Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.
Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a backseat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.
For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.
Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.
Maybe finding love is worth the risk.
Today at pakwanstripes, I am so glad to announce that the kittens and I are interviewing Tyler! uumm.. I mean, Mace! Lets give him our loudest meow, everyone!
Thanks so much for joining us today Tyler! Has your music success changed you in any way?
Tyler: Thanks for having me. (stares at the floor and clears his throat before crossing his arms and glancing over at where Emily is sitting in the corner, pretending to play on her phone) I don’t really think being successful has changed me. But you’d probably have to ask the people around me if you want a better answer. (gives small smile) I’m sorry. I’m really bad at interviews
Emily: (audibly laughs)
Tyler: Would you like to step in and answer for me?
Emily: Nope. Ignore me. I’m not here. I’m invisible.
Tyler: (mumbles under his breath)
What emotions run through your mind when you are up on that stage performing?
Tyler: It’s all adrenaline once the lights come up.
Emily: You sure are giving them a lot to work with, Mace.
Tyler: (pats the seat next to him) Come here, Peach. Fill in the blanks.
Emily: (sits next to Tyler and leans forward-his hand immediately settles under her shirt against her back)
When did your passion for music first begin?
Tyler: (relaxes a bit and takes a deep breath) I was eight. My uncle was in a band and they were practicing in his garage one day when we stopped by the house. That was it for me. I asked for a guitar for Christmas.
Did anyone teach you about music or inspire you to pressure music as a career?
Tyler: I’m self taught and the only people who have ever pressured me to pursue it are my friends. I would have been happy to just keep playing around Austin.
Tyler: Yeah, that probably is a lie.
We have to talk about your beautiful Emily! What was it like when you first saw her?
Emily: (sits up straight) I like this question. Come on. What was it like? Electricity? Did the room spin?
Tyler: (grins) She wasn’t wearing a bra…(dodges Emily’s hand as she slaps his arm)
How did meeting her change your life?
Tyler: Well, everything changed, right? She put this entire thing in motion. Our band is where it’s at because of how much she believed in us. God, that sounds really lame. (Emily squeezes his hand)
What is it about her that inspires you so much?
Emily: I can answer this one.
Tyler: You can?
Tyler: Nailed it.
Emily: Plus the whole music thing. The sleep thing. The … (she blinks and crosses her arms) I’ve said too much.
One of your troubles is trust. How did you find this with Emily?
Tyler: She never demanded it.
How is your band going now? Is it getting bigger are you more famous now?
Emily: Oh, please don’t feed his ego. I won’t be able to get him inside the cab.
Tyler: (pretends to glare) The band is great. We’re about to release our second album. And the only famous person I know is Shawn because of who he’s dating right now…and I’m not supposed to talk about that. So.
Whats the next big step in your life?
Tyler: (leans in and presses his nose to Emily’s temple before answering the question) There’s something happening in a few months. I think Emily might consider it a big deal but it’s whatever for me… something with a dress?
Emily: (smiles wide) And you’re going to look beautiful in it!
Thank you so very much to both of you for all your time! Love you both!
This is my second read by Amber L. Johnson and basically, I love her for including music into her work. Maybe is about former ballerina turned writer, Emily Portman. Emily has traveled all around the US to write about upcoming bands and her job has brought her to Austin, to write about an up and coming band. She meets Tyler, the maintenance guy at the apartment who turns out to be the drummer for the band she’s supposed to write about.
Tyler (or Mace), on the other hand, is just lost. After a failed relationship, he feels that his inspiration has disappeared and the music that used to give him so much happiness is now running around crazy in his head. He has moved to the sidelines from his band and struggles to regain his confidence.
At the start, there is a little bit of friction between Emily and Tyler, with Tyler’s consistent drumming until 5 am in the morning and Emily’s “foot in mouth disease” , complaining of loss of sleep. But artists recognize each other’s talents. So as Emily sees Tyler’s magic, “His voice is what contracts and sold out amphitheaters are made of. Its what girls cry to in their bathrooms and sing int heir showers. His voice is the reason I’m here.” and as Tyler calls on Emily’s ability to dance “When he leans forward, I hold my breath. “I want to see you dance.””, they both fall in love.
I enjoyed Emily’s character. I admired her because although she lost her dream of being a ballerina, she didn’t let it stop her. There are other doors available and I was very proud of her getting back up on her feet and finding a new path. By travelling around the states for her writing job, she walked so many roads until it lead her to Austin.
I also liked Tyler, and the way he tries to make sense of his music. Johnson uses his diary to show his progress with himself and his feelings for Emily. Although I found it a bit weird that Tyler would write on Emily, one my favourite quotes actually came from him.
“But instead of taking, I used a sharpie from her nightstand and drew a quarter rest on her shoulder. To remind myself to pause.”
She also gave Emily a map where she marks the places she’s been. I loved this touch the most because it represents the traveler in her. But no matter how many lines are drawn in a map, no matter how many pins are placed, everything leads to home. And all Emily wanted was a place to call home.
And while the story is also about the rise of an upcoming band, she makes the band members, specially Holly and Jonathan, so supportive of Tyler. I was expecting a lot of band conflict, with everyone wanting to be in the spotlight. But it surprised me that there is so much support between them.
Maybe by Amber L. Johnson is a great book. It talks about probabilities and acting on them. Maybe if we believe in ourselves, we’d see that we could do it. Maybe if we if we try to look for love again we’d finally get the right one. There are so many possibilities in life and Maybe, if we take a chance, we might actually find that those possibilities can become realities.
Amber is giving away One print copy of Maybe! Click on the rafflecopter link to join!
A true child of music, Amber’s parents surrounded her with the loudest beats they could find, molding her into a girl who found inspiration and meaning in lyrics and chords. Raised on John Hughes movies, Luck Dragons, and pirate ships, she dreamed of love and adventure. When Amber began to create her own world, she envisioned a place where Happy Ever Afters do exist. Since then, she has authored several romance novels, all of which focus on songs and the way they can touch people’s lives. Music may not be able to fix a broken heart, but it can provide one hell of a soundtrack for healing.A full-time wife and mother with a full-time job, Amber finds her muse in everyday life and the people who bring her inspiration.