Tour Review: More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs

Thursday, July 3, 2014

More Than Music (Chasing the Dream #1)
 Elizabeth Briggs
 June 17, 2014
Contemporary NA romance

Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation – and that he’s just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they’re forced to keep their relationship secret.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

Falls Review
4 Glasses

This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth and enjoyed her story very much. I have read several books where music groups are the plot of the story and was a bit hesitant going into this one. I was pleasantly surprised when this book had a twist where the band was competing in a reality show called The Sound. I am a huge fan of The Voice, so I was excited to see how she was going to write the story line. 

Maddie is so cute that I wanted to squeeze her. She is shy, quiet and a bit on the geeky side, but is a chameleon. When she lets her guard down she shows the world a side of her that not many people would ever know. She has a love of comic books and music. I love the idea of being able to play the guitar, so any female character who can play automatically has points in my favor. Shes a true friend and puts herself out there for her friends and those she loves. The chemistry between Maddie and Jared was so sweet and real. The shy geeky girl who thinks she doesn't stand a chance with the sexy, guitar playing bad boy.

”I”d lost myself in the show, in Jared, in the impossible dream and the beautiful lie.” 

Jared is the total package. He loves music. Can play any instrument he picks up and plays it well. He has the looks and the bad boy imagine that have girls falling at his feet. When Jared stumbles in on Maddie rocking out on his guitar his world shifts and sways. Often misunderstood he really is a geeky boy who loves his music. 

When the band auditions for a reality show called The Sound they find out that fame is not all its cracked up to be. Obstacles are thrown in their way and as a team and individually they do the best they can to duck and dodge.  Someone doesn't want them to succeed but finding out who is harder than they thought. Finding romance among a thousand screaming fans can be a challenge as well. Fame and fortune. Love and Heartache. How much are you willing to put on the line to make all your dreams come true? 

I enjoyed this book and trying to figure out what was going on. I had suspicions but in the end I was surprised. I am excited that Elizabeth will be writing more books about the other members in the band and what will happen in their lives. I give More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs 4 Glasses of Pinot Grigio. Cheers and Happy Reading!

Excerpt #2

Jared’s guitar was beautiful, with a smooth white faceplate, gleaming struts, and a shiny fingerboard. My fingers itched to touch the silvery strings, to form a chord and let it ring out through the amp, to hear what it sounded like without all the other instruments accompanying it. And if I was honest, I wanted to close my eyes and pretend I was on stage, playing for a crowd, hearing them scream for me. The longing I felt every time I went to a concert stirred up in me again. It wouldn’t hurt if I played one chord, right? That was it. One chord, and I’d put it back. No one would ever know.

Before I could stop myself, I picked up the guitar and threw the strap over my head. It settled against my shoulder, and with one hand on the fret board and the other on the strings, I was home. I closed my eyes, picturing Jared when he was on stage and how his talented fingers had moved across the guitar. I imagined him singing my favorite song of theirs, “Behind the Mask,” and the words and notes melted together in my head. I strummed the guitar, the sound ringing from the amp, the vibrations traveling up the ground and into my feet. God, I loved this guitar. It sounded just as good as my own, if not better.

Now that I had the guitar in my hands, the compulsion to play was irresistible. What was one more chord, right? I was alone and the room was soundproof. The door had locked behind me. Kyle was dealing with Becca, and he’d given me permission to come in here anyway.

I knew it was a bad idea. I knew I should put the guitar down and walk out of the room. But I started strumming anyway.

I was hesitant at first, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. My hands found the chords automatically, and the words flowed out of me with the music. Exhilaration swept through me with each note, and I closed my eyes and let the song take me away. Soon I was belting out the words, shredding the guitar like I was on stage playing for a massive crowd. I’d never do this in front of anyone else, but here, alone with this guitar, I could pretend. I could let myself go.

And then I opened my eyes and wanted to die.

Jared stood in front of me, his eyes wide and mouth open slightly. He must have come in while I was playing. How much did he hear? Or worse, see?

My fingers slipped off the strings with a screech, and I nearly dropped the guitar. Thank god for the strap. “I’m so sorry. Kyle gave me the key and I was just—”

There was no way to explain what was going on, so I shut up. I’d been singing his lyrics, playing the song he’d written. Not to mention, I’d been using his guitar. That was like wearing someone else’s underwear. You didn’t just play another person’s guitar without their permission.

I yanked the guitar off and tried to put it back, but knocked the stand over instead. Hands shaking, it took me two tries to right it again, all while Jared stood there, gaping at me. Why didn’t he say anything? Was he so angry he couldn’t speak? I set the guitar down carefully, then backed away like it was on fire—and ran straight into the drum set. Cymbals crashed as I fell against it, knocking the equipment all over the floor. Great, now he must think I’m a stalker and a complete klutz. I jumped up too fast, and my legs were so unsteady I started to topple over toward the table. Jared caught me before we had another disaster, his hands gripping my arms to balance me.

“You okay?” he asked, his blue eyes holding mine and making my heart pound even faster. If I stared into those eyes too long, I’d fall into them completely.

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About Elizabeth Briggs

Elizabeth Briggs is a Young Adult and New Adult author who lives in Los Angeles with her British husband and a bunch of fluffy white rescue dogs. She's a guitar-playing geek who loves books, rock music, and video games, goes to Comic Con every year, and is still hoping to be a Jedi when she grows up.

Elizabeth currently works with WriteGirl to mentor at-risk or pregnant teen girls in writing, to help them get through high school and into college. She also volunteers with Bichon FurKids to help rescued dogs find a new, loving home. She previously worked as an intern for literary agent Jill Corcoran of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, an intern for Entangled Publishing, and an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.

Elizabeth is represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of KT Literary and is a member of SCBWI and RWA.

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