Typically rock stars are dynamic and self-confident. They live for the spotlight. Some might say they’re too cocky for their own good. So how did I end up with a shy hero in my latest rock star novel, Hot Ticket? That’s just Jace Seymour’s nature. He’s the newest member of the rock band Sinners and has a difficult time fitting in with the members of his band because he’s not the best at interacting with the crowd.
Here’s a peek at Jace onstage with lead singer, Sed Lionheart, who doesn’t have a shy bone in his body.
There wasn’t much light for Jace to find his own yellow X taped on the floor. At least he was behind the front line and somewhere in the middle. Here he could probably hide behind Sed’s broad, muscular form.
The first thump of Eric’s bass drum kicked Jace’s heart rate up a notch. He entered the first song, “Twisted,” with his steady bass line progression. His bruised and swollen fingers protested every note. By the time Brian entered his solo, Jace could scarcely force his fingers to move at all. Trey found a speaker to sit on. He typically strummed his rhythm guitar shreds with great enthusiasm, but several stumbles into his mic stand had him seeking a stable place to rest. He did manage to play without problem, as long as he didn’t move around much. When Sed roared into the mic at the end of Brian’s somewhat screwed up solo, the singer broke off mid-note with a cough. He cleared his throat and tried again with no success. Jesus, what a disaster.
When the song blissfully came to an end, Jace rubbed his stiff and aching knuckles while Sed called to the crowd and told them they were the best audience ever. Same thing he told every crowd. He made no excuses for the band’s unusual suckatude. The only one who was performing anywhere near normal was Eric. As Eric was the main reason they’d gotten into a club brawl in the first place, it didn’t seem fair that he didn’t suck as much as the rest of them.
Since Sed’s singing was subpar, he apparently decided additional showmanship could make up for it. He dove into the crowd in the middle of their set’s second song and seemed oblivious to the fact that he missed singing the vast majority of the lyrics, as the crowd passed him hand-over-hand above their heads. If Jace had tried that crazy shit, he’d probably have been tossed on the cement and trampled to death. Security rescued Sed from the writhing crowd, and he eventually made his way back to the stage.
“Hell yeah. You crazy muthas know how to rock!” Sed cried into his microphone. “Who’s here to see Exodus End?” He thrust a fist in the air as the crowd erupted into cheers. He cleared his throat. Winced. Turned his volume down to a lower roar. “My throat’s a bit sore tonight. Note to self, do not get into fights in strip clubs the night before a show, no matter how hot the chick is.”
The audience cheered Sed’s debauchery. Jace couldn’t help but smile. The more trouble Sinners got into, the more their fans loved them. Occasionally, they had to act like, well, sinners and maintain their mostly fabricated, dark image. They waited while Brian and Trey traded their usual electric guitars for acoustics to play their next song, “Good-bye Is Not Forever.” The two guitarists flanked the sides of the stage, sitting on platforms, as they strummed the intricate riff of the band’s one and only ballad. Sed sat on the front of the stage, his legs dangling over the edge, and sang his heart out. Requisite knot in his throat, chills raced down Jace’s spine at the sound of Sed’s amazing voice.
The only one standing, Jace felt incredibly exposed. He took a deep breath, his fingers finding the thick, metal guitar strings and appropriate notes by memory. Concentrating on producing the perfect sound—which wasn’t easy with his knuckles so swollen—he approached the front of the stage, standing between Sed and Trey. His eyes scanned the crowd, taking note of the sudden enthusiasm of several young women in the audience as he entered their view. Jace saluted a particularly excited twenty-something with two fingers, and she grabbed the hem of her T-shirt. She lifted both hands over her head, screaming at the top of her lungs, as she exposed her naked breasts to the band. Sed glanced up at Jace and grinned. Not to be outdone, Sed lifted his shirt and flashed a pair of hard pecs and his washboard abs to the Lady Sinners in the first few rows. The squeals of the women in the audience made Jace’s ears ring, even over the music filtering in through his earpiece.
Sed tilted his head at Jace, as if to say, your turn. Jace shook his head and took several steps backward, his temporary desire to interact with the crowd completely obliterated.
Does Jace every get over his shyness with the crowd? A little, but he’s not one to need the spotlight to feel good about himself. That’s what he needs his heroine, Aggie, for.
Question for readers: If you were a rock star would you be more like Jace (shy) or Sed (completely outgoing) or would you be somewhere in between?
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About the Author:
Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, USA Today Best-Selling Author Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians.
Raised on hard rock music from the cradle, she attended her first Styx concert at age six and fell instantly in love with live music. She’s been known to travel over a thousand miles just to see a favorite band in concert. As a teen, she discovered her second love, romantic fiction — first, voraciously reading steamy romance novels and then penning her own.
Olivia’s first book in her Sinner’s Tour Series, Backstage Pass, was published in 2010 by Sourcebooks. Book two in the series, Rock Hard, was published in 2011 and the third book, Double Time just released November 2012. The last two books in the series are expected to be out in 2013. Aside from the Sinners Tour that launched her career, Olivia has been hard at work on a few other series and stand alones . . . of course with the music turned up.