A while back, during my massive Before He Was Famous promo blitz I announced a competition to win a $100 Amazon Voucher in exchange for a review of the book. I want to say a huge, mega, stardust sprinkled THANK YOU to everyone who entered and everyone who wrote to say they loved the book. Reviews really help as they get the word out there about our work and give us more of a chance to stand out in the crowd!
During that promo period I shifted a whopping 24,000 copies of Before He Was Famous – that’s a whole lotta Kindles out there holding my baby. Yoikes!
Anyway, I am honoured and you all really inspire me to keep on writing. So, without further ado, the winner is Ofelia Godinho. I’ve already emailed you, so let me know where best to send your sparkly prize and hopefully you will use it to buy more books and support more authors! Yay! Congrats Ofelia!
OK, and without FURTHER ado, here’s a sneaky excerpt from Before He Was a Secret – the third in the StarStruck Series which will be out soon. Those who followed Noah and Chloe, then Alyssa and Joshua will know of Stephanie, who’s about to move to Nashville where shiz gets REAL with a piano playing hottie called Conor. If they’re going to be together however, they both have to conquer a few obstacles along the way. Luckily their shared love of music is guiding them…
“Conor frowns, still patting the space next to him. When I don’t move he cocks his head at me. ‘Why don’t you like the piano?’
‘I don’t… I used to love it,’ I say after a moment as panic spirals round my heart and throat, almost choking me.
‘Sit down.’ Conor moves over more on the piano stool, reaches for my arm this time and I have no choice but to sit. ‘Piano, meet Stephanie. Stephanie, meet piano,’ he grins, playing a random tune in D major. ‘Piano likes you!’
I close my eyes for a moment, trying to control my heart palpitations as the memories of that day crash over me like a tsunami. ‘I just prefer the guitar,’ I stutter. Breathe. Breathe. It’s just a stupid instrument.
‘Ah, but the piano is a different species,’ he says, almost in my ear. ‘You know, someone told me once that the white keys represent happiness, all the good stuff. The laughter, right?’ Conor runs his fingers quickly up and down the white keys, stops abruptly, looks to me. ‘And the black keys? They represent the sad times, the sorrow, the pain.’ He does the same on the black keys now, slowly, a different melancholy sound that makes me shudder involuntarily. ‘But you can’t forget,’ he says, nudging my shoulder gently, ‘they all mix up together to tell your story. You’re a little bit of everything at the end of the day. You’re a song.’
‘I’m a song,’ I repeat, opening my eyes as he jumbles a tune under his hands.
‘Yes. You need to play me your story.’
I stand up again. This is all ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. ‘I don’t want to play my story on that, or anything,’ I tell him, reaching for my purse. He stands up after me, grabs for it.
‘Because it’s harder to write a sad song about something real sometimes, than it is to write a happy one about nothing, I know,’ he says as I wrestle with him to keep my purse on my shoulder.
‘No you don’t know,’ I say. He’s blocking my path, stopping me from walking out the door again. I flop against the wall, look down to my feet. ‘I’m not like you Conor, I don’t have all that… history. Not the good kind, anyway.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You can write songs about anything you want. Love, for example.’
‘I’ve never been in love, Conor. Not like you and Grace, anyway.’
His eyes widen for a second. He holds a hand to the doorframe, still blocking me. His face is inches from mine and I catch the darkness flicker in his brown eyes at my words. ‘That’s my past, Stephanie. Who have you been talking to?’
I curse my stupid mouth. ‘Maybe we shouldn’t do this.’
‘Tal!’ He smacks a fist to the doorframe, not quite hard enough to make me jump but hard enough to let me know he’s pissed, then he reaches for my chin, tilts it so I’m looking right at him. ‘Who says you have to write about love?’
His eyes are piercing into mine. My heart thumps wildly through my dress, inches from his chest. Even now that I’ve hit a nerve, every fiber of my body is screaming to tangle up in his. ‘I don’t know the first thing about love,’ he tells me. ‘I write about the ruins of it.’
‘That’s still love, Conor.’
He drops my chin. ‘Fine. But that song wasn’t about love, was it? It was about facing up to your shit and letting go. I’m letting things go, OK? I know people talk in this town but… Jesus, you have to trust me. I want you to trust me.’ He brushes my bangs from my eyes without warning, sending a Catherine wheel of sparks spinning in my stomach. The magnets that seem to have applied themselves to our torsos force me to step closer to him; so close his warm breath fans my face and sends my pulse skyrocketing. His fingers linger behind my ear, creep to the back of my head, motioning me closer, closer, closer. He’s going to kiss me.
‘We’re always re-writing our stories,’ he says, moving his other arm from the doorway.
My purse slides from my shoulder all the way down my arm as he takes both my hands, squeezes them in his, towering over me. My nerves are riding rocket ships, racing through my body, filling me up, multiplying. ‘Tell me yours,’ he says, right into my eyes.
He’s not going to kiss me.
‘Your story,’ he says as everything crashes internally. ‘Tell me. The black and the white, Stephanie. Why do you hate the piano?’”
BEFORE HE WAS A SECRET is coming soon to Amazon Kindle. Mark it to read on Goodreads and sign up to my mailing list for more info and prizes! xxx