Ballard author publishes debut novel (updated)Ballard author B.J. Neblett can finally hold on to the physical pages of his debut novel after releasing the electronic version months ago. On December 12, Brighton Publishing released Neblett's novel, Elysian Dreams, in paperback format, just in time for the holidays.
Neblett decribed his book as a real page turner with all the drama and excitement of the Prohibition era – gangsters, romance, adventure, and the key to it all... time travel.
Elysian Dreams weaves its journey through time from the 1920's through the 1980's, binding history professor Collin Crowly, college student Angelina and the slightly nerdy high school student Marsha together in a profound way.
Main character Crowly's mysterious family mansion Casa di Tempo becomes their magical portal to the past, eclipsing space and time as the trio desperately seek their rightful place in the world.
Elysian Dream is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.com
Original article from June, 2011:
Ballard resident B.J. Neblett has written his debut novel, which was published as an e-book last week and will be released in print later this month.
"I have written many, many short stories and poems but this is my first book," said Neblett, a retired radio deejay.
Neblett said the book started off as a writing exercise and took him three and a half years to write.
"I wanted to see if I could write from a female point of view," he explained.
Taking place in Philadelphia from the prohibition era until the 1980s, Neblett's novel "Elysian Dreams" surrounds three main characters: a well-off popular college history teacher, Professor Collin Crowley; a restless and beautiful college student, Angelina; and a highly intelligent and slightly nerdy high school student, Marsha, who struggles with her own feelings of being a misplaced soul.
As the trio desperately seeks answers, their lives unexpectedly and repeatedly cross. It is Collin Crowly’s family legacy and his mysterious mansion, Casa di Tempo containing a hidden portal to the past, that sets the stage for a romantic adventure across both space and time.
"It's a romantic mystery with quite a bit of action," Neblett said. "I think it appeals to most everybody. Women won't find it excessively violent or chauvinistic and men won't find it too fluffy."
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Neblett said he takes inspiration from personal experiences.
"My mom's people were Italian and the gangster era always intrigued me," he said.
And while the book is fiction, Neblett said all the places, events and buildings are real.
"A lot of research went into this book. I'm a big history buff so I made sure all the dates and places were accurate," he said.
The e-book available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble has been received well so far with reader reviews giving the book five out of five stars and calling it a page turner.
"Great bedtime reading. Lots of interesting local historical detail," writes on reviewer.
"If you read any book this year, make it this one. I highly recommend this book, it captures your attention and keeps it page after page. Loved it!!" raves another.
Neblett said he hopes his book will serve as a springboard to more publishing opportunities and dedicated the book to his mother who inspired him to do what he wanted to do.
Neblett credits her for his career as popular radio DJ Billy James, which will be the topic of a book sometime in the future.
Additionally, Neblett revealed that he's writing a sequel to Elysian Dreams and he's currently working on a memoir about growing up in Philadelphia during the Kennedy era.
"My goal is just to get it out there and be read," Neblett said.
"[Elysian Dreams] is different from anything that's out there right now and if given half a chance, the public might actually like it."