Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Author D.J. Starling: Fantasyland and 20th Century Music

It’s a pleasure to welcome author D.J. Starling back to Thoughts in Progress. Today D.J. is here to tell us about her latest release, FANTASYLAND.

Here’s a brief description of FANTASYLAND

FANTASYLANDcoverBelieve in magic. Put a song in your heart.
Know the power of love.
Won’t you come on in?
Meet all the lonely people.
Be there when they discover that
dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

       Sandi… Shattered by a devastating loss, she’s struggling to move beyond her grief as she embarks on a new life. But when a charming stranger elicits a magnetic attraction, unyielding heartache overrides her desires and undermines her chance for happiness.

       Rick… Teen idol at fourteen, well-polished Hollywood playboy by seventeen, he enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle into his twenties. Yet he’s plagued by gnawing self-doubts and the fears they feed when his world is rocked by the sudden reappearance of a woman he had vowed to forget.
       Steve. . . Driven by staunch principles, he’s satisfied with the simple, quiet life he leads. He never could have imagined the twists and turns in the path ahead that will change him forever and force him to battle guilt and betrayal in his quest for his heart’s desire.

FANTASYLAND, D.J.’s second novel, is a stand-alone book. However, there is a connecting thread through a couple of minor characters and there is a "hook" at the end of DEJA VU (her first book) to entice the reader to visit FANTASYLAND

Here’s D.J. now. Her topic today is ‘Join the celebration of 20th century music.’

We all have songs that belong on the soundtrack of our lives. That’s especially true of the characters in FANTASYLAND. Now you can step inside and let their love of song lead you on a magical, mystery tour of 20th century music. Join the celebration in this enchanted land and get to know the real-life artists whose wide-ranging music plays through the pages.  

For now, I’m delighted to introduce you to a small sampling of five of those beloved entertainers. 

Louis Armstrong (1901 – 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was a trumpeter and singer, and a preeminent figure in jazz for more than 50 years. Of all the music he recorded during that span, some of which can still be heard in many popular movies, the most familiar song to modern listeners is probably his rendition of What a Wonderful World.

Judy Garland (1922 – 1969), was an actress and singer who got her start in vaudeville at the age of 12 and remained active until her untimely death only 35 years later. Despite her lengthy career and enduring popularity, her most famous role was that of Dorothy in the beloved 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. In that film, she introduced perhaps her most well-known song, Somewhere Over The Rainbow . . . where dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) was a singer and Academy-Award winning actor, and is arguably the most well-known entertainer of the 20th century. He was also the very first teen idol, earning that title in 1941 when his appeal to bobbysoxers, as teenage girls of that time were called, revealed a whole new audience for popular music, which had been recorded mainly for adults up to that time.

Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977), singer, musician and actor, was one of the most significant icons of the last century, often referred to as the King of Rock and Roll, or simply, the King. As the catalyst for the Cultural Revolution that was rock and roll, he was central not only to defining it as a musical genre but in making it a touchstone of the youth culture and their rebellious attitude. 

The Beatles—Four English lads, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), Paul McCartney (b. 1942), George Harrison (1943 - 2001), and Ringo Starr (b. 1940), made up the greatest and most influential band of the rock era. Despite a relatively short time together (1960 - 1970), this quartet introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. Even today, more than 40 years after disbanding, the Beatles remain one of the most popular and well-known music groups of all-time, bridging the generations and still influencing pop culture, as evidenced by their inspiration for the video game, Rock Band.

D.J., thanks for joining us today and sharing this look at 20th century music. I have to say Louis Armstrong has always been a favorite of mine and who could resist Elvis and the Beatles?

Now for those who aren’t familiar with D.J., here’s a little background.

D.J. Starling is a penname derived through a combination of a dream, an apparition, and fate. Instinct told Donna to embrace the moniker, and an author was born. Wisdom led her to recruit Marsha after they got acquainted in a writers’ workshop, and a productive partnership began.

An innate understanding of each other’s work enables them to rely on each other’s unique strengths, as well as distinctive personalities. They nurture their own ideas and brainstorm often, mining nuggets from their ramblings that they write and edit—together and separately. 

Coincidentally, although it was long before they knew each other, they both attempted their first novels while in the 4th grade. Since then, they have both learned that two heads really are better than one as they blend their literary voices to bring intriguing characters to life in compelling stories.

For more on the authors and their writing, visit their website and connect with them on their Author Facebook page, FANTASYLAND Facebook page, and Twitter.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. What are your thoughts on 20th century music? Are any of these singers favorites of yours?


  1. Mason - Thanks for hosting D.J.

    D.J. - You've mentioned some absolutely fabulous 20th Century greats. There is just something about the power of music, isn't there? I wish you success with Fantasyland.

  2. D.J., thanks again for joining us today. Your new release sounds quite intriguing. Wishing you much success.

  3. Oh, I'm such a Sinatra girl (and Dino, too!) Of course, I'm also old rock and roll--Jethro Tull or Phil Collins. The book looks fun! Good luck!

  4. Thanks for having us! Post looks great!! And to Kat S: I love all music & there's lots of it in FANTASYLAND. The book is also dedicated to "past, present and future teen idols," most especially Dino Martin, Jr.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.