That’s what I’ve been doing today, rocking out at the annual Homegrown music festival in Wellington, NZ. It’s a pretty cool event, with six sound stages from Dub ‘n’ Roots, to Electronica and the Rock Stage. Every act comes from NZ, hence the homegrown name. Geddit?
Three sessions stood out for me today. I baked in the scorching sunshine and ate ice cream while dancing to Tomorrow People. I watched an odd, but fascinating jazz-rap fusion band (Raw Collective), and I rocked out to NZ’s favourites, The Feelers. I’m slightly deaf, croaky when I speak, and have pink shoulders (despite sunblock!), but it was a pretty awesome day, and I look forward to going again next year.
It seems fitting that I should finally write and publish my hot rockers romantic suspense series. Lying in Shadows, the first in the Event Horizon series was released a week ago, and on March 10, the next in series comes out. This second book (Two Nights in Houston) is a romantic novella to fill the gap until the next in series comes out later this year. I wrote it to give closure to one couple from Lying in Shadows, but it works pretty well as a standalone too.
Hope you like the excerpt.
I’m off to put up my feet for a while 🙂
Two Nights in Houston (Event Horizon 1.5)
Rock God Alex is in love with Sylvie, the bass guitarist in his band. Alex longs to tell her how he feels, but with the change and tragedy that have shaken her world, it never feels like the right time.
Event Horizon’s two-night layover in Houston could either be the perfect opportunity, or the mistake that pushes her away.
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Uh oh. Any minute now, there’d be an explosion. And it wouldn’t be pretty.
Alex doodled a picture of a bomb on the pad in front of him and stretched a thick black fuse from the centre, while he flicked a sideways glance at Sylvie. Her mouth a tight line, she curled one hand into a fist on the table. He sketched a match with a flame at the end and started the countdown in his head.
The latest hapless reporter at the press conference gushed some more. “So tell me, Sizzle—may I call you Sylvie?”
“You can call me Sizzle.”
The reporter continued, undaunted. “There are rumours about your relationship with the other band members. One in particular.”
Sylvie arched one eyebrow and fixed the journalist with a stare that could form icicles. “Really?”
Cameras flashed, as they jostled for position, waiting to see her reaction. The reporter pressed on. “Is there anything between you and AJ? As the new bass player in his band, you must spend a lot of time with him.”
Silence reigned, as Sylvie stiffened her back and raised her chin. On Alex’s other side, rhythm guitarist Charlie snorted with laughter that he managed to turn into a cough. Alex trailed a biro line from the match flame. Any second now…
“AJ and I have an excellent working relationship.”
He bent his head, ready to hide his grin.
“I believe that’s what I said in yesterday’s press conference, too,” said Sylvie. The press guys waited. “And you know what? I said that in the conference last week. And the week before.”
Alex doodled a tiny heart. God, she was sexy when she was angry.
“And I’ll say it again next week, until you eventually listen. Hello, can anyone actually hear me?” she said.
The band manager, Frankie, shifted in his seat.
Sylvie hardened her voice. “AJ and I are just friends. I’ll spell it for you.” And she did just that.
Alex drew another heart next to the first, then scribbled rapidly over both of them. Stupid git.
Frankie cleared his throat and squirmed some more. Alex didn’t know why Frankie got so stressed. It wasn’t as though Syl’s outburst would have any adverse effects on their publicity or the album sales. The Event Horizon comeback tour would make them even more massive than they were.
Sylvie paused, and Frankie leapt in. “Are there any questions for the other band members?”
A ferret-faced guy stuck his hand in the air. “A question for AJ. How are you finding it, performing with Sizzle on bass instead of your late brother, Sam?”
Here we go. Alex leaned closer to the mic and produced a smile. “We’re all very pleased Sizzle joined the band. She’s a great addition.”
Ferret-face pushed further. “It’s not even two years since he died. You must miss him.”
Stupid question. “He was my little brother. I miss him every day, but I’m dealing with it.”
A busty blonde came next. “I have a question for Charlie.” She played with her hair. “You’ve only got two nights in Houston, so how do you rate the girls here, Charlie? Prettier than Dallas?”
Alex sat back and watched his best friend answer. “If you’re an example of a Houston chick, then yeah. You blow Dallas into the dust, baby.” Her excited squeal brought a wicked smile to his face. “You doing anything later, gorgeous?” he asked.
The conference was almost finished. Mick, the drummer, answered a few questions in his usual laid-back way; Frankie reminded everyone of the next few venues; and then the pretty girl doing PR rambled about backstage passes and VIP tickets.
Alex blanked it all out, intent on watching Sylvie without her noticing. Her temper leashed again, she maintained a polite facade, although she sat on the edge of her chair as though planning to flee at any moment. Clouds of dark hair tumbled down her back, and he longed to run his fingers through it. What would he give, to wake with her nestled against his chest, her hair spread across his pillow? Yeah, right. The last thing Syl needed was Alex chasing after her.
His mind leapt back to a freezing February afternoon on the beach near his remote North Wales home, six months ago. Sylvie was in his arms, after she’d agreed to join the band. He promised he’d wait for her, however long it took. They never referred to that conversation since. He began to wonder if he dreamed it.
One thing was for sure. With each day that passed, Sylvie being in a real relationship with him seemed more unlikely to happen.