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One acquaintance said of him, "You're like Forest Gump, only smart!" - and that description isn't too far off the mark. The unquenchable thirst for knowledge has led Leslie MacDill down a spiritual path that includes esoteric Tibetan healing medicine, Zen Buddhism, advanced energy medicine and shamanism, and into wildly divergent career choices like driving an 18-wheeler and working as a judicial assistant. However, a long-smoldering love affair with music was ignited the moment Leslie heard Sing, Sing, Sing from Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall concert playing on the family hi-fi as a child; he still has the three-LP set. Over the years he further indulged his passion by becoming a professional touring musician, an on-air disc jockey, and collecting an extensive library of music. Fellow Tallahasseean Linda Hargrove could easily have been referring to Leslie when she penned the title track of her 1973 album, Music Is Your Mistress.
Despite being a self-proclaimed "Air Force brat," Leslie left the bosom of the South only briefly, the first three years of life, when his father was deployed to Okinawa, Japan. Educated in parochial and public schools, he lived through and participated in this nation's time of great social upheaval, the Sixties, made all the more difficult given his limited worldview as a military dependent. That life changed radically, however, when his father retired from the Air Force and returned to civilian life in north Florida.
Leslie is an alumnus of Florida State University but also attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL, (where he was a member in prominent standing of the anti-fraternity group Fly Delta Jets) and the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Eschewing traditional social organizations, he has also been a member of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewe of Pontchartrain and the Tallahassee Parrotheads Club. In addition to being a devout foodie, the author is an accomplished cook and connoisseur of coffee, red wine, and usquebaugh. He performs onstage whenever the opportunity presents itself, employing an African-styled ashika drum and another that was hand-hewn from the limb of a hardwood tree by a fellow Reiki master.
on April 29, 2013 :
I have just finished reading this book. I just could not put it down , had to keep reading just to see what was happening next. A fantastic read from cover to cover. Would certainly recommend this to my friends and have done.
Mr MacDill makes you believe you are actually there, experiencing all the emotions, trails and tribulations. And you do feel as though you have been to the places he is describing, some of which I haven't been to.
I did enjoy all the references to music, food and drinks, you actually want to go and listen to these tracks, and to try the various foods and drinks mentioned.
A very good romantic story with a historical twist.
Can't wait for the next book. this book certainly does deserve 5 stars.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on Jan. 20, 2013 :
Review by Carla Sue Morris Reid-1/2013
I actually read this a month or so ago but wanted to give thought to my review. The details were vivid and so very enjoyable and mysterious at the same time. The venture we travel as readers with Aidan is a never ending twist of curves and turns-all unexpected! Having never traveled to Ireland nor Scotland, I thoroughly enjoyed the aromas of both food and wine detailed. Mr. MacDill painted in words each venture and scenery so I, personally, was there with the characters-how unique style. The only suggestion I can give is write a sequel -- your readers will be waiting as you pour your heart and soul into #2 Lies We Were Told-Roots To Grow.
I rate the five stars deservingly.
(reviewed 75 days after purchase)
on Nov. 29, 2012 :
I just finished reading this book and all I can say is AMAZING! "Lies We Were Told" takes you on a journey into the world of Aidan MacEwan as he makes his way down a path to not only find his past, but his search for a future. Mr. MacDill does an extraordinary job of describing the places and people that we are to engage. Having traveled to England and Ireland recently I felt like I was revisiting the sights and sounds of the places he describes. He embeds his story not only with visuals, but also a wide range of music, food and drink! I found myself stopping to write down the songs to play later. In fact I hope the author considers a playlist at the end of his next book or a revision to this one...it would save me the time of writing them down! I also enjoyed the many references to the food and wine and while I'm not sure what book the last reviewer was reading, these details seemed to add depth and interest to the story. I found all the characters engaging in their own way and especially appreciated the side road down the metaphysical path. While unexpected, it seemed very much in the right place and added to entire reading experience. Mr. MacDill's writing style is fluid and descriptive, without being flowery or sentimental. If you like a great romance, with ancestry, mysticism, and memorable family dynamics (along with a a travel guide view of parts of the UK) this is a great find! Can't wait for the next one!
(reviewed 53 days after purchase)
on Oct. 17, 2012 :
Lies We Were Told by Mr. Leslie MacDill is the story of Aidan MacEwan which the author tells us is closely patterned after his own life experiences. Aidan MacEwan is a man in search of family and history who encounters adventures, danger and women in some very unusual circumstances. While this could have been a much better story what we are given is the narcissistic, perhaps even sociopathic, account of a man and his fantasies. The story lacks important details while encumbering us with details not necessary to the story. We ought to be given more details about main characters such as Erin O’Flynn (we are provided only sketchy background at best) and instead know more about the wine Aidan chooses to take to dinner. Mr. MacDill seems to delight in attempting to impress us with his knowledge of music, wine, coffee, tea and food. This space would be better used to tell us the thoughts in his character’s minds and in giving us greater detail about important characters. We know more about Rupa, a relatively minor character than we do about Erin who ends up being…..well, I won’t spoil the story for those who may decide to squander a few dollars. A tendency of sociopaths is to lure one in initially with a “pity me, see how hurt and damaged I am” story and this is exactly how we are drawn into the story of Aidan. Sociopaths tend to be charming, charismatic, complicated and intriguing while also being manipulative, controlling, deceptive and conscienceless. (Look at The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout for more information) Four women seem to fall at Aidan’s feet (every man’s fantasy) in large part because they feel sorry for him, and want to “fix” him. Aidan is supposedly some mythic hero, Thunderhorse, however all of the heroic deeds are performed by the female characters and Aidan merely reaps the benefit. He does nothing heroic on his own. Mr. MacDill leads us to believe that women want this sort of man. However his ego has steered him wrongly here. He only thinks he knows what women want but has yet to figure it out. The author would be wise to examine the works of authors such as Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series if wishes to successfully compete in this genre.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)
on Oct. 03, 2012 :
"Lies We Were Told", by Leslie MacDill.. I just finished this amazing book! You'll be hooked by the first few pages. Fast paced, full of action and surprising twists and turns. Dark family secrets will take you to England and Ireland with a lively group of characters. I loved every word. I'm looking forward to the author's next book. This novel gets five stars!
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)