Wade Sheppard was the king of country for nearly ten years. Now he can’t get Nashville on the phone, much less another record deal. When yet another drunken night onstage gets him fired from a casino gig, Wade is pulled off the road by his manager and sent home. Being back in the small town where he was born and raised, his every screw-up fodder for gossip, isn’t helping any. His family knows him too well, and the pretty, sharp-tongued waitress who catches his eye doesn’t want to know him at all.

Daisy McNeil has more baggage than most her age but she’s finally pulling her life together. College classes will be her ticket out of poverty and instability. She doesn’t mind waiting tables for the time being, but she could do without the rowdy rednecks who sometimes get handsy. When one of them crosses the line, she snaps and gives him and his stupid ten gallon hat the telling off he deserves, but causing a scene gets her fired.

Wade didn’t mean to cost Daisy her job. Chastened, he decides he doesn’t want his train wreck of a life to crash into anybody else. He offers the bar owner a summer of free shows if Daisy can have her job back. Now they’re spending nights together trading barbs and fighting a growing attraction. With a sexy smile and a powerful voice that can make any song his, Wade’s determined to show Daisy that he’s more than just a good time bad boy.

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Read the first two chapters here.

Whoo! So this book was a big departure for me – it’s a contemporary romance. I found myself needing a creative detour, so I decided to try a different genre. I loved writing this book, especially the music-related parts. It allowed me to work out some things about writing without actually talking about writing, if that makes sense. Plus, big music nerd here. 🙂

At first, my intention was to make this book the start of a new series and query agents with it. I did query a few, while trying to write the next book in the series. After two attempts at writing another contemporary, I realized I was ready to go back to speculative fiction. I liked writing a contemporary, but I don’t have another one in me right now. I don’t know, it may be the only contemporary I ever write. So I decided to take this book off the query/submission mill and self-publish it.

In a lot of ways, this is a really personal book. Small town life, family relationships, music and what it can mean to both the creator and the listener – all filtered through the lens of my own experience. Add in an emotional love story that had me crying as I wrote several of the scenes, and I’ve got a book I’m deeply proud of. I hope readers enjoy it, too.