Five Pairings of Books to Custom Cocktails for #Booklush

Enjoy this second batch of cocktails paired with books chosen by Book Lush backers. If you want a personalized pairing matched to a book of your choosing, let me know ASAP! The Book Lush campaign ends tonight and your chance will slip away! Become a Book Lush backer on Kickstarter now now to get your personalized pairing.

9---fire-next-time 10_midnight_garden 11---Theatrical-Musings 


Do you want to pick a book for me to match to a cocktail? Just become a Book Lush backer and all your book and cocktail pairing dreams can come true!

Book Lush is the definitive guide of what to read with what to drink. Book Lush pairs great reads with a drink perfectly matched to the tone, style, period and meaning of the writing. Each section contains an excerpt of a book selection, a brief biography of the author, the relevance of the piece, a description of the writing style and the author's place in modern literature, plus a paired drink recipe. Drink recipes are crafted by bartenders from some of the most interesting drinking venues around the world, with the book selection serving as inspiration.

If Nancy Pearl (Book Lust) and Don Draper (Mad Men) had a baby, and by baby I mean book, that baby would be Book Lush.


Knickerbocker Classics Join with #BookLush

UnknownGreat news! Quarto Publishing Group has partnered to provide the classic books for Book Lush pairings. These books come from their Knickerbocker Classics imprint.

Here is a sampling of the books we will be pairing with custom cocktail recipes in Book Lush:

  • Little Women by Louisa Alcott
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Dracula by Bram Stocker
  • Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Sherlock Holmes (complete series) by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Brothers Grimm (complete set of fairy tales) by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

I will be curating a fine selection of these books to be matched with drink recipes crafted by mixology experts - such as the author of Apothecary Cocktails, Warren Bobrow.

With just 55 hours to go on the Kickstarter campaign, I am about to explode with excitement! Thanks for being a backer and going on this journey with me! XO, Kelsye



First Batch of Book and Cocktail Pairings for #Booklush

Here's my first batch of book and cocktail pairings from Book Lush backers. Quite a diverse group! Please feel free to share these as you wish. Of course, if you want your own book and cocktail pairing, become a Book Lush backer on Kickstarter! XO, Kelsye







Do you want to pick a book for me to match to a cocktail? Just become a Book Lush backer and all your book and cocktail pairing dreams can come true!

Book Lush is the definitive guide of what to read with what to drink. Book Lush pairs great reads with a drink perfectly matched to the tone, style, period and meaning of the writing. Each section contains an excerpt of a book selection, a brief biography of the author, the relevance of the piece, a description of the writing style and the author's place in modern literature, plus a paired drink recipe. Drink recipes are crafted by bartenders from some of the most interesting drinking venues around the world, with the book selection serving as inspiration.

If Nancy Pearl (Book Lust) and Don Draper (Mad Men) had a baby, and by baby I mean book, that baby would be Book Lush.

Lush Perk - the Sexiest Smart Shoes I've Ever Seen

Meet friend of Book Lush: Street Slips

What do you wear while reading your classic novels and sipping your custom cocktails? Street Slips! Australian designer HeavyTaste has launched a new line of incredibly gorgeous loafers that mold like a glove to your feet. The shoes are smart and sexy - just like Book Lush backers.

Street Slips reached out as a fan of Book Lush and will be introducing our book to their community. We thought we'd return the favor. Plus, these shoes are seriously killer. I personally backed their Kickstarter at a level that gets me a pair of shoes. Now the question is simply will I get a pair for myself, or for my love? Tough call!

If you like what you see in this update, please give them a look on Kickstarter. They are 95% funded! You may be the lucky backer that makes their project a reality!

Onward! XO, Kelsye

Take a Retreat to Betty McDonald's Cabin

A once in a lifetime opportunity!

Become a backer of my Book Lush campaign at the Betty McDonald level and you will receive a five-day stay at Betty's cabin. This is the cabin featured in Betty's book Onions in the Stew. Although, you may know Betty best for her book The Egg and I, or her Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series.

bettyGorgeous. There is no way I could express in this blog post the beautiful and magic of this place. You enter the cabin on the east end, through a wooden door in a stone wall that remind me of Snow White's cabin. Once in, you open door after door to discover new wings and rooms. Mornings are best spent on the wide porch perched above Puget Sound, where you can sip you coffee and watch the otters swim by.

Inspirational. If you happen to read Onions in the Stew during your stay, you'll appreciate Betty's dreaming of one-day being able to improve her house with income earned by her books, and how she would put a fireplace in every room. How empowering to be sitting before those very fireplaces she wrote about.

Flexible. You may choose to come for a solo stay to work on your writing or general meditations on life. You can bring along a lover to share those nights in front of the fireplace. You can even choose to bring a group - perhaps even your kids!

Nitty Gritty Details:

  • The cabin is located on beautiful Vashon Island, just a ferry ride away from Seattle, WA.
  • Waterfront! There is about 300 ft of beach right in front of the cabin.
  • "Cabin" is an overly-quaint descriptor for this house. The house features 4 bed rooms, 4 bathrooms, a large dining room with a table that seats 12, a lovely grand room with a giant stone fireplace, plus another side house that sleeps 4.
  • Bring your own wifi. The cabin is modern and features quality appliances, heat and electricity.
  • This must be redeemed in 2014. Scheduling will be worked out with the cabin's owner, author Abigail Carter.
  • The house has a fully equipped kitchen. All you need to bring is food.
  • Dogs are welcome!

Cost: $1500 backing pledge on my Book Lush kickstarter campaign. Become a backer here!

Become a backer now!

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Solo Writing Retreats to Feed Your Soul

Do you dream of a getaway where you can focus solely on your writing? Perhaps finish that novel that's been neglected over the competing time grabbers of work, family and day-to-day life? I feel you. Let's go. For real! Start planning your personal writing retreat today. Thoughtfully, I've started your research for you. I present three places to consider for your vocational vacation.

“Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become
quiet, and still, and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked.
It has no choice;
it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
Franz Kafka

cabin-in-autumn#1 The Whidbey Island Writer's Refuge

In the Pacific Northwest, tucked into between towering evergreens and in a dense green forest, you'll find The Whidbey Island Writer's Refuge. This island just a little northwest of the emerald city boasts a plethora of writerly opportunities. Also home to Hedgebrook, NILA and the Whidbey Writer's Conference, you'll find yourself warmly welcomed as a fellow writer. At the refuge, you can hole away in a little cabin perfectly suited to writing. As they say on their site, there is no escaping yourself in a space this size, so you might as well sit down and write!

Website:  Facebook: /WritersRefuge

New-Orleans-Bed-and-Breakfast-Lanaux-Mansion#2 The Lanaux

For those of you that require a little more stimulus to get your creative juices flowing, New Orleans offers just about all the stimulus you can handle. Stay at the Lanaux Mansion bed and breakfast at the edge of the French Quarter. If you need a little more inspiration, the Johnson Suite comes equipped with a literary library for your prose perusing. Although I strongly recommend getting out of the mansion and spending a few hours writing at a cafe table nestled on the cobblestones outside Pirate's Alley Cafe and Absinthe House.


lamy#3 Lamy Cottage

If what you seek not stimulation, but quiet and calm and a place of peace. Then I give you Lamy Cottage in New Mexico. This private guest cottage offers an incredibly beautiful, ordered space. Desert rocks artfully decorate the grounds, while an interior of warm wood, parallel beams and neatly ordered books calm a frazzled soul. Turn on the overhead fan, power up your mac book and type away, free of distraction.


Now perhaps you're written three glorious chapters on your much deserved writer's retreat, and now it's time for a break. What do you do, read of course! And perhaps have a little sip of something. You'll need to bring along a copy of Book Lush to discover an author new to you, as well as a cocktail pairing suggestion. Of course, Book Lush will not exist if we don't fund hte project on Kickstarter. So please, hop over now and become a backer.

All my love to you, writers. If you know of another great writing retreat, please do leave the link in the comments. You'll help me plan my next trip!

Book Lushes Converge on Liberty on Capitol Hill


>> Click here to RSVP. <<

This is the second Book Lush meetup. We had such a great time at the first one, we decided to open it up and invite everyone! The live events offer a stimulating evening of good book recommendations and excellent craft cocktails. Bring a book idea for the bartender to match with a drink.

Plus, we're going during Liberty's happy hour. Bonus!

About Liberty Bar

Opened in 2006, we are constantly striving to provide our neighborhood with a great place to stop by, relax and enjoy outstanding spirits, cocktails, beer, wine and sushi.

Our primary interest at Liberty is our expansive liquor menu and our scratch cocktails – meaning that each and every cocktail is made with fresh juice when you order it, not from juice pressed earlier in the day or simply poured from a can. There’s no comparison between a scratch drink and any other – and you should expect no less.

Please feel free to ask your bartender or server to assist you in choosing a liquor that you may never have tried. At any time we have over 85 Bourbons and Ryes, 100+ Scotch, Japanese, Indian, Irish and Canadian Whiskies, and a premium selection of 40+Gins, dozens of Vodkas, 50+ Tequilas and 20′ish fine Mezcals in addition to quality liquors, some made here which we use to create our classic and original cocktails.

See all the details and RSVP here.

Or, if you're into Facebook, we do that too.

Want to share the event? Here's a tweet you can copy and paste:

Lucky folks in #Seattle can join #BookLush 3/18 at Liberty (@libertylovesyou) for cocktails matched to books!

XO and thanks again and again for your support! Kelsye


This is How You Love Him

share-square_howyoulovehimProse by Kelsye Nelson

After dusk, when he finally pauses his day's race, scratch your nails up and down his back so that his shoulders rise and his mouth rounds into Ooo.

When he takes off his shirt, rub your fists hard into the knots above his shoulder blades. Notice the broad width of his back. Resist the urge to lay kisses across the back of his neck. He doesn't like that the way you do.

Say yes when he proposes any adventure or wild idea. Simply listen when he talks about his family. Remember the names of the people he works with and ask him about his projects.

Disappear from him sometimes so he can miss you and you can miss him. Return to him happy and grateful.

Kiss him often. Hold his hand when he offers it. Breathe deeply when he moves close so you can catch every musky, delirium inducing scent.

Tell him ridiculous jokes. Assume he is doing right. Sometimes, occasionally, do the chores you hate just because you know it brings him peace.

Share with him your dreams. Help him name his. Draw together. Make plans. Take trips. Save Tuesday nights just for only you two.

Dine with him. Walk with him. Sweat together and tell him good job. Bring him water at night to take his medicine. Make room for his dog in your bed. Tell him your troubles and ask him what he thinks.

Notice how he ages, how grey creeps into his beard, how his body loosens and bows like an evergreen burdened by snow. Trace your finger along the crisp edge of his shave. Marvel at his lips. Don't stare too long at his brown eyes, no matter how they beckon you.

Remember that you are his ship in stormy seas. When the moon wanes and tides shift without warning, when yesterday was yes and this morning is no, keep your steady course. Give him space to rage to all points, travel the world, to the moon, to Jupiter, and do not catch coattails or snap the leash.

When his tempest mood passes pinnacle, reach out with soft touch and calming words. Be gentle as he lands again on the solid decks of your far-reaching love. Welcome him. Kiss him. Scratch your nails up and down his back until his shoulders rise and his mouth says Ooo.

How long should you love him? Love him longer than days and hours. Love him longer than stories and lines. Love him longer than sundown, yours, his, this very world's.

That's how you love him.

Tap Your Soul & Find Success as an Indie Artist

A guest post by Jeff Leisawitz.

I’ve been an indie artist my entire adult life. Musician, photographer, filmmaker. Sounds glamorous, right? It pretty much isn’t. Although it’s great to follow your passions (and I very highly recommend it) any working artist will tell you that they spend most of their time hustling gigs and marketing themselves. Since I’ve managed to find a fair amount of success in many of my endeavors, I’ve finally figured out a few things about a few things. This is what you need to know.

Be Different. Find Your Weirdness

You’re kind of weird. Face the facts. Like pretty much everyone else, you’ve spent a good portion of your life trying to fit in, in one way or another. If you’re doing that with your art, stop now. Why would you want to be like everyone else? You’re an artist, whether that’s a musician, filmmaker, or whatever.

If you’re not tapping into your true self, your uniqueness is not going to shine through. And this is ALWAYS a component of great art, music, film, etc. So dig into your quirks, your passions, your love, your heat, your curiosity, your obsession. That’s where the magic lives.

This brings me to my next point.

Find Your Niche

The world is big. Really big. And connected. Especially since the internet took over.

So once you figure out who you are and how to express yourself, you’re at least half way to the gold. You are your own niche. Or perhaps you kinda fit into a niche that’s already there.

Taxidermy animal masks. I know a woman who dropped out of college to do this (much to the chagrin of her parent). Weird and crazy, right? She just bought a house.

I know another woman who is fanatical about baking pies and teaching the world that the love that you put into your pie is actually more important (and delicious) than the pie itself. She just ditched a sweet corporate gig to do her thing full time.

I made a movie last year called MYSTIC COFFEE. It’s about a wise and magical barista who offers advice along with her beverages. I’m a life coach, I’m big into personal empowerment, spirituality and coffee. So it was sort of an obvious project.

It got shot down by two dozen film festivals. Outch. Then I get a call out of the blue from the global leader in ‘conscious media.’ They licensed my film for a ten year, non- exclusive deal.

What did I learn? MYSTIC COFFEE is really not gonna fly with a general audience. But for people who get it, this is a fantastic little film. Is it going to win Oscars and play at the local multiplex? Not likely. But it still found an audience. It’s making money. And bringing me new opportunities.

Which brings me to my next point.

Shoot For Sustainable, Not Superstar.

It seems like everyone who makes things wants as many people to see it, hear it or eat it, as possible. It’s a noble goal, but after spending the last twenty years chasing this idea, I recently realized it’s not about being a superstar with your thing, it’s about connecting with people who care, sustaining a career doing what you love, and getting paid for it.

Of course, I wanted to be rock star. But that didn’t happen, although I busted my ass for years, I never quite made it to the big stage.

Although it was a bit of a disappointment, other amazing things came around that I couldn’t have predicted. I was named ‘Best Independent Electronic Artist in the World’ by a major website with and scored lots of gear and cash as prizes. My music catalog got tons of action in the world of film and tv. I landed a gig teaching college students how to write better songs and record on a computer. And my U2 electronic tribute album continues to sell without having to do anything to market it. That means checks every quarter because people are loving on my tunes (and Bono’s) enough to pay for them.

I would call that success. Even though I didn’t make it to the cover of Rolling Stone.

Pay People

This one might seem counterintuitive. And it took me forever to figure out. So listen up.

It saves money if you can talk your pals into helping you on a project and not paying them. True. But here’s the downside. In most cases, they simply won’t care as much. They’ll show up late. Or they’ll just plain flake out. You know what I’m talking about.

On top of that, your creative friends are artists just like you. And you want to be paid for your skill and time, right? So why wouldn’t you honor that and pay them as well?

Do your best to pay people what they’re worth. If you don’t have the cash, offer up a barter. Things will get done faster and better. And that’s worth more than some extra beer money.

Love the Process

When all was said and done, I basically learned two things in college. I’ll share one of them with you now.

My poetry instructor told me that being a poet is not about having a pile of poems on your desk. It’s not about the books you publish or the readings you do or anything else. Being a poet (or a musician or a filmmaker or an artist of any kind) is about one thing... writing poetry. Or painting. Or making films. Or whatever.

Only when you are creating, are you actually being an artist.

So love the process, not the product. Not the outcome. Okay, you should probably love the product and the outcome too. But whether or not you’re a superstar, or barely make a dime from your efforts, just remember what got you fired up to do your thing in the first place.

That’s the true reward.


Jeff_192NFA_400x600Jeff Leisawitz is an indie filmmaker, award winning musician/ producer, photographer, healer, empowerment coach, teacher and all around creative force. Ask anybody.

You can check out his latest book Not F*ing Around on Avasta Press.

Driven by dreams of inspiring the world with beauty, love and general awesomeness, Jeff banged away on his grandfather’s hand-me-down instamatic, a half busted super 8 movie camera, and whatever else he could find during the early years of his ‘formal education.’

 Since then, he has made countless videos, both artful and commercial, landed three international record deals, and chronicled Seattle’s alternative music scene for a major radio station. Jeff is also an internationally distributed filmmaker, a certified life coach, a college prof (songwriting and recording), and an award winning musician and producer. Among other things.

His attitude comes down to three letters...NFA. Not. F*ing. Around.

Connect with Jeff online!

Twitter  | Website 

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