Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: The Achilles Heel by Karyn Rae #50BookPledge

About the Book:

Annie Whitman’s ordinary Midwest life is shattered with the sudden death of her husband Jack. Thirty-five and failing at life as a widow, she turns to the comforts of vodka in an attempt to camouflage the cold sheets of an empty bed. The necessary inebriation helps her to cope with Jack’s death, but proves to be a deterrent in recovering any sense of normalcy. After spending several months at the bottom of a bottle, Annie stumbles upon a lockbox in the crawl space of her basement. Opening this box also opens her eyes to the likelihood that Jack Whitman might not have been the honest and doting man she married. 
Annie embarks on a mission to the Virgin Islands to uncover the truth about her husband’s past and seek safety from her brother-in-law, who seems to be the captain of his own sinking ship. While settling into paradise, she meets the wickedly handsome, but surprisingly reserved Kessler Carlisle, who is struggling with his retirement from country music superstardom. With Kessler’s help, Annie discovers the heart’s uncanny ability to heal, and the possibility that dead men don’t always keep their secrets-even if they’re buried in the Caribbean waters of St. Croix. 
The Achilles Heel delves into the formidable fact that everyone harbors darkness, and some will go to the depths of the ocean to keep their secrets hidden.

Book Excerpt:


       We stood underneath the stage feeling the ground shake- the floors pulsing and vibrating in a rhythmic, stomping pattern. The noise was deafening, like a freight train rolling at full steam right over our heads. This was the final concert of a six month long, twenty-two city tour. The band huddled together backstage for what, unbeknownst to them, was going to be my final show- ever. Drew, my drummer, gave the pep talk tonight about living in the moment and doing our best, like our lives depended on it.
“Those people out there worked all week and spent their hard earned money to come see us play here tonight, so don’t any of you fuck it up for ‘em!” he yelled over the crowd screaming in the stadium. “It’s the last show of the tour, so let’s blow their fuckin’ minds! All right? Now, everybody get your hands in and let me hear it on three.”
Six hairy, snarled, middle-aged, yet talented hands stacked one upon the other as we all screamed “boo-yah,” while throwing them up in the air.
I had to laugh. Drew was never much of a poet, but he could give one hell of a pep talk.  Our usual routine for this tour was to have the band already set up and out on the stage before I made my grand entrance, but for the finale we’re making a change. Tonight we’re all taking the stage together; one family, one band of brothers, one last time. We crowded onto the pitch-black elevator, collectively took in a deep breath, and then I flipped the switch. As soon as the crowd saw us rising up from the floor, it was on, for all of us.
We always start out with a few favorites to get the crowd pumped up. They responded exactly how we had hoped; everyone went ape shit. Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City is one of the best places to do a show; Midwestern folk who love country music and know how to throw one hell of a party. Fans started arriving in the stadium parking lot at nine o’clock in the morning, and the opener wasn’t set to go on until six in the evening. People who love to spend an entire summer day baking on the black asphalt in the scorching sun, fishing out beer cans from the truck bed cooler, and smoking BBQ, just waiting to hear some live music, are my kind of people. I’m glad this is the spot for the final show- my final show.
During the first set as I looked out into the audience, I could see about ten rows in front of me from anywhere on the stage. I used to always look for the most beautiful girls, and inevitably, I would spot a couple in every city. I’d send my roadie out to the seats to ask them if they wanted to come backstage to meet me and the boys, have some drinks, and party for a while. This was an extremely useful tactic in no-strings attached one-nighters, and there were many, many one-nighters. When I was younger I was so proud of myself, thought I was the shit, a real big deal that all these girls wanted to sleep with me. A few years ago, I finally realized our night together was just a story to tell their friends or an article to sell to the tabloids. I don’t regret the girls or mistakes I’ve made because they’re part of my journey that’s led me to this point, but I’m ready to move on now. 
Tonight there’s a group of six women having a ball together. I’d say they were mid-twenties, sitting in the third row, all of them singing along and cheers’sing each other after every song. I sent Randy out to schmoose on them during the set break and ask them if they’d like to come backstage after the show. That invite certainly revved up their engines, because I got all kinds of “fuck me” eyes during the second set.
A sixty foot screen flanks each side of the stage allowing a front row view from any seat in the stadium. This only amplifies my seduction of the crowd when Lacy, my camera girl, fills it full with images of just my ass- sixty feet (one-hundred and twenty if you count both screens) of my ass over and over again. I get it though, whatever sells tickets. My schedule over the last five years had become less about the music and more about the money my image brings in. Singer/songwriters, authors, actors, and anyone in “the business” have been bitching about this for decades. I went to Nashville to be a songwriter, and fifteen years later I’ve become sixty feet of ass in tight white jeans.
I always told myself, that when this dream of mine became too mechanical and I couldn’t give every part of myself to the fans, I’d hang it up. It’s been a great ride and only a handful of people have been with me from the very beginning. Those are the people who deserve all of me; they’ve earned it, but I can’t give one hundred and twenty percent anymore. Don’t I deserve a normal life again? I’ve earned that, too.
As the last song of the encore performance wrapped up, the spotlights put on a magnitude of a show and the fireworks shot up into the sky like rockets in flight. The crowd howled with gratitude for a job well done. Anyone who has ever had major success in business, particularly in finance, says, “Buy low and sell high,” and that’s exactly what I’m doing here tonight. I worked my ass off playing dive bars and LSU frat parties for years, eating at Taco Bell and Popeye’s Chicken whenever I could afford it, and excited I had made the money to do so. Now, I’m playing in a sold out arena with fans screaming my name, singing my songs, and girls still wanting to come back stage to meet me.
Yeah, I’d definitely say I’m high.

About the Author:

Karyn Rae is an emerging Romantic-Suspense author. Her debut novel, The Achilles Heel was released in May 2014. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild. Karyn resides in Missouri with her husband, son, daughter, and chocolate lab- Augusta Mae.
The first part of Karyn's life was spent in the South, and the last fifteen years have played out in the Midwest, but she's still holding on to a shred of her Southern roots. She is a wife, mother, daughter, and sister who has made it her mission in life to carve out a career for herself, while keeping the husband and the children happy.

My Review of the Book: 

I am starting to think I am on a roll for great summer reading!  The Achilles Heel was another book that I really enjoyed.  I have to admit when I first started the book I was not sure how much I was going to like it.  I had read what the book was about and I had saw the cover and I was trying to put together the two characters separate lives and figure out how these two people could mesh together in a book.  However, that ended up being what I loved about the book.  They were on two totally different life paths and seemed so different, but it was great to see how being different does not necessarily mean it is a bad thing, especially when love is involved.  I also have to say from the beginning Kessler was always a favorite of mine and I have to admit it is because I loved the strong women in his life.  Be sure to grab yourself a copy!

Views expressed are those of Two Children and a Migraine and not influenced in anyway.  A book was supplied for review purposes and no compensation was received for this post.