Eighteen-year-old Tina, fresh-faced and zaftig in a flowing floral shift, raises her hand and tells us how her older brother had battered her since she was three. One day he was chasing her in her own bedroom and she turned, enraged, and stood her ground. The brother staggered across the room, as if shoved by an invisible hand, and plunged into her clothes closet. The door slammed shut and stayed that way for three days, despite Tina’s parents’ efforts to free him. She was thirteen, at the time.
The stocky young man sitting beside me–Josh, in his late twenties–speaks next. His uncle had been molesting him since he was seven. One day Uncle Bob took him out to the garage behind the house like he did when he craved little Joshie, and Josh rebelled. Something invisible yanked Uncle Bob into his nineteen-eighty Impala sedan and pounded the door locks shut. Uncle Bob couldn’t escape the Impala for a whole week, surviving on a six-pack of beer he’d left in the backseat.
I shake my head, amazed and troubled. Among the dozen other students in their late teens or early twenties, their life stories, their inciting incidents, are dreadfully alike. Child abuse, so much of it. Rage and sorrow, so much of that, too. And magic saved them. Magic changed everything. Magic changed their lives.
It didn’t matter if they had to keep their power a secret.
Bonwitch raises an eyebrow at me.
Now a regal woman with a streak of white through her silky black hair holds up her hand and tells us–thankfully!–a different story.
Julianne, a corporate attorney on the verge of retiring after thirty stressful years of a high-profile career, found herself diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. Rage and sorrow again, but this time directed at herself. At the life she’d lived, the choices she’d made. After she moved past those emotions, though, she embraced her passionate, overwhelming desire to survive.
“I had plans for my retirement. I wanted to grow heirloom tomatoes. I thought about those tomatoes every waking moment.”
Julianne sought a second opinion before submitting to the ordeal of surgery and chemo. Her new doctor examined her and found no tumor. No metastasis. No nothing. The new doctor pronounced this a miracle. Julianne pronounced it her passion to grow heirloom tomatoes. Julianne says it was Real Magic. Now she’s eager to learn how to heal others with her power.
We all congratulate Julianne and wish her well.
–From THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA
Copyright 2012 by Lisa Mason. All rights reserved.
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At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus. She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and each apartment is a fairyland or hell. On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before. Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between good and evil, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.
“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”
Fifteen five-star Amazon reviews
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”
The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.
San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.
Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.
With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?
“Dazzling. . . .rollicking.” Locus Magazine
The year is 1895 and immigrants the world over are flocking to California on the transcontinental railroad and on transoceanic steamships. The Zoetrope demonstrates the persistence of vision, patent medicines addict children to morphine, and women are rallying for the vote. In San Francisco, saloons are the booming business, followed by brothels, and the Barbary Coast is a dangerous sink of iniquity. Atop Telegraph Hill bloody jousting tournaments are held and in Chinatown the tongs deal in opium, murder-for-hire, and slave girls.
Zhu Wong, a prisoner in twenty-fifth century China, is given a choice–stand trial for murder or go on a risky time-travel project to the San Francisco of 1895 to rescue a slave girl and take her to safety. Charmed by the city’s opulent glamour, Zhu will discover the city’s darkest secrets. A fervent population control activist in a world of twelve billion people, she will become an indentured servant to the city’s most notorious madam. Fiercely disciplined, she will fall desperately in love with the troubled self-destructive heir to a fading fortune.
And when the careful plans of the Gilded Age Project start unraveling, Zhu will discover that her choices not only affect the future but mean the difference between her own life or death.
“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” The New York Times Book Review.
The Story That Sold To The Movies. TOMORROW’S CHILD began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is in development. On Nook and on Kindle
A high-powered executive is about to lose his estranged teenage daughter to critical burn wounds and only desperate measures may save her life.
The ebook includes my month-long blog, The Story Behind The Story That Sold To The Movies, describing the twists and turns this story took over the years. Here’s the fantastic Child cover.
New! HUMMERS was published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, chosen for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 5th Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), and nominated for the Nebula Award.
Laurel, in the terminal stages of cancer, is obsessed with the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Jerry, her homecare nurse whose lover is dying of AIDS, gives her a surprising gift. A hummingbird feeder. As Laurel comes to grips with her own death, she learns powerful and redeeming lessons about Egyptian Magic from the hummingbirds that visit her. On Nook and on Kindlefor 99 cents. Here’s the Hummers cover.
New! My thriller, SHAKEN, is an ebook adaptation of Deus Ex Machina published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales from Asimov’s (Donning Press), and translated and republished in Europe and South America.
Emma “J” for Joy Pearce is at her editorial offices on the twenty-second floor of Three Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco when the long-dreaded next Great Earthquake devastates the Bay area. Amid horrific destruction, she rescues a man trapped in the rubble. In the heat of survival, she swiftly bonds with him, causing her to question her possible marriage to her long-time boyfriend.
But Jason Gibb is not the charming photojournalist he pretends to be. As Emma discovers his true identity, his mission in the city, and the dark secrets behind the catastrophe, she finds the choices she makes may mean the difference between her own life or death. A list of Sources follows this short novel.
THE SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HYSTERIA, published in the acclaimed anthology, Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which also included stories by Neal Stephenson, Karen Joy Fowler, and Jonathan Lethem, is on Nook and Kindle.
The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies have swept across Europe. Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee. Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their Art. But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey deep into her own troubled psyche.
The novelette was inspired by my favorite Surrealist artists, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. I include in the ebook an Afterword describing Carrington and Varo’s actual lives and a List of Sources. Here’s the Hysteria cover.
EVERY MYSTERY UNEXPLAINED, published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), an anthology that also included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson, is on Nook and on Kindle.
The year is 1895, and Danny Flint is a young man living in the shadow of his father, a famous stage magician whose fortunes are fading. Danny is grieving over his mother’s recent accidental death, for which he feels he is to blame. He learns to reconcile himself with his grief and guilt and to assume his place at center stage as a magician in his own right with the help of a mysterious beautiful lady. Here’s the Mystery cover.
DAUGHTER OF THE TAO, published in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), which included stories by Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Kushner, is on Nook and Kindle. Five-star Amazon reviews.
Sing Lin is a mooie jai, a girl sold into slavery at the age of five to a wealthy merchant in Tangrenbu, the ghetto of her people in the new country across the sea. One lucky day, while she is out shopping by herself, she meets another mooie jai, Kwai Yin, a bossy, beautiful girl two years older. Kwai has a secret. Before she was sold into slavery, she had a Teacher who taught her about Tao Magic.
But Sing watches Kwai succumb to the terrifying fate of all slave girls in Tangrenbu.
For something fast and fun, U F uh-O, A SCI FI COMEDY, my script for a producer looking for the next Galaxy Quest or Men in Black that evolved into a novella, is on Nookand Kindle. Here’s theUFO cover.
Nikki and Josh really want a child but have infertility issues. Gretchen and Mike have the same problem. When Nikki meets Gretchen at the Happy Daze Family Clinic in Pasadena, they discover that they share a love of music and have asked for a donor with musical talent. Nine months later, they give birth to very unusual babies and, seeking an answer to why the kids are so special, they meet again at a pediatrician’s office. And the search is on: who—and what—is Donor Number 333?
For something very different:TESLA, A WORTHY OF HIS TIME, A SCREENPLAY, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss” and is currently under consideration at another L.A. producer, is on Nook and on Kindle. I’ve included a List of Sources with this title. Since I’m a novelist, the screenplay has a bit more description than you’ll find in other scripts. Tesla’s story is fascinating, sort of a secret history of corporate America. Give it a try!
Genius. Visionary. Madman.
Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.
Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.
Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?
Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, Lisa Mason explores the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.
For a short erotic novel, you should try Eon’s Kiss by Suzanna Moore on Nook and Kindle. This has a paranormal hero who is not a vampire or a werewolf. If you’re looking for something sweet and erotic to read, check it out! Here’s the Kiss cover.
On the eve of what Jenna Coltrane believes will be Brett Becker’s marriage proposal, tragedy strikes her life—not just once, but twice. In the midst of trouble, she encounters Eon, a regal young man unlike anyone she’s ever met before.
With him, she enters the magical world of the Arbor, discovering love, passion, and beauty beyond her wildest dreams.
Jenna is swept up in a struggle for survival between human greed and the Arbor, a struggle in which her love for Eon and her very life are at stake
Forthcoming is The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation improving upon my early cyberpunk classics, Arachne and Cyberweb, and much more.
For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, screenplays, and forthcoming news about print books and ebooks, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site. I thank you for your readership!
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