Just wanted to pop in and share an excerpt from the last posted chapter of Dreams Collide–my reader-driven novel.
Chapter three is about to get underway, but it isn’t too late to have your say in what happens next.
If you haven’t yet, hop on over to my blog and give it a go…let me know what you think!
Here’s a little taste of what’s happening now…
Kendra squeezed her eyes shut and put her hands over them for good measure as Jax cued up her last two performances. “Don’t make me do this.”
“We’re supposed to analyze each piece you did to see where you need improvement, although I have a pretty good idea already.”
“Do I have to watch?”
“’Fraid so, darlin’.” He laughed as he gently pulled her hands down and clicked the mouse on the laptop in the small studio inside their house.
Her heart pounded at the heat of his fingers around her wrist, still holding her hands from her face even though she’d made no move to hide again. The warmth of his touch was forgotten, and she moaned with humiliation as she watched herself singing. Her voice was fine; her stiff posture was atrocious.
“This is terrible,” she said.
Jax chuckled. “No, it’s not. It’s real. It’s raw. That’s what made it so refreshing. We all—the coaches I mean—said the same thing. You have a true talent that doesn’t require fancy dance moves and flashy lights. You feel the music and it shows. That’s awesome, Kendra. We just need to work on making a stronger connection with the audience. You get up there and you’re in your own world.”
“Okay,” she drawled out. “But you just said you already know what I need to work on, so why are we watching this?”
He turned off the video and faced her. His dark eyes bore into her soul and she felt her cheeks warm. Damn her pale skin for always betraying her.
“Your simplistic performances work for now,” he said, “but when you get down to three or four competitors, it’s going to bite you in the behind. You can’t grab an audience by blending into the background. You need to pull yourself out of that bubble and look at what is going on around you. Look at the fans, connect with them.”
She exhaled slowly. “Yeah. Not so great at that.”
“Have you had any stage experience?”
“Not really. I got caught up in life and music kind of took a backseat.”
“Why are you coming back to it now?”
“I was forced.”
She lifted her brows. “I always give the performers crap so my sister submitted a tape of me singing. But neither of us thought I’d actually get this far. Just getting past the regional auditions was unexpected, but to actually be in the top fifteen is insane.”
“It’s not insane,” Jax said genuinely and her cheeks grew even hotter. “You deserve to be here. Now we have to make sure you stay.”
“I’m not sure Justin Timberlake is the best tool for that. I’m not a pop singer.”
“I think you’ll be surprised what you can do when you step outside your box. What have you picked for your solo?”
“What did you sing for your audition piece? The night you got voted into the top twenty?”
“Ooh, barracuda,” she sang.
He grinned. “Heart, Stevie Nicks, and now Pat Benatar.”
Kendra’s confidence fell. “Is that wrong?”
“Not wrong. Classic rock is your comfort zone, but staying in your comfort zone isn’t going to help you grow, and if you don’t grow, you aren’t going to win. Want to know what we’re going to do for you, Miss Kendra?”
“No,” she deadpanned.
He ignored her. “We’re going to yank you right out of that cozy little bubble and toss you into the spotlight for the world to see.”
“Yay,” she said sarcastically. Even with his cute dimples, gorgeous smile, and sexy Southern drawl, his idea sounded terrible.
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