Category: rockabilly

“The tiki lounge was Grif’s idea. It had bamboo walls that muted sound, an island god guarding the front door, and was dark enough to remain discreet despite all of that. Frankie’s Tiki Room was also a sort of home-away-from-home for the rockabilly crowd, marrying South Seas nostalgia with the mid-century aesthetic to create an escape from the brazen glitz of modern Las Vegas… The last time Grif had been here was with Kit. She wore a Hawaiian dress with flowers in her hair, and though his suit and fedora had been remarked upon, the glances he got had been more covetous than wondering. He lost count of the number of times he’d been complimented on his straight-razored pomp. Grif smiled, remembering that they drank rum until sunrise, then went home and made love until sunset.” –The Given

I’ve been known to insert little “Easter eggs” in my texts for my readers, mostly places in Las Vegas that those who’ve been here — and especially those who live here — can ferret out and even visit if they’d like. In fact, at my recent Las Vegas book signing I was told that the folks at the Neon Museum (responsible for the upkeep and restoration of the signage in the Las Vegas valley) commented that before the Neon Boneyard was jazzed up, and some key signage restored to its former glory, the visitors there were most often comprised of locals and those who’d read my Signs of the Zodiac series.

I love that. I love sharing places like the Boneyard and the Peppermill and the Golden Steer with you. It’s homage to my dusty desert town, and they’re little gems that you might not hear of otherwise. Frankie’s Tiki Room is another.

I know I wrote about it in The Taken — tiki lounges are a big part of rockabilly culture, which is Kit Craig’s passion in the Celestial Blues trilogy, and truly what helps keep her putting one foot in front of the other. In addition to interviewing rockabilly enthusiasts, attending the Rockabilly weekender many years in a row, and making friends with burlesque dancers, I research Kit’s culture by drinking rum drinks at Frankie’s. Listen. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

Here are some pics from that research trip, but they’re only of the exterior. I got inside, saw the menu, and forgot to take more. Maybe you can go there and take some for me. Say hi to Kit if you see her. ;)

So if you’re looking for another “Easter egg” — or just something a little off the beaten path when visiting Vegas, hop in to Frankie’s … tell them Kit and Grif sent you.


Frankie’s on Charleston Blvd. In hot pink neon, which you know is Kit-approved


Listen, if the sign says it, it's true. And if you don't agree, you'll just have to swing by to disprove it.

Listen, if the sign says it, it’s true. And if you don’t agree, you’ll just have to swing by to disprove it.


For scale, I posed in front of the tiki god guarding the door. No animal sacrifice necessary to enter.

For scale, I posed in front of the tiki god guarding the door. No animal sacrifice necessary to enter.


But I won't lie ... he was scaaaaarrrryy...

But I won’t lie … he was scaaaaarrrryy…


So I made nice, and he let me in.

So I made nice, and he let me in.


So. I’m starting to hear back from readers who’ve received ARCs of The Given both here and on Facebook/Twitter, and though I always answer and share my gratitude and thanks, I feel like the depth of that gets a little lost when I say it so much.

Seriously. Thank you.

I mean, I crave this exact connection so much that I’ll lock myself alone in a room for hours with just the voices in my head, and that connection becomes tangible when you reach out to let me know that I’ve done my job and somehow touched you with that pile of words.

Here’s an extreme example of how this sort of thing really is quid pro quo. This is Jessica. She first came to see me when I went on tour in LA at the Dark Delicacies bookstore. Take note, the girl is a dead ringer for Kit Craig:

TT.cover j

Turns out, Jess is also a performer, an artist, and that she made this dress herself — and she has since gone on to recreate the dresses from all three of the covers. Gobsmacked. That’s me. Even now that we chat regularly via Facebook, I’m still awed daily by her talent, how full of life she is, and by how scary her dreams can be. (Seriously, you think my mind is strange? Sheesh.) And here is a shot of us together at that first meeting. Love at first sight? Yeah. Kinda.

With Jessi-Kit.

With Jessi-Kit.

And here’s some cuteness from when she was creating the look from the second dress (whom, by the way, she has named Ava.):

To the Moon, AvaAva before her Big DebutSewing+Dart

Again, us together. Since she looked the part at last year’s signing in Vegas, I had her do a dramatic reading with me. I read Grif’s parts, and she read Kit’s. She was, of course, fabulous.


And that brings us to this year. She documents her struggles to bring Harlow to life on her blog (yup, she named this dress, too) and while I’m not sure if I’ll be seeing her this year due to her schedule, I can’t wait to see her in this dress.

GivenPB_revisedInsidesDress Sketch

Here’s all three of her babies together:


vicki and me portlyFollow Jess on her blog, The Magic Garment Ride, just because you want this bright light in your life.

As this has turned out to be a very public love letter to Jess — whom I really can’t thank enough for entering my life (I love you, girl!) — please know that you don’t have to do all this to get my attention.

Those Facebook posts do not fall on deaf ears. I remember every last word.


On a travel sabbatical for 2017 -- instead, catch me on the Web!

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