GUEST POST: JULIE STOCK From Here to Nashville

Please welcome Julie Stock and her debut novel, From Here to Nashville to the blog.  Julie and I first became acquainted when a mutual Twitter/Blogger friend mentioned that I would probably like the book she was working on.  One look at her blog and I knew it was something I would definitely be reading.  Julie shares in my love for country music and romance and I’m excited to be able to share her new release with you!dfw-js-fhtn-cover-small

From Here to Nashville  Two worlds, 4,000 miles apart. Can music unite them? Rachel Hardy dreams of being a successful country music singer in Nashville’s Music City, four thousand miles away from her lonely life in Dorset. When Jackson Phillips, an independent record label owner, encourages her band to audition for a nationwide ‘Open Mic’ competition, she decides they have nothing to lose. But when she starts to fall in love with Jackson, the stakes suddenly get higher and she finds herself with a great big dilemma on her hands. Should she abandon her dream and take the easy way out or should she leave the life she has always known behind and take a gamble on a man who has personal demons of his own? Follow Rachel and Jackson as they learn to trust in love again and to see whether music really can bring them together.


Teaser Excerpt

I turned slowly to find myself staring up into the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I’d ever seen. The gorgeous man who’d been watching me earlier now stood before me, and my breath caught as I studied him close up. He towered over my petite frame, his soft, wavy, dark brown hair falling over his forehead, hands slung low in his pockets and cowboy boots peeking out from beneath his jeans. ‘Er, hi,’ I managed to stutter out, reminding myself to breathe. ‘Hey there,’ he drawled in the most luscious American accent. ‘I heard you singing and I wanted to find out more about who that fabulous voice belonged to.’ He smiled and as he did, I noticed the way his lips turned up invitingly at the corners. ‘Thank you. I’m glad you liked it,’ I replied, trying to appear calm and to bring my focus back to his eyes. And then he chuckled. God, he knew how to make a chuckle sound sexy. He oozed confidence too, with his broad shoulders pulled back and his head held high. ‘You British, you’re so damn polite,’ he said, raising his eyebrows. ‘You sounded great up there.’ ‘Yeah, the crowd had a great vibe tonight. I can’t quite believe it.’ ‘Well, you have no reason not to; the proof’s all here. I loved your own song by the way. You have a real talent there.’ I blushed then, an honest-to-goodness shade of pink that made him chuckle once more, locking eyes with me as he did, so I knew the compliment was sincere.

About the Author

Julie Stock is an author of contemporary romance novels, novellas and short stories. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and is a Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors. She blogs about her path to publication on her website, ‘My Writing Life’ You can also connect with her on Twitter, on Goodreads and via her Facebook Author Page. If you would like to be the first to hear about her new releases and other news, you can also sign up to receive her occasional newsletters. Your address will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any time. When she is not writing, she works part-time as a teacher. She is married with two teenage daughters and lives with her family in Bedfordshire.


“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” 

                                                                                                                                          – Victor Hugo

Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of my cousins and I running around and attempting to entertain ourselves while trying to stay out of trouble at my grandparents farm.  It wasn’t a task that was always easy when you had no TV, phone or game systems to keep you occupied.  Or maybe it was, being that we were out in the middle of nowhere without the concern of strangers, and pretty much left to our own devices.  We left the house each morning with a spoon and an empty tin pie pan and didn’t come back until lunch.  I can guarantee that I am an excellent mud pie maker because of it.  Honestly, I don’t remember going in for lunch, although I’m sure we did.  Then again, maybe not.  We were so busy playing outside the idea of food probably never crossed our mind.  And I’m sure my grandmother, who usually had five or six of us there at a time, figured we’d come in when we were hungry and was just thankful for an afternoon of peace.  We built log cabins out of firewood, made a pirate ship in the hayloft, and yes sadly, we found chasing chickens around the coop, fun.   The good old days … yes they were.  It’s an era my children will never experience, but one that I wouldn’t trade for all of the electronics in the world.  Okay, maybe I won’t go that far.

Once night fell, it could get pretty boring.  Your only choices for entertainment were board games, cards, and the radio.  Aaahh yes, they did own a radio, and I’m certain my love for music was formed in their living room, dancing with my cousins to the likes of Conway Twitty, Lorretta Lynn, and The Oak Ridge Boys.  My taste  has varied since then.  I’ve always been partial to country, but I really have no prejudices and will listen to almost anything, except Bluegrass.  I know what your saying, I live in the Bluegrass state, how can I not appreciate something that’s imbedded into Kentucky’s culture?  I’m a Texan remember?  Seriously, I just don’t care much for Bluegrass or at least the greater portions of it, although I can definitely see the talent that goes into making it.  Unfortunately I was not gifted with any musical talents.  I tried  playing the violin and flute (sorry I never went to band camp), and was terrible at both.  My voice is equally horrible, however I still make my family suffer through my performances in the car.   For me, music is the ultimate inspiration.  I think for life in general, but mostly for my writing.  Aside from one specific piece, pretty much every thing I’ve written has been inspired by music in one way or another.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know the inspiration for Drive Me Sane came from listening to Tyler Farr’s song Redneck Crazy.  And if you haven’t, you can catch up on that post here.

I recently added my works in progress to this site.  At least I listed the three that are somewhat close to being complete.  I have a few more, some further along than others, but they are mostly just a paragraph here or chapter there.  I try to jot an idea down when it comes.  Which brings me to my point today.  I’m sorry if you clicked on my post thinking it would be about “The Boss.”  Okay, really I’m not sorry, but I’m glad you’re here.  Springsteen isn’t only the surname of one of the most well known musical icons of our time, it’s also the title of a song by Eric Church, which happens to be a reference to that icon.   Unlike Redneck Crazy, when I got an idea for a story the first time I heard the song, I had heard Springsteen numerous times and never did it draw any kind of spark.  And then one day, something clicked and a story started floating through my head.

I bumped in to you by happenstance
You probably wouldn’t even know who I am
But if I whispered your name, I bet there’d still be a spark – Springsteen by Eric Church

Springsteen or more specifically the lyrics above are what developed the idea for Keep Me Sane.  Yes, I know what you think, it’s a sequel.  But it’s not.  It simply shares in the music theme of Drive Me Sane and that’s all.  Who knows, the title may change, but for now that’s the name that has stuck.  I won’t go into what the story is about.  You’re welcome to check out my page, Keep Me Sane, if you’d like a little hint, but for now, I’ll leave you with a short (unedited) excerpt, and oh a video.  Give Mr. Church a look. I mean really look at him.  He’s nice on the eyes 🙂


And then, the image that had burned through his mind for the past two years, stared right back at him. The most exquisite color of emerald he’d ever seen; deep yet brightly alluring.  If he hadn’t known better, he would have sworn her eyes were enhanced by colored contacts.  But they weren’t. He knew because he’d asked.  Cringing, he thought of the immature pickup line he’d used to get her attention.—It should be a sin to have eyes that beautiful.

“Meghan?” he asked, holding his breath.  The seconds ticked off allowing his fingers to tingle with excitement from the feel of her bare skin underneath his palm.  He let go of her arm when she turned round and wrinkled up her nose with dissatisfaction.  Swallowing hard, for a second he questioned his memory, but then the dimple in her chin deepened.

It was her.

He’d kissed that sweet little indention for hours on end, and hadn’t stopped there. Her mouth, her neck, the spot behind her ear that made her squirm like a two year old—he’d tasted every inch of her body, from north to south.  And sweet, she was.  Her flavor fused to his tongue for days afterwards.

Running his tongue over the inside of his lips, he could almost taste her now. Except now, that pretty little mouth that had done its own pleasuring, twisted in a pout.

         “No, I’m sorry.” The woman shook her head.

No?  He would have bet all his money in the bank that it was, but didn’t dare argue when a fleck of grief filled her face.  Whoever she was, she obviously had more important matters on her mind than reconnecting with an old friend.  Friend?  They weren’t even that.  He didn’t even know her last name.  A one night stand—distasteful as it sounded, but that was all they’d had.  One night, but what a night it had been.

And since we are talking about music, my new friend and romance writer, Julie Stock is celebrating 100 likes on her Facebook page with a giveaway for those of you that live across the pond. I know there are a few of you hanging around, so go say hi, and answer her question for some cool stuff. And even if you aren’t from the UK, like her page anyhow. She’s putting on the final touches of her debut novel, From Here To Nashville, which I’m excitedly awaiting.  Also, follow her blog to keep up with her journey to being a published author.