“You should stay and have a drink.” The words tumble from my mouth before I can stop them, tripping over my tongue and cartwheeling past my lips and if I could grab them and swallow them back down I would.
Or… Maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe I like this bold version me who says what she wants to.
He meets my gaze, half of an amused smile across his lips, revealing white teeth, with one slightly crooked cuspid, and, no, I actually don’t regret my words at all. His mouth. Those lips. That perfectly imperfect smile… If what I said convinces him to stick around, I’d be nuts to be sorry for what I said.
“As long as I don’t have to drink anything quite this pink.” He taps the rim of my glass with a long, slender finger.
“I’m Cassidy.” I stick my hand out to him—because if I’m going all confident and carefree Cassidy here, I’m not holding back.
“Gage.” He doesn’t hesitate to reach out this time around, which makes me a little giddy though I hide it by swallowing the rest of my drink, which thankfully goes down smoothly this time. When he holds my fingers a second longer than necessary, I don’t mind at all. And when he keeps his gaze on mine as he slides into the seat next to me, his expression friendly—and a little suggestive—my lips curve up in response.
1. What inspired you to write VIP (Rock & Release, Act I)?
My (awesome) friends gave my husband and me VIP tickets to a concert (Steve Miller Band & Journey—fantastic show, by the way), and at the pre-concert VIP bar, I sat there watching the college-aged staff working their shifts and realized it could be really fun setting for a story. Drinks, musicians, that “new adult” period of life… I let my imagination run away and it came back with Cassidy.
2. This is a serial, right? Why did you serialize Rock & Release into three acts?
Well…I do call it a serial because the plot arc reaches across all three acts of Rock & Release. Each act is between 30 & 40k words and each releases two weeks after the last. (In order: VIP, Starstruck, & Show Stopper). At first I planned to put it out as a novel all at once, but a writing friend suggested it worked well in three parts. PLUS, this way, since I’m a debut author, readers can pick up the first act (VIP) for cheap (only $0.99) and decide if they want to keep going from there. I thought it might be a better way to allow readers to take a chance on a debut without forcing them to spend the full cost of a novel the first time.
3. Tell us something you love about your main characters that we can’t tell from the blurb?
Hmmm. Let’s see… Cassidy loves whiskey. Not that it plays a huge part in the story, but it’s always been interesting to me because I couldn’t STAND whiskey when I was in my young twenties. (Don’t love it now, either.) But there’s a reason for it, and it’s something she shares with her father, which is cool. Gage is sexy and sweet (that’s in the blurb!) but he has some serious stuff going on with his family. And then there’s Luca James, who’s not in VIP but plays a very prominent role in Starstruck and Show Stopper. He’s got a few dark secrets…and that’s really all I can say about that.
4. Obviously, authors love their main characters—but who are your favorite secondaries?
This is too hard to answer! I love so many of my secondary characters—and even the tertiaries, too. Let’s see… There’s Vera, who doesn’t necessarily have the best taste in guys, but is super team girls supporting other girls, which is a trait I adore. Teagan, Cassidy’s oldest friend who has some issues and can come across a little rough, but came to me so fully formed she’ll be getting her own book in the future. Clark, who’s more of a tertiary character so I couldn’t push more of his story into this one, but he’s funny and a flirt and I just love him on and off the pages. Zach. Zoey. Katy… I could go on and on—I really do love all my characters! Even most of the bad ones.
5. Tell us three things about yourself we can’t discover by reading your author profile.
Ummmm… I went skydiving on my 21st birthday, and it was amazing. (Not sure I have the guts to do it again though!) I competed as a gymnast while growing up. (I even competed at the same competition as Dominique Dawes once! #amazing. I also was on an Olympic training team for a while.) I have four tattoos, including a little star on the inside of my middle finger, and I love it.
6. What are your favorite new adult titles by other authors?
I *loved* All Lined Up by Cora Carmack. (I have the second book of that series lined up (pun = totally unintentional at first) and waiting on my kindle as my prize for finishing my next book). Easy by Tammara Webber. All of Chelsea Fine’s NA, too. And More than Exes, Elizabeth Briggs’ new adult rock star novella that just came out.
7. What’s next from Riley Edgewood?
Well, Starstruck (Rock & Release, Act II) comes out on December 1, and I’m really excited about it! In this act, international rock star Luca James sweeps into town, and he’s just…yummy. Show Stopper (Act III) releases December 15 as the final part of Cassidy’s story. And the next book in this series, a companion novel (full-length, this time) is coming soon! This one’s a sexy lil beach romance! (New Adult, of course.)
Starstruck (Rock & Release #2)
Cassidy Evans is a mess.
On the surface, everything seems perfect. New friends, a job she loves—and the very talented (in and out of the sheets) Gage Logan is making this summer the hottest of her life.
But as her heart opens to Gage, feelings she’s been trying to avoid slip through, too. Regret over her rocky relationship with her parents. The pain of her brother’s recent death. Guilt over a fallout with her best friend… As much as she craves Gage, she can’t keep her heart unlocked the way she feels he deserves.
Then there’s the matter of Luca James, international rock star and lead singer for Gold Rush Standard. Cassidy can’t stand his music. She can’t stand his arrogance.
And she especially can’t stand how she’s drawn to his no-strings-attached flirting anyway.
Soon Cassidy will have to make a choice. Ignore her heart and go after the carefree life she covets, or stand strong to face a bittersweet reality. Either way, she risks losing everything she truly wants.
Show Stopped (Rock & Release #3)
Cassidy Evans is spinning in a whirlwind of romance, rock stars, and racy romps between the sheets. And in steamy showers. And in fancy tour buses…
Her mind is closed to the memories that hurt her. Her heart is locked against those she’s trying to forget. Every day is a new opportunity for fun, and Cassidy’s determined to make the most of her summer. No looking back. Not even a little bit.
Except her whirlwind unravels into a storm of betrayal and humiliation, and Cassidy might not be able to land on her feet.
Even if she does, there may be nobody left to stand beside her.
And it’s all her fault.