I have to admit I am really geeked about this one, as Lisa is one of my favorite authors and just an all around awesome person. :-) At the end I have some extras, and my review of this book. ~LaDonna
Title: A Shit Storm
Series: Six Silver Strings E String Set
Author: Lisa Gillis
Editor: Pedantic Punctuator
Page Count: 328 pages
Genre: New Adult – Rock Romance
Published: March 13, 2015
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Lisa Gillis lives in Texas among family and loves it all, from the beaches deserts to the sprawling metropolises. Her loyal, loving musician husband inspires her fictional men, and her beautiful-hearted son brings the light to her world.
Writing is her passion, and she strives to blend the perfect mixture of fantasy and reality into her books. While listening to music, the little voices in her head become the fascinating characters in her novels, and each series, including Silver Strings, is infused with her love of music, bands and concerts.
When she’s not writing or making her own music on her guitar or drums, she’s catering to her spoiled, hyper and lovable chocolate lab, Bailey.
Graphics courtesy of Author Lisa Gillis.
And we have some extras for you today as well!
Here’s one for the Learn Something Every Day files:
Synesthesia is a mixture of two very different senses triggered by one experience. Chromesthesia is sound-to-color synesthesia.
As experienced and explained by Tristan in A Shit Storm:
Sounds sometime bring on flashes and waves of color.
In my case, my synesthesia is audio induced. Chromesthesia. The colors strobing inside my skull are more vivid when the sound is combined with an intense emotion…
…I stop in the midst of those dancing and reclaim my drinking arm. The beat of the song soaks into my cells as I sip. Violet hues with waves of indigo melt into my mind…
… I’ve never heard anything so sweet. Once again, a sweet sunshiny glow blankets my mind and warms my soul…
…“That’s it!” Her voice sings down the hallway, and it seems implausible when the spectrum bathing my confused brain is still gloriously golden, laced with happy endorphins….
Tristan isn’t the only one in Six Silver Strings to experience this condition.
It’s a hereditary thing in my family. My grandfather has it and lived most of his life with it before it was a medically recognized state.
It skipped my dad and landed on me. I’m the only one in my immediate family so lucky.
If you’ve read Rising Sun, Half Moon, Rock Stars, you’ll remember the significance of the color red for Matt, the grandfather Tristan speaks of.
“Keep playing if you want to, cari. Sounds good… feels good.”
She loved the comments he made of music touching more senses than just the auditory. Once he’d confessed that sometimes certain emotions, feelings, or even songs caused him to see color.
“What color are you seeing now?” She asked while kissing him.
“A beautiful red, cari. When we’re together like this, any color around you is always bright and red.
Tristan is accepting of it, but admits it is an overwhelming experience at times.
While Dusty and the few I’ve ever told of the condition might think it’s cool to see kaleidoscopes when listening to songs, I’m not always in the mood, especially for B-Flat shit -colored brown like tonight. When I’m tired, the extra stimulus is even more exhausting.
Many musicians have chromesthesia. It’s been speculated Jimi Hendrix had the condition and that it inspired the song Purple Haze. In one conversation, Jimi told a fellow musician that by tweaking his chord progression just a little, he would “see colors he’d never seen before” in songs.
Crimson and Clover is another song said to be written by an artist who hinted of experiencing synesthesia before it was a medically recognized condition.
Researchers have speculated that the reason so many musical artists can be tagged with Chromesthesia is because it allows them to have perfect pitch. They can literally see when a note is right.
A few well-known artists with chromesthesia follow, but there are many, many more. Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer Billy Joel Marilyn Monroe Bob Dylan Mozart.
Author Q & A
If you could be one of your characters who would you be and why?
I think I love Jules Breaux in the D-String Set the most because she has many traits I wish I had. She’s strong and self-assured. And I’m completely in love with her man, Matt Loren. But Jules goes through a long train wreck period.
Marissa Duplei in the G-String Set is probably most like me—she’s always second guessing herself and striving for perfection. And of course, her man, Jack Storm is sizzling hot—but not as hot as my Matt…
Sash David in the E-Strings set… I won’t really get into her head well enough to decide about her until this next novel…
I can’t make up my mind on this one. If forced to make a choice it would be Marissa, not because of who she is or who she’s married to, but because I like her life. I like that she and Jack left L.A. and touring behind, and I like the idea of them working together at Jewelstone, the family studio and raising their kids together—the last part Matt and Jules didn’t always get to do.
Do you write the lyrics in the Six Silver Strings Series?
Yes. Often off the top of my head in fifteen minutes flat if my mind is right. A lot of times, I cheat and use the melody of a song that’s been stuck in my brain, and I’ll just stay in that mindset and mood and change up the lyrics to relate to something happening in the chapter. If nothing comes to me and I get desperate, I raid my catalogue of unused stuff. Sounds all official doesn’t it? But “the catalogue” is really just a trapper keeper, the note app on my phone, and word documents scattered all through the laptop and tablets.
Is there anything in your writing that parallels your own life?
Authors can either write what they know or with a lot of research, write what they don’t know. I’ve done a healthy dose of both. D-Strings research can fill up another book. Either way though, in between the lines of any story, there’s a diary of the author telling it. I’m still discovering the pages of my diary in the paragraphs of my novels. In D-Strings, Jules’ brother Marc’s generously dispensed noogies and overprotective attitude is a combo of two my cousins who looked after me like brothers. In G-Strings, my dog had a starring role, with the name only slightly changed. In all sets, there is a loyal best friend who is always there for the heroine. The best friend characters are a composite of my three sisters. A lot of times dialogue may be almost word for word a conversation I just had witht someone. And I love to play with numbers. Street names, house numbers, phone numbers—most will be a literal combo of something real with me.
You have a duel point of view narration in A Shit Storm. Why did you write the novel this way?
This question came up just two hours ago… a reviewer said she was distracted by the change from third to first, and she kept asking why would the author do this, lol. I was hoping to appease Jack and Marissa fans who have asked for more of the parenting years, and yet bring in New Adult readers and hopefully introduce those new readers to Jack and Marissa and then G-Strings. A lot of thought went into the setup to hopefully keep it from being confusing. Every first point of view chapter begins with a text, email, or some type of correspondence. I was hoping that would make the brain subconsciously switch.
What is the order of the series and what is your favorite set?
Chronological order would go D-Strings, G-Strings, E-Strings. But G-Strings was released first. I didn’t think I could make a strong debut with a period novel. Contemporary romance is all the rage. It was unorthodox to release in that way, but I hoped readers would be drawn in by Jack and Marissa’s story, and then take a chance on the 70’s set even if it was something they wouldn’t ordinarily read.
My favorite is D-Strings. I fell in love with the Laurel Canyon of that time period. In fact, I want one day to write Laurel Canyon in the 60’s when it was one big block party and the neighborhood population was primarily musicians who are now legends.
Exclusive Excerpt for LaDonna’s Book Nook
Cars continue to arrive, and the occupants eventually wander away from the area, so it’s easy to spot a lone person heading toward the lot. My breath stops for a moment.
Her long dark hair gleams in the sun. Blue highlights, striped with purple, shimmer in the straight ebony tresses.
A yellow tank top shows off inked half sleeves—yellow daisies or sunflowers and entangled green vines decorating both arms. Straight-leg jeans hug her slim, yet curvy hips. My eyes move up. She’s closer, and with every step more beautiful. She moves with an easy grace flowing through a body that Skype never did justice to.
Forcing my eyes to her face, I curve a grin. She’s almost upon me now, and she squeals in excitement. “You made it!”
She laughs in pure enjoyment of the moment and dances from one foot to the other. “I can’t believe you’re here!”
A golden glow brightens my tired senses every time she speaks. I’ve seen yellow before plenty of times, but this is different. It’s like a glow in the midst of the hottest flame. I feel the color’s vibrations with an intensity I never have.
Her eyes glide beyond me. “That yours?” When I nod, she asks, “You ride that all the way?”
I nod again. Why can’t I speak? I Skyped this girl for months. Exchanged thousands of Facebook message texts from my fake account.
“Trey, I’m so glad you made it. You just don’t know. I’m so freaking nervous.”
“I bet. Anyone would be.” Finally! I can speak although I want to kick myself for the trite response.
She invades my space, catching my arms in a straightforward manner as if we’re literal friends instead of virtual.
I slide my arms back enough until I catch her hands in mine and lightly squeeze. “You’re going to be fine.”
In a few hours, her band, Splynter, will be on stage playing for a few thousand here at this outdoor festival, instead of a few hundred in her town’s local clubs.
“So, you need to come around to the other side.” She tightens her grip on my hands before releasing. “You can bring the bike.”
“Cool.” I nod and contain my surprise when she bends, picks up the guitar case, and slings it over her shoulder. Once it’s settled, she straddles the seat, leaving room for me to ride in front of her.
And so I do after passing her the helmet to wear. I don the backpack, regretting that its bulk is between her and me. The bike roars to life, and her breath feathers my neck.
“Exit out that drive, and go left.”
I don’t want the ride to end, but it does soon after her last direction caresses my ear.
A Shit Storm Playlist
He has met a girl online who is an amazing singer in a rock band, and Tristan’s gene pool has allowed him to become a pretty impressive guitar player and songwriter in his own right. But in all his Skypeing and other communications with the amazing Sasha David, he has managed to keep his identity a secret.
After graduation, he goes to the family compound long time readers will remember with a few friends. And when they head back to Dallas, he leaves them all behind for a chance to check out Sasha’s band, and try to gain the position of guitarist they are looking to fill.
Fans of Jack and Marissa will be pleased to get to see snapshots of their reactions to their baby boy growing up and taking the reigns to do things his own way.
Along the way, Tristan realizes the hard way just how sheltered his life has been, and perhaps how naive he is as well, but will he find love and fame under his assumed name and self imposed isolation from his parents? Will he be recognized for who he is regardless? Do long lying in wait snakes from the past choose to strike? How do his parents, especially his mother, handle his exile?
I can’t honestly say I am a huge fan of the YA/NA genres, but there was no way that I couldn’t absolutely love this one. Lisa’s writing is top notch as always, and all her characters are vibrantly real as usual as well. And as much as I still want to know more about the “missing years” of Tristan’s childhood and adolescence, nothing but praise can be given to this new angle. Naturally long time readers will not want to miss this one, but I think it will also appeal to new, younger audiences as well.
For mature audiences for sexual situations, but not as explicit as most of her other works.