It's New Year's Eve and ZAM had this great idea to host a yummy tour all about food. The menu is quite extensive; a veritable feast of participating authors offering all kinds of deliciously wonderful treats for your delectation.
May I present your menu
For a central hook up of links for all those offerings, go to ZAM's blog here:
Now, since my books don't tend to feature a lot of food, and I wanted to make a few fun announcements of things coming up next year, I thought I would write a lost "Off Stage" scene featuring the guys from my grunge band Firefly, as their new driver on their tour bus wanders off course and makes an unscheduled stop in Bluewater Bay.
So for those of you pining for more from my little grunge band that could and their circle of friends, you'll be happy to know Off Stage book #3 is in the works, called Off Stage: Beyond the Footlights, and features Kilmer, Jacko, and Tanner, a local pub singer destined to either fix or fracture Kilmer's heart. The jury is still out on if Jacko or Tanner wins the bass-playing cowboy's final submission.
In this excerpt, the Firefly members are supposed to be on their way to a glitzy New Year's Eve party. Sadly, their new bus driver is a terrible navigator and has deposited them in the small, out-of-the-way backwater called Bluewater Bay, and the guys are starving for a good, belly-filling dessert to stave off the hangover of an all night, on bus party and perhaps a bit too much pre-celebratory Champagne.
And for Riptide readers, you might recognize the small coastal town of Bluewater Bay. I've been lucky enough to have a shot at writing in the series, and later this year, I'll be working on a new story featuring Cory, whom you''re about to meet, and some as-yet-unknown love interest. How fun is that???
So, without more rambling, here's a little scene of the guys just being a pack of rowdy, close-knit friends doing their rock star thang.
"It's fucking cold!" Clive tried to curl into a smaller version of his big-boned, well-muscled self for warmth. All the drumming for Firefly made him burly, but left him without an ounce of body fat for warmth.
Jethro rubbed a big hand vigorously over Clive’s bald head and grinned. “You should have let it grow in,” he teased.
“Says the dude with rat’s nests in his hair,” Beks shot over one shoulder. “I’m getting coffee and something that’ll slide down without any work on my part. My head is killing me.”
“Wimp!” Jethro called after his lover. “You shouldn’t have drunk that last bottle of champagne!”
Clive smoothed his own calloused hand over his scalp. “I look shit with hair. Besides, it was supposed to be a New Year’s Eve in Vancouver, so I had to look good. Not that it matters anymore. We are so not getting to the party on time now. Stanley is going to kill us.”
“You’re the one who hired a kid to drive the bus, my friend,”Jethro said. “Not my fault he got so lost we’re in another country all together from where we’re supposed to be.”
“Apparently I’m the responsible one, though,” Clive muttered. “We were supposed to be at that New Year’s party. What kind of publicity is he going to have to spin to make this no-show not be all “the band is a bunch of jack-asses”?
“Who cares, man?” Jethro asked. “We’re Firefly. We do stupid shit all the time. That’s why we have Stanley.” He glanced around. “There.” He pointed, “An info booth. Let’s go see where we are,”
“Who gives a shit?” Beks called to them from the doorway of a café across the street. “Check this place out. All day, all you can eat breakfast. Now that’s what I’m fucking talking about.” Their guitar player, Christian shimmied past Beks into the diner leaving a heartfelt “Thank God” in his wake.
“Still swears like a goddamm sailor,” Clive muttered.
“You didn’t really think the hormones were going to change that did you?” Jethro grinned at the drummer and Clive had to laugh.
"No. I suppose not.”
Jethro pulled in a deep breath and ran both hands down his stomach as he stretched his back out. “God it feels good to walk around. All I need is something sweet and delicious in my belly and I am a happy man.”
Clive nodded. “You go find out where we are. I’m gonna get Damian off the bus.”
“Good luck with that.”
Clive pointed to the bakery across the street from where Beks had disappeared into the diner. “He’ll come out for that.”
It turned out getting Damian to get out in the fresh air wasn’t as difficult as Jethro predicted. Their lead singer was as eager as the rest of the band to stretch his legs and a single mention of the promising-looking bakery had him on his feet and off the tour bus.
“Where are we?” He sauntered next to Clive for all the world the picture of the man before the band had nearly imploded. His hands—and their scars—were hidden behind black gloves, spiked and buckled like the rest of him, and though his hair wasn’t spiked up in all its blue, hedgehog glory, he still looked bad-ass in all the black makeup and swagger, even with the miles-long pink scarf wrapped around his neck and hanging nearly to his knees.
“Bluewater Bay,” Jethro said, jogging up to meet them. “Becks is already in the diner with coffee and a menu, but I want pastry. He ambled with them to the bakery and Clive held the door for both of them as they went inside.
“Hi!” From behind the counter a startling young man with vivid blue eyes and a shock of bleached, spiked hair on his head greeted them with a smile full of brilliantly white teeth wide as spade heads. He wiped his hands on an apron already besmirched with flour and something that looked like grape jelly His grin widened until a dimple popped on his left cheek and his bright eyes became upside down half-moons above round, freckled cheeks. “First customers of the day. You have to get up mighty early to beat the film crew, so that’s saying something. You have any idea how hard it is to keep that many camera men and key grips in jelly donuts? It’s impossible, I’ll tell you that for nothin’. They love their jelly donuts. It’s amazing. Never saw anything like it. Except Amelia. She carries that ginormous fancy camera with all the bells and whistles around on her shoulder all day long, and you would think she’d be built more like a bull than a pretty little doe, but there you have it. Skinny as anything, and no donuts for that girl. It’s banana cake all the way for her. Make it special, you know, and she says it’s what keeps her pretty. If you go for that. I don’t.” He grinned wider, if that was possible. “I like ‘em beefy, hairy and tattooed, if you want to know.” He winked at Clive who scowled back. It was too early for dodging flirtatious bakers.
The man behind the counter waved a hand. “You probably don’t want to know. You’re in first though, and I haven’t talked to anyone in hours. I—” He visibly checked himself with an exaggerated blink and one hand lifted in a stopping motion in front of him. “You’re here to eat though.” He picked up a tray off the counter in front on him. “Donut? Or—hey!” He put the tray down again and waved to the counter behind him. “You want to try something new?”
The three rockers stared at him in silence, awestruck at the bewildering flurry of sound and energy.
“I’m Cory.” The young man held out a hand. “Bought the bakery just a while ago, and well, thought it was going to go under until the show came to town.”
“Uh.” Clive jolted out of his shock and took the offered hand. “Clive. And this is Jet”—he pointed to Jethro—“and—”
“Damian, Yeah. I know. Firefly. Man I love you guys. I love your new guitarist. He’s totally rad.”
Damian frowned and cocked his head. “People still say that? Rad?”
Cory shrugged and grinned. Again. “Sure, dude. You want some dessert for breakfast? Because I can totally set you up with that.”
And because it is the new year, and we should all kick it off right, I'll be giving away a paperback copy of Off Stage: Right, the first book in the band's series, to one of the people who comments on my blog and asks for a copy. I'll make the draw on January 6 at 6:00 p.m.