Monday, November 16, 2015


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It seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold...
I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music. Mama was taken from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s pushed me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music's brightest stars. Not now. Music is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go, not even for Rhyson Gray.
I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth. I thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s all I think about, like a song I can't get out of my head. If I have to chase her, if I have to give up everything - I will. And once she's mine, I won't let go.



Shel: Many months ago I was very fortunate to read an early draft of My Soul To Keep and it's one of those novels that still lingers in my heart and mind. As I told Kennedy when I first read it, this novel feels magical; it has a great cast of diverse characters (thank you Kennedy for always including characters from a variety of backgrounds in your novels!) and the perfect mix of storyline, love, heat, angst, and I absolutely could not seem to put it down after I started. I recall, vividly, being glued to my Kindle (and the couch) for hours until I finished it...I also recall sending Kennedy lots of angst filled messages, now that I think about it...oops (sorry Kennedy!). 

Court: I was patiently awaiting this one as well, because Kennedy Ryan quickly became a favorite author of ours after The Bennett Series (When You Are Mine) and I knew things with this one would be emotionally charged, and quite full of angst...but I was ready. Until I got started. And I say this with much pride, because honestly the story is fantastic...the writing is also fantastic. But...the plot including grief of losing a parent, and finding ways to carry on hit very close to home for me and in that I struggled. I struggled in how touching and uplifting and peace giving Kai's experiences are...and being able to remember important and big things, and also savoring the little things. That helped me a lot, and it seems now I am on a huge run of pages from various authors (on 4 in a row now) with these same themes, so I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Maybe I've moved on to another stage? Maybe not. But for today, this story helped me be a little bit okay. 

Shel: So what can I add to the synopsis to help give you an idea about what this is about?
  •  It's the story of a young artist trying to break into her industry meeting an established artist breaking records and how they work with and against each other to balance their loves, their passions, and their burgeoning love.
  • It's about wondering if you can have your dream career and your dream person without sacrificing one for the other.
  • It's about finding your way after you've lost.
  • It's about family and friends and how your friends can be your family...and your family can be your friends.
Shel: It's about all of those things but somehow what I just shared seems like such a flat description of the emotion and feeling I had when I was reading; there were times when I was anxious, furious, smitten, curious, excited, and by the time I finished reading, I was stunned. I'll never forget finishing the book and staring off into space as I sat there in a stunned silence. As soon as I could form coherent thoughts I was dashing a message off to Kennedy begging her for more. Court: We were definitely a rainbow of emotions, and the ending was a complete surprise! Definitely can't tell you why or who or what! but wow! I like what Shel said about the dream career, and dream person and sacrifice...I like that this was a theme because it is easy to become so wrapped up in a new someone and in new love and forget your dreams and plans. I like that Kai held steadfast in her desire to do her own thing...and be side by side someone instead of following.

Shel: I've enjoyed everything that Kennedy Ryan has written but My Soul to Keep has my heart. She's allowed us on a special journey with Kai and Rhys as they discover who they are and who they want to be. And now I'm very excited to see how she carries the story of these characters forward. Court: I am just glad there is is more to come, because each of the characters we're introduced to has a lot more to tell. Need more about San, and Marlon, and even finding out if someone can thaw the ice queen called Bristol. Let's go KR, we're ready when you are!

Shel: If you haven't tried her works before or you haven't grabbed this novel yet, GRAB My Soul To Keep, you will not regret it. Court: No truer statement has been spoken!


  I shouldn’t have come. All the things I felt and fought, the things I suspected he felt too, he just spewed all over me. And as much as I want to be, I’m not sure I’m ready. I’ll never forget seeing my Mama in bed for days after Daddy left. And even though she got up, I suspect a part of her never left that bed, but just stayed there, waiting. We had to leave the house where she grew up and where I spent my first years, because Daddy left us with nowhere to go. Mama learned to stand on her two feet, and I’ve done the same. I just didn’t count on Rhyson sweeping me off of them. “We’re obviously on different pages about this.” I pull my hands free and turn to leave, but he steps in front of me, blocking my grand exit. “Let’s talk later.” “Enough talking.” The heat of his body grabs me before his hands do. He traps my chin between two fingers, taking my mouth in a paradox of rough and tender. I want to move. To slide away from his body pressing me into the pool table. But I can’t. Not with his hand caressing my back. Not with his tongue in my mouth. Not with his erection pressing into my stomach. I can’t. I won’t. I have been denying myself this, and I’m so damn hungry. My mouth opens under his, ravenous and wet and hot. His groan vibrates against my lips. “Yes. Good God, yes, Pep.” His words slip down my throat. I strain up on tiptoes, clawing my fingers into his dark hair, forcing him closer. He lifts me onto the pool table, planting himself between my knees. His fingers skim my bare thigh, working up my leg until he reaches a damp patch of silk. He pushes my panties aside, rubbing his hand into the wet flesh there before sliding one long finger and then another inside of me. I rock into these fingers which have awed millions with their skill. They own me. I’m the instrument in his hands. He’s playing me. Plucking at me. Strumming me. He tugs at the wide neck of my sweater until it falls away from my shoulder, slipping his hand in and cupping my naked breast. He brushes his fingers over my nipple, and I lose my mind and every inhibition. My head flops back and I stretch my legs wider, offering him anything he wants. “Are you kidding me?” His question burns the vulnerable curve of my neck as he drags his lips to my shoulder. “You come here wearing no bra and think I won’t…” He abandons the words, his dark, untidy head disappearing under my sweater, and before I have time to regain even millimeters of sanity, my nipple is in his mouth and he’s suckling me. Not gentle. Not soft. My breasts are so small, he almost eats me whole. Every draw, every suck, every bite sends a power surge to my core until my knees hold his hips in a desperate grip, and my nails rake across the flat surface of the pool table behind me. His mouth at my breast. His fingers inside me. His clean scent surrounding me. I have nowhere to hide anymore. I am exposed. I want to spread myself wide open for him. That voice that has been telling me I can’t rely on him. I can’t trust him. I can’t need him—that voice is stunned into silence by his thorough possession of my body, by the inferno between my legs, blazing a hole right through my soul and scorching my heart.
   LIVE_nov 15-17  

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About Kennedy Ryan

I just can't write about myself in third person for one more bio! I'm a wife, a mom, a writer, an advocate for families living with autism. That's me in a nutshell. Crack the nut, and you'll find a Southern girl gone Southern California who loves pizza and Diet Coke, and wishes she got to watch a lot more television. You can usually catch me up too late, on social media too much, or FINALLY putting a dent in my ever-growing To Be Read list!

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