Wednesday, October 2, 2013

***Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway*** Torn by Kim Karr

Rock star River Wilde brought Dahlia London back from the brink of hopelessness with his unwavering love and devotion. But their entangled history is about to test the strength of their relationship…

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 stay together or will they be torn apart?

Close your eyes and you can imagine what it was like. Hot, sticky, crowded. Smoke, flashing screens, and lighters flickering. Fans screaming, laughing, clapping, and crying.Bodies pushing, shoving, trying to catch a glimpse.Everyone wanting to see the stage—the lights, the equipment, the musician himself.
He was running back and forth singing, headbanging, and playing his guitar. The lyrics were jumbled. His movements out of sync. The sound of the bass thumped through the crowd so loud my body vibrated with every wrong note played. I just wanted it to end.
Nick Wilde had opened for the Counting Crows at the Hollywood Bowl. It was his second chance— and he blew it. The crowd was exhilarated at the start of his first song and he owned the stage but it didn’t last long. By the third song he was improvising, pulling notes, and forgetting words. He was lost in his own trance, soaked in alcohol, and no one could help him…not Xander, not my mother, and definitely not me. “Mr. Jones” started playing before he even finished his fourth song…and he never played onstage again.
Music was his soul. Music was in all of our souls. When we were younger he taught us everything he could…how to play, to sing, the right way to command a stage. We knew every song by every artist. We traveled to concert after concert. Music was his life and it became ours.
But he wasn’t happy just playing. He had a dream—he wanted to be famous. And somewhere along the way his dream became an obsession. I’ll give it to him, he got further than most do. By the age of nineteen he had been signed by a label and cut his first album. But after a disappointing run they released him. He spent the next fifteen years working the circuit—clubs, churches, weddings, birthday parties, as he waited for another big break. And then, just like that, he blew his golden opportunity.
Everything in our life changed after that. The drinking got worse, Grandpa came around more to check on us, and Mom went back to work. Every day left another kink in his chain as he lived in his own world. I was sixteen when his plan A became my plan B and, just like him, at a young age, I cut my first album. But unlike him I had Xander. He wasn’t going to let me fail. The band’s album had a slow start but after a year of touring, it started to gain popularity.
I remember the first time the Wilde Ones graced a real stage. We were restless. We had been sitting around for hours waiting. When we were finally up we strutted confidently across the stage like we had in rehearsal, but, really, we were nervous as hell. The lights were much brighter and the audience so much bigger than we were used to. When the guys started to play, soft, barely audible words flew out of my mouth so fast I forgot to breathe. The band was drowning me out and I knew it. Looking around, I adjusted the microphone height and took in the crowd. They were cheering me on with such enthusiasm that my voice finally soared over them. It was the same voice I’d grown up with, the one my dad had fostered. It was raw and present and soulful, and, in that moment, my music came alive. The crowd went crazy and just like that my life changed again.
Xander struck while the iron was hot. He arranged to go on tour. That was the beginning of the end for me. We started out small. Smaller venues, shitty hotels, crappy food, and a lot of drinking. We opened for band after band and the relationships I made…they kept me going, that and being up on that stage doing what I loved…it kept me going, wanting to make my dad proud…yeah, that, too.
But touring was a constant infringement on my personal space. I hated the cramped quarters, lack of privacy, constant strict schedule, never being in the same city for more than two nights, people following you everywhere, people always wanting something from you. Even the girls throwing themselves at you got old. It was the longest year of my life, but I did it for him because somewhere along the way his dream morphed into mine. What I came to realize was that his dream wasn’t mine—my dad thought beingon tour meant you had made it. His dream was about being famous. Mine is about the music.
As the venues got bigger so did the crowds, the fanfare, and I could see how you could get lost in it, caught up in it—but I was determined not to end up like my father. He was addicted to the fame. I’maddicted to the creative process. I hope that difference between us is enough. The tour ended and we wrote, we played around LA, and as time passed life was good. But I hadmanaged to put off cutting another album long enough. This time I was doing it for the band and for my brother and for me—because I love the music. Cutting the album—that’s the fun part. It’s the promoting I dreaded, at least until the day I saw her through the glass. The girl who inspired our song “Once in a Lifetime,” the girl Xander always referred to as my muse, the girl who stole my heart one night and then crushed it at the very same time.
She was as beautiful as I remembered and with one glance she took my breath away. She walked my way, pulling a suitcase behind her, and my heart skipped a beat. I knew immediately she was the one sent to interview me and suddenly any negativity I had about doing press was gone. I couldn’t help but watch her. I wanted her unlike anyone I had ever wanted before. I had to stifle a laugh when her briefcase fell off the top of her suitcase and she glanced around to see who saw. I wanted to yell, “Only me and don’t worry because everything about you is sexy as fuck.”
I rushed to grab the door for her, but she pushed it forward and fell into me—not that I minded in the least. I’d catch her over and over. There wasn’t a thing about her that I didn’t remember from the first time we met and even the awkwardness of the moment brought me to full attention. When her body pressed against mine, I knew in that instant…this time I wasn’t letting her get away so easily. I’d go on a thousand tours to have her in my life—there was just something about her, a light in her eyes that made everything wrong feel right. And just like my dad, I got a second chance—it was her. But unlike him, I wasn’t going to blow it.
When she extended her hand and said, “Hello, I’m Dahlia London from Sound Music. I’m so sorry I’m late,” I knew she had to be mine.

Lesley's Review
With the bomb that was dropped at the end of Connected, I know we were all dying to get our hands on TORN. I was seriously scared to pick it up and find out what was going to happen to River, Dahl and Ben.Talk about book anxiety. Sheesh. I knew it was going to be hard on them all. I just wasn’t sure who was going to come out on top.
We start the book in a retro phase, we back track a little.  It starts when Dahlia was in the hospital and builds up to where we left off. Dahlia and River are about to elope. Ben was on his way home, to his family and to Dahl. Bloody Hell, this is where I think most of my anxiety came from. We were left wondering how the train was going to crash. Would it be a violent collision or just a harsh, sudden stop?
I am going to play this one safe and say it was somewhere in between. I mean imagine your best friend and lover coming back from the dead. The one whose death left you shattered and broken, with no hope for finding the light. But then fate intervenes and River comes into her life bringing the light back. Imagine being River and watching this all unfold. River who has more than one reason to dislike Ben. I mean SERIOUSLY people, that’s some serious mind-sludge right there. How about being Ben? I mean he walked away thinking he would never see her. He comes home with the hope that she loves him just as much as he loves her, still. Big PHAT love triangle.  Please, pass the tums and tissues. Someone is going to be the looser here, that’s how the game works. (Well, that is if Nicole Edwards or Maya Banks aren’t the authors, because I’m pretty sure a triangle is perfectly square in their worlds.)
No, but seriously, this one is another winner. Nothing is as easy as it looks. Yes, it was love at first sight with River. Yes, she loved Ben and her morals won out, when she met River. BUT, which is the love that will hold true, the perfect all encompassing, “once- in a lifetime love”or will the love that was shaped through her life win out? There were factors that I didn’t even see coming in this equation. We’ve gotten used to the level headed River. However, this puts even River to the test. Inadvertently, River drives a wall up between him and Dahlia. Dahlia is lost in a river of emotions, which threaten to drown her. With both fighting their own inner demons, it starts to strain the relationship that River and Dahlia have. All the while, Ben tries to reconnect with Dahl and show her what she is missing. Secrets are building the walls and tearing them down. How do you trust when no one tells you the truth? When is keeping a secret okay?  Falling in love is the easy part, the hard part is keeping that love from chipping and then shattering. Pieces are dangerous.
Kim Karr brought us this story of a “Once in a life time love” and showed us that sometimes you get that second chance to grab what you missed. (Fate…that’s what I call it.) You know, that sentence….It was just MEANT to BE. Fate. As you read the story and more comes to light, I think the “What if’s” prove that it would have happened one way or the other, but maybe, with a little less of a mess. Everything is connected.  HA !This story will rip at your hear-strings and strum them with the softest touch, creating a melody of angst, sadness, and finally the sweet sound of bliss. I rate this one 4 stars. Well done!
“There is something beautiful about each and every scar we bear no matter where it comes from…I will always be there for you.”

With so much pain and anger welling up inside me, I know I can’t have this conversation with him right now. Feeling strangled, out of breath, I take a step back and free my hand from his. I trusted him completely—and he kept this from me. I have to calm down and figure out what that means. At the same time I can’t help looking into his mesmerizing green eyes. I can’t handle seeing my own fear and anger reflected in his eyes any longer. His stare intensifies and he’s looking at me, and I mean really looking at me, as if willing our connection to fix all of this.
I swallow a few times before forcing myself to look away. “No River, I can’t talk to you when we’re like this. I know we will both say things we don’t mean. We need time to figure our anger out before we sit down and have a conversation.”
He tries to yank me flush to his body. His voice shakes with fury. “I don’t need time to figure anything out. I get it. You left me a note. You ran here the first chance you got to see him! Was it a happy reunion or were things just getting started?”
I have never heard this kind of furious tone from him before, and, without any control, I pull back and slap him. “I told you I’m not having this conversation right now. Listen to yourself!”


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