Archive for October, 2014

Jett-300x300Susan swears Rock Fiction and romance go together like peanut butter and chocolate, so I hate to tell her I’m not much of a chocolate fan. But she’s got a point about romance and Rock Fiction. But when I looked over some of the reviews on GoodReads (don’t tell Susan I do that; she says not to ’cause it’ll change how I approach the book when I finally read it), this sounds more like Junkie Fiction than Rock Fiction.

Here’s the description:

Today is the first day of Quinton Carter’s new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She’s the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he’s not ready yet.

Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova’s life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life’s dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova’s heart?

Sounds good. Doesn’t say it’s the final piece in a trilogy, though, and it’d have been nice to know that earlier. Is the whole series Rock Fiction? Nova plays in a band… what’s the deal?

So I’m confused as hell. All my friends are rolling their eyes and saying, “That’s not new, Jett. Quitcher whining.”

But when it comes to Rock Fiction, I’m usually not this confused.

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Susan sent me this one last summer, during one of the Smashwords sales and I’d meant to set up an account there, but it got away. Guess I shouldn’t have spent every minute last summer that I could at the pools, even though it was fun and totally relaxing and I needed it. (and I can hear Susan protesting and rolling her eyes and offering to let me spend a few days with her kids and THEN tell her I needed it.)

Anyway, to go by this one’s description, I let a good one get away ’cause it was free during the summer and now it’s back up to $4.99. Ready?

Hoping they’ll never be caught, Bobby Masters and his imposter band work cowboy bars and tiny college dances during the summer of 1964, pretending to be The Romeos, a popular group with a real hit record. But fate, along with a go-go dancing sorority girl, turns these young men and their notions of love and the future upside-down in this coming-of-age story.

I’m not sure what’s more fun here: the go-go dancing sorority girl or the imposter angle.

I need to read this one. Dammit. I had all those days at the pool when I could have.

Get your own copy. Use the link and Susan’ll get a few pennies that she might actually pay me some of. Maybe. I have sunscreen to buy.

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Susan reached out to author Charity Parkerson and asked if she’d drop in this month to write a guest blog post in support of her novel, Sated.

So… she did. Everyone, welcome Charity to The Rock of Pages!

Every book I’ve written has its own play list. Since rock is my favorite, you could say each of my books has been influenced by it in some way. But when Arbor walked inside Club Exile, I didn’t realize she was about to fall in love with a rock star. I knew the basics of the story, and that it would be darker than my usual work. I had a general idea of where it was going, but I had no clue how Arbor’s life would change that night.

When Killian saw Arbor for the first time, I knew he would love her. What I didn’t know was how that love would break her, and it wasn’t until he walked on stage I understood exactly where Sated would go.

There was a part of me that wanted to capture the exhilaration of what it must feel like to be only woman holding the attention of two famous men. The harder I tried, the darker the story became. I followed Arbor into this place where nothing felt real any longer, all while wondering if I could pull this story off.

Sated is different from anything I’ve written in the past. It’s twisted, but I hope the two sexy musicians make up for that. Here’s a glimpse inside:

Sated: A Dark Romance
SATED FINAL COVER
** By reading past this point you’re acknowledging that you are over the age of 18. Copyright © 2014 Charity Parkerson
All rights reserved. Sated is part of Punk & Sissy Publication’s line of Dark Romance ™ **

“Can I buy you a drink?”

“No, thank you.”

Killian was fascinated by the scene playing out across the bar. He’d had one eye glued on the tiny blonde since she walked through the door. If there was one detail he could point to in order to explain his captivation, it was that she didn’t fit in. Thank God. Her innocence was almost tangible when set next to the other occupants of the hardcore gothic club.

“How about I just sit with you, then?”

“No, thank you.”

Killian leaned forward in his seat, even going as far as to set his elbow on the bar and cup his chin—openly staring. Not only was she not giving the guy the time of day, she hadn’t as much as glanced in his direction to see if she might be interested. On the other hand, the dude couldn’t seem to look away from her. That made two of them. Killian was engrossed.

“Are you sure? You’re going to need someone to walk you out. This is kind of a rough joint.” It was. Killian would know.

“I’m sure. Have a nice night.”

He really wanted her to look. The guy was hot, possibly the best of the lot. She had at least three women staring at her with open malice simply because the guy was talking to her. Showing a determination that impressed Killian, the dude braced one hand on the wooden surface beside him and one on the back of her chair, boxing the woman in. The invasion of her personal space forced her to acknowledge his presence. As if it were possible, Killian stared even harder. He was almost afraid to blink in case he missed her reaction to seeing who she’d been ignoring. She turned her head, meeting the man’s gaze. Not a single ounce of emotion marred her features as she eyed the guy’s blond hair, dark eyes, and muscles flexing on her behalf. The dude smiled. It was slow and obviously practiced. A dimple appeared at the corner of his mouth and straight white teeth gleamed even in the darkly lit club.

“I’m married.”

Killian chuckled. “Liar.”

She turned in his direction, meeting his gaze as if she’d heard him. Light-green eyes flashed wickedly. Her mouth turned up in one corner, as if competing with her gaze for top mischief-maker. Goddamn. No wonder the dude wouldn’t leave her be.

“So what?” The boy-toy’s response pulled her focus back his way. Killian caught himself lifting up in his chair as if he meant to physically reclaim her attention.

“There are two women sitting behind me who’d love what you’re offering. Enough to share,” she tacked on in an obvious attempt to sweeten the deal. Killian glanced behind her. Yep. There were. The dude didn’t look, but he did straighten away.

“They’re a sad substitute for you.”

A hint of a smile touched her lips. “But a substitute nonetheless. Have fun.” If she’d meant her dismissal to lure the man in further, making him want her more, then she’d succeeded. It was written all over the guy’s face. However, he did give in.

“If you change your mind…”

“I know where you’ll be.” She didn’t bother softening the blow with another smile. Killian was on his feet, pushing his way through the crowd and intent on reaching her before the dust settled in Mr. Studly’s tracks. He saw her chin tilt in the direction of where he’d been sitting, but he couldn’t see her face. He almost changed his mind. In the end, his greed won out, as always.

Killian didn’t give her time to deny him the way she had the other guy. Instead, he braced his hands against the edge of the bar on either side of her, caging her in. With her pinned in place, he nodded at the bartender to bring her another drink. She didn’t tense or turn her head as he crowded her body, inhaling her sweet scent and speaking against her ear.

“You should’ve taken his offer. It wasn’t a bad deal.”

Blurb:
“Losing her mind wasn’t an experience she enjoyed.”

After a steamy night of passion with a dark stranger, Arbor’s life takes on a surreal edge. Disturbing dreams, lapses in memory, and entire buildings going missing are only a few of her problems. Her search for answers leads her to Detective Trey Murphy, the man in charge of investigating satanic and ritualistic crime for the New Orleans area.

Where do you turn when your mind is the enemy?

Meeting Trey only adds to Arbor’s confusion. By day, he keeps her captivated and gains her trust in a way no one else ever has. At night, Arbor’s every fantasy is brought to life by two sexy men who steal away her inhibitions. Torn between what her heart knows is real and what her eyes show her, Arbor must find the truth before she loses herself completely.

But, then again, sometimes reality is more twisted than any dream and love is the cruelest form of insanity.

**Author Note**
Warning: This isn’t your typical love story. It’s dark with scenes some may find disturbing. Sometimes love is senseless, and the heart is so very stupid.

 

Author Bio:
Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Indie Publishing House LLC, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards
*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath


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This one’s been on our list for awhile now, but we’ve never actually written about it. I like the book title, myself. It’s Jet, written by Jay Crownover.

Here’s the description:

With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.

Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?(

Know what the problem here is? I feel like this isn’t new. Like this has become the generic Rock Fiction plot.

Only one thing will save it: that it’s written really well and isn’t as familiar as it sounds from its description. Which means there’s only one way to find out…

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Remember about two weeks back, when Kevin Doyle stopped in to talk about how his short story (which we loved around here. I finally convinced Susan to share her review copy and man, she’s right about it. Read this one) was being turned into a radio show?

Well, it didn’t all go smoothly. The radio station messed up and forgot to play it when it was scheduled. But Kevin worked some magic — which was probably more Halloweeny than not, given that he usually writes horror — and got ’em to run it the week after. Which was last Friday.

So here’s Kevin again to tell us about what it was like.

As I mentioned in the first part of this post, last summer I began making inquiries around Columbia, which resulted in Maplewood Barn Community Theatre expressing interest in performing my novelette “One Helluva Gig” as a radio show. The program ran this past Friday night on KBIA radio here in Columbia. After five months of waiting, the time had come to hear the finished product, the first time any of my prose had been converted to another medium.

It was a seasonal night, with the temp in the low seventies, so I cranked the radio on and partook myself to my balcony, complete with a nice view of the changing colors of the woods across from my place, and stretched myself out to listen, for the first time ever, to a new version of one of my stories, one I had had little to do with. (Basically, my contribution to the endeavor lay in telling Brad Buchanan that his script looked fine to me. Other people did all the actual work.)

And while they’d let me sit in during rehearsal and taping, I hadn’t yet heard the whole thing put together.

As the program started, I tensed a bit. Hearing my name and the title of my work mentioned over the radio felt a bit odd, but nothing I couldn’t handle. The beauty of it was that, already knowing the story so well and how the individual lines would sound, I didn’t have to concentrate on the individual parts but instead could listen for the full effect.

So how did it all work out?

All in all, pretty darned well. Obviously, when you take a seventy-page novelette and reduce it to about twenty pages of script, some stuff is going to be lost. And when what’s essentially a interior narrative piece is turned into more of a dialogue piece, even more changes will crop up. As I mentioned in the first part of this post, they did a good job of capturing the plot, though some of the pathos had to, inevitably, be left out. Or at least that’s how I saw it.

Yeah, okay. But how did the darned thing sound? Specifically, how did it sound nearly three years after I wrote the story, almost two years since Vagabondage Press published it in e-book form, and five months after that initial sitdown meeting with Byron and Brad?

When I’d attended the voice taping, a few days after rehearsal, I’d felt assured that these people knew what they were doing. Naturally, I could fill in for myself some of the background characterization that the script couldn’t include, but at the taping I’d heard a handful of people doing various voices as they recited lines from a script. (Which, of course, is what they were doing.)

However, the complete production included slices of music buffering the scenes, pulling the listener out of one mood and setting the tone for the next scene. And for me, that really made the difference. (As I understand it, the credit for all of that goes to Amy Humphrey.) As I sat there on my balcony, the sun setting behind the tree line, I was listening to an actual story, darn it. Not just some folks sitting around a table reading a script. I could trace the passage of time in the changing voices, hear the intelligence in the Dairy Queen girl, and feel the pathos as Jeffers expresses just how hard it is to be famous in a world that simply will not leave you be.
It was all there, maybe not in the same way that it comes across on the printed page, but the voices and the accompanying music created a different dimension, one apart from the straight printed version.

Shortly after the show ended, I made a short posting to my social media pages that summed up, in one short line, my overall feelings.

To the crew at Maplewood Barn Community Theatre, thanks guys, for taking such good care of my baby.

People of note:
Byron Scott – President, Board of Directors
Brad Buchanan – writer and artistic director
Joe Hayes – cast, production
Todd Salazar – cast
Amy Humphrey – cast, production
Darren Hellwege – cast, production
Kelli Moore – Podcast publishing

Kevin, I gotta tell you this: Susan’s jealous.

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I think if you look over The List here at The Rock of Pages, you’ll see a boatload of books with the same title: Rock Hard. Seems to be fairly popular title for Rock Fiction. Go figure!

The latest is written by a dude named Andrew Jericho (anyone noticed how many dudes we’ve been able to feature this Rocktober?), and it’s a m/m story. You guys know that’s not my cuppa, but take a look at the blurb, in case it’s yours.

Adam Cole, David (Deuce) Cole, L.T. Jamison, and Jamie Cain, members of an ’80s-style glam band, Rock Hard, are struggling with Deuce’s alcohol addiction. The substance abuse is not only threatening the band’s success, but the marriages that he shares with each man.The closeness and sense of family that the band has experienced with Deuce has now turned into dysfunctional chaos.

So when band physician, Dr. Zane Foster, discusses an agreement with the group, front man Adam Cole cannot refuse. After all, it has to be out of love that Adam would agree to such a deal. Not only is Deuce struggling with his own secrets, drinking most days to the point of intoxication, but Adam reveals a hidden attraction that only adds to the tension building within the band.

Rock Hard explores intimacy, unconditional love, and trust in the face of emotional heartbreak.

Were men married to each other back in the 80s? I thought that was a pretty recent thing, where men actually talked about themselves as married. Before the past couple of years, didn’t they use less … married… words to describe their relationship? I was young back in the 80s, but it’s not something I remember hearing. Ever. Unless it was how revolting the idea was. Which I’m sure had everything to do with my lack of love for m/m fiction.

What I do like here is that it sounds like this is an attempt for this Dr. Foster to put on ugly sweaters and engage in therapy, sort of Some Kind of Monster-like. But I’m also a little worried that a doctor proposes something a little more… erotic. Which means it might make for a hot read but won’t actually solve anyone’s problems.

The description doesn’t say nearly enough, so that means I gotta read this one to find out what’s really going on here. Healthy healing or erotic escape?

That’s a question I don’t get to ask every day. And why can’t it be both? Hmm. This is why I’m not a shrink.

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As I’m doing extra posting this month and finally starting to catch up on all the links Susan and I have been swapping, I’m really seeing trends in Rock Fiction plotting. And here’s one in Lauren Dane’s The Best Kind of Trouble: the rock star who can’t get the more restrained/conservative/chaste girl off his mind. Here. Take a look:

She has complete control… and he’s determined to take it away

A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton’s world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly—especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley….

And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for.

Even after years of the rock and roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more… even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there’s a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved—and the only compromise is between the sheets!

It’s a natural fantasy for anyone who feels chemistry with someone who meets a jillion people every day. Notice me! Look at me! Remember me! We all want to stand out. So I guess it’s a natural plot line.

Besides, as Susan points out, this is Lauren Dane. Her books are always good. And if this has some of those classic Dane sex scenes? Get the smelling salts ready!

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Woot!

I want to say Susan’s done it again, but for a change, she’s been the go-between (control, much? Nah. She filters the mail so I have more time to read and review. Right?). And now she’s heard from author Louisa Bacio, the one who wrote the cool story about the rocker touring the bomb shelter. The one that I couldn’t even start to talk about because I was so jazzed to read it.

I’m still reading Susan Griscom’s first book, Beautifully Wounded. I mentioned that Susan Griscom (not our Rock Fiction Expert Susan) was nice enough to send over copies of the books. So I’ll take a break after I finish that one, read The Big One, and then finish off Susan Griscom’s (sheesh. I can’t even go Susan G. One of you needs a cool name like Jett.) second and we’ll be doing reviews until this place implodes. Which I hope isn’t soon because baby, I am all about the Rock Fiction.

Jett-300x300I like how A. Meredith Walters uses a period after her first initial so we know she’s not some generic Meredith Walters or something. Nope, that A. is very pointed. She’s making a statement.

Hope she’s making a statement with her trilogy — although it looks like it’s gonna be a quadology soon — of books called the Bad Rep series. Girls and their Rock Stars…

Looks like it’s an interlinking series, or whatever they’re called. Same band. Different people, mostly. Readers like those, and so do I. You get to know everyone in the band, not just the couple from the one book, and when  you like the people in the band and their women, well, it makes for some good comfort reads.

One note from Susan, though. She caught typos in the book descriptions and wanted me to remind the world that her editing team is always glad to clean up a previously published book to get rid of those mistakes.

But who ever said Rockers are supposed to be literate?

Yeah, I’ve read more than my fair share of mistakes and bad English. I went through a stage where I read every single Danielle Steel I could get my hands on (and I’m not as old as Susan. My best friend’s mom had them around and when you’re twelve, they’re the best things ever). Yeah, I am over that part of my life. And yeah, I wish every author would use Susan as their editor so she’d stop bugging me and let me run this place the way I want to.

Maybe the books aren’t that badly edited. They sure have a lot of potential.

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This is one of those books I came across during some sale or other at Smashwords. Yep, I’m finally getting around to telling you about it now. Here’s the description. It’s not terribly revealing:

Told from a drummer’s point of view, Drums: a Novel chronicles a small-time 80s rock band’s run at making it big-time. The story moves from San Luis Obispo to Lake Tahoe, where the band chases the ultimate gig. Drums celebrates those musicians who achieve commercial success, as well as the 99.99% who give it their all, only to fall short from attaining mega record deals and glitz-glam fame.

People. The point of your back cover description is to make people want to buy your book. It shouldn’t be vague marketing blather. I don’t care what the book celebrates. I care what it’s about. There’s a difference. “So soft! You’ll never be the same again!” is great to hear, but it makes a difference if we’re talking about toilet paper or the way someone breaks your heart.

So we know it’s about a band in the 80s — which probably means Spandex and Aqua Net and eyeliner, and if it’s not there, I’m going to be bummed — trying to make it big. But what else? Is there a mystery? A romance? Relationship struggles? Does it come easy? Do members leave? Self-destruct? How much sex and drugs is in with our rock and roll?

I gotta tell you, from this description, I’m not that eager to read it. But once I start asking these questions, I’m convinced I gotta find out for myself.

Anyone discovered this one yet?