Hi everyone! We’re excited to welcome Avon Gale, author of the Scoring Chances series, on From Top to Bottom Reviews today! Her new release, The Love Song of Sawyer Bell, is out today and we asked her to talk about Inspiration. There’s also an excerpt and a giveaway below!
Victoria “Vix” Vincent has only two weeks to find a replacement fiddle player for her band’s summer tour. When classically trained violinist Sawyer Bell shows up for an audition, Vix is thrilled. Sawyer is talented, gorgeous, funny, and excited about playing indie rock instead of Beethoven. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance, even though Vix tries to remember that Sawyer’s presence is only temporary.
Sawyer’s parents think she’s spending the summer months touring Europe with a chamber ensemble. But Sawyer is in dire need of a break from the competitiveness of Juilliard, and desperately wants to rediscover her love of music. Going on tour with her secret high school crush is just an added bonus. Especially when Vix kisses her one night after a show, and they discover that the stage isn’t the only place they have chemistry.
But the tour won’t last forever, and as the summer winds down, Sawyer has to make a tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart.
Quotes from Avon Gale about the book:
Writing Sawyer and Vix’s love story was such a joy – I loved writing two passionate, determined women coming together as friends and eventually lovers, set amongst my favorite musical genre and on the open road. It’s a road trip romance, a friends-to-lovers romance and a story about loving who you are, what you do, and the people who speak to your heart.
Hi! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here today because my new book, The Love Song of Sawyer Bell, is out on September 25th! Annie asked me to talk a little about inspiration for books and where they come from.
This is a bit difficult, if only because I can think up an idea for a book or seven in a relatively short period of time and from literally anything (ideas are never my problem – finishing things, now…), but the inspiration for the Scoring Chances series and the Tour Dates series came from my being at an event and starting to think about characters.
My favorite thing about writing is coming up with characters. I love creating them, I love making them into real, believable people, I love spending way too long thinking about what their favorite movie is, what they cook on a date, you name it.
For the Scoring Chances series, I was at an ECHL game for my hometown ECHL team, the Missouri Mavericks, in 2012. A few days before, I’d been to a few Blues games with my friend who lived in St. Louis. I remember thinking how different these two games were – from the stadium size to the sheer number of power plays to the announcements and the unending sponsored “games” when the puck stopped. But the people on the ice were just as fierce as their NHL counterparts, even though they made about $500 a week and did this for a job mainly because they loved it. Most of these guys wouldn’t make it to the NHL, but they sure didn’t play like they cared.
That’s when I started thinking about the book that became Breakaway. Then I read the book “Journeyman” by Sean Pronger, who spent most of his career in the ECHL, and that led to the character that became Jared Shore. I set the team in Jacksonville, Florida, because my mom lived there at the time and I was visiting her when I got the idea for the team name, courtesy of a news report about a water tornado spotted over the ocean.
For my latest book, I was at a concert (music is something that is super important to me, and I’m as passionate about it as I am hockey, only music hasn’t broken my heart, ahem, Bruins) when the idea struck. It was a Lydia Loveless concert, and she became my inspiration for the character of Vix. I was there with Mr. Gale, and I started talking excitedly about how I wanted to write an f/f romance about a badass musician like Lydia.
If you go waaaaay back on my Twitter timeline, you can see me tweeting about the idea from the show 😀
On my way home that night, Mr. Gale helped me come up with names and plot the story. I knew I wanted the other MC to be a fiddle player, and he gave me about 238432 suggestions for names that I turned down before I settled on Sawyer. I kid you not, I came up with “Bell” because we’d stopped at an all-night gas station (our trip home from the show was late-night highway driving at its finest, as the show was two hours away in St. Louis) and there was a semi truck with “BELL” written on the side. I said it out loud, and Sawyer had a name.
By the time we got home, I had the outline of the story in mind – though it changed as I wrote it, of course, as most stories do.
Like I said, inspiration for an idea is never a problem – it’s just finding time to write them all!
It was one thing to sleep with Sawyer. It was another thing to, like, have a crush on her or something. Vix should not do that.
“I like them,” said Sawyer, leaning in closer. Her hair fell in a soft curtain that also, goddamn it, smelled delightful. She was tapping her fingers on her PBR tallboy along with the song. “He’s got a good voice. The singer.”
Vix nodded. “Yeah, he does.” She pushed her hair off her face and took a drink from her tallboy. They were playing in the basement of Blueberry Hill, and while it was nice and cool, Vix felt like she was going to be sweaty forever thanks to the summer heat and the van. She looked over, feeling Sawyer’s eyes on her. Sawyer gave her a small smile, intimate and a little shy. Vix had the strongest urge to lean over and kiss her, but she didn’t.
They both watched the stage, but Vix dropped a hand and laid it gently on Sawyer’s knee. She was wearing one of her cute, short summer dresses and the boots again. Her skin was warm beneath Vix’s fingers. Vix leaned in close. “So, you had fun, right?”
“Duh.” Sawyer looked like she did when she came off stage, eyes bright, skin flushed. “You too, right?”
“Right.” Vix’s stomach was fluttering with something that she might have thought were preshow nerves, if she ever got those. “Does that mean you’d want to do it again, or . . .?” Vix wasn’t sure why she let that trail off. What other response was there but “or no”?
Sawyer tipped her head down, hiding her face and sipping from her beer. But she dropped a hand and took Vix’s in her own, squeezing it. “Oh yeah,” she murmured, and then slid Vix’s hand up her thigh.
Vix blinked in surprise. “You’re naughty,” she whispered in delight. She glanced around to make sure they were mostly unnoticed, and let her fingers drift higher. “And you’re a tease.”
“Oh yeah?” Sawyer’s knees parted and her legs fell open. There was no way anyone could see beneath the table, not with the stage in the way. “Who’s teasing? I think it’s you.”
Vix inched her fingers up the smooth skin of Sawyer’s thigh, wondering if she should do what she was half an inch away from doing. Giving their surroundings one more quick survey, she went ahead and pressed her fingers against Sawyer’s cunt through her panties. The fabric was damp. She raised her eyebrows.
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” said Sawyer in a low voice. She was gripping her PBR tallboy in one hand, eyes very wide.
Vix had no idea if she could get Sawyer off there at the table, but what the hell.
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories—either real or the ones she makes up in her head.
Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.
Blog Tour Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Bisexual Orientation: Lesbian Pairing: F/F Publisher: Riptide Publishing Tag: Friends to Lovers Tag: Part of a series Tag: Rockstar/Musician Avon Gale The Love Song of Sawyer Bell Tour Dates series