Giveaway & Guest Post Bitter Farewell by Karolyn James

Monday, July 15, 2013
Insatiable Reads Book Tour
Title: Bitter Farewell
Author: Karolyn James Writing As K James
Series: Brothers of Rock (#3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 25 2013

Book three in the Brothers of Rock series - BITTER FAREWELL

When Danny boards the private jet for his father's funeral, he knows he isn't just going back home to settle the estate.
He is going to back to find her... the girl who loved him, the girl who understood his family problems, and the girl he left behind to chase his dream of becoming a rockstar.
Liv Cryers is stuck in Bakersville. Literally. She came back hoping to find peace inside her empty heart, but now she's forced to care for her ailing father who doesn't remember her most days. She's tired of being forgotten. The sounds of her past seem so far away...
When rockstars come to town, crazy things can happen...

First off, thanks for having me here! I’m three books into my romance series, Brothers of Rock. The first set of books is going to be five books, each one following a member of rock band, Chasing Cross. I wanted to take the time to introduce the band member of the first three books and then have an excerpt for Bitter Farewell!

In the first book of the series – All Access – it introduces the band and introduces leader singer, Johnnie. He meets a woman who doesn’t know who he is and they fall for each other. The story is flirty and fun with the undertones of what it’s like to be a successful rockstar. Johnnie is sexy and rich, but he faces a lot of troubles. And with Jess, he realizes anything is possible.

With the second book – Broken Sound – Davey faces a real situation. A woman shows up at his hotel room with a baby claiming he’s the father. The flirty and fun feeling from All Access is quickly shaken away here. The book is deep as Davey tries to decide what the right to do is… and on top of that, he falls for a woman who isn’t the mother of the baby. There’s plenty of twists and turns in the book, including an attempted murder!

The release of Bitter Farewell brings Danny’s journey back home after he and Johnnie’s father dies. (Johnnie and Danny are blood brothers.) While Johnnie is able to make peace quick and the band is eager to get back to getting ready for their tour and recording, Danny can’t let it go. When he left town, he left a woman behind. And fate steps in, bringing them back together. This romance book explores love through heartache and proves the true power of time.

The fourth book will follow bassist, Chris, as he goes back in time to follow through on a promise he made when he – and Chasing Cross – were still young. And finally, the end Chasing Cross’s set of books, drummer Rick will face a decision that can – and will – change the direction of the entire band. Both those books will be released before the end of 2013!
“Hey, Dad, check out this chord...”
The strap was too long, the cloth frayed and ragged and Danny was too afraid to move it for fear of the strap completely breaking. The strings were like pieces of barbed wire; there wasn’t enough money to buy new strings... not for a ‘damn guitar’ as his father put it all the time. There wasn’t enough electricity either. Danny could plug the guitar into his amp, but he could never plug the amp in. Unless his father was working. But he’d have to get up killer early to play then...
“Dad... did you hear?”
Danny looked up from the guitar... he had to look up to from the guitar because he couldn’t play the chords without looking. Not like Johnnie. Johnnie learned how to play chords without looking. It was seriously cool.
Danny saw that his father wasn’t standing in the doorway anymore. 
He had been there a second ago.
Danny put the guitar down and walked to the doorway. He heard the shower running.
‘Dad must have had a long day...’
That’s it, Danny told himself.
His father walked away a lot.
But he worked hard.
That mattered, right?
Danny looked back to the bed and knew he had about two minutes to plug the amp in and turn it on. There really wasn’t anything quite like the sound of his guitar turned on... and it certainly helped with the sting of loneliness.
“Dude, you ready?”
Danny took his eyes off the pearl diamond inlay neck on his guitar and looked up at Rick standing, twirling drumsticks.
“Yeah,” Danny whispered.
“Are you sure? You look like hell.”
“I’m good, how about you?”
Rick threw both sticks in the air and caught them without looking. He stuck them - tip down - into his front pocket. He outstretched his arms and smiled.
“I feel alive, my friend, alive.”
“Good. How’s the arm feeling?”
Rick held up his cast and tapped it. He was still weeks away from getting the cast removed at which point he could start practicing drums. Of course Rick insisted the second the cast came off he’d start playing shows. Doctors tried to explain to Rick the time it may take to get used to playing, not to mention the risk of aggravating anything in his arm, but he insisted. Johnnie had already promised Rick that once the time came to play again, he would. He’d start slow, two songs a night and add more each time.
“I still can’t believe you’re doing the show,” Rick said. “It’s... you don’t have to...”
“I do,” Danny said. He looked back to the guitar. He fingered a ‘C’ chord but didn’t strum it. He thought about being a kid, sitting on his bed, struggling to finger the chord. It was so natural now, something he could do in his sleep, without thinking. 
“How are we feeling tonight?” another voice chimed in.
It was Peter’s voice.
“Ready to rock,” Danny said, knowing he sounded monotone.
“How’s the arm feeling?” Peter asked, gripping Rick’s shoulder.
“Good to go.”
“Yeah, right,” Peter said. “Dr. Beretti is pissed you told him you planned on opening the next leg of the tour playing a full set... he said if you overdo it, you’ll end up needing surgery...”
“I don’t care,” Rick said. “I’m playing.”
Peter looked at Danny.  Danny just blinked. Hiding emotion was pointless at the moment.
“Danny... why don’t I get Johnnie?”
“That’s cool,” Danny said. 
Peter tugged on Rick’s shirt and they both left.
Danny let out a sigh. 
He hated this, right now. The moment when everyone looked at him and felt pity.  Their eyes showed it, their kind voices proved it, and no matter what Danny did or said, the truth was present.
His father was dead.
Maybe it shouldn’t have hit him so hard, considering the seemingly always off relationship he had with ‘Big John’ as everyone called him. But it mattered, right? It was his father. Somewhere in Danny’s mind he believed that someday things would matter. That after this tour, he’d head home and maybe have that moment with his father. The one where his father would pull out a shoebox and show Danny he’d been collecting pictures and articles of Chasing Cross all these years...
“Little bro, what’s going on?”
Danny looked at Johnnie and swallowed. “I’m just waiting for the call... to take the stage...”
“You know, you don’t have to do this. It’s just a benefit show. It’s more about the name of the band being online and associated with the cause... and the donation we made.”
“No, I have to play this one,” Danny said. He gripped the neck of his guitar and squeezed tight. 
The guitar was his life. His heart, his mind, his soul. His purpose, always and forever. From the second he heard Johnnie drum a horrible sounding ‘G’ chord, Danny knew he wanted to play guitar. It was that simple. A dream found, a dream chased, and a dream lived.
Johnnie walked into the room and shut the door. He crouched down in front of Danny, much like he did when they were kids and the house got too loud... or too violent. He took Danny’s face in his strong, brotherly hands and smiled.
“Don’t be a stubborn ass about this.”
“I’m not, Johnnie, I swear.”
As he looked into his only brother’s eyes, Danny felt his own eyes fill with tears. He swore he wouldn’t cry, not now at least, but looking at Johnnie brought it all back. And there wasn’t a single regret. Because the path they walked, as brothers on stage and brothers in life, was the best damn journey any man could have ever had.
“You know, when Peter called me last night about this show...”
“I know,” Danny said. “You told him I would hate you if you said no.”
“That’s right. I know you, brother, I know how it all works.”
“We’re flying out in the morning,” Danny said. “This is our last show for a little while.”
“I know,” Johnnie said. “Let’s give them a hell of a show...”  Johnnie pointed up.  “Him too.”
Danny half smiled. The relationship with their father and Johnnie was so much different than with Danny. Johnnie took everything on the chin and in stride, perhaps trying to become the real man of the house. And how could that not happen? Johnnie took care of everything and everyone. He was there to raise Danny. He was there to console their mother, Barbara, who passed away of cancer a year after Chasing Cross broke out and became huge. He changed light bulbs. He killed spiders. He did math homework, even when Danny tapped his pencil on the table, pretending he was playing drums, not giving a damn about math.
“I’m sorry about this,” Johnnie said.
Danny closed his eyes and felt tears trickle down his cheeks. “Me too. I don’t know why I’m even crying right now.”
“Danny, he was our father. Our blood. He created us... it’s okay to cry.”
“I know,” Danny whispered. “Can I... can I have a minute?”
“Sure thing.”
Johnnie leaned forward and kissed Danny’s forehead. Danny smiled as another tear fell down his cheek. He knew that life would settle and be okay, as long as he had Johnnie.
And Chasing Cross.

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Helena Newbury said...

Love this excerpt, especially the guitar strings "like barbed wire."

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