Memory In Blue


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A flicker
of cerulean
swoops beneath the boughs
of towering pines
against the sky.

Wings, a silent whisper.
Dream, not quite come true.
Shadow, on my mind.
in blue.

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I’ll put a fresh log in the fireplace.
Will you pour us a glass of wine?
We’ll relax on overstuffed pillows,
smell the scent of burning pine.

Leave stress and hurry behind us.
It’s the time to let worries lie.
We’ll watch the constellations
appear in the darkening sky.

Magic, your eyes by the firelight.
Warm, your smile as you hold my hand.
Tell me your grandmother’s stories
of a nearby but distant land.

We communicate in silence,
My reflection is in your eyes.
Soft and gentle, your fingers.
Delightful, the sound of your sighs.

Stories of us to remember,
our stars melting gently above.
Never before have I felt such joy
as our presence together in love.


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Mourning Dove


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The silence of
the mourning dove,
more mournful
than her song.

She’s lost her mate,
her will to live,
yet time
still passes on.

Of days gone by,
she dreams her dreams,
when last she
heard him sing.

In widow’s weeds,
by empty nest,
a lonely dove
has lost her song.

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Caribbean Lovers


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tropical sands
and seas to eternity
frolicking lovers
leaping in surf
libidinous longings
seizing forever
fulfilling today

fuschia, her lips
loving and laughing
hungry hearts
heading for somewhere
to secretive shade
seductive embrace
rekindling embers

lost in wonderland
wandering everywhere
wherever life takes them
that’s where they’ll go
going forward together
while loving to live
living to love


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Glasgow steam train rolling
both feet stomping time
bagpipes pumped and blazing
rumbling down the line
fingers in a fury
spiders mating dance
master of the reelpipes
plays as in a trance

Audience is hidden
behind his mop of hair
They howl and they holler
Fred rocks on his chair
sounding like a steam train
blowing out the blues
chugging and choogling
drinking highland booze

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An itinerant
guitar on his back
from town to town
the devil by his side.
on street corners
in juke joints
on August 13,1938,
at Shaples General Store,
Three Forks,

loved by the ladies
Robert was poisoned
with strychnine-laced whiskey
by a jealous husband
on the outskirts
of Baptist Town,

Buried in an
disputed grave
but, as Robert sang:
Baby, I don’t care
where you bury my body
when I’m dead and gone
You may bury my body, whoooo
Down by the highway side
So my old evil spirit
Can get a Greyhound bus
and ride

he is buried
isn’t important;
what is important
is the influence he’s had
on musicians
the world over.
Eric Clapton
claims, “he is
the most important blues singer
that ever lived.”
May he forever
rest in peace.

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I live in the borderlands,
between reality and imagination,
just this side of fantasy.

Reality is okay.
I visit there
to check my mail,
earn a few dollars,
pay some bills,
buy groceries.

Reality is an okay place to visit
but, I wouldn’t want to live there.

I’m happiest in my mind
where I filter my thoughts
like an answering machine.
I delete the negative,
dwell on the positive.

People may see me walking alone.
They don’t see the beautiful woman,
with her hand in mine, beside me.

I may be seen sitting at a table, alone.
Nobody sees the delicate hand,
with the magic fingers,
sliding up my thigh.

Or, the passionate kiss
being planted on my throat,
the fingers running through my hair.

Where I work
people see me smile.
They think I enjoy my job.
They don’t know me.

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slipping and sliding


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images (1)

Encumbered by winter boots
resembling clown shoes
my steps unsure
as I traverse
treacherous squishy slush
not yet cleared
from busy sidewalks

Runners sprint past me,
prancing gazelles
clad in tight
form fitting outerwear
narrow beaten paths
dodging obstacles
such as me

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from a small
upstairs window
everyday i watched
the lithe, graceful figure
tending her garden.


her hair
waves of sunshine
of a color used by Titian
in his portraits
of Judith

my interest
devotion, obsession,
i was powerless to resist —
a voyeuristic

her image
haunts my dreams
and my waking state.
she follows me
as shadow

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i gaze upon you
lost in the world of a book.
i wonder which poet,
which author
holds your wrapt attention
to the exclusion
of all else.

Is it Burroughs?
or is it lighter reading,
a novel perhaps?
erotic historical romance?
i could ask you
but hesitate
to break their spell.



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when buffalo roamed…


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I pray
there is a place
beyond pain
where we will rise
in purity
above the cedars.

look down
our hearts have claimed
a rock ledge
to escape the rain,
a cathedral
among ancient pines.

your grandma told
of a past
when buffalo roamed —
we were there
using different names.



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there is a place…


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there is a place
of solitude
where winds don’t blow
where leaves refuse to rustle

it is the space
of waiting
of anticipation
between musical notes

in this space
i am free
nothing comes or goes
nothing gives rise to distress

this is a place
i visit
where worldly troubles
have no place to settle

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The Letter


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I wanted to write
you a letter.
I didn’t know
just what to say.
So much has happened
little has happened
it’s happening every day.

You talked to me
of forever
so far away
yet, not so far.
You whispered
we’d be together
united as a single star.

I wandered the woods
lost and alone.
You took my hand
guided and charmed me.
Woodsmoke and cedar
drifted on the breeze.
I wondered if I’d find you
hiding behind our old oak tree.

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woman in a black dress 02

Saturday found me at the Shadrak,
a downstairs club that had it all.
A woman took the floor in glad rags.
I felt I was in for a fall.

She spied me lounging in the corner.
My eyes caressed her every move.
She beckoned me over to the dance floor,
sleazy blues had us in the groove.

She was a tall sleek woman with a class act,
slumming and feeling so high.
Knew this was wrong — her legs were so long,
dress was cut up to her thigh.
She had to be a wife or a girlfriend,
no man would let this woman slip by.

Soft fingers stole away my reason,
for her I’d do right or wrong.
Flash of a thigh, wink of an eye,
she played that dress just like a song.
Maybe her lips, or the sway of her hips,
she had my number all along.

The scene couldn’t have been sweeter,
‘till Johnny sauntered through that door.
Cursed us a while, said we were vile,
reputations trampled on the floor.
Should have walked away, that isn’t my way,
his accusations cut to my core.

No backing down for right or for wrong,
for her I had to settle the score.
Glint of a knife, the end of a life,
Johnny lay dying on the floor.

Built to tantalize, she knew she was a prize;
she was a tall sleek woman with a class act,
slumming and feeling so high.
Knew this was wrong — her legs were so long,
I couldn’t let this woman slip by.
I wouldn’t let this woman slip by.

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The Hollies:  Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress





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dark, dank
stone walls
prison bars
blinding light
fierce pain

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St. Kitts


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surf splashed
upon my naked feet.
gulls circled and dove
music of morning.

I saw her running.
clouds of sand
rising at her feet.
an impression,

of our lovemaking
my euphoric mind.
was I dreaming?
or could this
be real.

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The Ghost


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Little Jake approached me.
He knew that he knew me
but couldn’t remember my name.
I gave him a hug —
we’ve known each other
for seven years.

Jake, I said, “How are you?”
“Not good. I feel like
I’m walking in a fog.
I don’t know where I’m going…
Keep your money.
I don’t need anything.”

He drifted away
I was looking at a corpse.
He was still breathing,
but what I saw
was the ghost
of Little Jake.

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there’s a refuge
in my mind
where an Angel abides
floating in
a diaphanous gown
to shed comfort
and love
when i am in need

i needn’t see her
to believe
her presence in my life.
She radiates
all encompassing warmth
that lifts my heart
and soul
to serenity

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Hearts Of Lovers

An amazing poem by House of Heart.

House of Heart

You are more rare than

a bird of paradise.

Let me leave my mark

upon your feathers

soft as eider down.

On a widespread river

amid the perfume of damp flowers

sing to me a mock sinner’s lullaby

in return I offer you pearls

and the hollow at my throat.


angel wings

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Electra Glide


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A motorcycle
pulled up beside me
as I walked along
the Pacific Coast Highway.

“Want a lift?”
said a sweet sexy voice.
“Sure” I said.
I swung my leg over
I don’t mind riding bitch

I slid my fingers
over her perfect hips
and joined them
over her warm, toned abs.

We rode beside the ocean
then stopped to watch the sunset.
Removed our boots
to feel the foaming waves
lapping at our bare feet.

I grasped her hair.
Her red expectant lips
found mine.
The rest of her body

I was standing in line at the liquor store lying to myself, I need this fifth of J.D. for the sore throat that I think may be coming on. In front of me was a woman with long, shapely legs. I paid for my purchase and was heading for the exit. There she was again, red lips, sun glasses and red hair. I recognized her from somewhere, college maybe. I think she was someone’s baby sister.

She said, “Dave, would you like a lift somewhere” My response was “Sure, your name’s Ivy, isn’t it? Which direction are you headed?”

She lowered her sunglasses, winked and replied, “Which direction do you want to go?’ Okay, I thought, this seems interesting. We walked to the parking lot, she headed to a Harley Davidson Electra glide. “You ride this?” I asked.

“Yes, haven’t you ridden a bike before?”

“Well, yes I have, but never as a passenger.

She mounted the driver’s seat, bent to flip down the passenger footboards and said, “Hop on.”

I swung my leg over, and thought I don’t mind riding bitch.

“Where do I hang on?” I asked.

“Well, there are passenger handles, or you can hang onto me.” She pulled on her riding gloves and as she reached forward to the hand grips her tee rode up her back exposing delectable flesh and the top of a black thong. I slid my fingers over her perfect hips and joined them on her warm and muscular abs. I thought This is a ride I’m going to enjoy.

She gunned the engine and we were off. We headed to the Pacific Coast Highway along the ocean, stopped to walk along the beach, the foaming waves lapping at our bare feet. We listened to seagulls swooping in, watched the tide and sunset. I took her hand, It seemed natural and warm. The rest is erotic memory.

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She’s a Chameleon


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She’s a chameleon,
the worst kind of drama queen —
beneath those jeans and high top boots
you’ll find silk lingerie.

She’s a champion
who’ll out cuss, drink and fight
outlaw bikers twice her size and weight
to come back for more.

A mouthwaterin’
straight razor totin’ mama
who won’t hesitate to cut you
if you do her wrong.

If you treat her right,
show her the respect,
she’s earned, battled for and deserves,
she’ll always have your back.

A chick with attitude.
black leather on the outside;
soft, sensuous and so smoldering
when the lights are dimmed.

Pull off those high top boots,
slide down her tight tattered jeans —
a devil in silk, a chameleon,
an angel of seduction.


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A Friend In Trouble

My thoughts and prayers go out to this friend in need of love and emotional support. Please visit her blog at

Petals Unfolding

I was just notified this morning that a good friend of mine, Irene (IreneDesign2011), is very ill in a hospital in her city.  Her daughter, Claire, requested help from me to get the word out that her Mother needs prayer, Light and Energy, good thoughts, sent now.  If any of you know Irene will you please reblog this post and assist me to get to as many of Irene’s friends as possible so they know about this situation?

The following is the exact message Claire, Irene’s daughter requested I write in this post:

“I am not sure who is reading this but I hope it is read by Irene’s friends and followers.  I am her daughter, my name is Claire, and would like to give you an update on this story.  As I cannot guess her password to the computer, I cannot write a separate post for you to receive…

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Playful Spirit


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Playful spirit behind an oak
laughed and flirted but never spoke.
Eyes of onyx, raven hair,
I marveled at her standing there.

Brilliant sunshine — could barely see.
Had my eyes played tricks on me?
I stood in reverence and awe
not sure of what I thought I saw.

Fluttering soft, the poplar leaves
perhaps, had caused me to believe
I’d seen someone who wasn’t there —
eyes of onyx, raven hair.

The nimble spirit deftly danced
from tree to tree and lightly pranced.
I didn’t know quite what to do
about this vision in my view.

I had no knowledge of such things.
What does one do when nature brings
such beauty, grace and winsome mold
who, I could see but could not hold?

I could have watched her all day long
her movements sang just like a song.
She beckoned me with backward glance
down flowered pathway of romance.

I had no choice, I was entranced;
induced to follow where she danced.
The woods had changed, were foreign now,
colors brighter, surreal somehow.

I saw some spirits on the way.
They went about their normal day.
They took no notice of my form
contrary to their spirit norm.

They were at home among the trees;
conversely, I felt ill at ease.
Abandoned, then just like a snare —
eyes of onyx, raven hair.

She drew me close and hugged me tight;
we kissed, caressed throughout the night.
Not a wisp of evanescence,
but a real woman’s presence.

Wood smoke, sweet-grass, musk and cedar —
I took her hand, she let me lead her.
Beneath the boughs we made our bed
while stars shone brightly overhead.

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Prairie Crocus


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After the snow moves north
the prairie crocus,
native anemone,
ears of the earth
for the rustle of summer.

Gently she sways
to moments of truth.
In her petals
the purple blue mist
of far distant mountains;
a small golden sun
close to her heart.

folds close around her,
warms her
from the cold winds
of spring.

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Review of Highland Pursuits


After having read The Gentlemen’s Club, Cautionary Tales and Scarlet by Emmanuelle de Maupassant I eagerly anticipated her latest book, Highland Pursuits. I wasn’t disappointed; this is a rollicking tale of the 1920’s, somewhat in the manner of the popular television program, Upstairs, Downstairs. We read about the daily adventures of the hired help and the landed gentry who inhabit a Scottish castle. Under the hand of this talented and skillful author descriptions of nature, dialogues and actions of the various characters come to life as we learn their innermost secrets, desires and disappointments.

This read is fast paced and highly enjoyable. The author is a consummate story teller who seamlessly leads the reader through the heroine’s various adventures in coming of age. We are introduced to the Lady Ophelia, a 1920’s debutante, who is exiled to Scotland to live with her grandmother, Morag. With her she takes what she considers to be life’s necessities: a variety of ball gowns, her lap dog, a Cairn terrier named Pudding, a Cadbury’s Milk Tray and a well leafed copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover. We experience with her the fancy dress balls, an embarrassing fall in the lake and a disastrous grouse hunt. We learn her attitudes, uncertainties and disappointments as she matures under the guidance of her grandmother who eventually bequeaths to her Kintochlochie Castle. This may sound simple, but life’s lessons are not so easily learned. A young woman’s heart is easily turned by love, romance and a kilted Scot named Hamish.

I highly recommend reading this fascinating book.

Fiona Mcvie Interviews Rebecca Branch


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Name: Rebecca Branch is my pen name. My real name is Margaret (Molly)

Age: 51

Where are you from? 

Born in New York City 09/25/65, moved to Florence when I was six months old, to Rome at two years, to Paris when I was six, London when I was seven, back to New York at eight, college in California and returned to live in Montclair, New Jersey for the past twenty-two years.

A little about yourself, ie your education Family life etc.:

I am the less distinguished daughter of highly accomplished parents. My father was an American archaeologist and my mother, an Italian socialite. Papa was second generation American. His father was a Hemmingway story, a Polish/Hungarian child who came to this country when he was ten years old by himself by hiding on-board a boat coming from Zagreb. He met a doctor who spoke his language at Ellis Island who adopted him and sent him to Columbia University where he became a pioneer psychiatrist and neurologist. Grandpa joined the American army in WWI and was on the medical staff of General John Pershing as a captain in the American Expeditionary Force sent over to fight the Huns. He bunked with another captain, his lifelong friend George Marshall. They both ended the war as colonels. FDR asked him to serve again in WWII as one of the chief psychiatrists in the Army Medical Corp with the rank of brigadier general. Grandma was from Russia, a student of Tchaikovsky at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. Her father was a horse trainer for Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II Romanoff. They left during a pogrom because of their Jewish faith and came to New York, living first in Harlem and then in Brooklyn.

My mother’s family were Italian aristocrats; mom’s father was the agricultural minister under the fascist regime before the war, disagreed with Mussolini’s decision to fight against England and was sent south to Calabria in a sort of exile. Mom was the eldest daughter, raised with chauffeurs and horses, the first to go to college and was in Rome in 1940 at the university. She was a secretary at the agricultural ministry and fell in love with the foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, with whom she had an illegitimate child, my sister, who still lives in Rome. Roberta is twenty years older than me.

I was raised wherever my father was assigned as an archaeologist and art historian so I grew up in Rome but also in London and Paris. Every summer we were on excavations all over the Med and I have been throughout Italy, Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and on and on. Pop was a purchasing agent for the Met, the Boston, Fogg, Getty and Philadelphia Art Museums. He was also a journalist and owned four recording companies. My readers get to meet both my parents in my books.

I attended the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in art history and the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) to learn how art is made. There I studied painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography and learned to throw a pot, smelt bronze, etc. They were preparing me for a position in museum management.

I returned to New York to work on my Ph.D. at Columbia where my special focus was on Roman architecture of the late empire. I became fascinated with the great public buildings and how they fell into disuse, crumbled and fell, or were saved to become churches after the fall of Rome in the fifth century. My first job was as an assistant to the curator of Greco-Roman Arts at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I was paid $95.00 a week! Luckily, I was six feet tall and busty, had modelled though my college years, and could subsidize my career in the arts. Upon my father’s death, I chose to go into a field where I could make a liveable wage and entered the architectural design industry, having taken a course of study at Pratt. Knowing full well that I was hired as eye candy, I worked twice as hard as the men in my business, attending all-male construction meetings as a designer, then a project manager, working my way up to principal of design where I ran a boutique which worked primarily with fashion company clients. I designed and managed projects for all the major retailers while still modelling…a hard thing to do.

I married a contractor who was kind and cerebral, English and Finish by origin, and raised two girls who are now grown and my joy in life. My husband and I recently separated and I now live alone in an 1879 farmhouse which was originally a Roebuck and Co. kit house, made of chestnut with stained glass windows, built-in cabinetry and pocket doors. I’m about to move into the city for the next stage of my life.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I am going through some serious changes in lifestyle. My family is all gone and doing their own thing. My ex suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident and is now living with a woman he likes in Florida. My eldest is out of college, won a fellowship, returned after a year and now works for a Google start-up in the medical field and my youngest is about to graduate and has also won a fellowship to teach. I lost my day job last September when my company bellied-up and am now seeking new work…difficult at fifty-one. My home is threatened with foreclosure and I feel it’s time to move. Oh dear.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing on a dare by my youngest when she asked about her grandparents and great grandparents. After telling her various memories, she asked me to write it all down. Four years ago I had a travel job and had the time to write in planes, trains, and hotels so I started in October of 2013 and in two months had seven hundred pages of biography. A friend at Harper Collins looked at it and told me I had written four books; one about my grandparents and immigration, one a war-time romance about my parents, one a travelogue on the city of Rome and the last, a romance story about my youth and loss of innocence.

I had a dinner party and the twelve of us spoke of when we each ‘lost it’. Haha. My favorite neighbor, a brilliant historian told his story. He, too, had grown up in Rome and although ten years my elder, we shared many things in our youth. I was so intrigued by his memory that I asked his permission to use his story together with my own. Thus, was born The Summer of ’71, a romance of youth in the city of Rome.

It was easy to imagine my friend in the role of the hero of the book and myself as the heroine. In fact, Molly Moncrieff is very much me. She differs in the hard life she had to endure as a model, being passed from casting couch to casting couch. I never suffered such things in my modeling career and was well protected. But Molly in the book is damaged goods in need of care and understanding and she finds it with a young prodigy in the ancient city where she has ten weeks to heal, find incredible love, lust and happiness, and start a new life.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I thought it was just a hobby for the first two years. Now, after almost four years and four books I guess I’m an indie author. I am, as yet, undiscovered, and certainly cannot please everyone. My books are long and filled with the things I love; attraction, flirtation, infatuation, physicality, art history, history, Italian culture, cuisine, time-travel, relationship building, loss of innocence, friendship, bereavement, trust, renewal, etc.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I had just read 50 Shades and knew I could write something better; something about cerebral characters who love and lust without the BDSM and without the damaged upbringing. I also had a feeling that an audience would enjoy being transported to the places I love and have the chance to tour Rome at the side of an art historian, gaining insights into why we are who we are…as Americans, and as people of the western world who owe so much to the classical period which invented the things we hold dear like religion, politics, basic freedoms, the arts, literature, theater, architecture, town planning, engineering, and on and on. All my romance novels assume an audience who wants to know these things. If you want bump and grind from page one, I’m not your author. If you want to learn how to cook osso buco and then spread dessert on your dinner guest and eat them, then maybe I am.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I write in the first person and third person and switch between characters all the time. This may take a little getting used to, but I want the reader to be inside each character’s mind with immediacy. It’s a style used in the nineteenth century quite often. I leave each of my books open to a sequel. I write happy and funny stories. No one gets hurt, no one is beaten or dominated (except in the nicest of ways, of course) and my books are all respectful of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual bias, and condition. My characters grow page by page. The books are all very conversational and although they have erotic moments, there is never anything gratuitous in the sex scenes. I simply refuse to hide their physical love behind a curtain. Of course, as the author, I am putting myself out there with every word. On FB, I have many followers who’d love to date me…men and women. Haha. Ain’t happening. But if you read my books, you will know exactly what I like and that will have to be good enough.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The original story happened in 1976 but I wanted to place my characters in the heart of the social revolution of the sixties and seventies, the anti-war movement, hippie drug culture, the outstanding music, etc.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes…embrace education with both hands at all times. If you don’t enjoy a formal college experience, that should never stop you from learning about everything and always keeping an open mind. Embrace people of all kinds…they are the ingredients in the stew we call mankind and everyone has a place and a role to play. Never judge a person by their external shell…beautiful people reside in all kinds of wrappings and fantasy is in the mind’s eye. If you’re a woman without a man but have a great girlfriend who loves you and supports you, give her a kiss. She just may kiss you back. If you have neither, get yourself a great dog. Celebrate your children. They are what life is all about and make for a better world, if not for your sake, then for theirs.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All my books are very real to me. The hero is the man I’d like to have as a lover, mentor, friend and companion. The women are all me in varying stages of my life, in part, or actually me. In my fourth book, The Resurrection of Griffin Ballard, I actually place myself on the page as a character. It was a cathartic moment for me when I wrote it and I wanted to enjoy the lips of one of my heroes in the story. Haha. Author’s license, I guess.

The two time-travel books, Great Caesar’s Ghost and A Roman Holiday are well researched and the history and art history is very good. There are many secondary characters in my books who make special appearances and interact with the protagonists. I put words in their mouths in character with who they were historically. They include people like Gore Vidal, Sofia Loren, Federico Fellini, John Jacob Astor III, Nelson Rockefeller, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, John and Yoko, Amadeo Modigliani, Theodoric the Ostrogoth, Gaius Julius Caesar and many others. Some are heroes of mine and others are villains.



Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? a mentor?

 Clan of the Cave Bear and Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel influenced how I write sex and also the fact that her books are not erotica at all, and yet they are highly erotic as the culmination of lengthy periods of introspection, self-awareness and relationship building. You read and read these lovely characters and wish them to connect for the longest time. That sexual tension is terrific.


The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough was a great influence in writing first hand in the classical world and putting words into iconic character’s mouths.


The Mummy by Anne Rice helped me along with Victorian styling in quasi-erotic fiction.


Tom Clancy was the basis for writing war stories and passages.


I adore the detail in the Harry Potter books and the Tolkien trilogy and the films made me read them again.


Dan Brown gave me hints at how to pace my time travel and the exploration of places in my books. My writing has been called Dan Brown with erotic passages. Haha.


I like some poetry, but am not a poet, nor am I likely to read much poetry, although I enjoy Shakespeare’s sonnets and the classical illusions of C.P. Cavafy.


Mentors: well, my mother and father, Julian Jackson who was a collector of antiquities and a government attorney who wrote many of the child battery laws in the sixties and seventies. Dietrich von Bothmer, curator at the Met, Donna Karan who inspired me with her stand on plus size and full figured women as well as dressing women in business at a reasonable cost. Salvatore and his brother Ferruccio Ferragamo who networked me to death as a young model. Several employers who taught me to always take an ethical stand in business. My husband, who even in the most dire of circumstances always chose the path of being an honorable man. My children who will do their part in saving the world.



Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Emmanuelle de Maupassant who writes with clarity and an elegance of language and has stood by me in tough times. I’m not a fan of BDSM but her book, The Gentlemen’s Club is a true winner.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Costco. I buy everything there and can return anything which does not live up to my high standards. The butcher is of the highest standards, coffee at less than half the cost elsewhere, wonderful berries, baked goods and dips…and wine sold for 25% below the competition. They also have the cheapest cost of gas. Haha.

Both my daughters have enjoyed full scholarships at private, all-girl high school as well as at college. Both made the Dean’s list and my youngest has been on the Dean’s list every term. I’m very proud and repay the institutions through guest lecturing, fund-raising and sitting on boards. Working as a fund raiser/organizer at the United Nations has opened my eyes to so many things which are important to me.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I certainly hope so. I’m finding it difficult to get re-employed and know that it will not get easier as I age gracefully. Being a writer for a living would be marvelous. The trouble is becoming known. If word of mouth does not take a hand, I’m just one of a quarter million housewives who think they can write the next great American novel.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope. I love The Resurrection of Griffin Ballard. It is my shortest book but my heroine, Bethany Lambert is a truly inspired, modern and strong women and she saves the lives of all those around her.



Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

A dinner party, already mentioned. I’ve never taken a creative writing course and only one English course in college. I wrote art history, nothing else, but I wasa raised by educated parents who could both speak and write. That sort of thing rubs off. You are what you eat.



Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The following is a passage from Out of Time’s Abyss, my fifth book and a work in progress.

“Hey lazybones. We’re back. Nova and bagels, warm croissants and fresh juice is in the kitchen.” He looked at his girl, all dreamy-eyed in their bed.

“Get back into bed, Maxi. I just want to lounge around this morning and maybe even go back to sleep.”

He tossed his jeans and tee onto the chair, bedside, pulled off underwear and sox and slid in beside his dream girl.

“Don’t you love this bed, Sally?” He said as he cupped her breast and kissed her cheek.

“It’s terrific. Almost as big as my room at home, and the mattress has got to be the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced. Who’d have guessed that horse hair mattresses are considered the best and are also the most expensive. I also love the canopy, don’t you?”

Sure do. In the nineteenth century and before, a canopy with thick drapes was thermal insulation against the cold room just outside. All homes were poorly heated until the twentieth century.” He snuggled in close.

“Well, I’ll always have you to keep me warm. And at the moment, the weather is warm and a bit muggy. This top sheet is more than enough.” She turned her back to him and he pressed close, spooning her, wrapping arms and legs around her tall and lithe form.

“So, what was with you and Molly kissing when we got home last night? You’ve offered no explanation. You like her, don’t you?” Max inquired.

She turned to face him and pushed his hair back from his eyes, circling her fingers around his head. “We spoke at length about little Max and you. Ambi and I both felt that she should tell him that you’re his father.”

“Are you sure that’s okay with you? I don’t want you being frightened or jealous of Molly. After all, she was my girlfriend years ago, you’re my wife.”

Sally looked deep into his eyes. “I guess I need to hear from you about that. I think she’s wonderful and I love little Max. He’s your son and it’s only right that he be a part of our lives. But will you want me and keep me if Molly is also around?”

He lifted her up to straddle him from above, holding her arms near her shoulders pretty tight. “You need to ask such a thing? Think I’ll stray? This happened with Ambrosia, too, remember. You slept with her before I did. What went on last night while I was dancing at Tunnel?”

“What do you mean? Molly and I sat around and spoke.”

“Just spoke? In point of fact, we walked in on the two of you kissing.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. Maxi, she’s hurting. She’s trying to figure things out and so am I.” She lay her head on his shoulder and flattened out across his fit body. “I told her she should be a part of our family. I’m willing to share you with her…kind of, I guess. We kissed because…because our emotions were running rampant and we’d connected. It was a friendly kiss at first, but it’s hard to be around her without feeling attraction. Jeez, you know this better than anyone. The woman feels like mother earth. I want to attach myself to her and draw energy from her. She also kisses just like you.”

“How’d you ever get to be so open-minded? Your self-confidence leaves me breathless.”

Just then, they heard the running footsteps, and little Max jumped onto their bed, landing beside the two of them. He climbed up on top of Sally’s naked body and lay across her back, like a sunbather on a chaise, entangling both in his arms. They were now a stack of three.

“Maxi! Saleee!”

They laughed. Having this little boy around was definitely changing their family dynamic. “Good morning, crazy child. You’re in a great mood this morning.” Sally said. She turned and he slid off to the side and kissed her cheek. “I’m gonna love having you around, I think,” she said.

“Goodie, because I never want to leave,” he said as he nuzzled into her cheek. They laughed some more. This child was pure love.

“There you are.” Molly was at the door. “I told you to leave Max alone this morning and let him and Sally have their privacy. Oh dear. I’m sorry. He couldn’t wait to see you this morning. Come on, darling. Leave them in peace.”

“No, it’s alright. He can stay. How are you this morning?” Sally asked, looking at Molly over her shoulder.

Molly smiled with warmth. “I feel like I’m starting a new chapter in my life because of you, Sally.”

“Come on mum. Get into their bed. It’s enormous.” He started bouncing around by the foot of the bed. The two shifted over a bit and Sally said, “Come on, lay down and join us.”

Molly pulled the pajama top off her shoulders and slid in beside the couple in bed with her son. She reached over and kissed Sally on her cheek and pulled in close to her, now sandwiched next to Max.

“Goodness, all these kisses.” Sally smiled as her new friend extended her arm across her back.

“Hey everybody. Is the party in this room?” Anna dragged Ambi into the room, both in terry robes which fell to the floor as they jumped up on the bed and joined the others. Ambrosia climbed over and gave Sally her third kiss of the morning.

“Feels like a party, doesn’t it?” Sally observed. The boy pressed himself between his mum and Sally. He looked at her naked body, laying across Max, and cuddled in close, reaching out and stroking his little fingers across her back.

“Sally, you’re really, really beautiful. You’re tall like my mum but have bigger boobies. And I love your face. You look like an angel.”

“Oh dear,” Molly said. “Darling, Sally is an angel.”

“Maxi,” Sally said, “I’m just a girl like any other.”

“No, you’re not. You’re Max’s girl. That makes you extra special. Doesn’t it, Max?” He cuddled in closer. They all smiled. The little boy was magical. “I hope when I get older that I get to marry someone on this bed…someone like the girls on this bed.”

They all smiled. “And if you could, who would you choose, Max?” Molly asked, amused her son was being so forthright.

The boy sat up and looked at Sally, his mum, Ambrosia and Anna, all naked on the bed with Max, more or less in the middle. “I’d want to marry Ambrosia, I think.”

Ambi was overwhelmed.

“And why would you choose Ambrosia?” Anna asked, with no small degree of pride.

“Hmmm. She looks different from the rest of you and I love her eyes and lips. Her lips are a little like mum’s. She’s smaller than the rest of you and I guess I like that too. She knows everything about dinosaurs and outer space. I love her voice and I really like how she talks to me without opening her mouth.”

There was a collective intake of breath.

“How do you do that Ambrosia? How can you speak to me without words?”

Molly sat up. She reached out her hand and touched her son; the greatest gift anyone could have given her, and she looked at Max, lying beside Sally on the bed. “Maxi, my darling. It’s time to tell you two things; two very important things.”

“What mummy?”

“Maxi…since you were very little, I’ve told you that your father was American and that he died in a car accident before you were born.” Maxi’s heart started to race. “Well, I made up that story to protect you because…because I never thought you’d have the chance to meet him and know him.” The silence in the room was palpable. “Darling, I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you the truth. I never expected to see your father again. His life was somewhere else and ours was in London. He was younger than me and I knew we couldn’t be married and live a life together. He needed to finish school and grow up into a man and I needed to be your mum and not someone’s wife. My wonderful son…your father didn’t die. Max is your dad.”

The boy’s eyes welled up with tears and he launched himself into his mother. “I knew it, I knew it. I’d hoped and hoped it was true. Sally slid off Max’s chest and turned to watch Molly and little Max as they spoke this truth. Releasing his mom, the boy turned and spread himself across Max’s chest, hugging him to death, then turned on Sally and kissed her cheek again, looked deep into her eyes and asked, “Does that make you my mother, too?”

Sally was about to burst into tears and just nodded yes, a big smile across her lips as she pet the beautiful boy in his enthusiasm. Both had tears in their eyes, tears of happiness and they wordlessly communicated an incredible depth of feelings and love. After a few moments, the boy turned to his mum and asked about the second thing that was so important, unable to imagine what could even come close to what he’d just heard. He had a father…a dad. And the gift he was just given was the best gift there ever was. He loved Max and had hoped and hoped for a father like him. He would love him forever and ever.

Finally, in a small voice that was obviously choked up, he asked, “What’s the second important thing you wish to tell me?”

Molly took a deep breath and answered, knowing she was opening the door to a truth which was far more science fiction than reality. She wondered how her son would take it. “Ambrosia can speak to you, and all of us, wordlessly, because she’s not entirely human. Ambrosia is a robot.”

The expression on the boy’s face was to die for. He was glowing with happiness and wonder. “No way! A robot?” He climbed up off Max and straddled Ambrosia’s waist, sitting on her hips and looking down upon her from above. She was so beautiful, dark and mysterious, but with a hesitant look, wondering if the boy would still like her or be afraid of her now that he knew the truth. He was the first child she’d ever connected with, and she loved how he’d constantly taken her hand everywhere they went, always asking questions and showing such warmth and respect. Passing his fingertips over her face and neck, she closed her eyes for a moment as he lay down across her body and hugged her neck tight, kissing her cheek. All the adults were overwhelmed, none so much as Ambi, herself, who cradled the boy in her arms. He whispered in her ear. “When I grow up, Ambrosia…when I am older, will you marry me?”

Ambi rose to her knees and lifted the boy, holding him in the air, then crushed him to her chest. “Yes. Maximilian Moncrieff, when you are older, if you still want to ask me again, I will marry you.”

Everyone was in tears now, Anna passed her hand across Ambi’s back, amazed with her creation, and so happy at her inclusion amongst her human friends.

“How long will I have to wait? I’ll be eight in September. You have to tell me what I need to know so I can be a good husband. Stuff like how to change your batteries and fix you if you break. I promise, I’ll be very gentle.”

Anna spoke. “Don’t worry little Max. I’m her doctor and she won’t break. I promise. And she’ll never get old so you have time to grow up and marry her when you’re a man.”

“But you and Ambi are best friends. Won’t you be upset if she marries me?” He looked at Anna, carefully considering her and not wanting to be the cause of pain to anybody. And Anna was nice and very friendly, never talking down to him and always letting Ambi have time with him even though she also wanted her attention. Anna was her friend but was also kind of like a parent in many ways. You could see her pride in Ambi whenever she did anything cool or smart. Anna was a parent, wasn’t she?

“Listen up, you beautiful child…my life is somewhere else. I love Ambrosia and will always love her, but she’s yours more than mine. I hope I get to see her often, but you’re going to grow up together and you will also be her teacher. She learns from you every day she’s with you. You are the first child in her life, so teach her well. With you, she becomes a better human being. It’s very important that you be close friends. She will need you when I am gone and she will always be there to protect you, your mum, Max and Sally.”

Through the collective cheer of all in the bed, Molly glanced at Max and Sally, both with eyebrows raised and smiling ear to ear.

The door opened and Raj and Carson glanced into the room. There lay Max with four gorgeous naked women in a huge bed. Raj turned to Carson and said, “I told you he’s my hero. What a lucky fuckin’ guy!”

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Editing…the activity is making me blind. I write very fast when I’m inspired. When I started my new book a week ago, I had no idea where it would start or end. I now have 26,000 words. At this rate, it will be complete in six or eight weeks. This new story is called Out of Time’s Abyss. It is the fourth in my Art Historian Superhero Series. When I finish this, I’ll move on to something entirely different.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I hide behind my pen name in order to protect my family and my position at work. I’d never have a day job if it was known that I am Rebecca Branch. I can share the things in this interview with you because I doubt that anyone in my circle would ever read it. At home, my daughters are both pissed at mom for writing romance. To them, I am a pornographer. I’m being harsh, but they are not proud of my writing and yet, haven’t read any of it. They feel I should be writing some high-brow treatise on Roman Architecture. I could, you know. But if I did, it would sell three hundred copies.

Until I am making a real living doing this, I must hide in the shadows. I’ve only posted a few real pictures of myself and they are mostly body shots with me turning my face away from the camera or pics from when I was so young that few would recognize me. On Facebook I use doppelgangers of me or my main characters. Monica Bellucci and Sonia Aquino are my favorites and look like me, or so I’ve been told. Both are stunning women. Last year in Rome, I was approached by three families for an autograph. Each thought I was Sonia. Haha. But I was very complimented by the comparison. Being tall and thin has its advantages, something I did not feel when I was a teen and others called me a stick-bug with boobs. Once I make a real living from this hobby, I’ll come out into the open and take a deep breath of fresh air. I’ll do signings and interviews. But that’s a dream. For now, writing under an alias makes me happy.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Courtney Lopes at She interpreted my ideas to a tee. I love my covers.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Oh dear…so many things. The reviews are the hardest part. If you read some of them on Amazon, they’re so sweet. Molly Moncrieff, my heroine in Summer of ’71 seems to be a dream to all my male readers. Many men are completely infatuated with her…and she is me! What a compliment. Many older gentlemen speak of their own memories of their first love who was a slightly older woman and taught them about love and intimacy. A few women have told me they really relate to the character. Many readers have fallen in love with Rome as I describe that great city and ask for hotel and restaurant recommendations as they plan their trips because of my book. One reader, a clinical psychologist for teens at Bellevue Hospital in New York wrote to me saying that Summer of ’71 is a roadmap for an honest and loving loss of innocence. How great is that!

But then I get totally deflated by the poor reviews which are mostly offered by women. One wrote that the book was too long and she had to skim through it to get to the sex. Oh dear. The length is the length. Summer of ’71 could have been serialized into three books. It breaks perfectly into three but I didn’t want to do that. At one point, it topped 900 pages but I cut it back to about seven hundred, created numerous crisis, added and subtracted characters, etc. I feel it is the right length but if you are an erotica fan, you’ll not be pleased. So many erotica genre books have sex on page three. My books are all erotic but the point is the relationships and the atmosphere, not the sex. Oh, my books are plenty steamy, but Summer, for example, doesn’t have a consummation scene until page 250. By the time you get there, the reader is screaming at the couple to combust. Haha. I like that. Personally, I cannot read sex without being heavily invested in the characters. If not, then it’s just pornography and is not my style of writing or reading.

Another reviewer said that the hero, Maximilian DuPont spent too much time looking at Molly’s legs. Well, Max is eighteen. He is a dream of a young man, young, enthusiastic, holistic, brilliant beyond his years, entitled, handsome and fit. He’s a dream for a woman who’s been mishandled and abused by all the men in her life. He is safe and kind and renews her spirit and soul. And poor Max is confronted by a woman who unleashes all her sexuality on him. He can handle it. But in response to the reviewer, Max is young, and young men see women as parts and pieces until they are in love. Then they see the whole person. I write Max’s thoughts as he is confronted with Molly in a way that I’d expect a young guy to see her and I write him in a youthful 1971 hippie-speak vernacular.

When I was twenty-three, I dated a guy who was nineteen like Max. The young man was brilliant and could run rings around me intellectually, had traveled the world and was the son of a diplomatic family. I loved that guy but I was a runway model and surrounded by admirers and clubbing or at events all the time and his self-confidence was the problem. He simply didn’t trust me out of eyesight. He could have, of course, but he was a freshman in college and I was studying for an advanced degree, working at the Met and moonlighting for Donna Karan. It was never going to work. But Max and Molly have the summer together and never leave each other’s company.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I had to research many things and the history I learned in college thirty years ago, has been revised. I needed to update my own data to keep things current. In my new book, my time-travelers are in Florence in 1483. I did my minor in Renaissance Art but need a real refresher to get the facts correct.



Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?

This is an interesting question and I’ve thought about it a lot. My books could be great costume dramas and a miniseries would work well. My books read a bit like a screenplay. Molly is English so perhaps Rebecca Hall. I’d take Monica Bellucci in a heartbeat, but she’s very Italian and hardly twenty-six. Max is a problem. Young actors who could run the gamut from eighteen to twenty-five are hard to find. Aidan Turner is my current man-crush but he’s too old to play someone so young and a bit dark. It would have to be an unknown. Ambrosia could be played by a Bollywood actress named Asin. Alexandra Daddario might work for Sally and my dog Boris would be perfect for Kody.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read a lot before you ever put pen to paper. Do it for yourself without ever expecting or even hoping for financial success. Learn the English language before embarrassing yourself. Develop your characters so they jump off the page and are real. Start with short stories. Take a creative writing course at your local college.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

You mean, besides asking everyone to read my books? Haha. I suppose everyone who writes, thinks there is something special about their book. I fall into that category. My work doesn’t translate well into the existing models of popular erotica or romance. When an agent tells me to send my first chapter for review, I cringe. The first chapter does not define me. When I offer my book for free on Amazon and it gets a thousand downloads and two months later not a single review, I cringe. How can that be? I’ve been told people download anything for free and then never read it. I have FB friends who’ve been entertained by my wit, my artistic and literary talents and my charm for years and yet, have never read one of my books. Why? Many FB friends have read my book and reviewed it on FB in glowing terms and then never post their thoughts to Amazon or Goodreads…why? That’s awful. My website took me two months of concentrated development and yet has few visitors. Social media is the ultimate time-suck yet has little return. Publishers get over 200 submissions a day and hand the manuscripts to twenty-year-old interns to decide what should be read and what shouldn’t. I have spent upwards of 4,000 hours on my writing and more on marketing for a return on investment which translates to pennies per hour. But, heaven help me, I love it. I love to write and I’m a good story teller. One day, someone connected in the publishing industry will take notice and I’ll make a living doing this. Someday.



Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Rise of Germany by James Holland and I Hate My Neck by Nora Ephron




Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

A.A. Milne which included Disobedience and Winnie the Pooh.



Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The current administration. Well, I don’t really laugh any longer.



Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

Marcus Aurelius. I will meet him in the book I’m writing now. He was the last of the great Roman emperors of the golden age. He was a philosopher and his book, Meditations, is still in print, 1,900 years after he wrote it. The subject, as written by the ruler of the western world, is how to be a good prince and a great public servant.



Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

Here lies Rebecca Branch, a fond owner of Jimmy Choo’s, Ferragamos, and Manolo Blahnik’s. She always said her feet were killing her and no one believed her.



Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I love to cook and entertain at my home constantly with weekly dinner parties for ten to twelve. I love my dog and walk him in Central Park each Sunday where he is perceived as a tourist attraction. I enjoy gardening. I ride my bicycle for twenty mile trips, weather permitting. I enjoy morning yoga and dance. I like to paint on a watercolor block. I like to collect antiques and go to auctions even if I don’t buy anything. I listen to NPR all day long. I’m a news junkie. I’m a feminist and a political activist. I love to stay in a cabin by a lake in the mountains. I like to fish. I like to sit around a campfire, play guitar and sing Joni Mitchell and Beatle songs. I love the spa and a good facial and massage. I lecture on Roman Architecture for design associations to audiences of two hundred and more and love the connection. I also lecture to architects and their families in Rome at least twice a year. It’s fun to be a teacher.



Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Many BBC costume dramas on TV plus good investigative journalism like Frontline or nature series like National Geographic. Film…Too many to mention but I’ve enjoyed most of the Oscar contenders. Saw Arrival two nights ago, and enjoyed it. I like musicals and Disney movies, romcoms and foreign films. I’m very sentimental and patriotic and often cry watching films and reading a good story.



Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I cook Italian and can handle a grill better than any man I know. I eat sushi three or four times a week. I can also bake. My favorite music…too many and it depends on my mood. I love classical, opera, jazz and the pop music of my youth and things that came just before I became conscious of music like the sounds of the sixties and seventies.



Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

I’d love to be a successful novelist, a food critic, lounge singer, a pediatrician, college professor, a time-traveller or a Secretary of State (I know, I know…this one’s a stretch)



Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?






Melting Stars


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It was a soft October night —
quietly fell the snow,
flake by gentle flake —
making domes on fence posts,
on mailboxes,
tracing upturned branches
of waiting trees.

I know you heard me
on the porch
(you always do)
thought it was
a stirring of the breeze,
or moaning
of the boards

to quiet times
knowing you are here,
I feel your peace
and come to you.
You know I’m here,
can feel my warmth.

I see you smile.

Let us sit in silence.
in my embrace.
need not be spoken
as we watch the melting stars,
listen for the chorus
singing somewhere else.
This moment
all that matters —
quiet filled with you.

Sample  my books for free — proceeds feed the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People

dream angel


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dream angel
with wings widespread,
scent of tangerine
being peeled
and split
in sections
with my tongue
succulent and welcoming,
juices dripping
on my lips
like the irresistible
tang of brandy,
one taste
never enough —
intoxicate me,
satisfy my thirst,
exhaust me,
until morning
and sleep.

Sample  my books for free — proceeds feed the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People

a murder of crows


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i like crows
their sound more
like the bark of a dog
than the trilling
of nightingales,
the warbling
of warblers,
or the haunting
call of the loon

a murder of crows
sounds like a raucous
biker bar
with loud interjections:
‘set ’em up’
‘to fallen brothers’
one glass remains
‘hit us again’
i keep my head down,
but i’m home


Sample  my books for free — proceeds feed the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People

Highland Pursuits by Emmanuelle de Maupassant


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1920s debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is banished to wildest Scotland to come to her senses, having refused a marriage proposal from the Earl of Woldershire. In the care of her eccentric grandmother, Ophelia is soon caught between rugged widower Hamish and the villainous Comte de Montefiore. She’s ready to play with fire, but will she burn more than her fingers? A riotous romp, inspired by the work of Nancy Mitford, PG Wodehouse and Stella Gibbons. Featuring a treasure chest of characters, ‘Highland Pursuits’ is a wickedly naughty comedy of manners.

I eagerly look forward to reading this latest book by one of my favorite authors. The release date is 1 March 2017. I have found two of her previous books to be absolutely fascinating. I have written 5 star Amazon reviews these books:


The Gentlemen’s Club (Noire series Book 1)

5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
By Dennis Cardiff on Oct. 19 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I loved this book. The characters came alive, in fact I identified very much with the leading male character. I’m old enough to remember the Victory Burlesque Theatre that attracted the best of international dancers. This book brought back wonderful memories. I’m glad to see that this is Volume one in the ‘Noire’ Series. I eagerly anticipate Volume two. Emmanuelle de Maupassant has become one of my favorite erotic writers.


Cautionary Tales: Voices from the Edges

5.0 out 0f 5 stars Enchanting, Spellbinding, Delightful
By Dennis Cardiff on March 14 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

“Hear our stories, learn from our errors.
We too, were once flesh and blood.
Take heed: remember the old ways.”

Emmanuelle de Maupassant is an enchantress with words. I already knew this from reading The Gentlemen’s Club. Reading her stories lulls the reader to other times, other places where the unnatural becomes natural, where ghouls and ghosts watch your every move and will exact punishment or retribution when deserved. The characters come to life on the page with no wasted words.

I felt that I was sitting at a fireside hearing these cautionary tales told by a respected elder. Although fiction, my disbelief was suspended. While reading I was tempted to look over my shoulder, question every sound and inspect every shadow. This book is a masterpiece of storytelling, I recommend it to all adults who don’t mind being scared out of their wits.

I was offered an ARC on the understanding that I would review it honestly.



Readers of Highland Pursuits have posted reviews:


5.0 out of 5 stars How Ophelia Got Her Groove

By TheJulia on Feb. 22 2017
Format: Paperback

Highland Pursuits is just what you need when the realities of 2017 seem too much to bear. Turn off the news, ignore your Twitter feed, and dive with Ophelia in this delightfully frothy romp of a story. Immerse yourself in a world of house parties, tea gowns, and ten-course meals. You will be glad you did.

The tale of How Ophelia Got Her Groove is told with wit and compassion. The heroine starts as another madcap heiress having her requisite rebellion, but the character evolves as Ophelia discovers and comes to terms with her desires (for sex, for love, and for a meaningful life). Fortunately, Emmanuelle de Maupassant has steered clear of a common sin of many historical novels: the period character with modern-day sensibilities. Ophelia is modern enough for her time and circumstances; her social and sexual awakening is in tune with her story and circumstances, and that makes her relatable and likeable, and makes the reader root for her.

The author has an “ear” for the time and place – a slightly tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating tone, the details of food and dress, the witty dialogue – that take you back to the golden time of house parties. The naughty bits are implied more than described in graphic detail, perfectly in tune with the wink-wink-nudge-nudge undertone. Add to it a villainess who is not entirely evil, a love interest with some depth, and you end up with a quality divertimento, well-crafted escapism, brain-candy for the discerning reader. Break open the bonbons and enjoy!

*I received an ARC from the author for an honest review*


4.0 out of 5 stars Feisty rom/com of a novella set in the 1920’s

By Christine Tovey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Feb. 15 2017
Format: Paperback

Highland Pursuits by Emmanuelle de Maupassant is a feisty rom/com of a novella set in the 1920’s following Lady Ophelia Finchingfield whom we first met in the “Because Beards” anthology. Emmanuelle’s writing was poetic and flowed with such ease I was able to follow these characters through their journey. The scene was set beautifully with intense detail to time period. This genre was completely new to me and I loved the flow of the story and how it felt like I went back in time to high society Scotland. I’m sure fan’s & new comers to this genre would enjoy story and all it entails.