The People's Republic of Helena – A Kickstarter Manifesto

Because Helena is awesome, and getting her writing the backing it needs – not to mention deserves – is an idea/cause/movement I – and the curmudgeonly Druid – wholeheartedly support.

Revealed: Memoirs of a Dilettante, Vol. One

e-book cover (1)

Memoirs of a Dilettante, E-Book Edition

D: Aaaaaaaa!

A: The echoes of the Druid’s angst rippled across the Plain.

D: Really? This is what you’re going to do today?

A: What? It seemed appropriate.

D: Only you would hijack the most incredible cover reveal to mock me.

A: I think Helena would approve.

D: I suppose – no wonder she’s one of your favorite people—

A: And writer – don’t forget one of my favorite writers.

D: Noted. How excited are you that this spring (that’s Spring 2014, ladies and gentlemen) she is coming out with Volume One of Memoirs of a Dilettante?

A: I’ll tell you how, but first, let’s allow Helena’s voice to shine, shall we? Sheesh, always stealing the show, aren’t you, Druid?

D: (Eye roll) Impossible woman.

Book Cover.pdf-page-001 (1)Memoirs of a Dilettante is a collection of reminiscences, following Helena Hann-Basquiat, a self-proclaimed dilettante who will try anything just to say that she has, and her twenty-something niece, who she has dubbed the Countess Penelope of Arcadia, in their off-beat antics in such places as common as the local McDonald’s or the comic book store, to their travels to Miami for the search for the perfect Cuban sandwich. Interspersed between wacky one-off adventures, Helena tells personal, sometimes painful stories from her past in order to try and make sense of her life as it has played out, tempering everything with an indomitable sense of humour.

Cummerbund Bandersnatch, the Accidental Plagiarist, strippers, rock stars, geeks, freaks, and the Barista With No Name — these are just a few of the characters you’ll meet inside.

Discover Helena’s tales for the first time or all over again, with new notes and annotations for the culturally impaired — or for those who just need to know what the hell was going through her mind at the time!

If you just can’t wait and you want a taste of Helena’s writing, follow her blog: http://www.helenahb.com

If you just can’t get enough Helena, or you want updates on further goings on, release dates and miscellaneous mayhem, follow Helena on Twitter @hhbasquiat

A: See what I mean, D? Excited isn’t quite the word. Ever since I stumbled upon a darling’d comment at the Accidental Cootchie Mama, and had the privilege of reading one of Helena’s “Charming” Friday Fictioneer posts, I’ve been hooked. After that moment, I spent the next couple of days catching up on her work. That ‘hook’ turned into a real appreciation for her style, wit, general outlook and most importantly, the world and characters she created.  Her tone ranges from seriously wicked to heart-breakingly honest, and everything in between. I cannot wait to read the coming memoirs.

I am so ridiculously pleased to know Helena, and count her among my people – I owe her so many pancakes (and I think she owes me a box or five of tissues) but all the same, I hope I’m never out of her debt. She has an incredible talent, and she is going to go far. So, check out her site, read her fantastic stories and when you’re done, take a gander at the ebooks her alter-ego, Jessica B. Bell spits out from her dungeon abode!

Living Musically – Heart-Pounding Edition

simple-music-note-heart-276x259A: My beautiful romance with my iPod got off to a rocky start this week – or rather, an icy start. On Monday, it was literally too cold for it to work in the car. So instead, I listened to the blast of the heater as it brought the ambient temperature to a barely tolerable 30° F. Of course, on Tuesday, when it was actually colder (-10° F instead of -8° F), it worked just fine. And people wonder why I claim my electronic equipment develops minds of its own with the sole purpose of Gaslighting me.

D: Actually, I don’ t wonder.

A: If you were corporeal, I’d say you were the one doing it.

D: I would be, but alas . . .

A: And yet another argument for thought developing form. . . May I continue with Tuesday?

D: Be my guest.

A: Why thank you. With Tuesday came the whispering of sweet nothings via instrumental – a wooing tactic the iPod used to its advantage all week. It started with The Minstrel Boy, as done by The Corrs. It’s another song I didn’t recall owning, ever. Of course, it should not have surprised me: Irish national music and I have a love affair that goes back . . . well, sixteen years. Our passion (political) faded within the first five, but with distance and understanding, we’ve come to a good, occasionally heart-stirring, place.

Then, The Song of the Lonely Mountain came on.

D: Oh, by the gods – not this one, again.

A: Hush. You love it. I know you do. It wins by default, by the way—

D: Of course it does.

A: Oi! I’ll have you know I didn’t like this song when I first heard it, and I’m still not as fond of the movie version as I am of the one found on the Extended Edition soundtrack.

D: So you’re two-timing The Song of the Lonely Mountain? You hussy.

A: No – it’s more like if one were dating one in a pair of twins. They’re identical-ish, but you just like one over the other (and hopefully can tell them apart, because those hijinks and shenanigans could be dangerous. Fun, but dangerous).

D: You are hopeless.

A: I know. But I’m single, so I’m totally allowed.

D: I’m not sure your logic—

A: My blog, my logic – work with me here, Druid. Anyway, Lonely Mountain won me over, starting at 1:08 into the song.

Wednesday was unremarkable. I think I had a Jamie Lidell and a Paolo Nutini to make me smile, but by Thursday, the iPod started to get a little fresh. It put on Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana

. . . and Take it Off, by the Genteels.

D: Oh boy.

A: I know, right? Frisky monks and just plain old friskiness. So, I had a lot of reasons to smile this week. And then Friday rolled around.

D: Let me guess: it was a disaster.

A: If by disaster you mean the most perfect Valentine’s playlist that an iPod randomizing 2k songs could produce, then yes, a fabulous, wonderful, I smiled the entire way into work and not just when I have the freeway to myself to go as fast as I please, disaster.

D: You could have just said ‘no, it wasn’t a disaster, D.’

A: Well, that’s no fun. So here it is, the winning day:

1. Crying, Bjork

2. Careless Love, Harry Connick, Jr. . . for which I couldn’t find a YouTube video – so here is Ray Charles singing it.

Note: It wasn’t until Harry came on that I started to grin – the first one could have been a one-off, right? But with Careless Love, I started thinking, well, this is a good Valentine’s mix – not romantic, but certainly fun for the staunchly single.

3. Not Too Late, Norah Jones

4. Moon River, Audry Hepburn

Beautiful and bittersweet – right up my alley. And then, Eddie Izzard came on, waxing lyrical about the word “Bastard.” Be still my heart.

5. Bastards and Makeup

6. Shoot the Moon, Norah Jones

7. I Think I Love You, Partridge Family

By this time, I’m nearly at work. A traffic light is out, cars are backed up but I’m grinning like a loon because a) I like this song and b) I’m seeing a trend, and I love it.

8. Sea of Time, Beatles

A: That one was for you, D

D: Yeah, sure it was. 

A: And finally. . . 

9. #1 Crush, Garbage

Yes, folks, the iPod really does love me. Of course, it died right after #1 Crush – is being restored as I type – but it was worth it. It died for love.

D: Song of the Lonely Mountain still wins though, right?

A: Oh yeah. By a mile.

D: (Eye roll) Hopeless.

A: Yup! Good night folks – may you find love where you least expect it, and in the smallest of things! Happy Valentine’s Day.

On Tour: Beyond Darkness: Shattered by Sarah M. Cradit

The long anticipated novella sequel to The Storm and the Darkness is now available across most major online retailers!

BeyondDarknessNowAvailable

Amazon

BN

Kobo

Smashwords

Createspace

Goodreads

Coming Soon: Itunes, Sony, Diesel

Anasofiya Deschanel fled to Maine to escape her mistakes. She learned quickly, and violently, you cannot run from what’s inside you.

Following a series of unfortunate events, Ana finds herself drowning in the consequences of actions which left her heart cruelly divided between the St. Andrews brothers. Jon’s embrace of darkness soon turns to dangerous cruelty, while Finn’s kind heart offers a promise of love she does not feel she deserves. Between all three of them lies a secret with the potential to change everything.

When the truth comes crashing down, Ana is forced to face the same demons she once ran from. As she learns more about who she is, and the situation she’s created, these realizations drive her to a desperate decision that will change everyone’s lives, forever.

Character Teasers

finnteaser_shattered anateaser_shattered jonteaser_shattered

The House of Crimson and Clover

The Sullivans, a family of hard-working Irish lawyers, came from nothing and built a life they can be proud of. The Deschanels amassed incredible wealth by siding with the North during the Civil War, betraying their people. Both New Orleans families have a dark and rich history, painted with secrets, treachery, and colorful, supernatural abilities.

The House of Crimson and Clover unravels the mysteries surrounding both families, pulling us further into their tangled, enigmatic lives.

While the series is meant to be treated as one long narrative, each book can stand alone and be enjoyed without having read the other books. I’ve created pages for each of the books in the series, with story descriptions and other info.

Recommended Reading Order:

Series Prequel- St. Charles at Dusk

Book 0.5- Beyond Dusk: Anne

Book 1- The Storm and the Darkness

Book 1.5- Beyond Darkness: Shattered

Book 2- The Illusions of Eventide

Book 2.5- Beyond Eventide: Bound

(More on the horizon…)

Also, read what reviewers are saying about The House of Crimson & Clover

On Tour: Dreams of Love by Pamela Beckford

dreamsoflovecover

Description: Poetry is an expression from deep within the soul. It can be therapeutic and healing. It can bring out all the best or the worst in life. Her poetry comes from the heart, not the head. It is an outpouring of emotion and she exposes it to reader in the pages.

Various poetry forms are explored: free verse, tanka (5-7-5-7-7), doidotsu (7-7-7-5) and etheree (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10).

Dreams of Love

Dreams of you and me

Together in ev’ry way

Your lips pressed to mine

Assuring me of your love

Dreams of love eternally

Purchase here!

pamelaPamela began writing poetry in just the last year. She is a nonprofit executive by day and spends her hours trying to be sure that everyone has a chance for a good life. Pamela is passionate about her job and it spills over into her writing. Dreams of Love is her debut poetry collection. Pamela feels that poetry can be very personal but invites you into her soul as you read her poems.

 

Visit the Author!

Poetry by Pamela

Year ‘Round Thanksgiving Project