Scattered Thoughts Hosts Boys In The Band Blog Tour and Contest

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is the latest stop on the Boys in the Band blog tour, with authors L.A. Witt, Paula Coots, Rowan Speedwell, and Cecilia Tan. Each of these writers has brought a rock star to life in a recent romance release, so they got together to talk about music, musicians, love, and good old “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” Today they answer the question: “What’s the biggest challenge when writing about a rock band or rock star?”

Scroll down for the answer and a chance to win a prize pack of all four books!

You could win:

LAW_WiththeBand_coverin_200tHard rock band Schadenfreude is finally on the verge of the success that’s eluded them for the last several years. With Aaron McClure as their new lead singer, nothing’s going to stop them…except maybe a steamy, secret relationship between Aaron and bassist Bastian Koehler. Aaron knows all too well what can happen when band members get involved with each other. After all, his last band was a casualty of his last relationship, and Schadenfreude forbids band members from dating for that very reason. But Bastian is too hot to resist, and besides, it’s just sex, so what’s the harm? Their passion in the bedroom is rivaled only by their ambition as musicians, though, and pretty soon, it’s going to tear them, and Schadenfreude apart, if they can’t get back to playing with the band.

Music is the driving force in Reed Lang’s life and he’s hit the jackpot when it comes to signing a major label deal and scoring a hit single oranother_rock_star_200t two. It’s never an easy task and certainly not for an out and proud gay man, even in this day and age. Now, it’s time to hire the backing band, shoot the videos, do all the promotion work and get out on the road. But what happens onstage is only half the show. When the wild energy onstage can’t be contained some become more than just hired hands. Friends. Mentors. Tormenters. Lovers. Surviving the circus of the music business, the rigors of the road, staying true to your art and discovering your heart show Reed that maybe there is more to life than being just another rock star.

????????????????????????????????????????It’s the 1980s, the era of MTV, AIDS, and Just Say No. Daron Marks is trying to make it as a guitar player in an industry where the whole world is the closet. Keeping his sexuality a secret would be a lot easier if he hadn’t developed a huge crush on his band’s lead singer, Ziggy Ferias. In fact, everything would be a lot easier without his crush on Ziggy… except for fame itself. In the latest volume of Daron’s Guitar Chronicles (volume 5), Moondog 3 are on the road. Is the tour bus the pressure cooker that will meld them together or will the pressure blow them apart?

Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he’s tired of the empty life ofIllumination cover groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. Miles Caldwell is a brilliant artist, tied by agoraphobia and social anxiety to his family’s lodge. Alone but for his parrot, he spends his days illuminating manuscripts and hiding from the complexities of life. Somehow, the man who’s never home and the man who never leaves it must find the strength to fight for a future together.

Today’s question for our four authors: “What’s the biggest challenge when writing about a rock band or rock star?”

L.A. Witt: Song lyrics. Dear lord, song lyrics. I cannot write lyrics to save my life. With the Band has some lyrics in it, but those were actually written by Lia Wolff, my beta reader, who has considerably more talent in that department than I do. If I tried to write them, they’d come out sounding like something dreamed up by One Direction after some bad peyote.

Paula Coots:Trying to write about music itself is like trying to describe color to someone who has never seen it. You can evoke the essence of it–you can never quite capture the sound with words.

Rowan Speedwell:  Pretending to know anything about contemporary rock and roll. While I still listen to contemporary music, it’s not my overriding interest, the way it was when I was younger. I cherish quiet now, so I can go days without listening to music. Most of what I catch is in a movie or when one of my friends or nephews sits me down and poke earbuds in my ears and say “Listen to this!” I like music, but my taste is very eclectic, so it was very hard to sit down and imagine one specific kind of music, one “sound” that would belong to Adam’s band. I finally focused on the music of U2, which spans not only decades but musical styles. Then I had people who know much more about contemporary music read what I’d written and tell me where I went wrong.

Cecilia Tan: For me the biggest challenge has been keeping the details of rock and roll life realistic without overwhelming the reader. Daron narrates in first person, and sometimes he really wants to go into technical aspects of touring or of playing guitar. Sometimes I have to rein him in. Fortunately most readers are at least a little fascinated by details, like how difficult it is to park tour buses near certain venues. It’s necessary to do a lot of research to get those details right, though, and sometimes the answer can’t be found. Since my book takes place in the 1980s, a lot of these venues have been torn down. I invent when I have to, but I like using as much real detail as possible!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a prize pack including all four ebooks below!

About the Authors:

  • Paula Coots:After seeing David Bowie and his lead guitarist, Mick Ronson, when she was eleven, Paula knew what she wanted to do with her life. Her plan was to play lead guitar in a band and hopefully make it big, and then after that focus on writing. Well, she didn’t “make it big” as a rock star, but she has had her share of traveling band adventures as a lead guitarist over the past twenty five years. And now she writes!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaulaCootsBooks
Twitter:@PaulaRCoots

  • Rowan Speedwell lives in a tarpaper shack in the North Woods, without so much as cable TV to keep her warm. She is allergic to publicity and loathes marketing, so her books only sell one or two copies. If you have one, she thanks you, as your purchase enables her to buy cat food for her diabetic feline companion, Kimball O’Hara.

Website http://www.rowanspeedwell.com
Twitter: @RowanSpeedwell

  • Cecilia Tan mostly writes erotica and science fiction/fantasy, but she started writing Daron’s Guitar Chronicles back in the eighties and is still writing it today. She is the author of Slow Surrender, The Prince’s Boy, the Magic University books, and many other novels and stories. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners GLBT Writers Hall of Fame in 2010 and is currently a nominee for the RT Magazine Career Achievement Award in erotic fiction. She lives in the fantasy utopia of Cambridge, Massachusetts with her three cats and her partner of 23 years.

Daron serial website: http://daron.ceciliatan.com
Blog: http://blog.ceciliatan.com
Twitter: @ceciliatan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thececiliatan

  • L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

Website: http://www.loriawitt.com
Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com
Twitter: @GallagherWitt

Visit to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/38252b1/, a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other stops on the Boys in the Band Tour:
Dec 4  Sinfully Sexy Books
Dec 6 MM Good Book Reviews
Dec 10 Pants Off Reviews
Dec 11 Mrs. Condit Reads Books
Dec 12 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Dec 13 Chicks After Dark
Dec 14 Sid Love
Dec 16 Em Lynley’s Literary Love Shack
Dec 19 Joyfully Jay
Dec 18 Boys in Our Books
Dec 23 Elisa Rolle’s Reviews and Ramblings

The Rank Few and their Rank View or When By The People and For The People Went Into the Dump and The Week Ahead In Reviews

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One of the many aspects that people either love or hate when living in the Washington DC Metro area is our constant bombardment of information of and about the Government.  The constant stream flows from our radios, tvs, cable, computers, phones, tablets, seemingly from the air itself.  It keeps us informed and aware of things happening in the government (whether we want to or not). I would even say that most of the people who live in this area work for the government or it has an impact on their work in some way.  Its Inside the Beltway at work and normally I kind of enjoy it.

Not now.

Now the government is shutdown and I am angry, and feeling helpless to make a difference in a situation that never should have happened in the first place.  This has effected me in so many ways, from the people I love, my family, my friends, acquaintances, all who are on furlough, those working and not getting paid, everyone who is impacted by this idiocy., including myself.

All those wondering how their mortgages will get paid, how will they put food on the table, or even get gas to bring them to the work they are not getting a paycheck for.    I see and hear it in the voices of cab drivers and food truck operators with no one to drive or feed,  hotels vacant because the tourists have gone home or have cancelled their trips.  From the front desk to those cleaning the rooms and hallways, and everyone else involved in the hospitality business, all are impacted, all are hurt.

What about those 30 children just admitted to a new cancer program at NIH, a last hope certainly and one that is frozen along with all the other protocols patients enrolled in specialty care need so desperately.  What about that person who needs a serious operation now.  It was scheduled then all leave was cancelled, no exclusions, no exemptions.  Who looks them in the face and tells them no? Even those hoping to get married or WWII veterans hoping to see their memorial? It’s certainly not the idiot Congress at the helm of this shutdown.

I, along with countless others, have called my representatives, Republican and Democrat, to voice my anger that the needs of the people who put them in office are being ignored, dismissed entirely because our views are not considered important.  The phone lines for all, especially the Republicans are constantly busy.  And when I did get through, I got a voice mail, saying all mailboxes were full.  No one is answering the phones on those offices.  But turn a camera in their direction, and they have time to expound on their importance and what they see as their own path to power and glory.

I am embarrassed that those people voted in to help their constituents have decided to help themselves instead.  The rank few with their rank view, those petulantly powerful, those gasbags of arrogance who should have been helping the government work has shut it down instead.  A fight was picked that they knew they wouldn’t win for the express purpose of shutting the government down.  They are confident that they will never have to come face to face with the millions they are hurting in the process.

And they are probably right.

Will they be visiting the people they made homeless?  Or those standing in line in the food banks?  Those in the hospital and those out of work because they lost their jobs or their businesses?  I don’t think so.  For these type of people its never their fault.  Their self-importance and arrogance overwhelms all else, leaving others to suffer for their selfishness and need for even more power.

The United States Constitution starts out as “We the People”, not We the Few and Powerful.  I think those Senators and Representatives who have shut down the government, need to be reminded who and what they represent.  They need to sit down and listen as someone reads to them the documents on which our nation and our freedoms are based.

Right before the signatures on the Constitution, the following paragraphs appear:

In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety–perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each State in the Convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude than might have been otherwise expected; and thus, the Constitution which we now present is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession, which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.

That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State is not, perhaps, to be expected; but each will, doubtless, consider, that had her interest alone been consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others; that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe; that it may promote the lasting welfare of that Country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish.

Where is their adherence to those words and feelings expressed above?  Lacking, tossed aside in favor of their own positions and small minded thoughts.

How sad,, how infuriating, and how un American.

Now for the Week Ahead in Reviews:

Monday, Oct. 8:         Northern Star by Ethan Stone

Tuesday, Oct. 9:         Starry Knight by T.A. Webb

Wed., Oct. 10:             Enigma by Lloyd A. Meeker

Thurs., Oct. 11:           The Night Visitor by Ewan Creed

Friday, Oct. 12:           Guest Blog by Playing Ball Authors

Sat., Oct. 13:                Playing Ball Anthology

Buy A Story, Help A Food Bank! Guest Blog by Sarah Black

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I don’t know about all of you, but I am astonished at how high the food prices have risen.  Even only a few basic staples in the basket shoots my bill skyward.  So you know that all the local food banks are overwhelmed by families and individuals in need.  Sarah Black is giving everyone a chance to contribute to the food bank in her new state by donating the proceeds of her story, Wild Onions, at Amazon.  I will let her tell you in her words.

And while you are reading this story (and helping feed those in need), don’t forget about your local food banks too.  Our help is needed everywhere! Thanks, Sarah!

Eat! Eat! Welcome Back to Idaho, and a New Story by Sarah Black

Now we’re settled in Boise, the kid and I have resumed our volunteer jobs at the Idaho Food Bank. Mostly we’re sorters. For a two hour shift, we take bulk food, such as dried peas or instant mashed potatoes, and portion it into person or family sized plastic bags. Sometimes we have barrels of donated food from food drives, and we make up family food boxes. Each box should hold some canned veggies and fruit, some canned meat, rice or pasta, bread, etc. It always seems we run out of canned fruit first, and some boxes don’t have any canned tuna or chicken at all. We also make up backpacks—these backpacks go home with kids on Friday from school and have enough food for the weekends, though the word is the kids usually share with their younger sibs.

I’m obsessed with feeding everyone, have been for years. It seems pretty normal to me. I remember my great aunts and grandmother cooking for hours, in steaming hot kitchens with no AC in south Texas, southern Louisiana, hair frizzing madly in the humidity, but nobody went hungry and nobody went home without some food to hold them over for the trip. Nothing fancy, but beans and cornbread can feed a lot of kids. Food, and feeding people, was something of a holy calling for the women who raised me. The stories from the Dust Bowl, the Depression, when we lost our farm and could no longer feed ourselves from our own land- these stories cast a long shadow over my family. The old men were still talking about what had happened, what they should have done, when I was a kid.

And of course I read The Grapes of Wrath when I was 16, an impressionable age, and this story echoed the family stories I’d heard growing up, about losing the land, being hungry, not having any way to feed the kids. It’s been a long time since anyone in my family went hungry. In fact, I’m writing this with a peanut butter and jelly, Fritos on the side, at my elbow. But I remember the stories I’d heard growing up. And I saw an echo of those stories when I first came to Idaho, back in 2007.

I went to work as a Nurse Practitioner in a clinic that served people experiencing homelessness. That’s the politically correct way to say it. We used to say, poor people. Hungry people. Hungry kids. People with no food, and no way to get food. So this idea of hunger, for me, went from old family stories from 1935, to a person fainting in the lobby of my clinic from hunger, or a kid coming in for shots, telling me he’d had a ketchup sandwich for supper but no breakfast yet, because they were still waiting for the week old muffins at the shelter.

The Idaho Foodbank is a cheerful place. There is usually a waiting list for volunteer jobs, and for the most part the people in these volunteer jobs are not working off their court-mandated community service. I like working there, trying to make a little food stretch a long way. But food is expensive and healthy food is even more expensive.

What I decided to do, to celebrate moving back to Idaho, is to donate a story to support the Foodbank. I published a story of mine called Wild Onions, set in Salmon, Idaho, at the Kindle store on Amazon. This story was originally published in a print anthology called Scared Stiff by MLR Press. The list price is $2.99. For each book sold, I’ll donate a meal to the Foodbank. On November 1, I’ll report back here the number of meals donated and books sold.

I’ve put some pictures up of the Salmon River, and the beautiful Idaho backcountry, and my kid on a camping trip. He and I have put away some hot dogs and marshmallows roasted over a campfire. I will only say, and I have said to him, that I am now officially too old to crawl into that tiny tent and sleep on the ground. But I’m not too old to help out at the Foodbank. I hope you’ll help me buy some healthy food in time for the holidays, to share a little in the land of plenty.

Here’s the link to Wild Onions: WILD ONIONS

Wild Onions by Sarah BlackTHE YEAR was 1882, and the last of the native tribes had dropped to their knees and slipped on their yokes under the boots and guns of the US Cavalry. The Blackfoot were the last, and then the buffalo hunt failed. The vast plains were barren and empty, and the people began to starve. Desperation spread like poison across the land. Evil men, seeing their chance, fed on the hunger, ate the clean hearts of the people. The blood that was spilled in 1882 has not been avenged today. The ghosts are waiting for someone to set them free.

Robert looked over to the corner of the porch. Their old fishing poles were leaning against the screen. He carried them back to his chair, started untangling the nylon fishing line. Val’s pole was for serious fishermen, a supple thin Orvis fly rod with a reel full of braided yellow nylon. His pole was cheap, from Wal-Mart, with a soft cork handle and a reel with a sticky thumb button. Val laughed when he saw it, said it was for little boys fishing at reservoirs.

He put Val’s pole back in the corner, carried his down the slope to the river bank. It took him a little while to find his balance again. He didn’t try to get into the water. That would probably be too much for his shaky leg. But after a few casts he got his rhythm again, let the weight fly out low over the water.

There was a splash a bit upriver, and a moment later a young man appeared, walking down the middle of the shallow river from rock to rock in green hip waders, dressed in the dark green uniform of Fish and Wildlife. He had a fishing pole over his shoulder and a woven oak creel. From the weight of it on his shoulder, Robert could see he’d had some luck. He was Indian, Blackfoot, maybe, and his long hair was tied back at his collar. He raised a hand in greeting.

Robert nodded back. “Evening.” He reeled in his line, and the man watched the red and white bobber bouncing across the water in front of him.

The man’s face was impassive, but he blinked a couple of times when he watched the line come out of the water, bobber, lead weight, no hook. No fish. “I guess I don’t need to ask you if you have a fishing license,” the man said. “Since you aren’t really fishing.”JamesGlacier012_zps07940ef6

Robert nodded to the creel over the man’s shoulder. “Looks like you’ve had some luck.”

The man eased the basket off his shoulder, dipped it down into the icy river water. “Yes, I sure did.” He slapped the Fish and Wildlife patch on his uniform shirt. “Course, I don’t need no stinkin’ license! Just another example of the generalized corruption of the Federal Government.”

Robert grinned at him. “Wonder how many times you hear that in the course of a week? We must be in Idaho! I’m Robert Mitchell.”

The man reached for his hand and they shook. “I’m Cody Calling Eagle.

Buy link for Wild Onions at Amazon

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