Archive for April, 2017

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Here’s a REAL oldie, although GoodReads says it was published in 2003. I wonder if it’s older, if 2003 is a re-released date. Anyone? Bueller? (Hey, in the fine print: first published 1997, so there I go. I figured it out.)

So here it is. From mega-best-seller and awesome author all around (Okay, that last part’s a guess, but why not?) LaVyrle Spencer.

Eighteen years ago, young Tess McPhail left tiny Wintergreen, Missouri, for Nashville and never looked back. Now one of country music’s brightest lights, “Mac” McPhail is a millionairess many times over, whose career is her life. At thirty-five, Mac has no time for marriage, children, or kinfolk – until her sisters insist she come home to help care for their widowed mother. Assuming a month in Wintergreen will be merely dreary, Mac is unprepared for what awaits her. After almost two decades of public adoration, she is suddenly a nonperson – insulted by her jealous older sister, enraged by her intractable mother, ignored by Kenny Kronek, the next-door neighbor she mercilessly taunted all through high school. A handsome divorce who dotes upon his teenage daughter, Casey, Kenny is widely respected in the community. Now he refuses to give Mac even the time of day. Once she discovers Casey is a promising country music talent, Mac assumes the role of mentor. She gradually becomes an integral part of life in Wintergreen, and the feigned indifference between Mac and Kenny turns to playful bickering, then passion. By month’s end, Mac McPhail has not only grown to treasure the priceless solidarity of family and community, but also opened up her heart to love. Yet what was possible in Wintergreen appears a naive fantasy back in Nashville: Is there room for caring and commitment in the realm of superstardom – or is a woman worshipped by millions destined always to be alone?

I like that final question there, because I bet it’s one that a lot of successful people, of all genders, has come up against. Or maybe I’m dreaming and making life tougher than it needs to be. Or something.

My big question here, of course, is how much music plays into this story. There’s potential, but… is it enough? Does it cross the line?

Only one way to find out. Now I just need a nice, long flight across the country or something so I can sit and read, uninterrupted, because books like this? That’s what they are best for. Bring it.

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It’s kinda cracking me up that I’m following a book named Harmony with one named Imperfect Harmony. Did something go south?

Nope. It’s a different book — the first in a series! — and written by a different author and everything. Here’s what Imperfect Harmony is about:

A rock band. A reality show. The opportunity of a lifetime.

As the front man for The Void, lead singer Dane Archer has yet to achieve the success he craves. He hopes that will change when he’s approached about filming a reality show called House of Archer. All he and the band have to do is get some juicy footage while on their upcoming tour.

The problem? Archer’s life is a snoozefest. His parents are happily married, he’s never done drugs or gotten arrested, and he doesn’t get into fights with his band mates. He knows the show will fizzle and die before it ever hits the air, taking his dreams of worldwide fame along with it.

Unless…

If Archer can convince his best friend Lily to be on the show, he’s sure they’ll get all the compelling footage they need. Her life is filled with drama. Hell, she’s practically a reality show in her own right.

Archer’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Lily on board, even if it means charming her into being more than just friends. But when he finds himself falling for her, his seemingly simple plan gets complicated. Soon the line between reality and Reality TV begins to blur, leaving him wondering if achieving his dreams is worth all it might cost him.

He’s so squeaky clean! So much that this almost comes off as New Adult or something, minus the angst and the horrible past.

But the premise is what’s fun here. Nothing wrong with a little bit of invented drama… This could be one heck of a fun ride, if Lily can cook up the sort of drama I’m hoping she can.

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I keep finding Peggy Erhhart books and I keep drooling over them. Here’s another one in the Maxx series that was started with Sweet Man is Gone. It’s called Murder Gets the Blues, and it’s three stories. So any of you who like the shorter stuff ought to be happy. I mean, who doesn’t like shorter?

Join blues-singer sleuth Elizabeth “Maxx” Maxwell from Peggy Ehrhart’s Sweet Man Is Gone in three stories that showcase her crime-solving chops.

“Maxx Nails It” Flash fiction—Maxx solves a murder in less than 1000 words.

“Blues Clues” Maxx frees her guitar player from a murder charge by paying careful attention to the dead guy’s trash.

“Daddy’s Girls” The puzzling death of Maxx’s old Atlantic City friend Cecile introduces her to an all-girl band being stalked by an ingenious killer.

There’s not nearly enough blues in Rock Fiction. And why not? The blues are perfect for Rock Fiction! Don’t believe me? Grab some and see for yourself.

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Last summer, I was on about the first in this series, Riff. And now I’m back to drool over the second in the series. It’s called Harmony. So we’ve had Riff and Harmony.

You know, these could be character names. They’re certainly music terms. And now, they’re book titles.

Damn, I’m perceptive.

Here’s what the book’s about:

Sean Scott, lead guitarist of Destiny Fades to Blue, the “it” boys of rock, is used to having any woman he wants. He’s never at a loss for companionship and his philandering ways are frequently on the front page of the tabloids. Summer Anderson, one of the founding members of Sweet Southern Sass, the platinum selling sweethearts of country, has never had much time for romance with her busy touring schedule and all that living the life of a country superstar entails. While on a crossover tour with both bands, Summer finds herself wildly attracted to the tattooed, bad boy of rock, but the close proximity also gives her a front row seat to Sean’s revolving door of bedmates. Sean knows that Summer is attracted to him. He’s interested but knows that she isn’t the type of woman he goes for though he loves the attention… until she suddenly treats him no differently than anyone else. When another man enters the picture and Summer seems interested, Sean must make a choice. Is he willing to forego his womanizing ways for a chance with Summer? Can Summer trust that he’s sincere in his affection? Will the sweetheart of country decide that the only relationship she needs with the bad boy of rock be as a tour mate or can these two find success in the rhythm of love? When the sweethearts of country meet the bad boys of rock… more than the charts heat up.

So we’ve got some cliches here right off the bat… sweethearts of country and the bad boys of rock. I just wanna gag.

But you know what I really like that’s happening here? That Sean’s given some competition that makes him stop and reevaluate. It’s not that his johnson decides it’s a one-woman body part. Nope. This is a decision that gets made with the sexiest body part of all: the brain.

Okay, sexiest after a great set of abs. Sheesh.

A couple points to note here: like I said, this is the second in a series. The first book involved people from the same two bands, so there’s gonna be stuff that repeats. If that’s not your thing, know that now. But for some people, they like having the foundation already laid for them. (Hey! I said laid in a post about an erotic read!) It lets them jump in and focus on the story, not the set-up. I get that. I can respect it.

If you’re reading this series, or if you know Skye Turner, we’d love to hear from you!

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I hope big long paragraphs don’t make your head explode ’cause that’s what the description on this box set is. One big long paragraph. The good news is that it’s informative.

Get the first three stories in USA Today Bestselling Author Diane Rinella’s, Visionary Fiction, Rock and Roll Fantasy Collection at a special price. It’s A Marshmallow World (novella) Once upon a time, Darla was given a mystical gift, along with an ominous message. Now, meeting Chris puts her head in a spin. Could it be that gift from long ago holds the key to their happiness? Scary Modsters…and Creepy Freaks (novel) “A fantastical romance involving a woman, the music that fuels her, and her Ouija board.” Rosalyn seeks acceptance, but is always ridiculed for her eclectic wardrobe and unconventional music collection. One fateful night, Rosalyn bewitches Niles, a stylish man whose quirky character is the perfect complement to her own. Unfortunately, Niles has a secret flaw that always ensures relationship suicide-and he can’t hide it much longer. During a tango with a Ouija board, Rosalyn summons the ghost of Rock and Roll deity Peter Lane. Peter entices Niles with the key to saving his relationship with Rosalyn. When Niles hears the price is avenging Peter’s murder, how far will he go to secure Rosalyn’s heart? Queen Midas in Reverse (extended novella) For Jacqueline, a second date is as rare as a unicorn. She’s beautiful. She’s intelligent. So why is she experiencing a string of first dates that leaves her ducking behind bushes and running for buses? Contrary to her nature, trading in her heels and curling iron for an easy chair surrounded by cats sounds appealing. Is she cursed, or can she find the man who will steal her heart? The Rock and Roll Fantasy Collection takes place in a mystical world where rock and roll will save your soul. Although the books can be read in any order, the collection begins with It’s A Marshmallow World before moving on to Scary Modsters … and Creepy Freaks, Queen Midas In Reverse, (all found here in Pretty Things) and then Voices Carry and Moonlight Serenade (also found in the special set Forever Changes).

So these don’t all sound like Rock Fiction until the end here, when we’re told it’s a “mystical world where rock and roll will save your soul.”

But that’s a pretty cool premise. Even though we music fans know that yes, rock and roll will save our souls, no mystical world needed.

But the idea of a mystical world? I am SO there. What a fun, fresh approach to our favorite category!

Bring this. Bring it soon. I gotta see what the mystical is all about.

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This might be out there, even for us. And it’s the first in a series, so hopefully it’s out there in the fun sort of way that makes us want to keep reading and spending time and reminds us of some of the best crazy fun Rock Fiction we’ve come across.

Here’s the description:

Daisy Kirkwood has only just escaped her small-town life and run away to New York City, the land of last-minute secret gigs at famous musical venues, when she’s kidnapped by aliens. Unfortunately, no one ever writes about how to handle alien abduction in those fancy NYC guidebooks.

Griffin and Dev are supermassively sexy aliens from a politically and environmentally troubled planet who arrive on Earth with very little knowledge about human ways other than what they learned from a wayward E! News signal. Their mission is to pretend to be the most influential people on the planet—English pop stars, of course!—and gain the help of a powerful secret society. Upon arriving, they abduct Daisy Kirkwood, a nerdy young woman who loves music but could seriously use a bit of help in the love-life department. Though Griffin and Daisy initially squabble, neither can deny the intergalactic sparks whenever they’re too close to each other. Together, they must face murderous aliens, cultural misunderstandings, bad backup musicians, and the dark side of fame and the media, all set against a tight deadline…

Part High Fidelity, part Bridget Jones’ Diary, part Doctor Who, Dating an Alien Pop Star is a sexy romantic comedy.

Well. I wasn’t a big fan of High Fidelity, Bridget Jones wasn’t someone I could relate to, and Doctor Who is okay, but this description does sound like zany, crazy fun. It’s perfectly silly and goofy and has that feel of who really cares, we’re just gonna have a laugh at pop culture’s expense and let the reader share the joke and be there to catch all our winks.

Maybe that’s more wishful thinking than truth, but… I can wish. And I can want to read it based on my own delusions. So there.

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Right off, I like it. We don’t get a lot of jazz here at The Rock of Pages, which is too bad. Jazz is awesome music.

Here’s what the book’s about:

While all Mississippi bakes in the scorching summer of 1925, a sudden orphanhood casts its icy shadow across Emily Ann Teegarten, a pretty young teen. Taken in by an aunt bent on ridding herself of this unexpected burden, “Baby” Teegarten plots her escape using the only means at her disposal: a voice that makes church ladies cry and angels take notice. “I’m gonna sing jazz up to New York City,” she brags to anybody who’ll listen. ‘Cept that Big Apple–well, it’s an awful long way from that dry patch of earth she used to call home. So when the smoky stages of New Orleans speakeasies give a whistle, offering all kinda shortcuts, Emily soon learns it’s the whorehouses and drug joints promising to tickle more than just a young girl’s fancy that can dim a spotlight . . . and knowing the wrong people can snuff it out. Jazz Baby just wants to sing–not fight to stay alive.

Wow, there’s a lot going on in here that makes me absolutely drool to read this… the period, the fight to get to New York, the atmosphere of New Orleans… Maybe I’m being romantic, but this one could have it all. Or maybe, based on those last few sentences, it can turn kinda typical and boring. Only one way to find out, but my money’s still on the great romance of the story itself!

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I read a review of this one that said that music permeated the book, so here I am, drooling over it even though 90s music wasn’t exactly my forte. I’d found classical by then and was waiting for the birth of Slipknot and my one true love.

So here’s the description:

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt “right.” But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

Doesn’t sound real Rock Fiction-y, but I trust that review I read. So we’ll go with it. Gotta give this one a read ’cause it’s been a long time since there’s been a book where the music forms the atmosphere so well.