*read all of the chapters for Swipe Right – The Chronicles of an Unpaid Prostitute in order here

Chapter Six


“Hi Mom!”

“Hi Sweetheart, how’s it going?”

“Good, just at work. How about with you?”

“Oh it’s going, but you caught me at a bad time, love. I have an appointment downtown in an hour.”

“What’s your appointment for?”

“Just about the hall for Mimi’s party. You know how terrible I am at keeping secrets, I don’t know how I’m going to keep my mouth shut for the next couple of months.”

I laughed. “You’ll be alright.”

“You’re still coming home next weekend right?”

“Yep, booked my ticket a few days ago.”

“Perfect. Okay honey, I’ll call you later.”

I hung up with a sigh. Since I was seven, it had been the three of us; me, Mom and Mimi. My dad decided having a wife wasn’t for him and although it wasn’t the worst divorce in the world, that same courtesy extended to his daughter. He’d moved away and his idea of keeping in touch was calling twice a year to check in. He certainly didn’t deserve any medals but he was mine. In his absence, my childhood was female strong, bracketed by fierce, independent women. Women that I looked up to in every way and adored with all of me. They instilled in me liberation, resilience and sass. Which reminded me, I had an appointment to get my lady bits waxed.

Eyes closed, spread-eagled, a chipper blonde halo between my thighs. That was my current position. “What were you thinking, darling? American, French, Brazilian?”

“Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” I asked in return, completely confused.

“No, how much did you want to take off?”

Oh. Just like my heart I wanted it empty. “Take it all.”


Climbing the stairs to my apartment, I stopped and took a deep breath. Jeans were not a good idea. “Hey girl, what’s going on?” Jamie asked, stepping into the hall.

“I need to ice my vagina.”

“Oh, that sounds like fun. I’d love to help but I’m going to go grocery shopping. Need anything?”



Peeling the horrendous denim from my legs, I fell onto my bed, naked from the waist down and relished in the heaven. Lazily, I reached down and grabbed for my phone. Opening up the only app that was receiving any attention on my phone recently – it was annoyingly addictive. “Yuck,” swipe left. “Yucky,” swipe left. “Even yuckier,” swipe left. “Oh, hellooo there,” swipe right, good sir. Should I feel guilty? I didn’t. But I did have a date tomorrow with someone else and I was looking at other men, albeit gorgeous, cute men. And I wasn’t tied down to Mr.Fun2BeWith, I didn’t even know his real name. I looked up to the ceiling and pondered, searching my conscience for any niggle of guilt. Nope, nothing. I was single damn it, I deserved my time to mingle. Alright, pep talk over.

A chat window opened and there he was, Mr. Fun2BeWith. “Hey gorgeous. Making sure we’re still on for tomorrow.”

I smiled, biting my lip like a little school girl. “Yes, definitely.”

“Great. So I was thinking we could go for a walk down by the water and grab something to eat while we’re down there.” It sounded good, relaxing, no expectations, no awkward moments staring at each other across a table over food we were desperately trying not to spill on ourselves.

“That sounds like a plan.”

“Good. I’ll text you the address where to park.”

“Okay. See you tomorrow.”


I’d spent more than two hours getting ready, my room was a disaster, a hurricane of clothes covering every surface, my floor littered with makeup, the eye of the storm in front of my full length mirror. In my car, my nerves were a ten on the Richter scale as I listened tentatively to the instructions from my GPS until I heard “You have reached your destination.” Nervous was an understatement. I felt like I was going to be sick. Getting out of the car, I pulled down my skirt, one my mother would tsk and give a disgusted sigh about. Smoothing down my hair I reached for my phone to let Mr. Fun2BeWith know that I was here. Before I could press send, I looked up and felt my knees buckle. Damn Daniel! The man’s pictures didn’t do him justice. Walking toward me he was a tall drink of water in stylish jeans and a black long-sleeved shirt showing just a hint of what looked to be delicious muscles underneath. Jackpot! I mentally gave myself a high-five.

He smiled as he got closer and suddenly I was in his arms, his lips at my ear. “Hi Gorgeous.” Pulling back, he looked at me up and down and as his eyes found mine I’d felt like I’d just passed some sort of unspoken test. “Alex.”

I grinned, shaking his outstretched hand. “Maddie.”

I fidgeted as he stood in front of me, looking at me like he wanted to eat me alive. Well let’s go big boy, let’s do it. He pulled me in for another hug. “Want to skip the walk?” he asked, murmuring into my hair. I could only nod my agreement. Taking my hand Alex led me through the cluster of buildings to his. Interesting that he didn’t mention he actually lived here. The elevator ride was silent. I didn’t know if the quiet was awkward or it was just me. It was my first real date in forever, what was I supposed to say? Just as I opened my mouth to ask him a question, a lame one, but one that would end the silence, the elevator doors opened and I followed him out. Walking into his condo, I stood in the front entry impressed with the modern clean lines. Throwing his keys on the table, he looked over his shoulder with a devil’s grin. “Have a seat.” Doing as I was told, I sat on the edge of the grey leather couch listening as he sang to himself in the kitchen. Emerging, he had two drinks in his hands and if I were honest with myself, I didn’t care what was in them as long as it was alcohol. I needed something to calm my nerves before I made a total ass of myself.

I held mine up to his. “Cheers.”

He nodded. “Cheers.”

After twenty minutes and three drinks, I found myself on my back with his tongue down my throat. Surprisingly, shockingly, finally. I was certainly not complaining; he had to be one of the hottest guys I’d ever laid her eyes on and he wanted to kiss me. Me. I tilted my head back with a sigh as he started kissing my neck. Grabbing the hem of my shirt, he moved to pull the thin fabric over my head in one swift movement. My skirt was next as he almost simultaneously produced a condom. Damn, the man moved fast. Yeah he was hot, but I wasn’t, not yet. Not even heavy petting? Dude thought kissing my neck was foreplay. Frustration and a sense of misery started to settle in. And oh boy, that’s disappointing, I thought as he took his pants off and rolled a condom over himself, gripping himself and staring at me with pride. I had no idea where the pride came from, this certainly was no Guinness World Records. Did he want me to congratulate him on his less than stellar manhood? I had vibrators bigger than him. Which was already clear I’d be using later. Maybe this would be the case of ‘its not size that matters, its how they use it.’ Five minutes later it was clear he didn’t know how to use it either as I lay naked on the couch staring up at the ceiling, not even panting. “Do you need to go clean up?”

I squeezed my eyes closed, pretending for just a moment that he didn’t just ask me that. No! My mind screamed. Instead I smiled tightly and went to the washroom, to what? Stare at my sexually frustrated self.  I did not want to be there anymore. I counted to sixty, going through his mundane medicine cabinet to waste time pretending I was ‘cleaning myself up’ only to walk out finding him coincidentally stretching and yawning. Ripping off the band aid, I beat him to it.

“Listen, I have to get up early tomorrow so I should head out.” His immediate surprise was of little victory. Moving to the front door, I slipped my shoes on.

Scratching his chest, he frowned, almost as if he was unsure of what to say. “Well I should walk you to your car.”

I wasn’t an idiot. It was dark and I was wearing a skirt whose length screamed prostitute. “Yeah, probably.” He walked me down to my car in silence and as I started to move for my door, he pulled me in for a hug. “We should do this again,” he murmured.

“Maybe!” I slipped into my car before he could say anything more and left him standing on the sidewalk as I drove away.


I fell onto my bed completely and utterly unsatisfied. My phone chirped a familiar sound from inside of my purse. Grabbing it, I opened the group chat and read each of the follow the leader questions in varying forms of ‘Maddie… we need details.’ 

I blew out a rough breath. How do I explain? ‘Polls are in… size does matter,’ I typed back.

‘You did not have sex with him! Omg, deets, now!’ Lisa wrote. ‘I’m assuming that because you’re home, he was on the losing end of the size game,’ Jamie typed from the next room, both her and I too lazy to move from the comfort of bed.

‘Ding, ding. I’m going to sleep now, hoping this is a terrible dream. Sweet nightmares. Xo’

Taking a look at myself, I realized I was still in my clothes. Forcing myself up with a huff, I quickly stripped and staring at the bathroom, felt the need to brush my teeth. I contemplated a shower but let’s be real, that was just too much work and I was considerably lacking in enthusiasm.

My phone lit up with a notice from one of the dating apps as I attempted to brush the cooties out of my mouth. The new message icon stared at me judgingly. Shrugging my shoulders, I gave into the curiosity and opened the folder. It wasn’t that he was attractive, or that he spoke sweet nothings, it was out of some misplaced need for attention in my time of sexual suffering that made me start talking to him. That or probably because I’d realized this newfound shallow self and he’d told me I was pretty – fuck anyone’s judgement, everyone needs a pick me up sometimes.

“How’s your night going?”

“It could have been better,” I replied, deciding to leave out the part about why.

“I’m sure I can make it better.” I waited to see what he would come up with – a flower emoji and a hugging bear. I rolled my eyes before noticing there was an attachment. Without thinking, I opened it. Dick pic. My first dick pic! Again, I wasn’t sure why this was an accomplishment to be proud of. Maybe because it was a pretty penis. I sent him my phone number.


*tomorrow – Chapter Seven

Review – The Phoenix Rising Destiny Calls by Phenice Arielle


Sure, Kay’s parents didn’t think twice about sending her to therapy. 

After all, Kay fully believes that she just narrowly escaped an explosion, watched a handsome co-ed walk through fire for her—oh, and that she battled an extremely skilled foe to the death—all before her 10 AM class! 

They’re just dreams of course, but when this talented NYU student wins a coveted trip to South Africa, she must soon decide whether she’s willing to never see her friends and family again to help somehow familiar strangers BRING ABOUT PEACE. 

Now, if Kay can survive the hand-to-hand combat and the one with the ivory dagger who wishes her death, Kay may just become the kind of PEACE seeking hero her classmates would never believe. Kay might even fall in love. 

Of course, our brave girl may instead discover the answer to something she never wanted to know the answer TO: 

What happens… when you die.



The Phoenix Rising was one of those novels that sucked me in right from the start. The way the main character Kay goes between dream and reality throughout the novel maintained my avid interest to say the least.

There were parts of this book that definitely pulled on my heartstrings with its emotion and relation of the characters. The story took me to places I wasn’t expecting with surprising twists and turns.

The creative imagination the author brings to her story is fascinating as the scenes play out in colourful imagery and with rapt attention I can’t wait for the next novel.   

About the Author: 

Occupation: Writer, Playwright and Part-time Cat




The New York Beacon and The Daily Challenge call BESTSELLING author Phenice Arielle
a “LITERARY PHENOM!!!” ★★★★★

The Phoenix Rising – Destiny Calls is now available with DISCUSSION QUESTIONS! 

Get yours now!

Where to Find Phenice: 




Review: Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur by Derek Swannson

Last week I had the opportunity to read Derek Swannson’s new novel Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur – here is le review! 


An amnesiac convalescing in Big Sur encounters an oddly sinister envoy from the Freemasons’ Scottish Rite Psychophrenic Research Program…. A stoned surfer trespassing on Hearst Castle property gets hauled up into the sky by a massive flying black triangle…. A notorious starlet attending the wrap party for her first major Hollywood movie assassinates a Moscow journalist with a bottle of radioactive nasal spray…. In Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur, Derek Swannson combines these elements into a comic and subversive international thriller.

OCTOBER 1988: It’s morning in America again. Ex-CIA Director George H. W. Bush is calling the shots as Vice President. Intelligence agency black budgets are on the rise. Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics has been trickling upon the American populace for nearly eight years. It’s been a non-stop champagne bash for the rich, who’ve become much richer, but for the middle class and the poor the trickling has acted like acidic piss, burning gaping holes in their social safety nets. Is the increase in suffering intentional? Gordon Swannson thinks so—and he has the metaphysics to prove it. Sort of.

Fresh from a five-year resident scholar program at the Esalen Institute, Gordon (“Crash” to his friends) arrives in the sleepy seaside town of Cambria, California, to deliver a lecture titled “Galactic Loosh Farming and Reaganomics: How Much Longer Before the Fabric of Reality is Ripped to Shreds?” It’s the start of a bizarre chain of events that will launch Gordon’s career as an investigative journalist and entangle him with a cast of characters that includes: James Marrsden, a gleefully foul-mouthed radio DJ and Gordon’s untrustworthy childhood best friend; Kayleigh Fuller, a stoner witch who happens to be the niece of Buckminster Fuller; Skeeze Lester Huntley, a porn-addicted surfer whose alien abduction inspired him to become the Dope King of Central California; Rina Rowley, a lovely young actress with a shockingly ugly past; and looming largest of all, James’ morbidly obese and obscenely wealthy Uncle Lloyd, “super secret black-ops bagman for the medico-military-occult complex… and matchmaker.”

Determined to uncover the truth behind Lloyd’s lurid tales of psychic killers and a mind control program known as Project MONARCH, Gordon chases down leads from Cambria to Amsterdam’s red-light district and the Brussels headquarters of an alien-inspired sex cult calling itself The OääD Institute—getting a profound education in the machinations behind the 20th century’s greatest unexplained mysteries along the way. Seeking the final piece to the puzzle, Gordon returns to his roots in the isolated, faux-Swedish town of Kingsburg, where those mysteries began. What he finds there will send him hurtling toward a climactic showdown against a naked assassin dead set on turning the Cold War into a hot mess.

CRASH GORDON and the Revelations from Big Sur is the big, shaggy conspiracy novel that everyone has always wanted to read—without actually knowing it. There’s a reason for that. They don’t want you to know about it.

You do know there’s a They, don’t you?


I always love a conspiracy theory novel and when it’s done well with unique twists and turns I become a fan—and Derek Swannson drew me in from the beginning. From the attention-grabbing cover to the illustrations that only led the story further, Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur was a novel I found difficult to put down.

The novel takes place in the late 80’s, during the years when Reagan ruled office. When Crash shows up in a small California coastal town to deliver a lecture, he’s able to add the title of “Investigative Journalist” to his résumé. He starts sticking his fingers in pies that a lot of people with the power to back them wished he would leave alone, including the very secretive Project MONARCH. Uncle Lloyd fuels the fires of the idea of government mind control and the possible truth of psychic killers. Without giving too much away, the story is filled with intense and revealing details, but not to the point where the reader feels overwhelmed with information.

Swannson has been able to find that fine balance between well-developed, strong characters—and the stories that accompany each one—without being swamped and inundated with unnecessary elements. Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur is full of conspiracy and suspense. Although tugging on elements from other genres, the novel definitely stands out on its own, providing an exciting read. The level of wit was pleasantly surprising and rare in this type of novel; I was left smiling and biting my nails, laughing and on the edge of my seat all at the same time. Swannson delivered a novel that quite possibly raises the bar.

About the Author:

Derek Swannson is the author of Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg and Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur. He writes his books on trains and in a small, windowless room full of network servers just west of Chinatown in downtown Manhattan.

Where to find Derek:




Friday the 13th? Oh my!

***THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PUBLISHED FRIDAY… it’s now Sunday… good job J – good job.

I thought it was Tuesday…. Where did this week go???

This morning I woke up and found myself in the inside of a snow globe! The snow was falling and as much as we have a hate hate relationship I will admit it was a beautiful sight. There! I said it. Are you happy now Snow????

Annndddd… the BOOK BLITZ continues this week! and here are the stops! You can’t win anything FREE if you don’t enter, so do it. Now. 🙂  here are the stops (click on the links):

Jess Time To Read 

Movies, Shows & Books

Read Between The Lines

Behind A Million & One Pages

Book Addict AA (giveaway over) 

All Romance Reviews (FACEBOOK TODAY ONLY!)


Mommy’s Late Night Book Up

Verna Loves Books

Make My Day Book Club

And the books I received this week


Oh hey there!

Okay so a few things… I FINISHED THE FINAL EDIT for Gilded Promise, book 3… phew, now to tackle the publishing!

You may notice a few new changes to the blog… a few added pages including a reviews page as well as a giveaways page!

But really, I wanted to tell you – there will be a GIVEAWAY for one ebook copy of GILDED FEATHERS STARTING NEXT WEEK!!! woohoo! so PLEASE like, share, tweet, anyway you can spread the word… well that would be fantastic!!! Tweet me or find me on Facebook! I will be tweeting about it all week and posting on Facebook so feel free to squeeze in a retweet or a share!

You can find the giveaway on the GIVEAWAY PAGE or on http://caesarsandstraws.com/giveaways.html


I stood dumbstruck standing in the doorway – a vehemence of emotions racketing through me. The words human girl flashed on repeat behind my eyes – my knees felt weak as I gripped the cool surface of the counter top beside me. “I am done with this conversation, whatever it is that is brewing, let it. I’m going back to bed.” He let out a frustrated growl and put his phone in his pocket. His back still toward me, he swiped his hands over his face as I took in his bare chest and feet, clad only in jeans. I moved robotically, stealthily through the screen door. He turned around to find me standing on the small deck, a look of horror stilled on his face. I looked down his bare upper body out of habit and noticed the heart of his tattoo was luminous in a deep red. My eyes stayed on this spot until I dragged them back up to meet his.

“I think it’s time you tell me where you went.”




Have a fantastic day guys & dolls! I’ll be posting some reviews over the weekend for the novels I received this week!


J. xx

Happy Endings are the best kind of endings!

TGIF!!! With no snow and the demise of Toronto’s classiest mayor, plus the fact that its #FACTUALFRIDAYS on Twitter (@jwoodsauthor) – I’m in a blissful state of book hangover after closing the cover of my iPad still thinking about the characters I just departed from…   

I just finished reading Ivy Sinclair’s Bittersweet Junction and it was a great read filled with emotion and romance and happily ever afters….


Happy endings are the best kind of endings and Ivy Sinclair tells them with entrancing creativity. 
Pulled in from the very beginning with Julia Bell and her free spirit as she finds herself back in her home town after five years where she realizes the past may in fact be her present as old guilt and confusion resurface. Faced with hard truths and growing flames, Julia Bell struggles with the loose lips of a small town and her own hearts desire while maintaining her independently strong backbone. 
Sinclair weaves a wonderful, emotional story with relatable characters entangled within the throes of struggle and romance. 
With swoon worthy characters and heavy wistful sighs I had a difficult time putting it down.

Check it out! 

you can find Ivy Sinclair on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Author_Ivy

and on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6923882.Ivy_Sinclair



themed social media days? I think so!

Good morning guys and dolls! 

I’ve been pondering the idea of Twitter theme days and I’ve come to the conclusion that YES! it will indeed be happening. Why not, I ask myself… so this is what I have come up with so far – 

Monday – #MotivationMonday (inspirational quotes)

Tuesday – #TuesdayswithTeddy (my brilliant 5 year old daughter and the brilliant-er things that come out of her mouth)

Wednesday – #HashtagHumpDay (random funny hashtags)

Thursday – #ThrowbackThursday (going to continue with this ever so popular theme) 

Friday – #FactualFriday (random facts)

Saturday – #Caturday (stolen idea… although not necessarily dedicated to only cats… other funny animals welcome as well) 

Sunday – #SundayFunday (I think this one is self explanatory) 

So there you have it folks – I’m also posting this so I can remember what the days are ha!