Paris Escapade: Some Nice Reviews

When reviews start to come in for one’s latest book, the tendency is to wince and expect the worst. So far, with Paris Escpade, I have been pleasantly surprised. The reviews I’ve received so far are all extremely positive. Of course, it’s early yet, but I wanted to reprint the ones that have been published so far:

From Joseph Carrabis, author of The Augmented Man (5 Stars on Goodreads)

Myers’s opening line – “Even before we got on the plane, I was planning my getaway.” – defines this amazing novel. We know the viewpoint (1st person), the theme (v Self), the setting (modern…ish. A plane is mentioned), and the mood (the passive voice shows disdain, contempt).
That one line is the entire opening paragraph. The second paragraph gives you all the backstory you need and the third (and still on the first page) provides a delicious overdose of the character. I write “delicious overdose” because it’s completely over the top and so in the narrator’s tone, voice, and style that I laughed out loud (and this character read the same books I did? Wow!).
And the best part? Pay attention to that third paragraph and you have the entire, wonderful novel laid out for you.
Go for it!
(and fwiw, I found much of this book to be a future anthropologist’s/archaeologist’s goldmine, literally a guidebook to a time and place I remember well and nostalgically (much like Terry Melia’s Tales from the Greenhills )

From L.S. Papovitch, author of Undertones and The Arden (5 Stars on Goodreads)

Novel as entertainment. An absorbing series of mishaps. A bildungsroman that appeals to an escapist audience. T. M. Has the ability to put you right in the action. And I was not bored for a single page.

It reads fast, goes down smooth, and definitely radiates authenticity. The city of Paris (and other locales) feels lived in. Through the author’s mesmeric storytelling, I felt transported across several European countries. The cheeky first person narrator is young, naive, but intelligent and full of potential, towing overblown notions, and a perpetual novel-in-progress-cum-memoir. The adventure is an exercise in nostalgia for the 60s, and is infused with cool detachment. Also, simultaneously a comment and an homage to ex-pat Narcissistic literature.

Charming, witty, intrigued by every passing looker, our prototypical writer-narrator is surprising, and quick to decide on the next step in his self-directed destiny.

With convincing realism, including plenty of French phrases, with proper context to aid the reader’s understanding, a very detailed backdrop is set constantly in motion by the shifting fortunes of the main character. Tense urgency accompanies every scene, from the clash with pseudo intellectuals, amid the cultural innuendoes and the spectacle that always arises from Americans setting foot in Europe, to the hormone-fueled tangled plot wrapped up in crimes and prostitution.

The times I have spent in Europe made me wish I could stay, could run away and forge some alternate reality for myself. Yet, I see the sights, devour the food, and leave, always vowing to return. This book is the next best thing to taking a vacation, and acting on a few of those impulses. It was great fun to gallivant around Paris and the other gorgeous cities, to hang out with this eclectic crowd and mingle for a while with the vanished past.

From Gail Kaufman (5 Stars, Reedsy Discovery)

Myers’ ability to limn each scene so that you feel you are there and inside the head of the protagonist is remarkable.

This coming-of-age story surpassed my expectations. Written in the first person, I was immediately drawn into the escapades of a 17-year-old boy, Eddie Strull. It was as if I were reading a memoir, not a novel. When the story begins, Eddie has already planned his escape from New York via a supervised teen trip to Europe before venturing out on his own in Paris. The author weaves in real-life historic events, landmarks and tourist destinations. The book underscores the inevitability that we pay dues for the consequences of our actions. How we reconcile that reveals who we are.

“It’s not for me to forgive you Eddie. You have to forgive yourself.”

Early on, we learn about Eddie’s frustration with the hebetude of his life and his longing to be a writer. We know his plan. But we cannot anticipate the events that unfold as he befriends unique characters, falls in love, takes risks and perseveres on his mission. He makes decisions out of desperation and fear, ultimately making him a fugitive of the law. As he tenaciously and fortuitously continues to escape danger, the pages of this book turn swiftly. As Eddie stumbled from one multifarious situation to another, I wanted to catch him before he fell.

The ending threw me for a loop. I never saw it coming. It’s not the ending I was hoping for, and I am left with unanswered questions. I didn’t want to let Eddie go just yet, which is what makes the author’s style so appealing. The book is well-edited and a great read for all fans of coming-of-age novels. I think the story is particularly relatable to people familiar with a New York/Jewish background in the 50s and 60s who fantasized about or lived through the youthful backpack-through-Europe experience. This story takes you on that expedition albeit with many twists and turns.

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) on Reedsy Discovery.
Also posted on Reedsy Discovery.

From Edith Wairimu (5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite)

Paris Escapade by Ted Myers is an engrossing young adult novel that follows a teenager’s adventures in Paris and other parts of Europe. Eddie Strull, a Jewish teenager, is given a six-week camping trip in Europe by his parents for graduating high school. Eddie, who had always longed to free himself from the clutches of his parents’ authority, escapes from the group he is touring with and decides to build a life of his own in Paris. He falls in love with Martisse, a prostitute based in the French capital, who leads him into a deadly drug-related scheme and other dangerous events. Eddie spends time trying to evade the authorities across Europe until he decides to face his fate. As each adventure unfolds, Eddie begins to discover that maybe adulthood is not what he assumed it to be.

Unable to sit still and wait for things to happen, Eddie impatiently moves fast from one adventure to the next. His restlessness makes his story even more captivating. Told from Eddie’s perspective, Paris Escapade by Ted Myers offers extensive details of its main character. I also loved that other characters were compelling and had fascinating backgrounds. Their portrayal in the story is also realistic and the events that happen, though surprising and sometimes shocking, still feel believable. Set in 1960s Europe and the U. S., the novel also incorporates interesting details and events associated with the era. Many scenes are hilarious and they enliven the story. Paris Escapade by Ted Myers is a fast-paced novel that features exciting events and interesting characters.

From Eileen Jennifer (5 Stars on Goodreads)

A great read! Ted Myers delivers a sensitive coming-of-age tale with plenty of plot twists and fascinating characters. Don’t expect a romantic romp, although romance is woven throughout the story; Myers is unflinching in allowing his characters to drive the plot forward, often with difficult outcomes. Paris Escapade is an engaging read which allows the reader an inside glimpse of the burgeoning 60s counter-culture, from someone who was there.

Some of my beta readers have been unable to post their reviews on Amazon for some unknown reason, but if you read and like Paris Escapade, please try to post a positive review on Amazon (and Goodreads, if you’re on there).

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Release – #Fairies Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Family James J. Cudney, #1960s #Thriller Ted Myers

Thanks again, Sally Cronin, for spreading my words.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with new releases and reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today with a new release is Teagan Riordain Geneviene and the lovely fairy realm Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam

About the book

Thistledown ― Midsummer Bedlam is a wildly whimsical tale of faeries. It was originally written for a grownup audience, but it is suitable for children ages eight and over.Thistledown is a world of color and light. It has faeries, hummingbirds, and ancient books of magic. Bedlam Thunder is a misfit faery who is afraid of heights. She is also a seer who has terrible visions of a parallel world devoid of color and brightness. The hate and darkness of that colorless world is seeping into Thistledown. Will Bedlam and her friends be able to save their home?Thistledown ― Midsummer Bedlam, with its radiant creatures and faeries will lift your…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – New Author on the Shelves – #1960s #Thriller – Paris Escapade by Ted Myers

My thanks to Sally Cronin and the Smorgasbord Cafe & Bookstore for this lovely promotional boost.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is my pleasure to welcome Ted Myers to the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with his books. Today I am featuring his soon to be released novel set in the 1960s, Paris Escapade. The book is on pre-order on Amazon for December 17th and direct from publisher Black Rose Writing, with a 15% discount code (PREORDER2020)

About the Book

In the summer of 1963, seventeen-year-old Eddie Strull goes off to Europe with a supervised camp group of New York Jewish kids. But Eddie, ever the rebel, has other plans. Eddie wants to live as an adult. A writer. Right now. When they arrive in Paris, the last stop before heading home, Eddie sneaks out of the youth hostel and disappears into the bohemian labyrinth of the Left Bank. There he encounters a colorful array of artists, writers, actors, and one extraordinary prostitute, who draws him into a…

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Book Review: I’m Traveling Alone by Samuel Bjork

I was attracted by the title. The cover depicts a pair of little-girl feet dangling in midair. It seemed intriguing. But it turned out to be a Netflix-style murder mystery that centers on Norwegian detectives trying to solve a series of bizarre child murders.

Maybe the translator shares some of the blame—I’ve rarely read books translated from a foreign language for fear something will be lost in translation. For me, the writing was the weakest aspect of the book. It was all on a very simplistic, elemental level. (So is mine. But this, I’m afraid, was even worse). The story, however, was woven together well. It’s what my writing teacher called a braided plot. Each chapter started with a character’s name. The very short chapters bounced from thread to thread, each following the actions of a different character, all weaving together at the end.

I never review a book to which I would give less than three stars. This is because, if it doesn’t grab me in the first few chapters, I drop it and move on to something else. So it says something that I actually finished this one. I like this kind of stuff in movies. I’ve watched several foreign-made crime genre films on Netflix and other cable channels and enjoyed them. But from books I expect more. As an author-in-training, I’m always looking for authors who can teach me something about writing. I’m Traveling Alone did not do this. But the story grabbed me enough so I stuck with it to see how it comes out. I found the ending less-than-satisfying. No startling surprises.

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LOVE PARIS?

My new novel, PARIS ESCAPADE, will be published December 17, 2020, but it’s available for preorder NOW, only at Black Rose Writing: https://www.blackrosewriting.com/literary/parisescapade

Get a 15% discount by using the promo code PREORDER2020.

The book is a bit of memoir and a LOT of fiction. Here’s the blurb:

In the summer of 1963, seventeen-year-old Eddie Strull goes off to Europe with a supervised camp group of New York Jewish kids. But Eddie, ever the rebel, has other plans. Eddie wants to live as an adult. A writer. Right now. When they arrive in Paris, the last stop before heading home, Eddie sneaks out of the youth hostel and disappears into the bohemian labyrinth of the Left Bank. There he encounters a colorful array of artists, writers, actors, musicians, and one extraordinary prostitute who draws him into a risky adventure. Ultimately, he becomes a wanted man, sought across Europe by the police and the ruthless henchmen of Mme LaBrot, a trafficker in prostitutes and heroin. Instant Adulthood turns out to be much more than Eddie bargained for.

I, in fact, did go on a camping trip in Europe with a camp group of New York Jewish kids when I was sixteen in 1962. This formed the basis for the fantasy Paris Escapade. I made my protagonist a year older (seventeen) and the year 1963 — the year of JFK’s assassination and The Beatles. So this is more what I wish I had done rather than what I actually did. If I had gone when I was seventeen instead of sixteen, I might have actually pulled some of this crazy shit.

UPDATE: Just a few more days before the OFFICIAL PUBLICATION DATE, Dec. 17th, 2020. That’s when it will be available for order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Black Rose Writing, and all the usual online book retailers.

Review: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

I’ve just finished The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I read it on my Kindle. If I had picked up the printed version, I’m sure I never would’ve tackled it. 650 pages! For the first three-quarters of the book, nothing much happens plot-wise. The characters are not people in whom I would ordinarily be interested. But Atwood’s prose, as always, entrances me. I continually marvel at her (seemingly) effortless elegance and her very dry, often dark, humor. By the last quarter, revelations begin to appear, and things about the characters we had only vaguely suspected come to light. Along with several shocking surprises. As with everything I’ve ever read by her, Margaret Atwood is an unapologetic feminist, and all of her major characters are women. Everything is from a female perspective and most of the men are portrayed in a much less favorable light. Being a man, that bugs me a little. She seems to have an eternal axe to grind, and that axe is never sharp enough. Also, she is the Queen of the Simile. Some of them are absolute gems, but I think she uses the device perhaps a bit much.

All that said, I can’t recommend The Blind Assassin highly enough, especially if, like me, you’re a budding author trying to acquire some chops.

A Man Without a Genre

sacre-coeur-view

I don’t know how you, my fellow authors, do it. Writing book after book about dragons, or one specific dragon, or the same shape-shifting private eye solving case after case, or maybe the same crew of the same space vessel blasting off on one ill-fated mission after another. If I were smart, if I was motivated by commercial success, I would follow your example. I could build a following of readers who couldn’t get enough of The Further Adventures of ________________, Book 3, Book 4, and on and on… But I just can’t do it. An idea comes into my head and I just go with it.

Because I’m writing for my own amusement, more than that of a particular audience.

My first published novel was a YA sci-fi fable starring a cat. A future cat with powers of telepathy and telekinesis. It got a big reaction from cat lovers and cat lovers who were into sci-fi, and sci-fi lovers who were into cats. I thought it was YA, but my biggest audience, it turns out, was mostly women over twenty-five who were obsessed with cats. My publisher and many of the readers who reviewed it wanted a sequel—probably more than one. I started working on one, but I just lost interest. Instead, I wrote a novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who travels to Europe in 1963 and decides to live incognito in Paris as a struggling writer.

I submitted the finished manuscript to my publisher with dread, thinking they would not be interested because of the extreme departure from my last book. But they seemed to really want it, so I said okay and it’s coming out in December 2020.

That last book was easy to promote online because it was a clear niche. Sci-fi, animals, dystopian, young adults (or so I thought)… Easy peasy. But this new one. All I could think of as a pitch was “The Catcher in the Rye on steroids, in Paris.” But who’s gonna want to read it? Who is my “audience”? I dunno. I wrote it using my young self as the protagonist going on an amazing adventure I never did.

I did go to Europe when I was sixteen. That’s what inspired this opus. I traveled with a camp group with chaperones and a tour bus. But unlike my protagonist, I never escaped into the bohemian labyrinth of the Left Bank. So this book is a flight of fancy—something I wish I had done, but didn’t. If I had actually gone when I was seventeen instead of sixteen, I might have really done some of this crazy stuff.

It’s called Paris Escapade, coming from Black Rose Writing in December 2020. End of plug.

So what do you think, my fellow writers? Am I committing commercial harikari? Or should I continue on this strange, seemingly random path?

Book Review: Fluffy’s Revolution

Thanks and salutations to Kim Cabrera for this excellent review!

Beartracker's Tracking and Nature Blog

fluffBook Review

Fluffy’s Revolution
By Ted Myers

Review:

Fluffy’s Revolution is a unique story about animals who are GAB, or have genetically altered brains. These animals can communicate with each other telepathically, and they have telekinetic powers. They can move objects with their minds. They can read books and use computers. The year is 2135 and the population of earth is threatened by an approaching asteroid that is big enough to wipe out the entire planet and everyone on it. Doomsday is 30 days away.
Fluffy is a GAB cat who lives with her dad, a professor in Kingston, the new NYC. After the climate changed and the oceans rose, Kingston is the new oceanfront. Fluffy and her dad have a good life. She gets to read and grow her intelligent mind and her dad gets the comfort of having a cat around. One day, she gets telepathic messages that…

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Young girls are coming to the canyon

This excellent blog post from Bruce Hackett brought back many fond memories for me, all of which are recalled in my memoir, Making It: Music, Sex & Drugs in the Golden Age of Rock.

Hack's Back Pages

“At first so strange to feel so friendly, to say ‘good morning’ and really mean it, to feel these changes happening in me, but not to notice ’til I feel it, young girls are coming to the canyon, and in the mornings, I can see them walking…”  “Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon),” The Mamas and The Papas, 1967

*************

When I moved to Los Angeles in August 2011, I got in my car and started exploring the streets, the beaches, the tourist attractions and the famous landmarks that are mentioned in so many songs I listened to as a kid growing up in far-away Ohio.

The Pacific Coast Highway.  Venice Beach.  Sunset Strip.  The Santa Monica Pier.  Topanga Canyon.  Hollywood Boulevard.  The Troubadour.

tMV6BuuOne afternoon, I found myself on Sunset Boulevard, heading toward one of the nation’s meccas for every music lover and album buyer, Amoeba…

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OWS CYCON 2019 BLITZ: TED MYERS

Thank you, Dove Winters for hosting this fun interview as part of the great #OWSCyCon Bookfest!

DOVE WINTERS

Fluffy's Revolution by [Myers, Ted]

I asked the questions that matter of Ted Myers! Follow this link: https://fluffysrevolution.com/

Good day, Ted! What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

A bald patch on the right side of my head about the size of a quarter. It’s where the forceps went through my baby skull when they brought me into the world. I was a breech birth. Never quite got over it.

What an interesting story! How did you meet your best friend? (Animals count here!)

My cat wandered into my yard meowing his head off. Around his neck was an old fashioned white plastic flea collar. On it, someone had written “feed me,” so I did. He never left.

That has a very Alice in Wonderland feel to it…What would you want to be written on your tombstone?

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

Leave them all wondering!…

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