Jack Of harts : Mustang Blue:Love On Level 6:The Blue Mist Cruise (The sequel to Mustang Blue)
in a Pale Blue Chevy:Romance and Other Strangeness
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'Jack Of Harts' a "Spaghetti & Rice Mystery"
Retired Italian homicide lieutenant, Frank Borelli has started a private
eye firm with his friend, retired Chinese call girl, Ming Li Chow. The firm is called, Spaghetti & Rice investigations.
Frank has a wacky Italian family, and Ming Li has an 11-year-old son, Tommy, who is the off-spring of the head
of the local Chinese Mafia in Boston. In this case, Tommy Chow's best friend, Jack Hart and his mother, Jean, have
gotten themselves entangled in a battle with the Colombian drug lord in Boston, MA. Only Frank and Ming Li can
help them out of their troubles.
Assault and mayhem ensue
by Mike Corrigan
Michael Eldridge and Bethany Beaune have been together for 12 years;
he plays the piano and writes songs; she is a nurse. Together, as Michael Bethany, the two have written a vivid
novel called Mustang Blue,
in which -- surprise! -- songwriter-pianist and a nurse find themselves in big trouble with a rather entertaining
mystery to solve.
The couple have been living in Bridgton for two years. Standing out above
the unusual self-published work, the novel is well-paced, well plotted, with dashes of spice; Mustang Blue is an adult mainstream novel
awash in the mystery of connection (of several types). The central villain, as it happens, is a Loveman without
normal connections, and it is Jeremy Collins' cold removed from normal human emotion that sets into motion a macabre
series of events, culminating 30 years after the first violent incident with a fiery and most appropriate reunion
of man and machine.
While coincidence often plays a greater role in good fiction than it
does in somewhat more mundane ordinary life, my credulity was stretched a bit by Mustang
Blue. But suspending disbelief was no real strain, in the spell
of such a well-paced book, undertaken by such good writers. (Several typographical errors, apparently a product
of the self-publishing effort, were mildly distracting; they would have been more distracting were not the writing
so well-crafted. The next Bethany book " and there should be one! " could use at least one more thorough
proofreading than this one received.)
The book spans 30 years, with key events set in Colorado, Ohio and Texas.
The main characters' lives intertwine, with a retired cop sharing center stage with the songwriter and nurse. Friendships
are well-drawn, and the major characters all have distinctive personalities and voices. Additionally, all the small
character sketches are well-drawn. Scene-setters, describing rooms and outdoor scenes, are also various, apt and
"accurate", in the sense that the reader gets a solid feel for each new place, with a hint of the owner's
persona within the sensory details of each description.
Sample this first glimpse of "good cop" Vince Barnett:
"A car door slammed and an immense man blustered through the open doorway. He was at least six-foot-six and
three hundred pounds, with not an ounce of fat. He wore a gray University of Colorado sweatshirt and sweat pants
along with Nike shoes with a red swoosh on the sides--- His face looked like it was sculpted from chunks of clay
by an artist who gave up before he had finished. All topped by a shaven head that glistened in the bright light..."
A novel breathes life into characters, and the differences observed in
these book people are real and convincing. A wide array of humanity is set before us, but so many of those limed
are, at heart, good people that the book delights, on several levels. Since the villain is a frozen-hearted as
a Popsicle, the average good people of the world are made to look even more wonderful. Jeremy Collins, the villain,
is frieghtening, almost emotionless, and yet he's believable, too. His actions and fate in this novel can be read
as object lessons on the hazards and pain of self-absorbtion.
Anyway, if you ever have the chance to buy a vintage, silver-blue Mustang,
something inside you may hesitate. And if a pretty girl in a yellow sun dress is hanging around, well I recommend
that you pass up the opportunity, no matter how persuasive the salesman is!
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On Level 6
Each human being has a richly
worked edifice of experience, exultation, despair, fear, and courage in his or her soul. The exciting, tragic,
and revealing moments of a lifetime are woven into a structure that is what sustains us all with strength and promise;
in its dreams, it's very interior of being. The most important experience of all is loving and being loved.
In 1977, I had a strange dream, woke up and wrote the short story, "On To Level Number Seven". (See my
short story collection, "Romance and Other Strangeness") In 2006, while I was working on a cruise ship
doing one week cruises in Alaska, I had another dream, woke up and wrote "Love on Level Six". The original
short story became the prologue for this story about love and loving.
In the form of a fictional
story, "Love on Level Six" asks some of the age old questions; What happens when we die? What is love
all about? Can love be the way for good to conquer evil? What lies beyond this earthly existence? Is
there really a heaven and
hell, or is there much more than that? Some of the possible answers in this story are a uniquely different approach
to love and the hereafter. Love is the answer.
Blue Mist Cruise (The sequel to Mustang Blue)
The old cruise ship, "The
Majestic", is on her last year of cruises. It is haunted by its sister ship from another dimension. David
Sheerson is on his last music contract playing on cruise ships.
Somehow, David finds himself
trapped in the Majestic's mysterious sister ship. He deals with being trapped in this opposite dimension; along
with a cast of other unfortunate passengers and manages to figure out a way to get out everyone back to the real
When David's friend, Tony
Chapman, later goes on a cruise on "The Majestic" with his lady friend, late one night, they happen to
see someone toss a body over the side into the sea. Tony, being a retired homicide cop, tries to find the man who
threw the body over. Unfortunately, he comes up empty handed.
After telling David about
the experience, the three of them look up statistics of missing people. It seems several middle-aged women have
disappeared from the Majestic over the last couple of years.
David, his wife Ann and Tony
find themselves chasing a serial murderer into the supernatural dimension of The Majestic's sister ship.
in a Pale Blue Chevy
In 1952, after eight years
in the service, Jonah Finley mustered out of the Army. He bought a brand new 1952 Chevrolet Bel Air; pale blue
with a black top. He then headed west to seek his fortune, with his savings tucked in a small money pouch.
Along the way from Boston
to Los Angeles, he stopped in five cities to work for a few weeks or a couple of months, each. Then he would travel
to the next stop; finally reaching Los Angeles nearly a year later.
Now, nearly sixty years later,
in his mid-eighties, he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Over the years he had amassed quite a fortune.
At a base near Portsmouth
New Hampshire, Master Sergeant, Joe Brisco is about to retire, at age 42, from 25 years in the service. He finds
a note for him on the bulletin board in the mess hall. It is from someone named Wilber Clem. It is an offer for
a job, and contains a number in Rhy, New Hampshire to call. Joe has no family, and is at loose ends about what
to do when he retires. He decides to make an appointment for the following weekend.
Jonah Finley hires Joe to
take the 52 Chevy (Jonah has kept it all these years, restoring and up-dating it a couple of times) and follow
his route to Los Angeles, stopping in the cities where he had worked back in 1952. He wants Joe to find the people
who befriended him on his journey, or their families and give them various cashier's checks in the amounts from
$50,000 to $200,000. He provides Joe with information and the checks. Jonah keeps in touch with Joe by a private
cell phone, and just before Joe reaches each city, Jonah calls and relates to him his adventures in that city in
On Joe's journey, he finds
some friends and adventures of his own. At the end of Joe's trip, he gets the biggest surprise of his life.
& Other Strangeness
This is a collection of fast-read
short stories. The stories vary from the erotic, to the romantic, to the bizarre. From love to murder in one felt
swoop. Each story is a unique and engrossing tale.
Aleme Publishing and Skys Unlimited Inc. are owned by Michael Eldridge.
Aleme Publishing holds the copyrights
on Michael's books and original compositions.
Skys Unlimited Inc. is the label
for Michael's CD's
©Copyright 2011Michael Eldridge All Rights Reserved.
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