The Guitar Face Series Book 1
by Sasha Marshall Genre: New Adult Romance
2016 SIBA HUMOR AND NEW ADULT WINNER!
“Guitar Face rocks!" She Hearts Books Blog
I was born to make music and bring the masses to their knees . . . until, I wasn't anymore. Until the thought of doing all of this without him made me sick to my stomach.
Henley Hendrix survives a crash that kills her closest band mate. She’d like nothing more than to retire from music, to hide, to heal, to disappear. She’s tried. But her family is music royalty. Her brother is a rock star in his own right, and every friend she has is connected to the business one way or another.
I'll get sucked back in. I'm scared I won't survive rock-n-roll again. Won’t survive Jagger, won’t be able to put him back in the box.
Jagger Carlye is Henley’s dirty little secret. Rock god, her brother's best friend, part of his band, and someone who loves the guitar as much as she does. Henley’s loved him since she was a girl, but there are some things you don’t do in this world. One of them is that you don’t risk your brother’s band or your heart in an industry that feeds on rejection and scandal. Love might not be enough in a world that grinds you down and puts you in a fishbowl.
And then there is Kip. My best friend, a drummer who never shuts his mouth. I should've fallen in love with him. My world would be so much easier.
Henley comes back to the world of rock-n-roll, puts a toe in the water, and creates a ripple that will rock the safe little life she’s created for herself.
NOTE: This is a rock star romance series with a strong female lead, bad boys, and rock romance. If you are looking for a story of redemption with comic relief and a heavy sexual mind, you've found it. If you are offended by hot, tattooed rock stars, who are vulgar, then this is not the book for you. Please be warned, this book is not for anyone below the age of 18. The book contains sex, death, violence, and harsh language.
WHEN I WAS FOUR, my love affair with music began. One random day, I wandered into my grandfather’s recording studio and watched Uncle Buddy, who was not really my uncle at all, play the guitar for over an hour. I saw him close his eyes and jerk his head from the front to the back, tap his foot, and make the strangest faces. I thought he might be sick and asked my grandfather to take him to a doctor. My grandfather threw his head back and let loose that boisterous laugh he has.
When he composed himself, he said, “Baby girl, Uncle Buddy isn’t sick. That’s just his guitar face.”
My grandfather explained to me at four years of age what a guitar face was. I never forgot the words “guitar face.” I watched other musicians and found they had their own guitar faces—some dramatic and scary, but most were angelic. I convinced myself that my grandfather would be proud if I could pull off an angelic guitar face, too. I tried for almost a year to mimic some of those faces in a mirror, but I was never able to pull off the same effect.
By the tender age of five, I deduced my inability to produce a great guitar face was because I did not have a guitar, so, I borrowed one of my grandfather’s. Standing in the mirror, I realized my guitar face was still
scary. Not long after my try at a guitar face with an actual guitar, I realized my guitar face sucked because I could not play the guitar. I decided I must master playing the guitar before my very own amazing, angelic guitar face would emerge.
I ran to the recording studio to beg my grandfather to teach me how to play the guitar, but I only found my Uncle B.B. there. He wasn’t really my uncle either. He was sitting on a red leather ottoman, playing his
guitar, and had one of the best guitar faces I’d ever seen. I was afraid he would quit playing if he saw me, so I snuck back to the corner of the room and sat in his empty guitar case. I watched him play for what
seemed like an eternity. The case smelled like smoke, whiskey, and music. My grandfather’s recording studio smelled the same way, which smelled like home to me. I had a difficult time keeping my lids open as
the music lulled me to sleep. My small body slid into the case as I continued to listen.
The next thing I heard was the laughter of men, and when I opened my eyes, they all stared back with admiration in their eyes. “I never seen a child sleep in a guitar case like you do. You been fond of them things since you was old enough to crawl. One day you gonna be too big for it,” B.B. said.
The men laughed again. I jumped out of his case and walked toward him, bound and determined to finish the mission I had set out on hours earlier.
“Uncle B.B., my guitar face don’t look good. I’ve been trying since I was four and can’t make it look like yours, or Uncle Buddy’s, or my granddaddy’s.”
All the men chuckled again, and that made my impatient temper flare. I put my hands on my petite little hips, pressed my lips together, frowned the best frown I could manage and poked my uncle in the arm.
“It’s not funny! I have worked real hard to get a good guitar face, but it just don’t feel right. I even went and got my granddaddy’s guitar and held it in the mirror, and I still can’t do it right. Make my guitar face look like yours.” I stomped my feet for effect, and no matter how good a job I thought I had done at relaying my anger, they all laughed again.
My uncle picked me up under my arms, placed me on his lap, and said, “Baby girl, a guitar face doesn’t come from practice or from holding a guitar. It comes from the depths of your heart and soul. You can’t
decide what your guitar face is gonna look like; the music does. You gotta play that guitar to have a guitar face.”
I frowned again, fighting my five-year-old impatience, and took in the men surrounding us in the studio. Their faces were still smiling with amusement.
“That’s why I came out here. I figured if holding the guitar didn’t make my face look right, then I need to learn how to play the damn thing, and you were busy playing your own guitar when I got here, then
I fell asleep in the case. I need to learn how to play.”
I had never been more serious in my lengthy five years on this earth. My grandfather chimed in, “You better not let your grandmamma hear you say ugly words. She’ll wash your mouth out with soap again.”
My grandfather was never a serious man. I could see him fighting with himself between doing the right thing by scolding me or laughing. A smile remained on his face.
“I’m sorry, Granddaddy, but I’m being serious, and everybody is laughing at me. This is important.”
My grandfather and B.B. communicated silently with their eyes, and then they simultaneously laughed
“I don’t know if you is guitar-playing material, little girl. Me and your granddaddy’s been playing for a long time, and I ain’t never taught nor seen such a little girl play the thing.”
“You won’t teach me to play because I’m a girl? I’m telling my grandmamma! She says girls can do the same things boys can. I do everything better than my brother, and I know I can play the guitar better than all of you! I just need someone with a good guitar face to teach me. Don’t be scared of girls or I will tell everyone you are all a bunch of sissies!” I scrunched my face together and put my hands on my hips to show them I meant business.
With a great deal of effort, the men held back their laughter.
“Well, now,” B.B. said as he put down his guitar. “Little Miss, didn’t nobody say nothing about girls can’t play guitars. I just said I ain’t never seen one. There’s a first time for everything. Come on, Red, let’s go get
your grandbaby a guitar.”
I was ready for my first memorable journey into the musical world.
FROM WHERE I stand on the side of the stage, in the depths of total darkness, I can hear the fans scream. My nerves are catapulting around my body, and the result is a trembling that my body can’t shake. The anxiety of stepping on this stage is overtaking my entire being. The fans can’t see me as I wait for the house lights to go down, but I can see and feel their energy. Stage fright. I have stage fright, and I’m going to make a damn fool of myself. I’m Red Newman’s granddaughter, and the headlines will be savage if I don’t pull this off. Fans are unrelenting in their pursuit of a perfect live show. They won’t take their disappointment kindly. In the blackness, someone grabs my hand, and I know the instantaneous calmness that has spread over me can only come from Caleb.
“Don’t let it get to you, doll,” he says.
“I think I‘ll be fine when I get out there.”
“Remember, you can’t see past the first three rows when the house lights go down. If you feel nervous, find me or Griffin, and we’ll play music together. You don’t have to play for anyone but yourself, Hen.”
“Okay,” I softly agree. At that moment, the house lights go down. I’m about to play my first major venue, Madison Square Garden, at just sixteen years old. I’ve waited for this moment for a very long time. I knew it was coming, and yet, here I am with a classic case of stage fright. Caleb pulls me up on stage with him, and I stand at my mic with guitar in hand. When the first riffs come through my monitor, I’m in a different place, and I couldn’t care less how many thousands of people watch. I’m a slave to my guitar, and I play it with the same devotion and intensity that I have since I was a small child. During the chorus of this first song, I look over at Caleb to see him smiling back. His face is angelic, the boy turned man, who can see the music as colors in his mind. The prodigy who somehow shares a part of my soul—my best friend, a brother, the one who understands me most. There is no familial connection, but a spiritual one that has had us on this stairway to heaven for the last ten years. The first song ends with thousands of fans screaming. The sound is exhilarating.
There's No Crying in Rock-N-Roll
The Guitar Face Series Book 2
Henley Hendrix—Queen of Rock-n-Roll—finds her world shattered and her heart betrayed, but is determined to get the band back together to reclaim her title in the world of rock. But when life continues to spin out of control, so does her behavior. Will she find her strength again amid all the chaos and pain, or will the bright lights consume her soul?
This is a rock star romance series with a strong female lead, bad boys, and rock romance. This book is not recommended for those under the age of 18. It is also not recommended for those who take offense to profanity, sexual situations, drugs, or violence. This is not a standalone novel. Book One Broken should be read first.
“MS. HENDRIX, CAN I ask you to step into my office for a moment?” she asks.
I frown. “Is something wrong?”
She hesitates. “Uh, no ma’am. I have a call for you in my office.”
A call? What is she talking about? Jessica’s phone chirps as I look at her for help with the manager. The look on her face is one of horror.
“What is it, Jessica?”
“Nothing. Let’s go take that call.”
“Let me see the message.”
“Come on, Hen. Let’s just go to the office.”
“I swear to everything holy if you don’t show me the message, I will make a scene.”
She flips her phone over for me to see.
Samantha: Get her the fuck out of Saks. The shit just hit the fan!
“What is she talking about?”
“I honestly don’t know, Hen.”
The paparazzi begins banging on the windows and calling out my name. What’s up with them? The manager is waiting impatiently.
“Ms. Hendrix, for your own safety, I’m begging you to follow me to my office.”
Jessica and I look at each other and shrug. The manager escorts us to her office, but she stops Jessica outside the door. She whispers something in her ear, and Jessica struggles with her poker face. I can see the second shock and anger pass over her face, and I know no matter what I do, she won’t tell me what she heard. So I sit in the middle of Saks wondering what the hell is going on in my life that the paparazzi acts like I’m a cat in heat, and two of my best friends feel the need to be cryptic.
An alert sounds on my phone letting me know there is an update with my name on it. I set my bags down and take a seat in the chair in front of the manager’s desk. I open the alert and Google takes its time connecting me to the story with my name in it. I’m in the middle of the building inside another room, so the signal isn’t stellar. I wait some more. What now? Did someone hear me fart? Did I pick my nose in public?
Did I forget to pay something?
Google finally connects me the article.
“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!”
Jessica rushes to me. “Breathe, Henley. Breathe. Seriously, take some deep breaths.”
“Please call Samantha.”
Jessica calls my publicist’s L.A. office, but she doesn’t pick up her direct line. She tries her personal cell, but she doesn’t pick it up either. She then phones her secretary who also doesn’t pick up. They are avoiding me. This is what Samantha does when she is dealing with the Mack daddy of cluster fucks. This can’t be happening. I need to talk to Samantha. Jessica spends the next ten minutes blowing up every phone Samantha can be reached on.
When she finally answers her cell, she sounds defeated. “Hen?”
“Where are you?” Her voice is so soft it scares me. Samantha is soft when the world is about to implode.
“We gotta get you out of there. I’m going to work on an escape . . . “
“Shut up, Samantha.” She rambles when she’s nervous. She stops talking. I finally ask the one thing I need to know before I can figure out how in the hell I’m going to deal.
“Is it true?” I ask.
She doesn’t say anything for a long minute. “Yeah, Hen.”
The tears run down my face, the phone drops, and I begin to shake my head. “No.
No. No. No. No. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I just can’t.”
“I know, Hen,” she says.
Walking Back to Georgia
The Guitar Face Series Book 3
I died. I fu*&ing died, and when I woke up in a Los Angeles hospital my best friend walked away from me. It wasn’t quite the welcoming back to the world of the living I thought I’d receive, and it rattled me.
After an overdose, Henley Hendrix retreats to Georgia to chase sobriety and get her life together. To do that, she’s got to keep her distance from Jagger and company. But when an old friend pops back into her life, a private moment is leaked to the world, and someone she never thought would walk away from her does exactly that.
She’s got to deal with rejection, a stalker, her return to the rock world for a promotional tour, jungle peepers, a riot of fans, a 1% motorcycle club, a one-eyed teddy bear, and two men fighting over her.
Just when she’s figured out how to finally be the best version of “Henley” she can be and how to stay healthy, her world is turned upside down again when her eyes are opened to something she never expected.
This book is not a stand-alone novel. Books 1 and 2 in the Guitar Face Series should be read first. If you are looking for a story of redemption with comic relief and a heavy sexual tone, you've found it. If you are offended by hot, tattooed rock stars, who are vulgar then this is not the book for you. Please be warned, this book is not for anyone below the age of 18. The book has sex, death, violence, and harsh language.
“9-1-1, WHAT’S YOUR emergency?”
“My friend’s having a seizure. There’s stuff coming out of her mouth. I don’t know how to help her!”
“What’s your address?”
I tell the operator the address, then Jag shouts my name from the hall. “In here! Hurry!” I scream. “Hen, please don’t do this.” I push her hair to the side to keep it clean.
The 911 operator continues to help. “Sir, is your friend on her side?”
“Turn her on her side.”
Jagger walks in the large bathroom and freezes when he takes in the scene.
“Help her,” I beg.
“Oh no. No, no, no. Baby, no,” he pleads and drops to his knees beside me.
The operator interrupts us, “Sir, you need to turn her on her side so she doesn’t choke on vomit.”
Jagger and I turn her on the side, but she continues to seize.
“I’ve got you. It’s going to be okay, baby. I’ve got you,” Jag tells her.
She finally stops seizing.
“She stopped shaking,” I tell the operator.
“Make sure she’s still breathing,” she says.
Jagger puts his head to her chest and his eyebrows furrow. He lifts her shirt up and looks at her belly for a beat. Then he places his hand on her neck, and then her wrist. Then he puts his ear to her chest and moves around
every so often.
“Sir, is she breathing?” the operator asks.
“No, and there’s no fucking heartbeat!” Jag screams.
“Sir . . . ” and she drowns out.
I freeze as tears fall freely down my face, and I watch Jagger perform CPR.
“Come on, baby. You can’t leave me. I didn’t mean it, okay? Please,” he begs as he pushes up and down.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,” I repeat.
“Stay with me. I’ll do anything you want. I’ll do anything, just stay with me,” he pleads but continues CPR.
After what seems like an eternity, the paramedics rush in, place her lifeless body on a stretcher and rush her out. Her arm falls from the gurney when they load her body. It just lays there, no life left.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,” I stare on in horror and disbelief.
Her arm is dangling. No heartbeat or breath sounds. Rocking. I need to rock.
I can’t do this again. I can’t do it. I don’t have it in me. People think I’m so damn tough because I joke around a lot, but I’m not. I’m not tough at all. I depend on a group of people more than they will ever realize. I depend on them for love and companionship. I depended on Caleb for that, and he died. He left her and me. Can’t do this.
I search for the screams. My eyes land on a red-eyed Jagger. He can’t do this again either. We were both there with Hen when Caleb died. We saw him die. I can’t do this again.
Jagger grabs my face. “Kip, listen. Are you listening?”
I nod my head.
“I need words, Kip.”
“She’s my Caleb. I can’t do this, Jag. I can’t do it,” I plead with him to leave me be.
“You can and you will do it. They’re continuing CPR. We found her just in time, but we have to get to the hospital. We also have a shit ton of people to call and notify before the media gets a hold of this,” he says.
I nod, and rock again. I want to go back to my own little alternate reality. It’s nicer there because no one dies.
“Kip, listen to me. I need you to pull through this and help me help her. She’s your best friend, yeah?”
“I love her so much, Jag. I don’t want her to be dead. She’s my favorite person in the whole world,” I sob like a little bitch. I don’t care though. Big fucking toddler sobs. She’s the only one who has ever loved me unconditionally.
My parents didn’t even give me that. Hen’s all I have in this world some days.
Jag turns and sits beside me on the wall in the bathroom where Henley just seized and then died. He grabs my head and pulls it to his shoulder.
His voice chokes on his own emotion, “She’s my favorite person too, man. We love that girl in different ways, but neither one of us can live in a world where she doesn’t exist. I get that. So here’s what we’re gonna do . . .
we will get up from this wall, wipe our tears, get in the car, and go to the hospital. On the way, we have a lot of people to call who love her as much as we do. When we get there, she will be okay. They’ll make sure she is okay, because she’s Henley fucking Hendrix and she’s too stubborn to die, but more than that she’s too amazing to die. We will think happy thoughts, regardless of what we just saw.”
“Okay,” I push down my emotions and try to focus on the here and now.
“Henley is going to be okay. Say that over and over again, Kip,” Jagger orders.
“Henley is going to be okay. Henley has to be okay,” I repeat.
He stands from the wall, offers me his hand, and pulls me up. We march to the garage, get in the Audi R8, because it’s fast as hell, and head to UCLA.
Award-winning author Sasha Marshall is devoted to giving her readers humorous adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts---and their minds. She wants you to laugh, cry, get angry, and sigh when you find redemption in the story, because that's the roller coaster of real life. Her knowledge of the music industry comes from being a touring concert photographer with legendary bands such as The Allman Brothers Band and others she met along the way. A self-proclaimed free spirit, she’s most often found outdoors, or painting a canvas, capturing a photograph, people watching, reading a book, or writing a new book or poem. Sasha makes her home in the beautiful state of Georgia and loves to hear from readers.