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Posts tagged ‘Joan Tewkesbury’

The Last Conception Is Born

LastConception-CoverMy novel The Last Conception was just born at Melange Books.

The description and some kind words from best selling, nationally recognized and award-winning novelists, follow (below).

I hope you’ll get a copy or two and tell your friends, family and colleagues. If you enjoy the story, don’t hesitate to leave a good review.

Available in print and eBook formats at: Melange Books
Kindle edition available at: Amazon

With Gratitude,
Gabriel

The Last Conception
By Gabriel Constans
Melange Books – 179 pages
Published: July 17, 2014

A successful embryologist (Savarna) must make difficult and life-changing choices. Should she continue devoting her soul to work and party with her girlfriend Magdalena or settle down with Charlemagne (Charly) and have children? If she decides to have children, how and when will they start the process and what will it take to convince her conservative East Indian mother to stop trying to marry her off to a “good man”? If that isn’t enough pressure, throw in the bomb her parents plant when they tell her she MUST have a baby because she is the last in line of a great spiritual teacher who reportedly never had children!

Advance Praise for The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans.

Gabriel Constans’ inspiring new novel delves into the framework of our purpose in life; explores the tenuous balance between destiny and personal truth and the struggle we undergo when those forces are at odds. Constans weaves the two together seamlessly and in the end, we are certain that love surpasses tradition, destiny and our own selfish wants.
Syd Parker, best-selling author of Secrets of the Heart, Love’s Abiding Spirit and Immediate Possession.

Often, when tradition and technology meet they collide without forgiveness. Gabriel Constans manages to bring these opposites together with an open heart and the result is a story of compassion, love and the gifts that a generous partnership can provide.
Joan Tewkesbury, award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. Author of Ebba and The Green Dresses of Oliva Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War.

The Last Conception is a delightful read! It depicts a family muddling its way through a mire of personal, cultural, and generational differences, and reminds us all to slow down and remember – what else – love. Besides, what good are agendas when the dance of life is out of our control?
Clifford Henderson, author of acclaimed Spanking New and Mae’s Request.

“The Last Conception” is a bhakti-fest of love and loss, hope and courage that comes in unexpected packages. Take a peek into the lives of an Indian-American family faced with an unusual demand of their medical professional unmarried daughter whose job and personal life intersect in unanticipated ways. Although happy endings are never guaranteed, it seems that one is in the offing for this savory literary masala.
Edie Weinstein, author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.

The Last Conception is an engaging and unexpected tale of a young American woman whose choices about partnership and parenting have significant implications for her East Indian parents. According to them, it is Savarna’s destiny to have a child, to continue the lineage of an ancient spiritual teacher. The novella is well written and fast-paced and evokes important inquires into spirituality and the true meaning of birth.
Donna Baier Stein – author of the novel Fortune and award-winning short stories, including The Yogi and the Peacock, El Nino, The Jewel Box, Coming Clean and Lambada.

In The Last Conception, Gabriel Constans reaches into everyone’s heart and mind. He explores the essence of religion, not as something prescribed, but as a suggestion of loving connectedness beyond time.
Arny Mindell, author of The Dreammaker’s Apprentice and The Shaman’s Body.

The Last Conception is a compelling read. The mystery at the heart of this tale about the complicatons of conception lures the reader to examine the deeper issues facing the characters: telling the truth about one’s needs and desires, the urge to have children, the pressures of family ancestry, and the power of love. Suspenseful and sweet, there’s always an unexpected twist, all the way to the end.
Marcy Alancraig – author of A Woman of Heart, accepted by the National Jewish Book Awards and Lambda Awards for a debut novel.

My Due Date is Approaching

LastConception-CoverJust over a month until my novel is released in the U.S. by Melange Books – July 17.

Here are some kind words from award-winning filmmaker and novelist, Joan Tewkesbury, who read an advance copy.

The Last Conception is a delightful read! It depicts a family muddling its way through a mire of personal, cultural, and generational differences, and reminds us all to slow down and remember – what else – love. Besides, what good are agendas when the dance of life is out of our control?”

The Pink Blanket

From Red Room
Some of my favorite sex scenes in literature.

The Pink Blanket

I have been entranced with the novel Ebba and the Green Dresses of Olivia Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War by Joan Tewkesbury since it was released last year. The story is a literary wonderland of love, hate, darkness and hope and is steeped in the spices and flavors of Latin American magic realism. This is Ms. Tewkesbury’s first novel, though she is well known for her screenwriting (Nashville, etc.), directing and acting.

Among the many delectable and delicious delights that are embedded in this story, are her loving sex scenes between husband and wife Bernardo and Hortence Grace. They flow seamlessly and beautifully into the narrative and are not only believable but palpable. Here are some savory examples.

“Hortense Grace stirred in her sleep and turned over, opened in her sleep for Bernardo who slid into her darkness, her well, her reservoir and they made love in semiconscious cascades. They were one over and over so many times before they drifted into sleep, deeply asleep, a sleep so deep they had no memory of how well they had known each other in the night.”

“Finally, when they were sure Rebecca and Tobia had fallen asleep, Hortense Grace and Bernardo pulled out the pink blanket, the one that Ariel had been conceived on, and unfurled it in the garden. Then they took off all their clothes and made love under the stars and the moon, accidentally rolling off the blanket onto the ground as they pounded into each other’s flesh over and over and fell asleep in a bed of wild sweet peas. Just before dawn they woke up covered in mud and started to laugh. Then they turned on the hose and wdashed each other off, let the water flood them as they slammed into each other one last time before running into the house to make coffee which they took outside and drank as the sun crept up over the morning glory covered wall.”

The beauty of these examples are the respect and intimacy that are shared between the characters. Though I enjoy explicit descriptions of sex (when they are in context), the scenes in this novel have much more impact, because of the development of the story and protagonists. It is raw, real and relative and resonates with experiences of loving consensual and joyous sexuality. That is why I’ve chosen sex scenes from this literary mistresspiece as some of my favorite of all time and encourage readers to pick up this novel and see for themselves.

Read more where the writers are at Red Room.

Juanita Visits the Commander

Another excerpt from the exquisite novel Ebba and the Green Dresses of Olivia Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War by Joan Tewkesbury.

Juanita Visits the Commander

Juanita stood in the General’s Commander’s living room. He was watching the Miss Central Committee Beauty Pageant on TV. As the master of ceremonies read off the names of the five finalists, the Commander picked up a bottle of purple liquid and dropped twenty-five drops of whatever it was into a glass of purified water, stirred it with his thumb and offered it to Juanita. When she declined, he shrugged and drank it himself, shuddering as it slid down his throat.

“Best thing to ward off smallpox,” he said.

He plopped the glass down on the marble-topped table edged in gold leaf and patted the cushion next to him on the sofa. Juanita waited a moment then took a deep breath and sat down beside him even though she didn’t want to.

“Look at those dogs!” the Commander shouted. He was referring to the final five Beauty Pageant contestants.

“Where’s that soap opera actress or that blonde who sells toothpaste in the ads? These are dogs. Peasant dogs. How can you give a prize to ugly women like that?”

He turned and gave Juanita his full attention, looked into her eyes, then down to her lovely full lips then back up to the feathery mustache of delicate fur she had ceased to wax since her husband, the Sergeant, had burned up and died. It was something her mother had insisted she do when it started to flourish at puberty. Her brother had hated her because he hardly had any mustache at all.

The Commander couldn’t take his eyes off Juanita’s upper lip.

“You see,” he boasted, “it is one of my duties to wine and dine whoever wins. She will come to this house for an evening with me and none of those dogs are worthy…”

“Commander…” Juanita interrupted, but he just kept talking.

“… Unlike you, Mrs. Chavez.” The General’s Commander stretched, lifted his arms and moved toward Juanita on the couch. He was totally transfixed by her furry mustache. Juanita moved to the very edge of the cushion as the bathing suit competition continued to blare on TV.

“Commander, I have come to ask…”

“Anything,” the Commander interrupted in a whisper. He began leaning forward, tilting his head closer to hers, completely captivated by the dense, dark growth spreading a hairy frame for her mouth.

“Do you know, Mrs. Chavez, that I have fathered one hundred and eighteen children?” Juanita ignored the remark and continued in a firm voice.

“About my dead husband…”

“How can I be of help?” The Commander interrupted again and smiled.

“I would like to see…” Unable to restrain himself any longer he lifted his hand.

“Excuse me,” he interrupted,” but there is something right there…” The Commander leaning forward further moved his finger toward her mouth, but Juanita didn’t stop talking.

“I would like to see that my husband receives a hero’s…” At that exact moment the Commander’s fingers reached their destination.

“Oh my…” he said, feeling the fuzz.

“Memorial!” Juanita blurted, simultaneously with the touch.

Recoiling reflexively, she said very loudly,”What the hell are you doing?!” This took the Commander by surprise. He wasn’t used to being questioned about anything he wanted to do, but he managed to recover and save face by delicately feathering his fingers, as if he was removing something unseemly from under her nose. He made it seem as if he had saved her a great embarrassment. He even went so far as to drop the imaginary thing into an overflowing beanbag ashtray clinging to the arm of the couch, as he looked Juanita straight in the eye and clucked condescendingly.

“A little something caught in the hair.” Then he leaned back and waited for her to be embarrassed, but he’d miscalculated. Juanita didn’t give a shit. She only cared about getting what she came for, so she stood.

“I want to give my dead husband, Sergeant Alberto Chavez, a military memorial for dying in the line of duty.”

The Commander blinked and tried to recall Chavez. Finally, when he did, the Commander spread his short pudgy arms across the back of the white leather couch. Sergeant Chavez had been a total fuck-up, taken off regular duty because he fell asleep and deserted his men, which was why he’d been relegated to Orphan Patrol, the children’s army and family redistribution. The Commander smiled.

“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” he said.

All of a sudden his tone was official and he turned back to the contest on TV, taking note of the third finalist’s bathing suit as it crept up her haunch revealing a lot of backside that should have stayed covered.

“What do you mean, not possible?” Juanita wanted to know.

“No real rank,” he replied and kept his focus on the television set.

“What do you mean ‘no real rank?’ He fought for you…”

Her eyes were filling with angry tears as the Commander smiled unkindly. “Maybe that’s what he told you to feel important, but I can verify whatever war stories he boasted were not true.”

“Liar!” Juanita shouted and stamped her foot.

The Commander sighed. This was growing tedious. Then he remembered. “I hear you sent the boy we gave you away.”

“Of course I sent him away. It was all his fault. If I hadn’t been so busy day and night… too busy for my husband…”

“My dear, it wasn’t as if you gave birth to him or nursed him day and night. He was only with you a short time…”

“So what?” Juanita interrupted.

“So, you will be moving out of the casita,” the General’s Commander announced.

Stunned, Juanita stopped her fury and stared at the Commander.

“What?” was all she could manage to say.

“We have to make room for his replacement. Besides, we don’t have casitas for widows. Casitas are for military personnel in the General’s service. We’ve let you stay on a bit longer out of consideration for the circumstances of his death… a terrible shock. But since you don’t have any children and you gave the one you had away… One person to a casita is extravagant… unless of course you’d like to think about some sort of arrangement…”

Before the Commander could continue with the rest of proposition, Juanita turned and stormed out of his living room to the front door which she slammed so hard the General’s portrait fell off the wall and knocked over the flag.

In the living room, the Commander lit another cigarette and waited to see which one of the unfortunate, ‘peasant dogs’ would be crowned Miss Central Committee.

Get your own copy of Ebba and the Green Dresses of Olivia Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War by Joan Tewkesbury HERE.

Red Velvet Couch

Excerpt from fabulous debut novel by Golden Globe nominated writer Joan Tewkesbury. Ebba and the Green Dresses of Olivia Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War

The Red Velvet Couch

Olivia sat on the red velvet, Victorian couch in Li Choo’s living room wearing Li Choo’s bright yellow silk kimono. From the window she could see the garden with pool and pond and the hole in the wall blown open from the hand grenade Olivia had returned to its unknown messenger. Ever since that day, Olivia had been coming to Li Choo’s house on a regular basis. At first, she’d been a little nervous. After all, two deaths in the same garden, she could be number three. But after a while, visiting the house became a ritual, the only thing Olivia looked forward to. She was obsessed. There was so much she didn’t know.

It started with the closet. On the day of Li Choo’s death, when Olivia looked inside to find a suitable something to cover up her dead husband’s mistress’s body, she’d been confronted with such a profusion of quantity and color that it haunted her. That night, she hadn’t been able to sleep so she’d slipped out of bed and left her house and sleeping children.

Making sure she hadn’t been followed, which was an ongoing occurrence since the assassination of her husband, she’d entered the side door of Li Choo’s house and went straight for the closet. First, she’d rummaged through the dressing gowns made out of silk or satin or chiffon with trimmings of marabou or fur or embroidered with lace. Next, she’d inspected every crotchless panty, every rhinestoned G-string, every garter belt and nippleless brassiere even though Olivia had no idea what these clothes were for. Unfortunately, the sun had broken over the horizon just as she found the mail-order catalog with pictures of models in the mysterious lingerie. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to stay away because the closet and its contents had grabbed hold of her imagination and wouldn’t leave, Olivia stacked everything in stacks by category and color so things would be easier to find when she came back.

At home, Olivia fixed breakfast for her children and went about her usual routine, but the closet and its contents bore into her psyche like a drill. Then, because she was the dead mayor’s widow and had been followed, she marched straight into the office of the Chief of Investigation and ordered him to order Li Choo’s house and all of its contents, “off limits.” Nothing was to be looked at or touched. Nothing was to disturb the essence of her late husband the mayor and since the Chief knew exactly where she would be, he could stop having her followed. Her request was odd, but convincing and, frankly, the Chief of Investigation was greatly relieved. Fearing of finding something he might have to investigate filled him with panic. So, if Olivia was too distracted to make them search for assassins, so much the better. Any excuse she wanted to use was all right with him and he could stop wasting all that man power documenting her every move.

Olivia’s obsession with the closet was fierce. Night after night she went back to plow through Li Choo’s belongings. She was so infatuated with what she couldn’t figure out, she went without sleep for weeks and when she appeared a little vague and groggy everyone just assumed she was in mourning. In truth, discovery was exhausting. This was a whole new world, a world she never knew existed.

After a few visits she couldn’t restrain herself and began to try on all the lacy contraptions using the catalog as a guide. At first it made her feel very important, as if she’d tapped into some sort of secret very few women would ever be able to understand. Certainly neither Mrs. Marquez nor any of the others in Elena would be smart enough to decipher the details.

Finally, Olivia felt so confident, she decided to inspect her mastery in front of the full-length mirror surrounded by electric lights on Li Choo’s bathroom wall. It was a mirror fit for a movie star, but unfortunately Olivia’s reflection didn’t cooperate. Her voluptuous body spilled out over the garments like a pudding trussed with multicolored string and none of the paraphernalia fit, which was very confusing because all they were made of were spaces.

Olivia wept in utter frustration. Attempting to try on the crotchless underwear, she hopped around on one leg only to discover both legs were trapped in the same opening and crushing her enormous black pubic bush with a tight pink stripe. Not to mention her voluminous breasts that spilled out of and on top of and underneath the two skimpy triangles of white rabbit fur linked by a line of lime green sequins that cut off her breathing. Furious, Olivia ripped the band of lace off her leg, tore off the top and sobbed angrily at her naked reflection. After that, she picked up the pile of spider web undies and threw them into the fireplace, lit a match and watched them go up in flames. Something about the blaze seemed to calm her. Looking through the kitchen cupboards, she discovered an assortment of exotic teas. She picked something with rosebuds and violets and let the fragrance pacify her confusion. Restored, Olivia went back to the closet and found a fine ivory satin robe. Not realizing it had belonged to her husband, she slipped into its smooth coolness and let it soothe her vanity. A robe was something she could understand and just before Olivia let herself drift off for a little nap, she decided that what she didn’t know didn’t matter. From now on she would just make things up and call it the truth.

Read more of EBBA AND THE GREEN DRESSES OF OLIVIA GOMEZ IN A TIME OF CONFLICT AND WAR.

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