There are several books I re-read annually. Seeing that I write contemporary
stories, you might be surprised by a few of them. I love historical romance,
always return to Candice Proctor’s NIGHT IN EDEN, Madeline Hunter’s STEALING
HEAVEN, Meagan McKinney’s THE
GROUND SHE WALKS UPON. Honorable mentions are Adele
Ashworth, Connie Brockway and Penelope Williamson. All get re-read every year. For
who only writes in the now, love from the past gets me every time. There is
actually one contemporary story I find myself returning to year after year.
HOW TO KILL
ROCK STAR by Tiffanie DeBartolo.
Have you read it? Do you love it? ‘Cause how could you not?
There are so many things to love about this. DeBartolo’s lyrical satire. Her
near-reverent commentary on the transformative power of music. Her masterful
storytelling, with an epic romance at the creamy center. So many things to
but none of them are my favorite thing about HOW TO KILL A
No, that would be Paul Hudson, the anti-rock star who, defying all odds, makes
all-time favorite hero list.
He is, in many ways, exactly what you expect from a rock star. Undeniably
Passionate. Slightly unbalanced. A manwhore. And he is, in other ways,
antithetical to every rock star who has stolen your heart between the start and
the end of other rock star romances.
When we meet him, he works at the Gap - folding. He wears wildly colored,
mismatched thrift store cast offs. He is not “leanly muscled”, but is skinny
pale though attractive in his way. He is a hypochondriac who believes his
pancreas will kill him in the end. He resists the industry machine that would
make him a household name, and chooses death, of a sort, over the fame his
towering talent could easily garner him.
See? Told ya.
And DeBartolo’s middle finger to our ideas of what the rock star hero should
She actually casts the taller-than-Paul, more-handsome-than-Paul, tanner-than-
Paul teen heartthrob who should, by all rights be our hero, as the guy who
but doesn’t get the girl. No, our heroine Eliza only has eyes…and heart…for
And I get it because though he is not physically what you’d expect and is
eccentric and more-than-slightly neurotic, his passion for music and for his
Eliza overtake every scene. He is compelling and show-stealing. He is
simultaneously lost and absolutely sure.
I never set out to write a “rock star romance”. I just started thinking about
these two musicians who stumble into a deep friendship and then torpedo into a
white hot, once-in-a-lifetime love. And before I knew it, my hero was a rock
star. But maybe subconsciously taking a page from DeBartolo’s book, I had no
interest in fashioning Rhyson Gray, my hero, from typical rock star cloth. His
journey starts as a piano prodigy, early disillusioned with fame. As a child he
sees it for what it is and isn’t, and shuns it when given the choice. But he is
driven to perform and returns to the world stage on his own terms as an adult.
When Rhys meets Kai, a half-Korean Georgia peach transplanted to Los Angeles
pursuing her dreams, he recognizes a drive and talent that matches his own at
every turn. But she’s also someone who has no interest in the “typical” rock
star. Who isn’t phazed by all the things he could give her or the opportunities
that could come with being “his girl”. She needs a friend, so they are friends…
until they can’t be just that anymore.
Rhys is not nearly as eccentric as Paul Hudson, but he has little quirks.
that take him a little deeper and make him a little different from what you’d
expect. I thought I’d share this scene with Rhyson out in plain sight, but in
disguise just feet away from his fans, trying to convince Kai that they can be
friends. Reluctant friends who turn each other on with every breath, but
What books do you re-read every year? Leave a comment below for a chance to
win a ecopy of MY SOUL TO KEEP.
I just can't write about myself in third person for one more bio! I'm a wife, a
mom, a writer, an advocate for families living with autism. That's me in a
nutshell. Crack the nut, and you'll find a Southern girl gone Southern
who loves pizza and Diet Coke, and wishes she got to watch a lot more
You can usually catch me up too late, on social media too much, or FINALLY
putting a dent in my ever-growing To Be Read list!
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It seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold...
I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music. Mama was taken
from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s
me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between
fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my
mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music's brightest stars. Not now. Music
is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go,
even for Rhyson Gray.
I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken
me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth.
thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s
I think about, like a song I can't get out of my head. If I have to chase her,
I have to give up everything - I will. And once she's mine, I won't let go.
7 comments posted.
Susan Mallery's THE SHEIK'S SECRET BRIDE. Every year for several years now....
(Elaine Seymour 7:56pm November 18, 2015)
I usually do not reread books, but some classic Christmas stories are a great second read.
(Susan Patterson 11:54am November 19, 2015)