Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess!

by Kathy Eliscu


Somewhere in Maine, a middle-aged woman is having a serious temper tantrum. “Tink” Casawill is drowning in family and work demands, hormones, a fiancé oblivious to another woman’s flirtations, and…her doctor tells her to cut out caffeine. (WHAT?!?)

While attempting to do a good deed, Tink’s life spins out of control and now, “Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess!”

“Please turn these pages very gently. I just had a two-hour nervous breakdown. My PMS dropped the P, and although I’m feeling better and have made the proper restitution with both my fiancé and the hinges on one of our kitchen drawers, I am still a little touchy. You would be, too, if on top of the hormones, your new GYN told you to cut back on the caffeine.”

“It’s amazing how complicated some things are that don’t need to be, like some public bathrooms that have double-decker toilet paper rolls inside the metal dispenser. You know, the kind that has a life force of its own. The top roll rests right on top of the bottom roll. I guess there’s supposed to be a space between them. But there isn’t. You see the end of the roll between them and pull. Suddenly, there are two lines of paper coming out from between them. The rule is, I think, to use the lower one first. Or is it the upper one. Well—you push the upper roll up an inch, holding it in place as you try to break off a decent-sized piece from the lower roll. Now, pull! One square. All this, and you’re using both hands and you’re all twisted off to the side. And you’re holding up your skirt, or long sweater, or jacket at the same time. And hovering. You’d better be. Didn’t your mother warn you about toilets seats?!”

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Kathy’s story “Unpacking Christmas” is in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Wonder of Christmas! Details below!! Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Wonder of Christmas is a lovely collection of 101 true stories, from hilarious to sweet and sentimental, capturing those special holiday moments.


SATURDAY JUNE 29, I will sign copies of Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess from 12:30 – 3pm at the Strawberry Festival, Cape Elizabeth, ME. FREE ADMISSION, family-friendly! Author signing via Maine Authors Publishing. Saturday is the family festival at Maxwell’s Strawberry Fields on Two Lights Road, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (No tickets or admission fee!)  We’ll have some great food vendors (C-Salt, Crepe Elizabeth, Mr. Tuna, O Oysters, Mainely Burgers, Salt Box Cafe, Maine-ly Meatballs), children’s crafts and entertainment (hula hopping with Tracy Tingley!), artisan vendors, live music throughout the day and agricultural demos.


FRIDAY, JULY 5, I will do a book signing at the Bath Heritage Days, Bath, ME, from 11am-1pm. It’s a wonderful, free, family-friendly festival (say that 3 times!) – See you there! Tell your friends!


SATURDAY, JULY 13, from 9am-2pm, I will be at “Maine Authors at the OHW Book, Craft, and Food Festival, Orrington Public Library 15 School St., Orrington, ME signing copies of Not Even…Mess and this is going to be a fun event! YAY!

And…I am available for book signings and speaking engagements at clubs, groups, libraries, and charitable events. Please contact me directly at – Thanks!

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Order “Not Even Dark Chocolate…” for yourself, your female relatives and friends over the age of whatever-is-the-acceptable-age-to-hear-bad-words, and for evolved males who like to laugh!! It’s a GREAT birthday, retirement, holiday, any-day gift!

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS is family-friendly! If you would like a signed copy of this book, please email me at and we can work out arrangements.

Massachusetts readersWestwinds Bookshop in Duxbury, MA now carries Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess. Thank you to Lydia & Jane who run this FABULOUS shop!!

NEW YORKERS!!!  The following AWESOME book store now carries Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess:

~Book Culture, 536 West 112th St,. NY, NY    


Letterpress Books, Portland; Print: A Bookstore, Portland, ME; Longfellow Books, Portland; Sherman Book stores – all locations; Nonesuch, all locations; The Tribune, Norway; Book Review, Falmouth, ME; Book Burrow, Kennebunk, ME (“Lower Village”); Fine Print Booksellers, Kennebunkport; the Poland Spring Resort gift shop; Center for Maine Craft, West Gardiner; and many more… A HUGE thank-you to these and other bookstores not listed here! If your bookstore is out of copies, they can order them pronto, or you can order online (see above.)

Please support your local indie bookstores!

Southern Maine peeps: I am available to chat with your book club if arranged in advance. Please connect with me via my email: – There are some guidelines (like providing me with dessert and, oh, the club members need to buy the book, read it, and then we chat and no one mentions that I look like I’ve had one too many desserts…)

Occasionally I can do these events outside of Maine. We’ll talk.

Contact me at: 

RADIO!! I was honored and so happy to be interviewed by John McDonald, Maine’s Storyteller and author, on Sunday, July 12, 2015, during his morning show on WGAN AM 560 on the dial. I had so much fun! Hear the podcast at – oh, and ignore the part where I gave the wrong date for the Beyond The Sea book festival 2015. Apparently the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet.

So happy to hear from readers that this novel is being enjoyed! If you wish, I would love great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Thank you!

Proud member: Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance & the National Society of Newspaper Columnists!


About the Author


nsnc2016badgeKathy Eliscu is a retired RN and humor writer whose column “Lightly Roasted”  has earned her two National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards –  in 2012 and 2018! Her work has appeared in Maine Women magazine, My Generation Maine magazine, the Maine Sunday Telegram, Employment Times, and Advance for Nurses. When she’s not writing, she can be seen searching for the perfect dessert.

WILLIAM D. ELDRIDGE, cartoonist, has retired from working in the mental health field. He lives at his farm in West Poland, Maine, and is working full time as an artist.



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