The books below, are part spin-off, part individual stories. While Ransom was spun off of Audio Distortion, and Retro Aktiv is spun off of 2 Blocks Down, both stories can stand on their own, without the need to read their predecessors. I, of course, am biased – I think you should read them all!
2 Blocks Down was written after some intense prodding, by yet another teenager. Its real beginnings are explained in the book’s prologue.
Life in the fast lane…
And all the pressure that comes with them.
“So… are there any musicians in here?”
A simple question, asked one afternoon in a high school music room.
A few days later, six kids answer it.
A year later, they are the biggest thing in pop music.
Join Martin, Misty, Joshua, Ariel, Rhyan, and Vanessa – known to the world as RANSOM – as they go from small-town Kansas, to filling 15,000 seat arenas, and ultimately, to the stage at the Grammys – twice.
Tag along as these six amazingly talented friends show the world that fame can be achieved without losing one’s roots, and that being driven and passionate, can turn ‘life in the fast lane’ into the ‘journey of a lifetime’.
An extraordinary keyboardist, taught by a piano virtuoso, whose love of playing is only exceeded by his love of teaching. An amazingly talented twenty-four-year-old who, because of fate and destiny, never got the chance to be a musician.
An emotionally directionless guitar wizard, who has spent her entire life using music as a release, and an escape – from an existence so perplexing, it has become easier to hide from it, than to deal with it. A future doctor – that isn’t at all sure, that she wants to be.
A Navajo, whose love of drums, took him from the traditional instruments of his people, to a full on, ‘Mad Max’ percussion kit that freaks out most people who see it. Their astonished disbelief continues, the moment he starts playing it. He too, is on a path he is completely unsure of…
An accomplished surfer, whose entire life has been spent in the avid pursuit of music. If he isn’t surfing, he’s playing, or studying – music. With two Master’s Degrees under his belt, through music, he has made peace with a devastating loss, suffered in his youth. Now, he is gripped by a new fear…
A true ‘natural’ musician – that plays five instruments proficiently, and several more, reasonably well – scarred by the loss of her mother at the age of five. Shortly thereafter, she loses her father as well – to his unconventional lifestyle. Raised by nannies and boarding schools, she has spent her entire life, trying to get even with him, for something she can’t even explain. Her only safe haven – music.
Five extraordinary musicians, the world may never hear…
Enter a strange old guy, with a dream – and the final link necessary to turn ‘far-fetched’ and ‘outlandish’ into ‘astonishing’ and ‘spectacular’…
Meet Rebecca – a fifteen-year-old, with gifts that simply defy all explanations… well… except for one.
So, in the name of music aficionados everywhere, on a sunny afternoon, in a small, abandoned theater, in a sleepy college town in Colorado, backspace is unleashed…
Although, due to circumstances, this title is not for sale, if it has piqued your curiosity, shoot me an email, and let’s chat…
Y2K. A time when the music world was filled with new directions and a lot of new groups. A time far past the music I grew up with. A time when my teenage children were discovering their own musical likes and dislikes.
Teen Pop… Dance Pop… Bubblegum Pop… Brit Pop… Euro Pop… to name just a few of the genres.
Enter four bubbly, high-energy, teenagers from Sweden, with voices that worked perfectly together. Discovered by another Swedish vocalist, who traded in singing for songwriting and managing, these kid’s amazing journey began in the blink of an eye…
They opened for a number of established acts, released their first CD in multiple countries, performed on a number of major TV shows, had songs on at least three movie soundtracks, released a DVD of their lives on the road, sold a million records, and finished recording their second album as well.
The thing is, they managed all this, in three short years…
Then one day, as quickly as it started, it was over.
They went their own ways… back to their own lives.
Fifteen years later, Alexander Brooks drops into their lives – and pretty much upends all of them. Alex has just one motto – ‘All Things Are Possible’, and he fully intends to prove it. It takes him eight months to not only convince them that he isn’t crazy, but that his ‘idea’ is one of the better ones he has come up with. Best of all, is the reason he gives them to drop everything, and play along…
‘Because you can…’
Is your curiosity getting the better of you yet?
Good. Mine was too.
I found out about all this through a friend that Mr. Brooks and I share. When she told me that he was ‘up to his old tricks’, I asked for an explanation. Once I got it, I was more than a bit skeptical.
Then… I met the four women, and immediately knew it’s another story that needs telling.
At this point, I suggest you start at the beginning… simply ‘because you can’
Fast and fleeting for most that get to experience it.
More so, when you are young.
Three years ago, Brandi, Marit, Marli and Olivia were given the chance to live life in the fast lane. Their response was to take the opportunity and run with it – for an entire year.
Then, just as quickly as it started, it was over, and although they formed close friendships, each went back to her own life, and moved on.
Brandi, however, struggled.
Have you ever wished you had a second chance at something?
Have you ever spent hours of your day wondering ‘what if’?
Have you ever wanted something so badly, you couldn’t even explain the feeling?
For the two years following the end of their adventure, Brandi Walker suffered through all of that – and more – as she struggled to find her place in a complicated and confusing world. At fourteen years of age, it was a task that, to her, seemed quite insurmountable.
Then, with a single sentence – ‘Billy wants you in Stockholm’ – her mother gives her a direction. Billy Haugen is about to give her that ‘second chance’ she has spent the last two years of her life, dreaming about. Monday she is wandering lost, with no idea where her life is going, and Wednesday, she’s on a plane to Sweden – where it all began.
Reunited with Marit and Marli, she and the twins embark on a new adventure. Join them as they chase their shared passion – performing – and create a dynasty in the process.
The fame and fortune thing… well… it just sorta of happens…
Come along, as five young girls manage to leave an indelible mark on the music world, by simply being themselves. Come and experience A Day In The Life Of Retro Aktiv.