Commentary from Youtube:
In 2010, I wrote a romantic action thriller novel as though it was a hypothetical TV series. Fueled by a stack of AOR/melodic rock CD’s, I named the book after the most often-used song title in the AOR genre – ‘Hold On!’. Very often, even if an AOR song isn’t called ‘Hold On’ those words will appear somewhere in the lyrics. ‘Hold On!’ may, in fact, be the first ever book to be ‘written in rock’, and I see this as another way of keeping our beloved music alive.
These are the songs that drove the project. OK, there’s a Kim Wilde and a Blackmore’s Night in there too. The Kim Wilde track is particularly haunting, fits with the scene I’ve connected it to – and it’s drenched in keyboard ice. Blackmore’s Night’s ‘Highland’ is also a perfect fit, lyrically, and it is THE Richie Blackmore, so they get an honorary pass (lol.)
However, I just wanted to do my bit to promote the AOR genre in a unique and interesting way, share the songs (and plug the artists) that were my personal, driving force behind, what ultimately became, an Amazon #1 bestseller.
1. Hold On – (Ranveig Johnsen)
2. Who Will You Run To Now? – (Brother Firetribe)
3. Runaways – (Brother Firetribe)
4. Highland – (Blackmore’s Night)
5. Someday – (Kim Wilde)
6. Highway of Love – (Shining Line)
7. Out on the Run – (Fair Warning)
8. Outlaw – (Captive Heart)
9. Talkin’ ‘bout Love – (Fahrenheit)
10. Wild Child – (Heart)
11. White Knuckle Ride – (Vega)
12. Dream of Me – (Blue Tears)
13. Hold On – (Houston)
This video is a labor of love, and no copyright infringement is intended. All rights are reserved by the artists concerned. The albums from which these songs arose appear in the video, should you wish to purchase them.
At her wealthy father's funeral, Laurel Avidon is given an old newspaper article. At first she ignores it, but soon, circumstances in her life cause her to begin a search for the truth. She suspects her father's bodyguard/chauffeur, Dylan Kraft, knows more than he's telling. Sometimes he hampers her efforts, and sometimes helps her, but she is certain he is always in control of the amount and type of information she gets. What makes it worse, even as she fights him at every turn, she senses a growing attraction between them she neither needs nor wants. As her quest takes her from her privileged life into the shadowy world of the DEA, encrypted messages, and drug lords, she finds that the people she knows aren't always who she thought they were —maybe not even Laurel herself.
For the Love of Laurel by Patricia Harreld is an intriguing and compelling detective thriller, with its fair share of surprises, and the mystery builds nicely. Shock revelations abound as the story develops, with a delicious, cinematic quality. It’s difficult to go into detail beyond the information given in the blurb, due to the risk of spoilers. Nevertheless, Laurel is presented as a strong female lead, working side-by-side with an equally-strong male – the dashing Dylan Kraft. Dylan is what you would expect in a leading man: tough and handsome with an amazing physique, aptly explained through his past as a martial arts expert and Navy SEAL. The mystery of Laurel’s father and the questions raised about her own identity are the most gripping, story-wise. While many seem to interpret the story as a romance, I didn’t feel that this aspect of it extended beyond the romantic elements one would find in any other contemporary thriller. Romance is part of the furniture in most works of fiction, even outside of the romance genre. However, the final paragraph of the book clearly shows the token, romance genre dialogue, which completely contradicts the previously-established persona of the hero. It's obvious that this was not Ms. Harreld’s intention, but rather it was inserted under the demands of third parties. One can’t criticize an author for that which was written at gunpoint.
Nobody is a greater authority on a story than its creator!
Read PD's interview with The Reading Cafe here.
It's been awhile since I've added an AOR Hold On track to the blog. This one is an epic rock ballad from UK AOR band, Pride's 2001 debut album, Far From the Edge. I consider this track a contender for the Hold On! movie's end title theme.
Here's a new review for Hold On! by official review site, Ind'Tale. It's not bad either, since official sites are notoriously tough in their commentary. The reviewer, Sarah E. Bradley, certainly got the 'action movie' agenda that the book represents.
However, I do feel that it was marked down on a point that was not entirely accurate:
". . . the absolute lack of any person in any form of authority being portrayed as a good or even decent person seems to take the conspiracy a bit far."
This is emphatically untrue. While questioning the validity of authority is a significant feature of Hold On!, not all authority figures are described as being malevolent. Characters such as Agent McKay, Officer Blaine, Director Wolfe, and Chief Tepper, are all illustrated as good guys. Moreover, only a handful of featured authority figures have any connection to the conspiracy. I don't know how all of this could have slipped below Ms. Bradley's radar.
In all though, it's a pretty good review that shows an understanding of the book's agenda.
My dear friend and ally, Michigan-based novelist, Rafeeq McGiveron, recently released his flagship novel, Student Body; a psychological murder mystery, which dares to transcend the boundaries of genre, and strictly for the discerning reader. The book is available here.
A thoroughly-accomplished academic and analyst of classic literature, Rafeeq is a master wordsmith, whose command of the English language is second to none.
With a loving wife and three young children, the glib, cocky, but well-liked Rick O’Donnell seems to have a promising future ahead of him.
Yet the gifted doctoral student also hides a desperate secret: The previous spring, during a difficult time in his marriage, when it seemed his wife would scarcely even look at him anymore, the lonely man fell into a brief, passionate affair with a beautiful girl who had been his own student just the semester before, and who now is a fellow teaching assistant in the English Department, with an office right down the hall from his.
Rick's interactions with the intelligent, sable-haired Lauren actually had been completely professional when she was in his own class, and after ending the affair that unexpectedly followed, he has committed himself most purposefully to his marriage once again. But now a simple clerical error suddenly brings the attention of Rick's supercilious and overbearing supervisor. Unless the young man can head off the looming investigation by proving, quickly and conclusively, that there truly had been no hint of favoritism in his professional actions, surely the unrelated but equally damning affair will be revealed. His once-promising career, his marriage, and perhaps even his life itself all are in grave danger.
Sensual, poignant, and introspective, Student Body is a frank and intimate character study of hubris, desire, and yet also devotion. Witty and allusive and lyrical, filled with sensitivity and selfishness and self-reproach, the novel explores life and death and guilt and redemption. In a way, Rick’s choices have been made long before, for good or for ill, but it is this harrowing week and a half which will decide the deeply conflicted man's entire future . . .
This weeks' "Hold On" rock track is one of my faves, from US band "From the Fire". It was the first track from their one and only album back in 1990.
I absolutely LOVE this one. This is "Hold On" by US AOR band, Drive, She Said. It first appeared on their self-titled debut album back in 1989.
Hi everyone. Here's the first video entry of my new AOR rock 'Hold On!' series. The book was written to Melodic Rock, and this first one, I feel, really captures the essence of the story. It has a very 'Final Countdown' feel, and was the first single from the debut album of Swedish AOR band, Houston in 2010. Enjoy.