Category Archives: Rock Fiction

Susan’s Book Talk: A New Story!

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A long time ago, in what feels like a second lifetime, I wrote a bunch of short stories. Like, a ton. And I saved them on my hard drive.

Last summer, after I had to unpublish Mannequin, the girl rehomed that little short story of mine onto Wattpad. And then she took a stroll through my hard drive and my archives. She handed me a bunch of stories to edit and polish up, chose a few to publish immediately, and then… got involved in her own Wattpad activities. (No, you can’t have her names.)

Yesterday, she decided it was time to take one of the stories and get it up on Wattpad. And so New Management is now alive for your reading pleasure.

It’s a story of the Trevolution, and you long-time fans will recognize the characters. Maybe even the situation, although if you need a prompt, here are the two stories this builds on: Twirling and Game On. Neither are in a Demo Tapes collection yet… they’d be in #5, which if you’d like, you should speak up!

So here it is. New Management.

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Lines of Distinction: ShapeShifter The Demo Tapes: Year 1

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Trevor Wolff did not blame others for his own issues, thankyouverymuch. Not that being ugly was an issue; issues, you could fix somehow. Ugly, you were just stuck with.

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Lines of Distinction: ShapeShifter the Demo Tapes Year 1

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For all that boy had been through, Trevor never stopped seeking the joy in life.

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Lines of Distinction: ShapeShifter The Demo Tapes: Year 1

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“We can make that sappy shit happen ourselves. But how often do you get to take on the bad guys and save the world?”

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Lines of Distinction: The Demo Tapes: Year 1

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Things were about to get good; getting kicked out now would not be smart.

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Lines of Distinction: ShapeShifter The Demo Tapes: Year 1 by Susan Helene Gottfried

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“A flag,” Trevor repeated. “A ShapeShifter flag. For our fans to pledge their love and shit to. You know… one nation, all for one, buy the inevitable shitty records and defend them to the death when people let themselves think mean words about us. A flag.”

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Lines of Distinction: Broken by Susan Helene Gottfried

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Broken_One

Peace… now that’s a better shiny than actual shiny things. At least from where I stand. But then, I’m standing in a place that’s all my own.

I love this short story of mine. It’s rough. It’s edgy. It’s not for the faint of heart or family friendly.

But it is rock and roll and it is gritty and it is something I’m proud of and stand behind.

Pick up your copy today:
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#Rocktober Cover Reveal: Broken by Susan Helene Gottfried

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The good news is that the editing is keeping me busy. The bad news is that means my writing is taking a hit. And given that a lot of my clients come to me because I am an author and I have my fingers in publishing, I suppose I gotta put up.

This one, I’m glad to put up. It’s my new short story, called Broken. Broken_One

 

My very longtime (I started to say old, but I don’t want either of us to be old) Metallica friend, Carol, did the cover. Go visit her. Tell her I sent you.  You deserve a cover by someone like Carol.

It’s a short story, as the cover makes pretty darn clear, and it’ll be for sale for 99c once it’s up and able to be preordered or out-and-out for sale. (Yes, I’m writing this in advance.)

Ready for the description? Too bad. Here it is.

For T and the rest of Ice Cubes in Hell, it’s a routine night backstage after their set, opening for the notorious Vanessa Kontempt. The party’s in full swing when T walks in, but she’s not in the mood. Not tonight. When she finds groupies raiding her stage clothes and one breaks the heel off one of her favorite boots, things spiral downward. As T confronts the band’s tour manager about the destruction, secrets are revealed. Secrets that might tear the band apart … or bring them closer.

I’m crazy proud of this story. Took me a long time to get right, and I had to run it past my editor, too, for help pulling it all together.

Buy links will be arriving as soon as I’ve got ’em. Pick up your copy and help me keep my fingers in the publishing pie.

 

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Frisky Business by Jill Edmondson

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Count on my friend Deena at e-Book Builders to bring me word that I’m falling further behind than ever when it comes to author Jill Edmondson’s rocking series, the Sasha Jackson Mysteries.

And that she got to format it? The only thing that would make me less jealous would be if I got to edit it. (If that happened, though, Jett couldn’t borrow my copy like she usually does.)

I still need to get started on this series, and I’d better get to that sooner rather than later because this is now the fourth.

Ahh, for more time to read…

And remember… even if your book has been published, if it needs a proofread by an eagle-eyed expert, I’m here. Not that I’m pointing fingers at Jill or anything. Nope. Not me.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Rubber Soul by Greg Kihn

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Yes, your love’s in jeopardy, baby!

I’ve either induced a huge groan, given you an earworm, or caused some confused looks. I’m not sure which it is.

Rocker Greg Kihn turned author some years ago, and he’s got a new-ish release that’s called a Rock Thriller by his publisher. (In other places on their website, they call it a “rock murder mystery.” Well, which is it? Thriller or murder mystery? A publisher who doesn’t know the difference isn’t much of a publisher!)

We know better, though, right? It’s a Rock Fiction thriller or Rock Fiction Murder Mystery. Sheesh.

This one is called Rubber Soul, which is a nod to the late, great Beatles, of course. There are other nods to the Fab Four as well — a shop on Penny Lane, and a few other surprises.

The one thing this description fails to do, though, is tell me much about the mystery. It’s too in love with the Beatles thing. Which makes me wonder if this is really a mystery or if it’s a tribute novel thinly disguised?

Jett’s too young to know much about the Beatles. Heck, I’m barely old enough to know a lot about the Beatles. So we’ll see what happens when this one hits our hands.

If you’ve read it, send us a link to your review!

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Rock the Heart by Michelle Valentine

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So as I was looking for better links to Gracen Miller’s Rockin’ the Heart for last week’s post, I came across a book that’s been on my radar for awhile now, but I’ve never blogged about. So… while I’m coveting Rock Fiction every Thursday, here’s another one to publicly drool over.

It’s Michelle Valentine, who has written an entire Rock Fiction series. The first is called Rock the Heart, and it has a twist that’s both familiar and fresh.

How can that be?

Easy. The familiar is that the character comes together because of a business arrangement between the bands. Here, the rock god has hired the marketing company the heroine works for. What’s fresh is that it’s a marketing company, and they send an intern out to seal the deal.

Now, this brings up immediate questions. Does this marketing company have music industry experience? If so, why doesn’t Lane know this? And why send an intern to do an executive’s job? Personally, I’d be offended, whether or not I already knew the person involved.

These two have a lot to overcome, our intern and our rock god. Notice how they aren’t even on equal footing? They’ve got this past history and, of course, Noel is into the groupie scene.

How author Valentine can pull it off… that’s the question, as it always is. Any book can have holes poked into it when you’re only going on the description. What matters, as always, is if the characters can transcend the cliche, if the music biz details are accurate, and how well the book captures the reader’s imagination and comes alive in our minds.

The pursuit of the books that do that make the occasional clunker worthwhile. I’ve seen more than one book rise above familiar tropes and be standouts. Here’s hoping this series does exactly that.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Rockin’ the Heart by Gracen Miller

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I do way too much surfing some days. I think we all do, but when you’re a business owner, it can be a dicey proposition. There’s always something business-related that needs to get done and what am I doing? Not that!

But it pays off because Rock Fiction is an important genre — a claim reinforced by the number of books I covet around here. I’m hoping all these cool authors will join in for this year’s Rocktober.

Like this woman: Gracen Miller. She’s got a history as a paranormal writer, and she tips her hat to that by naming her lead character Fang.

But… like always, I have reservations. The problem with Rock Fiction (as most acquiring editors at publishing houses will tell you) is that their plotlines tend to be a bit cliche. Like here: Fang’s got it all except a woman. And what do you know, but the woman he wants is his best friend’s girl.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is execution, which is why I usually overlook the plot and read the book anyway. I mean, I adore romances and we all know that the plots in the end are the same: Boy and girl meet (or meet again). Things get in the way. They overcome and have a Happily Ever After. In fact, Rockin’ the Heart might very well be a romance first and Rock Fiction second. That’s not an uncommon thing in the Rock Fiction genre.

It’s what happens along the way that makes it worth reading. It’s how the author brings the characters to life, how authentic the rock and roll details. Like I said: it’s all about execution.

So I covet this and dread the day Jett will tease me because she’s got a copy and I don’t.

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Jett Reviews Fast Cars and Rock and Roll

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Jett

There’s some upheaval with the website right now — stay tuned for more about that — so Jett’s been quiet lately as we figure out the best way to showcase her work … and the entire Rock Fiction genre.

But in the meantime, we don’t want to keep author Michael Kayser waiting to hear what she thought of his book. In a word: fun!

Go read the whole thing for yourself. And pick up a copy (link to GoodReads; pick your retailer from there), if only to see what that last paragraph means. TOTALLY worth it.

EBook_FastCarsAndRock&Roll

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Rock Fiction Coveting: The Truth about Diamonds by Nicole Richie

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I’ll let Jett have this one all to herself because I simply can’t come clean about my guilty pleasure love for rock star-penned books. Wynonna Judd’s Restless Heart? Loved it. Pamela Anderson’s Star? Pure trash of the absolute best beach read variety.

So I’ve got another one to add to the list: Nicole Richie’s recent release The Truth About Diamonds.

This is Ms. Richie’s first foray into fiction. It was released in 2006 and has actually been on my radar all that time. Why I’ve never drooled over it in a public forum is beyond me. I know it’s on various wishlists I’ve constructed over the years.

And it spawned a sequel! Priceless, it’s called.

Who cares what they are about (although the reviews — the professional reviews — are surprisingly positive)? It’s Nicole Richie, who ought to know firsthand what she writes about. And man, I want a fly-on-the-wall view of that life!

So there’s two for the price of one there. For you. And Jett. Because I have no guilty pleasures that I own up to.

Nope, not me.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: The Seaside Series by Rachel Van Dyken

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I must truly be coveting these books because I’ve followed more than one buy link to them, at a variety of retailers.

As I type this, you can buy them separately for more money than the box set will cost you. The question then becomes if you want to risk the storage space on your e-reader with three novels and a novella that you may not like. Yeah, I know, delete is an easy key to hit.

If you read these, let me know what you think. And, as always, I’d be glad to link to a review.

The books are The Seaside Series, written by Rachel Van Dyken. They’re tagged New Adult, because that’s the hot new genre of the moment and, of course, rock stars fit into the idea of being twenty-some and free. The first book starts with the main character still in high school, though. Isn’t that more Young Adult?

It’s fine to straddle lines; that’s part of the beauty of self-publishing. That we can straddle them. The question is if it’s deftly done.

The books seem to be about two rockers: Alec and Demetri. They have reasons for being in this small Oregon town, and there are two chicks named Natalee and Alyssa. Two men. Two women. Yeah, sounds about right. Of course, there’s more over the course of the series: love triangles and drug rehab, consequences for choices… it sounds kinda typical. The question becomes if author Van Dyken can pull it off.

I’m curious. Like I said, let me know. I’d be glad to link to your reviews!

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Cool Conversations with author Elyssa Patrick

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Last week, I posted about how I was coveting Rock Fiction novel Stay with Me. I wasn’t quite sure if it was truly Rock Fiction or not because the blurb said nothing about whether or not lead character Hailey had a music connection.

Well, let me tell you that Google alerts are sweet things because author Elyssa Patrick herself dropped me a mention. Yes, Hailey’s a rocker, she said — one who turned away from the biz in order to attend college. Think Emma Watson, she said. Hailey just wants to be normal.

She went on to add that the book isn’t angsty, something I assured her more than once I’m good with. (I am missing the angst gene, I swear it.) She said it’s “a light, sexy read.”

Girlfriend, I am SO THERE.

While I scrounge up a copy of this for me and Jett, let me go on record saying Elyssa Patrick is a cool lady. I hope to have her come visit and be involved with Rocktober 2014. Bigger and better this year, and last year definitely wound up being bigger and better.

Who was it who said Go Big. Get Wild? That’s going to be Rocktober this year.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Stay with Me by Elyssa Patrick

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I could have sworn I’d blogged about this one. No?

Well, here ya go. Elyssa Patrick’s Stay With Me.

It’s a New Adult book, which is something we don’t see a lot of Rock Fiction making a home in (yet; the two genres are better than chocolate and peanut butter: two great tastes that taste great together!). The main character, Hailey, is some sort of star. She’s holding a guitar on the cover, but there’s nothing in the book description that points to rock and roll (have we been misled by a cover artist who didn’t get to read the book, or does the description not mention Rock Fiction on purpose?). Maybe it’s her love interest, Caleb.

I don’t know. But I do know one thing: I gotta find out!

You with me?

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Rock Fiction Coveting: The Ever After of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

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It’s been awhile since I first heard about The Ever After of Ella and Micha, so I don’t remember where I first heard about it. Or second heard about it (and now I see why that’s not a phrase that’s generally used. Ugh.)

I’m not so sure about this one… it first comes off as a Christmas story, then it becomes a will-we-won’t-we-get-married story. So what is it?

I don’t know exactly. All I know is that Micha is offered a three-month stint touring with his favorite bands … doing what? Is he a roadie? A hired guitar?

And we know that Ella won’t necessarily wait for him or be happy that he’s leaving. But if he’s involved in the music business, extensive travel is part of what gets in our blood and won’t ever leave again.

So… jury’s out until Jett or I read this one. If you’ve had an experience with this one, let me know in the comments. I’m definitely curious, if a bit skeptical.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

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Count on Mary at Bookhounds to clue me in to some really good Rock Fiction. Or at least really good sounding Rock Fiction; we’ll know if it’s good or not once Jett or I read it. (Hopefully both)

This one is Tracey Martin’s Another Little Piece of my Heart. It’s a Rock Fiction retelling of a Jane Austen novel — would you guys believe that I have two degrees in English and I haven’t read a single Jane Austen novel?

In this case, I’ll be able to come to this book without knowing what to expect. I heard a rumor that Jett managed to get her slick hands on a copy, so keep your eyes out for a review.

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Jett reviews Rockin’ Across the Galaxy

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Jett

Susan handed over a novella that she’d blogged about, but I got to read it first. Neener neener, Susan.

Check out what I thought of David Kimmel’s Rockin’ Across the Galaxy.

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