By Joanne Rock
I’m celebrating a reissue this week. If you missed LOVE SO TENDER, a fun, funny contemporary romance anthology headlined by Stephanie Bond when it came out in print, I hope you’ll pick it up now that it’s back in a digital edition. I’d forgotten how much this project made me smile, but I was reminded when I opened up my contribution, The Good Luck Charm, and took a read:
Rule number one for successful séances—- never allow yourself to get distracted by thoughts of a man. Especially if the man in question wasn’t the one you wanted to conjure.
Disappointed with another failed attempt to summon her icon—- Elvis Aaron Presley, undisputed king of rock ‘n roll– Alyssa Renato blew out the candles on her makeshift séance table in the backroom of her Las Vegas memorabilia shop, The Good Luck Charm. Hot wax dribbled down the side of her white tapers, sealing her only good linen tablecloth to the round slab of cypress wood beneath.
Blast Brett Neale for foiling the latest “Meet the Presleys” séance and ruining perfectly good linen. She had no business thinking about him tonight when she needed answers only Elvis could provide.
“We’ll reach him next time,” a soft voice assured her from behind.
Turning, Alyssa found her séance medium packing up her black velvet invocation bag with a Ouija board and enough incense to cause smog in Vegas for the rest of the year. Laura “Stargazer” Grimaldi was five years younger than Alyssa’s thirty-two years, but she possessed enough personal dignity to carry off her medium role with class and style. No easy feat while wearing a crystal adorned turban….
And so we’re off and running with a quirky heroine who has a very good reason for wanting to the music scene. And a sexy guitar-playing hero who needs her to manage his career.
I remember how excited I was to write this. First of all because I got to work with Jo Leigh and Stephanie Bond, both authors whose work I love. But also because of the Elvis theme that connects the stories.
My mom was a teenager in the fifties, so she remembers the aura and magic of this charismatic performer during his heyday. It’s easy to imagine when we look at pictures of the musician who became an idol. He was heart-throb gorgeous in the early years and was a gifted entertainer his whole life.
Growing up, I listened to plenty of Elvis tunes. Cleaning days sped along faster when we dusted and vacuumed to the tune of “Good Luck Charm,” “Too Much,” or “All Shook Up.” Work is always more fun with music. And the holidays weren’t the same without Elvis on permanent rotation on the family record player. I’ll never get tired of “Santa Bring My Baby” or his oh-so-bluesy “I’ll Have a Blue Christmas.”
So when I started work on the Love So Tender anthology, the first thing I did was download an Elvis compilation of music called “The Number Ones.” I got in the spirit for Alyssa and Brett’s romance by listening to all the old music and falling in love with some tunes that weren’t as familiar to me, too. I had a ready-made playlist to connect me with the King.
***What’s on your holiday playlist? Some Harry Connick? Josh Groban? Share some of your fav holiday tunes or artists with me this week on the boards and one random poster will win a print copy of my holiday anthology with Tawny Weber, UNDERCOVER FESTIVITIES!
UNCERCOVER FESTIVITIES can be purchased for/from:
LOVE SO TENDER can be purchased for/from: