Saturday, September 7, 2013

Birthday Music Festival: K. Vale and Armageddon Showdown (Interview/Giveaway)

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, rockers of all ages, to our Birthday Music Festival! I hope that you enjoyed all of the bands, and the masterminds behind them, that joined us yesterday! In case you missed it, Reckless BeatOblivion, and Jessica Topper (Digger Graves mastermind) will be hanging around the festival for a few more days.  We might even be able to pretty talk one of them back later today! Enough about that though, let's get to the music! 

Taking the stage are two sexy rockers (one pierced and tattooed. Mmm...), lets hear some noise for Armageddon Showdown! 

Hi, everyone! I’m Kimber Vale and I’m so grateful to Crystal, Lexi and Crystal L. for inviting me over to play, along with my boys from my newest book Forever is Now.

It took some doing, but I was able to drag my reluctant rock star out of bed this morning and get him to answer a few questions.

Chance: More like that damn dog woke me up licking my face. Ugh. You know what else he licks, right?

Alex: Like you wouldn’t lick your own if you could.

Chance, with a sarcastic smile: You got a point, but if you wear a hat, I don’t think anyone’ll notice.
Alex: Where’d you pick that up? Middle school?

Kimber: Here’s your coffee. Let’s hope it improves the lame jokes. I’ve already walked your dog for ya. Claps hands together and rubs them. It’s interview time.

Chance: Kinda pushy, aren’t ya?

Kimber: I’ve got three kids. I have to be pushy.

Chance makes a revolted face and a cross with his fingers.

Kimber: Shaking head and rolling eyes. Yeah, I guess you might consider them blood-suckers, but at least I don’t have a puppy—I’m done with the potty-training crap.

What’s his name, anyway? I was trying to congratulate your adopted furry for peeing outside instead of on your floor, and I didn’t know what to call him.
Both men speak at the same time

Alex: Puppy

Chance: Dog

Kimber: Great names. You’d think artistic-types like yourselves could come up with something better.

Alex: We’re working on it. Haven’t found anything we love yet.

Kimber:You should get on that before he grows up confused.Okay. On to the interview.Chance, what inspired you to first start playing music?

Chance takes an exaggerated sip of coffee and pretends he doesn’t hear me. Alex clears his throat menacingly.

Chance, giving Alex an amused smirk: Well, when I was nine I got my first guitar—an acoustic—and my parents sent me for lessons with this little old church lady who taught me chords and…yaknow, campfire Jesus songs. The next year a buddy at school copied his Pantera CD for me and I bought this shitty old, beat-up electric guitar off ‘im. 

I walked into Mrs. Allen’s house a week later and showed her how I’d learned to pick out “Cemetery Gates,” complete with lyrics. She told my mom she was retiring two days after that.

Honestly? So many amazing bands’ve influenced our sound. And I’m always finding great new stuff to listen to. 

Kimber: What are you listening to right now? What’s in your car, or MP3 player, or bus, or whatever the hell you do?

Chance:Some of the bands I have on heavy rotation are Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, Three Days Grace. Always Tool—or some embodiment of Maynard James Keenan.Uh… what else? In This Moment—if you like chicks who can scream, Maria takes it to a whole new level.Oh, The Bunny The Bear is in there, too. Kinda fun.Kinda weird.

My buddy Gio’s band, Three Deaf Mice, has a phenomenal new album out.

Alex, nodding head: So good.

Chance: I wish Breaking Benjamin would get back together.Loved their sound. Want somethin’ new from them.

Kimber: Amen.

Chance: Halleluiah.

Alex: Yeah, that would be sweet. You should have Delia call Ben Burnley. If anyone can strong-arm the guy, it’s your drummer.

Chance, laughing: Yeah. No lie.

Kimber: And how would you classify your music, for people who haven’t heard you before? Describe Armageddon Showdown’s sound for the uninitiated.

Chance: Oh, God. I guess we’re kinda progressive metal…or some shit. We rock hard, but we’ve got a few more mainstream songs than we did in our early days.

Kimber: Coughs something that sounds like “sell outs.”

Alex laughs.

Chance: Hey, go fuck yourself.

Kimber: Just kidding. You need a couple slower songs to give yourself some downtime during shows. And give me a break from dancin’ my ass off when I go to see ya.  I like the mellow stuff, too. You have an amazing voice when you’re not screaming.

Alex: He has an amazing voice when he is screaming.

Chan: Yeah, you love to hear me scream.

Alex: Make you scream? What?

Kimber: All right. All right.Enough of that. What do you think? Should we give everyone a peek into the shooting of your “Sands of Time” video?

Alex: Why not?

Chan: Sounds good to me.

Puppy comes running in, tail wagging his entire body. He jumps onto the bed,goes straight for Chance’s face, and knocks coffee all over his white down comforter.

Chan: Shit!

Alex: Puppy! Come on, you! Where’s your Kong? Huh? Want a treat?

Chan: Grumbling. Spills my coffee and gets peanut butter. Figures…

Excerpt from Forever is Now:

Alex directed them to a spot in front of the decrepit concrete block foundation where Delia’s drums anchored the pseudo-stage. Dave picked up his stand-in guitar and Jimmy’s bass from the jumble of props on the tarp, and handed Jimmy his instrument.
“I take it this is mine?” Chance commented on the black guitar with the white racing stripe down the middle and a decal of their logo on the lower body. He picked at the sticker with a black-painted pointer finger, and Alex slapped his hand. Jimmy snorted.
“It just needs to pass for the real thing. No one will know the difference, unless you pull it apart before we tape.”
“Easy, killer. I won’t destroy your fantastic…” He glanced at the back and then laughed. “Upper Deck guitar. How’d I miss this premium brand? Isn’t that what they call it when someone drops a deuce in the back of a toilet tank?” Chance rapped his knuckles on the body and laughed at the hollow thunk.
“I don’t even want to know where you picked up that information. And no ruining it yet! The destruction comes at the very end.”
“I like the way you think. This hunk o’ shit deserves to be flushed.”
“All right—let’s do this! You over here.You here.” Alex started pointing and pushing, and everyone fell in around Delia. “No mics,” Alex told Chance, as he backed up while looking through his camera lens. “Let’s wrap this before the sun gets any higher. Doesn’t matter if it sounds like shit, just get playing.”
“Oh, it’ll sound like shit, all right,” Chance grumbled, but Delia tapped three beats above her head with her drum sticks, and “Sands” churned to life. It was subdued on the unplugged electric guitars, and slightly out of tune despite Alex’s instructions to Roadie to have the instruments ready. But it didn’t matter. Paired with Chance’s naked voice, something about it was decadent dark magic, and Alex found himself grinning like an entranced fool behind his lens.
Dave broke a string during his guitar solo, but didn’t miss a beat. Jimmy head-banged through his hangover like a gold-medalist, while Delia gave a stick twirling performance that would make a baton-thrower quit the marching band in defeat. And Chance was just Chance, belting out the lyrics, “Shifting and sifting, I’m losing my footing. The sand in my glass is sucking me under,” as if he were putting on a performance for thousands of adoring fans.
Nope. Just one.
Speedy and Roadie were nowhere to be seen, presumably resting back in the bus until their muscles were called upon once again. Jools held a camera parked on a tripod in front of the foursome with a wide-angle lens, while Alex circled with his zoom like a shark testing its prey.
The song ended with a shallow twang of an unplugged guitar, and Alex yelled, “Cut!” He shook his head in admiration. “Perfect, everyone! You nailed it.” He spun back his video to look it over as he spoke, and then had Jools backtrack her footage.
“Just give me one sec to make sure I’ve got what I need, and then you’re dismissed. Unless you want to throw your doppelganger instruments in the ocean personally. If not, my trusty assistant and I can handle it. Oh, and Chance, you’re not done yet.”
“Yeah, I figured,” he said with a snort.
“Ha ha!” Delia teased, as she grasped a broken drumstick between both fists and stabbed the top of her snare through the heart.
“Hey! No instrument mutilation without me filming!” Alex glared at her.
“Ha ha!” Chance mimicked in a falsetto.
“I’m outta here.” She flipped them both off with a cheeky grin and padded barefoot toward the low-tide meeting of waves and sand off in the distance.
“Goin’ back to the bus. Come get me if you need me,” Jimmy said. He turned back and gave Alex a severe look. “Don’t need me, whatever you do.”
Dave shrugged, silently placed his temporary guitar on the sand, and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He tapped the screen as he made the long climb back up the weathered concrete staircase that wound toward the road.
“Where do you want me?” Chance asked with a devil’s grin that made Alex want to give Jools the rest of the day off.
“How’s your balance?” Alex said, with a taunting raised eyebrow. He beckoned Chance to the side of the foundation and pointed a thumb toward the remains of a vast saltwater pool. It continued to be refilled by the highest tides, and the stagnant water was framed by a strip of concrete. A hashtag of eroding walls formed a series of paths, about three -feet wide. To their left, farther down the beach, one long wall led to a rocky outcrop. Above it, a startlingly modern building, appropriately named The Cliff House, rose like a phoenix from the rocks. It had, in fact. Two incarnations before the current restaurant and museum had burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances. Chance’s gaze followed his gesture.
“Isn’t there water on both sides?”
“A rocky drop to the coast on one side.Water on the other. And it isn’t the kind you want to swim in, either. Picture a tidal pool that rarely if ever drains.”
“Nice. Sounds like a set up. I see your bet and I raise you. I can walk that shit backward.” Chance pulled a single-sized bottle of vodka out of his tight jean pocket and took a swig.
“And here I thought you were just happy to see me,” Alex said in a droll voice, eyeing the bottle. Jools giggled behind him and he mentally kicked himself. Chance looked like he wanted to give him the physical version times ten. Alex shrugged off his evil eye and bent to pick up the blue and white cooler the muscle men had pulled from the back of his van two hours ago.
“Refreshments? Nice.” Chance looked ready to kiss and make up until Alex flipped the lid and pulled out an icy foot-long halibut, completely intact from head to tail.
“What the fuck?”
“I told you the water wasn’t going to be Jacuzzi material. Especially after I dump these guys in,” Alex said, as he tossed the semi-thawed fish back into the ice with its dead comrades.
“Jools, I can handle the filming out there. We don’t all have to risk falling in.” Alex heaved the heavy cooler up onto the wall. “Think you can manage the instruments in the waves? Just get them floating, back and forth for a bit, like we talked about.”
“Sure thing.”
“Just give a call up to Speedy and the other guy to help you haul them over. And don’t let them leave anything when we’re done. Ask ’em to load it back in the van right on the tarp. I’ll get rid of the stuff later.”
“You got it!” Jools saluted, and Alex turned back toward Chance and crooked his head at the old pools. “Lead the way.”

Forever is Now Coming 9/9/13!
If you love someone, set him free. If he steals something of yours, hunt him down and make him sorry.
Alex Bremen is over Chance Ralan. Ever since his high school boyfriend ditched him nine years ago, Alex has barely thought of Chance at all. Sure, Alex attended a concert or two when his ex’s band, Armageddon Showdown, was in the area, but that was more curiosity than anything else. Who wouldn’t want to see firsthand how his once clean-cut boyfriend transformed into a pierced and tattooed heavy metal god?
But when Chance has the nerve to record a love song Alex wrote for him years ago, Alex crosses the country to confront him. Revenge becomes a dish best served sizzling hot. The two men lock horns, but find the chemistry between them has only intensified with time, and occasionally love needs to do some growing up before it can be done right.
Coming 9/9/13 from Liquid Silver Books!

Kimber is giving away a copy of her sci-fi erotic romance novel, "Star Catcher". To enter just fill out the rafflecopter below. You can enter to win a copy of Forever is Now in our Rock Star giveaway below that, along with other rockin ebooks! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birthday Music Festival Rock Star Giveaway!
The fabulous authors joining us to celebrate our birthday have each donated one of their books in digital format to giveaway to one reader. One reader will receive six rockin' ebooks at the end of our event! \m/ Enter using the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Forever is Now Name that Dog Blog Tour:
Notice how Chance and Alex haven’t named their dog yet? Think you could come up with a kick-tail name? Lay it on me! During my Name that Dog Blog Tour (9/6-10/6) I’m accepting potential dog names on my blog— Or you can email me @ kimbervaleHotmailcom. Or tweet me @kimbervale. Or post on my Facebook page. Whatever! If I choose your name, it will be used in the second book in my Shooting Stars series, Double Takes. The winner will get a shout-out in my acknowledgements, a free e-copy of the book when it’s released, and a twenty dollar Amazon gift card!
What do you say? Help me name that dog! 
-Kimber Vale


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