Check out my new site exclusively for LGBT affirming children’s books, games and more at MyFamilylProducts.com.
Check out my new site exclusively for LGBT affirming children’s books, games and more at MyFamilylProducts.com.
SICKLERVILLE, NJ (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 06, 2016
As millions of students head back to school this fall, many will undoubtedly tell of their summer adventures. From road trips and flights across the country to quiet times reading or exploring their own neighborhoods, kids often have something to share about their time away from school. In step with this tradition, niche publisher, My Family! releases a vibrant new tale, Keesha’s South African Adventure, a one-of-a-kind story with striking art that features a curious youngster and her two fabulous moms.
Keesha learns about South Africa during school and becomes so fascinated she convinces her two moms to take her there so she can see it for herself! The trio takes off for a trip across the Atlantic Ocean and bring readers along as they spend seven days in the diverse country. Unlike any other children’s book currently on the market, Keesha’s South African Adventure highlights the kind of family that is often omitted from mainstream travel depictions. It is sure to open the imaginations of children, parents and educators alike.
“I am extremely excited about this book,” says co-author Cheril N. Clarke. “We are bringing back our pioneer characters with a vibrant new look and expanded depth. Those familiar with Keesha and her two moms will notice that we aged Keesha a little bit. We did this so that we could have more room to tell a story for older children,” she added. Clarke authored the book with her wife and business partner, Monica Bey-Clarke.
“We know that reading expands the horizons of young people and hope this story will inspire curiosity and exploration,” adds Monica.
This exciting new book reinforces how much learning about new people, places and things can broaden a child’s imagination and open them up to exploring the world around them. Keesha’s South African Adventure is a daring story that showcases a modern family on a fantastic vacation that Keesha is proud to tell her teacher and classmates about.
Keesha’s South African Adventure (Hardcover) | By Cheril N. Clarke and Monica Bey-Clarke | ISBN 978-0-9851067-5-1 |$14.95 USD | 32 pages | Ages 4-8 | Publication October 3, 2016
REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Quick blog entry to cross-post a great interview that was recently published by the Philadelphia Gay News for my human rights play, Asylum. Take a look at the preview below and click-through to read the whole thing.
If you’re in the Philadelphia region, please come out to see this thought-provoking show!
by Henrik Eger, Ph.D
Cheril N. Clarke is a prolific and innovative writer whose repertoire includes novels, erotic vignettes, books for children of LGBT families and the thought-provoking play “Intimate Chaos,” based on her novel of the same name — “an emotional whirlwind [where] two women struggle to learn lessons from past mistakes and apply them to future attempts at making things right.” Clarke’s second play, “Asylum,” featuring the attempted honor killing of a young lesbian from Uganda by her father, world-premiered in New York with great success, winning the Audience Award of the 2012 Downtown Urban Theater Festival. “Asylum,” now directed by Kash Goins with Philadelphia actors, will premier at The Stagecrafters Theater in Chestnut Hill July 24-26.
PGN: Quite a few of your earlier novels and stories deal with sexy characters and scenes. What made you stop writing erotic works?
CC: It’s important for me to stimulate myself with different genres every few years. That is not to say I wouldn’t revisit a particular genre after I’ve taken a departure — I might. My works move in tandem with the ebb and flow of my life and, at this time, there are many other things inspiring the stories I want to tell.
PGN: You married the love of your life. What’s the secret of your successful marriage?
CC: Yes, I’m grateful every day to know that I was lucky enough to marry my best friend. Monica and I have been together for over a decade now and my love for her rivals my need for breathing. She has helped me grow into the woman I’ve become and continues to inspire me, every day, to be my greatest self. The secret to our marriage is compatibility, respect, honest communication on a daily basis. It’s the fact that we were engaged for about a year-and-a-half before getting married, and during that time we got to know each other thoroughly and made sure that we were willing to do whatever it required for us to have a healthy, lasting and loving relationship. We set goals with timelines and achieved all of them on time if not early. We understand and respect what’s important to each other and on the rare occasions where our desires don’t align, we talk until we solve the dilemma and find solutions. We leave no room for guessing at what each other wants. This is all by design and intention. Our marriage today is standing on the foundation we started building almost 12 years ago.
PGN: You and Monica, your wife, have co-authored books, too.
CC: She and I have co-authored books, but more than that… Click Here to continue reading.
*More about my meeting with Prossy and Leah can be found here: Meeting Our African Sisters (and brother!) in Manchester, UK.
PHILADELPHIA, PA June 23—Based on the true story of a lesbian who fled Uganda to escape an honor killing by her father, Asylum is a demand for the world’s attention. Complete with love amidst terror and friendship despite fear, Cheril N. Clarke’s award-winning play will make its Philadelphia debut in Chestnut Hill at The Stagecrafters Theater July 24-26, 2015.
Clarke is a novelist, playwright, and producer, who was recently appointed a Young Ambassador for the Philadelphia region of The Dramatists Guild, the professional organization for America’s playwrights. Her previous works have been well-received on stages in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Puerto Rico, where one was nominated for Best Play at the 6th Festival Del Tercer Amor. A Gloucester Township, NJ resident, Clarke, 34, splits her time between writing plays, professional photography.
Local theatre titan and director, Kash Goins—who has directed and/or produced numerous hit plays in the region is at the helm of Asylum’s Philly premier.
“I’m extremely excited to see how Kash’s vision and the incredible talent of Philly actors are going to enhance the show beyond its NYC world premiere. Asylum tackles women’s rights, human rights and gay rights, all within the African diaspora, which can be extremely complex. Kash has a habit of bringing magic to such multifaceted tales,” says Clarke.
She is passionate about bringing to life the stories of black gays and lesbians; a segment she believes is often left out of the mainstream when it comes to realistic portrayals and genuine life experience. With its many layers including domestic violence and vigilance, religion and oppression, Asylum is a new work that is sure to be absorbing as much as it is shocking.
Asylum will run for three days at The Stagecrafters Theater, Fri., July 24 and Sat., July 25 at 8:00PM, and Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 2:00PM. The theater is located at 8130 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.asylumtheplay.com. Tickets are $20.00 in advance.
Coverage is invited.
It’s been some time since this award-winning show has been on stage, but I am beyond happy to announce that it WILL be produced in Philadelphia 2015! I’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign this week and I’m thrilled to say that after just three days we’ve raised $1,187! Below are the press release and video pitch for the kick-off:
Philadelphia, PA–Cheril N. Clarke is gearing up to bring her award-winning play Asylum to Philadelphia. Based on the true story of a lesbian who fled Uganda to escape an honor killing by her father, Asylum is an arresting account of courage, strength and the indomitable power of the human spirit. Funds raised for this production will go toward six live performances, professional filming for DVD distribution and spurring dialog on the global stage about the crises of women’s rights, human rights, and gay rights.
“Absolutely riveting…If Cheril Clarke never writes another play, (though I hope she writes many more) this one effort will ensure her a place in theater history.” – Tobias Grace, Out IN Jersey Magazine
Asylum was inspired by Prossy Kakooza, who since 2007, fought for her own freedom as an asylum seeker in the United Kingdom while working to free her partner who had been left behind in a Ugandan prison. It is a palpable love story of seismic proportions with vivid portrayals of women struggling to maintain in contact while surviving attacks on all fronts.
The world premiere of Asylum took place in 2012 at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival in New York City, where it received the Audience Choice award and was runner up for best play. The original cast and crew is from Philadelphia region and are eager to bring this one-of-a-kind production to their home city. “This is a story I believe in wholeheartedly,” says Clarke, “because though it is unique in that no one else is telling it in this way, it is not an uncommon occurrence—honor killings and the eminent danger of women and LGBT people around the world.”
The plight of African women and girls has recently received international media attention and Asylum aims to present an up close and personal portrayal of what life is really like for a woman who faced death because of who she loved. It pulls the curtain back on the struggle to overcome male dominance and rebound from sexual and physical violence.
Donations to the Asylum Indiegogo campaign are tax-deductible as this production is a fiscally sponsored project by Fractured Atlas, an organization with a mission to empower artists. Visit http://www.asylumtheplay.com for more information.
ABOUT CHERIL N. CLARKE
Cheril N. Clarke is the author of five novels, two plays, numerous short stories and two children’s books. Her first play “Intimate Chaos” was produced multiple times and was translated into Spanish for a production in Puerto Rico. The Spanish production, “Caos Ìntimo,” was nominated for Best Play in the 6th annual Festival del Tercer Amor. Clarke’s most recent play “Asylum” was a featured production of the 2012 Downtown Urban Theatre Festival in New York City where it received the Audience Award and runner up for Best Play. As of summer 2014, Clarke was been named the young ambassador for the Philadelphia region of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Clarke has been featured on NPR, WPEB 88.1FM Philadelphia, About.com, Curve Magazine (the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine), The Princeton Packet, Philadelphia Gay News, Out IN Jersey, Burlington County Times, Philadelphia Business Journal, Phillyburbs.com as well as Crain’s New York Business newspaper. Her opinion columns have been featured by the National Black Justice Coalition and her editorial and blog postings have been featured by the Human Rights Campaign. She resides in southern New Jersey with her wife, Monica Bey-Clarke, who is also her business partner for My Family!, a retail and publishing company geared toward LGBT-headed families.
Unfinished manuscripts are like children who just won’t grow up. They have so much potential. You know they do, but for whatever reason, they just won’t move–or they move so slowly it doesn’t feel as though they are. I have a number of this unruly children frolicking around my hard drive and thought I might put one out in the universe and see what happens.
Some of you may have heard me mentioning a story about a young female boxer some time ago…well, here is the never published, unedited first chapter of that book. The working title was/is Agonizing Victory.
Pop, pop, pop! The swift rhythm of a speed bag taking a beating shook Vick out of her sleep. Pop, pop, pop! The sound came in threes—a triplet of distinction that soon rolled into a cacophony bells, whistles and screams. Chatter rippled around a ring and a crowd roared as leather gloves cracked against a sweaty jaw. Uppercut! Bam! And a body hits the canvas.
Get back up! Hang in there. Coaches pleaded for the brawler to keep going. As the chatter continued, Vick reluctantly turned to focus on the digital time stamp on her nightstand. It was 5:25am and the frenzied fight sounds were her morning alarm. She struggled to stay awake in the darkness and slipped back into slumber.
The sounds of an animated coach began to crescendo just 60 seconds later. Push her away! Keep her away! That’s it! That’s it. Jab! Do it again! Jab! Jab! That’s it! Gym sounds filled the room. Vick’s phone jangled and clanged until she finally dragged herself out of bed to shut it off.
“All right, all right,” she mumbled. She’d purposely plugged it in across the room to force herself to get out of bed in order to silence it. The noises were equally motivating and annoying.
Rise and grind. How bad do you want it? The question ricocheted in her mind as she began getting ready for the day. How bad? She’d heard it every day from her coach for months. The words were embedded in her consciousness.
“Get up.” She coaxed herself. “Get up!” The routine was the start of another long, but focused day. Vick had to remind herself of why she’d set the alarm in the first place: to train for the biggest fight of her amateur career. This was the fight that was the key to her going pro.
Twenty minutes after rising, Vick had downed several cups of water and changed into her workout clothes. It was time for her four-mile run but her mind was still rallying against going outside—begging for a few more minutes to relax. Early morning runs were still a challenge for her despite being a former high school track star. She had to force herself to go out into the bite of the pre-dawn air. If she could conquer her own mind and its whining, she knew her opponent would be an easy target.
Vick was two weeks away from the big fight and nothing would break her focus. She had to win. No one else even mattered to her except her team, which consisted of a coach who doubled as a nutritionist, a sparring partner, and cut man who was also her manager. That small group of people was the key to her becoming a champ.
After enduring two grueling years as an unpaid amateur boxer, Vick was ready to prove herself in the professional arena. She wanted to make a big impression and gain attention. She needed to do both in order to jump start her pro career and get more fights. More fights equaled more fans. She wanted glory.
While stretching before her run, Vick had to contend with her thoughts again. Was she training harder than her opponent? Could she cultivate an undefeated record in the pro world as she had done in the amateurs? Was she really ready to go pro—to go toe-to-toe with no head gear? The questions pummeled her as she began warming up. Jab, jab. Move around. Move around! She threw a few punches at the air to fight back. Jab, jab. Double up! Do it again! Vick popped, blocked or countered every nagging question as took off into a stride.
The sky was beginning to lighten as the sun began its ascension for the day. Vick started with long stretches of empty road in the picturesque suburbs of Haddonfield, NJ. I’m ready, she assured herself. I can do it. It’s possible. Every contact her feet made with the pavement bolstered her confidence. Her heart rate shot up but she was in control. Surrounded by the vibrant beauty of fall foliage, Vick would run at full speed for two minutes, the equivalent of a round, and then stop for a one-minute break.
Run, break, run, break, run, break; Vick was conditioning her heart. She’d long ago learned that boxing wasn’t just about hitting hard. It was about technique and tactical moves. It was about the endurance and self-mastery. Run, break, run. Keep going. It was about being able tocome back from a hit. Vick had to be willing to lay everything on the line in order to win. That was the hardest part of all; convincing herself that she would not die just because she was exhausted or hurt. Keep going. Winning was mental as much as physical, if not more.
There was nothing in the world Vick wanted more than to be the strongest, fastest, and most skilled female boxer of her time. She had been fighting since she was seven years old and hadn’t slowed down since. She’d started with tae kwon do, an idea of her father to teach her self-defense. He’d insisted on it for both of his daughters but only Vick fell in love with it. The sport gave her the confidence to take a stand against bullies. Vick had been teased mercilessly for her dark skin and chubby stature; for her thick glasses and funny accent.
Born in her parents’ homeland of Jamaica, Vick found American culture hard to adjust to. She was naturally shy and too afraid to challenge bullies who had taunted her. Kids called her fat, black and ugly until she became recluse, opting to play alone inside rather than out with peers. It would only be a few weeks into her first American school year before her father noticed the depth of her withdrawal and social awkwardness. It was the exact opposite experience of her older sister Marie, but Marie was always more outgoing, feminine and outspoken than Vick. She made friends easier.
Though Vick was reluctant to tell her parents what was going on, they could see sadness weighing down her big eyes and hear her silent cries for help. They enlisted Marie to keep a closer eye on Vick at school and it was after that action they learned of Vick being physically pushed around. All of them were surprised but their father was incensed. He insisted that both girls would learn how to defend themselves in a skilled way. Karate was an easy solution as it doubled as an after school activity to keep them busy during the gap of time when neither he nor their mother was able to watch them.
“You are not to start fights, but you should never run from one if somebody starts with you. You hear?” He’d preached. His patois dialect slipped into the lecture. “You must put people in them place and let them know to leave you alone!”
Vick was initially fearful in her martial arts classes but after a few weeks with a patient instructor, a fondness for sport began to grow. While Marie only participated because their father insisted, Vick began to thrive. She practiced daily, losing weight and gaining confidence with each class. Her posture improved, her smile returned and for the first time since they’d moved to the states, Vick was not afraid to go to school. In fact, she secretly wanted to be challenged just so she could lay someone out. It didn’t take long for her to get her wish. She only had to have two fights before bullies finally backed off for good. Those wins were a turning point and made her focus more on fighting as a competitive sport.
She earned her black belt by the age of 14 and asked her parents to try boxing. Her father refused but she pressed him. Vick was relentless. She asked week after week until her he finally agreed. She didn’t know it then, but winning that battle was the first clue that she was also on her way to mastering the art of patience and persistence.
For the next few years Vick trained at a suburban gym her parents chose for her. As she neared her late teens she pushed to train at a real boxing gym in the city Camden, a rougher part of southern New Jersey.
“Absolutely not,” her father was firm again. He said he would never pay to send her to the ghetto.
Vick argued that the city wasn’t all bad and that she knew how to defend herself. He refused. She pushed back, even negotiating just summer training in Camden for which she would get a part-time job and pay for herself. The back and forth went on again as it had the first time she requested to box, but this time she had to concede a few things to win. Her father would drop her off and pick her up and she would pay for it herself. That was the deal. Vick took it.
Training in Camden soon blossomed into a stellar amateur career. She boxed all the way through high school and opted to go to community college to satisfy her parents’ desire for her to continue her education and her own to stay local. That’s where she was right now, in her second year at Camden County and still chasing her dream. Her only challenge was the fact that there weren’t enough challengers.
Female boxers were hard to come by. To make up for the lack of local female fighter she traveled to Philadelphia, Baltimore and up to New York for matches. She did whatever she had to do to make a name for herself and now she was finally ready for her biggest challenge yet.
She’d spent all mornings the same way for months; training, and training harder. This morning sweat streamed down Vick’s back and bubbled against her temples as she barreled through the last mile of her run. Motivational speeches streamed into her ears from an mp3 player securely clipped to her pants and rays of the morning sun soon poured over Vick; what had started out as a regular morning had become electric.
Jab. Jab. Hook to the body! Hook to the head! She slowed and threw a combo in her enthusiasm. Blood and adrenaline flowed vigorously through her body, and she felt a rush as she brought her run to an end. Vick was ready to guzzle a half-gallon of water and eat a champion’s breakfast the moment she got home. After her meal and a little bit of rest, she laced up her sneakers and headed back out. It was time to hit the Bunker for weight training and sparring.
The Bunker was the basement of an old, concrete building that housed both her boxing gym and a mixed martial arts center. It had an 80s era hip-hop mural on its exterior and unapologetically uncut grass. The Bunk, as it was affectionately called, was a safe haven for athletes and under-privileged youth. It was a life-saver for those who teetered with living on the wrong side of the law and a sanctuary for coaches who’d lived through the region’s glory days of boxing.
Nestled between a Baptist church, cemetery and abandoned glass factory, the Bunk had been there since the early1960s. It was there before Camden became ravaged by drugs, poverty and political corruption. Unlike the rest of its host city, The Bunk managed to survive in spite of being lean. It was still owned by the man who opened it 50 years ago, Sulaiman Mustafa.
When Vick pulled into the parking lot, she walked across cracked pavement with protruding weeds to get to the iron-clad entrance. The building was rough. It was hard. It had seen better days, but it had survived the worst. “Confidence is King” had been scrawled over the doors that lead to the Bunk. It was one of the many phrases that were repeated daily by all of the coaches.
Once in the gym, Vick was greeted by high ceilings, exposed beams and sheets of fluorescent light. Paint peeled from the walls and the familiar stench of sweat and spit permeated the air. Ring-side funnels were connected to hoses lead lead the nasty mucous from the athlete’s mouths to plastic holding buckets on the floor.
“Hello, young lady.” Suleiman offered her a smile. “Work hard today.”
“Good morning, Brother Sulei,” she greeted him. “You know I will.”
“Come on, Vick. Hustle up, let’s get started,” Crock chimed in. It was short for Crocodile.
“I’m ready coach,” she assured.
There were two rings in the Bunk, only one had padding beneath its canvas—the one that younger boxers and female athletes used. Neither ring had stools. There was no seated resting between rounds when sparring.
As Vick walked toward the small area designated for women’s lockers, she passed men shadowboxing and one guy doing pull-ups on a make-shift bar. Images of fists pounding heavy bags blended with rhythmic smacks of jump ropes hitting the hardwood floor. It was the sound of speed—the sight of power. The Bunk was a labyrinth of men developing their bodies into deadly weapons. At the moment, Vick was the only female on premise.
She was used to being the only woman in before 9:00. There were about five other females who trained at the gym, but Vick was the only early bird. She didn’t have time to be in there all afternoon. She was juggling training with a part-time job and school.
“You ready, Vick?” Crock asked when she emerged from the locker room.
“Yep, I’m ready.”
Vick would spend the next two hours doing a mélange of aerobic and anaerobic exercises under Crock’s guidance. He was a squat man with a halo of steel gray hair. He had been Vick’s coach for the last two years—the only one who had taken her seriously when she first showed up at the Bunk. Crock looked past her feminine appearance and saw confidence. It was in her eyes.
At 59 years old, Crock had trained every type of athlete. He had been born and raised in South Carolina, but had migrated north during his own years of chasing boxing dreams. When he got too old for the sport he became a coach. From football players to track stars, male and female; from junior high school to college level athletes, Crock had worked with them all. He had a knack for recognizing heart and knew after one meeting with Vick that she had it. When he’d challenged her to spar a male partner on her first day she accepted.
Vick didn’t shy away because her opponent was a man. In fact, she displayed the energy level of someone ready for an eight-round fight, but Vick needed help with technique. She needed help with her feet, keeping balance and understanding the psychology of boxing. Crock took her under his wing. It was he who had recently decided that she was ready to go from amateur to pro. He believed in her. More importantly, he noted how much belief she believed in herself. He loved coaching her.
“You gotta know the ring like you know your house. Every inch. The highs. The lows. The blind spots. The ring is your home,” he advised when they began mitt work. “You gotta have good eye-hand coordination. Know when to strike, how fast and when to sneak away,” he continued. “It’s your territory.” Crock stole a second to wipe sweat from his brow. “When an opponent steps in the ring, she’s intruding. You gotta to defend your territory. You got that?”
“Yes, coach.” Pop! Pop! Vick tagged the mitts.
“It’s war,” Crock continued. “You’re a shark and she’s in your tank.” He had an endless supply of analogies for the ring but comparing it to a shark tank was his favorite.
“Like a shark…” She circled him, taking heed to his words. “Like a shark.”
“This is your tank,” he repeated as they continued to work. “Come on, Vick. Jab, jab! Bite! Come on!” Crock rattled on.
Pop! Pop! Pop! She tagged the mitts harder as she dance around him.
“Yeeeah, that’s it, baby girl!” He bellowed. “That’s it!”
By the time Vick had finished her training session she was drenched in sweat. The Bunk didn’t have showers so she didn’t waste any time getting out of there and going home. Not only did she want to refresh, she had to work on a term paper for her biology class. Her schedule was formidable.
-End of chapter 1-
I’ve uploaded scenes from my award-winning show, Asylum, that have never been seen before on the web. If you weren’t in the audience that night in NYC you have NOT seen these scenes!
This video contains one of the most dramatic moments of the play–when Prossy (Tiffany Barrett) and her girlfriend (Brennie Tellu) are caught in an intimate moment by Prossy’s father (Steve Crum) and fiance’ (Michael Way).
It also includes the rest of the prison scene that was clipped in an earlier video (Melanie Mathews and Eyakeno Ekpo). Bare bones set with an fantastic cast from Philly!
New work released today, The Beautiful People: South Beach!
I know it’s been a while but I’m bringing these characters back! The fourth installment to the sexy series was released for e-readers today for only $0.99!
Skinny dipping, reckless flirting, fetish-parties and mind-blowing erotica are all abound in Cheril N. Clarke’s fourth installment of the popular Beautiful People series. In this edition we meet the four core friends – the sexy financial consultant, Vanessa; the party boy accountant, Colin; the cute fashion photographer, Yen; and the debonair designer, Donovan – heading to South Beach for some well-earned R&R, and no small amount of fun and frolic. They are joined by a fifth friend, Suraj, a Bollywood star all the way from India but not everything goes as expected, as the South Beach law enforcement makes its presence felt.
The sexual tension between Yen and Vanessa continue to surface in flagrant violation of Colin’s “no sex between friends” rule and ladies man Suraj finds himself in a shocking position. Treat yourself to loads of glamour, glitz, fashion, attitude, sexiness, and get charmed by The Beautiful People having the time of their lives without a care in the world. This story will give you more than a few hearty laughs at their Beautiful People “problems!”
Buy on Amazon:The Beautiful People: South Beach
Buy on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beautiful-people-cheril-n-clarke/1119607530?ean=2940149614424
Buy on All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebeautifulpeoplesouthbeach-1521933-353.html
A sexy old series of mine, The Beautiful People, is getting a make 0ver! I started writing these stories a few years ago and am preparing to release a few new installments that were never published. In the meantime, please take a look at the brand new artwork for the first three installments!
In The Beautiful People: New Orleans, the first short story in a new series, Cheril N. Clarke introduces us to four intriguing characters who will propel the reader into a provocative world filled with sophisticated naughtiness. Nontraditional in its presentation, The Beautiful People follows a close group of friends who love to travel, meeting up in a different city every other month for a weekend of exploration, partying, and a much-needed break from the daily grind of their careers. From the city of New Orleans, this installment acquaints us with a high-end tailor with a disdain for the common man, a fashion photographer riding a narcotic seesaw, an accountant with a penchant for flirting and flings, and an haute entrepreneur who is struggling with secret desires of her own. The Beautiful People subtly pushes moral boundaries and challenges preconceived notions of perfection.
Cheril N. Clarke’s second tour de force in the short story cycle The Beautiful People invites readers to accompany her quartet of vibrant characters on a luxe tour of Sin City, and all the temptations and wonders that entails.
The Beautiful People: Las Vegas returns readers to the lives of four friends whose magnetic personalities and gorgeous good looks rivet our attention. Vanessa, an entrepreneurial executive, reveals shadowed parts of her past and displays talents long ago abandoned; Yen Chu, desperately trying to navigate the waters of self-imposed sobriety, yearns to be disciplined, but doesn’t let that prevent her from arranging erotic adventures for her group; party boy Colin, on a quest to have the time of his life, ensures that everyone he meets will have the times of their lives as well; and Donovan, sometimes haughty, and always more conservative than the rest, allows himself to loosen up, and succumb to Sin City’s extravagant indulgences.
From glamorous adventure to steamy and sometimes seamy escapades, from the luxe lifestyle to laugh-out-loud humor, Clarke’s latest installment of “The Beautiful People” will satisfy the deep cravings of your imagination.
Back for the third time and chock full of luxury, beauty, erotica and wit, Cheril N. Clarke’s The Beautiful People: New York City is a sizzling follow-up to the sinful activities that happened in Las Vegas. The four original characters return for a quintessential two nights in the city that never sleeps and take us on a joyride of fashion shows, swanky mansions, risqué house parties and more. When suppressed desires pull at two core members of the group, they must decide if they will resist the temptation to avoid collective chaos or throw caution to the wind and satisfy their wicked own cravings. The Beautiful People: New York City is a masterpiece of Clarke’s intelligence and imagination – her best short story to date!
The universe really has a sense of humor. About a year ago, for many reasons, I finally admitted to myself and my readers why it was taking me so long to release another book: I had fallen out of love with creative writing and wanted to have a different career. I wanted to go back to school so that I could prepare for a new track in the health care industry. Well, I got off to a great start. I snagged a job in the industry, started taking some preliminary classes to get myself back in structured learning mode but…six months into the new job had me looking to change positions within the company. I didn’t like it and was sure there was someone who could do it better than me. It just wasn’t a good fit (but the company, the people and industry were), so I found something else that was as close to a perfect as I could get: corporate communications (at the same company-yay)!
I told life I didn’t want to write any more and it basically said so what. lol This update is just to let you know that something greater than me is insisting I not put down my pen, or close my laptop. For the first time ever, my “day job” is being a writer, and the last 14 years of doing my creative stuff after hours has become a tremendous asset.
These days I’m crafting articles and executive speeches—all about health care and helping the underserved. And as a funny twist of fate: theatrical vignettes on issues such as diabetes, stroke awareness, and asthma, etc. As a part of my day job?? What? Who knew? lol Anyway, writing speeches is definitely rekindling some feelings in me—feelings that had fizzled out years ago. I love it. School is going to take a few years to get through and I’m pleasantly surprised to say I like having a mash-up of careers until I finish.
That’s all for now,