Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dancing to A Little Night Music

Dayle A. Dermatis

A few years ago, in a conversation that no doubt involved wine, I turned to my best friend of 25 years and said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to write a novel together?”

The question of what to write about quickly came clear. Let’s take that fanfic we used to write about our favorite rock stars and make some money off of it.

Well, only a few tiny bits were culled from that fan fiction. But we’d been Styx fans for almost as long as we’d known each other, and the resulting novel was riddled with in jokes. Even the hero of A Little Night Music looks suspiciously like the current keyboardist (only taller). (And in the original version of the book, our hero was a keyboardist. Our editor made us change him to a guitarist. I believe the directive was “Less Billy Joel, more Billy Idol.” Hrmph. He’s never seen our keyboardist move…)

But enough about the writing process. Let’s talk about rock star crushes. In A Little Night Music, Hannah Montgomery, at the tender age of 17, manages to fall down the stairs and into the arms of her personal rock star crush, Nate Fox. Emboldened by her good fortune, she kisses him, and for an all-too-brief moment he kisses her back… She makes a vow some of us might admit to after being plied with copious amounts of alcohol: that someday, she’d have her night of passion with Nate.

Nine years later, she gets her chance. She’s a successful publicist, and Nate’s desperately in need of good publicity to get him back on top after drug addiction and a car accident that killed his then-girlfriend…and a secret nobody but his manager knows until Nate lets down his guard and confides in Hannah.

Hannah fully intends to keep things professional until he’s back on top, but lust does crazy things to one’s plans, doesn’t it? He flirts with her, she gives back as good as she gets, and the next thing she knows, he’s leading her upstairs…

Hannah was so aroused that she was breathless by the time they reached the second floor. Part of her kept insisting that it was too soon, she needed to keep her professional life in focus. The other part of her, the part that was panting with hunger, could only think of Nate, and the teenage vow she’d made so many years ago. They were just at the doorway to the bedroom, she had a glimpse of a wide four-poster bed, when he pushed her against the doorjamb and kissed her.


Hannah knew, vaguely, that it was the final test. Her last chance to protest, to back out. Say the word, push him away, and that would be the end of it.

The wooden edge of the door pushed into her back, sharp and unyielding. Nate’s body was just as solid, his heat warming her, causing flames to lap at her self control. He wanted her.

Nate Fox wanted her.

Anyone else, and she could have maintained her professional decorum, but the heady realization of his desire for her had shut down her thought processes.

The shaggy hair at the sides of his head was soft, and she wove her fingers through it to pull him deeper into the kiss, just as she’d done as a teenager. This time, however, he kissed her much harder, until he was bruising her lips. She matched him, kiss for kiss, curling one leg around his calf. She could feel his arousal pressing into her stomach, and she rocked her hips to pleasure them both. The low growl he made was gratifying, the hands that tightened on her hips even more so.

They broke apart, gasping. “Breathe,” Nate crooned. His mouth was temptingly close, and she leaned forward to run the tip of her tongue across his bottom lip.

“Why?” Hannah asked, his taste lingering in her mouth. Spices and desire. Sin and satisfaction. “Aren’t you trying to make me pass out?”

He laughed huskily. He nuzzled her throat, teeth scraping gently just above her pulse. “Not just yet,” he said. “There’s a lot more I intend to do to you before I let you rest.”

A Little Night Music by Sarah Dale will be available in the US on August 7, although you can pre-order it now. For those of you in the UK, it’s already in the shops just waiting for you…

(Pictures in this column are all of Lawrence Gowan, keyboardist and singer of Styx and inspiration for Nate Fox. Picture #1 taken by Ken Meese (yes, my husband loves me very much), Casino Rama, May 2007. Picture #2 taken by Steve Bernzweig, Casino Rama, May 2007. Picture #3 taken by Brigitte Boulais, from the Crystal Ball website, Casino Rama, 2003.)


Portia Da Costa said...

Phwoooaarrgh! I like the sound of this one, Dayle! Very much... A lot of my early books were expressions of a rock star crush too... ;)

Janine Ashbless said...

You're beautiful, it's true...
I saw your face
In a crowded place
Now I don't know what to do -
Because I'll never be with you.

Oh, if only we could all get our hands on our idols! Until they invent customised sexbots or convincing virtual reality, the next best thing is writing fiction like this.

Thanks Dayle!

*currently suffering existential torment every time I watch Last Man Standing*

Deanna Ashford said...

I really loved the excerpt - so sexy!
I think we can all connect with this so much.

Most of us have had teenage crushes on rock stars, singers or actors that have lingered on into our twenties or maybe longer.

Who wouldn't want to somehow find herself meeting up with that guy again and having it off with him. It's an ultimate female fantasy.

Janine, customised sexbots or convincing VR - I've often thought about writing about something like that. I just need Erotic sci-fi to become popular.

You are great Dayle.

Olivia Knight said...

Lovely, Dayle! Or is it Sophie? Rock stars - I crush on Leonard Cohen myself, I'd like to have a brief affair with him so we can both sit moodily and alone in New York apartments and write painful grief-stricken lyrics about it. Just call me Chippy the Cheery Chipmunk.

For the dreams coming true...? We'll just have to read the book, Janine. (Or - as I'm sure is everyone's masterplan - write such famously fantastic books ourselves that they come crawling to us. Johnny, you reading this? Johnny? JOHNNY...)

Madeline Moore said...

Dayle, you smart sexy writer you! Or should I say, Sophie, you smart sexy writers, youse.

Great idea and, judging from the excerpt, a great expression on the idea. Erotica is all about living out our sexual fantasies by reading them, and this one looks like a winner!

Mandy M. Roth said...

MMM, sounds good, ladies! I'm guilty of rock star crushin' too.

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Not Sophie for this one. This one is Dayle and her OTHER fabulous co-author. I can't take credit.

I can just read the book and find myself developing a new rock star crush. (I'm not a diehard Styx fan, but Lawrence Gowan is hawt.)

Deanna Ashford said...


You will have to let me know if Styx are every playing in the UK, then I can rush off and see these gorgeous guys myself.

For the time being I will have to make do with your book.

Angell said...

I will be in the US on the date it's released and will be buying a copy the second Barnes & Nobel opens (and if they don't have it I will HUNT IT DOWN).

Love the pics of Larry *drool drool drool* I WAS THERE WOOOOOO.

He he he...

Can't wait to read it babe.

Kate Pearce said...

This sounds fabuloous-especially as we can all relate to those oh so painful crushes on rock stars and other personalities real or imaginary.
It's on my to buy list-which is getting pretty long at the moment thanks to the lusties!

Ally said...

Oh my gawd, Oh my gawd, Oh my gawd. Heavy breathing here. Great excerpt and flash backs Dayle.

Every girls dream to F..erm Lick her favorite rock star. Mine actually had a star on his face. Mmm Paul Stanley from KISS, oh ya "I was made for lovin you."

Oh man, it's funny how this article came so soon after that amazing pic of Trent Reznor all bound up hanging from the ceiling... he is now on my desk top where I can stare at him when I'm not busy and actually on my computer.

Oh and a few more fantasies...
Bob Seger,
Rod Stewart,
Axle Rose,
(NO... I no longer want to DO Sean Cassidy nor Tim Curry) Although I still covet all my Rocky Horror stuff.

Nice to see another "Canadian" Rocky Horror fan... Angell

Kind of freaked me out when I saw the picture credits from when Styx played at Casino Rama. Good gawd I nearly moved to Orillia to work at that Casino. But my tips at Casino Niagara were too good to give up, that and their snow is way too deep for my blood.

Alison Tyler said...

Love, love, love rock star erotica. (Oh, Janine, I play that song over and over. Like the "explicit" version with the lone dirty word.)

Alana wrote a pretty killer rock-star story that was up on Clean Sheets awhile back...

*digging around for the link*

Ah, here it is! Under my leather pants.


Madelynne Ellis said...

Lovely excerpt, Dayle. Argh, more books to add to my ever growing tbr pile!

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Thanks, everyone! It was hard to pick an excerpt--I'm glad I chose a good one! (That scene is Adam's favorite...)

As Teresa mentioned, this book isn't a collaboration with her as Sophie Mouette. I wrote it with my other coathor, Sarah J. Husch; we write together as Sarah Dale. (I think Lawrence now thinks my name is Sarah; he seemed a little puzzled when he looked at the cover.)

Deanna, we really were trying to target that "every girl's dream"--as well as bring up the potential issues that such a relationship would encounter (drugs, groupies, paparazzi). It's such a great fantasy, though...

Oh, and Styx just toured the UK in April with Deep Purple (and two years ago as headliners). Not sure when they'll be back! They're currently opening for Def Leppard in the US, which means that getting good tickets has been next to impossible. (I'm used to being against the stage--I'm so spoiled. Although the bassist recognized me in the fourth row, at a show across the country from where I'd normally be, so I suppose I can't complain!)

Alison, I've read Alana's story! She namechecks Styx, too! :-)

Jennifer said...

Dayle, can't wait to read the rest of the book. I already crush on LG, so what is this gonna do to me???


Anne Tourney said...

I wonder if there are any fantasies more powerful than the ones the take shape in the steamy, high-voltage atmosphere of our adolescent imaginations :). There's something so enticing about carrying one of those fantasies into adulthood, and finding that the object of the fantasy is not just an imaginary idol, but a flesh-and-blood person with depth and dreams, and his own freight of loss. Night Music sounds like a powerful love story, as well as being extremely hot!!