Behind the Cover Story: Flow & Grip by Kennedy Ryan

by Kennedy Ryan

Behind the Cover Story is a cover reveal with an exclusive guest post from the author about said cover. Maybe, it’s an explanation of how they came up with the concept. Maybe, it’s how they found their model. Maybe, it’s more than that.

Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.
I know.
I’ve been doing it for years.
I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary.
And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.
Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key.
All that’s left is friendship and work.
He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true.
I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.
It’s wild, reckless, disobedient.
And it remembers all the things I want to forget.

 

 

 

If I could undo your kisses
If I could un-feel your touch
If I could unhook this heart from yours
I would
But I’m trapped in the memory of what we were
Stuck with the reality of what we are
Tempted by the promise of a future
Afraid of possibility
I don’t know how our story ends, but this – this is where it started.

 

 

 

 

~ Guest Post ~

 

“You are the perfect verse over a tight beat.” – Brown Sugar

My black-hearted beauties!!! Thank you so much for sharing the covers of GRIP, and its prequel FLOW! To talk about what was behind the cover, I really have to talk at least a little about what is behind the story itself. The quote above from one of my favorite movies, BROWN SUGAR, rang in my head a lot as I was writing. GRIP is a love story about two people from completely different walks of life, from completely different circumstances, who meet each other and feel like they’ve known one another forever. They just click. It’s not insta-love. It’s anything BUT. FLOW, the prequel, actually takes place 8 years before GRIP. At that point, Grip is just starting in music and Bristol is a sophomore at Columbia. They connect around conversation and opinions and music and a lot of the things that typically come up when you first meet someone. And also around a lot of things that typically don’t. It’s not the things they have in common that fascinate them. It’s the ways they’re different. An innate curiosity drives both Marlon James (Grip) and Bristol Gray, and I think that is what makes them work. They don’t allow their differences to keep them apart, but leverage those differences to understand each other.

Hip hop is like a secondary character in this book. If you don’t like hip hop, you’ll still “get” this book; I hope still love it because it’s ultimately a deeply romantic story. But if you DO love hip hop, you’ll enjoy hearing names like Kendrick Lamar, Tupac, Biggie, Jay Z. Grip is a hip hop artist, and later on Bristol is his manager. But he, like Tupac, attended a School of the Arts. And like Tupac, started as a poet, a writer. He’s very broad-minded. Very well read, articulate, but authentic. Still really grounded in the community where he grew up, even as his star rises. He, like Kendrick Lamar, grew up in Compton, and has to reconcile the sometimes disparate experiences of that setting and the very cultured context of his arts education. He’s been grinding for years – writing and producing for other artists, putting out underground mix tapes, featuring on artists’ tracks – and now it’s HIS turn. He’s about to drop his first solo studio album. All of that goes into the concept behind the cover. 

Grip is hot. So I did want some “body” shot, but the story is very layered with a complex plot and a lot of “real life” current issues raised. So I wanted to elevate a little above “just” abs. Nothing wrong with abs! LOL! But with hip hop being such an influence I also wanted to integrate the cityscape; an urban/big city tone. And diverse characters are important in my work. Every book I’ve ever written features a cast of multi-ethnic characters. I wanted this visual to be…anything when you look at him. Is he Black, his he Hispanic, white? Diversity and embracing/understanding our differences actually is one of the main themes of the book, and their relationship – how they are so different, but manage to listen to, respect and ultimately love one another – becomes a metaphor for one of the book’s broader themes. So I wanted the aesthetic to be almost race-neutral. 

The FLOW cover has a bit of a younger vibe than GRIP because they are younger in the prequel. They’re college-age In FLOW, so they don’t have the same responsibilities yet, and the beach and the Ferris wheel communicate some of that. GRIP takes place when they’re about to turn 30, and their lives have become really complex, especially with Grip’s celebrity, so it has a more mature context.

I hope you enjoy BOTH books! FLOW will be FREE everywhere on Feb 25!!! And GRIP goes straight to KU on March 2!

 

About Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan grew up in North Carolina, but loves living in Atlanta with her husband (tall – check, dark – check – handsome – check), and her handful of a son. Though she knew, like writers often do, that she was supposed to tell stories, the road to fulfillment has been paved with “some of everything” jobs that kept her family eating and living indoors. With her degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tar Heels!), she has focused on writing for non-profit organizations and even doing some non-fiction ghost writing. Only in the last few years did she start telling stories again.

In addition to being a devoted wife and mom, she’s also passionate about serving families living with Autism. Her son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two, and she has made it her mission to help as many families as possible find the resources and services they need.

I am just as passionate about the REAL LIFE stories I tell as I am about the worlds I build in fiction. Some of these use my given TINA DULA and some are written under my pseudonym KENNEDY RYAN.


read more
ARC Giveaway + Dreamcast: My Soul To Keep by Kennedy RyanMy Soul To Keep by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Soul #1
November 16, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 361
Amazon US
Goodreads

It seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold...

KAI

I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music.
Mama was taken from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s pushed me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music's brightest stars. Not now. Music is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go, not even for Rhyson Gray.

RHYSON

I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth. I thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s all I think about, like a song I can't get out of my head. If I have to chase her, if I have to give up everything - I will. And once she's mine, I won't let go.

Back in November, I picked up my first Kennedy Ryan book. It was My Soul To Keep and I pretty much adored it. I fell in love with Rhyson, especially. I just finished the follow up, Down to My Soul and my love for this boy just grew.

Here is my quickie review of My Soul To Keep, scroll further down for who I see as the characters. The ebook is on sale now for only $0.99.  Also, below you’ll find a giveaway for an ARC of book two, Down to My Soul!

My Soul to Keep was my first venture into a Kennedy Ryan book, but I’ll definitely be digging into her other titles. Shit, if all her guys are even remotely like Rhyson…she’ll become a favorite for sure.  He’s not without flaws. BIG flaws.  But his adorable quirkiness made me put up with his flaws. Well, mostly. Anyway, Ryan wrote characters I could care about and a story I could become invested in and wrapped it all up with some great lines. Like these:

“I’m afraid if I have him completely, he’ll take all of me”

“Watching you guys trying to be friends is like watching porn with no penetration. Really hot, but no climax.”

“I want to make her laugh my ring tone.”

“The man I didn’t want to need feels like the breath in my lungs.”

I mean, come on.  Great lines! If you’re a fan of the friends to lovers thing and you don’t mind a bit of a cliffhanger, check this book out. Strong 4 Stars

mstk

 

~ Dream Cast ~

Rhyson  – I picked Deigo Barrueco. He’s freckly, which Rhyson isn’t . But I can’t seem to care. It’s the look on his face all the time that sold me. He’s broody, which I think fits Rhyson well. His messy hair helped a lot too. 

Diego

Kai – I chose Pom Klementieff.  She, like Kai, was born to an Asian mother and there is just something about her eyes that draws you in. I think she’s nearly perfect.

POM

 

 

 

~ Giveaway ~

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan grew up in North Carolina, but loves living in Atlanta with her husband (tall – check, dark – check – handsome – check), and her handful of a son. Though she knew, like writers often do, that she was supposed to tell stories, the road to fulfillment has been paved with “some of everything” jobs that kept her family eating and living indoors. With her degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tar Heels!), she has focused on writing for non-profit organizations and even doing some non-fiction ghost writing. Only in the last few years did she start telling stories again.

In addition to being a devoted wife and mom, she’s also passionate about serving families living with Autism. Her son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two, and she has made it her mission to help as many families as possible find the resources and services they need.

I am just as passionate about the REAL LIFE stories I tell as I am about the worlds I build in fiction. Some of these use my given TINA DULA and some are written under my pseudonym KENNEDY RYAN.


read more

Sunday Brunch + ARC Giveaway + Excerpt: Kennedy Ryan

by Kennedy Ryan

Sunday-Brunch-Logo-Square1

Happy Sunday! Today we are chatting with the fabulous Kennedy Ryan and taking a peak at her upcoming release My Soul To Keep, scroll down for an excerpt and an ARC giveaway!

 

If people were thrown in jail for bad habits, what would be your crime?

Staying up too late! I barely sleep. I’m like a vampiric early bird.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I’d have a wonder twin power. Like form of…an ice pick! And then you’d always have a super friend! (You can tell I’m an extrovert! LOL!)

 

What would your superhero name be?

Duo!

 

If you were a stalker, would you be good at it?

I’d suck balls at stalking. I’d giggle every time I was within stalking distance of my prey. I’d be all…this is SO cool!

 

You are forced into karaoke – what song do you sing?

I’m Walking On Sunshine by Katrina And The Waves

 

You are an alien, with your own spaceship – who do you abduct?

My husband because he’s the best. He’d know when I wanted to talk and when to leave me alone!

 

Chunky or Creamy

Creamy. I should not be forced to choose.

 

Godzilla or King Kong

If I say King Kong am I Naomi Watts? King Kong.

 

Who is your favorite Disney princess?

I’m gonna go with Pocahontas. People forget her!

 

We come to your house for dinner, what are we eating?

If you tell me we’ll both know! LOL! Hubby asks me the same thing every night and I’m generally this unprepared.

 

Pick two celebrities to be your parents.

Audrey Hepburn, b/c I’m obsessed with her for obvious reasons. And Sidney Poitier, for less obvious, but still valid, reasons. He’s awesome!

 

 

my soul to keep

It seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold…

KAI

I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music.
Mama was taken from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s pushed me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music’s brightest stars. Not now. Music is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go, not even for Rhyson Gray.

RHYSON

I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth. I thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s all I think about, like a song I can’t get out of my head. If I have to chase her, if I have to give up everything – I will. And once she’s mine, I won’t let go.

 

 

 

Excerpt

My Soul to Keep
Copyright (c) Kennedy Ryan, 2015
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Each person has their solo moment to show off what they can do before passing it off to the next person. Dub is fantastic. His body is as much an instrument as my piano, and he plays it with confidence. He commands everyone’s attention with the fluidity of every movement. Popping his shoulders, rolling his body, every motion purposeful but effortless.
And then it’s Kai’s turn. I’m nervous for her. I’ve seen her teach her dance class, and I can tell she’s good, but this guy, these dancers, are on another level. I hope she can hold her own.
As soon as she starts moving, my jaw hangs open. I knew she was talented, but I had no idea how little I had seen. Not only is she holding her own, but she is more magnetic than Dub ever could be. She spins, dark hair swinging out behind her. She drops to her haunches, rolling her hips back and forth, and then pops upright, arms extended over her head, eyes closed, head rolled back. She loses herself in the sensual pull of the music, and she’s making love to the beat. Thrusting, grinding, her body rolling, finding the pulse embedded in the lyrics.
My dick is like a lead pipe under this table. I want her to the point of physical pain. There is only one release for this, and that’s having Kai spread beneath me, her body the harbor I sink into. Unrestricted access to all that sweetness. I want to tear the roof off this place because she won’t give herself to me. I feel Jimmi’s eyes on me, watching me watching Kai, but I can’t help it. And even though I know the longer I watch Kai, the more Jimmi will hate her, I can’t look away.
Dub steps into Kai’s space, and her eyes open slowly like she expected him, like she lured him. He cradles her hips with his hands and pulls her into his body. Kai doesn’t miss a beat, but twists until her back presses into his chest. She rolls her hips into his before spinning away, teasing him over her shoulder, her eyes holding him captive. He chases her, grabs her, lifts her. She wraps her legs around his waist and falls back until her hair brushes the floor. She snaps herself back up, pressing their chests together, and then she slides down his body like honey, coating him with her arms and legs before sliding away again. It’s like their bodies know exactly what to do. Instinct, talent, and elegant athleticism spark a connection between their bodies that has everyone around them cheering and high-fiving and clapping.
When the song ends, that confident sensuality Kai wore like skin during the music, falls away. I think I just witnessed the alter ego she told me shows up when she performs. She leaves the center of the circle, and I know her well enough to see self-consciousness settle around her shoulders. She laughs up at Dub, but it’s not reckless and free like moments before. I know that feeling. True freedom is only really found in those moments where you’re unleashed into your purpose. Something comes alive in me that lays dormant when I’m not making music. I will never shine brighter than I do behind a piano or a microphone.
The stage is my galaxy. It’s Kai’s too, and she’s destined to be a shooting star. My days of having her to myself are numbered, but I’m okay with that. I want that for her. I’ll share her with the rest of the world, but if I didn’t know before, I know now. I want to see her soar. Hell, I’m determined to help her soar higher than she ever imagined, if she’ll let me, but when she comes down, I want her to land with me.

 

My Soul To Keep Kennedy Ryan

Join Kennedy’s Facebook group here: > Kennedy Ryan Books <

Giveaway

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan grew up in North Carolina, but loves living in Atlanta with her husband (tall – check, dark – check – handsome – check), and her handful of a son. Though she knew, like writers often do, that she was supposed to tell stories, the road to fulfillment has been paved with “some of everything” jobs that kept her family eating and living indoors. With her degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tar Heels!), she has focused on writing for non-profit organizations and even doing some non-fiction ghost writing. Only in the last few years did she start telling stories again.

In addition to being a devoted wife and mom, she’s also passionate about serving families living with Autism. Her son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two, and she has made it her mission to help as many families as possible find the resources and services they need.

I am just as passionate about the REAL LIFE stories I tell as I am about the worlds I build in fiction. Some of these use my given TINA DULA and some are written under my pseudonym KENNEDY RYAN.


read more


%d bloggers like this: