Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest Post by Olivia Cunning and Giveaway of Backstage Pass

One of my favorite Contemporary Erotica Romances of the year was by debut author Olivia Cunning. She's here today to talk about bands that have helped to inspire her fictional band, The Sinners, in her book, Backstage Pass. She is giving away two copies of Backstage Pass for details see below! My review of Backstage Pass can be found here, and checkout Leontine from Leontine's Book Realms Review of Backstage Pass-it sums up the book perfectly!

Inspiration for Sinners

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! Today I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the bands who inspired the creation of the fictional band, Sinners, who star in my erotic romance novel, Backstage Pass. Okay. Do you have an hour or two? I’ve been a rock ‘n’ roll fan since my toddler years. My grandmother used to yell at my father for playing Led Zepplin too loud. “You’re gonna make that baby deaf!” Ah, mother-in-laws. How is it possible that they gave birth to the one you love? Luckily, I did not go deaf. And I still love Zepplin.

My teenage years correlated with the hair-band craze of the late eighties. I blame those guys for my obsession with musicians. One glimpse of Rudy Sarzo (the bassist of Whitesnake) licking his fingers while playing that sexy bass guitar and I was in panting lust for my first rock star. It would not be my last. In fact, mere minutes later, Adrian Vandenburg started writhing around on the floor playing his guitar solo with a violin bow and I wanted them both. Like right then. Electric sex. Oh boy!

Can you hold on a minute? I have the sudden insatiable urge to watch Whitesnake’s Still of the Night music video.

Oh yes. It’s still as sexy I remembered. And oh my, David Coverdale’s voice is an orgasmic delight. *accidently shoves Tawny Kitaen down the stairs* Whoops!

From there, my admiration for rock stars intensified. Was it fueled by teenage surges of hormones? Probably. Did it decrease over the years? Not really. There is just something innately sexy about rock stars and it comes out in droves in Backstage Pass. All five of the guys in Sinners are sexy beyond belief. Why, exactly? They don’t look like typical romance novel heroes. Yes, they are hot, but it’s more than looks. It’s the attitude. The expression of creativity—both on stage and off. The adulation of others. The camaraderie between them and the aura of the forbidden. You can’t help but get caught up in the excitement that surrounds Sinners or their inherent naughtiness.

My admiration for rock stars did not end with Whitesnake. Oh no. That was but the beginning. My next infatuation was with Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. I often drool over two members of the same band simultaneously. That might explain the Trey and Brian thing in Backstage Pass. Read it and you’ll see what I mean. Yum! Poison’s Brett Michaels and CC Deville? Yes, please. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sombora? Don’t we make a delicious sandwich? Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth? HOT!

Not all my obsessions were in pairs. Rick Savage of Def Leppard. Joey Tempest of Europe. Kip Winger of Winger. Sebastian Bach of Skid Row.  That’s some fine rock star man flesh right there.

And then there was my one. *sigh* Axel Rose of Guns ‘n’ Roses. I don’t know what it is about that man (maybe that foot-sliding dance of his), but I became a monogamous rock star-obsessed teen for almost a year. Well, mostly. I kinda had a thing for his band mates: Steve, Duff and Slash, too. Slash? Yep, even though you can’t see his face beneath all that hair, the man is mysteriously sexy. It’s the way he holds that guitar. *growls*

This list will be a mile long if I keep going. I had a crushes on dozens of rock stars in the eighties. I look back on those days with fond memories, but I’ve outgrown men with the fluffy, long-haired look. None of the band members of my fictional band, Sinners, have long hair. No blush. No lipstick. Eighties hair-band they aren’t. Do forgive lead guitarist, Brian, for his guyliner. It’s trademark, but not glam.

Around the time the grunge era hit, the hair bands (or glam metal) went out of style. Grunge music grew on me (slowly), but the lust thing? Uh, yeah, not happening. I prefer a man who washes his hair more than once a week. Plaid and baggie jeans? Not working for me, fellas. Sorry, but give me a great ass in tight leather if you would, please.

Sometime in recent years, a new surge of hot rock stars emerged. And these guys don’t look like chicks. Hallelujah! The looks have changed over the years, but the hotness remains.

Disturbed’s David Draiman – dayum! Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix – you can sweat on me anytime. 30 Seconds to Mars, Jared Leto—oh my, yes—and his brother, drummer Shannon. Brothers? ‘nuf said. Zacky Vengeance, M. Shadows, and Syn Gates of Avenged Sevenfold—holy hotness Batman! Wes Scantlin from Puddle of Mudd—more, please. Incubus’s Brandon Loyd—prepare the defibrillator as this man causes heart palpitations. There are dozens more who rock my world to rubble. And they’re all so very good at being bad. Who can resist a bad boy? Not me!

Don’t get me started on the music they create. We really will be here all day.

So when you ask me who inspired Sinners, I have to be honest and say they all did. Every rock star who banged a whammy bar or screamed a battle cry, twirled a drumstick or strummed a bass. Every one of them inspired Sinners. Sinners is a mosaic of rock star deliciousness.

And you know what? It works.

What musicians inspire you?

Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance…

For him, life is all music and no play…
When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius…

She’s the one to call the tune…
When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on…

Then the two lovers’ wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory…and sin…

Raised on hard rock music, award-winning author Olivia Cunning has been known to travel over a thousand miles to see a favorite band in concert. She discovered her second love, steamy romance novels, as a teen—first, voraciously reading them and then penning her own. She lives in Hastings, Nebraska. For more information, please visit

To enter the giveaway you must be a blog follower and answer the question: What musicians have inspired you? Please state if you are entering the contest and leave a way for me to contact you if your email is not on your blogger profile. The giveaway is open until 7:00pm est  Wednesday October 27, 2010. If I do not hear from the winner within three days of the winner being picked, new ones will be chosen. 


  1. Not entering, just stopping by to say this book was amazing - Loved it - it was super sexy and I wanna go on the road with the Sinners!

  2. Wow. What a trip down memory lane!!! I was young in the 80s but my mom was a serious hair band lova and she took me to so many concerts! I was in the 3rd row for Kiss at age 12! I love those memories, and still listen to hair bands almost daily. Cinderella, LA Guns, Skid Row, Slaughter (Oh, did I have it bad for Mark Slaughter!), Whitesnake, Winger, Poison, Motley Crue, GnR, Europe, Def Leppard...too many greats to name! They really allow me to release tension and stress after a long day as a social worker. I couldn't do it without them! :)

    Thanks for the great contest! The books sounds like a lot of fun!

    SmashAttackReads at gmail dot com

  3. Hi, Patti! They'd love to have you. Whatever you do, don't let them make you ride on the pigsty bus though.

    Smash Attack! So jealous... I've never seen Kiss. I didn't go to many concerts in the 80s. Too broke. :-( I did see Whitesnake and Motley Crue when I was 16. I'm surprised I survived the excitement.

  4. My inspration comes from Areosmith, they are still my favotite group from the 80's. This brings back memories, I wanted to go to evey consert, but the parents would only let me see the Stray Cats.

    I have this book in my TBR pile, so I am entering the contest.
    Great post ladies!


  5. Okay, music wise you and I stand on the opposite sides of the music spectrum LOL You are completely in sync with my hubby though, all the rockers you mentioned he has on concert dvd/blu-ray. My hubby has been a drummer for most of his teen and tween life but then more like "when I was in band camp..." He still got to jam with a few bands in his twenties and he says the rush he got from it is not comparable to anything. He has a guitar now and he loves to create new tunes. Still his heart lies with the drums, he can work those sticks with a passion! I love the latin beat of music but my hubby shows me what it's like to truly lose yourself in the beat of the music, a drum or guitar solo from the great ones can move him to the core. I don't truly understand it but it is plain on his face :)

    So I guess my hubby as an amateur musician inspires me :))

  6. What I want to know is which Sinner has Gene Simmons tongue?

    I'm right there with you and the 80s hair bands, though I liked Metallica, AC/DC, and Ozzy, too.

  7. Laruie- Aerosmith still rock after all this time. AWESOME musicians.

    Leontine- Having a real musician to call your own is the best inspiration of all. Latin music has a great beat, Just more for dancing to than headbanging. :-)

    Viv- That's easy. Trey. Except Trey's tongue is pierced and well, that just adds to the delight. ;-)

  8. I loved Madonna groing up!
    Used to listen to her music every day, knew all her songs by heart. When we had playback shows at school I would always do my Madonna act, lol.
    I still love her songs.

    Please enter me.

  9. I'm a big Metalicca fan, also Bon Jovi, Shinedown and Nickleback.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  10. Not entering.
    But great post, got a bit scared there at first with those hairy guys, but at last, Leto ;)

  11. Lucy- Don't tell anyone as it will ruin my rocker girl image, but BRNR (before rock 'n' roll) I too enjoyed Madonna. That was late elementary school for me. My younger sister was an extreme Madonna fan.

    Linda- I will one day see Metallica in concert. Last time they toured near here, I couldn't get out of work. Majorly bumbed...

    Blodeuedd- I wonder how much hairspray those guys used. Leto is a hottie.

  12. OMG C I loved this post! I was a huge fan of 80's rock!

    I would have to say that I love Lenny Kravitz, and one of my fav bands: BON JOVI!

    Please enter me into the giveaway. I want to read this books so bad! :D

  13. I have such a girl crush on you right now LOL. I loved all those '80's hair bands, and JBJ was my favorite, but I'd totally have hooked up with Mike Tramp from White Lion, or Kip Winger, even Bret Michaels wearing guyliner. Those were some good times...

    Awesome post both of you!!!

  14. OMG, so many to list. Some of my all time faves: Bon Jovi, Chicago, Hall&Oates, The Cure, Cyndi Lauper. Just to name a few! I'm dying to read Backstage Pass! Thanks for the giveaway!


  15. Bells- Lenny Kravitz is soooo sexy. If you wanna get in on my Bon Jovi/Sambora sandwich, I might allow it since you want to read my book. ;-)

    Stacy- How could I forget about White Lion? *slaps forehead* Those skin-tight stonewashed jeans... Growl!

    amyt865- You have lots of musical inspiration, too. Impossible to pick one, isn't it?

  16. Great post and contest! So many people have been talking about this book, Backstage Pass on twitter that I added it and the next book in the series to my wish list. Not a big music groupie, but I do enjoy a little Bon Jovi.

  17. Oh I seriously loved big hair bands. I'm a rock 'n' rolla chick from way back. My favs are Whitesnake and Bon Jovi but I loved them all really. And I wasn't a teen when all the big hair bands were popular either. But that doesn't matter.

    I love the Sinners and can't wait to read this book so please enter me.

    Loved the post, what a nice trip down memory lane.

  18. Oh I seriously loved big hair bands. I'm a rock 'n' rolla chick from way back. My favs are Whitesnake and Bon Jovi but I loved them all really. And I wasn't a teen when all the big hair bands were popular either. But that doesn't matter.

    I love the Sinners and can't wait to read this book so please enter me.

    Loved the post, what a nice trip down memory lane.
    aries18 at charter dot net

  19. I did not pay attention to the hair bands but followed Adam Ant, Sting and Billy Idol. British and bad boy so like the Sinners even if not identical. Love reading about all the inspiration. Please enter me in the contest.

    linze_e at

  20. No need to enter me, I'm just saying I used to think Hair Bands sang devil music until I got to high school and got over my New Kids on the Block phase. Then, there was no going back! Rock all the way baby! Great post Olivia!

  21. Book Pimp- That's a great thing to hear! Thanks! As for Bon Jovi... what's not to enjoy?

    Aries18- Rock 'n' roll chicks are for life! I'm often the oldest chick in the mosh pit. :-)

    lindseye- Mmmm. Adam Ant was a sexy beast. I still remember that song "Strip for Me" and there was a panting lust thing going on there from my end. Have you ever heard of Powerman 5000? Their lead singer REALLY reminds me of Billy Idol. Love the bad boy in him.

    Julie- Thank the rock gods that you came over to the "dark" side. ;-)

  22. OMG I have GOT to read this book!!! This just took me WAY BACK! I love love love love Skid Row, that was my top dreamyyy band. Of course I loved Winger, good lawd Kip is fine.

    Thanks for the contest!!

  23. Oh wow.... This is a trip down memory lane for sure... lol! 80's band... wow! I can't really say that a band has shaped me though... But I do love to read everyone's comment! And I do love the post!
    Please enter me!

  24. Okay, I have to admit it, I was never a fan of the metal and hair bands (well, with the exception of Led Zeppelin). I was always much more into alternative rock. My favorite bands were U2 and The Police - even though both of them became wildly popular, they both started out outside of the mainstream. In general, I loved British bands - maybe it was those sexy accents, I'm not sure exactly why.

  25. I always loved Bon Jovi and listened to his music all day long *g* but I wouldn't say that it influenced me, although it was a good background music during painting.
    please enter me in the contest :)

  26. Listened to a lot of the Doobie Brothers long ago during my courtship days, so listening to any of their songs brings back some wonderful memories.

    Saw Rod Stewart, Three Dog Night, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles in concert, and would still love to see Nickelback and Bon Jovi.

    would love to read your book

    a follower

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  27. wow, there are so many bands that get me through my day. I love music and refuse to clean the house if it's not playing. It's what get's me going and keeps me there pushing through the sweat. Breaking Benjamin, 3 doors down, All time Low, Dead by April, A Day to Remember. I could go on :) I have never read a book that has centered around a band, considering how much I love music, this book is now a must read for me. Please enter me :)

  28. Pamela- Yes, you do!

    Love reading your comments! Good luck to all the entrants!