Friday, January 9, 2015

New Romance And An Anniversary by BJ Neblett

Hard to believe but it's been three years since the publication of my first novel Elysian Dreams. In celebration, and for those of you who haven't yet picked up a copy, here is a synopsis of the book. There just may be a sequel by years end!
Also, I have another romance story published in this month's Romance Magazine (Vol 2 No 12) from EFiction Magazines. Click the image to the right for a direct link to the magazine. And you can click the link below it to check out all of my books and magazines including Elysian Dreams.
Enjoy and be sure to like, link and comment. Thanks.

Synopsis of Elysian Dreams
by BJ Neblett
            Elysian Dreams is a romantic adventure work of literary fiction, with elements of fantasy and science fiction. Built around three independent stories, it draws its title from the stories of three disparate people whose lives inexplicably cross as each struggles to explore their dreams while seeking their destiny. The book as a whole is an allegory, a morality tale of human curiosity and human weaknesses and strengths; with the central idea that although separated by space, time, experience and condition, people from all cultures and ages are all still very much the same.
            In Elysian Dreams’ first section we meet Collin Crowly. Crowly is a man who seems to have it all, wealth, stature, popularity and a beautiful mansion. It is 1928 and Crowly is busy running errands in his shiny red Stutz Blackhawk. He returns to his home on the Main Line in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and suddenly we are transported sixty years into the future. Soon we learn that Crowly is the caretaker of powerful secret. His mansion, Casa di Tempo exists simultaneously at two different times, on two different plains, in two different dimensions; and sits atop an ancient and mysterious portal capable of carrying Collin Crowly, or anyone, back and forth at a sixty year time span. Actually born in 1888, the wily Crowly has used his gift to great personal purpose: he is Professor of History at nearby Villanova University. Not surprisingly, having lived the history he teaches, Professor Crowly is well known and a favorite among students and faculty alike.
            However, his bachelor playboy image belies the more somber and troubled individual beneath. Collin Crowly it seems feels neither happy nor at home in either of his existences. The first day of class 1988, when beautiful and mystifying associate English teacher Angelina Caliopia Moira entered his classroom the good professor’s problems doubled.
            We learn Angelina is a bit of a malcontent, orphaned into a world in which she feels uncomfortable and alone. She dreams of different, more exciting times with different values and different challenges and dangers. She is immediately attracted to the handsome and mysterious Professor Crowly, and soon the pair begins a tender courtship. But the relationship only serves to confound the professor with two lives.
            Back in 1928, Collin has a girlfriend, a free spirited flapper names Bunny Callison, a singer at the speakeasy where Crowly wages heavily on sporting events… and never seems to lose. Little known to Crowly, Bunny is actually Maria Franzesee, daughter of feared Philadelphia mob boss Don Franzesee. Hopelessly torn between his two lives and his two loves, Collin continues to ponder the realities of his complex existence.
            While in 1928 Crowly finds himself in a quaint old book store where he purchases a signed first edition of The Great Gatsby, a present for Angelina. But here he meets the store’s owner, the ageless and wise Lachesis. The old woman seems to have a knack for seeing the future, explaining to Collin that he, “… has the gift, but never learned to use it properly… Take care, least you lose it… for you see only with your eyes.” With her words weighing heavy, Collin purchases a unique five pointed diamond ring… but for whom… Bunny or Angelina?
            Professor Crowly is spared the agonizing decision. In a tense encounter with Bunny’s father, Don Franzesee, Collin is ordered to stop seeing the Don’s daughter. At the same time his gambling winnings have caught up with him, and the bookie wants to know the secret to Collin’s constant success. It is New Years Eve, and Collin retreats to 1988 only to find his mansion a blaze in a ruinous fire. He sees Angelina in the basement of the house. She has come to talk with him about their relationship, finding and stumbling through the open portal while seeking Collin. But by now the fire has spread and the flames drive Collin back. Casa di Tempo is destroyed leaving a distraught Collin Crowly in 1988, and trapping an injured Angelina in 1928.

            As part two of Elysian Dreams unfolds, we find Angelina under the care of book shop owner Lachesis and her adopted son, medical student Potter. Potter explains to her how he found her wondering aimlessly on New Years Eve, not far from an old mansion that burnt to the ground. He tells Angelina, who has amnesia that it’s possible she was raped. She remembers nothing of her past or her identity, the only clues being a card with her name and a first edition signed copy of The Great Gatsby.
            Accepting her fate, Angelina settles in to 1929 Philadelphia, working at the book shop and listening to Potter and Lachesis explain their theories of how she probably knew and perhaps dated the now missing Collin Crowly. She remembers nothing, and Lachesis urges her to, “…find her destiny.”
            Through the book store, Angelina meets Maria Franzesee and the two become close friends. Maria has given up her singing and flapper ways to please her father and has even returned to her old beau Freddie Martone. Meanwhile, Angelina is taken in by her new life, becoming fascinated with the culture of prohibition and especially with the gangsters that control the times. Soon Angelina and Maria have traded personalities, Maria taking in an orphaned girl and working to raise money for the women’s movement, while Angelina becomes the star of the speakeasies. She meets and marries Don Franzesee who tells her that Crowly was actually a murderous hit man and she was his moll. Finding that she has a knack for guns adds credence to the possibilities of her past, and it isn’t long before Franzesee has Angelina working for him as a hired killer.
            But when Maria is killed in a bombing of a woman’s clinic the truth is exposed. Defying Don Franzesee, Freddie Martone tells Angelina that it was actually Don Franzesee, not Collin Crowly who raped her, leaving her to freeze in the winter night. He reveals that Franzesee knew nothing of Crowly’s past and has been manipulating her for his own gains.
            Angelina entrusts her young daughter to Freddie, telling him she is going to, “… fulfill her destiny.” She confronts Don Franzesee who laughingly confirms her fears of how he found her near the burning mansion, raped her and then molded her to fit his own needs. During the confrontation, Angelina kills Franzesee. She is then shot and killed herself by the Don’s bodyguards.

            The third part of Elysian Dreams brings the story full circle; uniting and re-uniting some of the characters as each seek their own place in the world. It is 1995 and teenage Marsha Hunt is writing a long letter to her mother explaining why she is leaving.
            Marsha and her single mom Angela live an idyllic life in the small Amish community of Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. Angela is the granddaughter of Angelina, teaches English at nearby Downingtown High School, and has inherited the old house in Honey Brook from her ‘uncle’ Potter. Never knowing her father, Marsha has formed a close bond with her young mother. But Marsha is restless, yearning to know who she is and where she came from, and especially why, with her tall thin body, pink skin and cerise eyes, she is so ‘different’ from everyone. She is troubled by vivid, complex but intriguing dreams which she believes hold the answers she seeks.
            Meanwhile, a new history teacher shows up at Downingtown High School. He is startled upon meeting Angela, because she is the image of the Angelina he loved and lost. While having dinner with Angela at her home, Collin Crowly discovers a first edition signed copy of The Great Gatsby and understands… the fates have brought them together. He never reveals his past to Angela and the two fall in love and marry.
            One night, while star gazing in the old cemetery across from her home Marsha meets a strange man. He claims to have known her father. She listens in wonder about how her father traveled from Mars to secretly explore Earth, and met and fell in love with her mother. Three days before he returned to his home planet, Marsha was born. Angela never knew of his true identity. The stranger explains to Marsha that her father planned to one day return to Earth for her and her mother but was killed while testing a new space vehicle. But now there is a virus among the small population on Mars which has spread, rendering the women unable to have children. He has come to ask Marsha to return with him to Mars where the doctors hope to use some of her DNA to repair the damage cause by the virus and restore the population.
            Unsure and confused, Marsha confronts her mother. She tells Marsha of the man she met while in college who left her after the birth of their child. Determined to make a difference and find her place in the universe, Marsha writes a long letter to Angela explaining her encounter with the strange man in the cemetery. She has decided to go with him.
            On Mars, Marsha finds an exciting and fulfilling new life. The doctors are successful in splicing her DNA with Martian volunteers, and soon find a way to save the race. Marsha marries the stranger who found her in the cemetery, who turns out to be next in the royal line to lead the Martian people.
            On Earth, despite Marsha’s letter, Angela is struggling with the loss of her daughter. Her husband Collin, knowing first hand of the many possibilities within the universe does his best to comfort her. But it isn’t until five years later when a strange man confronts Angela in the cemetery and presents her with an envelope containing another letter from Marsha. With encouraging words from her husband, Angela and Collin eagerly board a space craft that will bring them to Mars in time for the birth of Marsha’s first child.

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