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New Release Excerpt: Stardust by Alexandra Richland

stardust cover

Release Date: Tuesday May 26, 2015

Available for Preorder from Amazon for a Special Price (links below)

Stardust (The Starlight Trilogy book #3) Excerpt:

Beth’s forefinger traveled his bare chest in a languid, circular pattern. “Would you mind if I took a shower?”

“Not at all.” Aidan pulled back the covers. “I’ll set up everything for you. Wait here.”

“Actually, I would like you to join me. If you want to, that is.” Beth slipped out of bed and stepped over their Academy Awards. In the doorway, she stopped and held out her hand.

Aidan gaped at her, as if he was taking in her naked body for the first time. Her skin was flushed, well kissed. Her dark hair fell to just above her shoulders, sand-speckled from their visit to the beach yesterday. The swell of her breasts, the curve of her hips . . . everything about her was perfect.

If he wanted to?

Damn it. He wanted nothing more.

STARDUST SYNOPSIS:

Following their Academy Award wins, the film careers of Elizabeth Sutton and Aidan Evans reach stratospheric heights. Now bona fide superstars, the Hollywood press and throngs of starstruck fans await them at every turn, and the pressure to maintain their luminary status for the benefit of Starlight Studios escalates.

Away from the spotlight, Beth and Aidan’s forbidden romance intensifies. Passionate nights spent together in secret stoke their mutual desires, each experience more extraordinary than the last.

Beth is thrilled with the breakthroughs in both her professional and personal lives, but perpetual feelings of guilt and self-doubt cripple Aidan’s happiness. Slowly, the burdens brought on by the fame he neither courted nor craved unleash his inner torment, releasing the demons Beth’s love and support helped him cage.

Aidan must embark on a final journey to move on from his traumatic past once and for all, but the outcome is anything but certain. It leads him down an unexpectedly dark path, from an explosive showdown with studio head Luther Mertz, to a jarring revelation about his mother’s death that could hold the key to his salvation or exile him from everyone he loves forever.

Stardust is the powerful conclusion to The Starlight Trilogy, a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Available for Preorder from Amazon for a Special Price:

Amazon (U.S.)

Amazon (Canada)

Amazon (UK)

Amazon (Australia)

Amazon (Brazil)

Amazon (France)

Amazon (Germany)

Amazon (India)

Amazon (Japan)

Amazon (Mexico)

Amazon (Spain)

 

You can also purchase the other books in the Starlight Trilogy:

 

starlight

STARLIGHT SYNOPSIS

October 1952 finds eighteen-year-old Marie Bates relocating from her rainy hometown in the Pacific Northwest to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, California. Marie’s plans for a teaching career take an unexpected turn when she’s asked to film a screen test at Starlight Motion Picture Studios.

Renamed Elizabeth Sutton by the studio heads, she lands her first role as an extra. On set, Beth spies Aidan Evans, a rebellious, twenty-three-year-old Method actor from New York. Aidan is branded as a stuck-up troublemaker by his famous Hollywood peers, but Beth suspects a tragic secret lurks behind his steely facade.

As their careers hit the fast track and friendship evolves into romance, the expectations of Hollywood stardom threaten to shine a spotlight on Aidan’s dark past before he can make peace with it. Beth must help Aidan confront the painful event that shattered his life and conquer a terrifying truth before it destroys him and their future together.

Starlight is the first book in The Starlight Trilogy, a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Amazon (U.S.)

Amazon (UK)

Smashwords

 

Starbright Cover

STARBRIGHT SYNOPSIS

For starlet Elizabeth Sutton, it’s difficult to tell which has more momentum: her burgeoning film career, or the growing intimacy in her forbidden romance with notorious Hollywood outsider, Aidan Evans.

When the opportunity to costar in a feature film arrives, Beth and Aidan fight to keep their relationship out of Hollywood’s rumor mill and away from the ever-watchful eyes of Starlight Studios head Luther Mertz, who condemns a union between them and threatens the future of Beth’s acting career.

The pressure mounts as the cameras roll. Beth and Aidan navigate the precarious heights of superstardom while exploring their physical desires in secret. Beth grapples between the debilitating nervousness over her sexual inexperience and her unbridled need for Aidan. Meanwhile, the demons from Aidan’s past he thought forever vanquished linger on the fringes of a fragile inner peace . . .

The Starlight Trilogy is a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Amazon (U.S.)

Amazon (UK)

Smashwords

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STARDUST (The Starlight Trilogy Book #3) by Alexandra Richland: Cover, Synopsis, Release Date and Preorder Information

 

stardust cover

Release Date: Tuesday May 26, 2015

Available for Preorder from Amazon for a Special Price (links below)

STARDUST SYNOPSIS:

Following their Academy Award wins, the film careers of Elizabeth Sutton and Aidan Evans reach stratospheric heights. Now bona fide superstars, the Hollywood press and throngs of starstruck fans await them at every turn, and the pressure to maintain their luminary status for the benefit of Starlight Studios escalates.

Away from the spotlight, Beth and Aidan’s forbidden romance intensifies. Passionate nights spent together in secret stoke their mutual desires, each experience more extraordinary than the last.

Beth is thrilled with the breakthroughs in both her professional and personal lives, but perpetual feelings of guilt and self-doubt cripple Aidan’s happiness. Slowly, the burdens brought on by the fame he neither courted nor craved unleash his inner torment, releasing the demons Beth’s love and support helped him cage.

Aidan must embark on a final journey to move on from his traumatic past once and for all, but the outcome is anything but certain. It leads him down an unexpectedly dark path, from an explosive showdown with studio head Luther Mertz, to a jarring revelation about his mother’s death that could hold the key to his salvation or exile him from everyone he loves forever.

Stardust is the powerful conclusion to The Starlight Trilogy, a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

 

Available for Preorder from Amazon for a Special Price:

Amazon (U.S.) http://www.amazon.com/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-Alexandra-Richland-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766426&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (Canada): http://www.amazon.ca/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-Alexandra-Richland-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1428766439&sr=1-1&keywords=Stardust+%28The+Starlight+Trilogy+%233%29

Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-Alexandra-Richland-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766458&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (Australia): http://www.amazon.com.au/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-Alexandra-Richland-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766504&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (Brazil): http://www.amazon.com.br/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-3-English-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766819&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (France): http://www.amazon.fr/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-3-English-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766469&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (Germany): http://www.amazon.de/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-3-English-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766482&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (India): http://www.amazon.in/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-Alexandra-Richland-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766849&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (Japan): http://www.amazon.co.jp/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-3-English-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766884&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (Mexico): http://www.amazon.com.mx/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-3-English-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1428766524&sr=1-1&keywords=stardust+richland

Amazon (Spain): http://www.amazon.es/Stardust-Starlight-Trilogy-3-English-ebook/dp/B00VXOMO4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428766647&sr=8-1&keywords=stardust+richland

STARLIGHT (The Starlight Trilogy Book #1) Cover, Synopsis, and Exclusive Excerpt

starlight

STARLIGHT SYNOPSIS

October 1952 finds eighteen-year-old Marie Bates relocating from her rainy hometown in the Pacific Northwest to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, California. Marie’s plans for a teaching career take an unexpected turn when she’s asked to film a screen test at Starlight Motion Picture Studios.

Renamed Elizabeth Sutton by the studio heads, she lands her first role as an extra. On set, Beth spies Aidan Evans, a rebellious, twenty-three-year-old Method actor from New York. Aidan is branded as a stuck-up troublemaker by his famous Hollywood peers, but Beth suspects a tragic secret lurks behind his steely facade.

As their careers hit the fast track and friendship evolves into romance, the expectations of Hollywood stardom threaten to shine a spotlight on Aidan’s dark past before he can make peace with it. Beth must help Aidan confront the painful event that shattered his life and conquer a terrifying truth before it destroys him and their future together.

Starlight is the first book in The Starlight Trilogy, a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Starlight is the first book in The Starlight Trilogy, a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

STARLIGHT EXCERPT:
Aidan cleared his throat. “Beth?”

“Yes, Aidan?”

“May I place a kiss on your cheek?”

“A kiss?” Heat fanned across her face. “Why, yes. I’d . . . I’d like that very much.”

“I’m sorry I’m asking you in my car—”

“I don’t mind. Honest.” Her blush deepened.

Aidan draped his arm over her seat and moved closer . . . closer. Then, finally, his lips were near hers. “I had a wonderful time with you today.”

“Me, too.” Beth closed her eyes.

Aidan pressed his lips to her cheek, followed by her jaw, stirring something intensely pleasurable deep inside her, which she’d never felt previously. It drilled into her very being, transforming her longing for him into something so fierce she thought she’d cease living if he didn’t give her what she wanted immediately.

Beth took in a sharp breath as he moved lower . . . lower. When his lips met her neck, desire rippled from her head to her toes and she let out a gasp. “Oh my!”

Aidan flung back against the driver’s door, his eyes wide and his hands yanking at his hair. “Beth, I’m sorry! I got carried away. Damn it. I’m so sorry . . .”

It took her a moment to realize he’d misinterpreted her response. “No, Aidan. Wait. I didn’t react that way because you made me feel uncomfortable.”

He dropped his hands from his hair. “Then why?”

“I, uh . . .” She lowered her gaze. “I liked what you were doing . . . a lot.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Beth’s next words were unladylike, but the absence of his lips on her skin drove her crazy. “Actually, I’d like for you to do it again. Kiss my cheek. My neck . . . That is, if you don’t mind.”

“Mind?” Aidan shook his head. “I’d be honored.”
Available Now From:

▪ Amazon
▪ Amazon UK
▪ Smashwords
▪ Barnes & Noble (Nook)
▪ Chapters (Kobo)

STARBRIGHT (The Starlight Trilogy Book #2) Cover, Synopsis, and Exclusive Excerpt

Starbright Cover
STARBRIGHT SYNOPSIS

For starlet Elizabeth Sutton, it’s difficult to tell which has more momentum: her burgeoning film career, or the growing intimacy in her forbidden romance with notorious Hollywood outsider, Aidan Evans.

When the opportunity to costar in a feature film arrives, Beth and Aidan fight to keep their relationship out of Hollywood’s rumor mill and away from the ever-watchful eyes of Starlight Studios head Luther Mertz, who condemns a union between them and threatens the future of Beth’s acting career.

The pressure mounts as the cameras roll. Beth and Aidan navigate the precarious heights of superstardom while exploring their physical desires in secret. Beth grapples between the debilitating nervousness over her sexual inexperience and her unbridled need for Aidan. Meanwhile, the demons from Aidan’s past he thought forever vanquished linger on the fringes of a fragile inner peace . . .

The Starlight Trilogy is a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
STARBRIGHT EXCERPT
The door opened and Aidan emerged from the bathroom, vigorously rubbing his hair with a towel. He wore navy blue briefs and a white T-shirt that hugged him across his chest and shoulders.

With the setting of the sun, darkness shrouded the room except for the soft light from the table lamp, lending him an ethereal glow. He looked like a powerful blend of runway model and unadulterated male. Her imagination couldn’t have constructed a more handsome man.

Any apprehension Beth had about her appearance vanished when Aidan spotted her on the bed. He didn’t say a word, but the truth sparked in his eyes. They consumed her ravenously, as if one good look wasn’t nearly enough.

He cleared his throat, though his voice sounded no less rough because of it. “Please stand up so I can see you properly.”

Beth tried to breathe normally, but it was impossible. She slid across the mattress, feeling a heightened awareness of every part of her body under his dedicated stare. As her bare feet met the carpet, she adjusted her nightgown. She wanted nothing more than to please him, to give him the show he craved and so much more.

“Turn around.” Aidan’s gentle plea was belied by the hunger in his eyes.

Beth did as he requested, receiving a sense of empowerment and pleasure that could never come from being one of the most popular actresses in the country, but only from the admiration of the man for whom she cared so deeply—the man who knew the real her, not the enhanced version created by the movie studio, and still desired her above all other women.

At the completion of her rotation, Beth made the thrilling discovery that Aidan was aroused. His erection pushed against his briefs, giving her the strongest indication yet as to how he looked beneath them. She longed to touch him like she did in the bathroom at his house, only in the flesh. And this time, she would bring him to orgasm.

Aidan set down the towel and moved toward her, his hair wild and damp, his eyes gloriously green and greedy. Beth breathed in deeply as his arms encircled her waist and he pulled her close. He smelled like lavender soap and summer rain.

“You look stunning, Beth.” Aidan whispered the words, but they resonated as though he’d shouted them for the world to hear.

He leaned forward and kissed her carefully, kindling her internal flame of desire. Beth pushed her hands into his hair and pressed her lips more firmly to his, even adding a bit of tongue.

Aidan pulled back. His eyes searched hers, as if he sensed there was an additional method to her erotic madness. “Have you ever had an orgasm?”

Beth frowned. While she’d hoped that was where things would lead for both of them tonight, she wasn’t expecting such a blunt question. “I told you I’ve never been with a man before you.”

“I know.” Aidan glided his hands down her back, caressing her with silk and sweetness. “What I mean is… have you ever pleasured yourself?”

Beth’s eyes widened. “No, never. I was always under the impression it was inappropriate for a woman to… you know…”

The silence that greeted her was unnerving.

“Why, is that bad?” She pitched him a tentative glance.

“It’s not bad.” His voice sounded throatier than before.

“Are you certain?”

Aidan’s eyes grew darker. “I prefer that you’ve never had an orgasm.” He leaned in until his hot breath skated across her face. “Because I want to be the one to give you your first.”

Beth’s flame ignited into a raging inferno.

With a hum, Aidan brushed his lips to her ear, his fingers dancing over the skin the lace of her negligee revealed. “And I would like to do it tonight. That is, if you’ll award me the honor, little dove.”

Beth’s anxiety vanished as her desire and anticipation solidified into something so overwhelming, she couldn’t dream of saying no to him.

“I’m yours, Aidan.” A desperate whimper joined her reply. “Lay your hands on me… please.”
Available Now From:

Amazon

Amazon (UK)

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble (Nook)
Five Reasons To Read The Starlight Trilogy:

1. A sweeping Technicolor tale of forbidden romance.

2. A detailed homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.

3. Cameos from many of your favorite classic film stars.

4. Transformation of a small town girl to silver screen starlet through Hollywood’s unforgiving lens.

5. Close-up of a 1950s bad boy channeling a tragic past and the stress of sudden super stardom through the art of Method acting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandra Richland spends rotating twelve-hour shifts working as a registered nurse at a Toronto hospital, indulging in her love of science and medicine, and caring for patients with their own unique tales to tell.

When she is not on duty, Alexandra escapes into her own imagination. Therein lies a fantasy world of thrilling adventure, gorgeous men, classic Hollywood glamour, exotic getaways, and a seductive dose of romance. Alexandra captures these stories in her popular novels, The Starlight Trilogy and Frontline, her novella Slip Away, and her short story, Gilded Cage.

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/Alexandra.Richland

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/RebelMissAlex

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.AlexandraRichland.com

Happy Release Day! Pros & Cons by Sydney Logan (@SydneyALogan)

1dcf9-p26c-ebook-cover

Blurb:

Con artists Jenna York and Ethan Summers always seem to cross paths during their travels around the world. With their partners in tow, the cunning criminals wreak havoc across the globe, stealing from the rich and giving to the richer. While Jenna tries to convince herself that she sees him as nothing more than a professional rival, Ethan finds it a little harder to fight his attraction to the beautiful thief.

When tragedy strikes, Jenna and Ethan join forces, but are the stakes too high? Can they escape this last job with their lives—and their hearts—intact?

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24445498-pros-cons

Buy links:
Kindle: http://amzn.com/B00T8HOVTM
B&N Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pros-cons-sydney-logan/1121182486?ean=9780692378595

Book Trailer:

Giveaway:

Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/85dad8f760/

About Author

Amazon bestselling author Sydney Logan holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of three novels – Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and Soldier On. Sydney has also penned four short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.

Website: http://www.sydneylogan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SydneyLoganAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SydneyALogan
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5787300.Sydney_Logan

Excerpt

As I slip quietly out of the suite and rush toward the elevator, I can’t deny I’m feeling a little better about Vegas.

That is, until the elevator doors open.

Standing there, leaning against the stainless steel wall with a cocky smile on his face, is the one person I really didn’t want to see this weekend.

With a miserable groan, I step inside the elevator and furiously stab the button.

“Are you following me, Summers?”

“I’d follow your dimples anywhere, York.”

Ethan Summers is infuriatingly charming and handsome. Both assets have proven to be beneficial to his career and detrimental to mine.

“Well, these dimples just lifted Bradley Jones’ credit card numbers.”

“Impressive. Although, one might argue that a more superior con artist would be capable of accomplishing such a feat without showing a little skin. Really, Jenna, I’m disappointed.”

He rarely calls me by my first name. Last names have always been our thing.

“Were you watching me?”

“Every heterosexual man in the casino was watching your little performance. Nice legs, by the way.”

Crap.

“Not good,” I mutter.

“No, but I enjoyed it.”

Ethan grins as the elevator doors open. I don’t protest when he grabs me by the elbow and leads me toward the nearest exit. It’s not brightly lit, but there’s a very nice bouncer that Ethan greets by name who allows us to walk right out the door and into the starry Nevada night. He doesn’t let go of my arm as we hurry toward a black SUV.

“Why are you helping me?”

“You drugged a millionaire and stole his credit card info. I think it’s best we get you out of town.”

That doesn’t really answer my question, but I can’t argue with his logic.
Ethan opens the passenger door and helps me inside.

“Nice stilettos.”

I glare at him, and he shoots me a sexy smile before slamming my door.

It’s really too bad that I hate his guts.

Ethan Summers and I have crossed paths many times throughout the past couple years. It’s unavoidable, considering we’re two of the finest criminal minds in the world.

That’s what the news says, anyway.

“Let me guess,” Ethan says as he pulls the SUV out onto the highway. “You used Rohypnol on Jones?”

I roll my eyes. “I’m a thief, not a sexual predator.”

“Well, you obviously slipped something into his drink.”

“Sleeping pill.”

Ethan hums his disapproval. I can’t argue with him. Slipping Bradley a sedative is so amateur.

“I was desperate. The entire weekend has been a complete waste of time. When did the Viper install dome cams?”

“A few weeks ago. The casino’s hosting the U.S. Poker Championship next month. Ceiling cams are a requirement.”

“Super.”

“I know.”

“So, if you knew about the cameras, what were you doing at the casino?”

“Let’s just say a little birdie told me you were hitting the Viper tonight. I had a feeling you might need my assistance.”

“So you’ve been talking to Abby.”

He remains silent and keeps his eyes trained on the freeway, giving me the chance to study his profile. Ethan has a mop of unruly dark hair and deep blue eyes that make most girls go weak in the knees.

Not this girl. Nope.
“Like what you see?”

My face heats. I hate when he catches me ogling him.

“You’re an ass.”

He laughs. “Someday, Jenna, you’re going to stop fighting this attraction between us. I’m really looking forward to that.”

Happy Release Day! Love Starts With Z by Tera Shanley (@terashanley)

Love & Zombies Banner

Love Starts With Z
available 2/17/15

Synopsis:

Twenty-four years into the Dead outbreak that ended the world, Soren Mitchell sticks out like a sore thumb in the remains of the human race. She’s an anomaly: a hybrid of human and Dead, created by her mother’s genetic immunity. Like her parents, she’s fierce and strong. But despite their hopes for her happiness and safety, and even though she is no real threat to the colony, she has let the humans muzzle her and confine her within the walls of Dead Run River in search of a cure.

When Kaegan Langford stumbles into the colony with an injured friend draped across his shoulders, her world is turned upside down. Intrigued and affected by her, he asks her to come to Empalme, Mexico with him to fight in the war between Deads and humans. It’ll be a long, treacherous journey to the coast, but she’s had all she can take in the colony.

Battles with Deads, betrayal, injury, kidnappings, and a criminal-run train ride stand between them and the war. But in the end, it’s not just the war with the Deads that could be the death of them.

Tera Shanley’s final book in the Dead Rapture series will thrill your heart…and your braaaains.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24325289-love-starts-with-z?ac=1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Starts-Z-Dead-Rapture-ebook/dp/B00T9U5EQC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423502993&sr=8-1&keywords=love+starts+with+z

Book One (only 99 cents for the month of February! Get it now!) http://www.amazon.com/Love-Time-Dead-Rapture-Book-ebook/dp/B00NO13982/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Book Two: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Days-Dead-Rapture-Book-ebook/dp/B00OGUXAL6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Author Website: http://terashanley.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @TeraShanley

 

Author Bio:
Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic

Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love.

A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found

decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two

young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new

story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging,

zombie slaying, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her

work, visit http://www.terashanley.com.

POP TALK: The 80’s Called, They Want Their Music Back

I’ve felt like a teenager again these past few months because there have been a flood of iconic 80’s bands releasing new material. Information Society, (one of my all-time favorites), put out their first new album in 20 years; and on the very same day, Erasure also put out a new CD.

Before I review the aforementioned albums, I should also mention the release of not one, but two new records by Prince. I’ve been tempted to break out the Gumby earring and jump Hammer pants first into the bubble gum decade that raised me.

Spoiler alert: All four albums are good. In fact, some of their best works respectively. Prince especially surprised me with his Lenny Kravitz-esque funk feel. (Incidentally, Lenny also released a new album, and it too is a worthy addition to his already hearty catalog).

If you ever wondered why Prince changed his name to a symbol for a few years here, in a nutshell, is the reason. He was feuding with his then record company and refused to give them any more of his music. However, they technically owned his name so he released material on a different label without it until his contract ran out.

Prince1

One of the two new Prince releases was written and recorded with a new partner in rhyme, 3rdeyegirl, whom I had never heard of but who has clearly been given a high position in the New Power Generation. Their CD, Plectrum Electrum, does not play out like a corny duets album, but instead has an effortless blend of both their talents. The style is all Prince but the addition of 3rdeyegirl adds a valuable and enjoyable layer to his brand of sexually charged songs.

There are moments of pure wisdom as well. I site a line from the song, Aintturninround, where they sing “Maybe the hand you’re looking for is at the end of your arms.”

Most reviewers have preferred the more upbeat and produced Plectrum Electrum, and Lord knows my 80’s ear loves the catchy tunes and bleep blorpy treatments mixed with a healthy dose of solid Prince guitar, but it’s his solo album that I think is the stronger of the two.

Prince2

Art Official Age is just the sort of random album title I would expect from Prince, and the motif of the third eye is carried through this twin release. Prince explores several different musical styles, but funk and soul seem to be his flavor at the moment. (If his hair is any indication he’s reliving 1979.)

Overall, both albums are strong and fun to listen to. Prince is clearly enjoying his rebirth and only time will tell if the radio stations reward his efforts.

 

Now on to Erasure’s new CD, The Violet Flame. It’s their 16th studio album which is impressive enough, but when you remember that Vince Clarke also founded Depeche Mode and had a two album career with Alison Moyett as the band Yaz, it becomes down right impressive.

Erasure has embraced the more aggressive production styles of late and their low end is represented well enough to give the kids something to thump in their car stereos (if any kids even know who Erasure is). At times it’s laid back, but at others it sounds more like the violent flame and I’m happy to report that there isn’t a single dud on the entire album.

Erasure
Andy Bell is in fine voice and it has the best overall flow of all four records. This was of great relief to me because I tend to get very disappointed when good bands produce bad albums. Not this time.

 

Finally, the longest break between new recordings came from Information Society, whose new collection of songs called, _hello world, has one foot firmly planted in the past while the other is stepping into the future of their music.While there are a few unsuccessful attempts on this album, the eight or so songs that I do like are wonderfully layered and jam-packed with interesting sounds and bold beats. I have always liked Kurt’s vocals, and he doesn’t sound like he’s aged a day. (But the photo on the back of the album shows a trio so ugly they could be honorary members of the Traveling Wilburys).

Many good bands are filled with gargoyles. Yes, for instance should have never included photos of the band members because people kept thinking that they were looking at a team photo of the 1988 Boston Celtics.

INSOC

Although I skip around from song to song on the new Information Society album, I find myself putting it in more than the others. The music is just that exciting and makes me want to explore more of it. I hope all of these acts receive enough success and encouragement with these new projects to keep them artistically inclined because I would love to hear more from all of them. (And I don’t want to wait another twenty years to do it).

It’s the simple fact that none of these acts tried to re-invent themselves that makes these albums good. They did what they do best and had fun doing it. As a result, I’m having fun listening.

Your Pal,
MOG