Sunday, November 15, 2009

Superstar Releases Today

Everything I write affects me emotionally. But there are some stories that do this more than others. Superstar is one such story. Based on the unrequited-groupie-love-song that both Karen Carpenter and Bette Midler made famous, Superstar is a rarity for me: a pure love story about a young man falling for a cad of a rock star.

He told him he loved him. He told him he'd be back.

It's also about the resiliency of life and love and how both can surprise us at the most unlikely of times.

It's the first story I've written that's set in my new home, Seattle and you'll get glimpses of the beauty of the city and the Pacific Northwest as you join my main character on the 180-foot high Aurora Bridge, also known as the "suicide bridge." It's here where Superstar begins and ends as my main character, Leon, reminisces about his love for a grungy rock superstar before taking a fatal plunge. But someone is waiting and watching, and suicides don't always go off as planned...

Hope you'll check out the story, available only in ebook. You can pick up a copy here.

When Leon first saw him singing in a dive bar, he was mesmerized. But he didn’t know he’d be going home with the dangerously sexy lead singer that night. He couldn’t have predicted he’d fall in love. But then, Leon never expected his love to be reciprocated. Yet the hot singer with the gravely voice told Leon he loved him; told him he’d come back.

So, why, three years after that fateful night, is Leon perched at the edge of a bridge, ready to make a fatal leap?

Superstar is the story of a groupie and the rock star he loves. It’s the tale of a man on the edge, both literally and figuratively...and it’s a timeless story of love found and lost lost, all set to a driving rock beat.

Superstar is about promises made, promises broken, and dreams unfulfilled. And, ultimately, it’s about realizing that love can come along when one least expects it—and in the unlikeliest of places...

...I closed Olive’s that night. It wasn’t so much the crowd, or the beer, or even the cute allegedly straight boy in the cargo shorts and Cold Play T-shirt who made eyes at me throughout the night.

No. It was you.

And your music. Back then, you were just the lead singer in a band called Voiles and I was mesmerized by both your look and your sound. A bass guitar and a drummer backed you up, and if I passed either of them on the street today, I would not recognize them. For me, you stood all alone on that tiny plywood stage with a black curtain behind you. When that incredible, melodic, craggy voice emerged, it was as if the physical confines of the room disappeared. I could see only you…and what a view that was. Your tousled auburn hair, streaked through with gold, practically obscured your face. Your rail-thin body, packed into skinny jeans and a Ramones T-shirt, was like some post punk boy’s fantasy. And when you jerked your head to get the hair out of your face, the motion revealed a chiseled face, dark chocolate eyes, and a look that seemed both faraway and incredibly sad.

It made me want to take you in my arms.

I suppose that’s the effect you were after. I hate to think that the mournful gaze and the counter-culture, retro rock star clothes were calculated, just another part of the act as much as the microphone on its stand, the drum kit, the lights, the amps, the electrical cords.

I hate to think that.

But it wasn’t just your look that caught me, entrapping me in a snare that I would find impossible to free myself from for the next three years. It was your song. Your sad, sad song. Your voice was that of a man who had smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for decades: scarred, veering on raspy. It was the voice of a man much older than your years, which appeared to number in the twenties. You were the love child of Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright.

Your lyrics, coal black, smoldered around age-old topics like lost love, loneliness, alienation, and an inability to find home. Cheery stuff.

It had me sobbing into my beer most of the night.

And when I wasn’t sobbing, I was imagining what you’d look like naked.

There was a curious combination pulsing inside me that night: lust, despair, hunger…

But I never had any real hopes that I would actually be meeting you that night. No idea that I would actually see what the wiry body under those clothes looked like. No clue that I would come to know the feel of those swollen lips on my own...

Get your copy of Superstar here.

WIN A FREE COPY OF SUPERSTAR! Simply leave a comment below (with a way to get in touch with you).


  1. My favorite version of this haunting song was performed by Cher. Her version actually predates Karen's by a month or so. Can't wait to read it, as always.


  2. Sounds like a terrific story, Rick! It's always so sad that they fall for the "bad boy"...

  3. My favorite version is actually by one of the song's cowriters, Bonnie Bramlett (she wrote it with Leon Russell...and there's a secret tip of the hat to him in the story).Bramlett has the smoky, hard edge to her voice to really bring the song to tragic life.

  4. crosses fingers and hopes i get a chance at winning this novella. sounds hot!

  5. That except reminds me of my high school years following around the local bands in little dives here and there in the city. Those were fun times, daydreaming of catching the eye of the cute badboy on stage.


    (piaveleno at gmail dot com)

  6. The story sounds wonderful, just reading the third paragraph that you excerpted. I could faintly see the stage and the skinny, shaggy-haired singer behind the words and smell the stale odor of old cigarettes and beer...

    skippyj1955 at hotmail

  7. I have been trying to win a copy of one of your books for a long time and so far, no luck.

  8. Cool... another new release from Rick!

  9. I'm looking forward to the new setting, because I've never been to Seattle. I find it interesting that you're starting another story with an attempted suicide. I'm reading Orientation now and it starts the same way, sans bridge. Easiest way to contact me is via Facebook (this is Jeff Walker in case my name doesn't show up) OR you can contact me at the email below, should I win.

  10. Well I know from past experiences that ANYTHING you write is great Rick! I have to admit "M4M" really surprised me with the comedy and romance being as strong as the drama. This novella sounds like a combo or romance and drama. I'd love to read it.

  11. Rick,

    I love all your books. I can tell the emotions come from your heart as I feel them when I read all your books. Thank you for being such an awesome writer, great person and sharing yourself so thoroughly with your readers.

    Kelly S

  12. Well even if I don't win I'll be getting this one. Your stories have such a wide appeal and it doesn't matter what it is, there's something abotu each and every one of them that gets to me.
    Congratulations on a new release Rick!

  13. It sounds like a touching and well thought out story. I would love to win it, but if I don't I think I will pick it up soon. Congrations on the release.

  14. Oops, forgot to leave the email:

  15. What a perfect song to inspire such a book! It's one of my favorites, and the lyrics boast the heaviest of emotions that, to this day, still bring a tear to my eye. From your excerpt, it appears you have captured this emotion of love lost. Congrats on the release!

  16. Whether I have a chance or not at winning, I'll get the ebook... Sounds very interesting...
    Your friend Derek (from Facebook)


    Jeff Walker has won a free copy of SUPERSTAR. Congratulations, Jeff!

    If you didn't win, you have another chance today, Nov. 16, on the Reviews by Jessewave website at:

  18. This sounds AMAZING Rick! Another book that I can't wait to read! I'd love to have you for a guest spot on the site! or!