Early reviews for STEEL GODDESSES!

I am very blessed to have received some favorable reviews for my first novel.

Let me share some with you:

“What Rupert Holmes did for big bands with Swing, Ann Brandt does for the heavy metal set. A mystery with great characters in a vivid setting pulls me back to a misspent youth I wasn’t brave enough to have. This is a page turner, ideal for adding some spice to a relaxing day on vacation. A whole bunch of fun to read!” ~ D. Dyte/Brooklyn, NY

“I loved this book! The characters are three-dimensional, the plot is engaging, and the background details pulled me right back to my “misspent” youth in the 1980s. A fast, fun read with surprising twists that will leave you thinking. If you’re old enough to remember the 80s, you’ll love it. If you’re not, this book will show you what the heavy metal scene was like “back in the day”. Highly recommended!!” ~ Patricia P. McKay

“From Ms. Brandt’s description of each character to the juicy story line, this book sucks you in from the beginning and doesn’t let you go until the very end. For anyone who experienced the 80’s metal scene you will definitely enjoy this book and possibly get a chuckle from your OWN reminiscing during this glamorous rock era. For everyone else, this is a colorful and highly entertaining glimpse into one of rock ‘n rolls most sexiest times. You won’t be disappointed! I guarantee, once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down.” ~ Kimberly Ring

“What are the motivations behind the behaviors of groupies? Ann Brandt aptly bares the souls of her characters layer by layer, keeping her readers enthralled with her behind-the-scenes look at Steel Goddesses and what makes them tick. Be careful what you wish for…

The antics of the band members, though some might say are stereotypical, ring laugh-out-loud all-too-true to any woman who has ever spent enough time around Rock ‘n’ Roll musicians to have first-hand knowledge of their off-stage performances.

As Brandt reveals the Machiavellian machinations of the man behind the scenes in much the same way she does her Goddesses, by the time I had enough pieces of the puzzle to figure it out, it made my skin crawl… At one point, “There but for the grace of G-d go I,” was actually said aloud to an empty room.

Even for readers who have never been around the scene, Ann Brandt’s page turner, Steel Goddesses, provides a wild ride! Get in, sit down, shut up, and hang on!

Meanwhile, this reader is standing in line for the next book, ready to go for another ride and holler, “WHOOOP!!!” ~ Camille Radloff

Remembering Pete Steele (1962 – 2010)

(Originally written April 15, 2010)

Today, I made Type O Negative/Carnivore singer Pete Steele my “80’s Metal Hunk of the Day” at Facebook. Moments after posting the photo, I learned that Pete had passed away. He apparently suffered heart failure, although no “official” cause of death has been released.

I met Pete a few times in the 80’s. We hung around the same circles and clubs, so it was bound to happen. The first time I saw him, we were both at the same party. My friend Mary introduced us. After that, I usually ran into him in the Village. Once, we bumped into each other coming out of the subway near 8th Street. Another time, we bumped into each other going into D’agostinos. Once, we ran into each other at a leather shop. Okay, that time, I saw him through the window and went in. He had been trying on boots. I pretended to shop for a belt until he noticed me and struck up a conversation. I kind of had a crush on him and I think he knew. He always smiled this crooked half-smile when he saw me coming his way. (I found out years later that it’s not hard to tell when I like someone; it’s written all over my face). Pete never let on that he knew about my crush and he never failed to stop and chat, even for a few minutes, and hug me before he went on his way, long hair swinging down his back, his 6’7″ frame hard to miss, encased in black leather and denim.

It’s well-publicized that Pete had issues in his life; issues that may have sent him to jail and to the psych ward. I also know that those “issues” may have helped him make some of the most haunting music I’ve ever heard. He claimed to be an atheist when I knew him. I read that he turned to Roman Catholicism later in life.

Pete will be remembered for many things: his voice, his size, his sheer presence, whether onstage, in a music video or on a Greenwich Village sidewalk. Some may remember him for famously baring it all for Playgirl. But the Pete I’ll remember is the man who always had a smile, a hug and a few minutes of time for a naive girl who wore her crush for him all over her face.

THE Whitesnake Video

I was watching Pop-Up Video: 80’s metal edition the other day. If you haven’t seen it, you really should make time. It’s a fun walk down memory lane, peppered with little factoids you may or may not have known about your favorite hair band.

Anyway.

I had to leave the room for a few minutes and when I returned, the Hubby and Son were standing in front of the TV, mesmerized. Without glancing at the screen, I asked, “Is it the Whitesnake video?” The Hubby nodded. The Son continued to gaze, transfixed, at the TV.

Now, Whitesnake made a number of videos in its heyday. MTV played all of them. But when I say “the Whitesnake video,” I’ll bet 98% of you can tell me exactly which video I’m talking about. For the 2% of you who don’t know, take a look:

I know many a guy who was enamored of Tawny Kitaen after seeing her… talents… in that video. Some may even know that she’s featured on another band’s album cover.

What 80’s metal video brings YOU to a standstill?

The Making of Steel Goddesses

The summer of 2009, I saw a lifelong dream come true when I became a published author. The road to publication was not as traditional as most authors’, but the result turned out the same way. “Steel Goddesses” is available for sale on Amazon.com and I’m working to get it into bookshops around the Seattle area.

“Steel Goddesses” focuses primarily on three women and the paths they took to achieve their dreams during the early 80’s, when heavy metal was in full swing and L’Amour was THE preeminent rock club for up and coming metal bands to play in the New York City area, and possibly, the US. White Lion was a fixture on the stage at the time. So was a little band called Metallica. Raven, Anthrax, TALAS (Billy Sheehan’s first band), Exciter, Anvil, Yngwie Malmsteen, Loudness, Blue Oyster Cult (as “Soft White Underbelly”), Stryper. The list goes on and on. Bands that were big at the time (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motley Crue) didn’t play at L’Amour, but bandmembers sure hung out there.

I was lucky to be part of the scene during that time and took in my share of bands, some more than others (I’ve seen Metallica so many times, I’ve lost count). I also met my fair share of “interesting” people, including some of the most hardcore groupies I’ve ever seen. I’ve taken all of those experiences and rolled them into a novel that is aimed at being both nostalgic and entertaining.

“Toni” is kind of like a Queen of the Groupies. I introduce a pimp-like character called Marius Man, who runs a sort of “heavy metal harem”. As their leader, Toni pretty much gets her choice of any guy who plays at L’Amour. Business being what it is, Marius orders Toni to recruit more groupies, in order to spend one night with a man who has been out of her reach – a hunky guitarist named “Don”. This is where the fun begins.

Toni begins grooming “Rusty”, whose sole dream is to land a rich rock star as a boyfriend. Naive and extremely stacked, Rusty makes it a point to follow Toni’s every instruction to a “T”, with bittersweet results. Toni also tries to groom “Kris”, a legal secretary trying to pursue a dream to be a rock journalist. But Kris has no intention of becoming a groupie, even as she harbors a secret crush on “Marty”, singer for one of the biggest metal bands around.

Toni schemes desperately to get both girls on board, but seems to hit obstacles everywhere and each girl ends up taking a life-changing detour.

If you want to read more, here is the link to “Steel Goddesses” on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Goddesses-Ann-Brandt/dp/1434858553/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2

Enjoy.