Don Juan in Hankey, PA

So, I had a complete blast–like opening night (or at least sitzprobe) in my head every day–writing this novel called Don Juan in Hankey, PA about a small-town opera guild and all the problems they encounter producing Don Giovanni. Seduction. Visits from ghosts. Murder. Comic intrigues. Convoluted mysteries. And, of course, lots of opera.

After the baritone singing the title role pulls out of his contract, the guild hires a gifted gaucho from Argentina who won Operatoonity–a fictional, international opera contest. Hence, the name for this blog celebrating opera!

DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA has been published by Booktrope and is available online in e-book and print at Amazon. In 2012, it was named a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards.

Here are snippets from some of my favorite reviews on Amazon.com (by regular readers):

  • “‘Don Juan’ perfectly captures our own faults, those of ambition, greed, lust and naivety, and makes us laugh at our own self-importance. This book strikes a human chord in such a comical way that I couldn’t put it down.”
  • “If you’re not an opera fan already, REJOICE! Your salvation awaits in Don Juan in Hankey, PA.”
  • “It is bursting with outlandish plot snarls and tension-relieving plot twists–it is an entertaining ride.”
  • “Guess what? I want to learn more about opera now. What fun and how clever.”
  • “I enjoyed the book especially because even though it always maintains a serious, believable side, it verges on high hilarity at times.”
  • “I want more from this author. I will recommend this book to all my friends.”
  • “What makes this novel so special is that are the many levels to discover and enjoy, as in every good novel.”
  • “Now maybe I don’t know much about opera or Mozart but I’m pretty sure I know a good book when I read one and Don Juan in Hankey, PA is definitely a good book as all of the separate elements that Gale Martin has woven together have made for a terrific whole.”
  • “I REALLY LOVED THE BOOK!!! Honestly, I wish there was a sequel already.”
  • “I am a singer (and avid reader) and have performed in many similar companies to the one in the book.”
  • “Don Juan in Hankey, PA will help your own heart to sing. And who among us doesn’t yearn for that?”

If you read DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA, be sure to let me know what you think!

7 Responses to Don Juan in Hankey, PA

  1. Gale

    Excellent, Stephen. Thanks for taking an interest in the book. Fingers crossed for your health issues, that you’ll be back to fine form soon.

  2. Stephen Llewellyn

    It looks as though I may have a good deal of time on my hands in the near future and am looking forward to reading Don Juan in Hankey PA. I am thinking of getting a Kindle and this will be my first purchase :)

  3. interstingly sar DON ic reading

  4. An artist of dazzling talents, Talise Trevigne was born to portray the irresistible Manon. With her dancer’s mastery of sensuous movement, her compelling stage presence as consummate actress, and a voice of sheer beauty, she is the ideal Manon. Her portrayal will be like no other.

    “I see Manon as completely straightforward. She is young but knowing. Not innocent, but not conniving either” says Ms. Trevigne.

    In discussing this multidimensional woman, she continues, “Whatever Manon says, at any particular moment, she believes it completely. She loves Des Grieux, but she also loves luxury and ‘the good life.’”

    When asked what she sees as Manon’s most endearing quality she says without hesitation, “Manon’s lust for life and all life has to offer.” As to Manon’s “darker side” she replies, “Her lack of foresight and lack of understanding that there is a consequence to every choice.”

    Ms. Trevigne embraces Manon’s matter of fact manner. She appreciates that Manon owns up to her choices.

    And what is her take on how Massenet’s music reflects Manon’s character: “He perfectly expresses the country girl who falls deeply in love, then easily transitions to a “kept woman” and ultimately goes through her self-made ruin to move beyond herself and her circumstance to become a mature woman facing an ignominious death.

    There is no wonder that Talise Trevigne is THE BUZZ of the opera world. She has it all: glorious voice, matchless acting ability, and beauty that takes your breath away! Called the “luminous new voice of opera,” Ms. Trevigne has been universally praised for her portrayals of many leading ladies including Violetta, Mimì, Juliette and Gilda. Critics have deemed her Lucia as “perfect Bel Canto singing” and “utterly ravishing!” She garnered Britain’s coveted Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for her mesmerizing portrayal of Violetta in Graham Vick’s La Traviata with Birmingham Opera and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

    The mesmerizing Talise Trevigne sings her first Manon with Knoxville Opera on Feb 11 and 13.

  5. Gale

    Why thanks for visiting, Barb. I so enjoyed the dinner and the opera–very much fun! Just finished one huge chunk of graduate work. Another chunk due tomorrow–then I get cracking on my pro bono work.

  6. I never thought I would be interested in Opera, but as luck would have it, I found a friend to peek my curiosity. Gale, I can’t wait to read your book and with your help in understanding opera more, I know I will get a chuckle or two.

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