Archive for June, 2015

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We won’t snicker too much at this series title ’cause, you know, sometimes, simple things are best.

It’s the Rock Star series, a series that looks like it’s got four books and one interlude so far, but a few more seem to be planned.

So… Book One, Falling Down, starts with a familiar trope: been in love with him for years, chance meeting, and now a few years later, sparks are FLYING.

In Book Two, we have the blind-drunk Vegas wedding and groupies who proposition the star while she’s standing right there beside her doting hubby.

I have zero idea what the third book is about, based on its description. Can you say vague? Wow.

And the fourth book includes kids. I’m guessing they are the main couple’s kids, but the book descriptions for books five and six talk about other characters, so I’m … well confused and intrigued, both. Is this another series that follows one couple for a bunch of books and throws everything and the kitchen sink at them so they can overcome?

I do like the idea of kids on the road. How do most rockers deal with that, anyway? Heck, that could be a series unto itself.

Oh, Susan… get busy…

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Susan’s a child of the 80s, and she says she doesn’t miss them. I’ve seen her iPod and her Spotify. She’s for real.

Me, I’m younger than that. So a book called I Love the 80s is going to be interesting, right? Check it:

Live in the now, they say, but for Jenna Jenkins, the now sucks.

Her fiancé dumped her, and she’s lacking the drive that might lead to a promotion at the eighties-themed cable station where she works. The only thing keeping her sane is her obsession with a brooding rock star, and an era, that died twenty-odd years ago. But then lightning strikes—literally—and sends her back to the year and the man she’s loved her entire life. Jenna has no choice but to take action to save Tommy Seer, lead singer of The Wild Boys, from the tragic accident that only she knows will claim his life.

But the real Tommy Seer is very different from the one who’s spent all this time starring in her favorite fantasies. As Jenna falls deeper into Tommy’s world—under his spell all over again, only this time without the schoolgirl crush—she realizes that his death was no accident. Can she find a killer, prevent a murder, and save the man she loves without everyone thinking she’s crazy?

And who thought shoulder pads were a good idea, anyway?

Okay, none of this is new. We’ve seen this plot a million times. Seen the girl with the crush on the rocker who finally meets him and shazam, it’s love. Seen the time-travel to try to change the future.

But in Rock Fiction? We saw time travel with Annie Seaton’s Hot Rock. I didn’t love that one, but that wasn’t because of the ideas. So bring this one on and let’s see time travel redeem itself.

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I’m not so sure about this one. The series is written by Rock Fiction powerhouse Jessica Sorensen, who we’ve got to host over here or something. Hopefully she’s not too big to spend some time with me. Rocktober, maybe?

The music in the series seems to be an afterthought or a sideline to the actual story, which is a four-volume saga about a couple’s love. We’ve seen a million of those, so let’s focus on the goods. How much music? Am I wrong about it being an afterthought (please?)? How vital is it to the evolution of the couple?

Tell me. Show me. Let me read it for myself.

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Takes some digging to find this fits around here. Turns out the female lead is an opera singer; you’d think she’s an actress from that first line. Is that Rock Fiction? Well, hell. Before there was Elvis, there was opera. You decide.

All’s fair in Love and Football…

Emily Hamilton doesn’t trust men. She’s much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies’ man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he’ll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits.

Every time Brandon calls her “Sugar,” Emily almost believes he’s playing for keeps—not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own happily ever after?

This is the second in a series, and it looks like the series is about sports, not music. That’s okay. It’s good to see music creep into the rest of the world and not just live in our own little bubble of headbanging goodness.

The idea of a musician and an athlete… I know it’s not new. There’s a lot that’s the same between the two worlds, and even more when you’re talking opera instead of rock and roll. There’s a lot we don’t know about Emily’s life. Does she have a company she’s with, or is she like Placido Domingo and travel all over the world and perform for a wider audience? Until we know all that, we can’t compare.

Lots of questions, most of which begin around Emily. Inquiring minds. Hell, my mind.

Bring it.

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April Lindner might be the queen of her own type Rock Fiction, which sounds stupid until you realize that there are probably others who try to incorporate Rock Fiction so effortlessly into remakes of classics, like she did in Jane. Here’s the description of her latest book:

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

A street musician!

But I gotta say, after Jane and Catherine, I’m not sure what classic novel this is reinventing. Anyone? Maybe it’d have helped if I’d actually read some classics.

Classic or no, this has a lot of potential, so bring it. Do people still backpack through Italy? I want to do that, I think. Anyone know how?

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This book description is probably NSFW. I know I’d cringe if someone looked over my shoulder and saw it.

You’ve been warned.

It’s my job to play music, to make girls wet, and then to screw a select few of them. I’m a professional rocker. I’m rich, I’m famous, I’m one lucky son-of-a-bitch. I have everything – except control.

The industry owns me. And the only thing I have a minuscule grain of control with is women, but not that dominate, tie you up and gag you kind of control. No, I want to govern how I make them feel. I need them to feel like a goddess while I’m in them, and I love being able to control the fact that they’ll never really have me. Love is complicated. It is bullshit. And even if I thought I needed it, the rules of being a rocker won’t allow it.

Sex is all I need.

I don’t need love.

But for some reason I want her. For some reason I can’t get her out of my mind. And lately, every time I’m with any girl besides her it feels wrong.

I can practically have any woman I want, but I can’t have her. She’s off limits because she’s part of that industry that owns my ass.

Sex was all I had.

And sometimes I thought maybe love was all I needed… with her.

So… manwhore alert! And then he finds The One and he saves himself for her. And she works in the music biz.

How many of the usual elements do YOU notice here?

This is apparently the second in a series ’cause the reviews keep referring to a previous book, but it’s not marked that way. Is it? Isn’t it? What’s the first book really called?

But this NSFW voice is new, that’s for sure. And so it comes down to the usual thing… how’s the story? Can the author pull it off? Is there more than “I want her because she’s off-limits and no one else will do until I have her”?

Only one way to find out…

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A fresh idea for Rock Fiction! Check it out!

Conner Burke never expected Sofie Callahan to come back.

Where she’s been for the last two and half years is a mystery, and so is the reason she left in the first place. Now, though, she’s back in their hometown of Shelton Bay, South Carolina, at the same time Conner’s band Dirty B. is home on a tour break.

Sofie Callahan has spent the months since her father’s death avoiding anything to do with her hometown. But with her brother in Afghanistan, she has no choice but to return and sort out her father’s house, even if it means facing the boy she fell in love with and revealing the reason she left.

Conner has questions, and when his broken heart and her guilty one collide, Sofie has to start answering them. Their present is rocky, their future unknown. Only one thing is certain: Sofie’s daughter will change everything.

I think it’s obvious why she took off — the daughter. This pretty much screams that. The question is if the dude is the dad.

Okay, I agree. It’s not much of a question. Kinda obvious, really.

So that means that the real story here is … oh, shoot. At first, I thought it might be about the return to the hometown and the brother and taking care of Dad’s house. But not really.

So… Hmm. I’m curious. Maybe even a bit confused. But I definitely want to read and find out.

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Susan loved DJ Butler’s Hellhound on my Trail. Just loved it. She sent me a copy of it along with her copy of the next two in the series, Snake Handling Man and Crow Jane.

I loved Hellhound, too. Couldn’t say anything her review didn’t, though.

So I got excited to read Snake as I try to catch up on our backlog.

My first question is this: Where’s the rock and roll? Snake’s all about the band as they battle, for the length of the novella, one giant enemy. That’s it. That’s the whole plot.

It was a little… long of tooth. Pardon the pun when we’re talking about snakes who have fangs and all, but… yeah. It just kinda went on and on and there wasn’t nearly enough rock and way too much battling. And I’m not like Susan. I don’t hate this trend where all the latest movies are one long car chase. I don’t even agree with her that the movies are all one long car chase.

So… let’s see what Crow Jane’s all about. Hopefully we’ll get that band back on stage and the music’s important again ’cause Butler’s concept is pretty darn cool and I want to see the original scenario of this band of misfits who use music to save the world come be important to the next book. Or books. There’s seven of them now.

Susan and DJ are friends… wonder if he’d send the others in the series if I start loving them? One review copy to go… hope you redeem yourself, buddy…

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Nice to drop in at my own blog again… Jett’s been taking pretty good care of you, it looks like. I knew she was good people from the moment we met!

The awesome ladies at Dear Author alerted me to this one. Liora Blake’s True North is on sale for $1.99. I’m not sure for how long, and the sale seems to be across all the retailers. Looks like they’re doing it as a run-up for the next in the True series, which comes out on the 22nd of this month.

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I think Jett would be bored by the plot, but the reviews for this one are really strong. Here’s the book description:

While most novelists would consider jetting off to Hollywood for a TV interview rather exciting, small-town Montana writer Kate Mosely finds it all a bit exhausting. After losing her husband in a car accident where she was behind the wheel, Kate has finally found her bearings in the world again, rebuilding a simple but stable life. And even if that means a lot of lonely nights watching old movies and quiet days writing obituaries for her hometown newspaper, Kate’s not sure she’s ready for her life to change—again.

Until she shares the stage—and a whole heap of carnal gazes—with rock star Trevor “Trax” Jenkins. Despite his intimidating on-stage bravado, underneath it Kate discovers a man with a Rilke poem tattooed on his arm, an appreciation for cronuts, and a snarky wit that matches her own.

As she and Trevor explore their heated chemistry, the scarred parts of Kate’s heart begin to heal, making room for a love so passionate it makes her want long-forgotten things equal parts naughty, heart-swelling, and joyful. But when a searing exposé in a trashy gossip magazine sends Kate running, will it threaten their chances at forever?

I like the idea of a guilt-stricken widow. Tells you right there that this is a character who knows how to love well, and to love a man the right way. Kudos to the author for going there. It’s the insta-lust, the quiet girl who catches the rocker’s attention… we’ve seen all that before.

But as Jett likes to remind us all, it’s in the execution, and a glance at the reviews shows author Blake knows what she’s doing. I wonder how authentic her details are, though…

This is the link to True North at GoodReads. You can use it to access your favorite online store… or to send the details about the book to your favorite indie bookshop, who can order it for you, presumably at the sale price. Ask!

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What do you know… it’s a series!

I do like series. I really do. I like getting in-depth with really good characters who almost come alive off the page. But it’s getting to be that there are so many, it’s hard to keep up with them all. And it’s hard to know which are the good ones without reading them for myself. Although, like I say all the time, Susan’s glad to cross-post or whatever if you’ve got a Rock Fiction book you want to see reviewed here.

So here’s the series. It’s called The Heavy Influence series, and it’s got as many between-the-book novels as it does main novels. Are the betweens novellas? Are they… tell me what they are.

The books seem to be about a teenaged band on the rise. Or maybe they’re older than that. It’s hard to tell. Heck, we don’t even find out their names until the third book, which is numbered 1.5. And then it seems to be a typical “throw every bad thing except the kitchen sink at them and see if their love survives” series, which has gotten increasingly popular lately and which I’m not so sure I’m on board with anymore. (Susan wants to know if these series are the answer to the mega epic family stories that were so popular when she was a kid, which she says dates her and I should delete this before she does, but I bet she forgets.)

The problem is that the book descriptions are really vague. REALLY vague. Jake faces problems that make him reevaluate his life. Okay, but … what?

And, of course, we have the usual band-at-the-top-of-the-heap cliche at some point.

I’ve told Susan she’s not allowed to write about any of those bands anymore. Just her ShapeShifter ’cause they’re already there. I want to hear from bands who are stuck in the middle, stuck always on the way up but can’t quite make it.

But… maybe these books are better than I’m giving them credit for. They probably are and are just suffering from bad back cover copy. Only one way to find out!