– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘A Walking Shadow (Backstage Mystery Series #1)’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote Elizabeth Ireland her book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.
She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.
In 1871, Lillian Nolan accepts a small role in Macbeth, and finally fulfills her dream of becoming an actress. That is until the renowned, but venomous, female star of the production is murdered onstage opening night. When her enraged spirit haunts the theater, Lillian is shocked to discover she can communicate with her. Offered a Faustian bargain in which she will be given talent and expertise way beyond her ability in exchange for uncovering the killer, Lillian can’t resist.
Her quest for the truth causes her to descend into the Underworld, the den of inequity below the streets of Chicago. What Lillian finds soon embroils her in a battle between her passion for performing and control over her own body as it all plays out in a supernatural game of good and evil.
THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES
Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.
Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”
The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.
Lillian Nolan, protagonist and reluctant sleuth, writes her memoir of her life in the theater and begins with the memory of the death of the renowned actress, Irene Davenport which took place in the fall of 1871.
It is incomprehensible to me that almost eighty years have passed since the night in which the great Irene Davenport was killed. For indeed she was murdered. I am no longer the seventeen-year-old girl, eager for a life in the theater who stood in the wings and witnessed it all. Although in my heart and mind, I feel I am still that young woman even though the image I see in the mirror tells me otherwise.
In this modern world of 1950, it would be difficult to find anyone who would even remember Irene—especially since the advent of moving pictures and the creation of so many “stars”; so much opportunity for fame that was unheard of in Irene Davenport’s day. Of course, it is impossible for me to ever forget her.
Looking back, as famous as she was, certainly the most famous part of Irene’s life was her death. That took place center stage, in front of twenty-six hundred people, as well as those of us in the cast and crew who stood backstage and watched, paralyzed in disbelief. Sometimes things happen so quickly that one cannot simply think, nor act fast enough. The brain is not able to engage the body, I suppose.
But all that is, as we say, back story.
The Magic Of Wor(l)ds