Announcing My First Contemporary Novel – HEAVY METAL SYMPHONY!

I am SO thrilled to announce that my fifth novel and first ever contemporary novel, Heavy Metal Symphony, is going to be published by Kaledena Press!

Here is a synopsis of the book:

Ava Tomei seems to have it all: she’s the lead singer of Buffalo-based Handel’s Messiah, the metal band of which she was a long-time fan – and is also in a committed relationship with Killian Sterling, the band’s keyboard player and brilliant lead composer. Yet as the band hits the studio to record their fifth album, Ava and Killian can no longer hide the cracks in their relationship from their bandmates or from themselves as Killian’s artistic dominance and Ava’s desire to express her own creativity come to a head. They are forced to confront whether what they have can be repaired, and what will happen to their band if not.

Introduced by a mutual friend over six years before, classically trained singer Ava and budding rock star Killian found that what started as an artistic collaboration quickly bloomed into a passionate romance. When the lead singer of Handel’s Messiah and Killian’s fellow founding band member – and ex-girlfriend – Celeste Perinot leaves the band after a heated disagreement in the middle of the band’s world tour in support of their second album, Killian calls Ava to replace her. Ava is immediately plunged into the pressures of stepping in to front one of metal’s biggest rising bands amidst fan disappointment, skepticism from her new band members, the physical demands of a world tour, and sexism in the metal scene – but also has the chance to fulfill her wildest dreams, and to do it at the side of the man she loves.        

Told in alternating storylines that show Ava and Killian’s seemingly fairytale past and their fraught present, the novel follows their relationship from its start and into its uncertain future. Through it all Ava is forced to grapple with what she wants from her career and from her relationship and whether those two things are mutually exclusive, and how to find her own voice when she’s so used to singing the music of others. Daisy Jones and the Six meets A Star is Born set in the metal scene in Heavy Metal Symphony, a novel of jealousy, competing talents, rock stars, ambition, creative control, and, of course, heavy metal.

Being able to publish this book is truly a dream come true for me. Those of you who have followed me on social media and/or receive my author newsletter will have seen me refer to this book as my “love affair project”. That’s because a) the book is about an actual love affair and b) I wrote the first draft while I was deep in second book syndrome and was SUPPOSED to be writing The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, aka I was cheating on the book I was supposed to be writing with this one XD This is truly a book of my heart, as they say, and I’ve often felt that Heavy Metal Symphony and The Violinist of Venice are the two halves of my music-loving soul: classical music and heavy metal.

I am also SO thrilled to be working with Kaledena Press to publish this book. Kaledena is a Buffalo-based indie publisher, and they are absolutely the perfect home for this Buffalo-based book. That’s another reason this novel is so close to my heart: it is my first one set in my beloved hometown, and I get to show you some of my favorite places in this wonderful city.

There will be more news to come in the next few months (release date, cover, all that fun stuff) and I am so excited to share it all with you. Until then, I’ll be diving back into edits of this book, and I’m so excited to be hanging out with my heavy metal friends once again 🙂