by Elizabeth Briggs
Release Date: June 17th 2014
Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars.
Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
by Elizabeth Briggs
With a book called More Than Music, it’s obvious that music will be pretty important to the story – and not just because the characters play songs on a reality TV show. Maddie and Jared bond over their shared love of rock music, and at one point Maddie realizes: “Jared was the first guy who truly got me, who understood that music coursed through my blood and crept into every single thought – because he was exactly the same way.”
In More Than Music, Maddie and Jared go on a show called The Sound, which is a lot like The Voice but with bands instead of individual singers. Two of the songs they perform on the show are "Somebody Told Me" by The Killers and "Uprising" by Muse. I love the guitar in both these songs and thought they would be fun for Maddie to play, plus they have great vocals I can imagine Jared belting out.
When not on the show, Maddie and Jared also play songs for fun in their spare time. One of these is "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones, which they practice together in his hotel room, while he's trying to show her how to loosen up on stage. I chose this song because it's a punk classic that is easy to play but also really fun. In fact, I like to use it as a warm-up when I play guitar. Hey! Ho! Let's Go!
Jared also likes to sing to Maddie, and at one point sings "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" by My Chemical Romance to cheer her up before their audition on The Sound. This song then becomes a running theme for them throughout the entire book.
Another song that Jared sings to Maddie is “Stay” by Rihanna, which leads to things getting a bit steamy...because what girl wouldn't melt hearing a guy sing this to her? I was actually inspired by the cover of “Stay” by Thirty Seconds To Mars, along with their version of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance.” That song starts out as something that Jared and Maddie sing together for fun and later becomes pretty important in the book. I knew I had to use this song after hearing Jared Leto sing, "I don't want to be friends."
So now when you read certain scenes in the book you can also listen to those songs and watch those videos for the full experience!
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.