Another Soul-work Comes to Full Fruition …

The moment draws nearer at long last. A new album will be released across all international streaming and sales outlets (Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Pandora, Deezer, etc., etc.) on Tuesday, October 25, 2022. Thirteen original songs written, arranged, and performed by singer-songwriter Jonathan Kieran. JERICHO—a harrowing sonic journey through desolation, discovery, and redemption. Produced by Jonathan Kieran for Treehouse Ladder Music in association with Every Tuesday Productions.

PRESS NOTE:

With his debut album, JERICHO, singer-songwriter Jonathan Kieran unveils a striking song-cycle that draws upon original and retro-electronica/ambient soundscapes to traverse a haunting spectrum of the human spirit. From gothic laments and trippy, elegiac anthems that explore tormented pathways of the human soul, to stark piano ballads reflecting the exaltation of desire and gratitude, Kieran navigates a distinctly personal pathway between forces of Darkness, Light, and Shadow. Weaving themes of yearning, grief, anger, loss, and redemption into a sonic tapestry at once harrowing and healing, Jonathan Kieran has crafted a signature work that should remain emblematic of the spiritual quest for many years to come.

In addition to his work as a singer and songwriter, Jonathan Kieran is a Kirkus Reviews, Midwest Book Reviews, and Manhattan Book Reviews-acclaimed author of several works of fiction (Wistwood, Rowan Blaize) and non-fiction (Confessions from the Comments Section). Jonathan is also an award-winning multi-media illustrator, woodworker and editor. He lives in the woodlands of Northern California. For more information about Jonathan’s life and diverse expressions of artistry, visit his official website at www.JonathanKieran.com or follow him on Instagram and Facebook. Stay tuned for additional news about the October 25, 2022 release date.

QUOTE FROM JONATHAN:

To me, it really is all about manifesting visions and songs of both spirit and intellect while navigating this mortal coil. Know thyself by duty … show thyself in beauty.

#JonathanKieran #AuthorJonathanKieran #JerichoAlbum #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranAlbum #TripHop #Ambient #SingerSongwriter #JonathanKieranAuthor #JonathanKieranWriter #EveryTuesdayProductions #TreehouseLadderMedia #RetroSynth #AmbientPop #PianoBallad #EtherealMusic #SoulQuestMusic #JonathanKieranMusician #NewMusic

Revisiting the Work: Wistwood

SYNOPSIS:

One tormented guy looking for a fresh start. One charming little town hungry for his pain. Wistwood. If you can get there … it already owns you.

Seeking redemption, troubled writer Brask Adams heads into the wild majesty of Big Sur, California, hoping the lost town of Wistwood will offer him a fresh start at life. 

But Wistwood has a way of attracting … or maybe even hunting … people in need of second chances. 

A terrifying way.

Many others are drawn to Wistwood’s promise, heeding signals and voices only they can perceive: 

Beautiful Schuyler wants to abandon her thankless state job and open a quaint antiques shop.

Faded rock star Lleyton wants the perfect place to fix his crumbling marriage once and for all.

Father Jarecki is determined to leave the priesthood behind and build a new kind of church.

But dreams aren’t so easily realized in Wistwood, for beneath the town’s idyllic facade, an ancient and vicious supernatural war is being waged. 

A battle for the souls of the lost.

And only The Landlord reserves the right to feed.

Caught between a tortured past and his desperate vision for the future, Brask, too, comes face to face with a horrifying truth: Hell on earth can be exactly what you make of it. 

In Wistwood, bestselling author Jonathan Kieran crafts an atmospheric and terrifying tale of human culpability. By turns elegiac and raw, Kieran weaves an insinuating psychological tapestry threaded with lust, magic, murder, and a host of unforgettable characters. 

Wistwood is a dark fable certain to haunt readers long after the last core-shattering page has been read

KIRKUS FEATURED PRINT MAGAZINE REVIEW

An obscure village becomes the site of disconcerting, otherworldly incidents in this supernatural novel … Parts of Kieran’s chilling story are deliberately hazy, with unknown characters discussing cryptic objectives. But detailed backstories ground the narrative … Crisp prose gives largely abstract occurrences a visual component … The final act is disturbing and decidedly more visceral, with a satisfying, open-ended denouement. An often mysterious but thoroughly horrifying and macabre tale. –KIRKUS REVIEWS

MY TAKE:

Serious lovers of sophisticated, steadily intensifying supernatural horror will find Wistwood crafted just for them. Mindful of my own literary influences, Wistwood is a novel reminiscent of Lovecraft’s explorations into the terrifying primordial forces that lurk at the edge of nightmares, and the psychologically harrowing plunges taken by Shirley Jackson or Richard Matheson as they dive into the deepest chasms of worldly (and otherworldly) evil.

The characters are as familiar as the people we all know–construction workers, bartenders, schoolteachers, police officers–but in the idyllic town of Wistwood all of them spin toward an unspeakable fate, each approaching that destiny from his or her unique vision of what one thinks is “deserved” in life. Unknowingly, they are all careening together toward the same, merciless judgment. Even a mighty goddess trapped in an ethereal parallel-world shares their collective Enemy and their peril, along with a need to prepare for the ultimate cost of defeat … or possible escape.

In addition to the authors mentioned above, Wistwood should appeal to diehard fans of early Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, and John Connolly, among other dark wordsmiths. A work intended for those who appreciate literary depth and brushstrokes of beauty mixed-in with their unwavering terror, Wistwood welcomes all … but don’t enter lightly; there are Powers here that care little for the hope of earthly redemption. Fortunately, it’s never been a good idea to underestimate the power of the human spirit.

Wistwood was well-received critically and probably features the best fictional prose and imaginative “boundary-pushing” of all my literary endeavors to date. Unfortunately, the novel was released in late April 2020, just as the first nationwide lockdowns were going into full effect. The opportunities to personally promote the work were severely curtailed, but that is the way the cookie doth crumble. When a big, fat, juicy bestseller of mine arrives in the near future, this book and others from my back catalogue will happily allow themselves to be dragged into the limelight retroactively, like so many incandescent tagalong particles trailing in the wake of a blazing comet.

See? It’s just that easy.

BUY THE BOOK HERE or at your Barnes & Noble Bookseller, etc.

And check back soon: Some major news coming next week entirely out of the proverbial left field. #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranOfficialSite #MemoryLane #Novels #KirkusReviews #LiteraryEndeavors #ContemporaryHorror #SpeculativeFiction #LyricalWriting #MysticalNovels #Lovecraftian

Revisiting the Work: Confessions from the Comments Section

Original Book Synopsis:

Internet comments sections are the Roman coliseums of the Information Age, filled with noisy spectators desperate to be heard and slobbering to be satisfied. They may try to blend-in with the crowd by employing fake usernames, but we all know what kind of people they REALLY are, once they start to trumpet their relentless opinions! 

Without regard for others, folks like the All-Caps Idiocy Maximizer, The Yelp Whelp, The Drunken Ranter, and The Puppy Suckler feed like a ravenous zombie-horde upon the putrefying scraps of our bloated pop culture. Clamoring for attention, characters like Rhonda the Reasonable, The Garden-Variety Idiot, The Big Word Hurler, and The Special Snowflake fuel the great, ongoing war between The Smarts and The Stupids. True identities may remain hidden, but in the jungle of internet comments sections, people reveal far more than they think about their secret lives … and why civilization is heading for a spectacular crack-up. 

In ‘Confessions from the Comments Section: The Secret Lives of Internet Commenters and Other Pop Culture Zombies,’ humorist Jonathan Kieran shines an uproarious and irreverent light upon 33 different “types” of internet commenter, exploring issues like religious hypocrisy, narcissism, and celebrity obsession while probing the hilarious depths to which human behavior will plunge when people think they are anonymous online. Read it and laugh or read it and weep … especially if you happen to recognize yourself.

MANHATTAN BOOK REVIEW of Confessions from the Comments Section

Obi-Wan Kenobi once said you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than the Mos Eisley spaceport. Then again, I doubt Obi-Wan spent much time in the comments section of any website, news article, or YouTube video.Confessions from the Comments Section is Jonathan Kieran’s valiant effort to catalogue the seemingly endless parade of trolls, nuisances, know-it-alls, martyrs, and maniacs that contribute to the fetid cesspool known as the average Internet comments section. From racism and self-righteousness to idiocy and borderline illiteracy, he covers all the bases, doing his damnedest to bring into sharp relief just what makes each of these subcategories as distinct as they are irritating. And although there were fewer chuckles than I’d hoped for, Kieran makes many worthwhile points about the self-delusion behind many of these archetypes.While most of the included comic strips and illustrations didn’t do much for me, the Adventures of God were a delight, lampooning the idea of the omnipotent, but disinterested, lord of all creation.Whether you call it a scathing takedown of humanity’s most vocal and ignorant or simply the first stirrings of Internet anthropology, Confessions from the Comments Section is well-executed and rarely off-base.

—Glenn Dallas, MANHATTAN BOOK REVIEW

LOOKING BACK TODAY:

What else can be said about this tempestuous excursion into the exploding world of internet comments sections before the phenomenon of “woke” really grabbed the nation by a stranglehold it has yet to loosen? The whole endeavor is not quite a rant; it’s a calibrated and take-no-prisoners look at different types of personalities that might be discerned beneath the anonymity of any online comments cesspit. It’s definitely funny, though today’s humorless Victorian prudes of the “over-enlightened” persuasion might not think so seven years later, as culture swirls at last toward the Goodbye Forever Chute of the Existential Toilet. I rather think the whole thing was prescient, in its way, and my discernment instincts were in full swing … my Satirical Phaser set to VAPORIZE. Eh, it got some great reviews and sold pretty well. I can live with that.

BUY THE BOOK HERE or order it from Barnes & Noble

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#JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranAuthor #ConfessionsFromtheCommentsSection #Satire #CulturalObservation #PopCulture #CommentsSections #SacredCows #Wokery #Parody #InternetAnthropology

Lovably Bad Kids’ TV On-The-Cheap: Mr. Dressup

TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: MR. DRESSUP (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 1967-1996)

A single adult man who keeps a biologically unrelated little boy living in a tree in his backyard? Welcome to kids' TV from the CBC!

GUILTY OF VEHICULAR FANSLAUGHTER: Ernie Coombs (Canada’s answer to Mr. Rogers … only a lot more caffeinated and likely to bounce off the cardboard walls)

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Nothing touches the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for producing tatty but creative kids’ shows that were built to last and rife with mangy-looking puppets suffering from Borderline Personality Disorders! As a bumpkin-child in the woods of upstate New York, I couldn’t wait to fill my impressionable mind with that one-of-a-kind brand of folksy Canadian Crazy that the CBC pumped into our living rooms on a daily basis via programming like The Friendly Giant and the legendary Mr. Dressup.

Mr. Dressup was probably the “King” of cheesy children’s TV, at least for youngsters in our region who depended upon the seemingly limitless pipeline of entertainment thrift utilized by producers just across the border — producers who had to stage a show with nothing but four or five Ping-Pong balls, construction paper, two asbestos oven-mits and maybe a ukulele. The brain-trusts in Toronto knew how to BRING IT! I only wish today’s bloated and shiftless TV execs could do in an hour with their $9 million budgets what Mr. Dressup’s team obviously did in 10 minutes for a few bucks and a six-pack of Carling-O’Keefe.

Mr. Dressup ran daily from 1967-1996, amassing over 4,000 episodes packed with wanton childishness. That was the whole point! Like most children’s TV programs since the days of Caesar and Cleopatra, the setting and context of the actual characters on Mr. Dressup lacked verisimilitude. Wait. Scratch that. The set-up made absolutely no freakin’ sense whatsoever. First of all, you had a loner-type adult person with no fashion-sense and no apparent prospects for marriage (Mr. Dressup) living in a tiny house crammed with semi-magical knick knacks and strange outfits that were kept in something called a “Tickle Trunk” while, out in the back yard, a child biologically unrelated to the adult lived in a tree.

Uh huh.

On the Mr. Dressup show, the treehouse-dwelling child was a freckled puppet named “Casey”. Casey looked like an unfinished Lady Elaine Fairchilde marionette stolen from the Mr. Rogers set, fitted with a blond page-boy wig and wrapped in a tea-cozy. A parade of disheveled, disoriented and equally unrelated puppet-people streamed constantly through the door of the little house to visit the adult loner and the boy he kept in the backyard tree. This highly unusual and improbable “family unit” was unexplained and therefore taken for granted by the viewing public at the time. We called it “the magic of children’s television.”

Today they call it “a particularly disturbing episode of Law and Order:SVU.”

But that’s how kids’ programming rolled in the days before unseen parents allowed their irritating real-life children to play in the park unsupervised with an obese purple dinosaur on Zoloft that taught them to chant endless verses of black magic composed by Lucifer, Lord of Hell.

In terms of plot, the Mr. Dressup show was rather formulaic and predictable, which was an attribute beneficial to a developing child’s mind, I believe. That whole dynamic has certainly changed. Mr. Dressup, ever-exuberant in his bow-tie and suspenders, would greet his friends in TV Land and prepare them for a morning of storytelling that always involved the retrieval of some indicative costume from the Tickle Trunk. The costume was usually made out of colored gauze, tinfoil and discarded candy wrappers, but we didn’t care, as kids. Sometimes, to our horror, the Tickle Trunk wouldn’t even open, forcing Mr. Dressup to actually “coochie-coo” the damn thing until it coughed-up the goods. That trunk was a coy little tramp.

Once Mr. Dressup donned the Kleenex cape or the fake beard made out of cotton yanked from a thousand Q-tips, he would tell some brief fairy tale that sent us all off to Imagination Town in our pea brains. After that it was time to head out into the backyard for a visit with Casey in the treehouse. The best part about Casey was actually his constant companion, Finnegan the Dog, who looked like an unlaundered sailor’s sock after a nine-month tour of duty. Finnegan the Dog was great because he was entirely mute. Couldn’t bark a note. Couldn’t growl. Couldn’t talk. He was the only silent creature of Irish extraction I ever saw. Mr. Dressup or Casey would talk to Finnegan or ask his opinion about something and the puppeteer would merely make Finnegan’s “mouth” move silently and he would whisper the answer in Casey’s ear. Casey would then translate/interpret Finnegan’s response. He was the original Dog-Whisperer, that Casey.

The entire, belovedly creepy Mr. Dressup crew -- l. to r. the clearly "out of it" and obviously overmedicated Aunt Bird, Alligator, Mr. Dressup, Casey, and Finnegan the Dog

An assortment of guests would soon follow. An alligator-puppet cleverly named “Alligator” might drop by to yammer-on about God-Knows-What and at least once a week you could count on a visit from Aunt Bird, who was the show’s requisite “dazed and confused” elderly puppet. Poor Aunt Bird never made much sense, always looked like she had possibly been mauled in an alley by Finnegan the Dog’s more aggressive canine relations, and she was a definite candidate for Lady Rogaine or whatever it is they recommend for women with unsightly bald patches. Sometimes in tow with Aunt Bird was her niece, Miss Biz, a bug-eyed specimen who was as neurotic and disconnected as Elaine Stritch. Miss Biz, with only about a dozen strands of pink, wispy boa-feathers protruding from her lumpy head as “hair” clearly inherited the Female-Pattern Baldness gene from her dizzy aunt. I always figured there must’ve been an ostrich or maybe a vulture in that follicle-challenged bird-family’s woodpile. Anyhow, after all of this pointless but riveting Goodness, Casey and Finnegan would go to sleep in the treehouse, Aunt Bird and Miss Biz would fly off to whatever sorry, hair-lined nest they called home and Mr. Dressup would conclude the show with a consultation of the Wise Old Owl, which was a framed picture of an owl that would magically come to life and open its cardboard eyes, roll them, say: “Who, who, to-wit, to-woo …” and then offer some word of encouragement to insecure children all over the world … or at least within a 150-mile radius of Toronto, Ontario.

It’s amazing how such low-budget yet creative and lovingly crafted productions had the power to mesmerize children, once upon a time. These characters became as familiar to us as friends when we were young and life was a bit simpler. It all went down not that long ago — as noted, the Mr. Dressup show racked-up 29 years of whimsical entertainment and over 4000 little episodes before the Tickle Trunk demanded a cut of the syndication profits or went on the fritz and refused to reveal its secrets for the unappreciative ADHD demographic of the burgeoning Cyber Age. That’s okay. When the asteroid hits and the Zombie Apocalypse is unleashed upon what precious little is left of civilization, we’ll all be forced to live in treehouses with pets rendered mute by radiation poisoning. I figure I’ll be one of the few who’s ready.

Thank you, Mr. Dressup.

DEFINITIVE DIALOGUE: “Three little birdies, happy and gay. Three little birdies fly away.” (Classic chart-topping Mr. Dressup lyrics)

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Ernie Coombs, who played Mr. Dressup for almost 30 years on the CBC, went on to become a popular figure on the college lecture circuit, especially for generations of students who had “grown up” with the beloved children’s program. Ernie Coombs passed away in 2001. RIP, Mr. D. As for the OTHERS …

Casey from the Treehouse

Perhaps scarred by a youth spent living in the backyard tree of an unrelated adult male, Casey found the transition to adulthood somewhat difficult. Between government checks and visits to his parole officer, he still finds time to audition for local children's theater and enjoys macaroni art. He lives in Winnipeg.

The discombobulated “Aunt Bird”

WARNING GRAPHIC: This is a photo from the Ottawa Police Department's homicide unit, taken Thanksgiving Day 1996. It is the last known photograph of Aunt Bird. Her surviving family members refused to speak to Pop HazMat about the murder, which appears to have been related to the infamous "Savory Stuffer's" string of serial killings that terrorized Canada in the late 1990s.

The Tickle Trunk

Of all the Mr. Dressup cast-members, the Tickle Trunk appears to have fared the best in private life. Tickle Trunk (pictured on the left) is now owned by Lance and Bartholomew,  a fabulous Greenwich Village couple who specialize in restoring worn-out receptacles of all shapes and sizes. "We needed a place to keep our collection of damask napkins and, well, we certainly love to tickle," said Lance. "It was really a no-brainer."

Of all the Mr. Dressup cast-members, the Tickle Trunk appears to have fared the best in private life. Tickle Trunk (pictured on the left) is now owned by Lance and Bartholomew, a fabulous Greenwich Village couple who specialize in restoring worn-out receptacles of all shapes and sizes. “We needed a place to keep our collection of damask napkins and, well, we certainly love to tickle,” said Lance. “It was really a no-brainer.”

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Jonathan Kieran’s epic new book, WISTWOOD, was released in Spring 2020. Kieran is also the author of the Rowan Blaize series of classically appointed contemporary fantasy books (Brightbourne 2012), as well as the critically acclaimed (Midwestern Book Review, Manhattan Book Review) Confessions From The Comments Section: The Secret Lives of Internet Commenters and Other Pop-Culture Zombies. In addition, Jonathan creates and draws the irreverent Zanzibar Circus cartoon and comic strip. His work has been featured on The Daily Dot.com and in a plethora of other ‘zines, papers, and alt-weeklies. Click on the book covers above and to the right if you want to learn more about Jonathan’s current and upcoming titles or purchase them at Amazon.com., Barnes & Noble.com or other excellent outlets.

New Profile Goes “Live” at Shepherd

A few weeks ago I noted that I had been invited by the team at SHEPHERD.COM to create a list of favorite books related in some way to my own work. Shepherd is an exciting new site that draws upon authors’ personal biographies and influences to create interrelated lists of every conceivable literary genre, making it both easy and interesting for avid book-lovers to zero-in upon works suited ideally to their own personal tastes … with countless other intriguing rabbit-holes to explore, as well. I thought it was a sterling concept and gladly added my contribution, which is now “live” on the Shepherd.com website. Click the link HERE to have a peek and discover a treasure trove of hidden gems by all kinds of authors, with the delightful bonuses of personalized panache and genuinely thoughtful recommendations. Helmed by an impressive team of professionals with deep devotion to books, Shepherd is already a literary force and source to be reckoned-with—this will become ever more apparent as they grow by leaps and bounds. Enjoy!

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#JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranAuthor #JonathanKieranWriter #RowanBlaize #Shepherd #ShepherdDotCom #ShepherdBookLists #ShepherdBookSite #NewBookSources #BookIdeas #BookLovers #FindingNewBooks #SpreadTheWord #AuthorProfiles #GreatBookSites #Wistwood #ConfessionsFromTheCommentsSection #DjinRummy #AuthorProfiles

In the name of all that is sacred …

… would the teeming, festering ranks of both the apparently overeducated elite and the slightly more excusable hoi polloi STOP using the term “empathy” like so many obsessive, automated Monkey-See-Monkey-Do androids when, in fact, the contents and contexts of their verbal execrations clearly indicate that they should employ the term “sympathy” instead?

To feel “empathy” for another human being means that you—yourself!—have experienced and endured the same exact circumstance and situation as the person for whom you are claiming to ooze great steaming cauldron-clouds of empathy.

For example, if your best friend is hospitalized after suffering a debilitating car accident, you can only claim to feel genuine empathy for that friend if you, too, have suffered in a debilitating car accident. If you have not been the victim of a debilitating car accident yourself, then you can only offer sympathy for your friend—you have not personally experienced an automobile crash, but possessed of reasonably functioning synapses, you can, at best, imagine the harrowing nature of such a scenario and therefore sympathize.

For a more general example, if a particular community or group of people has been traumatized to its very core by the horror of a mass-shooting, bubble-brained politicians calling for “all Americans to show empathy for” such unfortunate individuals is incorrect in a blatant way and utterly macabre by unintentional implication.

To wit, demanding “empathy” from all people on behalf of massacre-victims presupposes that all aforementioned empathizers have been (or must become) massacre-victims, as well. How nice.

If a lady suffers a natal miscarriage, a man cannot ever “empathize” with her 🙄; nor can another woman who has not suffered a miscarriage herself. Sympathy, however, can be rendered by all with due discretion.

Compassion. Understanding. Sympathy. These are perfectly sturdy, tried-and-true words most appropriate to combat the rampant plague of hive-minded logorrhea afflicting the general populace, the media, our rancid leadership, and even the decrepit halls of academe, compelling them to chant the word “empathy” over and over and over again like sorcerers murmuring in the fetid dark, or transcendental boobs squatting in Bliss-circles at some fucking spirit-spa.

Indeed, buzzwords and neologisms have played a crucial role from ancient times in the proper building and formation of a language, but even the most ingeniously contrived and well-engineered neologisms have never been allowed immediate, easy access into any enduring lexicon; these sorts of terms have been subjected to scrutiny and often hundreds of years of natural cultural remaindering to prove that they not only have withstood the test of time, but that they did not spring from common vulgarities unworthy of a calibrated linguistic system, that they have added to the wonder of language as determined by stringent and accepted parameters. It’s like math, chickens. Rules are in place for life-and-death reasons. For instance, the innocent and well-intentioned use of improper or non-canonical dialect terms and casual ghetto phrases while negotiating peace treaties have gotten many a speaker’s head sliced off on the spot throughout history. If Genghis Khan or Attila or Alexander were still around, they’d confirm this. With swords.

The rubric and bedrock of the beautiful English language was built painstakingly over tempestuous ages by linguists and scientific, lexicographic geniuses into a glorious, colossal testament to human cultural precision, wisdom, and uncompromising achievement. That shining standard now stands upon the edge of a knife—stray but a little [more] and it will fail, to the ruin of all. But hope remains, while the company is true. And majestic and marvelous our English language remains, for the moment. Love and uphold science? Then love English. It’s a science, too.

Moreover, if our own words have been misused, misconstrued, twisted, and mangled by others—and of course this has happened to everyone—then, lo and behold! I do believe we can show some goddamned EMPATHY for English. Imagine that.

#OhTheIrony

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#Rants #JonathanKieran #JustSayin #WakeUpAndSmellTheGroupthink #Empathy #Sympathy #Grammar #LegionsOfIdiots #WeAreWellAndTrulyFucked #JonathanKieranAuthor #StupidBuzzwords #Grammar #CorporateSpeak #AmericanDrivel

Revisiting the Work: Rowan Blaize and the Hand of Djin Rummy

Official Book Teaser:

Twenty years have passed since Rowan Blaize faced his greatest magical foe, but the ancient warlock is still on-the-run with his mortal foundling, Miranda. What better place to lay low than the charming seaside town of St. Augustine, Florida? The Ancient City, however, is already home to voyeuristic ghosts, cocktail-loving vampires, werewolf comedians, and three highly eccentric witches! 

Rowan’s monster-mash celebration is all set for Halloween night, but when a cursed ring crosses paths with a beauty pageant brat, a catastrophe is unleashed upon the partying Ancient City … and possibly the world. Can the witches stop bickering long enough to combine their powers and avert disaster, or will Rowan’s worst fears about an enemy from the past be realized?

Rowan Blaize and the Hand of Djin Rummy is a novel that blends enchantment, satire, suspense, and horror in a delectable cauldron’s-brew-of-a-tale. Fabulous new characters are introduced, elaborate back-stories reveal much about Rowan’s extraordinary past, and tantalizing questions are posed about his future.

Sample Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Funny—Hypnotic Witches and Warlocks Come to Life

I enjoyed this book tremendously. It is about a Warlock and Witches and all sorts of interesting and unique magical characters – with character! The author pokes fun at everyday Witch and Warlock life which rings true in mortal life as well. There is a crazy and nasty Genie that comes out of entrapment in a Ruby Ring and wreaks havoc, but I won’t tell you any more or I could spoil the ending. Overall, the writing is amazing, the book is funny, it took me away from the challenges of everyday life and I love that the author lives near Big Sur, California – a wonderful place for magic! ~Jette

Current Author Reflection:

I wanted to break away from the epic verse and lofty, mystical tone of the initial book about my sorcerer, Rowan Blaize, and get down to a nitty-gritty novelization that allowed me to run the entire gamut of fantasy characterizations in everyday, contemporary language … without losing a shred of the supernatural ambience and fantastical quality. I wanted the book to be raw, full of juicy backstories, rambunctious, and wickedly satirical in places, giving me the opportunity to poke fun at some of our “mortal” culture’s most ridiculous excesses, mainly as a narrative juxtaposition to the necessarily over-the-top portrayals of the many magical denizens inhabiting this novel. The presence of three bickering witches is a nod to Shakespearean motifs, but themes like the absurdity of “little girl beauty pageants” (especially in Southern USA culture) and huckster religious traditions balance-out the overall sense of mayhem and madness, keeping a kind of outrageous, hilarious tempo beating throughout the heart of the book. Perhaps more than anything, I wanted to establish the importance of a specific location as playing a role as a character in the story, all by itself. I used to live in St. Augustine, Florida, and it was an easy choice to employ as a backdrop. St. Augustine is centuries old, grandiose, still slightly ghostly, witchy, and full of its own peculiar Southern enchantment, and loaded with pizzazz. I made the right choice and the result is a sultry, sensuous, snarky tale about what happens when sleepy oceanside tourist towns meet apocalyptic magical forces head-on.

Click on the author’s panel above to the RIGHT to order the book and join the rip-roaring adventure.

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#JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranAuthor #JonathanKieranWriter #RowanBlaize #EpicFantasy #EpicVerse #LyricalWriting #BrightbourneMedia #AuthorMarketingExperts #AME #IllustratedBooks #ClassicalFantasyBooks #GraphicIllustration #AuthorRetrospective #Sorcerers #Witches #Warlocks #SupernaturalThemes #Magic #MagicalTales #ModernFairyTales #StAugustineFlorida #ContemporaryFantasy #SatiricalFantasy #Spells #WildCharacters #DjinRummy #RowanBlaizeandtheHandOfDjinRummy #TheHandofDjinRummy #SupernaturalSouthern Novels #SupernaturalNovels #Sequels

Let Shepherd Do What a Shepherd Must Do

Have a gander at this new and growing site dedicated specifically to guiding avid readers toward books ideally suited to their tastes. The concept of SHEPHERD is intriguing and appears rife with possibilities for those enamored of the written word, whatever the genre.

I have contributed my own list to the up-and-coming Shepherd.com colloquium and will ring a bell or employ some other suitably clamorous device when my profile is published therein. Meanwhile, click the underscored links just above to have a gander at the impressive scope of authors and books already featured by the dedicated team at WWW.SHEPHERD.COM.

As for news concerning my own publishing timetable, work continues apace on several rather exciting and elaborate projects slated for release in the (hopefully near) future. Stay tuned, if you are so inclined. “Things” are taking shape, indeed.

#JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranAuthor #JonathanKieranWriter #BooksOnline #LiteraryWebsites #ShepherdDotCom #ShepherdForBooks #BookAggregators #BookRecommendations #RowanBlaize #Authors #AlternativesForReaders #AuthorNews #Publishing #UpcomingWork #Shepherd

Revisiting the Work: Rowan Blaize

Official Teaser Summary: Ravaged by the fury of a terrifying storm, an ancient sorcerer falls from the sky and crashes into a farm upon the English countryside. Powerless but determined, the wily Rowan Blaize must make his way to London and seek the help of his eccentric Aunt Ariadne, unaware that supernatural perils lurk around every corner. Even more daunting is the ultimate war he must wage against a vengeful goddess in order to reclaim his enchanted heritage. Told in the epic narrative tradition of classics like Hiawatha and The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, Rowan Blaize is a one-of-a-kind fantasy tale to be cherished for the ages. Lavish illustrations enhance a magical story that traverses a breathtaking journey through mystical worlds and encounters with a host of unforgettable characters. A sumptuous feast of enchantment to be savored by readers of all descriptions, Rowan Blaize is the cornerstone work and the “key” that opens the door to the entire series of novels in the Enchanted Heritage Chronicles.

Sample Review:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Outstanding!

—Sue, Amazon VINE VOICE

Rowan Blaize: Book One of the Enchanted Heritage Chronicles by Jonathan Kieran is enchanting indeed. This is the first book I read that is written in epic verse and I loved it. I like poetry but just so much of it and I was afraid at first that I wouldn’t like this book because all I can picture is the hard time I had with Shakespeare in school. Because of this I passed by the book a few times but it did sound interesting since I do like the ‘magical and mystical’ so figured I would give it a try. Once I read the first page, I never put the book down until I was finished. It went from intriguing to captivating that quick.

It is a story with humans, warlocks, witches, faeries, dryads and many other mystical/folklore creatures as characters. These creatures are all struggling to survive in a world where humans are taking over. To be honest with you I couldn’t help but think how sad it is in parts….mainly because it is true. No, I don’t mean that there are all these mystical creatures living among the trees (Or are there?) but there are deer and other wildlife that live in the woods long before humans came and cut them all down. If they could talk, I bet their story would be much the same as what King Narzell told to Rowan Blaize..

There is greed, lies and struggles as well as friendship, kindness and loyalty throughout the story. Speaking of what is throughout the story, much to my delight there are awesome illustrations that only add to the pleasure of this story. The poetry was not hard to understand as you can tell from the partial quote above. The flow and rhythm are excellent and the ending made me smile. I have nothing negative to say about this book at all. I am giving it five stars (because that is as high as they go) and I recommend it everyone.

MY CURRENT REFLECTION: Writing Rowan Blaize was a life-affirming, challenging delight. Classically appointed fantasy tales have intrigued me since I was a child, especially due to their power to express in mystical terms the realities of Good versus Evil and All Things In Between. I don’t think there was ever any doubt that I would get around to writing fairy tales of my own. The idea had long been in the back of my mind, simply as a labor of love. I was excited to embark upon the journey, particularly when I believed that a sense of the “classical” might be leavened with contemporary charm to create something sumptuous and uniquely atmospheric.

Admittedly, the plan to tell the story of my plucky-but-solemn immortal, Rowan, entirely through the medium of epic verse was ambitious, to say the least. There exists no flourishing literary marketplace for poetic tales, epic or otherwise. With this book, however, I wanted to “up” the Enchantment Factor and craft a work that might possess something genuinely wistful and lyrically magical, something of a potentially enduring quality, wherein Old-meets-New in terms of both narrative content and stylistic execution. Besides all of that, I always write according to my direct inspiration, and this is exactly how Rowan and his many adventures first “showed up” to introduce themselves in my mind and spirit—in the form of a soul-song, if you will. I can still hear the first lines as they entered my thought, out of the blue, as a musical whisper.

The other and obviously immense challenge presented by composing Rowan Blaize revolved around my decision to embellish the entire work myself with about 25 elaborate pen-and-ink illustrations. In addition to writing, I have been a professional illustrator, graphic artist, and designer for many years, so this project allowed me to flex two rather different creative muscles simultaneously. The original drawings—all committed to 8 & 1/2 x 11-inch Bristol and then reduced for the book—are crucial to the unveiling of the story and add that extra note of mystery and ambience. But I will admit that the illustrations were, by far, the more painstaking aspect of that particular endeavor. I incorporate a great amount of pointillistic effects in my large-scale illustrative works and that takes an inordinate amount of concentration, patience, time, and instinct, over and above the conceptual bedrock alone. That said, it was a brilliant life-experience to bring it all together and see Rowan Blaize not only finished but published and enjoyed. Thanks are certainly due to the little consortium/editorial panel that believed in the book and published it. And special kudos belong to Penny Sansevieri and her superb marketing team at AME, as well.

The effort will always occupy a special place in the heart, for me, and I’m pleased that the work was well-received and enjoyed (often unexpectedly so!) by people of all backgrounds, and especially in Europe, where appreciation for fairy tales and lyrical writing is still very much alive and well.

To order a paperback or digital copy of Rowan Blaize from Amazon, just click HERE.

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#JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranAuthor #JonathanKieranWriter #RowanBlaize #EpicFantasy #EpicVerse #LyricalWriting #BrightbourneMedia #AuthorMarketingExperts #AME #IllustratedBooks #ClassicalFantasyBooks #GraphicIllustration #AuthorRetrospective #Sorcerers #Witches #Warlocks #SupernaturalThemes #Magic #MagicalTales #ModernFairyTales

Sans Aucun Doute, Le Chateau—C’est Parfait

All hail the labyrinthine wonder that is online access. Though the internets seem to swirl ever-nearer the Abysmal Vortex in terms of their usefulness to the general upkeep of the human intellect, that’s entirely the fault of the humans. Wonders of all sorts may still be encountered by the intrepid wanderer, and the information highway certainly lives up to its name in every sense when it comes to helpful material for bona fide globe-trotters.

I stumbled upon the following article about the Chateau Clair de Lune in Biarritz, France, and can attest personally to the excellence of this enchanting little hideaway. Biarritz, with its sultry mix of oceanside allure and incongruous cosmopolitan quaintness, springs like a curious gazelle out of the mystical thickets of the Pyrenees. The city and its environs have dazzled travelers for ages and have always added razzle to the dazzle of my own visits. Biarritz remains one of my favorite places on earth and the Chateau Clair de Lune is a major plucker of the heartstrings amid that ongoing love affair.

As you will see from the link, the house itself is a fairly unassuming old country estate compared to its far more grand and famous peers in l’Univers des Chateaux Francaises, but what Clair de Lune may lack in sheer magnitude it more than makes up for in charm. Everything the article reports about this beguiling destination is true according to my own experience.

Even the apparent presence of a ghost on the grounds cannot detract from the establishment’s overall excellence—it’s the only time in my entire life when I flat-out saw something utterly inexplicable, hair-raising, and for such a sustained stretch that I had enough time to actually blink and rub my eyes to make certain I was seeing what I was seeing. (I was.) And no spirits of the alcoholic sort were remotely involved in the encounter, I assure.

But that’s the Pyrenees Mountains for you. Deliciously uncanny. Maybe I’ll write more fully about this ghost (or whatever it was) at a later time, but not here, not for free. Perhaps in a book of travel essays when my days of sojourning approach a more palpable denouement.

Until then have a gander at Le Chateau Clair de Lune:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/biarritz/hotels/le-chateau-du-clair-de-lune-hotel/

#Travel #JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranAuthor #France #Pyrenees #Biarritz #Chateau #ChateauClairDeLune #InternationalTravel #Destinations #TravelWriting #LuxuryAccommodation

Will “Teacup Yorkie” Replace the Beloved “Cleveland Steamer”?

Experts are dumping all sorts of prognostications into the mix and stirring quite a pot of confusion about this gripping question. Seasoned linguists from elite academic backgrounds currently find themselves in a pinch regarding the matter. Journalists of repute from every daily paper are rushing to seek the best answers that might drop under cultural pressure from the man, woman, and xzdyizobitwyk on the street:

VANDERBILT POOPER: “I was here in Times Square, just hosing-off my pumps and trying to get a random splash of moisture up into my gussets, when I met Fussbudgita, who was on her way to the grocery store to buy Klonopin. Realizing the timeliness of this wounding cultural battle between teacups and steamers, I literally flitted out of my ‘private mode’ and went FULL NEWSDOG, baby, asking this spicy Mama for her personal take on the enigma. I had some photos in my MxnSatchel, so that helped. I would have filmed our discussion on my new iPhone Probe-ANAL (Anti-Nascent Adumbrated Lariat) but Fussbudgita, who insisted I call her by her nickname, ‘Fudgie,’ didn’t want to appear on video due to potential knowledge of her grocery store’s supply of narcotics and the fact that she was about to unleash a world-changing movement that was not yet ready for mainstream publicity.

Nevertheless, the transcript of our brief exchange can be viewed below:

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Hi! You look glorious! What’s your name, sweetie?”

FUDGIE: “My name is Fussbudgita, but most folks call me ‘Fudgie.’ Who the hell are you and why’d you leap outta that fountain in a skirt with no shirt and them giant silver titty-clamps?”

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Oh, these li’l accessories? They’re irrelevant, silly! I’m a well-respected journalist enjoying my day off!”

FUDGIE: “I don’t believe you.”

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Ohmigod, what? That I’m a journalist or that it’s my day off?”

FUDGIE: “That you’re well-respected.”

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Oh. Okay, I lied about that part, but what I want today is your opinion about this dreadful tug-of-war assailing our culture concerning the term ‘Teacup Yorkie’ potentially replacing ‘Cleveland Steamer’ in our beloved American lexicon!”

FUDGIE: “Yeah, that’s a tough one for all of us. Normally, I’d take a hard pass on this question, but it brings to mind another term that my own dear Mama used often and fondly about the very same phenomenon, and now I’m fit to be tied trying to remember what that term was.”

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Ohmigod! What term was it?”

FUDGIE: “I don’t know, otherwise I would’na said I’m fit to be tied trying to remember, you buttermilk pixie. And don’t you dare try to film me with that phone you just snatched from your ninnywhistle, cabron.”

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Fine, Ms. Fudgie. Have it your way. Instead of the phone—which really is special, once you rinse it—I’ve got these photographs in my SassySatchel. Photos from the famous trial currently underway … the trial that’s caused all this worrisome brouhaha about Teacup Yorkies and Cleveland Steamers, and which term will be most politically correct to use going forward! The future of a nation hangs on this conundrum, like hair shorn from a destitute Mumbai virgin weaved onto the head of a multi-suckling welfare mother in Lansing! Can I show you some photos?”

FUDGIE: “Well, I’ll look at most anything for twenty seconds. What have you got?”

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Gah! Have a look at this, though I daresay it won’t help you remember your Mama’s beloved term for the Teacup Yorkie!”

FUDGIE: “Wrong, bitch. This brings Mama’s words flooding RIGHT into my brain.”

VANDERBILT POOPER: “Ohmigod?!? What’s the term?”

FUDGIE: “Dirty Sanchez.”

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#BringOnTheAsteroid #AmericaTheBeautiful #TeacupYorkie #ClevelandSteamer #TheWestHasFallen #Priorities #AllOverButTheShouting #FiftyYearsAtTheOutside #NoWonderTheyHateUs #DisForDepravity #ReadGibbon #MonkeyPox #Goodnight

Who Could Have Possibly Foreseen an Ashley Judd Essay at this Juncture?

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/ashley-judd-pens-essay-1st-mothers-day-without-naomi-judd-165807838.html

Mark my words: at Naomi Judd’s open-casket globally broadcast funeral there will be 12 Geese-a-laying, a minor cartel hit, medieval mummers identifying as Post-Structuralist origami artists, dill pickles, Norwegian sailors debating how to best bake a capybara, half a tennis ball, three county-approved tickle fights, the widow of a legless flamenco legend, a mysterious postcard, the extra box of wigs from that storage unit Uncle Cactus rented, and Fentanyl.

Also, there shall be navigating, delving, encountering, processing, rebirthing of prior analogues, entering, draining of unexpected reservoirs, primal grunting, immediate accessorizing of certainties, and rectification. Heaps of that last one.

#RSVP

#satiricalriffin