Saturday, December 11, 2010

Alternate Endings

by Olivia Cunning
While I love a happy ending as much as the next romance author, I can’t help but wonder what the ending of Backstage Pass would be like if it were of a different genre. To experience guitarist Brian Sinclair's happily ever after ending, you’ll have to read the book, but here are a couple alternate endings that might have been, if Backstage Pass were not a smokin’ hot erotic romance.

If Backstage Pass was a spaghetti Western...

     Six-string slung over his back, Brian strode down the dusty road toward the center of town. The sound of his footsteps echoed off the clapboard store fronts. It was ten minutes to high noon and the town lay as silent as a broken amplifier. Even the saloon seemed unoccupied. On closer inspection, Brian noticed Sinners’ groupies peeking out at him through windows and lining the alleyways. He’d put off signing autographs until later.
     A tall, lithe figure loomed at the end of the lane, blocking Brian’s path to a confrontation that could have but one victor.
     “I don’t take kindly to ruffians dueling in my town, boy.” Sheriff Eric tilted his head back to peer at Brian from beneath the brim of his lucky hat—a floppy leather fedora with questionable origins. He fingered the drumsticks in the holsters at either hip.
     “This town ain’t big enough for two guitarists.” Brian brushed past the sheriff and continued toward the crossroads.
     It stood empty.
     “Trey Mills, you best show yourself! I’ve got a string to pick with you,” Brian yelled.
      Something flashed beneath an awning. Was that? Sure enough, Trey Mills leaned against the wall with a sucker stick protruding from between his lips. His devilish smile had caught the light.
     “About time you showed up, Sinclair.” Trey pushed off the wall and sauntered out into the crossroads. He eyed Brian warily from beneath his long bangs.
     The two fastest guitarists in the West circled each other like caged tigers. At some unspoken signal, they flipped their guitars over their shoulder and settled their instrument into place at hip level. The two rockers began to wail. Their fingers moved faster and faster over the strings as they tried to out solo one another. Brian knew he had Trey beat when a discordant note rang from Trey’s guitar and he fell over backwards from sheer exhaustion. When the dust settled, there was only one guitarist left standing.
     “And that,” Brian said to the unconscious loser at his feet, “is why you play rhythm and I play lead.”

If Backstage Pass was science fiction...

Visual aid because
Robin thought Captain Lionheart
looked like Shatner, uh no....
     “There’s something unusual on radar, captain,” Ensign Brian Sinclair said. “Looks like a Groupinian vessel.”
     “Damn, I thought we outran them,” Captain Sedric Lionheart said. “What more could they possibly want from us?”
     “Permission to launch your sweat-drenched t-shirt as a diversion, captain,” Ensign Trey Mills said.
     “We tried that, Mills. It only occupies them until they realize I’m not still inside the shirt.” Captain Lionheart  hauled his six-foot-four frame from his chair and paced the deck.
     The ship lurched unexpectedly. Red lights flashed. Warning sirens blared. The captain braced himself, much too cool to take a tumble.
     “They’ve managed to sink their claws into us,” Ensign Mills reported. “They’re tearing the ship apart!”
     “They’ll do anything for a backstage pass,” Brian said, trying to steer the SS Sinners out of the clutches of the Groupinian ship.
     A voice filtered in through the intercom. “I think I’m about to blow, captain,” Engineer Eric Sticks shouted.
     “Why are you watching porn at a time like this?” Captain Lionheart bellowed. “Get back to your station.”
     “I meant the engines, sir,” Eric said.
     Captain Lionheart ran a hand over his shorn black hair. “There must be someone on this ship who can placate Groupies.”
     A door hissed as it slid open. The beautiful and talented ship’s counselor, Doctor Myrna Evans, stepped on deck. “I think I have the solution.”
     Ensign Sinclair watched her move across the shuddering floor with his mouth hanging open.
     “Well,” the captain said, “what is it?”
     “First of all, you guys need to stop looking so unbelievably gorgeous.”
     “Can’t help that, can we?” Ensign Mills said with an ornery grin.
     “Secondly, the musical talent must go. No more concerts in front of sold out shows. Ensign Sinclair, you absolutely must stop playing all those amazing guitar solos. Do you have any idea what they do to a Groupinian?”
     “But I like playing solos.”
     “Same goes for those sexy growls of yours, captain. You cannot produce that kind of vocal without driving droves of Groupies into a frenzy.”
     “Is there any other solution?” Captain Lionheart asked.
     “None that I can think of. Unless you plan on satisfying all of the Groupies.”
     “I don’t see as we have another choice. We won’t give up our music.” Captain Lionheart tapped the S-shaped communication device on his shoulder. “Seymour, prepare to beam me onboard the Groupinian vessel. Any of you guys want to join the away team?”
     “I’ll go,” Mills said, climbing from his station.
     “Count me in,” Engineer Sticks called over the intercom.
     Byebye Yergonnadye, a roadie in a red shirt, eagerly joined the group.
     “I think I’ll stay here on the ship with the counselor,” Ensign Sinclair said. “Someone needs to command the ship in your absence, captain.”
     “I’ll show exactly where you can steer your ship, Ensign Sinclair,” Dr. Evans said, one eyebrow cocked suggestively.
     “Stardate 224-dash-1632,” Captain Lionheart’s voiceover said. “As promised, the Sinners crew satisfied all the Groupies and the alien beings have returned to their home planet. The crew is exhausted, but at peace.”
     In his private quarters, Captain Lionheart collapsed on his bed and closed his eyes.
     “Captain?” Ensign Sinclair’s voice came over the intercom.
     “What is it, Ensign? I need my rest.”
     “There’s something unusual on radar,” he said. “Looks like a Groupinian vessel.”

To find out more about the real Backstage Pass, or to read reviews and steamy excerpts, please visit my website:

Sexy Santa would like to wish you happy holidays. He hopes you've been sufficiently naughty this year.

Do you enjoy variety in the endings of the books you read? Or do you always require a “happily ever after” ending?


  1. Super endings, Olivia! How fun to think of alternate ones for different genres. Okay, now if they were werewolves...

    Ah, Happily Ever Afters, absolutely!!! I watched Open Water, expecting at least one person to survive. No. Not one. And I felt badly. I don't want to feel badly after being "entertained." I want a HEA! :)

  2. "Byebye Yergonnadye, a roadie in a red shirt, eagerly joined the group." LMAO! I can tell you've seen an episode or two of Star Trek. Ensign Nificant is gonna die!!!!

    Love the alternate endings, but then, I enjoyed the original too!

  3. Your brain has a million extra cells over there where the imagination is stored ... wonderful endings ... of course I liked the western guitars best of all. I could see those rockers out in the middle of a dusty street (could even smell the dust) LOL!

  4. OMG, Olivia! I loved them--unfortunately in my sick mind Captain Lionheart bore a strong resemblance to William Shatner and he never did it for me--not even when he was young.

    I think you need to write a Regency ending. Grace can help.

  5. LOL. Those were great!

    Note for Robin - you have to imagine Captain Lionheart as the NEW Captain Kirk...Chris Pine. Yum.

    I'm a fan of the HEA. I'm okay with bad things happening in a book, but there needs to be some hope at the end so I'm not walking away depressed. I just finished a women's fiction book where the hero died. I know, not an HEA for the heroine, BUT his death instilled changes in all the other characters, so I understand why the author wrote it the way she did. While I grumbled about his death, I did still enjoy the book because there was hope at the end. And there was a really good message about triumphing through adversity and finding happiness with those who are left in your life.

    That doesn't mean I want to read THAT kind of HEA every time, but now and long as there's hope, I can handle it.

  6. I'm glad you're enjoying the alternate endings. I had a great time writing them and could have written more, but the post was already long, so I refrained.

    Terry- I, for one, would love to see some spaghetti western werewolves!

    Cheryl- Ensign Nificant? OMG, too funny!

    Carolyn- I do enjoy writing fiction! And these are about as fiction as you can get.

    Robin- I added a visual aid, just for you. I can't have you leaving with the ick that is Shatner in anyway associated with yummy Sed Lionheart.

    Elisabeth- Now Chris Pine is okey dokey as Sed Lionheart. I do require a HEA of my romance, but not of other genres. I still want to rewrite Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending.

  7. I've been out of touch the last week or so, but what a great blog to tune back in to. Loved the imagination!

  8. Olivia, great blog - and delightful sexy Santa. ;-)

  9. What a fun blog, Olivia!

    My brain's completely fried after finishing my story just now. I love writing the HEA and applaud your creativity and fertile imagination and have to agree with Carolyn...I like the western one the best. ;)

  10. What a hoot, Olivia! Variety in endings is just fine with me. Maybe this comes from reading many genres of books in addition to romance. If an author gives me a great character, I'll follow them to the ends of the earth - even if that great character is a villain.

  11. LOL Olivia! I thank you so much for the visual aid. It definitely helped! Captain Lionheart no longer looked like William Shatner, though it did feel as if he'd graduated from the William Shatner school of acting. But maybe that's just a sad side-effect of having William Shatner in my head earlier.

    Robin -> shakes head and hopes her hero Hunter doesn't start resembling Shatner too.

  12. Absolute hoot, Olivia! I loved 'em both. Then again I can watch Eastwood's "Man With No Name" trilogy ad infinitum and Trek--totally hysterical.

    Btw, young Shatner was decent looking, now Pine is just dee-light-FUL!

  13. Thanks all! They're even better if you've read the actual book. Lots of easter eggs for fans.

    Tamara- I read a lot of different genres as well. Sometimes I like the villain better than the hero. :-)

    Robin- LOL! I was totally going for a Shatner vibe, just not his look.

    VA- I love Clint Eastwood movies! Ditto on Pine.

  14. What fun - loved reading these! Do a medieval ending next!

  15. I love it, Olivia! The alternate endings are a hoot.

  16. ROFL. I'm currently reading Book One in this series and couldn't help but laugh. OMG this is great.

  17. Thanks for stopping by, Celise! Always happy to amuse. :-)

  18. Great post, Olivia! I enjoyed your various endings, but look forward to the real one. :}