Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Congratulations Ashley and Gina!

Yesterday was release day for my two friends Ashley Christman and Gina Gordon. Let's take a look at their books.

The Witching Hour by Ashley Christman

The gods just might be crazy.

Lucky Sands is anything but. His wife is cheating on him, his job sucks, and when she walks out on him and dies in a car crash, the only thing he can think of is drowning himself in cheap booze and cheaper sex. But when he finds his childhood friend Tuesday Peters working in a brothel, his luck takes a steep downward dive after he finds out her twin sister is dead...and that Wednesday's death was no accident. Together Lucky and Tuesday embark on a search for answers, plagued by spirits and deities alike. Every clue along their path points not just to the truth of Wednesday's murder, but to divine machinations that prove everything Lucky knows about life to be wrong--and prove there's no such thing as luck. Only fate...and the madness of the gods.

Content Warning: Murder, mystery, romance, family secrets and the madness of the gods.

Forever In Lingerie by Gina Gordon

How far would you go to hold on to forever?

Martina Jackson spent the last two years running from her past. Through the practice of Holistic Medicine she has meticulously transformed into a self-fulfilled woman, with one tiny exception…hot, steamy sex with no strings.

While she waits for the job offer of a lifetime, why not quench her sexual desires with an eager man willing to push her to the limit? What she doesn’t plan for is, the fling is exactly what she’s been running from.

Rob Taylor has been waiting his whole life to find the woman he can call forever. He didn’t expect to find her in his parents' living room wearing nothing but white lace and stockings. When he ove hears her discussing her secret sexual fantasies, Rob decides to give her what she’s been missing.

As they play out each fantasy he connects with Martina on a deeper level, confirming what he knew the very first moment he heard her voice…that she is the one he’s been waiting for.

Content warning; explicit sex, ménage and the use of Holistic Medicine as foreplay.

Congratulations to Ashley and Gina on their new releases!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Insomniac Postmidnights

A lot of people are used to having music as background noise. Mostly they’re casual listeners, because they don’t really listen. They get nothing from music but noise and maybe a vague cinematic conceit. That’s okay if it’s all you’re looking for, but I’ve never had a casual relationship with music. The number of songs that have provided some sort of personal touchstone for me would make for an endless and eclectic playlist. Hearing certain artists can bring forth memories of certain times of my life, which isn’t all that uncommon except that I’m obsessive and want to know the why of things. What forges that connection between whatever internal switch is flipped, and the piece of music that flips it? The music that has worked its way under my skin down deep into my soul - where did it come from? What kind of fire forged it, what shaped it? Can I trace its family tree, decode its DNA, and if so, what can I learn from that? Music is a mystery I want to get to the bottom of, even though I know I never will. Rock and roll is a religion of ecstasy, something to be experienced rather than explained. It contains deeper truths than can be comfortably put to words. On some cellular level we all know - okay, maybe not all of us, we all know people not overly blessed with self-awareness (which I think is a polite way of saying “shallow and kind of dumb”) - we all know what Darkness on the Edge of Town is all about. But we don’t want to talk about it. Don’t even want to think about it. And perhaps because of that, we desperately need those shamans who travel into the mystic, searching for the Veedon Fleece, walking through the jagged glass and hellish fires and nuclear winters of the human heart and coming back to tell us what they found there. Because looking too close can be terrifying.

I'm supposed to be explaining why I use the tag "insomniac postmidnights" for music posts. It comes from this quote:
So perhaps the truest autobiography I could ever write, and I know this holds as well for many other people, would take place largely at record counters, jukeboxes, pushing forward in the driver's seat while AM walloped you on, alone under headphones with vast scenic bridges and angelic choirs in the brain through insomniac postmidnights, or just to sit at leisure stoned or not in the vast benign lap of America, slapping on sides and feeling good.
Lester Bangs
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung

Lester was talking about a personal soundtrack, of course. Mine breaks down like this: Blues for the blues. Jazz for the mean reds. Country when family is on my mind. The incantatory shimmer of Van Morrison for a glimpse into the mystic. Rock and roll runs the gamut and brings it all back home. Of all the music books in my library and all the underlined passages and turned down page corners in them, this quote from Lester Bangs is my favorite. It says so much about so many people's relationship with music. I could, and probably will, spend a lifetime trying to distill my own feelings about music into words, but nothing I write will ever be as good as this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Top 10 Favorites by Sinatra

If you're not on Goodreads you should be, because you can enter giveaways through their First Reads program and win free books. Everybody knows free books are awesome. ;-) I just won my first - Frank: The Voice by James Kaplan, a new biography of Frank Sinatra. The email said delivery should take 4 to 6 weeks but I've already dusted off my Sinatra albums in anticipation.

Okay, I haven't so much dusted off albums as started listening to CDs added to Media Player. Sinatra's long been a favorite. I thought he'd make a good subject for my first Top 10 list.

Top 10 Favorites by Frank Sinatra

1. Night and Day
2. Witchcraft
3. French Foreign Legion
4. You and the Night and the Music
5. Fly Me To the Moon
6. Summer Wind
7. That's Life
8. New York, New York
9. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
10. Angel Eyes

Here's a review of the book from the LA Times. The last paragraph is a killer:
Sinatra would never recover from the loss of Gardner, and his sorrow and confusion over their breakup would color his greatest period as a singer. As his great arranger, Nelson Riddle, said, "Ava taught him how to sing a torch song."

I can't wait to get this book.