Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Release Day Blitz ~ Fast Lane by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68 #preachermccadeandtheroadmasters #lylamuse #preacherandlyla4ever #RockChickPress

“Once he met her, it was and always would be Lyla.”

They were the gentlemen bad boys of rock. Forming in a garage in a small town in Indiana. Taking their licks on the road. Going balls to the wall until they made their big break.

And then Preacher McCade and the Roadmasters redefined rock and roll.

Guided by their tortured lead singer and songwriter, the Roadmasters changed the face of music in the 80s and 90s. And on their journey to becoming one of the most enduring bands in history—dogged by rumors and myth and fueled by drugs and booze—the Roadmasters had one touchstone.


Preacher’s muse, the love of his life, and the band’s moral compass, from the beginning, Lyla is along for the ride.

But with fame and acclaim in their grasp, they’ve entered the fast lane.

And they didn’t know it, but they were headed for a crash.


Preach was an equal opportunity, benevolent almost-rock god.
I remember seeing him with his jeans bunched up to his knees, sitting on the side of the pool, his feet and calves in the water, her friends barely clothed in the water, wet and hanging off his legs and his every word, and he’d glance over at her.
When he was in the mood to spread his love, everyone was invited.
We all were nailing serious tail, but I don’t think anybody but Dave had had a threesome.
But that was not unusual for Preach.
Or more, you know?
That night, I had one girl, he had two, three were in with Tim and Dave, tripping, and Tommy was fucking another one in what we would find out later was one of the girls’ dad’s waterbed.
And looking back, I knew Preacher was more into her than the two he had.
I also got why.
Kind of.

Now, again, it was the eighties. We’re talkin’ Jane Fonda workout videos and Jamie Lee Curtis in that movie Perfect and one-pieces making a comeback because the legs were cut so far up the hips, a girl had to shave.
And Lyla was not…
I mean, there was a reason anorexia became prevalent during that decade and didn’t let go. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t good, but it was the way it was.
But Lyla was not that way.
Tits and ass.
A lot.
Of both.
And, from what I could tell that night, bad attitude.
But fuck, the longer the night wore on, Preacher couldn’t keep his eyes off her.
She’d do a lap to clean up ashtrays or beer bottles or whatever the fuck, and honest to Christ, he didn’t miss a step.
Not that first step.
She had what they now politically correctly, but also, it’s gotta be said, just plain correctly call curves.
Freddie Mercury called them fat-bottomed girls.
But man, she was pretty.
Lotsa hair.
Perfect skin.
You know, and a way about her.
It was part that attitude.
Part the mystery.
You know, tell a man, “don’t touch, you’ll get burned,” he’ll become obsessed with the fire. It’s just how it is.
She screamed don’t touch.
And Preacher, man…
Preacher could be obsessive.
In a big way.

But it was the eyes.
I gotta believe, and this would prove true, in a way, if it wasn’t Preach, it would be somebody. Another rock star. A photographer. A painter. Someone would fall in the muse of Lyla’s eyes.
But as you know, it was Preacher.

With Fast Lane, Kristen Ashley stepped out of her norm to compose a compelling Rock n' Roll romance with such incredible passion, I was captivated from the heartfelt dedication to the very last word. This was not your typical KA novel, but a gripping love story nonetheless. It was a profound experience journeying through the years with Preacher McCade, his Roadmasters, and the muse who centered them all ~ Lyla.

This was a departure from the way Ashley writes and differs from anything I've read before, as the story unfolded through an interview-style format. It took me a hot minute to get used to it, but eventually, I became absorbed and totally fascinated with these characters. Jesse Simms, the band's founding member and one of the main interviewees, commanded my full attention. Through his recollections (and many digressions), the bandmates and romance came to life. I became engrossed with their beginnings and how they skyrocketed to the top of the charts; all their triumphs and turmoil; those who came, left and impacted the Roadmasters' lives; how meeting Lyla changed them forever; and the whirlwind of drama which surrounded them all. Center stage stood Preacher and Lyla, as their relationship was just as important to the group as the music they created.

From Jesse and Lyla's memories, we got to know the talented, enigmatic, and charismatic Preacher McCade. Man, that's such a cool name and very fitting for this edgy Cajun rocker. But awesome name aside, there's so much to discover when it comes to this hero, you'll need to experience his intensity first hand. I will say he absolutely haunted me throughout this read. A man shrouded in darkness, he sought light from his beloved Lyla. I was lost within the story exploring the depths of his character as his secrets slowly unraveled. There were times I was crushed, brought to tears, and needed a moment to catch my breath and calm the riotous pounding of my heart. I had a love/hate relationship with Preach as I liked the man he became despite his circumstances, yet felt unsettled by some of the decisions he made. He certainly played with my emotions, but in the end, I became a fan.
Lyla, the muse and love of Preacher's life, was the heart and soul of The Roadmasters and the inspiration for several of their songs. Low key and seemingly timid on the surface, she was a nurturer tending to the needs of not only her man but the entire group. The bonds that kept them together ran deep. She was not what I expected. This shy girl could be fierce. The Roadmasters were her crew, and she stood by them through the good, the bad and the very, very ugly.


Emotional, passionate, raw, and gritty, Fast Lane was a behind the scenes look into the world of rock - with plenty of sex and drugs included. A novel that was part romance and part music history lesson, Preacher McCade and the Roadmasters' journey through the wild 80s and '90s was remarkable. The flow of the story was a tad slow in the beginning as I needed time to find comfort with the interview style of writing and become familiar with all of the characters. However, it intensified considerably as the plot progressed and moved beyond the music, the band, and Lyla. Preacher was a tortured soul for a reason, as his past was excruciatingly painful. His circumstances described were some of the darkest moments penned by this author that I have ever read. Completely heart wrenching. But through the magic of KA and Lyla's love for Preacher, I managed to make my way past the sorrow and into the light.

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. Nothing’s changed. Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.  

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