Thursday, June 4, 2020

Fast Beat by Wren Valentino



Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Blue Dasher Press

Date of Publication: May 29, 2020


Word Count: 15,000

Cover Artist: James at

Book Description:

After her long-time dance partner
Tony is injured, Cassidy Downs has only a matter of weeks to find a new partner
to remain eligible to compete in the All City Dance Off.

When she discovers Giovanni, a
talented and classically trained member of a dance conservatory, Cassidy
convinces him to become her new partner despite his reluctance to do so.

As the competition nears, neither
Cassidy nor Giovanni can deny the strong attraction building between them.


The text message
came in right at the end of the lunch rush. Cassidy felt her phone buzz in the
front pocket of her apron. She reached for it on instinct. She glanced down,
saw the words, and stopped in her tracks.
Come quickly.
Tony is hurt.
Ducking out of
view of the slow-eating customers, Cassidy sought refuge in the cluttered breakroom,
which consisted of nothing more than a rickety table, two beaten-up chairs, and
a dead clock on the wall that hadn’t told time in over a year.
Too nervous to
sit, Cassidy paced while waiting for Tasha to answer her phone. Tension filled
her muscles as she moved.
Cassidy froze.
“Tasha? What happened? Is he okay?”
“No,” she said.
“No, he’s not. It’s bad.” Knowing Tasha for most of her life, Cassidy knew it
was a serious situation from the wavering tone in Tasha’s voice.
Cassidy tightened
her grip on the phone. “Tell me,” she said. Her breath felt like it was caught
in her lungs. She closed her eyes, imagining the worst but hoping for the best.
“You’re not
going to believe this, but he got jumped.”
Cassidy opened
her eyes. “What? By who?”
“Who do you
think? It was The Firemakers.”
“Are you sure?”
“Cassidy, he had
over two hundred bucks in cash on him. They didn’t touch the money. They went
for his knee. They wanted to make sure he’d never dance again. And he won’t.
Tony didn’t deserve this. We both know he’s a good guy.”
“He’s my best
friend,” Cassidy said. A wave of emotion crept into her throat. Her eyes filled
with tears. Not one to show her feelings, she stopped herself from crying. “And
the best dance partner I’ve ever had. What am I gonna do? The competition is in
two weeks.”
“He’s asking for
you,” Tasha said. “We’re at County. How fast can you get here?”
Cassidy let out
a long breath. Her body was still tense, but shock was setting in. How could
this happen? “I’ll ask April to cover the rest of my shift,” she explained.
“She still owes me from Christmas Eve.”
“Time to
collect,” said Tasha. “And probably time to find a new partner.”
Cassidy shook
her head. “I can’t.” she said. “That’s impossible.”

Tasha took a
breath before she spoke. “Is it?”

the Author:

Wren Valentino is an author,
playwright, poet, and screenwriter. He writes in multiple genres, primarily
contemporary romance with an international setting. Wren graduated magna cum
laude from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Communications and English. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Queens
University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He is a member of Gothic Romance
Writers and Romance Writers of America. He loves film noir, white chocolate,
classic cartoons, koalas, Julie London records, Nancy Drew, the Peanuts gang,
Disney villains, all things Tiki, Italy, and everything written by Jane Austen.

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Interview with Wren Valentino
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
In Fast Beat, a little bit of both happened. While I worked from a pretty solid outline, a couple of the characters wanted more time in the spotlight and demanded it, including the character of Natasha, the best friend of my main character. In every scene she was in, she was funny. Her presence was a nice contrast to some of the more dramatic moments in the story.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
There are a couple of themes in the book that I feel most readers can and will relate to, including coping with grief. Both main characters have lost a parent. Cassidy has lost her mother to breast cancer and Giovanni’s father was killed while trying to stop an assault on a subway train. As a result, both characters are dealing with this constant sense of incompleteness. I think most people who have survived trauma or a tragedy can identify. 
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, I have written three novels that haven’t been published yet. I’m hoping all three find terrific literary home soon. I’m particularly excited about a book of mine titled Pitchout, which is a baseball-themed romance. 
Pen or type writer or computer?
While I’m working on a novel, I keep a composition book handy. Throughout the writing process, I’ll fill the composition book with random ideas about my characters and their storylines. I do all of my writing and editing on a computer. However, I taught myself to type when I was 13 and used a typewriter for many years before moving to a computer. 
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I appreciate the response to Fast Beat very much. When someone takes the time to read something I’ve written, I am very grateful. Without readers, my stories cannot be told and shared, so I am thankful to every reader out there who chooses one of my books to read. 


  1. Oh, the cover! Brings back so many happy, carefree memories!

  2. Thank you very much for your support of 'Fast Beat' and the virtual book tour!