Shanell Verandez: The Creative Director of Drinks

Shanell Verandez at the bar Rittenhouse Grill Philadelphia wearing a KVaughn dress winter collection 2022
Shanell Verandez at the bar, Rittenhouse Grill, Philadelphia wearing  KVaughn, Winter collection 2022.

Text by Shanell Verandez, Copyright 2022


The Creative Director of Drinks


I proclaim myself the “Creative Director of Drinks, because not only do I consider myself as a mixologist, but more of an Artist. As a bartender a.k.a mixologist a.k.a “C.D.O.D”, I am directing people’s vibes with my creative elixirs I refer to as “liquid babies” that will be sure to delight your senses! I am that creative…I have stirring it up behind the bar since 1996. Now back to the present, ‘Tis the season to be Jolly! What a better way to introduce some of my holiday “liquid babies” edition? Here are three of my favs to pop up the holidays! Cheers!
Holidaze Pop
This is a nice, crisp, slightly sweet flavor to soothe the soul.
         Grand Mariner (2ozs.)
         Mango or Pineapple juice (1 oz.)
         Dry Brut Champagne 
          Orange slice
Build Grand Marnier, mango or pineapple juice in a flute glass, then balance champagne. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy!
Black Kiss
This liquid baby is for the baby is for the bold daredevil. These are the people ready to start the new year now! It is a sweet, bold blackberry saturated cocktail with an orange sage bourbon finish.
                      Bourbon (2 ozs.)
                     Cointreau (1/2 oz)
                      Simple syrup (3/4 oz)
                      3 blackberries 
                      1 sage leaf
                      Orange peel
Silk Martini 
             Ciroc Coconut vodka (2ozs)
              Kahlua(3/4 oz)
              Half/ Half cream
             Chocolate syrup 
              Coconut flakes 
In a 16 oz glass mixer, fill with ice, than mix vodka, kahlua, frangelica and cream together, shake and pour into a frosted martini glass garnished with chocolate syrup inside and top with a sprinkle of coconut flakes… Enjoy!
  This liquid baby holds a special place in my heart, I have been shaking this cocktail since 2005, when I entered this one in an bartending competition and won first place. It is a sweet, creamy chocolate, coconut twist paradise that will make you forget that ol’ egg nog! Heck…
All three liquid babies will make you even forget that ol’ mistletoe too! ‘It’s the season from Yours Truly Behind the Bar💋
Shanell Verandez behind the bar at Rittenhouse Grill Philadelphia
Shanell’s wearing KVaughn Winter Collection. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2022


To access additional articles by Shanell Verandez, click here

A.H. Scott: Night, Angel

Portrait of young woman with black long hair wearing sheer nightgown
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2022

Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2022


Night, Angel


Call me Serenity

With charm to disarm, here I am for you

None of what we long for comes out of the air so thin

Casting a spell

You know me so well

I move through the night ever so sprite

Now, here I am with you

Something it was, something it is

Back when our eyes met for the first time, there was a delicious reason and parallel rhyme

Yeah, it’s the way she moves

Slick glide of mercury across the floor she is

Knock at her pad came after dark

Under his arm was a white box with a bow

Oh, I’m a curious woman who wants to know

What could it be that he brought for me?

A few suppers here and there is beyond a simple blind date that is ever so rare

Getting to know one another has amplified my horizons in such varied ways

Oh, a tender gentleman puts me in a haze

But, I’m not silly to think that it’s only my visual that puts a guy like him on the brink

I’ve got that magic inside of me that illuminates in special ways

Soft melody plays

Not a cover-up is this gift, as my body slowly shifts within it

Delicate lace bow I release in a sensual tease with thumb and index finger is a breeze

His hands cradle gossamer the color of night upon my flesh, as I offer a humble sigh

My bedroom is my sanctuary and we are here together

Fragrant aroma of cherry blossom fills the air

As you hold me in those strong arms that are so dear, I nibble and whisper gently in your ear

You know me

Yes, I know her

She is tranquility that I never thought I would find

I am the man who she treats ever so kind

Tender words from those lips and actions that are mutual fascination is the magic we share

Gossamer vanishes to the floor

I want her more and more

Hardening as I do, it is when I’m with her that there is that lustful follow through

Soft hands of mine touch along his expanded crotch

Oh God, I want him inside of me so much

I guess I am a woman of a blissful spell, cuz’ I can get such a sexy man to swell

Not tooting my own horn, but there’s going to be more than one grind between us from after midnight to the coming dawn

Hands make their moves with rapid speed

This night is going well, indeed

Blush upon my lips is like a siren song

I picked up on her signs, as on the bed we climbed

She below me and my flesh entering slowly at first

Deeper and deeper we are making our connection with such untamed thirst

Sensuality’s spring is about to burst

Back and forth, I take that ride upon him

Feelin’ good, feelin’ groovy

Damn, this man is really knowin’ me now

Her body flourishes with every point of contact we make, as I am about to make a fast break

We hold onto each other, as what comes about comes

Both of us are heady in our passion as the room seems to spin around our bodies in a mystical way

As if we are imbued with the essence of falling leaves, we listlessly lay upon the bed

Strands of my raven hair are slightly entangled through my fingers as I touch his chest and rest my head against it

I hear his heart beating like a snare drum

Wow, what a torrid duo we’ve become

Silently I wonder if he thinks I was just a bit too wild

Midnight holds magic in ways neither needed to voice

Being with her was a delightfully humbling choice

I lifted my head from off his chest, kissed him and was lost in a sweet caress

As I look at your softness, your feathers are invisible to most who gaze at the woman before my eyes

Yet, I see them as I look at you….

She tenderly smiles, “I know this is true”

He whispered, “Night, angel….”


About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and senior contributor to Tony Ward’s blog.  For additional articles by A.H. Scott, click here:

A.H. Scott: A Second Look

white woman bound at the hands nude
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2022

Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2022


A Second Look


A pinhole
A peephole
A spyglass fantasy unfolds
Vision widens as does the focus
Is it her fantasy of being kept and adored?
Is it his fantasy of being a source of security?
Bounds of trust
Trust of bounds
Am I being taken?
Am I being taught?
Am I the subject being sought?
Confiding in my captivation from the moment she and I first met
In her I see possibility
In her I see memory
Mutual trust is combined with lust
No one will know about what we explore
Well, maybe it might be one could be peeking through the peephole in that locked door
Caught in the moment
Upswept in the rush
Of this, that, and such
Consumed by enraptured titillation of unspoken thoughts
Self reflection is silence’s mistress, as I have learned in being with him
Relinquishing the reins of my own self control
He knows me now as my trepidation has vanished
She has graduated from cords of silk upon those wrists, to something more of my liking
Her skin so soft, I kiss her cheek ever so gently
Oh, his lips are like reassurance in wayward storm
Never would I have thought of this hideaway of hedonism would be located inside my dorm
Skin like white lily
Coolness of brass grommets from this leather chair are teasing my calves as I am situated here
All I am thinking about is what awaits me
Precision is that which I have come to know
Sandalwood scent fills the air
Cord of caution was snipped the moment this seductive suggestion passed his lips
I didn’t even think a wise man of letters would notice me
But, he did and our experiences together has been splendid
Blushing and bound
Here I am, found
Not like the original editions bound by leather on your shelf
I’m glad I have your attention only for myself
Whenever you call my name with that casual ease
I really perk up and want to please
Summer breeze replaced by autumn chill is nothing compared to my vulnerability’s thrill
Pleasing is pleasure
Pleasure is pleasing
I slip off the cord from around her wrists
She is eager to continue our tryst
Tape is slowly removed from those silent lips
Her smile exchanges the view from that dull grey with a pleasurable reddened hue
This swirl we share is beyond my desire’s hopes
Windmill of wonder is what I’ve been exposed to in learning the ropes
By the way, we can see you watching through that peephole
Was it good for you?
Because, it’s always good for us
Keep watching…..from afar
This is one door that is never left ajar
white woman having her mouth taped shut nude and bound
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2022


About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and senior contributor to Tony Ward’s blog. To access additional articles by Ms. Scott, click here:

Diana Desiderio: The Satanic Temple in Salem Mass


Text and Self Portraits by Diana Desiderio, Copyright 2022


The Satanic Temple in Salem Mass


Salem has always been a place I felt in my bones. A place that has the lore of young women bewitched and signing over their souls to the Dark Lord himself. September had approached so fast as it does every year. I got a wild hair and the availability to stay at the Satanic Temple had availability. I called one of my friends Roxy and recruited her for this amazing last minute get away. And why not; who wouldn’t want to live deliciously?

An 8 hour truck up to the New England area and just shy of the Spooky season tourists.

Once we had arrived at the satanic Temple, I instantly felt at home. Something no one will ever tell you about Satanist who belong to the Satanic Temple is; they don’t believe in the devil himself at all but that them using the symbol of Baphomet in all its glory is a symbol of triggering critical thinking. The mission of the Satanic Temple is to “encourage benevolence & empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.” 

The Satanic Temple has seven fundamental tenets:

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

All of which I have always felt kindred too. Once we had checked in; we asked that if after the temple closed we were able to take photographs within the temple to use at our own discretion and they were more than happy to oblige. While we waited we waked around downtown Salem learning about the poor innocent women persecuted and accused of being witches to pacify the puritan settlers. Some hung by their necks from the hangman’s tree. Some were pressed with a heavy stone until they were crushed to death.

There was a very daunting feeling when walking around those areas especially after dark. We retreated back to the temple, and got to open the rooms and take full advantage of the interior of the throne room and the main hall where a 10’ statue of Baphomet sat in all its glory. In honor of the witches of Salem who sold their souls  while dancing nude in ceremony of the Dark Lord; we stripped down & I got to taking some amazing shots all on an iPhone no less. If you are ever interested in going, I would highly recommend it. Live deliciously and HAIL THYSELF.

About The Author: Diana Desiderio  is a motion picture production manager based in Philadelphia.

To access additional articles by Diana Desiderio, click here:



Bob Shell: Some Prison Thoughts

Woman masturbating in an old prison in Paris inside the catacombs
Catacombs. Paris. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2022

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2022



“Sometimes I think this world is one big prison yard,
Some of us are prisoners, some of us are guards,
Lord, Lord they laid George Jackson down,
Lord, Lord they laid him in the ground.”

— From the prison song ‘George Jackson.’
George Jackson was a California prisoner killed by guards who shot him in the back of the head.

I am approaching the beginning of my fifteenth year of incarceration, which will begin on September first. People ask me, ‘How have you kept your sanity?’ Actually,it hasn’t been that hard, because I know in my soul that I am right and they — the so-called ‘justice system — are wrong. My conscience is clear. I can truthfully say that I never killed another human being, or contributed in any way to the death of one. Nor have I acted inappropriately with any of the over two hundred women who have modeled for me. That’s why so many of them are my friends today. I always respected them, treated them as persons, collaborators in the production of my photographs. They were always paid well.
In January of this year, after looking at all of the evidence in my case, most of which is demonstrably false, the Innocence Project took my case and assigned me an attorney. Their standards are very high, and they only accept a tiny fraction of the hundreds of cases brought to their attention. They studied my case for five years before taking it. They have asked me not to talk about the specifics of my case here, so that is why I can only speak in generalities, but I have genuine hopes of release.
Photography was in my life ever since my father taught me to develop film and make prints in his basement darkroom in my early teens. I had an old Ilford Ensign folding camera that I bought at a Goodwill store for something like fifty cents. It took remarkably good photographs. I even adapted it to work with my microscope. As I learned more about photography, my father let me use his cameras, first an Aires rangefinder camera, later his Exakta and Leica cameras. I got hooked on photography and never looked back.
But I originally didn’t think of making a vocation of it. If I thought about it at all in those early days, the late 1950s and early 1960s, I envisioned it as a hobby, like my father’s.
In 1965 I graduated high school near the top of my class and went on to college at Virginia Tech, majoring in biology and fine art, where I took my first, and only, photography class. After graduation, I was offered a job at the Smithsonian Institution, and went to live in Washington.
Fast forward to the 1980s. By 1985 I’d established a reputation as a photographer and writer, with agents for my photography in Europe and Japan. I became known for my classic nudes and Virginia and other US and foreign landscapes. My agents placed my photographs in many publications, including Asahi Camera, Japan’s preimminant photography magazine, on the covers of the Japanese editions of Danielle Steele romance novels, in a series of books published by Rotovision in Switzerland, and in ‘Asian Photography’ magazine in India. I won an international design award from Graphis for one of my magazine covers.
I made my first trip outside the USA in 1980 to attend photokina, the ‘World’s Fair of Photography’ in Cologne, Germany, and attended that event every even-numbered year until 2002, meeting photographers and people associated with photography from everywhere in the world, networking, establishing a worldwide network of friends and associates, many of whom I am still in contact with today.
My first one-man gallery exhibition of my photography was in 1973, in Richmond, my last in 2004-5 in Chicago.
By the time of my arrest in June of 2003, I was, in the words of Federal Judge Glenn Conrad, “A renowned photographer with a long-established reputation.” My arrest was reported by media in England, France, Germany and Italy, that I know of, perhaps in other countries where I was well-known.
I worked very hard at my photography and writing to establish that reputation, but to the small-minded police and prosecutor, it meant nothing. A lifetime’s work went up in smoke.
As a result, I have not so much as touched a camera since August of 2007, and only had limited access to computers in prison law libraries, for legal research and writing only. These computers are not connected to the Internet.
I write these posts and my blog on a JP5 mini tablet, which has a 4 1/4 inch screen and a tiny Android keyboard. I’m on my fifth one, because the batteries don’t last. We’ve been promised the larger JP6 for well over a year, haven’t seen them yet.
So here I sit on a hard bunk at 4:00 in the morning writing these thoughts. Going back to the question of preserving my sanity, writing these posts has really helped as has writing my blog, and a few magazine articles as well as my 2019 book ‘Cosmic Dance,’ which has sold fairly well considering I have been unable to actively promote it.
Before my incarceration in this human warehousing system I’d written more than two dozen books and over a thousand magazine articles for magazines in many countries, translated into most major languages, even Serbian.
Contact via letters and email with friends around the world has helped me keep a positive attitude. They know the truth about me. I even have one friend who emails me regularly from Tehran, Iran. Anyone reading this can email me via JPay. On you can sign up using my name, Robert Shell, and my ID number 1201280. I’m always happy to hear from people out in the real world.
At age seventy-five I know there are far fewer years ahead than have passed, and can only hope to be free once more when I have some years left. The man in the cell next to me is in his mid-90s, feeble, possibly suffering from Alzheimer’s. I have watched many men die in prison in my years of incarceration, the saddest death I can imagine, and I certainly don’t want to be another one.


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 15th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read Bob Shell’s, first essay on civil war, click here: