Pandemic Sorrow Series- Book 1
By Stevie J. Cole
WARNING: This novel contains explicit language, sexual situations, and is the story of an addict. This material is intended for a mature audience.
“My name’s Jag Steele. I’m the lead singer and guitarist to the band Pandemic Sorrow, and I have a drug problem. Well, I mean it’s not really a problem – unless you count the fact that I almost made my heart explode from all the blow I shoved up my nose a few weeks back…”
That was my introduction during my first stint in rehab. I’m messed up. If you asked anybody who I am there’s a list they will go down: Famous, rock star, legend, drug addict, womanizing man-whore, but if you asked me, I wouldn’t have the first idea of what to say, because I don’t know who Jag Steele is. Really, I’m living every other damn person’s dream, and all I want is reality.
Roxy Slade, that girl was my reality. My brutally flawed and beautifully broken reality. And she hated everything I stood for. To her I was just one of “those guys”, and she’d rather be buried alive with poisonous snakes than give someone like me a piece of toilet paper to wipe their ass with. Brutal. Life. Is. Brutal. And it is just a giant pain, which is why I chase after anything to make it numb, anything that can fill this void. I just want anything that can make me not feel. I just don’t want to feel.
“I was too weak for fame, but she didn’t care. She broke me, and I tried to let drugs mend me…. I like to think of fame as a metamorphosis. You get all wrapped up in it, almost like a cocoon… I had no idea how to handle fame, so, unfortunately, fame handled me.”
Jag Steele is a rock god.. just ask him. He’s the lead singer of Pandemic Sorrow, he’s got more money, fame, and females than anyone should have, and he thinks he’s invincible. You want to cheer for him when you meet him at the beginning of the book. He’s just come out of rehab and he’s feeling pretty damn good about himself. Sure, rehab was a breeze and life is still his oyster. He’s not an addict, he’s the king of the rock world. So what’s a little snort, one more drink, he’s been “cured” hasn’t he? We go with him to his first real interview after rehab, where simple questions are so damn difficult to answer that he starts to fall apart, and we see the tip of the iceberg that is Jag Steele. Through this book, we live his life as he does, desperately seeking that one thing that will make it all worthwhile.
This book is not the sugar-coated version of life as a rock star that seems to be the norm in books. Stevie J. Cole has written a gritty story, complete with characters you actually hate. The way she paints the scenes, you are as excited as those four young men were when they got the record contract; you are as desperate as the band manager who forces drugs on his musicians to keep the money coming in; you are as bitchy and self-serving as Jag’s former girlfriends who each chip away at his very soul in order to make themselves important. And finally, you rejoice with Jag when he finds the one female who says no, the one who says she doesn’t want him yet needs him to mend her shattered soul as much as he needs her to do the same.
Roxy has her own demons, her own issues, and while she starts out as kind of a cliché, the challenge that Jag can’t resist, you just know that Ms. Cole is not going to wrap this all up in a big pink bow with happily ever after. Her suffering is just as real as his, her issues just as serious and her coping mechanism just as destructive. Both of them are like two lost children in adult bodies, trying desperately to deal with the world until they literally crash into each other. What attracts them to each other is the exact thing that tears them apart… the inability to deal with their feelings.
“Everybody’s broken, chipped, damaged, and we just have to find the one person that can accept our flaws and love them… Sometimes it takes loss to make people realize how big of a mess they are without someone.” As Jag experiences love for the first time, as Roxy allows her hard shell to crack, betrayal shatters everything. Ms. Cole doesn’t shy away from the ugly side of addiction so you never really know what to expect with the story of Jag and Roxy until the very end. As a reader I laughed, cried, cursed, loved and hated through this book. And yes, even felt the numbness of Jag’s life, all through the exquisitely crafted word pictures the author gave me. I felt it all, right along with the characters, every outrageous high and screaming low. I cheered and cried and in the end I would read it all over again just to be able to say Yeah, Jag Steele always keeps his promises.
I have been a fallen angel, a vampire, a confused twenty-something year old struggling through a crappy job, a jealous and deranged x-lover of a damned soul, and currently I’m an internationally sought after rock star with a slight addiction problem. All thanks to the characters I have written.
I enjoy the escape writing allows, and fully enjoy weaving a tale and creating crazy characters. When I’m not writing I am cuddling with my two sweet little girls and listening to my husband play his guitar (swoon). Some trivial fact about me would be: I love the color pink, I adore sloths, and I have a thing for British accents. My biggest fear is completely irrational, but I can’t help it. The thought of the pending zombie apocalypse absolutely creeps me out.I honestly can not imagine a more horrifying way to be blotted out of existence than by the hand of a decaying, oozing corpse with festering gums and clicking teeth. Ugh. That just gave me chills.
I hope if you read my books you will enjoy them and will be sucked into the little world I have created with words. After all, writing is the most amazing magic trick in the universe because it allows the reader to crawl inside the mind of the author. If you really think about that … it’s kind of disturbing.
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