Today, I’m excited to have fellow Crimson Romance author M J Schiller taking over my blog.
Good morning! I’ve been on several blogs lately talking about my misguided attempts to get backstage at rock concerts. This morning I want to talk about what happens before these mishaps, the actual concerts!
I consider myself a rock music lover. But there are all kinds of rock music. You’ve got your traditionalists, like my husband, who like Sammy Hagar, Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc. (And I never knew there were 4 “y”s in that until I double checked my spelling. Wow! If you could use proper names in Scrabble, imagine the points that would be!) Then there are the traditionalists that are more hard core. They prefer Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeath, Slayer, and others. Then move forward about a century (that’s what I like to tell my husband) and you get my kind of rock. I am, what my husband would say, a fan of “scratchy voiced” bands. In fact, almost every time I listen to Hinder he says, “This guy needs a throat lozenge!” Cute, honey.
Most of these bands seem to have patterned themselves after, or have at least been influenced by, my first rock love, Nickelback. (I know some of you are cringing right now. I respect that. We’re all entitled to our own taste in music, even if yours stinks. Just kidding!) I’m talking Seether, Theory of a Deadman, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Shinedown, and the like. If you are a fan of these groups, and haven’t been to many concerts, let me give you a little insight into who’s good in concert.
I’ve seen Seether at least three times. The first time the band members were all suffering from the flu. Good concert, but not great. The next two times they were AWESOME! Shaun Morgan sings one of their signature songs, “Fine Again,” differently every time (something that you tend to appreciate when you’ve seen a band numerous times before). Papa Roach I saw for the first time when they were opening up for Nickelback in Chicago. I wasn’t familiar with their music, but the energy of Jacoby Shaddix (lead singer) soon had me looking up their music and falling in love. I’d almost say he stole the show, if I wasn’t talking about my boys (Nickelback). Now, I’m not going to talk about every single concerts I’ve been to, because, while I’d have fun, you’d be bored to death, but I have to say the best concert ever was Three Days Grace! It’s killing me that lead singer Adam Gontier has left the band. They replaced him with the guy from “My Darkest Days” (I’ve also seen them in concert. Not impressed.) I caught some video of the new Three Days Grace and I have to say, it’s just not the same without Adam.
But I can’t forget to mention my local favs, a band named Merge. There was a time I texted my friend Randy and asked him if he was going to Merge tonight. He replied, “That’s kind of a personal question, don’t you think?” It’s become a running gag since then. I even made t-shirts that had a merge sign and under it, “How would you like to Merge tonight, baby?” or something of that ilk. Merge calls me their “super fan” to my face, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard a reference to “stalker fan.” Merge covers the music scene well, with older tunes, and music fresh off the charts. But their specialty is a medley near the end of the night that mashes together such classics as Rush, “Limelight,” AC/DC “Back in Black” and “Shook Me All Night Long,” Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane,”Metallica, “Enter Sandman,” Van Halen, “Hot for Teacher,” and probably others. It’s like the finale at the end of the fireworks show on the Fourth of July! I feel it’s every American’s right to enjoy a Merge montage at least once in their lives!
Okay. Well, enough of me. Now I want to hear from you! What’s your favorite kind of music? Favorite band? Who did you enjoy in concert? Every step out and see local bands?
If you are into rock music, you may enjoy my rock star romance, ABANDON ALL HOPE. Or maybe you’re not so hot for the music, but still get the sex appeal of a rock star. Either way, I make my rock stars real people so I feel you should be able to identify with them. Here’s a blurb:
It was one of those mornings for newspaper-writer/photographer Hope Creswell. The alarm clock didn’t go off and she cut her finger on broken glass. Not one to let such things get her down, Hope headed into her assignment meeting with excitement, only to leave it stunned. Her new assignment is to trail the sensational rock-star, Chase Hatton, for an article. Chase Hatton! No one knows the power that name holds for her. No one knows of the childhood friendship that blossomed into romance, only to abruptly die on the night of Hope’s senior prom. No one knows of the ache that still fills her heart.
What starts out for Chase Hatton as an average publicity trip to Chicago suddenly becomes complicated when his manager tells him that Hope Creswell will be interviewing him in the morning. He had spent eight years trying to forget Hope, and now she would be in his penthouse in a matter of hours?
When Chase opens the door to his penthouse and finds Hope on the opposite side, his heart begins beating a rhythm the rocker has yet to capture in any of his music. The smoldering embers of their former romance are fanned by their mere proximity. Will they both be burned again? Can Hope ever trust her heart to Chase after what he did? Can Chase bear to see her walk out on him a second time? And what about Hope’s boyfriend, Phillip? Where does he fit into the picture that Hope is developing?
Here’s an excerpt so you can get a feel for it. It takes place when the pair are in high school.
Hope couldn’t remember what they had for dinner that night, only that it was delicious. At the end of the meal, she and Chase escaped to the garage for a game of table tennis. The garage was large, with a low, raftered ceiling holding bikes and boxes, and shelves built into all of the walls along the sides and back. It had a nice, damp, woody scent, albeit somewhat musty. There were center support poles running between the two garage doors, and on one side, a large table tennis table awaited.
The game started off friendly, but soon the pair’s natural sense of competition heightened and it escalated into a battle of major proportions. Hope couldn’t help but notice the muscles on Chase’s arms tightening as he played, his skin tanned from hours at the pool. He shook hair out of his eyes with a smile, and she felt her insides melt like the cheese oozing out of a grilled cheese sandwich.
He found he had his hands full, as the same twist of the wrist that sent a volleyball spinning, also sent a table tennis ball spiraling out of control. She had a knack for hitting the ball just close enough to knick the table before it tumbled out of bounds. Add to this the fact that he seemed distracted at times. She served and his reaction was just a tad slow as the ball hit the paddle, sending it into the net.
“Ohhh!” he groaned.
She grinned. “15-16.” The next serve he didn’t have a chance at.
“Geez! What was that?” he exclaimed as the ball whizzed past him.
“16 all!” She felt something flap against her ankle and reached down, hopping around to keep her balance.
“What are you doing?”
“My sandal strap came undone.” She set her paddle down and bent to fix it, and he went to retrieve the ball from where it had rolled behind a rake. After he scooped it up, his gaze swept across the floor under the table to where she curled her leg up to fiddle with the buckle. She caught his eye.
“Ouch!” he muttered under his breath with a half whistle.
They both straightened up, gazing across the table into each other’s eyes.
He bounced the ball to her.
“Damn straight!” he returned.
The battle raged back and forth until Chase stood ready to serve, the score 24-25, in Hope’s favor. Game point. But from the look of determination on his face she knew he wasn’t about to quit.
“You stick your tongue out when you’re concentrating.”
“I do not!” she replied, slightly embarrassed.
“Yes, you do. It’s cute.”
Hope felt her cheeks get hot. “You’re just trying to distract me,” she rejoined, shifting her feet from side to side like she did on the volleyball court, her paddle poised.
“Darned right I am! I can’t let myself get beat by a girl.”
Before he had even finished his sentence, Chase tried to zing the ball past her, but Hope’s reactions were too quick. With a flourish, she returned the ball, hitting it off the side of the table for the final time as she scored the winning point. She hooted and hollered, enjoying an elaborate victory dance on her side of the garage. He laid both hands on the table, appearing exasperated. Catching his glare, she stopped her prancing.
“Oh. That wasn’t very sportsmanlike of me was it?” She grinned. “Oh well!” And with that she started jumping around triumphantly again.
“I’m going to kick your ass!” he taunted, coming around the table toward her.
“You and what army?” she threw back, skirting around to keep the table between them. Chase faked in one direction and moved in the other, but she wasn’t taken in. She laughed and darted about so as not to lose her positioning.
M J Schiller
MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh, can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has an eighteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and sixteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there. Her cat, Serena, curls up on her feet when she writes and has been there through twelve books.