Literary Fiction – The Other La Bohème

The Other La BohèmeThe Other La Bohème
By Yorker Keith
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: April 15, 2017
ISBN: 978-1483591988
ASIN: B06VWFW3XZ
Pages: 364
Genre: Literary Fiction

The Other La Bohème is literary fiction that depicts the lives and loves of four friends who pursue opera singers’ careers in present-day New York City. Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzo-soprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone) met in music school in Manhattan, where they performed Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème at their graduation concert. After graduation they banded together as a group called the Dolci Quattro, pledging to support one another in their professional pursuits. Several years later, they have landed the roles of Mimi, Musette, Marcello, and Rodolfo in the nearly forgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo—known as “the other La Bohème”—which is to be produced by the New York Bel Canto Opera.

Alluding to the opera form, the novel opens with an Overture, a hymn that leads into Act I. Scene 1 begins with arias and a duet sung by Henry and Stephanie in the Café Momus. Jennifer and John come in, and they congratulate each other on their new roles. Immediately, though, the thoughts of the current state of their personal lives cool their enthusiasm.

Each Scene that follows is narrated alternately by one of the four members of the Dolci Quattro. As the story unfolds, Jennifer discovers that her fiancé, Richard, an investment banker and a fiction writer, is having an affair with another woman. Stephanie struggles to find a steady love, while perturbed by a strained relationship with her father, a billionaire hedge fund manager, who abandoned her late mother. Henry faces a pressure from his family to renounce his bohemian life for a more respectful career as he meets his new love, Christine, a poet. John receives a summons for divorce from the lawyer of his wife Michelle, a painter.

Set in the rich artistic backdrop of New York City, as the novel proceeds from Act I to Act II, Act III, Intermezzo, and Act IV, the Dolci Quattro’s lives and loves go through ups and downs in joy and despair, while true to their pledge they give one another much-needed moral support. As the opening night nears, the Dolci Quattro make their utmost efforts to perfect their singing for the opera that will determine their future.

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Other Books By Yorker Keith:

Remembrance of Blue RosesRemembrance of Blue Roses
By Yorker Keith
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: April 2016
ISBN: 978-1483562193
ASIN: B018STIFKG
Pages: 294
Genre: Literary Fiction

Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.

Mark, the narrator and an American, works for the United Nations in New York as a personnel officer; his friend, Hans, German, also works for the UN as an economist; and Yukari, Japanese and Hans’s wife, is a professional violinist. One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond.

The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as expectant mother. Mark, Hans, and Yukari celebrate New Year’s Eve at the height of their friendship and happiness. … Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

… Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

 

Yorker Keith LogoAbout the Author:
Yorker Keith lives in Manhattan, New York City. He holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School. His literary works have been recognized four times in the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition as a finalist or a semifinalist.

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Coming of Age/Family Saga – Shadow Heart

shadow-heartShadow Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 1
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952903
ASIN: B00IICDHO8
Pages: 340
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

What if you were afraid to even turn the doorknob to your front door when coming home because of what might wait inside? What would it take to make you step out of your shadows, to once and for all break free from the twisted security of familiarity, and take a chance, a little risk, that could change everything?

Nicky Young is a woman who has come of age and is beginning to realize the first layer of her fears carried through her childhood from growing up in a family battling alcoholism. They have impacted her severely when forming relationships.

Abandonment, devaluing, fear of everything good ending—all are why she has been happy to stand back in the shadows. Watching. Observing. Stepping out only when safe. Until Ryan Tilton, a professional baseball player who also has abandonment issues of his own, promises her a relationship that could be like no other.

Now, in order to transition into a life she’d always imagined, she needs to take the first steps of risk to embrace the rise and fall, the love and heartache, and joys of life. Through small steps she struggles to trust, most importantly herself, but also others, enough to let them a little closer. The rage of her father’s addiction pushes and pulls her back, but with all her heart she wants to break free and start a life that is brilliant and unafraid of failure. But can she?

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Other Books in the Broken Bottle Series:

fire-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-twoFire Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 2
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952927
ASIN: B00NE5DSSO
Pages: 367
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

My heart is on fire. For the first time in my life I am awake and the desires I’ve pushed down are smoldering. The shadows of my youth are daring me to step away from them, and new visions are circling through my head that include having intimacy in a way I never dreamed of.

My name is Nicky Young. This is my coming of age story and family saga. I have begun to understand if I want to live differently than my parents—an alcoholic father and co-dependent mother—I need to love, forgive, trust and live with an open heart. As I look in the mirror, I am seeing a new woman emerging—one I’m not sure of and trying hard to discover.

Through family dysfunction and by the lack of affection in my household I learned not to get too close. Rage and violence lurked when we became vulnerable and the way I learned to protect myself was to build high and thick walls of defense around my heart. I dream about having a full, open, and intimate relationship. I want a real adult romance with every beat of my heart. But I can’t trust anyone enough—especially myself.

That was until I met Ryan Tilton, a very sexy professional baseball player who lost his father at only fourteen. In many ways we seem to be ancient spirits. He promises to hold me in his arms like I’ve never been held, and is offering me a chance to step out of fear and experience what is like to ask for what I want without being afraid. I feel my heart opening. I feel . . . joy.

This is my battle: A fight to break generational chains of dysfunction and addiction, to understand the choices of my parents, to love and trust myself, so that I can love and trust another. This story is about transitioning into joy. I invite you to follow me on my journey and the struggle I’m desperate to overcome.

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jagged-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-3Jagged Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 3
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952958
ASIN:  B01E81MGUS
Pages: 264
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

Swept into a romance with professional baseball player, Ryan Tilton, we’ve just had an evening of dreams—until I wouldn’t have sex with him. I couldn’t risk it. To me, sex means marriage. It means love and forever. I tried to explain. I didn’t hide it. But to him, it means love, acceptance, and that he wouldn’t be abandoned the same way he was when a boy of fourteen and his father was killed in the Middle East. He’s pleaded with me to tell him my feelings and openly tells me he loves me. I can’t repeat the words. Once I do, he’ll abandon me just like my parents—discounting my feelings because they can’t deal with their own. I couldn’t risk it. I knew he’d leave.
Dad battles his alcoholism. Mom embraces her co-dependency. They’ve gambled with their daughters’ mental and physical safety multiple times over the years.

I’m at a crossroads trying to understand this threshold of being an adult, yet emerging from childhood. It’s as if a tornado has taken me into it’s roar spun and tossed me around, breaking me away as I cling to the twisted security of my family—even the word “secure” sends a shiver through me. I’ve never been.

Being raised in an dysfunctional family battling alcoholism whispers, stay hidden in the shadows, be safe, don’t be noticed or share too much.
I know this is it.
I need to take a risk.
I need to let go of old fears, forgive my parents, embrace intimacy and move forward. I need to trust—especially myself—so that I can transition into joy.

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amazing-heart-broken-botles-series-book-4Amazing Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 4
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0996380614
ASIN:  B01E886M9M
Pages: 2336
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

It’s Amazing, but for the first time in my life I have let go of the control. I’ve battled so hard to hold onto the twisted security of my family’s battle with alcoholism—it’s what I’ve known—never risking too much, holding back, so the hurt didn’t cut too deep. Now?

I feel a new life
An unknown.
Vulnerable.
It’s magnificent.
It’s . . . intimacy, being held, letting someone see into my dark places so the light, hidden since a little girl, can finally become brilliant.

It’s amazing. I’m about to shout my love for a man who seems to understand me like no one ever has. After I do, will everything fall apart? In my heart of shadows, the fear of being abandoned beats inside my head with regular rhythms.

“Please take me in your arms,” I say silently. “Accept my dark places. Help me understand you won’t leave me.” Maybe I’m dreaming when he says, “Whatever path we choose, whatever arises, we’ll overcome our fears.”

Have a finally been set free from generational mistakes that are passed forward in our family? Dare I ask for what I want and trust myself enough to share my thoughts, wishes, dreams . . . dare I actually hope in another person? Will he break his promises like my parents did to me? Can I really, really, be alive, be vulnerable, open and reach for deep, sensual intimacy? Can I take a risk and transition into joy?

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shadow-heart-author-pamela-taeufferAbout the Author:
My passion is writing books that tell a love story and family saga of leaving old fears behind as the characters embrace intimacy and transition to joy. My first series, Broken Bottles, details those fears of growing up in a family battling alcoholism. Along with the struggle and pain of a parent’s rage, there is intelligence, strength, and survival. How to love intimately in all relationships is the challenge. For children of trauma, it can take years to let another person come close. When they do? It’s like rainbows cover their heart.

Slowly, you’ll read how my characters become vulnerable, reach for deep, sensual intimacy, and try desperately to let go of their fears. They struggle and risk everything to trust others—and themselves. My stories are about daring to take the baby steps that let them really come alive and in every way, experience and give love.

MAKING MONEY TO CREATE: The small, vacation rental/ property management company I run with my husband and son in Sonoma County, California allows me to have the money for my creative life. I love that I was born and raised in San Francisco. My father introduced me to baseball when I was six. I’ve rung a cable car bell, and went to concerts in Golden Gate Park with my sister where Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Santana once played.

WHAT I’VE DONE/AM DOING – IT’S A JOURNEY OF DREAMS: Broken Bottles is a four part series. Two books, Shadow Heart and Fire Heart, are ready. Soon to follow are Jagged Heart and Amazing Heart. I’m honored to have 3 poems in an anthology called The Beats Go On, and a story in Sisters Born, Sisters Found. I have released the first book in a series for Introverts called The Introverts Guide to the Galaxy: Attending Conferences.

My Dream? To create beautifully decorated and custom journals with gorgeous paper that accompany each book series: The Introvert’s Journal, A Family Saga Journal, My Body’s Journal, and Trauma: You Can’t Stop Me Journal. Journaling was a lifesaver for me. I was in shock. You may be in shock. Don’t let that keep your heart frozen!

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Literary Fiction – Worthy Of This Great City

worthy-of-this-great-cityWorthy Of This Great City
By Mike Miller
Publisher: JAM Publishing
Published: October 2016
ISBN: 978-0998275918
ASIN: B01M9BV645
Genre: Literary Fiction, Satire

Ruth Askew, a minor celebrity, is spouting some highly incompetent philosophy about the end of virtue. Con Manos, a journalist, is attempting to uncover a political scandal or two. Add some undistinguished members of City Council, an easy listening radio station, a disorganized charity, a prestigious Philadelphia newspaper, any number of lawyers, and other professional criminals for a scathing study of profound stupidity at loose in a post-truth, morally uncertain city.

About the Author:
Mike Miller is a Philadelphia resident.

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Literary Fiction – Remembrance of Blue Roses

remembrance-of-blue-rosesRemembrance of Blue Roses
By Yorker Keith
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: April 2016
ISBN: 978-1483562193
ASIN: B018STIFKG
Pages: 294
Genre: Literary Fiction

Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.

Mark, the narrator and an American, works for the United Nations in New York as a personnel officer; his friend, Hans, German, also works for the UN as an economist; and Yukari, Japanese and Hans’s wife, is a professional violinist. One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond.

The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as expectant mother. Mark, Hans, and Yukari celebrate New Year’s Eve at the height of their friendship and happiness. … Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

… Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

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Praise for Remembrance of Blue Roses:

“Remembrance of Blue Roses by Yorker Keith is about loyalty, friendship, and love. The story swept me off my feet and into a beautiful yet sad tale. The ending brought back a little bit of peace to my heart. … Yorker Keith’s writing has a way of drawing readers into his world of fiction. I couldn’t stop reading once I opened the novel. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers everywhere.” — Urban Book Reviews

“Author Yorker Keith weaves an intriguing storyline against the backdrop of the United Nations organization which follows the lives of Hans and Yukari, a married couple, and Mark, their close companion, as they discover the tether to the past that ties them to each other. … Throughout the threesome’s unconventional relationship in Remembrance of Blue Roses, Keith’s credibility is heightened by his adroit storytelling approach. There is no moment when skepticism or disbelief overshadows the probability of this friendship. The premise that three people can love one other unconditionally and without enmity is a theme from which Keith does not stray. Uniquely well written, Remembrance of Blue Roses is a contemporary window into the characters’ lifestyles, which will remain indelible as the beauty of a blue rose.” — Pacific Book Review

“A gem of a novel, providing a deep and satisfying journey with flesh-and-blood characters, excellent writing that occasionally soars to memorable heights, and a fearless exploration of the complexity of falling in love with a person who, while irresistible and reciprocal, is also attached to a dear friend who deserves loyalty. Highly recommended!” — The Columbia Review

“A skillful tale that explores relationship nuances and redemption.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Yorker Keith’s Remembrance of Blue Roses is a slow-burning,
passionate literary novel that speaks to the romantic in all of us.
… A precisely-written, well-crafted literary work that illuminates
the many facets of love, obsession and, ultimately, redemption.” —
Chanticleer Book Reviews

“A deftly crafted, multi-layered, compelling read from beginning to
end, Remembrance of Blue Roses establishes novelist Yorker Keith as an extraordinarily gifted storyteller.” — Midwest Book Review

“Readers who enjoy a sophisticated and well-written book about the
complexity of human relationship will definitely enjoy Remembrance of Blue Roses.” — Readers’ Favorite

Remembrance of Blue Roses Author Yorker KeithAbout the Author:
Yorker Keith lives in Manhattan, New York City. He loves literature, theatre, classical music, opera, and art. He holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School. His literary works have been recognized four times in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition as a finalist or a semifinalist.

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Literary Women’s Fiction – Play for Me

play-for-mePlay for Me
By Celine Keating
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 978-1631529726
ASIN: B00TQMRAFG
Pages: 217
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

It happens without warning: At a folk-rock show at her son’s college, Lily becomes transfixed by the guitarist’s unassuming onstage presence and beautiful playing—and with his final note, something within her breaks loose.

After the concert, Lily returns to her comfortable life—an Upper West Side apartment, a job as a videographer, and a kind if distracted husband—but she can’t stop thinking about the music, or about the duo’s guitarist, JJ. Unable to resist the pull of either one, she rashly offers to make a film about the band in order to gain a place with them on tour. But when Lily dares to step out from behind her camera, she falls deep into JJ’s world—upsetting the tenuous balance between him and his bandmate, and filling a chasm of need she didn’t know she had.

Captivating and provocative, Play for Me captures the thrill and heartbreak of deciding to leave behind what you love to follow what you desire.

play-for-me-author-celine-keatingAbout the Author:
Céline Keating is the author of two novels, Layla and Play for Me. Play for Me was a finalist in the International Book Awards, the Indie Excellence awards, and the USA Book awards. Her short fiction has been published in many literary journals, and she was the first-place winner in the Hackney Literary Awards for short fiction for 2014. Keating is also a music journalist and plays classical guitar.

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