Dear Subscribers (subscribe to my newsletter here):
When I taught English Composition and Literature for over twenty-five years, I always congratulated my students for having learned how to read. Why? Because it’s not easy to learn this skill. Just ask the multimillionaire CEO who has dyslexia, and yet admits he or she was shamed in school and did everything in his/her power to correct this disability so that a “new, inner world” could open to him/her.
Look back at your own history of learning and remember being that child, sitting alone at the desk or at home, staring at those strange symbols on the page and wondering what they meant. To this very second, there are millions of humans on the planet who still can’t decipher (much less enjoy) the inner psychological, emotional, and learning experience that goes on once one can master the “art” of reading.
That’s why I congratulate you and my students. And, quite frankly, I congratulate myself, each day, for just that skill. I had to watch my own wife, Ellen, who was a professor of English also, slowly deteriorate into Lewy Body Dementia. Even though I loved her, I suffered, knowing she could no longer read the three or four novels a week, and other books she enjoyed most of her life. It really hurts to see that with any human being you care about! So, I began my writing passion by reading to her what I created, and her eyes lit up and she appreciated it. To this day, I don’t know what she was thinking, but her smile lives with me forever.
I write mostly Historical Mysteries because my wife loved that genre of fiction. I believe we can learn more from reading carefully crafted fiction in this genre because of the research and the imagination that must go into it to make it worthy of the skilled reader/learner. To be able to transport a fellow human into a time period is a skill and an enjoyment that should be appreciated, as well as respected, by others, in my humble opinion.
This is why I consistently offer to my subscribers free short stories that are fueled by my imagination, yes, but they are also fueled by my passion and belief, to my dying moment (as long as I am mentally able) that folks who read want to learn from the experience of reading that took so long to learn. Certainly, it’s fun to win awards for your creative writing and bask in the joy that it gives you. But it never matches the feeling I get when I become immersed in a very well researched and imaginative book. I am transported back to that same lonely child I was, from a divorced family, who hid in the library to escape the fighting, but who lived with Emily Dickinson in her poetry, and it got me through that day unscathed and much bigger inside than I was when I walked into that building as a frightened child.
If you took the time out of your day to read this, then you are truly one of my subscribers. I want to keep you thinking, and acting on what you think, until you feel that same power you felt as a child reading a book on your own for the first time. I had no parents to read to me, the way my late wife had in her family. I needed teachers and librarians to show me the way. However, when I taught myself (autodidact), my mother, even though she was a high school dropout, would drive all over creation buying me books and getting me a library card, as she knew I had a passion deep inside that needed to be fulfilled.
Have a wonderful day, my friends.
San Diego, CA
Short story by award-winning author James Musgrave. Crafted in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, Nykolai is a pastiche of Poe’s story The Pit and the Pendulum, but the “blade” has been substituted with anti-Semitic curses and homophobic diatribe during the war in Ukraine. “Nykolai” is a love story, in the final analysis, but it is told with a dark undertone of what happens in wars all over the world on any given day.
As an exclusive offer to members of my private newsletter, I am offering signed paperback (and some hard cover) copies of my novels to all members who order. Get complete instructions and ordering information in this special eBook in (.epub, Kindle .epub, Legacy .mobi, and .pdf) formats here. You can sign-up for the newsletter at this location when you download the eBook.
The novel Orkidedatter is a collaboration between the author, James Musgrave, and Lily Orkidedatter, a psychotherapist working with the Olso police department to track down sex-traffickers, rapists, and pedofiles. She and the author, James Musgrave, were abused sexually as children. His rape and her abuse are “fictionalized” in this novel in poetic and other fantastic ways. Needless to say, we want the issue of sexual abuse to be realistically understood by the public the way that it is not today. Most abuse, for example, comes from family members and other close relatives. Therefore, it is not reported or the victims are so shamed that they are afraid to report it. Also, the laws are lenient toward the abusers in most parts of the world.
The author has also fictionalized the issue of “sex addiction,” in that the fantasy “spirit identity” of Astrid “Lily” Orkidedatter has been placed under a curse by Dr. Paul Balder, V, and she cannot make love to any human, only to Norse mythological creatures under his control. Therefore, the entire plot revolves around Lily attempting to free herself from this entrapment and become an independent woman, in charge of her own sexual needs and desires.
In order to gain support for Musgrave and Orkidedatter’s money donations to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, they are offering a free audiobook copy of the novel to those who review the Advanced Review Copy of this fantasy novel. Once we receive your short review by email, you will be listed to receive the free audiobook, read by award-winning British actress, Nikki Delgado.
Free Sample from Orkidedatter read by award-winning narrator, Nikki Delgado
Chapter One: Is That All There Is?