The Starlight Chronicles
by Lisa Orchard
GENRE: Young Adult Romance
Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?
“AWESOME JAM session!” announces Bean as he twirls his sticks in the air.
“We are so ready!” I exclaim. The competition is just a week away, but I’ve never been so ready for anything in my life. We have the smoking hot tunes. Four of them, and they’re full of positive energy. And we have the smoking hot name. Starlight. I love the way it rolls off my tongue when I say it.
For a brief second, I think about who we’re up against for the competition and Duh-Wayne’s face floats into my consciousness. I shake my head to wash the image away. Nothing is going to ruin this chance for me, not even Duh-Wayne.
The competition. It’s my one chance to get out of this town, to have the musical career of my dreams. The winner gets a paid-in-full opportunity to audition for American Singer and the winner of that gets a recording contract. I can almost feel the contract in my hand.
Turning my attention back to the task at hand, I unplug my guitar. As I put my Gibson back into its case, Bean moves from his perch behind his drum set and squats next to me. “Hey, I’ve got to give Stevie a ride home, but after that would you like to go for a cruise?”
“Yeah.” I give him a smile. “I would.”
“Bean. Come on, I’ve got to get home,” Stevie says in a tone that’s not quite impatient.
I stand. “Just let me put this away,” I say, patting my guitar case. I hustle inside and run my guitar up to my room.
When I return to the garage, I hit the button and then sneak under the door as it makes its descent. Stevie’s standing just outside the passenger door, waiting for me to climb into the car next to Bean before he gets in. He’s thoughtful that way.
I climb in and give Bean a nudge and a grin. He grins back and his eyes have that special twinkle that’s just for me.
Stevie scrambles in and closes the door. “Let’s go.”
Bean backs out of the driveway and heads down the road. The Brown Turd rumbles and backfires as he steps on the gas. I’m surprised Mr. Szasbo hasn’t made an appearance, but then I remember his cat. Ever since I saved his kitten, I haven’t heard a complaint from him. Maybe he has warmed toward me.
It takes us fifteen minutes to reach Stevie’s house. A brick ranch with a long front porch and attached two-stall garage. The house doesn’t seem to match my friend. I expected him to live in some bungalow by the sea. Instead, he’s in small town suburbia and it dawns on me that I don’t even know what his parents do for a living.
“I’ll catch you guys tomorrow,” Stevie says with a wave, pulling me from my thoughts.
“Yeah. Tomorrow,” I say with a quick smile. I can’t wait for him to leave so I can be alone with Bean.
“Later, Dude,” Bean yells before rolling up his window. I snuggle up to him as he steps on the gas and heads toward downtown. “So where do you want to go?”
I shrug. “I don’t know. Let’s go someplace where we can talk.”
He winks at me and says, “I know just the place.”
“You’ll see.” He gives me a mischievous smile that sends my heart racing. I love it when he looks at me like that.
We make small talk while he drives to our destination. I’m shocked when we pull into a cemetery. “What are we doing here?”
“You said you wanted to go someplace to talk.” He snickers. “We definitely won’t get interrupted here.”
“No kidding,” I say as I stare out the window. The grave markers go by and I can’t help but think about the people lying beneath the ground. I wonder what kind of lives they had. As I think about these things, I realize there’s a lot of history in this cemetery.
“So, what did you want to talk about?” Bean asks as he grabs my hand. The familiarity of the rough calluses on my skin warms my heart. He stops the car and turns the engine off.
“My mom admitted it.”
“Admitted what?” Bean shifts in his seat and slouches against the driver’s door.
I shift and turn toward him. Before I speak, I rub my fingers along the scar above my right eyebrow. It’s my bastard stamp. I got it the day Duh-Wayne called me a bastard and then laughed when I didn’t know what one was. As I recall the horrific fight we had, a shudder runs through me as I tell him. “She admitted that Jared Miller is my father.”
“What?” Bean sits up straight and bumps his head against the window. Rubbing it he says, “When did all this happen?”
“Last night.” I brush a curl away from my face.
Guest Post : How To Keep Your Creative Muse Healthy
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m Lisa Orchard the bestselling author of “The Starlight Chronicles.” I’m a guest here on Cover 2 Cover and I’m sharing with you how I keep my creative muse healthy.
When I get an idea for a story, I think about it and let it simmer. I usually have the beginning and the end figured out before I sit down and start typing. From there, I go full steam ahead and pound out that first draft.
To keep myself from burning out. I take frequent breaks and walk through the woods. There’s something about being in nature that calms me and revitalizes me. Especially in the fall. The smell of the leaves and the beautiful colors seem to quiet my inner editor and I just breath.
Ambling through the woods also helps me when I get stuck. Sometimes my plot takes an unexpected turn and I have to think about where it’s going and how my characters are going to react to this new development. Walking through nature allows my mind to relax and the ideas take shape and come alive. It’s one of my favorite parts of my creative process.
However, there are days when I can’t get outside, due to the weather or season. I like hiking through the woods in the winter because the snow on the trees is beautiful, but if it’s too cold, I stay bundled up inside. On those days, I try to do some physical activity that get the endorphins running through my brain.
I have a treadmill and I’ll take a half hour to a forty five minute break and run. Running has the same effect on me as hiking through nature. It’s just not as much fun to run on a treadmill.
So, that’s how I keep my creative muse healthy. How about you? How do you keep your creativity flowing? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on books by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. Her first published works are the “Super Spies Series.” These stories revolve around a group of friends who form their own detective squad and the cases they solve. “The Starlight Chronicles,” is the next series that Lisa created with musical misfit, Lark Singer as her main character.
After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree, she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side. The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She resides in Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the next book in the Starlight Chronicles Series along with a few new ideas that may turn into stand alone novels. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.
The books are available as a boxed set for $0.99 during the tour here!
Lisa Orchard will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.