Archive for October, 2015

Rocktober3

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It’s the last time for another year that I can use the awesome Rocktober logo (designed by the awesome Magnolia Belle, herself an author of Rock Fiction, so please pick up her books and leave a review when you’ve finished them.), and that makes me sad. I love the Rocktober logo.

As always, it’s been a great month, with new authors and authors who’ve been here before, and books, books, books. Not just books. Rock Fiction.

Haven’t had enough? Well, here’s an offer for you. I’ll leave The Demo Tapes: Year 1 for free for a bit longer — like, whenever I go, “Hey, I should fix that!” — and Trevor’s Song at 99c. If you send me a link to a review you’ve posted at GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else (your blog?), I’ll send you whichever of my books you’d like next. The more reviews you write, the more free books you can earn.

I am hoping to have something brand new (but not Rock Fiction. The horror!) out in the spring. So yes, you can save your freebie for that one, too.

Read. Review. Get free books.

And remember… it’s Rocktober all year long here at the Rock of Pages. Want to write a guest post? Go for it. Post a review? Go for it. Cross-post a review? Go for it. Got something YOU want to covet? Go for it!

Drop Susan and Jett a note. We’d be glad to host you. It’s all about spreading the word of Rock Fiction.

(and to put my money where my mouth is, keep your eyes peeled for my review of Cherry Cox’s book coming soon!)

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So here’s the cover for this one. Outside

Doesn’t look like Rock Fiction, now does it?

But here’s the description:

When handsome California surf god Lincoln Savage suddenly rolls into Ocean Beach like a rogue wave, shy beauty Simone Bianchi’s foundation is shaken. No longer under the thumb of her domineering father, she’s made a simple quiet life for herself and her fluffy fourteen pound Havanese pup running a surf shop in her hometown of OB. Long ago she gave up her dreams for a future with Linc.

But now the notorious lead singer of the Dirt Dogs has returned, and Simone is reluctant to admit that she’s still vulnerable to his killer dimpled smile and easy charm. She finds that although she’s stowed away the mementos, it hasn’t been as easy to erase the memories of their epic summer love.

It seems he hasn’t forgotten, either.

Is the recording contract he’s offering merely a pretense?

Or does he have something more in mind?

Does he really believe that they can just pick up where they left off, despite all the bad luck and heartache?

And is she willing to risk everything again for one last chance at love?

So… surfer god, or rock god? Can he be both?

Bring it. Bring it soon!

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So into my inbox pops a new-to-me author about to launch her first book, It’s a Long Way to the Top. It’s a male-male story, so it wasn’t for Jett, and let me tell you. I’m halfway through it and it is totally  knocking my socks off. Unless something happens between now and the end, expect another Rock of Pages Recommended Read!

 

Cherry was kind enough to send me the following blurb, and I’m more than pleased to post it for you.

 

Cherry Cox 

What’s it like to be a young, hot, talented, yet gay guitar god in a world that isn’t ready for gay?

 

Step back in time to 1985 where sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll rule the Sunset Strip, and where Jackson ‘Jax’ Reed and his band Acts of Insanity are forging their place in rock ’n’ roll history.

 

What can I say? I love rock music. I’ve always loved music. I’ve always loved rock music. Many years ago I even tried my luck as a vocalist in several rock music bands. The lifestyle was killer. Literally. It was hard on my mind and my body. It was also one of the greatest times of my life.

 

Fast forward to 2011. I was loading up my e-book reader with material to read on a long overseas journey when I came across my very first romance/erotica rock fiction book. And I was blown away. I’d just found a new passion. Subsequently, I downloaded all the romance/erotica rock fiction I could find.

 

I also knew I had to write my own story. And so I started tinkering with IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP.

 

IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP takes a behind the scenes look at a band navigating their way through the industry, and at a lead guitarist who is struggling with his sexuality.

 

 

“Well, let me tell you this rock star – the world isn’t ready for a gay guitar god, you understand me? The world isn’t ready for gay. One word of this gets out, one whiff of suspicion, and it’s over. Do you understand that?”

 

 

Melissa Cleeman, Senior Editor at Busy Bird Publishing, had this to say:

 

Raw, sexy, electrifying. A world where music is God and Rock n’ Roll is a religion, Cherry Cox delivers the sounds, smells and tastes that is the 80s rock era.

Jax is an unforgettable character, leading you down the dark slivers of the industry as he struggles to accept himself in a world that’s not yet ready to. I swayed from wanting to comfort him, slap him, jam with him, and fuck him.

Cox has captured the sexual tension and chemistry between Jax and Harley brilliantly, leading the way for a partnership that has to succeed in more ways than one. Each scene made me feel like I was there in the moment, whether that was being part of the band and playing music, to being in the corner of a seedy bar, reeking of booze and itching for my next fix.

Acts of Insanity paves the way to a new genre, where rock and sex come together in a spectacular way. I can’t remember the last time I read a story where I was so emotionally invested in the characters, and their plight, I just kept coming back for more!

 

 

Now, a year after I began tinkering with the concept, IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP has finally hit the shelves. If you want a real, raw, and gritty story about sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, if you want to know about Jax’s journey, then IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP is the answer to your rock fiction prayer.

 

But be warned, it is not for the faint-hearted.

 

Available Rocktober 21 – KINDLE, AUDIO, PRINT & iBOOK

 

For more info go to:

Paperback Pleasures

http://www.paperbackpleasures.com

 

And join me on:

My website/blog

http://www.cherrycox.com

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/CherryCoxAuthor

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/CherryCoxAuthor

 

READ AN INTERVIEW WITH THE BAND IN CHEAP SHOT MAGAZINE

http://www.paperbackpleasures.com/acts-of-insanity-series.html

 

 

 

SEE THE BAND’S ONE AND ONLY MUSIC VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33z9e1c3GAo

 

 

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Doris Dumrauf is a friend of mine. I think the world of her and I’m thrilled to be hosting her today for Rocktober. Her first novel, Oktober Heat, is a fun read for you mystery fans — and if you’re not a mystery fan, this one can convince you to be one. Of course, it’s got a strong rock theme to it, too.

Cold War means spies, arms race, and – rock ‘n’ roll? During the 1950s, the U.S. military built hundreds of military installations in West Germany within a few years. GIs with pockets full of dollars, big cars, and the latest rock ‘n’ roll records invaded the formerly sleepy villages. The local girls found them irresistible. Romances blossomed while the young couples danced the night away to the hottest tunes. American and German musicians toured the enlisted clubs to entertain the troops.

“There’s a novel in there,” I thought when I learned about the Fifties in my home county. But which year should I choose as the setting? And then it occurred to me that Elvis Presley arrived in Germany in 1958 to complete a tour of duty in the U.S. Army. I had found my hook!

In my novel “Oktober Heat,” music becomes the symbol of the clash between Old World values and New World culture. The book begins and ends with a concert because rock ‘n’ roll music is my protagonist’s passion. Young police officer Walter Hofmann works long hours investigating a murder and relaxes by listening to the latest hits on AFN.

I admit that I do not remember the 1950s from personal experience. By the time I became interested in pop music, the first Beatles hits were already Oldies. But I’ve always enjoyed the music of the Fifties and Sixties and played them while writing my novel.

How important is music to Walter? Let’s ask him:
Q: How do you feel about Elvis Presley’s arrival?
WH: First of all, I love his music. But I am not happy that the girls are all crazy about him. I mean, how is a young man with average looks and income supposed to compete with him?

Q: What do you like most about the American GIs?
WH: I like the rock ‘n’ roll records they bring in. Most of all, I love attending concerts at the base. How else would I ever see the Trotters and other famous bands? They bring the big, wide world into our province. Lauterbach was a sleepy village before they arrived, and now look at it. We have an italian ice café, several bars, and plenty of pubs. German singers are trying hard to imitate the sound, but I much prefer listening to American bands, even if I can’t understand all the lyrics.

Q: You seem to be very protective of the women in your life.
WH: Yes, I became a police officer because I want to protect and help people. My younger sister Ingrid, though, makes it hard for me. She’s 18 and a bit rebellious. Her Elvis infatuation is getting out of hand and I don’t have the time to look after her all the time. I fear that she might get into trouble.

Q: So you young people just want to have some fun and enjoy life?
WH: Yes, we do! We work hard, but when we’re off work we want to shake up the town. And now I have to go because the Crocodiles are playing at the Enlisted Club tonight and I don’t want to miss it.

“Oktober Heat” is available at:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Apple
Kobo
Oyster
Scribd

My website
Facebook

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I blogged about another book in this series way back in the Dark Ages. Last month, in fact.

Same series. Seems to be different characters, which works for this series. Like I said last time, there are a million in-between books and stuff going on here. At first glance, it looks out of control, but I have a feeling if you start reading with the first and just keep going, following the series order, it works. At least, I hope it does.

So what’s this one about?

Unlike the heroine of her popular thriller series, Georgia Delaune can’t afford to take risks or push sexual boundaries—unless you count spying through her neighbor’s bedroom window, and never missing a single move he makes.

Colby Wilkes is more than willing to put on a show for the alluring woman next door. But his dominant side aches to show her the pleasures of submission up close. As a counselor, Colby is sensitive to Georgia’s fears. As a Dom at The Ranch, a private BDSM retreat, he’s the perfect teacher to unleash her passion.

But just as Georgia lowers her emotional barriers, an unexpected complication arrives: a bad boy musician from Colby’s past who adds fuel to her heated imagination. Now, the lonely author has two gorgeous men eager to fulfill every fantasy she’s ever written—and one she’s never dared to dream…

Like the last one, I gotta wonder if this is really Rock Fiction, or if the fact that the guy is a drummer is just convenient. A job, not a definition of who he is.

Only one way to find out…

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This one sounds like it’s a story first and Rock Fiction second, if at all. Maybe it’s not.

They agreed on three months…but their love knew no boundaries.

Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth make him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names.

It’s his game and his rules. He’s content to play as usual, but when Laurelyn Prescott enters his life, his strategy must change because this player is like none he’s ever encountered. His world is turned on its head after he begins a three month affair with the beautiful American musician. Nothing goes according to plan and as he breaks more and more of his own rules for her, she’s exceptionally close to becoming something he never thought possible. His ultimate game changer.

Not recommended for younger readers due to sexual content and language.

I glanced at the reviews and yeah, this seems to be more about the relationship and less about the music. Anyone read this one? Want to do a review?

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I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about this one that makes me think I need a bottle of crazysauce with it. Or maybe I just need the wings and this book’s bringing the crazysauce. Take a look:

Rock star billionaire Johnny Q Venom would rather be writing songs and performing for small audiences than flying across the globe for concerts and celebrity appearances. The man knows exactly what he wants…to possess Amanda Baker completely. For over three years, Johnny has followed Amanda’s rise and fall as female wrestler Roxy Punisher. And now that the time is right, he will pull out all the stops to finally have her. Can he break down Amanda’s emotional defenses and win her over?

Forced to retire from her passion of female MMA wrestling in her early twenties, full-time security guard Amanda Baker gets the opportunity of a lifetime — to be the personal bodyguard of multi-platinum rockstar Johnny Q Venom. And for more money that she has ever seen. What Amanda doesn’t know is her new employer has secretly been her biggest fan for years. Will the handsome billionaire be her model boss, or will their sizzling attraction to each other cause her more problems than it’s worth?

I think it’s the whole billionaire part that tips this from being a couple different familiar plots and shoves it into crazy. Or maybe it’s that this is supposed to be New Adult. Bands aren’t paid 25c for anything anymore — and not because they’re getting more than that. So for Johnny Q Venom to be a billionaire means he’s either Ozzy’s age or else he comes from money. Given his privileged attitude here, he could be born into money. That would sure explain why he thinks so much of himself that he longs to play for small audiences.

Dude, do you know what that would cost?

Given the recent history of authors getting mad when someone dares to criticize the plot of their books, I’m gonna shut up now. You all know Susan thinks Lorelei James wrote the best bodyguard story since the movie, so right there, this book’s going to have to live up to that. And it’s spread over four volumes. I don’t know why. Kinda strange, I think, but what do I know?

And before these authors get all pissed off even more, let me be the one to invite ’em down this time. Johnny Q Venom?

Bella and Bella, please stop in and write us a post about how you came up with THAT name. And in the book, do we find out his real one?

Yes, I’d read this. Because maybe it sounds like something it’s not, and most likely, if I don’t read it, I may miss out on something great. I don’t like missing out.

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One of the best things about Rocktober is being able to share authors who may not write about great big Rock Stars, but who write about music in different ways. I think it’s every bit as important as the tales of backstage debauchery and tour buses and groupies and love. So today, meet CK Johnson. She’s great fun, my buddy CK. And her books? I love how inventive they are.

Here’s a bit from CK:

I’ve been a rock fan since my friend first introduced me to Metallica. I played “The Unforgiven” on the violin until I got my hands on a guitar. My go to on a bad day was “Nothing Else Matters.” When it came time to write a novel it wasn’t a surprise that music shaped it.

A Piper’s Song tells the story of Kyra, a descendant of the Pied Piper who can control people with music. It’s an urban fantasy laced with darker notes reminiscent of the original Grimm tales. I enjoyed writing a book that allowed me to take the music I love and shape it into imagery. My favorite part of the book is toward the end when Kyra steps onto The Fields to prove herself. I got play battle of the bands piper style—a fine line between music and madness.

In honor of Rocktober I’m giving away two eBooks of A Piper’s Song. Leave a comment about one of your favorite songs and why you love it and I’ll do a random drawing.

Yes! You totally want to read this, so start commenting away.

Connect with CK, too, because there’s no better way to show love than to buy a book — except maybe to review it once you’ve read it.
Facebook
Twitter
Website

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Remember when I said I was looking for new and different? I found me some!

Like Lady Day, Billie is young when she falls in love for the first time. Lured by her new playboy husband, the beautiful, trusting woman leaves her close-knit and caring family in Cuba to follow him to Spain. Once there, he reveals his true—and violent—nature, and Billie chooses the dangers of the street over the abuses of the man she once loved. Soon she finds herself with trouble to spare and nowhere to turn, but when her voice lands her a spot at the Havana Jazz Club, she discovers a new, unconventional family in a city far from the one she left behind. And with every high note and heartbreak, Billie skirts destiny to write her own song.

Okay, so there’s some cliched stuff here. Playboy, abusive husband. Woman on the run who makes her own way in the world by story’s end.

But this is set in Cuba and Spain! And this doesn’t sound like a romance, which is fine by me — for the time being. I love romances, but yeah, even I need a break. Or maybe that’s especially I need a break. Rock Fiction is made for romance!

This, though, sounds like women’s fiction and I would love love love to get my hands on it. Can it overcome the sorta Oprah-like storyline and be something new and fresh? Boy oh boy oh boy, I hope so.

Let’s welcome author Anne-Marie Klein to The Rock of Pages! She’s not only a Rock Fiction lover, she puts her money where her mouth is. Which means this woman who loves the Who loves them so much, she steps out to see them play live.

onstage

Sort of.

The Wholigans formed in Toronto in 1982 as a cover band that played Keith Moon era songs by British supergroup The Who. In their heyday, they played local clubs that are now long gone, from the Gasworks to the Nag’s Head. I met them in 2003, at a local gathering of Who fans, and have been a friend and a supporter ever since. Each member of the group is a talented musician, and I can attest to the fact that the quartet is made of four very distinct yet equally colourful characters. Their shows are always lively, and much like the group they have emulated for 33 years, very loud.

I am a rock fiction writer, and in 2012 I published the first novel in a series called ‘Behind Blue Eyes.’ The books are based on the Pete Townshend song of the same name, and they tell the story of a sad blue-eyed man forming a rock band in the Toronto of the late 70s. The books combine my love of music and my hometown with a family drama and a great love story. So far, three books have been published: ‘Love Reign o’er Me,’ ‘Love Ain’t For Keeping,’ and ‘Let My Love Open the Door.’ The series will end in the new year with the fourth instalment, ‘Empty Glass.’

I am also a huge music fan, especially for the album sounds of my teenage years and young adulthood, a genre now known as classic rock. As a measure of my great affection for the Wholigans, I made them the headlining group in one of the early club scenes of the first book. Despite my knowledge of their 1982 formation, it was important for me to include them in the narrative to pay tribute to their longevity and contribution to the Toronto music scene of that era, and so I made them jump back in time and play DJ’s Tavern in 1978. Lead singer Barry Quinn confirmed to me that they did play that club a few years later than I claimed in print, so I was comfortable with the anachronism despite my insistence on maintaining historical accuracy in every other aspect of my books’ timelines.

This past weekend, The Wholigans played two dates in their hometown, despite the fact that Barry and guitarist Bill Cannell flew in from Florida and New York City, respectively. Drummer Darren Atkinson and bassist Dave ‘Gater’ Smith still reside in the city, and rounded out the lineup for the weekend shows. The special occasion was only announced a few weeks ago, and most of us were shocked to hear that Gater was retiring from the band and that we would be seeing the last of him as ‘fake John’. I could not attend the final show at the iconic Cadillac Lounge on Saturday, October 17th, having already purchased tickets to see Paul McCartney, but I did go to The Duke on Friday, October 16th, to make sure I saw the band one last time. As it happened, they were playing sets from ‘Quadrophenia’ and ‘Who’s Next’ the first night, choosing to do ‘Tommy’ and “Live at Leeds’ for the very last performance together. It was perfect: my two favourite Who albums performed at the only show I could attend.

Anne-Marie and dude

A funny thing happened on the way to the concert: the Toronto Blue Jays made the American League Baseball Championships, and a decision was made by the venue to delay the Wholigans’ first set until the game against the KC Royals was decided. Sometime during the day, a contractor accidentally cut off the cable link, and it wasn’t until after we had arrived at The Duke that the signal came back on and the game could be viewed. The delay allowed me to chat with Barry and Gater, and to meet some mutual friends.

When it was clear the Jays would not recover, well past 11pm, The Wholigans took to the stage for the first of two sets. They opened with some of the best music from ‘Quadrophenia,’ from the big hits such as ‘Love Reign o’er Me’ and ‘I’m One’ to lesser gems like “The Punk and the Godfather.’ There were classic Roger Daltrey moves from Barry like marching steps and microphone twirls, fantastic Pete Townshend windmills and jumps from Bill, and Gater reminded us all of his phenomenal bass-playing skills with his interpretation of John Entwistle’s solo from ‘5:15.’ Darren got to shine with his rendition of Keith Moon’s ‘Bellboy,’ and the very best music from my favourite Who album was delivered in grand style and with great ability.

The second set was all about ‘Who’s Next?’, and all the big songs from that classic record were thrown at the audience with equal enthusiasm and ability. The audience cheered as ‘Behind Blue Eyes,’ “Baba O’Riley,’ “Naked Eye,’ and “Won’t Get Fooled Again’ were played to near perfection. There were also nods to the earliest Who recording, as Barry asked the cheering crowd to suggest numbers: out came ‘Substitute,’ ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere,’ ‘Pictures of Lily,’ ‘Boris the Spider,’ ’Squeeze Box,’ ‘My Generation,’ and even ‘Who Are You?’ as the band fed on the energy of the fans and delivered a solid performance throughout the second set. There were moments of audience participation as Barry wandered between tables and invited people to sing along, and despite the late hour, people sang, danced, and enjoyed themselves to the very last note. The show finally ended after 2 am with an encore of ‘Shaking All Over’ as people continued to dance before the stage. All in all, a wonderful night of seeing old friends do what they have done so well for so long, and the end of an era. Happy retirement, Gater, and long live rock.

Isn’t Anne-Marie great? Pick up her books and connect with her, why don’t you?
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Links to Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, B&N Nook (ebooks), and Lulu (print)

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