Sunday, April 27, 2014

Author’s Night: Three Authors…Three Stories…

Nina beams beside Vali Gurgu and Costi Gurgu with Trilogy
It was a dark and stormy night… and no one cared because inside we were having a marvellous time, drinking, eating, and discussing matters literary and epic.

It was author’s night in The Beaches with three very different authors celebrating their works and sharing them with an avid and diverse crowd of bibliophiles, graphic designers, screenwriters, writers and musicians of Toronto’s eclectic artistic community. 

eager bibliophiles find the wine and some choice seats
And what better place to celebrate diversity in literature than in The Beaches, a bohemian community of funk and glam in Toronto’s East end. Dominated by tree-lined streets and turn of the Century Victorian/Edwardian houses turned into niche-style shops and cafes, The Beaches embraces paradox (the artist’s talisman) from its location—on the magnificent beach of Lake Ontario—and its laid-back post-hippy lifestyle to the sophistication of its commercial community and services. The venue for our Author’s Night (on Boardwalk Drive) combined spacious posh and high ceilings with the warmth of colour and comfortable chairs you’d sink into for the duration.

Glasses charged with fine wine and taste buds titillated with homemade cookies and savouries, the audience settled into those chairs ready for a treat.

Nina Munteanu

I was celebrating the completion and release this month of the final book (Metaverse) of my science fiction metaphysical thriller The Splintered Universe. Celebrating with me was the artist who created the covers of the trilogy, Costi Gurgu, and his wife Vali. Costi is himself a celebrated award-winning author from Romania. Vali Gurgu—the model for Rhea Hawke—is the artistic director for a major Toronto magazine. I was so happy to see some of my UofT and George Brown students in attendance too!

Metaverse concludes the metaphysical journey of detective Rhea Hawke, a complex heroine on a quest for justice in a shape-shifting universe of intrigue and paradox.  Rhea Hawke’s unlawful quest throws her into a treacherous storm of politics, conspiracy and self-discovery. The Splintered Universe is a high-paced thriller with a mystery of cosmic proportions that explores the nature of the universe and paranormal phenomena such as multi-dimensionality, clairvoyance, quantum entanglement, morphic resonance and synchronicity. Rhea Hawke's story is one of a soul's heroic journey "home". And home isn't what you might think it is!

Merridy Cox Bradley

Merridy Cox Bradley
Merridy Cox Bradley had just released her annotated e-book of Part 1 (Beasts) of Frank Finn’s charming and deliciously entertaining Edwardian book “Pets and How to Keep Them”. Here’s an Amazon review: “This charming Edwardian book on pets and how to keep them…is now wonderfully annotated with delicious historical and up-to-date material by editor Merridy Cox Bradley…This would have certainly been a book that Downton Abbey’s Lord Grantham would have consulted on matters to do with his yellow lab, Isis, or Mrs. Patmore on her chicken-filching cat.”

Merridy read some wonderful excerpts of the book and added some interesting context. Here’s an excerpt: “It is obvious that a Wild Cat cannot afford to be so particular about wetting its feet as a tame one is, so that the feline aversion to wet may be an acquired and civilized taste.”

Nina Darrell

Nina Darrell read excerpts from her inspirational book Dancing in the Streets: Stories to Inspire,
Nina Darrell
Guide and Transform Your Spiritual Life
. The titles of chapters are as interesting as their contents. Here are some: Paying Attention to the Weird and the Strange; Flying Trees; the Mysterious Gardner…

“We are living in an age of spirit, and spirit’s desire is to inspire, guide and transform every life,” says Nina Darrell. Her accounts and anecdotes of synchronicity and life-symbols provide a spiritual landscape for discovery. The collection explores the language of spirit toward a connection to the divine.


Three very different authors; three very different stories—a diverse, eclectic audience. What an evening!

Participants discuss quantum mechanics and angels
By the end of the evening, I found that we were all using the same language that embraced observation, communication, inspiration, and transformation. My story of shape-shifting and heroic transcendence was not so different from Nina Darrell’s story collection of spiritual observation and transformation. Merridy’s account of connection between animal and human was not so different from my broken hero’s journey of finding connection with other beings not human. Not so surprising; because story is universal and speaks through metaphor on topics of the human condition and what we value, what we strive to be or fear. The other. The unknown. The misunderstood. The wonder. The awesome. The soul’s journey home. The universal metaphors began to morph into a braided stream of common language and thought that settled into a warm pool of resonating chaos.

Or was it the wine?

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit Visit for more about her writing.

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