Tag Archives: Phoenix

Guest Post: Melanie Tushmore for Phoenix

We are so thrilled to have Melanie Tushmore as our guest today! She’s here to share a little more about Phoenix. As you know, the book was a big hit here at 3 Chicks After Dark so we asked to have her back and she graciously accepted!


“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” ~ Lester Bangs, Almost Famous.


Danny sighed, staring at his pile of clothes. “I never know what to wear to these things. You know, Rock Word made fun of us before for wearing spandex and shit. So I thought, okay I won’t wear spandex tonight, but that leaves black, black, or more black… God, I don’t know.”

“Who cares what they think?” Alex came to stand beside him, gently sifting through Danny’s clothes. “Let the music speak for itself.” He held up a pair of leopard print leggings, and tried to hold back a smirk. “These would look cute on you.”

“Hah.” Danny shook his head, chuckling. “I only ever wore those under ripped jeans, when it was cold. I didn’t know they were in here.” He sat on the bed in defeat, and accepted the leggings Alex handed to him. He yanked the spandex in his hands thoughtfully. “Actually once, we were backstage waiting to go on… it was one of our very first gigs, and Jake and Zakk start having this discussion about tights. Like, which were the best tights to wear under ripped jeans.”

Alex stared at him. “What? Really?”

“Yeah.” Danny laughed, tossing the leggings over his shoulder onto the bed. “They were all like, well, I like leopard print… oh but, zebra print is cooler but the denier is thicker so you get hotter.” Danny groaned. “In the end, they concluded leopard print tights were the best to wear.” He glanced at Alex for his reaction and laughed anew. “Yeah, I know. Ridiculous, innit? I remember listening to them and thinking, Jesus Christ, who cares? They’re just clothes. I want to play a gig.”

Trying not to laugh, Alex sat next to him. “Sure, but clothes are… they’re like the icing on the cake, aren’t they? One of the first things I remember when going to concerts was seeing all the leather jackets people wore, with patches and studs and stuff. It’s a statement, isn’t it? Telling everyone what club you’re in. I loved that.” ~Phoenix, Melanie Tushmore.

Hey guys,

This is the last stop for the Phoenix blog tour, thank you for reading!

I wanted to touch on a topic, and also one of my favourite quotes from Almost Famous, the one about what really matters in life:

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” ~ Lester Bangs, Almost Famous.

As the story progresses, the reader will see young Alex grow from a clueless kid into an open-minded young man. He starts out as just a fan, and is lucky enough to meet and form a bond with his major-crush, guitarist Danny Death.

The way the boys’ relationship starts is Fan/Famous Person. It later changes and becomes more equal, as Danny offers Alex a part of his life that not many people are privy too. Later on in the story, their relationship is more Two Dorks Who Just Happen To Like Each Other.

As in, they’re just normal people.

Danny himself is only twenty-two, to Alex’s eighteen, when they begin getting to know each other properly, and Alex realises that Danny is pretty normal and clueless himself at times.

And that even famous people worry about their clothes. ;)



Published 17 September 2014

Published by Less Than Three Press LLC


Young painter Alex Tatton has always loved music. When a tragic accident takes away his parents, he turns to a darker style of music and discovers the rock band, Death Rose. Feeling isolated from his own life, Alex develops a crush on guitarist Danny Death who, despite the name, is vivacious, full of life, and has a reputation for being ‘the nicest guy in rock n’ roll’.

After a gig, Alex finds Danny to give him a signed painting. Danny is everything a star should be: charming, sexy, a beacon of light in Alex’s otherwise dark life, and after meeting him Alex is determined to see him again—and this time he wants more than just an autograph.

Pairing: M/M
Content: Contains explicit content.

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Even with the AAA pass hanging from his neck, like some sort of illicit medal, Alex still couldn’t believe he was being granted access to the Death Rose dressing room. Giddy with excitement, he followed Danny inside.

The room was plain, but full of open bags and suitcases spilling their contents, promising clothes of sexy black leather, spandex, studded garments and more. When he imagined who’d be wearing them, Alex felt hot. The warm air in the room didn’t help matters.

There was no one else here, though voices filtered in from the hallway. The entire structure was temporary. Sounds eked through: music, shouts, bangs. Alex was about to ask where the others were, just for something to say, when Danny stopped in front of him and turned. Alex almost stepped away, about to apologise for getting under his feet. Danny’s arm snaked around his waist, drawing Alex to him. Alex barely had the wherewithal to look up as Danny’s mouth pressed against his.

It felt like a dream, too surreal. Alex opened his mouth and kissed back while he was still living the fantasy. Danny’s kiss was fast, full of want, but altogether too brief. Suddenly he pulled back, half turning away. Alex was left reeling, his lips wet and his nose full of Danny’s smell.

Voices preceded the arrival of people into the dressing room. With a shy glance from Danny, Alex realised this was why he’d stopped, and silently cursed whoever it was for interrupting them. He pressed his lips together, preserving the feel of Danny’s lips on his.

The people who’d entered the dressing room were arguing. Nicky D. Muir, Death Rose’s drummer, was being apparently told off by a pudgy, older man with a tan, wearing glasses. “Don’t push me, Nicky,” he said, as Nicky grumbled and collapsed into a battered couch.

Danny glanced at the pair over his shoulder, but otherwise kept his back to them. He didn’t seem overly concerned with the row unfolding.

Alex took the opportunity to risk a look at Danny’s body, wondering if Danny was hard, like he was. He so wanted to reach out and feel, onlookers or not. God, what he wouldn’t give to touch Danny … But nerves held him frozen. He would follow Danny’s lead, wait for his cue.

Alex’s eyes wandered. There was a suitcase open, balanced on a chair. Alex hadn’t noticed its existence until Danny rummaged inside it. It had to be his. Clothes of black and some varied colour escaped at either side.

Danny said quietly, “What do you want me to wear, Alex?”

The continued argument in the room was mildly distracting, but Alex’s focus was on Danny. Even so, he was sure he’d misheard him. “Pardon?” he stuttered.

A smile teased Danny’s lips, like he was about to laugh. He picked out a pair of black, spangly leggings. “What do you want me to wear? To be honest, I don’t think I can get away with leggings right now, unless you get my guitar for me so I can hide this stiffy.”

Alex’s groin flooded with warmth, making him even harder. He laughed, feeling dizzy with nerves and want. His next words came out more breathy than he’d intended. “I wouldn’t mind seeing that.”

Danny looked at him, like he had to check if Alex meant it. His eyes seemed larger, searching. Again, Alex had a small stab of realisation that perhaps Danny wasn’t as sure of himself as he’d assumed.

Either that or he was a pretty good actor.

Who cared, Alex thought. This was better than his fantasies of Danny. This was real. The desire must have showed in his eyes, on his face. Alex did nothing to hide it. A dirty grin spread over Danny’s lovely mouth, then his hands went to his belt. “Help me with my shoes, gorgeous.”

His words were barely audible, but they were the only thing Alex heard. Heedless of where he was, Alex dropped to a crouch. It seemed only fitting to kneel before someone like Danny, like he’d been born to please this man.

As much as Alex wanted to lean in and bury his face in Danny’s crotch, he kept himself in check. Perhaps he was still in shock at the situation, it all seemed too good to be true. What if one hasty move prompted Danny into action? Would Alex be expected to suck him off in a backstage dressing room?

Alex’s blood heated, and his dick clenched. I’d do it, I would. But … what would happen after? Would he throw me out, never speak to me again?

He swallowed, and tried to concentrate on the simple task at hand. Get Danny’s shoes off. Danny’s jean-clad legs were stuffed into black cowboy boots, and now Alex was closer he noticed patterns of rhinestones up the sides of the boots as they caught the light. Danny raised one foot, and Alex gripped the boot, wriggling it free. His whole body thrilled at the task. It wasn’t how he’d envisioned undressing Danny, but for now, this would do.

One boot off, and Alex helped rid Danny of the other boot. He noticed Danny’s black socks, saw one was actually inside out. Just that tiny detail made Alex’s heart expand to painful proportions. He longed to be the one to dress Danny, and undress him, every day for the rest of his days. Make sure he wore his socks the right way round.

Alex tried to quash down his impulsive thoughts. A potential hook up was one thing, and seeming more and more likely by the minute, but anything more than that? Hollie was right. He was only setting himself up for a fall. A big one.

He must have paused, as Danny said softly, “Hey? You okay?”

Alex snapped out of it. He resolved to deal with the fall out when it happened. He could just paint his experiences for the rest of his days. Being with Danny now was like having a real life muse. Raising his head, Alex looked up at him, memorising every detail.

Danny’s belt was undone, his hands poised at his fly, waiting.

Alex promised himself he would paint this picture one day. Smiling, he bit the bullet and said, “Sure am.”

Links:   Less Than Three Press • All Romance eBooks • Amazon


Tush’s 80s Playlist:
Mötley Crüe – Stick to your guns
The Cult – Sweet soul sister
WASP – Wild child
Ozzy Osbourne – Shot in the dark
Hanoi Rocks – Oriental beat


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Phoenix (Death Rose #1) by Melanie Tushmore

PhoenixPublished 17 September 2014

Published by Less Than Three Press, LLC

Copy obtained from publisher for review.


Young painter Alex Tatton has always loved music. When a tragic accident takes away his parents, he turns to a darker style of music and discovers the rock band, Death Rose. Feeling isolated from his own life, Alex develops a crush on guitarist Danny Death who, despite the name, is vivacious, full of life, and has a reputation for being ‘the nicest guy in rock n’ roll’.

After a gig, Alex finds Danny to give him a signed painting. Danny is everything a star should be: charming, sexy, a beacon of light in Alex’s otherwise dark life, and after meeting him Alex is determined to see him again—and this time he wants more than just an autograph.

Our Thoughts:

Talk about a blast from the past! Reading the obsession with Danny Death and Death Rose brought back fond memories of my teen years. :) Watching Headbangers ball on MTV, reading Medal Edge and collecting posters from my favorite bands. I remember all too well how quickly teens obsess over an idol or rock musician.

For Alex, that’s exactly what happens. After losing his parents, Alex is living with his aunt and uncle. Having missed some of his exams he is repeating his last year of school. To avoid being the center of attention, he goes to a different school and that’s where he meets two girls in art class. They give him a cassette tape of the band Death Rose. It is life changing.

Alex becomes infatuated with everything Death Rose. He is a super fan, painting canvases of his favorite band member, Danny Death. He’s reading every interview, collecting posters and pictures of Danny and the band. When he has the chance to go to a live gig, Danny jumps on the chance. Alex is a bit awkward and in his words/thoughts a bit uncool. The scene is totally one he isn’t used to, but he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone to grab at a chance to meet Danny Death. The first gig he does get that chance and he also gives Danny a portrait he painted. Danny seems genuinely pleased and grateful. Alex leaves on a high and the meeting motivates him to continue his obsession.

The second time Danny goes to see Death Rose, he’s alone and things don’t go as he planned. He has a new work of art he wants to deliver personally to Danny but he’s having no luck even getting into the backstage area. His floppy hair, simple clothes and spotted skin make him pretty unremarkable. When he starts to see himself compared to the other groupies hanging around trying for a chance to meet the band he feels that he really doesn’t measure up to the scene around him. If anything, Alex is lucky, or maybe it’s just destiny because Hollie comes along. Hollie does band interviews and she takes Alex in under her wing. She pulls him backstage and stays with him. Danny and Alex meet once again but it isn’t exactly as Alex hoped it would go. If anything it propels him to make some changes. With Hollie’s help, he is on his way to a new Alex.

To sum it up, Alex is a little socially awkward with average looks. He’s a fabulous artist. He’s very lonely and Death Rose is his outlet.

In walks Danny Death! Danny is not the average rocker. He doesn’t drink or party. He loathes the backstage scene, sitting around watching people get drunk and act stupid. He doesn’t sleep around, he barely sleeps with anyone. He would rather talk about his amps, pedals and guitars than be stuck at a bar making small talk with drunks, interviewers and groupies. When the made-over Alex attends another Death Rose show and finally gets his moment with Danny, everything changes for Danny and Alex.

Danny is confident and pretty inspirational. Alex is anxious and always feeling out of his league in the surroundings wherever Death Rose is performing. Since Danny doesn’t like the bar scene they escape to some one-on-one time together and they really bond. Danny feels he can open up to Alex and connect with him on a more personal level. They both had parents die when they were young and both loathe alcohol. They actually take time to listen to each other and talk rather than party. They also kiss…

Alex is in heaven! He can’t believe Danny is interested in him. Unfortunately, Hollie tells him that she fears Danny will love and leave so she wants Alex prepared. That’s actually pretty sad because it overshadows every encounter they have afterward, Alex is always fearing that this will be the last time they are together. He’s always waiting for the ball to drop…Danny leaving.

Overall, I loved how Danny was so giving and insecure. Totally unexpected for a hard-core rocker! I loved that when Alex was feeling overwhelmed he just wanted to get home and grab his notepad and pens to ground himself. I like that they never made rash assumptions or went all angsty with each other. They always regrouped and talked things out. Alex being all awkward and feeling out-of-place eventually subsided but Danny was the big surprise with his quick declarations and support of Alex’s craft. They sizzle in the bedroom but it is a sensual pleasure with nothing but respect and love. Danny and Alex manage to find a way to be true to themselves and each other. Together they discover real love, one that can last and withstand distance and the rockstar lifestyle.

I loved this book!!