Archive for the ‘My Books’ Category

Music Speaks

Posted: September 20, 2012 in My Books

 

Late last year, I met a guy on Facebook. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. It wasn’t the beginning of some strange internet romance. It really was just a case of me clicking on a tagged picture, finding someone who posted interesting status updates on a regular basis on the other end of that tag, and deciding to friend him so I’d have something entertaining to read on my Facebook wall.

Well, this guy posted a lot of very positive and thought-provoking status updates. He got me started thinking, and feeling, things that I hadn’t in a while. One of the things I started thinking was that I wanted to use my major talent – writing—for something other than entertainment. I just wasn’t sure how.

Then one night my brother was talking about a project that the creative writing group at his college was putting together – a short book of flash fiction to raise money for charity. It was then that I decided to put together a collection of short stories for a different charitable organization. I knew that my co-conspirators might have pet charities they’d like to see benefit from a project like that, but from the beginning I knew that only one organization would do – MusiCares.

So what is MusiCares? The MusiCares Foundation is a non-profit that helps music industry folks in times of need. They helped a lot of people after the massive Nashville flooding back in 2010. They provide medicine and food for those in need, or help pay medical bills or rent. They also help those who want to get clean and sober.

But why MusiCares? Because they once helped the very guy I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post. A guy who’d helped me pull myself out of depression and despair. A guy who helped me find my strength, my faith, and myself again. I didn’t have any way to pay him back, so I decided to pay it forward instead. I also liked the idea of helping others who might have a similar impact on other people’s lives. And so Music Speaks was born.

Music Speaks is a collection of eleven short stories, in a variety of genres, from nine independent authors. It pays tribute to music and its special kind of magic – magic that can help us sleep, or make us dance, give wings to our dreams, or commiserate with our sorrow, spark a long-buried memory, bring people together, change a mind, or even save a life.

100% of the royalties from sales of Music Speaks will go directly to MusiCares to help keep that magic alive.

If you’re interested in reading some one-line teasers from each of the story, they are available in the previous post on this blog.

Music Speaks is available in various ebook formats ($2.99 US) through the following online retailers:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon DE

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

It is currently available in print ($6.99 US) through CreateSpace and will soon be available through Amazon, Amazon UK, and Amazon EU, as well.

For more information on MusiCares, visit http://www.grammy.org/musicares

One-liners from Music Speaks

Posted: September 20, 2012 in My Books

 

Read a line  or two from the opening paragraphs of each of the short stories in my newest project, Music Speaks. 🙂

Gone too Soon by Christopher T. Grace

“I was sitting in an overpriced restaurant in Hollywood when I read the news about Bryan Justice.“

The Heart Never Forgets by Ann Cathey

“The job as a trade-show coordinator has me traveling all over the country from convention centers and rodeo arenas to private offices and back.”

Solo by David Antrobus

“So, I could never sing, couldn’t even shout really, which is why it’s such a damn fine spectacular thing I’m a guitar player, thank the almighty music gods in their boundless mercy.”

Heavy Metal Lovesong by Pam Bainbridge-Cowan

“In the early years he was Fat Boy with Guitar. No one talked to him much, girls not at all.”

Save Me by Erin McGowan

“As I crossed the overpass for 161, I thought about crossing the turn lane, timing it just right, and jumping off the bridge.“

Playlist by James Clark

“He wanted to remember who had been in the car with him, but it was in the shadows along with just about everything else about the latest party.  Or the one before.  Or the one before that….   “

Music Heals All Hearts by Laurie Sorensen

“Martin strolled the hallways of St. Vincent’s Hospital, strumming on the guitar in his arms, something he always did to soothe the people in pain.”

Punk Rock 101 by JD Mader

“First show you ever played. Venue the size of a shoebox. Smell like 100 pairs of wrecked Chuck Taylors. Cigarettes. Some other smells you don’t recognize. Yet.”

Double-edged Sword (Jukebox Heroes Vignette -Seth) by LB Clark

“On nights like tonight, when I’ve had one Scotch too many, I stop and wonder where I’d be without music.”

Heaven Sent (Jukebox Heroes Vignette – Chris) by LB Clark

“I turned away from my dinner long enough to give her a once-over.  She looked like a thousand other women who’d walked through Haven’s front doors: medium height, medium build, medium brown hair, hoodie and Converse and jeans.  Average, and kind of boring.“

End of the Line (Jukebox Heroes Vignette -Adrian) by LB Clark

“In my head, I could hear the moving hands tick-tick-ticking like a metronome.  It wasn’t the wall clock I was hearing, but the imagined sound of my wife’s biological clock.”

100% of royalties go directly to the MusiCares Foundation, an organization that helps music industry professionals in times of need.

The ebook can be found at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords.

Excerpts

Posted: September 20, 2012 in My Books

Excerpts from the first two books in my Jukebox Heroes series.

From The Hand of Fate:

“Can I buy you a drink?” I heard someone say.  I glanced up to see a familiar-looking blond talking to my best friend.

Elizabeth turned away from her menu and leveled her best glare at the guy.  I heaved a mental sigh.  If he had asked to buy me a drink, I might have let him.  He was pretty cute and seemed harmless enough – and it was just a drink, not a car or an engagement ring.  But Elizabeth would probably shred his tender little feelings and kick him a few times as he scurried away with his tail tucked between his legs.  She’d just broken up with her boyfriend, Larry – for the second time.  She was into window shopping only these days.

“Have you heard of the women’s liberation movement?” she asked the guy.  “See, a while back a bunch of women got tired of getting the short end of the stick.  They busted their asses so that I’d have the right and the ability to buy my own damned drinks.”

From Call Out:

“My mom says I used to say and do some pretty strange stuff when I was a little kid.  I’d talk to people who weren’t there, or talk about things I shouldn’t have had a clue about.  My parents thought I was just imaginative and observant,” he said, making air quotes with his free hand.  “The older I got, the weirder I got.  I stopped talking to invisible people, but sometimes I would just…know things.  Like, one night I woke up crying, because I knew my granddad had died.  Mom didn’t get the call from Grandma until a couple of hours later.  Heart attack, out of the blue.  But I’d known about it before Mom did.”

I squeezed his hand.  I’d heard enough stories about this sort of thing that it didn’t shock or surprise me.  Hell, I’d had a couple of similar experiences myself.

“When I was fourteen, Jerry disappeared.”

“His brother,” Brian explained.

“He was 18, and the police thought he had just run away.  But my parents are awesome.  I mean, we fought with them, yeah, but…run away?  From what?”  London shook his head.  “We were all pretty freaked out.  No one had heard anything from him – his friends, his girlfriend,” he closed his eyes, remembering.

“His girlfriend came over, just needing to hang out with the family, you know?  And she showed me the ring he’d bought her.  A promise ring, because he couldn’t afford an engagement ring yet.  She showed me that ring, and I had one of my feelings.  I asked her to hand me the ring, and the second she laid it in the palm of my hand, I knew Jerry was more or less okay.  I didn’t know where he was, but I knew he was alive.”

London swallowed a couple of times, and Brian got up without being asked to grab a bottle of water from the minifridge.  He uncapped it and handed it to London, who gave a little nod of thanks before sucking down a couple of gulps of water.

“The police found Jerry the next day.  He’d been in an accident a couple of towns over, and he hadn’t woken up yet.”  He gave me a little smile.  “The story has a happy ending.  I’m telling you because you look nervous.”

I laughed.  I couldn’t help it.  In the middle of retelling a traumatic story, and the guy’s quoting The Princess Bride at me.  Or maybe misquoting.  I wasn’t sure.  “Maybe a little concerned,” I quoted back at him.

He smiled.  “Jerry made it through just fine.  Didn’t marry the girlfriend, though.”

I said the first thing that popped into my head.  “How did your brother manage to end up with a normal name like Jerry?”