Blue Moon Luck Paperback – September 9, 2015
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Chancellor "Chance" Lee and his best friend, Tollie Osbourne, have always wanted to leave Falling Waters, West Virginia, and from the time they're in high school, both believe rock music can be their tickets out. Tollie is the naturally talented one, "Jimi Hendrix re-incarnated."
Chance plays rhythm guitar and later learns the drums when the two get a regular gig in a country band. While they wait for stardom, Tollie works construction and Chance sells the weed he grows. The summer they're 22, they drop $5 each on a visit to "the witch," a woman who tells fortunes on the night of the full moon. That's where trouble starts...
Collison's novel starts strong, and her writing is evocative, as when she describes Falling Waters: "Like two old woman's hands cupped, a little bowl in the midst of craggy, tangled green hills." While she takes her time establishing Chance's and Tollie's back stories, the novel's pace speeds up as it progresses...
A well-written novel that rushes through its second half; readers might want another 100 pages.
-- Kirkus Reviews
From the Author
The erstwhile Maui Writers Conference was a big deal. Held at Maui's flamboyant Grand Wailea Resort, it brought together authors, hungry literary agents, top editors of the big New York publishing houses, playwrights, screen writers and Hollywood movie directors.In 1996 Ron Howard and Jackie Collins were featured speakers. All of this high profile razzle dazzle was funded by a thousand eager, emerging writers with disposable income who believed they too, had a manuscript that could, with the right agent and editor, win the Pulitzer, make the New York Times Best Seller list, or be optioned for a movie.Although there were lectures and workshops that were designed to help writers improve their craft, what really made the Maui Writers Conference seem magical was the possibility of discovery. Though chances were miniscule, that's what we all dreamed of.
I was one of those hopefuls who spent $495 (not including airfare or hotel) to spend a long weekend on Maui, where I never once dipped a sandy toe in the ocean.Like most of the attendees, when I wasn't attending lectures or workshops I was feverishly rehearsing for the coveted fifteen-minute pitch sessions with agents and editors - sessions we hoped would earn us an invitation to send the manuscript to their attention, with the secret code to put on the envelope that would get it past the hack assistant who was prone to placing brilliant manuscripts in the slush pile.
A few weeks before the Labor Day Weekend conference someone called to tell to me "With a Little Luck" was among the ten finalists -- and to invite me to join the others in an intensive two-day workshop led by Saul, Engstrom and McQuinn. I was ecstatic. Yes! Maui, or bust! Since I was living on the neighboring Big Island at the time, it wasn't such a long or expensive journey to get to the Valley Isle, though it was an emotional ride, for sure.
Ron Howard, one of my favorite film directors, started things off with his keynote speech about storytelling and timeless themes. I was truly star-struck,having followed his career since he played Opie Taylor on the Andy Griffith show. Author and screen writer Chris Volger's sessions on mythic structure in storytelling was instructive and inspiring and has influenced my own writing in the years since. But where I really got my money's worth was participating in the intensive writing workshop with the other finalists. Don McQuinn was particularly good at teaching the art and craft of writing. Through his Socratic method I improved my manuscript and learned to look at my work with fresh eyes and listen to it with fresh ears. I am grateful to Don and am a better writer for his insightful criticism.
The weekend flew by. Sunday morning we gathered together in the auditorium, an intimate group of about 1200, for the closing ceremony. Conference director John Tullius was about to announce the contest winners. Apparently there was a tie that year (1996) and two grand prizes would be awarded. I had been sufficiently humbled in the workshop, but still believed my story had merit. Now, nearly twenty years later, I can vividly recall sitting near the back of the auditorium listening as the names of the honorable mentions were called. My name was not among them but I was still hopeful. Tullius announced the name of the first grand prize winner and I clapped until my hands stung for the man whose name I cannot remember - the man who took his place on stage alongside the runners-up and received his award. My husband squeezed my hand tightly as we waited. Tullius then passed the microphone to DonMcQuinn who began to read in his rich, slow voice with its hint of a Southern drawl, bringing young Chance Lee to life.
"The trouble between Tollie and me all started the night we got our fortunes told,the summer I was twenty-two. That was the summer everybody was doing it, going down to the river to see the witch..."
- Publisher : Fiction House, Ltd. (September 9, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 200 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0989365352
- ISBN-13 : 978-0989365352
- Item Weight : 9.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,872,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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From her dialogue to her descriptions of the countryside, Collison captures the heartbeat of rural West Virginian life in the 70s superbly. You can almost hear the easy West Virginia drawl when Chance says, “Tollie and I grew up half a mile apart in those old, wooded hills above the Potomac river, not far from where it joins the Shenandoah at Harper’s Ferry. When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up and get on that highway and see where it went.”
Chance is ambitious. He wants to make it big time as a musician. It’s been his dream almost from the moment he learned to play the guitar. He assumes Tollie, who has always been more talented than him, has the same dream. They’ll start their own band. They’ll go to California where it’s all happening. But dreams often don’t come true, and if they do, it won't necessarily be in the way you think they will. “The trouble between Tollie and me all started the night we got our fortunes told, the summer I was twenty-two.”
Ambition, determination, drugs, booze, the raging hormones of youth are masterfully brought to life in this great piece of literary fiction. One of the best books I’ve read recently.
Young men, a bit of weed, raging hormones, a lot of music, women, sex, rock'n'roll, friendship and a desire for something more all come together in the mish-mash of indecision which faces all youth.
Witty and engaging, this fictional memoir will have readers reminiscing about their own youth.
The narrator for this audiobook may be new to the profession, but he did an commendable job and his accent made the scenes come alive. The only issue with the narration was that at one point you hear him grunt which actually provided a bit of comic relief. Also, the pauses between chapters are a bit too long for my taste.
I rate the book itself as 5 out of 5 Stars, but the Audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook.
I listened to the audio version and narrator, Joseph John Raymond Rocca, did a wonderful job.