TFFOS: Jessica Martinez -- Guest Post & Giveaway

To find out more about The Four Flavors of Summer and to view a master-list of all features and giveaways, click HERE.

Second in the contemporary line-up is JESSICA MARTINEZ! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE music-related books (and hot rivals) and VIRTUOSITY is near the top of my lust list, so I'm extremely excited to have Jessica here today to talk about her story. :)

Very Clickable Links: {website} · {blog} · {goodreads} · {amazon} · {book depository}


VIRTUOSITY opens with Carmen poised to drop her million-dollar violin off a balcony.  I’ve never done that.  I’ve never had a million-dollar violin to do that with (though once someone let me play their 4-million dollar for ten minutes AND THAT WAS CRAZY AMAZING.)  
I have, however, destroyed the violin that I loved, and that almost killed me.  

I was twelve, it was the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, and I was practicing (let’s hope one of my resolutions that year was to be less of a dork).  Anyway, I decided to take a nap because I’d be staying up late (again with the dork thing).  I stupidly put my violin right beside my bed.  I know, I know, WHAT WAS I THINKING???  The answer would be nothing at all, until someone woke me up to get a phone call and I smashed my foot through the upper right quadrant of the instrument.  Then I was thinking I wanted to die.  It was completely crushed, splintered into over eighty pieces.  My mom counted them as she picked them out of the carpet.


I was in shock, and my truly-sweet mom was a little bit…um, mad?  I grew up hearing, “We love people, not things” but that maxim was temporarily replaced with “Jessica, you need to go somewhere so I can’t see you.”  

I was beyond devastated by what I’d done.  I’d destroyed a 200-year-old violin that my whole family had sacrificed to buy me.  It was insured, but the insurance company was insisting on rebuilding it jigsaw puzzle style—not caring that it would probably sound like a piece of tin once it was glued back together.  I felt like I’d killed my best friend.  

Slowly, we all recovered.  I stopped breaking into hysterical sobbing at unexpected moments, and my mom got to the point where she could stand the sight of me again.  It took six weeks for the violin to be pieced back together, and miraculously, it didn’t sound like tin at all.  The restorer said it was because he found older repairs that had been poorly done and was able to redo those, but I think it had more to do with the homemade pies my mom delivered to his shop throughout the six weeks of repairs.  Whichever it was, I ended up with a violin that sounded better than before I’d stomped on it.  

It’s the same instrument I play today.  I can still see its scars, but I think it’s forgiven me.  The case I keep it in is advertised to be strong enough to drive a truck over.  I have not tested the claim, because even though I believe what my mom taught me—we love people, not things—I’m not entirely sure violins are just things.  

Thanks, Jessica! The picture I included isn't Jessica's violin, but you can find her playing on her blog. :D



Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?

Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....



Thanks to Jessica and Simon Pulse, I have an ARC of VIRTUOSITY, VIRTUOSITY bookmarks, a music pillbox, and some mystery candy to giveaway! For an extra entry, what is one thing you absolutely love (like Jessica and her wow of a violin -- if I broke that, I might not be here typing this)?

To enter, fill out the form below. Open Internationally.