Color Me Crazy
by Carol Pavliska
Never fall for a rockstar...
Julian Wheaton views the world through a kaleidoscope of synesthesia, seeing the colors of every sound he hears. His life as an iconic rock guitarist was a stressful psychedelic trip that nearly destroyed him. Now he’s abandoned the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, but when fiery Cleo Compton comes to work for him, she brings chaos with her.
Cleo Compton has had her flings with rockstars—and it’s left her wary and bruised. Julian may have those sexy bedroom eyes and drool-worthy tattoos, but Cleo is determined to keep things strictly professional—until Julian turns out to be every dream she’s ever chased. When he risks it all to hit the road with a band again, Cleo fears he’ll return as the one thing she can no longer abide—a rockstar.
Her back was pressed up against the wall; there wasn’t even an inch to spare. Julian bent and kissed her neck. People yelled at each other outside the bus, and voices hummed inside, as well. “We don’t have any privacy.”
Julian kissed the sweet spot right behind her ear. “That’s true,” he whispered. “Anybody could walk in.” The bus shook as things were loaded into the storage wells.
“Excuse me,” someone said, just outside the door. “Hey, has anybody seen Lazros?”
Julian put his hand over Cleo’s mouth. “Shh…”
He unbuckled his belt, and she heard his zipper go down.
“I’m in my bunk,” he said to the door. “What do you want?”
Oh, God. He was actually going to carry on a conversation with someone just a few steps away while he…what would he do next?
His knee went between her legs, forcing them apart. Oh.
“Wayne wants to know if you’ll be keeping your Les Paul with you or if you want him to take care of it.” The voice was so close. Right outside the door!
“I’ll keep it,” Julian answered. Then he slipped his fingers between her thighs, inside her panties, and she closed her eyes and tried not to whimper. Julian’s voice was right at her ear. “Oh, Cleo,” he whispered. “Somebody is a naughty girl.” She totally was.
He pulled his hand away and stepped back. Cleo thought she’d fall, but somehow her legs held her up.
“Onto the bunk, baby,” Julian said softly. “Spread your legs.”
She looked over his shoulder at the small door. “What if someone tries to come in?” Her pulse sped up.
Julian grinned. “They’ll hit my ass with the door.” He gently pulled on her hand until she sat on the bunk. His fly was already open, and he was very ready to go. He pressed her shoulder until she leaned back. Keeping a nervous eye on the tiny, uninsulated door that led to the narrow corridor, Cleo pressed her knees tightly together. But only because she wanted to hear him beg. Or demand. Or anything, really.
“Uh-uh, little girl,” he said. “Spread those legs. And give me the knickers—they’re going on tour.”
AUTHOR CAROL PAVLISKA
Carol Pavliska began her writing career as a family humor columnist and blogger, a pursuit she abandoned when her children became old enough to realize they were being exploited. To save them from further embarrassment, she turned to writing fiction.
The kids are still embarrassed.
When she’s not creating unrealistic expectations as a romance writer (ripped abs, dramatic temperaments, and eyes like bottomless pools of Hey Girl), she functions quite nicely in her real world, which consists of a delightfully stable husband and five children.
Carol and her husband, both die hard Red Hot Chili Peppers fans, raise their vegan brood of mortified offspring on a cattle ranch in South Texas. No lie.
INTERVIEW WITH CAROL
Hi Carol! Thanks for joining me at Bottles & Books Reviews today. I had the chance to read an ARC of Color Me Crazy and just loved it!
CP: Thanks! I’m so happy we avoided the awkward of you not loving it!
Color Me Crazy, your debut book, released May 26th (Congratulations!). How do you feel now that Color Me Crazy has been released?
CP: It’s stressful. Everyone has given me tons of good advice (don’t read reviews, don’t watch numbers) and I’ve ignored all of it. It’s also a bit awkward, because all the people from Real Life now know I wrote a book. With sex in it.
But it also feels pretty cool. I mean—this was hard! And I did it!
Your lead male, Julian Wheaton, stands out from typical rock stars. For instance, he suffers from synesthesia. What made you decide to introduce Julian’s synesthesia into Color Me Crazy?
CP: I knew I wanted an angsty hero. My only question was what to torture him with. It so happens that my daughter is a classical pianist and knows two synesthete musicians. I did a bit of research, amped up the level of intensity, and bingo! Sexy suffering synesthete.
Cleo Compton is also a unique character and Julian often has plenty of ways to describe her, especially in the beginning. What is your favorite trait of Cleo’s?
CP: I love how she spends a lot of time trying to master adulting, but inside, she really does know who she is and what she wants. She tries to conform to other people’s expectations, but what she learns is that she’s okay as a thirty-year-old wannabe groupie. Her circumstances change a lot in the book, but in the end she gets everything she wanted—and it’s perfect for her—despite other people telling her that her dreams were silly or unreasonable.
Now that Color Me Crazy has been written – and released – are you working on anything new?
CP: I’m working on another Rock ‘n’ Spin novel, the second of (hopefully) three.
Where does your inspiration for writing come from?
CP: Who knows? I’m a dreamer. I can remember being in elementary school and having a teacher stop the class to ask me what in the world I was thinking about. Apparently my expression indicated I was enjoying myself a little too much for fifth grade math. I’ve always slipped easily inside my head. There are all kinds of weird things there to keep me occupied.
When writing, are there any rituals/unusual habits that you have?
CP: Ha! Well, first I tell myself that I’m not going to check Facebook or Twitter. Then I check Facebook and Twitter.
What is your favorite book? Your latest read?
CP: Oh my God, I finally finished the last Outlander book. I’d been waiting for it—as we do—for YEARS, and then when I opened it up, I had no idea what was going on. So I went to the previous book to refresh my memory, and I had no idea what was going on in it either. I ended up going all the way back to the first book, and I’ve been reading forever! I also just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s trending everywhere and I jumped on the bandwagon. It can be summed up this way: THROW EVERYTHING AWAY.
What is your favorite Julian quote from Color Me Crazy?
CP: Julian is vegan. A kale-loving cliché of a holier-than-thou vegan. And Cleo is not. She orders lamb kabobs at a farmer’s market, and when Julian sets it in front of her he says,
“Here you go. Because grown up animal meat isn’t quite sad enough.”
And Cleo responds with, “I see there’s hummus among us for the people who think they’re better than everyone else.”
I probably should have quoted something sexier. I’m going to stay up all night worrying that I missed my big chance to hook everyone with an erotic quote by talking about lamb.
What would you say the hardest thing about writing a new book is?
CP: Plotting. I’m not very good at it. I go down a lot of rabbit holes and it seems like such a waste. But it’s how I do it.
What authors have influenced you?
CP: My favorite romance author is Susan Elizabeth Philips. It might be a bit obnoxious to say she’s influenced me though. I would like to be influenced by her. But I’m not sure the magic has rubbed off.
If you could tell the you of ten years ago anything or give your past self any advice, what would you tell her?
CP: I would probably tell myself to do a better job of taking advice.
If you could meet any rock star (living or dead), who would it be and why?
CP: I don’t really long to meet any of the rockstars I worship because I just can’t see it going all that well. It would just be me stuttering and gushing and making everyone uncomfortable. I once screamed I LOVE YOU DAVE during a bizarre quiet moment at a Jane’s Addiction concert (small venue – good seats) and it was like a bomb going off. I’m surprised nobody called the cops. *I did get a small wave out of Dave and my teenage son wanted to die so it wasn’t necessarily a total loss.
If you could do something extremely crazy, what would it be?
CP: Scream at Dave Navarro. Write a romance novel. Have five kids. I’ve done all those things, and short of jumping out of an airplane (which I’m not going to do) I can’t come up with anything crazier that’s legal.
As for Julian and Cleo, will we be seeing any more of these two in the future?
CP: I’m heading to The Cove this weekend for some live music—I’ll probably see them there. I’ll tell them you said hi!
A big thanks to Carol Pavliska for joining me at Bottles & Books Reviews today.
If you haven't picked up your copy of Color Me Crazy yet, I would rush to do so. This book is one of my favorites of 2015! You can check out my review for Color Me Crazy here.