More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs
(Chasing The Dream #1)
Publication date: June 17th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.
Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
Our ten minutes were up too soon, and we were directed down a brightly lit hallway and into the backstage area. The Sound used a special kind of rotating stage that I’d also seen at music festivals, with a platform on each side so bands could set up and break down their equipment while another band was performing. Then the stage rotated, and it began again. This saved a lot of time with so many bands playing back-to-back.
I couldn’t see the band currently on stage, but their music pounded under my feet as the crowd cheered for them. We were about to be in the exact same spot, in front of that same crowd, with our music blasting through the speakers. No, I couldn’t think about that or I’d run straight back to that waiting room.
We rushed onto the back side of the stage, which had already been cleared by the previous band. Our gear was waiting for us, and some roadies helped us get it unpacked quickly. After hours of waiting, everything was happening so fast. I didn’t have time to think; I just shoved my earpiece in and grabbed my guitar to check the tuning while the other guys handled their own instruments. I got my distortion pedal and mic set up just as the band on stage finished their song. I heard the mentors commenting but couldn’t tell if the band had done a good job or not. Either way, it meant we had to hurry.
Kyle got behind his keyboard, Hector sat at the drums, and that left me and Jared up front. My sweaty fingers dropped my guitar pick, and when I went to grab it, my knees nearly gave out from under me. When I straightened up, Jared stood right in front of me, his bass hanging from his neck.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Um, as ready as I’ll ever be.” Which was to say, hell no. I smoothed my hair and yanked the bottom of my dress down, wishing I had a mirror to check how I looked one last time.
“Just have fun. It’ll be over before you know it.” He brushed a finger against my cheek, making me shiver. “Stray eyelash,” he explained. “You look amazing, by the way.”
Our eyes locked, and for a second, it was only the two of us on stage, about to make music together. He offered me one of his heart-stopping smiles, and it gave me the strength I needed to go through with this.
The stage began to turn, ending the moment. Jared and I moved back to our positions in front of our mics as the roar of the crowd grew louder and spotlights flashed in our eyes. My heart pounded as an entire sea of faces stretched before me. And in front, the four musicians who would decide our fate.
This was our one shot to change our futures forever. Our one moment to lose ourselves in the music and hope we brought the audience along with us. Our one chance to turn our dreams into reality.
I was ready.
Prizes: Open INTL – Ends June 24th
*1 signed paperback of MORE THAN MUSIC + bookmarks*
*1 paperback copy of FIFTY FIRST TIMES: A New Adult Anthology*
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.
Book Blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours.