I lied my way into a band, humiliated them on stage, and got my heart broken by the bassist. Now…we're on tour together.
Of course my dad, who I haven't seen since he kicked me out, makes a surprise visit the day before we leave. Spoiler alert: It doesn't go well. I have to quit the band and go to college or he's cutting me out of his life for good.
This tour is the best opportunity we may ever have – and it's already a disaster. We're broke. We can't stop fighting. And being in such close quarters to Sean isn't exactly helping me get over him. Even though we're just friends now, every time our fingers brush or our eyes catch, my heart betrays me. He's the kind of distraction I can't afford to have right now…no matter how much I wish things were different.
This is one road trip that will be hard to forget…
About the Author
Tara Kelly grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2004 where she earned a B.A. in Film and Digital Media. Her books include Amplified and Harmonic Feedback. She is enjoying life as a freelance artist in the Denver area.
Read an Excerpt
An Amplified Book
By Tara Kelly
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Tara Kelly
All rights reserved.
Santa Cruz The Morning Before
Dad would be here in five minutes, and I was leaving to go on tour with my band, C-Side, tomorrow. The first tour of my life. The biggest opportunity I'd ever had.
I hadn't even packed yet. Our entire living room reeked of sweat, pot smoke, and day-old sour cream dip from last night's party. Someone had left their Kermit the Frog bong on our coffee table — who does that? — and my bandmates Felix and Veta were draped across the couch, still groggy and talking about irritable bowel syndrome.
Did I mention my dad would be here in five — make that four minutes?
He'd never come to visit me, but apparently today of all days was the day to do it. No warning, either. He'd just called up and said, "Hey, I had a meeting in Capitola. I'm about ten minutes away. Thought I'd drop by."
Funny thing about my dad, besides his impeccable timing. He'd kicked me out almost two months ago, right after my high school graduation, because I'd deferred my admission to Stanford for a year to pursue music. He considered it tough love. He didn't care that I was seventeen with nowhere to go and only sixteen hundred bucks to my name. Or that my car had broken down as soon as I got to Santa Cruz, and I didn't have enough money to fix it. For all he knew, I could've sold my body to pay for it. Luckily our bassist replaced my gasket and was willing to take payments, but that was beside the point.
Dad would care that I was living with three guys. Three very straight guys. I'd kind of given him the impression that Veta, our lead singer, lived here, too. She actually lived with her mom and sister above their psychic shop where I worked.
I might've also let him believe our cross-dressing keyboardist, Felix, was a girl. I'd mentioned Felix took hour-long showers and then spent another hour putting on makeup, and Dad asked, "Felix is kind of an unusual name for a girl, isn't it?" To which I'd answered, "Yeah."
Not that he was one to talk — my name was Jasmine Kiss. Google that and see what comes up.
There was one more thing. I'd told him our drummer, Bryn, was gay. In reality, Bryn changed girls like boxers and preferred walking around the house half naked. Not something my dad needed to know.
That just left Sean, our brainiac bassist, to corrupt me. Which he almost did once. But that wasn't important right then.
I'd cracked every window downstairs, sprayed gag-inducing amounts of "citrus zest" air freshener, and thrown away most of the trash decorating our living room and kitchen.
Our carpet, on the other hand, was still covered with crumbs. Every step I took made a crunching sound.
"Here's a thought," Veta said, eyeing me like I was the most idiotic person on the planet. "Don't invite him in."
"Good plan," Felix said, munching on a Dorito he'd picked up off the coffee table.
Their hairstyles matched right now — sloppy morning-after pigtails. Only Veta's were cherry red and Felix's were a fading blue. Their hair always made me think of those red-white-and-blue Popsicles.
"And if he insists?" I threw yet another plastic cup in the trash bag, wishing for gloves. There were some crusty people here last night. "Even if he doesn't, he's going to wonder why I'm not letting him in." And then he'd start asking a lot of questions. My dad was a nosy bastard. Chances were this "unannounced" visit had been planned.
"Then you say, 'Hey, Dad. The weather is lovely right now. Let's go for a walk.'" Veta batted her eyelashes at me. Even with yesterday's eyeliner smeared under her hazel eyes and two hours' sleep, she looked gorgeous.
"Tell him one of us has the bubonic plague," Felix said with a grin.
"That's what antibiotics are for," I said.
He rubbed his hands together like a supervillain. "But it sounds so nice and deadly."
"Be careful what you wish for, Felix," Veta said. "You're bound to get something eating off that coffee table."
I picked up Kermit the bong. "Any idea who this belongs to?"
"We can put it on the front lawn," Veta said. "It'll be gone in five minutes."
I handed it to Felix. "Just make it go away. Please?"
He huffed and pushed himself off the couch, like it caused him immense pain to do so. Then he went up the stairs, taking heavy, exaggerated steps.
"Here's the thing," I said to Veta, cringing on the inside. No more lies — that was our deal. "You live here, okay?"
She stared up at me, not blinking. "Uh-huh."
"Also, he thinks Felix is a girl."
"And Bryn is gay." And not here, thankfully. I was hoping he'd gone surfing, which kept him out all morning.
Veta laughed. The piercing kind, right from her stomach. The kind that said, You are such an idiot. "Ohhh, Jasmine."
I winced, knowing what was coming.
"Have you learned nothing?" she continued. "Do we need to send you to Liars Anonymous?"
It was a fair comment. I'd lied my way into C-Side, telling them I had experience playing live when I'd never played a show in my life. They were this amazing band looking for a guitarist and a roommate. I was a homeless guitarist looking for a band. To me, it was like fate. I did what I thought I had to. And I thought I could handle the stage, that I could just will my stage fright away.
I bombed our first show, humiliating everyone. If it wasn't for Veta and Sean defending me, I would've been out of the band.
Hell, Veta had fought for me from day one. Getting me a job at her mom's psychic shop, going head-to-head with Bryn and her own brother Sean to give me a chance in the first place. She was the big sister I never knew I wanted. I owed her everything.
"This is different," I told Veta.
"I'm still a minor. What if he can force me back home or something?"
"He threw you out, babe. I'm pretty sure the powers that be frown on that kind of thing. It's called neglect."
She hugged a pillow to her chest. "If he pulls something, threaten to report him. I'm betting he'll back off."
But I didn't want things to get ugly again. My dad and me were just barely moving forward.
Felix jogged back down the stairs. He'd changed into a blue velvet skirt and a Care Bears T-shirt that said "free hugs." He had this thing for eighties cartoons.
"Maybe it's better if you guys disappear?" I asked. "Just until he leaves."
Veta made a scoffing sound. "What — are you ashamed of us?"
I wasn't, but I knew Dad would give them that analytical doctor stare. Make them completely uncomfortable. Possibly interrogate them. And then give me his assessment later. "Trust me on this one, okay?"
"Trust you. Right." Veta folded her arms. "Nah, I'm good right here. Thanks." She turned to face Felix. "Popcorn?"
"You make it." He smirked and collapsed back on the couch, resting his size-fourteen feet on the coffee table.
"Veta —" I already knew it was hopeless. Once she had her mind made up ...
"Don't worry," she said. "I'll let you do all the talking."
The doorbell rang. I stiffened, giving her one last pleading look. Her eyebrows rose. She wasn't budging.
Dad stood on the porch, his sharp blue eyes taking me in. My blond ponytail, complete with numerous flyaway strands. My Gibson T-shirt, the one with the hole in the shoulder. And the oldest pair of jeans I owned.
I could hear the voice in his head. "Would it kill her to wear something without holes?"
"Hi," I said, gripping the doorknob so hard my fingers ached. I'd only seen him once since he kicked me out. And that was for about twenty minutes when Sean drove me up to get my bed and some other furniture.
"That's quite a view you got there," he said.
West Cliff Drive was pretty amazing. Houses on one side. Cliffs overlooking miles of Pacific Ocean on the other. The water matched the clear sky right now, almost a cobalt blue.
"It's ... It's good to see you," I said.
It was almost surreal. My ultra-conservative cardiologist dad standing on one side of the door, his hands stuffed into the pockets of his pleated shorts. My anything-goes, colorful bandmates on the other, both of them slumped against the couch like dead bodies.
Make that my worst nightmare.
Dad's eyes widened expectantly.
"So how've you been?" I asked. There was a hushed laugh and a whisper behind me.
"Good." His brow crinkled, and his smile grew. But there was nothing happy about it. "Can I come in?"
And there it was. The question I still hadn't figured out how to answer. "It's a mess right now."
He shrugged. "I don't care about that."
Yes, he did. He'd pace around, scanning any room in view, every wall, even the ceiling. But what choice did I have?
I stepped aside, holding the door open for him.
The sight of Veta and Felix on our murky yellow couch stopped Dad from looking anywhere else. "Uh, hi," he said.
"Hey. I'm Veta." She smiled and sized him up at the same time. "This is Felix."
"Nice to meet you," Felix said. Clearly not a girl's voice.
Dad gave them a curt nod, his gaze shifting to our circa 1985 turquoise carpet. He took another step.
Dad lifted his shoe up, inspecting the sole.
"Someone spilled chips," I said. "Haven't had a chance to vacuum yet."
His eyebrows arched. "You know how to use one?"
Veta's mouth dropped open a little, like she didn't know whether to laugh or be offended for me. My dad specialized in making digs sound like jokes.
"I figured it out," I said.
"I think I've seen her clean once in seventeen years," Dad said to Veta and Felix.
They responded with awkward half smiles, their eyes questioning me.
Dad scanned the band posters on our walls. One of them featured bare breasts — why hadn't I noticed that before? "Better vacuum soon," he said. "You'll get ants."
Already had them. Fruit flies, too, since Felix always bought bananas but never ate them. They'd sit in a bowl until they withered and turned black.
"How about a tour?" His eyes had that challenging glint, the expression he got whenever he thought I had something to hide.
"There's not much to see. This is where we watch TV." I pointed to the archway leading to the kitchen. "That's where we cook. And upstairs is where we sleep."
"Come on." He chuckled. To Felix and Veta, it probably sounded jovial. It wasn't. "Show me around."
"She's just trying to save your eyes," Veta said, standing. "My brother Sean is the only one around here who cleans regularly. The rest of them — us — are slobs."
Dad nodded, his constipated smile remaining. "I met him a few weeks ago. Nice kid."
Actually, my dad's comments were: "He's not a big talker, huh? What's with all the black — he a sniper?"
"Eh ..." Veta made a fly-swatting motion with her hand. "He's all right."
I led Dad into the kitchen first, cringing at how messy it still was. A wobbly tower of dishes sat in the sink. And, as if on cue, a line of ants were marching across the vinyl floor and circling a piece of a brownie. At least, I hoped it was a brownie.
"It's not always this bad," I said.
"Yes, it is." Veta gave me a wicked grin.
Dad's faced was scrunched up, like he'd smelled a fart. "Right ..."
"We've got ant traps everywhere," I added in quickly. "They're just not working that well."
"Try cleaning," he said. "That helps."
I hustled him upstairs, a loft area that separated four bedrooms and a bathroom. Wait, four bedrooms. Five people. Crap.
"Just one bathroom?" Dad nodded toward the only open door.
"Bryn has his own. In the master bedroom. Him and Felix." I did not just say that. Why the hell did I say that? "Um, I mean. Never mind ..."
Dad took in the black felt pool table, the matching beanbag chairs, and the shelves of CDs and vinyl lining the walls. Everything but the music collection belonged to Bryn's uncle, the homeowner. The below-market rent he charged Bryn was the only reason any of us could afford to live here. Although six hundred fifty dollars per month plus utilities was still a stretch for me — I was slowly learning the many ways one could dress up rice and beans.
I opened the door to my room, which looked better now that I actually had furniture and a bed in it. It used to just be Bryn's ratty old sleeping bag on the floor. Of course it might've helped if my purple blanket and sheets weren't a tangled mass at the foot of the bed or if I didn't have a pile of bras and underwear on my white dresser, waiting to be packed.
"Guess some things never change, huh?" Dad asked, the hint of a real smile on his face. His eyes went straight to the double doors that led to my balcony and a completely unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. Orbs of sunlight tangoed with the ripples in the water.
"It's amazing, isn't it?" I said. The moment I saw this room and that balcony, I knew I'd do just about anything to live here. The ocean was my muse. My inspiration. Every night I sat out there and wrote songs on my acoustic. I'd never been so productive.
Dad didn't leave my doorway. It was as if there was some invisible line he couldn't cross. "It's hot up here," he said.
"We don't have AC." The breeze coming through my open window was stiff and warm. We'd probably hit the nineties again today. Rubbing my skin with an ice cube and lying in front of my massive fan was about all that helped.
The sound of Veta's laugh startled me. She and Felix were standing in front of the pool table, watching my dad like they expected him to start break dancing at any moment.
Dad's head reared back a little at the sight of Felix upright. It wasn't every day you saw a beefy six-foot-four dude wearing a skirt and pigtails.
"She's got the best room in the house," Veta said.
"Well, almost," Felix said. "If you can handle Bryn's — "
"Noise," I finished, giving him a warning look. Was he seriously going to mention Bryn's sexcapades in front of my dad? "He loves blasting music at two a.m."
"That's not very considerate," Dad said, focusing on Felix. "How do you get any sleep?"
"I'm fine," Felix said. "It's a lot worse for Jasmine."
"How's that?" Dad pressed.
Felix's brow crinkled as he glanced between my dad and me.
I fanned my neck. "Do you want to go for a walk, Dad?"
"Hey, you should take him to the shop," Veta said. "I'm betting Mom will give him a free session." She smirked in a joking way, knowing my dad would never go for such a thing. Only she didn't know I'd told him I worked at a gift shop, which the psychic shop actually was in part.
"Session?" Dad asked, his attention completely on me.
"Veta and her mom give, um, psychic readings." I'd said the last part quickly, hoping he'd somehow miss it.
"Well, it's a lot more in depth than that," Veta began. "We — "
"I thought you said it was a gift shop." Dad's voice was cutting. Bordering on hostile. He usually controlled himself better in front of other people.
"It is, sort of ..."
"Not really." Veta folded her arms, her eyes daring me. She thought I was embarrassed by what she did.
I didn't believe in psychic ability, but I had no doubt she and her mom believed in what they did. They were good people. Honest people. But my dad wouldn't see it that way. In his mind, anyone who claimed to be a psychic was a liar. A criminal. Just like my mom.
The front door opened and slammed, making my body jerk.
"Hey!" Bryn's gravelly voice echoed upstairs. "Whose douchemobile is in our driveway?"
He was referring to my dad's top-of-the-line Lexus SUV. The one I forgot to tell him to park on the street.
Felix covered his mouth. Veta winced. I prayed for something to fall from the sky. Bryn was the last person I wanted my dad to meet. This was why.
"That would be Jasmine's dad," Veta called back. "Who is standing right here with us."
"Sorry," I said.
Dad nodded, with tight lips and no comment. Quiet with my dad was bad. Quiet meant impending fury.
Veta cast an icy glance at me. "I should go. I've got gifts to sell. Nice meeting you, Mr. Kiss."
"Likewise," he said.
I wanted to call after her, explain things, but there wasn't much I could say with my dad standing there.
Veta headed down the stairs as Bryn ran up. He appeared in the loft, in all his born-to-be-noticed glory. Long black dreads. Blue eyes against sepia skin. Tattoo sleeves featuring cryptic symbols and shapes. And of course, no shirt. Shirts were against his religion.
"Hello," my dad said, unsmiling. "Should I move my douche mobile?" That word sounded all wrong coming from his mouth.
"Uh ..." Bryn gaped at him. If I didn't know better, I'd say he seemed almost scared. "Sorry, man. You'd be surprised how many tourists park in our driveway to get a" — he used air quotes — "'quick pic.'"
This wasn't a lie. On some weekends, it was near impossible to find an open parking spot on West Cliff.
There was more silence. More painful, awkward silence. My clenched hands were starting to sweat.
Dad cleared his throat. "So are you both students?" Of course he'd ask that. He'd probably been dying to ask that.
"We go to UCSC," Felix said.
"Nope," Bryn said at the same time.
"Aren't you still enrolled, though?" Felix asked.
"They finally kicked me out."
"You say that like it's an accomplishment," Dad said.
Bryn smiled. "It is."
Oh, no. Please, no.
"Why's that?" Dad pressed.
"'Cause college is the biggest scam in the world?"
Excerpted from Encore by Tara Kelly. Copyright © 2016 Tara Kelly. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
The Bay Goth,
C-Side's Tour Diary,
C-Side's Tour Diary,
Tour of Seattle,
C-Side's Tour Diary,
C-Side's Tour Diary,
Club GO, Los Angeles,
14 Miles Outside Indio, CA,
Random Park in Indio, CA,
The Party That Never Ends,
C-Side's Tour Diary,
The Morning After,
C-Side's Tour Diary,
Near Las Vegas,
Crazy Cat Ladies in Nebraska,
Coming to You From the Back Seat of a Van,
About the Author,
Discover more New Adult titles from Entangled Embrace ... Tempting Tanner Believe Wilder Beyond the Stars,
Also by Tara Kelly ... The Foxglove Killings,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For me this was one of those times where the first book is really good, and you get really excited about book 2..... but at the end, book 2 was NOT what you where hoping for. The main problem I have with the book: the plot (or plots), there was a LOT happening, and not in the good way. It was just to much for just one book. I felt like everything was happening so fast, and it was one thing after another! I wanted.... needed a break. Getting more positive: I loved how the romance and friendship was developed. I still can't believe Veta from book 1 is the same Veta from Encore. That was a nice twist right there. We also get to know more about Bryn, since he interacts more with Jasmine. Sadly I was expecting more and didn't get it, I simply prefer book 1 than book 2 (If there is book 3 I will have to see how that one goes though) **I reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Entangled Publishing via NetGalley. This in no way affects my review.**
This is a rock romance that takes a band on the road for their very first time and it is wrought with so many things that it will keep you enthralled from the beginning until the very end. Ms. Kelly sure isn’t afraid to touch on a lot of social issues from mental health issues, to stalking, to cyber bulling and hate crimes. Yep, this book has everything packed into it and still gives you a great look inside what is like for a group of musicians who want nothing more to get signed and start the careers in the music business. It really made me stop to think of some of the newer bands that you are hearing on the radio stations now and realize that these people have probably been playing music together for so long that they should almost be offended to be labeled as “new” because of the amount of years that they have actually been playing trying to get heard. All five of the people in the band C-Slide bring a lot to Encore and the character development was done in a way that made you feel that you have vested interest in each of them and leaves you hoping that Ms. Kelly has more stories for you revolving around all of them. I received this ARC from NetGalley for a freely given honest review.
This reads like a YA book with adult themes. You don’t have to read Book #1 to catch on to this one – I didn’t – but it would probably help to know more of the back story. The blurb reads “5 Band Members. 2 Weeks. 1 Road Trip from Hell.” That seems to be an accurate description. Jasmine Kiss is a guitarist for the band C-Side. We learn early on she has a penchant for lies – as she lied her way to get into the band and she’s lied to her father about her bandmates. That all comes to a head when her dad makes a surprise visit to her apartment that she shares with said very straight male bandmates and her dad gives her an ultimatum. Needless to say – things don’t go well and things get strained between her and the band. Jasmine’s crush on the bass guitarist, Sean was cute and painful to watch at the same time. His sister and lead singer, Veta, definitely has some demons to overcome. Bryn and Felix round out the band. I’m not sure how it really is for a young band starting out, but the social media pressures were intense. Add to that some heavy duty issues (mental health, body image issues) and a stalker – and this is not a fun tour! The shining light is the budding relationship – again – for Sean and Jasmine. Here’s really hoping things work out for these two. Received copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of Encore by Tara Kelly courtesy of Entangled Publishing and the author! You guys are amazing
3.5/5 Stars!! I wasn’t sure what to expect from Encore after reading the blurb, but it intrigued me enough to check it out. It was good. A coming-of-age romance about a 17 year-old who joins a band. Jasmine has been managed by her controlling father since her mother left the picture. He had all these plans for her—college, become a doctor, et cetera—but Jasmine’s love was music. So, she lied her way into a band and became their lead guitarist. Here’s the thing. I have had book 1 on my TBR for quite some time and I wish I would have had a chance to read it before I started Encore. But…there was enough synopsis given in the story to bring you up to speed. Well, mostly. The story behind Jasmine and Sean was a little light, but not enough to detract from the story itself. Jasmine was a bit hard to really love. I liked her, but her spoiled, all about me attitude (which was on purpose) drove me a little crazy. Sean, the bassist and romantic interest, was hard to connect to because has really closed off until the last third of the book. However, both of them redeemed themselves in the last third of the book and I could understand why the author wrote them the way she did. The other characters—Veta, Felix and Bryn (who desperately needs his own story)—were entertaining and added quite a bit to the story. Encore is a story of finding yourself, accepting who you are and loving that person. Every character, with the exception of Bryn, had a pivotal moment where you just couldn’t help but root for them. The sweet romance between Jasmine and Sean was quite well written. Honest, emotional and a little bit raw, Encore is a great follow up novel and I am excited to see what else Tara Kelly will give us with these characters.
Encore by Tara Kelly.....Wow, I felt like I was on a roller coaster with my emotions all over the place. This book is about a young band being on a small tour with their ups and downs. I enjoyed the book and would recommend this story to escape for a few hours. I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book from publisher via NetGalley.
3.5 Stars I was drawn to this book by the blurb. After the first chapter, I looked up the author and realized that this was a sequel to another book so I stopped to read that one first. Thankfully I did, otherwise I think I would have been a little lost with Encore. This book follows C-Side on a two-week tour as an opener for a more popular band. From the very beginning of the book, the conflicts were present and didn’t wane for nearly the entire book. I felt the full range of emotions while reading this story. The real-life issues that this story touched on were done in a realistic and thoughtful way. Not many authors can write about mental illness, bullying, and assault in a way that decreases stigma and shows how these things are really experienced but this author did an amazing job with these issues. This book shouldn’t be read as a standalone. I really liked all of the characters in this story and am hoping that there are more books in this series! *This is my voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy*