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- Lynne ConnollyDec 1, 2012
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A big month for me. Not only is it one of my favourite months of the year, it’s the month the second Nightstar book comes out. I really am excited about this series. I mean, every release leaves me checking the websites with an “Is this really me?” kind of wonderment, but the books about the music world have a special place in my heart. Music means a lot to me, and I usually write to a soundtrack.
Although Jace, the hero of “Born on the Bayou” is a badass half-French, half Louisiana guitarist, this book reveals that he also has a soft heart.
And I can finally reveal that the book I’m doing for the Clandestine Classics line is – “Tom Jones!” Those of you who enjoy my historical romances know that I’ve featured the Fielding brothers in quite a few books. They are fascinating characters, and I’ve done a fair bit of research into them, because their lives were roller-coaster ones.
Henry Fielding published “Tom Jones” in 1749, the same year another notorious book came out—“Fanny Hill” (yes, both of these titles have longer titles, but most people these days know them by their shorter names). What I hadn’t realised when I said I’d do this book was the length! “Tom Jones” is a bouncy, boisterous read, bursting with life, so it doesn’t seem that long. Except that it is. Since I’m adding to it, we’re splitting it into four parts, easier to put on ereaders and to navigate, as well as the print version being less heavy on the purse. Eight hundred pages long, this book, but it was an absolute delight. I found it a serious challenge getting into Fielding’s style. The thing about Clandestine Classics is that the modern author isn't allowed to change one word of the original. The rumpy-pumpy has to be added as seamlessly as possible. It’s very hard to do, but I do hope I did the original at least a little justice. I chose the book because it invites this treatment, and I’m not sure that Fielding might have added the naughty bits and taken them out later—there are so many scenes that seem to indicate that.
The first part of “Tom Jones” is due out in January. “Born on the Bayou” is out on December 7th.
I’m also planning to put the books already on Kindle on other platforms, so those of you with Kobos and Nooks can get them, too.
And can I say thank you and “goodnight sweetheart” to Angelo, who graces the cover of “Born on the Bayou.”
When Jace Beauchenne, guitarist for Murder City Ravens, goes home to confront his unhappy childhood, he finds instead the sexiest woman in the world. Seeing the broken-down old plantation house all gussied up and new makes him realize he can’t go back, but Beverley Christmas makes him want more for his future. She lights up his nights, dazzles his days, makes him want more than he has a right to. But he’ll take it.
Beverley didn’t realize men like Jace existed. Rampantly, unashamedly sexy, he shows her how to live, how to open up to new experiences. Having spent most of her life learning her trade in the great kitchens of the world, Jace shows her what bedrooms are for. And every other room in the house. But their paths lay in different directions. Unless they can find a way to combine what they both want, their red-hot affair will end before they both burn.
Everything went black and she gripped the beer crate next to her in instinctive reaction. A slow thump resounded in her ears, under her feet, echoing the rhythm of her heart but just a tiny bit slower. Hunter, the statuesque Swedish drummer for Murder City Ravens began the show.
The lights went up slowly, the backdrop, which was really a mesh of lights, twinkled like stars, flickering on and off to give shifting definition to the figures on the stage. The bass player, Donovan, set up the next, coming in softly under the thunder, subtly adding and setting the mood, dark and lonely.
Then Riku, adding a swirling, otherworldly feel on some kind of electronic doohickey. Only then did Jace come in.
He didn’t creep in or set up a mood. He struck over the top, pushing something harsh and discordant—strong, vibrant guitar, fuzzy at the edges. Clashing, not harmonizing with the others and adding a new, half-scary edge.
Like Zazz’s voice, when he began with a soft croon, building in intensity, singing about loss and bleak loneliness. A stray note from V’s saxophone wound around him, thready and hardly there, caressing him, trying to comfort him, fading away when it failed.
Murder City Ravens wrapped Beverley up in its music. It told her what to think and she let them lead her to places she’d never known before. Finally she realized what Chick had been trying to tell her. This was a single, complete experience drawn out of the consciousness of six very different people. Together they made something else, something new. Something that took her breath away.
Their songs were about living. All the experiences that each had undergone, described in sometimes aching detail, as much through the music as the lyrics. Sometimes people found each other, and this band had done just that. The earlier incarnation of Murder City Ravens had been a great rock band, one that could have earned its living, but this—this was something else. Although they played songs she’d become familiar with, they sounded different, took her to different places than they had on the album, as if Murder City Ravens was a living, breathing entity. Of course it was, and her lover was an integral part of it.
Every member of the band was as important as everyone else. Losing any one of them would destroy what they had. When Matt, aka Maxx Sycorraxx, had left, the band had recruited and changed. V, the last member to join, had completed it. If she left, they’d be something different, and the same went for every member. Unlike Chick, who wanted to preserve the current lineup, she could see the fluidity and appreciate that if someone left, they’d change, but not necessarily be worse.
On the other hand, the songs about loss and joy and the corrupt nature of the world appealed to her inner self. They kept her wondering, opened questions she’d pushed into the back of her mind. This music challenged her.
Like every other fan, she wanted more.
The performance passed in no time at all. The band took her and the rest of the audience through an experience, inviting them to participate. A few numbers involved samples from local people and local TV stations, pictures flashed up on the screens on either side of and above the stage. Altogether, the concert was a crafty combination of pure musicianship and dazzling light and video work.
At one point, during a slow, sensuous song, Jace connected with Beverley. Their gazes clashed for a fraught moment, but she didn’t know if he’d really seen her or if he was dazzled by the bright lights focused on him. Nevertheless, she felt the connection. It mattered to her.
It appeared it mattered to him too. Although his spot was on the opposite side of the performance area, he made a point of crossing over to her, taking her chin in one hand and delivering a long, leisurely kiss. As if he had all day.
He broke away and struck a chord, grinning at her. Exactly on time, and she laughed for sheer joy.
Buy the book here after 7th December, 2012
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Lynne Connolly, author of sophisticated and sensual romance
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