Monday, October 20th, 2014
We are excited to host a true rolling stone at heart, Marcel Feldmar, at the Highlighted Author. Well traveled, well rounded, and with so much to write about, Marcel brings us his debut paranormal pop fiction novel, THE DEVIL’S JUKEBOX. Just in time for Halloween, too! This book has ghost hunters, Muses, immortals, and more for a can’t-put-it-down experience that will keep you up into the wee hours of the night. Marcel is also offering a special bonus buy for the holiday:
A Halloween treat:
If you order the paperback version of The Devil’s Jukebox through CreateSpace (https://www.createspace.com/4324532 ) between now and November 1st, you’ll get 25% off! Just use the following discount code: W5QTDU49
…and the magic will happen.
Enjoy this fabulous discount and the feature! –Jo Grafford, Highlighted Author Co-Hostess
A Note from Marcel
I grew up in Canada (Vancouver), but moved around and found myself living in Denver and Seattle, and then I met the woman who ended up capturing my heart. She took it back to Los Angeles, so I followed—and now I’m living in California with my wife—and three little dogs who try to help me write, but end up just getting my keyboard dirty. These movements through the cities definitely helped inspire different parts of The Devil’s Jukebox, but it wasn’t until I quit playing music and turned my creative focus towards writing that I managed to piece together the whole story.
I’m new at this whole “novel-writing” thing, but I have been enjoying it. The Devil’s Jukebox is my debut novel, and it feels as if it took me forever to write, although from first to final draft —it was probably a little less than three years. I have been writing poetry since before high-school, and that still continues randomly, but I felt that I had a story that needed to be told. I’m a little sad that it’s over, but the fact that I actually finished it has inspired the beginnings of a few new stories. So there will be more works from me in the hopefully near future.
While my writing could be considered Urban Fantasy, I believe that “Paranormal Pop Fiction” is a more apt genre. It seems to me that Urban Fantasy, as a genre, is now overflowing with seductive vampires, sexy werewolves and lusty demon hunters—and that’s not my world.
My world is your world, only with other planes of reality attached to it. The Muses, The Immortals, The dead. There are vampires, there are werewolves, there are people who believe in all of that, and those who don’t. There are records, comics, toys, movies. These are characters who have seen the remake of Dark Shadows. These are beings who have seen Bauhaus play live. These are Immortals who just want to enjoy a good drink and listen to some music. These characters live in a literary world of supernatural proportions, where there is a great importance placed on images created; the lyrical flow of words, the emotions given to the reader, the touches of beauty that can sometimes take precedence over plot. This is the world of Paranormal Pop Fiction, and there’s enough room for all of us to live within it.
The Devil’s Jukebox
Take one burned out Immortal, a reluctant ghost hunter, a mysterious DJ and a seductive villainess. Add Fate, Fortune, the modern day Muses, and the Devil’s Jukebox. What you get is a supernatural road trip with rock and roll.
It began twenty years ago when Jonathan Satori discovered that he could speak to the dead… and that his best friend Phillip was immortal. Now Jonathan must confront an evil power in order to keep the forces of inspiration from extinction. The Greek deities known as the Muses are real—and in trouble.
In order to protect the Muses from the selfish desires of a renegade immortal named Pandora, Jonathan and his high-school friends must reunite to find a mythical object; a jukebox with a revitalizing power. The only problem is that Pandora wants the same thing. The companions band together on a perilous journey, and along the way they struggle with love, loss, and the bonds of blood and friendship that stretch beyond the confines of life and death.
It could have ended differently. But it ends like this.
Or, more accurately, this is how the ending begins.
It begins in the summer.
In Los Angeles.
Jonathan feels like something not good is waiting to happen. He doesn’t always feel like this, just on birthdays, holidays, and most of the days between. This is a day that holds something bad. He’s been avoiding talking to Fortuna recently, since he feels like he’s been working on these kinds of jobs long enough to be able to find the right answers on his own. But this isn’t an ordinary case. This time he’s going to need help.
He wishes that he could tell Phillip what has really been going on with Pandora, but he can’t. Not yet, perhaps not ever. Phillip has helped a lot, moving in and out of his life like an older brother, no, like a good friend. Ever since Sebastian died. Jonathan looks at his drink. He’s going to need more alcohol too.
Phillip wants him to find Pandora, but that’s something he doesn’t think he can do alone. That’s why he’s convinced himself that he should talk to Fortuna. He still isn’t sure who Fortuna is or how she knows what she knows. Kalinda introduced them one night in San Francisco, but he never learned where, exactly, she came from. He is grateful that she doesn’t mind sharing her knowledge with him. He had entertained thoughts that Fortuna might be involved with black magic, but he knows he’s wrong.
She is beyond good and evil.
Jonathan taps his fingers on the bar. He’s hanging out at Swampland, while the DJ tears up the vinyl, spinning through a mix of early ’70s punk rock obscurities and British Invasion hits. He turns to look but the DJ booth is shrouded in shadows and dim red light. He thinks about saying thanks for the songs but decides he doesn’t need another excuse to stay.
“Right, let’s just get it done.”
It took him a while to find Fortuna. She’s someone that even the dead don’t like to talk about, and the dead love to talk. It took a few visits to Hollywood Forever, a boom box, and an old Shriekback cassette. He felt like a gothic Lloyd Dobler, but he finally got his answer. The Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard, Room 29. Now that he knows where she is, the trick is to work up the nerve to go there. Jonathan knows he shouldn’t go. He doesn’t always listen to the word “shouldn’t.” He shouldn’t be infatuated with a woman named Pandora who is the next best thing to a vampire, and not a good one. He probably shouldn’t be trying to track her down either. He knows Fortuna might be able to tell him where she is; he kind of hopes that she can’t.
Clearing away spirits is like tearing down the dusty latticework of old cobwebs accumulating in a musty attic. That he can handle, though it gets a little dirty at times. Vampires, though, they’re solid. Blood-sucking evil solid, and he isn’t looking forwards to dealing with any of them. Not that Pandora is a real vampire, but she’s close enough. He’s been running from her and searching for her at the same time, and it’s getting old.
“Damn you, Phillip,” he grumbles as he leaves Swampland, wishing reality was like it used to be. As far as he knows, Phillip’s the same as Pandora but, at least so far, not evil. Phillip did help Jonathan get settled in Los Angeles.
Jonathan can clean out a haunted dive bar in about twenty-four hours, he can exorcise a possessed drum kit in the time it takes to listen to the extended mix of Fascination Street, he can purify a stage from spectral remains before a band returns for an encore. He just doesn’t know if he can take out Pandora. He walks fast down the sidewalk, passing all of the faceless people, and then—
A dark-haired woman moves past him with a sidewalking glare. She struts hard in high black boots. She’s stalking the streets like a storm on the concrete, heels over heartbeat, and Jonathan’s breath catches in a suddenly broken rhythm.
She’s a whiplash girl twisting necks, and he feels the stirrings of a fever.
He doesn’t even care about the weather; he just knows it’s better when it’s hot.
This heat holds, and slides out from between her steps. He watches her tight black dress, the fabric painting eyes and stirring blood. Slick lick lips, thigh-high and higher. She hits him with a flash of red, a slip of a smile, like some reptile out for a spin.
Jonathan stops, but it’s not her.
He still has time. He needs to figure out how to get away from Pandora—for good. It feels like they’ve been haunting each other for an eternity, though it’s only been a few years. He needs to know where she is and how to stop her. The only person Jonathan knows who might have answers is Fortuna. She always has answers. She always freaks him out as well.
Jonathan waits for his hands to stop shaking. He watches the sun set in the reflection of skyscrapers, pulling the half moon to rest behind a closed curtain of brilliant clouds. He connects the stars while walking between parked cars. Some quiet frenzy slips inside him, and he hides it from the outside world. He already knows what song she’s playing as he moves up the stairs. He can feel the rhythm tracing taut lines around his veins with a wire’s kiss.
I am the fly.
Jonathan walks through the cold night into Fortuna’s motel room.
Jonathan sits, listening to the sound of his own breathing, watching Fortuna move around the room.
“I’m glad you made it, Johnny Satori.”
“Of course. Where else could I have gone?”
She gives him a tight smile and a look as if she knows what he’s thinking. She probably does. He’s wondering where he’ll be when he dies. Anywhere but here, he hopes.
“You’re here about the vampiric one.”
Fortuna sits on the bed with a sly head tilt.
“Do you know where she is?” he asks.
“No, not right now, but she will be here soon.”
“Do you know when?”
Fortuna waves her hand around in the air. “You know how they are. When you’re stuck here forever, you don’t want to be in the same place for too long.”
“So I’m just supposed to wait?”
“Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means that sometimes in order to find something it’s better to look for something else.”
“I’m not here for obscure riddles, Fortuna. I have to track Pandora down.”
“Yes, but do you know why?” She gives him a smile, and he feels a chill.
Fortuna stands and walks towards him. He doesn’t want her getting any closer, but he doesn’t have a choice. There are things he needs to know.
“My little Johnny boy. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed watching you grow up—all of you. But there is still so much ahead, so much left to learn. You have experienced many things, but I don’t think you are ready for Pandora yet. She’ll chew you up and spit you out. And I don’t mean that in a good way.”
“So, what do I do?”
“You find the Devil’s Jukebox. And you bring the circle back together.”
“Come now, don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten when all of this started?”
It’s been a long time since high school ended, but Jonathan remembers. He remembers they were all best friends, and then something happened. That part he doesn’t remember, except for sometimes he catches glimpses of as he sleeps. Nightmares. The same nightmare for more than twenty years.
“And how do I do that? I don’t know where anyone ended up.”
Fortuna walks towards the window and stares out while tracing lines upon the dirt-streaked glass. There’s a soft hiss and a flutter, and a crow lands on the windowsill. “You can find them. You will.”
Marcel Feldmar was born in Vancouver, moved to Boulder, ended up in Denver, went back to Vancouver, moved to Seattle, and ended up in Los Angeles. He is married with three dogs, and enjoys well made cocktails. He is also a coffee addict and an ex-drummer for too many bands to mention. He recently traded in his drumsticks for a couple of pens, and proceeded to complete his first novel.