All I Want for Christmas is Johnny Rocker Dead

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Johnny Rocker believes he doesn't need anyone or anything—especially God. After all, he is a rock & roll god. When the floor beneath his feet crumbles—literally—he hurtles toward a different truth. Since the death of Maddie's family, she's run from life and love...
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Johnny Rocker believes he doesn't need anyone or anything—especially God. After all, he is a rock & roll god. When the floor beneath his feet crumbles—literally—he hurtles toward a different truth.

Since the death of Maddie's family, she's run from life and love and become the best bodyguard she can be. But, with God's help, she's ready to step out of her comfort zone and into a different life. When her boss asks—no begs—her to take on one last job, she finds it hard to refuse. Someone is trying to kill mega-star Johnny Rocker. It's Maddie Cotton's job to make sure that doesn't happen.

Even under Maddie's protection the threats continue. As Christmas approaches, the danger escalates—someone doesn't want Johnny Rocker to see the new year, and they are willing to kill Maddie as well. Johnny and Maddie will have to set aside their differences and learn to lean on each other and God if they want to see Christmas day.

 

 


Excerpt


1



I AM

“Shut up.”

I AM

“Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.” Why wouldn’t the voice listen to him? After all he was Johnny Rocker. Everybody listened to him. He was a rock god.

I AM

Zeb looked around. He was alone. Who was talking and why couldn’t he see him? He stared at the drink in his hand. Maybe he’d had more than he realized, because he surely couldn’t hear imaginary voices over the raging party going on downstairs.

I AM

“Just shut up. I’m not listening to you. I’m not losing it. Whoever you are, go away.”

I AM

Zeb threw the drink against the wall. He couldn’t hear the shattering glass over the blaring music, although he saw the shards on the floor. He stood in his home theater to get away from the crowd downstairs. He’d invited them, and now he wished they’d leave so he could be alone again. That’s what he preferred these days.

Stan said Zeb had to have a Christmas party and, of course, when “Johnny Rocker” had a party, people came. A-list people. And now his house had been invaded by people he didn’t even particularly like. He sighed. He supposed that was the price of success.

He remembered his first days as an overnight success that took six long years. Parties were simpler then. Lots of people, and if there was illicit sex and illegal drugs, he turned a blind eye. Now it was all about the food. They still wanted the other things, but now he had to have a caterer and a mix master and…the list went on and on.

Not that he had to handle those details. That’s what Stan, his manager, was for. But unlike other celebrities, Zeb had no intention of letting someone steal his hard-earned money. He kept a close eye on people and a closer eye on expenses. How many of the crowd downstairs would have come if Zeb Walker had invited then instead of Johnny Rocker. How long had it been since somebody had even called him Zeb? Johnny Rocker—the legend, the celebrity—Only, he wasn’t Johnny Rocker. He was Zeb Jonathon Walker. Or maybe he wasn’t. He didn’t even know who Zeb was these days. For years, he’d loved being Johnny Rocker, but lately...not so much. Oh, well, no need to wonder. He was Johnny Rocker, the rock and roll god, and that wasn’t ending any time soon.

I AM

He ignored the voice. This was one of his favorite rooms in his mansion. Johnny Rocker’s gold and platinum records and posters—of him, of course—as well as old movie posters, decorated the walls. Because after all, it was the theater room. Music blared from every speaker in his mansion, including this room. His music, of course, because he was a rock and roll god.

I AM

Probably a trick of the acoustics. That had to be it. I’m not losing it. Everything’s fine. He poured another drink and sat. His fingers ran across the buttery-soft, brown leather of the recliner. Fourth in a row with five rows. Each row a few steps higher than the previous row—just as in a real movie theater. Nothing but the best for Johnny Rocker. Who’d have ever thought that poor little Zeb Walker would be sitting in his debt-free mansion? He could afford anything he wanted these days. The good life. He had it all. People loved their rock and roll gods.

I AM

Zeb stared at the clock. Almost midnight. How much longer would this party go on? Why had he let Stan talk him into it? Stan insisted everyone who was anyone had a Christmas party. Not that Zeb cared about Christmas. It was just another day. Zeb didn’t believe in any of it. Not the commercialism or the spiritual hype. There may have been a man named Jesus, but he was not the Son of God—because there was no God.

I AM

The door opened before Johnny could yell at the unseen voice. “Well if it ain’t Stan the Man.”

His manager of eight years glared. “What are you doing up here, Johnny? The party’s downstairs. That’s where you need to be. Everyone keeps asking, ‘where’s Johnny?’ What am I supposed to tell them?”

“I know where they are, and that’s why I’m up here.”

“Very funny. Now get downstairs. The reason we’re having the party is so you can prove you’ve still got it.”

“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I’m Johnny Rocker.”

“Of course you are, but maybe you should tell that to all the people who aren’t buying your music these days.”

“Yeah. Yeah. I hear you.”

“Let’s go, Johnny. Now.”

“That’s not my name.”

Stan rolled his eyes. “You’re in one of those moods again. Fine. I’ll call you Zeb if that makes you happy. So, Zeb. Downstairs. Now.”

“I don’t know when you became my boss.”

Stan grinned. “When I made you your first million. Let’s get down there and make the record executives happy.”

“Right behind you,” Zeb said, but Stan was already gone. Apparently even a rock and roll go—

I AM

He looked at the glass in his hand. No more of this if it made him hear voices. He set down the glass, not caring if it left a ring on the black lacquered cabinet. If the furniture got ruined, he could always buy another one. He walked toward the door.

BOOM!

And then another explosive sound—even louder.

What was going on? Zeb headed toward the door.

Another explosion.

The floor below him disappeared.

I AM, the voice said again as Zeb hurtled through the floor.

 

 

Discussion Questions








Question 1: Do you think someone like a rock & roll star can maintain their Christian standards? Why or why not?



Answer 1: Yes, but it would be difficult.

 

Reviews (1)

by Lisa L.

Duncan’s contribution to the 2019 Holiday Extravaganza is an inspirational tale of two people with vastly different lifestyles, but at the same place in life. Zeb Walker, aka super rock legend Johnny Rocker, is tired of being constantly “on,” and hounded by a voice he doesn’t understand. Maddie is tired of being on constant alert in her work as a bodyguard. She is retiring from the company, like now…only her boss has one more job. The paycheck is too good to pass up, and she is intrigued by the aspect of investigating a mystery along with the protection detail. She reluctantly agrees to be Johnny Rocker’s temporary bodyguard, especially since her special relationship with Jesus makes it clear Johnny needs more than physical protection. When Maddie can’t protect Zeb anyplace where his crazed fans can find him, one of whom is obviously trying to kill him, she takes him to her secluded Colorado cabin. As they get to know each other, they become more open to the promptings of the Voice

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