Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cover Reveal - Mended (Connections #3)

MENDED (Connections, #3)
TBR June 3rd


Always in control, Xander Wilde considered life on the road to be a perfect fit for him. But when disaster strikes on the Wilde Ones’ latest tour, fate intervenes…and a newly single Ivy Taylor, the only girl he has ever loved, steps back into his life.

After moving past her painful breakup with Xander years ago, Ivy was poised to become the next big name in pop music…when suddenly she withdrew from the limelight—the same day she announced her engagement to her controlling agent, Damon Wolf.

Xander knows he should keep his distance. But once they’re on the road, he can’t resist pursuing her for a second chance. Yet a jealous Damon can’t let her go—and he’s keeping dangerous secrets that could destroy them all.  

When the three of them come together, everything falls apart. But if Xander and Ivy can hold tight to the bond that connects them, they just might have a chance at reclaiming the powerful love they thought they had lost forever....

TORN (Connections, #2)
Rock star River Wilde brought Dahlia London back from the brink of hopelessness with his unwavering love and devotion. But their entwined history is about to test the strength of that love…

Dahlia was certain she had found true love and met her ‘Once in a Lifetime’ when she reconnected with River. But Dahlia’s world comes crashing down when someone from her past resurfaces, and all of River’s carefully hidden secrets are exposed.
River wants to show Dahlia that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass—it’s about dancing in the rain! But how many times can one broken heart be mended?  Will River and Dahlia be able to face the turmoil together or will they be torn apart?

CONNECTED (Connections, #1)
What if a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ could happen twice? 

Suffering from a past full of tragedy, Dahlia London's soul has been left completely shattered. Happily ever after is a far cry from reality in her world. But, when she is reconnected with her past, the bonds that form are irrefutable.

When River Wilde, lead singer of The Wilde Ones, comes back into Dahlia’s life, the intensity that fires their relationship combined with underlying feelings that have never died lead her to believe she has met her soulmate. 

Struggling with confusion as old connections fade and new ones begin, Dahlia's grief begins to lift--but guilt remains. River wants to be the one to mend all that is torn within her. 

But with a past that is never really gone, can their future survive?

CONNECTED (Connections, #1) - > REVIEW
TORN (Connections, #2) - > REVIEW
MENDED (Connections, #3) - > GOODREADS
Frayed (Connections, #4) - > GOODREADS
Flawed (Connections, #5) - > GOODREADS
Perfected (Connections, #6) - > GOODREADS

Xander Wilde
The magic of rock and roll—it casts a spell on you. I’m no exception. I’m a band
manager and I’m living the dream, touring with The Wilde Ones, helping them secure
their well-deserved place in the music industry. I love being a part of it all, especially
watching the band perform live—the crowds, the cheers, the music. It’s a high and a low
all at once and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Every step of the way with this band has
been fun, exciting, stressful—every possible emotion. Obviously we’ve had some breaks
but mostly we all put in a lot of hard work—myself, Garrett Flynn, Phoenix Harper,

River Wilde, and now Zane Perry.

“Can you hear me now?” he bellows.

I nod my head as my heart pounds in my chest. My hands feel cold and clammy and
a nervousness that makes me weak and shaky takes over. Doubts race through my head
and I’m questioning if he’s going to make it through this. A vague awareness that
something bad could happen kicks around in my mind and I can’t shake it. The Wilde

Ones are doing a sound check on stage and Zane’s not on his game.
It’s July and the weather has been brutally hot. But today it seems cooler. Maybe it’s
the California weather maybe it’s the excitement of being home. The Beautiful Lies Tour
bus finally rolled back into our home state of California after six months away. When we
pulled into the amphitheater, we could see tanned kids in board shorts and bikini tops
already lined up at the will call window. Security guards in polo shirts directed us to the
artist parking lot, and we were officially home. Tonight we’ll be headlining our biggest
show to date. We’re on tour without my brother, River, and still more than half of the
shows are sold out, including tonight’s. River quit the band—touring just wasn’t for him
but even so the album is on its way up the charts. Who knows it may even hit gold status.
The songs on the album were written and sung by River but are performed in concert by
Zane. Having him as my brother’s replacement has been the key to our successful
transition in a world where replacing leads is normally unsuccessful—simply put, we’re
lucky as hell to have him. River promised to make a surprise appearance at our next stop.

It’s going to be epic.

But tonight is all about the arena—Mountain View and the Shoreline. “That’s
enough,” I yell to the band and call rehearsal. This place is the biggest outdoor venue
we’ve played and I couldn’t be more stoked—or more nervous. A sold out show and a
rocking opening band—what a combination. But a lead singer with another cold and a
weakened voice that can’t be heard throughout an amphitheater scares the shit out of me.
I head straight for the bus and spend the next few hours hashing out a song with Nix
that he calls a jumbled mess of muscular sense and big-riff sunshine—whatever the hell
that means. All I know is that it needs help and that’s why he’s turning to me. I hadn’t
played guitar since I was eighteen but for some reason over the course of this tour I’ve
picked it back up. At first I used whatever was lying around but last month I had my
mother mail my old one to me and it feels like home. It’s a light blue and brown Gibson
and I had to have it because it was the guitar that Slash played on. Playing again seems to
help pass the time and brings a calm over me that I haven’t felt in awhile.

Hours pass and before I know it, it’s almost show time. We make our way over to the
Amphitheater, do the typical festival schmooze fest, and then settle back to wait. Waiting
for them to take the stage is always the most nerve-racking time. I’m sitting in the
practically vacant makeshift meet and greet area back stage and sipping a beer in a
worthless effort to calm my nerves when a voice travels through the sound system. It’s a
powerful and emotive mezzo-soprano range that is nothing short of explosive. She
sounds unlike any singer I’ve ever heard before—with only one exception, Ivy Taylor. I
push back the memory of her name and the emotions it evokes—the memories are just
too painful. I can’t see her on stage but I know that the voice belongs to Jane Mommsen.
Her band Breathless is playing right before The Wilde Ones.

A hand on my shoulder startles me. I twist and glance up as Amy sits down beside
me, crossing her legs. “Hi, Xander. I thought I saw you earlier at the hotel.”
She’s a beautiful woman—long, wavy dark hair, petite figure, very natural looking.
She’s wearing jeans, a blue shirt with some kind of foil design, and silver sandals.
Grinning at her I say, “Finally we catch up. Can I get you a drink?”

“I’d love that. How’s life on the road been?”

“You know, it has its ups and downs but actually not bad. You?”

“Jane’s been going full-force for a while now. But the tour ends with the summer.

I’ll be glad to be back in LA.”

Standing up, I laugh. “I know the feeling. I’ll be right back, let me grab us that
drink.” Tossing my empty bottle, I make my way to the coolers lined up under the tent
and grab two beers. I know she’d rather have a glass of Chardonnay but beer it is. Amy is
Jane’s assistant and I’ve taken her out more than a few times. We went to high school
together and Amy and I know most of the same people so whenever I need a date, I ask
her. Last time I saw her was almost nine months ago when I took her to River and
Dahlia’s wedding.

Heading back to the table I hear Jane yell out to the crowd, “Are you ready for three
of the hottest guys in music?” The audience starts screaming and the stage lights dim
cuing the guys that it’s the fifteen-minute countdown until they take the stage. The band
huddles together in their typical pre-performance stance. I’ll have a quick drink with
Amy and then join them. As I hand her the bottle my fingers touch hers and we both grin,
knowing that we will end up alone by the end of the night.

“You sticking around for the whole show?”

“I think I might,” she smiles.

“How about we ride back to the hotel together and grab a real drink at the bar?”

“Sounds like a plan.”

“Great. Time for me to get back to work.”

She rises from the table, I do the same. She stands up on her toes and kisses me

quickly on the lips. “See you tonight,” she smiles.

“Catch you later,” I say and then cross the room to join the band.

“You’re late,” Nix snickers. “What’s with you two anyway?” he asks.

I shrug my shoulders. “Nothing. We casually see each other once in a while.”

Garrett raises an eyebrow. “Chicks are never cool with casual.”

Shaking my head at him, I don’t bother to disagree. Amy and I have been doing this
for years. It works for her and for me. We like each other’s company but only see each
other sporadically. I’ll call her once in a while and we’ll go out but we are in no way
exclusive. I don’t ask her about other men and she doesn’t ask me about other women. I
grab the bottle and pour the amber liquid into the shot glasses stacked on the cap. It’s our
pre-show routine. A shot and a prayer, so to say. It’s Garrett’s turn tonight to ‘pray’ so
this should be good.

He raises his glass. “Here’s to hoping Xander gets laid so he’ll get off our backs.”
Tipping my glass back, I quickly down the amber liquid. It burns as it makes its way
down my throat. Once we’ve all drank our two shot maximum before a show Garrett
follows his toast up with, “Seriously man, you need to get laid.”

The guys laugh and I actually join in. Jerking off in the small bathroom on the bus is
definitely one of the downsides of touring. I’ve slept with a few girls at some of our stops
but screwing groupies isn’t really my thing. I’m not one to have time for a girlfriend but
I’m also not about to pull my dick out backstage, so it’s been a long six months.
Zane coughs after he slings back the shot and I look at him with concern. “You’re
going to a doctor tomorrow.”

He shakes his head. “Yes, Mom, if you say so.”

“I’m not kidding. Your voice sounds like shit.”

“It’s a fucking cold. I took some medicine. I’ll be fine.”

“Doctor. Tomorrow. I mean it. I’ll have Ena set it up.”

“I can always sing,” Garrett chimes in and I smack the back of his head.

“Hey. I can.”

The lights start to flicker and I look at Zane with that feeling of uneasiness again.
Second time this tour he’s coughing and hacking. We’re screwed if he really gets sick.
He nods at me as I pat him on the back. Slinging his guitar over his shoulder, he heads
out first raising his arm in the air. The crowd goes crazy. The six foot guy is a chick
magnet and no one misses my brother tonight. Garrett heads out next yelling, “Great to
be here Mountain View!” and Nix follows with his trademark nod. Zane skips his normal
charming banter and I know he must be saving his voice. Again, I think about how we’re
fucked if he gets sick.

I stand at the edge of the stage all night until they finally come to their last song. “It
Wasn’t Days Ago,” is a simple but crowd affecting ballad and Zane belts it out. Shouts
from nearly thirty thousand fans call for an encore. Turning away from the microphone
Zane coughs again. Biting his thumbnail he looks over at me and I slice my finger across
my neck.

“One more song for tonight,” he tells the screaming fans and my blood pressure
rises. “This one is a cover, an ‘ode to’ I’ll call it. It’s for Xander Wilde, the band’s
manager and it’s his favorite song. Everyone ready?” As he starts to sing Linkin Park’s
“Iridescent,” I close my eyes and listen. When he hits the chorus his voice gets so low my
eyes snap open. Zane turns to grab a bottle of water while the guys continue to play but I
can tell something isn’t right.



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