Madame X has invited you to read three novelettes, three different brands of romance, all set in the 1990s. As a whole, “Madame’s Feast and Other Stories” is light-hearted and darkly comic.
In “Film Stars,” it’s only months before Hollywood turns a modest, up-and-coming, young screenwriter, Will Jones, into, well … a bit of an asshole. And he doesn’t even yet know his employer has turned his scripts into something less lofty than what Will hoped for. Amy, a sexy, quirky and mysterious mall worker is taken in by Will’s big dreams, but Veronica, a glamorous Hollywood insider, brings him a much needed slap of reality. In what seems like an unavoidable love triangle is something quite different.
“Film Stars” is a throwback to Color Me Badd, Swatch watches and VHS cassettes. Anchored by colorful characters and fast-moving dialogue, the story gets its hands dirty with steamy sexual tension and one of the filthiest monologues one could hope for.
“Madame’s Feast” takes place far from Hollywood, in a quiet New England town where Autumn Mapleton receives an invitation to a mysterious dinner party, hosted by Madame X. Autumn doesn’t know the wealthy and powerful Madame X, but Madame X knows her. Inside the reclusive woman’s mansion is a world that Autumn and two other guests never dreamed of.
You’re invited to this orgiastic feast of fantasy, deceit and retribution, set in a world where wrongs are righted, wisdom is shared, and forgiveness is granted. But everything has its price. (Please note that the use of word “orgiastic” was not meant to be clever or cheeky!)
In “Game Show,” Dr. Kevin Murphy has always been a winner at life. Everything comes easily for this immeasurable smart, universally handsome and all around nice guy. The former Ivy League quarterback has a beautiful, doting but sexually unfulfilled wife, two cute kids and a prestigious career that’s ready to take off. But after being a contestant on a TV game show, Kevin returns home with a dreadful secret that sends his life hurtling into the great unknown. While he thinks he’ll be able to guard his secret by outsmarting everyone, Kevin underestimates his company’s unassuming receptionist, Grace. Naturally, he underestimates his wife, too.
When dreamers like Kevin can’t stop dreaming, their fantasies consume them. Only those whose path hasn’t been so easy can bring them back to earth.
Interwoven throughout these three stories are themes of desire, sexual hang-ups, exploitation, and clashes between the powerful and (seemingly) powerless. They range from traditional romance to dark, erotic fantasy. And while each story teeters on the edge of disaster, they all end happily. Or, at least, happily by M.W. White standards. “Madame’s Feast and Other Stories” will make you laugh, cringe (at least once—guaranteed), say “I just can’t with this,” and hopefully sweat a little. All without a single cell phone.