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.
Not too long ago (barely over a year), I took a trip to Nashville with some friends. It was one of those last minute “oh my gosh, we have to see this super big artist doing a concert in a tiny venue because they just Tweeted that they’ll be there” type road trips. Unplanned, beef jerky, big gulps, and random road mix cd style adventure. My favorite kind.
However, by the time we arrived at the venue it was packed. Literally. Wall to wall crammed, people spilling out onto the sidewalk, full to maximum capacity packed. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who caught word that a big name artist was going to be there.
We decided to just check out a few local spots instead. In a bar called Crossroads we got comfy, ordered drinks, and started chatting about how bummed we were that we didn’t get to see the original artist we intended to. I can’t even remember now who it was. Here’s why.
As we’re ordering a second—okay, maybe a third—round and deciding if we’re going to just call it a night and get a hotel room or head home (Birmingham is only about three hours away), this glorious sound fills the air. No, it pierces the air, rips through it and grabs everyone in hearing range by the eardrums.
Our conversation—along with many others—ceased instantly. Chill bumps ran up my arms even though it was quite warm and I was wearing a jacket.
Most of the patrons gaped in awe as this young woman played the fiddle as if she’d been born to do that and only that. It was the solo from “Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels band and she was rocking it beyond comprehension. Pretty sure even the bartenders stopped what they were doing. The rest of the night was a little blurry, but I know we didn’t leave until that band had played their entire set.
We ended up getting a hotel room but none of us slept. All we could talk about was that band and how amazing they were and how we were kicking ourselves that we didn’t get their name so we could check them out online and hear more. I still look for them when I’m in Nashville and one day I fully expect to hear them on the radio. Whoever they are, they will forever be the band that inspired the Neon Dreams series.
This isn’t the exact band but they’re pretty close! The search continues!
VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SKAl1lBDEY
1. But here, where I am right now, Gavin Garrison is making love to me with his eyes. And I don’t want him to stop. Ever.
2. It’s when he takes her hand and slowly slides up the sleeve of her dress shirt so that he can write on her wrist that I lose my mind completely.
3. He opens his mouth to respond—most likely to deny that he did that tonight—but I place my trembling fingers against his lips, firmly breaking our ten-year unspoken no-touching rule.
4. But you can’t really have fire. You can’t hold a flame in your hands without getting burned.
5. He’s not watching you like he’s worried you’ll screw up. He’s watching you like he’s worried you’ll disappear and take his heart with you.
6. We’re more than that. You and Dallas are all I have. Do you get that?
7. I don’t know when I became this pathetic mess so completely codependent on the happiness of someone who has told me in no uncertain terms that he will never cross the friendship line with me, but here I am.
8. He breathes into me, filling me, and I take his offering greedily, pulling his tongue and lips into my mouth harder than is appropriate for a first kiss.
9. I’ve taken the first hit and already I’m addicted.
10. It was a mistake. Like I told you before, there are moments when things between us get…difficult to control. This time I screwed up and gave in, that’s all. It won’t happen again.
11. If I can’t make him see that he is both capable and worthy of love, that memory will have to be enough for me, even if it’s all I’ll ever have.
12. All I can feel is his mouth on my neck, his hands on my hips, and the promises of what’s to come—literally—against my backside.
13. I will make it impossible for him to say no, somehow. I have five floors on the elevator to figure it out. My heart rises into my throat as we make our way upward.
14. “All I can think about is how good this ice cream would taste if I was licking it off your body instead of this plastic spoon.”
15. I’m thrusting against his mouth and moaning in pleasure when I feel it. The pressure has reached its peak and I need him inside. Now.
R E V I E W
Leaving Amarillo is about about Dallas, his sister Dixie and their friend Gavin as they find their way in life and music. Chasing their dream around wherever their music will take them, hoping to find their big break on becoming the next big thing.
They are each others everything, but a long time ago when their friendship started Dallas made it clear with Gavin that if he wants their friendship to work he will never touch Dixie. At that young age Gavin agreed and kept his promised for a decade, but the more Dixie opens up about what she really feels for Gavin, the harder it is for Gavin to stay true to his promise to Dallas. Will Gavin keep ignoring his feelings for Dixie to keep Dallas’s friendship? Or will Dixie break through Gavin’s control and give in to the connection that they have been building for so long? Read and find out.
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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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