Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spotlight Tour, Review by Kristina & Giveaway: The Legend of Arturo King by L.B. Dunbar

Title: The Legend of Arturo King
Series: Legendary Rock Stars #1
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 27, 2015
My name is Arturo King, and I’m told I’m a legend in music. My band is called the Nights and we got our start at the underground Round Table in New York City. Raised by a foster father, I didn’t know the extent of my inheritance until I was twenty-one, and it was all more than I bargained for. I wanted to play the guitar and rule the world with song, but I learned I have a mother from old money, a dead father who was once a real estate mogul, and a record company that needed some rebuilding. Mure Linn, my friend and mentor, has been by my side through it all, teaching me to play, strengthening my lyrics, and guiding me in the music industry. There was one area he couldn’t guide me, though, and that was love. Guinevere DeGrance changed everything for me, I suppose, including the reason I’m here learning the legend of my life without remembering any of it.

The legendary rock star series begins...

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Excerpt The Legend of Arturo King by L.B. Dunbar ©

I closed in on the last line of the refrain and turned to look at Lans, signaling the direction of the crowd and the shift of the song. I had been clutching the microphone on the top of its stand, both hands wrapped around it, holding firm. I often told myself to think of the mic as a woman. Caress it in passion or clutch it in lust. It made no difference as long as this prop seemed an extension of my instrument, my voice. I released the mic slowly and shifted my own body slightly to angle to the right toward Lans. Glancing over the crowd, what I told myself would be one final time before I pulled my head back into the gig on stage, I saw her.
She was a vision in white. Literally. Her long flowing dress stood out amongst the crowd of dark T-shirts, darker jeans, and occasional bare skin. Her skin was bare in places as well. Slender arms hung at her sides, completely exposed. The pull of the dress bodice was up around her neck in some fashion that also exposed her shoulders, an area that I found could be very sensitive on a woman. Her shoulders just might redefine sensual in my brief opinion as I further took her in. The dress fell to the floor, but I could sense that those hidden legs were long, and the way the dress hugged the undisclosed portions of her body, I knew she was slender, sleek, and sumptuous in all the right places. Her hair looked dark, long and wavy, but the blue glow of the floor lights hinted at some brighter highlights.
I couldn’t make out the color of her eyes at first, but then she stepped forward under a light as if she were coming to me. They were lake blue and I felt them pierce my soul. I saw a sparkle in them as my own locked with hers. She stood still for a moment, suddenly frozen in my trance. I watched her lick her lips and I felt that lick in my pants. I didn’t want to look away as a wave of … something … crawled through my body, but she did.
She turned to her left, but I couldn’t see who stood there in the shadows. Her head returned forward and she seemed to be listening to the guitar, taking in the stage, but refusing to look again in my direction. I felt like I was willing her to notice me instead of the blank stare she focused above the bands’ heads. I almost turned to see what could be so interesting behind me. Almost, but I didn’t dare to look away from her.
She moved after a slight shift again from her left. She was obviously parting ways from someone near her and she slowly made her way through the crowded pit floor. As if the audience knew someone otherworldly was within their presence, the crowd parted slowly as she approached each person, making a clean-cut line across the wooden floorboards without another glance in the direction of the stage. Watching her walk sparked an extra beat in my heart and a throb in my pants. If she was sensual just crossing the floor, I dared to imagine what she would be like in my bed.
My vision focused solely on her subtle movement. Silky, I would have described her. She moved slowly, as if she were a ribbon sliding, slipping, through dark water. The white dress continued to glow from the dim blue lights, accentuating her slither through the waves of people. I was only vaguely aware of the guitar riff coming to an end at my left and I reached blindly for the microphone. This was a move that took no thought for me. It was as natural as breathing to hold the warm metal. I felt a slight catch in my throat as the words were climbing to escape my vocal cords. Lans hit his last note and I held my breath for the pause before a new cord was hit and the words burst forth.

It was the last look, of last night
In the last moment,
That took my breath and made me see
You might be lost before you found me.

            You cried my name, as you came,
            I took that pain and
            Made you see, you might be lost,
            But you found me.

            My own words took on new meaning as I trailed her final motion. This tune had a new emphasis and I knew I was singing to her like a siren calls a sailor. There was just something about her presence, even if I felt she was suddenly ignoring me. She seemed to pause as I poured myself into those lyrics. You found me echoed in my head as I pinned her with my eyes. She moved her long hair over one shoulder, causing me to suck in a breath at the full exposure of her alabaster back. From behind, she was completely revealed; only a slip of cloth at her neck must hold the dress over those supple breasts I massaged with my eyes moments ago, and even without full light I knew that toned back held dimples at the base above the low sling of material that clung to her backside and draped down to the floor.
            I noticed her breathing was slightly accelerated as her graceful shoulders lifted like a shrug and it certainly couldn’t be from overexertion crossing the crowded bar floor. She moved as if she floated. She had not returned my gaze, which I knew she must feel caressing across her soft skin. It could only mean one thing to my veteran assessment of women. She wasn’t interested, and that never happened to me. Women were always interested in me.
I realized suddenly where she stood. She had paused before a door to the left of the bar. I knew this door. It was made to blend seamlessly into the wall, looking like heavy olden bricks, like the surrounding walls. Only the keypad to the right gave away any semblance of a passageway. A person needed a special access code to pass through that door into the hall behind.
I watched her press her fingers deftly across the silver numbers and push the door gently inward into a darkened passage beyond without a single glance back over those sexy shoulders in my direction. I had to know who she was as the door closed, cutting off my view of her. It was almost instantaneous that I knew I wanted her, but this whole scene could only mean two things were true: she was somehow connected to Leo DeGrance, and she didn’t want me. And I believed them both. Almost.

My Once.
My Future.

Never did I think that those words would break my heart, but alas they have. 

It is no secret that I absolutely adore LB Dunbar. From her first book Sound Advice to her third book Fragrance Free I have been hooked on her sweet, homegrown style of romance writing. So when I heard she was going in an entirely different direction with her new series I was a little leery. Excited to read it, but still leery because I wasn't sure that I could get past my predisposed idea of what her writing style should be, I should have known she wouldn't disappoint me.

When we first meet Arturo he is doing his thing as the lead singer and guitarist of his band The Nights, on stage at The Round Table, the underground rock bar his band got their start in. While he's singing his heart out and tons of female fans are screaming their heads off trying to get his attention in hopes they would be his, even if just for the night, he sees a vision in white across the room. Technically he really couldn't see her past the blinding stage lights so it was more or less that he sensed her, felt her, couldn't stop following her as she was the girl of his dreams. He just knew it.

When we first meet Guinevere (or Guinie as she is better known) she is standing in a corner in the back of her fathers underground bar, The Round Table completely mesmerized by the man on stage. The man that she has fantasized about for what seems like forever. The one man who didn't know she even existed. THE Arturo King, lead singer and guitarist of The Nights. Being that she is 4 years younger than him, somewhat of a loner and classically trained to play the cello, her and Arturo have never officially met. But she has admired him from afar. Her father has always sheltered her from that part of his life, never letting her get too close to any of the bands that he helped get started or even letting her in the bar when their was a band playing. He has also always had his own plans for her future. But what about what SHE, Guinie wants?? She wanted to get accepted into the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra so that she could get away from her fathers domineering ways and make a name for herself away from the DeGrance influence, but that was not to be. 

What started out as an innocent walk in Central Park, that her father pushed her into, turned into a media hailstorm. What started out as an innocent kiss on a boat, on a lake, turned into the greatest love affair either of them would ever know. What started out as a concert for abused women turned into the most pain either of them would ever experience.

There's sex, drugs, alcohol and rock & roll in this book. This book ripped me apart emotionally, sitting her writing this I have tears forming for these two amazing characters. I literally am dying to get my hands on the next book in this series. LB you have managed to yet again leave me stunned and totally in love with fictional characters. Thank you for bringing Arturo and the rest of The Nights to us.

I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?

As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.

I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.

So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created. 

I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.


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