Saturday, 25 April 2015


It is evening, and Hilly draws the shaded lamp closer. She turns the page of her book, and looks out of the window into the velvet dark.

There is muffled sound of hooves on the drive-way leading up to the front of the house, a clatter announcing an arrival. She sits in her sitting room, close to the fire. It is autumn, and the high moulded ceilings invite in the humid cold of the Irish night. Cold. She hates the cold. She shivers. There is a soft tap at the door.

"Come!" she calls.

It is a footman. He carries a silver tray with a narrowly folded letter on it.

"Yes, John?"

"Ma'm, a letter from Lord Lucan's."

She frowns "From Lord Lucan?" She takes the envelope from his tray, waves him briskly away.

For a long moment she stares down at the jagged shape of her name carved into the paper by a hasty pen, then she flips it over, rips at the seal. "Vin," she whispers. "Oh, Vin!" The room spins, the earth tilts. She will fall, there is no longer an edge to the world. She cannot stand, and she cannot stand still.

She is running on numbed feet; running out, out past the herb garden, past the stables. She runs in the dark, on stumbling legs, catching at walls and hedges to steady herself. Hilary presses herself to the door - his door - clings to it; presses her icy cheek to the wood, feels a splinter breach her flesh.

She strikes at the door with her palm. The sound is distant and feeble to her deadened ears, but inside someone hears.

The door opens and she falls in, would have fallen at his feet; but he holds her up.

"My Lady!"

"No!" she moans, and blindly raises her fist, but he draws her in to the golden warmth, into his house.

"My Lady, you are bleeding..." He is pressing her to sit on a chair by the fire, running gentle fingers down her cheek. He draws his fingers away, painted in red.

"She is dead," she whispers, "Dead."

He wipes at her face with the same gentle hands she has watched for so long, cupping her chin, tilting her face into the light. "Who is dead, my darlin'?"

"Vin, my Vin..."

"Hush now, my love, My Lady." And those tender hands are wiping the blood and tears from her cheeks. "Hush now, and weep." He is drawing her into his embrace, she is hiding her face on his shoulder, as if all her life she has been looking for this -this quiet place, this man's hands touching her face.

A great pain wrenches her apart, and she screams. She raises her fists and beats at him. Scream after savage scream tears her throat, and he croons at her. He holds her closer, tighter, and croons. Her name. Hilly, Hilly, Hilary...

My love, he calls her; and those tender hands touch her, those gentle hands caress her face, her hair. After a time she weeps, and the pain unclenches it's vice-like fist from around her throat.
"She died in childbirth. That is how she died. In childbirth. Eight children in eight years."

"Hush now, let it go-"

"He killed her, Seamus, he killed my Vinnie. She was twenty-eight. Eight children in eight years."

"Childbirth is the battleground women face, my love."

"Yes, but for us, there is no glory, no medals, no parade. He will remarry before the year ends. Her children won't even remember her."

"You will."

"Yes. Yes." He is tracing the trail of tears down her face, wiping them away. "Why, Seamus, tell me why?"

"Why do we die?"

"No. Why am I here, with you on this night? Why did I come here, to you?"

"Ah, lass! I thought you knew! It is because you love me, and I love you."


Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 23 April 2015


"Welcome, welcome,
Welcome home!"
I cry and run,
My arm-wings
Spread wide,
My frightened heart
Drumming wild.

"For God's sake, Mom,"
Cried my lovely child
"Get a life!
It was only
A bus ride!"

Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 20 April 2015

Read this eery Short Story by Manuela Cardiga for free...

Falling in LOVE...

by Ami C. Samuel!

Cause when you are in love every day is Valentine's Day!

Beautiful Valentine Dupond is haunted by her name. “Valen-teeen…”she keeps telling people in her scrumptious French accent, “My name is Valen-teeeeen!”

And Valentine doesn’t just have a romantic name, she speaks French the language of love…

Only, her love life is very far from exciting, in fact she does not have one.

Lovely Valentine is a vegetarian veterinarian in Perth, Australia, and lives with a fat cat and a dance crazed-housemate with two left feet. 

Where is “l’amour”,you may ask? 
Where is the wild romance? 
Where oh WHERE is the French kissing!!!

Well, hold your horses, girls, cause gorgeous red-hot millionaire Joshua Hudgewich is about to enter stage-left and sweep Valentine right off her dancing shoes. (though not without some Drama, of course, and leaving a few dents and bruises on Valentine's tender heart...)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

ENJOYING "Starcrossed" by Suzanne Carrol!

A deliciously original love story that takes you back to big-hair and shoulder pads, even as it centres on the e-society of today and it's dependence on social networks.

Romeo and Juliet didn't have twitter...

Friday, 10 April 2015

The trouble with disappointments is that after a while these become monotonous.
One after the other, none very original, or even very surprising.

Like the endless tick-tack of a metronome: even as it starts - though we pretend otherwise - we already know how it will end.


What a liar you are, my dear,
What a liar!
The one you told me
Was such a flier,
I even built a ladder
To the moon!

Oh the moon....
I believe you said,
It was cheese-
Though I now realise
You said what
Would please;
Me being rather partial
To cheddar
And crackers!
But I can't blame
You, now can I?
I wanted to believe
The lie.

This will teach me
To tangle with
A cheesy master
Of propaganda...

Maybe I should
Give it a try?
What's good for
The goose
Must be good
For the gander,

Alas, I can't do it.
I look people in the eye
I just cannot lie.
I have not that talent
You so define,
Even while coyly
Yourself quite shy.

Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 6 April 2015

5 STAR Review for BELONGING (the feud) by Grant Harbison

"Harbison allows his dialogue to do the talking, and what rich dialogue this is!"

A must read
By Cal

Format: Kindle Edition

Whereas most writers wax lyrical about the bleak tenement surroundings of 70's Glasgow schemes, Harbison allows his dialogue to do the talking, and what rich dialogue this is! Written in a thick Scottish broge it takes a few pages to get used to the alien (to me) patois but once you've sorted this out in your head this is a difficult book to put down. The book is set over a period of around 8 years in both Scotland and South Africa. 

The two lead characters Liam & Jimmy are very real and although they sometimes come across as loveable rogues there is something very deep and dark within the both of them. All of us at one time have known a Liam or a Jimmy so they are easy to relate to.

The transition between Scotland and South Africa is handled very well as is the sense of loyalty between the rival gangs and although the book is steeped in violence it doesn't come across as gratuitous at any time. Worth reading for the dialogue alone I can throughly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more of Harbison's work in the near future.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


"Why that Easter bunny's
got me on the hop!"
cried Alice is distress:
"Alice, he said, please
Can I lift up your dress?
And now he just won't stop!
Why since he started
I just don't sleep,
I may just pot-roast
That little creep!"

"I wouldn't complain"
Said Tink with a sigh
I can't remember
The last time
Pete made me smile..."

"Peter Pan is a wuss"
said Mamma Goose.
"A wuss???
I'd rather say a puss!"
said the Pied Piper
With disdain.

"I rather fancy
his third leg's lame!"
said Cinderela
with a smirk,
"Or so I heard
Wendy complain..."

"Let's leave 'puss'
out of it!" said indignantly
The One in "boots"
"He just has a cock..."

"What?" cried Cock-Robin
"That he does NOT!"
"And whatever he's got
Can't match the fame
Of my bow and arrow!"
Exclaimed the sparrow,
"You just ask Mrs. Robin..."

"Or even" - said Old MacDonald
"Plough a straight farrow..."
"I ain't one to gossip..."
Whispered Chicken Little
"But there's gotta be
A reason he's always
Teasin the man
With the hook?"

"Ye!" cried Big Bad Wolf,
"And flying around
In tights and a mini
What ever the season,
And wiggling his tush?"

"Don't ya go talkin!"
said Little Red to the Wolf
"I seen you wearin-"
"Hush now, little girl!"
Said the Wolf in a panic
"Lets not go speakin'
Out of turn!"

"Oh ye? I seen
The way you yearn
and pant over grammy's
flannel panties!"

And the Queen of Hearts,
Not wanting to take parts,
Swooped in
And had the guards
Put pad-locks
On all their mouths.

Manuela Cardiga

NEW 5 STAR REVIEW! "For the reader who desires to spend a few hours in fits of laughter."


5.0 out of 5 stars
A most hilarious, playful read
April 4, 2015
By Erika

Format:Kindle Edition

Desiree’s Detective is a quick, fun, sexy read. The setting is eighteenth century Paris. Desiree is a young somewhat naïve girl who attempts to solve the palace mystery, murdered court jesters, in place of her cousin Noelle. Noelle is a self-absorbed young woman who’s about her beauty and station in life. She’s hired as the palace detective but becomes easily side-tracked with a young man.

Manuela Cardiga and Desireé Cronson designed characters and situations that kept me laughing as I turned each page. Their sexual escapades are masterfully crafted and hilarious. The short is loaded with subplots such as the philandering king and queen who love sex but not with each other. They both want a child – an heir to the throne and attempt a comical solution. Desiree’s a virgin whose sexual naiveté gets her into precarious situations.

For the reader who desires to spend a few hours in fits of laughter.

Friday, 3 April 2015

REVIEW FOR "Sweet Sorrow" By Wairimu Mwangi 

"I recommend this book, in hopes that it will reach others"

By Emily Walsh
Format:Kindle Edition

...A book is about its ending. It’s the breaking point, or it’s the light in the darkness.

When I mean ending, I mean the very last paragraph. In the last few words I felt something, a flicker of what the title is, and it was perfect. It shocked me, because I wasn’t expecting it. Bravo!

Though I did not enjoy this read as much as I wanted, please don't be deterred from reading it. You may find out that you like it, and think me a fool for not. So I recommend this book, in hopes that it will reach others, even if it's only in thoes last words.

Happy reading


LOVELY REVIEW! "Valentine in Love!" By Ami C. Samuel - YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THIS ONE!

Captivating, Sweet and Funny treat

4 Stars By Charelene on March 18, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition

This Novella is such a Satisfying Read, Ami C. Samuel has created a captivating, sweet and funny treat. I honestly wished this was a full length novel. I loved the vivid and smart characters she created. Valentine is the kind of fantastic heroine that needs to be written more often in romance stories. Wanting to change the world, helping and making a positive impact in people's lives and Joshua, Sexy Joshua ... I loved how sweet he was with her through every little thing that unfolded.

I thoroughly enjoyed this feel-good love story.

You can't go wrong with this one.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Brilliant FIVE-STAR REVIEW for "MANscapes Journey into Light" by Manuela Cardiga!

"Manscapes is a powerful, riveting story that kept me on the edge of my seat and my emotions bobbing like a dime store bouncy ball."

Review by ErikaLK
5 Stars
Outlet: Barnes&Noble

Manscapes is a dynamic story of one woman, Clara’s, struggles with love and romance. As a young woman she is raped and becomes pregnant by the rapist. She is then forced by her family to marry him. She grows to love and adore the child, a daughter, but her loathing for him becomes unbearable and she leaves. She is an artist, a painter, is forced to leave her schooling upon marrying her rapist. Once freed, she dives back into her painting and begins painting men, she nicknames her art appropriately as Manscapes. Upon leaving, she learns to love herself as well as falling in love.

This story touched me as a woman. Manuela Cardiga brings to life the fear, loathing, and incredible emotions that go with spending nearly a lifetime with that man who raped her. I felt sadness and loneliness, then happiness for Clara as the story passed. I will not disclose as you will have to read for yourself, but Manscapes is a powerful, riveting story that kept me on the edge of my seat and my emotions bobbing like a dime store bouncy ball.

A compelling novel that is far more than a romance.

Review by ErikaLK