Monthly Archives: October 2015

Review of Greylock

Greylock’s latest review by David Corbett, best-selling and multi-award winning author of numerous crime thrillers. Done for a Dime was  named a New York Times Notable Book, and was nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Novel of 2003. His writing guide The Art of Character is a best seller; he is a regular contributor to Writer Unboxed. Catch his newest crime thriller The Mercy of the Night.

 

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“In Greylock, Paula Cappa has written a smart, entertaining supernatural thriller, in which a composer with a damning secret battles a ballerina scorned, while an embittered messenger from the Otherworld demands to be heard. Think Stephen King meets Raymond Chandler with a score by Tchaikovsky. The author’s passion for both the arts and the natural world shines through on every page, while a mysterious composition from old Russia, combined with the majestic songs of the Beluga whale, form the thematic backdrop of the story. Briskly paced and yet lovingly detailed, this novel was a genuine pleasure to read.” –David Corbett, award-winning author of The Mercy of the Night.

 

Buy GREYLOCK on Amazon.com

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Romantic Horror: Poe’s Lady Ligeia

Ligeia  by Edgar Allan Poe  (1839)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  October 27, 2015

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Who doesn’t love a romance with twists of horror? Especially during the Halloween reading season. The opening epigraph of this short story is a reference to the will of death vs. the will to live. In this tale, one of Poe’s less popular ones, our narrator lives in a decaying city near the Rhine. He lives there with the love of his life, Ligeia. She is of the highest beauty and with a gentle soul … “She came and departed as a shadow …sweet voiced …. with the radiance of an opium dream, airy and spirit-lifting.”

 

Ligeia grows ill and death becomes her. Feeling utterly abandoned, our narrator remarries Lady Rowena and they live in an old abbey … until Rowena grows ill.

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“The greater part of the fearful night had worn away, and she who had been dead, once again stirred …”

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Poe, a master of prose, writes this story with its own beauty and suspense. At the literal level, there’s a blending of the supernatural with the psychological. For me, I fell I love with the phantasmagoric elements of the story because it arouses an intense horror. Who can resist the fetters of death? You decide, is this a love story or a horror story?Carling_the_raven_04wikicommons

Read Ligeia at Online-Literature.com

http://www.online-literature.com/poe/2126/

Listen to the audio, narrated by Vincent Price on YouTube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSHhETITtiw

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And no Halloween is complete without Poe’s The Raven. Listen to James Earl Jones narrate it here with music and a portfolio of images:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NykmXl24qcc

 

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Images from Wiki Commons and The Illustrated Poe.

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Books & Such

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     Sillyverse    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Weird Fiction by Stephen King

Premium Harmony  by Stephen King  (2009, The New Yorker Magazine)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   October 20, 2015

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Halloween season requires at last one Stephen King story. Not too many are available online to read for free and this one about a cold death seems appropriate as we approach Halloween.

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We are in King’s famous town of Castle Rock, Maine, with Mary and Ray, a married couple on route to Wal-Mart to buy grass seed. How mundane is that? They argue about petty things, which is actually amusing. Then something really shocking happens. This is not a traditional spooker—more like a dark comedy or weird fiction. You be the judge. Did you like this story? What did you think of the “smoky” ending?

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Read the short story here at The New Yorker Magazine.com.

At Open Culture.com, you can find a few more free Stephen King stories.

And here’s a review of King’s

Bazaar of Bad Dreamshttp://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/books/article41913834.html

 

 

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Are you looking for a real Halloween story? Try this spooky tale.

“The White Scarecrow” at Underworld Tales.com. This time of year yields some pretty weird happenings.

 

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     Sillyverse    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free

Tales of Terror classic authors.

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GREYLOCK On Sale Today

October 15, 2015    The leaves are falling …

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blackimagesLatest Reviews …

 

“Echoing notes of Phantom of the Opera, mixed with Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe, and Peter Straub’s Ghost StoryGreylock is a thrilling musical tragedy steeped in lore, mythology, and the madness of composition, leading to a crescendo of epic proportions. Paula Cappa is a gifted author, and this book will have you swooning in the aisles.”
Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration.

“Tchaikovsky meets The Shining in Gothic Readers Award winner Paula Cappa’s newest supernatural thriller – an intricate symphony of music, madness and murder. If you’re looking for an imaginative, sophisticated read, you’ve found it. Five stars.” —Michael Schmicker, best-selling author of The Witch of Napoli.

Greylock exposes the deep currents of the human compulsion for success. Bold characters with the loftiest of dreams, placed in bleak surroundings at the fringe of nature, lead the reader to jagged truths. Using classic Goth style with modern twists, Paula Cappa merges old tales with nature’s wonders and music.” —Elisabeth Zguta, author of Breaking Cursed Bonds.

“Paula Cappa’s prose is highly engaging, and her words are elegant, rich and purposeful. Her work always feels perfectly balanced and constructed. She is simply one of the best in the horror fiction business.” —Terry M. West, author of The Night Is Long and Cold and Deep.

“Rarely have I come across such an original and well-written story. A unique, expertly written mix of genres that makes for a haunting book.” —Nicholas Rossis, award-winning author of Pearseus.

“This is a tale that goes beyond entertainment. It lingers in your mind long after you’ve finished it, a story not to be forgotten. It will haunt your psyche. A marvel.”  Horror Novel Reviews, Wesley Thomas, best-selling horror author, The Darkness Waits; Terror Train. 

Synopsis

Four murders in Boston, an intoxicating romance, beautiful betrayals and lies, and the flickering phantasmagoria. Inside the supernatural realm beats sinister music. Just ask violinists Paganini or Tartini about their deals with the devil for their virtuosity.

Pianist Alexei Georg harbors a dark secret—he finds an old Russian sonata in a 19th-century sea chest. When Alexei plays this handsome music, a creature of darkness appears in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage with him. This is no ghost. This faceless menacing presence follows Alexei from Boston’s music society to the White Sea in Russia, where Alexei seeks the songs of the beluga whales. There, a Siberian shaman “sees” the trilling black entity clinging to Alexei’s soul. Hunted and desperate, Alexei goes to live on the summit of Mount Greylock, fleeing the suspicion of the Boston murders. But he cannot flee the unstoppable sonata he has delivered into this world. Alexei must find a way to halt the dark force within the music or become prisoner to its phantasmagoric power in an ever-expanding abyss.

Seductive, haunting, devilish, Greylock is by the author of the award-winning The Dazzling Darkness, an Amazon Kindle best-selling ghost story.

Bio: Paula Cappa is the recipient of an Eric Hoffer Book Award,  Readers’ Favorite International Bronze Medal for supernatural suspense, and a Gothic Readers Book Club Award Winner for Outstanding Fiction for her novels. Her short stories have appeared in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Whistling Shade Literary Journal, SmokeLong Quarterly, Sirens Call Ezine, Every Day Fiction, Fiction365, Twilight Times Ezine, and in several anthologies.

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Barnes&Noble.com

Buy at Smashwords.com

Buy at iBooks/iTunes.com

Buy at Kobo.com

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And for your listening enjoyment, from Chapter 26 of GREYLOCK,

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Music for the entrance of a phantom.

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https://www.youtube.com/embed/IVJD3dL4diY“>

 

 

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Sneak Peek: GREYLOCK

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    October 13, 2015

Sneak peek of GREYLOCK …  Opening pages (5-minute read)

 

 Let me have music dying, and I seek no more delight.

 “Endymion” John Keats, 1884

 Chapter One

1987,  Orange Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts

 In the rising grey light, Marta lit another candle inside the bedroom of the Cape Cod house. Sunrise blinked at the windowed cliff beyond where the ocean rumbled. “I see the phantom of death near,” she said and placed the candle on the nightstand next to her brother. She turned. “Alexei, be brave, child, go make music for your father. This will soothe him. Hurry.”

Alexei backed away from the bedside. His father’s hard-veined hands no longer twitched on the covers. His mouth hung open in a sad curve releasing gasps against the pillow. Alexei wanted to close the cracked lips. He wanted to crawl into that bed once more and know his father’s kind voice.

“Hurry,” she said.

He obeyed his aunt. Nine years old, he knew to trust Aunt Marta for everything. He dashed to the studio and sat at the Steinway. Was Dad still asleep? Would he hear him playing?

“Play, Ah-lehk-SAY.” Auntie shouted from the bedroom. She sang his name as if to pitch him the first note.

“Auntie? Will he—?”

“He will hear your music. Begin.”

With trembling fingers, Alexei began Tchaikovsky’s Concerto Number One. He stumbled on the opening, failing to create the thundering chords, then stopped and began again. He hadn’t perfected the power of this concerto yet, but he knew his father loved it best. This will soothe him.

Soaring though the allegro movement, Alexei enjoyed the familiar thrill of the music. The splendid harmonies urged him on as his fingers jumped across the keyboard. His father’s voice repeated in his mind.

All the world is music, my Lexie. Go inside the notes.

The allegro movement would thrill his father too and make him open his eyes. What phantom? Auntie was just being Auntie. Tchaikovsky’s concerto would soothe his sick heart. The clear notes would send the phantom away. Dad would wake up smiling and say, Bravo, my boy, bravo.

Music filled the house up to its gables. Resplendent notes played like spheres before Alexei’s eyes. Chasing one after the other. Flashings. Blurs of light. A kaleidoscope.

Can you hear? Dad? I’m playing for you. Just like you play Tchaikovsky.

Vibrations spun over Alexei’s body. Lively sound waves pulsed through his hands, throbbed into his left rib, a pleasant tingling. He inhaled the concerto’s warm tones. He swallowed the bright rhythms, his belly filling. Every chord tasted smoky. Octaves evaporated into aromas of melting candy—razzes and dives and creamy crescendos.

A beat later the music jammed. Choked to a dead stop. What did he do?

Become the music, Lexie. Believe.

He hit the white keys. Nothing. He slammed the black keys. Nothing. What happened? A hammer stick? Again he pressed. Every key resisted. Demanding the piano to obey, Alexei struck the stubborn keys once more. “Come on. I believe!”

The keys held like bricks in mortar.

Why won’t it play? His fingers slid recklessly above the locked keys. “Please.” He fisted up his hands with a hard shake. “Play.”

Air flashed behind him. The concerto rolled forth. Sweeps and crescendos blasted. Glistening sounds broke over his head. He stared at his fists rigid above the piano keys. How was the concerto playing without him?

Rhythms hammered down. Vibrations shook the wood floor and wall paintings, nearly cracking the old plaster. The very air soared with music.

Unable to stand the thundering a second longer, he fled the piano. The concerto followed him to the bricked chimney corner where he crouched. Booming, the double octave passages surrounded him. Eyes squeezed shut, hugging himself, ribs knocking, toes curling, he covered his ears. “What did I do? What’s happening? Dad! Make it stop!”

The concerto halted.

Did something sigh just then? A voice? Sounded just like the bed creaked. He’s awake. He’s up!

Dawn flooded the studio, dusty rays humming with yellow light. “Dad?” A kiss misted against his forehead.

He listened. Silence.

Alexei burst into deep, quiet, sorrowful weeping. He let his hands drop, kitten-limp to his sides and lifted his head.

Footsteps padded the hallway—gentle and slow—like treading upon a path of wool. Auntie Marta appeared at the doorway, half a lit candle in her hand. She blew it out, sat at the piano, covered her face and sobbed.

Alexei watched her a moment, biting his lip, failing to hold his tongue. “Auntie, did he hear my music? Did he hear the concerto?”

She lifted her face. “Oh yes, of course he heard your music. Alexei, don’t you know, child? The ear is the way.

*      *      *

Chapter Two opens twenty-seven years later in Boston, Massachusetts, 2014. Alexei is 36 years old. After a conversation with his wife Carole Anne, the musician plots her murder.

 

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Would you like to hear Tchaikovsky’s Concerto?  

Pianist: Van Cliburn 

Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1, B-flat minor 

Live Performance in Moscow in 1962.

In the audience is Nikita Khrushchev—don’t miss the Soviet leader’s smiles and applause during Van Cliburn’s bows at the end of  the performance.

(30-minute listening experience)

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... when the leaves fall

October 15, 2015

 

 

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Elisabeth Zguta’s Review of GREYLOCK

Book Review

Authors would be nowhere without skilled and professional reviewers, especially ones who know how to park their egos in a back lot and be fair and honest. Generally, book reviewers are a mix of published authors, librarians, academics, and a glut of graduate students.

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Here’s author Elisabeth Zguta’s review of GREYLOCK. Zguta writes stories of paranormal mystery thrillers sprinkled with history and romance.  She  grew up in New England, not far from Mt. Greylock. Her novels Breaking Cursed Bonds  and Exposing Secret Sins are part of her Curses and Secrets series on Amazon. Highly recommended. I am honored to have her review.

Zguta’s author page on Amazon. Visit her website http://ezindiepublishing.com/

Zguta’s post on “Developing Characters in Fiction” is one most writers won’t want to miss.

 

GREYLOCK

“Greylock’s unique horror style, explores the deep currents of human emotion and compulsion. Like in a Grimm tale, basic life lessons are fleshed out using surprising twists. How far should one go to pursue a dream? An individual’s definition of true happiness, acceptable behavior for the good of society, is explored using classic Goth style with an added modern flair.

“Paula Cappa merges old tales of Siberian witches and the other side of life’s river’s flow, with nature’s inexplicable wonders—the music of whales. Bleak settings at the fringe of nature—the eerie woods of Mount Greylock, and the frigid White Sea, keep the story’s tone of horror well defined. Bold characters, larger than life with the loftiest of dreams, lead the reader to jagged truths about humanity.

“The author draws the reader into the music world of Alexei Georg, a classical modern composer, who was born into a family with generations of musical history. Old family secrets are the tip of the iceberg. Alexei must dive in deep, not only with whales to write his composition, but also deep into the story behind his most successful piece of music to date. Alexei must choose the kind of person he wants to be.

“The protagonist [Alexei] loves Raymond Chandler’s character, Marlowe, which serves as a great correlation. The author also sprinkles in literary quotes and music, which keep the musical tone of the story floating throughout, like a refined brush stroke.

“The romance that develops between Alexei and Lia also sets a heated stage. Other relationships are also developed, and each character faces some sort of pivot and must choose their fate. Alexei, and his family and friends, each grow or change by the end. This is an excellent, moving story. Bravo!”  —Elisabeth Zguta.

 

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October 15 … when the leaves fall

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GREYLOCK – The Grandeur and the Gloom: Book Cover Reveal

GREYLOCK

Herman Melville lived in a farmhouse at the foot of Mount Greylock in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The author observed the mountain every day through his chamber window. One winter’s day he visualized the hump of a sperm whale on Greylock’s hillocks and hills, “a grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.” He wrote most of Moby Dick at his farmhouse, named Arrowhead.

Greylock is a mountain with a sea of forests, crests, and slopes—greens and blues quietly cruising out. Thoughts might float here, might sail out to the wilderness, might find safe harbor, or sink into the darkest valley.

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In GREYLOCK, darkness pervades Alexei Georg, a classical pianist who cannot live without music. This darkness attaches to Alexei. From Boston, it tracks him to the White Sea of Russia where the beluga whales sing at the bottom of the sea. It follows him to the summit of Mount Greylock.

GREYLOCK‘s book cover design is by award-winning Gina Casey (GinaCaseyDesign.com). This designer truly captured the story elements of secret truths, lies, and betrayals buried inside an all powerful lurking darkness.  Thunder clouds bear down upon Greylock’s peak. Only through Alexei’s journey upon the brooding mass of Mount Greylock, can he confront his own dark reality and discover the true source of his music.  Casey’s design emphasizes the grandeur and the gloom of the mountain—the rise and fall of the grey tones swaying and dipping, flowing like a symphony in itself.

This image of Mount Greylock is adapted from a photograph by William Tague (copyright permission from the Irene L. Tague Family Trust).  William Tague was a photographer for the Berkshire Eagle (Eagle Eye) from the 1950s to 1990. His book of photography Bill Tague’s Berkshires can be found on Amazon.com. Mr. Tague’s original photograph is an intriguing play of energy and form, a memorable portrait of a stunning mountain possessing beauty and mystery.

Do you see the waves and swells, lifting and drifting at the forefront? Melville may have envisioned Greylock as a roiling white-capped mountain with a great white whale sailing its terrain. Alexei Georg says he sees the mountain  “… rolling like a series of hunchbacks with secret clefts. Makes one wonder what secrets are buried here.”

October 15, 2015

… when the leaves fall.

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  Murder. Music. And the Phantasm.

Four murders in Boston, an intoxicating romance, beautiful betrayals and lies, and the flickering phantasmagoria. Inside the supernatural realm beats sinister music. Just ask violinists Paganini or Tartini about their deals with the devil for their virtuosity.

Pianist Alexei Georg harbors a dark secret—he finds an old Russian sonata in a 19th-century sea chest. When Alexei plays this handsome music, a creature of darkness appears in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage with him. This is no ghost. This faceless menacing presence follows Alexei from Boston’s music society to the White Sea in Russia, where Alexei seeks the songs of the beluga whales for a symphony. There, a Siberian shaman “sees” the trilling black entity clinging to Alexei’s soul. Hunted and desperate, Alexei goes to live on the summit of Mount Greylock, fleeing the suspicion of the Boston murders. But he cannot flee the unstoppable sonata he has delivered into this world. Alexei must find a way to halt the dark force within the music, or become prisoner to its phantasmagoric power in an ever-expanding abyss.

 *     *     *

 

 

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