From the author of Deeper than Dreams and the Much "I Do" About Nothing novels, a story that proves that you have to find yourself before you can find love... Under the liberating guise of his alter ego ‘Riff Rotten’, Rick Rottenberg has circled the globe playing sold-out shows and sampling the universal delights that fame and fortune allow a rock star of his caliber. But he can no longer ignore the panic attacks plaguing him with increasing regularity. Not knowing where else to turn, Rick finds himself turning a doorknob – entering not only into the spiritual world of yoga, but into a retro world of rock music he had long abandoned as well. Revolve Records reminds him of why he picked up a guitar in the first place, and he hopes that Evolve Yoga – and its sexy owner - will help him forget everything else. Swearing off musicians has been Sidra Sullivan’s mantra ever since a charismatic singer with a bad case of LSD (Lead Singer Disease) blocked her chakras and closed off her heart. The last thing she wants is another huge ego in tight pants hanging around, consuming her time and attention. But when Rick makes an offer to save her family’s historic Lower East Side building in exchange for her help, she begrudgingly makes an exception. As she works him up to more challenging poses, he begins to wear down her walls of protection, challenging her to see him in a different light. She, in turn, teaches the steeled, seasoned rock warrior to soften his stance and find strength from within. But when a rock and roll power play threatens to disrupt the delicate balance that has grown between them, Sidra must decide whether to follow her head and fight, or to open her heart and fly. INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE FIRST LOVE & STEEL NOVEL: LOUDER THAN LOVE Praise for the Love & Steel novels "Pitch perfect escapism!"--Barbara Claypole White, author of The Perfect Son "I was absolutely blown away."--The Book Pushers "A beautiful and engaging story that will melt your heart."--Open Book Society "Cozy, witty, modern and yet poetic...Breathtaking in its imagery."--Maryse's Book Blog
“Making music has got to be like . . . like childbirth, bringing something totally new into the world like that. Isn’t that scary?”
Rick contemplated her comparison and she waited, watching him with those incredible eyes, both dark and bright. “Yes, in a way it’s bloody terrifying,” he admitted. The creating and the coaxing, making sure what you envisioned in your head translated into reality and not just a shadow of itself. “But the excitement and exhilaration trumps the fear.” He popped a pair of headphones on her ears and backed out of the room with a grin.
Behind the console, he flicked switches, adjusted levels, and pressed the talkback button. “Pay no attention to the man behind the glass,” he whispered, but Sidra’s broad smile told him the console mic had sent his fluid murmur to her ears crystal clear.
She tentatively tapped the double-mesh screen of the microphone in front of her. “But don’t you worry, once it’s out in the world . . . what everyone thinks of it? Of you?”
“I used to get caught up in it. But you’ve just got to trust and make peace with the fact that you put in—and put out—your very best effort.”
The track he chose for her flowed not only through her headphones, but the speakers of the console in front of him as well, its beat and melody causing the indicator lights to jump and fall in time. Sidra’s eyes closed and her frame rocked slightly. To me, Rick thought.
That’s my music, moving her.
Jessica Topper is an ex-librarian turned rock n' roll number cruncher. She can trace her love for the written word back to age three, when she memorized Maurice Sendak's "Chicken Soup with Rice" in its entirety. After her daughter was born, Jessica left the Manhattan library world and began working for her husband's music management company. He offered her a part-time bookkeeping job so she could "stay home for the baby's first year" and pursue her dream of writing. The baby is now thirteen, and Jessica has been working her full-time, sold-her-soul-for-rock-n-roll job as Office Manager for veteran jam band moe. ever since. She may have traded in books for bookkeeping, but the written word is never far from her mind, or her heart. Jessica lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter and one ancient cat. You can visit her at www.jessicatopper.com.
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