With or Without You

This is my favourite of U2’s songs, first released in 1987. Though many interpretations exist for the song’s lyrics, it was apparently inspired by Bono’s conflicting feelings about his duo life — as a rock star and as a regular man. I also love the Canadian connection of this song, co-produced by Daniel Lanois (with Brian Eno).

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I’ll wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

Oddly, I did not learn about this song at its peak. A few months following its release, I was in Hong Kong on a journey that would last almost two years through Asia and Europe. In Asia, western hit songs only typically grace the airwaves years after its popularity has waned, if at all. Though music was always important (I travelled with my Sony Walkman), I had resolved to listen only to the cassettes I brought with me and the music of the country where I visited.

Through the storm, we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you, 
I can’t live with or without you

The unique version of this song is an instrumental mashup featuring the trio, Simply Three, classically trained string musicians and the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic. They’ve combined “With or Without You” with “Montagues and Capulets,” a classical piece by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Ill-fated lovers.

It’s a theme that is explored over and over again in my writing, and one for contemplation by my main character, Kate Hampton.

My hands are tied, my body bruised
She got me with nothing to win
And nothing left to lose

With or without you
With or without you, 
I can’t live with or without you

If you’ve read Stranger at Sunset, you will know Kate doesn’t get everything she wants. How this resolves as her story progresses is what I’m writing now.

Living “with or without you” is also reflected in her relationship with her father—two people related by blood, yet with so such animosity toward each other.

In A Fragile Truce, many of the questions surrounding her contentious relationship with her father will be answered.

I hope you enjoy this moving piece of music. Wishing you a wonderful week,

~eden

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Cigarettes After Sex

I’ve never been a smoker.

The one and only time I put a cigarette between my lips was more than forty years ago. My best friend’s father smoked, so we stole one of his cigarettes and stood over the kitchen sink to try it. I’m not sure why we decided to do it there.

In case we vomited?

Possibly.

To drop the ashes down the drain?

Well … we never got that far.

After one long, enthusiastic inhale, I knew smoking was not for me.

The burning in my throat.

The coughing.

The tears.

YUCK! Smoking never tempted me again.

But though cigarettes are no longer en vogue, I do love the visual metaphor of two people smoking in bed. It’s a familiar image we’ve seen represented in film. It speaks to lovemaking, romance, and eroticism. The cigarette seduces without subjecting the viewer to its harmful effects, which brings me to this week’s music choice.

Got the music in you baby
Tell me why
Got the music in you baby
Tell me why
You’ve been locked in here forever and you just can’t say goodbye

Cigarettes After Sex is a four-person band out of Brooklyn. With their minimalist black-and-white artwork, slow-paced melodies, and tender vocals, their songs make me want to crawl into bed and drift into a hazy daydream.

Your lips
My lips
Apocalypse
Your lips
My lips
Apocalypse

I chose Cigarettes After Sex’s song, “Apocalypse” for its sweet and sentimental lyrics. In Stranger at Sunset, protagonist Kate Hampton is missing someone she first met in Jamaica. As circumstances dictate their fate, there is much left unsaid between them. This sense of absence follows her to A Fragile Truce, the book I’m writing now.

Go and sneak us through the rivers flood is rising up on your knees
Oh please
Come out and haunt me
I know you want me
Come out and haunt me

To portray Kate’s feelings, I thought of choosing oldies like “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones or “Missing You” by John Waite. I love both these songs because they express the sentiment of missing someone, and yet, the lyrics were too familiar. They had lost their emotional impact for me.

Got the music in you baby
Tell me why
Got the music in you baby
Tell me why
You’ve been locked in here forever and you just can’t say goodbye
You’ve been locked in here forever and you just can’t say goodbye

The coda of “Apocalypse” captures the hardship of separation and loss beautifully, for as difficult as saying “goodbye” can be, not being able to say goodbye is … apocalyptic.

Oh
When you’re all alone
I will reach for you
When you’re feeling low
I will be there too

Wishing you a warm, inspired week. May none of us experience anything apocalyptic, unless it’s great sex of course. 😉

~eden

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Benediction

My first blog of the year begins with a prayer, but not a religious one.

Instead, it’s a song I’ve been meditating on for the past few weeks. 

I first heard “Benediction” at my yoga studio. It played toward the end of a 75-minute class with Farley, one of the many wonderful instructors at Union Yoga. By the time the song ended, we were ready for the final resting pose. 

As I lay on my back, tears streamed down my face. It was hot yoga; I was already wet and sweaty, so I didn’t care. 

I was as emotionally raw as the music.

As someone who is attuned to lyrics, I tried desperately to remember a short phrase from the song.

Is it war if you fight it?
Is it love when you don’t?
There is more when you let go
Of the fear that you can’t

I made a mental note to Google a line or two when I returned home to find the song title—three successive words would have likely accomplished it, but I couldn’t even retain that. The melody haunted me until I finally asked Farley about it at one of his classes. I relayed to him the quality of the singer’s voice and the gut-wrenching lyrics I could not remember.

Not much to go on, but we were optimistic the mystery would be solved by the end of his class … unfortunately not.

He must’ve changed the soundtrack that day.

As we burn in the fire
Slowly learning to breathe
Just keep calm in the falling
Always looking for an underneath

Just before the end of 2017, Farley kindly sent me his playlist as I had requested. Of the fourteen songs he provided, “Benediction” by Luke Sital-Singh was the last one I played, even though it was not the last one on the list.

Why?

Because all along, I was convinced it was a female voice I heard. I could not be more wrong.

It just goes to show the power of an intense yoga class to alter my senses!

This brings me to the new purpose for my music blogs this year. They will continue to showcase good tunes, but there will be an added objective—to highlight the connection of the song to my upcoming books, more specifically, to its main character Kate Hampton. I will also include passages of lyrics if they are meaningful to her story.

Imagine it’s a warning sign
I don’t wanna lose more time
Darling, don’t you close your eyes
Keep listening – are you listening?
I’m sorry we don’t have forever
Ooh… but come die with me

A Fragile Truce is book two in my trilogy which started with Stranger at Sunset. It’s the book I’ve been working on for some time.

Whether you’ve read Stranger at Sunset or not, you will acquire insight into Kate Hampton’s character by following my music blogs. Close friends and authors whom I trust know I’ve struggled with her story for various reasons. My song choices hint at her life because they bring me closer to her.

Some writers of fiction will relate to this strange relationship with their main characters. Though Kate is the product of my imagination, she lives inside my head and needs nurturing. She may embody the best qualities of a woman—sexy, intelligent, strong, and compassionate, but … she is also tragic, unpredictable, and duplicitous.

My Music Monday posts will focus on specific aspects of Kate, and you can find these clues in the lyrics, the song’s mood, or even by watching the video. They are all inspiring me to write her story.

I’ve already chosen the soundtrack for the entire year, so I hope you will join me in this writing journey.

In the meantime, close your eyes and listen to “Benediction.”

Perhaps you will shed a tear as well.

~eden

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Time to Say Goodbye

I decided to add one more post to my blog before the year ends.

2017 has seen its ups and downs for me.

On the up side, I have my health, definitely something to be thankful for.

The majority of the people I started the year with are still alive and well.

I’ve made wonderful new friendships and strengthened old ones.

On the down side, it’s been a difficult year worldwide. Because I’m a news junkie, I get pulled into the collective angst. From hurricanes to flooding, earthquakes to landslides, 2017 has seen some deadly natural disasters. I won’t even mention all the political disasters at home and abroad.

In my writing life, it’s been slow. It’s the first year I did not release a new book since I began writing full time. I’m disappointed, but I am far from defeated. I’m still working on the next two books that will complete the trilogy I started with Stranger at Sunset. Thank you to everyone who has inquired about my writing and offered words of encouragement.

In 2018, I will continue to feature music as a way to inspire my creativity, but I will do so differently than I have in the past.  The first blog for my newly-formatted Music Monday series will go live Jan. 8th.

As I’m taking New Year’s Day off tomorrow, I’m posting a song to end the year instead.

Most of you will remember this piece performed in Italian by Andrea Bocelli called “Con te partirò,” translated as “I Will Go With You.” It was hugely successful when it released in 1995. Bocelli later paired with English soprano, Sarah Brightman and retitled the song “Time to Say Goodbye.” The duet made it an even bigger hit, performing the tune with full orchestral arrangements.

I love the original version, but I discovered a less lively interpretation, which is in keeping with my contemplative mood this time of year.

That this musician’s name is Hope made it an even more serendipitous find.

As with most endings, there is a sense of closure, even sadness. Another year gone by and all that has happened is now history. But though time is finite, endings inevitably lead to new beginnings. And new beginnings hold countless, uncharted possibilities.

My hope is that you look ahead with optimism and an open heart.

The future is ours to create.

Until then, it’s time to say goodbye,

~eden

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Renewal, Rest, and Re-awakening my Creative Self

This will be my final post of 2017. I don’t know about you, but the year flew by for me.

In previous year-end posts, I’ve tried my best to reflect on what I’ve learned and provide some inspiring thoughts.

This year I have nothing to offer.

Instead, I want to share a few words received from a friend this morning. It was his Christmas wish to me as we were not exchanging cards this year.

“… may I wish you joy and all things nice, as you (hopefully) rest and recover from your intellectual, physical and emotional exertions this year and, above all, I hope that you will find some sense of renewal….”

I hope he doesn’t mind my sharing his kind and wise words. Despite that we live in different parts of the world, we’ve connected over the years on topics ranging from politics to poetry. He is after all, an author whom I greatly respect, and his thoughts mean a lot to me. Thank you, John for your friendship. ❤

One word in John’s message resonated with me — renewal.

On a biological level, our bodies’ cells are dying and being replaced all the time. The renewal of these cells restores our strength, and yet, it’s been some time since I thought of my life as requiring renewal.

Christmas and year-end festivities only highlight the non-stop nature of our lives. If we are lucky, it’s time with family and friends but in a pressure-cooker environment. Once it’s over, we breathe a sigh of relief, and it’s on to the next thing … it doesn’t stop unless something forces us to make a change or we decide to shift old patterns.

I like the idea of renewal.

For me, it’s not about changes to diet and exercise, two things I already take seriously. It’s not even about renewing my spiritual self. It’s about something much more basic.

Rest and sleep.

I never take naps. I tend to stay up late and often sleep only 5-6 hours nightly. This pattern is catching up with me. Moving forward, I endeavour to rest/sleep more so I can accomplish tasks with greater energy and vitality.

By resting more often and sleeping better, I also hope to renew the relationship with my creative self. I’ve not been thinking clearly, certainly not clearly enough to write consistently. Mental fatigue has set in and in order to re-awaken my tired brain, I’ll be spending less time on social media, (something I’ve already cut back on significantly this past year).

It will be past midnight and Christmas Eve by the time this blog post is made public, so I’ll close now to go to sleep and renew myself. 😉

Wishing you and your families a wonderful Christmas and the best for the coming year.

~eden

xox

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Music Monday says I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

It’s the holiday season, and whether you observe Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or something else, I hope you’re able to make time to enjoy it.

I celebrate Christmas insofar as it’s a time for family and friends. Hosting a Christmas Eve get-together has become a tradition, but traditions change as people’s plans change over the years.

Initially, we hosted Christmas Eve as a drop-in. Everyone was invited to come by for music, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres. They could stay if they liked or use our home as a place to hang out until they had somewhere else to go. Parents with kids usually came early; the late crowd would drop by after midnight. The faces changed over the years, but it was our small way of taking care of any Christmas ‘orphans’ out there.

The year my father-in-law died, we changed the evening to a sit-down dinner for about a dozen people. He’s been gone since 2009. The other day I drank a Manhattan in his memory (his favourite drink).

This past year has seen a lot of personal changes for me, both in my writing life, and otherwise. I always see change as good, difficult as it may be at first. Old habits, old ways of thinking, even old traditions must change with the times.

I heard this Aerosmith song earlier this week. Sure, this is a love song, but the message is good.

Try not to miss a thing and enjoy every moment, for it will surely change,

eden

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Music Monday remembers John Lennon

This past week marked 37 years since John Lennon died Dec. 8, 1980. I often think about what more he could have done if he were still here.

It’s a sad thought, tempered only by the enormous contribution he left behind.

His bestselling and most popular solo song, “Imagine” is packed with simple but powerful lyrics. Its message is as relevant today as it ever was.

I hope you enjoy this timeless song,

~ eden

+++

“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one …”

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Music Monday goes back to SCHOOL

I heard this song recently and remembered how much I like it—a tune from my youth by Supertramp on their hugely successful Crime of the Century album. “School” contains a catchy interlude and one of the most memorable extended solos of any song I know.

The tune also reminded me we should never stop learning, whether formally or informally. Tangential to that thought is the realization that “the older I get, the less I know.”

As a young girl, I felt differently though.

I thought I knew everything I needed to know by the time I was eighteen—the arrogance of youth.

Thankfully, age has tempered me. I hope I’m more tolerant and less judgmental of others, but more importantly, the only thing I know for certain is that I don’t know everything.

And where I used to think it was a weakness to not know, I now take it as an opportunity to learn something new.

Life is ever humbling, isn’t it?

Have a great week,

eden

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Music Monday plays “Jig of Joy” from Return to Jogja #mtagung

Further to my blog about Bali last week, you will know that Mount Agung has since erupted—several times. The latest series of eruptions yesterday sent ash 4,000 metres into the atmosphere.

Ngurah Rai International Airport, located in southern Bali has closed, stranding thousands of travellers. Authorities are considering if they will reopen the airport on Tuesday. Though it must be inconvenient, I cannot feel too much sympathy for the tourists. I was at that airport less than a month ago, and I can think of worse places to be stranded.

I do, however, feel extremely sad for the people of Bali, especially for those who have been displaced, many since the end of September. No doubt, the livelihoods of those who cater to the tourist industry are also in jeopardy. It’s an awful disaster for those who live there.

A dear friend turned me on to an album called Return to Jogja by Sha’aban Yahya. I’ve heard this track from the album before, and I wanted to share it. A “jig of joy” is what I truly feel like doing when I think about Bali and its beautiful people. I can only hope my sense of joy extends to those who are suffering there at this time.

~ eden

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Bali told in pictures and prose and Mount Agung finally erupts!

I just returned from Bali and had an amazing time. I wrote about my adventure last year, following a trip to the Indonesian island nearly three decades after I first set foot on it.

As good fortune would have it, I was able to go back this year and provide a recap of my journey below.

Before the trip, there was Mt. Agung

As was the case last October, the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival was the impetus for the trip. I booked my festival tickets in the summer to take advantage of an early bird price for the five-day event. I looked forward to leaving the cool summer of Toronto for warmer climes, but before I could even think of getting on that plane, a hiccup by the name of Mt. Agung emerged, more than a hiccup really. Mt. Agung is a volcano and also the highest point in Bali. It had shown signs of erupting around early September, a month before my trip. The last time it erupted was 1963, killing more than 1000 people. Back then, there was no forewarning. This time, however, the warnings ramped up fast and furious. On a scale of 1-4 severity, Mt. Agung was classified “4” and slapped with a twelve-kilometer exclusion zone around the mountain.

Getty Images

The governor issued a state of emergency at the end of September, and scientists speculated daily about when the volcano would blow.

Tourists were cancelling their trips.

There was a heightened sense of panic when another volcano (Mt. Sinabung) erupted in proximity to Mt. Agung, killing ten people.

Mt. Agung continued to spew smoke leading up to my trip, causing tremors in surrounding areas. It led to the evacuation of more than 180,000 people.

The Canadian government issued a travel advisory about Bali and the potential danger of Mt. Agung, but it did not outright say “DO NOT GO.”

I knew how much the Balinese depended on tourism, especially during the time I was going — their rainy and low season. After weighing my options, I decided the risk to me was small. I was staying outside the exclusion zone anyway, so worst case scenario would be if the volcano erupted as I was flying into Bali. The volcanic ash would disrupt air traffic and likely reroute my plane, but what were the chances of that happening?

Ultimately, I did not want to cancel my trip, so I rationalized it in my favour (With logic involved, of course!).

A farmer tends to his land at the base of Mt. Agung – Getty: Bay Ismoyo

It’s old news now, but Mt. Agung never did erupt while I was there. Not only that, a week after I arrived, authorities lowered the alert level from 4 to 3 due to a decrease in volcanic activity.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 21

Today, I just learned Mt. Agung has finally erupted. I started writing this post a few nights ago, so how things can change! The good news is the eruption is small. There are no new evacuations and the airport remains opened. I am relieved and will stay tuned.

A cloud of ash rising from Mt. Agung Nov 21st. (BNPB Indonesia)

Hopefully, the evacuees will be able to return to their homes soon, and no new eruptions will occur.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 26

Mt. Agung has erupted again and now the aviation warning in Bali is RED. The Lombok airport is now closed. This means a larger eruption is imminent or underway with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere. 😦

UPDATE NOVEMBER 27

Ngurah Rai, the international airport has closed in Bali and stranded thousands of travellers. The warning for Mt. Agung is back up to its highest level as more ash spews into the atmosphere. Once again, we are hearing of a major and imminent eruption.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 28

Bali’s international airport remains closed, and Mount Agung is showing increasing signs of a possible full-scale eruption.

Kuta for Green Tea and Poppies

My first stop in Bali was Kuta, a beach and resort area in southern Bali and one of its first tourist spots.

Kuta beach at dawn

Kuta was also the site of two terrorist bombings—one in October, 2002 and another in October, 2005. Over 225 people died as a result of the two attacks. Thankfully, it has not had another incident since.

Kuta remains best known for its party-centric atmosphere and unrivalled sunsets. With a long broad Indian Ocean beach-front, it is also a surfer’s paradise.

Kuta beach aka Sunset beach

I would not normally have made a stop in Kuta, but I was there on a mission—green tea!

If you recall, I fell in love with a particular green tea, Ohkuraen, which I am addicted to! I found it at a bakery near my hotel in Ubud last year and bought three bags to take home. When I returned to Toronto, I contacted the company and connected with their foreign shipper. She and I are now friends after I ordered a large supply of teas from their plant in Japan. It should have lasted me a couple of years. It did not even last me one!

Because they don’t sell their teas in Canada, I knew I had to make a trip to buy a large supply of it while in Bali, one of their main importers.

My friend in Japan connected me with Grand Lucky Supermarket in Kuta, and I messaged the store to ensure they would be fully stocked while I was there. The manager actually emailed me pictures to ensure we were talking about the right brand! Considering I was travelling nearly 16,000 km to buy the tea, I really appreciated his diligence and attention to detail! 

In the end, I didn’t quite empty their shelves of the tea, but I bought a lot. Hopefully they last me another year—at least. Many thanks to Kimie and Grand Lucky Supermarket for their wonderful help!

* * * *

Poppies Cottages is an institution in Kuta. It’s a reasonably priced hotel that has been around since 1973. Thatch-roofed cottages are nestled in gardens of hibiscus, jasmine, and frangipani. It’s an oasis away from the noisy, busy streets of Kuta and is charming as can be.

Poppies restaurant

One morning, I went for a walk along the beach and there were runners getting ready for a marathon. It wasn’t even 6AM yet. Below is a picture which shows the start of the race against the backdrop of the Bali bombing memorial. The memorial is made of stone, set with a large marble plaque and bears the names and nationalities of each of those killed. It is flanked by the national flags of the victims.

***

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Tirta Gangga

After leaving Kuta and before heading to Ubud, I took a side trip to Tirta Gangga – a royal water palace in East Bali. At the time, there was concern about whether Mt. Agung might erupt. I was heading toward the volcano, not away from it for this trip.

Along with the gardens, there is a hotel and a restaurant on the grounds, and the complex is perched on the south-eastern slope of Mount Agung.

Tirta Gangga also saw a series of restorations following the destructive ash from the 1963 Mount Agung eruption.

A little background about Tirta Gangga, it was built in 1946 during the reign of the late raja of Karangasem, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem (1887 – 1966). The lavish water gardens owned by the royal Karangasem family feature 1.2 hectares of pools, ponds and fountains surrounded by neatly cut lawns adorned with stepping stones, ornate statues, koi, and tropical gardens.

While I was there, Mt. Agung loomed over the palace behind a ribbon of clouds. Though it appeared extremely close, it was at least 18-20 kilometres outside the exclusion zone.

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Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

Beautiful Balinese greeters of the festival

Among the international authors at the festival were:

Simon Armitage, British poet, punker, and part-time Oxford Professor of Poetry.

Canadian Madeleine Thien, winner of the Giller Prize and Booker short-listed author for Do Not Say We Have Nothing. 

Simon Winchester, British author of non-fiction texts including: The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded.

Jung Chang, Chinese-born British author, best known for her family autobiography Wild Swans.

Ian Rankin, Scottish crime fiction author of the Inspector Rebus novels.

* * * *

I really enjoyed my time at the festival this year. Aside from the great line-up of authors, I had a sense of familiarity with the event, which made navigating the different venues an easier process.

At the start of each panel, an announcement was made for evacuation procedures should Mt. Agung erupt. Even with the prospect of a natural disaster, a sense of calm and joy pervaded the atmosphere. From festival organizers to authors to readers to volunteers, everyone seemed happy to be there.

Bravo to Janet DeNeefe, founder of the festival—in its 14th year and going strong!

A side trip to the Neka Art Museum one afternoon also made the list for me. You’ll see I shared the space with some loud, feathery creatures!

My outfit matched the signage!

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♥ Ubud 

All I can say is the weather this year in Ubud was fantastic. There was only a few hours of rain during the night while I slept, otherwise, it was sunny and hot the entire time. Amazing clear skies and warm, humid air lasted from dawn until late into the night.

For the sake of posting this blog in a timely fashion, I will end it here with a few more pictures. Ubud is an experience, and there is nothing that can convey it like actually being there. I’m addicted to the sights and sounds and smells, so much so, that I did not take many pictures. I didn’t want to spend time capturing the moment when I could be living it. I’m not much for selfies, and Instagram and I don’t quite get along.

Regardless, I am happy for a few photos of my trip to share with you and hope you’ve enjoyed taking this journey with me. 😀

Click on any thumbnail to scroll the gallery (Takes a few seconds to load).

 

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Music Monday rings with Hells Bells @acdc

This blog is dedicated to rhythm guitarist, Malcolm Young who passed away this past weekend.

Along with his brother Angus, Malcolm founded hard rock band AC/DC in 1973. The Young brothers were born in Glasgow, Scotland before the family emigrated to Sydney, Australia in the early sixties.

This 2009 footage from the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires shows why AC/DC is the best-selling Australian act of all time.

Rest in peace, Malcolm Young.

~ eden

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RESTLESS EARTH set to release in #NEW series by @JohnDolanAuthor

To say I’m a fan of John Dolan’s writing would be a gross understatement. He hooked me with his debut novel, Everyone Burns from his Time, Blood and Karma series, and I’ve been happily under his spell ever since.

Now, Mr. Dolan is embarking on a new series called Karma’s Children, with Restless Earth launching November 24th.

This latest book also pulls in elements from his first series.

Am I surprised?

No.

If you’ve read any of John’s first four books, you will know how twisty they can be. He’s proven himself a master of deception with a flair for unpredictable plots. He moves his characters from book to book like a chess player moves pieces across a board—carefully, with an eye for impending danger.

He’s also been known to sacrifice a few characters along the way, but I digress … 😉

I had the great pleasure of chatting with the author recently. Find out what he had to say about his writing, women, and life in general.

* * * *

Welcome John, and congratulations on the upcoming release of Restless Earth! This book is the first in a series called Karma’s Children. Can you tell us how this new series relates to Time, Blood and Karma? 

Good question, Eden. My original concept for the Time, Blood and Karma series was that it would run to seven books. However, the end of Book 4 (Running on Emptiness) was a natural watershed, so I decided to split the work into two series, with the second series starting with Restless Earth. The series title, Karma’s Children, was meant to invoke the first series, HOWEVER, I have constructed Restless Earth in such a way that those readers who are new to my writing can start with it, while those hardy souls who have ploughed through all four books in the first series will see it as picking up where Running on Emptiness left off. I hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t, it’s too late now!

No, it makes perfect sense! It’s great that new readers can hop on board with Restless Earth even if they haven’t read your previous books. I am intrigued, however, by the blurb for the new book. It speaks of four different men but does not mention women at all. Are there any women in this book?

There decidedly are women in this book. In fact, it is the females – some of whom are ‘offstage’ – who are the main catalysts for much of what happens in the novel. As in my earlier books, there are a number of strong female characters in Restless Earth. The men absolutely do not get everything their own way. Quite the reverse. Just like in real life, eh? You ladies are really the ones in charge: we men are just stupid enough to believe our own propaganda.

Ha, I’m sure women are going to love this book then! I, for one, fell in love with David Braddock, your smart-talking, somewhat damaged detective from the Time, Blood and Karma novels. Can we expect another equally fascinating character in Restless Earth?

I’m flattered that you fell in love with Braddock, warts and all. He can be an irritating smarty-pants at times (much like his creator), but generally readers seem to root for him. However, to answer your question, Braddock himself returns – perhaps somewhat chastened by his earlier experiences – as do some of the characters from the earlier novels. But there are new characters too, of various nationalities, age and sex. As to how ‘fascinating’ they are, I will leave that to the readers to decide. You can, however, expect to encounter a certain amount of mystery, moral ambiguity and black humour in this book. If you are looking for a straightforward goodies vs. baddies story, you might struggle a bit. As it says in the publicity blurb for Restless Earth: “It’s not always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. And sometimes, there are no good guys.” Real life is rarely black and white, in my experience, so if you want your fiction to reflect this aspect of reality, you need to mix up the black and white into shades of grey (though not fifty shades, perhaps!).

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, John. Your books are definitely not 50 shades of grey! Personally, I prefer my fiction a bit “messy” and true to life. That you treat readers as intelligent people who can think for themselves is what I appreciate most about your writing. 

Readers, please continue on to learn more about Restless Earth and special offers from the author. 

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PRE-ORDER NOW to get Restless Earth delivered to your Kindle November 24th! 

Available on Amazon Worldwide

“It’s not always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. And sometimes, there are no good guys.”

Four men scattered across the globe. . .
One seeks pleasure
One seeks purpose
One seeks redemption
And one seeks revenge.

A wind is howling around the skyscrapers of New York, through the battlefields of Iraq, and into the bustling streets of Bangkok. It carries with it the fates of these four men: men bound together by chance and history.
Which of them – if any – will survive the tempest?

The “Karma’s Children” series will appeal to lovers of the following book categories: mystery, thriller, crime, Thailand fiction, private investigators, British detectives, and amateur sleuths.

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Special Offers from the Author

To celebrate the launch of Restless Earth Nov. 24th, John is offering several deals for readers. Unfortunately, none of them are pictures of his abnormally large penis … his words, not mine, heh (Liberally taken out of context from an interview John did with author Eric J. Gates). 😀

Of course, I’m only kidding, as John’s deals are all fabulous book-related items. Take a look!

From November 24-28, Mr. Dolan is offering:

  1. A Poison Tree Kindle e-book FREE
  2. Everyone Burns Kindle e-book at the reduced price of 99 cents (99p in the UK)
  3. Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim (a Kindle e-book short story) remains FREE

As if this is not enough, John is also giving away 3 paperback copies of Restless Earth (US and UK only) on Goodreads. Hit the link below from Nov. 21-Dec. 31 to enter the giveaway! 

From Nov. 21- Dec. 31

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Restless Earth by John Dolan

Restless Earth

by John Dolan

Giveaway ends December 31, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

From Nov. 24-28

FREE on: Amazon

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Reduced price on: Amazon

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FREE on: Amazon

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Thanks again for sharing of yourself, John, and for all the wonderful offers of your books. I wish you huge success with the new series, and I can’t wait to read Restless Earth!

Readers, be sure to connect to John at all his virtual homes. He’s a lovely man … really. Don’t let the hat fool you. 😉

Find all John’s books on:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Website

Twitter @JohnDolanAuthor

Goodreads  | Facebook | Blog

“Makes a living by travelling, talking a lot and sometimes writing stuff down. Galericulate author, polymath and occasional smarty-pants.”

John Dolan hails from a small town in the North-East of England. Before turning to writing, his career encompassed law and finance. He has run businesses in Europe, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. He and his wife Fiona currently divide their time between the UK and Thailand.

His mystery novel ‘Everyone Burns’ is the first book in the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series.

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Music Monday asks “Are You the One That I’ve Been Waiting For?” @nickcave

Nick Cave is an Australian singer/songwriter, author, and patron of the arts. I was pleased to see his support of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, from which I recently returned.

“Are You the One That I’ve Been Waiting For?” is a song that reflects on one of life’s biggest questions. The lyrics are bittersweet, the video equally so, marking a journey that is often the case when searching for that special someone.

For Nick Cave, this song was rumoured to have been about singer, P.J. Harvey.

If you’re still waiting, I hope you find “the one” very soon. 🙂

Have a super week,

~ eden

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I’ve felt you coming girl, as you drew near
I knew you’d find me, cause I longed you here
Are you my desitiny? Is this how you’ll appear?
Wrapped in a coat with tears in your eyes?
Well take that coat babe, and throw it on the floor
Are you the one that I’ve been waiting for?

As you’ve been moving surely toward me
My soul has comforted and assured me
That in time my heart it will reward me
And that all will be revealed
So I’ve sat and I’ve watched an ice-age thaw
Are you the one that I’ve been waiting for?

Out of sorrow entire worlds have been built
Out of longing great wonders have been willed
They’re only little tears, darling, let them spill
And lay your head upon my shoulder
Outside my window the world has gone to war
Are you the one that I’ve been waiting for?

O we will know, won’t we?
The stars will explode in the sky
O but they don’t, do they?
Stars have their moment and then they die

There’s a man who spoke wonders though I’ve never met him
He said, “He who seeks finds and who knocks will be let in”
I think of you in motion and just how close you are getting
And how every little thing anticipates you
All down my veins my heart-strings call
Are you the one that I’ve been waiting for?

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Find #new books on @Kindleworlds for the Lei Crime Series #LeiCrimeKW

Please welcome the latest books to join author Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Kindle World! 

If you’re not familiar with the series, read about it on Toby’s website. I’ve written three novellas for this series and you can too!

These new stories will join the growing list of Toby’s Kindle World November 16th. You can find them along with all the books for the series on Amazon US.

Congratulations to all the new authors joining the Lei Crime series Kindle World, and the old authors returning to it!

In the meantime, I’m writing A Fragile Truce, book two of Dr. Kate Hampton’s trilogy. If you’d like to learn of my upcoming releases and giveaways, please add your name to my list by subscribing below!

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Pre-order SWEET PEASE by @CameronGarriepy #newrelease

Author Cameron Garriepy, a friend and diverse author of romance, short fiction, and a regular contributor to the Word Count Podcast has a new book coming out!

Sweet Pease sounds delicious and is on sale for a limited time. In addition to a special pre-order price, you can also win a Kindle hosted by Love Kissed, which is sponsoring Cameron’s book along with many others. Enter by hitting the graphic above.

And now, let’s learn more about Sweet Pease!

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Pre-order SWEET PEASE now!

Find all Cameron’s books at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

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Kate Pease has everything under control–her bakery’s expansion, her best friend’s wedding, and her carefully guarded heart–until Thornton College’s new novelist-in-residence maligns her scones in a student newspaper. Never one to back down from a challenge, Kate confronts him, only to discover he’s more dreamy academic than snarky stranger. Living in a postcard town, Kate knows better than to fall for an appealing tourist, but there’s nothing wrong with a fling.

Ewan Lovatt is in Thornton, Vermont for a semester to teach–and to research the Damselfly Inn’s past for a new project. His agent wants pages, but it’s not the historical house that inspires him. Tangling with the town sweetheart tempts Ewan with an undeniable attraction and a compelling new character. Suddenly his vision for the future and his agent’s big dreams for his career are at odds.

Somewhere between winter and spring, these two fiercely independent souls find magic together, but Kate offered her love to the wrong man once before. She’s not inclined to risk it again–especially on one who’s not staying in Thornton.

The second novel in the Thornton, Vermont trilogy, Sweet Pease revisits the town—and the characters—readers fell in love with in Damselfly Inn.

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Connect to Cameron

Blog | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter @CameronGarriepy

An Aries, a self-described shenaniganist, and an unabashed romantic, Cameron writes romantic fiction and genre-crossing short stories from the metro-Boston area, where she lives with her husband, son, and a poorly behaved pug.

In the eighth grade, she wrote her first romance novel on an antique typewriter, using a stack of pink paper. Detours between that draft and publishing her first novel included a BA in Music from Middlebury College, a professional culinary education, and twelve years in the child-wrangling industry.

Cameron’s adventures in flash fiction can be found on her blog. Formerly, she was an editor at Write on Edge, and she is the founder of and senior editor at Bannerwing Books.

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Author @LisetteBrodey releases BARRIE HILL REUNION

Friend and prolific author, Lisette Brodey, has recently released a new book called Barrie Hill Reunion, and it sounds like another great one. I learned of it from a fascinating post she wrote called: “The Very Long Birth of a Novel.

In it, she chronicles how Barrie Hill Reunion came to be. It’s a great read if you’ve ever wondered what becomes of dormant ideas for books, or how an author is able to resuscitate a story.

Based on Lisette’s post, you may want to revisit your own ideas! Learn more about her newest book and pick up your copy today.

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Find all Lisette’s books on:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Eight people. One weekend. Eight lives forever changed.

In the mid-1960s, at an elite college in the quaint town of Barrie Hill, Connecticut, a group of literary-minded students met regularly off-campus at the Vanessa Grand Hotel. Often late into the night, they would discuss the day’s news, analyze literature, philosophize, trade barbs, and socialize.

Twenty years after graduation, in 1986, the group’s founder, Clare Dreyser, organizes a weekend reunion. Seven former Barrie Hillers and one guest get together, eager to re-create an extraordinary time in their lives and reunite with old friends.

From the outset, and baffling the group, Leah Brent displays a brash, condescending attitude for nearly everyone and everything. To the chagrin of actor Bart Younger, Leah immediately lays out the unwelcome mat for his wife, Aimee. No one, not even Leah’s husband, Colin, is immune to her wrath, but Leah is relentless in her bizarre and cruel quest to bring down her primary target: Clare.

As the reunion progresses, the Barrie Hillers strive to enjoy their time together as they become enmeshed in personal dramas, struggle with matters of ethics, and weather escalating uncertainties that threaten to destroy their lives. By Saturday night, the second day of the reunion, karma makes a surprising and shocking visit. As the Barrie Hillers’ time together draws to an end, each is changed forever.

flourish

Connect to Lisette

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter @LisetteBrodey

GoodReads | Website | Google +

Lisette was originally interviewed August 2012.

Lisette 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 for four years 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’s the author of seven novels: Crooked Moon (General/Literary Fiction); Squalor, New Mexico (Coming-of-Age/Literary Fiction); Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! (Women’s Fiction/Chick-lit), The Desert Series: Mystical High; Desert Star; and Drawn Apart (YA paranormal), and Barrie Hill Reunion (Literary Fiction).

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Christoph Fischer releases: The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac (@cffbooks)

One of my favorite people, author Christoph Fischer, has just released The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac, the follow-up to The Healer and The Gamblers.

All three books can also be purchased together as a set via The Fraud or Miracle Trilogy.

I’ve highlighted Christoph’s books previously. He remains ever prolific in his offerings, and I’m always happy to promote his work. If you’ve read any of his books in the past, you will know he’s an incredibly talented writer of multiple genres.

In researching his book, The Healer, I read that Christoph took a Reiki course to become more familiar with alternative healing arts and spiritual healing. Today, he is a Reiki Master, so he knows of what he writes!

The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac addresses the unanswered questions from The Healer and The Gamblers.

This final instalment promises to entertain, as evident in the reviews now rolling in as I post this. Find out more about the book and trilogy, and pick up your copy today!

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Find all Christoph’s books on:  

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK |  Amazon CA

Arpan has set up a training school and spiritual retreat on the small island in the Caribbean. Yet, the peaceful and quiet existence he has sought soon comes to an end. The arrival of Erica teaches him that loose ends won’t stop until they’re truly healed and dealt with.

Erica, out to seek revenge for past wrongs soon begins to fall under the Caribbean spell and the magic of Arpan. Torn between her desire for justice and her own longing for peace, what she discovers at the school sets her again on the path of confusion and distrust.

Set in a beautiful location and spiked with a crossover from the cast of Fischer’s other mystery novel, “The Gamblers” this is another fast-paced psychological thriller about faith and deceit. Erica will finally find out the full truth about who tricked whom and we’ll all get an answer as to who will walk away with the last laugh.flourish

Connect to Christoph

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn’ in October 2013 – which completes his ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. The sequel “Conditioned” was published in October 2015. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015 and his second thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015. He published two more historical novels “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and “Ludwika” in December 2015.
His latest novel “The Body In The Snow” is his first cozy mystery. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Christoph was interviewed on my blog February 7, 2014.

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Music Monday asks “What’s Up?”

I just returned from Bali, and this song was performed by an Indonesian band while I was there. It sounded quite different with a four man band, and a leader who sung with a slight accent. Still, it brought back memories of this 4 Non Blondes song, their one big hit.

I’ll post more about Bali over the next weeks once I get over my jet lag. Suffice it to say, it was an amazing trip.

Hope you have a wonderful week, and enjoy this blast from the past,

~eden

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Win prizes with the #LeiCrimeKW Bloghop

You can travel with me this week, along with other Lei Crime authors and win prizes! It’s a blog hop!

Head to each author’s page to see their memories of favorite trips. Comment on each post with memories of your past trips, or your thoughts on this author’s trip, and be entered to win a prize pack of a Kindle Fire, $50 Amazon gift card, and Hawaiian themed coffee basket! For extra entries, join the fan club! https://www.facebook.com/groups/379407529140274/

Start the hop by going to my Facebook page. Write a comment, LIKE the page if you don’t already (I’d really appreciate it), and continue on to the next author. Enjoy!

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My favourite trip taken is to the Indonesian island of Bali, specifically Ubud. Considered the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud is also home to one of the world’s best book festivals. I am there now for the second time as you read this! With its beautiful landscapes, ancient healing arts, and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, Ubud is truly a feast for the senses.

I have 3 titles with this world!
A Snake in Paradise http://amzn.to/2i7IPdj
Seal of a Monk http://amzn.to/2i7u4qM
Charade at Sea http://amzn.to/2i7ywWS

Stay tuned for some pictures from my trip! 🙂

xx

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Music Monday is Home

I heard this song performed by an Indonesian band the other day. They gave me a whole new appreciation for a song I knew, but never listened to closely.

I’m far from the home where I live, but I also feel right at home here in Bali.

It’s a most wonderful feeling, really.

Where ever you make your home, I hope you have a great week,

~eden

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