Title: Leaving Amarillo
Author: Caisey Quinn
Series: Neon Dreams Series #1
Publisher by: William-Morrow Publishing
Published on: March 17, 2015
Genres: New Adult Romance
Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.
Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.
Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.
Here is some backstory of the tragic but awesome trio known as, Leaving Amarillo. Dixie is home from school after her Grandpa suffers a mild heart attack. She has a scholarship to a music school in Houston to be a professionally trained violinist. She basically hates it. Hates that she does not get to express herself the way she wants. Once her Grandpa is recovered she joins back together with her brother, Dallas, and their best friend, Gavin, in Leaving Amarillo. She has made a deal with Dallas if they do not get signed by a manager by the end of the summer she has go back to Houston. Back to school and that is the last thing she wants.
Dixie is also in love with Gavin. Has been love with him since they were kids but she off limits. Dallas does not let want her anywhere near Gavin. He has been protecting Dixie since their parents died when they were young and he has no plans of stopping anytime soon. And even though Gavin is his best friend and been a part of their lives since the beginning, he is not good enough for Dixie in his eyes.
Here is the thing though, the heat between Gavin and Dixie, or Bluebird as he calls her, is electric. Bluebird is tired of being treated like a kid. She wants Gavin and if she can’t have him permanently she at least wants one night. One night to get her second dream.
I don’t know when I became this pathetic mess so completely codependent on the happiness of someone who has told me in no uncertain terms that he will never cross the friendship line with me, but here I am.
Leaving Amarillo is real, emotional, funny and sexy. It makes you feel like your favorite country song is playing out in the world of New Adult romance.
Well, Caisey Quinn has done it again. She has made me love her and hate her all at the same time. I thought we worked through our issues when she finished the Girl On Tour Series, but we are back on the merry go around again. Oh man, how I do love the ride.
Leaving Amarillo makes you laugh, makes your heart hurt plus make your heart beat faster from the sexual chemistry. The heat between Gavin and his Bluebird is palpable. It comes off the Kindle in waves but it is not overdone or the center of the story. Thier sexual chemistry is an addition not the focus of the beautiful story of love, family, and friendship.
Ms. Quinn also makes you understand why Gavin is hesitant. They know what could be lost by throwing caution to the wind for ONE night of fulfilling their desires, but they also ultimately know one night will never be enough.
We’re more than that. You and Dallas are all I have. Do you get that?
This trio of characters will not only steal your heart but will keep it until very last page. Another hit from a fantastically talented writer. Loving Dallas cannot come out fast enough for me.
It seems Ms. Quinn, our issues have begun anew. It’s so on Ms. Quinn. IT. IS. ON.
But you can’t really have fire. You can’t hold a flame in your hands without getting burned.
Top 5 Most Played Songs on Dixie Lark’s Playlist
I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick
One Night – Christina Perri
Dream – Priscilla Ahn
Love Runs Out – One Republic
Bluebird – Christina Perri
The Evolution of Dixie and Dallas Lark
My first Dixie and Dallas were quite tame and actually kind of blurry in my mind. He was a sexy, rugged guitar playing, protective big brother and she was a fiddle player caught between life in the orchestra pit and freedom on the open road. As their story progressed, though, I began to see them more clearly. They were that band you get lucky enough to catch playing a late night gig at The Stage or Crossroads in Nashville. That one that you decide to stay and have one more drink just so you can listen to them a little longer—the one you know you will see hitting it big in the very near future because you can’t bring yourself to leave until they finish their set!
I initially pictured Dallas as a slightly more muscular Jensen Ackles type but that evolved a bit due to the ways in which Dixie evolved. She became edgier and grittier than I originally imagined due to her backstory and so Dallas had to toughen up a bit, too. This happens sometimes—I picture a character or story one way before writing and then that changes as I get deeper into it. It’s such an amazing experience—that moment when my characters become “real” and show me who they are versus who I’d originally imagined or expected.
Caisey Quinn’s Inspiration for the Neon Dreams Series
Not too long ago (barely over a year), I took a trip to Nashville with some friends. It was one of those last minute “oh my gosh, we have to see this super big artist doing a concert in a tiny venue because they just Tweeted that they’ll be there” type road trips. Unplanned, beef jerky, big gulps, and random road mix cd style adventure. My favorite kind.
However, by the time we arrived at the venue it was packed. Literally. Wall to wall crammed, people spilling out onto the sidewalk, full to maximum capacity packed. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who caught word that a big name artist was going to be there.
We decided to just check out a few local spots instead. In a bar called Crossroads we got comfy, ordered drinks, and started chatting about how bummed we were that we didn’t get to see the original artist we intended to. I can’t even remember now who it was. Here’s why.
As we’re ordering a second—okay, maybe a third—round and deciding if we’re going to just call it a night and get a hotel room or head home (Birmingham is only about three hours away), this glorious sound fills the air. No, it pierces the air, rips through it and grabs everyone in hearing range by the eardrums.
Our conversation—along with many others—ceased instantly. Chill bumps ran up my arms even though it was quite warm and I was wearing a jacket.
Most of the patrons gaped in awe as this young woman played the fiddle as if she’d been born to do that and only that. It was the solo from “Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels band and she was rocking it beyond comprehension. Pretty sure even the bartenders stopped what they were doing. The rest of the night was a little blurry, but I know we didn’t leave until that band had played their entire set.
We ended up getting a hotel room but none of us slept. All we could talk about was that band and how amazing they were and how we were kicking ourselves that we didn’t get their name so we could check them out online and hear more. I still look for them when I’m in Nashville and one day I fully expect to hear them on the radio. Whoever they are, they will forever be the band that inspired the Neon Dreams series.
This isn’t the exact band but they’re pretty close! The search continues!
VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SKAl1lBDEY