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Authors: S.A. McAuley,SJD Peterson

Ruin Porn

Readers love

SJD P
ETERSON

Rival Within

“Wow. This book brought out some serious emotions in me, both good and bad. I love it when a book does that!”

—Love Bytes

“Well written intense at times story.”

—MM Good Book Reviews


Rival Within
really grabbed my attention from the very start, and I found this story really engaging.”

—Joyfully Jay

Splintered

“The profiling was interesting, and the story was suspenseful.”

—My Fiction Nook

BAMF

“This is quite different from everything else I have read from this author but it caught me in the first chapter and wouldn’t put me down until I had finished it!”

—Prism Book Alliance


BAMF
was a delight for me to read… I think I can safely say; I enjoyed the hell out of this book.”

—Boys in Our Books

Copyright

Published by

D
REAMSPINNER
P
RESS

5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886  USA

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of author imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Ruin Porn

© 2015 S.A. McAuley & SJD Peterson.

Cover Photo

© 2015 Tony Detroit.

Cover Design

© 2015 Paul Richmond.

http://www.paulrichmondstudio.com

Cover content is for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on the cover is a model.

All rights reserved. This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of international copyright law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines, and/or imprisonment. Any eBook format cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Dreamspinner Press, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA, or http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-467-4

Digital ISBN: 978-1-63476-468-1

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015905047

First Edition August 2015

Printed in the United States of America

This paper meets the requirements of

ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).

To Tony Detroit and those who believe in the power of #DetroitLove

PROLOGUE

 

 

Los Angeles

 

E
VIN
LAID
his forehead against the grimy front door, closed his eyes, and tried to remember how to breathe.

Maybe this was irony—two doorstep vigils in this shitty LA apartment in one year—but Evin had no idea. He might have been one of the primary songwriters for Resonator, but putting poetic weight behind his words wasn’t the same as making sure they were neatly confined by proper grammar.

Whether or not his current pathetic situation was ironic by the strict definition was something Miah—as much as he wanted to act the dumb, egotistical lead singer—would have known. Evin smiled at the thought, then grimaced just as rapidly. The realization of just how far removed he was from the three men who had meant the most in his life for such a short but memorable time was like a physical punch to the throat and gut at the same time.

He and the founding members of Resonator had worked their asses off and fucking killed the music industry giants that told them alternative rock with a hard edge would never be massively popular again. It didn’t matter how many minds they’d changed, though, Rez was over. Disbanded. Defunct and fucked-up. It had all fallen apart so fast. Ironically (maybe), for reasons much more controversial and tabloid-worthy than everyone believed.

So much had changed in the last year that he couldn’t decide whether it was easier to start over with a new band or try to fix what had been damaged. Standing in front of this damn door yet again, he was terrified because he didn’t know what came next. The knock he was waiting for now could either bring Rez back together or put a definitive end date on all their careers. Only adding to his stratospheric stress level was the realization that he couldn’t be sure which outcome he was hoping for.

All he could be sure of was that there was change coming, and there was nothing he could do to stop it now.

He banged his forehead on the door a couple more times for good measure and muttered under his breath as he walked away, “Get it fucking together, Kevin—”

Wait.

Kevin… Evin…
Fuck!

He didn’t know what to call himself anymore now that he wasn’t the bassist and songwriter for Rez.

The fans camped outside his building kept up an almost constant chant of
Rezors love you
and
Bring back Rez
. There were other more demanding and linguistically colorful phrases thrown in every now and then, but every one of them called out for Evin without fail, not Kevin.

He’d only been Evin for a year, but it wasn’t as if there was a chance for him to go back and change it—any of it—now. He might as well embrace the twenty-two-year-old man he’d become, even if he wasn’t particularly proud of who that was.

There was a tap against the door, a forlorn knock he’d been both waiting for and dreading. Then Shonda’s voice, low and soothing, reverberated through the plywood. “Security let me up. Thanks for allowing them to….”

They have no choice but to listen to everything I say
. He was the one paying the four guards who verified the identities of everyone coming into this ramshackle building so that no one could sneak up and harass him. It was probably the safest the down-on-life residents of this slum had ever been.

There was the sound of crinkling plastic and the corner of a magazine appeared in the gap between the door and the tarnished, dented carpet strip. Shonda continued, “I’m just going to leave this copy here, Ev. It goes public everywhere today. I hope to hear from you. I hope it’s what you expected…. I hope maybe it changes things for Rez.” She was quiet for a moment, but Evin knew she was still there. He leaned his shoulder against the doorjamb but didn’t answer her. She sighed. “Call me.”

She knocked softly two more times, a gesture of familiarity and support, and then he could hear her shuffling away, back to the stairs, as if she was making noise so he knew she was gone and he was alone.

He waited until the silence in the hallway had dragged on for minutes before unlocking the series of deadbolts and opening his door. The magazine lying at his feet was an inanimate object. It was neither sentient nor harmful in and of itself. But Evin stared at it as if it were an exposed live wire submerged in a tank of water.

“Oh for fuck’s sake,” he grumbled, swiped the magazine up, and slammed the door shut. He made sure to click the locks home before he settled himself onto the worn futon to see what Shonda had written.

He’d made the front cover, which Shonda hadn’t prepared him for. It was ludicrous and surreal to see his ordinary bearded face—his conservatively styled sweat-soaked brown hair whipped back from his forehead by fingertips—staring back at him in the blinding black and white of a live concert shot. He immediately knew why Shonda had chosen this pic to set up her exposé. The Evin in the photograph was looking across that stage at an unseen entity, his expression equal parts rock god, lovesick fool, and insecure madman.

Evin swallowed the bile building in his throat, cracked his neck, attempting to break some of the tension, and flipped through the pages until he saw the headline—
The Rezor’s Edge: Resonator’s Bassist Tells All and Yet Nothing
. He skimmed the pages, getting a feel for Shonda’s writing style. She’d taken their meeting and reported it in a first-person narrative, interspersed with photos she took on her phone that day, all to give the illusion the reader was sitting at the table with her and Evin. It had been painful enough to withstand the first time around, he wasn’t sure if reliving that day in such vivid detail was a good idea. But if there was anything he had down to a science lately, it was making epically bad choices.

So he read.

 

We meet at a coffee shop in some alley in downtown LA. The location is suspect at best, just on the edges of Skid Row, but I try not to worry because this is Kevin “Evin” Rene’s old stomping grounds, and his clean reputation more than precedes him. For once, he’s not surrounded by bodyguards or fans, and I know why as soon as I spot him at a back table. While the Evin of Resonator fame became a fan favorite by not disguising himself when he stepped out and was always willing to stop, talk, and take pictures with fans—the hardcore and aptly named Rezors—this post-Rez iteration of Evin is wearing a baseball cap and mirrored Ray-Ban aviators to go with his usual T-shirt, jeans, and battered Converse. He looks like every other LA celebrity trying to disguise their identity, which makes him conspicuously incognito. I hardly recognize him, especially when I realize his trademark beard is gone.

He stands when he sees me coming, removes his sunglasses, and just as much the nice guy as his rep suggests, pulls out the chair across from himself. He’d texted me this morning asking what my favorite tea is, and sure enough there’s already a cup waiting for me.

“So, Evin—” I begin.

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