Hello lovely swoonies! Today, I have something really exciting and fun to share with you. Tabitha Rhys was kind enough to prepare a Christmas themed author interview and I can’t wait for you to watch the video and learn more about her debut novel, “Love, Music, Madness.”
Published: April 25, 2018
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Music
Format: Ebook and Paperback
Songwriting partners Lawson Harper and Jessa Warlow’s musical ambitions are derailed when their so-called relationship ends disastrously. However, neither Lawson nor Jessa are willing to give up on the album’s worth of soul-searing songs they wrote together–songs they’re sure are good enough to change both their lives.
Will the chemistry that fuels their creativity drive them to make the record of a lifetime, or only to absolute madness?
I put down my guitar mid-verse.
“Hey!” Jessa protested. Why’d you stop?”
I picked at the bottom of my jeans. “I’m interrupting you today, aren’t I? I’m interrupting you and your family.”
She scoffed. “Interrupting what? My mother made some really dry scones for breakfast and my father gave me a gift I already picked out at the store.”
“What about Christmas dinner?” I challenged.
“Around here, we leave it at breakfast. My dad’s working on a paper. I think my mother started the laundry. And here I am, with you, trying to write a record. I think it’s going pretty well, too. That song we just came up with is going to be our best. I can already tell.”
“Really?” I warmed with what felt like a compliment. “Then let’s keep going. I won’t interrupt again. I promise.”
But Jessa had already set her guitar back on its stand. “First, I think you should tell me what’s wrong. And what you’re really doing here.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, why aren’t you at home, spending Christmas with your family?”
I hesitated. I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to admit, or how much Jessa really wanted to know. I considered telling her that my family “left it at breakfast” too, but I had never been a convincing liar.
“My dad was trying to pick a fight,” I said finally, “and I didn’t want to be in one.”
Jessa cocked her chin. “Why on earth would he do that?”
I wasn’t sure I had arrived at a complete answer to that question. Still, the words came spilling out. “The way my mom relies on me—and how attached my sister is to me—I think it makes him jealous.” I felt my blood pressure rising. “I don’t know what he expects. I mean, I’m the one that takes care of them when he won’t.”
“What do you mean when you say take care of them?”
“Of course there’s more to it, like just being there and helping Allison with her homework, but I mean bills mostly. My dad doesn’t send my mom any money, and she hasn’t had anything from her publisher for almost a year.”
“So what are you living on?”
“What I make as a cook.”
Jessa was unable to hide her surprise. “All three of you?”
I turned away. “Hey, forget it.”
Jessa reached for my hand, but I pulled it back.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I didn’t mean to get too personal.”
I felt very strange. Sort of exposed. “Today was a terrible mistake,” I said, without really meaning to. “I shouldn’t have come here. It’s Christmas. It’s a major holiday.” I was just thinking out loud, but for some reason I couldn’t shut up. “I’m your guitarist—songwriting partner, if you want to be really generous—and I still show up on your doorstep unannounced. Then I tell you all my problems like some angst-ridden teenager.”
“You can come over here whenever you want,” Jessa insisted. “On holidays, major and minor, and you can talk to me. About anything you want to.”
“You don’t have to say that.”
Jessa made another grab for my hand. Her fingers wound through mine. “I said it because I like you! I mean, I really like you. You’re smart, and very easy to be with. I wouldn’t want to sit around my bedroom for hours at a time with just anybody. No matter how good they were on the guitar.”
She narrowed her eyes. “We’re just getting to know each other and all, but I see good things coming, Lawson Harper.”
I almost didn’t believe her. I hadn’t dared hope that Jessa Warlow would actually be into me.
But there it was. She’d said it, clear as anything. Jessa “saw good things.” I was suddenly fighting a smile. Then a grin. Finally, I just gave in. Messed-up mouth be damned.
Why is your main character such a Grinch?
I am aware that in most homes the Christmas season is a time for joy. In mine, however, Christmas is a nightmare. Set to the soundtrack of Fleetwood Mac.
So then, why have a romantic scene on Christmas?
While the holidays can be a wonderful time for couples, they can also put a lot of pressure on any relationship. There’s a lot of pressure to pair off. There’s a lot of pressure to get that perfect gift. There’s a lot of pressure to define the relationship—and that can make for all kinds of drama. The holiday season is a wonderful time for romantic tension! I’ve seen it…
Books are the best holiday presents. T/F?
Absolutely true. What better time to curl up with a book and get cozy? The whole holiday season—that’s what it’s all about. Even here in California we get cozy. So stuff those stockings with books and stack them under the tree!
I’m a former touring indie musician and current Riverside, CA author. Although my novel’s main character isn’t a fan of Christmas, I really get into it—especially now that my toddler is old enough to experience that Christmas magic!
Thanks for stopping by and I really hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments down below. I always love hearing from you.
Have a wonderful weekend!!!