Archive for the ‘Rocktober’ Category

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Even though I have yet to read any of Lisa Gillis’ books (anyone? Want to send me a review?), I follow her on Facebook. So I found this and figured I’d pass it along, although time’s running short.

Only through today, you can check a sale on a whole slew of Rock Fiction. Some sound like they are free and some are 99c. I’ll let you explore, see what you like, what the deals are…

Just remember, if you pick any up — while on this sale or not — the best way to say thanks to the author is by leaving reviews. And if you post them anywhere, feel free to send ’em to me, too, with links back to you (If you have and/or want any) so I can give you proper credit and props.

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So it’s October 1. First day of Rocktober and … I gotta let you guys down.

Susan and I have been debating telling you this earlier. But here’s the thing. If you missed it, in January, Susan had a pretty bad accident while on her bike. She told me that today, October 1, is the forty-week mark since it happened. Forty weeks. Think about that. And she’s had more than the eye to deal with, if that wasn’t enough. She got diagnosed with a concussion… at week 29. She’s still battling a pinched nerve in her arm/shoulder/hand/wrist that, while the concussion doctor has cleared her for all activity, still prevents her from doing things.

There was no way she could chase down authors for contributions to this year’s Rocktober. And me, I’m too busy. And it’s not my job, either. I’m having enough trouble reading and reviewing and coveting around here! That administrative stuff… that’s for her.

I hope you’ll miss the fun, but really. This is The Rock of Pages! It ought to be Rocktober year-round here!

Which means if you’re an author, or friends with an author, you’re welcome to drop in any single day of the year to promote your books. Yeah, I said it. Come do blatant promo. Susan and I don’t care; we’re thrilled to hear from you. We’d love to help you get the word out to a wider audience.

If you’re a reader or friends with a reader, feel free to send us your reviews! You’ve seen we’ll post ’em. You’ve seen we like to give the writer a ton of links and publicity. Why aren’t you? This is your place as much as it’s ours. Use it. We don’t care; we want you to!

The Rock of Pages. Where it’s Rocktober all year round.

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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 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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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.
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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.

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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?
Website
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Twitter

Links to Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, B&N Nook (ebooks), and Lulu (print)

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So… I read and reviewed my buddy Jessica Topper’s new release, Softer Than Steel. I don’t blame you if you’re too lazy or busy to click through, so I’ll say this: I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to.

Now that it’s been over a month since I finished reading, I’ve found that, like all of her other books, it’s lingered with me. With Louder Than Love, it was the idea of drunk Adrian showing up at the library. That’s such a packed image. With Deeper than Dreams, it’s the image of Kat sitting on the steps of the library while Adrian does that spoiler thing. Just… wow. The beauty of it. With The Dictatorship of the Dress, it’s… well, hell. It’s a lot. The bean. Sleeping in the tub. The Magic 8 ball. The feel that Laney gives off whenever she appears on a page. I think she’s Topper’s best overall character, to be honest. Laney and I connected, and she hasn’t fully let me go yet.

But in Softer than Steel, I keep coming back to the idea of the ner tamid, the eternal light that hangs over the bima in a synagogue, shul, or temple. The idea of that light watching Sidra teach her yoga classes. Watching Riff learn to let go of his past. Watching Sidra and Riff love each other.

That’s heavy stuff. It’s got the obvious God reference, since that’s part of what the ner tamid represents. (Part! All you purists, hush! I am Reform!)

But there’s a metaphysical sense, too. Something not quite Godlike, not so obvious. I stretch for it, but can’t quite get it… there’s a feeling of safety under that particular ner tamid, a sense that it’s taking care of more than Sidra and Riff. A sense that the light helps contribute to the mood of the yoga studio, that it enables everything that happens under its watchful eye.

And that’s what lingers for me. It’s a lovely image, not at all creepy, if you’re reading this and thinking along those lines (Hey, Halloween does approach). Safety, protection, and the growth that can occur when someone who’s been badly traumatized finds safety at last.

This is what I take away from Softer than Steel, more than anything. It probably says more about me than it should, more than Jessica ever intended.

But reading, as we all know, is an intensely personal experience.

Playing into this for me is the fact that although my house was never a synagogue, a shul, OR a temple, I’ve got a ner tamid of my own, strangely enough. I still can’t figure out what the builder was thinking when he installed a light on a circuit that never turns off and has no switch. When I was new to the house, I put a bulb in the fixture, a simple white canister of a light. It begs for a couple of hands and a clock mechanism, this fixture. That’s how I found there’s no switch and no circuit I can flip without shutting down other parts of the house.

But this light? It wasn’t comforting. It didn’t make me feel safe.

Nope.

Just the opposite, in fact. It was creepy, this stark white light that illuminated the bathroom and reflected off the tub underneath. Malevolent. Even now, years after I promptly removed that bulb, I look at that light covering with an uneasy feeling.

It’s kind of funny, really. I’m a Rock Fiction expert. You’d think I’d have connected to the record store, which plays a magnificent role in Softer. Or to Riff, who is a fascinating man.

But nope. It’s a light. A relic from a time when the building was something else, when it meant the same kind of safety and protection that it offers in the book’s present.

And that, of all the elements in the book, is what lingers with me.

Rocktober3avatar S RED Let’s welcome my friend AJ Krafton to The Rock of Pages! We’ve bonded, she and I, over our musical loves and with a new book out last month, I asked her to come talk about… what else? The collision of music and fiction.

 

 

Senza Fyne, Senzafine: The Musical Inspiration behind AJ Krafton’s THE HEARTBEAT THIEF

 

By Ash Krafton

 

I’ve always been inspired by music. Words are powerful things but somehow, when they are sung, they gain an extra layer of strength and intent, especially when the singer pours their heart and their emotion into each note, each line. Their art becomes part of me, seeking the spark within me that is a new story, waiting to be told.

 

If I tried, I could identify a song behind almost every story, every poem I’ve ever written. In fact, my third novel, WOLF’S BANE, was inspired by a German metal band. You know how writers sometimes feel like their characters are real people? Part of me actually believes Turn of the Wheel is a real band. I even made concert shirts. See?

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So, yeah. I like to rock out when I write, and write about what rocks me.

 

Lacuna Coil: Moody Music

Give me some music; music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.
(Antony and Cleopatra, 2.5.1-2)

I love these words…”music, moody food”…because the sentiment perfectly describes the muse that leads me through the pages of each of my stories.

I tend to listen to music that is emotionally-laden. My writing playlists lean heavily toward rock and metal—Type O Negative, Blind Guardian, My Chemical Romance, and especially the Italian band Lacuna Coil.

 

Lacuna Coil are an Italian gothic band I first heard when they opened for Type O Negative in 2003, I believe. I was stunned by the melodious qualities of the duo vocalists against the keys and guitar. Moody food, indeed!

The next morning, despite a thick fuzzy head from the great quantities of Bacardi mixers consumed the night before, I stopped at a record store and bought the CD Comalies, listening to that swirl of rapture all morning.

The songs spoke of longing and separation and the agonies of love—things I haven’t experience since I was an angsty teen—and I realized I found my elusive muse at last. Songs like Entwined and The Ghost Woman and the Hunter supplied the emotions my characters need to flourish, renewed by the beauty and the grace of my musical muse.

Lacuna Coil have since progressed to become a kick-ass symbol of all things urban fantasy—fortunate for me, no doubt, as I have lots of urban fantasy and paranormal romance inside me just begging to claw its way out.

 

Lacuna Coil’s songs take me to a place where urban fantasy becomes real. Their song “Our Truth” from the album Karmacode even appeared in one of the Underworld movies. What can be more urbanly fantastic than a movie about vampires and werewolves and (quite literally) everything in between?

 

There is something about Lacuna Coil songs that make me want to write: their guitar-driven melodies, their soul-searing harmonies, their relentless pounding heartbeat. It’s almost as if I become a part of their flow—they create and inspire me to create in return.

 

The Heartbeat Thief and its Musical Muse

While I have lots of favorite LC titles, the top of the list is Senzafine, one of their Italian-language songs.

 

Senzafine is the Italian word for “without end” or “endless”. It’s the word that inspired the main character’s name: Senza Fyne. It also told her story.

 

It wasn’t only the title that inspired the character. The lyrics themselves and their underlying interpretation accurately portray the internal struggle Senza experiences and is the perfect companion piece to the story.

This video of Senzafine [https://youtu.be/JIRIRHW5sWc] contains an English translation of the lyrics so that you can enjoy the song, even if you don’t speak Italian. (It also has live clips of LC, which makes me very happy. I love seeing them in concert!)

 

While the provided translation may not be perfect, it does get the gist of it. The female voice expresses her desire to break free of her life, her destiny. The male voice sings of darker things, the force that fights against the female. There is a constant battle between good and evil and the female admits that is sometimes hard to choose between them. There is also the realization that she must be prepared to live alone, dependent upon only herself.

 

And that, to me, sounds very much like the symphony of Senza’s determined heart.

 

Playing opposite to Senza is a tall, mysterious stranger who teases her with secretive smiles and suggestions of magic. From their first meeting, he calls her bien-aime, which is French for “beloved”. When she demands his name, he listens to the tolling of a nearby church bell before calling himself Mr. Knell.

But he has an older name. A much older name. And it will take Senza a very, very long time before she realizes just who he truly is.

The song Senzafine fits him, too. One particular verse fits Senza’s dark seducer perfectly. In fact, I believe the last lines belong to him…

Non c’e scelta senza me
Non c’e vita senza me

 

There’s no choice without me
There’s no life without me

And Senza utterly believes him.

I hope you’ll read The Heartbeat Thief [http://viewBook.at/thief]and keep these words somewhere in the back of your heart. And when you finish, and you close the book, think back upon Senza and her struggle to escape her destined life. Think back upon Knell and think back upon those last lines. I hope you’ll find them as deliciously poignant as I do.

 

Most of all, think back upon your own feelings, and firmly resolve to resist destiny’s plans for you and choose your own, instead. The song will still be there to inspire you on your journey, just as it continues to inspire me.

 

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As the word of Rocktober spreads, so does the number of authors who want to take part in the fun (remember, it’s ALWAYS Rocktober over here at The Rock of Pages. This is just the month we crank it up to twelve. ‘Cause eleven’s not loud enough!).

Today’s guest is Juli Page Morgan, who’s got a great guest post about her new release, Crimson and Clover.

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Juli, take it away!

He was just supposed to be a minor character, that’s all. The hero of my book, the guy who got the girl, was going to be the lead singer. And that minor character? The lead guitar player for the band. I didn’t think about him much, to be honest. He was only there because the band needed a guitarist. Dude didn’t even have a name.

But one day while I was writing a scene involving the whole band, a scene where the heroine was in attendance, I took a good look at this minor character for the first time. I saw him through the heroine’s eyes, and damn. He was beautiful. I mean the kind of male beauty that makes panties evaporate and ovaries explode. And my heroine? She went into heat. If she’d been a cat she would have rolled around on the floor in front of him and yowled. I was tempted to join her.

So while I salivated over this minor character, I tried to reason with my heroine.

Me: Cut it out. I mean it. You’re in love with the lead singer.

Her: What lead singer? There’s a lead singer? Didn’t notice.

Me: Come on. None of us have time for this nonsense. You love the lead singer, and y’all are going to live happily ever after. This guitar player is just a minor character. He doesn’t even have a name yet.

Her: He doesn’t need a name. All he needs to do is strap on that axe and then get all sweaty onstage.

Me: Stop it. (pause) Sweaty?

Her: Dripping. Just look at that luscious black hair of his. Look at his freakin’ eyes!

So I looked at his eyes. There was a mischievous twinkle shining in them. There were also a lot of really hot promises about what he could do to me … I mean, do to the heroine.

Then he smiled.

Lead singer? There was a lead singer? Didn’t notice.

Still, I tried to carry on with the story I thought I was writing. So the guitar player would assume a bigger role in the book. No big deal. It happens. Besides, lead guitar players are hard to shove into the background, am I right? But the more I wrote, the more he showed up. Little by little he took over the story and the heroine’s heart. I finally had to scrap almost everything I’d written and start again. Only one problem: he still didn’t have a name.

Check that. He had a name, he just refused to tell me what it was. I asked, he laughed. I begged, he laughed harder. One day he let me know it was time to reveal his name. I was indecently relieved and had my finger hovering over the “Find and Replace” function on my computer, ready to change all instances of Guitar Guy (that’s what I was reduced to calling him) to his name. He leaned close and whispered in my ear.

Him: My name is … Delbert.

Then he snickered.

To be honest, I don’t really remember how I came to know his name was Jay Carey. I was writing and the heroine called him Jay. And I just knew. I’m sure he told me somehow, the sneaky little bugger.

That minor character, the one with no name, took over the whole book. He went from a shadow in the background to the hero, the guy who gets the girl. He knew the lead singer wasn’t right for the heroine so he stepped up. Because he wanted her.

Can’t ignore those lead guitarists.

If you want to read Jay’s story it’s called Crimson and Clover. You can read the first chapter and find out how the story begins on my website.

I am in tears over this one. Delbert? Oh, my! This guy has a lot in common with my Trevor, which means I love him already. Maybe not the cat in heat love that Juli has, but that’s okay. He’s hers. I’m willing to let that remain.

Until I read the book and meet the man for myself, anyway…

As always, grab a copy of Crimson and Clover.
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All Romance

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Check out Juli’s backlist of other Rock Fiction romances. Buy them. Read them. Review them.