Tree of Life audiomachine ebook!

TOL Cover_FinalCover designed by the extraordinary artist and composer, Ryo Ishido!

An Amazon Exclusive

This anthology is dedicated in memory of Tina Downey, our dearest friend, fellow storyteller and firm believer that life is good…

Welcome to audiomachines Tree of Life: Branching Out, a cross-industry collaborative writing project featuring 26 authors from across the globe whose collective story is inspired by motion picture advertising music production house, audiomachine’s Tree of Life album.

During the course of 26 consecutive days, each writer contributed a chapter within 24 hours of the previous installment, spinning the tale in whatever direction they chose, resulting in the ultimate collaborative journey of words and music.

The anthology includes a new epilogue, a memorial story I wrote for “T”, entitled, Epitaph.

Contributing Authors (Tree of Lifers)
Tina Downey
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
Beverly Fox
Michelle Wallace
Mina Lobo
Gwen Gardner
Angela Brown
Lisa Shambrook
Sarah Wesson
Leighton Williams
Elise Fallson
Vidya Sury
Damyanti Biswas
C. Lee McKenzie

Sunflower_Jennifer Redstreake GearySunflower by Jennifer Redstreake Geary

All proceeds of the TREE OF LIFE ebook will benefit the Downey Education Fund set up for Tina’s children.

Epitaph

Tina's Sunflowers at Sunset

A haunting tribute from the creative minds of film composer Edwin Wendler and Vocalist Aeralie Brighton.

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Biltmore-Estate-Sunflowers

A sea of sunflowers bloom in the sprawling fields of Biltmore Estate. I imagine Tina strolling past the radiant rows of upturned faces…her own spirit outshining their collective smiles. I imagine this is what her heaven must be like…the final glowing streaks of her amazing soul penetrating the sky with a brilliance that echoes a life well-lived…a good life. I imagine her heart is bursting with pride over a family she adores…watching them still, as their future takes shape. I imagine her witty banter as she beams down at us, her friends, while we honor her memory in a myriad of creative ways…our own hearts reaching across the great divide to say farväl min vän…farewell my friend…

treeoflife_branchingout_badge

In a memorial tribute to Tina, I’m publishing audiomachine‘s groundbreaking TREE OF LIFE: Branching Out collaborative story, featuring 26 authors (including Tina), in ebook format on Amazon, launching this September! Stunning book cover designed by gifted graphic artist and composer, Ryo Ishido.

TOL Cover_Final

All proceeds of the TREE OF LIFE ebook will benefit the Downey Education Fund set up for Tina’s two boys, which you can also donate to directly.

Donation badge


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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Finale Tribute for Tree of Life: Branching Out

This epic Finale Tribute was created by the talented Elise Fallson!

They’ve given their voice to the music and now it’s time to cast YOUR VOTE for favorite chapter in the Tree of Life: Branching out story! Submit your vote via MESSAGE to Sam’s FB page until August 17th! Two lucky commenters will be selected to win signed Tree of Life albums.

Audiomachine will also choose their top three favorite excerpts! The writers of these winning posts will be awarded audiomachine’s new Tree of Life album, autographed by the celebrated composer, Paul Dinletir.

Winners will be announced August 18th! Visit Tree of Life: Branching Out Collaboration to read the epic tale in its entirety!

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What do you think about the Branching Out collaboration? Are you a new slap-happy fan of audiomachine? Have you used music to inspire your imagination?

Tree of Life: Branching Out Finale Featuring Amy Willoughby-Burle

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 and for more details on this groundbreaking collaboration with Audiomachine click HERE.

Watch the incredible Tree of Life Tribute created by Elise Fallson for the Branching Out writers and audiomachine composers!

Bringing us full circle, the lyrical soul of Amy Willoughby-Burle heralds the end of an unforgettable journey…

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

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Final Hope – Tree of Life

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The music of cicadas and birdsong filled Zoe’s ears. She listened closer and somewhere in the far away she could hear the neighing of horses, the calling of pups, and what could be nothing else but the laughter of children. Even the trees sang—rubbing their leaves together in the wind.

At her feet, Adam stirred. His intake of breath the clearest note of all.

Zoe knelt down to Adam and helped him up to his feet. She turned back to speak to Gaia, but she was gone. “Thank you,” Zoe spoke aloud to Gaia’s memory.

Adam breathed in deeply to get his wits about him. He called out in a whinny and there at his side was the steed on which he had first arrived.

“Where are we?” Adam asked Zoe.

“Back where started from,” she said. “Begun again.”

Adam’s horse stamped his hoof against the ground and green spread out around the three of them, running across the earth toward the sapling already branching out, stretching up toward the sun.

Like Adam and Zoe, the very earth was beginning again—just like it was meant to do. Winter’s barren had brought Adam to Zoe and spring to the Tree. Acceptance of the gift of second chance had brought Life to them all.

Zoe took Adam’s hand and placed it on her belly. There was new life budding there as well–born in those moments under the blue sky and palm leaves along the edge of the ocean when she and Adam had found passion and peace in each other’s arms.

All that she and Adam had journeyed together was reflected in nature—both human and earth. Change and choice—destiny and decision. Zoe saw them all for what they were—the serpent, the dragon, the rumble of storm and the shaking of the earth. She remembered her wings and her ability to soar. She remembered the charring of the tree and the tear that brought it back. She understood that each season of life brings with it joys and trials, tests and jubilations, magic and miracles.

Adam wrinkled his brow at his own misunderstanding. “But what is the point of doing it all over again?” he asked. “Aren’t we just repeating the cycle?”

Zoe touched her belly and thought of the baby growing inside. She knelt down at the base of the new born Tree of Life, sure that she could feel the roots shooting beneath the very dirt on which she knelt . Adam joined her and put his arm across her shoulders.

“No,” Zoe said. “Each flower is new, each branch of this tree reaches out in a different direction than before, each leaf that unfolds is as different as each new day that will dawn. And with us, all of us, each birth is a new Adam or a new Eve. A new chance. A new hope to get it right.”

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© 2013 Amy Willoughby-Burle

* Cast YOUR VOTE for favorite chapter in the Tree of Life: Branching Out saga, via private message to Sam’s FB page by August 17th.

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 

Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring C. Lee McKenzie

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’s featured guest author, C. Lee McKenzie, captures the pulse of great storytelling. If your searching for The Write Game, look no further.

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

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Tree of Life

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And this stillness spread until there was no sound except her heartbeat. Her breath.

She faced the wizened woman, the woman called Sophia that she knew as Gaia, Mother of all Earth.

“What does this mean?” Zoe asked, and her voice shattered the silence.

Gaia held out a single leaf.

“Speak to me,” Zoe said. “Tell me. What is this about?” She’d flown with dragons, she’d been strong against the serpent, but this silence frightened her. Gaia frightened her. “Is this the final transition?”

Gaia placed one finger against Zoe’s lips, and then took both her hands in hers.

Within Gaia’s grasp, Zoe remembered the story: the pain of giving life and dying, the joy and sadness of change, the ecstasy of love and the misery of loss. And when Gaia released her, Zoe pressed the one leaf to her heart in gratitude. Gratitude for Gaia’s gift of truth and the silence to recall it. The silence to hear her heartbeat. Her breath.

A tear trickled from her cheek to her chin and fell onto the earth. She let go the leaf and it flittered to a place just beyond where she stood. It fell onto that one small damp spot of tear stained earth. And then the tree she had thought was lost forever, was once more.

It stood before her in the dawn light.

It became the silhouette against the sky at dusk.

And the music of the Tree of Life sprang forth from everywhere, banishing the silence.

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© 2013 C. Lee McKenzie

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 

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 Damyanti Biswas

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’s featured guest, Damyanti Biswas, commands the healing power of the written word. For a healthy dose of literary tonics, visit Daily (w)rite and Amlokiblogs.

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

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Remember the Titans – Tree of Life

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Zoe breathed in the air, rare, like at the top of a mountain. Adam’s face came into sharper focus, much as everything around her, as if each flower petal, pillar, bench, blade of grass had lit up from within. Wondering how the dragon would look in this shimmering light, she turned to find it. But it was gone, and in its place stood the wizened woman, dressed in a plain green robe, the misty clothes of before dissolved in air.

Before her eyes, the woman’s skin lost its wrinkles, her white hair turned a rich red, and she smiled.

“Mother?”

“It is indeed I,” Sophia touched Zoe’s elbow, “You’ve done well, my daughter.”

“So the snake, the dragon?”

“We change form based on who we feel we are. Remember the tree, the eagle?”

“But why, mother?”

“To make up for all I had done. For the Blind one, the Imperfect, who could create, and was thus the Creator. But who had not compassion, nor love. He created Adam and Eve, but did not teach them of the Spirit.”

Sophia’s eyes turned to the ground, and Zoe followed them. Adam had sunk beside her on the grass, a strange stillness about him.

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© 2013 Damyanti Biswas

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 

Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring Vidya Sury

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’s featured guest writer is the passionate coffee lover Vidya Sury. You’ll often find her going a-musing, collecting smiles and inspiring happiness in all those around her.

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

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Hope and Glory – Tree of Life

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Adam and Zoe mounted the dragon and soared into the unknown. The unicorn followed close, watchful, wary, not fully trusting yet. Where would the dragon take them?

Suddenly, a blinding circle of light jolted them out of their reverie. Adam and Zoe watched, mesmerized, as the dragon flapped its wings once, then twice and stopped. The brilliance faded to a gentle glow, to reveal a path of gold. Angels sang as a heavenly fragrance invaded their senses, taking their breath away. As if in a trance, Adam and Zoe alighted.

Zoe curiously reached down to touch the path strewn with a shower of petals – cosmos, dahlias, myrtles and violets. Unbidden, the memory of the day she met Adam filled her mind. She marveled at how the Tree of Life had bound them together. Her spirits lifted and she threw her arms up in joy. Smiling, Adam drew her close and brushed his lips with hers. “I am proud of you” he murmured. They gazed at each other, love shining in their eyes. A powerful emotion gripped them. Love gave way to anticipation and holding hands, they set off down the path, with nary an inkling of their destiny, yet full of infinite hope.

Little did they know that they had crossed heaven’s threshold. The unicorn smiled sagely, pleased, for it knew what awaited them. Glory. And an important mission. The strength of a woman had triumphed over temptation.

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© 2013 Vidya Sury

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 

Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring Elise Fallson

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’s featured guest writer is Elise Fallson, which is french for fabulous photographer and fantastically funny!

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

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Equinox – Tree of Life

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Zoe reached out, but hesitation gripped her soul. Something felt wrong.

“Go on,” tempted the serpent, darkness dripping from its forked tongue.

“Don’t listen my love, it speaks only lies,” Adam said, as he and the unicorn rounded the tree to join her. But their words fell into obscurity as Zoe’s mind recalled the day she met Adam, when the power of life burst through her fingertips for the first time. She remembered the thin man, the old woman, the fire-haired child, and the Tree of Life. That day she had been given a gift and this she had not forsaken.

Instead of the fruit, she took the serpent.

It wrangled in her grasp, hissing in protest but Zoe was stronger. Her fingertips ignited with the power and brilliance of a newborn star, and drove the darkness from the reptile’s heart. The serpent pulled away in a sphere of light that expanded ten fold until a dragon emerged in its place. The animal towered over them, completely covered in scintillating jade-colored armored scales that sent reflected light in every direction. Golden-colored spines sprung from the back of its head to the tip of its tail and glorious wings unfurled across the land.

Looking down at Zoe the dragon said, “Thank you. You broke the curse and brought harmony and equilibrium back to my heart. The Elders chose you well. Climb on, both of you. I have something to show you.”

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© 2013 Elise Fallson

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