Posts Tagged ‘guest blogger’

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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
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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.
Amazon

iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

All Romance

Smashwords (referral link)

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

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You all know we love Jessica Topper over here. So of course we’re thrilled to host her today to add to our series of how our fictional rockers got their names.

Jess… take it away!

Rocktober – Name That Rocker!
Jessica Topper

I’ve got a dirty little secret to admit. I cannot name all the U.S. Presidents. Nope. Not in order, not in this lifetime. My brain just can’t seem to retain such information. But give me a rock band and I will name not only its entire current lineup, but also past members, nicknames – hell, maybe even their pets’ names. Talk about a trivial pursuit! Heaven help me if I ever end up on Jeopardy. They’d better have a “Rock Star Etymology” category, or I’m in big trouble.

Now that I write rock fiction, you can only imagine the field day I have with creating fake bands and their infamous members. It’s like being able to take that useless fountain of knowledge and create my own spectacular demented light and water show.

I love to play with words and I love double meanings, so it was no surprise my very first rocker character in Louder Than Love ended up with the name of Douglas Graves. Innocent and ordinary enough…until you start to think about it. He wisely chooses to use his middle name, Adrian, and explains his dilemma to Kat, the heroine in the story:

“You can imagine the delight the lads had in taking the piss out of me in school, with a name like Doug Graves.” He continued, smirking. “Go ahead, you can laugh.”

I shook my head and declined in polite protest, but couldn’t help myself when he admitted he had married a girl named Robyn. “Ah yes, Robyn Graves. It’s true, I’m afraid.” He laughed along with me. “Half the reason she probably divorced me, in the end.”

Adrian – also known as Digger – Graves is the illustrious lead guitarist for the defunct doom metal band, Corroded Corpse. (Hell, I know I will never have the talent or the cojones to be in my own metal band, but dammit, I’m going to have fun creating ludicrous names to rival some of the most popular groups to spring from the 80s heavy metal insurgence.)

At the helm of Corroded Corpse is front man Riff Rotten, who we meet briefly in Louder Than Love, but who grows to larger-than-life, rock star proportions in my latest novel, Softer Than Steel. Born Richard Rottenberg into a wealthy, educated Jewish family, he was re-born as Riff as soon as he learned to shred on the guitar – much to his family’s dismay. In Riff’s case, I was able to put my real rock name knowledge to use, in Adrian’s explanation of how the band’s manager came up a new last name for his up-and-coming client:

“It was Wren who suggested Rick shorten his somewhat ‘ethnic’ surname to Rotten. When we moaned that it sounded like a blatant rip-off of the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten, Wren pointed out, ‘Do you really think Chaim Witz would have gotten very far leading KISS?’

In their heyday, Digger Graves and Riff Rotten were like the Lennon/McCartney of the metal world, riding the wave of 80s British Heavy Metal like conquering heroes. But due to gross mismanagement and trademark issues, the band is no longer able to use its name when they finally (spoiler alert!) reunite by the end of Louder Than Love. So they begin to play stealth shows under a new moniker, The Rotten Graves Project. It makes total sense, as where else would you find a corroded corpse? In a rotten grave, of course.

Let the band play on!
Happy Rocktober!

I have to confess that I like Rotten Graves Project better than Corroded Corpse… as Jessica says, it’s awfully similar to that early-90s thrash band, Cannibal Corpse, and man, does that interfere with one’s reading!

Here’s Jessica’s website. As always, pick up her books. Read them. Leave reviews and tell your friends. They’re good things, so don’t miss out!

So awhile back, Jett wondered why, in an age where authors give their rockers pretty charismatic names, Nicky Wells would name her dude Dan. Lucky us — Nicky saw Jett’s post and dropped Susan a line, offering to explain. And so, without further ado, here she is.

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What’s in a name? Meet Dan Hunter, lead singer of rock band Tuscq

Why is Dan called Dan? Susan and Jett asked me. Dan is a pretty humble and down-to-earth kind of name, not exactly en vogue as far as fancy rock star names go, or so they say. And they’re most probably right.

Well. I have a confession to make. I didn’t do any research of any kind on rock star name fashions. But I did think long and hard about the kind of person my first golden-voiced bad boy hero would be. He’d be a serial womaniser, for he loves women as much as he loves rock ‘n’ roll. He’d be notoriously hard to tie down, and he’d be known for his many flings and dalliances. On the plus side, he’d be clean. As in, he wouldn’t do drugs; apart from anything else, they’re bad for the voice. He’d love sex, but he‘d be down to earth and kind. This man would be no Christian Grey. He’d want his women to be happy when he’s with them, and he’d like to leave them with a big goofy smile when he takes off again. He’d be smart, intuitive, and occasionally tempestuous. His friends would matter to him, and he’d be a bit of a joker. Oh, and if you saw him on stage, you’d throw your knickers at him for he would be charisma on legs.

Bearing all that in mind, I settled on the name Dan for a number of reasons. Here goes.

1.) I like the name. Yup, it really is a simple as that. I like the name Dan. Short, sweet and to the point, and it has an ‘a’ sound in which goes very well with ‘aaaaah, Dan!’ You can shout and swoon over one-syllable names much more easily than two syllable ones!

2.) I didn’t know anyone else by that name at the time I picked it. I knew a few Dans in my time, but there was no Dan in my life when I started writing. I’ll admit that the positive traits of some of the Dan people I knew in the past probably influenced me, but other than that, Dan was a clean slate.

3.) I thought that ‘Dan’ and ‘Hunter’ worked very well together. If the first name is short and humble, the second name introduces that predatory element.

And last but not least: 4.) By the time the last book in the series would roll around—that would be Sophie’s Encore—I would need a name that would be very similar to ‘Dad.’ Some of the key moments in Sophie’s Encore hinge on the close proximity between ‘Dan’ and ‘Dad’ in a two-year-old’s speech repertoire. See, I’m a woman with a plan!

And there you have it. I’ve been very, very happy with Dan, and I cried when I had to leave him and Sophie behind. I’ll be writing many more rock stars in the future, but there’ll never be anyone else quite like Dan. He’s simply perfect with all his imperfections.

Oh hey, and don’t forget to check out Dan and Sophie on Tuscq’s single, Love Me Better, a classic eighties-style rock ballad!

Susan here again… man, do I need to read these books. Nicky’s been an absolute doll to talk to and I have nothing but respect and esteem for her. I hope she’ll be a semi-regular in these parts going forward!

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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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I first met Kevin Doyle when he showed up in my inbox with his novelette, One Helluva Gig. I was going to let Jett review it, but it was so good and such a quick read that there was no time.

Then Kevin contacted me again. He’d looked into having the novella translated, so to speak, into a play. Its performance is scheduled for October 17, so I told Kevin he had to write about it for Rocktober. He was willing, and he’ll do a follow-up to this piece about what happens when it airs.

Without further ado, here’s Kevin.

A few years back, I was fortunate enough to see my first e-book released by a small, but growing, press. This was pretty much a whole new world for me, as up to this point I’d dealt exclusively in the short story arena. The “book” is actually a 14,000 word novelette, and it served as my first introduction to the idea of publishing original material in e-book form. A form, I should point out, now providing quite a service by bringing back the novelette and novella, at one point almost vanished species.

To this point, sales have been (hrrmph) modest (putting it about as mildly as possible) and I’ve been looking for new ways to market the material. One thing that kept pinging in the back of my head was the idea that, due to the structure of the work (a set number of scenes and each scene having just two characters) it seemed like this story would work fairly well as a play. However, I know zip about writing, letting alone producing, plays.

So this summer, I began scouting around the Columbia, Missouri, area seeing if I could find anyone who knew how to write plays and how to get them on stage.

Enter the Maplewood Barn Theatre.

I met a few people, who put me in touch with someone else, who led me to a few more people and next thing you know I was discovering all sorts of new stuff.

Maplewood Barn, a local community theatre, produces its plays outside in one of our parks. They run performances from May through August. Okay, most people around the Columbia area are aware of that.

However I didn’t know that during the fall and winter, when they don’t perform outside, the group produces and broadcasts radio performances, actual radio theatre, on KBIA, our local public broadcasting station. So here I was, trying to see about turning my material into a play, when I met up with some people interested in putting it on the radio, which had the appeal of being something that doesn’t often happen to original fiction.

Then, however, came the ordeal of turning my little baby over to strange people and hoping they would help it mature. I didn’t have separation anxiety, as such, but when Brad Buchanan pointed out that my sixty-page novelette would be cut down to about twenty pages, I’m pretty sure I gulped a little.

Nothing to do, though, but sit back and wait.

A few days later, the script appeared in my e-mail, and I sat down to read just what they had done to my story. Brad was apologetic at every step at having to take such “beautiful prose” (his words, not mine) and cut it down every which way.

Reading the script, I began breathing a lot easier. The basic plot, from beginning to end, is there, and all of the major scenes are left intact. On reading that initial script, I could easily recognize my work and, for most of it, my own words. Some of the emotion seemed to be missing, but I crossed my fingers that when the actors performed the script some of that would come back in.

All in all, it seemed to have come off pretty well.

Now came the next step. I knew how it read, but how would it sound when played out?

You NEED your own copy, don’t you? If I didn’t already have one, I certainly would.
Amazon
Smashwords (affiliate link. G’wan. Use it)
B&N
Kobo

I’m sure there are more retailers, too. iBooks, Oyster, Scribd… just a guess, but don’t hesitate to drop in at your favorite digital bookseller and see if they’ve got it. (report it in the comments, even, and I’ll update)

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Brandon Shire

I don’t remember where I was online when I saw the cover: a naked man looking rather… umm… devastated, holding a violin. I had to ask. What was up?

Since it’s Rocktober — although this is something I’d like to see happen more often around here (hint) — I asked Brandon to write you guys a bit about Why Rock Fiction. Here’s what he had to say:

Have you ever heard someone say they hate music? Me either. Never. Not once. People might dislike certain genres, but I’ve never met anyone who detests music in all its varied forms. There are many more genres than you might assume, and those don’t even take cultural variations into consideration.

The sheer diversity of music makes me wonder if it’s possible to live on this planet without musical input in one form or another. I couldn’t do it myself. I love music.

If you sit down and think about it, music is woven into our entire existence. When you’re in the car, shopping, watching TV, and let’s not forget what you carry with you on your cell. Music is inescapable.

But what happens when music takes you to a place you don’t want to go? What happens when the production of music is your life in the most literal sense? What happens when the most tragic, dire event of your life occurs and music cannot help you find an exit from the pain?

That’s what I explored in my latest novel, Summer Symphony. When a father loses his daughter to stillbirth, his world caves in and he does not know how to continue.

Summer Symphony is written from a father’s perspective because all too often, fathers are forgotten in the grieving process. And while the physical connection between mother and child can never be disputed, the erroneous idea that men don’t grieve over babies lost to miscarriage and stillbirth is absurd and untrue. This book is about music, love, life, and how a father’s dream for a child never came to be.

I’m fascinated, to be honest with you. Thankfully, Brandon was kind enough to send me a copy to read and review. I will dive in as soon as I finish this really delicious romance I’m having fun with.

Here’s the back cover copy. It just gets better!

Martin Zoric had vivid dreams of fatherhood, of a small hand pressed to his, of pink dresses and girlish laughter. Then his wife had a stillbirth and his world fell apart.

He listened to the unwanted apologies, stood by his wife as was expected of him, and kept his façade strong and firm for the entire world to see.

But does he have the strength let go and really grieve?

When Ren Wakahisa landed in Croatia he was hoping to escape the cultural pressures put on him to conform. His family wanted him to forsake love for duty. They viewed his happiness as secondary to familial prosperity.

Does he have the courage to be who he wants to be? Or, will he yield to their wishes?

Summer Symphony is the story of how two men find their answers and what they learn about strength, and grace, and the endurance of love.

And for those of you who keep track of these things, or are interested, October isn’t just Rocktober. October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month. I have too many friends and relatives who’ve lost babies and children, so this is near and dear to my heart, even though it’s something I’m thankful daily I haven’t had to face.