Ruby Tuesday releases today!

Book two in the Wild Irish series, Ruby Tuesday will hit the Ellora’s Cave bookshelves today. To celebrate, I thought I’d share a bit of trivia about the book.

1. The title of all the Wild Irish books are song titles. Ruby Tuesday was released by the Rolling Stones in January 1967 (I wasn’t born yet).

2. Come Monday was taken from the title of a Jimmy Buffett song. I LOVE Buffett and had the opportunity to hear him in concert for the first time this past summer. Brilliant show!

3. Because both of the main characters were singers with very different tastes in music, I found myself listening to an odd selection of songs while writing the book. Just for fun, I thought I’d share my writing ‘playlist’ with you.

And So It Goes by Billy Joel

Leave Me Alone by Helen Reddy

Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling Stones

Come Monday by Jimmy Buffett

In Spite of Ourselves by John Prine and Iris DeMent

Champagne Supernova by Oasis

December 1963 by Jersey Boys

Beyond My Wildest Dreams by Little Mermaid Broadway cast

I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas

Forever by Chris Brown

4. The Ruby Tuesday cover was created by cover artist Syneca and it’s one of my all-time favorite covers. Fits the book perfectly.

5. Ruby Tuesday dedication: 

This story is dedicated to my devoted Yahoo group. Your encouragement, support and shared laughter have meant more to me than you will ever know.

Blurb:

Wild Irish, Book Two

Sky Mitchell is hiding out in Baltimore, seeking peace and solitude while he struggles with a career decision. Lead singer of popular rock group The Universe, he’s thinking of going it alone. Wandering into an Irish pub, he’s ecstatic to discover the breakout single for his solo album—but the songwriter doesn’t want to sell. One musical challenge later,  not only does he win the song, but also a writing partner to complete the rest of the album.

Teagan Collins has never aspired to fame and fortune. She’s content taking care of family, friends and neighbors, and singing in her family’s pub. Working on an album with Sky tests her patience…and her libido. The hot rocker plays her body like a fine instrument, their desire deepening with each song they write.

But someone doesn’t want Sky to go solo, and is repeatedly trying to sabotage the couple’s efforts. Undaunted, Sky wants Teagan to join him onstage at his farewell concert to sing her original, “Maybe Tomorrow”…

If they make it through today.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Oh. My. God,” Riley murmured behind her.

Teagan Collins struggled not to roll her eyes as she turned to see what had elicited such a response from her younger sister. Riley was the queen of sarcastic humor and no doubt she’d spotted someone who would now fall victim to her cutting wit. Typically it was a comment about the way someone dressed or styled their hair. She knew the rest of the family found Riley’s little remarks funny, but sometimes she felt they were just plain mean.

“I’m late start—” She broke off mid-sentence when she saw her sister actually appeared to have gone pale. “What’s wrong?”

Riley stuttered a few moments before she could speak. “It’s…it’s h-him.”

Teagan turned around and glanced at the men drinking in the pub. Summer was Baltimore’s peak tourism season—it was currently a Tuesday night in late fall. To say the crowd was sparse was putting it lightly. A few regulars sat at the bar, hanging out with her pop and her brother Tris, fighting rather loudly over the results of Sunday’s football game. It was clearly going to be a long, hard winter as the Ravens didn’t appear to be winning enough to suit this pack of rabid fans.

An older couple, Mr. and Mrs. Tibbs, occupied a table near the stage. She smiled when she saw them. They were quite possibly as close to groupies as she would ever get. She wasn’t foolish enough to aspire to singing greatness. She knew achieving fame and fortune as a professional singer was as likely as winning the lottery. Besides, her love for music centered more on songwriting than performing, but she did appreciate the kind comments and encouragement the elderly couple gave her each week when she took the stage.

The only other two people in the place were strangers to her. She studied the two guys who sat in a corner booth, engrossed in what appeared to be a serious conversation. One was blond and somewhat handsome while the other had dark hair and an unattractively bushy beard. His face was in shadow, making it difficult to distinguish his features. She guessed they were both in their mid-twenties.

“Him who?” Teagan asked.

“Sky Mitchell,” Riley whispered, her voice almost reverent.

“Who’s Sky Mitchell?”

Her sister’s gaze left the two men and traveled to Teagan, wide with disbelief. “Are you freaking kidding me? Tell me you’re joking.”

“About what?”

“You honest to God don’t know who Sky Mitchell is?” Riley asked, her voice laced with genuine amazement.

“Should I know who he is? Did you go to high school with him or something?” Teagan glanced back at the table and tried to decide if either of the men looked familiar. They didn’t, although in all fairness, the lighting in the pub was dim and the dark-haired man had a baseball cap pulled down low over his face.

“High school!” Riley said. “Don’t I wish! Sky is only the lead singer of the hottest rock group on the radio these days. Please God, tell me you’ve heard of The Universe.”

Teagan nodded, her eyes narrowed. She’d have to live under a rock not to have heard of The Universe. “Of course I’ve heard of them. I just didn’t know the name of their lead singer. Besides, that’s not really my kind of music.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Riley began. Teagan braced herself for the words she knew were coming next. “They sing songs that were written in this decade.”

“There is nothing wrong with folk music, Riley. Nothing wrong with enjoying songs that have some deeper meaning than ‘I wanna get laid’.”

“You know, not all songs revolve around sex these days.”

Teagan shrugged. “I wouldn’t know since I can’t understand a word any of them is screaming—uh, sorry—singing.”

“Sky’s not like that. His voice is pure gold. And he is tee-totally hot.”

Teagan looked back at the men, certain neither of them really fell into that category. “Which one is Sky?”

Riley groaned. “Holy shit. I honestly can’t believe we carry around the same genes sometimes.” Teagan silently agreed. “He’s the one in the hat, wearing the fake beard.”

“How can you tell he’s Sky Mitchell? I can’t even see that guy’s face.”

“I would know that hunka-hunka burnin’ love anywhere,” Riley joked.

“Aw jeez. Well, I’ve officially been in this conversation five minutes longer than I wanted to be. I’m going to go sing.”

“In front of him?” Riley asked. For the first time in her life, Teagan thought her sister seemed to eye her with an air of respect.

“That’s the general idea.”

“You aren’t nervous?”

“Why in the world would I be nervous? I sing in front of strangers practically every day.”

“But that’s Sky Mitchell,” Riley pointed out.

“So you keep saying.”

Riley took a step back and studied Teagan’s appearance with obvious distaste. “Why don’t you run upstairs and put on some makeup first? Maybe change out of your hippie garb. I’ve got a smoking-hot, red leather mini-skirt that would—”

Teagan shook her head. “My outfit is fine. Why don’t you go get dolled up for him? You’re clearly interested.”

Excitement sparked in Riley’s eyes. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that!” She turned toward the stairs that led to the family’s apartment. “Holy hell. I almost offered Sky Mitchell to you. What the fuck was I thinking?”

“I have no idea,” Teagan muttered, secretly amused Riley would actually think for one second she’d go after a rock star.

“Don’t let him leave. I’ll be back in a flash. And please, Teag, don’t sing your usual shit. Sing something contemporary, upbeat—freaking sexy.”

Teagan narrowed her eyes. “Gee, I don’t think I know any songs like that.”

Riley was too distracted to notice the smartass remark. “You’re a songwriter, for chrissake. Make something up. Just don’t let him leave this bar ’til I get back.” With that, Riley disappeared and Teagan fought to regain her composure, her energy. Conversations with Riley tended to wear her out.

Her sister Keira had moved out over the summer to shack up with her handsome English professor, Will, leaving Teagan to share a bedroom with their younger sister. Despite the fact that her brother Killian was currently stationed in Iraq and her baby brother Sean had found his own apartment, there were still four Collins kids left at home. And sometimes she thought Riley should actually count as more than one sibling. Her sister was a handful on a good day.

She glanced at the two men in the corner again and panicked for a moment when the blond man rose to leave. Riley would seriously freak out if they were gone when she returned. The two men shook hands and she overheard Sky say he’d meet his friend back at the hotel later. The blond left and Sky leaned back for a moment. She watched him take in the room, his eyes only briefly brushing over her as she stood in the center of the room with her guitar. Then he opened a notebook and picked up a pen. She walked to the stage, wondering what he was writing.

Probably his memoirs. No doubt one of those VH1-style nightmare tales of the poor, pitiful rock star who’s overcome drug abuse and endless orgies to go on to bigger and better things.

She struggled not to roll her eyes at the thought as she took her place on the stage and quickly tuned her guitar. She smiled at the patrons and sang a few of her favorites—songs by John Prine, Leonard Cohen and Nanci Griffith. As she sang, she kept one eye on Sky—who continued to write in his notebook, only glancing up occasionally—and one eye on the staircase to the apartment. Riley sure was taking her sweet time getting ready. Of course, knowing her sister, Riley had decided Sky Mitchell was worthy of what the family had jokingly dubbed the “Saturday Night Special”. Riley spent hours primping prior to going out and partying until the wee hours every Saturday.

From the standards, Teagan moved on to some of her original material, singing four songs the patrons of the bar had heard often. She smiled when the regulars sang along during the chorus. She loved singing her own songs the best. The music never failed to move her.

She decided to end the set with a new song she’d just finished writing that morning. She was proud of the song, “Maybe Tomorrow”, and felt perhaps it was one of the best she’d ever written. At least it fit into Riley’s request for an upbeat song. It had a fun, whimsical melody with playful words. As she began strumming the guitar, she felt herself floating away to what she thought of as her happy place. Every now and then, she’d simply lose herself in the music, in the sheer joy of singing and playing. She let her voice flow around the words and weave itself into the sounds coming from her beloved acoustic guitar. The guitar had been her mother’s before she died and it was Teagan’s most cherished possession.

As the song ended, she was surprised to realize most of the chatter in the bar had died down. Instead of the polite applause she was accustomed to, she received hearty cheers from the old guys at the bar and Mr. and Mrs. Tibbs had risen to their feet. She grinned and thanked them.

Putting her guitar down on the stand, she’d forgotten all about Sky Mitchell—until she stepped off the small stage and bumped into him at the foot of the stairs.

3 Responses to “Ruby Tuesday releases today!”

  1. Oh, I like that one. I want more…..

  2. I’m looking forward to reading this. I LOVED Assume the Positions.
    Cris

  3. Looking forward to reading this, Mari! Happy release day!

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