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Rock ní Roll Fantasy
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ISBN-10: 1-89484-182-4
Genre: Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 259 Pages
Published: September 2002

From inside the flap

Tarot cards, rock stars and magick ? oh, my!

Reviews and Awards

"Fun book! Clever weaving of rock icons, fairy tales, and puns galore."

Don Wilson - Rhythm guitar and vocals & founding member, The Ventures

"Entertaining rendition of the tarot theme, with nice inset stories and variants of fables. I smelled whiffs of Circe and the Pigs, Beauty and the Beast, Adam and Eve, Alice in Wonderland, Pied Piper - all manner of notions."

Piers Anthony - Author of the Xanth novels, Incarnations of Immortality series, and lots more

"A magical musical history. I couldn't put it down!"

Lee Dorman - Bassist, & original member, Iron Butterfly

"ROCK 'N ROLL FANTASY is a magical mystery ride through the looking glass of life - it's Alice in Wonderland on acid, The Wizard of Oz on peyote! I liked the way Wilson built characters around the cards, and the rock references are brilliant. It is witty, sarcastic, caustic... I laughed!"

Micheal, The Ancient One - Teacher of tarot, paranormal columnist, and associate producer of The Surreal Hour television program

"Laugh out loud funny! One of the most amusing books I've read in years. ROCK 'N ROLL FANTASY succeeds as a loving parody of every overused convention in fantasy fiction. Anyone with an interest in tarot, horses, or rock music is guaranteed to have a wonderful time. For pure, unadulterated fun this book comes with my highest recommendation."

Garrett Peck - Fiction reviewer for Gauntlet Magazine, Hellnotes, and others

"A terrific read - I know you're going to enjoy this book."

Ray Manzarek - Piano/organ maestro, & founding member, The Doors

Rock ní Roll Fantasy (Excerpt)


(or: Memoir of a Tarot-Tripping, Rock-Groupie, Millionaire-Heiress with an Attitude)

By Staci Layne Wilson


The book is what started it all.

It was the most incredible-looking book I had ever seen. Not that I was into books, mind you, but this one was most unusual. It must have been very old, indeed, as its gilt-edged pages were bound and tied by an ancient-looking leather cover and thong. It was untitled, but a quick glance through its musty pages revealed that it was a hand-written and illustrated guide to reading tarot cards.

At the time, I really didn?t know much about tarot cards. The very idea conjured up the (admittedly contrived) image of a raven-haired gypsy woman with great, round golden earrings and painted red lips moving her slender, ring-bedecked hands over a crystal ball while dry ice pumped out mysterious mist from underneath the small circular table where she sat. All that stuff, everything Zen, anything mystical, really didn?t do anything for me.

I tucked the book under my arm and descended the pull-down stairs from the attic. As I stood in the hallway, I looked at the first few pages for a publishing date. If it was old enough, I figured, maybe I could get some really good money for it. It certainly was useless to me, after all. Musty-dusties had never appealed; everything had to be absolutely brand new to suit me. All of my clothes were in the newest style, my taste in furnishings was ultra-modern, and, of course, my cars, since I got my first BMW at the age of sixteen, were never more than a year old.

My boyfriends were always new, too. I was, that misty California-coast morning, expecting a visit later that afternoon from the latest and greatest, Christopher Kelly Brown, of the Boston Browns. You?d never know Chris was worth more millions than even I could count just by looking at him. His free, easy manner, quick smile and long blond rock ?n roll hair brought to mind not a tony Bel Air business man but a beach bumming surfer-dude. He did smoke a little weed and listened to loud music, but I could live with that. He was cute and we both liked money, so we got along just fine.

I had met Chris at The Sting, one of my favorite places to go in NYC when I was slumming it. That place had more spandex, leather, spikes and hair spray than a halfway house for punk rockers, and it was the place for forbidden fun. A lot more fun than that private school crowd my mother thought I was hanging out with. Of course, I?d grown up considerably since my debutante days. A 21-year-old homeowner worth millions is what I was, and damn proud of it. I hadn?t had to work one day for any of it, either, which didn?t bother me in the least. Easy come, I always said, never having to finish the proverb.

Noting my now dust-covered person and clothes, I decided against going back up for a second look. There was nothing left but a few toys in the attic now, anyway. Besides, I was short on time. I was expecting one of the local antique dealers to arrive soon and give me his bid on the old furniture and paintings that had been collecting dust for the past year.

The house was absolutely ancient and in dire need of a complete makeover, but it was all mine. It was an inheritance from my great-aunt, Celestia, whom I had met only once. She was supposedly a clairvoyant, and was highly disdained by the family. A real eccentric. Probably so. After all, people who believe in that crap usually are.

I was only a child when I met her, but I remember being very angry when I saw the gift she wanted to give me: a bunch of wildflowers. I threw the flowers down and asked her why she hadn?t bought me something from a store. She told me that a gift from the heart was better than any, and I cried until Mimsy gave me her diamond ring to play with.

Celestia had died a year ago, but the house couldn?t be mine until I was of age. I couldn?t help but think again how strange it was that Aunt C had left me, of all people, her house.

You might think with all of my money and my upbringing in posh Palm Beach I would have been blas? about inheriting an old, rickety home. Truly, I really didn?t much like the looks of the antediluvian mansion, but the property was wonderful for horses and, more importantly, it was in the ultra-uneconomical California town of Big Sur. No matter how rich you were, this place was so exclusive you couldn?t buy property there for anything. My aunt, I?d been told, had bought the place back in the 1940ís and even then the land was dear.

The house was built in the tall and narrow, rather austere Victorian style, its paint peeling and its windows filmy. Inside, the floors and walls were covered in knotty pine, and on the ceilings huge wooden beams were exposed. I imagined all manner of vermin and insects crawling along those beams at night. The interior was cluttered up with many old, dusty, musty mementos from my auntís life -- old photographs, old letters, old books, old everything. At least the barn and paddock area had some potential.

What I had wanted more than anything my whole life was to breed, raise and train polo ponies. One good pony could bring upwards of $250,000. My stuffy parents had encouraged me to participate in the jet set hunter-set as a young girl, but when my interest in horses did not wane as I became a "young lady" they were most distressed. Now, I?m the first to admit that I freak out when I chip my nail polish or if my hair is not styled and coifed at least thrice per month, but you put me on a horse and I can out-ride any one, any day, any way. I just knew I could really clean up by finding untried horses, training them up a little, then selling them at great profit.

Soon after I?d lunched on a tiny watercress sandwich (have to watch that girlish figure, you know) the antique dealer showed up. He looked more like an undertaker. He was tall, bony and wan. His black suit was faded and threadbare and looked to me like something out of the 19th century (which it probably was).

"Good day, miss," he said as I opened the creaking, heavy wooden door. "I am Mr. Fitzgerald of the Petite Antique Boutique." The cutesy name seemed all the more ridiculous coming from that droopy, deadpan face.

I smiled slightly. "Mr. Fitzgerald, do come in," I stepped back and noted how his dark, somber eyes lit up when he saw the interior of the house. He looked at that old junk the way most other men looked at me, for heavenís sake! But, before a split second had passed the poker face was back. I think he knew having your eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and drool dripping from your chin generally did not put you in a very good bargaining position.

"Interesting array of things here," he conceded as he glided from pile to pile. I had spent most of the day bringing everything I wanted to sell into the sitting room. The furniture, which consisted of three couches, two loveseats, a divan, a bedroom set and miscellaneous end tables, night stands and armoires, I left in their places, figuring that whoever bought them could move them, too. "Not many of them are true antiques, however."

I said nothing. I knew that most of this stuff was at least a hundred years old. For some people the older it is, the better it is. If this guy didn?t want to pay my price I knew someone else would. Itís not like I needed the money or anything... but one can never have too much, after all.

Mr. Fitzgerald must have spent an hour peering at the piles of lamps, vases, statues, books and kitchenware. After making copious notes on his small lined notepad, he asked to see the bigger pieces. That took another hour. I may not be an expert on antiques, but on those he couldn?t cheat me because most of the furniture had dates of manufacture on them.

After he was all done looking, we haggled for another half-hour. Finally, he agreed to pay what I wanted and said he would be back the next day with a van to take the stuff away. He did take a few of the smaller items and all of the books with him. I didn?t want any of them around -- besides, I could use the shelves for my video and DVD collection. Movies were so much better than books.

It was only after the man pulled out of the driveway in his old car that I noticed the tarot book had fallen out of the box. I picked it up and put it on the entryway table.

Now all I had to do was tidy up as best I could (the live-in wouldn?t arrive until the weekend), take a nice hot bath, then wait for Chris to arrive. He?d be driving his new Italian sports car up from Bel Air, so I knew my wait wouldn?t be long.

The stairs, with their moth-eaten old green carpeting, creaked and groaned as I went up them. I vowed never to let my bare feet touch that floor until the place was either torn down or completely remodeled.

The bathtub was well-worn, so much so that the white enamel had worn off in many places. The clawed feet clutching round balls on each corner of the bottom of the tub was just too much, but I had no choice for now. I turned the protesting handles of the hot and cold water, then squealed with disgust when I saw rusty brown water come out of the faucet. Too gross. I found a rubber glove I had used when cleaning up in there earlier and gingerly stuck my hand into the murky standing water. I pulled the plug and let the water run until it was clear.

When the tub was almost full, I undressed. I slipped into the warm, scented, bubbly, soapy water. It felt just like heaven. Not as nice as the baths at the Beverly Hills Spa, but, then, you didn?t have to run those yourself. I reached a silky wet hand over the lip of the tub and plucked my Vogue from its resting place on the closed toilet. I flipped absently through the pages. Ling here, Bonita there. Didn?t these people know that gentlemen prefer blondes? My hair was naturally as white as the driven snow and would have been the envy of Marilyn Monroe. I loved every silken strand.

When the water grew tepid I hopped out of the bath and put a towel around myself. It was only mid-afternoon, but already the air was carrying a nip and the damp fog could be felt. I ran quickly down the hall and over the cold hardwood floor.

I streaked to my bedroom and found my robe. My room was nothing grand now, but when it was renovated it would really be something. It was the biggest bedroom of the four and although it did not have a connecting bathroom, it did have a big fireplace made completely of Palos Verdes stone. That stone was rare and expensive, but I loved marble and decided I would be replacing the original facade for sure. The stone I would either sell or relocate to the stables.

Once I was dried, oiled, powdered, dressed, coifed, bejeweled, and made up, I decided to go outside and wait for Chris. It was about the time he should be arriving, and I wanted me to be the first thing he saw as he pulled into my drive. I figured I could feed the horse and then sit on the fence and read as I waited. The Vogue was done and I?d given away all of the books in the house. Oh, well, I thought, maybe I had an old Horse & Hounds or Polo somewhere in my tack trunk. If not, then I could be grooming when Chris showed up; I didn?t want him to know I?d been waiting for him, after all.

Chris and I had this thing: neither of us wanted to be the one who seemed too interested. He probably wasn?t The One, his money wasn?t old enough to suit Mimsy and Dad--it was only three generations old. "The nouveau riche," they had sniffed to me in private after meeting Chris. I suppose it didn?t help that Chris was dressed on that occasion in snakeskin boots, black leather pants and a bright red shirt unbuttoned down to there.

I remember when I first saw him through the smoke-filled room of The Sting. He looked so angelic, and that ringletted golden hair of his was just like a halo. I said to my friend, "Look at that hottie. The one with the blonde eyes and blue hair!" I was so tipsy I hadn?t realized what I said. My friend immediately stopped him as he passed by and told him exactly what I?d said. He seemed flattered and from that moment on, he didn?t leave my side. That had been four months ago. Things were going quite nicely, but I must confess I was beginning to find his flirtatious manner a bit annoying. I like to be the center of attention at all times? thereís nothing wrong with that, is there?

As these thoughts crowded my mind I walked out the front door... well, tried to, anyway. I stubbed my toe on the edge of that darn tarot book and fell flat on my face! How the heck did it get on the floor? I tucked it under my arm and went outside, shutting the oak-and-beveled glass door behind me.

I only had one horse so far, but the stables were small and would accommodate her just fine until the new ones were built and more horses brought in. Taj Maru was a beautiful Arabian mare, a rose grey with wide-set, wondering eyes and a tiny teacup muzzle. She was to be the foundation mare for my breeding farm and I was most proud of her. Together we had helped win many polo matches against the bigger, more aggressive thoroughbreds and the tough, scrappy Argentinean Criollo ponies. At first, competitors had laughed when they saw my diminutive, sleek mare. They soon changed their tune, and before Maru was retired I had offers on her for big money on a daily basis. Now she was just a backyard pet and seemed to be enjoying it. She had a nice, lush pasture of grass and clover to graze on, and she could have a gallop whenever she felt like it.

I contemplated cleaning out the horse stalls, but didn?t want to smell too horsey when Chris arrived. A little like English Leather maybe, but not Eau de Horseshit. Besides, I was barefooted and had just painted my toenails a shocking electric pink. I busied myself with grooming Maru as she grazed. I flicked the radio on and hummed along as I braided her mane and tied the ends with pink ribbons. I consulted my Rolex many times. I listened for the distinctive roar of a sports car engine in the distance.

My feet were getting sore from standing so long, so I stretched out beneath the sprawling oak in the paddock. I flipped through the tarot book. I thought it might be good for a laugh or two. The book was written very seriously, as if it were really credible information. Get back to the real world, I thought to the bookís author.

I really didn?t understand a lot of the dreck. The word "arcana" came up a lot. The pictures were pretty, though, I had to admit. Someone had really put a lot of work into hand-coloring each illustration. The text went on and on about divination and the lessons that could be learned from each card as it came up in oneís fortune. Obviously, the author never heard of the real world and was hoping her readers hadn?t, either. How could anyone be so gullible?

Maruís velvety muzzle snuffled around and on my bare toes as she sought the tender shoots of baby grass hidden beneath the leaves, making it nearly impossible to read. The book was getting to be a major bore, anyway. I set the silly thing aside and closed my eyes for just a moment. I tried to keep an attentive ear open for the sound of a racing engine, but the wind kept blowing softly as it whistled sweetly through the pines.

I flicked the radio dial to the classic rock station. The electric guitar lullaby, something soft and sweet by The Rolling Stones, worked like a charm; and I was soon sleeping peacefully.