A Giveaway and Blog Tour for my newest release… Baby’s on Fire
Welcome once again to the Baby’s on Fire blog tour and giveaway! As you may know (and for those that don’t), throughout this tour I’m going to be touching on some of the rumors, gossip, and events that took place in the late sixties and early seventies music world.
One of the coolest things about this (far too short) period of time was the way that people (young people in particular) took to the concept of freedom of expression. It wasn’t just in what they wore, or the glitter that they dabbed onto their cheekbones – it was in the things they said and how they said them. For a couple of years, people got to experience what it was like to say what they wanted, when they wanted, without societal expectations getting in the way. Hell, for some it became the societal expectation.
Not so surprisingly, that occasionally caused some “issues” when it was being presented to a person that had been raised in the (for the most part) very strict, very proper forties and fifties.
Please keep in mind that it is not my intention to pass judgment or attempt to make the reader pass judgment on any of these performers. I ask, for this post, that you, awesome blog tour companion, try not to focus too completely on what was actually being said, but to consider instead the musicians and their fans subsequent reactions to what was happening, and the reasons behind why the band did it.
** Please note that none of these posts are indicative of the main characters or the instances in my novel Baby’s on Fire. They do, however, give a very clear indication of what the MCs would have been experiencing both time-wise and with the reactions/mindset of the people around them.
The Sex Pistols Swear on the Telly
Back in 1976, William Grundy was an English television presenter and host of Today, a regional news program on Thames Television that regularly attracted millions of viewers in the London area. Grundy was born the son of a hardworking factory owner and became a graduate from Manchester University. His main interest in life was journalism and Grundy landed a news caster’s job with Granada when it opened in 1956. While there, Grundy got the opportunity to present the then-almost unknown Beatles when they performed their first hit, Love Me Do, and quickly gained a reputation as a witty and provoking interviewer. He was offered the job with Today and accepted.
On December 1, 1976, Freddie Mercury of Queen (scheduled for an interview with Thames Today) was forced to cancel due to ill health. EMI decided to use the opportunity to send their latest signing, the Sex Pistols instead. The Sex Pistols showed up in full punk regalia, with their lead singer, John Lyndon (aka Johnny Rotten) wearing a swastika armband, and a group of hanger-ons that they brought on to the set with them. They were dressed to shock, seemingly stoned out of their trees, and gave not a single fuck about any of it.
Nobody needs to explain the anti-establishment sentiments of punk music – nobody here in this day and age, anyway. However, Grundy, whose musical tastes were mostly classical, and who had worked hard and fought tough to get where he was, took an instant dislike to the group. It’s said that Grundy set out to not only embarrass the band, but to destroy them at the same time.
I’ll let you make your own opinion on whether Grundy edged the band into where things ended up, or if he was merely sitting back and became the victim.
(contains explicit language, obviously)
Whatever side you decide to fall on, Grundy gained national attention for the interview and it ultimately destroyed his career. It also did more than Grundy would have ever imagined, elevating the Sex Pistols to infamy, and letting the whole world know that punk rock had arrived on the scene – and that it was more than willing to kick anyone in the balls if they tried to get in its way.
My huge thanks to Rainbow Gold Reviews for having me today, and a special thanks to you, my friends, for joining me. 😀
Until next time!
AF Henley ❤
In 1974 Gerry Faun gets the break of his life—an opportunity to meet gorgeous, openly bisexual, glam-rock idol Mark Devon. Mark’s world is new, exciting, and Gerry finally gets to explore the side of his sexuality that he’s kept hidden. But the press is everywhere, and when Gerry’s father gets wind of what’s going on behind his back, Gerry ends up on the street. Mark offers to let Gerry come along with the tour and Gerry jumps at the chance. The tour is a never-ending party—and the start of what seems to be a perfect relationship for him and Mark. Until Mark’s manager decides Gerry isn’t worth the trouble he’s stirring up.
In 1994 Gerry is finally coming out of some tough times—he has a job that pays the bills, a car that hasn’t quite broken down, and a small rental in Jersey City. After a decade of barely getting by, if life was as good as it was going to get, Gerry figures he’ll manage just fine. It would be easier if he wasn’t still haunted by the man the media won’t let him forget, the man who stole his heart and then broke it… the man that’s shown up pleading for a second chance
Gay Contemporary Romance
Copyright © 2015 by A.F. Henley
Published by Less Than Three Press
Please note: Novel contains explicit sexual content.
For what seemed like the hundredth time, the traffic in front of Gerry Faun came to a slow-rolling halt. It was the rain doing the most damage, though the end of the workday was always ugly on the streets of New York City. Not that there were many pretty things on the street, regardless. Giuliani was trying, but the way Gerry had it figured, it was going to take more than a smile and a stand on graffiti and marijuana to clean up their kind of dirt. So while the rest of the city offered the mayor awe-induced stares of appreciation over recollections of Mafia Commission and Boesky trials, Gerry mostly sat back and speculated. When government officials got clever enough to stop assholes from blowing up pregnant secretaries and hard-working fathers, then they might actually get his attention. Until then, Gerry wasn’t putting any more trust in them than he would anybody else. He’d learned a long time ago that not all that glitters is worthy.
He was lost in thought enough not to acknowledge the tunnel. He was, in fact, well into it before he remembered to take off his sunglasses. He forgave himself the digression. It had been a long week. Though Gerry worked in the financial district, he was no more than a glorified yes-man for his boss, a real estate broker that had made a fuck-ton of money in the eighties, and was merely coasting until the inevitable retirement. He ran errands and answered phones. He took messages, and booked flights that he was more than sure did not drop Mr. David Manon in places of business. He made reservations in exclusive restaurants, paid Mr. Manon’s membership fees for a gym the man never went to, and bought Manon’s anniversary and birthday gifts for the wife-of-the-moment. Gerry had a flair for it, or so his boss would tell him whenever the requirement came up, and Gerry was cocky enough to verbally agree with Manon every time. Damn right he was good at it.
Tail lights suddenly flared in front of him and Gerry cursed and slammed his brake pedal down. His eyes flicked between windshield and rearview, assessing space and distance, and he blew a sigh of relief when he confirmed that the guy behind him had been paying more attention than he’d been. Maybe it really was time to give up the car.
He’d heard it a thousand times from friends, family, and casual observers: public transport would not only save him money, but they swore up and down it would save him time. God knew gasoline was getting more expensive by the day, and parking costs in the district were insane. Gerry considered it pretty much every time the numbers went up on the billboards beside the gas stations. One day he would, he’d tell himself. One day for sure. When he could convince himself that walking the six blocks from the bus stop in Jersey’s bitter January winds wouldn’t be as appealing as slitting his own throat with barbed wire. When he got over his control issues.
The side road whereby Gerry’s rental home waited for his return was already jammed with cars, so instead of parking on the street, Gerry carefully worked his 1984 Buick into the tiny concrete pad that served as his driveway. He nudged the car as close to the house as it would go, wincing when the fender butted against the foundation and the ancient bow window above him shook with disapproval. While some of the properties on the street had given up parking for an attempt at a front lawn, Gerry couldn’t see the point of bothering to maintain a six-by-eight square of greenery and have to fight for a place to park every day. Besides, what was the point? In the summer everything got so damn hot that his neighbors’ plants and grass got their lives choked out of them. In the winter, anything that had managed to get a hold on the Earth was quickly destroyed by the cold and the snow.
Looking, he was sure, about as sexy as a maggot trying to escape from a nostril, Gerry inched out from between his car and the base of the entranceway steps. His suit wasn’t worth that much, but it was worth too much to go rubbing it up against rain-mucked concrete or the wet door of a car that hadn’t seen an auto-wash in months. His breath puffed out from between his lips, the rain making October that much colder, and Gerry lifted his eyes to the sky. Dark, ominous clouds roiled in the gray heavens, and Gerry had serious doubts that the light rainfall was all the skies had in store for them.
In the second it took for Gerry to muse, a deep rumble of thunder broke, a distant sheet of lightning answered the call with a flare of brilliance, and the drizzle became a downpour. Without bothering to spit out the curse on his tongue, Gerry ran for the front door. The porch roof did nothing to protect him as the rain whipped against his back and legs, and he had to seat the key twice before it finally dug in and allowed him to open the door.
Dripping, mumbling, Gerry slammed the door behind him with a definitive clunk and flicked the deadbolt. He kicked off his shoes, sighing as small rivers of water raced across the lopsided flooring of the hallway, and he began to peel off of his wet clothes right where he stood. He might as well only drown one part of the house, and at least that particular location was vinyl tile. Most of the house had decades-old carpeting that, when wet, released all kinds of odors. None of them good.
With his wet clothes piled in his arms, Gerry stepped gingerly down the narrow hallway, and ducked into the bathroom. He dumped the armload into the tub, and grabbed a towel off the rack.
He didn’t pause to look in the mirror and fix his hair. The cut was short, short enough in fact that he barely had to brush it, and that always seemed to make his sister chuckle when she saw him. There was a time when God himself wouldn’t have been able to get him to cut his hair—when the arguments with his parents would grow to screaming matches over the bangs in his face and the uneven lengths that fell past his collar. But everybody grew up. Eventually.
When I first heard the title of the book, Brian Eno’s song of the same name ran through my head. When I read the blurb, it sounded like a perfect title, not only because of what happens in the story, but because the song was representative of the era this story takes place. Though Eno was a glam rocker, the character Mark Devon seems modeled after David Bowie, including his alternative persona, Maxx Starlight.
I think the author of this book captured the decade of the 1970’s perfectly. When small town boy, Gerry Faun, called Fawn by Mark was kicked out of his house for being photographed kissing Mark at a club, he was lucky enough to go on tour with the rock star he was beginning to fall for. A good portion of the story takes place in that decade when free love was popular, and when drugs flowed like water, especially in the music industry. Parts of it reminded me of the movie Almost Famous, with it showing some of the perils and traps of being a rock star on the road. About how being a musician idolized by millions of fans, didn’t mean that you were taken seriously or cared about at all by the record labels and agents in charge of your career. The pressures ended up being too much for the couple to thrive and that’s why part of the story takes place 20 years later, in 1994.
Though 1994 doesn’t seem that long ago, (I mean I graduated that year, it can’t be that historical) it amazed me how much has changed from then and now. Cell phones were out, but not everyone carried one. The lack of technology of that time, made me realize how different the 90’s were from the present day. I really thought the author did a great job writing in these two decades, and I really cared for the characters. Mark made some mistakes in the past, but it seemed to me that he was trying to make up for it. I understood Gerry’s frustration and anger with his attempts as well, but part of me wanted him to just get over it because there was something epic in their story that I thought transcended the time and distance between them. It was enjoyable reading about their journeys through the two decades and even into the present day epilogue.
I definitely recommend the book to anyone who loves second chance romances with a trip through time. I loved it.
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
Find more here:
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-F.-Henley/e/B00FIODWSK/
Publisher’s Page: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/author-a-f-henley/
On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a set of ‘Crystal and Silver’ Glitter Ball Earrings, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Baby’s on Fire. Click through for terms and conditions, further details, and your chance to win! See all the details here:
** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.
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