Blast from the Past: Tangled Web 1

posted in: Various Musings | 0

If you caught my blog post yesterday, then you know I’m sharing old page content and turning it into blog posts so I can revamp other portions of my site to be more condensed and organized.  Today, I’m sharing the old page info about Tangled Web, the first book I ever published (and also the first book in the Tangled Web series)!

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In a nutshell: Katie Logan has had a secret crush on her best friend Johnny Church since high school, but he’s never looked at her the same way. So when Johnny—now a famous rock-and-roll guitarist—comes home to visit, Katie can’t bring herself to tell him she’s engaged to be married. She should have, though, because she soon discovers that maybe the attraction is mutual…

Trivia: Tangled Web started out as a stand alone book, but a lot of fans asked for a series. I started giving that some thought and, as you know by now, Tangled Web is just the first in what promises to be a large series. I’d written lots of books before TW (all unpublished at that time), but with TW I decided to incorporate something I loved beyond all measure—my love of music, particularly hard rock/heavy metal. I’d been working on two master’s degrees back to back and hadn’t done much reading for fun when I wrote the book, so I was clueless that there were lots of rock star fantasy books out there. I thought mine was unique. Ha! I figured out shortly after self-pubbing the book that mine wasn’t unique at all. However, I did discover very quickly that there was a huge market for it, so it turned out fine. The rest, as they say, is history.

Cool facts: Yes, that is my Fender Strat on the cover, but I’ll never tell who the bra belongs to!

Tangled Web is, as of January 2013, my bestselling book by far. It consistently continues to outsell a lot of my other titles. It’s one of those books that people either love or hate, and I’m okay with that. Better you find out with a book like TW that you don’t like my style of writing!

How Katie resembles Jade: Katie became a vegetarian since the last time Johnny saw her. I became a vegetarian in 2009.

Characters:

Katie Logan: A twenty-something social worker, Katie has always played it safe. She has harbored a deep love for her old friend Johnny since high school but has never had the guts to tell him. Katie is also mentioned in Everything But.

Johnny Church (aka J.C. Gibson): Katie’s old friend from high school. Johnny is now a world-famous guitarist who has experienced the rock star lifestyle in every way imaginable. He has a secret of his own… Johnny is also mentioned in Everything But.

Heather: Katie’s grad school roommate (will appear again in Tangled Web 3).

Riley Schultz: Katie’s first boyfriend whom she dated in high school just to make Johnny jealous. Riley appears again in his own story, the second book in the series, Everything But.

Grant: Katie’s current fiance. A nice guy but a little too boring.

Teaser:

When she looked away from the CD, she found Johnny staring at her again, just like he had been earlier in the evening. She recognized that look, though, and then she knew it wasn’t just her own emotions tugging at her heart. Johnny had the look. And it disarmed her because he’d never had that look for her. Never. She swallowed, looked down, then got up quickly. “I forgot my beer,” she said, nervous, walking to the kitchen. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest.

Johnny took it in stride unfazed and continued talking over Trent Reznor’s smooth suggestive vocals. Katie didn’t hear what Johnny said, exactly, but she breathed in a few deep breaths alone in the kitchen, willing her heart to slow back down. Then she got another beer out of the fridge and twisted off the cap, even though she had no intention of drinking it. She’d already had too much to drink tonight, but fetching a bottle out of the kitchen had provided a convenient escape from the charged moment.

When she came back in the living room, Johnny had out his first studio CD, not the garage band copy he’d made for his best friend and biggest fan. When Spawn of Satan had landed a contract, they had changed their name to “Spawn” at the insistence of their manager, dropping the hellish reference. The name still held the intent without alienating fans—that’s what their manager had said, at any rate. Their first album was also self-titled. The cover was a black background covered in flames, overlaid with a picture of the five band members in various “disinterested” rock poses, nothing atypical. “Hey, Katie. Do you have any old yearbooks around here?”

She paused. “Yeah, I think so. Hold on a second.” She walked over to the hall closet and, just as her neatnik-self had thought, her yearbooks were stacked behind Monopoly and Life. She’d inherited the games and couldn’t bear to part with them, but she never played them. And those were the kinds of things Katie kept in her hall closet–neglected items she wanted to keep. She hadn’t actually looked at her yearbooks in at least a decade, but she knew where they were. She pulled them all out for Johnny and had no interest in reading all the insipid comments bound to be contained therein. She knew, for instance, that at least one friend had written this:

2 good
+ 2 be
= 4 gotten.

Like a lot of high school friends, though, she had forgotten who had written it, and she wasn’t interested enough to dig through the pages to find out. She was, however, interested in looking at the pictures with Johnny.

He stood up and sat on the couch. She sat next to him. “Did you want to look at senior year?”

Johnny was laughing at the two-page spread of the Battle of the Bands. The pictures were black and white, but the biggest one was of Johnny’s high school band Spawn of Satan. “Look how young we were!”

Katie laughed too. She pointed at another picture that had a girl drummer. “Look at her hair. Can you believe we wore it like that then?”

Johnny smiled and looked closer. “Look at some of the clothes.”

Katie snickered again and then caught herself yawning. She covered her mouth. “Sorry.”
Johnny looked up and shook his head. “No, don’t be. Sorry, kid. I guess it’s getting late. Guess I should probably go.” He closed the yearbook and set it on the coffee table. “It’s been fun, though.”

Katie wasn’t about to argue for him to stay. It was Tuesday night, and she still had most of the week to struggle through. If she didn’t get enough sleep tonight, she’d be even sleepier tomorrow, and her fiancé Grant was due back Thursday. She wanted to be alert and awake when he got back. Katie stood and stretched. “So what’s the plan for the rest of your stay?”

“I’ll probably be here a couple of weeks. I’m going to start making some calls tomorrow, tapping into the local music scene. Start auditioning guys as soon as possible, probably slap together my new band by Monday. That’s the plan anyway. Oh, and hang with my mom. She’ll kill me if I don’t spend more time with her.” He stood up and carried his empty beer bottle in the kitchen. “We’ll have to get together at least once more before I go.”

Katie wandered toward the kitchen. “Yeah.” And, she thought, she’d have to introduce him and Grant to each other too. But that could wait. It was too late now to launch into that spiel tonight. God, she was such a wuss. “We still have catching up to do. But no more beer.”

He grinned. “Deal.” Katie walked toward the door, pausing in front, turning to face Johnny. He said, “It was really good to see you, Katie.”

“You too, Johnny.” They embraced each other. “I always forget how much I miss you until I see you again.” They both patted each other on the back. As she started to pull away, she felt that Johnny wasn’t ready to let go yet. So she leaned her head against his chest again and lost herself in his hug.

Inherent in the hug was the message that he had missed Katie as much as she had missed him. That much she believed and knew in her heart. He did let go, almost reluctantly, Katie thought, and she smiled. It really was good to have her best friend here.

But as she did at last pull back and her eyes met his, she realized she was dead wrong. It was more than that. His pupils were dilated as though he had been in a dark room for several minutes, and they were gazing into hers. Could it be…?

Yes. She read him like her favorite book, and their lips met before she could ponder it more. A thought, an image of Grant flashed for all but a second in her mind, and then it was swept away, along with any guilt she should have felt. Her brain told her that Johnny had been in her life long before Grant had been, and so what they did together didn’t matter. It was a lame justification, but it was out of her mind almost as quickly as it had entered. This moment had been a fantasy for far too long, and there was no stopping it now…

Stats:
Tangled Web has ranked as high as #936 Paid in Kindle Store (in October 2012) and #56 in Books-Literature and Fiction-Women’s Fiction-Contemporary Fiction on Amazon (October 2012).
On Amazon UK, it has ranked as high as #845 Paid in Kindle Store (in October 2012) and #38 Women Writers & Fiction (October 2012).
Finally, it has ranked as high as #7581 on Barnes & Noble (in August 2012).

Availability:
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords
Paperback–Amazon

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