Category Archives: supernatural music

Greylock, Semi-Finalist in Kindle Book Awards

Are you a book award watcher? Man Booker, Pulitzer, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Nebula, Feather Quill. Some think we are a prize-obsessed society as we watch the Oscars and the Tony Awards religiously with popcorn and champagne parties. Who will get that seal of excellence for all the public to applaud?

While winning an award is about discovery and networking, exposure certainly, the real benefit of any award, literary or otherwise, indie or international is the encouragement.  How many times does a writer feel like quitting? How many times does a writer say, “Oh, this story is trash. Burn it”? Self-doubt is a familiar state of mind for many writers, myself included. The rigors of fiction, of structure and creativity are constant challenges. We all grow weary from time to time.

So, today, I say ‘yes to the present moment’, as Eckhart Tolle says and share with you a much needed moment of encouragement from the Kindle Book Awards. Winners to be announced in autumn 2016.

Greylock is a semi-finalist in the suspense/horror category. 

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For my author friends here, the link below at The Book Publicist is

a list of 37 literary book awards. Best wishes to all!

The Book Publicist.

 

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Book Review of Greylock from Goodread’s Top Reviewer

Book Review of Greylock by BookLover CatLady, Maxine, Goodread’s top reviewer.

May 16, 2016

Five stars …

Greylock is a sublime work of art, the words in this book swept me off my feet and balanced me on waves of beautiful and intense prose.I will never be the same again. Sometimes an author comes around that is like no other, where their writing stands out as something special, magical and unique. Paula Cappa is such an author. I read her fantastic book This Dazzling Darkness and was equally blown away with the entire journey. If you have not read a book by Paula and you love books, then you need to. This one is a good place to start.

Even the synopsis gives you a glimpse of the power of this novel and the words within it, this is one of those hard reviews to write as it had such an emotional and mental impact, have a taste of the blurb to start:

Murder, lies, romance, betrayal—and the flickering phantasmagoria.
Inside the supernatural realm beats sinister music. Don’t believe it? 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 anonymous old sonata in a 19th-century Russian sea chest.

When Alexei performs this handsome music in concert, 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 haunts Alexei relentlessly. From Boston’s music society to the White Sea in Russia where the whales sing. Alexei is on a quest for the songs of the beluga whales, so he can compose a whale symphony in hopes of saving his career.

Alexei is married to ballerina Carole Anne but he can’t resist the steamy and delicious Lia Marrs. When Carole Anne is found murdered, Alexei flees Boston and the suspicion of the crime to the summit of Mt. Greylock. He is determined to write his whale symphony from the mountaintop. But Alexei cannot flee the unstoppable sonata that he has delivered into this world. Alone on Greylock, he must find a way to halt the dark force within his music or become prisoner to its phantasmagoric power in an ever-expanding abyss.

A dark entity from beyond enters the world of Pianist Alexai and life will never be the same again, the battle between the mortal self and something that is not of this world has commenced, but who will be the victor and at what price? The plot in this book is spectacular, the chapters where Alexai travel on an ancient Russian ship in search of pods of beautiful Beluga Whales in order to record their amazing singing to compose a symphony is just out of this world. You will be taken away with it, you will be on the ship, you will also be swimming with these magnificent creatures, you will hear the music they make and…you will see the dark, menacing shadowed, feathered figure from the darkness. Stalking, watching, threatening.

Meanwhile back in his hometown of Boston there are murdered bodies and eyes are thrust upon him. The hunt for a serial killer is at work and fingers are pointing in all directions, including at Alexai. From the freezing cold White Sea in Russia to the lonely and isolated mountain location Greylock the book abounds with a sense of underlying tension that keeps you turning the pages, wanting more, hungry for more. I loved everything about this book from the musical descriptions to the ancient Russian legends, but I especially loved the supernatural aspect of the being that enters Alexai’s world. You will be fascinated and repulsed all at the same time.

As the battle continues on so many levels the book just gets better and better, one thing is sure when reading a book written by Paula Cappa is that the words themselves wrap themselves around you and don’t let go. In my mind she is an undiscovered genius that needs more and more people reading her books, they really are very special. I don’t feel I can even do this book justice, it was beautiful, dark, chilling, disturbing, emotional, powerful and unforgettable. This one is a contender to be in my Top Ten Reads of 2015.

No doubt about it – 5 stars for this incredible book. Bravo! Paula Cappa has excelled herself with her new novel Greylock and I know it will appeal to readers who enjoy many genres. I hope you will be inspired to read. A stunning book that deserves all the praise it gets. Brilliant.

For more reviews by Maxine, books to win and author spotlights:https://www.facebook.com/BookloverCat…

Visit Maxine on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22943325-maxine-booklover-catlady

You can follow Maxine on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/promotethatbook

Many thanks to Paula Cappa for sharing a copy of her book with me in exchange for a fair and honest review. (less)

GREYLOCK

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Announcement: Greylock No. 3 on Amazon Kindle Best Seller List

This is to say THANK YOU to all here who said yes to ‘journey into the supernatural music’ with Alexei Georg. To those who supported and encouraged me for GREYLOCK and helped with my marketing and book promotions to spread the word out there about GREYLOCK, I am ever grateful. 

No. 3 on Amazon.com Kindle in supernatural/occult genre.  But truly, this is a murder mystery at its core! More ‘supernatural suspense’ than occult. 

This launch promotion has made Alexei Georg very happy; I am enormously humbled.

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$2.99

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Amazon Reviewer Gives 5 Stars to Greylock

John J. Staughton, leading Amazon Reviewer, gives 5 stars to GREYLOCK.

“This is a rare and beautiful piece of writing by an author with an unpredictable and exceptional command of language and mood. To create a dark masterpiece such as this one, not only must you look into the darkness, but also fish out the corners of your own soul, delving into dangerous narrative waters to create such a powerful tone. The combination of musical knowledge, history, dramatic storytelling, and a world-spanning tale made this impossible to put down, and the Faustian brilliance of the plot was a true pleasure to read. I can’t tell you the last time I so enjoyed a story about musicians – perhaps because this one was about so much more – but I look forward to reading more by Cappa. This was a symphony in itself, a powerful statement to follow up the Dazzling Darkness. I couldn’t be more impressed or pleased, and look forward to the rest.”
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November 5, 2015.
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John J. Staughton has over 400 reviews on Amazon.com and is ranked among the top Amazon reviewers. Visit his Amazon Book Review Page.  Visit his post on Guardians of Time, Mysterious Sculptures.
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Many thanks to John for his thoughtful and insightful review.

 

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Greylock Wins 5 Stars from Readers’ Favorite

READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK REVIEW of GREYLOCK.

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Who is Readers’ Favorite?

They proudly review for industry icons and celebrities like…


… as well as countless independent authors and small publishers.

Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews   November 27, 2015

“Pianist and composer Alexei Georg is on a devoted quest to compose his next symphony of the beluga whales of White Sea in Russia. Struggling for emancipation in his career after much bad press, the murders in Boston don’t bother Alexei as much as the menacing appearance of a creature in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage when a certain old Russian sonata is played. The dark entity clings tightly to Alexei’s soul. Can Alexei escape this dark force or forever becomes its prisoner?

There are some stories that you just can’t help but let them remain for some time in your mind. Paula Cappa’s Greylock is one of those stories, where music becomes its driving force. Occasionally there are scenes that are psychologically spine chilling to read. Cappa somehow reminds us that bad things happen to good people, bad people, and everyone in between. Her elaborate and skillful plotting is one of the strengths of the book. Whenever you think you know what is going on, something else appears to derail your expectations, and that holds good right up to and including the end.

In credit to Cappa’s beautiful prose, the story contains enough raw emotion to draw readers in. The characters are alive and vivid descriptions of the scenes make this haunting story easily imagined. In a story combining the elements of mystery, horror and the supernatural, no doubt fans of these genres can clearly enjoy this particular hallmark of Cappa’s work. Greylock will certainly not disappoint.”

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Greylock is now featured on The Big Thrill.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

*      *      *

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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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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Phantom of the Music

Phantom of the Opera   by Gaston Leroux  (1911)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   September 29, 2015

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In the kingdom of phantoms, ghosts, and the shadowy depths, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux remains one of the most memorable and popular ghostly thrillers of all time. Even today this novel is still on the Amazon’s Kindle best seller list (#77 as of 9-27-15; buy here on Amazon.com for only 99 cents). Theatrical superstitions, ghostly apparitions, and the mystery of the music are a powerful combination for fiction. Published in 1911, Leroux was inspired to write this story after visiting a Paris opera house when a chandelier fell on the audience in 1896. Actor Lon Chaney starred in the film in 1924 and the life of this novel went on to film and Broadway audiences and is still running at full speed at the Majestic Theatre in New York.

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Our story begins at the Paris opera house with the Prologue’s opening line “The opera ghost really existed. He was not, as was long believed, a creature of the imagination …”

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Most of us know the story of the phantom hiding his face behind a mask and how he falls in love with the beauty Christine Daae. This singer is in love with Raoul, Vicomte De Chagny. A triangular love affair mixes with passion, jealousy, revenge, possession, and the pain of loneliness.

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The New York Times Book Review called it  “The wildest and most fantastic of tales.”  And so it is.

Read the FREE novel Phantom of the Opera at the LiteratureProject.com.

Listen to the Librivox dramatic recording at Librivox.com

 

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Leroux wrote other stories. His first story was The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1907). A “locked room” mystery. Mademoiselle Stangerson retires to bed in the Yellow Room. Suddenly revolver shots echo through the house and she screams for help. Her father and a servant run to the locked room where they find the wounded girl – alone. The only other exit, a barred window.

Read  The Mystery of the Yellow Room at OnlineLiterature.com

The Secret of the Night (1914) is  another short novel about a journalist in Russia who partly resembles Inspector DuPin (Poe) and Sherlock Holmes (Conan Doyle).

Read The Secret of the Night at OnlineLiterature.com

 

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As a reader and a writer I love the idea of supernatural music, demons, angels, music phantoms. The idea of ghostly presences lurking among the melody and notes draws me in immediately. Many of you are aware my own supernatural musical mystery is about to launch in October. GREYLOCK has just a hint of flavor of Phantom of the Opera.  Here’s an early review:

“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.

 

More early reviews to come … when the leaves fall … GREYLOCK

 

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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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