Hey everyone! I am so happy to announce that Rock God, Hearts of Metal Book 3 is out in the wild! Here is the blurb!
THEY DON’T KNOW THE OTHER NEEDS
THEY DON’T KNOW THE OTHER NEEDS
HE’S THE BEST THERE IS
Dante Deity is revered by everyone who knows anything about heavy metal music, and he’s respected by everyone else. Rich, handsome, and successful, he has a voice like velvet-wrapped lightning and an ability to juggle numerous philanthropic ventures and still crank out hits. When he’s on tour, music is his life. When he’s taking a break, he’s thinking about his next tour—or working on a project that helps him forget he’s alone. In front of him lies his next endeavor.
SHE’S READY TO BE MORE
Shayna Gray is fleeing her past. Tragedy, infidelity, heartbreak: the twenty-five year old has suffered it all. She was strong enough to run, however, like a spunky heroine from one of her novels, and soon she’ll be flying…just as soon as she can walk again. But this time, she has help. Unlike her abusive ex-husband or her bullying mother, the man standing before her is determined she succeed. In fact, Dante commands it. But while his intensity and generosity can easily win her heart, to gain her trust a man must first prove she’s something worth worshipping. Even—or especially—a rock god.
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Writing about a romance author and a rock star was a ton of fun!
And here's an excerpt for you to check out!
Dante and his band were nearing the tour bus when he heard a scream. The terror and desperation of the voice made his hackles rise. Whoever had made the sound was close. Really close.
His bandmates and the band security guards paused then quickened their steps toward the bus. Dante shook his head. That just wouldn’t do.
He headed around the corner of the building.
“What’re you doing, man?” one of the security guards demanded.
“Hey, the bus is the other way,” Zander, his drummer, called out.
Dante ignored them and came upon a sight right out of an action movie. Two thugs decked out in gold chains and basketball jerseys were advancing upon what at first looked like a little girl, but as she scrambled to her feet and wiped the blood from her chin, rage glinting in her dark eyes, he saw that she was a full-grown woman.
Fury welled up in Dante’s chest. Whatever was happening here, it definitely wasn’t cool.
“Hey, assholes!” he yelled. “Leave her alone!”
The girl’s attackers glared at him, and Dante suddenly felt silly. This wasn’t an action movie. He wasn’t a superhero or a martial arts expert. As a lead singer, he didn’t even have a guitar to hit them with. His microphone stand might come in handy, but it was in the truck with the rest of the gear.
At least his interruption had helped. While the thugs were gaping at him, the woman took advantage of their distraction. Dark eyes blazing, she swung her backpack and struck the closest guy upside the head. There was a loud clunk and the guy went down. Whatever was in there must be hard.
Dante started forward again, and the other attacker’s eyes widened before he fled. A surge of triumph washed over Dante, but then he saw that the security guards and his band had come onto the scene behind him.
“If they’d been armed, I’d have sued for hazard pay,” one of them growled.
Julian grunted. “Get over yourself. This is your job.”
At the sight of the approaching muscle, the other thug got to his feet and ran away. The woman limped toward Dante and the others, panting with exhaustion, her chin bleeding.
“Thanks for saving me,” she gasped.
“No problem,” Alex replied, as if he were responsible.
Dante rolled his eyes at his guitarist and placed a hand on the woman’s shoulder, ignoring the reek of dirt and old sweat emanating from her. Clearly she hadn’t had a bath in some time. “Are you alright?”
She looked up at him with rich brown eyes shadowed with dark circles of pain and fatigue…and something else: a drowning grief that seemed to spear his soul.
“I’m fine,” she said in a hollow voice.
She didn’t look fine. Her cheeks were ashen, and her large dark eyes were glazed and heavy-lidded with blatant exhaustion. Not drugs, though. He’d seen enough of that to recognize the symptoms. No, this looked more like he might after a week in the studio, with constant work and no sleep. What had she done to put herself in that state?
As Dante scrutinized her, the woman babbled on. “Did you guys enjoy the concert? I could hear it from out here. The band sounded great.”
She thought they were just concertgoers. Dante exchanged amused looks with his bandmates.
“It was a good show,” he agreed, hiding a smile. “Hey, do you need a—?”
“Could you tell me where the nearest homeless shelter is?” she interrupted. “It’s raining and…” Her eyes rolled up into her head and she collapsed. He just barely caught her.
“Oh, that’s just great,” Zander groaned. “She’s a bum. Put her down, Dante, before you catch something.”
“Fuck you,” he replied to the drummer, lifting her fully into his arms. For some reason she didn’t strike him as a bum, despite her grimy hair and filthy clothes… Something about her cried out that recent circumstances had put her in this state. “I was gonna offer her a ride anyway. The least we can do is take her to a shelter. Can one of you guys grab her backpack?”
Once he had her settled upon a plush bench seat on the bus, Dante tried to wake her up, but she just mumbled and her head lolled to the side. He quickly realized that a shelter wasn’t the best option. Her forehead burned with fever, and her shoes, or what was left of them, were stained with fresh blood. He removed them as gently as possible, which was difficult as her feet were swollen. The remains of her bloody socks came off easier, revealing broken, bleeding blisters. He cringed from both their rancid smell and her whimpers of pain.
Zander drew back. “God, that smells!”
“Shut up and look at this,” Dante growled, though his drummer had a point about the odor. His own eyes were watering. “She needs to go to the hospital.”
Rising from his bench, he repeated that edict to the driver. When he returned, Alex breathed, “Jesus. What happened to her?”
“I don’t know,” Dante said, just as impatient to get answers. Had she escaped some psycho kidnapper? Gotten high on something and wandered through the desert? Run away from an abusive husband…?
“Get a cold cloth or something. Maybe we can revive her and she’ll tell us.” He gently shifted the woman on the seat so that her head was in his lap. Her hair was so grungy that it had started to form dreadlocks, but at least it didn’t smell as bad as her feet. Then he had another thought. “And we should probably check her backpack and see if she has any ID.”
As he reached for the backpack, Dante realized just how fascinated he was with this woman. This sudden mission to aid her had chased away the ennui that always crept up on him between tours and recordings. Helping this poor lady would be a new project, albeit a brief one: only a few hours tops. That was probably for the best, though, as it would be quite a bit more intensive than fostering cats.
Careful not to jar the woman, he opened her backpack. “Jackpot,” he said cheerfully to the others. “There’s a laptop. She’s no vagrant.”
Dom carefully pulled out the laptop and opened it. “No good,” he said. “The screen’s busted, and the case is cracked from bashing that son of a bitch’s head in. And, how do we know she didn’t steal it?”
Dante sighed. “Good point.”
He rummaged through the rest of the backpack, taking out dirty clothes, a power cord and a makeup bag that contained no makeup but several flash drives. It was a shame the computer was broken. There was likely tons of information on each.
He looked around. “Any of you have a laptop handy?”
The others shook their heads.
In the backpack, Dante’s hand lingered on a small powder blue blanket adorned with teddy bears. Unlike everything else, it was relatively clean. Why this and not something more practical? Shrugging, he shoved the rest of the stuff back in the bag. Then he felt a hard lump inside a shirt.
“Bingo,” he said, pulling out a wallet.
The face on the driver’s license matched that of the comatose woman—well, sort of. The Oregon resident, class-D driver Shayna Jones, age twenty-five, looked like an airbrushed model compared to the filthy, banged-up lady on his lap. Only the dark eyes, height of five-two, and cute, upturned nose confirmed that they were one and the same person.
His gaze lingered on her picture for a while before he went through the rest of the wallet. There were an insurance card, a bank card, a Portland library card, and some grocery store cards. That was it. No cash, receipts, or family photos. In fact, the little photo sleeve was reduced to a dangling scrap of clear plastic like it had been torn out…
Actually, a picture hid there in a rear slot. Dante slipped it carefully free, frowning as he realized it was ripped in half. Shayna smiled back at him, holding a newborn baby that was all dimples and eyes. A man’s hand gripped her shoulder, but the rest of his image had been torn away.
Was that who she was running from? Where was the baby?
Dante frowned as he put the wallet in his pocket. The library card looked fairly new, so she couldn’t have been away from home too long.
Julian handed him a wet cloth, and Dante gently placed it on Shayna’s forehead. She gave no response, but at least she was breathing.
Carefully, Dante cleaned the dirt off her face, delicately blotting at the raw wound on her chin. Her brows tightened and her breath hitched, but she still did not awaken.
The bus lurched to a stop in front of the ER building at the hospital. “We’re here,” the driver called.
“I’ll take her in and get a cab afterwards,” Dante said as he slung her backpack over his shoulder. He lifted Shayna, frowning again at her lightness. Between the workouts he got onstage and regular swimming, he was fairly fit, but holding her was too easy. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that she’d missed too many meals.
“You mean, you’re not just gonna drop her off?” Dom asked incredulously.
Dante shook his head. “I want to make sure she’s okay.”
The keyboardist looked bemused. “White-knighting again? You’ll still show up at the after-party, though, right?”
“I don’t know,” Dante said. “Maybe.”
The inanity of it all made his head hurt. Here they were talking about a party when there was an unconscious and bleeding woman in his arms. Yes, this was Sacramento, and yes, comatose people, violence, and drug overdoses were regular sights in the world of heavy metal, but still, the coldness of his bandmates disturbed him. Had they all become so jaded?
At first, the ER staff were indifferent to him and his charge. Besides the usual gunshot wounds being a higher priority, Dante looked liked a miscreant with his long hair and stage attire of leather and chains. But then other people with less pressing issues seemed like they were being helped.
With a frustrated groan, Dante glared at the woman behind the counter who’d handed him a form he’d barely been able to fill out. “How much longer are we going to have to wait?”
“Sorry, sir,” she replied. “We need to check on her insurance before we can put her in the queue. It won’t be much longer.”
Dante sighed. He didn’t do this often, but… “Do you know who I am?”
Just then, the other receptionist hung up the phone, looked at him, and gasped. “Oh my God, you’re Dante Deity!”
The first receptionist frowned. “Who’s Dante Deedy?”
The second rolled her eyes. “Only the king of metal. He was on the cover of Rolling Stone last month. We can’t keep his friend waiting. Do you have any idea how much money he donated to this hospital last year?”
The first receptionist shrugged. “Don’t know him. I just listen to pop.”
“Oh. Well, he’s the guy who married Coll—”
Dante sighed. “Forget about what I said. It’s not important. Shouldn’t you be attending to this young woman, regardless of whether her insurance is valid?”
“Exactly. It’s our jobs,” the second receptionist said, nodding while the first paged a nurse. Then she looked up at him. “Can I have your autograph?”
As Shayna was wheeled off to be treated, Dante signed autographs for both receptionists—and for a few of the other waiting patients who knew him. He should have left then, but something compelled him to stay and make sure she was well taken care of. To talk to her and maybe hear in her own words what had happened. And to find out who she was. For some reason, that seemed imperative.
For the next few hours he flipped through magazines and even managed to doze in the uncomfortable ER seat. A nurse awoke him with a gentle tap to the shoulder.
“She’s awake, and she wants to thank you.”
“How is she?” Dante asked.
The nurse frowned at him over her clipboard. “I’m afraid I cannot disclose medical information without the patient’s consent, but you can ask Shayna.”
Dante rose and followed the nurse. He stopped her just outside of the hospital room. “What are you going to do with her now?”
The nurse shook her head. “If she’s homeless, as you suspect, we’ll have to direct her to a shelter, but what she really needs is at least a week of rest and plenty of food and fluids. And that is all I’m allowed to say unless she gives me permission to tell you more.”
“I’ll take her home with me.”
The words were out of Dante’s mouth before he thought. But, once he spoke, conviction filled his pores.
A person to rescue, something broken to fix, a mystery to solve.
“That is beyond kind of you,” the nurse replied with wide eyes. “But it will have to be up to the patient.”
Dante nodded. “I guess I’ll just have to convince her.”