Louise Lyons is visiting my humble blog today, sharing an excerpt from her new book and offering a Rafflecopter giveaway.
Can romance and rock ‘n’ roll dreams survive with a storm raging around them?
Alex Randall has always wanted to be a rock singer. When he answers an ad from a local band, his dream finally comes true. He loves the stage, and the group’s fans love him. Things couldn’t be better, except for the attraction he develops for the band’s guitarist, Lindsey. Alex is surprised and initially worried, since he only had one brief flirtation with a boy in his teens. But even though he and Lindsey become close and start seeing each other, Alex fears commitment, and Lindsey worries that Alex might only be experimenting.
When Lindsey’s ex contacts him following a health scare, fear and anger drives a wedge between Alex and Lindsey, which causes rifts within the band. Alex and Lindsey’s relationship is still new and fragile, and with Alex unwittingly blaming Lindsey for their problems, it becomes a true challenge for them to weather the storm.
Band practice the next evening didn’t happen. Lindsey didn’t turn up, and Mark tried ringing him several times, but his phone went unanswered. I didn’t miss the way Mark and Ricky exchanged glances a few times, and by the time ten o’clock came, they looked worried.
“Alex, can you do me a favor?” Mark asked when we decided to call it a night.
“You’re in your car, aren’t you?”
“Yes.” I’d finally given in and started driving to Mark’s for rehearsals. It was easier and Beeston was nice enough to leave my car on the roadside and not worry about it.
“I know it’s a bit out of your way, but could you pop over to Lindsey’s place and check he’s okay?”
“Why wouldn’t he be?” I felt a prickle of anxiety—both for Lindsey and at the idea of leaving the BMW unattended outside his house. I remembered where he lived from when we’d dropped him off on the way back from a couple of our own gigs. Lindsey had an upstairs flat in a converted terraced house. The area looked like a warzone, with windows on some properties boarded up and a few of the tiny overgrown gardens filled with junk. I’d seen a burnt-out car on a patch of rough ground on one occasion.
Mark glanced at Ricky and back at me. “I don’t know, just a feeling. He never does this. He calls if he can’t make it. You know his address, don’t you?”
“Yeah. Okay, I’ll go.”
“Ring me and let me know,” Mark added.
“What aren’t you telling me?”
Ricky shrugged. “It’s not up to us.”
“What isn’t?” I didn’t get why they were obviously keeping something from me.
“Nothing. You know he’s in a kind of crappy relationship. He gets upset sometimes, that’s all.”
“Well, I don’t think I’m much of a relationship counselor.” I grimaced and pulled out my car keys. “Okay, I’m going.”
In twenty minutes I turned into Lindsey’s street. I parked in front of his house and looked around anxiously as I locked the car. A couple of teenagers skulked along by a fence on the opposite side of the road, and I kept an eye on them until they turned out of sight into an alley. I was probably worrying too much, but my car was my baby, and I envisioned coming back and finding its wheels missing or graffiti spray-painted all over it. Then again, I only had to knock on the door. Lindsey would probably come out and ask me what the fuck I was doing bothering him, and then I could go home and ring Mark.
I walked up the path of broken paving slabs and pressed the doorbell. There was no sound inside, and I knocked loudly on the wooden door. Turning my back to the building, I looked up and down the street again, but there was no sign of anyone else. I knocked again and waited another couple of minutes. Then I cautiously tried the door handle. The door wasn’t locked, and it swung inward with a faint squeak.
“Lindsey!” I stepped into a tiny three-foot-by-six hallway with a flight of stairs directly in front of me. Lindsey didn’t answer, and I took one last look at my car and made my way up the stairs. When I reached the landing, I found four doors that I imagined must be the bedroom, lounge, kitchen, and bathroom. “Lindsey?”
Two of the doors stood ajar, and I looked into the first room to find a tiny bathroom with a toilet, sink, and shower. Darkness filled the bedroom next to it. I felt around on the wall for a light switch, and seconds later the room flooded with light. A double bed was positioned under the window. I gasped in horror when I saw Lindsey lying on it. He rolled away from me, covering his face with his hands.
“What the fuck happened to you?”
“Go away.” His voice was muffled, and he coughed and groaned.
“Fuck.” I went over to the bed and sat on the edge. A substantial amount of blood stained his white T-shirt. Despite his attempts to cover his face, it was easy to see his split lip, and his nose had bled heavily. I felt sick when I imagined someone hitting him, obviously several times.
“Christ, Lindsey, who did this?”
“Alex, just go, please. I’m all right.”
“The hell you are.” I touched his arm gingerly and then gripped it and pulled at him. He resisted for a moment but then turned onto his back. The left side of his face was swollen and bruised, and the blood had come from both nostrils and his lip. “Who did this?” I repeated.
“I’m okay.” He pushed my hand away and sat up.
“You’re not okay. You need to go to A & E.”
“Fuck that.” Lindsey pulled the front of his T-shirt up and dabbed at his nose. Fresh blood oozed from it and dripped onto his ruined shirt. He pushed me out of the way, got to his feet, and stumbled into the bathroom. I heard him vomiting and the toilet flushed. I went to him, flicking on the bathroom light as I stepped into the tiny room. Lindsey crouched on the floor, and what horrified me the most was that he was crying.
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of 8, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late 20s.
Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.