A fantastical romance involving a girl, the music that fuels her, and her Ouija board.
Rosalyn possesses a sunny personality that is laced with quirks. Although she seeks acceptance in a world where she lives out of time, what she gets is ridiculed for her eclectic wardrobe and unconventional music collection.
One fateful night, Rosalyn bewitches Niles, a stylish man whose offbeat character perfectly complements her own. Unfortunately, he possesses a critical flaw that means relationship suicide for him and pretty much anyone.
While under the influence of insomnia-impaired judgment, Rosalyn summons Rock ‘n Roll deity Peter Lane back from the dead. Not only does he spin her hormones into a frenzy, Peter is also the precarious puzzle piece that brings sense into her world. When Niles learns that he can overcome his life-long challenge by helping Peter avenge his death, how far will he go to secure Rosalyn’s heart?
A brunette, a raven-haired beauty, and a girl looking like a peacock all walk into a bar. No, it's not a joke; it's my not-so-mundane life that generally feels like the setup for a wisecrack.
No matter how many times my friends and I claim we are going to do something new, every Friday night we find our tushes planted at Mulligan's. However, today our weekly Friday night venture truly seemed out of the cards since my friends were originally too tired from their workweeks to consider anything short of collapsing. When you are in your early thirties and single you should be embracing life, not rotting on a sofa. Thus when my friends bailed I detoured into Warped Records which is both a second home and how I envision my little corner of Heaven. Some would call the smell of old album covers a dank stench, but to me it's a musky perfume that seeps into my pores and comforts me with the knowledge that no matter what fails me I always have my sanctuary.
Among the bins of paradise and the blaring Siouxsie the perfect gem captured my gaze and held it for ransom. Before me was a pair of eyes so unlike any other that they were nearly indescribable.
Piercing? No. That implies they shot through my skin and reached my heart; however, these somehow reached my soul. Captivating? Again that was misleading. While they did hold my attention they also kept me at bay. Perhaps haunting? Yes, they did indeed haunt me. They also seemed to follow me to wherever I stood. A true description was so elusive that the color wasn't easily defined. They were deep blue, yet also flannel grey with a hint of green. In a certain light they seemed black with specks of gold.
All of these emotions and colors were brought forth by just one picture—a picture on an album that had been slipped into plastic and unceremoniously tacked to the wall, yet somehow it jumped out at me and begged for worship.
“Who are those guys?” I asked Shane, the store's clerk. Shane's tight black pants, white Split Enz T-shirt, black suspenders, and short, curly brown hair made him look like a skinny, nineteen eighties teenager in a forty-something-year-olds body. His hot pink English Beat button sold the outfit. In an odd way our obsessions make us kindred spirits. It may be like we are third cousins, twice removed, but kindred nonetheless.
“Not a clue.” Shane absent-mindedly tapped a pencil on a note pad while his hazel eyes sat on a ragged copy of Rolling Stone that was decades out of date. “How is it you don't know? You're the super genius that no one can stump.” He sighed, conceding to the call of duty. “I suppose you want me to halt my important work and show it to you.”
“If it's not too much of a bother to pull yourself away from that fascinating article on INXS that is so old it will soon disintegrate, then yes, please. I would appreciate your struggle of removing the tack for a lady.”
With the flick of his wrist, Shane sent the magazine spinning across the counter. “Geez, you practically live here so I thought you would be more at home yanking the thing off yourself.”
“Glad to see that chivalry is alive and well at Warped Records.”
The album was presented with a bow. “Milady, as per your request.” Shane's smugness made me grin. “Anyway, it arrived with some other records from a recent estate sale. Rob seemed to know who they were.”
My eyes honed in on the price tag. “Six dollars? That's a lot for a potentially crappy band no one has heard of.”
Shane's view floated from the magazine to the notepad. “Yep. Six bucks is what this says. I hung it next to the two hundred dollar, Jagger-signed, Goat's Head Soup to be funny.”
Four men, who were partially obscured by a golden overlay of paisleys and swirls, stared back at me. Their clothes were colorful, slightly Edwardian, and accented with fur. It was all very fashionable for the nineteen sixty-eight copyright printed on the back of the cover that held no liner notes. Three of the men felt so insignificant that they were but mere blurs. All I noticed was the cute one with the sandy blonde hair and magnetic eyes whose signature started with the letter P.
My fingers glided over the autograph whose ink felt as if it were luxurious azure velvet. It also gave off an energy that put a beat in my head. What really caught my attention was a spot of what appeared to be dried blood. When I touched it, a fuzz reminiscent of the thrill I get when hearing a vintage guitar effects pedal vibrated through. I had to have that album!
My 4-Star Thoughts
What to say about this story... It is different than anything I have ever read. A little bit paranormal, a little bit hippy, a little bit groovy, a little bit suspenseful, a little bit romantic.... I think you are starting to get my drift.
The idea of reincarnation and ghosts mixed in with present time is pretty neat. Diane Rinella did a wonderful job giving you the info on the past as you needed to know it and tie it in to the present. The paranormal aspects that are thrown in aren't overpowering paranormal. They add to the intrigue of the book. It's like making a cake. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and then you have your wondrous creation! That's what this story is.
I loved the idea of the 60's hipster theme. It's unique. The characters are lovable. The connection that Ros and Peter have is portrayed perfectly all throughout the story. The give and take, their inner struggles with themselves and the truth about themselves kept me waiting to see how the story would play out.
The ending was bliss. I don't think there could have been a better way to end the book. The villain needed to be taken care of. A couple needed to finalize their relationship. The suspense in getting to the end had me on the edge of my seat.
Overall, I totally enjoyed this book. I love reading something unique. The same old love story gets boring after a while. There was no boredom with this one!
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fangirl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.
Why I Went Mod
Since I announced the release of Scary Modsters I’ve been repeatedly asked, “Why did you make deceased rock star Peter Lane a mod? Why not go more modern?”
In the early 1960’s we had just gotten out of the bobby sox and saddle shoes phase and were looking to Jackie O for style tips. Fashions weren't exactly risky. When Peter's popularity started all of that was changing. Mary Quant, a fashion designer out of London, created revolutionary styles, color combinations, and high hemlines that have never left us. The mod look propelled fashion forward and signaled that the world was changing. It was sort of the shot heard around the world.
Working-class youth went out of their way to get the best possible fashion. There’s a misconception that the scooter-loving mods were rich kids while their rivals, the motorcycle-riding, rockers, didn't have money for fancy clothes. In talking to a lot of 60’s mods it seems that isn't true at all. The mods were just as working class as the rockers, but their priorities were different. They didn't believe in wearing something that they considered undesirable when they could to do better.
I have a few hang-ups with modern fashion. It seems like everywhere I go people are wearing clothes that are both so short and tight that their skin is popping out in an undesirable way or their clothes are so baggy that they are falling off. Now I know these are fashion statements, but they're not fashion statement that work for me. I have a hard time watching award shows. Some people are given great honors and they show up looking like getting out of bed was an inconvenience. It drives me crazy.
It seems that every twenty years we revisit an era. The poodle skirts and saddle shoes of the 1950’s came back in style in the late 1970’s when rockabilly hit. 1960’s fashions became popular again in the 1980’s, during the new wave revolution. In the 1990’s stores were flooded with bellbottoms and those big shirts that were all the rage in the 70’s. In the first decade of the current century we saw an 80’s, new wave resurgence. Now we are due for a 90’s resurgence, which puts us at grunge. The problem is that grunge had a very casual look that never went away. Also the 90’s weren't very interesting fashion wise. So where do we go from there? It seems only natural that we would look back to the revolution—the 1960’s. Have you seem those amazing, mod commercials for Rimmel? Everything old is new again.
Diane Rinella Scary Modsters Interview
In the last few years there have been many books about rock stars from the 1980’s up to the present. You went all the way back to the 1960’s. Why did you choose that era?
In the early 1960’s we had just gotten out of the bobby sox and saddle shoes phase and were looking to Jackie O for style tips. Fashions weren't exactly risky. When our hero, Peter Lane, became popular all of that was changing. Mary Quant, a fashion designer out of London, made revolutionary changes in styles, color combinations, and hemlines that have never left us. The mod look propelled fashion forward and signaled that the world was changing. It was sort of the shot heard around the world.
But why make him a mod? Why not a rocker or a hippie?
A lot of the reason has to do with my fascination with mod culture. There’s a misconception that the scooter-loving mods were rich kids while their rivals, the motorcycle-riding rockers, didn't have money for fancy clothes. In talking to a lot of 60’s mods I found that wasn't true at all. The mods were just as working class as the rockers, but their priorities were different. They didn't believe in wearing something that they considered undesirable when they could to do better.
I have a few hang-ups with modern fashion. It seems like everywhere I go people are wearing clothes that are so short and tight that their skin pops out in an undesirable way. The alternative is that their clothes are so baggy that they are falling off. I have a hard time watching award shows. Some people are given great honors and they show up looking like getting out of bed was an inconvenience. It drives me crazy.
Have you noticed that you seem to hit on the cusp of an emerging trend?
A few weeks ago I was in my corner drugstore and noticed a nail polish display that said, “Go Mod.” All of the colors were shades that you would expect find in dresses circa 1966. About a week later I saw a commercial for Target. As they were flashing through the different spring trends one of them boldly said “60’s mod” and showed a girl in mod make up. Rimmel has a wickedly fantastic mod campaign going on. I could not have timed it better.
So I take it the character of Rosalyn is rather personal?
A lot of her really is. She's more fangirly than I am, but I totally understand her. While our situations are completely different our hearts are the same.
Why do you think we are looking to the 1960s for fashion?
It seems that every twenty years we revisit an era. The poodle skirts and saddle shoes of the 1950’s came back in style in the late 1970’s when rockabilly hit. 1960’s fashions became popular again in the 1980’s, during the new wave revolution. In the 1990’s stores were flooded with bellbottoms and those big shirts that were all the rage in the 70’s. In the first decade of the current century we saw an 80’s, new wave resurgence. Now we are due for a 90’s resurgence, which puts us at grunge. The problem is that grunge had a very casual look that never went away. Also the 90’s weren't very interesting fashion wise. So where do we go from there? It seems only natural that we would look back to the revolution—the 1960’s. Everything old is new again.
So do you think suddenly everybody's going to wear oversized sunglasses, miniskirts, and well-tailored suits?
A part of me really hopes so! A part of me also fears it because it means I'll be stylish. I can’t see us going extreme, but I can certainly see an influence creeping in.
Scary Modsters is a very interesting title. Where how did you come up with it?
I don't know how many people are catching the reference, but it's a parody of the David Bowie album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). I wanted a title that gave away the rock 'n roll connection. With Peter Lane being a mod and the fact that there is mob involvement, having a play on words was too easy.
Peter Lane goes through some pretty wild times. Is all that based on anything or anyone?
Peter Lane is both based on everyone and no one. So many musicians went through hell. Stories like Peter’s are all over rock history books. It’s no secret that all the events Peter went though have some type of counterpart in reality; however, the character and events are completely fabricated.
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