Music Monday and Starman ~ #DavidBowie

On the weekend, I watched The Martian, based on the novel by Andy Weir.

I enjoyed the film, which included a peculiar soundtrack of disco; one of the astronauts liked that era of music. Some of the songs played were:

“Turn The Beat Around” by Vickie Sue Robinson

“Rock the Boat” by The Hues Corporation

“Good Times” by Chic and

“Waterloo” by Abba.

I knew all the tracks, dated as they may be, given I grew up with that music in the late seventies.

I did not, however, grow up with David Bowie’s “Starman.” It was released in 1972, and I completely missed it until years later when I discovered David Bowie in the eighties.

It’s a great song, and unlike the others, is anything but dated.

~eden

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.@JohnDolanAuthor releases RUNNING ON EMPTINESS ~ his 4th novel in the Time, Blood and Karma series

One of my favourite people, John Dolan, has just released his highly anticipated fourth book called Running on Emptiness for the Time, Blood and Karma series.

As he describes it, the series appeals to lovers of: mystery, thriller, crime, Thailand fiction, private investigators, British detectives, and amateur sleuths.

The book also marks the welcome return of David Braddock, Dolan’s charismatic anti-hero.

I interviewed the author in 2013. If you missed it, hop over now and have a read.

I was fortunate enough to grab an early copy of the book and can’t wait to read it.

Now, let’s learn more about Running on Emptiness.

****

running on emptiness

BUY LINKS : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

“Today, there will be a reckoning.”

It is the summer of 2006. In Thailand, the army makes preparations to overthrow the elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra.

Against this backdrop of political turmoil, destinies are shaped as events ensnare a corrupt Police Chief and his dying wife, two warring drug lords, an embittered widow, and a vengeful gangster.

While dreams and obsessions play out on the streets of Bangkok, private detective David Braddock finds himself mired in guilt. The ghosts of his past misdeeds are coming home, and they are bringing devastation in their wake.

Running on Emptiness is the fourth volume in the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series.

flourish

If you haven’t read the first three books, I strongly recommend that you do. You’ll thank me for it. :)

Buy from Amazon:   US  ~  UK  ~  CA*

JD 3 book series

* * * *

Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim is FREE until John starts charging for it.

It’s a great short story with a peculiar connection to A Poison Tree.

Buy from Amazon: US ~ UK ~ CA | Smashwords

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JIM FOSSE'S EXPENSE CLAIM

* * * *

Connect to John

john dolan

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I Just Want to Be Your Everything ~ A story for @RBwood’s #WordCountPodcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #53 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt asked that we write a story based on:

Celebrity Death, a Fan’s Perspective

Here is a story about a celebrity from my past. I hope you enjoy. 

*  *  *  *

When I was twelve, I stuck his poster on the ceiling above my bed. There was no place for it anywhere else in my room. Pictures of other teen idols already plastered every inch of the walls.

I sent for his poster via mail, no Internet in those days. I remember slipping twenty dollars into the envelope with the order form. I even wrapped construction paper around the bill so it wouldn’t be visible through the envelope. As a member of this musician’s exclusive fan club, I was one of the few given a chance to buy his limited edition poster. That’s how it was sold to me anyway. When I look back, twenty dollars was a lot to spend on something so trivial, but I had wanted it—badly.

The poster took exactly fourteen days to arrive. I remember this because it was the first of February when I mailed away for it. For two weeks, I must have listened to his album a hundred times while kissing his face on the cover even more times than that.

When I came home that Valentine’s Day from school, my mother both informed and chided me. She had a skill for doing that.

“I put some parcels in your room,” she said, as she paused while stir-frying beef and bok choy in the wok. The entire apartment smelled of garlic. “I hope you’re not wasting money on silly things.”

I made a face. “No, Mom. I’m ordering books and records, that’s all.”

I subscribed to both Columbia House Records and Columbia House Books. Membership consisted of paying a penny for a dozen albums and books, followed by a two-year contract to buy more books and albums at regular prices. I can’t remember how many more I had to buy, but it was worth it in the end. I loved getting mail, and Columbia House ensured I received something regularly.

Mom shook her head and returned to her cooking. “Oh … and there was a cardboard tube that came too. Your brother wanted to play with it, so I gave it to him.”

I don’t remember what else she said after that, if anything. I ran to my brother’s room and found the door closed. Unusual, since he didn’t normally close the door.

“Ha, ho, ha, ho, hiiii yah!” Sounds came from inside his bedroom, my brother’s voice.

I swung open the door to see my ten-year brother, clad in an undershirt and shorts, jumping on his bed with the tube.

He stopped in the middle of a kick and stood firm on the bed. Blood rushed to my face when I met his eyes.

“Give me that!” I lunged for him, but he leapt back like a Ninja.

“No!” he said and jerked the tube behind his back. “Mom said I could have it.”

“Mom!” I screamed as loudly as I could. “Jimmy won’t give me back my tube. It’s mine!”

We breathed hard staring at one another while we waited for her answer.

“Work it out,” she said finally, “or I’ll confiscate it.”

I had to get the cylinder out of my brother’s hands before he destroyed what was inside. Even as I fumed, I knew I had to remain calm. Jimmy jumped off the bed with the three-foot tube in hand.

“Who are you supposed to be anyway?” I asked.

“Fu Sheng,” he said, rubbing his nose as he offered a disdainful snort.

Fu Sheng was my brother’s hero—a martial arts film star.

“I see.” I slanted my head and squinted at him. “I don’t think Fu Sheng ever used a sword.”

“I don’t care,” he said. He eyed me with defiance and a firm grip on the makeshift weapon.

I took a deep breath as I envisioned grabbing the tube from him and whacking him on the head with it. I didn’t do it though, knowing the consequences would not be worth it. Instead, I had to do some heavy bargaining. My brother, to this day, is a steely negotiator, and he doesn’t compromise.

By the time I left his room with the poster, he had the tube, half my weekly allowance, and my word to do his share of the dishes for the remainder of the month.

It didn’t matter though. All was forgotten once I was inside my room. I knelt down and placed the poster on the floor. Two hardcover books secured the top corners as I gingerly unrolled the paper toward me. Made of shiny silver foil, I knew this would be my most prized poster yet. Etched into the surface was a black outline of my teen idol.

In black marker, he wrote “To my biggest fan. With love.” He signed his name in an illegible scrawl. My heart thumped. Though no colour reflected in the mirror-like surface of the poster, I knew I was blushing.

* * *

Ten years later, my teenage crush, Andy Gibb, died at the age of thirty. He was a talented musician and songwriter whose debut album, Flowing Rivers, spawned two number one hits:  “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” and “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water.”

Andy was the youngest of the Gibb brothers, better known as the Bee Gees.

I don’t know what became of that poster of Andy Gibb, but for as long as I was in that room until I moved away for University, he had a place on the ceiling above my bed and in my heart.

Do you remember a celebrity death that affected you? Feel free to leave a comment or question.

Thank you so much for reading.

~eden

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Music Monday and Ashes to Ashes ~ #DavidBowie

According to the news, David Bowie has requested his ashes be scattered on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Bali holds a special place in my heart, with some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. It’s comforting to know Bowie will rest amongst them.

Enjoy this excellent live performance of “Ashes to Ashes.”

~eden

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Music Monday and Young Americans ~ #DavidBowie

Per my Monday post of last week, I’m featuring my favorite David Bowie songs until I decide to stop. There are, after all, many songs.

“Young Americans,” released in 1975 was about the predicament of two newlyweds. From the album by the same name, Bowie identified the sound as “plastic soul,” a term coined during the sixties by black musicians to describe Mick Jagger, a white musician singing soul music. Continue reading

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Music Monday and Lazarus ~ #DavidBowie

A week after his death, it’s still difficult to fathom a world without David Bowie in it. Saddened by his passing as many of us were, I pored through my David Bowie music blogs, listened to his music, and read numerous articles about his incredible career. His latest album, Blackstar, released only three days before his death, is now at the top of the Billboard 200 Chart. Continue reading

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A Chinese Funeral, Good Luck, and the Powerball

2015 ended sadly with the death of my grandmother, but I’ve processed much of it over the past couple of weeks, and I’m finally beginning to feel lighter. I know this because I can write about my recent trip with some levity.

On New Year’s Day, I traveled to New York City for my grandmother’s funeral. I haven’t been with that much family under one roof in a long time. The last occasion was probably for my grandfather’s funeral, and that was eighteen years ago. My memory of it has faded. I was not as close to my grandfather as I was to my grandmother, so I was probably less interested in the customs then. This time, I paid attention because I knew it would be the last time my family followed this tradition so closely. My grandmother was my last surviving grandparent. All five of her children (my mom is the oldest) planned her funeral together. Along with losing a generation, it’s inevitable many of its customs will also be lost. Even though my beliefs about death are different, I find value in following rituals. It helps ease the pain of loss.

The ceremony consisted of a two-day service and numerous tasks in between. Much of the time at the funeral home involved burning spirit money that resembles legal tender. The money is available in outrageous denominations from 10,000 to 1,000,000 dollars and is used to purchase services or buy things in the afterlife.

heaven notes

Joss paper, thin sheets of coarse bamboo decorated in gold or silver foil is also burned. The assumption is the offerings consumed by fire will reappear as actual items in the spirit world, making them available for departed loved ones. My grandmother enjoyed life, so we didn’t stop burning once the fire started. Mourners who came to pay their respects were encouraged to participate as well.

joss paper

When I wasn’t burning something, I sat in my designated seat in a section with the other grandchildren. We folded stacks and stacks of Joss paper into oblong-shaped ingots in preparation for their burning. Folding the paper is an important part of the burning ceremony as it distinguishes Joss paper from actual money. As the paper is treated with the respect of real money, it cannot be casually tossed in the fire. Instead, it is placed carefully in a loose bundle. I guesstimate I folded more than two thousand sheets over the two days.

folded joss paper

The combination of a freezing room (expected for an open casket viewing), and a raging fire only a few feet from my grandmother’s body seemed absurd at times. I dressed warmly for the day, but when I got cold, I stoked the fire or burned a bag of money to warm up.

The immediate family was also tasked with burning papier-mâché items, representing articles my grandmother might need in the afterlife. This included an elaborate paper folding of a mansion (seen below), SUV, mahjong table, foot massager, and other necessities. When it came time to burn these, each family member chose an item(s) and headed outside the room where my grandmother lay.

We needed a bigger fireplace.

joss paper house

I grabbed the cut-out representations of a male and female butler, along with a pair of slippers. Considering my grandmother did not drive and a car was part of her offering, I thought she would need someone to chauffeur her around, and who couldn’t use a little help putting on their slippers?

The Chinese are strong believers in good fortune and luck. In a traditional Chinese funeral, as was my grandmother’s, all mourners received a white envelope filled with candy and money before they left the funeral home. The candy is to sweeten the bitter taste of death, and the money is for luck. The candy must be eaten immediately, and the money must be spent. My family pooled our money (there was a nickel in each envelope) and bought a lottery ticket called the Powerball.

powerball

If you’re not familiar with the Powerball, it’s a multi-state lottery held in the U.S. Shortly after I arrived in New York, I heard the buzz about the jackpot at 300 million dollars. After a drawing that produced no winner, it jumped to 600 million. As of this writing, the jackpot sits at $1.4 billion (that’s billion with a BIG FAT B) and is likely to surge higher by Wednesday’s drawing. It could become the world’s richest grand prize awarded to one ticket holder.

So here’s the second part of the story … and I must meander a bit, so I hope you stay with me.

I had a 12:05 PM flight to return to Canada from New Jersey’s Newark airport on Sunday. I was staying in Long Island. Normally, my uncle would’ve driven me to the airport, but he had to take my family to the cemetery for another post burial ritual. Given that, I awoke at 6:45 AM to give myself plenty of time to get to the airport since I had to co-ordinate multiple railway systems. Connection times were tight, with only five minutes in between disembarking and boarding.

lirr

Add to this, the weather conditions.

There had been flood warnings the night before, and sure enough, heavy rain and winds hit early Sunday morning. When I stood on the platform of the local railroad, the puddles crested the tops of my boots. I didn’t see much more of the weather after I entered the railway. I squeaked into my connection train at Penn Station seconds before the doors closed and got to the airport in record time! When the agent at the check-in counter offered me an earlier flight of 10:05 AM, I did a fist pump and gladly accepted. I sat in the lounge with a cup of coffee, stoked I had to wait a mere thirty minutes instead of ninety before boarding. How lucky was I?

airline map

 

Not long after though, things went downhill.

An announcement of mechanical failure for the 10:05 flight resulted in its cancellation. The airline had to reschedule a planeload of passengers. I was disappointed but figured I could get on the next flight at 11:05. Worst case, I’d fly back at my original departure time of 12:05, or so I thought. When I went to update my boarding pass, I was informed the 11:05 was full. I was re-booked on a 1:05 PM flight and now on standby for the 12:05.

Shit! I shouldn’t have changed my flight in the first place! 

I’m sure other expletives bounced around in my head, but I stayed calm. When the airline announced the 12:05 flight, I watched the long line-up of passengers dwindle as they boarded the plane. I stayed close to the gate but was not hopeful there would be a seat left for me. A frustrated passenger started yelling at the ticket agent for giving away a seat she thought belonged to her. All the screaming did nothing to improve the situation. As I was about to walk away, an airport employee approached the counter and handed a boarding pass to the clerk. I overheard her say, “This is for the final passenger on this flight.”

Then the agent called my name. I felt like I had won the lottery!

It was only supposed to be an hour flight, but the weather continued to worsen as we flew. When we approached Western New York, the captain informed us the visibility in Toronto was so bad he was unable to land. He circled the plane, waiting for weather conditions to improve. After more than thirty minutes of an aerial view of Buffalo, the pilot announced the fog had lifted enough for him to try and land.

Try?

I must say his words did not instill confidence in me. The woman beside me had already been white-knuckling it the entire journey. Even as a normally good flyer, the constant turbulence unsettled me. Clouds had obstructed the view outside the window for most of the flight, so there were no visual cues to make me feel better. I tightened my seat belt and closed my eyes.

airplane seat belt

Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling so lucky anymore.

When the plane pitched forward and sped up, I knew we were closing in on the airport. I opened my eyes just as the plane penetrated the fog and saw the runway appear too quickly for my liking. I braced myself for a rough landing.

As the 70-person propeller plane came to a halt, a round of applause and cheers broke the tension. It’s a short runway, and the pilot did an excellent job. The proof is I’m here to write about it.

The caveat to this airplane story is the earlier flight at 11:05 was diverted back to New Jersey due to weather. If I had made it on that plane, I would not have landed in Toronto until much later.

After a long day, which fortunately ended well, I couldn’t help but think my grandmother had been looking out for me. It’s metaphorical, of course, but I felt extremely lucky, so much so that that when I arrived home safely, I called my aunt and uncle in New York and gave them numbers to play the Powerball. I’m not lucky with lotteries and I rarely play them, but there’s no way my grandma would have missed the opportunity to buy a ticket. Since she’s no longer here, I’m buying one for her.

If I win, there’s going to be one hell of a fire in her honour. 

grandma at her birthday

 

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Music Monday and The Next Day ~ #RIP #DavidBowie

Today the world lost an original. Amongst other things, David Bowie was a musical pioneer, style icon, and performer.

He has inspired many of my blogs, including a story I wrote two years ago called “The Final Countown.” It’s a grim and comical tale about a dying man who leaves the world on his own terms. I think Bowie would’ve liked it. Continue reading

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Music Monday is Unforgettable

On New Year’s Day, I flew into Newark and was relieved to see an empty Customs area. I quickly navigated the rows of line dividers, absent-mindedly glancing a television set posted along one of the posts.

My heart sank. Continue reading

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Living through the holidays with death and social media

I lost my grandmother over the holidays. She passed away Christmas Eve.

My grandmother lived in Manhattan in a small apartment in the Lower East Side. This past summer, she came to Canada as she often did, a long drive across the border for a 94-year-old woman. My uncle and aunts drove with her to visit my mom in Montreal first, then they came to Toronto to see me and the rest of the family. That was July. I didn’t know it then, but it would be the last time I saw Grandma alive.

I agonized over writing this post. The holidays are supposed to be a good time—a union of family and friends. Fun and happy moments, with nothing worse than a bit of melancholy for another year passed, but what do you do when someone dies at this time? Holidays are not supposed to include death … but death is never convenient. You have to deal with it when it happens.

My grandmother’s death came suddenly. Even at 94, it was unexpected. I thought she could live forever. She had that aura of invincibility. Here she was at her 89th birthday party laughing with my mom.

grandma and mom

As an author who creates fictional stories, I debated whether I should write a post about my grandmother’s passing.

And how could I do it without sounding maudlin? Especially at this time of year.

You see, each December since starting this blog, I’ve written a holiday message to end the year. The messages have been about reflection, happiness, and looking ahead. I’ve often included humor as part of the festive season. I wanted this post to be something along the same lines, but I couldn’t drum up the enthusiasm to write it that way.

I just couldn’t.

I had to reflect on the life of a woman who meant a great deal to me, and it would be dishonest to write a holiday message without acknowledging the loss. Another year is coming to an end, but an important life has already ended. My grandmother deserved her time with me here.

grandma and me

With Grandma in Toronto 2013

Those who know me well understand I’m a private person. I rarely make announcements about my personal life. I share private matters one-on-one using more traditional means—telephone and email. My declarations via public forums such as Twitter and Facebook are mainly for my writing news. As much as I like social media, I consider it somewhat of a mirage.

Are people always as happy as they appear in their pictures?

The answer is obviously “no.”

With this post, my main purpose is to honor my grandmother, to let people know how lovely she was. What she lacked in physical stature, she made up for in toughness of mind and spirit. She was fiercely independent and got her way without ever raising her voice. Her quiet strength spoke to the many qualities I admired about her, particularly her thoughtfulness and grace. She made the world a better place, and she was a cool woman in every sense of the word.

I also want to thank everyone for their outpouring of support and comforting words of condolences. I’m extremely grateful for the kindness of friends, both virtual and in real life. Though I feel a sad void right now, I know how fortunate I am to have had my grandmother in my life for so long. Many of my friends no longer have parents, let alone grandparents. The reality is Grandma influenced me well into adulthood, and I will forever cherish the precious years I had with her. Her legacy lives on in the small things, which added up to her huge appetite for life.

As she was my last surviving grandparent, her passing brings me closer to my own mortality, but I am not afraid.

I never saw Grandma afraid of anything.

* * *

Some final words for the readers of this blog …

I so appreciate the personal notes, comments, follows, shares, likes, emails, and messages you’ve sent over the years. With your kindness, you’ve given me the best gift for the holidays during a difficult time.

Thank you.

As I close my blog for another year, I am grateful that social media has connected us. We are here together, and that is something worth celebrating.

Wishing love, health, and happiness for you and your families. May 2016 be unforgettable in the best of ways,

~ eden ♥

 

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Music Monday and You Really Got Me #GuitarSolo

“You Really Got Me” is my favorite song from The Kinks, and it contains a terrific guitar solo at 1:12.

This is also my final post for the guitar solo series.  I’ve had a lot of fun researching the songs, and I know there are many artists I have not covered. Perhaps I will pick up the series in another form next year.

If you’d like to hear all the songs that were covered in this series, hit the “guitar solo” tag at the end of the post, and you’ll pull them up.

As we enter the holiday week, I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas. May you enjoy the best of times with the special people in your life,

~ eden

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Music Monday and Sympathy for the Devil #GuitarSolo

Love the Rolling Stones and this song is one of my favorites.

Keith Richards shows why he’s one of the best guitar players around, great solos at 2:52 and 4:47.

Hope you enjoy and have a great week,

~ eden

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Music Monday and Sleep Walk with #LesPaul #GuitarSolo

I lost a friend this past weekend, but before she slipped into a coma, we had an incredible phone conversation for nearly three hours. She called on a late evening, said she wanted to take advantage of pain-free time to chat. I was more than happy to talk to her on her schedule. When we hung up, it was close to 1 AM. I was energized from our conversation and could not sleep for hours.

Amongst other things, we spoke about her recent trip to New York. Her wish was to experience the city one more time while still able to travel. Along with her husband and son, she saw several plays, museums, and ate some fabulous meals. One thing she didn’t have time to do was see live music. She liked jazz.

“Sleep Walk” is a classic tune played here by American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, Les Paul, a pioneer of the solid-body electric guitar. This performance took place at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on his 90th birthday. He’s gone now, but he made beautiful music and left the world a better place for it.

This song is for you, Karen. Sweet dreams, dear friend. It was a privilege and a pleasure to know you.

~ eden

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Music Monday and Bohemian Rhapsody #GuitarSolo

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is considered by many to have one of the best guitar solos, and I tend to agree.

I love QUEEN and Freddie Mercury, and this video is a shining example of what made the band wonderful.

Brian May’s guitar prowess is evident when he picks up from Freddie’s voice at the 1:40 mark and takes the song to a whole new level.

The fact that May is not just an accomplished guitarist but an astrophysicist makes him über cool in my books. ;)

Hope you enjoy the song, and have a great week,

~ eden

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Music Monday and While My Guitar Gently Weeps #GuitarSolo

Last week, I featured the song “Layla” by Eric Clapton to highlight the guitar solo by Duane Allman.

George Harrison wrote “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and the Beatles recorded it for their White Album. The lead guitarist, however, was not George Harrison.

Who was it?

None other than Eric Clapton. ;)

Clapton’s solos appear at 1:57 and 3:35 until the end of the song.

The video is a montage of my favourite Beatle. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Have a great week,

~ eden

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Music Monday and Layla #GuitarSolo

“Layla” is a well-known Eric Clapton song, but the guitar solo is not him. It’s Duane Allman who plays the screeching slide from the 2:20 mark onward.

The melodic piano along with Allman’s guitar is one of the most haunting and beautiful pieces of music I know.

In an interview, Clapton referred to Allman as the “musical brother I’d never had but wished I did.”

If you listen to the song, you’ll understand how their styles complemented each other so well.

Hope you enjoy and have a great week,

~ eden

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Author @LisetteBrodey releases DRAWN APART – Book 3 in her Desert Series Trilogy #YA

One of the loveliest women I know, Lisette Brodey, has released Book 3 in her YA paranormal trilogy. Drawn Apart marks the completion of the Desert Series.

desert series

I’ve had the pleasure of reading the first two books, Mystical High and Desert StarBoth were excellent and I highly recommend them.

I’m almost sad to see the series end, but given Lisette’s talent for writing in multiple genres, I know she will find success in whatever she writes.

Please help me in congratulating Lisette on DRAWN APART, and be sure to pick up your copy!

drawn apart

BUY LINKS for The Desert Series

Drawn Apart (Book 3)Amazon US | Amazon UK

Desert Star (Book 2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Mystical High (Book 1) ~ Amazon US | Amazon UK

* * * *

Book Summary ~ Drawn Apart

When Avalon Martelli and Stephanie Lambert meet at the start of their junior year at Mystekal High, they form an instant connection. Stephanie is from South Jersey and Avalon from North Jersey, and they both feel out of place in the Southern California desert.

Aside from having a home state in common, they each possess a talent for art and the heartbreak of a broken family. Avalon has the gift of sight, where the future is sometimes revealed in her paintings, while Stephanie’s drawings are all about forever love. As Stephanie, a self-described poetry geek and hopeless romantic, talks about past lives and eternal happiness, Avalon denies she’s in love with her best guy friend, River Dalworth, who is attending art school in Los Angeles.

Only weeks before graduation, Stephanie is in a car accident and falls into a coma. Devastated, Avalon believes it is all her fault. The night before, she had painted Stephanie with her head against the steering wheel—and hadn’t told her. She confides this to River, who has come home to be with her, but he can’t convince her she’s not to blame. Avalon loudly proclaims to the universe that she no longer wants her gift, but River warns her she may receive another one in its place.

Avalon and her family, along with Stephanie’s mother, pray for a miracle. River tries to console her, but she finds his presence difficult, knowing he has someone else who “just might be the one.” Trying to push her own pain and disappointment aside, Avalon keeps vigil for her best friend, hoping that Stephanie will wake up and have her greatest wish fulfilled— the meeting of her soul mate.

flourish

Connect to Lisette

lisette brodey

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter @LisetteBrodey

GoodReads | Website | Google +

Lisette was originally interviewed August 2012.

Lisette Brodey was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After high school, she moved to New York City where she attended Pace University and studied drama. After ten years in New York, several of them working in the radio industry, she moved to Los Angeles, where she held various positions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA.

Back on the East Coast, she worked for many years as a freelance writer, specializing in PR and the entertainment industry. In 2010, she returned permanently to the Los Angeles area.

She is the author of five novels. Her first-published book, CROOKED MOON (General Fiction) was published in 2008. Her first-written, second-published book, SQUALOR, NEW MEXICO (General Fiction) was published in 2009. MOLLY HACKER IS TOO PICKY! (Women’s Fiction), was published December 1, 2011. In October 2013, Lisette’s fourth novel, MYSTICAL HIGH, book #1 in a YA paranormal trilogy, The Desert Series, was published. In January 2013, the author edited and published a book of her mother’s poetry (written 50 years earlier) called MY WAY TO ANYWHERE by Jean Lisette Brodey.

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE CITY OF CRIMINALS by Mark Barry has a new look! (@GreenWizard62)

I had the great pleasure of meeting author, Mark Barry this summer, and I’m thrilled to announce he’s re-issued his book, Once Upon a Time in the City of Criminals with a brand new cover. 

It’s currently available at a sale price until November 15th, so there’s no better time than now to pick it up. ;)

Find out more from the summary and reviews below, and please congratulate Mark on a great new look for his book!

once upon a time in the city of criminals

Buy Links for e-book or print

Amazon ~ US | UK | Canada | Worldwide

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“…not for the faint hearted…”

Terry Valentine could have made something of himself had it not been for easy women, hard drugs, football violence and the horses.

Now, he’s washed-up. A loser. A failed wannabe living an invisible life.

Going nowhere fast, his obsessions alternate between suicide and the next fix of Doom, the latest designer drug – a highly addictive synthetic hybrid of crack, E and opium.

By a stroke of fortune, Terry takes a job driving Chloe, a beautiful young escort who caters for Nottingham’s successful businesswomen. The two form a bond. Then Chloe encounters a tycoon, a wealthy magnate who can have everything she wants. Whenever she wants it. And what she wants is Chloe, a sentiment that is certainly not reciprocated.

But she isn’t the type to take no for an answer. Using her infinite resources, Chloe’s untrustworthy pimp, her Man of Business (a cunning ex-Guardsman), and an army of hired goons, she sets out to claim her prize by any means necessary. And there’s only one man who can save her.

What readers are saying

“A novel that will surely reach cult status.“
“…sexy, beautifully written, violent.”
“…left me speechless, numb, shocked.”
“My girl crush on Chloe has only just faded…”
“Well-written, gritty drama.”
“Gritty tale of action and emotion.”
“…bare bones no-nonsense writing at its finest.”
“….characters so well drawn, you can practically smell them…”
“…quirky, engaging. 5 solid stars for the British gangster.”
“Gripping tale and one I found hard to put down. “
“A compelling read.”
“Mark Barry is one of the best writers I’ve encountered in ages.”

Connect to Mark Barry 

mark barry

The Wizard’s Cauldron (Author Interview Blog)

 Twitter @GreenWizard62

 Green Wizard Publishing 

Amazon Page US | Amazon Page UK

Mark Barry is a multi-genre writer and novelist. His work includes the minor cult hit Ultra Violence about football hooligans at a small Midlands football club and Carla, a quirky, dark, acclaimed romance with shades of Wuthering Heights. 

He is the co-designer of the innovative Brilliant Books project aimed at engaging the many, many reluctant readers amongst young people. He has one son, Matt.

Fast food, comics, music, reading, his friends on the Independent scene, and horse racing keep him interested and he detests selfish, narcissistic people and bullies of all kinds. 

He is based in the Midlands of the UK.

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Music Monday and Sultans of Swing #GuitarSolo

I had to laugh when I watched a young, skinny Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits. His hairdo may have gone out of style, but his guitar playing hasn’t.

Excellent solos at 2:40 and  4:10.

Enjoy and hope you have a productive week,

~ eden

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THE BONDING SPELL by @MLDoyleAuthor is available for pre-order!

I’m very happy to help author M. L. Doyle get the word about about her upcoming book. I met Mary earlier this year when we launched books together for the Lei Crime series on Kindle Worlds.

Her excellent novella for the series, Hidden Poppiesdrew on her military experience, as do many of her books.

Now, she’s written her first urban fantasy novel called The Bonding Spell. It releases Nov. 10th but is available for pre-order now. The book is filled with Mary’s signature style of romance and mystery—a winning combination!

Please help me congratulate Mary and find out more about The Bonding Spell.

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the bonding spell

 Buy from: Amazon worldwide

Hester Trueblood can’t deny having an ancient, Sumerian goddess in her head has its perks.

She enjoys her new strength and fighting abilities, things that would have been useful when she was a soldier. And the two handsome men dedicated to serving and protecting her are a nice bonus too.

On the other hand, there are drawbacks.

Having Inanna’s voice inside her head 24/7 can be annoying, and the constant threat of demons and monsters is a dangerous nuisance. The bitchy goddess and the evil hordes are problems Hester can handle, but the adoration of a demigod has Hester off balance.

None of that matters when an old secret threatens to destroy Hester’s family. To battle the goddess of witchcraft, Hester will need all of Inanna’s powers along with the help of her devoted soldiers–and even a love-struck demigod–if she wants to survive.

flourish

Connect to M. L. 

ml doyle

Website | Twitter @MLDoyleauthor | Amazon Page

M. L. Doyle has served in the U.S. Army at home and abroad for more than two decades as both a soldier and civilian. Her devotion to writing about women in combat boots led her to pen THE MASTER SERGEANT HARPER series which has earned numerous awards and five star reviews from readers who enjoy a strong female lead in a noir mystery which happens to involve military life.

Mary is the co-author of two memoirs; A PROMISE FULFILLED; THE STORY OF A WIFE AND MOTHER, SOLDIER AND GENERAL OFFICER (Jan. 2013) and the memoir, I’M STILL STANDING: FROM CAPTIVE U.S. SOLDIER TO FREE CITIZEN–MY JOURNEY HOME (Touchstone, 2010), which was nominated for an NAACP Image award.

Mary has also authored a series of four adult romance novellas in THE LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS SERIES. (Sept.-Dec. 2013)

A Minneapolis, Minnesota native, Mary current lives in Baltimore. You can find her at her website, www.mldoyleauthor.com where you will find links to all of her other social media connections.

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