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So TOUSLE ME is out now...


posted by Lucy V Morgan

5 comments

...and you can find it at Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords (when iTunes decide to load it, it'll be up there, too).

There's a giveaway going on for a $25 Amazon gift card as well. Which is obviously quite good.  But I wanted to talk a little about how this project came to be.

Back in the summer, I began a project where the heroine's flatmate was a book blogger. I invented a book for the girls to talk about; that book was called Tousle Me as a kind of spoof new adult moniker. I decided that I'd actually write Tousle Me and release it along with the other book as a kind of companion/marketing tool.

Only Tousle Me quickly became far more fun to write than the original project, and it became obvious that it would be more organic to write it as a book in its own right. I loved that I could poke fun at the things authors do (Cammie, the heroine, regularly references the dumb stuff her author--me--gets her to do); the things book bloggers do, and the things stereotypical characters do. I even spoofed a couple of my own books because...well, when in Rome, and all that.

I cut my writing teeth on parodies; as a teenager, before I began writing romance novels (or glorified cheesy rape fantasies, rather, since mine were most definitely that),  I wrote an historical romance parody series that featured my school friends. My friends were thus immortalised as classic characters such as Lord Burger, The Thing In The Wardrobe, Svin and Sven the masseur men, and The Handsome Tree. One friend's boyfriend was killed at the end of every book; another friend would learn a horrible secret about her love interest in each book (e.g. they were related, or he'd been dead for the entire book and she just hadn't noticed). Characters regularly had conversations with woodland animals and inanimate objects. I also gave my character a sex scene with Jin Kazama, Just Because. I love the freedom of parody; it's the best form of God complex ever.

People have said to me that they wish Tousle Me wasn't a parody because they'd actually like to read Cammie and Hunter's "true" story. They have my apologies--there are authors who can write that story authentically and well, but that author is not me. This author can't do it with a straight face. (Though I admit that when Kenny showed me the lovely cover, I kind of didn't want to "waste" it on a parody, even though I very much wanted a "straight" cover in the first place).

Truth is, my work often goes to some dark places, even if it has its humorous moments. And I'd found myself in a bit of a dark place in terms of personal circumstances, so writing Tousle Me was an absolute tonic and distraction. I wasn't really ready to channel the darkness, so to speak. Although I will at some point--a good author does not waste misery (and this isn't a call for pity; we all go through crap from time to time, and I'm kind of lucky that I can turn it into a business opportunity!).

I hope that Tousle Me's affectionate roots show; I hope that it makes you laugh. I hope that if Christmas is a bit rough for you then this book will give you a few bright moments; I hope you all have a lovely Christmas regardless.

Happy Holidays!








TOUSLE ME got a pretty blurb...


posted by Lucy V Morgan

3 comments

...courtesy of author Andrew Shaffer, who wrote the rather amusing Fifty Shades parody, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. 

He gave me a couple of (probably over-generous) lines...I chose the one that makes us both appear to have questionable judgement. Ah, publishing.



TOUSLE ME is released December 13th. That's four days away, people. Somebody book the pinata!

Cover Reveal for TOUSLE ME: A NEW ADULT PARODY


posted by Lucy V Morgan

2 comments

So here it is...my first full-length romantic comedy (and the beginning of a new series), landing on Amazon/iTunes/B&N on Dec 13th:


Designed by the ever-talented Kenny Wright

*

 He’s exquisitely hot. Exquisitely tousled. Exquisitely screwed in the head.

Cammibelle Hicks just wants to survive her first year of college. Desperate to forget her troubled past, she throws herself into her degree and book review blog. So what if her life is one long tumblr page of grumpy cat GIFs? She doesn’t need to get out more, and she definitely doesn’t need a man.

Hunter von Styles approaches life like he’s spoiling for a fight: with a tempting scowl. A cage-fighting, ex-rocker billionaire, it’s unclear why Hunter’s at college. Frankly, it makes no sense. Then Cammie falls into him—literally—at a party, and he’s obsessed. He needs her more than a moist towelette at a barbecue.

Though Cammie’s friends warn her against Hunter, she can’t resist his charms; especially not when he buys her shoes. And GoodReads. And a unicorn. But when her handsome best friend, medieval reenactor Archer Riddick, makes a play for her heart—and challenges Hunter to a jousting match—it turns out that Hunter has demons of his own. Demons that aren’t real ones, but metaphorical ones—which are MUCH WORSE, when you think about it…

Join Hunter and Cammie on an emotionally exhausting journey into love.

And co-dependence.

And probably therapy.

*


New book news. TOUSLE ME: A NEW ADULT PARODY coming Dec 2013


posted by Lucy V Morgan

6 comments

I've been trying to write a full-length romantic comedy for some time (something in the same vein as Beautiful Mess, really). A couple of months ago, I tossed around the idea of a new adult parody with some friends; the genre has grown so fat and juicy in such a short space of time that it's ripe with fun tropes. I've written, read and loved a lot of NA, and in my teens, I wrote many a parody starring my highschool friends (think Downton Abbey, but smuttier. And awful). It was really only a matter of time before TOUSLE ME happened...


TOUSLE ME is due to release on December 13th; just in time for Christmas. I'll be revealing the gorgeously ridiculous cover on November 26th. 



He’s exquisitely hot. Exquisitely tousled. Exquisitely screwed in the head.

Cammibelle Hicks just wants to survive her first year of college. Desperate to forget her troubled past, she throws herself into her degree and book review blog. So what if her life is one long tumblr page of grumpy cat GIFs? She doesn’t need to get out more, and she definitely doesn’t need a man.

Hunter von Styles approaches life like he’s spoiling for a fight: with a tempting scowl. A cage-fighting, ex-rocker billionaire, it’s unclear why Hunter’s at college. Frankly, it makes no sense. Then Cammie falls into him—literally—at a party, and he’s obsessed. He needs her more than a moist towelette at a barbecue.

Though Cammie’s friends warn her against Hunter, she can’t resist his charms; especially not when he buys her shoes. And GoodReads. And a unicorn. But when her handsome best friend, medieval reenactor Archer Riddick, makes a play for her heart—and challenges Hunter to a jousting match—it turns out that Hunter has demons of his own. Demons that aren’t real ones, but metaphorical ones—which are MUCH WORSE, when you think about it…

Join Hunter and Cammie on an emotionally exhausting journey into love.

And co-dependence.

And probably therapy.


The difference between Miley Cyrus and Leila Vaughn...


posted by Lucy V Morgan

2 comments

...is mostly just that Leila stayed in the shadows, to be honest. But we'll get to that shortly.

Disclaimer: this will probably come across as "you're all a bunch of prudes." I don't like the term "prude," personally; I think it's overly simplistic and somewhat judgmental. If you don't want to be overtly sexual, that's okay with me.

I digress.

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor has today published an open letter to Miley Cyrus after learning that Wrecking Ball, Miley's new video, was inspired by Nothing Compares To You. Sinead is alarmed that Miley chooses to "prostitute" herself for the sake of her music career. As somebody who writes about characters who could be described as highly sexualised young women--one of whom, Leila of the Whored series, actually is a prostitute--I feel the need to pick apart this debacle a little.


One would argue, as Sinead does, that Miley's choice to be nude--and to lick a sledgehammer--in the above video is both unsubtle and distasteful; that it presents a bad example to young girls. That it represents her decision to "prostitute" herself to the media, and to men who will "make more money" than she will from said decision. Personally, I am uncomfortable with the idea that a woman should have to repress her sexuality because it makes others uncomfortable; while we are certainly bombarded with sexualised images of women in the media, one has to question whether we are threatened by either the exploitation it may represent or with female sexuality displayed in the first place. I'm not sure half of us can tell the difference anymore.

Women are meant to express their sexuality in a tasteful fashion, see, with Fifty Shades-style erotica book covers and Jo Malone candles and selfies of a half-bare shoulder with just a sliver of satin. Blatant nudity like Miley's is apparently for stereotypical porn--for men. Ladies and gentlemen: if we're going to start dictating how women should express themselves sexually, we're not feminists. Perhaps if we were honest with young women about sexuality in the first place, we wouldn't all be so hot and bothered (pun intended) by a former Disney star taking her clothes off and licking something symbolically violent and phallic (not that I'm suggesting preteens should be watching porn. I am the woman who complained about Rihanna's S&M being played at a child's play centre; kids have no context for such language. But Wrecking Ball is not porn, and if the adults would grow up and stop whinging about it then the preteens probably wouldn't be so fussed over it anyway).

An article on industry website Popjustice has some interesting points on the subject:

"...As a piece of ‘art’ – and this is a stunningly shot video – the nudity works so well because it illustrates the vulnerability we all feel when love smashes us to bits.

But the tongue. The licking. The phallic hammer head. It only accounts for about 3% of the video’s 3:41 running time but it changes the tone of the whole thing. This video could have been powerful and confident. It could have allowed Miley to say actually, do you know what, a kit-off scenario doesn’t always have to be crass and grotty. Instead, for the sake of seven seconds of nonsense, a potentially eloquent response to the VMAs furore just seems tacky and titillating."

Does the licking change the tone? Yes. It takes the whole thing to a place a lot of people probably don't expect or want it to go. One could argue it's a place that doesn't really have anything to do with the song. I'd be inclined to agree actually, but then it's just a music video and I'm honestly not sure it matters. It may well just be there to shock--some of us like to be shocked. Thank you, marketing.

From Sinead's letter:

"Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you."


Real empowerment, for me personally, is being able to do what I'd like without fear of being judged (assuming that I do not harm others). Nudity harms no-one; sexual imagery has a time and a place for those who haven't yet reached adulthood, but whether these videos should be made at all or whether they should simply be shown past the watershed is another question altogether (and one too big for this little article). Again, one questions whether we're still able to tell the difference between a display of sexuality and exploitation. One person's exploitation is another's orgasm. We could be here all day pulling this sharp truth apart.


"Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with."

I write about characters who aren't always monogamous, so you can probably guess that I'd take issue with the assertion that a woman's body is only for herself and her partner. It's for whomever she chooses, singular or plural. Is there risk inherent in sharing so much of yourself? Yes. Absolutely. When I wrote Leila, I think I was pretty candid about the fact that prostitution--both real and metaphorical--is dangerous. You'd be perfectly entitled to question anyone's decision to go into such danger--hell, I wrote two books about it. We all have different things which make us tick, whether we're prostitutes or "normal" young women watching a music video or spunk-spewing dirtbags on the net (don't masturbate over naked ladies, boys. You'll go blind). Men are making money from Miley's nudity, yes. I imagine Miley's making a pretty impressive chunk too, as are other women in the industry.

Leila's prostitution, for the most part, is private; Miley's is very public. But then Miley doesn't have a "respectable" job like Leila--she's a singer, not a lawyer--and thus isn't told by society and her colleagues to keep her sexuality under wraps.

Oh...wait. Yes, she is. Why, exactly?

Sinead says:

"Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted.. it’s so not cool Miley.. it’s dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire."

Women should be valued for more than their sexuality. I wholeheartedly agree. (And indeed, when Sinead comments that her lack of a sexual image has served her well, especially as she ages, I'd agree too. It's an interesting and intelligent observation). But I tire of this notion that this means any sexuality we do choose to display in a non-conformist fashion must somehow make us desperate or misguided. I'll express myself any (legal) way I please, thank you kindly, and the consequences will be mine alone. Miley is a role model and as such, should consider the message she sends to young women; if our media did not subscribe to such "prudish" or conservative values in the first place then I doubt this message would be one that says "prostitution's okay." It'd just be, "oh look, she's naked." How is it telling women they must be sexual in order to be valued? Because we're all bloody talking about it, that's why. Why is nudity news?

It's an intentionally provocative video, but it isn't prescribing a certain (apparently damaging) brand of sexuality simply by being uploaded to YouTube. It doesn't devalue women anymore than the idea that we are defined by how we do or don't express ourselves. (Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines is quite a different matter. But don't get me started on what is basically bad non-con in lyrical form).

Leila, my prostitute character, was younger than Miley when she began an affair with an older man in Chairman Of The Whored, and thus a journey of self discovery. She beat herself up for the things she wanted; one might say she was exploited, but she never once felt that way. That wasn't an illusion--she knew her body and knew herself. I can't say whether she might regret her decisions when she's fifty because she's currently twenty-eight; I imagine Miley might say similar.

I don't condone Miley's choices--and her choices, in this article, are my assumptions--but I defend her right to make them. I defend the right of a woman to be deliberately sexual if she so chooses. This choice should not be front page news. Actual news should be news, people.

Overt sexuality should not put a human being in a cage, as it did for a time to Leila, Matt and Joseph. If we hadn't put Miley in a cage, she wouldn't perhaps feel the need to break out of it in the first place.

A snippet of what I'm working on right now...


posted by Lucy V Morgan

5 comments

...The still-untitled New Adult. But yes. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Clover, Natalie and Harry (who just happens to be Aidan's brother). They'll be clawing their way out of my computer and into a bookstore at some point this winter.




“I’m sorry.” Natalie plonked herself on my bed, and I winced as she crushed my clean laundry. “You did what?”
“I. Well.” I drummed my fingers on my red laptop, the usual blank page still flickering. “He seemed nice enough, and we really need a flatmate—“
“We don’t need him!” She crossed her arms, squeezing lumps of her cardigan in fistfuls. “A bloke? A strange bloke? Clove, what were you thinking?”
“I was mostly thinking that I like this flat and I don’t want us to get booted out for non-payment,” I muttered.
“How am I meant to talk to him?”
“Well.” I chewed my bottom lip. “It’s about time you got over that, isn’t it?”
“I spoke to the checkout guy in Tesco. I’m progressing!”
“Think of this as….more progress?”
She shot up, pacing my room in her purple fluffy slippers. She kept having to step over my gym rucksack, but it didn’t stop her. “Boys smell. They reek, seriously. And you’re the one who’s got to share a bathroom with him. Or did you forget about that?”
“Erm.” As a matter of fact…yes. I had. I’d let Nat have the ensuite so she didn’t have to deal with the mortal fear of strange backsides on her toilet seat, and the remaining two bedrooms shared a separate bathroom. “I’ll cope.”
“What if he does, like, massive poos, and then doesn’t flush them? Men do that!”
“I shared with an alcoholic for a year. I can deal with massive turds.” Not that I wanted to. Not that Silhouette looked capable of such monstrosities, either. He probably subsisted on chocolate protein shakes—how bad could his poo be?
Why was I thinking about his poo?
“Have you even Googled him?” she barked.
“I have not.”
“Then do it. Go on. Let’s see how many Girls And Dogs forums he’s a member of, shall we?”
I rolled my eyes and dropped my chin to rest in my palm. “Okay, Hitler. If you insist.”
She came back to sit beside me on the bed. “I’m just being sensible.”
I brought up the browser and typed Harrison Fox into the search tab. With one tap on Enter, the page filled with links, and we scrolled through, squinting. There were a couple of Facebook pages but none of the photos matched his. Aside from that, they all appeared to be American.
“I’ll try the short version of his name,” I said, typing in Harry Fox as Nat put her chin on my shoulder to watch.
Harry Fox brought up several more Facebook pages and a Twitter account, as well as some old local news articles. But nothing matched.
“You should’ve asked for his email address,” said Natalie, sighing. “It’s Google detective gold.”
“Silly me. I suppose I was just too busy finding out insignificant things like what he studies, and what he—ooh. Hang on a sec.” I typed in Harry Fox, personal trainer.
Up popped his website.
“Bingo.” I grinned.
Nat squinted at the screen, her screwed-up features softening. I could swear she flushed a bit as his photo came up. He stood in a sunny green park, commanding a group of women in tracksuits, all of them caked in mud. Cross Training on Saturdays, read the tag. Talk about hardcore.
“Is that really him?” she said.
“Yep.” I pointed to his dark auburn hair. It was as short as it had seemed in the steam room, and now I noticed it was also a little bit curly. “Look, Nat. He’s a fellow ginger. Kind of.”
“He’s awfully tanned for a ginger person,” she said, suspicious.
“Maybe it’s like the next step in evolution, or something. Everyone thinks it’ll be Wolverine or people who can move stuff with their minds but actually…it’s gingers who tan.”
“Yeah. You’re not really selling him to me.”
I flicked on to his biography page. In that photo, he stood in his running gear, grinning beneath a faint sheen of sweat. The tag described him running a marathon in the summer for a foundation supporting kids in poverty. “How about this?” I said hopefully. “Come on. He’s generous and charitable. And pretty.”
“The last time I checked, you didn’t want to be near a guy, let alone live with one,” she grumbled.
I blinked for a second and tried to rid myself of the image of Simon--the one where his eyes glazed over, and he smiled vaguely as if he knew some special secret I was too stupid to understand. “Unlike you, I’d quite like to get over my issues.”
“And He-Man here is a good place to start? You know how it works, Clove. Girls like us don’t date guys like him.” She lowered her gaze. “We just read about him.”
“Who the hell said I wanted to date him?”
“I don’t see you inviting any ugly blokes to live in the spare room.”
“I don’t see any of them asking, either.” I set the laptop back on the desk beside the bed. “Look. He’s coming to view the place tomorrow night and there’s not a lot I can do about it—I don’t have his contact details.”
“There’s an email on his website,” she huffed.
Gah. There was no getting anything past her.
“We need the money,” I pressed.
“I know. I just—” She wrung her hands. “I don’t know if I can do this, Clove.”
I wrapped an arm around her shoulders and gave her a squeeze. She smelled like cocoa butter. “You don’t have to talk to him, or his friend—“
“He’s bringing someone else?” she squeaked.
“Some dude called Foot, apparently.”
“Foot? Great. No, really. Fabulous. He’s probably in one of those murderous gangs.”
“You don’t have to talk to either of them. Just be there, see what you think of him. See what your instincts say.” I rocked her. “If he’s bringing a mate, he’s probably as nervous as us, don’t you think? And I’ll make it up to you tonight. Favourite dinner.”
She sniffed. “Cheesy chips? Broccoli on the side?”
“Absolutely on the side.”
“And can we watch Labyrinth?”
I snorted. “We will dance the magic dance.”
“I’d let David Bowie move in if he was still in costume for The Goblin King,” she said.
“Nat?”
“Yeah?”
“You’re very weird.”
“I know.” She nodded, a smile tugging the corners of her mouth. “You love it.”


Giveaways Posted...


posted by Lucy V Morgan

51 comments

Just a quick note to say that if you won one of the signed copies of TWISTED SUMMER recently, they've now been posted. They're coming from the UK, so if you're elsewhere around the globe, please be patient. Hopefully, they'll be there soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaways. I have a whole goody bag of TWISTED SUMMER stuff coming up in a week or so...stay tuned :)

Update...New Projects, New Giveaways and General Catapult Dodging


posted by Lucy V Morgan

6 comments

It's been quite the few weeks in the Luciverse (is that pretentious? I quite like it. Is liking it pretentious? I'm British...surely, I'm allowed).

TWISTED SUMMER was released. I landed in hospital last week for surprise! Surgery! (Fortunately on the mend now, but it was all a bit surreal). Lots of personal rubbish on the assault that was both good and bad for my writer's delicate constitution (fnar).

I have indeed had quite the year; literally, as of today; and in truth, have not been able to write a lot for much of it. TWISTED SUMMER sat unpublished for some time until I got up the guts last month to set it free. I've been tremendously lucky with how it has done so far (and I am grateful to everyone who chances buying a book that everyone says is "different" above all else. Getting into the top 100 on the UK Kindle charts--and the upper hundreds on the US charts--is pretty mindblowing!). As was this on iTunes:



The newer Lucy, however, is a good portion of the way through a new project. I don't want to reveal a lot other than I've drawn on a lot of recent personal experience to write this heroine. It is a story of both romance and recovery. It has a lot in common with BEAUTIFUL MESS in that it's a New Adult story about some fun, friendly roommates, and it has lots in common with the WHORED series in that it's very character-based (in fact the hero is Aidan's half brother, and Aidan plays a role in the book). It doesn't yet have a title, but it does have a beginning, a middle and an end. It's been the most massively therapeutic and indulgent project. Let's cross fingers and hope it isn't my African Child. Ahem.

In other news, TWISTED SUMMER will be going on a blog tour in May and I'll be giving away some gorgeous beach stuff and a signed print copy of the novel. I'll update with dates and venues when I have them, but I'll be doing some interviews and other spots along the way.

I hope you all had a lovely (surgery free) Easter. Now, where's the sunshine? Please...?

Print Proof Pretties: TWISTED SUMMER


posted by Lucy V Morgan

9 comments

Print proof for TWISTED SUMMER arrived  a couple of days ago. It needed a few adjustments, but here it is:







If you peek this way ---> you can enter the GoodReads giveaway for a signed copy. I'll also be giving some swag away at some point in the next month or two, so be sure to subscribe for updates.

In the meantime....the new paperback version (and ebook version) are already up on Amazon. Ahem. You might want to take a peek ;)

TWISTED SUMMER: Teaser


posted by Lucy V Morgan

3 comments

Released on March 31st 

That's in one week, people...










By the time we reached the Mermaid Inn, he was finding excuses to pinch my waist and tickle the insides of my forearms. For every brush of his fingers, I bit down on the urge to giggle; the walk had loosened my surf-stiff limbs and I felt euphoric in the stretch of them. When we collapsed on a table outside the bar, I took great, heaving breaths of warm air and sun-soaked scenery. We were right on the edge of the cliff, and all that separated us from the beach below was a silver rail and a drop of thirty feet. Seagulls gathered on an empty table opposite and eyed me in that suspicious way birds have a habit of doing.

It was too hot for proper food. Instead, Gabe ordered us stodgy ice cream sundaes with velvety chocolate flakes and fluted wafers. They arrived at our table already melting in their glasses.

“I’ve never tried pear cider before.” I watched the ice swim in the pale gold liquid. “It’s yummy.”

“Don’t tell your mother.”

“I can drink. Mr. Law says so.”

“But your Mum doesn’t, and she’ll bitch kick me in the hairies.”

I watched him lick strawberry ice cream from his spoon. Studied the way his tongue lathed the flat of it. Oy vey.

“Did you think any more on what we talked about?” he said.

“Hmm?”

“You know. About your Mum’s boyfriend, and cutting her a bit of slack.”

I sipped the cider to cool my throat. “Yeah.” Liar! “I…um. I’ll try. I’m not sure how good I’ll be at it, though.”

“Does she wind you up?”

“Like a jack in the box.” I prodded my wafer, now floating in a pool of melted vanilla. “She always has to pick, pick, pick. Like every argument we have is a scab. She can’t let anything go and then I end up saying something stupid.”

“You’re eighteen. You’re going to say stupid things.” He nudged my hand gently. “Cut yourself a little slack too, Danni.”

“Why? I feel like she really hates me sometimes. I missed my favourite band’s gig last night because she made me come here.” I stabbed at the wafer, resentment simmering in the gaps between my ribs. “It’s all right for you—you don’t live with her.”

“But I did. Once.”

I poked my tongue out at him and he ducked his head, tittering.

“Grow up, Danni.”

“Do you ever wonder what it’d be like not to be a smug eco know-it-all?” I teased.

He sat back, folded his arms. Eyed me with malicious curiosity. “Do you ever wonder what it’d be like to be with a man?”

I don’t know who went red first, but it was a close call. He knew it was inappropriate before the words fell out of his mouth but there they were, hanging in mid air with dubious expressions. Er, dude, they said. Really?!

“I kissed a couple of boys,” I said feebly. “Esmé’s…special.”

“Special’s…special’s good.” He cleared his throat, looking away. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

But he had. He kept doing it. And with that realization, a pair of raspy voices began an argument in my head:



He likes you, Danni. He likes you.

Oh, come off it. He’s practically your uncle. That’d be just WRONG.

Look now. Right now! He’s staring down your top!

No, he isn’t. Even if he was, he’s too hot for you. If the sun looked at Gabe it would get BLISTERS.

He’s not Chuck Norris.

And thank God for that. Who’d want to screw Chuck Norris?

I think we got off topic.


You’re right. Quick. Stare at his crotch!

“I’ll blame the cider if you will,” I managed to say, making a great effort to stare at the gorse bushes behind him and not his crotch.
“Let this be a lesson to you, madam.” He pointed at me with a mocking grin. “Don’t ever get me drunk.”