Book Features

Excerpt Friday: All Access by Liberty Kontranowski

All Access Final Cover

Every fangirl has a fantasy . . . what happens when that “if only” dream comes true? 

Though she’s a single mom wedged firmly into thirty-something territory, author Kallie Reagan’s devotion to rock star Niles Russell knows no bounds. To pay homage to her muse, Kallie writes a smokin’ hot novel featuring a hero who looks and acts an awful lot like Niles — and a heroine who may or may not have a smattering of herself thrown in for fun. 

When Niles learns about the book and surprise-texts Kallie, the two deliciously complicated creatives become fast friends . . . and so much more. But trying to define a relationship that’s laced with closeted skeletons, half-truths, and constant question marks proves harder than making it big. If they’re going to progress from Fangirl Infatuation to The Real Deal, these two need to give each other All Access to the most important place of all: their hearts. 

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Backstage Pass

Backstage is not at all as glamorous as it should be. It’s a bit musty and surprisingly chilly, given the steamy summer night outside. Eight-foot tables are pushed together in a C-shape with food, beer, energy drinks, and disposable tableware covering every inch. I lean against a wall, not knowing what to do with myself. There are a few others trickling backstage, but Zeke, the bouncer, took only me to the part of the room with the food.

There’s some commotion and laughter, but it still sounds far away. My pulse picks up and there is no question that anyone within a ten-mile radius could hear my heart thump if they listened hard enough. This is getting too real. This isn’t words on the pages of a book anymore, or even some texts and a quick phone call. Niles is a real human being who just walked through the door backstage and is heading straight toward me. There is seriously nowhere—and no time—to hide!

He immediately catches my eye, and I lose my breath. I am one hundred percent sure my face rivals the color of red velvet cake. I break into a cold sweat so bad it feels like my skin is melting.

He slips past everyone else and, in an instant, is less than a foot away from me. “I got you on the first try,” he announces, clearly proud of himself. “I knew it was you. I knew you’d be blonde. Knew it!”

His lips part to reveal those teeth! I read once that he had veneers applied after busting a tooth at a show a few years back, and now I truly believe it. They are Colgate-commercial straight, pure white, and all lined up like little soldiers in his wide mouth. I’m dying.

From the first row, I could see every one of his fillings (there are four) and I quickly became fascinated with how he could sing and smile at the same time. When his eyes fell on mine, not five minutes into the show, I knew he knew. He didn’t reach for my hand until over halfway through, but we made eye contact several times. When his fingers finally clasped mine, it was electric. I was touching Niles Russell. He held on longer than he should have, making the fans around me—guys and girls alike — that much more determined to get their own piece of him. He surprised us all by grabbing a few more hands, but only mine did he grab a second time.

Now, he’s so close to me I can smell him. His hair is wet and messy, but his face is no longer sweaty, as though he stuck his head under a faucet on the way back. He has a towel wrapped around his neck and his concert T-shirt has been replaced with a clean, dry one. He smells of deodorant and hot skin. It’s intoxicating.

“Have fun?” He hands me a half-empty water bottle. “Shit! That one’s mine. Here’s a full one.” He shakes his head in embarrassment and switches the bottles, which is disappointing since I would have gladly taken his.

It occurs to me that I have not yet uttered one word—only smiled stupidly—so I take a breath and give it a try.

“You positively killed it tonight,” I say, my voice shaking as it finds its legs. “As always.” He beams.

I can tell I touched a hot spot, so I keep going. “Every performance gets better, I swear. And I’ve seen many.”

“Thank you.” He reaches out like he’s going to touch my arm, but his hand just kind of airballs and falls back to his side. “Much more fun than real life.” He winks.

About The Author

Liberty Kontranowski

Liberty Kontranowski is a romantic women’s fiction author who adores all things lovey-dovey with a pinch (or more) of hubba-hubba. When she’s not at the keyboard, she’s taxiing around her three boys, knocking back craft beers with the hubs, blogging, fangirling, and dreaming up more fake people. She also spends an inordinate amount of time drinking coffee and dreaming of the day she can bid adieu to far-too-wintry Michigan and move to a place where she can write with her toes in the sand.

Liberty loves to hear from her readers (and otherwise cool people) so give her a yell.

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