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I’m Karen, a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ’80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. An early preoccupation with Rock ‘n’ Roll led me to spend my twenties working my way from intern to executive in the music industry. Now I’m a married mom of two, and instead of staying up late in rock clubs, I get up before dawn and write sexy contemporary romance starring hot heroes, served fresh.
If you haven’t heard me squealing about it on Facebook or Twitter, ’80s Mix Tape is out now! This incredible collection includes seven (yes, seven!) all-new novellas about love in the ’80s, each inspired by an iconic song from the decade. It’s such an honor to have my story, Save a Prayer, alongside the work of so many brilliant authors. (For fans of Bring Me Back, SAP is set against the backdrop of the Banks Forest heyday and tells Graham and Angie’s love story.) In the mood to reminisce about one of the greatest musical decades ever? This anthology is all you need, and it’s only 99 cents in eBook format! That low, low price is a limited time thing, btw. Take a hint, darlings. Buy it in a timely fashion! And now that my sales pitch has come to its logical conclusion, allow me to welcome my guest for the 87th installment of Rock ‘n’ Roll High School–Becky McDonald, the heroine of Need You Tonight from ’80s Mix Tape. She filled it out prior to the opening scene. Poor Becky. Sounds like she’s having a hard time letting a certain guy go.
Becky McDonald, Silver Pines High, Silver Pines, WA, Class of ’83
Currently: It’s 1986 and I’m a nurse at Olympic Peninsula General
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: ZZTop! The Eliminator album came out senior year. We listened to it so many times I wore out my cassette tape! Also, the videos were amazing. We used to watch MTV all night long waiting for “Legs” to come back on. We loved the makeover the mousy girl got. Especially since most of us were mousy like she was.
Jacob, my boyfriend at the time, could play all the songs.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: My ex-boyfriend’s Van Halen concert shirt. I still have it. I wear it to bed every night. I haven’t seen Jacob in two years, but he’ll always be the one, you know?
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I pretty much liked all music, but Jacob could not handle Madonna at all. But he was a rocker, a real bad boy.
Best show or concert you saw in high school: Jacob took to me to a lot of concerts and shows. Journey, Van Halen, Scorpions…but my favorite was always him. I loved watching him play and sing. He and his friends used to jam a lot, and I always thought they were going places. They finally named themselves in 1984—Ironwing. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Just like Jacob and I weren’t meant to be. He’s actually on the run from the law now. He did…well…it’s a long story. But I’ll never see him again. Part of me knows it’s for the best, I suppose. But I can’t listen to rock bands without wondering what could have been for him. For us.
Best high school make-out song: I lost my virginity to “Waiting for a Girl like You” by Foreigner, but our song was “Open Arms” by Journey.
Read Becky and Jacob’s story in Need You Tonight by Gwen Hayes in ‘80s Mix Tape. For more information about Gwen Hayes, please visit gwenhayes.com or hang out with her on Twitter @gwenhayes.