Hokusai tattoos, coffee, and rock and roll love stories …
Right now I’m pretty happy to be drinking coffee and reading The Age newspaper. I’m getting all fired up to head to Melbourne’s National Gallery, the NGV as we Melbournians like to call it, to dream my way around the Hokusai exhibition.
I love all his work, but I can’t wait to see The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, undoubtedly, the most famous of the woodblock prints in his fabulous series Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji.
Meanwhile, in Siren’s Wave Book 2, Bran and Ava have already paid a visit to the NGV and checked out the print that inspired their tattoos. While there, Ava discovers something shocking that hits her exactly like a tidal wave. Something she’ll have to keep hidden from Bran or risk blasting their happiness into smithereens.
Grinning, he said, “What are you looking at? Wanna find a column to hide behind and make out for a bit?”
“No! God. Is there any place in the world you think unsuitable for getting it on?”
“That question’s rhetorical, right? You already know the answer.” Waving the catalogue at her, he said, “Hey, says here that Hokusai used around thirty different names over his lifetime. Mostly ones he made up himself.”
“Maybe you can use one of his spares when the limelight gets too stupid for you and you need to go incognito?”
“Huh. Maybe. How about Gakyojin? I think it suits me.”
She pulled the brochure from his hand.“Um, lets see … apparently that means ‘man crazy about drawing’.”
Trailing heat up her thigh, he ran his finger over the paper in her lap and asked, “Is there one for ‘man crazy about sexing up his girlfriend’?”
She laughed while he gazed at the art blazing bright against the dark-blue wall.
“What is it about that wave, Ava? I fucking dream about it. It’s weird.”
Bran and Ava at the NGV’s Hokusai exhibition – from The Wave chapter, Siren’s Wave book 2.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst.
According to Jung, our dreams deliver subconscious information, long neglected or ignored, needing to be integrated into our waking lives. I like the concept of our wily night-minds waiting for the opportunity to show us things hidden from the daylight. ‘Yes, asleep again! Now come on you fool, look at this. Look!’
A while back, this vivid image of me on a mountain, for some reason naked and unusually happy about the great wave roaring forth, startled me awake and made me get the paints out before breakfast!
As you can see, I’m certainly no Van Gogh, but the picture rocked and rolled around inside my head, demanding to be exorcised.
I’m glad that I didn’t let it fade away and scratched it out onto canvas because it contained symbols that hovered and sparked feelings that eventually became my book, Siren’s Wave. So, from the watery dream realm came an earthy enterprise that kept me entertained and busy. And a little obsessed? Probably. Something long neglected was brought to life in Bran and Ava’s story. What exactly? Hmm, let’s see … Be brave. Face fears. Share the past. Be open. Be yourself. And more. So much more, in fact, but that’s another story.
The tale of a damaged, up-and-coming rock star who doesn’t know what love is. Even when it smacks him in the face. Twice. When he falls hard for a girl who’s determined to resist him, what else can he do but break apart?
On sale from the 18th through to the 24th of March!
Ton Heukels, Marthe Wiggers - splice of a gorgeous shot by Alvaro Beaumud Cortes for Stylist Magazine.
“Five Stars. A fabulous novel, one with drama and details, edge and emotion, love and lust but with a story that unfolds so very different from so many Rock band romances.” – Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews
“Great debut … Siren’s Wave was a great 5 star read.” – M Austin, Alpha Book Club
“Spicy, salty and sweet! … I loved the dream imagery and metaphors … I would recommend this book even if you don’t typically do romances – it’s a gem!” – Jillian
“Siren’s Wave turned out to be the book I’ve been waiting for – the true well-written smart romance.” – Syrene
“The style of writing is unique and the way the two characters interact is genuinely funny and such a tease. The pace of the story is very well designed to keep you interested right up until the end.” – S.J. Main
Throughout history, gorgeously Gothic ravens received a bad rap. From Middle Eastern, Norse and Celtic mythology to Egar Allan Poe’s dramatic poem, their dark allure sends a shiver running through us with ease. They’ve been depicted as oracles, tricksters, and messengers of ill omens. What power, exactly, does Bran need to harness from his glossy namesakes? Regeneration perhaps or something a little more sinister?
“And being called Bran, how did that come about?”
“Nate, in high school.”
“Do you know about the Celtic legends? About Bran the Blessed, the Raven? God of regeneration etcetera?”
“Nate’s brought it up over the years. Usually, when he wants to be a pain.”
Beth ignored the warning. “And your mum is the only person who doesn’t call you Bran?”
Staring stonily at Beth, he gave her a barely discernible nod.
“Middle name?” she asked, allowing no quarter.
“Henrik,” he said flatly.
“Henrik? Alexander Henrik Brantsen.” Beth laughed loudly.
“Shit, you even know my last name?” He gave her a look of mock suspicion, trying for levity but not quite managing it.
“I aim to know a lot more about you, Bran. So, where are your parents from?”
His eyes skated over to Ava’s then back to Beth’s. He sighed and crossed his arms over his chest, all signs of playfulness gone. “The Netherlands.”
Dix’s wife, Beth, interrogating Bran at Izzy’s party.
…and it’s going to be an interesting celebration for Bran and Ava.
Over the last hour, she’d taken great care to alternate between inside the house and the garden, always in direct opposition to his location. And thank God, he was nowhere in sight now. On a spark of excitement, she twirled around like a nine-year-old brimming over with light. When she came to a halt, there was the rotter himself standing right in front of her, beaming away. And what a nice picture he made. She could call it, ‘My Own Personal Catastrophe – Holding Two Margaritas’.
Ava, avoiding Bran unsuccessfully, at Izzy’s New Year’s Eve party, Siren’s Wave.
A lemony coconut scent mixed with something earthy assailed her senses, and she wondered if it was aftershave or deodorant. Either way, it made her limbs feel heavy.
Arm engulfed in heat, she looked down at his hand still wrapped around it and tried to draw his attention to the inappropriate holding thing by narrowing her eyes at him.
It must have sent a different signal because without breaking eye contact, he stepped closer and moved his thumb slowly over her skin, pressing his fingers into her muscle like he was … was …
Ava, bamboozled by Bran who’s busy bamboozling himself.
Well no, not really, Bran’s beauty is a tad more Nordic than this poor shipwrecked lad’s.
In the mirror, he saw wet, stringy waves of hair hanging like seaweed about his face, two days’ worth of golden-brown stubble, dark smudges like kohl under his tired, blue eyes and worse, he could clearly see the painting on the opposite wall. Waterhouse’s ‘The Siren’. Shit.
There she sat on her rocks of doom, long mahogany hair streaming down towards the wretched fellow who clung there in vain, too focused on her to be aware that he was drowning in the water. A wave of nausea pulled Bran under. The look on the guy’s face. He fucking knew that feeling, utter terror, mixed with an all-consuming, yearning fascination.
– Bran, coming to unhappy terms with his Ava obsession, Siren’s Wave Novel by J.A. Hazel.
Hokusai’s wood block print of the great wave, seen dwarfing snow-capped Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak, just does something to me. The destructive beauty perfectly illustrates nature’s power, makes me feel vast and connected and at the same time, humbled and awed.
A vibrant blue and white tattoo of a great wave curled out from under his t-shirt sleeve around his bicep. It looked like a section of an old Japanese Hokusai woodblock print. An unstoppable rogue wave. And exactly like him, beautiful and catastrophic …
Ava, discovering Bran’s tattoo, Siren’s Wave Novel by J.A Hazel.