Stalking Rock Stars …

… changing tenses when writing and my Aubrey Beardsley Art Nouveau lock screen just for the hell of it.

The four queens you see in my lock screen there look pretty pleased to have happened upon the lovely Lancelot. He’s just hanging out sleeping innocently in the garden. And what are they doing? Stalking him much? I think so, after all he was the gorgeous rock star of the Arthurian court.

Queenly stalkers aside, right now, in the romance genre first person point of view and, increasingly, present tense are popular ways for authors to write. Just to be different, both my rock romance books are written in third person past tense. Undeniably, there’s something satisfying in the immediacy and the flow of first person present that makes it incredibly fun to dabble in.

In Siren’s Wave I used it for the more poetic mystery-dreamer sequences. I enjoyed writing them so much that in book two I’m using a similar device—present tense third person—for Bran’s mystery stalker’s chapters. Here’s an example  … warning Australian spelling coming right up. This one’s called WATCHER.

EYES FIXED ON the movement of his shoulder blades, the girl stands hypnotised. Frozen, watching every ripple of muscle, angle and glide of bone. The perfect curve of his butt in faded jeans. The golden hair falling in messy waves around that face. Those sinful lips.

All of it hers.

All of him, hers. Well not hers quite yet, but very soon. Not that cow’s that he pampers like she’s some lust-worthy queen to be obeyed and bowed down to. Ava. What a cobwebbed-spinster-Aunt’s name.

He reaches the front of stage, eyes scanning the swarming crowd, and the drone rises, rushing at her ears.

It hurts.

To distract herself from the wildness, the zapping inside her head, she concentrates on his fingers turning guitar pegs, adjusting and feeling into the sound, like he always does.

Watch him. Watch him and don’t think of anything else. Especially not her.

“Hey!” he shouts into the mic, long and deep. “Y’all hot enough?” The crowd reaches fever pitch and he turns to grin back at Nate. His laugh stabs at her chest. An attack she has no desire to protect herself from.

The endless sea of fools all wanting a piece of him, scream. And scream. They lurch and push forward, fingers reaching and mouths gaping like black holes. Wanting to swallow him up.

She knows the feeling.

She stands motionless but for the head she nods in sync with the drum beat.

Up and down.

Down and up.

In a steady pattern, so she won’t look out of place.

And she watches.

Excerpt from Siren’s Wave Book Two.

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Bad Bran, Angry Ava …

. . . VS Brave Bran, Amiable Ava.

Gorgeous shot of Hanna Sorheim and Ton Heukels by Matteo Montanari for Cargo Collective.

“Well, that’s confirmed it. I reckon you’re about seven parts optimist and three parts moron. That’s a dangerous combo, Ava.” – Bad Bran, Thin Ice.

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Christopher Mason looking very Bran-like

“Finally,” she said. “You’re a bit slow, aren’t you?” His scowl grew. Don’t believe me. I’m lying, she thought. The words tried to break through her lips, but she wouldn’t say them. He needed to move on already, bother a different girl. – Angry Ava, The Kitchen.

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Ton Heukels – Partners in Crime shoot crop for Patrizia Pepe by the very talented Nima Benati

Gripping the table with both hands, his eyes gleamed a translucent blue-green like chunks of raw beryl. “I . . . well . . .” He closed his eyes, rubbed his forehead and took a breath. “How can I say it, Ave? You’re the water. The wave. The ride. The whole lot.” – Brave Bran, This is What You Want.

“Okay then. I know you’ve never said it in the whole of your life. It’s hard. I understand that and I’ve been patient, but it’s only three words. And if you mean them, it should be okay, right? So I’ll be the brave one and say it first.” She took a big breath. “I love you.” Ava grimaced at her food. “Wow, it does make you feel vulnerable. But does that help?”  – Amiable Ava, This is What You Want.

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Siren’s Wave Paperback …

the verdict is in … dal-russels absolutely love it!

I really couldn’t believe it when I glanced down at Lola. She just happened to be reading my paperback copy of Siren’s Wave, an angsty rock and roll love story. I interrupted her at the part where Bran says …

“I’m only kissing you, Ava. I don’t need anymore.”

Just like Ava, Lola certainly didn’t look fooled by his statement.lola-lay

In fact, she looked mournfully back at me with her sweet chocolate eyes, surely asking … “Do you think Bran might like girls with pale white skin all covered in irregular black dots?”

It was difficult, but I told her, “Well Lola darling, I hate to break this to you … but you’re … um … a dog. So, no, I don’t imagine that you’re his type.”

Clearly disappointed, she gazed vacuously at me then comforted herself by licking her toes for a spell. Satisfied with her work, she got back to reading, absorbed once more. Phew! Unhappy dog disaster narrowly averted.

After a time, I felt her staring at me again and was surprised to see this expression …lola-lick

Absolutely terrifying! What could she mean by wielding her tongue in that wicked manner? I can only guess that she’s really enjoying the story. Bad dog Lola.

Note: No dogs were harmed in the taking of these photos. Treats were very much appreciated, though.

Siren’s Wave paperback now available to order online at Amazon.com, Booktopia, Fishpond, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository and more …

The Astor – Melbourne’s much-loved landmark Art Deco cinema

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Running since 1936 – the Astor – with its decadent choc tops and eclectic mix of both classic and current double feature movies – is hard to beat when looking to indulge in a cool and uniquely Melbourne experience.

The Astor’s quarterly calendars, lovely works of art in themselves, have graced the walls of many an illustrious and not-so-illustrious share house over the decades. See what a joy the calendar is … well, that’s only half of mine … it’s huge!astor-calendar-sirens-wave

It was the bloody Spanish Inquisition. Her underarms started to sweat accordingly.

“Izzy and I have just come out of the movies.”

“Oh yeah? What did you see?”

“A double feature, ‘Crimson Peak’ and the nineteen thirties ‘Dracula’.”

“A double feature. And a classic too. Sounds like a pretty cool theatre.”

Ava couldn’t help but warm to the topic and her enthusiasm trumped her reticence.

“It is! The Astor’s amazing. It’s a decaying art deco beauty and the perfect place to hang out with Bela Lugosi.” She felt him smiling as he made attentive listening noises.

“Tell him about the cat!” yelled Izzy.

“And there’s this gorgeous cat, Duke, who lives there and lolls around on the couches in the foyers. And sometimes he comes and sits on a lap during the movie. He sat on Izzy for most of Dracula, purring away like a furry heat machine. She’s over the moon.”

He gave a husky laugh and she remembered how it felt breathed into her ear in the dark.

“Sounds very cool. I should have guessed you’d have a taste for the Gothic, Ava. You know, I feel like I missed out. Why didn’t you invite me?”

Once again, he’d shocked her into muteness. Then she rallied. “I’ll text you the details. You and the boys should go, you’ll love it. It’s the best place.”

Ava – Siren’s Wave novel – extolling the Astor cinema’s virtues and wondering why on earth hot-rocker Bran is calling her … surely he’s not ringing to just … chat?

Siren’s Wave – Bran Floundering in the Water

Well no, not really, Bran’s beauty is a tad more Nordic than this poor shipwrecked lad’s.

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The Siren – circa 1900 by John William Waterhouse

In the mirror, he saw wet, stringy waves of hair hanging like seaweed about his face, two days’ worth of golden-brown stubble, dark smudges like kohl under his tired, blue eyes and worse, he could clearly see the painting on the opposite wall. Waterhouse’s ‘The Siren’. Shit.

There she sat on her rocks of doom, long mahogany hair streaming down towards the wretched fellow who clung there in vain, too focused on her to be aware that he was drowning in the water. A wave of nausea pulled Bran under. The look on the guy’s face. He fucking knew that feeling, utter terror, mixed with an all-consuming, yearning fascination.

– Bran, coming to unhappy terms with his Ava obsession, Siren’s Wave Novel by J.A. Hazel.