So today Im putting an excerpt of Giving Up the Ghost for your reading pleasure... and I hope you will give it a try!
Giving Up the Ghost
A 13 Shades of Red Novel
Rhys Bellamy is the front man for the wildly successful 13 Shades of Red, a band hailing from New Orleans that is just a bit more then they appear. He’s sexy, caustic and on a path of self destruction that has everything to do with the fact that he can speak to the dead. A man hounded by the death of his fiancée, Rhys is a lothario of the highest caliber. His life, his band, and his agony celebrates his lost love, Phaedra, and it has made him a very popular man with the ladies, even if they will never mean anything to him. Too bad Phaedra has never and will never contact him.
When the band’s first US tour meets with some unforeseen management issues, Saffron Richards is brought in to take care of it. A veteran of the business, Saffron knows all about Rhys and his reputation and doesn’t want to become another notch on his belt. Too bad fate has it in for the both of them, and gives them an attraction neither can deny.
But life on the road with an up and coming band has its problems, from bosses to groupies to just plain old flat tires. And Phaedra, who has been watching from the mists and reveling in the misery of her lost lover doesn’t want to see him happy. Being together is harder than it sounds, especially when Phaedra crosses the veils on All Hallows Eve to reignite the love that Saffron has set to ash in Rhys. And Phaedra is not giving him up without a fight. Not because she loves him, but because she doesn’t ever want him to forget.
Sound check. It figured she would get there late. She figured a straight flight from JFK would have gotten her here on time, but a torrential storm and a 5 hour backed takeoff were the culprits. No matter, she was here now, and ready to work.
Xxieda had told her to find Nyx, she would have all the info for her, so after she had made it up to her room, she came back down to the event space to search for her new band.
She walked in to the drummer and guitarist playing a song, an instrumental. Nyx still nowhere to be found. She stood there, listening. Regardless of the style of music, these guys had talent. Loads of it.
The drumming got softer and she saw Rhys walk out and scream out the beginning of the one song she knew. Holy shit. She blinked. Wow. Talk about a 180 from what she first heard. He wasn’t playing to the crowd, because there wasn’t one.
He turned as the bridge started, but didn’t look out yet. She had a chance to look him over and sighed. Tall, emo sexy in the ‘I don’t work out but I’m cut as hell’ way, his ass and better things hugged perfectly in the jeans he wore, leaving nothing to the imagination. She had ten bucks that said he didn’t wear underwear. Perfect emo haircut, long in front, falling over a side of his face, shorter in the back, she suspected it didn’t have any product in it, but she was sure it was because he wasn’t pandering to the crowd. His skin was pale, in contrast to the bassist he was standing next to, who had the sexy caramel color of a guy used to being in the hot Louisiana sun. Clearly Rhys Bellamy wasn’t a huge fan of the sunshine.
That was when he turned and started singing to the crowd, or more appropriately, her. His eyes locked on her and Saffron had chills. Holy Hell. Now she knew why girls got wild over him. That look was pure sex, so at odds with the screaming coming out of his mouth. His eyes flashed in the lights hitting him, giving him a more sinister air but it didn’t matter, that look had done its job, and Saffron tried not to fidget as he watched her.
Once again the music changed up and he started singing, really singing. He was good. He sang a line and looked right at her and winked and then turned and the music changed again and he started screaming, the breakdown getting heavy. If she was in the pit right now and there were fans there, she knew she would be getting her ass kicked. Well she was sure if she was on the east coast she would. West coast hardcore kids, by all accounts, couldn’t hold a candle to their east coast counterparts. East coast kids were brutal.
The song ended abruptly and they all looked at each other. Rhys turned towards the sound guy. “Perfect Jerry. Thanks.” He said and hopped down off the stage and strode, well, it was more like a swagger, towards her.
“This is a closed sound check. How did you get in Cher?” he said as looked her over and licked his bottom lip. His voice, when he wasn’t singing, had a sexy Cajun lit to it, thick and smooth like a good bourbon.
She cocked her head, getting a really good look at him. Hot damn, the Cajun was hot and the accent, she tried not to squirm under the scrutiny of his eyes. She was in trouble. His eyes were green, but with honey running through it. Most would call them hazel, but the green was just too vivid, like moss after a rainstorm. She could feel the cool around her. Damn.
“I’m looking for Nyx.” She said with a clear, non lust drenched voice. She was quite proud of herself.
“Nyx? Why would you look for her?” he asked and walked closer. The accent was thick, and sexy.
“Is she around?” she asked and looked around him, trying to ignore the effect he was having on her. In all her years, men didn’t affect her as such. Why of all people would she would get the urge from a guy reported to be an even bigger slut than Madonna in her heyday?
“She is. Backstage. I could take you back there.” He looked her over. “I don’t see a pass anywhere on that amazing outfit.”
Saffron rolled her eyes. Okay so he was digging on her. That went with what she knew of him and his exploits. All signs pointed to the fact that he was quite the lothario and she was sure he was getting a semblance of his full come on.
She smiled at him. “Nyx? It’s kinda important.”
He pouted and shrugged, clearly not happy with her impervious nature. He probably relied on his charm and accent with women. It wasn’t that she didn’t like it, she did. More than she cared to admit. But this was work, not play, and while she would revisit that look he gave her later after she had gone to bed, right now was all about proving she could do this.
She followed him behind the stage to a corridor and then through to a set up of rooms. He walked to one and rapt loudly on the door. “Nyx? Some hot chick is here to see you, and she is not fazed by my charm whatsoever.”
Nyx opened the door and looked at Rhys, then at Saffron and smiled. “Oh thank god!” she said and went to Saffron and hugged her.
Rhys leaned back against the wall and smirked. “Now that’s what I’m talking about. So who is she? Cousin? Sister? Nah you don’t hug family like that. Ooh Nyxie did you happen to start playing for the other team? Not a bad choice if I do say so myself. Can I watch?”
Saffron almost choked. Nyx turned to Rhys and frowned. “Hardly, you oversexed bastard. This is Saffron, our new tour manager.”
Saffron smiled at him and he just paled and shook his head. “Knew this was too good to be true…”
“Why?” she asked and detangled from Nyx, surprised at how okay she was with the other woman’s affection. Normally, she didn’t get chummy with other women. It leads to catty bullshit.
Rhys smirked and looked her up and down and pushed off the wall. “Forget I said that, I reserve the right to pass judgment until a later date.” He winked. “Welcome to the insanity Saff.” Then he turned and walked back towards the stage and the waiting band.
Nyx sighed. “Well he just threw down the gauntlet. Good luck with that.”
So... what do you think?