Like many others, I find a great deal of inspiration from art of all kinds. I’ve always been a voracious reader and music is part of my daily life as well. When I write, I listen to music. Sometimes just my iTunes on shuffle, sometimes to a special tracklist I’ve created for a work in progress and sometimes I’ll just want to hear a certain artist (Today I listened to Sade’s new CD Soldier of Love several times. Her voice is so beautiful).
For me, Laid Bare is strongly rooted in my love of music. Like Erin, I find strength and inspiration through music and like Erin, I like to think music shapes my art. It’s my tip of the hat to all those musicians who’ve shaped me and my books, about the kind of woman Erin is – vibrant, strong, dark and imperfect.
I thought I’d choose a scene from the opening of the book when Erin and Todd first meet.
LAID BARE by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Music, raw and hard like sex, pulsed through the speaker stack, caught the people in front of the stage as much as it had her in its grip.
The bass line throbbed through her like a second pulse as the scent of beer and sweat settled into her system. Sweat slicked her forehead and slid down the line of her spine. The muscles in her forearm corded as she played, her fingers finding their way as they had time and again. A secret smile marked her lips as her halflidded eyes focused on something not visible to anyone else.
Yes, it was a man’s world up there, but she’d kicked down the door with her Doc Martens and she wasn’t giving her spot to anyone else. She loved making music, and it fit her like a second skin.
It made her alive.
Her dreads swung forward, partially obscuring her face—adding, she knew, to the overall effect. Her belly, glistening with sweat, slid against the back of her bass where her shirt ended and her low-slung jeans began.
Up there, under the blue lights, she didn’t have to work at it.
She was. She was exactly where she wanted to be, a guitar strapped to her body, calluses on her fingers from playing. The muscles in her upper arms were well defined because she hauled equipment around for gigs. There wasn’t any doubt, any self-consciousness. She lived the life she wanted.
Erin Brown had stopped apologizing for wanting things. She grabbed experiences with both hands and gobbled them down.
Even if the band never made it beyond small, local rock clubs, she’d be happy to just keep playing. There wasn’t much more you could ask for in life, and Erin accepted her blessings quite happily and graciously.
Todd took a pull from his beer, one leg bent as he leaned against the windowsill, looking out toward the street. There she was, getting out of her beat-up van. He had no idea why the hell he did it, but since
he’d moved to the day shift he found himself at his window every night at six-fourteen to watch her make the walk from car to door.
She was so not the kind of woman who usually caught his eye.
Still, his fingers gripped the sill as he greedily took in the way she moved. Like she couldn’t care less if people watched. Or worse, got off on it.
Long and lean, her gait ate up the walk, her dreadlocks swinging to her ass. A fine ass it was in those faded jeans. If he looked close enough, he saw the threadbare spots just beneath the pockets.
Reflexively, he tightened his hands into fists as tension hummed through him. Anticipation and a sort of need filled his gut as he watched her.
He snorted at what an idiot he was being. Dreadlocks. What woman wore dreadlocks? Not his sort of woman, that was all there was to it.
Time stopped, along with his heart, when she turned at her door and met his gaze with a smile. A smile that told him she’d known he watched. Surprised but rooted to the spot, he raised a hand in greeting.
She paused a moment before tipping her chin at him.
Briefly he relaxed as she turned back to her door, but that slid away when she paused again, dropped her bag on the porch and turned back toward his place.
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