Tuesday 25 July 2017

Out Now—Get Off Easy by Sara Brookes (@sara_brookes) #sarabrookes #noblehouse #carinapress #bdsm #menage #newrelease


At Noble House, fantasy has no limits. Log on and enter a world of your most secret desires. And remember, there is nothing more noble than the pursuit of passion…

I shouldn’t be watching, but I can’t look away.

It’s been years since I’ve seen Ford “Saint” Templar or Boyce Denali in person—although the gorgeous men have haunted too many of my fantasies to count. But now they’re here, right on my screen. Together. It’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.

And I want in.

Noble House is the kingdom of geek kink, where the thrill comes from knowing that someone is always watching. All I have to do is be brave enough to turn off the screen, walk through the door and ask Saint and Boyce to take me back.

We used to be so good together, but we’re different people now. Will Saint’s commands still bring me to my knees with desire? Will the anticipation of Boyce’s touch still drive me wild? Will I be able to survive the pleasure of having them both?

It’s time to stop watching. I need this. I need them. And just maybe, they need me, too.

Buy links:



Darkness surrounded Grae. In her life. In her mind. And even in her office as she leaned back in her overstuffed, overpriced chair and yawned. The creature comforts weren’t enough to keep her interested in the image flickering on her computer screen. Not that well-chiseled abs didn’t do it for her. They totally did. But considering the fact she’d been the one to draw, define, and enhance each one of those tongue-licking indentions, the final product had lost its appeal hours ago.

As long as the female audience members went wild, she would keep plodding along. Not to mention, if she didn’t deliver, she wouldn’t be paid her hard-earned check. As tempting as it was to continue, she desperately needed a break.

A quick glance at her trusty desktop clock showed she hadn’t stopped for over thirty-six hours. Since she was on a deadline, her director’s schedule won out over sleep and basic hygiene. Especially because she was under contract. If she wanted another shot at working with this director, she needed to have this guy’s abs painted on and swoon-worthy in the next three hours.

One hell of a reward awaited her after she completed her work, too.

As she made her way to the kitchen to refill her carafe, she tapped the reminder postcard that arrived two days ago against her chin. Fresh coffee would get her through. At least it had to. She’d worked under tighter deadlines, and on less sleep, than this project.

Thirty-six hours with no sleep was kid’s stuff.

Her reward, however, was not child appropriate.

No way. No how.

Kochran Duke was throwing one of his famous parties tonight. The events, where participation was allowed by members both at the club and online, were not low-key and always the highlight of the month. It also meant there was a distinct possibility Saint and Boyce would attend. They never missed a party at the converted armory. No telling what they’d be doing, though.

It was always a surprise when it came to those two.

She shoved a fresh filter into the brew basket, dumped in beans and water, and realized she didn’t care. They could sit and read nursery rhymes to one another, and she’d still get off. Wasn’t as though she’d joined Kochran’s exclusive website only to watch the pretty boys play with their toys.

Okay, well, it wasn’t the only reason.

There was a touch of practicality to why she chose to spend her night watching porn.

And it had nothing to do with satisfying her voyeuristic tendencies.

Her former Master recommended the online dungeon when it became obvious she had all the desire and drive to submit, but none of the time. Noble House offered several levels of membership depending on participation or observation. The fees were steep, but it was a small price to pay for satisfying a guilty indulgence from the privacy of her home office.

Once she’d discovered two of her closest friends from college were Dominants at Noble House, her interest in the private club increased tenfold. Thanks to alumni updates from the university, she’d known they’d continued to date after they graduated. Even knew where they lived because of an article published six months ago in the yearly alumni newsletter about the building they’d saved from the wrecking ball and turned into an apartment complex. Knowing they were still together, and trying to change the world, warmed her heart.

And a few other strategic lady bits.

Someday she would visit Noble House. Though the idea of taking a vacation long enough to visit Northern California sounded absurd. With the constant trail of work following her wherever she went, taking a break was unheard of. Visiting friends she hadn’t seen in more than a decade was even more ludicrous. As was confessing she’d seen every one of their broadcasted scenes since she’d become a member.

And hunted through the archives.

Several times over.

The coffeepot chimed. She dumped the contents into the carafe, then grabbed the French vanilla creamer. As she made her way back to her spacious office, her eyes slowly adjusted to the permanent darkness she’d created thanks to heavy light-blocking blinds. Day or night, the lighting in the room never changed. When she’d decided to leave the guaranteed contract with the big-budget movie studio behind and become a freelancer, she’d invested in all the bells and whistles. No sense working from home without the proper equipment.

Six monitors wasn’t too much, right?

A quick check of the emails she’d been ignoring for the past few hours indicated the director was getting aggravated. Time to buckle down and turn out this masterpiece. Armed with a fresh cup of coffee, Grae leaned back to watch the fight sequence she’d been working on for the past week. She noted a few minor inconsistencies she could smooth over while she waited to see if she had approval. No need to waste her time if the director wanted to ditch the segment.

Task completed, she zipped the file, then dropped it onto her secure server. An email containing the link to the director was next and meant her part was complete. She flipped a switch to change over to her personal computer tower and waited for it to boot. When it finally beeped in greeting, she directed the browser window to Noble House’s main site. A few keystrokes, and the splash page for tonight’s event flashed onto the huge screen she’d mounted on the wall.

Two very familiar faces stared back at her.

Boyce Denali, the one on the left, wore heavy-duty leathers. Too bulky for working inside the club. These were the kind used for protection should he take a spill. Though she doubted he would ever be so careless. Boyce was the kind of man the pavement moved for. Dark blond, piercing blues, muscles to die for, and a chiseled bone structure even the most formidable Viking would find intimidating.

Ford Templar, on the other hand, was all dark and mysterious. Nicknamed Saint at the club, Ford was broody. Sulky. Dark hair. Olive skin. Lean muscles. The dark to Boyce’s light. Except his eyes. Those eyes. Eerily colored, they reminded her of glass Coke bottles. Rumor had it his gaze could pierce right through to someone’s soul. While Boyce held a commanding air that demanded to be heard, Saint wore his power subtly but was still all dominant authority.

Seemingly connected at the hip, the two men scened together every week. Much to her delight. Grae didn’t think she’d ever seen them work with a submissive alone. Not that the choice to only carry out ménage scenes affected their standing at the club. Not in the least. Every time they worked together, their scenes had been nothing short of spectacular.

“Let’s see what you’re up to tonight, boys.”


Author bio:

Sara Brookes has always been fascinated by the strange, the unusual, the twisted and the lost (tortured heroes are her personal favorite). She is an action movie junkie, addicted to coffee and has been known to stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing RPG video games. Despite all this geekiness, she is a romantic at heart and is always a sucker for an excellent love story.


New release announcement list: http://eepurl.com/mbG31

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

Friday 21 July 2017

Anthem of the Sea Deleted Scene #4

By the time you read this scheduled post I should be enjoying my own Anthem of the Sea on a cruise around the Scottish Aisles. I’ll share some pictures of the voyage when I get back, or check out my twitter page @ThomWolf to see where I’ve been so far. In the meantime, here’s another deleted scene from Anthem of the Sea.

Today’s scene involves Oliver Gill. It’s another flashback filling in the backstory of the boyband Overload. Oliver’s a deeply disturbed young man when we meet him in Anthem, but this flashback demonstrates how highly strung he has always been. Like the early scenes it was cut for pacing. I managed to incorporate the back story in a more efficient manner in the final book, but I do love this scene.

See you soon

Thom xxx

Deleted scene #4

“Fucking hell. What’s the point of any of this? These numpties can’t sing for shit.”

Eighteen years old, Oliver Gill already had the temperament and attitude that he would become notorious for. Difficult: one of the softer words used to describe him. He’d been a diva in the making since primary school. By his teens he’d developed a sense of entitlement to go with his self-belief.

Newly formed boy band Overload were putting the final touches to what was slated to be their debut album. Oliver hated everything about being in a band but most of all he loathed having to share. He sang lead vocal on all of their tracks and made sure he stood front and centre during their performances and photographs, but that wasn’t enough. He still had to share the spotlight with four other boys – or baggage, as he called them.

He was destined to be a solo star, not one of five boys in a crappy line up. The fact the other four were all better looking than him was something he was loath to admit. They hadn’t been hired for their singing skills. That was fairly obvious. Anyone with ears would know who the real star of Overload was.

“It’s a means to an end,” his sister, Rachel, assured him. “Use the band to get famous, then dump them.”

She was right of course. Robbie Williams, Geri Halliwell; they both started out as members of a band, walking out at the height of their fame. That’s exactly what he planned to do.

Ditch these losers at the first opportunity.

Overload were in the studio to hear the playback of their album. The whole thing was mixed and ready. They were due to shoot their debut video in a couple of weeks.

Oliver sat apart from the rest of the band. He resolved to start how he meant go on with them; keep his distance and let them see who the star of this show was. They sat on a sofa together – Ben, Christian, Luke and David – grinning like lunatics, giving each other juvenile high fives. Fucking idiots.

Oliver sat in an arm chair, off to one side, wondering how quickly he could get out of this. This album should be enough. Four hit songs. Everyone would see he was the voice of Overload. Record companies would line up to offer him a solo contract. It would all be so easy. Seeing these dick heads crash and burn without him, that would be the icing on the cake.

Anderson Pole, the twenty six stone record producer, waddled in, out of breath, with the album on disc. “This is it boys. Enjoy it.”

The first track started to play. Oliver flinched when his lead vocal came in. Anderson had added some kind of electronic effect to his voice. What the hell? He could understand them having to use technological tricks to sweeten the vocals of the other four, but he didn’t need it. Maybe it was just an effect on this one track.

Three songs in and the treatment on his voice got heavier. He got to his feet and hit stop on the player.

“Is this a fucking joke? What have you done to my voice? I sound like a God damned robot.”

Anderson Pole turned his piggy eyes towards him. His chubby cheeks were scarlet. “It’s a modern sound,” he said, sounding calmer than he looked. “Most records on the charts are like that. Even Madonna uses a vocoder these days.”

“I’m not Madonna. I’m Oliver Gill.”

“No. You’re Oliver from Overload,” one of the boys chipped in. The others sniggered.

“Whatever you’ve done, I want you to change it back,” he said.

“You’re not the producer,” Anderson told him. “I am. The effect stays.

“I don’t need it. I’m not like the other four. I can fucking sing.”

“You think you can sing,” piped up Ben, “but your tuning is awful.”

“Ha. What would you know about tune? They might as well take the four of you cunts off the record for all you contribute. I’m the singer in this band and you all fucking know it.”

“Calm down, Oliver,” Anderson warned.

“Oh, give it rest you fat bastard. Get back on the mixing desk and put this shit right.”

The other boys were on their feet, all siding with the producer.

“You need to pipe down and apologise,” Christian said.

“Apologise! That’s a joke, right? To whom? For what? For being the only voice in this piss poor excuse for a band? For having that voice ruined in production by this idiot? You didn’t need to make me sound as bad as them, Anderson. You needed to make these cunts sound better.”

Ben moved forward, fists raised, and was stopped from hitting Oliver by the rest of the group. Undeterred, Oliver proceeded to spew abuse at the others until security was called from the foyer and he was dragged off to an empty office.

Sam LeFerve, the bands manager, arrived half an hour later. Oliver knew from the look on his face that Sam was livid. Everything above the neck of his shirt was crimson. Good. Oliver was angry too. It would be useful to have someone see things from his side for a change.

“I was in a meeting with tour promoters,” Sam said. The calm of his voice was at odds with the anger in his eyes. These fat guys should really keep a lid on their temper. Sam and Anderson looked like they would have heart attacks. “I had to cut my meeting short to come and sort this shit out. What the fuck is going on?”

“Have you listened to the final mix of the album?” Oliver demanded.

“Of course I have. I approve everything.”

“How could you approve that? It’s utter shit. Have you heard what they’ve done to my voice? It doesn’t even sound like me.”

“You’re not Pavarotti, kid. You’re in a boy band and I want you to sound like every other fucker in the chart. Don’t you get that?” Sam took out a cigarette and lit up.

“I don’t think we should be a boy band,” he replied indignantly. “I sang all the main vocals, the others did nothing. Put them on backing, let me be a solo artist. They can be my dancers.”

Sam’s eyes widened and the cigarette hung limply in his mouth. Suddenly Oliver didn’t feel so sure of himself. This wasn’t going how he expected it. Sam didn’t fight his corner like he ought to.

Sam laughed. It was a flat, humourless sound. “Jesus Christ, you’re serious, aren’t you?”

He stood up straight. “Of course I am.”

“It’s a boy band. I don’t want a solo act. I want five cute boys that girls and gays will want to fuck. I don’t give a shit about the singing. I’m paying Anderson to sort that out.”

“He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

“He’s produced a dozen top twenty singles. I’d say he knows a lot better than you do what works and what doesn’t. He’s told me all about you too. You’ve been a pain in the arse since day one.”

“That’ll be right,” Oliver sneered. “Two face, fat bastard.”

Sam drew slowly on his cigarette, watching Oliver through narrowed eyes. “It’s vital that Overload look right. But there’s something more important than looks in this band.”


“Attitude, kid. And yours stinks. I’m sorry. I’ve got a lot of money invested in this project and you’re a liability I can do without. It’s over. You’re fired.”

What!” He heard the words but couldn’t believe them. “You can’t sack me. I’m the lead singer. It’s the others you need to sack.”

Sam shook his head. “I’ve got no problem with the other boys. They look good and they do what they’re told to. You’re a pain in the arse I just don’t need.”

Oliver trembled. Sam was serious. Shit! Why couldn’t he keep his mouth shut? “Look, I’m sorry. Okay? I’ll keep quiet from now on. Do what you say.”

“This isn’t going to work,” Sam said. “I made a mistake in choosing you. I need to cut my losses before it’s too late.”

“But ... but the album. It’s already finished,” Oliver said.

“It’s nothing I can’t fix. We can take you off and record new vocals with another singer. I’m freeing you from your contract.”

Noooo.” The world had turned to shit beneath his feet. He’d been so stupid, pushed everything too far, but it wasn’t too late. It couldn’t be. Surely there was a way of turning this mess around. “Sam, I said I was sorry. I’ll behave. No more tantrums. I’ll be nice to the rest of the guys. But don’t do this, please. Don’t fire me.”

Sam’s expression was fixed. “Too little, too late. I’ve had a bad feeling about you for weeks. Since I put you all together. The constant feedback I get is that you’re a pain in the arse. Anderson, choreographers, stylists, the rest of the band – you make it difficult for everyone. Nobody wants to work with you. Me included.”

Tears pricked at Oliver’s eye lashes. Don’t cry, he warned himself. Do not cry. “Can’t we work something out? Just you and me. I know you like me. I know why you hired me. Let me make it worth your while. A blow job, right now.”

Sam took a step back. He looked horrified. “Oliver, stop.”

“You can fuck me, if you want. I’ve never done it in the arse before.” A lie. “You can be my first. I’d like that. You would too, wouldn’t you? To pop my cherry.”

“Oliver, don’t insult me or demean yourself.” Sam was angry now, heading for the door before the situation got worse.

“Don’t go,” Oliver pleaded.

“I’m sorry but it’s over. There’s no place for you in this band.”


Friday 14 July 2017

Anthem of the Sea Deleted Scene #3

Hello. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, promoting Anthem #1 while writing Anthem #3. I’m about to go on holiday (a cruise – yay) but to add to the chaos I decided it would be a good idea to have a new kitchen fitted while I was away. So, as well as the usual rushing around trying to get ready for a trip, I’ve been emptying cupboards and packing up the kitchen utensils this weekend. I’m sure I’ll appreciate it next week, when the old kitchen is ripped out and I’m sailing far away from the mess, but at the minute it’s a stress.

We’re taking a seven-night trip around the Isles of Scotland, which I’ve never done before. I’ve only been to Edinburgh and Dundee before, so it’s exciting to see more of the beautiful coastline and islands around Scotland. I’ll share some pictures when I get back.

I’ve scheduled some posts to go live while I’m away, including cover reveals and guest posts from other authors.

Today I’ve got another deleted scene from Anthem of the Sea. Yes, another one. As I’ve mentioned before the book was heavily cut after the first draft, mainly for reasons of pace and fitting within the word counts of the genre. Like all edits, we have to sacrifice some good stuff along the way. With this book, that included a lot of minor characters and subplots. Originally, I had Daniel and Elijah meet a number of other passengers. These included Rula and Marianne, a mother and daughter traveling together. As you’ll see if you read the following excerpt, these women had a lot going on, themes that were explored across the book. This scene takes place on the first night when Daniel is invited to the captains table for dinner. All that remains in the finished version is a mention that dined with captain while Elijah was on stage. Unfortunately, Marianne and Rula are excised completely. But, characters rarely leave a writer until their story is told in one way or another, so many they appear again someday. Until then, join them for dinner with Daniel and the dashing Captain Rassimov.

Deleted scene:

Helen arranged for a tuxedo and shirt to be delivered to Daniel’s room and it was just as well. He’d feel badly under dressed at the Captain’s table without it. Though it was not an official formal night, when all the passengers were obliged to wear their finest, those chosen to dine with the Captain had gone to town. The men al wore tuxedos while the women dazzled with their best gowns and jewellery.

Around half the people at their table of twelve recognised Daniel as soon as he sat down, and it was only a few more minutes until those unfamiliar with his name were brought up to speed. He dealt with it gamely to begin, but it soon became an ordeal to answer the same questions he was always asked.

What’s it like to be rich and famous?

“Believe me, I am neither of those things.” Sort of well-known and doing okay was not the answer most people wanted to hear.

What kind of car do you drive? Where do you have your houses? Have you met this or that celebrity?

Thankfully the Captain sensed his discomfort and drew their attention to himself at the top of the table. Daniel was grateful. He was paid by Royal Atlantic and had a duty to behave as they wanted while he was on the ship, he didn’t object to that, it was part of the job, but it could get weary, playing to the public all the time.

He knew other performers who refused to leave the crew areas of the ship when they were not working. He would never be that stuck up.

The novelty of having him on the table soon wore off as the guests remembered the real honour was dinning with the Captain.

An honour for him too. He wouldn’t forget that.

There was a lot he could learn a lot from Captain Rassimov. His people skills were exception. As they exchanged names and got to know each other over glasses of chilled champagne, Rassimov made sure he spoke to and acknowledged everyone.

They were a diverse and interesting bunch of people. Mainly couples, though Daniel sat beside Rula and Marianne Hench, a mother and grown-up daughter from Devon. Rula was well on the way to becoming drunk, much to her daughter’s embarrassment, but a happy drunk – not causing any problems. Next along was Larry and Chuck, a fulsome American couple. Larry was black, Chuck white but they seemed completely alike in every other way. Both around fifty, they shared a cheeky sense of humour and often finished each other’s sentences.

Next to the Captain sat a very attractive young couple from England. In their late twenties, athletic and healthy, a picture-perfect model of a successful pair.

An older couple from Germany sat on the other side of Rassimov. They appeared a little overwhelmed by their surroundings and company, but enjoyed themselves just the same.

After the champagne, they were served with a fillet of sea bass with roasted cauliflower, pea puree and caper vinaigrette. The starter was paired with a glass of Chablis 1 er Cru. It was phenomenal.

“This is nice,” Rula Hench said, overlooking the food in favour of another helping of wine. Her mouth started to droop at the corner, suggesting she’d had a lot more to drink first appeared.

“Mother, eat something, please,” her daughter quietly implored.

“Try the sea bass,” Daniel encouraged. “It’s really special.”

“Oh, alright,” Rula said vehemently, picking up her fork. “Seeing as it’s you.” She winked.

The Captain told them about his early days at sea. As the first course plates were cleared away, Larry and Chuck asked Daniel is he’d ever played in Las Vegas. The answer was no. They’d been five times, they told everyone, to see Britney Spears.

“It’s become something of a pilgrimage,” Larry declared.

“He’s hoping Britney will cure his arthritis,” Chuck roared and the rest of the table laughed.

Main course was a confi beef with truffle jus, stuffed morels, curried brioche, beetroot jelly and smoked pate. It was served with a large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Daniel hadn’t eaten so well in a long time and the wine was among the finest he’d ever tasted. Better than the supermarket specials he bought at home. The beef was slow cooked to perfection, precisely how he liked it. Food snobs might despair but he couldn’t stand any kind of meat on his plate that was raw or bleeding.

Rula spilled some of her Cabernet across the table and when a waiter arrived to deal with the mess, she asked for another glass of Chablis instead.

“Mother, have some water,” Marianne insisted.

“I don’t want water. I want wine.”

Daniel took pity on the girl and tried to draw her into a conversation away from her mother. She was around twenty-five, pretty but for the worried expression on her face.

“Do you enjoy travelling by sea,” he asked.

“This is my first time,” she said, pushing her food around the plate. “It’s not like anything I’ve done before.”

Rula leaned across, her crepey bosom hanging low. “I booked the cruise with her father but he couldn’t come,” she jeered.

“Mother, Daniel doesn’t want to know about that.”

“Tell him why,” Rula said.

Poor girl. He could see she was embarrassed enough.

“Work commitments?” Daniel offered brightly.

“No, he’s in jail,” Rula said defiantly. “That’s why Marianne is on holiday with her mother. To make sure I don’t chuck myself over the side because my husband is a dirty bastard. A teacher who took photos of his pupils in the changing room. That’s what he did.”

Daniel put a gentle hand on top of Marianne’s. She was close to losing it.

“It’s okay,” he said softly.

“But she need not worry about me,” Rula pressed on undeterred. “I’m not going over board because the man I married turned out to be a pervert. No way.”

It was a conversation stopper. Around the table open faces stared at Rula in astonishment. The German couple must have understood most of it – they looked shocked enough. Even Captain Rassimov was lost for words.

“Did anyone see the show tonight?” Daniel asked at last. “I caught the act before dinner. He was really very funny.”


Wednesday 12 July 2017

Cover Reveal! Sinful Pleasures: An Anthology of Erotic Tales by Sinful Press (@sinfulpress)

Release date 20th August 2017.

Sinful Press welcomes you to lose yourself in Sinful Pleasures. 

Join us as we weave our way from mainstream erotic romance to surreal sex-filled dreamscapes and everything in between, created by some of the best new and established voices in the erotica genre. 

Janine Ashbless

Ella Scandal

Sonni de Soto

Jo Henny Wolf

Lily Harlem 

Lady Divine 

Gail Williams

Samantha MacLeod

Tony Fyler

Ellie Barker

Lisa McCarthy

Pre-order links:

Note: Sinful Pleasures will be available through all main online bookstores in print and digital on the 20th of August.

Excerpt from The Pier By Night by Janine Ashbless:

“What do you want to do now?” James asked, as they came level with another set of concrete stairs leading back up to the promenade. The question was lightly posed, but it seemed to carry an unconscionable weight. Maz looked sideways at him, rearranging the tickling strands of her hair back from her face one more time. Her body knew exactly what it wanted to do. Her body seemed to belong to some other personsomeone with no memory, no ties, no guilt. Somebody who had lived all her life here, in the sun, on the beach, far away from any home or husband.

How easy it would be to do something irrevocable. Something that would tear down their carefully ordered world.

“Do you think they’ve got an aquarium?” she heard herself ask. “I like them.”

“It’s a seaside town. Of course they’ve got an aquarium.”

They did.


Indoors, it was surprisingly quiet and empty. The sun must be keeping everyone else outside. After the blaring pop music of the pier and the excited children on the beach, the dimly-lit faux-rock tunnels, with their windows onto pellucid underwater landscapes, seemed like another planet.

Maz and James took their time. She hadn’t been kidding about how much she enjoyed displays like these. The glowing pools drew her, and the fact that James was beside her only heightened the sense of dreamlike intensity. He would touch her occasionallya hand on the small of her back, a finger brushing her wrist, the gentlest of clasps upon her upper arm as he pointed out a delicate seahorse among the reed grass. There was a quiet intimacy to it that made her shiver and blush and lose focus.

She could feel her whole body thrumming, as if she were lambent with arousal. 

Cover reveal organized by Writer Marketing Services

Friday 7 July 2017

Anthem of the Sea: Deleted Scene #2

Today I’m back with another deleted scene from my new novel Anthem of the Sea. Last week I shared a flashback moment to when my lead character Daniel Blake, just sixteen, auditioned for the boyband Overload. This scene continues that flashback, charting the rise and fall of the band. I really enjoyed writing these flashbacks, but for the purpose of the story, they weren’t necessary. In the end, I was able to get Daniel’s backstory across in a more succinct manner, but I love this stuff.

My long-term goal has always been a write a novel about a closeted 1960s popstar, that will be full of flashbacks, musical references and period detail. I’ve been researching the era and stars of the day on and off for years. It’ll be an epic story. 600 hundred pages plus. I’m not quite ready to go there yet, but it won’t be long. It’s a story I have to write. It just won’t go away.

In the meantime, enjoy this trip back to the music scene of the early 2000s.


My handwritten first draft of Anthem of the Sea

Deleted Scene #2

The following week, at Sam’s insistence, he moved into a three-bedroom semi-detached house with the other boys. Sam’s boy band had actually been formed six months earlier and they’d been living together all that time. They had already recorded the twelve songs that would make up their debut album. Their first single would have been out by now, except Sam had sacked their lead vocalist three weeks earlier.

“The kid was a nightmare. I had to get rid of him before it was too late.”

“What? So I’m just a replacement?” Daniel couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was on his way to meet the rest of the boys for the first time when Sam filled him in on their history.

“Don’t get precious about it. I could have put you at the front and got you to mime to the other fucker’s vocals. But I’m not gonna do that because you sound better than any of them. I want you singing lead vocals on all the tracks.”

“Those other guys are gonna hate me.” He felt really sick.

“Then you’ll just have to make them like you.”

Daniel had a week to pick up all twelve songs and record replacement lead vocals for the album. It was intense. As the newcomer, he expected the four original members, who were all a few years older, to hate him, but they were surprisingly cool about him joining.

“The other guy was a prize dick,” they told him over dinner one evening. “As long as you don’t turn into him, it’ll all be good.”

Ben, David, Christian, Luke and now Daniel were collectively known as Overload.

In the lead up to their single release, Sam sent them on an intense promotional schedule. They frequently performed two shows a night; school discos followed by late gay clubs. The set involved them performing high energy dance routines while miming three or four of their songs. Groomed as clean-cut boys next door, they were an immediate hit with their target audience.

The gay clubs were an eye opener for Daniel. He’d known since he was eleven that he was probably gay. He’d always fancied other boys but had yet to act on his desires. Now here he was, sixteen and still a virgin, being lusted over by horny men in the kind of clubs he’d only dreamed about.

Don’t fuck the fans,” Sam warned all the boys. “No groupies of either sex. If word gets out your glittering pop career will be over before it starts. The teeny boppers don’t want to hear about girlfriends or sex scandals. They want you for themselves. Good boys they can take home to the family. Maintain that illusion at all costs.”

Sam determined that Overload’s debut single would be a cover of ELO’s All Over the World. Daniel had doubts about the choice but didn’t dare voice them. The original was a classic. Their version was clunky and cheesier than fondue. It got the crowds going in the gay bars but that probably owed more to the atmosphere and alcohol than their song. He couldn’t understand how it would fit on the current pop charts. Tastes were changing again. Steps had already split and S Club weren’t having the kind of success they once enjoyed.

Sam was undeterred. They shot a video for All Over the World and performed the song on every TV show that would have them. The promotion schedule was insane. The boys would be up at 4.00 a.m. to perform their song on some TV breakfast show. Then they were onto a bus, travelling round all day to sing in schools and shopping malls before ending the day with a 1.00 a.m. nightclub PA.

Their effort gained little reward.

All Over the World entered the UK single chart at number seventeen. It fell to forty-nine in its second week and was off the chart by its third. The boys were devastated. Though Daniel had little faith in the track, but they had put so much into its promotion, flogging themselves twenty hours a day, it was a massive disappointment to see it flop.

The song fared marginally better abroad. When it broke into the top ten in Japan, a five day promotional tour was hurriedly put together. The work load in Japan was even more extreme than at home. While in the east, Daniel shared a room with band mate Christian, who at nineteen was the closest to his own age. When they came back to the UK, Daniel was no longer a virgin.

It was no big romance. Daniel liked Christian a lot, he was fun and good-looking, a great guy to be around.  But a buddy rather than his big first love. They came together out of curiosity and a mutual desire to experiment. Daniel felt safe with Christian. He trusted him. There was no one else he’d rather lose his virginity to. But there was no great passion there.

“Let me know if it hurts,” Christian said, breathing softly on his face as he eased his hard cock inside.

Daniel opened his legs wider and held Christian tight, breathing deeper, waiting for the pain. It never came. Christian took his time. He was tender and careful and used a lot of lube. He was experienced, recognising what was good and what to avoid. When Daniel came with Christian’s solid cock moving confidently inside him, the power of the orgasm rocked his entire body. It left him dizzy.

“My God. I never expected it to be like that,” he gasped.

Christian kissed him all over his face. “You have no idea how beautiful you are, do you? Your face when you came, I wish I’d taken a picture to remember it.”

Back in the UK, Overload shot a video for their second single and began the promotional cycle all over again. Summertime of Love was another upbeat, cheesy pop song with a manic dance routine.

It failed to make the top forty.

Undeterred Sam Leferve pushed on with the album release. The songs were already recorded so why the hell not? The album was preceded by a new single. Sam took no chances with this one. The release would be a double A-side aimed straight at the Christmas party market. They had a change of pace on one song, a wintery ballad called The Coldest Season, while its counterpart was a ramped up cover version of 10cc’s Things We Do for Love with additional sleigh bells added to the mix.

“A drippy love and a tremendous party anthem. This cannot fail,” Sam said confidently. “Christmas number one, here we come.”

The single manged a slight gain on its predecessor, making number thirty in December. Their album, Overloaded, released the same month, failed to chart.

By his eighteenth birthday, Daniel’s dreams of pop stardom were over. Overload lost their record and management deals and the band fell apart.

“Bad luck, kid,” Sam told him over the phone. “That’s the way these things go. It’s a shit business when it doesn’t go your way. You’ll get over it. You’re young enough. Besides, I think you’ve got something. I really fucking do. Don’t give up.”