For now, we have an excerpt.
Instead of me sharing on here the first 3 chapters that Bold Strokes Books has posted on their site, here's a glimpse of the one of many of my favorite moments/scenes from the book:
The heels of my platforms clopped loudly in the wings. Panting, I caught my breath, and smiled when I saw Benson, Phil, Tim, and Larry standing single file near the stage sideline, as glammed up as I was. I stood behind Larry.
“Where the bloody hell were you, man?” Phil asked me, smoothing down his shiny piano key tie.
“Last-minute piss. Sorry.”
Larry snorted, cradling his purple bass guitar. “Took you long enough.”
Benson raised his brow at me. “You okay? What’s with the mascara tears?”
“Too much mascara. Made me all teary. Didn’t have time to fix it.”
Tim’s eyes lit up as he embraced his shiny bronze saxophone. “Finally, the man is here.”
I looked over my shoulder and saw Izzy sashaying toward us. His fans couldn’t have seen him, yet they roared as if they knew he was back there.
“It’s show time!” Izzy said joyfully, a proud mama-papa bliss in those baby blues.
He pointed two fingers at his eyes, then he shaped his fingers, four of them, into a heart. After he spun on his heels, as graceful as a ballerina he stopped and pointed one finger at us. Quickly and in unison, I and the gang reenacted the same I love you signal back at him.
“You’re on, Diamonds!” someone from management shouted.
I shook the last-minute tension out of my hands, taking one last breath. Benson stepped to the stage first. The crowd’s roar boomed, spiking higher when Phil, Tim, and Larry went. Then it was my turn. The gold, purple, and pink stage lights weighed down on me. The sauna-warm smoke in the air surrounded me. As I drew toward my drum set, The Diamonds in rhinestone-studded words on the center base drums, flickered before me. My glossy bronze cymbals, wind chimes, toms, snares, and many microphones all waited for me. I set my left foot on the bass pedal and looked out to the sea of faces. In that moment, the stage was as much ours as it was Izzy’s. I picked up my drumsticks and raised my arms high, tapping them. The light glared down on us. The fans screamed louder, feeding off us like we were feeding off them. We were eaten alive by love. Their love. But their love wasn’t for us. The Diamonds were nothing. Izzy was their love, the man they paid to see, the rock star they were waiting for.
And their wait, at last, was over.
The lights dimmed. The adrenaline rush made me so hot that hell seemed like a sauna, yet it soothed me and made me shiver from head to toe. With my foot tapping into the bass pedal, the beater knocking on the base, I banged lightly on the toms and snares, nodding my head to the upbeat rhythm of Benson and Larry’s guitars, Phil’s piano, and Tim’s saxophone.
As we played, a single fuchsia stage light centered on a microphone. Izzy, standing in the wings, cooed into the mic, “Love.” The howling turned into maddened screaming. My ears popped, and I whipped my head back, pounding the bass pedal with my foot, my cymbals rippling song.
Still obscured from view, Izzy sang with moxie in his voice. “There’s always time to make it, can’t fake it, baby. My love. There’s never a wrong or a right when you can just take it.”
The fuchsia lighting crept to the wings and froze on that spot, teasing the audience, keeping them waiting. And then Izzy sashayed out from the dark. The floor trembled beneath my feet as Izzy yanked the microphone off from the stand and sang menacingly, “Take me!” The lights shone on him, strobing as I banged my toms, snares, and cymbals like a madman. As I played, plumes of rainbow smoke enveloped Izzy. The rock-star aura wasn’t that or the lights.
It was him.
The moment he strummed that first wicked chord, leaped into the air, and opened his vermillion lips, the goose bumps broke out on my arms. The energy he possessed burst forth like a powder keg and affected everyone around him: the audience, the band, the backstage crew. He moved his hips, slid his hand down his body, and sang as if he were fucking the very beat and groove of his own music. Or, better yet, fucking a woman and his ego at the same time. When Izzy lay on his back and belted into a mic, he was pretty much jacking off. Only Izzy could pull that off without looking like a sleaze. It was crazy, hyper, and such a goddamn turn-on. I wonder that half the audience didn’t come when Izzy hit a high note. As Izzy’s voice rose above the screams of the women jostling to be closer to the stage, my heart raced.
That voice. His voice. I knew what the critics said. I knew what the fans thought. But for me, it was everything and more. High and low. Male and female. It slithered through me, heated me from the inside out, and left me panting. How could one man be gifted with such a bluesy, soulful voice? The heartache and triumph in those notes made my mouth dry. I now knew he uttered some of those intimate sounds in the throes of passion. I thought about that blowjob as Izzy writhed and crooned at the edge of the stage. In the midst of the music was the answer to why the ladies—and the men—would trample their way to get a foot closer to the stage. It was sex. Pure, unadulterated sex. It screamed into their minds and shook their bodies to the core. Every song was a chance for them to be fucked by that voice.
With four albums to pull material from, Izzy strung them along, tiptoeing them through his world, a place without labels, without shame, and no apologies, only dripping with need. And, God, did it make them need…make me need. The heat from my body was trapped in my clothes and even in my platforms, drowning me. My arms were tired, beat down from the music, but the concert was only beginning.
As we played, the fans reached out to Izzy, desperate for a glance or a touch, and Izzy never disappointed them. They’d stretch to brush his platforms, or he’d deign to bend over and allow their fingers to tease his wrist or palm. It was all a show for Izzy, a power trip full of glitter, throbbing beats, and swooning fans, and I wanted a piece of him. Not the fame, but him, a glitterotica fantasy, mine. I caught my breath, my focus hard on the rhythm, harder on him. Why him? Damn him. Why did he make me feel like this for doing nothing more than being himself? With every chameleon-like transformation of his—eight costume and makeup changes—I wanted to scream, for I was Izzy Rich’s number one fan. Who was kidding?
As Izzy was singing, “Don’t use me to define your laws,” he stopped, and then drew his microphone toward the fans. They sang, “Because even diamonds have flaws!” back at him. Izzy stood, smiling, nodding to them singing the rest of the chorus. All his fans were number one, and yet I foolishly felt I was the only one. But then again, what fan didn’t believe the same? The men screamed, but it was the women, the glitter rock queens, dominating the glitter rock kings. I took a deep breath and mouthed, “Whoa!” My drumsticks on my lap, I breathed in the heat, licked the beads of sweat from the corner of my mouth, tasting lipstick. Izzy had exited the stage, but his fans screamed as if he were still there.
When he returned, they went wild. Deep inside, so did I.
Izzy wore a shimmering gold, pink, blue, and teal colored cat suit that hugged his body. His pumps matched the color-blend in glitter. Izzy’s hips swayed seductively as he caressed the mic stand from top to bottom. Izzy turned his back to the audience, stretching his arms behind his back as he grooved his body against the microphone stand, shaking his ass. He turned around, shimmying his chest, kicking his leg up, flashing his thigh. He jumped and landed on his knees, his legs spread, his groin bulging. His shoulders swung back to the floor, and his back arched as he played a catchy, rolling guitar riff.
It was the sex-charged melody to “Dirty Dancer.” Izzy let out a manic, orgasmic howl, shaking his head, his guitar solo dominating him, dominating me until he stopped cold. All I could do was ogle him as the lights dimmed until only one light was shining on him. He curled his fingers around the mic stand and bobbed his hand on it in slow jerks.
“Nobody likes to dance alone,” he crooned with a most menacing smile of lust. “Oh, no,” he cooed, his head shaking with a tinge of innocence. “Not even a dirty dancer like me.”
The band and I softly played the harmony of the song.
Izzy crept across the stage to his left, belly dancing. He crept to the right side, leaning back as he strutted, swaying his ass slowly, scooting deeper in his groove. Center stage, Izzy stood sideways and bent over. The audience roared as he caressed his body from legs to shoulders. The band and I stopped.
“Ladies at the Hammersmith Odeon tonight…” he purred into the microphone. They screamed deliriously. “Who wants to rule the world with me on this stage? Make it ours.”
Thousands of hands reached out to him as he sashayed to his right, walking the length of the stage, his silhouette a most beautiful shadow. He walked the length of the left side and stopped at the center stage. He struck a pose, bent over, and swayed his hips like the hot tramp that he was. The audience threw knickers on the stage. Izzy had an armful of them. He sniffed them. He tossed them in the air. As they were falling, he was shoulder-rolling and hip-shaking, strumming on his guitar madly. His bodyguards stepped out from the sidelines.
He stopped. The audience screamed louder as Izzy pointed at one woman. I wondered who he’d bring up on the stage this time. She was a gorgeous, short-statured, wide-eyed Latina bombshell with long-flowing coily dark hair, glowing light brown skin, red lips, and sparkling eye shadow. The bodyguards took her close to Izzy and stepped aside.
A gap divided her and Izzy. He curled his finger to her in a come-hither motion. She broke out in a scream as if he was making love to her. I breathed slowly as he shimmied toward her. He stooped down to her height, wrapped his arms around her, and lifted her up from the ground. He whispered questions the audience couldn’t possibly hear. But I knew exactly what he’d ask, every time.
“May I have permission to touch your body? Your ass, your thighs, and your breasts?”
The woman nodded her head excitedly. “Yes!”
He stopped whispering to her and said into the mic, “You don’t have to dance if you don’t want to. I only want you to feel me…” He caressed her cheek. “Like I’m feeling you.”
He strummed on his guitar.
“You don’t need to know how to dance for me, honey,” he sang. I picked up my drumsticks, banging on my toms and snares, my foot on the pedal, the band playing as Izzy crooned to her, “As long as you’re dirty, let’s show the world how freaky-deaky you and I can be!”
I whipped my hair to my hyper, galloping drumming, to Izzy’s androgynous, otherworldly voice. Oh, how he danced in circles around the girl. Still screaming like a maniac, she gawked as he’d stop to stroke her thighs and pat her bottom as he sang. As the music grew hotter, I drummed with my hip thrust, turned on by the woman, a slave to him, and to Izzy. My cock throbbed as he bumped his crotch against her ass, caressing her thighs, belly, and breasts while singing the last verse. Her pleasure was my envy, taking me over. The air was hot, and it wasn’t because of the lights. Sweat bullets were dripping down to my neck.
“Man or woman,” he sang to her in a shout. “Dance with me!” he howled and dared. “Be the man and the woman that you see, baby, outside and within the dirty dancer inside of me.” Caressing her cheek with one hand, strumming on his guitar with the other, he sang “Or…” He lowered his knees and inched his face closer to hers as he crooned, “Or you can just…”
Izzy’s guitar was silent. So was I and the band.
Instead of singing kiss me, Izzy pressed his lips to hers. The woman held on to him as they snogged. Passionately, deeply. The audience screamed. My heart beat so fast my drums couldn’t compare. That most supreme onstage kiss seemed to last forever, but in reality, it didn’t. In my head, I counted the seconds, the only numbers that mattered. Five, four, three, two…
When my head counted to one, Izzy broke the kiss. His bodyguards rushed up and took the woman by her arms. She screamed, “Izzy, I’ll never let go! I love you!” as they pulled her away. Izzy bowed and blew her a kiss as his bodyguards escorted her back to the front row.
“Kiss me till our lips hurt…” Izzy sang helplessly. “Kiss me till we can’t dance dirty anymore.”
As the audience roared, I sighed, wishing that he’d kiss me until our lips hurt. Oh, if only…
The lights darkened. Izzy dashed to the wings for his Delilah Starr drag.
I took a deep breath as I drummed to the pounding beats. Our music went on for three minutes, and then it segued into the theatrical melody of the Rich Girl theme. The harmony washed over me—the lively, dramatic piano and the soaring, sweeping romantic guitars. The aching saxophone was bleeding a tragedy, my heroic drums lifting it into heaven. The lights dimmed; the stage was dark again. And then a sparkling diamond-like light nearly blinded me, but it wasn’t the lights.
It was Delilah Starr.
She was statuesque in her diamond-studded five-inch pumps. Her off-the-shoulder ruby red furs waved as her diamonds sparkled around her neck, in her ears, on her wrists, and over the bodice of her body-hugging, sequined white dress. Her diamond-studded art-deco headdress brought a touch of elegance to her bob. Her face was porcelain perfection with long lashes, her lids painted with shimmery black eyeshadow. Her cinched waist complemented her hourglass figure and her big, round breasts, but they were only an illusion. That ass was not. It was natural. Perfect. Like her.
As I sounded the wind chimes, she struck a pose, holding her head high like a queen, stroking her diamonds and furs. When she caressed her bare shoulders and hugged herself, rocking slow, I was breathless. She was untouchable. A diva. A dark twisted fantasy. A beauty. A dream. A nightmare.
We pulled five songs from the Rich Girl album, sung in a medley. Every passionate beat from my drums was for her as she belted her songs. Even the way she’d strut, those breasts bouncing, those hands to her hips, her ass shaking, was a revelation. She jumped off the piano, landing on her heels. She twirled toward center stage and froze in the spotlight.
“I’m not a boy. Not even a poor boy.” She stepped back, the light following her. “I may have been that once, but now…” She pressed a balled hand to her chest. “A girl is what I am, and what I was always meant to be. Not just any girl.” Her head cocked up high, she belted triumphantly, “I’m Delilah Starr, a rich girl! Yes, world, that’s me. This is me. A rich girl is all that fame—my fame—is seeing.” She looked out to the audience, embracing herself as she wailed, “But will my man love me for who I really am? A human being!”
As she sang the last verse, she unembraced herself, her arms open. “If I could pray, I’d pray to be his wife.”
Surrounded by darkness, only one light shined on her. She sat on her knees, her hands in prayer. The audience was eerily quiet as she closed her eyes, and, after seconds of silence, she belted, “God. I’m praying that my love won’t take my life!”
Delilah stood. My drumming rolled. And then—
“Baby?” Delilah cooed ecstatically in her weak voice, reaching her hands out to her love. “Can’t you see?” She stepped closer, touching her heart as she crooned, “I love you like I love…me.”
The audience shrieked when the sound of a gunshot cracked the air.
Delilah’s scream was heart-piercing. Liquid red bled through the dress and dripped from Delilah’s chest to her stomach. Another shot went off. She crashed to the ground in a loud thud. The light shined on her, her headdress glittering. A chorus line of men appeared with cameras, snapping pictures. Placing my drumsticks on my snares, I stood. The band and I together drew toward her slowly and somberly, shooing the paparazzi away. They were gone, and we were alone. I covered Delilah’s wide-open eyes with my palm. When I moved it away, they were closed. I placed my hands underneath her headdress. Benson stood to her right, Phil to her left, their hands beneath her body. Larry had her by the ankles. Roadies pushed out a diamond-bedazzled stretcher for Delilah. We carried her away and set her on the ground backstage. She seemed lifeless, even when only playing dead.
Crouched on my knees, I said into Izzy’s ear, “Wake up. You aren’t dead yet.”
He didn’t flinch, blink, or move. I patted his cheek. He still didn’t budge, not even a little. I felt panic on my face and saw it on everyone’s faces, too. My hands shook, my mind blown, dizzy, racing. As I was about to check for Izzy’s pulse, he popped his eyes open.
“Boo!” he declared in his voice, not Delilah’s.
My heart dropped. “Wanker!” I growled after he jumped back on his heels, cackling.
He grabbed my wrists, and he laughed louder as I was about to wring his neck, our foreheads almost touching. “I had you fooled, Johnny, ha!” He let go of my wrists and pointed his finger at everyone. “I had all of you fooled!”
Larry, Tim, Benson, and Phil gave him the middle finger, and crew members slapped his ass with their clipboards, many on his team pelting him with paper balls.
“Sorry, everyone. I had to do that. I’m such a baddy!” Izzy cackled, smearing the fake blood from the plunging neckline of his dress to his chest, sucking the red stuff off his fingertips.
“All right, Izzy, your show’s not over yet,” someone from management said. “Twenty minutes.”
I watched as Izzy’s assistants helped him remove his gear as fast as possible, storing his headdress, furs, shoes, and diamonds in a safe. Izzy dashed to the hall. After a quick water break, I headed back to where he went off to, to the only place where I wanted to be.
The first 3 chapters can be read here by simply clicking on this button:
E-book pre-order is available now, from BSB's webstore!
And mark these dates on your calendar:
Paperback pre-order: July 25th
E-book release date: August 1st
Paperback release date: August 16th
All who pre-order e-book or paperback, I'll be sending out those Museum of Modern Art postcards to you sometime around mid-July in time before you get a copy of Man in your hands or in your Kindle.
Shoot me an email at email@example.com after you pre-order, so I can know your address for when I send the postcard your way. Don't worry, your address will be safe with me! ;)