The Novel Approach is pleased to have author AF Henley here today on the Baby’s on Fire blog tour. Enjoy Henley’s article, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win some great prizes, including a $20 gift card at LT3 Press.
Welcome back to the Baby’s on Fire blog tour and giveaway! I hope you’ve been following along with the tour, but for any newcomers that are joining in for the first time, we’ve been having a peek at some of the rumors, gossip, and in some instances actual events that took place in the late sixties and early seventies within the music industry.
One of the biggest problems with the choices a person makes in their younger days is living with the guilt later on. And once again, I’m going to state before I get started that rumors and gossip always color a story – sometimes to the good, sometimes to the bad, and sometimes it’s just a plain old case of the right words said in the wrong ways. Also, it is not my intention to make judgment or attempt to make the reader pass judgment on the performers that I’m writing about. I will, however, come right out and make a stand on the fact that I believe a person’s choices and decisions are theirs to make and I don’t feel anyone has the right to judge them on those decisions.
The unfortunate part comes when that person, themselves, looks back in regret.
** Please note that none of these posts are indicative of the main characters or the instances in my novel Baby’s on Fire. They do, however, give a very clear indication of what the MCs would have been experiencing both time-wise and with the reactions/mindset of the people around them.
Suzy Quatro – Teen Pregnancy and Abortion
Susan Kay “Suzi” Quatro, was born on June 3, 1950 and is a British-based American singer-songwriter, bass guitar player, and actor. Suzi has a world of experience behind her. She was the first female bass player to become a major rock star, busting through the glass ceiling of the music industry and kicking the barrier of women’s participation in rock music right the fuck out of the way. In the 1970s she was highly successful in the European and Australian markets. She released her self-titled debut album in 1973 and continued to release a total of fifteen studio albums following that, selling over fifty million albums. She was awarded six Bravo Ottos between ’73 and ’80 and was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Online Hall of Fame. She had a very successful recurring role as bass player Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days, and she followed that success with a duet with Chris Norman, Stumblin’, that reached number four in the U.S. To this day she continues to perform live.
In Suzi’s early teens, she and her sister, Patti, formed a band that went by the name of The Pleasure Seekers. The band was such a huge local success that Suzi decided not to go back to school, and instead pursue a career. The decision was supported by her father, the band soon had a record deal, and Suzi, at only fourteen years old, left home for the life of an upcoming rock star.
But temptation can be an evil witch, and Suzi found herself falling for a married A&R man from Mercury Records. Suzi reports that the first time they slept together was on her eighteenth birthday and it resulted in a pregnancy. It was a pregnancy that was quickly and quietly stopped with an abortion.
Suzi has admitted that the abortion still haunts her.
“I would have loved to have had that baby,” Suzi says in an online interview posted by www.dailymail.co.uk. “Not a year goes by when I don’t think about it — what that child would be like, how old they would be.”
Apparently, it’s not just an emotional haunting, but a spiritual one as well.
“When I get to those Pearly Gates — hopefully — this is the sin I will pay for. I am so sorry for it, but sometimes you just don’t have a choice and I was absolutely petrified. Years later it still comes back to haunt me and I don’t think I will ever get over it.”
And that truly is a shame. Living with regret and guilt is a nasty burden – the kind of burden no amount of success or fame is going to make easier.
Quotes and picture found at the Daily Mail
My huge thanks toThe Novel Approach for having me today, and a special thanks to you, my friends, for joining me. 😀
Until next time!
AF Henley <3
Blurb: In 1974 Gerry Faun gets the break of his life—an opportunity to meet gorgeous, openly bisexual, glam-rock idol Mark Devon. Mark’s world is new, exciting, and Gerry finally gets to explore the side of his sexuality that he’s kept hidden. But the press is everywhere, and when Gerry’s father gets wind of what’s going on behind his back, Gerry ends up on the street. Mark offers to let Gerry come along with the tour and Gerry jumps at the chance. The tour is a never-ending party—and the start of what seems to be a perfect relationship for him and Mark. Until Mark’s manager decides Gerry isn’t worth the trouble he’s stirring up.
In 1994 Gerry is finally coming out of some tough times—he has a job that pays the bills, a car that hasn’t quite broken down, and a small rental in Jersey City. After a decade of barely getting by, if life was as good as it was going to get, Gerry figures he’ll manage just fine. It would be easier if he wasn’t still haunted by the man the media won’t let him forget, the man who stole his heart and then broke it… the man that’s shown up pleading for a second chance.
Gay Contemporary Romance
Copyright © 2015 by A.F. Henley
Published by Less Than Three Press
Please note: Novel contains explicit sexual content.
Excerpt: For what seemed like the hundredth time, the traffic in front of Gerry Faun came to a slow-rolling halt. It was the rain doing the most damage, though the end of the workday was always ugly on the streets of New York City. Not that there were many pretty things on the street, regardless. Giuliani was trying, but the way Gerry had it figured, it was going to take more than a smile and a stand on graffiti and marijuana to clean up their kind of dirt. So while the rest of the city offered the mayor awe-induced stares of appreciation over recollections of Mafia Commission and Boesky trials, Gerry mostly sat back and speculated. When government officials got clever enough to stop assholes from blowing up pregnant secretaries and hard-working fathers, then they might actually get his attention. Until then, Gerry wasn’t putting any more trust in them than he would anybody else. He’d learned a long time ago that not all that glitters is worthy.
He was lost in thought enough not to acknowledge the tunnel. He was, in fact, well into it before he remembered to take off his sunglasses. He forgave himself the digression. It had been a long week. Though Gerry worked in the financial district, he was no more than a glorified yes-man for his boss, a real estate broker that had made a fuck-ton of money in the eighties, and was merely coasting until the inevitable retirement. He ran errands and answered phones. He took messages, and booked flights that he was more than sure did not drop Mr. David Manon in places of business. He made reservations in exclusive restaurants, paid Mr. Manon’s membership fees for a gym the man never went to, and bought Manon’s anniversary and birthday gifts for the wife-of-the-moment. Gerry had a flair for it, or so his boss would tell him whenever the requirement came up, and Gerry was cocky enough to verbally agree with Manon every time. Damn right he was good at it.
Tail lights suddenly flared in front of him and Gerry cursed and slammed his brake pedal down. His eyes flicked between windshield and rearview, assessing space and distance, and he blew a sigh of relief when he confirmed that the guy behind him had been paying more attention than he’d been. Maybe it really was time to give up the car.
He’d heard it a thousand times from friends, family, and casual observers: public transport would not only save him money, but they swore up and down it would save him time. God knew gasoline was getting more expensive by the day, and parking costs in the district were insane. Gerry considered it pretty much every time the numbers went up on the billboards beside the gas stations. One day he would, he’d tell himself. One day for sure. When he could convince himself that walking the six blocks from the bus stop in Jersey’s bitter January winds wouldn’t be as appealing as slitting his own throat with barbed wire. When he got over his control issues.
The side road whereby Gerry’s rental home waited for his return was already jammed with cars, so instead of parking on the street, Gerry carefully worked his 1984 Buick into the tiny concrete pad that served as his driveway. He nudged the car as close to the house as it would go, wincing when the fender butted against the foundation and the ancient bow window above him shook with disapproval. While some of the properties on the street had given up parking for an attempt at a front lawn, Gerry couldn’t see the point of bothering to maintain a six-by-eight square of greenery and have to fight for a place to park every day. Besides, what was the point? In the summer everything got so damn hot that his neighbors’ plants and grass got their lives choked out of them. In the winter, anything that had managed to get a hold on the Earth was quickly destroyed by the cold and the snow.
Looking, he was sure, about as sexy as a maggot trying to escape from a nostril, Gerry inched out from between his car and the base of the entranceway steps. His suit wasn’t worth that much, but it was worth too much to go rubbing it up against rain-mucked concrete or the wet door of a car that hadn’t seen an auto-wash in months. His breath puffed out from between his lips, the rain making October that much colder, and Gerry lifted his eyes to the sky. Dark, ominous clouds roiled in the gray heavens, and Gerry had serious doubts that the light rainfall was all the skies had in store for them.
In the second it took for Gerry to muse, a deep rumble of thunder broke, a distant sheet of lightning answered the call with a flare of brilliance, and the drizzle became a downpour. Without bothering to spit out the curse on his tongue, Gerry ran for the front door. The porch roof did nothing to protect him as the rain whipped against his back and legs, and he had to seat the key twice before it finally dug in and allowed him to open the door.
Dripping, mumbling, Gerry slammed the door behind him with a definitive clunk and flicked the deadbolt. He kicked off his shoes, sighing as small rivers of water raced across the lopsided flooring of the hallway, and he began to peel off of his wet clothes right where he stood. He might as well only drown one part of the house, and at least that particular location was vinyl tile. Most of the house had decades-old carpeting that, when wet, released all kinds of odors. None of them good.
With his wet clothes piled in his arms, Gerry stepped gingerly down the narrow hallway, and ducked into the bathroom. He dumped the armload into the tub, and grabbed a towel off the rack.
He didn’t pause to look in the mirror and fix his hair. The cut was short, short enough in fact that he barely had to brush it, and that always seemed to make his sister chuckle when she saw him. There was a time when God himself wouldn’t have been able to get him to cut his hair—when the arguments with his parents would grow to screaming matches over the bangs in his face and the uneven lengths that fell past his collar. But everybody grew up. Eventually.
About the Author: Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a set of ‘Crystal and Silver’ Glitter Ball Earrings, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Baby’s on Fire. Click through for terms and conditions, further details, and your chance to win! See all the details HERE.
** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.