I’m Tyler Lindsey, and until recently, I had an okay apartment, an okay girlfriend, and an okay job as a bellboy at a respectable Boston hotel. Then rock star Chris Raiden died right before I brought his room service—stiffing me on the tip, by the way—and my life went to hell. My fifteen minutes of fame was more like five seconds, and my girlfriend left me in disgust.
But even worse—Chris is haunting me. Not the room where he died, like a normal ghost. No, somehow he’s stuck to me and is insisting on taking care of a bunch of unfinished business in California. So now I have to traipse across the country with the world’s most narcissistic ghost.
But . . . I keep having these weird thoughts. Thoughts about how much I like the way he makes me laugh. Thoughts where I kind of want to kiss the emo-narcissist, even though he’s a ghost and an asshole and I can’t touch him anyway. And even if I could, what will happen when he finishes his business and nothing’s keeping him here anymore?
Hi, I’m Lauren Sattersby, and this is the blog tour for my very first novel, Rock N Soul! I’ll be featured on various blogs over the course of the tour, and I’ll be sharing deleted scenes, playlists, answers to questions, and some of my thoughts on what it’s like to write a ghost story and make it both hot and romantic. Comment on each spot to be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card to buy some books from Riptide Publishing!
After I finished Rock N Soul, I tried my hand at a prequel story written in Chris’s point of view that would follow his time in Incite the Masses and then overlap a bit onto RNS. As I was writing, I was really struck by how individual characters can “feel” so different when writing, and Chris and Tyler have dramatically different voices in their first person narration. Where Tyler is snarky and fast-thinking, with punchy one-liners and jokes even in his internal thoughts, Chris turned out much slower, dreamier, and much more disjointed than Tyler. He thinks like a poet, which is fitting given that he ended up being a songwriter and musician.
I decided not to finish the prequel, mostly because it would have to have an unhappy ending (Chris is dead at the beginning of Rock N Soul, after all!) but it’s an interesting look into Chris’s character to see how he thinks about the world. So for your reading pleasure, I present a deleted scene from Chris’s point of view.
“You’re crazy,” Tyler says, looking at me out of the corner of his eye and gesturing at the TV screen. “Clearly Kirk is a better captain than Janeway. I mean, are you fucking kidding me? He’s Captain Kirk.”
I smirk, because it annoys him and I like it when he rolls his eyes. “That’s because you’re a sexist prick,” I inform him. “You only like Kirk more because he’s a man and you’re threatened by women in authority positions.”
“Not everything is a social issue, Chris,” he counters. He eats another forkful of his disgusting microwaved noodles and slurps to get the ends of the pasta in his mouth and I try to convince myself that the urge I’m feeling to lick his chin is completely because I have some sort of nostalgia for cheap noodles and not because it’s so easy to sit here with him and talk about nothing and everything all at the same time. “I’m judging them on their merits and you’re judging them on the fact that one of them is a woman and so you feel male guilt at admitting that she’s just not as good of a captain as the others.” He waves his plastic fork at me and continues, “And it has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with the fact that she’s not badass enough to be a captain.”
“Just because she’s not waving her cock around at aliens all the time—both in sexy ways and in nonsexy ways, might I add—doesn’t mean she’s not a badass,” I point out. He’s fascinating when he’s animated like this, and nothing animates him like a nerdy Star Trek conversation so I spend a lot of my free time thanking my lucky stars that I’d bothered to watch Trek when I was alive.
He rolls his eyes at me but doesn’t fight it anymore, and green eyes are really pretty rare, comprising only 1-2 percent of the people in the world. Or so an article I once read said, anyway. I believe it, though, because my eyes are boring brown and so I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about how it would be to have beautiful eyes. Any color other than brown, really. Eric’s eyes used to be blue like the edges of the universe and all the possibilities between here and there, but for a long time now they’ve been blue like the metallic taste in your mouth just before you’re sick, the smell of bleach and cold ceramic and the residual alcohol on your tongue, and I can’t remember what color Tori’s eyes are at all and I’m not sure if I ever even noticed to begin with.
Tyler’s eyes are the color of the first leaves that peek out from the trees after winter ends and looking at them is like looking into all the springs you have in the future, the warmths and the resurrections and the rebirths, and I would tell him that except that he would make fun of me because this isn’t like that. But his eyes are springtime and peridot, fresh-mowed grass and the way that summer feels between your toes, the color that floods your brain when you’re convinced that you are young and alive and indestructible and he would give me so much shit for saying that out loud but it’s true, and part of me wants for it to be like that because I’ve never known what it was like to be happy and I’m happy when I’m with him, even though he’s a ridiculous little pissant and I want to strangle him half the time.
But he doesn’t want me that way. And isn’t that the story of my fucking life.
Lauren Sattersby works as a budget manager by day, but while she’s at her desk mindlessly crunching numbers, it’s a good bet that she’s also writing M/M romance in her head and counting the minutes until she can get home and write it all down. She is a grammar enthusiast, which is why she has a Master’s degree in technical writing, but that tends to scare friends away so she keeps that to herself.
Lauren lives in Wisconsin with her partner and their three terrible cats. She’s a recent transplant from a thousand miles further south, so she still gets crazy excited about snow. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found playing video games or scouring the countryside looking for interesting birds.
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To celebrate the release of Rock N Soul, Lauren is giving away $25 in Riptide credit! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 23, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!