Tuesday 17 October 2017

Release Day Blitz, Review & Excerpt ~ Drive by Kate Stewart

We're celebrating the release of DRIVE by Kate Stewart!

This book is in my all time top 3, by far my favourite read of 2017 and is a definite must read!! If there is only one book you read this year, make sure it is this one!!

Contemporary Romance
Stand Alone
Designer: Q Designs
Scheduled to release: October 17, 2017

Add it to Goodreads

Book Description:

Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.

One playlist.

And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.

Buy Links:

Paperback UK: http://amzn.to/2ygO17S
Paperback US: http://amzn.to/2wSsOj4

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars are not enough
***ARC received for an honest review***

“You have to wait one minute past desperation...”

To be honest, 5 stars is not enough for this book. Out of the thousands and thousands of books I have read I have two all-time favourites that I recommend to anyone who will listen. These two books have been on that list for a long time with no stand out books that have deserved to match them…until now. I have read this book three times already, three times this book has destroyed me and each time of reading, despite knowing what is coming, it hurt just as much as the first. That is testament to this authors innate ability to master emotion. With a Kate Stewart read you experience everything, she immerses you into the lives of her characters so naturally and absolutely that when they hurt, you hurt. You take her characters into your heart and soul, you live and breathe their love, their pain, their highs and their lows, they smile you smile, they love you love. I experienced this like life itself, it felt real, and despite the many highs, the lows hurt like a bitch.

“You can’t go beating up everyone that pisses you off. Use your words, I promise you they are much better weapons. But be careful with them because bruises heal.”

For me, this was one of those EPIC reads. One of those reads that you will remember for a lifetime, a book that I will read time and time again and one that will never age. I know I am harping on about the tears I spilled, but for me, emotion is everything. I am an emotional reader, I have to live and breathe a book to truly connect with the characters and when a book truly destroys me, the way that this book did, it deserves ALL the PRAISE. I am trying to convey just how special this book was. This book is one of my unicorns, I am now the proud owner of three.

“Even in hindsight, with all your mistakes disappearing in the distance, the things you got right are right alongside them. I’d made the mistake in only looking for the hurt…”

Drive is an epic journey of self-discovery, life lessons, love lessons and everything else in between. Music plays a huge part in this book, for all the characters, and if you experience this book the interactive way, by clicking on the music link on each chapter heading you will only fall deeper into the Kate Stewart abyss and truly experience this book heart, mind, body and soul. The balance and flow of this book was PERFECT. Angst in spades, but more importantly heat and passion, laughs, a lot of love and that all-encompassing emotion.

“Welcome to adulthood…It fucking sucks here.”

This book was captivating from start to finish as you live Stella’s life as she tries to find her place in the world. We start in the present but Kate Stewart soon takes us back to how Stella, became Stella. Stella was a journalist and her specialty was music. Her father in particular had born her love of music and music was her blood, her life line, her de-stress, her true love. Stella wasn’t Stella without her music. Along her travels, making her mark and discovering new talent we also follow Stella’s love life which is full of highs and lows and this is where Kate Stewart comes into her own. Kate Stewart always writes fantastic hero’s and with Drive there is more than one to choose from and I dare anybody not to fall in love with them both. This is not a love triangle per se, there is no cheating, just one heck of an all-encompassing love story, that will have your heart beating a mile minute, the tears plentiful and the highs far outweighing the lows.

“When it came to the men in my life, my emotions were my kryptonite, and so was my indecision.”

Stella was an amazing heroine, it is rare for me to love a heroine as much as the hero but with Stella she wore her heart on her sleeve, she was an open book, opinionated, sassy but vulnerable with her charming personality a mask for the naïve and fearful woman underneath. As this book progresses though you witness Stella’s metamorphosis to the strong, independent, yet still extremely lovable woman she becomes. Her journey was tough and hard fought, there were no winners and losers, Kate Stewart brought this book to a close perfectly.

“Because music is the heart’s greatest librarian. A few notes had the ability to transport me back in time, and to the most painful places.”

As I said above, this is more than a book, it is an experience, like a movie that you are watching in glorious technicolour. It will infuriate you, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, but at the end, even though you will be physically and emotionally exhausted you can only look back in stunned silence and wonder what the hell you had just read. This is by far my favourite Kate Stewart book. This author truly outdid herself with one hell of a memorable book, one that as I said before I will read time and time again. This is a slow burn, as Kate Stewart sets the scene, but once this book comes into its own around the 40% mark there is no going back. Captivating and unputdownable this is definitely a book you should read with a glass of wine, a huge bar of chocolate and a box of Kleenex, especially if you are a soft sap like me.

“Money used to be the whole fucking problem and now it can’t solve anything.”

I could harp on about this book forever, but then it will just be boring, so all I am going to say is READ IT. Experience this as the author intended, go in blind and live, breathe and feel this book, it is truly AMAZING!!

“I used to think I was cursed for having fallen in love with two men. But, in hindsight, I realized what a gift it was. They were my lovers, my teachers, my best friends, and I would love them both until I took my last breath.”


Breathe. Breathe. This is in the bag, Stella. You can do this, so do it.

I clicked on the camera and quickly glanced at my notes.

One minute.

Electricity shot through my veins and seeped through every pore, reminding me that this was it.

Thirty seconds.
I took a sip of water and set it beside my laptop as I waited.

Ten seconds.
A flicker of doubt processed for mere seconds before I wiped it away.

I expelled a stressed breath, clicked Go Live, and addressed the camera.

“Womanizer, bully, genius, recluse, and the world’s greatest MC. Even with all those labels, Phillip Preston, also known as Titan, is still a bit of an enigma. Despite the universe he’s constructed with storytelling lyrics, he’s always left it up to us to decipher his truth from his fiction. He burst onto the music scene fifteen years ago, an underdog in the belly of rap, with chaotic and desperate rhymes that resonated and pushed him into an unexpected level of stardom. With one hundred and eighty million records sold, he still holds his title as heavyweight and remains a household staple for his die-hard fans, collecting an army of new followers over the past two decades. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated when I sat down with him this past weekend in his Chicago fortress. I, like millions of others, am a huge fan of his genius. The simplicity of our surroundings in his home studio was shocking, to say the least. The feeling was a bit clinical and there were no platinum records on his walls, no personal photos, and there was no hint of the history he’d made as the world’s most notorious rap star. He sat in a leather chair next to his soundboard, water bottle in hand, and spoke about his love of rap, while subtly redirecting questions about his personal life—though we know he recently broke up with his long-time girlfriend, Jordan Wilson.”

My eyes nearly watered as I watched the live view box tick to a hundred thousand. I had a hundred thousand people watching my podcast in a matter of minutes. I took a deep breath.

“But it seemed my reputation had preceded me because when I sat down with the rap mogul, Phillip appeared ready for the firing squad. We dueled well as I asked the hard questions—the questions of a fan. Questions I know so many of his loyal listeners want answers to, and I think you’ll be surprised to hear his answers. So, without further ado, take a look at my exclusive with the man behind the myths. Feel free to form your own opinions, but above all, remember it’s the music that matters most.”

I linked my pre-recorded interview and watched the ticks explode as soon as his face hit the screen.

That was the moment my career peaked.

With pride, I watched my interview with the white whale, the Moby Dick of the music industry. Gorgeous, brilliant, and highly elusive, Phillip Preston was the hardest artist to get personal with in an interview. And I was the woman he reached out to, to break his silence about his road to success, his parents, his ex-wife, and finally—after some careful eggshell coaxing—he spoke about his recent relationship. He had delivered to me, on a silver platter, highly personal details about his life where so many other journalists had failed, and it was nothing short of miraculous.

It was my greatest accomplishment as a music journalist. I was flying, soaring as my phone began to blow up with message after message. I hadn’t told a soul, not a single person about my exclusive. I was high on adrenaline when the notifications began to ping on my phone. A hundred, two hundred messages, and then I saw the viewer ticks had jumped drastically to half a million. Half a million! I laughed out nervously and checked Phillip’s social media. He had just posted my podcast link to our interview. My jaw dropped. He had over eighty million followers on one forum alone.

And the viewer counts just kept rising. I had done it. I gasped when the ticks went past a million.

A million people were watching my podcast.

A million people were watching my podcast!

“AHHHHHH!” I screamed to no one as I looked around the vacant room. I raised both hands in the air when the ticks rolled past two million. “Oh my GOD!” I shot up from the desk, my eyes full of incredulous water.

I’d never had more than a million views. Ever. And those took months to accrue. It was the greatest career high of my life. I looked back down at my phone, anxious to talk to someone, anyone. Lexi’s middle finger popped up on the screen, and I couldn’t resist answering her call.

“AHHHHHHHH!” I screamed into the phone..


“Yes! Is it good? You think I asked the right questions? I edited for like nine hours.”


“What do you mean, what? Titan’s interview.”

“You interviewed Titan?”

A small amount of my excitement dispersed. “Yours was the wrong call to answer.”

“You fucking interviewed Titan?”

“Yes. I wanted to surprise everyone.”

“And you didn’t bring me?”

“Sorry. I’ll feel guilty later.”

“Yeah.” Her voice dropped. I heard a toilet flush. “Yeah, Stella, that’s so cool.” Another toilet flushed.

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the bathroom at the Marquee.”

“Okay. Well, I’m buzzing right now, woman. Like, literally, my phone is exploding. Five million hits, Lexi. Five million!”

“I’m so happy for you, Stella.”

I frowned. “Yeah, with that amazing monotone, I can tell.”

“I’m so sorry.” And then her voice broke. My best friend doesn’t cry. Ever.

“Oh, shit. What’s up?”

“I’ll call you back, okay? I don’t want to ruin this.”

“You aren’t ruining anything. You couldn’t ruin this. I promise. I’ll be high for days. So, tell me. Why are you in the bathroom?”

“I’m on a blind date. He took me to a wedding.”

“Okay. You need an excuse? That’s not like you. You’re ballsy. Just give him your usual, it’s not me, it’s you.” I chuckled because she’d used it in front of me on a bass player with a cowlick and halitosis.


I knew that tone. That tone was the bearer of bad fucking news.

“What? Say it.”

“It’s his wedding.”

I eyed the clock while I zipped my suitcase. I had an hour and a half before my flight. I was cutting it close. “Whose wedding?”


“I know my name. Damn, who—” Realization struck and my heart met the floor. I stayed mute while she rambled on nervously.

“What are the odds? What are the goddamn odds? I don’t know what to do. Do you want me to leave? There’s no handbook for this. Did you even want to know this? That he’s married? I can’t believe I just watched him get married! Who in the hell ends up at their best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s wedding? I couldn’t not tell you.” She sniffed as the toilets repeatedly flushed around her.

“Stella, please say something.”

I pressed the sting back. “I’m alright, of course. I’m fine. Why are you crying?”

“I don’t know.” She sniffed. “Ben called me last night, and things are just so fucked up, and today this shit happens, and I know you’re happy. I know you are. But . . . I mean, this is—”

I put my hand up as if she could see it. “Don’t tell me anything else, okay? I’m good.” I looked at my reflection in the mirror from the bed into the adjacent bathroom. Nothing had changed. I wasn’t leaking. I was fine. “I’m okay. I’m glad you told me. I have to leave for the airport now, or I’ll miss my flight.” A slew of questions was on the tip of my tongue. Did he look happy? Was she beautiful? And more questions I hated myself for that Lexi would never be able to answer. Still, my head and heart refused to keep those questions bottled.

Was she prettier than me? Did he look at her the same way? Did he propose to her with half his heart? Did he think of me when he did it? Was any part of him thinking of me now? Was I in his dreams the way he drifted through mine sometimes?
All my thoughts were selfish. All of them. And of all the thoughts I could have had that day, self-loathing was not the one I expected to nudge its way front and center. I forced myself to speak.


“You’re sure?”

“Yes, of course. I’m fine.”

“This freaky shit always happens. Always with you.”

“I know.”

“It’s like karma or God or someone hates you. It’s so fucked.”

I laughed ironically, though inside my heart was pounding.

Silence passed over the line as we both waited for some sort of solution that wasn’t coming.

“Stella, God, I’m so sorry.”

“About what? Stop. You know I would have told you if the situation were reversed. I should go. Love you.”

“Love y—” I hung up the phone before she could finish, frozen in the middle of the hotel room.

About the Author:

Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it's what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things '80s and '90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Contact Kate- Email-authorkatestewart@gmail.com

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