Want to Dump Your Lover? There’s an App for That….

valentines-dayby Charisse Howard

Romance! It can take so long to find that perfect match . . . and even longer, sometimes, to get out when the thrill is gone.

Take heart, wannabe ex-lovers! With Valentine’s Day vanishing in the rearview mirror, the road ahead is studded with helpful tools to ease that difficult break. Maybe not for your soon-to-be-former heartthrob . . . but hey, if you cared, you wouldn’t be breaking up, right?

In a recent issue of Nextrends, Swissnex’s Zanet Zabarac catches us up in Breaking Up Used To Be Hard To Do.

The app Zabarac calls “Uber for breakups” is The Breakup Shop. Here’s an offering:


Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, it can be tempting to cling to (or even stalk) those old memories after the split. To keep your eyes off the past, Zabarac points to Facebook’s new “silence your ex” feature. (Or, as Facebook calls it, “Improving the Experience When Relationships End.”) The ever-resourceful Zuckerberg & Company now let you limit what your dear departed can post or see of your current doings. You don’t even have to search for this function: “When people change their relationship status to indicate they are no longer in a relationship, they will be prompted to try these tools.”

Paul Simon FB
There must be 50 ways to leave your lover.

But is Unfriending and Unfollowing enough? Are you overwhelmed by the prospect of erasing your once-beloved from your Pinterest, SnapChat, and all the other shifting sands still dotted by two sets of footprints? No worries! You can hire a “Social Media Break Up Coordinator.” This specialty, notes Zabarac, “initially started out as a satiric art project [but] has now evolved to a service with an actual market.”

When you’re ready to get back in the game, there are plenty of apps and sites to help you find a new honey. Until lightning strikes, what better way to warm up than a nice hot Regency romance? Here are three James-Bond-meets-Downton-Abbey novellas — all spicy, suspenseful, and passionate, each set in a different exotic location.

LAA-Mar14-finalAReLady Annabelle’s Abduction: A kidnapped bride, a ruthless earl, a ransom that must be paid before sunset, and a persistent spaniel . . .


LBBschoonerAReLady Barbara & the Buccaneer: A pirates’ Mardi Gras is her last fling before sailing for London, but a masked stranger changes her course.


LCCCAReLady Caroline, the Corsair’s Captive: The scourge of the Barbary Coast is the corsair Barbarossa, and his favorite booty is an English virgin.


Dh-wpIf you’re not quite ready to jump into your next entanglement, try the softer romantic suspense novel Dark Horseman: Mystery, Adventure, & Romance in Regency Virginia. A rebellious belle faces the challenge of saving her home and horses in a “battle of stallions” which mixes love, betrayal, fast horses, and Shakespeare.

Happy landings!


Happy Edward Gorey’s Birthday!

EGcakeby CJ Verburg

As always on February 22, favorite lines that Edward Gorey wrote and dramatized at one time or another during our decade of staging theatrical entertainments on Cape Cod have been zipping through my head today like bats.

Life is distracting and uncertain,
She said, and went to draw the curtain.

He meant to have written an epic in Erse,
But all he could manage was greeting-card verse.


‘I am the Bahhum Bug,’ it declared; ‘I am here to diffuse the interests of didacticism.’








I vividly recall how thrilled Edward was when he announced he’d come up with the Bahhum Bug. And the many nights I drove home from rehearsal shivering, peering down empty black roads through my frost-rimmed windshield, waiting for the heat to come on in my car, thinking:

insectgodcoverThrough unvisited hamlets the car went creeping,
With its headlamps unlit and its curtains drawn;
Those natives who happened not to be sleeping
Heard it pass, and lay awake until dawn.

I’m glad to have these memories and so many others. I’m thankful for the extraordinary people I met because of Edward Gorey, and for the creative work and thoughtful (or simply giddy) conversations we enjoyed together (and sometimes still do). I cherish him when I look closely at the intricacies of a drawing, or savor the intricacies of baroque music, or admire the virtuosity of a good mystery writer, or ruffle a dog’s ears or play with a cat.

Happy Edward Gorey’s birthday!