Release Day – Overture: A Phantom Prequel Collection

We’re pleased to share a new release from Cheryl Mahoney, one of our authors.  You can now get your copy of Overture: A Phantom Prequel Collection!  This short story collection is 12,000 words, and gives a glimpse into the earlier lives of the characters in her Guardian of the Opera series.

Here’s a bit from the “back” of the book:

Before he was the Phantom of the Opera, Erik was an architect building the Opera Garnier, determined to make it his final work. Before she danced at the Opera, Meg Giry danced with her little sister, both dreaming of entering the ballet. Before she sang soprano onstage, Christine Daae was a girl on the beach with a red scarf, hoping to meet Raoul de Chagny. This collection of short stories explores the lives of the characters from the Phantom of the Opera before their most famous story occurred, and shares the dreams that finally brought them to the Opera Garnier.

Since this is short, it’s only available digitally.  You have two options to get your copy!

You can buy it on Amazon for just $0.99. Or you can download it on BookFunnel for free by signing up for Cheryl’s newsletter.  The choice is yours!

Either way, we hope you will enjoy this glimpse into the earlier lives of the characters.  And don’t forget, Nocturne is already out, and the sequel, Accompaniment, is currently on pre-order!

Release News: Cover Reveal + Pre-Orders Available for The Guardian of the Opera: Accompaniment

We are so excited to share the cover for one of our author’s upcoming books!  Accompaniment (The Guardian of the Opera, Book 2) by Cheryl Mahoney continues the story of the Phantom and Meg Giry into new territory, after Christine Daae left the Opera Garnier.

Accompaniment is already available for Kindle pre-orders, and will publish on September 4th.  Order your copy now, and scroll down for more about the book – and to see the beautiful cover!

A sequel to the Phantom of the Opera, told from a new perspective, here’s a bit about Accompaniment:

After the crash of the chandelier and the disappearance of the powerful Comte de Chagny, Erik’s refuge behind the mask of the Phantom of the Opera has grown more dangerous. Commissaire Mifroid has vowed to hunt him down, in whatever depths of the Opera Garnier he hides. Grieving the departure of Christine Daaé, Erik finds it hard to care about the policeman’s threat, and a slowly growing friendship with Meg Giry seems like only a minor distraction.

When Christine left Paris, Meg thought the hole in her life could never be filled. It only makes it worse that she’s known far too much as “Christine’s friend.” But conversations with the Phantom and flirtations with a handsome gentleman in the Dance Foyer mean the chance to seek a new role—and to stop feeling like a secondary character in her own life.

And we hope you’ll enjoy the cover art…

We hope you’ll consider checking it out!  Buy Book One, Nocturne, here, and pre-order Accompaniment on Kindle here.

If you prefer your books in paper, Accompaniment will be available in paperback and hardback on September 4th.  You can also visit Cheryl’s blog, MarvelousTales.com, for more information.

Launch Day: The Guardian of the Opera – Nocturne

It’s here!  The newest book from our SCW author Cheryl Mahoney is launching today – The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne is now available for purchase.

Select your format of choice:

Ebook ($6.99)

Paperback ($13.99)

Hardback ($35.99)*

 

And in case you’ve missed the earlier posts about this book, here’s a bit about the story:

Set against the backdrop of 1880s Paris and the stunning Opera Garnier, The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne brings you the familiar tale of the Phantom of the Opera from a different direction. Meg Giry met the Phantom once when she was twelve years old, a new ballet dancer lost in the Opera’s maze. Years later, when an Angel of Music offers singing lessons to her best friend Christine Daaé, Meg is sure she knows what’s actually happening. But as strange events unfold and the pieces stop adding up, Meg has to wonder if she truly understands the Phantom—or Christine.

Erik is a man of many talents and many masks, and the one covering his face may be the least concealing. The opera house is his kingdom and his refuge, where he stalks through the shadows as the Phantom of the Opera, watching over all that occurs. He never intended to fall in love; when he does, it launches him into a new symphony he’s certain can only end in heartbreak.

You are also invited to join Cheryl’s virtual launch party on Facebook – she’ll be posting fun updates throughout the weekend, plus you can join the Zoom call presentation this evening at 5:30 pm Pacific time.  We hope to see you there!

 

* If you’re wondering why this link doesn’t take you to Amazon, the printers of the hardback had site issues recently and have not been able to sync with Amazon yet – the hardback will eventually be available on Amazon, but for now you can buy it direct from the printers.  And they’re currently offering a 15% off discount (code SAVE15) if you buy today!

Meet the Characters: The Phantom of the Opera

The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney is coming out this Friday!  That’s tomorrow, and in Stonehenge Circle Writers tradition, we’re counting down the days with a special feature.  We’re spending this week introducing some of the principal characters from the book, one each day.  Today we turn to the title character of every version: Erik, the Phantom of the Opera.  This Erik is a little different from previous versions, and we look forward to you meeting him – although he’d be more reluctant!

Look for Nocturne on June 5th in Kindle, paperback and hardback, and pre-order your Kindle copy today.

Meet the Characters: Meg Giry

The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney is coming out this Friday!  That’s two days away, and in Stonehenge Circle Writers tradition, we’re counting down the days with a special feature.  We’re spending this week introducing some of the principal characters from the book, one each day.  Today we’re highlighting the heroine of this version, although not most – this book gives Meg the chance to have and to tell her own story.

Look for Nocturne on June 5th in Kindle, paperback and hardback, and pre-order your Kindle copy today.

Meet the Characters: Christine Daae

The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney is coming out this Friday!  That’s three days away, and in Stonehenge Circle Writers tradition, we’re counting down the days with a special feature.  We’re spending this week introducing some of the principal characters from the book, one each day.  Today’s featured character is Christine Daae, the beautiful singer who captures the Phantom’s heart – but did she mean to do it?

Look for Nocturne on June 5th in Kindle, paperback and hardback, and pre-order your Kindle copy today.

Meet the Characters: Raoul de Chagny

The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney is coming out this Friday!  That’s four days away, and in Stonehenge Circle Writers tradition, we’re counting down the days with a special feature.  We’re spending this week introducing some of the principal characters from the book, one each day.  Today we’re featuring Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny, usually the hero of the story but…well, in this version the focus has been shifted a bit!

Look for Nocturne on June 5th in Kindle, paperback and hardback, and pre-order your Kindle copy today.

Meet the Characters: Madame Giry

The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney is coming out this Friday!  That’s five days away, and in Stonehenge Circle Writers tradition, we’re counting down the days with a special feature.  We’re spending this week introducing some of the principal characters from the book, one each day.  We’re starting off with Madame Giry – more important in this version of the Phantom of the Opera than most, because her daughter Meg is telling the story.

Look for Nocturne on June 5th in Kindle, paperback and hardback, and pre-order your Kindle copy today.

Is the Customer Always Right?

Post by Mattias Bergman

PT Barnum – or somebody a whole lot like him – said “Give the customer what they want.”

More recently, in her book “How to Write and Sell Historical Fiction,” Persia Woolley warns against being too accurate in even the most well-researched historical fiction. Especially if accuracy flies in the face of widely-held misconception. One example used is travel from Scotland to England in King Arthur’s time, across the north of England. Now, of course, the famous Yorkshire Moors are vast expanses of open, largely-treeless hills. In King Arthur’s day, the place was dense woods.

After a lot of give and take, modern-day perceptions won out. The story showed travel across the moors.

This example, and many more examples, are harmless enough. But what of something even more insidious, something we have all (probably) been guilty of in our own writings? Namely, projecting our current cultural environment into the storyline, and often into the narrator’s POV in our stories.

We might do this for all the “right” reasons. Having all of our characters, whether in historical fiction, noir, fantasy or science fiction setting — all of which are far removed from our comfortable 21st-century suburbia/urbia — be social justice warriors of one sort or another. Or, the plot has to move along current culturally-accepted norms (no violence, talk your way out of everything, the bad guy can never be a minority, etc) We may get a warm, comfortable glow from such a slant, feel oh-so-noble in our social gatherings, and perhaps even increase book sales to fellow virtue-signalers.

But is it good writing?

I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I think it’s a question we must all ask. It begs a few follow-up questions:

      • Is such writing just another form of “cultural imperialism”? If so, should we not avoid it?
      • Will such writing “date” our work, shortening its shelf-life? Read some 40s and 50s noir novels, for instance, and see how the author himself treats certain ethnic groups. It kinda grates.
      • Conversely, will writing “true to form” fiction hamper sales and longevity. Witness, for instance, the current backlash against the language in Huckleberry Finn, even if it was a quite progressive and enlightened book for its time.

What do you think?