Author Name: Lilah Suzanne
Book Name: Broken Records
Release Date: December 17, 2015
Los Angeles-based stylist Nico Takahashi loves his job—or at least, he used to. Feeling fed up and exhausted from the cutthroat, gossip-fueled business of Hollywood, Nico daydreams about packing it all in and leaving for good. So when Grady Dawson—sexy country music star and rumored playboy—asks Nico to style him, Nico is reluctant. But after styling a career-changing photo-shoot, Nico follows Grady to Nashville where he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Grady’s charms. Can Nico make peace with show business and all its trappings, or will Grady’s public persona get in the way of their private attraction to each other?
Pages or Words: 280 pages
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Grady presses his lips flat, looks up at the ceiling again to gather himself, sniffs and nods, then tugs Nico’s foot closer by his ankle. “Do you think… If we’d met at a bar. Or through a friend of a friend. Or the gym.” Grady’s thumb strokes the tender skin of Nico’s calf beneath the hem of his pants. “If we had just been two regular guys? We really could have been something.”
There’s a question in his voice, a hesitancy that maybe Nico would have rejected him eventually anyway. Nico scoots across the cramped bunk, crowds against Grady, shoulder to shoulder. “Well, we never would have met at the gym because I would have taken one look at you and gone home to mourn the body I’ll never have by consuming gallons of ice cream.”
Grady bumps his shoulder. “Shut up, you’re gorgeous.” He tips his head against the wall and grins. “If I’d first seen you at a bar I probably would have humiliated myself by trying to win you over with bad karaoke and shameless flirting.”
Nico’s eyebrows raise. “You mean to tell me you’ve been holding back on me? You have a level of flirting that’s even more shameless?”
“Oh yeah. You ain’t seen nothin’, sweetheart.”
“That is truly terrifying.”
Grady laughs, bright and uninhibited. Nico is so relieved to hear it, a moment of light in the darkness. Grady’s hand rests on Nico’s knee, Nico watches his own hand brush his fingers there, but he doesn’t linger.
“We aren’t, though. Just two random guys.”
Grady’s fingers flex, curving over his kneecap. “No.”
Nico exhales harshly. “I have never wanted to be a groupie so badly.”
Grady shoves at his leg. “Come on, you didn’t really think that I would do that to you—”
“In my weaker, more insecure moments?” Nico scrunches his face, embarrassed. “Yeah, I did.”
“You think that little of me, huh?” He says it with a teasing grin, but Nico’s heart sinks.
“No, Grady. I think you’re…” A million adjectives flash through his head: beautiful, amazing, stunning, compassionate, kind, generous. A supernova. He settles on, “Really special.”
Grady gives a skeptical lift of his eyebrows. “Uh oh. I’m really special, huh?”
“I’m so, so into you and it’s…” He cringes at the words but it’s true, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
“Oh lord.” Grady laments with a laugh. “Not that, please.”
“I’m the guy on the sidelines. I’m the one who makes everyone else shine. I don’t belong there, in the spotlight. I like that at the end of the day I can go home and just walk away from the cameras and the red carpets and the scrutiny. And you—you’re a star. And you can have anyone.”
Grady turns, the cramped space of the bunk making his limbs bump and nudge and curl around Nico’s body. During Grady’s shows, in the moment just before he starts singing the opening line of “Broken Records,” there’s this pause, this moment suspended in the air when the audience is silent and waiting and doesn’t even dare to inhale because in that moment, Grady’s soul is laid bare. He looks at Nico just like that and Nico can’t breathe around it.
“I don’t want anyone,” he says, voice low and serious. “I want you. How do you not get that?”
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lilah Suzanne author of Broken Records. Hi Lilah, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
What is the biggest thing people think they know about your subject/genre that isn’t so? Oh, romance has this reputation of being simple and formulaic and I have to say it’s really the exact opposite. There is so much talent and so much wide variety in the stories available it’s astonishing.
What are some references you used while writing this book? I used a book called Secrets of Stylists and the blog for a school in Los Angeles that trains hopeful celebrity stylists. I studied fashion magazines like Vogue and many, many fashion blogs and websites. My dad is a musician so it was helpful to have his expertise with some technical aspects of that side of the story. I read a lot of tabloids and country music fan sites and forums which were very eye-opening!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Yes, there was actually a specific moment when I realized that this could be a thing for me; in the fourth grade after I had to keep a journal for a family trip to New York, and my teacher was so impressed by it she made a point of meeting with my parents to help encourage my writing. The power of a good teacher.
What do your plans for future projects include? Broken Records is the first of a series centering around country music and Nashville, so I’m hard at work on the second one, Burning Tracks, which switches the focus to Gwen, Nico’s business partner, but still continues Nico and Grady’s story. And I’m just now starting to put together some solid ideas for the third book of this Spotlight series.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? My goal in writing is always to add a little happiness and love to the world, so I guess I would say: I hope my stories bring you some measure of joy, because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Meet the author:
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community. She is also the author of Interlude Press books Spice and Pivot and Slip. Broken Records is Book One in Lilah’s Spotlight Series.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26223139-broken-records
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Victoria S. with CB Messer
Tour Dates & Stops:
$25 Interlude Press Web Store Gift card plus five multi-format eBooks to runners-up