I am super excited to share my story of an Aussie boy falling in love with an English girl while his world is falling apart. I have been working on this book for over a year and it’s getting closer. Sign ups are available for bloggers and reviewers, but I’m also going to do an advance reader copy giveaway for a lucky reader – keep your eyes peeled for that one.
Without further adieu – here is part of the first chapter of Rock Bottom.
My ears are ringing. The dull drone is amplified by the drumming of blood thumping in my head. This is not from the hordes of people singing along to our songs at a sold out concert. No, no. This ringing is from the understanding of the conversation that just went down. My band mate Sean is nowhere to be found. He’s dropped off the face of the Earth. That means, without him. I have no band. Without a band, I have no tour. Without a tour, I have no career. And without a career, I’m nobody. My band is my life, and now that the other half of the band is gone, I have no life. A little voice in my head is telling me ‘I’m Reece fucking Ashton, and I’m a superstar’. Well, I was a rock God until about twenty-four hours ago. I stand up, stretch my legs in the jeans I’ve been wearing since yesterday, and start to pace my manager’s office in the heart of London. My hands make a fist and shake my fingers open. This sick to the stomach feeling hasn’t left me since I found his letter of ‘I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you’ in my dressing room yesterday. My stomach rolls again, but my anger tampers it down just for a moment. I close my hands over my ears, but that just amplifies the ringing, and let out a long frustrated sigh when I move my hands.
“There have to be options.” My gravelly voice doesn’t sound like my own. A couple of hours of hard drinking and trying to find the answer at the bottom of a bottle has left me feeling less than stellar. “What about a replacement?” I run my hand over my stubbly chin before grabbing at the back of my neck to try and loosen the muscles. I push off the chair, and it causes it to knock into the coffee table. I turn and catch a glimpse of myself in the window’s reflection. My normally styled blond hair is a floppy, lank mess and in serious need of a wash. Everything about me needs a wash. The dark circles under my green eyes highlight my tiredness. My Hendrix shirt has trapped the smell of sweat and alcohol as I’ve been too busy trying to call Sean to get answers and getting drunker with each dial. My hand slides up to my bicep and touches the tattoo peeking out from under my sleeve. It’s a picture of sheet music wrapping around my bicep. The first few chords of my first number one. It’s my reminder that hard work will pay off. It’s about the only thing that hasn’t been taken from me. As tired and as seedy as I am, I’m itching to go out for a run. I think I got an hour’s sleep on my manager’s lounge. This was the same lounge that I punched and kicked the shit out of when no one could answer me and the rotting truth had been confirmed. The last twenty-four hours have been my version of hell. I’m in desperate need of a shower, but wanting this sorted is my top priority.
“And even if a replacement was an option, what are you going to pay them with? Hugs? You have no access to any equity. The company isn’t going to comp you on this,” David, my manager says while holding his palms up to me. Even when it’s gone to shit, he’s optimistic about the future. “Besides, it was a done deal. Either the pair of you or nothing. That’s what the contract says.” So much for optimistic.
Taking David’s advice, we pooled all our assets under the business name. My bank accounts, bar one, are all managed under the umbrella that is now being checked over by the fine-toothed comb of the taxation department. That equals all my assets, even the money in my accounts tied to the business, are frozen. I have one credit card in my name and was set up for emergencies. I’m meant to be rehearsing on a stage that sits in the middle of an arena getting ready for our first world tour, not chewing my nails in an office watching it all disappear before my very eyes. My fingers dig into the back of the material covered lounge chair, and I lift it off the ground to bring it down sharply. If all eyes weren’t on me before, they are now. The jolt satisfies only a tiny part of me, and I fight the urge to toss the chair out of the window. Knowing that I would have to pay for that window to be fixed is the only thing stopping me.
“I can’t fucking believe this!” My left fist slams into my right palm. Pivoting on my foot, I pace in front of David’s desk. My knuckles rap twice on his desk before I turn to face him. “Truly. All fucking gone?” My right eye starts to twitch. I throw my fisted hands in the air and yell out ‘fuck’ ’til my lungs empty before pressing a knuckle into my eye. The two younger executives make for a quick exit following my outburst. I wait for them to scurry from the sinking ship that is my life before David turns back towards me. I’m fighting the urge to punch someone in the throat. “How in the fuck did this happen? How could this happen? You’re my manager, tell me how this happened! I trusted you that this would be the best decision. Where does this leave me? I can’t leave the country. I have a house I own outright back in Australia, but I can’t leave here to go back to it. What am I supposed to do?”
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Rock Bottom is © to Josephine Traynor and subject to change This work of fiction is protected by international copyright legislation and may not be copied or reproduced in any form except small amounts for the use in a review.