Heroes of Phenomena Book Launch!

Heroes of Phenomena_Jennifer Redstreake Geary

Cover design by Jennifer Redstreake Geary

Heroes of PHENOMENA is a global, cross-industry collaborative campaign encouraging the next generation of authors, artists & musicians!

Epic motion picture advertising music production house, audiomachine, will make a donation to the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra with every download of the PHENOMENA album companion collection.

A dedicated youth section showcases talented aspiring artists and authors fromElevate’s Life & Art Studios, alongside an amazing cast of inspiring industry professionals and the winning entries of PHENOMENA’s Epic Heroes Event!

I’m thrilled to announce the ebook anthology is FREE on Smashwords & Kobo! Available for $0.99 on Amazon *help us push Amazon to price-match by reporting the FREE listings*. Coming soon to iTunes & B&N!

My Epic Writing students from Elevate Life & Art Studios created a really cool book trailer that blends the music of PHENOMENA with the boundless creativity of the next generation—inspiring their peers in a humorous tribute to authors, musicians, artists and dreamers! Special thanks to Braelyn Whiteside (9th Grade) for her brilliant filming & editing skills!

Available now!

Kobo (Free)

Smashwords (FREE)

Amazon ($0.99)

 

Title ImageDarynda Jones
Susan Kaye Quinn
M. Pax
Amy Michele
Jessica Bell
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Ruth Long
Crystal Collier
C. Lee McKenzie

Aspiring Artists & AuthorsDaniel Pennystone
ms. annegirl
Brennah Whiteside
Carter Lundgren
Braelyn Whiteside
Emma Schneider
Caleb Lotz

Epic Heroes Event Winners
Sarah Aisling
Alayna Fairman
Nitish Raina
Melissa Muhlenkamp
Ryo Ishido
Lukas Jurco
Camille Cabezas
Elizabeth Ann Watts

PHENOMENA Available Now

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Candy Coated Christmas

2013-bad-santa-kittyMy rather cheeky version of a naughty Santa, clocking in at 499 sugary words, in honor of Ruth Long’s third annual Bad Santa Blog Hop! There are more fun tales to be read, so hop on over and have a few stabs at the big guy!

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Tantalizing tendrils of gingerbread tickle my nose, calling up memories of christmas cookies and hot chocolate.

It’s been years since I had the luxury of sugary confections.  All EMCTs are held to a strict regimen. Most recruits fall off the sled before a week is up. Surrounded by sugar plums, they end up knee deep in mini marshmallows, and a few candy canes later, their off the team.

A flash of red pops through the door. “Oh, thank goodness you’re here.”

“What seems to be the trouble, Mrs. Claus?”

“Nick’s not been himself lately,” she fidgets with the furry white lining of her sleeves. “It’s the elves, poor dears. They gave him an early gift, you see, to keep the edge off. He tends to get a bit snippy this time of year, ya know.”

“I’m still waiting for my eggnog,” someone barks from behind the door, “and don’t be stingy with the brandy!”

“Is that–”

“Santa? Yes, dear. That’s why I called. You see, he’s been watching episodes of Once Upon a Time. The elves thought it would keep his mind off things. Worked like a charm. Now, that’s all he wants to do. Hasn’t left the room for days. Come see for yourself.”

I walk past Mrs. Claus into the dark media room, my senses assaulted with stale peppermint and days old sweat. I glance at my watch warily. Only two more days till Christmas. “Santa? It’s me, Jack. Why don’t we step outside for a bit, get some fresh air, visit the reindeer.”

Santa grunted something unintelligible and waved me off, shoving a strand of strawberry licorice into his mouth. Bits of brightly colored candy peppered his knotted beard. His attention was glued to the program projected onto, what appeared to be, a newly installed screen.

“Won’t work, dear,” Mrs. Claus shakes her head, wispy white curls dancing wildly around her ruddy face. “We’ve tried just about everything. This calls for an Emergency Merry Christmas Technician intervention.”

“I’ll handle this.” I edge in front of the screen. “Santa, it’s time to get your gifts in order. Remember? Christmas is just around the corner.”

Something small and hard bounces off my forehead. “You bloody better well move before I reach for the rock candy, son.”

Another M&M meets the tender flesh of my earlobe.  “Millions of children are depending on you.”

“I’ve got the elves working overtime ordering on Amazon–free two-day shipping. Now, step aside son, this is the second season finale,” Santa seethes, chubby fingers curled into fists.

“I’m sorry sir, but I can’t do that. Christmas is too important.”

Santa’s eyes give an evil twinkle. “If I recall, these used to be your favorite,” he grins, offering a jumbo bag of Reese’ Pieces. “Why don’t you sit a spell. We can order season three on Hulu.”

The candy-coated pieces of heaven call to me. My failing resolve settles amongst sticky piles of discarded wrappers.

Santa pats me on the back. “There’s a nice boy.”

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© 2013 Samantha Redstreake Geary

Here We Go: “My Friends And I” Song And Story Collaboration

Here We Go_Christine McGrew_Pen & Ink illustration by Mark Holden

Here We Go_Christine McGrew_Pen & Ink illustration by Mark Holden

I had a blast participating in a truly unique venture orchestrated by Ruth Long and musician Big Earl Matthews, where writers and indie musicians collaborated on a promotion for the launch of their new album “My Friends and I”.

The brilliant album highlights thirteen various artists and their musical talents, capturing the essence of the eclectic music scene in Modesto, CA.

Each of these songs inspired music-driven tales that were compiled in an ebook companion. Art inspiring art–artists supporting artists!  The road to success is different for all of us, but with a little help from my friends and I, it’s a trip worth taking!
My tale for Christine McGrew’s beautiful song, “Here We Go“.

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The music house in Modesto is overflowing with excitement, buzzing through the crowd like a live charge. Tendrils of bitter smoke lick at my nose and sharp fingers of tequila tickle the back of my throat.

Ryan Russell makes his way offstage, echoes of “It’s Your Time” still hovering in the air. My friends and I went into this together—a collaborative concert celebrating our new album.

“Christine, you’re up! Knock ‘em dead!” Ruth cheered.

Here we go

The glaring lights obscure everything beyond this raised island. My voice clears–finger’s poised to pull the notes from eager strings.

Time to give life a show

I let the music carry me, over the crowd and out the door, until it flows, like a river, down the streets of downtown.

It’s a moment made of magic, where anything and everything is possible. I have never felt more alive!

I’m flying

My guitar sighs, its final breath caressing the crowd. The stillness is broken with applause, a reaction that feeds my spirit. I weave through the deafening maze, their words of praise widening a grin that has no room to grow.

“That is, quite possibly, the best show I’ve seen you do!” Bethany beams, pulling me into a hug. She hands me a drink and lifts her glass. “To our smashing success, rave reviews and fabulous fans!”

At the dark end of the bar, where history and love are planted in the grain, I catch a glimpse of my most recent romantic disappointment. I take the back stairs two at a time, suddenly desperate for some fresh air. I burst into the balcony and pull the night into my lungs, greedy for the relief it brings. I pierce the stars with wishes that have more to do with leaving than loving.

“Still prefer stargazing, I see. Old habits never die.”

I spin around, goose bumps racing across my skin. A figure steps out of the shadows. The moonlight reveals startling blue eyes, boyish features under barley locks, sun-kissed skin on a lean, muscular frame. He tilts his head and pulls his lips in a lopsided grin that steals the breath from my lungs.

He is, quite possibly, the hottest guy I’ve ever laid eyes on.

“I didn’t mean to startle you,” he offers, edging closer to me. “I was listening to your music. It’s  beautiful…magical even.”

I back against the railing, my senses on full alert, though I’ve no idea why. “I’ve never been called magical before. Stubborn. Willful. Never magical.” I reply.

“The music whispers your secrets, to anyone listening close enough.” He stops just inches away, pinning me with his intensity. “Perhaps, you have more secrets than you realize.”

There is something intriguing about him, a trace of wind chimes in his voice, the smell of rain on his skin.

“You’re acting awfully cozy for a stranger,” I manage to respond, backing away to reclaim my personal space.

“I’m no stranger, darling. We’ve met before. Not in this lifetime, mind you…the one before.” He brushes a loose curl from my face, a gesture alarming in its familiarity, even as it sends ripples of excitement skittering through my core. “It’s taken me a long time to find you.”

I pull away from his reach, visibly shaken.

He closes the gap between heartbeats. “It’s me, Peter.” he says, his brow wrinkled with worry, his eyes clouded with hurt. “You don’t remember, do you?”

I try to place him. Maybe I met him at Cole’s party last weekend, when I consumed way beyond the recommended daily allowance of whiskey.

“I’m sorry, err, Peter, I—“

“She said this would happen. Too much time has passed. She gave me something to help you–to help you remember.” He pulls out a dainty leather pouch and dumps its shimmering contents into his palm.

“That’s glitter.” I announce, annoyed. Glitter is an irritating substance that’s nearly impossible to remove from curly hair. “You’re going to jog my memory with glitter?”

Why does the hot guy have to be a crazy drunk?

“I don’t know what glitter is. This is pixie dust–it will help unlock your memories.” He raises his hand towards his face, anticipation lurking behind bright eyes.

Here we go.

Not drunk. Delusional.

“You’re lost Wendy, let me show you the way,” He pleads.

“My name’s not Wendy. Now, put the glitter back in its little bag and walk your crazy a—“

The crazy hot guy blows his handful of glitter right in my face.

Before the string of expletives could escape, a barrage of images overwhelm my senses…the movement of the scene made me feel in a dream.

I see a bird’s eye view of an island. The surrounding sea dotted with massive ships. I smell flowers, their sweet scent carried on the briny breeze. I feel raindrops, icy shards melting on burning skin. I hear the roaring trumpets of a dozen boys as they charge down the beach.

The images scroll faster.

I see pirates wielding swords, Indians shooting arrows, mermaids diving and faeries darting. And then there’s Peter…he’s holding my hand and were flying.

I’m flying.

Panic claws its way up my throat. I fall to my knees.

Oh. My. God. I’m hallucinating!

“Don’t fight it, Wendy. Go with it. These are your memories.”

“What did you give me?” I demanded. The threat of nausea second only to my searing headache.

I feel his cool hands gently cup my face. “Look at me. Look into my eyes and tell me you don’t remember who I am…who you are.”

I am swimming in pools of brilliant blue. I feel the barest breath of a kiss on my lips. He tastes of the sea and the sky, of sweet honey and sweeter secrets.

I stare deep into his fathomless eyes and see…me.

Not the girl I was precious minutes ago, but the girl from centuries past.

Wendy Darling.

I remember.

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© 2013 Samantha Redstreake Geary

My Friends and I_AlbumThe “My Friends And I” album is now available at these locations:

Amazon

CD Baby

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My Friends and I_ebook

Cover Art by Micah Van Zandt

The ebook companion for “My Friends and I” now available at these locations:

Amazon

Smashwords

For a list of the participating writers, visit Ruth Long over at BULLISH INK!

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Support indie creatives across all disciplines by purchasing the CD, reading the stories and leaving your feedback for the musicians and writers! Our heartfelt thanks to all those involved and the listeners and readers that travel with us on the road to success:)

Tree of Life: Branching Out Winners

treeoflife_branchingout_badgeI believe in the power of music to inspire and guide our Muse. Music evokes emotions in their purest form, the seed of every story planted firmly in the soul of the notes. As the tale takes root, it bends and bows to every ear.

What started as an idea, born of music, grew into an epic journey–each branch a different voice, each leaf, a different song. Each of these gifted writers, empowered with imagination and the passion to create, went above and beyond the call of music…for this, I thank you. You took us on a magical journey, one we shall not soon forget…

It is with great enthusiasm that audiomachine and I present the winners of the Tree of Life: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge.

audiomachine‘s Top 3 Favorites:

“Solstice Sun” by Al Diaz

“The Truth” by Ruth Long

“The New World” by KC Hunter

Top 3 Fan Favorites:

Amy Willoughby-Burle – Final Hope

C. Lee McKenzie – Tree of Life

Elise Fallson – Equinox

Winning Fan Commenters:

Jin Chae
Yolanda Renee

* The top two Fan commenters will be sent a signed copy of audiomachine’s Tree of Life album–please send me your home address via “Contact Sam”!

Congratulations to all the winners and to all the incredibly talented writers who contributed to this groundbreaking collaboration!

Inspiration is a powerful force, it calls to the greatness living in all of us–listen closely for the story your soul wants to tell…

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Many Branches, One Tree

InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG meets the first Wednesday of every month. A community of brilliant writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Tree of Life

For this month’s post, I want to send my heartfelt thanks to the talented group of writers that exceeded the Tree of Life: Branching Out challenge I set out before them in a way I never would have dreamed.

Each of these writers possess a unique gift for the written word. They collectively merged their storytelling skills to create an overwhelmingly beautiful saga, wrought with meaning and woven with the essence of music.

With each new voice, the epic tale grew, branching out in unique ways that reflected the individual while honoring the whole.

I am in awe of their abilities, their strength, their enthusiasm and their support.

I may have planted the seed, but it is you who breathed life into it. Rooted in passion, it thrived on your imagination.

You are the branches of this, the Tree of Life.

It is an honor to have worked with you, and on behalf of audiomachine and myself, I cannot thank you enough for the incredible journey…treeoflife_branchingout_badge

Amy Willoughby-Burle, John Wiswell, M. Pax, Al Diaz, Gary Philip Pennick, DL Hammons, Susan Scott, Ruth Long, Djinnia, Daniel Swensen, KC Hunter, Shannon Kenoyer Lawrence, Tina Downey, Beverly Fox, Michelle Wallace, Mina Lobo, Gwen Gardner, Angela Brown, Lisa Shambrook, Sarah Wesson, Leighton Williams, Elise Fallson, Vidya Sury, Damyanti Biswas and C. Lee McKenzie

Tree of Life Composers:
Paul Dinletir
Kevin Rix
Danail Getz
Jeff Marsh
Steffan Michael Koch
John A. Graves

Special thanks to:

Marc D’Amour of audiomachine, for his continued support of this project!

Jennifer Redstreake Geary who gave our collaboration a visually stunning logo!

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Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring Ruth Long

treeoflife_branchingout_badgeWelcome to the TREE OF LIFE: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge, where creative minds meet epic movie music. To read the collective story in its entirety as it unfolds and for more details on this groundbreaking collaboration with Audiomachine click HERE.

Today I’m featuring the runaway imagination of the gifted storyteller, Ruth Long. Check out life from a writer’s point of view at BULLISH INK

* Listen to the inspiring track from Audiomachine’s Tree of Life album featured in the sidebar music player

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – The Truth – Tree of Life

The leather-clad rider swung down from the saddle, tattered russet duster flapping behind him like the banner of a long-forgotten realm, tawny hair swishing in the breeze like the tail of his chestnut mount. “From the dust we come and to the dust we return.”

“How did you come by this wisdom?” she asked, eyes, ears, and heart as wide as the ocean.

He scooped up a handful of soil, and let it sift through his fingers like the sands of time. “Because I am the Adam who came before, the one who lives now, and the one who is yet to come.”

She crouched beside him. “Then you must know what I am to do with this gift.”

His smile was gentle. “Consider this: what matters most is how you spend those precious heartbeats between rising from dust and returning to it. This is the truth that never changes, the story of our days, the root of the Tree of Life.”

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© 2013 Ruth Long

ATTENTION FANS: You can WIN an autographed TREE OF LIFE Audiomachine album by LEAVING COMMENTS! On August 17th, two lucky readers will be chosen at random from the comments section of the story excerpts. The more you comment–the better your chances are of winning a piece of cinematic history! We want to hear from YOU!

Tree of Life_Album Cover

TREE OF LIFE is available NOW! Click on the following links:

Purchase a CD from CD Baby
Download it from iTunes
Stream it on Spotify      Download it from Amazon       Purchase a CD from Amazon