My novel, Beyond the Will of God, won the E-Book of the month award at the innovative book site, “” I am grateful and indebted to all who voted for this funky little psychedelic mystery. Here’s a clip from the IWRR announcement:

It was a close run race last month, with the most total votes yet – great stuff! Without further ado, the winner is…

Beyond the Will of God: A Psychedelic Mystery by David Biddle

Congratulations to David and we hope that he will find the critique helpful to support his writing journey, and continue to inspire his creativity and dedication for literature.

His winning ebook will be the featured one on the iWRR homepage during the current month. David joins our previous winners – to discover who they were, click here.

You can pick the book up through the IWRR site for $0.99. That’s a pretty good deal. I’m raising it back to $4.99 at Amazon later this week. It will go to $6.99 by the end of the month. And, of course, a paperback version is available as well.

Beyond the Will of God, is partly intended to remind readers of, or introduce them to, the playful, exotic, and mysterious elements of loud music that I believe we’ve forgotten. Beyond the Will of God seeks to thread the needle between serious mystery
and quirky cosmic thriller. It is funky, humorous, and pathetically romantic — the way we used to be back in the day.

The book gets its title from a line in the Jimi Hendrix song, “1983…(A Merman I Should Turn to Be),”:
…And you know good and well
It would be beyond the will of God
And the grace of a king.

In many ways, this story is a murder mystery…but it’s wrapped in the magic of music…and then rolled up into cosmic questions that we used to ask ourselves all the time. What is the relationship between mind and body? What is telepathy? Why is the truth about altered states of consciousness so delicate and hard to understand? Where is the communal power of music coming from? And what about the psychedelic experience and music? Is that magic real? Or just mental dust?

A few weeks before he died, Jimi Hendrix gave an interview in which he talked about his aspirations for the music he wanted to write in the future. He said he wanted his music to change, that it should be about healing and peace, and that music was first and foremost a spiritual tool.

I’ve been struck by that statement ever since I heard it on an interview tape nearly 30 years ago. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the combination of blues, soul, funk, melody,
and poetic lyrics were an enormous force of liberation in The Americas (and Great Britain). Whether you listened to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?,” an Allman Brothers instrumental like “Hot ‘Lanta,” “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors, or, say, Jimi’s “Power to Love,” you were moved, you were freed, and you knew you were part of something gargantuan. That gargantuan-ness was best exemplified by the loud guitar.

I don’t want to sound like an old-school prig, but most people don’t feel that way anymore about what they listen to. People today seem to take music for granted. “It’s only music.” Maybe there’s a problem with listening on headphones. Music is never any place but in your head, but how it gets there is key. Songs played through the air and into the ears used to conjure up mystery. Now, all too often, it’s a private world…like daydreams and internal dialog.

Marvin Gaye

There’s no question that the music of today is just as good as the music of that bygone era (I love everyone from Global Illage and Citizen Cope to Honey Watts and The Roots). But music used to be at the center of what was once a powerful cultural shift on multiple levels all happening at once — we were waking up to how profoundly powerful the magic of the human mind is. Listening to Marvin Gaye or Pink Floyd or Santana took the heart and the mind of the listener on a trip that was both oddly spiritual and physically alluring. The link between emotion, language, and the body was something we were all really truly committed to understanding…and Experiencing. [Don’t get me wrong here: musicians are still working at this level; trust me, I know many amazing artists. It’s never been about anything but getting to the spinning heart of the magic of the human soul…I’m talking about the rest of us.]

Can you dramatize all of these issues? Can you make a story up that calls the reader to the back fence when everything almost seemed to make sense? Are there still mysteries here worth exploring? How does a writer delve into all of this and leave the mythologies of the past open-ended in a way that still lets the reader bring their own intuitions to the dance?
The only way to find out is to read Beyond the Will of God. You can get a PDF version for free just by signing up for occasional mailing from me. Or you can buy it through the IWRR website (or at Amazon or Barnes and Noble). If you don’t have an e-reader, you can download Kindle for the Mac and Kindle for Windows. Just go here:Kindle Apps

Or use this as your excuse to buy a new iPad or Kindle. You know you want one (well, you need one anyway…it’s the 21st century, after all).

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