Tag Archives: Las Vegas

For Tom

I wrote this on Facebook this morning in memory of Tom Petty and the victims of the Las Vegas massacre. I feel strongly enough about this thought to take a break from my promotion of Movie Magic to share it here, too.

God bless.

I keep thinking about Tom Petty this morning, not just because of his death but because his songs always had a ring of truth to them. My favorite was always “I Won’t Back Down”.

This morning my heart aches not just because the man who helped write the words “I know what’s right, I got just one life” is gone from our lives—out into the great wide open—but also because the interpretation of his words is so highly subjective.

How we choose to spend our one life is up to each individual, and that’s terrifying when you think of the Stephen Paddocks in the world.

You see, I have an idea of what Paddock’s motivations were. I believe he seethed at the news and hated the people who put us here. I believe he sometimes wanted to scream in frustration at the way our country’s liberties and laws were being twisted and skewed. I am fairly certain he felt like I have over the past eleven months. Unlike me, however, I believe he sort of liked feeling that way. Like the old Native American legend says, the wolf you feed is the one that’s strongest. Paddock fed the wolf of hate and he enjoyed seeing it tear the flesh he threw it.

And that’s what has happened to America this year. So many of us (on all sides, to quote our president) have fed the wolf of hate and now we’re spewing pus out over the world. Blame whoever you want—politicians, media, the system that has failed us—but it’s us that the blame lands on in the end.

Face it. We’re all free falling through this world together, and our choices make the world what it is, so be careful what the choices you make are. I’m choosing to love as best I can. I’m choosing to accept that I can’t change what’s happened and not even most of what will happen. But I can choose what I put into the world. I can choose to feed the wolf of love, even if it won’t always be easy. After all, we all know there ain’t no easy way out.

I guess, like Tom Petty says in another of my favorites, “I’ve started out for God knows where, I guess I’ll know when I get there.” If anyone wants to join me, my hand is held out to you.

RIP Tom Petty
Las Vegas

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Four magicians who’ll make you believe

Seriously, in today’s world, why would you NOT want to believe in magic? When I started writing the Sleight of Hand series, I knew very little about the stage magicians I was writing about. I found magic entertaining and fun and I always had, so I figured why not write about it? I tried it and the result has been incredibly entertaining for me.

My fourth book in the series, Movie Magic, will be out October 31. I’m planning a day of festivities for its release, but I love this series so much, I decided I should re-introduce my magicians here.

So I started with Close Up Magic. Andre Hawke is the magician hero in this one, and he’s your typical tall, dark and sexy with a family he’s devoted to and protective of. He’s already got a lot going on in his life when Stacey Matthewson, a talented entertainment reporter with a checkered past, shows up. How does he deal with her? With a little magic, of course.

Excerpt: Her chest felt tight and she found it hard to breathe. Was he going to kiss her? Dear God, she felt paralyzed. Was this really just desire or did he actually know enough magic to CloseUpMagicEbookRevhold her immobile while he considered whether or not to kiss her? Or did she want his kiss so bad she was willing to sacrifice what was left of her career to get it?

She cleared her throat and fought her way out of whatever spell he’d cast. “I, um, do have another reason—” She reached into her purse.

“Save it.” He dropped her hand. “I don’t talk to the press before shows.”

She couldn’t disguise her astonishment. “How do you know I’m a reporter?”

“Fresh off the plane. I recognize the smell of the soap. Congratulations, you’re the first. This evening, anyway.” He glanced at his watch. “I’m not expecting any more for at least a couple hours.” His glare was sharp. “They probably won’t catch me until after the show.”

Keep in mind that throughout the writing of Close Up Magic, I refused to look up how magic tricks were done. I didn’t want to know. I made up my own magic tricks for the books and tried to imagine ways they could be done, but I didn’t want to spoil the magic for myself.

When I started writing Escape Magic, I figured I better change that. Escape magic is very different from close up magic in that the performer relies on a lot of physical strength and dexterity to accomplish their tricks. I’d been challenged to make one of my magicians a female, and, to my surprise, escape magic lends itself very well to female performers. When I started researching the subject, I was surprised at how many women escape artists there actually are. This led me to create Lady Lydia, a friend of Andre who becomes the love interest of Andre’s brother Tony.

Excerpt: Lydia was not easy to find. He finally located her in a knot of cheering male magicians. She was seated on a table with her legs crossed and her arms bound behind her. A handsome, dark complected man teased her with a wine glass. “C’mon, Lady Lydia! Get loose and it’s all yours.”Escape MagicEbook

Lydia pretended to have trouble with the knot. “Oh, you might just have me with this one.”

The dark man smiled a little lasciviously and leaned on the table so his body half covered hers. “Oh, I really hope so. But give it a try anyway.”

Lydia remained perfectly calm. Tony knew she’d probably already worked her way out of the knot, or at least knew how to, but she gave no indication of it. “How on earth could I possibly—oops!” She held up her hands with the rope dangling from one and gave him a little push away from her. “Did you lose something, Samir?”

“Just his pride.” Tony recognized the little toadlike man who spoke as Phil, an illusionist. He frowned, searching his mind. Had Phil even been invited? Before he could speak, Phil made a beckoning motion. “Everybody pay up.”

“Not the right venue, Phil.” Tony stepped forward as Lydia took the wine from the handsome magician’s fingers. Tony noticed a line of empty wine glasses on the table next to her. It wasn’t the first bet, then. His resolution to put a stop to the illicit activities strengthened into an almost protective resolve. “Lydia.”

She glanced at Tony as she sipped the wine. “What? You want to go next?” She dangled the rope in front of him. At his disbelieving look, she laughed. “Sorry, don’t have any cuffs. You have to bring your own.”

Of course, after all that partying in Las Vegas, I was ready for a change of scenery with my next book. That resulted in Island Magic and its reclusive magician hero Ian Logan. Logan is in a sort of self-imposed exile from magic, but when he encounters an old friend in trouble—sexy and damaged divorcee Rachel Duvall—Logan just can’t help but slip back into his magic ways to help her heal.

“I’ll tell you a secret.” He brushed her hair back and leaned over, his lips close to her ear. “Real magicians never have to prepare—as far as you know.”

A pleasant shiver went through her. A vague memory stirred. Her mother in the kitchen prIsland Magic eBookeparing for a dinner party. A good hostess has all her preparation done before the party so it looks like she gets to enjoy everything as much as her guests. She pushed the memory away, knowing it would lead to others where she was the perfect hostess with everything prepared ahead of time. She’d already broken her vow never to cry again once that day. She steeled herself against doing it again.

Lifting her chin, she stepped past him onto the deck. Her hands gripped the white-painted wrought iron railing. His body was solid and warm behind her, but she clung to the cold metal rail as if to keep herself from flying up into the stars. She felt almost certain whatever he was about to do—whatever she was about to see—would surely turn her world upside down.

The tropical sun had set long before. She wondered what time it actually was but didn’t really care enough to find out. Diamonds peppered the velvety black sky, and he wanted her to pick one. She lifted her hand and pointed. “That one.”

He rested his chin on her shoulder, bending his legs so his tall frame molded against hers. She watched his hand the entire time as he reached past her arm, closed his long fingers and brought them back to the glass, releasing the light into the bowl of the wineglass. She stared in wonder at the blue light.

“Did you see a trick?” He smiled at her, offering her the glass, his hand still firmly on top of it.

Finally, we come to Movie Magic. This may be my favorite of the Sleight of Hand books so far. I love the heroine, Sabrina Parker. She’s a plucky, ambitious woman in the Hollywood special effects business. She’s befriended all the other magicians we’ve met so far, using their expertise to create effects for movies that go beyond CGI. But when she needs help on a very special movie, her old friends fail her. They’ve all got projects of their own. What’s a girl to do? Our girl finds Walt Bryson, a sexy, talented children’s magician who lives on the coast of North Carolina. And magic ensues. Magic that involves everything from pirates and Carolina Beaches to the Magic Castle of Hollywood.

She missed the pleasant buzz from the rum. The coffee cleared things up for her too much. Half of her really wanted nothing more than to drink rum and make out with him on this couch in the late afternoon sun while the deck below them bustled with waiters anPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]d the other pirates cleaning up from the afternoon. She really wanted to give in to some crazy impulse. She glared at the innocent cup of coffee. “I miss the rum.”

He laughed softly, brushing her hair back from her face, his fingers tangling briefly in the soft curls. “So do I.” His gaze flickered to her lips and she knew in that moment that she wouldn’t need the rum buzz to kiss him. Oh please, just kiss me already. The thought whispered in her heart, and all she could see for a breathless moment was his lips.

He brushed his thumb over her lips, so tenderly her belly filled with a melting fire. But then he backed away with a reluctant smile. “But maybe we don’t need rum, huh?”

All of my Sleight of Hand books are available at Smashwords, Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and many more of your favorite online book retailers. Pick up one and be ready to believe!

Sleight of Hand Series 2-page0001

Movie Magic (Book 4) Available October 31!

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Filed under Sleight of Hand, Writing

Free Today Only!

If you haven’t gotten a copy of Close Up Magic, get it today! It’s free for the Kindle until midnight Amazon time. 🙂 Just click on the cover below:
CloseUpMagicEbookRev
I’m hoping this will help get everyone ready for Island Magic, which should be out in October!

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Join me June 1 for the Close Up Magic Release Day celebration!: What’s magic to YOU?

Join me June 1 for Close Up Magic’s official release day celebration! It’ll be magic and books and magic books and…LAS VEGAS!!!…all day long. I’ll be posting pictures of me in magical Las Vegas locations all day on June 1. You’ll be able to find me on Facebook, Twitter and right here! Best of all, I want you to be part of the action. I’ve got a list of locations I want to visit in Las Vegas, but I want you to help me out. What about Vegas is magic to YOU? Is it the magicians? The casinos? The over-the-top architecture of places of like Caesar’s Palace and The Venetian? Leave me your suggestions of the best places to use as a backdrop for a picture of me holding Close Up Magic and I’ll do my very best to get there. Plus, if you suggest a place for me to go, I’ll enter you to win a $20 Amazon gift card that you can magically transform into merchandise from Amazon!

I will be posting on my blog all day, but here’s a list of other places where you can find me on June 1:
Twitter
Michelle Garren Flye Facebook Fan Page
Close Up Magic Facebook Fan Page

Look forward to seeing you there!

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Filed under Close Up Magic, Giveaway

The Countdown: So Much to Do, So Little Time!! (Exciting news at the end!)

June 1. The release of my contemporary romance novel Close Up Magic. I feel it coming like the blind curve in a roller coaster. You know the one at the top of the long climb that curves around a partition and you just can’t tell what’s past it? Yep. That’s the one. It might be a plunging fall, it might be more twists and turns. It might be a climb to a higher peak.

Oh my.

When I took on the quest of self-publishing the novel of my dreams, I don’t think I fully appreciated what I was doing. It’s so much easier to turn a book over to a publisher and let them do the work. Let me tell you three things I’ve discovered over the course of the past month.

1. If you’re really gonna do everything you can to sell a book, you’re not going to have time to write.
2. I can survive on four hours of sleep a night, but only if I don’t drink wine.
3. There are some really great people, both in the Twitter-verse and in my own back yard that are willing to help me.

Now that June 1 is right around the corner, I’m looking forward to breathing at least a little sigh of relief. Because no matter what I find around that blind curve, I’ll finally be AROUND it, you know? Success or failure or just more of the same awaits me there, and I plan to embrace it no matter what. Because at least I’ll be there.

So what have I been up to in the world of writing?

1. Finishing up my posts for the Close Up Magic virtual book tour starting on June 3. It’s gonna be loads of fun, so stay tuned!
2. Rounding up reviews. If you missed them, you can find links and excerpts to some of them on the Close Up Magic page of this blog. Here’s a link: Close Up Magic. There are also more on Goodreads and Amazon! BTW, you can also read the ENTIRE first chapter of Close Up Magic on the blog page!
3. Speaking of Goodreads, you can register to win a copy of Close Up Magic here: Goodreads Giveaway.
4. Finalizing and proofreading advance copies of Close Up Magic. I want it to be as perfect as possible for those who buy it!
5. Writing guest posts on friends’ blogs. Many thanks to my friends Zoe Dawson, Donna Steele, Nancy Lee Badger and all the wonderful romance authors at the Contemporary Romance Cafe for allowing me to voice my thoughts on their blogs over the past couple of months!
6. Organizing my thoughts about magic and some of my research in some interesting ways. Want to know more? Check out my Goodreads magic history quiz, my Listmania list of magic books, or my Close Up Magic Facebook Page.

Don’t forget you can still enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite! Like my Facebook Close Up Magic page, Tweet (and tag me) about my book Close Up Magic, post about my book Close Up Magic (and tag me) on Facebook or blog about my book Close Up Magic. Each one is an entry and you can enter as often as you like. Just make sure I know about it. Winner will be announced as soon as possible on June 1.

How can you make the Close Up Magic release day even more special?

Wonder of wonders, guess where I’m going to be on June 1? Las Vegas. The actual setting of my book! This has got to be fate. Karma. I absolutely did NOT plan it. My husband and I are going to Vegas for our anniversary, which just happens to fall at the end of May. And we’ll still be there June 1! I’ve been looking for places to visit in Vegas, which, as most people know, has a rich history in the business of magic. So far I’ve come up with a few, but I’d love to have some more suggestions. I’m inviting everyone who reads my blog to suggest a magical place for me to visit while I’m in Vegas. I’ll go to as many as I can, take a picture of me with the book and then Tweet and blog the pictures on June 1. And everyone who suggests a spot for me to visit gets entered into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card! Can’t beat that, can you? So come on, send me your suggestions! Email to michellegflye (at) gmail (dot) com, leave them on my Close Up Magic Facebook Page or right here in the comments!

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NaNoWriMo: What’s Going On? (exclusive excerpt from my NaNo novel)

No, I’m not confused. I’m updating. Finally. I feel like I’ve been in a daze most of this month, and I guess I have sort of been in a writing fever. Consumed. I’d like to credit National Novel Writing Month with this, but I’ve participated in this annual event often enough to know, if the story hadn’t been there, it wouldn’t have written itself like this. NaNoWriMo probably did help me keep going, but this story was just kind of there. The characters weren’t hard to bring to life because by the time November 1 rolled around, I already knew them well enough to write about them.

I’ve already said the story is about magic. I’ve spent most of my life looking for magic, even finding it every now and then in everyday life, trying to capture it and cage it on the page in black and white. It doesn’t work, usually. I’m not sure I managed it this time. Maybe you can tell me:

She could feel the dry desert breeze on her skin, a welcome relief after the canned air she’d been breathing all day. This far up, the air smelled fresh, free from the musty mix of sweaty bodies and sewage that often pervaded the street level of Vegas. If she kept her eyes closed, she could almost imagine what it had been like hundreds of years before when the cowboys rode through the desert…

She was wasting time. If she were going to do it, she should go ahead. She bit her lip, felt his hands on her hips, the warmth of his body behind her. As if he understood her inner battle, he leaned forward, his lips almost touching her ear, making her dizzy with desire at a time when she desperately didn’t want to be dizzy. At first she barely understood his words, but when they penetrated, she found her courage. “Sometimes you have to do something that frightens you just to be sure you’re still alive.”

Her eyes fluttered open, and she waited for the vertigo and fear to crash down on her. But with him at her back, she found she could look out at what was undeniably an amazing view. Somehow beautiful in its blatant excess, the Strip spread out below her in a medley of lights, looking like crystal and jeweled glass. She could see the people strolling along the street, slower and more peaceful at this late hour and at this great distance than she knew they would if she were among them. Light of every color bloomed and blossomed and split through the night. The light breeze brushed her hair back from her face, almost as gentle as his touch. For the first time, she could understand why Vegas had become known as the flower of the desert. “It’s amazing.”

He stood close enough so she could feel him nod. “From up here it is.” He moved to her side, and she immediately wished he hadn’t. She liked the solid feel of him behind her. He contemplated the view for a moment. “Do you know what I see down there?”

She shook her head. “What?”

“A lot of people looking for something. I’ve always believed it’s magic. Do you know what I think magic is?” He turned, searching her eyes.

Again she shook her head. A gust of wind whipped her hair across her face and he reached up to brush it back, his palm warm against her cheek. “Magic is the absence of doubt.”

So far, my magic novel is 48,000+ words. I anticipate finishing it today. It’s the first time I’ve ever finished a NaNo novel before Thanksgiving. It’s still untitled, although I have a few ideas. But if you want to help, feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestion.

And while I’m bragging, I got two reviews yesterday for Where the Heart Lies! One was from my gracious blog tour host Stitch Read Cook. Here’s an excerpt:

“Michelle has a way with words, she draws you into the small town life of these characters and keeps you hooked until the last page.” — Stitch Read Cook

The second was unexpected, however, and I found it by chance on Bookaddiction. Check this out:

“Where The Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye is a lovely story about guilt, redemption, and the power of love. …a well-written romantic novel with an unusual amount of depth.” –Bookaddiction

How cool is that? Makes me think my quest for magic might be progressing after all!

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Filed under NaNo, Reviews, Where the Heart Lies, Writing

Magicians and magic: I saw David Copperfield! (and a couple of updates)

That’s right. I’m fresh back from Las Vegas (well, actually, not so fresh, but then, who comes back from Las Vegas refreshed?) and I got the opportunity to mark something off my bucket list. I saw David Copperfield live on stage. To understand this, you have to understand that I’ve been fascinated by magicians and magic most of my life. When I was five years old, a magician chose me to go on stage to be on a flying carpet. He told me to keep my eyes closed the whole time, much to my disappointment, and I didn’t get to actually see myself “flying”. Of course, if I’d opened my eyes, I might never have believed in magic again, so I’m glad I wasn’t a rebel back then.

I had a brief fling with Criss Angel and David Blaine, but I started to see something kind of ugly in their magic, but I’ve always loved David Copperfield. I’ve seen almost every one of his television shows, and when my husband told me to pick out a couple of shows in Vegas, I chose (with his help) The Blue Man Group and David Copperfield. The Blue Man Group was cool, of course, but we’d seen it before and our seats weren’t that great. I splurged a little on David, though. We were right up front, so close that an usher questioned us to make sure we weren’t journalists. Technically, I guess I kind of am, since I blog and write and have a degree in it and all, but on Saturday night, I was that same five-year-old girl who kept her eyes firmly shut so I couldn’t see the trick behind the magic. And it paid off. The show was spectacular, and David Copperfield was as charismatic and entertaining as he’s ever been on any television screen.

So I’ll continue my quest for magic, whether it be in what I write, read, see in the movies or on television. But I may have been as close to the real thing as I’ll ever get on Saturday.

BLOG TOUR: Visit me today at Bunny’s Review for an interview and a review (4 carrots!) of WHERE THE HEART LIES.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for your chance at a (signed) print copy of the romance anthology FOREIGN AFFAIRS with my story “Agapi Mou”. If you’d like to suggest reasons ALL my books should be in print, I’m sure my publishers will take them under advisement…

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Filed under Blog Tour, Foreign Affairs, Interviews, Reviews, Where the Heart Lies