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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Next project

I've signed up again with Loose Id for a multibook series that will include myself and authors Roslyn Holcomb, Lisa Riley and Crystal Hubbard. The tie-in theme is "Off Like a Prom Dress" with each author doing a story relating to a long ago prom. At first I didn't know how to approach the prom theme, but I came up with the following plotline (as submitted to Loose Id):

Raine Gayle is a 38-year-old African American woman who runs a struggling night club called Raine's Blues located on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Her world is full of interesting characters and regulars, some of whom have seen hard times and lived to tell. Raine's club offers them shelter from the ugliness and grit of LA's mean streets. It's a place where they can drink away some of their despair and appreciate the blues as performed by the retinue of musicians who play regularly at the club. Faced with a sudden financial crisis, Raine is desperate to keep her club open and looks for that one act that will draw the crowds. She believes she has found that act in the form of the beautiful Cintra Wells, a chanteuse who has played at some of the more popular venues around the world. She knows Cintra's contract at the Chanel Club is ending and hopes to lure Cintra anyway she can.

Cintra Wells is more than a little surprised when Raine asks her to be the headliner of the small blues club. Usually she would have rejected the offer of such a low venue, but she decides to take the gig for one reason – Raine. Cintra recognizes Raine immediately; after all Raine turned her down for their high school prom. Back then though, Cintra went by her real name, Neil Williams. During high school, Neil had been a shy, retiring book nerd while Raine had been one of the more popular girls. Over the years and through his many travels, Neil had forgotten the slights of high school and really didn't hold any grudges against Raine. Though, it would be fun to play her a good turn since it was obvious Raine hadn't figured out that he was a cross dresser. It also didn't hurt that Raine wasn't hard on the eyes. Payback didn't particularly have to be a bitch, but in this case, it wouldn't be a lady either.

Cintra/Neil finds he has some competition from the saxophonist who performs regularly at Raine's, upping the ante a bit. Keith Maxx plays a mean sax, which draws the ladies, including Raine, it seems. As Neil gets to be girl buds with Raine, he realizes he has growing feelings for her and is willing to do whatever it takes to finally win her over. But how to do that without revealing his alter ego? He's sure Raine will not like having been duped. Still, if he is going to lose out, he wants one last chance to dance with her, to finally know what it would have been like to kiss her…and more. He pitches an idea that could bring in a whole lot of money for the club – Prom Night. Yes, an elegant dance affair for those who want to relive that glory night of fancy dresses, tuxes and limos. Raine loves the idea and thinks it's going to be a grand money maker and something she might want to do every year. But Neil is determined that this time, he will be her prom date and that he will get to experience all the erotic fun and magic that a prom night usually holds. Like any good chanteuse, he simply needs to hit the right notes, know how to play all of his audience, Keith, Raine and all of the regulars who patronize the out-of-the-way club.

I'm hoping to capture the ambiance that served as backdrop in the cult classic Choose Me, starring Keith Carradine and Leslie Ann Warren. That was a sultry moodiness throughout, punctuated with the timeless songs sung by the late Teddy Pendergrass.


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 2/23/2010 09:18:00 AM Permanent Link     | | Home


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