Title: Iris Rainbow
Author: Ilona Fridl
Genre: Woman's Fiction
Rebellious teen Teri Darden comes of age in the Summer of Love, 1967, falling hard for Tim Olson, who plays bass guitar in a soon-to-be-famous rock band called Virgin Ram. When the band goes on a lengthy tour, Tim and Teri not only lose touch with each other but the lies of his spiteful ex-girlfriend push Teri into the dark side of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in the San Francisco of the 1960s.
As his year-long tour comes to a close, Tim realizes how much he has missed Teri, but his efforts to find her again are futile. He goes from one bad marriage to another yet is always searching for Teri, until they meet again thirty years later.
Neither could quite forget the other, but can they rekindle what was lost?
Teri picked up the morning paper and sat at the table. She’d turned several pages when an article caught her eye. “The Sixties rock group Virgin Ram is here in Tucson for a concert on their reunion tour,” it said. “The group consists of members Luke Knoll, Roy Gardner, John Simon, and Tim Olson…” Teri couldn’t read any further, because her eyes were full of tears.
Marcy came in the room with her suitcases and set them down. “Mom, what’s wrong?” Teri had her hand over her mouth, tear running down her face. She turned the paper in Marcy’s direction and pointed to the article. “Isn’t that the group you said you knew in the Sixties?”
Teri nodded. “I never told you everything. Not even your father knew everything that happened then.” She glanced at her daughter. “It has a lot to do with the drug problems I had. Remember the talks I had with all of you about staying away from drugs? I knew about it firsthand.”
“Mom, if you want to talk about it, I’ll listen.” Marcy sat across the table from Teri and watched intently. Teri got up and poured them each a cup of coffee. Then she sat back down at the table and told Marcy her story, from going to the press party at the record company to going through drug withdrawal in the hospital. She made it sound as horrible as possible. Maybe I can prevent Marcy from getting caught up in the party atmosphere at college. I don’t want her going through what I went through.
Marcy was speechless. “Oh, god, Mother, I never would’ve thought you’d done everything you warned us against.”
“I nearly killed myself, and I never wanted you to go through the same thing. I prayed that all of you would avoid it, and I think you did.”
“After that story, I won’t ever touch drugs.” Marcy glanced at the article again, then jumped up from her chair. “Mom, help me get the suitcases out to the car.”
“You don’t have to leave yet, do you?”
Marcy pointed to the newspaper. “The band is signing autographs at Music World right now. Come on, or we’ll be late!” Teri stood there, unmoving, so Marcy grabbed her arm. “Come on, Mom!”
Do I want to do this? Numb, she took a couple of suitcases in hand and locked the door behind her. The crowd was beginning to thin out when they reached Music World. It was fifteen minutes to closing. Marcy and Teri walked into the store and stood behind a group of people. She saw the band at a desk still signing a few autographs. After thirty years, of course, they’ve aged. Roy had white hair, and Luke had aged well, but he had a rugged look. John’s hair was very short and she didn’t recognize him at first. There at the end of the desk sat Tim. Her heart skipped a beat, and those old feelings welled up in her. I haven’t stopped loving him. Just remember how he walked out on you. Outside of short, thinner, gray hair, he was still very handsome. Teri glanced at her own image in the security mirror. She saw a woman with a fairly nice figure and short gray hair with red streaks. In fact, David had given her the nickname of “Rusty” before he died. Teri turned her attention to the band members. John looked up and nudged Tim. She smiled when she noticed they were looking in Marcy’s direction. Of course. Her daughter resembled Teri at that age. She walked beside her daughter and put a hand on Marcy’s shoulder. As Teri waved, Tim’s reaction was startling―he jumped up and grabbed Teri in an embrace.
“Teri! Oh, my god! Teri!” he shouted. He turned to the manager. “Can we borrow your office?” The surprised man motioned them in.
Teri’s emotions ran rampant. She wondered if she should open the door she’d shut so long ago. Should she open old wounds? But how wonderful to be held in his arms again. I can’t look him in the eyes or I’ll be lost. Teri said firmly, “I’m glad we got the chance to finally say goodbye.”
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What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
There are a number of them, but I remember falling in love with the short stories and novels of Ray Bradbury. I started reading October Country when I was eleven years old, and had to read every book of his I could get my hands on. His writing was so vivid, and characters so lifelike.
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
I've tried to make all my stories with interesting, strong characters. This was the first manuscript I completed.
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Ilona Fridl was born in the Los Angeles area of Southern California, where she lived the first twenty-one years of her life. In high school and college, she took Journalism and Creative Writing. She moved with her family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she met her husband, Mark. They started a locksmithing business and raised a daughter to adulthood. All the while, she dreamed about being a writer, but she hated typewriters. In the nineties, they purchased their first computer, and she never looked back. With some articles and short stories under her belt, she started her first novel. The eighth book is just being released by The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, and a student of AllWriters in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
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