Thursday, December 10, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Key Change by Barbara Valentin

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Bridging the Gap Promotions, for Key Change by Barbara Valentin.  Please leave a comment or question for Barbara to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter the tour wide giveaway, where one (1) randomly chosen commenter will win a $25 Amazon GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow the rest of Barbara’s tour HERE the more stops you visit, the better your chance of winning.  

What Holiday Music Means to Me by Barbara Valentin

Holiday music. We only hear it once a year – granted, we keep hearing it earlier and earlier each year, but maybe that’s because we need to.

One glance at the evening news and there’s no denying that our world is becoming more stressful, more violent, more terrifying. What better balm is there than transporting ourselves to a time in our lives that was simpler, sweeter, and more magical?

We all have our favorites, the classics and the not-so-classics, without which the holidays just wouldn’t be the same. For me, it’s Nat King Cole crooning The Christmas Song. As soon as I hear the bittersweet lilt of the opening strings, I’m tugged right back to where I remember hearing it for the very first time – sitting in my grandpa’s lap in his living room recliner as we listened to his then state-of-the-art “hi-fi.” I can still picture his Christmas tree that was decorated with colorful twinkling lights and strands of silver tinsel.

Music’s potent ability to transport us back to a particular place and time is not exclusive to the holiday season. Just ask Sara Phelps, the heroine in Key Change. No matter where she is or what she’s doing, the sound of one particular song channels her right back through a series of memories – some good, some not so good; some more distant than others and some very fresh in her mind. It isn’t until her roommate, Andrew, taps into its hold on her that he’s able to pick the lock that is holding her heart hostage.

I wish I could say that all of the world’s ills, and all of our heartache that goes along with it, could be cured with music. It’s only during this time of year, so rich with charity, generosity and optimism, that I start to believe that maybe, just maybe it might be possible after all.

KEY Change
Barbara Valentin
Assignment: Romance #3

Release Date: December 8, 2015
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: 236 Pages
ISBN: 9781943587223

Buy Links:  Amazon   B&N   Gemma Halliday  

iBooks    Kobo   Smashwords    Print

About the book:

The first thing Sara Cleff, a hard-edged, shower-singing rock music critic, wants to do after following a band on tour is crawl into her nice comfy bed in her well-appointed, optimally located vintage apartment. But before making it home, she learns her roommate-slash-boyfriend has apparently broken up with her while she was away on assignment and sublet their apartment out from underneath her. Ouch! When her key no longer fits in the lock, the last person she expects to find on the other side of the door is Andrew Benet, a wickedly gorgeous music director from a nearby church.

Something about the brash music critic strikes a chord with Andrew, and he offers her the chance to stay on one condition—she has to join the choir at his church. While Andrew may hold the lease on Sara's apartment, does he have the key to unlock her heart?


Up as usual at the crack of dawn, Andrew trudged to the bathroom, almost forgetting to close the door behind him before he spotted Sara's bangles on the counter next to the sink. Reaching over, he shut the door and locked it.

Fifteen minutes later, he was showered, clean-shaven, and ready to go, except he didn't have to be at the church until four-thirty that afternoon. Unplugging his phone from an outlet in his room, he brought it with him into the kitchen, transferred Sara's clothes that she had washed the night before into the dryer and poured himself some coffee. He sat on a barstool, debated throwing a sweatshirt on over his plain, blue, short-sleeved T- shirt to ward off the chill, but started scrolling through his email instead.

His eyes, however, kept drifting over to Sara, out like a light on the sofa sleeper.

While most of her was wrapped in the blankets like a human burrito, with the sun starting to break through the bare branches of the ancient oak tree blocking the expansive bay window, he could see her face quite plainly.

Without all that the heavy dark makeup, he noted, she looked younger.

And kinda sweet, actually.

But then again, she wasn't talking.

Still, he was glad he invited her to stay the night before.

But what about tonight? And tomorrow night? And the night after that?

While he mulled the possibilities, she rolled over and stretched, arching her back and groaning as she did. Resuming her curled-up burrito pose, she opened her eyes and mumbled, "How long have you been sitting there?"

Looking at his watch, he admitted, "About a minute. Or five. Maybe ten." His cheeks suddenly felt a lot warmer.

With a loud yawn, she sat up. "I slept so good." Patting the thin mattress with her hand, she added, "So comfy."

The words hung in the air between them.

Sarcasm before coffee. Great.

Still, the sight of her in his pajama top seemed to lobotomize him. All he could do by way of a reply was nod.

With a shrug, she added, "Seriously, on a sleeper sofa—who knew?"

Snap out of it.

With no small amount of effort, he turned and glanced at the dryer. "Your clothes should be ready in about twenty minutes."

At that, Sara took a deep breath and yanked the covers back, revealing two impossibly long bare legs as she flung her feet to the floor.

Knowing full well that the sudden blast of heat he felt was not delivered by way of the gilded vents along the floorboards, Andrew got up to check the thermostat on the wall next to the upright piano anyway, mumbling, "Gotta love old buildings."

About the Author:

Barbara is an award-winning novelist and second-generation journalist. After spending a decade in maternity clothes, she has five boys to show for it and much fodder for her column, The Plate Spinner Chronicles, a long-running feature in the Chicago Tribune. A member of RWA's Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list includes "Send NY Times book critic thank you note" and "Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester."

Contact email:


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1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of a character that can be moved by music - "the sound of one particular song channels her right back through a series of memories". So true for all of us. Music makes memories.