Since the moment he picked up his first guitar, Dez Conway dreamed of being a Rockstar. A multi-talented musician with the ability to play the electric violin, electric cello and even the bass, he’d be an asset to any group of musicians, if only the bands who’d hired him over the years had truly thought that way. Instead, he’s singing for the dishes in an upscale restaurant, bitter, pissed off and unwilling to entertain the offer to replace the front man of the world-famous Deviant Angels. After all, why the hell would they be any different than the guys who’d kicked him to the curb in the past? Only…they’re not the Deviant Angels. Their longtime front man took the name with him when he left, along with their hopes of getting back on the road again and playing the music they love. Of course, a talented musician like Dez could change all that for them, if they can convince him that this time, his dreams of rock stardom, and love, can actually come true.
A talented musician tossed to the wayside, a struggling band, striving for one more shot. A once in a lifetime opportunity at making heavy metal dreams, and love, come true.
Ask the Character:
If your best friend had to describe you in five words, what would they be?
Loyal, Honest, Talented, Reckless, Broody
Which song sums up your life and why?
Turn the Page. I grew up on the Bob Seger version, but the Metallica one hits me a little harder, maybe because it’s closer to the music I pay. I feel like it epitomizes the experiences I’ve had over the past fifteen years. So many days and nights melting together, broken up only by those truly exceptional moments when I got to perform on the big stages with musicians who aspired to be as much, if not more, than I did.
Not to say there is anything wrong with the coffee houses and dive bars, because the right handful of people can make you feel like you’re performing in front of thousands. But there is something about the lights, the pyro, the lighters waiving in the air, stage diving, feeling the energy you put out magnified back at you in waves that just…that’s a high that lasts for days. I don’t know if it’s the narcissist in me or the coward seeking validation that drives me to get up there, I just know that my life isn’t the same when I’m not playing.
How do you deal with stress?
Music, weed, staring at the sky until everything else fades away. The road, getting on my Honda Shadow and riding until I can’t feel anything, or at least what was stressing me out. Deflection, working out, ice cream, lots of ice cream which ends up necessitating the working out. If it’s a person stressing me out, I’ve been known to put their picture on a dart board and whip darts at it until I was no longer stressed or pissed. Maybe not the best coping mechanisms but they work.
What motivates you?
The music. Full stop. It was my first love and I’ve never stopped trying to get better. One of the reasons I play several instruments is because learning a new one forced me to pay more attention to the ones I already played, notice subtle nuances that I never did before, and tweek my style so it’s ever evolving. I’ve never wanted to be one note or grow stale. I figure the moment that happens, the moment it’s time to give up because it’ll mean I’ve lost my passion for it. I plan to be like my idols, playing well into my sixties, maybe not shirtless, but I’ll be up there just the same.
If you could be in any book, other than your own, what would it be and why?
Desolation Angel. I had the opportunity to play with those guys in Philadelphia and New York. They have an amazing sound and Dare is phenomenal, the guy can seriously shred and he’s got a way with the fans that’s almost hypnotic. Being in their book would mean getting to play with them more. My only hope is that somewhere along the line, they’re on the same booking as we are.
Are you spontaneous or a planner?
Spontaneous, sometimes to my detriment. I’d actually have to say I’m more impulsive than spontaneous, really. I get something in my head and I forget to think, then I’m left with a mess or cutting my loses. Kind of lost touch with some of the people I cared about that way.
What are you passionate about?
Again, the music. Playing, writing, performing, I love the creative process of turning words into lyrics and lyrics into songs and then sharing them with the world. It’s a process of evolution, and when those notes start to come together, and the whole band is working in harmony to get it down, its magic. Sometimes I feel like the only way I can relate to people is through the music, so yeah, I’m passionate about it.
Losing touch with friends. Running away. Not saying things when the moment called for it. Not taking chances on love and relationships.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Also, what’s it filled with?
Half-full, with rum punch and plenty of space to add more.
It’s 10:00 on a Friday night. Where are you?
On stage with my guitars in my hands, dripping in sweat and rocking out with the audience.
For the author:
Where can your readers stalk you?
Layla Dorine can be found at:
Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor
Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine
Bio: LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HHSK4TT/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Layla-Dorine/e/B01IRRLBNW/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Tattered-Angel-Road-Rocktoberfest-Book-ebook/dp/B08HHSK4TT
Jade Nash is a giver.
She gives up on hope.
She gives up on love.
She gives up on the truth.
What Jade doesn't anticipate is giving in to uprooting the past, especially when she vowed to never let it affect her future.
Seth McCullough is a breaker.
He breaks promises.
He breaks records.
He breaks hearts.
What Seth doesn't anticipate is breaking the cycle, especially when he vowed not to, because that would mean breaking the rules.
What a Tease...
A hand firmly gripped my upper arm. “I’ve been looking for you,” a male said sternly over my shoulder. “Sit. We need to talk.”
My eyes flicked down at the vacant seat, but I didn’t submit to Miles’s request as I yanked my arm away. “I think you spoke enough for both of us at the pool.”
“Fine. Stand. I don’t care.” He paused. “Do you know what your problem is, Nash?”
I sat down with a look of defiance to let him know he didn’t control the situation. “Aside from the arrogant dick who just ruined my night, I don’t have a problem.”
“You’re destructive.” Miles’s eyebrows pulled down and together while he straddled the chair across from me, his eye contact refusing to break away from mine.
A ball of laughter burst from my mouth before I could stop it. “Me? I’m the town massage therapist for fuck’s sake. I fix people.”
Miles pulled a familiar, wrinkled cocktail napkin from his pocket and tried to flop it flat aggressively with a few flicks of his wrist. He gave up and pinned it down with his near-full coffee cup. Dark liquid sloshed up over the side. “Not big enough, anyway,” he muttered.
“For what? Your ego?” I rolled my eyes, doing my best to tune out Jewel’s FoolishGames wailing on the jukebox.
Miles’s gaze locked with mine again, frustration teeming behind near-black irises. Without looking down at the table, he reached for a checkered paper placemat and held it at eye level. “See this? It’s me before I met you. Pristine. Zero issues.”
I did my best to ignore the pained tension creeping through my shoulder.
“And this,” he crumpled the placemat tightly into a ball, the loud crinkling sound drawing attention from surrounding customers, “is me after I walked through the doors of your office. But no matter how much,” he flattened the paper on the tabletop with a forceful palm, “I try to fix it by ignoring you, it’s not the same.” The placemat had deep creases and wrinkles when he held it up, the top corner flopping forward. “In some jacked up way, you keep ruining me.”
My face heated and I hated that Miles McCullough got under my skin. “That’s where you’re wrong.” I snatched another mat from a nearby place setting. “This? It’s still you. Two-dimensional. Disposable. But there’s a difference.” I carefully ripped the paper, leaving a one-inch piece connecting the two halves together. “Try and deny it to make yourself feel better, but you were already ruined and hanging on by a thread when we met.”
Ask the Author...