Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#Excerpt: 80's MIX TAPE: A Romance Rewind Anthology


’80s Mix Tape
A.J. Pine, Autumn Jones Lake, Bobbi Ruggiero, Gwen Hayes, Jenny Holiday, Karen Booth, Rachel Cowell
(Romance Rewind #2)
Publication date: February 9th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Save a Prayer by Karen Booth
Angie Dawson never wants to see Graham Whiting again, a complete impossibility living in Stourbridge,England, the town outside London where she and Graham grew up. His band, Banks Forest, is so hot in the UK they might as well be on fire. She can’t turn on the blooming radio or watch telly or look at a magazine without being confronted by the ’80s Fab Four, fronted by the sexy bloke she’d once called her boyfriend. Every girl in England wants him. Bloody bastard.


Desperate to escape the 24-7 Banks Forest overload, Angie takes a twoweek job working as a photographer at the Music Revolution festival in the US. Finally, she can set her mind on something other than Graham and what it was like before he started being such a wanker. Maybe she can sort out what to do with her life. If she’s lucky, she’ll meet a cracking guy who doesn’t think he’s God’s gift to women. The instant she steps off the plane, she learns how daft her plan was. Banks Forest mania practically followed her across the Atlantic. Her new job puts her in Graham’s sights and he’s dead-set on winning her back. He knows the perfect things to say, the right way to kiss her and make everything brilliant again. She wants him, she wants him to be the guy he says he can be, but he’s about to go on the road for a year. How does a reunion with her ex end up being anything more than a one-night stand?

Need You Tonight by Gwen Hayes
Jacob Stone is on the run for a crime he didn’t commit, but when he’s stranded with the only woman he’s ever loved by chance, the girl he abandoned to protect two years ago, he can’t deny the need to possess her one last time. Mind, body, and soul.

Typical good girl Becky McDonald has loved bad boy Jacob since they were kids, but even as she gives in to the passion only he can ignite in her, she hides the truth. The one secret that would bring him back is the lie she can never reveal.

One night of passion. One night of need. That’s all they can have, but it will never be enough.

Kickstart My Heart by Autumn Jones Lake
Russell“Chaser” Adams knows he’s destined to take over his father’s outlaw motorcycle club one day. With Chaser’s heavy metal band close to making it big, his father encourages him to pursue his music for now. Chaser straddles his Harley and heads across the country to the Sunset Strip.

Raised in a strict family with old-world traditions and their own secrets, Mallory Delov longs for glitter and glamor instead of blood and deceit. With her father serving time, it’s the perfect time to escape his domineering grasp and pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an actress.

After nailing her first audition, Mallory is offered the part of a playful vixen who torments the lead singer of the up and coming metal band, Kickstart. Her job description calls for lots of hair tossing and ass wiggling. Not quite the career she had in mind.
She didn’t plan to fall in love either. Unlike any man she’s ever known, she can’t help being drawn to the guitar player, Chaser. He’s sweet, yet dangerous. An irresistible mixture to Mallory.
On the surface they seem like complete opposites.
Little do either of them know how much they have in common.

867-5309 by Jenny Holiday
Jenny Fields is a crusader. The editor of her college newspaper, she never met a cause she couldn’t get behind. So when the administration announces it’s tearing down the historic art building, she’s on the case. All she needs to do is get Matthew Townsend, the art department’s most talented student, on board. If she could just get the moody genius to answer his phone…

Drummer Girl by A.J. Pine
Sam Walsh is done—done with college, done with guys, done with the whole scene. After graduation tomorrow, she’ll head home, ready to start her job as an elementary school music teacher in the fall. But her roommate coaxes her out for what she promises will be an epic last night, a night that ends up changing everything.

London Calling is the up-and-coming band playing at the local bar, and Sam can’t take her eyes off the sexy drummer. When he dedicates the drummer’s choice song to her, she knows the evening might be more epic than she’d imagined. Then one kiss turns her world upside down, making her question everything she thought she wanted out of her last night at school.

Ben McCarthy is the guy behind the drums, the would-have-been 306 valedictorian who dropped out three years ago to follow his dream. Tomorrow he and the band leave for London, but for one unforgettable night, it’s just Sam, the music, and him. Can a girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground fall for the boy who reaches for the stars when the only result is a broken heart?

Young Teacher by Bobbi Ruggiero
Control freak Julia Powers hates surprises. With the skills of a ninja, she keeps her ad business and personal life in perfect order. That leaves zero time for fun, let alone men. But there’s nothing wrong with having a little crush on the guy she sees at lunchtime, is there? Sure, he’s a lot younger, but it’s only a crush. It’s not like she’s going to date him or anything.

Matthew Gordon wants nothing more than for his band Joyride to go national. While he waits for his big break, he spends his days working in a sandwich shop—a job he loathes—and teaching guitar on the side—a job he loves. His days get a bit more interesting when a mysterious woman comes in for lunch and hands him a list of her favorite songs. So imagine his surprise when she shows up at his door for guitar lessons.

Unfortunately, Julia can’t play guitar to save her life, and her frustration threatens to ruin any chance of her finding happiness—with herself, or in love. Will he ever be able to teach her that she’s perfect just as she is?

Just Like Heaven by Rachel Cowell
As a premed student, college junior Sarah Lattimore’s life is a carefullycalibrated system of studying, studying, MCAT prep courses, and more studying. She didn’t have time for a social life in high school, and she definitely doesn’t have time for one now. But when she walks into the first day of anatomy lab and sees her gorgeous TA, Sarah’s brilliant mind is suddenly racing in new directions.

Grad student Josh Chapman’s mom died of ovarian cancer when he was a teenager, and his grief and rage at the experience turned his future aspirations toward cancer research. But the unbelievably cute, nerdy, and possibly insane Sarah Lattimore is in his section, and she’s… distracting. But when admiring from afar turns to up close and personal, both their academic lives begin to fall apart. Sarah cares too much about her grades to stay with Josh and she breaks things off.
But when she makes a mistake in class that results in Josh facing expulsion, will this mean the end of his dreams? Or will Sarah realize in time that being with Josh was the smartest choice she’d ever made?

Sneak a Peek at a couple of books from this anthology:
Excerpt from Save a Prayer by Karen Booth
I sucked in a deep breath through my nose and willed a smile onto my face. I was over Graham. I’d worked my way through it. And enduring thirty seconds of screeching girls at the newsstand was enough of a test for now.
I wound my way down to baggage claim, fetching my suitcase then out to the curb to wait for my ride to the city from an unknown volunteer for the Music Revolution Festival. Most parents would probably not be pleased by my new job, but mine were. Well, my mum was. I wasn’t sure about my dad. An award-winning photo-journalist, he hadn’t taken a picture in six months, nor had he spoken a word. Not since the stroke that left him paralyzed on one side of his body and unable to speak. Standing there, I couldn’t escape the self-doubt—first time in America, on my own, wanting to show Graham that I was not only over him, I was okay with what had happened, hoping like hell I could live up to even a fraction of my dad’s brilliance. Photographing Graham’s band left me at a serious disadvantage.
Just then a dodgy looking sky blue car wobbled past me at the curb, sputtering black fumes when it came to a stop. Dozens of band stickers blanketed the bumper—Joy Division, The Smiths, Blondie, and Tears for Fears were only the start. Out popped a girl with curly blonde hair, more blue eyeliner than I’d ever seen, and an arm loaded down with black rubber bracelets. “You must be Angie Dawson. I was told to look for a British redhead.”
My vision narrowed on her. “That’s me.”
She held out her hand to shake mine. “Welcome to Philly. I’m Darla. But people call me Gigi. I’m supposed to drive you to the hotel and make sure you have everything you need while you’re here.”
 “Brilliant. Thanks.” I picked up my suitcase and followed her to the car. “The redhead I get, but what exactly makes me look British?”
Gigi shrugged, opening the car boot with her key. “I have no idea. People say stupid things, don’t they? Luckily you were the only ginger out here.”
“Ginger, huh? I take it you’ve been to England?”
“Yep. That’s what you call redheads, right?”
I nodded as she closed the trunk. “Absolutely.”
We climbed inside the car and after several attempts she got the engine running again. “First time in the States?”
“It is. I’ve been trying to get a magazine job as a photographer for over a year, and luckily, the guy at Music Maker got sacked after he was arrested for a fight in a pub. I just got hired.”
Gigi pulled onto a motorway and put in a cassette that started out with The Cutter by Echo and the Bunnymen, one of my favorite songs. With the windows rolled down, the early afternoon heat swirled our hair every which way while the car rattled as if it was held together with chewing gum and a few odd screws. “I’m just a runner,” she shouted over the music and road noise. “But I’m learning how to run sound and lights. I really want to go on the road with a band at some point. I’m such a huge music fan. I can’t think of anything more exciting than that.”
“Cool.” I didn’t offer more. Gigi would have to learn on her own how unexciting it could be to go on the road with a band, although touring with Banks Forest was likely a much higher-class affair now than it had been in the early days.
“Oh!” Gigi exclaimed. “I forgot. I have a message for you in my bag from the editor at Music Maker. They called for you at the production office this morning. It’s right in that side pocket. You can go ahead and get it out.”
I leaned down and slipped my hand into the outside compartment of Gigi’s black LeSport Sac. My heart picked up as I unfolded the paper. For the first time since I’d landed, I was thrilled by the prospects ahead, rather than dreading what would happen if things didn’t go right. I was finally a working photographer. I’d gotten a call at a major music festival production office from my employer.
For: Angie Dawson
From: Oliver Harvey, 7/11/85
Banks Forest and their road manager will meet you in hotel bar at 7 pm to discuss the band’s schedule.
And there it was. I was officially on my way. Back into the sights of Graham Whiting.
Excerpt from Need You Tonight by Gwen Hayes

Jacob’s eyes never rest. He glances at me briefly before scanning the swarm of disgruntled travelers around us. The logical side of my brain says that he is just being careful. People on the run have to be hypersensitive to their surroundings. The illogical poster-girl-of-a-train-wreck side thinks he just wants to get away from me as soon as possible and is looking for a break in the crowds.
“Where were you going?” he asks. Probably to be polite.
“Florida. You?” Stupid girl. “Never mind. That was dumb. You can’t tell me where you are going or where you’ve been or probably even what you had for breakfast yesterday.”
“It doesn’t really matter where I was going,” he says, glossing over my sarcasm like he always does. “Nobody’s getting out of Detroit alive tonight.” He looks at his watch. “I guess I should try to book a room.”
I follow his wrist back down to his side with my gaze. God, nothing has changed. Even his wrists turn me on. Focus, Becky. “Good luck with that. Hotel rooms are going to be scarce.”
“I suppose you already have one.”
I shrug. “You know me.”
Awkward silence.
“You look good, Becky.”
Though they are kind, the words bite into my tender heart with razor sharp teeth. They are so tame compared to the last time he told me how I looked. When he said he couldn’t get enough of my hot little body. That I made him so hard every time he looked at me. My face was forever etched in his mind.
Now I look “good.”
I smile through the jagged pain because that is what you do when it hurts to breathe. “Thanks. I don’t suppose we could grab a cup of coffee, could we?” I don’t know why I said that. Why did I just say that?
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. It’s risky.”
Two years. I have missed him every day for two years. “We’re random strangers in a crowded airport today. Is it really so dangerous?”
He rubs his chin, scratching at the light dusting of stubble. “You’re not a random stranger, Becks.”
I shrug. “Nobody here knows that.” What if he says yes? What would it be like to forget, just for one hour, all the things that haunt me? Just take a step out of time. “It’s coffee, not a dark alley. I’ll help you make calls to hotels first.”
I don’t wait for an answer; I just grab his hand and pull. He’ll follow. He’ll roll his eyes, act a little miffed, and go along with me just like he always used to. Because he didn’t say no. He said he didn’t know if it was a good idea. Semantics are everything with a guy like Jacob Stone.
Twenty minutes later, after fruitless phone calls for a room, Jacob takes a long pull from his coffee and sits back in his chair, defeated. “How did you score a room? Wait, don’t tell me. You reserved it days ago, didn’t you?”
“The storm isn’t a surprise. They’ve been tracking it for a while.”
Jacob looks out the windows across the terminal. “It looks like a hurricane out there. It’s getting dark, too.”
The airport is stuffy and hot, with the temperature rising as the untraveling passengers’ moods get hotter. “I know you’ll say no, but you are welcome to crash in my room. It’s better than the floor at the gate.”
“That’s a bad idea.” Jake shuts down, just like he always did. That means no.
Now is make-or-break for what’s left of my pride. The interlude was pleasant, in its own way, but I am a realist now. A step out of time can’t take me a mile. I’ve learned the hard way that real life encroaches too soon. He’s broken my heart for the last time. I won’t beg again. This time, I’ll be the one to walk away.
“Suit yourself.” I push away from the table, slinging my carryon over my shoulder. “I’ll leave a key for you at the desk, Mr. McDonald, in case you should change your mind.” I walk just past the table and stop without turning around. “Take care of yourself.”
I miss you.
And that is that.