Title: Shattered Stars
Author: Shari J. Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2019
Blurb
“You will
lose your memory.”

That’s what
a doctor told me at just twenty-nine years old.

My
headaches and exhaustion weren’t from overexertion like I thought.

It was
more. A lot more.

Despite my
unimaginable challenges,

I found
love at a time I needed it most.

Layne, a
rising star and popular frontman,

was
unknowingly singing life into my soul through his allusive lyrics.

I lived and
breathed for the mesmeric sound of his voice.

Kismet led
us to a kind of love anyone would die for.

However,
Layne shouldn’t be stuck loving me after I begin to forget him.

We will
once again be strangers, separated by a crowd.

I can no
longer promise him a future like the one he vowed to me.

Layne is
determined to help me get better.

I’m
determined to make him see past my illness.

The outcome
… to be determined.
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Excerpt
Copyright 2019 –
Shari J. Ryan

“Hey! What did
you think?” Layne, the frontman, jogs over to us and gives Lexi a hug.

“You guys are
insanely amazing,” Lexi responds. “Like, blew us away.”

“Oh yeah?” Layne
asks, glancing over at me. Lexi is speaking on behalf of both of us, which
gives me a free pass to avoid conversation and just take in the scene, but I
feel I need to praise them too.

“You were
seriously incredible. I can see why you won that battle.” I just made it sound
like they were fighting a war by singing music, but if that’s the worst thing
that comes out of my mouth tonight, we should all be so lucky.

“That means a
lot, thank you,” Layne says, staring at me as if I look fascinating. Sometimes
I feel like my past is tattooed on my forehead and everyone I meet already
knows what path I’ve walked along.

Layne shakes his
head to the side, shuffling the hair away from his eye. It’s weird that I want
to touch his hair. It’s even weirder that he’s been talking to me and I haven’t
heard a word he has said. “You okay?” When I refocus on his face, his lip is
curled to the side, the side where he has the lip ring.

“I’m so sorry, I
think my ears are still ringing a bit. What did you just say?” I ask him,
trying to hide the fact that I was too busy gazing at him with imaginary hearts
in my eyes.

“I asked how long
you and Lexi have been friends?” He combs his fingers through the sides of his
hair, pushing the strands away from his face and his piercing emerald eyes.
With dark brows and lashes, there’s an immediate pull to his alluring stare.
He’s stunning and fascinating. He also asked me a question for the second time.
“Oh, um, we have
been friends since we were babies actually. Our moms are friends, so we kind of
grew up like sisters.”

“That’s awesome,”
he says, glancing over at Lexi, who is biting down on her bottom lip, while
staring into Johnny’s eyes. How is it, some of us have the natural born
instinct to flirt, while the rest of us have knees that threaten to collapse
the moment anyone looks in our direction? It’s not fair. I have no game. Not
that I need a game because there isn’t a game I could possibly win with my life
trailing behind me like a ball and chain. I love Aly, but I could have given
her a different kind of love five to ten years from now too. “Damn, I think
Lexi has a thing for Johnny.”

“She does,” I
tell Layne, ratting her out like an awful friend. I slap my hand over my mouth,
“Crap, don’t repeat that, and I hope that doesn’t bother you … like, I mean,
if you have a thing for Lexi.” My foot can leave my mouth now.

Layne’s eyes
narrow against his smile, his smile that reveals two perfectly located dimples
by the corners of his lips. As the face of this band, he gives the fans a good
reason to sit and watch them, but with the music I heard tonight, all the guys
could be hideous and no one would care. It only helps that he’s gorgeous and
he’s probably turned many local women into rock fans. “I don’t think I have to
inform Johnny that Lexi has a thing for him. It seems like he’s gotten the
hint,” Layne says. I glance over my shoulder again and yup, Johnny got the
hint. Their lips are locked and if steam could release from hot bodies, the
smoke alarms would be going off. “And I’m okay with it because Lexi and I
aren’t into each other like that.”

“Huh, did they
already know each other?” I ask Layne. I thought I would know who Lexi has been
spending her time with, but I’ve been a little preoccupied.

Layne shakes his
head, looking past me, toward them. “Nope, I don’t think they’ve officially met
before tonight.”

“Well, I guess
when you have no fears, you do what the moment tells you do, right?” I say.

Once again, Layne
seems fascinated by the simple little remark I’ve made, and I can’t understand
what it is that is so enlightening about my nervous chatter. “It’s funny you
say that about fears. I wrote this song about fears, and you totally just hit
the nail on the head.”

I know the song.
I know it very well. It spoke to me two years ago when I heard it the first
time, and it spoke to me again tonight when I heard it. “I think I’ve heard
it,” I tell him, trying to sound casual about my love for his music. In fact,
the song we’re both talking about is the song that drew me in as a “Divi-O
Groupie.”

“You had heard of
it before tonight? We haven’t performed here in a couple years.”

“Yeah, I remember
it,” I tell him, biting down on the tip of my thumb.

Layne seems
frozen within his star-lit smile and unblinking stare. “It’s my favorite of all
our songs, but we were following trends and, you know how it goes. Oddly
enough, we’ve been talking to a record label about that song, but I am talking
too much and shouldn’t have said that to you, so pretend I stopped talking like
thirty seconds ago.” He laughs and covers his hand over his face, showing off
pen scribbles across his fingers, weaving in and out of the several rings I saw
flashing around while he was running back and forth across the stage with the
microphone, pouring his heart out of his lungs.

“Your secret is
safe with me,” I tell him. “Now we each have something to forget.”

“Thank you,” he
says, tugging at a loose curl beside my ear.

I hold my breathe
when his hand comes near me, but it’s gone just as fast, hanging back down by
his side.

Breathe.

“I think you got
a little pen on your fingers there,” I point out, looking for a way to change
the subject away from our spewed secrets. Seriously though … a record label?
That’s insane.

“Yeah, I’m a
sloppy artist,” he says, admiring his smudged artwork. “I have these three or
four lines of a couple songs that always seem to slip my mind so I write them
on my hand, but then I end up sweating them off during the show. I think the
actual method of writing the words down helps me remember though, so it became
a habit.”

Okay so he’s not
just drawing on his hand for the sake of looking badass, which is sweet. My
heart is already flopping around in my chest like a fish out of water, but I
have to toss it back because I can’t take part in this type of lifestyle. Of
course, I can’t exactly go anywhere now either since Lexi is still playing
tongue tag with the drummer.
Author Bio
Shari J. Ryan is an International Bestselling Author of
heartbreakers and mind-benders. Shari was once told she tends to exaggerate
often and sometimes talks too much, which would make a great foundation for
fictional books. Four years later, Shari has written eleven novels that often
leave readers either in tears from laughing, or crying.

With her loud Boston girl attitude, Shari isn’t shy about her love for writing
or the publishing industry. Along with writing several International
bestsellers, Shari has split her time between writing and her longstanding
passion for graphic design. In 2014, she started an indie-publishing resource
company, MadHat Books, to help fellow authors with their book cover designs, as
well as assistance in the self-publishing process.

While Shari may not find many hours to sleep, she still manages to make time
for her family. She is a devoted wife to a great guy, and a mother to two
little boys who remind her daily why she was put on this earth.

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