The Devil’s Jukebox
There’s music in the title, music in the chapters, and a playlist at the end of the book. Music, in this novel, is the driving force behind the Muses—and here are my top ten songs that inspired the story contained within the Devil’s Jukebox.
1 - Nick Cave - Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow. So many songs by this man could fit into this list, but this one gets me dancing behind the keyboard. Perfect for that winter writer’s block.
2 - The Cure - The Exploding Boy. This was the B-side to the In Between Days 7”, which I’ve been carrying around with me since 1985. It was a high point in my days of being the Happiest Goth.
3 - Christian Death - Romeo’s Distress. This song was a direct inspiration for a scene in the novel. I wrote the scene with this song in mind before I had a place to put it, and then eventually I wrote my way to the place where it fit. It moves like a desert drive down an empty highway. A soundtrack moment.
4 - 54*40 - Yank. Not an obvious choice, but it’s another song that moved into the novel. A deep dark rolling groove that feels like it should always be somewhere within the Devil’s Jukebox.
5 - The Gun Club - My Dreams. Whiskey fueled punk rock jangle for that long highway drive. This song is so upbeat and at the same time so damn heartbreaking. The Gun Club helped me get to the end of the story. “They were supposed to be my dreams…”—so much ache in one simple line.
6 - Low - Canada. This is what I would call Heavy Mellow. The oceanic drive of the music under the ethereal vocals keeps me drifting across distance. It pushes me across pages, and when the song ends I listen to it again just so I can keep writing. An expansive longing that I try to focus into certain words.
7 - David Usher - St. Lawrence River. There are so many fantastic songs in his repertoire, but this one seems to be the song that inspires my own personal Muses. Dark, beautiful, melancholic, romantic.
8 - Oversoul Seven - Roses. A slightly obscure track, but this song kills me. Romantic pop perfection.
9 - Peter Murphy - I’ll Fall With Your Knife. Smooth and sultry, dark and romantic. The man from Bauhaus paints a longing beauty that I can only hope to touch within my own writing.
10 - Slow - Have Not Been The Same. Vancouver punk rock circa 1986. This song paints a perfect picture of getting sick of high school and wanting to get the hell out of that place I was supposed to call home.
Now, if you had a jukebox that could bring your best memories back into vivid almost three-dimensional recollections… what would you pick?
The Devil’s Jukebox
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Pop Fiction
Publisher: Peabo Productions (Self-Published)
Date of Publication: July 8th, 2014
Number of pages: 294
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: Sam Soto
A group of friends are reunited after twenty years to learn that their destinies are entangled with the immortal Muses and a mysterious lost jukebox.
From Vancouver to a New Orleans cemetery, roaming through Los Angeles to Las Vegas; it’s a supernatural road trip laced with rock ‘n’ roll.
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…and the magic will happen.
excerpt i’ll melt the world and stop for you
A day later, a night later. Jonathan stares at the drink in front of him. His plan had been to go to Swampland to see a band play and then head for home, alone, but instead he’s standing in a motel room with Pandora.
They stare at each other. Jonathan feels dizzy. He should have gone home.
Pandora sits on the bed, pulls a cigarette out of her purse, and lights it, slowly looking up at Jonathan. She motions for him to sit next to her. He sits back in the chair by the window, which is cracked open and lets in a thin stream of blue neon light and a constant murmur of traffic moving down Sunset Boulevard.
Jonathan shakes his head. He has to ask: “Where have you been?”
“Nowhere.” A thin stream of smoke slices across the room. “Drink?”
Jonathan nods. She pours them each a glass of whiskey, and he just keeps watching her. She pulls a curtain aside and gazes out the window. Suddenly he feels the urge to reach out, touch her. He stares into his drink instead. She turns and smiles.
“It has been a long time, hasn’t it Johnny?”
She kneels down on the floor in front of him, cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other, wrists resting on Jonathan’s knees.
The blue light slides across her like a shadow of pain.
He wants to lean forwards and kiss her. She wants him to. There’s a hint of a smile on her lips, the one he doesn’t trust.
“You’re not going to make this easy for me are you?” she asks.
“This is going to end badly,” Jonathan replies.
“I know. It’ll end in tears; everything does. But why worry about the ending? The beginning is always so sweet.”
Jonathan shakes his head, and she reaches up to touch the side of his face. She stands, pulling Jonathan up with her.
“I need another drink,” he says.
Pandora steps back and slides a hand down his chest, lingers, and then turns towards the bottle. He should leave.
“No, you aren’t going yet. You came here to talk to me, so let’s talk. I promise I won’t bite.”
She laughs. “Have you decided?”
Not really… “Yes. But I need a little more time.”
“You aren’t planning anything… sneaky, are you?” Pandora slides back, moving against Jonathan.
“No, but Phillip knows that you’re back, and I’m supposed to find you.”
Pandora grins, snakelike. “I’ll tell you what, my little Johnny Jewel. You don’t find me, and I’ll give you what you want.”
“That’s all?” Jonathan asks.
Pandora moves behind him, pressing against his back. Her hands on his shoulders, her lips right against his neck, whispering, “And maybe, maybe you’ll let me know where his precious little jukebox is? You can be my secret agent man…”
Jonathan shivers, and he can’t tell if it’s from desire or fear. Probably both. He doesn’t want to do this, not to Phillip, not to Kalinda, but if he can buy more time, he might be able to figure a way out.
He nods, slowly, and Pandora sits on the bed. Jonathan sits back in the chair. She reaches out with the bottle, he answers with his empty glass.
“I thought you were in New York,” Jonathan says.
“I was, but what I need isn’t there.”
“I guess it wasn’t in Denver either, unless you’re just following me.”
“Oh Johnny, I didn’t follow you, I was just passing through.”
“I don’t know about that.” Jonathan stares at the glass in his hand, shakes his head. “Why don’t you put on some music?”
“Changing the subject?”
Soft, slow, and sad, the music moves out and mixes with the blue light, the cigarette smoke.
True love travels on a gravel road.
Jonathan feels the haze of the motel room slip inside his head. Everything shifts slightly and the world is pushed into a soft blur. It’s kind of relaxing.
Pandora stands next to him and puts a hand on his back. He’s finding it very hard to focus.
She leans in closer. “Remember how we were in Denver?”
“I remember. But you left.”
“I always leave.”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“Why not? You’ve got nobody else.”
“That’s not exactly true.”
“Then why are you here?”
Jonathan isn’t sure how to answer. The warmth, the night, the look in her eyes as she pulls him back towards the bed. He should leave; he can’t leave. He feels like the world is spinning too fast, while the room is moving in the opposite direction, slow motion. A blur of desire.
He feels like he’s been drugged. He wouldn’t put it past her, but he does wonder why.
As a lit cigarette slowly burns away a tight line of red slides softly into his view. There’s a slick shine against the contrast of her pale veins and faraway eyes. A cross slowly takes shape on the curve of her arm; blood pulling memory out of skin. The cigarette, forgotten, burns away. Red leaves soft marks on the bed. She whispers Jonathan’s name, wants relief from the pain. His hands soothe her arm and then down across her chest, leaving four red streaks that glisten on her smooth stomach. Such pale skin.
She turns, facing him. Her fingers move up and under his shirt. She whispers against his ear, “Stay with me.”
He doesn’t miss her; he does miss what they had.
Some of what they had.
Pandora has a way of getting to him. A touch, a look, a whisper. She knows it too. Jonathan stretches out, wishing, wanting, getting caught in flashes of flesh-colored memories. Her lips yearning, his fingers sliding…
He’s pressing his mouth against the warmth of her neck. He breathes in her pulse. His hands, his fingers, move down, feeling her breathe. Touching the scar on her belly like a funeral procession, and down…
They move in silence and memory. Jonathan knows this shouldn’t be happening, but he knows it has to. He tries to sit up, but he can’t seem to move.
Pandora whispers, “Just stay.”
Her figure curls soft around his memory, and he’s holding onto nothing again.
About the Author:
Marcel Feldmar was born in Vancouver, moved to Boulder, ended up in Denver, went back to Vancouver, moved to Seattle, and ended up in Los Angeles. He is married with three dogs, and enjoys well made cocktails. He is also a coffee addict and an ex-drummer for too many bands to mention. He recently traded in his drumsticks for a couple of pens, and proceeded to complete his first novel. The Paranormal Pop Fiction tale entitled The Devil’s Jukebox.
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