Wednesday, 27 August 2014


I wanted to give
Unsparingly of me
I wanted to feel free
To sing, shriek, leap
Handstand on tip-toe
Dance you a joke

I wanted to speak
My truth
My love my hope
I wanted to see
My honesty received
As it may be

I wanted to see
What how it would be
To jump on puddles
Cut through muddles
Just be silly clumsy me

Open my mouth
Let my heart out
Knowing it would
Be received
With the same love
That I give.

So I was standing
Eye to eye with you
Speaking my truth
And you said:
“Be careful”
“Be careful
How you speak to me”
And I felt my hope
In truth crumble.


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

REQUIEM IN D-MINOR - A Murder Ballad

You could say I was at the end of my tether.
There wasn’t much left of me to salvage after a lifetime of blood, wet-work, cheating and theft. So at sixty-two, having spent a considerable chunk of my time in jail; and most of what I’d earned avoiding even more convictions, I’d decided to invest my skills and know-how in the straight world as a PI.

A reformed criminal turned Private Investigator - you would think the clients would stay away in droves, but surprisingly enough, I was a busy man indeed.

I was putting my life back together, bit by bit, until that fateful August night.
A mistake. A woman, of course, with me it was always a woman.Other men, it was drink or gaming, or blood lust or drugs.With me it was women.

Not necessarily beautiful women. Just a woman with that intangible something that moved me: a smile, a way of lifting a shoulder, the vulnerable curve of a neck. Once I nearly married a girl for her scent. The sweet scent of the curve of her throat...I can smell it even now. I loved that girl.

So that August night I was alone. Morry, my partner had already gone home, when someone buzzed. If you are picturing some sleazy PI hangout, think again. I'd done a lot of wet-work for high-rollers and I had a fifth floor, with a corner office, and a snazzy reception area - my daughter and some prancing prick in pink had painted it in these smarmy colours and hung some bloody expensive shit on the walls. She said you've got to dress for success, and the space says it best...

I even paid some woman to come align energies and chakras or some other good shit.
I myself hated it all, but I must admit it suited the sharp suits that paid Morry and I to trail their biz partners, secretaries, children and fourth or fifth wives.

Dull stuff. but profitable; and at my age, after spending 18 years in jail, and having lost more than I'd gained - and by my count I'd blown away millions - I needed to think about my future.

Some of my investments had paid off. A lot of important people owed me favours; and favours, my friends, can be worth more than money in the bank. I knew where a lot of skeletons were buried, and a few lively bodies you could say I was drawing a pension of sorts. The customers came, referred by nameless debtors; and I did the work, and took the cash. It was fairly clean money. watching, mostly. It was ok. I slept nights. Until that night.

The man who buzzed carried a pretty hefty IOU, let me tell you, one I'd done my best to forget was still outstanding. I let him in. He was a sharp suit, like all the rest: grey suit, silk shirt, palest tie - hand painted - and narrow shoes that looked hand-made, and a face I hated at first sight.

He had a square-jawed, dimpled-chinned face; with wide brown candid eyes.
Nothing to dislike, right? But something didn’t jibe. He looked like a lie

He was in his late fifties, maybe - a bit younger than me -but better kept. Firm fleshed, bronzed, grizzled full head of hair, sunny smile; even his handshake was just right. The correct pressure, exact timing, and left me with the sensation I’d touched slime.

"Mr. Markovitch? I'm Tad Smeadon."

I shivered. Markovitch was a ghost. A dead man. Buried and long gone.
"You've made mistake Mr. Smeadon. I'm George Warrick, my partner is Morris Brady. There is no-one called Markovitch here."

His smiled broadened, showing perfect square teeth. Natural too, not capped, the left incisor slightly bent.
"No mistake." he extended a tiny cloisonné box. I didn’t want to take it, touch the poisonous thing.
"A friend said you had a debt to repay, Mr. Markovitch, she said to give you this, that you knew what it was"

"Take it away!"

The happy eyes narrowed "I insist, Mr Markovitch, you must take it. It is proof of my identity. My credentials, you might say."

I took it, and so sealed my fate.
He walked past me into my office, sat on the chair, easy as you please.

"What do you want?"

He crossed his legs, shot his cuffs, and smiled. The fucker was enjoying this.
"I want someone dead"

"DEAD?" I took a deep breath, "I'm a private detective Mr. Smeadon, I don't kill people."

"Oh I think you do, in fact, I know you have. And I know," he gestured with beautifully manicured hands at the little box clutched tight in my hand, "I know you will kill again."

"Yes." I croaked it out, "Yes."

He withdrew from his pocket an envelope.
"The money, Mr. Markovitch. In Swiss francs." He laid it on my desk, "And here - here she is..." Another envelope.

"She? A woman? The hit is a woman?"

"Are you squeamish? From the story about that box, I’d hardly think so."

"No, I’m not. Just curious, is all." I drew out the picture: a bland woman. Bland was the first word that sprung to mind: neither young, nor old; thin or fat; pretty or ugly. She was just bland, dressed neatly but boringly. No pizzazz.

"Why," I asked him, "do you want her dead? Is she your wife?"

"My wife?" he reared back as if I’d slapped him "No! Not at all...I just want her dead, that's all. They told me you would ask no questions."

"I was curious, Mr. Smeadon, that's all."

I flipped the picture: Dorothea Sandoval. Dorothea Sandoval was dead, or at least, as good as dead; because when it came to wet-work there was no-one better than I. I rose to my feet and picked up the fat envelope with the money. I gave it back to Smeadon. "Take this crap and get the fuck out. Tell her I'll do it and the slate is clean. Tell her this pays for all. Tell her anyone else comes to me from Dusseldorf is dead." I bared my teeth in Zoozi Markovitch's deadly grin "tell her I want someone to come..."

Smeadon stared at me for one long moment, took the envelope and left. I sank into my chair, my head in my hands.As ugly as George Warrick's past was - and believe me, it was bad - it could not compare to who Zoozie Markovitch had been. I would dig a burial pit: Dorothea Sandoval would lie with Zoozie Markovitch. I would toss their dead, tumbled limbs into a nameless grave, bury them deep.I would put an end this once and for all. George Warrick I had reformed, brought him into the straight world. In two month's time my daughter would give birth. I would stretch out my hand over a cradle and the finger my grandson gripped would be clean. No blood under the fingernail. I heaved myself out of that chair and went home.

Next day I went looking for a dead woman. Dorothea Sandoval. The address scribbled under her name at the back of the photo indicated a flower shop in an average middle class neighbourhood. Made sense, everything about Dorothea screamed average, mediocre. And there she was. No luster to the woman: she moved behind that counter, neither brisk nor slow. I watched for a while from the cafe across the street. She arranged the flowers "just so", somehow failing to impart that singular grace that is the gift of an artistic eye and a deft hand. It astonished me she would be a target for violent death.

Nothing in her invited either violent hate or love; even I, found my initial revulsion at the thought of taking her life fade. There was nothing there for me to connect to. No passion, no beauty, nor ugliness, even.

She was a blank woman shape with a name tag attached. Yes, I could remove her, erase her name; nothing in her demanded response. She was simply not real enough for remorse.

After two days of watching I had her routine down pat. She left the flower shop at six, walked to the subway, stood on the curb, just a little too close. She walked into the second carriage always. Sat by the window, and nodded her head to the cadence of the train. Exactly 23 seconds before it pulled into her station, she would get up, make her way to the door and peer out at the flashing darkness, the leprous walls.

What did she see out of those nondescript eyes? The train stopped: she'd get out, walk home, up the stairs and through her front door. And that was where Dorothea Sandoval ended for me. Through walls I could not see. On the third day I decided to make contact. I walked into the shop and ordered some flowers. Roses, I told her, red.

"Black velvet?" her voice was extraordinary! It reverberated, thrummed in my chest as if she had reached in and strummed at my heart. I could listen to those words again and again "black velvet".

Her mouth shaped the words, I caught glimpses of her moist tongue moving, -"black velvet" - and that voice; that beautiful extraordinary voice...

She was extraordinary and all of her blandness now seemed the necessary foil, the setting for that jewel-deep beautiful voice. Dorothea Sandoval was extraordinary, and I had to kill her.

You must understand about Dusseldorf. You must understand who and what I am, before you can understand why I must kill this extraordinary woman. Germany in the early fifties was chaos. My mother was sixteen when I was born. She’d been hiding out in Berlin somewhere, like a rat in the walls, she and half a dozen other Jewish children who had somehow escaped the drag-net, slipped under and discovered some way to survive in the very heart of that putrid Empire in the making.

Now anyone who tells you suffering refines, lies. It does not. It hardens and coarsens the human heart. As I said, my mother was sixteen when I was born, it was 1952. If you think sixteen was a sweet innocent age in that time and place, think again. She had been living on the streets since she was six, and kneeling in alleyways to earn a living since she was eight. Esther Marcovitch was a hardened vicious bitch; a casual killer and a whore. How I came to be, is, to this day, a mystery to me. There were many old women with dirty hands and bent coat-hangers in post-war Berlin, and many pregnant whores to keep them busy. I can only surmise that when my mother realized I was alive inside her, it was too late to take the expedient way out of her predicament.

She was a survivor, my mother. She would not have risked death so as not to give birth. So Esther Marcovitch, sixteen years old, grunted me out in some basement; pushed me out into the world in a rush of blood, and piss and amniotic water onto a pile of filthy rags. Her screams unheard, she tore at the cord binding us with dirty nails, severing the connection once and for all. Surprisingly, she did not kill or abandon me. It would have been easy. All she had to do was stagger away. The rats would have taken care of the evidence, and the next day nothing would have remained of me, and this story would not be told.

However, Esther Marcovitch struggled out onto the street holding me awkwardly, walked up to an American Military Policeman and started to weep. She lifted me in her arms, and begged for help, tears coursing down her cheeks. That night, she slept snug and clean, stitched up and well fed for the first time in as long as she could remember. I was a good investment.

The Hospital that had taken her in looked through the fragmentary pre-war records for some relatives, anyone that could be traced, but to no avail. Esther Marcovitch was alone in the world, except for me, of course. She called me Zoozie. That is what is written in my birth certificate: Zoozie Marcovitch, father unknown.

By the time I was three we had moved to Dusseldorf, where she continued her career as a street whore with reasonable success. Her real talent, however, was death. She was a good killer: unencumbered by empathy, or any type of squeamishness, and there was no job she would not accept. The poor and derelict desire the death of their near-and-dear as passionately and as frequently as the rich; here was a business opportunity for a woman with a sharp blade, and Esther took it. She became the hit-woman of choice for the festering multitude of the destitute. She was cheap, and she was quick; and her skill brought us some material comfort.

We lived in an apartment near the river where she received her customers, both the men who more and more infrequently sought her out to fuck; and the women and men who knocked - hunched into their coats clutching money, or more often than not, modest treasures to trade for some-one’s death. I believe she drew some kind of pension for my sustenance, or some benefit must have accrued from my existence, or she would have discarded me.

I was often useful as a decoy, toddling up to some woman, distracting her; while Esther slid a stiletto into her rib-cage from behind. As I have said: the poor and the rich are all sentimental shits.

At seven it was demanded I start earning my keep. By then I had no less than six “brothers” and “sisters”, all whoring, thieving or learning to kill. Esther had taken in several war-orphans, and was running them from the apartment. She was becoming a mobster on a commendably modest scale. She was bright enough to feed on the scraps washed up from the tide of crime, and never ever poached on the big-fishes’ preserves. She was too small and mediocre to attract rivalry or Police attention, so she survived and thrived.

As I said, at seven I started earning my keep: first whoring, and stealing from the customers when I could; eventually killing. I won’t go into details. It was long ago, and there is no need to recollect, or resurrect the agony of those early years. Suffice it to say I hated her most passionately, that woman who was my mother.

At twelve I was a skilled operative, if we can call it that, and a very profitable one. At seventeen, I started free-lancing, branching out on my own. It was a mistake. I got caught, of course. Esther was quite ruthless, and she imposed discipline with an iron hand. I was to regret my straying bitterly.

I had foolishly grown fond of a girl. Another orphan: Marguerite, she was called. We’d spend many hours hidden away sharing a bottle of harsh liquor and whatever comfort we could take from each other’s adolescent bodies. The usual happened, and Marguerite had given birth to a tiny scrap of pink, astonishingly resilient life. A girl. A tiny little girl. We loved her. In the midst of that horrendous, vicious life, something amazingly fragile somehow awoke in us a dormant tenderness, love, humanity; call it what you will. We called her Pearl.

One night I got home, and Esther called me in. She was sitting in her favourite arm-chair, with Pearl on her knee. Jaap, her “enforcer” was with her, and Elsa, and Horst. Marguerite was no-where to be seen.

“Zoozie…come here.” Her voice was sweet. Funny that such a poisonous creature had such a gentle tone. I came, of course. I never disobeyed Esther. Ever. “Herr Heimlich tells me you did some small jobs on the East River. Some little things you didn’t share with me.”

I was young, I was fearful, yes; but infected with the cocksure arrogance of liquor and bravado.
“That’s right. I did.”

“Zoozie…You owe me your life. Everything. How am I to live with such ingratitude?” and she smiled.

I cannot tell you how that smile of hers terrified. She moved a hand, and Jaap dragged Marguerite in from the next room. She was alive. I remember she was alive when Jaap started. Then she wasn’t. It took a long time, and all the while, Esther sat with Pearl. Pearl was in her arms. When it was all done Esther got up, took my child, and walked to the next room, away from the blood.

I left, walked out. I was cold sober that night, as I had never been before. When I came back the house was dead quiet. I went from room to room and I did what I do best. I started with Jaap, then Karl, Elsa, Horst, Rosa. I left Esther for last.
Her room was empty. She wasn’t there. Neither was Pearl. There was a box on her dressing table. Cloisonné. Under it was a sheet of paper. It simply said: “Next time the box may not be empty. You owe me, you owe me a life.”

I ran that night. I left Dusseldorf behind, I left Zoozie Markovitch, too, or so I believed.I came to America to start a new life, and found my skills in high demand. My new life and my old life were in some ways similar; but now that I had straightened that out, the ghosts of Dusseldorf threatened to destroy it. The bitch in Dusseldorf still holds my daughter, my Pearl. I know her well enough not to risk disobedience ever again. And so, Dorothea Sandoval must die.

I got myself together, got myself organised. It was simple really; all I had to do was follow her home. She had a lamentable habit of standing too close to the curb, so all it took was one hard push. So I did it, and I went home, and if I wasn’t exactly at peace that night, well…It was a small price to pay for the rest of my life.

The next morning it was in the papers. "Florist tragically killed in subway service...donations welcomed in lieu of flowers, to be made out to the Children’s Choir in the name of Pearl Dorothea Sandoval."

So I have packed an overnight bag, brought a ticket to Dusseldorf, and I am going home to hell.
Home to kill, and to home to die.

Manuela Cardiga

If you enjoyed this story, look for my new novel "MANscapes- Journey into Light"


Saturday, 23 August 2014


Bargain hunters
And compulsive shoppers
(whom we adore) 
Come and enjoy our

What do we sell?
What do we offer?
That can make you
Empty your coffer?

Right here!
All you can eat!
With sour-puss
Cream on the side!

On the next rack,
For your delight,
Magnums of vintage

Next we have
Delightful packs of
In several hues!

But our special
Promotion for the day,
And the best deal
You ever made;
For those dull
Evenings surrounded by fools
Or women with fang-eyes
Covered in jewels,
Or just a small
Intimate dinner for two
With a man who
Suddenly drools?

Our extra special
Will bring every
Or just rude remark
Straight from the back
Of your mind
Where it is usually
Safely (and conveniently)
Parked, conveying it
Directly to the tip of
Your tongue,
Where it will
And confound,
And is guaranteed
To have a profound
Effect on every
Relationship or kinship
Based on convenience
Or the occasional
Sharing of a bed;
Safeguarding only
Those rare ones
Based on respect.

Oh! I'm so sorry!
We don't carry any,
In any case
You will find that
This particular product
You have in mind
Is always best
Hard- earned
Or home-grown.

But since I hate
Sending customers home
Without a treasure
For their trove,
Can I perhaps interest you in a
A small ready -made poem?

Manuela Cardiga

Sunday, 17 August 2014



A mangled tangled
Grave-worm pried
At the vampire's lips

Oh kiss me
Kiss me
Kiss me

The Grave-digger's
Pick stuck deep
And tore my heart apart.

But the Vampire
Squeaked in horror
And spat the worm out

Not for you,
Not for you
My bliss
My immortal kiss

And with a vicious hiss
It rose and stretched
It's cadaverous arms out

Oh come
Sweet dove, my love
And let me drink
Of your pouting lips
Cried he to a maid
Passing by.

Nay, cried she
For dead ye be
And even
The grave-worms
Have more appeal!

The little worm
The Vampire
Had despised
Sneered and smiled:
You she refuses,
That peevish Miss,
But her sweet lips,
I one day
I'll kiss...

Manuela Cardiga

My true Love swears
He loves me
Oh he loves me true

Now love
I have sung
And heard

The singing of

The winging of

The ringing of

Voices of desire,
Heart wings on fire,
Bells, bells,clapping
Tongues of bells


My true Love swears
He loves me
Oh he loves me true

Ah, Love
Be silent,
Hush a kiss
Across my lips
And tell me no lies;
For love that so
Easily proclaims,
As easily denies.

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rumi said the closest we come to completion - union with a higher state - is in the embrace of the Beloved.

I open the embossed cover
With the reverence of a lover
Lick my trembling thumb
And open at page one:


I thump my chest
Harrumph, pick up
My pen to prepare
And declaim:

Oh lovely, so lovely
The hummingbird
The loveliest sound
You ever heard...

And the butterflies
Oh, Flutter-byes
And turds...

Did I say

Oh Lawdy, lawdy...
I ain't no poet!
That word
For manure
Heard it,
At least not
From the lips
Of a Poet!

Oh deary me!
What can I be?
'Cause I say
Rude things
I drinks a bits
And have all
Sorts of saucy

Ta be a Poet!
Oh, please
Let me
Be a Poet?
I rhyme
All the time;
And further more,
I'm a bit
Of a slime.

And as for my ego,
I wont say it's divine,
But it is absolutely

So maybe
I think its absurd
To say "manure"
Or "ordure"
When I really
Mean "turd";
So is that a
Reason to throw
My sweet verse
In the toilet?

Come on?
Let me in
To the Poet's Club...
I swear
To curb my rude
Tendancy to be crude
And be ever so

I swear to be
Poeticaly correct
Grammatically abject.
Use only vocabulary
To which you'll not object.

I will be the most
Obedient pet:
Or is that dead?

Oh please
Just say you'll
Let me in
To the  respectable
Poet Set...


Monday, 11 August 2014

It is nine years today that my Father went away.
He was not like me, big-mouth, jumping around, finger up in the air, spouting sound.

He was a shy man. A quiet man who carried a hidden universe within him, and when he spoke every word counted.

I love him, I miss him more than ever.



"Shit! Shit! SHIT!" she screamed, and slammed the taxi's door behind her.

This is how we meet the Right Honourable May Huffingdon-Smythe. You must forgive her. 
May is usually very polite. Painfully correct and polite, in fact, but this night we really must forgive her, because this was a watershed evening, one of those moments that transform a life.

The evening that May Huffingdon-Smythe's life changed she was dead drunk. "Drunk as a skunk", she might have rhymed, if she'd been halfway sober. May was that rare and precious creature: a usually sober poet,which may have been why, she was also a failed poet.

May staggered into her genteelly dilapidated Boston brownstone and up the charmingly rickety stairs, and kicked open her bedroom door. She tottered in, switched on her desk-lamp and stepped off the dizzy silver gilt-sandals that had been burning welts into her narrow feet for the last four hours.

"My mouth tastes like shit." May was surprised to hear her own voice. "SHIT!" Actually she said "sheeeth".

"I feel like shit." she paused with a drunks devotion to sincerity, "Because...My life IS shit." She walked to the gilt-edged mirror off the door to her bathroom and peered into the murky depths.

"And tonight, I even look like shit. Drunken shit. Pissed manure. Urine-soaked ordure."
She grabbed at the door of the wall-closet to steady herself against the onslaught of so much honesty.

"Listen to yourself! Do you see why you don't sell one single fucking book? Who wants to read that pretentious pompous pedantic poetic CRAP?" She sobbed a hic. "Only equally pretentious pompous pedantic academic PRICKS." Tears coursed down her delicately patrician features.

"SHIT! I am drunk. I am also a disgusting envious SHIT. Repulsive. I am consumed by jealousy because some stupid talentless bitch wrote a SHITTY novel about fucking and is selling MILLIONS. And hey! I can write shit too! I can write better shit than anyone I know. I am the Queen of Shit!" She paused. "I think i may be overdoing this honesty thing."

May faced herself in the mirror, wiped at the tears spreading a tidal mark of Kohl down her porcelain cheeks, and essayed her elegant trademark-smile. Someone had once told her she looked like a young Grace Kelly. And she did. A Grace Kelly with the faint traces of that unfortunate Irish-peasant ancestry bred out of her DNA. Grace Kelly without a hint of that warm sensuality...

"I cannot write sexy because I am not sexy." A fresh wash of tears welled up from her amber-brown eyes, and an unfortunate drip of liquid glistened on the end of her elegantly sculpted nose. "I am just not sexy. But I can write SHIT."

And so, of course, May decided there and then that she was going to write the all-time Great American Cross-Over Porn Novel of all time. And she was going to do it that very night.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Ink Blot Guest Spot PROUDLY PRESENTS! "Passion and Propriety" By BEST SELLING AUTHOR Elise de Sallier!

Passion and Propriety

Hearts of Honour- Book One


Elise de Sallier

Release Date: 7th August 2014

Genre: Regency Romance/ Historical 

ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-261-7

Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH


A Sweetly Sensuous Surprise

Flawless, delicious, sensuous...All these apply to Elise de Sallier's writing.
How about absorbing? Captivating, amusing and enormously entertaining.
"Passion and Propriety" is all this and more...

It made me feel like a voyeur listening at the parlour door, peeking through the bedroom window, an eager eavesdropper. And most improper! I adored the whole experience, the historical veracity, the density of the characters, and not just the protagonists. Look, I kept wanting to follow the supporting actors off stage to see what happened to them. I want to know what happens to Grace? Who is the French maid? Hanna and William hold centre stage, but this is not a one man or woman play. Though let me tell you, the building sexual tension between them is masterfully handled...
As is everything else. De Sallier's writing is smooth as silk, and utterly flawless.

This is a delicious, delicately executed period reenactment, a renewal and, dare I say it, an upgrade of the long outdated Regency Romance. I want more of the proper and improper nouns so expertly and passionately handled by Ms. de Sallier.
A sweetly sensuous surprise!
Brava, Elise!

Manuela Cardiga


A hidden beauty . . . a wounded beast. Can the curse threatening their happiness be broken?

There is absolutely nothing improper about Hannah Foster, the vicar of Hartley’s eldest and least pretty daughter, nursing the badly wounded Viscount Blackthorn back to health—that’s if the returned officer can be saved. At twenty-seven, she is two years the man’s senior, a confirmed spinster, and far too sensible to develop feelings for her patient. The fact he was once her childhood friend, has grown into a fine specimen of a man—his terrible scars notwithstanding—and seems as lost and lonely as she sometimes feels has no bearing on the matter.

Even if the unthinkable were to happen and William was to see past her plain exterior and recognise the caring, intelligent, passionate woman beneath, he is determined to break the curse that has plagued his family for generations by letting his bloodline die out. Her best friend Grace’s warnings are moot; a man of Lord Blackthorn’s wealth and position would never be interested in a woman like Hannah . . . would he?

Author Bio: 

A great believer in living happily ever after, Elise began her lifelong obsession with the romance and paranormal genres when she was far too young to be reading either. After more than thirty years of marriage to her very own romantic hero, she now knows great relationships don't just happen, they take work . . . which doesn't mean writing about them can't be a whole lot of fun!
While raising a family, Elise established a career as a counsellor and family therapist. Seeking an escape from the stresses of her work, she discovered the world of fan fiction, and her timid writer's muse made its voice heard. Two point three million hits, twenty thousand reviews, and an e-mail from an acquisitions editor at The Writer's Coffee Shop later, and her life found a new and fascinating direction.

Elise likes to see her characters grow, experience passion and adventure, tackle some difficult issues, and find lasting love . . . eventually.

Connect with Elise de Sallier on: 

Don't miss out on this Amazing Rafflecopter Giveaway! With the chance to win all of Elise de Sallier's TWCS books!

Praise for Passion and Propriety
5 Star Reviews

"This is the third book I've read by this author and I couldn't help falling in love with deSallier's characters once again. I was completely taken into the story not just by Hannah and William, but by the secondary characters at the same time..." -Lindsey Gray Author on Author Book Review

"I really enjoyed this, and Elise de Sallier is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I love a good bodice-ripper, and this reminded me very much of the series I enjoy by Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare and others. It’s well-written with interesting, fleshed-out characters the reader can feel for..." -Andrea (Mrs Aubergine) Goodreads Review

Also by Elise de Sallier:

A Forbidden Love: book one and two on SALE!
$0.99 Sale ends on the 6th of August and then the price will permanently drop to $2.99

A Forbidden Love: Book One


A Forbidden Love: Book Two

Praise for Innocence and Protection:

"I flew through BOTH books in The Forbidden Love series because they are that good!!" Kristen - Shelf Life

"The romance, intrigue, scoundrels, and miscommunications kept me enthralled from the first page to the last.... I applaud Elise de Sallier for once again giving us a novel to fall in love with." Lindsey Gray, Author on Author

"Ms. de Sallier writes a great plot and gifts us with love scenes that we can swoon over. 
I truly enjoy a plot with steamy scenes that fit the story well. This book is a shining example of that!" Kathie, First Page to the Last


A Sweetly Sensuous Surprise

Flawless, delicious, sensuous...All these apply to Elise de Sallier's writing.
How about absorbing? Captivating, amusing and enormously entertaining.
"Passion and Propriety" is all this and more...

It made me feel like a voyeur listening at the parlour door, peeking through the bedroom window, an eager eavesdropper. And most improper! I adored the whole experience, the historical veracity, the density of the characters, and not just the protagonists. Look, I kept wanting to follow the supporting actors off stage to see what happened to them. I want to know what happens to Grace? Who is the French maid? Hanna and William hold centre stage, but this is not a one man or woman play. Though let me tell you, the building sexual tension between them is masterfully handled...
As is everything else. De Sallier's writing is smooth as silk, and utterly flawless.

This is a delicious, delicately executed period reenactment, a renewal and, dare I say it, an upgrade of the long outdated Regency Romance. I want more of the proper and improper nouns so expertly and passionately handled by Ms. de Sallier.
A sweetly sensuous surprise!
Brava, Elise!

Thursday, 7 August 2014


“Sout-piel, luister jy?”

He cupped his hand,
Short fingers,
Thick palmed
Across the flame.

“This here, boy,
This here’s
The fucking front”
We crouched low
Back on our heels
As that syrupy night
Flowed around us.

And that was when
The bullet kissed him,
High on one cheek
A lipstick-stain
Red-slicked his skin.

He didn’t cry out.
All I heard was
A surprised grunt,
Then the mutter
Stutter of the lights
And the sound:
That bewildering

The dizzy
All around
Of the flutter,
Soft breezes
Tiny and wee
Teasing pleasing
Snickering sounds
Seeking me out,
So I hugged
The loving ground.

I was afraid ,
I hugged
The ground,
And next to me
He shuddered
And cried out;
Reached down
That heavy hand
Fumbled about,
Found me
My head
So I took it:
I took his hand
And he sighed.

So I sat up
And held him.
He breathed:
In and out.
In and out.

After a while
He was
My only sound.

He smelled
Of piss
And shit
And blood.
So I held him
Until he died.

I can’t remember
His name,
But I loved him
All the same.

Manuela Cardiga

* "Sout-piel" is Afrikaans slang for English speaking South Africans, in this case a rookie. It means literally "salt-dick" because the English speakers were seen as having one foot in the UK and on in SA, with their dicks hanging over the Atlantic...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


I long to trade
The choke of hope
For the certainty
Of despair

To exchange
The constant
Wearing strife
Of keeping
The light
In sight
For the comfort
Of that hedonistic
Depressive stare.

It angers me
That I just can’t
Get there,
And believe me I try
I list the reasons why
I should no longer
Defy fate;

I count the pain
Of disappointment
Yet, oh yet again.
I see that every face
I long to love in grace
Is in most likelihood
Just another
Fancy mask I hang
On an empty space.

I court and flirt
And beg despair
To come into my bed,
But stupid hope
Constantly confuses
The issue, and I
Am once again

So I pour that cup
Of self-deception,
Drink deep
And scream:

What the hell!
What’s one more
Mistake in a life
Like mine?

Manuela Cardiga

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Excerpt from Manuela Cardiga's NEW NOVEL: "MANscapes - Journey Into Light"

A flowery script on a swinging plaque proclaimed “The Retreat”. An air of gracious negligence pervaded the house. Rambling bougainvilleas sturdily climbed up the walls to peek into the windows of the upper story, shading the deep verandas with a riot of colour in vivid contrast to the peach sun-bleached walls.

There was a woman in the garden, moving slowly through a forest of roses. Thick-trunks and knotted branches with viper-toothed thorns produced a riot of blowsy roses, the bruised scent pervading the warm, moist air. The woman looked up at the sound of the engine, placing one hand on her hip, inquisitively tilting her hat in the opposite direction.

“Winston?” A warm contralto, “What are you bringing me now?”

The young man slid the door open for Clara, helped her down with a warm, lingering touch to her elbow, and unloaded her luggage.

“A seeker, Mamma: a painter-Lady with pretty eyes!”

Clara gripped her suitcase in one hand, the travelling easel in the other and stepped past the open gateway onto the shimmering crushed-shell path leading to the front door.

She glanced back over her shoulder:

“Thank you. Thank you, you are very kind.”

He grinned, “I like Pretty Ladies. I like Pretty Ladies who come to stay.” He waved and jumped back into his bus, and drove off with his expectant cargo.

The woman approached, head cocked, her face in the shadow beneath the broad-brimmed hat. Her hands were covered by thick canvas gloves, her thin arms scored by red welts, one of which was bleeding copiously.

“And who would you be, child?”

“I’m Clara,” she paused, savoring the words, “Nova. Clara Nova.” She liked that. Her new name for a new life: Clara Nova, a new light.

The woman stripped the glove off her right hand and extended it, broad-knuckled and brown, towards her. The skin was surprising soft, the nails well tended. The face under the hat was amber, lightly creping at the corner of the eyes and along the long throat.

The slackening of the flesh over her cheekbones placed her age in the late sixties; her snapping black eyes defied the softening of the surrounding flesh.

“Sylvine, Sylvine Devereux.” A smile lifted her face into beauty, “You have come to seek a haven? Be sure you have brought no devils with you!” she nodded, “They hitch in on your shoulders, girl.”


My friend
At the door
And I ran
To the window:
"Who's there!"
Cried I
But, thinking
There was
No one inside
My friend
On by.

Manuela Cardiga


The call for The Little People of The World to join the protest against Manuela Cardiga's "Guilty Pleasures- The Food and Fornication Fables" has been answered with telling silence.

In an exclusive interview, an anonymous source told this reporter:
"I dunno about the zucchini, or the nipples or that kitchen shit, but one thing this crazy chick got right: we got bigger balls than the average man. HEY! Wanna see?"

This reporter can attest to the veracity of this claim. The attributes of Little People are indeed impressive, practically heroic.

Prominent Little Person, award-winning actor Peter Dinklage, could not be reached for his comments on this controversial silence.

From outside Little People of the World Headquarters in Big Sur - California; this reporter signing out.

CUT! I said CUT you moron...
Now, Gimli, darling...Where were we?


(fictitious parody)

Saturday, 2 August 2014


Life is comedy
Or life is farse,
But friends,
Dear friends
If you want
Poetic tragedy?
Kiss my arse!

Manuela Cardiga
People are performing sexually, and not making love; not sharing, touching, loving. Making love is not having sex. Making love is every moment. It is loving, feeling, sharing, wrapping the other in acceptance and understanding.

What we call "making love" is only the "showing", getting as close physically as you are emotionally and mentally. It is a constant renewal in the continuing process of falling in love every day.

If you lie on a bed and hold each other, whisper and giggle in the dark like children,if you touch like the blind tracing a face, or kiss with the passion born of desire to be one with someone you love? Then there is no space or place between you for petty resentments; or the tiny, savage malice that so often marrs marriages.

Then yes, that is making love, living love and being in love.

Manuela Cardiga

Review for "MANscapes - Journey Into Light" Manuela Cardiga's NEW NOVEL

“The characters in MANscapes are larger-than-life and totally compelling; they are so enduring and vividly made that they have merged with my life.This is the hallmark of an excellent book. I've not read a more inventive story in a long while. This juxtaposition of darkness and light will be with you in many lovely ways for a long time.If there is a prize for the most beautiful Book cover this book will win it."
Novelist D. Adendorff


The outcry against "Guilty Pleasures- The Food and Fornication Fables" is now official. Heath and Sanitation Authorities have labelled Manuela Cardiga's depictions of torrid kitchen-sex as "unconscionable, unsanitary and unsafe", and urge the public "do not do this at home".

Restaurateurs have reassured the public:
"We keep to the Sanitation Code! There is no sexual activity in our kitchens whatsoever. Our kitchens are open to scrutiny at any time. We assure you that our Chefs are all extremely unattractive and very unlikely to engage in any kind of sexual activity at the best of times, let alone in the work environment."


Manuela Cardiga's

Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables

What ever you do,

Friday, 1 August 2014


Love falls
Or a woman crawls;

Do we not trade
Our truths
For fake

Love calls
And a woman crawls;

Do we not wait
A lying
A Hero that
A Zero.

Love crawls
When a woman calls;

Do we not stand
As tall
And bold
As valued
As any
Take you
The heart:

Let Love crawl
If and when
You call.

Manuela Cardiga


"It is shameful the way the highly nutritious, delicious, and perfectly respectable zucchini has been depicted in this repulsive book!"

The Organisation showed deep chagrin at the phallic symbology attributed to the honest marrow. They have demanded - failing the withdrawal of the book from the market-place - that a particularly offensive scene depicting the female protagonist lasciviously fondling a zucchini be expunged from the book.

In a surprising turn of events, the Vibrator Manufacturer's Lobby is supporting the "Veggies Beyond Vegans" in this heartfelt protest. Common enemies make for unusual alliances!

"GUILTY PLEASURES - The Food and Fornication Fables" 
by Manuela Cardiga