Tag Archives: music

Strings Attached

Strings Attached

Conductor Jeremiah is having a shitty day. He’s late for his concert, the hotel missed his booking, and touring is making him lonely. Things improve when violinist Tony arrives and offers him a room. But Tony wears a wedding ring, and tomorrow they’re booked to perform on opposite sides of the world. Will their one night in the same city lead somewhere, or are the odds too stacked against them?

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Cutting Edge (Pax Cymrica #4)

This post and the links in it contain advertisements for my book.

Cutting Edge cover

After ten years of hard work, rock band Pax are enjoying a stable career, but not everyone rejoices in their success. Just weeks into their first holiday in years, a family files a complaint against them for causing their son’s death. Their lawyer assures them the lawsuit will go away quietly – after all, a rock band can’t be blamed for some poor kid’s fate on the streets.

Or can they? This is the eighties, at the height of the moral panic surrounding heavy metal, and no accusation is too ridiculous. When Jamie takes on a guitar pupil who pushes the boundaries of artistic freedom, he starts to question his own responsibility for what he puts out. At the same time, Michael meets a former bully who insinuates that Michael wasn’t as innocent a victim as he thinks.

While Michael fights his personal battle against demons from his past, he also prepares to give evidence on the part of the band in a court of law. The question isn’t just whether Pax will survive this latest blow – it’s whether Michael will.

“The clear star of the show was the tension was between Michael and Jamie. Their internal conflicts were incredible and intricate.” (The Novel Approach)

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Blog posts:

Forgiveness – but for whom?

If you don’t like it, don’t watch it

Symbols and opposites

Unicorns in the office

Should art be censored?

Release (Pax Cymrica #3)

This post and the links in it contain advertisements for my book.

Release fire större text röd eld

Things are moving forward for Pax. At 35 miles per day, to be exact. Their new tour may be unorthodox, but they do have fans, tucked away in the backwaters of England. Besides, there are whispers about bigger gigs, maybe even another album. But there’s something wrong with Jamie. Michael doesn’t want to believe it, but on the eve of their big break, the truth threatens to destroy everything.

“Ingela Bohm did an excellent job with all her characters and this story but Jamie’s character in particular. I didn’t feel like I was just reading words on a page but I was actually in his head with as scary and as hard as it was to be there sometimes it made this series one of my favorites.” (World of Diversity)

“It’s almost impossible to read it with a dry eye … Ms. Bohm is such a lyrical, masterful writer that, at times, she takes my breath away. There are moments of unmatched tenderness, breathtaking first-love, depths of despair and betrayal, broken hearts and soaring hearts, evil, beauty and love – and above it all, music.” (Sinfully Addicted)

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Blog posts:

Jamie Gardiner: a charming chameleon with hidden pain

Michael Vaughan: a study in contradictions

“One, two, three, four…” A band comes to life

A musical love affair

Pax demos

This post and the links in it contains advertisements for my books

Did you ever wonder if those snippets of songs under the chapter headings in the Pax series were just cosmetics, or if they really existed? Wonder no more. Here are a few Pax demos, inexplicably sung by a lass who’s neither a guitarist nor in all honesty much of a singer. Also, the originals were on a cassette tape, you know, those things that you used to turn over after listening to one side? So the quality is, well, demo-like. But hey, at least the songs exist, right?

Orphan Bats (1975)


Upstart Crow (1976)


Return of the Prince (1979)


Endless Summer (1986)


Live In Love (2014)

Pax playlists

This post and the links in it contain advertisements for my books.

Since the Pax series is above all about music, I thought I’d share some of the things I built Michael and Jamie’s world on.

Let’s start from the beginning, with Just Playing:

Swansea Till I Die
This one is sort of self explanatory, but yeah, Michael and Jamie’s classmates are kind of big on football, and Michael and Jamie… aren’t. Also, they live in Swansea. So: Swansea City FC chant!

Bye Bye Baby
The kind of thing everyone listened to back in ’75. What would have been on the radio.

Firth Of Fifth
What Michael and Jamie would listen to – kind of a different vibe than the Bay City Rollers, I’m sure you’ll agree. Also, on a more personal note, this was my first introduction to prog, and it was love at first hearing.

This was also on the radio – notably, when Jamie shows Michael a riff by getting behind him on the sofa, snaking his arms around him and playing on the guitar in Michael’s lap. Seminal event.

Nights In White Satin
The first thing Michael sings, during a camping trip that sets the ball rolling. If Jamie wasn’t hooked before, this seals it.

April’s Fool
So what does Michael’s voice sound like? A little bit like this. Not quite, but almost.

Seekers Who Are Lovers
For me, this is the song about falling in love. I’ve never heard it illustrated this well. It’s like you fall in love all over again while you’re listening.

I Want You
What the title says. Even as Michael and Jamie accept their feelings, things are complicated in Paradise. And angsty.

Next up, The Road Taken:

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
Because the world insists that they can’t be together, and because Zeppelin would have been one of their musical inspirations – even if they didn’t actively listen to them. It was in the air.

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Apparently, Jamie once played and sang this to Michael? I don’t know, I’m just the writer.

Hocus Pocus
Another example of what Michael and Jamie listened to at the time. Delightfully crazy music from the Netherlands. Songs like this give me hope for humanity.

Concerto for Harpsichord and String Orchestra
Michael’s first taste of the harpsichord, and a contributing factor to his abandoning the bass. This is the music they overheard at the studio.

The song they listened to in that farm house. It has changed many lives.

Let Your Body Decide
In the end, Michael and Jamie had to make a decision – to be together or not be together – and this song might have helped them if it had been around at the time.

And then we have Release:

Ring Out Solstice Bells
Midsummer at Stonehenge! Who better to encapsulate that vibe than Jethro Tull?

Tarot Woman
Annabelle enters the story. She has her own song, naturally.

Hurry On Sundown
Hawkwind played at Stonehenge, too. Maybe they played this old classic.

Wuthering Heights
Kate Bush would have been on the same Top of the Pops programme as Pax, but she was busy, so they just played this song and had a dance troupe perform to it.

Nature Boy
Jamie discovers a box of albums in the attic, and with it, a hidden side to his mother.

The Musical Box
This was in my headphones when I wrote the Albert Hall concert.

Finally, there’s Cutting Edge:

You thought Michael was a sweet guy? Think again.

Mysterious Adventure
The kind of thing Ludo would compose.

Better By You, Better Than Me and Suicide Solution
The songs that landed Judas Priest and Black Sabbath in court. You see, I wasn’t making much up when I wrote that. In hindsight, it can be mystifying, but at the time, these songs were EVIL.

This is kind of what Ripped Maidenhead want to sound like.

Dansa i Neon
The song that plays on the car radio on the way to Arjeplog. No holds barred, take no prisoners bubble gum pop.

Screams Behind The Shadows
The Sepultura song that plays at Nathan’s place in the final chapter.