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Now On Tour Heavy Metal Symphony by A.K. Palombo #ExclusiveExcerpt

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Heavy Metal Symphony
A.K. Palombo

Genre: Women’s fiction (contemporary)
Date of Publication: August 15th, 2023
ISBN: Paperback: 9798218175207
Ebook: 9798218178628
Number of pages: 334
Word Count: 100,500
Cover Artist: Jennifer Hark-Hameister

Book Description: 

"I hope you never reach a day where you have to choose between your band and your relationship."

Ava Tomei seems to have it all: she's the lead singer of Buffalo-based symphonic metal band Handel's Messiah and is in a committed relationship with the band's keyboard player and brilliant lead composer Killian Sterling. But as the band hits the studio to record their fifth album, Ava and Killian can no longer hide the cracks in their relationship from their bandmates-or from themselves.

What started as an artistic collaboration between Ava and Killian six years before quickly bloomed into a passionate romance. Then, when the original lead singer of Handel's Messiah-and Killian's ex-girlfriend-leaves the band right in the middle of the band's world tour, Killian calls on Ava to fill in. Ava is plunged into the pressures of stepping in to front one of metal's biggest rising bands amidst fan disappointment, skepticism from her new bandmates, the physical demands of a world tour, and sexism in the metal scene. 

But she also has the chance to fulfill her wildest dreams, and to do it at the side of the man she loves. Still, as Ava's desire to express her creativity comes to a head with Killian's artistic dominance, they are forced to confront whether what they have can be repaired-and what will happen to their band if not.

Told in alternating storylines that show Ava and Killian's seemingly fairytale past and their fraught present, Heavy Metal Symphony is a novel of rock stars, ambition, creative control, finding your voice, and, of course, heavy metal.

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Exclusive Excerpt From Chapter 4 of Heavy Metal Symphony

They had met the way most people met in Buffalo: introduced by a mutual friend. In this case, Killian’s sister and Ava’s former roommate Denise.

            Ava recognized him, waiting patiently at the edge of the crowd of people who had come to congratulate her. She was flushed and smiling, gratefully accepting everyone’s kind words. She knew it had been one of her best performances, and that the time she’d spent rehearsing and money she’d spent preparing and renting the church and paying the accompanist had all been worth it.

            When she saw that Killian Sterling had apparently been in the audience, she was doubly glad she’d knocked it out of the park.

            They waited until the rest of the audience members had drifted away before approaching: Denise with her brother Killian in tow. Ava found herself wishing Denise might have given her a heads up that she was bringing Killian to the performance.

            Maybe it’s better that she didn’t, Ava thought, her heartbeat tripling as Killian met her eyes. After all, had I known I would have been nervous, and I don’t think I could have sung any better than I just did.

            “Ava, that was amazing!” Denise said as they drew closer. “That was the best I’ve ever heard you sing! Anyway, I have someone I want you to meet and who wants to meet you.” She motioned to Killian. “Ava, my brother, Killian Sterling. Killian, my friend Ava Tomei, my roommate from college.”

            Killian reached out to shake her hand. “Wonderful to meet you, Ava. You were absolutely phenomenal.”

            “Wow, thank you so much!” Ava said, trying to keep her tone as professional as possible so she didn’t sound like a complete fangirl. “And thank you for coming! Denise probably told you that I’m a huge fan of the band.”

            “She did mention it, yes,” he said. “I’m honored that such a great musician is a fan.” He smiled, and Ava felt herself go a bit weak at the knees.

            In addition to being – in Ava’s opinion – a musical genius, Killian was also good-looking. Extremely good-looking. He had long, wavy dark hair that he had pulled back and that complimented his pale skin; high, sculpted cheekbones; a neat moustache and goatee; and – Ava’s weakness – bright blue eyes.

            “I’ve been wanting to introduce you two for a while, but it never worked out,” Denise said. “I figure you’ll have a lot to talk about!”

            “Yeah, I think maybe we do,” Killian said, his eyes still on Ava. “Shall we all go out for a drink?”

            “Yeah, that sounds good!” Denise said, looping her arm through Killian’s.

            “That would be great,” Ava managed. She couldn’t quite believe that Killian Sterling had not only come to her recital, but had asked her out for a drink on top of it.

            But then, it wasn’t like he was asking her out out, right? After all, his sister was with them.

            Get it together, Ava told herself sharply. You just met him. You’re going for drinks. You’ll likely never see him again after tonight, so none of this matters.

            Ava popped back into the sacristy of the church to collect her coat and purse. When she came back out into the nave, she saw Killian waiting for her, alone. “Denise went to get the car,” he explained, “so I offered to wait for you. We can drop you back at your car after, if that’s okay?”

            “Perfect,” she said. “Thanks.” She was about to start down the long aisle that led to the main entrance when he gently grabbed her left wrist, studying the tattoo that twined around it. It was a music staff, with notes placed along it. He hummed them as he turned her wrist slightly, reading the melody. “Puccini’s ‘Vissi d’arte’,” he said, glancing up at her. “Gorgeous.”

            She smiled, enjoying the heat of his fingers on her wrist. “Thank you. I just got that less than a year ago.”

            “Why that piece?” he wanted to know. “It’s a great choice; I’m just curious.”

            She explained as they walked slowly towards the door. “Well, I’ve always loved it,” she said. “And being a mezzo-soprano, it’s not quite right for my voice, but I finally ended up learning it anyway for a recital I gave last year. I got the tattoo after I performed it. And I’m sure you noticed that the notes are just the first phrase: Vissi darte, vissi damore. It’s my reminder to always live for art and for the people and things I love.”

            He was smiling when she looked over at him again, but it was a small, quiet smile; an intimate smile, just for her. “That’s beautiful,” he said. “Really beautiful.”


About the Author:

A.K./Alyssa Palombo is the author of four historical novels from St. Martin’s: Griffin: The Violinist of Venice, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel, and The Borgia Confessions. 

She graduated from Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively. In addition to her love of heavy metal, she is also a classically trained mezzo-soprano. She lives and works in Buffalo, New York, and when not writing she can be found at metal shows, listening to records and adding to her vinyl collection, lost in a good book, or planning her next travel adventure.

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