem to notice.
            “No, I have a date with Genevieve,” he said. Liam looked amused.
            “Really? Why are you meeting her here? It’s her day off. Why not pick her up at her place?”
            “I don’t know,” replied Miguel, who seemed to be realizing this for the first time. “She just said she had some unfinished business at the salon, and to meet her here, that’s all.”
            Miguel walked straight in and sat down in the waiting area. His tight white t-shirt showed off his naturally tanned skin, as well as his taut muscles. At thirty eight, Liam was fifteen years older than Miguel, and more than fifteen pounds heavier, and had long ago given up hope of ever sporting a body like that. He had always been taller and broader than most of his peers, which, over the years, gave way to a look which suited him, and that he felt comfortable with. He looked neither fat nor out of shape, just big, and he liked it that way. Although he wasn’t an athletic man, he did spend two hours a day, Monday through Friday, at the gym, and walked the seven blocks to work. That, he felt, was enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  
            He took off his lightweight cardigan and draped it over the back of his desk chair, revealing tattoo sleeves on both arms.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


For the first time since Genevieve had started working at the salon, she was late. Liam tried calling her cell but she wasn’t picking up. Meanwhile, he managed to keep Amy Richardson somewhat entertained, which was no small feat.
            Amy was twenty five, had married into money, and was extremely entitled. She drove around town in a canary yellow mustang convertible, flaunted expensive bebe t-shirts that invariably showed her midriff, wore three inch wedge or spiked heels, and kept her wrists and fingers covered in finely cut diamonds. However, her high maintenance regime included weekly visits to Snippets, which basically paid the rent on Liam’s seven hundred square foot salon, so despite urges over the years, to tell her off, Liam bit his tongue, and put up with her many demands.

Monday, August 15, 2011


            Della’s presence brought an eerie hush in the room. She had walked in from the side door when one of the bouncers clued her in to what was going down backstage. She knew she was needed.
            “So, Dom, what seems to be the problem?” Della was staring directly into his eyes, her hands firmly planted on her hips. Dominic looked annoyed.
            “Fucked if I know. I saw this schmuck sneaking into sweet little Savannah’s room, and, well, it just stinks, that’s all. I don’ like it. Nobody messes with my girls, that’s all I’m sayin’.”
            Della thought for a minute before responding.
            “Your girls? Really? Have you asked Savannah how she feels?”
            Dominic shifted restlessly from foot to foot. He didn’t like confrontations at the best of times. He knew he was a loose cannon, and could snap at any moment, but he held fast.
 “Listen, Della. That is your name, aint it?” He looked at her, nonplussed. Della nodded. “So, here’s the deal. Since I now own this joint, I’m the one looking out for things, got it?” He glanced around the room to show who was in charge. “These here my girls, this my stage, this my show. Aint nobody telling me how I do things, even you.” He glared at Della who stood her ground. There was a long silence. Women’s eyes peered out from behind doors cracked just enough to get the gist of what was going on. Those brave enough to have remained standing out in the open hall, kept as still as statues. Images of how this would all end up raced through Liam’s head. Would Dominic win, therefore gaining even more unnecessary power to fuel his gangster ways. Liam hated the idea. Tension hung in the air like a fuse ready to be lit.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


By the end of the week, the small riot was already a distant memory. The club was cleaned up, a few new bouncers were on staff, and things were as they should be.
Liam returned to The Foxy Lady the following Tuesday, and the Tuesday after that. Della kept him from prying information out of her about Genevieve, by telling stories of some of the other girls. She disliked gossip of any kind, although it was difficult not to get sucked into a little bit now and then. Some of the stories she heard were enough to make even Della squirm, and she was one tough cookie. One thing she did tell Irish, however, was that Genevieve was different than the others. She kept to herself, wasn’t there to steal the limelight from any of the old timers, and minded her own business. The other dancers seemed to like her well enough, and she was no trouble for the club, although she often arrived just in time to go on, which by Della’s standards was pushing it.
But there was something lingering that Della could not put her finger on. Liam wasn’t surprised. Genevieve had proven to Liam that she was someone he could trust, and that went far with him. She was eccentric and edgy, that was for certain, but that wasn’t the issue. What bothered him was her reserve, like she was hiding something, and Liam felt whatever that something was, it was big. She definitely had some deep, dark secret and it bothered him that he didn’t know what it was.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Liam Irish settled into his usual seat in the back corner of The Foxy Lady strip club. He didn’t like being up close. There were too many loud mouths and creeps pounding back Jack Daniel’s and yelling profanities at the dancers, for his liking. Besides, Liam preferred to be alone with his thoughts.
Savannah Porsche was just finishing her show. Liam liked Savannah. Using ribbons as her dance prop, she slowly unwrapped herself, like a package, creating an elegant frenzy of color around her curvy, near naked body. The grace in which she unraveled herself, then the final flutter of ribbons around the stage, made Liam think of the tails of kites flying freely in the breeze. There was a spacious field near a lake, where, as a boy, he used to fly kites with his grandfather. He remembered the freedom he felt when the kite finally got picked up by the air current and was carried away. How it made his heart lift, like he was the kite itself. The colorful ribbons caught in the sunlight, quivered and swirled in the wind. Liam thought it was beautiful, then and now. Then he remembered having to return home to his hard-drinking father and prostitute mother, the poverty and misery. His grandfather had been his only mentor, his only friend, and then he had died.
            The house lights dimmed to almost black as the music stopped, and Savannah Porsche disappeared into the darkness. Without a break, another song started. It was soft and sensual, an R&B piece, not the usual raunchy songs most of the strippers played. First he only saw a leg, long and lanky, move with the music. The dancer was in shadow at the very back of the stage. Whoever was attached to that leg had to be gorgeous, Liam thought to himself. He wasn’t familiar with this piece, or, he thought, with this dancer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


           “All I’m going to say is, you have exactly four, maybe five minutes to get up off the floor and make yourselves decent before Mrs. Furlish walks in. She’s stepping out of her car as I speak. The scowl on her face makes me think she’s not in the best of moods, but then, she’s a tough one to read at best. She might just be struggling with the seatbelt." Liam stared out the front window intently. "Okay, she closed the door. The only thing you’ve got going for you is she’s elderly and slow. Now get moving.”
            The two careless lovers jumped up off the floor. Miguel followed Genevieve into the staff room, a pile of clothes covering up what they could of their exposed flesh. Liam plopped himself down at the front desk and waited, surfing new messages on his iPad. Nothing. His life at the moment had slowed to a snail’s pace given he was not out and about socially these days. As he watched Genevieve and Miguel tiptoe back into the salon’s main room, he began to have second thoughts about this Lent thing. He was definitely missing out, although, he mused, sex should really have nothing at all to do with drinking. The fact that he had neither in his life was what really worried him.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Genevieve left her new client with a magazine and cup of coffee and walked to the front of the salon. She wasn’t about to leave Irish with her crazy ex, nor was she about to allow Dominic to think he could come waltzing into her place of work threatening and intimidating her whenever he pleased.
Miguel watched Genevieve with interest. Not only did he think she was smoking hot in her short skirt and see through blouse, but she intrigued him. In the few minutes he’d spent around her, she came across with sexy confidence and girlish naivety all in the same package. He liked the fact that she was complex yet vulnerable.
            Miguel had always found it easy to peg people. He had a nose for it, which he considered a gift. When it came to women, he knew what he liked and what he wanted, and when he found it, he got it. So far that instinct had proven right. Although he hadn’t met who he considered ‘the one’, he knew he would when he was ready. He didn’t let little things like waiting for Ms. Right bother him. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011



Liam Irish was bored. A week into Lent, he hadn’t had a drink in over a week, therefore, he hadn’t gone out to The Foxy Lady strip joint, or to his favorite fetish club, Down Under. Although he considered himself an Atheist, he had been raised Catholic. Some rituals were ingrained in him, so he used the more familiar rites and holidays as a time to challenge his will power. This year he was quitting alcohol for the duration of Lent, which, he discovered, also included his personal indulgence of biweekly visits to sex clubs. It seemed he couldn’t manage one without the other.
At the onset, Liam had not considered the forty days of restraint to be difficult, but it was day seven, and he already found himself surfing internet porn sites to quench his thirst for voyeurism. Somehow, and in true Catholic form, Liam didn’t feel this indulgence fit into the category he had given up – thank god!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Read about our main man, Liam Irish, originally from London, England, the lovely and exotic Genevieve, sexy, smart, and perhaps too sweet, Miguel, and the handsome gangsta Dominique. They are just a few new peops you'll learn more about and get to know over the coming weeks. Love 'em or hate 'em, they will undoubtedly become your new best friends.

Chapter 1 of the next novella starts tomorrow on Titillating Tuesday with this fresh cast of characters, plenty of excitement, intrigue, and lots and lots of steamy scenes. Join us July 12th, with SALON ANTICS.

...Stay Tuned...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Jake Roberts. She’d forgotten how he could kiss!
Their clothes were halfway off by the time his front door closed behind them, their quickened breath filling all twenty-five hundred square feet of his stylish apartment with anticipation. She let herself be thrown down onto the king size bed, and allowed him to finish undressing her one item at a time until she was lying on top of the down-filled duvet in only her pink lace bra and thong. He kissed her forehead affectionately then moved to her warm, rosy cheeks. He nibbled at her ears before he worked his way downward. Sensitive to her vulnerability tonight, but assertive enough to be gloriously erotic, he parted her legs. They opened with ease. She shut her eyes and moaned, feeling an urgency that had been burning inside her since her rescue, moreover since they first met. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It was strange for Joanie, being back at the office. As she sat down at her desk it occurred to her the last time she had sat there was when she was fantasizing about Peter. Peter Thompson, her old buddy, her old flame, was now pent up in some asylum waiting for a psychological assessment. Pleading insanity would be the best course of action for him to take, Joanie reasoned, but still, it stung her heart thinking of him locked up, possibly for the rest of his life.     
While paperwork and post-it notes sat piled on her desk, most of Joanie’s morning was spent daydreaming about Peter. But this time, the daydreams were not the least bit erotic. She went over and over in her mind all the things he had revealed to her that fateful day in her apartment. His strange behaviors, his need to torture, and his ability to push the limits with people but not go all the way, all this fascinated and confused her. How had things gotten so out of control? Thinking back, she should have seen it coming. Peter was right. They had been living a fantasy that, during their lives, never blossomed into a reality. When he hadn’t made more definitive advances toward her, and had married Clarice, Joanie went to New York to try to move on from the emptiness she was left with. He had let her down. But even more recently, when he had become so moody and irrational, she had still been unable to admit that Peter – her Peter – was losing control. What had made this friend of hers become such a monster? And more, what made her want to protect him?

Monday, June 20, 2011


            Joanie stood stock-still, watching the handle turn. Then it stopped, and the irritating jimmying of the door began again. But he hadn’t gotten in – not yet anyway. In the corner of the bathroom, she spied her heavy clothes hamper, which she slid over and shoved up against the door. Next she piled books and magazines from her bathroom reading supply on top of the hamper. Towels and facecloths were jammed in the crack at the base of the door. None of this would keep him out for long but it was all she had, and she thought it might buy her some time.
The incessant scraping of metal on metal was getting to her, so she went to the vanity and turned on the tap, flipping the light switch as she passed. The light didn’t go on. She could have sworn she had just changed the bulb, but dismissed the thought as there were more important things to worry about at the moment. Between the running water and the hard object being jammed into the door lock, there was enough noise to muffle any sound she might make, which is what she wanted. Still, she walked quietly over to the small window, opened it slowly without letting it creak, hoisted herself up onto the sill and leaned her head out to look around. Yes, it was a long way down, but there were pipes and outcroppings to her left and right. Perhaps if she could squeeze through the frame and climb onto the narrow ledge below, she’d at least be able to call for help. Even if people thought she was a jumper, any attention was better than none. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


           Joanie lifted her head from the warm pillow and looked around. Even with the curtains drawn, the room was bright. Her eyes focused on a dark figure sitting on the love-seat in the corner of her bedroom. Was it Peter? She blinked to clear her vision, not believing what she saw. Shoulders slumped, he looked worn and tired. Hollowed cheeks and the dark circles that framed his eyes made him look emaciated. His hair was a mess. Not the tousled, handsome looking mess she was accustomed to with him, but dirty and un-kept. His skin, once clear and blemish-free, was dry and chafed.
            “Peter! What are you doing here? What’s going on?”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Joanie awoke to birds singing and the bright light of sunshine streaming through the window. She covered her eyes, then slowly opened them and looked around. Things felt familiar to her. It smelled like home, but she had no idea how she got there. Her bed felt safe and warm, and she was happy to be under her own covers. But before she was able to get too comfortable, memories from the previous night began filtering into her head. She closed her eyes again, hoping this would stop the recall, but it didn’t. It only made it worse.
            “Well hello. Look who’s awake.” Joanie jumped, but relaxed when she saw who it was.
            “Oh, Ruthie, I’m so glad you’re here,” Joanie sighed. “What happened? Where is everyone? Where’s Jake?”
            “Which question do you want me to answer first?”
            “Sorry.” Again, Joanie closed her eyes. All she could see was Jake’s face, sullen and stricken with pain. Then the vision faded into an image of Peter looking cocky and pleased with himself. He sneered at her from across the dance floor. She shook her head in an attempt to get rid of this frightful picture, but it wouldn’t go away.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Joanie sat backstage, alone. All around her the hustle and bustle of show preparations were in full-swing. Stylists with clothing piled over their arms were racing around, orders were being shouted. It was total chaos. But in Joanie’s private corner in the stage-left wing, she was able to find a moment’s solace. Carlyle and Ruth had insisted on it. Jake had said nothing.
            Oh, why did Peter have to do that? Joanie thought. She let her head fall into her hands, careful not to smudge her make-up but not really caring if she did. It had been one of the most embarrassing moments of her life – the unbearable silence that followed her reading that damn card out loud. Why did I have to broadcast it to the world? she had cried to Ruth and Carlyle after everyone else had left to find their seats. It was awful. She ran over the sequence of events in her head once again, the look on Jake’s face when she finished reading. He had turned a bright shade of crimson, tried to produce a natural smile as he said, “Wow, you sure do have some secret admirer.” But he knew, and so did she. Joanie had taken his arm to steer him away from the crowd then, to grab a moment and try to explain, but he had quietly pulled away.
            “Listen, Joan,” he said. “We’ll talk about it later. Let’s just get through this night, okay?”
            She had nodded, in agreement and in defeat. She could feel the coolness coming from Jake, the hurt. It was at that moment Ruth came by to try to help smooth things over, but she only made matters worse.
            “Hey Jo Jo, we should get you backstage. You’ve got a show to do.” Jake had looked at Joanie with pain-filled eyes.
“I guess Jo Jo is the nickname your closest friends…your loved ones call you. Who knew?” He was sullen and broken. Joanie felt sick.
“Well, break a leg,” he had said, eyes diverted, then gave her a little kiss on the forehead and walked away.
“Joanie? Joanie, there you are.” Joanie arose from her trance and looked up to see her friend, Ruth, standing before her with a brave, supportive smile on her face.
“C’mon girl, you can do this. I know you can. Hey, things have been worse, right? Just remember, Jake adores you. He’s just hurt right now, and can’t express it. You can explain everything afterward, but he’s right. You’ve gotta get through this evening.” Joanie took a deep breath.
“You’re right, Ruthie. Of course you’re right. Since when have I let a man run my life or ruin it?”
“Since forever, but never mind. It’s never too late to change.” She gave Joanie a hug. “Now get out there and watch those girls strut your stuff.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Other than it being extremely hectic, the week passed uneventfully. Joanie, of course, was more organized than she realized. The white stitching on the navy pantsuit looked classy, and the beadwork on the emerald evening dress, chic. All her other designs; the black, zip-up Lycra pantsuit, the brown and taupe striped bomber jacket with matching stretch mini-skirt, the black sequin bolero over a flaming red strapless silk midi, were in the final stages of completion before the pre-rehearsal fitting later that afternoon. And of course the body-hugging, toffee-toned cocktail dress with layered chiffon overlay in lavender, the event favorite, was being fussed-over by Allan, Joanie’s personal design assistant, who recently came on-board to help Sara and Brandy out. All her favorite models, those who Joanie had used many times in the past, were at the ready. Hair and make-up were lined up.
Joanie took a gulp of coffee and set the mug down beside her laptop, careful to place it on a stable surface. She didn’t need a spill and computer meltdown now.
“Wow, Jo Jo, this is the first time in weeks I’ve seen you stationary, and drinking your coffee while it’s still hot.” Ruth plopped herself down in the chair beside her friend. Joanie laughed.
“And it’s the first time I’ve seen you laugh out-loud in ages too. Good lord, what’s next?”
“C’mon Ruthie, give me a break. You’d be just the same way if you were in my shoes.”
“No. I’d be worse. So, what’s the deal for tomorrow? Is Mr. Perfect bringing you down here with his driver? You know, you’re not allowed to be here until show-time. Bad luck, or something.”
“His name is Jake, and yes, he’s bringing me. We probably won’t show up till just after seven. I want to wait until the place fills up a little.”
“Good idea. Be a little mysterious.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


           It had been two weeks since Joanie had returned from Charleston. According to her mother, Joanie’s father was back at home and doing fine. She hadn’t heard a word from her brother Kevin or from Peter however, she had waited almost ten years to really talk to both of them, so she couldn’t be too expectant.
            Meanwhile, Jake was showering her with attention. Fresh flowers were sent to her office every other day. Ruth was delighted, since Joanie could only fit so many vases on her desk at one time. Jake, or sometimes his driver, picked Joanie up after work each evening. Knowing how important it was for a perfectionist like Joanie to get her work completed swiftly and to the highest level of quality possible, Jake gave her a lot of space to work freely in his apartment, which was where they now spent most of their time. While she fussed over dress designs and detailed sketches, Jake cooked them meal after delicious meal; seafood pasta with tomato, bocconcini and fresh basil salad, braised pork chops with caramelized onions simmered in vodka, accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus with toasted almonds, or sautéed scallops wrapped in bacon, set atop endive tossed in a light olive oil and lemon dressing. They would eat late dinners so Joanie could finish her work before having a glass of wine, which, once she indulged in, set her into such a relaxed state that no work could be accomplished afterward. But Jake was patient and understanding. He knew that once she called it a night, she was all his.    

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Thanks to what Joanie considered a stroke of luck, Peter was called away on business that afternoon. He left without saying goodbye. Whether he really did have out-of-town business, Joanie didn’t know, or care. She was just glad he was out of the picture, and for the moment, out of her life, freeing her up to spend quality time with her dad and the rest of the family.
            Kevin was waiting in the hospital room when Joanie arrived. He looked older and thinner than she remembered him, and had dark circles under his eyes. At first glance, Joanie barely recognized him, but as soon as he saw her, his face lit-up and the old Kevin that she remembered so well, appeared.
            “Hello doll. How’s my favorite sister?” He leapt up from his chair and grabbed her in a full embrace. His smell was as familiar as ever.
            “You mean your only sister! I’m good, Kevin. And how are you? God, how long has it been now, five years?”
            “Six, but who’s counting, right?” Kevin chimed in, and they laughed.
            “I guess it’s really been about ten when you think about it,” he continued.  “Besides the two times I was passing through New York, I’ve always been MIA when you’ve come home, and that hasn’t been very often now, has it little sis?”
            Joanie blushed, ashamed that she’d been so remiss all these years, feeling like she’d let her family down, all because of some silly drama that took place years ago. But it was more than that, she realized, thinking back. It was because of Peter. It had been all along. She shuddered, the recent incident still too fresh in her mind.
            Kevin, Joanie and their mother spent the day together with Walt in his room on Ward C. He was livelier, Joanie felt, joking and laughing almost like he was back to his old self. But by evening he grew tired.
            “Well, Dad, we’re going to go out for dinner, and leave you and Mom to some alone time. We’ll be back in the morning.”
Kevin leaned over the bed and gave his father a kiss on the forehead. Joanie started to tear-up. It was such a touching sight for her to see her brother and father, who she hadn’t see together for a long time, share this moment. But she wiped her eyes, not wanting to reveal her emotion to her Father. Clearing her throat, she said.
“I’ve only got a few days here, Dad, but if you keep improving at the rate you are, you’ll get home before I do,” said Joanie encouragingly.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Joanie’s phone rang six times before she answered.
“Hello, is that you, Joanie?” The voice on the other end of the receiver asked.
“Yeah,” Joanie replied groggily. It was six o’clock in the morning.
“Sorry to call so early. Hope I didn’t wake you. It’s just I hadn’t heard from you. I was worried.”
Joanie was quiet, trying to get her head around who might be calling her so early, unable to identify the voice on the other end. Then it dawned on her.
“Jake? Jake, is that you?”
“Yeah, it’s me alright. Am I a complete idiot for waking you up like this?”
“Oh, no…no, not at all. It’s…it’s good to hear your voice.”
“Good to hear yours too.” There was a long pause before Jake spoke again.
“You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about you, remembering the first and, as it turns out, the only time we were together, the day I saw you off at the airport.”
“I suppose you mean that kiss.” She blurted unintentionally, as heat rose to her cheeks.
“Well, that and the great afternoon we spent together, before your bad news that is. But it’s true, that kiss has left me wanting more, I can’t deny it.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Clarice had come out of nowhere. She had no place in their world or in Peter’s life, at least that’s how Joanie saw it. Just because Clarice and Peter had attended the same lectures during their final year of law school, didn’t make it right. As it turned out, Clarice didn’t pass the State Bar Exam, but by then her sights had been set on marrying Peter, so the Bar didn’t matter very much anymore.

Joanie sighed as she remembered the first time Peter had brought Clarice back to Charleston to introduce her to his friends and family. At that time they were just friends. Clarice didn’t fit in then, and according to sources, she didn’t fit in now. Sure, she was attractive, with her lanky, five foot seven frame and ample breasts. A man’s dream. At first all the guys had been jealous, particularly Kevin. Kevin – Joanie’s only brother, and best friend. That had been the worst betrayal of all. But she didn’t blame him. She couldn’t.
            “Man she’s hot,” he said in a shallow whisper to no one in particular, unable to take his eyes off her. “How do you find that at Law School? Sign me up.”
            “Kevin!” Joanie groaned, elbowing him in the ribs.
            “Aw, c’mon Joanie. It’s a guy thing. Get over it.”
But she didn’t, and neither did he.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Due to a family emergency, chapter 6 of More Than Just Friends will have to be postponed until next Tuesday, April 26th. I apologize for the inconvenience, and would like to thank you for visiting the blog in anticipation. Joanie, Peter, Clarice, Jake and the rest of the gang, will be at it again next week so... 
stay tuned.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


“Hey Jo Jo. How goes it?”
            “What are you doing here Peter? I mean, really, I haven’t heard from you in almost ten years.”
            “Oh, your mom sent me over to pick you up. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the hospital with Walt and Alice. She didn’t want to leave his side, and thought you’d like a ride home from the airport, that’s all. Besides, your mom’s in no condition to drive out here. She’s pretty upset.”
            Joanie hesitated. She wasn’t sure about getting in the Jeep with Peter. It had been so long since she’d seen him. She felt uncomfortable seeing him here – uncomfortable and unexpected. And now he was spending time in the hospital with her father. There was so much she didn’t understand.
            “How’s Mom?” Joanie asked, while climbing into the passenger seat after tossing her luggage into the backseat. She noticed that Peter didn’t get out of the jeep to help her. Jake would have been all over that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The call came in on her cell phone when Jake was getting her coat from the maître d’. She had ignored it the first time it rang, but now she realized that whoever it was, they really wanted to get a hold of her.
She had a full ‘to do’ list waiting for her at the office. In fact, the whole week she was stretched to the max, not only with her usual workload and editorial deadlines but now, planning for the up-coming design awards gala Jake had just invited her to participate in, which was in six weeks time. With dress designs nowhere near completion and finishing touches to do on others, this new commitment was going to take every ounce of remaining time she had left. In total, she had been asked to submit eight selections to the show. This was unheard of for a first time entrant. She wondered what part Jake had played in this, but didn’t dare ask.
            Then there was Jake. She was falling for him – hard, but how would she manage to fit him into her life, especially now? She knew he’d understand about her work pressures, but this was beyond just his understanding. She wanted him, wanted to spend time getting to know him. She was already picturing them as a couple, things they would do together, how they would live. After only one afternoon, it was clear; she loved staring into those big blue eyes, hanging on his every word as he talked about his work or his life, or just laughing at his dumb jokes. Only all too well did she understand that getting to know someone the way she wanted to get to know Jake took time, and time was something she had little of at the moment. There has to be a way, she thought, as she pressed redial on the number stored in her missed-call list.  
            “Hello,” said the woman’s voice at the other end of the receiver.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The rest of the morning moved along at a snail’s pace. Although the fantastical visions, not to mention feelings, were still fresh in her mind, now Joanie had a new dream – one of becoming a famous fashion designer. At the moment, men were as far from her radar screen as they could possibly be. Mind you, it’s not that she wasn’t interested. Although many of the men in the industry were gay, she was regularly wooed by male suitors, either photographers or wealthy philanthropists too old for her, but fun for a night out at a lavish fashion soiree. Once she went out with Ryan Freemont, Hollywood’s newest heart throb ten years her junior.
But working and living in the design world was a rollercoaster lifestyle, one meant for younger singles. One night stands were the norm for most men, and although Joanie had partaken, even initiated some in the past, that had been a phase. At heart she was an old fashioned girl. She was tired of the dating game. Besides, at twenty eight it was time to get serious. It wasn’t necessarily the white picket fence and the two kids she was after, but it was more than a wild fling with some big-shot. For her it was about love, passion and the man she felt was meant for her – Peter.
They were expecting her. Joanie was ushered to a cozy window seat that had been reserved under Jake’s name. She was punctual. He was fashionably late, but it gave her time to settle in and touch up her lipstick. Luckily, that morning she had put on one of her own creations, a body-hugging taupe Lycra dress with brown lace over-jacket. Understated but classy. She added a deep purple Swarovski crystal broach set in gold, for an added punch of sparkle and color, and wore gold hoop earrings. And of course her favorite Manolo Blahnik three inch faux-leopard sling-backs adorned her size six feet. Shoes, Joanie felt, made ones outfit complete.
She was just taking a sip of water when a tall, strikingly handsome man swished past her and presented his hand in greeting as he settled comfortably into the seat beside her. Joanie swallowed. For some reason she hadn’t expected Jake to be such so attractive.
Joanie couldn’t help but notice he was wearing a personally tailored dark blue, double-breasted suit with a thin deep purple necktie, sterling cufflinks, and tasteful black Italian leather shoes. Cropped stylishly short, his sandy blonde hair had a touch of grey that gave him an air of sophistication. While his neatly trimmed sideburns enunciated his masculine jaw-line, they also supplied the necessary edge his rugged good looks called for. His eyes blazed bright blue, his smile brought warmth to the room – and to Joanie’s cheeks.
“Hello Joanie, I’m Jake. Very nice to meet you at long last.”
Why did that sound so familiar? Flashbacks of the morning’s erotic dream came to mind. A flush ran through her again. Was it the tone of his voice or what he said that made her feel so warm? She couldn’t put her finger on it so she brushed the questions from her mind and focused on what was in front of her – her gorgeous lunch date.
“Hi Jake. Nice to meet you too, but I must admit, it was quite unexpected to get your message this morning.”
“Well, I hope not to disappoint.”
Joanie shifted uncomfortably in her seat and smiled nervously. Are you kidding, she thought. You couldn’t disappoint a room full of devout nuns.
“No, not at all. So, you never told me, who gave you my name?”
“Oh, that would have been the good man who is your boss, Thomas Carlyle. His lover is my good friend Matthew. Matthew and I work together. That’s the connection.”
There was a pause while Joanie processed this new information.
“Oh, excuse me, didn’t you know about Matthew? Sorry.”
“That’s okay. I mean, I knew about Carlyle, or, you know, that he is, well…”
“Yes.” Joanie felt foolish now.
“Anyway, he thinks very highly of you. Carlyle that is. He couldn’t say enough about your work.”
Joanie sat there, stunned. Jake had just covered for her. Most men she had spent any amount of time with would have teased her incessantly for missing the beat on the gay boyfriend. In her industry, you just didn’t slip-up like that. And this was Carlyle they were talking about. He had been her boss for the past four years, and was considered her good friend. Of course she knew that he was gay, but why hadn’t she known about Matthew? Joanie realized at that moment that no man had done that before, just smoothed over a blunder and let it gracefully pass. No man except Peter, that is. Her admiration – infatuation – for Jake grew on the spot. The fact that he was not too bad on the eyes didn’t hurt either.
Their lunch lasted three hours. Once the ice was broken and precursory matters were out of the way, Prosecco was ordered, along with a light lunch; fresh Fanny Bay oysters, sautéed scallops in a light lemon puree, and filet mignon, all of which was served and portioned-out throughout the afternoon. Half way through the bottle of Prosecco their bodies leaned in closer to one another, searching for some intimacy amidst the bustling lunchtime business crowd.
It started with a slight, accidental brush of her hand by his, as he reached over to fill her glass. Once the bottle was replaced in the ice bucket, he absentmindedly stroked her wrist while he described what he’d heard of her work. Brilliant! He had said. Refined taste with a twist of the eclectic. We love it. They talked and laughed, their emotional contact increasing as the luncheon went on. Butterflies, like in her morning’s dream, fluttered around in the pit of her stomach. Was this for real? Then he took her hand in his, fingering each bump and bone. He kept talking, as if it were an everyday occurrence, as if they had known each other for months, years. The way he stared into her eyes with such relaxed intensity gave her shivers.
“Some more Prosecco, Monsieur?”
The middle-aged waiter stared directly at Jake, patiently waiting for his response.
“I think not Jean-Paul, but maybe a small sampling from your patisserie, and two espressos please. Do you drink coffee Joanie?” 
Joanie looked at Jake, then up at Jean-Paul.
“Oui Monsieur Jean-Paul. That would be lovely Jake. Thanks.”
            They both smiled broadly.
Jake and Joanie lingered over their coffee and flaky pastries as long as possible, exchanging stories and talking design. As it turned out, Jake wasn’t a designer. He was an art investor, mostly dealing with fine art, often buying and selling rare pieces. He had started dabbling in fashion design because of his sister, who encouraged him to broaden his horizons by supporting her in her modeling career. In less than a year, Jake had researched and began following young, new talent in the industry of fashion design, and he found that he liked it. Not only was it easy for him to maneuver in a world mainly run by women, but, just as he had an eye for fine art, he had an eye for fine fashion. Having not one but three sisters, who he adored and who adored fashion, certainly helped.
Jake had stumbled upon Joanie by accident when at a preview party exhibiting the work of notable New York designers. Only one of Joanie’s pieces was on display, a long sleek, lime-green cocktail dress with plunging neckline that tapered down to the waist, where a handful of individually sewn crystal beads erupted into the shape of a sunburst. All it takes is one – one fabulous piece of art, one classically designed dress, one amazing woman. After reading her bio, seeing her photograph, and talking her name around, Jake fell hook, line and sinker for Joanie. Her unique artistry was only a bonus.
And Joanie could hardly catch breath when Jake asked her if she wanted to meet him for dinner after work. But that afternoon, Joanie didn’t make it back to work. be continued next Tuesday, April 5th...




Thank you, GB, King of collaboration!


click on the tab GUEST #33 at the top of the page to read the full episode.