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    Rock Starred

    A Kindle exclusive. Photographer Katie's broken heart will only let her give a man one night. Rock star Peter wants more.

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    Back Forever

    The sequel to 'Bring Me Back', out now. “Poignant, bittersweet and satisfying, Back Forever sustains the plausible fantasy-to-reality charm of Bring Me Back.”-Manic Readers

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    Hiding in the Spotlight

    David got the chart topping success. His best friend got it all. “Hiding in the Spotlight is a fun, fast, and sexy read!”-Scandalicious Book Reviews

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    Bring Me Back

    Winner, Turquoise Morning Press Reader's Choice Award. "Fast-paced, sexy, and altogether irresistible. A flat-out fabulous read!"-NYTimes Bestselling Author Celia Rivenbark

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    Claire’s Diary

    The prequel to 'Bring Me Back'. Download the eBook for free!

I first met Rhonda Rivera and Amanda Pustz from the Daily Duranie blog on Twitter. This is the magic of social media–connecting with people who share the same interests, geography be damned. Tweeting is all well and good, but luckily I was able to hang out with them in person when they came to see Duran Duran in NC, in August of last year. We had a fabulous pre-show party with tons of other fans, a chance to revel in the anticipation of that night’s show and maybe even look back on the days when we wallpapered our bedroom walls with the band’s posters. It was the perfect example of the community the band inspires, but it takes folks like Rhonda and Amanda to bring us together. Hell, we need somebody to foster some organization. Their devotion to celebrating fandom has turned into much more than a blog as you will read below, in Rhonda’s installment of Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.

Rhonda Rivera
Charter Oak High School, Covina, CA, Class of ’88, Currently: I am a stay-at-home mom (which is a complete LIE. Staying at home has nothing to do with it!), a blogger for The Daily Duranie, and a non-fiction writer. My writing partner (for the blog and our books) and myself are developing a company devoted to celebrating fandom through books and blogs, fan events, conventions, speaking engagements and panels, and of course planning our own events for the Duran Duran fan community. I also am still trying to raise three kids, two cats and a husband! Most days I feel like I’m being pulled in 50,000 directions, and right now I’m learning how to “end” my workday to resume the duties of mom and wife (which basically means cooking and cleaning up after everyone). It’s not easy, but I love being so busy and finally having something to call my own after years of feeling fairly isolated at home.

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Curiously, the band that reminds me most of high school is the aforementioned Duran Duran, although their hey-day took place just as I was entering high school.  I was a die-hard and stuck with them!

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Truthfully it was one of MANY…but I still love it to this day. My entire room was wallpapered with Duran Duran, and of course I had every album they released.  (At the time, that wasn’t too difficult to do since they were an eighties band!)  My favorite album of theirs though was the 12” single with “Union of the Snake” on one side and “Secret Oktober” on the other.  I still have it in my album collection to this day.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: This is SO easy for me…U2!!!!!!!  I still don’t know why everyone thought they were the best thing since sliced bread, but I couldn’t stand them…purely because everyone loved them, and now I still think they’re one of the most overrated bands in the history of man.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I only saw one concert in high school…it was Power Station in 1985 I believe…so that one wins! I know from reading John and Andy’s books that it wasn’t a good time for them, but I have to say that at the age of 14 in the summer of 1985, I didn’t care. I was so excited to finally be standing in front of two of my idols that I don’t know if I even heard them play. I blame my youth. I would have never called them out for “phoning in” a performance back then.  Now?  I’m armed with a blog….don’t make me have to use it!

Best high school make-out song: Wow.  Well towards the end of high school my boyfriend at the time was really into Chicago, and we did have “a song”. (laughs) “Will You Still Love Me” by the aforementioned Chicago. It’s even worse now than it was back then!! The song makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up now and I get this weird taste in my mouth. You know the kind, when you’re trying not to hurl and that sick comes up?? Yeah…that’s it. I don’t know why for a drummer, he had such lame taste. He was a total hair band guy and even played in a local band, but no…we had a Chicago song. I sure hope he shares that wonderful taste with his now-wife (who incidentally was the girl he plucked from the audience and cheated on me with). I’m not bitter though. Not at all.

Rhonda Rivera is a blogger, writer and 1/2 of Rhonda and Amanda, the women who steer the ship at DailyDuranie.com. Amanda will be joining us on January 10th–make sure you stop by.

Chick Lit author Tracie Banister joins us today on RNRHS, bringing a post rife with 80s music, which you know makes me happy. I, like Tracie, have many happy memories of lighting up the gymnasium dance floor to the Go-Go’s, a band that epitomized the 80s and everything girls wanted at that time–to live a life full of funky clothes, vintage convertibles, sunny skies, and frolicking in public fountains. My sophomore year of high school, a cute boy at a record store told me that I looked just like Belinda Carlisle. I think I rode the high of that compliment for months. It wasn’t until later in life that I wondered if that had been 80s-boy code for, “you’re cute, but a little pudgy”.

Tracie Banister

El Toro High School, El Toro, CA & West Carteret High School, Morehead City, NC. Class of ’85, Currently: a Chick Lit writer.

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Oh, gosh, if I had to pick one song that encapsulates my high school experience, it would probably be “Our Lips are Sealed” by The Go-Go’s. That song played at every slumber party and school dance I can remember. It was such a fun, upbeat, empowering song for girls, and we all loved rocking out to it.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I was totally obsessed with The Police in high school. Their Synchronicity album was released right about the time I got my driver’s license, so my friends and I would cruise around town listening to the Synchronicity cassette tape on a continuous loop. I had every piece of Synchronicity paraphernalia you can imagine – t-shirts, posters, spiral notebooks, magnets, all emblazoned with that iconic artwork that had the paint splashes of red, yellow, and blue. I wore that Synchronicity t-shirt well into my twenties until it was practically threadbare and even then I couldn’t bear to throw it out! So, that tattered tee was kept in the bottom of my dresser drawer for another decade. It made me feel 16 again every time I saw it!

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Journey . . . SHUDDER I don’t know what it was about Steve Perry’s voice, but it made me want to go postal every time I heard it and there was no getting away from Journey when I was a teenager. That band and their music was everywhere. I want to give a big raspberry to Glee and the musical Rock of Ages for making that annoying song “Don’t Stop Believin’” popular again a few years ago. GROAN

Best show or concert you saw in high school: I was several hours away from the closest arena when I was a teenager, so I didn’t get to attend my first concert (Hall & Oates!) until I reached the ripe old age of 20 (I’d moved to Atlanta at this point.) I made up for lost time in my twenties, going to 10+ concerts a year throughout the decade. I had a friend who worked for a local music producer, so she always got us free tickets, even backstage passes sometimes (I got to meet Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons backstage at a KISS concert!) So, I don’t have a best concert from my high school years, but my best concert of all time was probably INXS (R.I.P. Michael Hutchence)

Best high school make-out song: Well, my classmates would probably say something like “Waiting for a Girl Like You” by Foreigner or “Keep on Loving You” by REO Speedwagon, but I was never really into ballads. My make-out tune of choice would be “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell; I always found that song to be really sexy and hormone-revving (Guess I had a dark side!)

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her debut novel, the Hollywood-themed Blame It on the Fame, was released in January, 2012, and she followed that up with the Miami-set Romantic Comedy, In Need of Therapy. You can find out more about Tracie at traciebanister.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @traciebanister.

If I told you one of my favorite images of the 80s came from the Police, conventional wisdom might suggest it’s Sting taking off his shirt in the video for “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”. But, that would be wrong. Sorry. No, to me, one of the best (ahem, sexiest) bits of imagery from 80s music is beanpole Stuart Copeland in bright-white tennis shorts, magnificent floppy mop of hair, lanky legs, making an ass of himself in the “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” video. Love it. It was geek rock before we had any idea what that was. Le sigh. While I take a moment to fan myself, fellow Ellora’s Cave author Brenna Zinn is here, talking 80s, naiveté and The Police, which makes me just as happy as Stuart Copeland’s knobby knees.

Brenna Zinn

Class of ’85, Currently: I’m a full-time author and babysitter of three huge English Mastiffs

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: The Police – “Every Breath You Take” was the song known as OUR song between me and then boyfriend. But I was such a radio/music hound, almost any song from the early 80s reminds me of high school. Men At Work, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Men Without Hats… good times, good times.

I also worked at the local university’s arena selling popcorn and drinks at concerts. REO Speedwagon and John Cougar were two concerts I remember working at. I remember several people asking that I not fill their sodas completely to the top and not knowing why they would want that. Now that I’m over 21, I finally understand. I was SOOO naive.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Mainly the album covers from the multitude of records I bought. They still look great. My husband and I framed several album covers and hang them on the wall in our place in Austin. It’s our rock-n-roll condo. Everything in the place is either associated with music or cycling.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Every hair band ever known to man. I didn’t see what the big attraction was. Still don’t. I didn’t even like AC/DC until I married my husband. He wanted to make sure our unborn baby had good music taste, so he’d put on AC/DC, plug in these huge earphones, then put the earphones on my belly. My daughter, who is now 22, knows every AC/DC song ever recorded. She and my husband go to AC/DC concerts together. I elect to stay home, eat chocolate ice cream, and watch Ghost Hunters on television. It works out best that way.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: I mentioned above that I used to work concerts at the local arena. I didn’t actually attend a concert until I was 18. I saw Prince during his Purple Rain tour. That was a total eye-opener. I felt as though I had just passed some rite of passage after attending that show. Suddenly I was mature and worldly. (Did I mention how naïve I was?)

Best high school make-out song: “Every Breath You Take” by the Police and “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister. Oh the memories I have making out in the back of a 1964 Mustang.

Brenna Zinn is a multi-published author of erotic romance, including Rise of the Dom. You can find out more about Brenna at brennazinn.com and follow her on Twitter @BrennaZinn.