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Coming Attraction

The Novels



When, with drummer Styx Buchanan,  they started their band, ‘The Hot Rocks’, sax player Jasper Fenneman and bassist Rachel Monroe each had sworn privately to never again get romantically involved with a musician. ‘Unpredictable, always broke, obsessed with sex, has crazy ideas, keeps weird hours… broke my heart.’ The Hot Rocks is a terrific band with too many ‘freebie’ gigs, a slippery manager, infectious danceable music, and romantic attraction bouncing back and forth among them.

As de facto leader of The Hot Rocks (a name which beautiful and outspoken bass player, Rachel, considers sexist), Jasper feels responsible for their shared career path. Newly-added guitar player Cliff Randall lusts after Rachel, but ‘hooks up’ with keyboard player, Christine Flynn, after her amorous advances are rejected by Jasper. When that happens, the brewing ‘Greek tragedy’ that their prescient drummer, Styx, had predicted begins to take shape.

“Looking for Love”

Cliff and Christine leave The Hot Rocks and Sonoma County’s ‘wine country’, for Los Angeles, seeking fame, fortune, and a better agent than the Hot Rocks’ greedy manager, ‘Earl, the Squirrel’. The remaining Hot Rocks members regroup as Jasper and Rachel start realizing the depth of their affection for each other. Repeated phone calls from Cliff and Christine describing ‘fantastic musical opportunities’ in the ‘City of Angels’ convince Rachel and Jasper to  move to Los Angeles. Upon arriving, sleepy and exhausted, they sign a long, almost unreadable contract, which includes starting a four-member band with Cliff and Christine, already dubbed ‘Chosen Ones’.

‘Chosen Ones’ is under the aegis of Andrew ‘Sonny’ Graham, Cliff and Christine’s dynamic, unpredictable agent. Gigs come in steadily, but when jealous Sonny and Cliff try to oust Jasper from the group, he and Rachel quit Chosen Ones and return north. After they leave, Sonny sues them for ‘Breach of Contract', Actual and Anticipatory’, naming a huge sum in compensatory damages due him as the plaintiff. Christine secretly arrives on Rachel and Jasper’s doorstep one evening, offering new evidence that could get Sonny’s case against them dismissed. Jasper, now called Jaz, returns to Los Angeles with her, and undertakes the process of legally fighting Sonny’s action in court, while Rachel is rebuilding their life in the north. As lawyers successfully play all sides in a Los Angeles courtroom, long-standing layers of treachery in the music business are  revealed. Christine’s star is on the rise but Cliff’s and Sonny Graham’s careers are shaken. Leaving the courtroom, Jaz wryly observes: ‘Cherchez la femme.’


Songwriting musicians Rachel Monroe and Jaz Fenneman, newly returned from Los Angeles, are back home on the Sonoma coast, enjoying the camaraderie of their band, The Red-Hot Hurricanes, and a well-earned regular gig at ‘Marty’s’, a local club owned by their friend, Martine Chandler. The Red-Hot Hurricanes’ drummer, Styx Buchanan, a veteran of their previous band, The Hot Rocks, is genuinely clairvoyant. His premonition of an impending event that will affect everyone in their band creates a sense of foreboding among his bandmates.

However, when asked what form this ‘tsunami’ would take, or when it would appear, Styx, still groping for more answers himself, can say only ‘something dangerous’ and ‘soon’. When a handsome ‘ex’ of Rachel’s named Alan Owens is invited to her birthday party, the ‘tsunami’ begins. Jaz and Styx feel that he is there to woo Rachel but Alan, now known as filmmaker ‘Jay Sheffield’, has a broader agenda. He manipulates Rachel into a lunch date and attempts a new liaison with her, which she soundly rejects, but his goals embrace more than romance. He’s hoping to entice novices into a clandestine, fundamentalist sect called The Rievers, of which he is a member.

Soon his accomplices, Clay and Cerisse Bremer, persuade a few friends of Jaz and Rachel’s, including The Hurricanes’ Scottish guitar player, Angus Macleod,  that The Rievers offer them a new Utopia.

Styx and Ben Calvin, the newest member of The Hurricanes, have learned over time about The Rievers, and, targeted as enemies by this authoritarian sect, are forced to ‘go to ground’. Using aliases, they flee to London along with Styx’s wife, dancer Gina Godfrey, and new baby daughter, Rhiannon Love Buchanan. Jaz and Rachel, still in California, mistrust The Rievers’ sinister influence, and when Angus MacLeod, on the eve of being relocated to Central America by The Rievers, arrives at their door, frantically begging them to hide him, they offer to do so. Now, Rachel, Jaz, and their San Francisco FBI contact, ‘Louis’, drawn deeper into the secretive web spun by this group, find Angus a ‘safe house’ in Monterey. 

A stand-off looms at the Santa Rosa airport as The Rievers, with a private Cessna awaiting them in one hangar, arrive planning to flee to Honduras with acolytes that have become their hostages. The airport becomes the scene of a harrowing nocturnal confrontation as Jaz and Rachel, with the belated help of the  local authorities, work to rescue several young friends from The Reivers' grip.

“The Red-Hot Hurricanes” 



Winter is over; Spring has come to the California coast, and gifted musicians Rachel Monroe and Jaz Fenneman are out of hibernation and starting a new band, ‘Vortex’. Bouncy young keyboard player Merilee Tanner has joined them, along with their old friend Ben Calvin, a gifted guitar and fiddle player, and drummer Steve Hammond who replaces their friend and former drummer, Styx Buchanan. Styx has moved to Oregon to learn organic farming.  
With a steady gig at a popular club, Vortex attracts a loyal following, but find themselves in a ‘battle of the bands’ with a group that covets their dates and success, and is willing to resort to criminal activity to assume command of the local music scene.  

Their drummer, Steve Hammond, has unintentionally involved himself in a drug ring led by ruthless people when he is hired to assist a courier who keeps his boat at a marina in Jaz and Rachel’s home town of Bodega Bay. When the man’s Nitro is sabotaged, he steals a fishing boat from a friend of Jaz and Rachel’s named Chum Cassidy, needing a boat to meet another courier in International Waters, as arranged, one evening.  Later unmasking Steve as the saboteur, the courier endeavors to drown him, but Steve is rescued by the old fisherman, Chum Cassidy, who has witnessed the attempted murder.


The courier’s overseer, a man named Victor, who is wresting control of the drug ring from its current boss, worries about the activity in Bodega Bay. He arrives planning to eliminate both Chum and Steve, but the assassination fails, and Jaz, Rachel, and Ben help Steve escape to Styx’s Oregon blueberry farm.

A young woman, Chum Cassidy’s long-lost daughter, Alicia arrives and  makes an unsuccessful play for Jaz, even as his bandmate, Ben Calvin, is yearning to get closer to Rachel. Vortex’s keyboard player, Merilee Tanner, has become involved with a former beau of Rachel’s, a filmmaker who had been part of a dangerous cult called The Rievers.

Now known as Jay Sheffield, he is directing a film project that possibly is being funded by the same criminals circling the members of Vortex. All five band members, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, sign a contract to appear in his well-funded movie “Sound Currents”, a documentary highlighting Bay Area bands, and begin filming in a local recording studio.

As the conflict between the outgoing and incoming directors of the drug ring crescendos, key players gather in and around Bodega Bay. Soon, four boats, Chum’s fishing boat with Jaz Rachel and Ben aboard, and three fast Nitros, all manned by members of the drug ring, collide. Aided belatedly by the Coast Guard, Rachel, Jaz, Ben and Chum engage in an agonizing, chilling battle and rescue on the waters of their beloved Bodega Bay and its harbor.                                      

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