Thursday, September 16, 2010

Welcome, Christine London

Hi Roseanne and thanks for inviting me as guest today. When you first asked me to share something of a personal nature---something my readers don’t know about me---yet, well my mind did a bit of a dance through the files labeled ‘personal’. Images flipping across my internal screen rushed past in a dizzying blur.

Cute little freckle face girl who always felt too tall, awkward shy pre teen with stick straight fly away red hair that had a mind of its own, young college student studying to be an elementary school teacher, harried school marm wearing apple jewelry and apron with chalkboard letters scrawled across it, European traveler meeting her critique partner for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall in London for a Darren Hayes Concert---cachunk. The images snagged on one of me next to my webmistress and friend. Alex Kent, strolling along the red carpet at the Taurus Stunt Awards-- back lot Paramount Studios Hollywood.

Camera bulbs flashing like strobes, I looked to the radiant face of my friend as we made our way along the carpet and toward V.I.P. seating in the large amphitheater constructed especially for the event. Did the press know we were just a couple of authors? No.

We had been directed into the flow of celebs because we were the cliché ‘right time right place’ gals. Preparedness meets opportunity. Dressed to the nines and in fine shape from our regiment of running/weightlifting workouts, we strutted our stuff with the best of them. So what if the bouncers waved us through? Their error. It was only a few moments in the limelight before we disappeared into the anonymity of the other invited guests. We made our way to regular seating—along with the hundreds of other stunt persons in attendance.

It just so happens that they were honoring stuntwomen that night, so we spent the remainder or the evening mingling with the real deal. After party held on the streets of the studio back lot, we moved from lit dance floor, to sidewalk bar, to bucking bronco (didn’t ride in our gowns, sorry to disappoint. Now that would have been, to caged motorcyclists spinning three hundred sixty degrees around the orb in which they were captive riders.

One man asked if we’d like to take a pole-dancing course, business cards at the ready. Now in any other situation you might think this to be a cheesy pick up line. Not so here. Stunt women, it seems, pole dance as part of their workout regiment. Nothing like it to strengthen legs and core muscles.

“How’d you get in here?” a burly individual asked.

“Extra ticket. Small donation to your fund for injured stuntmen. Luck.” All were true.
Where did I get my chutzpa? What happened to the meek kindergarten teacher?

Gone with the winds ---of change. Becoming a published author and moving back to Los Angeles have been the best things to ever happen to me. I’ve finally found what I was meant to do in this life.

“Attend Hollywood events?” you ask.

No. Not unless they are going to feed my ever growing bank of knowledge about that which I do-- write. Whether by BLOG or in the pages of a book, everything (a bit outlandish) I do now is more fun than ought to be legal. The title ‘author’ has not only given me the guts to step out into the world, but the carte blanche to do it.
Oh, that and an unflinching desire to live this one and only life to the max.
Write on!

Christine London

Author of Romance With a Twist

Visit my website a www.christinelondon .com for the latest!

It’s love at first sight for rock star Colin Dunlow when he runs into sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, with a few complications. The woman of his dreams hates rockers and there’s someone who wants him dead.

Shadows Steal The Light – Blurb

Colin Dunlow is caught in a web of alcoholism precipitated by his skyrocketing fame as lead singer of the world’s hottest hard rock group, Dumbarton. When he bumps into legal activist and sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, he’s no idea what’s in store. How can he maintain his newfound sobriety whilst navigating a comeback and investigate who might want him dead? All of this and he has an AA sponsor who won’t allow him any serious relationship, not if he wants to live. What’s a rocker to do? Especially when the woman of his dreams hates rock and roll.


The lid on the jar seemed as though it had been welded shut, but her tenacity and hunger endowed her with what felt like superhuman strength. As she hurried along, wrenching at the lid, head buried in her task, she tripped in a crosscut of uneven pavement and bounced off the chest of a man’s raincoat. Trying to maintain her balance, she lost hold of the jar, sending it spinning into the street.

“Bloody hell. You should be watchin’ where yer goin’. I’ve not hurt you have I?” The tall, well built blonde Englishman said. He took hold of her shoulders to steady her. As his eyes met hers, he drew in an audible gasp of surprise at the brilliant colour. “Lord, you’ve the eyes of an goddess, my dear.”

“I’m sorry, you’re right. I wasn’t looking where I was--” Jenna paused as she looked into his. The handsome face of the man wearing the lightweight coat, likewise, took her aback. “I’m afraid I’ve lost my jar, too.” What a stupid thing to say, she thought, as she continued to stare into his amazing sky blue eyes.

“Let me collect your container for you”, he said as he let go of her and headed into the street. The jar was still gyrating against the curb as he picked it up. He looked at the label. “Peanut butter…you’re an American, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” she answered. “Why does everyone think peanut butter is from another planet?”

“Guess it’s just not something many English have grown to fancy, at least not yet. Is this all you’re havin’ for breakfast, my dear? I could use a spot of tea. Would you care to join me? There’s a newsagent ‘round the corner who has a hot cuppa and a place to sit,” he said, handing her the jar. He put his arm around her shoulder and began to guide her.

Shrugging his arm from her shoulder she charged, “Excuse me…uhh, sir, but I’m not accustomed to heading off with any random man that I’ve run into on the street.” She backed away from him and stood her ground, a determined look on her face.

“Sorry, luv. I’m attemptin’ to be a gentleman and offer you my apologies for impedin’ your peanut butter mission. Am I bein’ too presumptuous?” He stood back, extending his hand toward hers. “My name’s Colin”. He shook her delicate hand. “Now that we’ve officially met, can I ask you to tea again?”

“You can ask, but I’m heading back to my hotel for breakfast. I’m meeting someone at nine thirty.”

“Half nine. That will give me plenty of time to make amends. It’s only a cup of tea. Please, miss, uuh, misses…”

“Jenna. Jenna Lindstrom,” she said, putting the jar of peanut butter into the oversized pocket of her windbreaker.

“You’ve more than an hour until your date. Please allow me the opportunity to buy you some tea, Jenna.” His eyes glimmered in pleading invitation.

She looked at him, evaluating the ardent expression on his face. “Maybe just for a few minutes,” she answered with a hesitant edge.

“Lovely. May I offer you my arm?” He extended his elbow towards her. She tentatively laced her arm through his and they walked down the small tributary road running at a 90-degree angle to the high street. The cool of the morning was giving way to the warmth of July sunshine. Shop owners were opening their doors, sweeping the pavement in front of their establishments, washing front windows, and setting out their wares. Colin and Jenna wove around the bustle of activity for another 200 yards.

“I’m afraid this is it,” Colin said apologetically, looking towards the pencil thin shop, newsstands nearly blocking its entrance. “They’ve a counter just inside,” he said, motioning for her to enter first.

Jenna walked into the slim passageway of a shop and approached the long, narrow counter. A glass enclosure ran half its length, with baked goods lining the shiny metal racks inside. She lifted herself up onto a round green barstool. Colin did likewise on the stool next to her. The counter was smooth marble. Brass framing ran around the rectangular beveled mirror mounted on the dark mahogany of the wall behind the counter. Cut crystal bud vases decorated with single blooms dotted the counter at regular intervals. It was charming, she thought. “Is this where you take all the women you accost on the street?”

He frowned. “I really must protest, Miss Lindstrom. I believe it was you doin’ the accostin’ this mornin’.” Colin peeled off his overcoat and draped it on the stool next to his. “The day is warmin’.”

“That’s an interesting t-shirt you’ve got there. “Stage crew”? Are you a roadie?”

“Some days I’d like to be, but no.”

“Good, because it’s no existence. Those rockers have a seriously diminished life expectancy.”

“And what makes you say that?”

“All the drugs, late hours, booze, women. You name it. There’s every vice offered and undertaken, I’m sure. Best case scenario, you’d be deaf by the time you’re fifty with all those loud amps blaring in your ears.”

“Come on, Jenna. Don’t sugar coat it. How do you really feel about rockers?”, Colin jested, making a mental note to avoid disclosing his vocational identity and thanking fate that she didn’t seem to recognize him.

“Seriously, what’s with the shirt?”

“I’ve a mate workin’ for a band. Think we must ‘uv switched shirts in the laundry.”

She gave him an incredulous look. “Okay. Don’t tell me. What do you do, then?”

“As little as possible, most days of the week. Enough wonderings about me. Tell me what a beautiful American girl is doin’ out strolling down Kensington High Street before eight in the mornin’.”

“I’ve a concert to attend this evening. The benefit.”

“Ahh. I’d planned on goin’, as well.”

The short Italian looking waiter behind the counter interrupted. “What can I get for you?”, he asked.

“Would you fancy a teacake or perhaps a scone with your mash, my dear?”

“Anything you suggest”, Jenna answered, trying to sound capable.

Colin looked at the quizzical expression on her face. “You really are new at this, aren’t you? Why don’t you have a look and point at what you‘d fancy.” He stood, so she could see the contents of the glass enclosure.

Jenna rose from her stool and bent over the glass. “Hhmm. They all look wonderful. Which is the teacake?”

“The one just there.” He pointed toward the row of round currant-filled muffins.

“Oh. It looks like a biscuit with raisins,” she commented. “Yes. That would be great.”

The waiter lifted the teacake with metal tongs and placed it on a small white plate.

“And you, sir?” he asked Colin.

“Nothin’ for me. I never eat this early on a set day.” He reprimanded himself internally for alluding to the evening’s gig. “Only weekends,” he added, hoping to throw her off the track. “I think you’ll enjoy the teacake.”

The waiter placed the plate in front of Jenna’s location at the counter. “Anything else for you?”

“P G Tips or Typhoo, either you’ve got.”, Colin ordered.

Jenna looked at him in mild annoyance. “I’m sorry, Colin, but I’m afraid you’ll have to start speaking English or translate for me.”

He half raised an eyebrow. “I’ve been speaking English all along. It’s you who have only an American frame of reference, my dear. I’m not playing James Bond on you, just ordering tea, by brand name.”

“Okay.” She shrugged, feeling like a complete idiot and returned to her stool.

Seeing her embarrassment, Colin added, “If I was with you in an American coffee shop, I’m certain you could play the same game with me.” He gave her a wink. “Now where were we? Yes, you were about to tell me what you’re doing here in London, other than attending the AID’s benefit tonight.”

“I’m actually going through a little career change, looking into the possibilities on this side of the Atlantic.”

“So you’re from the east coast of the States?”

“No, west coast.”

“California, then?”

“Yes. Los Angeles. Santa Monica, actually.”

“Really? I’ve a friend that was just there. In fact he’s flyin’ in for the concert, as well.” Colin added. “Perhaps I can ring him. I’m sure he’d love to meet you. Maybe show you the hall, say during the loud bits when those rockers are performin’?”

“And why might you not be wanting to show me the hall?” she teased.

“Well, I’ve not got the backstage pass that he does. He’s in the business and can give you a proper tour.”

“We’ll see,” Jenna said tentatively.


MuseItUp Publishing said...

Holy Toledo, is that Gerard Butler, or how ever you spell his name? Star of 300? Sigh...long, long sigh. GRIN

Awesome post. And great pics.

Christine London said...

Yes ma'am. Gerry is one guy I have run across at a number of events. Sweetheart he is.

Gail Pallotta said...

What an interesting interview and life. It's wonderful that you're back in Los Angeles doing what you love. I visited there once and regret I didn't get to stay long enough. I dream of going back one day. Congratulations on your writing and best wishes for continued success.

Ginger Simpson said...

Hey, I met Clint Eastwood in a little bar and grill on day. He was an ass to everyone in there.

But, I didn't come here to tell you about him, I came to enjoy your post, and I did. You lead such an interesting life.

Viviane Brentanos said...

Ohhh I am famous. You mention moi - and Daz, of course.


Lin said...

Chris, you constantly leave me in awe of your life's stories. You epitomize that catch-phrase "You've come a long way Baby", and you ain't stopping yet. Love ya, love your blurb, and I love doing cover blogs for your books. I've done two so far, one for this book, and one for your book for another publisher. Who can forget the Vatican's pee portals?

You're the absolute best, Chris, and Ro, thank you for hosting this talented, well-traveled, beautiful spirit.

Charlie said...

Wow... can you say exciting? Excellent interviewe and great excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

Christine London said...

awe...y'all make me blush. All I can say is that I am having the time of my life.

Dragonmuse said...

Great interview! How cool to be considered a celeb. Lovely excerpt (and cover too). Keep on having the time of your life. It sounds awesome.

Margaret West said...

loved the excerpt and title. The cover is pretty fab too.

Christine London said...

Thanks ladies. Shadows Steal the Light will be out Feb 2011 through MuseItHot!

Lorrie said...

I'm also in awe of your life stories and adventures. The novel sounds awesome. A great post and fun read.
Good luck with the sales.

Christine London said...

Lorrie, Well I think you'd fancy my "Christine Goes Hollywood" blog entries, then. They are amongst my most popular. They are in the archives along with my research travels (vicarious living at its best) and other musings...


Randall said...

As a new fan of Christine's work, I look forward to reading the upcoming book(s) as well as the ones already published. She has inspired me to continue work on my own projects. Thanks Christine for moving the pen forward.

Christine London said...

Awe, Randy. You're very welcome. Write on!

Belle Scarlett said...

You had me at "Gerry Butler", lol, great story!