Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Blog Tour: Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dreams #1) by Caisey Quinn

Leaving Amarillo

Neon Dreams #1

By: Caisey Quinn


March 17, 2015

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Source: Publisher for a honest review

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Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream. 

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister. 

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

My Thoughts:

Leaving Amarillo was a great story about the love of music, family, forbidden love, and resilience.  Dixie and Dallas' world forever changed when their parents died in a car accident.  They were whisked away to Amarillo Texas to live with their Nana and Papa.  Growing up, the love of music surrounded their home.  Nana and Papa taught Dixie how to play the piano and Fiddle, taught Dallas how to play the guitar, and Dallas' best friend Gavin how to play the drums.  Music has always been a form of escapism for Dixie.  However, Dallas' dream is to make it big in the music industry.  He books all of the bands shows, and runs the band.

Dixie has loved Gavin since she was nine years old.  Unfortunately, he has never viewed her as more that a surrogate sibling, or so she thinks.  You see, Dallas made Gavin promise that he would never pursue Dixie.  Besides, Gavin feels that Dixie is too good for the likes of him.  When Dixie takes a leave of absence from school after tragedy strikes, she goes on the rode with with Dallas and Gavin to pursue the music circuit.  

Being in close proximity to Gavin day in and day out proves to be sweet torture for Dixie.  She talks Gavin in to spending one night together, and then they will return to just being friends.  However, neither Dixie nor Gavin could have guessed how much this would complicate things.  To top it off, the band has a manipulative new manager who is trying to push Dixie out of the band, and Gavin and Dallas are keeping a secret.  Things are about to chance, and Dixie, Dallas, and Gavin will never be the same.

Leaving Amarillo was a very enjoyable story.  I loved reading about the musical process, and leaning the difference between a Violin and a Fiddle.  I wish I knew how to play an instrument.  However, reading this story made me feel like I was right on stage with Dixie, Dallas, and Gavin.  One of my favorite romance tropes is forbidden romance.  I couldn't get enough of Dixie and Gavin's love story.  It was a plot line that I was riveted too.  The sexual tension, electricity, and temptation that sizzled around Dixie and Gavin was delicious.  

I am looking forward to reading, Loving Dallas, the next book in the series. This story will focus on Dallas and his ex-girlfriend, Robyn's story.  Robyn made a small appearance in the story, but what I saw of her made me really like her, and look forward to getting to know her better.  Also, Leaving Amarillo had a to be continued feel to the ending.  So, I am really hoping to get more Dixie and Gavin as well!                  

My Rating:

I loved, Leaving Amarillo!  I really hated to antagonist in the story, the band manager, and found myself wanted to slap her across the face quite a few times!  I hope karma comes back and takes her down a few notches!  The love story between Dixie and Gavin was beautiful and touching, but so was the bond that Dixie and Dallas had, as well as the friendship that Dallas and Gavin had.  This is a series that I am excited to continue, and see what happens next.  I give, Leaving Amarillo, by Caisey Quinn, 4.5 Unbreakable Bonds, Forbidden Desires, Palpable Passion Filled Stars!

Guest Post:
The Evolution of Dixie and Dallas Lark 

Dixie and Dallas Lark are the brother and sister duo who make up the band Leaving Amarillo along with their mutual best friend, Gavin Garrison. These characters have been some of the most interesting and three-dimensional that I’ve written in my career and I found it particularly interesting that they didn’t end up how I originally pictured them. Sneaky characters went and evolved a bit on me! 

My first Dixie and Dallas were quite tame and actually kind of blurry in my mind. He was a sexy, rugged guitar playing, protective big brother and she was a fiddle player caught between life in the orchestra pit and freedom on the open road. As their story progressed, though, I began to see them more clearly. They were that band you get lucky enough to catch playing a late night gig at The Stage or Crossroads in Nashville. That one that you decide to stay and have one more drink just so you can listen to them a little longer—the one you know you will see hitting it big in the very near future because you can’t bring yourself to leave until they finish their set! 

I initially pictured Dallas as a slightly more muscular Jensen Ackles type but that evolved a bit due to the ways in which Dixie evolved. She became edgier and grittier than I originally imagined due to her backstory and so Dallas had to toughen up a bit, too. This happens sometimes—I picture a character or story one way before writing and then that changes as I get deeper into it. It’s such an amazing experience—that moment when my characters become “real” and show me who they are versus who I’d originally imagined or expected.

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About Caisey Quinn:

Caisey Quinn lives in a suburb outside of Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She wears cowgirl boots most of the time, even to church. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series and writes New and Young Adult books about country girls finding love in unexpected places.

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