Tuesday, 31 December 2013


My love, my darling
Close your eyes
For the healer of fools
And wise alike,
Drunken sleep
At last arrives,
Telling us all
Those same old lies:

Sleep, sweet love,
For no monsters peek
Under doors or
From the deep;

Tonight I take first watch,
Tonight no dark dream
Can sweep
Peace from you,
And when you wake,
I swear you will
Find me still
At my loving vigil.

Sleep sweet, love,
For no monsters peek
Under doors or
From the deep;

And if you should wake
I swear my arms
Are round you still
Your cradle, and
Your safe-keep;
This night, my love,
I keep the watch,
I do not sleep.

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 26 December 2013


The tumble rag-tag
Jumble of words
In my mind led me to find ´
An image, a voice
Packed in dust and dry time:
Alexander cried to his brother
As they faced Darius
(Or some such potentate
Surfeit with power and
treasures of pleasure)
Some doe-eyed man
Rich in armies,
Silk-skinned as any girl.
Alexander cried
"Hold the center!"
And I heard.

So I may stand
White and thin-fingered,
Eyes dark-smudged with khol,
I may smile quite sweetly
And nod at you all,
But I am no soft thing
To yield sighs or tremble.

Whatever I may resemble,
Do not be deceived:
Should my loves call,
I will hold the centre;
What ever breaks,
And whatever it takes.

I am bone and stone;
Should the very world 
Crumble along with my heart,
I will not hide nor die nor faint
If I step on some blood.

Though armies break
My lines do not fold.
I hold the centre.
Do you hear me, Alexander?

I remembered:
cried "Hold"
So I hold.

Manuela Cardiga

Unwrapping souvenirs tonight
I find such odd things.
Tags I chose to bind
To memories:
Frail sights,
Pungent scents,
And words that shape mouths
Rather than be shaped by them;

Slow motion moments,
A song that fit
(quite by chance)
Exactly as it should,
And another moment
So good, I know
It will stand example
Of how motion
Can expand
And steal devotion
From God
And bind it to
Human emotion.

Manuela Cardiga



Life, alas, is not poetry-
Though there is poetry in life;
Nor yet tragedy, for such
Life cannot sustain:
Pain becomes a bore,
And boredom I abhore.

So let me have comedy,
Let me have farce,
Let me have my giggle
At whatever may tickle
My fancy while yet
I bide my time
Waiting for the plot
To thicken,
For the story I am living
To unfold and send in
The next surprise.

And in the mean while,
If all else fails,
(along wih a glass of wine)
Let me have satire,
Comedy's sharper sister-
and in truth much less kind:
But which has yet been
A good friend of mine,
When a sharp tongue
And a quick wit
Has served me better
Than gentleness
In defending
My foolish heart
And my pride.

Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Dark trees bare
Of limb and spare,
Malevolent silhouettes
Of raised leprous hands
Scrabbling through
The crusted dirt
To rake pale-mottled
Skeletal fingers
At the dawn-stained sky.

Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 14 December 2013


I can't help it.
I'm just not a pessimist.
I can't be. I love history and can clearly see the upward-turning curve on the feel-good graph for all of humanity.

That is RIGHT!
Things are not getting worse, they are getting better and better by the day.

YES, there are wars and hunger and murders and pain galore.
YES, we all feel helpless rage before the things we can't change.
BUT...Look back, if you please.

A hundred years ago the poverty levels were 5 times higher; most people lost a child in infancy to a myriad curable diseases; women faced childbirth as a life-threatening process; the life expectancy for the average man was in his mid-forties; most people could not read (and here I am talking about the Civilised West!); and expectations of personal happiness or achievement were scant; the technology that brings so much ease, safety and magic into our lives was no-where in sight.

The pursuit of happiness we all peevishly proclaim as a RIGHT, was a dim fantastic flight of fancy - a Utopian dream. The truth is that the last one hundred years have brought more change and radical improvement into human lives than any other period in History. We have leap-frogged over thousands of years of stagnation straight into a roller-coaster of social evolution.

Ask yourself why we forget these things?
Turn on your TV.
Tell me what you see: blood, gore, despair.
Do some zapping. Tell me where you pause. Be honest with me.
What draws your eye, keeps your attention?
Blood, gore, despair. We see what we want to see.
Don't blame the TV. The Media is a business like any other. They give their customers what they want, what sells.

And what sells is blood, gore and despair. TV series about murder and monsters are what sells best. Oh the Romans had us pegged! We sit in the dim arena of our own lounges and greedily guzzle up the same fare, and if the blood we see is real? Oh the more we like it! We revel in the dark side. We buy into it.

But the light is shinning, people!
Brighter and brighter. We are on the edge of a fantastical age of magic and mystery!
For the first time in history technology and art are indistiguishable. We spent ten thousand years crawling in the mud, now we are learning to fly. Nation-hood and current forms of government are taking their very last breath. We are becoming a community of light, linked together by an invisible web.Our lives are changing, and we are changing our lives. Here, in this new and evolving society we choose what we accept, and we must take responsibility for what we seek out.

The magic is: what we imagine is what we become.
Nothing is impossible.
What we can emcompass with our minds can become real; so it's time to decide: do we take the old path? or do we look for the bright side?

Do we look for affirmation in growth, awareness, kindness and love? or do we wallow once again in the confirmation of the seductive darkness feeding our pessimism? Is the picture you see of the world negative or positive? Black or full rainbow-bright? Please don't let the only colour you let into the dark-adapted eye colour the world the dirty red of blood.

Open your eyes, and choose carefully what you see; what you let into your mind and into your life, that is what will become your reality.
Wake up, open your eyes.
It's time to decide.

Manuela Cardiga

Friday, 13 December 2013

How do we stop the killings?

Tell me how do we solve this?
People shoot other people which is bad enough, but suddenly,somehow it seems the favoured targets are children.

Why? I asked myself this, again and again.
Oh but then I saw the blank uncomprehending horror in the faces of the victims' families, and felt the echoing lurch in my own heart.

The violent death of children unarms us all, for we see ourselves bereft and dimly sense a vague shallow facsimile of what the parents experience.

That shadow pain is so intense as to leave us without defence or ability to keep a saving distance between what we witness and what we sense.

That instinctive outpouring of sick horror is what fuels these endless attacks. Our pain feeds the vampire killers; and inspires successive generations of murderers to greater and greater extremes of cruelty.

Tell me how do we fight this?
How do we starve the ambition of repulsive creatures latched on to our emotions? How do we put an end to the ravages of mediocre empty people whose only way to leave a mark is by branding unbearable loss across our hearts?

How can we fight when it is our own grief that empowers and inspires the killers to ever greater heights?

Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 11 December 2013



You know that scene?
With the surf
And the guy
And the salt kiss,
And the cry
Of impassioned seagulls
Flying by?
You know when they roll
And are tossed by inner
And outer waves,
Alternatively fire and ice;
Their heat unquenched
Though drenched;
Wet and licked
By the avid tongues
Of successive waves?
Know what crosses my mind?

When they got home after that,
Betcha she cursed that sand...
(it has the uncanny ability
to infiltrate every crack...)

Manuela Cardiga


Juggernauts like junkies
Are quite blind
To any fever but their own
And can neither comprehend
Nor apprehend consequences
Or what delicate nascent
Beauty they may crush
In their frantic heaving rush
To the satisfactory
Completion of their mission.

By Juggernauts I mean
Rolling unstoppable
Waves of massive intent,
In the form of a Human
Or Institutional Revenant;
And not as you all may think
– knowing me I must admit
it’s not unlikely-
Referring to freaky guys
Who roam the skies
In helmets like pork pies
And dream of home
And mammalian glands
They sometimes call
By pet names like tits
Or tatas or JUGGS!

Though now that
I think about it,
That can work too!
Hey! Fancy that!

Manuela Cardiga


The malicious gossipping
In the icy morning,
The fractured sound
Of hardened mouths
Gaping wide to the clapping
Of verdigris-embittered
Creased obligations
To past passions
And old loves bruised
By coarse hands,
Soured words
Echoed by
The brazen bells.

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


If I fell for you,
Maybe off those
Spiky black stilettos
You like so much;

If I fell for you,
Really hard,
Tripped so
My composure
Cracked and I
Couldn't get
My cool

If I fell for you
And lost
Every last scrap
Of control over
My flustered or is it
Fluttering heart;
Just handed over
Every last part;

If I fell for you,
Hypothetically, of course,
One of those wild 
What-if scenarios,
Would you help me up?
Brush off
My stockinged knees
And mutter embarrassed
"Sorry 'bout that!"
Or would you fall
Right back at me?

You know...
I was just wondering
What would happen
On the really
Remote off-chance
I sort of slipped
And found
I fell for you.

Manuela Cardiga

Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate: No slobbering on the boobies!

The nape of the neck, with its delicate veil of fine hair, is most sensitive to soft stroking fingertips and to brushing lips. To simply stir the hair at the nape with your breath—do not pull a Darth Vader here—or a low murmur, will arouse startling sensations.

As with the palm, soft and delicate almost-kisses will elicit the strongest response. The no-saliva rule applies here as well. In fact, take it as a given that trailing saliva anywhere is an absolute no-no.

Let’s try to keep boobies dry, too. Never, ever slobber.

Excerpt from "Guilty Pleasures" by Manuela Cardiga

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate: Exploring Alternative Erogenous Zones...

Two of the most sensitive erogenous zones in a woman’s body are easily accessible and legal to explore in public places. Curiously, these are also often neglected by even the most experienced lovers: the palm of the hand and the nape of the neck. Caress the first lightly, delicately with your fingertips. She will not even be aware of the intensity of her response. In a second phase, kiss the palm, brushing your lips softly back and forth across the skin. Thirdly, flick your tongue briefly across the palm. Do not leave trails of saliva. You don’t want her surreptitiously wiping her hands on her skirt.

Excerpt from "Guilty Pleasures" by Manuela Cardiga

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate: Fantasies and Flight...

Get your woman to tell you what she wants. Really listen to her; it’s the sexiest thing you can do. Get her to share her fantasies in a non-bedroom environment such as a romantic dinner, making out on the beach, or in an elevator. Never be shocked and never show surprise at what she might reveal. Never say, “No shit, you slut!” And never, ever laugh: “HA! HA! HA! You want me to dress up like that cartoon fella, Tintin, in pink bloomers and do WHAT?”
A word of advice: if she mentions cattle prods and SS uniforms, gracefully excuse yourself and don’t come back. (Unless of LIKE that. not my style, but hey! To each his own!))

Excerpt from "Guilty Pleasures" by Manuela Cardiga

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Monday, 9 December 2013


The Rat
Who stole my Mouse
Was a dirty louse!

Drat that Rat!
He had no right!
He pranced
Right into the house
And absconded
With that Mouse.
And if that
Wasn't enough
Of a lemon sucks,
He had the gall
To blame it all
On that silly Cat.
(I rather agree
With him on that)
The vain feline insists
On wearing
A jingly silver bell
With amethysts
Which rather destroys
The element of surprise
So essential
To a preemptive strike
Be it Air, Tank
Or Cat-attack...

Be that as it may,
The Rat stole the Mouse.
You know the chocolate one?
With the marzipan whiskers
And the liquorish tail.
The delicious one,
With the ginger-bread filling
That I was saving
Just for you, my love...

Oh and he vengefully
Nibbled a hole
In a black satin glove.
The right hand too!
And that's the end
Of this rather
Sad tale...
(It would be remiss
Of me if I fail
To point out
That last line is in
To keep it rhyming
Right to the end.)

What are you talking about?
What chocolate trail
Around my mouth?
Didn't I tell you?
This dirty thieving Rat
Sneaked in just like that
And stole my Mouse?
The one I was saving for you?

Manuela Cardiga

Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate: Handling Nipples...

Never twiddle nipples. Always caress with your fingers or thumb. Nipples are not knobs. Clitorises are not knobs. Do not tweak and strum frantically at a woman’s clitoris.

Both respond best to slow, almost-there-never-quite-arrive caresses.
Try to tease, tantalise. You may be firm, but never coarse.

Excerpt from "Guilty Pleasures" by Manuela Cardiga

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate: Light that fire...

Lighting is very important in a romantic setting.

Yes, we like it bright—the brighter the better—while women don’t.
They feel that halogen spotlights kill the mood and tend to bounce off every little dimple of cellulite on their thighs, highlight every little roll of flab, every delicate little tracery of a varicose vein, and every tiny sag and droop.

Opt for soft candlelight. It’s romantic, sexy and flattering; firelight is also good.
But do try not set fire to the house.

Excerpt from "Guilty Pleasures" by Manuela Cardiga

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate: Advice for the Sucsexful Man by Lance Packhard

Tell her you love her.Yes, she’s supposed to know it—even when you act like a jerk—but tell her anyway. Then, you tell her again and again. You tell her ten times a day if that’s what she needs. Tell her she’s beautiful, tell her you love her body, then tell her again.

Tell her when you’re making love to her; tell her when you’re not.Whisper it when you’re inside her, and when you’re at her mother’s and the old bitch is driving you mad. Pull her into the bathroom just because you need to touch her in the middle of a party. Make her come at the movies. Make her feel irresistible. Make her feel desired.

Excerpt from "Guilty Pleasures" by Manuela Cardiga

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate: The flowers always work...

Surprise her. Show up with flowers. Yes it’s corny. Yes, they love it, and yes, you’ll surely get laid.
Give her balloon bunnies, or a pretty shell from a beach you walked along together.
Diamonds also work, but we’re trying to keep this to a budget.

Dress up like Elvis—unless you look like Elvis in his last years, then don’t—and sing her a serenade. Make a fool of yourself. Women believe true love means being willing to give her ammunition to humiliate you for the rest of your natural life. They are quite right.

Excerpt from "Guilty Pleasures" by Manuela Cardiga

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Sunday, 8 December 2013


I float like flotsam
On a wave slow
Silken swelling
Heaving me higher
Where no fear
Foe or fire
Can reach.

I am tossed within
Diving in glassy satin
Silver silence
I am lost to all
Falling through
The blinding blue
Star hands opening.

Lips splitting
On a liquid cry
Smooth spilling
Unravelling thirst
Salt taste
Of you.

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Weep maidens and warriors for a great King is dead

Tonight we weep for the passing of a good man.
He was not a hero. He was a man doing his best. Heroes choose to be so; I don't think for him there was choice. The work had to be done. So he did it. His country was in pain, so he healed it.

No other nation managed to change as South Africa did - without bloodshed.
Even Gandhi -the great Mahatma - did not free India without massacres and horrors; retaliations and revenge. Yet Madiba took a rag-tag group of warring rival tribes of all colours and shamed us into brotherhood. He stood in front of the revenge seekers and said: "Have you suffered more than I?"
He stood before the oppressors and said: "I will not be so", and stretched out his hand.
Sounds ever so mystical, doesn't it? It sounds like the lies historians write after great men die. But for once, there is no lie. A good man died.

Tonight not one South African of any tribe can say his Father did not die.
The magical prism that transmuted the hard light of bitter judgement into a rainbow nation is gone.
The miracle, hopefully, will live on.
Pass in peace Madiba.


I will not baulk at disappointment.
I will not turn my face away from daylight, or cringe in fright in case I fail.
I lift my chin so you can see the scores left by years, and not a few acid tears.
I will not hide my face with all its scars, nor shield my heart from dreaming.
I have made mistakes, yet these are not what I regret.
Mistakes are not what mar us, it is the unwillingness to set sail and risk the fickle tide; that is what leaves us twisted out of true.Whatever chance on pain or joy I take is mine.
I will not flinch not claim redress from others for what ever responsability can be attributed to me alone.
I will place no curb on feeling, or dreaming or doing.
What ever plight befalls me: what ever the future brings of victory or defeat is mine.
Here I stand: whatever I am, or come to; I own it.

Manuela Cardiga

Review for Manuela Cardiga's "GUILTY PLEASURES - The Food and Fornication Fables""

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book, but boy am I glad to have been on for the ride. I loved this book. Cardiga has a talent for mixing romance and humor...and food, such delicious food. I love all the detail Cardiga added in this book. I didn't even know a lot of the food listed, but it sure as hell sounded delicious. I loved all of the elaborate events.

The story was quite an interesting one that I just couldn't put down. Lance is approached by Millie's overbearing and quite evil mother. She wants Lance to impregnate Millie so she can have a grandchild to raise. He is desperate for money that will help save his mother, so he agrees. He takes on the persona of a man named Will so he could work at Millie's unique restaurant, Guilty Pleasures. It is a restaurant that offers more than just food, it offers fantasies. People who want elaborate plays or supermodels who want to pig out on nothing but chocolate without being ridiculed, Guilty Pleasures will give it to you. Will soon falls in love with the place. It is something fun and exciting every night and he has warmed up to Serge, who causes a lot of people to quit. He soon starts to have feelings for Millie and wants to leave Lance behind and live his life as Will, start a new life. He is afraid of what would happen if Millie found out why he was there in the first place.

I really loved the characters in this book. Millie was adorable and very funny She was also very perky. I think it is a crime for someone to be that happy at 4 AM in the morning. I loved hearing her backstory. It made sense why she didn't want anything to do with men. I wasn't a big fan of Lance's, at first. He was the kind of guy I would punch in the teeth before I talked to him. When he first sees a picture of Millie, all he can do is point out her cellulite and other tiny things he doesn't like. I did warm up to him after a while though. When he took on the persona of Will, we see a different side of him and I liked it a lot. I also loved his story. He is a sex therapist that refuses to have sex because he has been used and tossed aside and he won't go through that again. I also loved Serge. He was an absolute riot. You never know what he was going to say, but you know it will be entertaining. I also enjoyed Mrs. Belmont. Oh what a great lady. Her and Serge were just too much.

I am so in love with this book. Seeing these two people who have been damaged in the past find their way to each other was a great experience. You willl find yourself rooting for them and you will want them happy. I love the chemistry between them. They really steamed up the pages. I love the characters, the twists and this incredible story. Cardiga definitely has a winner here. I am so in love. Highly recommended.

"GUILTY PLEASURES - The Food and Fornication Fables" by Manuela Cardiga is out NOW!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

THE INK BLOT GUEST SPOT: - ONE DAY TO GO : "GUILTY PLEASURES - The Food and Fornication Fables" by Manuela Cardiga

Get a "taste" right here!

“Can you believe this, Will? Here we place fake dew on berries, for people who sell fake dreams and pay real money so they can eat real food without anyone knowing. Amazing. They go out and eat macro/micro/molecular or whatever is in fashion for the week, when their bodies crave something fat and rich . . . we are like a dirty secret. They come and eat with their hands and they lick their fingers. Here is the world.”
Lance laughed and shook his head.
Serge waved the spray mister about. “People are ashamed to eat good food in decent portions in public, but you get a two-bit whore teaching bored housewives how to give great head on morning TV.” He sighed and shook his head. “And let me tell you, she didn’t know what she was talking about. Best practitioner of fellatio in the world was the Empress of China.”
Lance’s jaw dropped. “Empress of . . . are you serious?”
“What an artist . . . the man could make a stone come. He was a eunuch, a real pure from birth, reared in the Forbidden City. He trained us—the new arrivals—decided on our speciality, and our look. He was an old, old man when I knew him, but he still had all his own teeth, and was limber and graceful as a gazelle. A very wise man. He told me I had to decide, as a freak, if I’d rather be a clown or a demon. He said we oddities—and he spoke from experience—attracted the cowardly and the cruel. Easy targets for the unimaginative, you see.”
Lance nodded soberly. “A wise man, your friend.”
Serge smiled grimly. “Yes, he was. So I was the demon, and Yusuf was the angel. What a spectacle we were, Will. Food for the gods’ lust, or the devils’. Yusuf was a hermaphrodite, see. Beautiful, Will. Never have I seen a more beautiful face. He had breasts and a body to make Aphrodite weep with envy, and a man’s prick he had, but the Empress always presented him fully clothed in a long white virginal shift, his hair loose like an angel’s, and then he’d wet the shift down. It would cling, see, the breasts of Venus, the prick of Mars. Some bastards would pay to see us freaks together.”
“My God, Serge, how did you stay sane?”
“Willie, things are simple. You do what you do to survive. We all pander to the powerful’s desires, don’t we? Only today, it’s even worse. Since survival is practically guaranteed, these people obsess over the basic things that signify survival—food and fucking. My father said that when the few value our art the most, is when the many are the most hungry. He was right.”

Look for 

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" 

by Manuela Cardiga


Get it online or at a Bookstore near you! 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

THE INK BLOT GUEST SPOT: - Countdown to Release: "GUILTY PLEASURES - The Food and Fornication Fables" by Manuela Cardiga TWO DAYS TO GO!

Manuela Cardiga's forthcoming Novel "Guilty Pleasures"!


Lance Packhard, sex therapist, the world’s number one G-spot sleuth and premier undercover man, was flummoxed. Never in his long career had he been faced with such a challenge.
Millicent Deafly—his mark—ignored him. Him. It seemed almost impossible. Instead of eyeing his magnificent body, Millicent was lasciviously fondling a cucumber. Her eyes misted. Her delicate pink tongue flicked over her pouty lower lip.
“Yes. Oh, yes!” she whispered. “Tonight, yes . . .”
Lance had spent the last hour following her through the local supermarket trying to get her attention, to no avail. Millicent ignored him at the fruit and vegetables section, and at gourmet cheeses he deliberately brushed up against her back, murmured an apology in his huskiest bedroom voice, and accomplished nothing.
Undeterred, he followed her to the wine section, where he attempted prolonged eye contact. Alas, she always seemed to be looking in another direction, and Lance found himself trailing her into the Seafood Court. There, he liberally doused himself with a powerful pheromone spray he usually avoided using because of the unpleasant side effects.
But again nothing happened. 
All he got was a serious skin rash from the pheromone spray and a multitude of lustful supermarket attendants—not all female—insisting on giving him a “hand.”
Lance should have known when he first saw Millicent that she was trouble—big trouble. In fact, he should have known before. He’d never been hired by a mother. Husbands hired him, lovers, concerned friends, even someone’s boss once, but never a mother.
Something in the almost always competitive mother/daughter synergy precluded a mother from fixing her daughter up with a man she fancied herself, and let’s face it, Lance was well aware that all women fancied him. From his dark, silken hair to his sinewy—and talented—toes, he was regarded as prime genetic material, and he had improved on nature’s bounty. He worked out four times a week—running for an hour each morning before sun-up—and rigorously watched his diet. He used a moisturiser, a hair conditioner, and carefully barbered his muscular chest and abdomen, while cultivating a becoming three-day scruff. All this was in addition to a six-foot-three lean and mean frame, a sculpted face with dreamy green eyes, and a sulky, sarcastic mouth.
Everything about him screamed absolute bastard and he came across as absolutely irresistible.

And what happens when an irresistible object collides with an indifferent target? Something’s gotta give . . . 

Look out for Guilty Pleasures from the 5th of December 2013!

On-line, in a book store near you, or in your own kitchen...

Guilty Pleasures - 
The Food and Fornication Fables  
can also be pre-ordered on

It will be on sale at from the 5th of December as as e-book and Paperback!

Monday, 2 December 2013

THE INK BLOT GUEST SPOT: GUILTY PLEASURES - Countdown to Release: Interviewing Manuela Cardiga

Tell us a bit about your novel.
Briefly: a red-hot narcissistic compulsively healthy-living control freak - Lance Packhard - who happens to be a bankrupt sex-therapist (writing a book called “Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate”) gets hired to impregnate a woman who just loves food. Millie Deafly. She’s not interested in men, let alone someone like our hero. So in order to get close to her, he gets himself hired as an assistant to the Chef at Guilty Pleasures - a dinner club belonging to our heroine - and her partner, Serge. Serge used to be a prostitute in Istanbul, a fluffer in skin-flicks in Vegas and is now a Master Chef in London. He’s also a homosexual black dwarf with major personality/sensitivity issues. Every night a new set of crazy guests come to the Guilty Pleasures to pig out, and poor Lance (as his alter-ego, a geeky but sexy Will) finds himself sucked in to a riotous world of eccentricity and sensuality quite unlike anything he’s ever experienced. He suddenly finds himself falling madly in love with his “subject”… and about to be outed as an impostor! If you want to know how it ends, read the book! (It’s really funny) Every chapter opens with “advice” from Lance’s how-not-to book, and closes with excerpts from Millie’s diary. I had an obscene amount of fun writing this book. I hope my readers enjoy reading it.

What gave you the idea for Guilty Pleasures? How long did it take you to write?
One night we had a Girl’s Only dinner at a friend’s place. We had something Mexican I’d made, I believe; and lots of wine. Lots. Lovely red wine, which led to confession time; so these wonderful, bright, successful, stunningly beautiful women started talking about their sex lives. And they weren’t getting any “Satisfaction” as Mick might say. So I got home and suddenly Lance showed up and says: “Hello! I’m Lance Packhard, Pubic Detective Extraordinaire! Looking for a lost Orgasm? Call me! Satisfaction guaranteed!” THEN Serge pushed him aside. “This arsehole doesn’t know WHAT he’s talking about! You wanna know about sensuality, desire and passion for life? You talk to ME! I was -and still am - the absolute BEST in the business! Lemme tell you a story…” And that is how it happened. I wrote a chapter a day, for about three months. That was it. I was taking dictation...

Which character was your favourite to create? Why?
I didn't CREATE him. He just showed up! I loved living with Serge inside my head. He is funny and fierce and loyal. A survivor. A wonderful character. I had a hard time keeping him in his place. He wanted to take over the whole book! Only way to get him to behave was to promise him he would get his OWN book...He's still here, waiting.

If you were asked to make a soundtrack for Guilty Pleasures, what songs would be on it? 
There is a soundtrack to it! I love music and it keeps creeping up in the story! I would use a lot of James songs for Millie: Laid, She's a Star; Waltzing Along; oh and Cure: Love Cats; but her "shattered song" would be "Someone That Cannot Love" by a brill singer called David Fonseca. Lance is a Neil Diamond fan so a lot of his scenes would go thatta way; Lance's broke up song would be "Creep". Serge would be snazzy, cheeky and jazzy; Hendricks is a Goth...

If your book was turned into a movie, who would you choose to play the leading characters?
Oh that is HARD! Millie would be Adele...Sensuous, so utterly lovely! Lance/Will would be Diogo Morgado (he can do cocky sex-appeal AND geeky-vulnerable and he is so gorgeous).I don't think I could convince Morgan Freeman to do an entire movie on his knees, so Serge would be Peter Dinklage. He is AMAZING; he forces me to interrupt writing so I can watch him in Game of Thrones.. 

What’s your writing process like?
I don't really have one. Really. The characters write themselves. The story tells itself to me. I listen, I write it down. I'm just as astonished at how things turn out as anyone else. The characters just show up, push me around, tell their story and then leave...

About the author
What is a normal day for you? Take us through your usual routine.
I have a pre-pubescent pre-teen girl? I don't do normal.
My usual routine starts at 7:00, I go to work (day-job, starving writers etc).
I take a train along the shore, and then a long walk by a sea wall to the office. (My desk is separated from the ocean by a 12 foot high picture window and a 5 meter wide quay, it's what keeps me sane).
So I work, I go home at the end of the day, 18:00 train ride. Get home, make dinner; the usual gripes: "Mom! YOU RUIN MY LIFE!"; I put in another three hours on the keyboard, and usually try to be in bed by 24:00...

When you’re not writing, what else do you like to do?
Oh I love reading, and drawing, and painting and cooking. I love music too, I love singing (badly and loudly!)... And I love writing. I do it even when I'm not doing it, if you know what i mean.

Tell us about the day you found out Guilty Pleasures was going to be published. 
How did you react?
After about a year of sending the manuscript to agents and publishers, I got used to receiving these e-mails that said: "WE LOVED YOUR STORY! I killed myself laughing, the Acquisitions Department loved the concept; however...It is not our Genre.Don't give up, it's a GREAT story!" Everyone laughed, everyone loved, nobody published...HUNDREDS of lovely encouraging "no"'s. So one day I saw another e-mail, I clicked on it. I read it. I didn't understand a single word it said. So I read it again. And again. It was weird. I just couldn't understand. My daughter came over and said: "Mom, why are you crying?" And I was. So I told her, "I think someone wants to publish the story, but I can't be sure." And she started crying too.

Is there a certain book that has made a lasting impression on you?
Yes. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird. It is so absolutely perfect.
Also "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexander Dumas. It was my first "grownup book".
My Father gave it to me when I turned 7. I love that book.

What made you want to become a writer?
Oh dear....You think people WANT to be writers??? It's not a choice, it's an affliction, a compulsion. Stories possess and overwhelm you. You either let them out or explode.

If you were planning your perfect aphrodisiac recipe, what would it be and why?
Let me tell you a secret…There are no “perfect aphrodisiac recipes”! The secret is eating with someone who awakens you in every way: your heart, your mind, your sensuality. So the perfect aphrodisiac recipe? The main ingredient is the guest.You can serve pizza, or baby quail stuffed with wild rice and pine-nuts in a port-wine chocolate and orange zest sauce. The intention is what spices the dish, tantalizes the palate and arouses desire! Serve what ever you serve with fire in your eye and a pout promising kisses.

What do you think the most important thing in a relationship is?
There are two, as far as I’m concerned: love and acceptance are indivisible. And don’t underestimate the quality of kindness. Kindness is the sexiest quality.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you want to have with you?
Chocolate, lipstick, eyeliner, silk stockings, and a bold Knight on a quest...

What’s next for Manuela Cardiga?
I have absolutely no idea! I'm waiting for life to surprise me.
(there is a novel harassing me, but I'm considering a restraining order)

Bonus Questions
Favourite movie/TV show/food/season?

Favourite movie.
It's a Wonderful Life; The Piano; Blade Runner; Breaking the Waves; When Harry Met Sally; Black Cat White Cat; Dangerous Liaisons, just about anything directed by Clint Eastwood or starring De Niro.
(I hate De Niro). Sorry, there are just too many.

TV Show
Game of Thrones
(I dont watch TV. This is an exception)

Are you kidding? Don't ASK things like that!

Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring.

Who would you give the award to for best first kiss (in a movie)?
The award goes to: COLIN FIRTH! In anything. The man can kiss...
(Did you see what he did in "The Diary of Bridgit Jones"? He MADE that movie)

Sweet or salty?
Both. Separately or together. Also spicy...

Worst fear?
I wake up, and this is a dream.

Guilty Pleasures - 
The Food and Fornication Fables  
can be pre-ordered on

It will be on sale at from the 5th of December as as e-book and Paperback!