Category Archives: books

Repost: Paper Gods, The Book

Today, I’m taking a self-imposed break. I saw that DDHQ had asked fans for their favorite tour book, and remembered how much I loved the one for Paper Gods. As you can see below, it is far more than just your average picture book commemorating a tour!

Have a wonderful Monday and I’ll be back tomorrow!



I needed a diversion from reality last night.

So, I cracked opened the Paper Gods book that my ever-fearless partner-in-crime-and-everything-Duran-Duran sent me for Christmas!


When I opened this particular present, I was delighted because I’d heard it was well-worth the £20, and I hadn’t ordered it myself because I just wasn’t sure I needed it. I own a few of their tour books from the past, and while they’ve always been a sort of “Oh, that’s really nice to have”, I wasn’t positive about this one. All I could think of was that it was 120-pages of photos, and did I really need a book of photos in my collection? I wasn’t sure. I wanted to see more of it in person before making a decision and I didn’t know when or how that might happen. Sometimes, a book like this needs a little previewing, you know? (It’s too bad DDHQ doesn’t know a fan website that could do that kind of thing for them every once in a while…..) So when I opened the gift and marveled at how big the book really is…and then began thumbing through it, I realized just how much I needed a book like this in my collection!

And…it’s not really so much of a tour book, although there are certainly a plethora of pictures in there (even some of Dom, Anna, Jessie & Simon W!). I would describe this book as being sort of the Encyclopedia-of-Anything-You-Wanted-to-Know-About-Paper-Gods-But-Figured-You’d-Never-Be-Able-to-Ask.

First off, the book is big. It’s not your basic 30-page tour book that’s mostly pictures (although yes, there are plenty and I mean that).  At 120 large format pages (13.25″H x 9.5″W), it’s a bit of a monster…and I mean that in a fantastic way!


There’s actual writing in this one, and not just a welcome note from the band or anything like that. There are interviews, thoughts, feelings…lists of words or phrases I can’t quite figure out yet (but trust me I am enjoying the process of trying!), and I’m not even halfway through it yet! Each of the band members gives a full-length interview about the book (and believe me, these are not short answers to questions), and they also interviewed Nile, Ben Hudson and Josh Blair. They even talked creative with Nick and Alex Israel, the artist who did the front cover of the album!!  I AM IN HEAVEN AND I’M NOT COMING BACK!!

I love that they took the process of recording this album and thought to have a book made for people like me.  People who basically dreamt of being a fly on the wall during the entire painstaking process: everything from those first jamming sessions at Dom’s studio down to seeing their reactions to the art for the cover.  The book is really something very special, indeed.

If the interviews and writing doesn’t grab you, the photos certainly will. This book is art…and if you needed to have large format photos of each of the band members, here they are for you to gander at will. I really love how each of the band members has a black and white full-page headshot, along with what I can only describe is a sort of silver “giclée” shadowing overlay printed on a heavier, plastic-like sheet. Way cool. And if you like stickers – they’re included too!


As I said, I haven’t even read through it all yet. I had to stop myself at 11:15 last night because I needed to get some sleep, and even after I put it down I kept thinking about what I’d read. In many ways that Amanda and I will get into later as we dissect this book from cover to cover on the blog (oh yes – it’s happening), I think the book makes me see the album with a completely different set of eyes, and I’m curious if my ears will pick up anything different too.

My only problem with this book is simply that they really should have marketed it differently. It’s such a great piece of Duran-memorabilia, you’d think they would have gone to more trouble to alert the fan base to it, you know? Seems like they could have used a resource…such as this very website, thankyouverymuch…to get some enthusiastic words out to the fan base and beyond. Amanda and I have a certain knack for grabbing the attention of the fan base when it comes to things like this, and let’s face it..the book is also a freaking steal at £20. (That is $28.91 USD as of this morning)

Let’s just talk about that price for a second before I settle back into my chair and read a bit more: for less than $30.00 US, you can have a large format, coffee table-sized book on Duran Duran (It is paperback). Everything from what some  might describe as “lickable” photos (I certainly wouldn’t say that..,coughs…but hey… I may have heard the term used before somewhere…) to in-depth discussions of the music and process. For the more abstract-minded amongst us, there are poems and lyrics and lists to read and ponder, as well as the aforementioned photos, both posed and from live shows (from the last year). I can’t really get over the value on this one – it’s the best bang for your buck I’ve seen in quite a while.

Like nearly everyone reading, I own a lot of Duran Duran books. I’ll go one further and say I own a lot of books period, but particularly within the realm of fandom and music history of this particular band  – I own a lot. This is a book that any fan of Duran Duran should have in their collection, and I’m thrilled (and shocked!) that they’re not charging the $50 or $60 that the book is really worth, even as a paperback.

Run out and grab a copy while you can! As I said, in coming weeks Amanda and I plan to do several blogs about the interviews and other writing within the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is running off to order their own copy right now…so go get it!

Meanwhile, I’m going to settle back in my chair and read Nile’s thoughts on Paper Gods…


An Update on Ian’s project

I’ve debated whether or not to comment on something here publicly, because it could put Daily Duranie at odds with DDHQ, or it could put us in the direct line of fire from fans in the community, or most likely, both. Do I mention that the band is not promoting Ian Little’s book about Seven and the Ragged Tiger, or do I stop writing about it altogether and pretend it doesn’t exist?

Amanda and I are not promoted by the band.  We are not employed by Duran Duran, nor are we a part of their inner circle. Aside from having a link on the band’s website, and occasionally helping us out with special projects, we don’t really receive or expect anything from them.  Amanda and I don’t get passes to shows, go backstage or even have free tickets. Our names aren’t big enough to convince them that we matter beyond just being fans – we don’t host a radio show, we haven’t written books, and we’re not celebrities. Basically, we do not owe anyone, other than ourselves, anything. We are not sycophants, but we are fans of this band. We don’t write this blog because we want things, we write because we want to share our opinions and tell about our experiences in this fandom with people who want to read them. Whether that gives us any sort of credibility with anyone is honestly beyond my worry at this point. After nearly eight years of blogging, I’m sort of over worrying about who I’m going to offend or impress, I guess.

With that in mind, I noticed last week that DDHQ finally commented on Ian Little’s potential book project on Seven and the Ragged Tiger. In case you don’t know what that is, please check out the previous blog on the subject here.

To provide a bit of backstory, everyone who had signed up for information on the project should have gotten a note from Ian explaining that he’d heard from Wendy Laister (the band’s manager) saying that they would advise he not publish because it would likely be in competition with a few things the band has planned. Judging purely from what I saw online, I think the news that the band wouldn’t back Ian hit him hard. I don’t think he was expecting that news, and initially, he seemed defeated, saying that he was disappointed and couldn’t figure out why the band wouldn’t want to get onboard. After MANY replies from fans (Ian had also put the news out on Facebook) suggesting he go ahead with his plans, I think it gave Ian the motivation he needed.

It wasn’t long after that DDHQ put out a short tweet regarding the subject. I’m just going to copy/paste it here:

“A lot of people have been asking if Ian Little’s forthcoming book on the making of “Seven & the Ragged Tiger”is an official release and rather than responding individually we wanted to let you know it is not, and it is up to you whether you want to participate or not. Thanks^DDHQ”

A bit of clarification: it is always up to each of us whether or not we want to “participate”. That wording is awkward and quite frankly – odd. Secondly, this is not an “Us vs. Them” sort of situation. Many people have published books about the band, and only a fraction have been “official” releases. Most of us read them anyway, and we’ve all gone on to continue being fans of the band, leading productive lives. You won’t spontaneously combust if you read something the band hasn’t given their kiss of approval, and you won’t be a bad fan if you read somebody else’s point of view. Supporting the band does not mean drinking the Kool-Aid and never bothering to ask what’s in it!

On one hand, Ian wants to do this project, and I love the idea of reading about the making of Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Whether or not the band gives this project their approval is of little worry to me, personally. In a lot of ways, it seems like to have their approval means doing it their way, which may or may not actually hurt the validity of the project (to be blunt). They might decide what stories could be told, how they’re worded, and so forth.

On the other hand, I don’t know what the band could possibly have planned that would be in competition with this book. Even IF they have a similar story or anthology planned, it would seem to me that they’re forgetting that many (if not most) fans will buy anything they sell, assuming of course that the items are within financial reach for most fans. Selling a comprehensive limited edition, signed and sealed book about Duran Duran for $1000 or more means that decidedly few can and will buy. On the other hand, selling a comprehensive mass-market book that goes for $20.00 means that thousands of fans can and will buy a copy, and if some will be signed – many more copies will be purchased.

I’m not in the business. I don’t work in the music industry. I do wonder sometimes though, what goes on behind-the-scenes that encourages DDHQ to throw support one way and not another – and they have to know that their backing matters. I can’t help but notice that it isn’t what you ask, or how you ask, but instead how big of a celebrity you might be. Fans don’t seem to matter to DDHQ the way they do to the band themselves (and we DO matter to the band). It would seem like that’s wrong, but management is responsible for the business of Duran Duran. They have to protect the band’s interests, even if the decisions look backward to fans. It is hard (at least for me) not to throw a side-eye when I’ll see DDHQ respond directly to a celebrity when they say something about Duran Duran, but they don’t really seem to do the same for real fans. Yet, I get it. I do know how it is. Social media is all about who sees what. How many eyes  see a tweet to a fan versus a response to a big celebrity?  That’s not to say that DDHQ doesn’t try. They absolutely do. But sometimes, it just comes down to basic economics.

If you’re intrigued by Ian’s project, I’d encourage you to send an email to He will respond and send you details. Getting on his mailing list is not a financial commitment, it is simply a way for him to gauge interest. Participating does not mean you will be committing a crime against DD.



Happy Anniversary, Mad World!

Four years ago, I spent my extra time reading a new book that I continue to avidly use as a reference. Mad World, a book written by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein, was released on April 15, 2014. It blows my mind that four years has gone by so quickly.

I know that today is April 16, but I don’t post on Sundays. A day late, but with no less enthusiasm, I wanted to celebrate the anniversary of Mad World.

I am a very avid reader, although lately I’ve found less and less time to dedicate to reading much beyond the current curriculum I’m using to teach my youngest. Over the years, I’ve read books about 1980’s music as quickly as they’ve been released. I tend to read them twice: once at my normal lightning speed, and the next, to savor and digest each word. Don’t ask how many times I’ve read and listened to John Taylor’s autobiography at this point. (Enough to have some sentences memorized. What can I say? I love audiobooks!) Mad World is without question one of the best books about the music that made me into the person, no…into the fan I am. It is by far, my most favorite book about New Wave music. I don’t write those words lightly, and I don’t post them just because I consider Lori a friend.

I didn’t know Lori Majewski before Mad World. She and I are easily as different as Amanda and I, on nearly every level imaginable. Lori is an avid vegan, I am, well…not. (Although I do sneak in a meatless meal to the family—don’t tell them—and even on my own, on occasion!) She has always had appreciation for Red Carpet Massacre, I’ve had to work on my feelings about that album over the years. She’s a John-girl, I’ve been a Roger fan since Planet Earth. Like Amanda, she is far more politically savvy, and definitely more active than I am. Lori is delightfully positive and centered, and me? Well, I’m more of an un-centered, slightly critical, realist. People tend to either like me, or they want me burned at the stake…or both, actually.

Despite…or more likely because of all of those things, I respect Lori. Whereas I have sat and dreamed of what I want to do with my life, she’s done it, and then some. She is unafraid to try, and I am incredibly fearful of failing. Lori is a powerful, positive force to admire. She’s a great listener and advice-giver, too. I consider her a friend and mentor, and someone I obviously don’t mind gushing about on Daily Duranie.

Mad World is an excellent book. Jonathan and Lori devised the book in such a way that they chose a number of bands from the New Wave era, and out of those bands, they chose a song to focus on. They interviewed the artists and bands who wrote (or performed) the songs, and wove those interviews into a very substantial music history of the 80s. Even though I’ve read nearly everything that has been written about 1980’s music, I learned a lot from Mad World.  I continue to pull that book down from my shelf as a resource, noted by the binding that has given way over the years. My copy is well-loved.

Since Mad World, Lori has been working on her own Sirius XM morning radio show with Nik Carter. She’s been featured on more than one documentary about New Wave music, and she’s even broadcasted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies. I realize this is more gushing than necessary, but I think it’s awesome that someone I know is actually on the radio, and not because he/she won a contest by calling in, but because they host the show!

Jonathan continues to write his Bridget Wilder book series (my nearly ten-year-old daughter gives them a big thumbs-up), along with a plethora of other books that every one should have already read or is reading currently. He is the also a co-writer for Unsane, a movie that I am, honestly, too frightened to even go see. (I don’t do scary movies. It’s a mom-thing and I’m not even kidding about that.)

What I really want though, is a follow-up to Mad World. What I don’t understand, is why publishers aren’t busting down their door(s) to get one. Someone, fix this. Immediately.  In the meantime, I’m going to go back to brainstorming about my own next attempt at a book proposal. As I’m sitting here writing about the fabulous careers of others, I realize that giving up is not an option.

Happy Anniversary, Mad World! I don’t know where the time went, but I’m awfully glad to have the book on my shelf, and great people continuing to inspire me!


World in My Eyes by Richard Blade

I haven’t given a book recommendation in a long time, but I’m about to offer up a good one!  As most know, I grew up in Southern California, probably about an hour from where I live now. If you really want to look it up on a map, the name of the town is Glendora. I lived in the far-less-than-wealthy, southerly section of the town.

At some point during the summer between fifth and sixthgrades for me (1981), I discovered KROQ 106.7. I don’t really remember much about how that happened, except that it might have been my friend Kristy who kind of led the way.

I had an old clock radio in my bedroom starting in fifth grade.  When I got it, I had no idea about radio stations – so I just turned the dial until I found one that came in clearly playing music. Nearly every morning I’d be woken up hearing “My Sharona” by the Knack. I still twitch funny when that song comes on the radio! Even so, I left the radio untouched because I had so much trouble finding a station that came in, let alone one with music I recognized.

During that summer between fifth and sixth grades though, I started becoming more interested in music.  I asked my friends, and Kristy piped up with “Listen to K-West!”  I didn’t know what K-West was, but I figured she’d know, and so when I went home, I fiddled with my clock radio, adjusting it to the 106-area. It was so hard to fix the dial to get something to actually come in, back then. Move the knob a teensy bit too much and it would be static or you’d not get the button exactly on the right station. It would appear to be on 106, for example, but it would actually be 105 or even 107-something. Annoying.

On that day, something did come in, and it was music I really liked. I had no idea what it was, but I stuck with it. I carefully placed the radio back on my dresser and didn’t touch it, assuming I was on K-West, and that Kristy was right. I never listened for that long, just when I was waking up in the morning. At that point, I wasn’t spending a lot of time in my room listening to music yet. I must have had that clock radio set to that station for a good year before I realized what channel it was. Richard started working at KROQ in 1982, and it is just about that time when I remember hearing his voice on the air. My memory might be a bit faded and mixed up (I’ll admit having to come back and edit this post well after I first wrote it!), but I can remember Richard giving out the call sign for the station like it was yesterday!

From that time on, Richard Blade was a constant part of my life. I listened to him nearly every morning, and he had everything to do with helping me shape my musical tastes. If radio weren’t enough, I watched him on MV3 which became Video One, and later on, once I was 18, if he guest DJ’ed at clubs in Los Angeles, I went. (The Palace in Hollywood, and Fashions on the Redondo Beach Pier to name a couple!)

Most readers might also know that I hold Richard Blade responsible for me meeting my husband. Richard was a near-constant figure at Fashions for years. On his fifth anniversary, I went to the club and met Walt. Sometimes I want to thank Richard for that, and other times—well, being married has its challenges, doesn’t it?! Even so, I have a beautiful family, and my children might not be here had it not been for Richard Blade, which is wild when I think about it! I don’t know that I would have ever known Duran Duran beyond being an obscure band from the UK, and I definitely wouldn’t have had my eyes opened to alternative music. Who knew a DJ could subtly influence the direction of my life?

Since those days, I guess I’ve followed Richard.  If he’s DJ’ing somewhere, Walt and I try to go whenever we’re able. He plays the music my husband and I listen to, and the weirdest thing happens when we are dancing (and yes, he and I LOVE to dance. It is what brought us together to begin with). I forget about the tough stuff, and we both get transported back to those beginning days downstairs at Fashions. It is like we remember what is really important, and get back to the basics if only for a few hours. Those hours have somehow saved our relationship over the nearly twenty-six years we’ve been together! We’ve had the opportunity to meet Richard a few times, have had a photo or two with him, and now my friend Steven works with him quite often, which is really cool to see.

When Richard announced his autobiography, World In My Eyes, I was excited to get my hands on it. Richard markets the book by saying that we’ll read about the bands we all know – including Duran Duran – but the truth is, at least for me, I wanted to read his story. It’s not his knowing Duran Duran or Depeche Mode that makes the book interesting – although for many, I understand it’s a true selling point. I haven’t even downloaded his interviews with some of the bands I know, I’ve been too busy reading! I’m not even halfway through it yet and I can honestly say – the man has LIVED. It is no wonder why he’s so successful, or why he’s been a constant source of inspiration and learning to me personally. He has had a life well-lived.

The book is outstanding so far, and I have just barely gotten to the point where he moves to California. It is easy to fangirl Richard Blade, and I don’t want to seem too gushy. To many in my generation, he is (in a very vague sense) our Dick Clark. We can leave American Top 40 to Ryan Seacrest—we don’t need him. But Richard Blade? He taught me nearly everything I know about New Wave and 80’s music. He’s open, honest, and cares about people and living things. He has no problem arguing his feelings and concerns, and while I might not always agree, I fully respect him.

Richard is the real deal, and I want to congratulate him on such a wonderfully written representation of his life. I know the diligence required with writing a manuscript, much less an autobiography. It isn’t enough to just want to do it, you have to want to do it more than anything. Richard wrote every single word, no ghost-writers involved, which is rare!

I have no problem highly recommending World in My Eyes. As I said, I haven’t even gotten halfway through it, and I would easily put this on the same shelf with Mad World. We are so lucky to have books about our music and the people who influenced us. I hope everyone grabs a copy. With the holidays coming, I think it would make a great present for anyone who loves music, Duran Duran and New Wave/80s alternative, or knows of Richard Blade! At over 500 pages, it’s the best $20 I’ve spent in a long time.

(And no, I wasn’t asked to write about his book, and I’m certainly not being paid to do so – this is all straight from me)

I can’t wait to get back to reading – so I’ve got to wrap this up for now.


*edited because as I could have predicted this morning when I first wrote it – I got the dates all wrong. 🙂

Happy Summer Reading: Careless Memories of Strange Behavior!

It is the first real day of our summer (no school), and I’ve already started a project called “repainting the house”.  This week, its my office. I’m excited because right now, it is lavender, and while that’s a lovely color – particularly for the child who once inhabited this room – it’s a little girly for me. So now it is going to be more of a silvery color called silverberry.

So while I do a little of that each day, I’ve also been downloading books to read. I did precious little “fun” reading during the school year, so I’m catching up this summer!  While I was doing that, I ran across a cute little book I bought several years back called Careless Memories of Strange Behavior: My Notorious Life as a Duran Duran Fan, written by Lyndsey Parker, coincidentally – it was released on this very day in 2012!

For the sake of brevity, I’m shortening the title to Careless Memories while I write a little about it. First of all, it’s not long, and it’s not heavy reading. It’s just the type of book most Duranies will fly through, and its perfect beach reading. It’s cute, and it will make you smile, but it’s not the kind of book where you’ll read an in-depth lyric analysis. In fact, there were several parts of the book (it’s only 41 pages) where I didn’t agree with Parker at all. But that’s the joy of reading. Everyone gets something different out of it. So today, we can celebrate that Careless Memories of Strange Behavior came out five years ago!  Happy Summer Reading!

In the meantime, I have some painting to do…and I’m even going to chat with Amanda over Skype! We have some planning to do for a super fun road trip to San Francisco! That’s less than a month from now, and I can’t wait!  Talk about strange behavior— I certainly hope so!! Hope to see some of you up in the Bay Area!


Summer Reading: Young Teacher

Even though I finished writing a couple of weeks ago, I am still trying to catch up. I’m incredibly behind in a few areas (cleaning being one of them).  Amanda and I try to support our fellow Duranies in their creative endeavors. Lately though, we’ve slacked off. Big time.

It’s summer, and if you haven’t given yourself permission to sit outside and do some reading, you really should, and I have just the novella to start. Fellow Duranie Bobbi Ruggiero just had her novella, Young Teacher published as a stand-alone! Originally included in the box set 80s Mix Tape, this is Bobbi’s very first published work.  Congratulations!!

Just long enough to be a juicy read without committing to a third-degree sunburn in order to finish it, Young Teacher is a about a successful, high-strung career woman named Julia Powers who is given guitar lessons as a birthday gift.  Little does she realize that her teacher is none other than Matthew Gordon, her weekday sandwich-maker that she has been drooling over for months.  Sandwich-maker by day, guitarist for the band Joyride by night, Matthew is just as intrigued by Julia.  The age difference is the last thing he notices when she walks into his apartment for her first lesson!

Young Teacher is light, fun and obviously a romance—which I personally welcome after months of academic-heavy research and reading.  There’s just enough tension to make the plot interesting without feeling like the story ends too abruptly.  Another interesting twist is that while the plot is set in the 1980s, it isn’t cliché, which I appreciate.

We are very proud of fellow fans who use the band as a source of inspiration for their creative talents.  We want to champion those efforts.  I’m looking into creating some sort of showcase here on the website.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, check out Young Teacher on Amazon!  (click on image)

Young Teacher Book


80s Mix Tape…Romance Novella Collection!

Hey you 80s fans out there (and I know you’re reading…), I have some new reading recommendations for you, featuring a couple of fellow Duranies turned authors!!

If you loved Bring Me Back and Back Forever, you should pay special attention because Karen Booth is back with another novella to add to her Banks Forest series!  You might even recognize the title…

I’m also really excited to share that Bobbi Ruggiero, another wonderful Duranie-turned-author, celebrates her writing debut with her own entry into this 80s Mix Tape collection with her own novella. Rather than my mindless drivel, how about a taster of each “tune”?

Seven New Adult stories of love in the ’80s, inspired by songs of the decade… 

Save a Prayer by Karen Booth 
Angie Dawson never wanted to see Graham Whiting or his cheating face again, but her dream job at Music Maker magazine has her photographing his band. Angie had prepared to be a grown-up about working closely with him, but there’s one scenario she hadn’t anticipated. Graham wants her back. She wants him to be the guy he says he can be, but the band has massive tours planned and the groupies will always be there. How does a reunion with her ex end up being anything more than a one-night stand? 

Need You Tonight by Gwen Hayes 
Jacob Stone is on the run for a crime he didn’t commit, but when he’s stranded by chance with the only woman he’s ever loved, he can’t deny the need to possess her one last time. Mind, body, and soul. Typical good girl Becky McDonald has loved bad boy Jacob since they were kids, but even as she gives in to the passion only he can ignite in her, she hides the truth. One night of passion. One night of need. That’s all they can have, but it will never be enough. 

Kickstart My Heart by Autumn Jones Lake 
Russell “Chaser” Adams knows he’s destined to take over his father’s outlaw motorcycle club one day, but for now his father encourages him to pursue his music. Raised in a strict family with old-world traditions and their own secrets, Mallory Delov longs for glitter and glamor instead of blood and deceit. Chaser is unlike any man she’s ever known, she can’t help being drawn to him. On the surface they seem like complete opposites. Little do either of them know how much they have in common. 

The Fixer by Jenny Holiday 
Jenny Fields is a crusader. The editor of her college newspaper, she never met a cause she couldn’t get behind. So when the administration announces it’s tearing down the historic art building, she’s on the case. All she needs to do is get Matthew Townsend, the art department’s most talented student, on board. If she could just get the moody genius to answer his phone… 

Drummer Girl by AJ Pine 
Sam Walsh is done—done with college, done with guys, done with the whole scene. But her roommate coaxes her out for an epic last night to see an up-and-coming band. Ben McCarthy is the sexy drummer, the would-have-been valedictorian who dropped out three years ago to follow his dream. Tomorrow he and the band leave for London, but for one unforgettable night, it’s just Sam, the music, and him. Can a girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground fall for the boy who reaches for the stars when the only result is a broken heart? 

Young Teacher by Bobbi Ruggiero 
Control freak Julia Powers hates surprises. With the skills of a ninja, she keeps her ad business and personal life in perfect order. Matthew Gordon wants nothing more than for his band Joyride to go national. While he waits for his big break, he spends his days working in a sandwich shop—a job he loathes—and teaching guitar on the side—a job he loves. His days get a bit more interesting when a mysterious woman comes in for lunch. Imagine his surprise when she shows up at his door for guitar lessons. Unfortunately, Julia can’t play guitar to save her life, and her frustration threatens to ruin any chance of her finding happiness. Will he ever be able to teach her that she’s perfect just as she is? 

Just Like Heaven by Rachel Cowell
As a premed student, college junior Sarah Lattimore’s life is a carefully calibrated system of studying, studying, MCAT prep courses, and more studying. But when she walks into the first day of anatomy lab and sees her gorgeous TA, Sarah’s brilliant mind is suddenly racing in new directions. Grad student Josh has future aspirations toward cancer research. But the unbelievably cute, nerdy Sarah is in his section, and she’s…distracting. When admiring from afar turns to up close and personal, both their academic lives begin to fall apart. Will Sarah realize in time that being with Josh was the smartest choice she’d ever made?

80s Mix Tape

Available at the following online retailers:
The best part? You can grab your own copy…available for a very limited time…at just 99 cents!! Cheaper than a trip to iTunes, and a lot less work than putting together an 80s mix tape, besides!  Support a couple of fellow Duranies (hey, they’ve got a habit to support, too!) and get a great collection of 80s themed love stories at the same time.

Come Undone with Kerry Adrienne

We decided to go with something a smidgen different on the blog today for our fellow bookworm friends out there. A few weeks back Rhonda stumbled upon a new box set entitled, Come Undone. The name alone probably sounds a bit familiar. Contained within are  novellas titled after, and perhaps a bit inspired, by Duran Duran song titles. We contacted Kerry Adrienne, one of the authors involved in the box set, and to our delight, Kerry agreed to a quick Q&A for our readers!

Kerry Adrienne
Kerry Adrienne – author of Before the Rain, photo courtesy of Barclay Publicity.

What made you decide to be involved with the Come Undone box set?

I was talking to one of my very good friends, Louisa Bacio, and she told me about the set. Being a huge Duran Duran fan, I practically begged her to let me participate. I can honestly say it was one of the most fun box sets I’ve done!

Did you listen to several of their songs before choosing the title?

I did. I came in late to the set and many of the most popular songs were chosen, so I started listening to other songs, including the later albums.

Can you give a little more background as to why you chose “Before the Rain” and how you incorporated that theme into your story?

As soon as I saw the video for Before the Rain, I fell in love with the song.  (Rhonda’s note: Kerry is referring to the GeneroTV video contest winner for Before The Rain…in case our readers had forgotten. Check out the link for a refresher!!)  I had not listened to that album—it’s newer (All You Need is Now released in 2010). The song is so haunting and melodic—and the video captures that essence so well. Though the video shows a world that needs rain, I flipped it so the story is set in a world where the rain doesn’t stop. Of course, we couldn’t use lyrics, so I implemented images of the lyrics. One of the most obvious provided the crux of the plot:

“For all I carry, are murdered secrets”…

If you’ve read my story in the set, you’ll see how that line plays out. The heroine is an assassin—with secrets. That’s all I’ll say, haha.

How long have you been writing, and is this the first time you’ve used Duran Duran in your writing?

I’ve written stories since I was a child but I didn’t get serious about publishing till 2011. I’ve not used Duran Duran specifically in a story before, but some of my main inspirations for stories come from music. I’m a huge concert-goer and music lover.

Kerry, your writing covers a number of genre/topics/etc. Do you have a particular favorite type of writing? (i.e. Romance, Sci-fi, Historical Romance, etc.)

That’s a difficult question because I try not to ever write something I don’t enjoy. I think the best answer is that I am in love with whatever the current project is—whether it is contemporary romance, male/male, historical, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction…even horror!

Each book had a brief explanation for the title chosen. Your own title choice, “Before the Rain”, is from Duran Duran’s album, All You Need is Now. While the album did well, it is not necessarily the 80’s music that most people recognize. Were you always a Duran Duran fan?

Absolutely!!! I was an 80s teen, so of course I loved Duran Duran. I remember how their videos would transport me out of mundane life with their drama and beauty plus music!

Kerry and a friend, circa 1980s - photo courtesy of Kerry Adrienne
Kerry and a friend, circa 1980s – photo courtesy of Kerry Adrienne

So, do you have a favorite member??

Simon! Always.

Have you had the opportunity to see any of their concerts?

I was quite poor growing up and I also lived in a very rural area. Most concerts that came near me were country music, which I didn’t like. I remember lying awake in bed till eleven pm when I could pick up the radio station in the nearby big city—it always played the best British music. I was also a huge fan of the show, The Young Ones. I would have given anything to have the chance to go to a concert, or to London. I was convinced that London was the most wonderful city in the world and England was where all the cool bands came from.

Since you’ve been a fan since childhood, what is your favorite Duran Duran song/album/video, etc?

That is a tough question. I like different songs for different reasons. I love Ordinary World and Before the Rain because both touch me deeply. Rio makes my heart sing. Hungry Like the Wolf has such a melody to it—pure and magical. Reflex and The Wild Boys were also fun.

Not only were we lucky enough to have Kerry Adrienne complete a Q&A for us, she also was able to get questions answered for each of the other six authors included in the Come Undone box set!

We gave the authors a few questions to choose from, ranging from their inspiration behind participating in the box set, their choice in song title for their novella to their favorite band member. Their answers only serve to continue to prove that Duran Duran permanently imprinted themselves in the hearts of teens worldwide back in the 80s with a love that continues to this day.

KC Burn:

Favorite video – Planet Earth. I just love the surreal look of it. 

Favorite song – It is probably Last Chance on the Stairway, or Anyone Out There. 

 Duran Duran is 100% responsible for my love of guy liner, and John Taylor was my first teen crush. 

C Margery Kempe:

Favorite Video: I did Wild Boys because that is definitely my favourite video. I loved that Russell Mulcahy thought they should try to film the William Burroughs novel in a million-dollar video, an unheard of amount at that time which shows you just how far things had gone in the age of music videos. Mulcahy fought to get some interest in the feature-length film but found few to support the idea. The band appeared in costumes and scenery reminiscent of the second Mad Max film but the video got curtailed for a shorter radio edit of the song. It’s such a shame. It’s got a much tougher vibe in some ways even though it seems so incredibly homoerotic now (and even then, though I don’t think I knew there was a word for it).

Kim Carmichael:

Favorite Song: My favorite song from the band has always been New Moon On Monday, there was something about the beat and the words that simply spoke to me.  Every writer has a different process to crafting their stories.  As a kid of the 80’s, I write a lot to music, and everything is always a music video in my mind.  I always had this vision of a club and the hero looking for the heroine every time I heard the song so it was that little snippet coupled with the fact that Duran Duran has always been a fashion icon that created my story.

Alyssa Breck:

As a longtime Duran Duran fan, I was super excited to be included in the Come Undone box set. What better way to pay homage to the band that stirred my imagination and kept me company back when my record player was my most valued asset.

Favorite band member: At the wise age of 13, I was sure I would someday marry their bass player, John Taylor. Alas, that wasn’t to be so instead I wrote a paranormal dark erotic romance inspired by and titled after their song Love Voodoo. I hope they would approve.

Solera Winters:

Favorite song: I chose Ordinary World because the song has always haunted me. It just seemed sort of like a ghostly theme, but I chose not to do a ghost story but to have the couple have a unique relationship in the form of their dreams. It’s one of my favorite DD songs and I hope my story did the song justice. 

Linnea Alexis:

Favorite song: Girls on Film has always been one of my favorite Duran Duran songs. Whenever I heard it, I imagined how fun and challenging it would be to write a story about the movie industry and the pitfalls of fame. I got my wish when I became part of the anthology.  

Louisa Bacio:

Teen Beat Magazine. Tiger Beat Magazine. As a teen in the ‘80s, I subscribed to them all. The boys in the band of Duran Duran captured my heart, and my love of music.

About a year ago, I threw out the idea, wouldn’t it be great if… The response was tremendous. The love for Duran Duran never waned, and especially with the revival of the ‘80s, it’s actually surged.

Favorite song: Because it was the starting point, I was fortunate enough to grab my favorite song Hungry Like the Wolf to write about. The song possesses a varied beat, kicked off by Simon’s signature, recognize-anywhere vocals. It mixes sensuality with that hunger. Back then, I probably thought it was fun to dance to. Now, as a writer, who often focuses on paranormal aspects and the world of shifters, the lyrics made a perfect tapestry for my storyline.

Come Undone Box Set

We would like to thank Kerry Adrienne and all of the authors included in the Come Undone box set for being such great sports with our questions!

If we’ve whetted your appetite for fiction and you’d like some more, grab yourself the set: Come Undone

Happy Reading!


Today in Duran History – Glasgow and a bit of Mad World

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

On today’s date in 2004, Duran Duran played the SECC in Glasgow.

Do you want to know what I remember about Glasgow, and the SECC in particular?  It was bloody FREEZING in there.  I remember sitting and waiting for a show in December of 2011, complete with my down ski parka on…continuing to shiver.  I don’t think I completely thawed out again until I touched down back in California, a day and a half later.  Naturally, that was in the month of December…and this show took place in April.  So there’s that, right?  Who was there in 2004??

Also, today is officially MAD WORLD day!  That’s right, the release of Mad World – the book that all New Wave 80s music lovers should have, hold and caress fondly (but never nostalgically….no. We can’t have that…because we, my friends…are not old. We’re not nostalgic. We just know good music.), has been released today!!  If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy and you’re not waiting by your front door to tackle the mailman or UPS guy, I urge you to rectify the situation immediately and order it from Amazon!!  Why, you ask?  I’m reviewing it.  Later today.

In the meantime, check out the Reddit AMA with Lori & Jonathan: Mad World Reddit

Need a link to grab the book?  Fear not, my friends.  I’ve got you covered: Mad World.


Q&A with Christopher Penman and Claire Abby (from Back Forever By Karen Booth)

I have two very special guests on the blog today – Christopher Penman and Claire Abby from Back Forever, the new book by Karen Booth.  One might say, “Rhonda, have you lost your mind?” (I write a blog. Daily. About being a fan of a band. What do you think?)  “They are characters. Fictional characters….from a BOOK.”   True.  They are characters.  However, aside from the obvious: that they agreed to a short interview and they’re the closest things to celebrity this blog has had as guests in a VERY long time…I would ask that readers think of this:  doesn’t EVERY celebrity play a part for the public? Their “public image”?  I think that for the most part, it is probably incredibly naive to assume that the person we see in interviews on TV or on screen or even on stage is the same person that goes home and takes out the trash.  That alone is a great discussion topic…I digress, because I can’t leave my guests waiting, can I?

Back Forever is a sequel to Bring Me Back, the ultimate rock star/fangirl fairy tale novel.  I’m writing to particularly our female audience here: this duo of books is truly our fantasies come to well, almost life.  Everyone should read them – give yourself permission to stow away for a bit from real life.  Let the laundry and workload pile up around you a bit while you tuck away into the back corner of your mind where you’re secretly dating John Taylor, Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor…or maybe a guitar player. (Not Dom though. He’s taken.  *cough cough cough*)

I asked Karen if it would be alright if I picked through Christopher’s and Claire’s brains a bit, and Karen agreed, which is very special.  I’m sure that as their creator, her connection to Chris and Claire is very special and private, so I appreciate that she’s sharing them with us like this.

As a member of the Christopher Penman fan club, I felt as though we just don’t know enough about CP (as we like to call him)…and really, what makes Claire Abby tick?  How did she get so lucky as to attract Christopher?  Does she pinch herself daily???

I’ll begin with Claire, because let’s face it – we all wish we were her. I grew up wanting to be “That Girl”, and even now – I’m married, I have kids of my own, but yet there’s something special about that rock star fantasy that is difficult to completely put behind me, since I write this blog and all….  So I have to ask you Claire, do you ever stop looking at Christopher as though he was the rock star you grew up admiring?  When do you think he became “human” for you?

Although there are always those “pinch me” moments and I doubt they will ever completely go away, Chris actually became human to me the first day I met him, when he told me about losing the pregnancy with his first wife, Elise. I knew then that he was just as real as I was, just as capable of being hurt as any other person.

This is something that I think can be difficult to reconcile in our heads as fans, that for these guys – being a rock star is their job. It’s their career, and while it’s not quite a 9 to 5, they still have private lives off stage and they’re human.  They’re not caged animals…but that idea should work in the reciprocal as well.  There are moments when I see bands look at their fans as just dollar signs with faces attached.  They don’t really seem to know or care about us as people.  Maybe we ask for that when we scream for them or because of the way we treat them, and maybe that relationship is really only meant to be transactional, I’m not sure.  They can’t obviously know all of us, and it’s unfair to request otherwise.  What about for you, Chris.  Was it difficult to move past the idea that Claire was once a really big fan who had posters of you on her wall?

Have you ever met someone that you were drawn to from the word ‘go’? Because that was the way I felt around Claire. She was so determined at her job, prepared and professional, but I saw this very sweet and vulnerable woman beneath all of that. Taking that into account, part of what helped us click was that I had no idea she was a fan. I had no concerns about ulterior motives. By the time I discovered her astounding vinyl collection, I was knee-deep in infatuation. This might be difficult to understand, but there are times when I can’t imagine her being that teenage girl, hanging pictures of me on her wall. I think the disconnect is that I don’t see myself as that guy in the first place.

Fascinating. I can’t really imagine what that is like since I’ve always been on just “THIS” side of it – I’m simply a fan.  There are times I wonder how I’ll feel when my favorite band decides to hang it up.  As I grow older, I suppose I recognize somewhere down deep that the band is growing older too – and as time passes between albums, I wonder when it will all just stop and how I’ll feel.  For me, I’ve been a fan for over thirty years now. I can’t really remember life before Duran Duran, and now that I blog about being a fan every day – it’s an integral part of who I am. I think at least part of my anxiousness about the next album is that maybe I worry there really won’t be another one.  So, I can imagine just how thrilled Banks Forest fans must be with the idea of the band getting back together and touring once again.  Claire, how are you handling the adjustment?  I mean – you’re looking out at thousands of fans, just like me, screaming for your husband.  Does part of you want to go up on stage and scream “He’s mine!!”?

I won’t lie. The fan thing is weird. I know exactly what those women think because I was one of them. His music is so important to him and it’s important to so many people. If it didn’t exist, I might never have met him—think about that for a minute! I guess the bottom line is that he needs to be doing what he does and the world is better off because of it. We’ll deal with the other stuff that comes along with it if we have to.

The fan thing IS weird, I’ll certainly be the first to say that. If I’d only understood when I was ten what it would feel like at thirty or even forty *cough cough*…I’d like to think I’d have talked myself out of it completely.  What about you, Christopher?  How are you feeling about the band now?  Do you see it all through a different lens now than you did in your 20s?

I love getting back together with the guys and trying to make a go at it, but I know it’s not permanent. I’ll continue to do it as long as we’re making good new music and it’s fun. I don’t want us to turn into a band that knocks out the hits every night and that’s it. We have to keep creating or there’s no point in it for me. I think the rest of the guys feel the same way.

I know of a band that feels the same way….oddly enough.  Might I be the first to suggest that sticking to the hits, while wonderfully nostalgic for many, can also be the thing that drives you crazy in the end?  Sometimes it’s good to switch it all up, just to keep everyone on their toes.  Not that *I* really know.  After all, I’m just a fan!

Alright, last question and then I’ll let you go in peace, I promise.  What about Karen?  How will you both feel about leaving her?  Will  you miss working with her?

“You know we’re just going to make Karen cry if we answer this. Let’s just say that we hope she decides to keep us around, at least in her head.”

Isn’t that the truth? As a fan of not only Chris and Claire but of Karen   and her work – I really hope that when and if she ever feels that there’s a story to tell about these two, or even of Banks Forest, that she shares it with the rest of us.  I know I’ll miss reading about Christopher Penman, Claire Abby and even Banks Forest – because for me, reading the book has been a perfect escape from reality at times, and I look forward to reading whatever comes next for Karen!

Thanks so much, Karen!!


To buy copies of Bring Me Back, the prequel Claire’s Diary and Back Forever, you can click on the pictures below!


Claire’s Diary is also available as a FREE downloadable file directly from Karen’s site at!!!