Like seriously love music.
So it's kind of amazing to me that it's taken me five years to create a hero who is a musician.
Last month I released the book THIS IS OUR SONG - book four in my Shaughnessy Brothers series. The hero - Riley - was the lead singer for one of the biggest rock bands in the world. The band is on hiatus and each member (there are four of them) is embarking on solo projects while also dealing with life outside of the the band. There was security in them being together as a unit and now that they're on their own? Well...let's just say that things aren't quite so secure.
Originally, I was going to write Riley's story and the rest of the band was just going to be implied, but as I got going I realized that these guys had stories to tell too.
And Band on the Run was born.
So it's a new series but NOT a new series. I mean, Riley Shaughnessy is going to appear in each of the books and with him, updates on his family. Knowing that, we could say that Band on the Run is a spinoff of the Shaughnessys or an off-shoot of the series. Either way, this trilogy about the ban is going to have characters that you've already met and there is comfort in that.
The first book in the series - ONE MORE KISS - comes out next month. February 7th to be exact. And it focuses on lead guitarist Matt Reed.
And these guys are sexier than anything I've written before!
Needless to say, I am VERY excited to kick this series off. It's new and fresh and fun and involves music! I'm married to a drummer and have been around a lot of bands in our 27 years together, and I always found the dynamics of a group to be fascinating. The combination of talent, personalities and ego are really something to watch. The one area that my husband says that I got wrong with this series is that my guys all like each other. He swears that is rarely the case. But I'm an optimist and in my world the guys from Shaughnessy may not always get along and they are all very different personalities, but at the end of the day, they are friends.
Here's a small excerpt from Matt's story:
Together they sat on the piano bench and Matt set up the sheet music and started to play.
At least, it’s how it seemed to Vivienne.
He seemed stiff and uncomfortable and finally she placed her hand over his and stopped him. “You need to relax a little. You’re still too new at this just to jump in. I always had to do warmup exercises before my instructors would let me play.”
“I always thought it seemed like a waste of time,” he said. “You think it’s necessary?”
“Technically, you’re a beginner. So I would say yes. Just to loosen your hands up and get you comfortable with the keyboard.” Then she started playing some five-finger exercises she remembered from when she was a kid and then encouraged Matt to do them. Then they easily moved on to “Chopsticks.” And from there she moved on to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” They both laughed as she played it and Matt sang along and then he played it back for her, teasing that she needed to sing it to him.
She declined but laughed the entire time. There was no way she was singing for him – she knew her strengths and weaknesses and singing was not a strength.
“What about this one?” he asked and started the very basic beginnings of “Heart and Soul.”
“Oh,” she sighed, “this is one of my favorites.” She joined in and together they went on to play a duet – with Matt doing the A-section and Vivienne doing the chords. Their shoulders bumped together as they played and she couldn’t help the tingles she got as Matt quietly sang the lyrics beside her.
When she turned her head and caught him watching her with an odd expression on his face, she began to wonder if maybe he was remembering – the way he’d held her that night and kissed her…and let her go.
She jumped up from the bench so quickly she stumbled and almost fell over onto her butt. When she righted herself, Vivienne looked at him with wide eyes, her heart beating madly. “Sorry.”
“You okay?” he asked, obviously concerned.
“Um…yeah. I had a…a um…leg cramp and I needed to get up and move.” Way to sound like an eighty-year-old woman, Viv, she cursed herself. Trying to prove she wasn’t lying, she limped around a bit and then sat back down on the very edge of the bench – effectively putting space between the two of them. “So…I think you should be good to go. Why don’t you play something for me?” Her voice sounded weird even to her own ears.
Matt was still looking at her funny, but he didn’t say a word. He cleared his throat as he turned and put his focus on the keyboard and began to play. It was slightly off and riddled with mistakes, but he kept going. Vivienne was learning more and more about him, but she could tell he was tempted to stop and start over again with every mistake. But he didn’t. He kept on playing and singing.
He opted for the Elton John tune, and as he had before, he sang as he played. Vivienne could only stand and listen, his voice washing over her. She knew he hadn’t purposely chosen this song –the lyrics weren’t his – but for one brief moment, she let her imagination run wild. A small sigh escaped her lips as she imagined it was her own sweet eyes he was singing about.
Matt was looking at her again, and Vivienne felt hot all over. She was feeling things she shouldn’t. He was making her feel things she shouldn’t. Or maybe he was just singing lyrics, and she was reading too much into them. When he turned back to the piano and continued to sing, she told herself that was all it was – her imagination.
Her stupid overactive imagination.
ONE MORE KISS is up for pre-order now and you can find all of the links and an another excerpt HERE.
You can also get a glimpse at the first three chapters of ONE MORE KISS in the ecopy of THIS IS OUR SONG!
Happy Reading, Friends! See you in February!!