Author, professional book reviewer, freelance editor, and Rock Fiction expert. My love of what happens when books and music collide led me to create the books in the Trevolution, but stay tuned because I can do oh, so much more than that. Like Broken, only different. And every bit as good.
When Mitchell hatches a plan to turn Trevor into the official King of ShapeShifter, it sounds to Trevor like bunk. However, the Big Idiot hires the best architect around—the brother-in-law he’s never met. Trevor can’t help but smell secrets that awaken the person he used to be.
After all, there’s nothing Trevor Wolff likes more than intrigue -- except a chance to square off against Kerri.
Fame and fortune have destroyed many a rock star, but not Trevor Wolff. ShapeShifter band dynamics will never be the same even before Trevor's two girlfriends, a world tour, and a bunch of secrets complicate life. Trevor may have to make common cause with his worst enemy -- his best friend's girl.
The Demo Tapes: Year 1 introduced the reading public to ShapeShifter and the two men behind this fictional band: Trevor Wolff and Mitchell Voss. The Demo Tapes: Year 2 brings you more of the short fiction that brings these people to vivid life.
Year 2 delves more deeply into love, friendships, and the inside workings of ShapeShifter. Vive la Trevolution!
A band's demo tape is intended to introduce listeners to their music. Likewise, this collection of short pieces allows readers into the fictional world of Trevor Wolff and his band, ShapeShifter.
From the day Trevor and Mitchell meet to the pinnacle of success, these loosely linked stories will let you hang with a rock band. Vive la Trevolution!
Enemies and Playmates
on March 16, 2011
There's always that moment when you first sit down with a friend's book. That moment when you're afraid you'll wish you hadn't risked your friendship over a book, which your friend was kind enough to give you.
I shouldn't have worried. Darcia Helle's as awesome a writer as she is a person. Which is to say Enemies and Playmates was one of the most wickedly fun cat-and-mouse tales I've come across in a long time. Alex Covington is a phenomenally well-drawn jerk, his wife Kara is a tragedy, son Stephen is an even bigger heartbreaker who colors the whole book. And then there's daughter Lauren, our heroine.
She actually turns out to be a secondary character, as the heart of this story is Lauren's man, Jesse, and the way he goes up against Lauren's dad. This is where it's at for me, and not once was I let down. Jesse and Alex engage in some of the most delicious -- and dangerous -- play I've read in eons. Really, the romance between Jesse and Lauren is secondary, even though it is pivotal to the way in which Lauren's character grows and changes.
No, it's not perfect. Dialogue is stilted in spots, and the subplot with Lauren's friend stretches believeability -- but at the same time, it makes the important point that no matter how well you think you know someone, no matter how best your best friend is, surprises can (and do) lurk around every corner. For a woman like Lauren, it's a good reminder of what a louse her father is, why she needs to get away -- and the steps her father will take to make sure she can't.
I don't want to say too much. Go read it for yourself. Have some fun with it.
Enemies and Playmates. A definite West of Mars Recommended read.
on Dec. 30, 2012
It's been so long now that I can't even remember how I came to pick up a copy of Joseph Garraty's Voice. I can see that I got it at Smashwords, where it was listed as free as of the night I finished the book and sat down to write this rave.
And rave I must. I simply adored this story of a man who sells … well, maybe not his soul and maybe not to the devil, but that's only the first of many riffs on the classic cliché. John does go down to the crossroads, but the trade he makes is great, unexpected fun that gives a clever nod to current—okay, maybe by this point, a bit passé—trends in literature. Saying more would spoil the read, and I have no intentions of spoiling anything. This is a book to share, not ruin.
As John's bargain pays off both in a set of golden pipes and a decline as a man, his guitar player, the harsh, abrasive Case, is molting her own skin—in the opposite direction. Case learns how to be a friend, to take a chance, to allow herself to care. As John loses his humanity, Case finds hers.
While some may point to John and his alter ego Johnny as the heartbeat of the story, for me it was Case. I related to her.
Don't forget, though, the other two members of the band: Quentin and Danny. Quentin's the conscience around here, and, of course, whenever evil's afoot, the conscience must pay. The way in which this happens is a bit … unorthodox, shall we say. Danny, though, flirts with the dark side. There's betrayal, and a steep price for him, also. Too bad; Danny and Quentin both are likeable.
So, too, is Erin, Case's friend who becomes the band's one-woman PR maestro. She's maybe too good to be true, but she's also smart enough to make the hard but brave decisions.
As Ragman puts all these elements together—John's new voice, the small hurricane that is Case on guitars, and Erin packing the clubs—and success follows, each of the five must figure out what price they are willing to pay for it all. They're paying all right, and it's a bill that comes due long before many of the clichéd Rock Fiction works would have you believe: not when they are headliners, but when they are paying their dues on the way up.
That's how it usually works, after all, and Garraty shows it to us. Maybe it's a bit exaggerated. But then again, is it?
A definite West of Mars Recommended Read.
Trick of the Light
on July 02, 2018
Thoughtful, if a bit twisted and maybe even subversive, story that lingered with me for days. Having also been inspired by a mannequin, I found CA's take on the subject fascinating and captivating. Not to mention beautifully written.