Hullaba Lulu Launch – Ouija Board and book review

Image preview

The past few weeks have been wonderful ones for new book launches. It is fantastic for a book lover like me to some much new fodder for my reading hobby.

Today, I am delighted to welcome author Teagan Riordan Geneviene with her new book Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure. I read this story when it was serialised on Teagan’s wonderful blog and I have re-read this updated and new version over the past few days and I can assure you it is a fantastic fantasy adventure.

Without further ado, here is Teagan:

Hi Robbie – thanks so much for hosting me to announce my novella, Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure.

As you know this is a “dieselpunk” story.  It has a 1920s aesthetic with retro futuristic technology, a dash of magic, and some creepy settings, along with a crew of misfit characters.  Lulu is a snarky, but good-hearted flapper.  She and her friends get into all sorts of trouble (often due to Lulu’s clumsiness).  They travel on a magical train to a lot of “sideways” places.

At the back of the novella I included a list of Real-World Things.  Because of your novel, Through the Nethergate, I thought it might be fun to talk about the Ouija board.  That was one of the “random reader things” I was given for this story.  My imagination made it part of the navigation system for the dieselpunk train.

Ouija boards were also called “talking boards.”  They came from the 19th century obsession with spiritualism, the belief that the dead are able to communicate with the living.  Spiritualism had been fashionable for years in Europe.  It surged in America in 1848 and continued to be popular in the Roaring Twenties.  Ouija boards were tools of spiritualism and seances.  Two or more people would sit around the board, place their finger tips on the planchette (usually a triangle with a hole in the center), ask a question, and watch in amazement, as the planchette moved from letter to letter, spelling out the answers apparently on its own.  A businessman, Elijah Bond had the idea to patent a planchette sold with a board on which the alphabet was printed, much like the previously existing “talking boards.”  Bond filed on May 28, 1890 for patent protection and thus is credited with the invention of the Ouija board.

Snippet

The Ouija board appears in several scenes.  Here’s a snippet:

Any prints other than my own had long since blended into the dust.  Or so I thought.

“Horsefeathers!” I muttered, looking down at the floor.

I walked around the desk, inspecting the dusty tiles.  My hand still rested on the scratched counter.  My eyes widened when I realized there were new foot prints.

The fresh prints were considerably larger than mine, and they came from pointy-toed shoes.

That’s when, from the corner of my eye, I saw a movement near my hand.  I jumped half out of my skin, and stared at the Ouija board.

The planchette moved.

The small, heart-shaped piece of wood was meant to glide across the board’s surface, with the light, unguided pressure from the fingertips of the participants.  It was supposed to reveal subconscious thoughts or clairvoyant messages from beyond.

As I watched in stunned silence, the planchette moved from letter to letter, with no one touching it.

Quickly I reached under the counter.  I grabbed a yellowed pad of paper and pencil from the shelf.  I proceeded to write the letters to which the planchette pointed.  Y, T, I, C, C, I, T, N, A, L, T, A.

I stared at the pad, puzzled.  The letters didn’t form any word.  It wasn’t a foreign term, or even a make-believe word because it wasn’t pronounceable.

Suddenly, I felt cool fingers touch my shoulder.  I jumped backward and screamed.

***

Robbie, thanks again for letting me visit.  Here’s the rest of the information for Hullaba Lulu.

Here’s the Blurb

Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure is a wild and wooly 1920s fantasy story.  Lulu, the heroine is inspired by the song, “Don’t Bring Lulu,” from 1925 ― so are her pals, Pearl and Rose.  My Lulu loves to dance, and freely indulges in giggle water.  She snores and burps and says whatever she wants.  Lulu is a snarky but good-hearted flapper.  The song’s inspiration stops there, but the story is just beginning.

Travel with Lulu and her friends on a magical, dieselpunk train that belongs to the smolderingly handsome and enigmatic man known only as Valentino.  They get into all sorts of trouble, usually due to Lulu’s clumsiness.  It’s an intense ride through a number of pos-i-lutely creepy settings, including “sideways” versions of Atlantic City and the Cotton Club.  At every stop and in between, Lulu ends up creating chaos.  There’s no telling where they’ll end up.  No, Lulu! Don’t touch that!

Lulu’s the kind of smarty, breaks up every party,

Hullabaloo loo, don’t bring Lulu,

I’ll bring her myself!

Purchase Links

Amazon Universal Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08JKP1RS4

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08JDYXPZM

Alternative Seller

Kobo eBook:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hullaba-lulu

Book Trailer Video

Author Bio

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest (of the USA). Teagan most often writes one kind of fantasy or another, including the “Punk” genres, like steampunk, dieselpunk, and atompunk. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or an urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. There are no extremes in violence, sex, or profanity.

Her talents also include book covers and promotional images.  She makes all of her own.  Teagan is currently exploring the idea of offering that service to others.

All of the books by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene are available at her Amazon Author Page.

Amazon Author Page ( relinks.me/TeaganRiordainGeneviene )

Blog:  www.teagansbooks.com

Social Media Links

You can also visit me at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene/

My review of Hallaba Lulu: a Dieselpunk Adventure

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Hullaba Lulu is a fun and imaginative story set during the prohibition in the USA. Lulu has been raised by her grandfather who runs a speakeasy from an abandoned underground railway station. The story starts with a train appearing at the station on the speakeasy side of a rockfall. The train is owned by the mysterious Valentino and his angelbot assistants which are nothing like Lulu and her two best friends, Rose and Pearl, have ever seen before.

Before long, Lulu, Rose, Pearl and Grandfather are aboard the train and on the adventure of their lives. They travel sideways in time and visit Atlantic City, the Cotton Club in New York City and various other amazing and interesting places all seen through the skewed lens of sideways travel which results in these places being almost the same as in ordinary life, but not quite.

The author has managed to weave all sorts of fascinating titbits of information about flappers and life in the 1920’s into the tale as well as songs from that time, famous people and all every other interesting and trademark USA items you can think of like Ouija boards, automobiles, tarot cards and fortune tellers. The way they come into the story is so natural that it just seems quite right that they should be there.

There is strong characterisation in this short book and the author has a talent for creating strong female characters who are excellent role models for girls and women. I am always delighted that her women characters have healthy appetites, speak their minds and generally do not adopt the coquettish and ‘fake’ behaviour so common to women, even today.

Despite this book being reasonably short, it manages to delve into certain social problems that still exist such as the superiority of the wealthy and their habit of looking down on people who have to earn a living or whose lives are not as cut and dried with regards to relationships and lifestyles as their own.

False friendships, devious and misleading behavior, resentment and anger, all of these unpleasant and difficult emotions that hamper human happiness are featured, but they are off set by great loyalty, heroic behaviour, obtaining pleasure from simple things in life like eating a cheeseburger, and romance.

It is quite unbelievable how Ms Geneviene has managed to cover so much ground in this single fantasy book. It is a fabulous and worthwhile read and not one to miss out on.

120 thoughts on “Hullaba Lulu Launch – Ouija Board and book review

  1. Great post, Robbie, and a very accurate review (I read the story on the blog but have a copy of the book as well, so I hope I’ll be able to re-read soon). It’s fascinating how there will always be somebody eager to cash on any new fad. It might be more evident right now but it’s been going on for years! Good luck to Teagan with her wonderful book.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Everything does seem to root back to money, doesn’t it, Robbie… Money and wealth can and does do a lot of good. However, those who get obsessed with it, or value it above human kindness are dangerous to us all. Hugs. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Teri. Thanks for taking time from your Bad Moon Rising event. I know your plate overfloweth. It was great to have you onboard the dieselpunk train for the serial. I’m delighted that you plan to read the book version. And I’m thrilled with Robbie’s review. Thanks again. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Robbie, your review took my breath away. I’m speechless. That you found so much depth in Lulu’s novella… wow. I’m profoundly honored, and so happy I could cry. Thanks for hosting me for this launch. I’m sharing far and wide. You are the kitten’s ankles, the oyster’s earrings, the caterpillar’s kimono!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Robbie, you gave the perfect amount of detail, without going too far or revealing anything I would have wanted to be a surprise to the reader. It wasn’t just positive for me, it was beautifully executed. Happy weekend to you too. Hugs on the wing.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful post and review. I like the write-up about Ouija boards. It now makes historical sense that there was an Ouija board sequence in Downton Abbey. Thanks for the great post. Sideways hugs chugging to you and Teagan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Pat. Thanks so much for visiting here. Yes, anything to do with “spiritualism” was very popular during the time-setting of Downton Abby — from the Victorian Era and through the early decades of the 1900s. I didn’t see all of Downton Abby. I should look for the Ouija board episode. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for visiting here, Priscilla. There are so many fun things about that era, from the slang to the inventions. There’s actually a Priscilla in the story — I wrote it before I met you, but the character is mentioned in fond ways. Thanks again. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha. I can just see the kids’ eye roll. I loved 1920s slang so much that I made a dictionary of it. “Speak Flapper,” so everyone can… speak flapper and not take any wooden nickels, because you’ll know your onions. You’re pos-i-lutely the caterpillar’s kimono!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Robbie, for featuring Teagan here. I am also ready for some new fodder.

    Teagan, I love the captivating title. It prepares me for an interesting and fun adventure. I find misfit characters can often transition to real life people. Ouija boards bring back memories. “…movement near my hand.” A great review and on my TBR list 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Erica! Thanks so much for visiting here. Yes, Lulu is a little crass and very clumsy. You never know what trouble she’ll accidentally cause next. She’s so much fun to write. I hope you enjoy the tale. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Wonderful review, Robbie!
    Teagan is an excellent writer with a ripe imagination.
    OMG! I had a Ouija Board when I was about 12/13, and every question we asked it was about love and boys!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Now, I feel like getting a new Ouija Board.
        Teagan is very clever.
        I’m a bit of an outlier with all you reading passionistas, (I read, but not like you guys) but I really like it here.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Congrats to Teagan on day on of her launch! And I can’t think of a better place to start than at Robbie’s. I love the bit of history on the Ouija Board (which I owned as a young teen and scared myself with. Lol.). And a great review, Robbie. I’m looking forward to the book! Wishing you both a marvelous day.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I never had one when I was young, Robbie. When it came into the serial version, I got one online. Trouble is, it is supposed to have more than one person to use it (not so good during the COVID Apocalypse). LOL. I’m actually not certain if I brought it when I moved. I donated 4/5ths of my possessions before moving 2000 miles.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome review, Robbie. I’m reading the book now and getting right into the fun, wild ride. Love the character Lulu. Teagan has an incredible creative imagination. I played the Ouija board in high school. Most questions about boyfriends and date were answered yes! It must have been the power of my mind working. 🤔😲🤣 Christine

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I am totally freaked out by Ouija boards (haven’t touched one since I was a teen), but I love using them in fiction and seeing them used. I think it’s awesome Teagan worked one into her novella (which is already on my Kindle). Great post today, and great review of a fun story, Robbie. Hugs to you and Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Robbie – you organized a brilliant launch of Hullaba Lulu. Teagan is a marvelous storyteller and you are a great host. I enjoyed this post as well as the discussion. You have created a space where all are welcome.

    Liked by 2 people

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