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Off the Record

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I'd love to say I've been busy writing all the things and being fabulous, but I can't. My absence involved needy kids and surgery because I'm a klutz. But that's ok! Because I'm back and I have a new novel about half done. It's called Off the Record, part of the Love Rocks anthology, and I love the premise: the story of a rocker girl named Devi who becomes like Kelly Clarkson famous, told intermittently through her own eyes and articles by people who cover her. I need motivate myself to finish, so every week I'm going to post some of it here.

So here you go: a snippet from Chapter 1!

“She rolled us into auditioning for The Last Chord,” Jess continued as Mark joined them, sitting across from James and mirroring his stance. “She got us out here, and then she started flaking. She missed rehearsals, and she wouldn’t take the voice lessons they offered her. I honestly don’t know why they didn’t boot us out a long time ago.”
Devi shook her head. “Your band is solid. She was always the question mark. You guys are good enough to win on your own, but I don’t think she has the pipes to sing Already Gone well enough to earn the grand prize. And I think she knew it, too. The more she threw attitude on the show, the worse her vocals were that week. You’re better off without her.”
“Thanks, man.” Mason smiled.
Jess carried on as if she hadn’t said anything. His anger grew with every word. “I’ve been saying all season that she was only using us until a better offer came along.”
“And we thought he was paranoid, because that is what Jess does best: paranoia.” James tipped his head at his twin with a shrug.
“The man never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like,” Mark teased.
“Shut up! I was right and you know it,” Jess burst out, standing with enough force to knock his chair backwards.
“He was,” Mason conceded, closing his eyes with a sad shake of the head. “She sent us a text this morning to let us know she found a producer who wants to get her solo career started, and she couldn’t make it to the finale tonight.”
“That’s some weak tea, y’all.” Devi pinched her lips.
“A little bit,” Jess said bitterly.
“I don’t get why you think I can help you,” she added. “My voice won’t do you any good at this point.”
“We think you’re wrong.” Mark beamed at her. “What if we get you onstage and you sing with us?”
She burst out laughing. “I see one huge problem with this. I look nothing like Raina Skye.”
“We can work around that,” James insisted.
“I don’t know what color sharpie you’ve been sniffing, but y’all won’t fool anyone. She’s five foot nothin’ and maybe a hundred pounds dripping wet with blonde hair. She’s as all-American white girl as it gets. People might buy that she got her hair dyed black, but one look at my quads and the eight inches I have on her, and no one is buying what you’re trying to sell.”
“I have an idea,” Mason said quietly, looking her right in the eye. His brown eyes pierced hers. “Do you trust me?”

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So I think it's great that people are talking about fake news these days, because fake news is at the heart of Off the Record. I have a sleezeball paparazzo named Derrick Fuchs (it looks like a swear word, but it's pronounced 'fooks,' a purposeful play on words to immediately show what a douche nozzle he is) in the novel. He writes his articles based on the latest gossip without really caring who he hurts or how much of it is made up. I haven't decided yet if the reader gets to meet him, but the excerpt today is the first article we see from him. Enjoy!

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Quick summary: a gay man was offended that this publisher (who uses #cleanreads to promote their books) doesn't accept submissions including gay story lines or characters. 
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