Thursday, June 12, 2014

Blog tour: Forever Layla by Melissa Turner Lee + excerpt & giveaway

Forever Layla by Melissa Turner Lee
Release date: May 2014
Publisher: AltWit Press
Purchase: Amazon

What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?

In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend's grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond "Bond Girl" approaches him and calls him by name, he's shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.

She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.

What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she'd heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he'd loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong...but hopefully not as tragic. When she won't tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla--and the world as she knows it changes forever.

Chapter 1
April 1994

“THIS IS THE ROAD TO our future, WOOOHOOO!” Michael shouted from the stage. He strummed hard across his electric guitar. I glanced up to see his long sandy hair flying about with each head bang. He’d shouted it every few minutes on our road trip down to Myrtle Beach, SC. It wasn’t the beginning of my future. I was just the soundboard geek. If they hit it big, I’d be the first to go.
Michael howled out the words of the Pearl Jam song he was covering when the bass guitar became overpowering. I leaned over the soundboard and adjusted Travis’s mic. I had to do that when he started feeling the music just a little too much. They were making a real name for themselves. The motel had called Michael and requested they come play at their patio bar every night of spring break. Free rooms and drinks plus a thousand bucks. For high school kids, that was almost like signing a record deal.
 A drunken giggle to my right alerted me in time to put my hands out to steady the brunette about to face plant into the soundboard. She giggled again and fell over onto the soundboard a second time. I held her upright, and she grabbed my tensed biceps before making eye contact with me. She squeezed my arms through my black t-shirt and gave me a once over and got a look I couldn’t quite define. It was somewhere between the look of a cat about to pounce on a mouse and a kid staring at the selection of thirty-one flavors of ice cream. I’d been getting those looks ever since the guys and I started lifting weights. Half the girls in pre-cal were signed up for tutoring after school with me now and gave me that same look. It was weird.
 She leaned in and closed her eyes but I held her back. She smelled like a rancid combo of beer, vomit, and armpit.
“Back away from the board.” I spun her around and shooed her and her collection of inebriated revelers away.
The yeasty smell of beer mixed with the sour stench of sweat filled the air. I’d just paid for the new soundboard, and it would not be damaged. I stood akimbo glaring at another group until they too backed away. I plopped back down and glanced toward the slightly raised platform the motel had for a stage. Girls in bikinis, tank tops, flannel shirts tied at the midriff and daisy dukes, pushed up front to get a closer view of the guys with guitars. Michael smirked at the girls and did some eye squinting thing as he pointed at one lucky lady. It was a look he practiced in front of the mirror quite often. It did its job, setting off a siren of girl squeals.
 I shook my head and turned away when I noticed a man, maybe in his fifties, standing on the balcony. I smirked thinking how the old guy must be pissed at picking this motel with a band playing every night. But when I focused on him, he wasn’t looking at the band or the crowd. He was looking straight at me and grinning. It turned into some kind of weird staring contest until I finally looked away and went back to hovering over the soundboard. A few more close calls and my mind was firmly back on keeping sand and beer off the expensive equipment. When a shadow loomed over the board, I didn’t even bother to look up. “Step away from the sound system.”
“David?” A soft feminine voice spoke my name.
I glanced up to see the biggest, brownest eyes framed by the longest, blackest lashes I’d ever seen. I glanced down to focus on the rest of her. The form-fitting black dress she wore hugged every curve down to her toned and tanned legs. My gaze trailed on down to her fancy black heels and then back up at her face. She was hot…like model hot. I couldn’t blink or think as I stared at her beautiful face framed by large amounts of blonde hair and a pair of large hoop earrings. She didn’t look like the other girls with her eye makeup, glossy pink lips, and the way her hair was puffed up and styled. She looked like she had just stepped out of one of the James Bond movies Dad and I watched on TV.
I glanced around the crowd of stringy haired girls in cutoffs, t-shirts, and Keds. Her look wasn’t in style at the moment. Most girls were doing the grunge and hippie thing, but Bond girls never went out of style with guys. I tried to say something, but I think I just stared and possibly stuttered before a wheeze came out. She reached for the inhaler in my shirt pocket and handed it to me. I took a puff as she shook her head, smiling.
“It is you.” A look of pure wonder and amazement lit her face. She blinked, making her thick and extremely long lashes flutter like butterfly wings. “I can’t believe it. You wear glasses now.”
I pushed them back on my nose self-consciously as I put away my inhaler. “Yeah, like since the third grade.” I eyed her up and down once more and worked hard to remember to breathe. “Do I know you?”
“Kind of…Well not really. I’m…” she shifted her eyes to the side without moving her head and bit her lips like she needed to remember something and stopped for a moment before she continued. “Ugh! I suck at this. You’ll never let me do this again if I mess this up.” She shook her head and then turned her attention back to me. “No, you don’t know me, but I know all about you. Let’s just put it that way.” Her grin said something was up.
Had the guys arranged this? I turned my attention to Michael and the others on the stage. She glanced over to them and then screamed out, “Oh my word! That’s Michael!” She pointed and looked back at me. “He’s so scraggly with the beard and long hair…and the flannel shirt with the sleeves cut out. He looks like a lumberjack.” She giggled again. “You guys are so young and…dress funny.” Her forehead wrinkled as she looked back at Michael.
Ouch! I glanced up at the stage. Mark was nudging Travis to look my way. “Did the guys put you up to this?” I said it as they all motioned at Michael and nodded for him to look my way.
She glanced back at the stage, “No. Why?”

Read Chapters 1 through 5 on the author's website


Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.

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