Friday, February 24, 2017

Riddles and Rhymes

A Reality in the Fiction episode

If you've read the D-Strings trilogy of the Silver Strings series, you'll remember a lot of emphasis is on song writing. A lot of conversations stem around verses and song writing and each chapter begins with a snippet from one of their songs. In Rising Sun, the first in this series, Matt and Jules collaborate. In Half Moon, Jules stays in the biz writing for other bands, and it's here she branches  out into a completely different style than when co-composing with Matt. 

At some point, Jules is reflecting on how her song style has changed. She admits to stringing together words and meaningless phrases that sound good together and that "To her surprise, these meaningless, yet poetic songs [became future chart toppers.]"

The reality in the fiction is this. Musician's for years have been saying the same. Time and time again, they're asked to explain a song that truly has no meaning. John Lennon continually laughed at the misconceptions of and the attempts to decipher his lyrics. Here's one of the many times Kurt Cobain spoke about lyrics being just that--lyrics nothing else. 

(2:30) I notice people expect a thematic angle to our music... they want to read into it... i was just writing pieces of poetry... pieces of poetry... garbage that would spew out of me... and then i find myself having to come up with explanations for it...

And that sums it up nicely!

Excerpt from Rising Sun, Half Moon, Rock Stars, Silver Strings D-String trilogy.

“Can I ask you something?” Matt brought his hand from her hair to splay his fingers through hers.


“Which album is better?”

“That’s an impossible question…” She considered and reconsidered, wanting to give him a real answer, but she really couldn’t decide between the two. They were both just as great in different ways. “I love them both, just as much.”

“If you were going to be stranded on a desert isle, which one would you take?”

“A desert isle? Like with cactuses and scorpions and geckos?”

“Now, his hand went back to her hair, but it was to pull. “A deserted island, Gilligan. And it’s cacti.”

“You’re not a real professor you know…”

Toying with one of her ponytails, he raised his brows. “Oh really? So why did you work so hard for that ‘A’?” When she blew out an exasperated breath, irritated that he had bested her, as usual, in their repartee, he shot her a victorious grin before tugging on the ponytail. “You’re changing the subject.”

“Well…” she mused, “You mean, I know I’m going to be stranded? In advance enough to plan out my album collection?”

“Cari…” Matt warned, in that coated-with-the-sex-rumble which always came from deep within his throat. “You’re fixing to get it… and get it good…”

“It’s an impossible question… I mean it…”

“Just try…”

Another loud sigh expelled through her lips, this time from frustration at the situation. How could he seriously expect her to choose between the two albums? But there he was, patiently waiting. She could feel his anticipation of her answer in the darkness.

“The first one, I love for the lyrics, the way the words flow. I guess if everything else disappeared but the words, the songs would still be phenomenal.” She reflected on the two albums and chose her words in careful honesty. “The second easily has the best guitar riffs I’ve ever heard—EVER. To be honest, I don’t understand the words to half of the songs. I’m not sure they’re real words. But every time I hear any song from that album, I want to grab the guitar and start ripping.”

“Favorite songs?”

“Oh c’mon already… that’s too hard, and you know it. I did what you asked…”

“Not exactly—but good enough, better maybe…”

“Thank you!” She breathed the words dramatic. “Why the quiz?”

“On Precious Jewels, every song is from something.”


“Something about you. I know you had to have figured that out.”

“Every song? I mean, I knew two. Three, really I guess.”

“Three?” Matt squeezed her tighter, his earlier tension gone. Knuckles brushed her neck, and her fingers were massaging on his scalp. “Three? Damn girl, this is going to be fun. You got homework to do.”

Every song? And you called me a stalker. Can’t you just tell me? What they mean?”

“That’s no fun…”

“I could make it fun…”

“No doubt about that…” he growled, reading the look in her eyes.

His gaze changed, and his every movement stilled. “Can I ask you something else? Something about your songs?”

“Sure.” But in mistakenly thinking he was speaking of Julian songs, she was unprepared for the question.

“When you recorded ‘Rightfully Mine,’ were you… were you crying, cari?”

The room faded, and she was back in the studio, Marc and Candi having left her to record in private, the technician a silent entity behind glass. The feelings of that day assaulted her. Sitting alone in that room with the world beyond the glass partition had seemed symbolic. Possibly sitting, where only weeks ago, Matt had but hadn't cared to stay.

“I'm sorry, Jules.” His arms encircled her, tightening with emotion, and she realized she had nodded in answer to his question. “After almost every session, I drove to the beach or to my room at my old man’s house and cried my eyes out.”

“Can we not talk about this?” It hurt too much. It was the past, and they were in the present. She was done with hurting.

His lips brushed hers gently, again and again, until the kisses were possessive and demanding, until the pent up emotions hanging in the moment were lost in lovemaking.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Get Rocked! In Vegas' Rock Casualty in the Making

Get Rocked! In Vegas

The pitch was each author write a new story about existing characters in their series. A story in which the characters of every series included would be together in one place!

When approached about this project, I was stoked. I was ready to get back to writing and excited to be writing with the authors in the set: Jenna Galicki, Jade C. Jamison, Theresa Hissong, Lashell Collins, Jennifer L. Allen, Bella Jeanisse, Maria Bernard, Sadie Grubor, Kacey Hamford, Toni Kenyon, Lindy S. Hudis, and Gina Kincade.

This fervor lasted until I actually pulled up that blank MS Word file and put my fingers to the keyboard. I was stymied. Who would I write about. What side story from Silver Strings Series could I tell that hadn't been told already in Storm Cells?


Marissa is a previous casino dealer. With this in mind, I decided on an alternate reality Jack and Marissa story. The premises would be destiny: If Jack and Marissa had never crossed paths at the Hang Fest, would destiny have still brought them together? Would a blackjack dealer restarting her life in Vegas have hooked up with a metal musician passing through Sin City with his band?

I couldn’t stop thinking about this. Intrigued, I wrote out the bare bones of the story and a few chapter samples. I pitched this plot to several close author friends. The all around consensus was that Jack and Marissa have been done to death.

“Besides, you haven't yet completed E-Strings.”

With a heavy heart, I shelved the project.

Instead, I remembered a tweet turned reader discussion, a couple of years back. The original tweet went something like “Hey, are you going to write June's story?”

Truthfully, I’d never considered June. But this child Jack and Marissa wanted badly enough to put emotions, time, and money into for years—this beloved little sister Tristan picked out a present for at a truck stop toward the end of his great adventure—this precocious older sister to the miraculous accident baby Zoe—June had worked her way into the heads of readers! A dozen or so replies to this simple tweet was testament of that.

To readers who began the Silver Strings Series with D-Strings, I beg you, don’t think about timelines. New rule for Silver Strings. Timelines only exist for an orderly sequence of events. Think of Silver Strings timelines in dog years!

My editor Debbie Williams said it best with a comment similar to, 'Matt and Jules would’ve remained rockers while in their rockers.' A nod to this rocker pun, and to rocking with a soulmate in the decades to come is played out in Rock Casualty. The rocking chair on the porch becomes a nightly routine to Crey Stone—and June Loren.

Here's your story, June Bug!

Rock Casualty Blurb

With this ring… or not?

June and her metal-music-god have an open relationship. No drama. No complications. That is, until down on one knee, he suddenly declares himself monogamous. On the night before their wedding, convinced there's no way this man-whore musician who spends 200+ days on the road is faithful husband material, she tears off her rose colored shades and escapes to Vegas.

One-time rock star Creighton spent the last few years fighting his demons. After getting kicked out of his band Soul Rift, and a stint in rehab, he needs more than a little luck to get his life back on track. The GET ROCKED IN VEGAS Festival is the perfect opportunity to redeem himself. But when he’s sidetracked by a beautiful girl on a losing streak at the Blackjack table, his world is turned upside down… again.

Hard liquor and heavy partying lead to a night Creighton Stone and June Loren wish they could remember, especially since the next morning they wake with more than a hangover. The gleaming platinum rings on their fingers suggest they had more fun than a one-night stand.

Everyone knows
'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.'
What happened in Vegas?

Rock Casualty Excerpt

My gaze snapped from a fixation on his mouth, to his eyes, and then away. Every pink and yellow shade on a palette streaked the sky. The sun was a great orange orb sinking fast. “Do you remember? Any of it? The chapel or ceremony?”

“All I remember is luring you into the bedroom.”

“Luring me? No, that doesn’t sound creepy at all…”

He grinned at the mockery and defended, “Yeah. Well, I was pretty direct about it. Asked you if you wanted to move our party to the bedroom. You said sure.”

Sure. I said sure. Of that, I had no doubt. Neurons fired lobe-to-lobe as I strained to recall the conversation or anything beyond. “Did we?” My eyes landed on the zipper of his jeans and then skittered away. “I mean I know we didn’t, but did we…” For the first time, I realized just because we hadn’t completely hooked up didn’t mean we hadn’t done other stuff. An imagination of my knees between his Nike-clad feet sent my stomach into one of those flip-flops that seemed to be happening a lot around him.

His brows furrowed slightly. “I don’t think anything happened. But then again, who knows? If it weren’t for the rings, we wouldn’t even know—well you know—what we know.”

“Maybe it’s good we don’t remember the wedding.” I was beginning to think replaying the marriage in my head would be more bittersweet than embarrassing.

“Know what I wish I remembered?” His eyes darkened with an intensity I’d seen earlier at the restaurant. “I wish I remembered the part that goes, ‘You may kiss the bride’.”

“You may kiss the bride.” My words were an instant and instinctive whisper in the spell of a moment.

Our lips brushed, once, twice, before melding together. The kiss was wild and sweet as we tested, tasted, and finally consumed.

My phone rattled again, and I removed my hand from where it curved his neck long enough to wrestle the device from my pocket and toss it aside.

I knotted my empty fist in his shirt, and swallowed his hungry groan. Nothing existed in the world except his lips against mine. His tongue tangled with mine. The stubble on his face against my chin. Our shallow pants synchronized, becoming increasingly ragged until dizzy from the deprivation of breathing, we pulled apart.

The distance between the mountain rise in the distance and the bottom of the sun had narrowed even more.

“Damn, I’m sure I would’ve remembered that.” His breath caressed my face, and the hoarse and husky words caressed my ears.

“Yeah,” I agreed. I was sure I’d never been that moved by a kiss.

Show Some Rock★Star Love!
Like and/or Comment this Star Trailer by Theresa Hissong
Thanks to 5 Stories for the loan of this great song! 
Much ♥ to the band's page too!

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