Friday, December 14, 2012

Read It! Wrap It! Love It! -- The Cento: A Collection of Poems

I am in AWE of poets. Magicians, they are, able to distill life and experience to their often surprising essence. So maybe they're moonshiners too, stirrers of mash and sippers of elixirs. We have some poets among our Mojito sisters, so I know they'll appreciate my December must-have, and my Book Happy recommendation -- Theresa Welford's anthology The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems.(which you can order HERE).

A cento is a poem composed entirely from lines of other works in a new form or order. It means "patchwork" in Latin, and like visual collages, it includes images reworked into a new vision. ANd this collection of cento poems apparently rocks. According to no less an authority than X.J. Kennedy, “Theresa Welford’s anthology of poems in that curious form the cento is a true labor of love. In an array of patchwork poems by poets famous and poets new, The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems reveals both the dangers of the form (creating chaos) and its rich rewards when performed with wit and creativity on the part of the poet (as in R. S. Gwynn’s hilarious cannibalization of The Norton Anthology of Poetry). No one will supercede this achievement for a long time, I’d guess—maybe not for a hundred years.”

An excellent gift for YOUR favorite poet.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And the coveted Triple Mojito Salute goes to . . .



We the Mojito Literary Society are ridiculously, almost illegally, proud to share the following announcement from Publishers Marketplace:

SOLD: "Susanna Ives's WICKED LITTLE SECRETS trilogy, each featuring an aspect of Victorian society that hero and heroine defy, to Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks, by Paige Wheeler at Folio Literary Management."

In honor of her forthcoming trilogy, we are hoisting not one, not two, but THREE mojitos in her honor -- way to go!

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Make the Perfect Mojito


A REFRESHER: In honor of our appearance on Questions that Bother Me So -- in which the ladies of The Mojito Literary Society discuss art, words, life and rum -- we are sharing once again our official mojito recipe. Please join us Friday, October 26 from 1-3 Eastern time at Kinectic Hi-Fi Radio. Cheers!

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An important aspect of the Mojito Literary Society is -- of course -- the mojito. The derivation of the name is unclear; it could refer to mojo, a lime-flavored seasoning mixture popular in Cuban cuisine, or to the word mojadito, Spanish for "a little wet." A favorite drink of Ernest Hemingway (whose graffiti praising the drink can still be seen on the walls of his favorite Cuban bar), the mojito is a deceptively simple mixture of five basic ingredients: rum, lime juice, cane sugar, club soda, and fresh mint leaves (traditionally yerba buena in Cuba, but most commonly spearmint or peppermint in the US).

I've had many mojitos. Some have been exquisite; others have been as limp and tasteless as salad in a glass. I make my own at home regularly, and they are quite tasty if I do say so myself (and I do). Still, when it comes to mixology, there's no greater authority than my friend Chris Milligan. He writes the blog The Sante Fe Barman and is, IMHO, a genius with all things spirited. When I asked him to explain how to make a perfect mojito, he graciously obliged.

So here it is, folks, straight from someone who knows.

The Perfect Mojito

In a 12 oz glass, muddle 10-12 Mint leaves with 3/4 oz simple syrup and 1/2 oz fresh lime juice. Add ice, 2 oz white rum, and fill with club soda. Using a long handled spoon, pull the mint from the bottom of the glass to combine. You are also mixing in the lime and simple syrup. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Important Mixology Skills and Information!

Muddling -- the idea in this drink is to extract the oils from the mint without tearing the leaves, so be gentle. Robert Hess does a great demo on muddling (find that here on Small Screen Network.)

Measure, Measure, Measure. Get a small OXO measuring cup or jigger. This is KEY.

That brings us back to the glassware. If your glasses are bigger than 12 oz, you will need to adjust.

A lime wheel is a lime cut in a circle from pole to pole.

Simple syrup -- 1 lb. BY WEIGHT of sugar and 8 oz of water (filtered) by volume. Place in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. This keeps for 3-5 days or add a shot of vodka to keep for 3 weeks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Labyrinth Art

When I think of heaven, it looks like this -- with a comfy chair and mojito in the middle.

From a bird's eye view, visitors weave through the elaborate fingerprint shaped book labyrinth, which will be on display until Aug. 25 in the Southbank Centre, a large art space situated near the Waterloo Bridge.
Employee Tilly Shiner browses through books inside the aMAZEme labyrinth on July 31 at The Southbank Centre in London, England. Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo used 250,000 books to create this literary maze for the London Festival, a 3-month-long cultural event held concurrently with the 2012 Olympics.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review of Douglas Corleone's LAST LAWYER STANDING

Available NOW on Amazon.com
By Tina Whittle

If there’s one character I love spending time with, it’s the heroic anti-hero. Someone whose biggest triumphs come not from conquering some nefarious villain — although he does manage to get some righteous licks in — but from conquering his own tricky, confounding, paradoxical nature. To paraphrase the newest incarnation of Sherlock Holmes, just because these guys are on the side of the angels, don’t make the mistake of thinking they are angels.

Enter Kevin Corvelli, criminal defense attorney extraordinaire, hotshot protagonist of Douglas Corleone's third novel, Last Lawyer Standing. Typically fresh from some dicey shenanagin, Mr. Corvelli carries trouble in pocket. He curses, dodges, and gets knifed or hit or threatened a lot. He’s well acquainted with both pills and liquor. And he’s exactly who you’d want showing up in court for you, because whether you’re innocent or guilty, he’s there to defend you to the best of his ability.

And while one sharp attorney, he’s also a crackerjack sleuth. He has to be, especially in this, his third outing after the equally sharp One Man’s Paradise and Night on Fire, the first and second novels in this series. It’s a juggling act from the first page, and Corleone is a master at keeping those balls in the air. Judges, clients, hookers, gangsters, bad cops, good cops, assassins, politicians — they all circle like sharks as Corvelli struggles to acquit his perpetual client Turi Ahina of a murder charge while simultaneously serving as counsel to the governor of Hawaii, caught up in a scandal of mistresses, money and murder most foul. Throw in a mafia scion who needs babysitting and a gorgeous AUSA with a recent divorce, and it’s all Corvelli can do to keep the cat fed.

No fears. The cat does not go hungry. And readers will find satisfaction too. Corleone is a master plotter — the narrative never lets up, and the clues come faster than speedballs. The Hawaii that serves as a backdrop functions more as a character than setting, complete with its own tics and eccentricities — you might not want to live in Corvelli’s version of paradise, but you’ll find yourself enjoying a temporary visit with him as your guide. The voice is snarky and smart and authentic, self-aware but not the least bit self-righteous. I mean, how can you not love a character who says, “Somehow . . . I’d grown a conscience with respect to my motives in the courtroom, and it was going to kill my client. What the hell had I been thinking?”

One big theme in the Corvelli series is the moral quandary that comes from serving the ideal of truth and justice by defending the lying and guilty. Even Corvelli has his standards, and they complicate his job and his life in ways that even his clever maneuvering can’t always evade. It’s a hard profession he’s chosen — little wonder he daydreams of tending bar — but his challenges are our gain. I’ll buy a ticket to whatever ride Corleone offers as long as Kevin Corvelli is sitting in the seat next to me.

You can read more about Douglas Corleone on his website: www.douglascorleone.com.

Recommended Beverage Pairing: Anything but red wine (read the book — you'll get it). How about a nice tall beer instead, something locally brewed? A clean and hoppy IPA perhaps?

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Tina Whittle is a mystery writer living and working in the Georgia Lowcountry. The Dangerous Edge of Things, her first novel, debuted February 2011 from Poisoned Pen Press, followed in March 2012 by Darker Than Any Shadow. Described by Publisher’s Weekly as a “tight, suspenseful debut,“ this Atlanta-based series features gun shop owner Tai Randolph and corporate security agent Trey Seaver. The third book in the series —Blood, Ash and Bone —is available now for pre-order at Amazon. Visit tinawhittle.com for more information, including a schedule of appearances.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Snakes, Guns, and Southern Sexy


There's cause to crush mint and ice at the Mojito Literary Society. Our most illustrious Tina Whittle debuts her second novel in the Tai Randolph series, titled Darker Then Any Shadows. Not yet officially released, the novel has already received lavish praise from the notoriously-curmudgeony Kirkus Review. And it's no wonder.

This sexy mystery thriller is not only a cozy worthy of Sherlock Holmes sophistication, but it also journeys into the sultry and seductive world of slam poetry, with its host of eccentric characters, high financial stakes, and talents as large as egos are fragile.

Tai Randolph is wittier, cuter and more curious then the proverbial cat. Her relationship with Trey Seaver is complicated by Trey's unraveling persona and its tendency to fall apart whenever Tai is confronted with murder -- which is often enough. Still this reader can't help but root for their strange relationship, and Whittle likes to toy with her readers in the steamy romantic scenes, using language that applies equally to murderous violence as it does to sex. The novel opens with "Be still, he said, his mouth at my ear." Watch out for the steamy end of chapter 29 and the double-entendre of the last line of dialog. A pet snake makes its debut as a murder suspect in need of a good lawyer, and rabbits disappear faster then you can say Abracadabra.

I will refrain from writing that I couldn't put down the book because that's a cliche'. Instead I will transcribe here the email I wrote to our talented Mojito Sister at 3 in the morning when I finished reading it:

I don't read fast enough for your books: the act of reading was getting in the way of the ideal speed at which I wanted to know what happened next -- and some of the scenes were truly hot, and I totally got and cared for all these characters. The snake involvement and consequent setup was hilarious. Wow, what a writer you are!!!

Click here for an excerpt or pre-order here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A New Kind of Paranormal


Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh astounded the Mojito Literary Society with his debut novel, Soft Apocalypse, which sold out from Nightshade Books on its first print run.

Now McIntosh is back for a second round of Mojito cheeers for his new novel, Hitchers, a story about a comic strip writer who fights for control over his body when a catastrophic event unleashes the dead upon the living, and the ghost of his angry curmudgeon grandfather comes looking for him to reclaim creative control over the comic strip.


The novel contains elements of the paranormal and the apocalyptic, as well as lots of comedy and romance. The characters are well developed, at times infuriating, at times funny, at times deliciously lovable, and the story is written with that nicely cultivated fast pace that has earned McIntosh his many awards.


McIntosh has already signed over rights to his Hugo Winning "Bridesicle" for a film adaptation. So make sure to get your first edition print of Hitchers before all copies are sold out!

Hitchers gets a first rate Yes! from this Mojito Literary sister.