Dal Segno by Jax Meyer

In this episode of Book Clips we hear the first chapter of the audiobook for Dal Segno by Jax Meyer narrated by Stephanie Murphy.

Dal Segno by Jax MeyerSynopsis

On the verge of turning 40, former Marine Cameron ‘Cam’ Warren didn’t expect to be walking onto a community college campus to spend a year playing music. Instead of enjoying her career, Cam is still mourning the tragic death of her partner and fellow Marine Sharon. Five years have now passed but she is no further forward in dealing with her grief. Cam knows she needs to change so she can heal. Will taking a sabbatical to play the drums allow her to live fully again, connecting her to emotions in ways her autism has always prevented? 

Jazz pianist and teacher Laura Clark has had enough of city life on the east coast and yearns for the quiet beauty of Colorado. When a faculty position opens at a small community college in Ft. Collins, she jumps at the chance to start a new life. However, what she couldn’t predict was that one of her star students was about to walk back into her life, 20 years later. 

When Cam is introduced to the new jazz ensemble director she is shocked to see her high school music teacher, a thousand miles away from the small town where Ms. Clark first introduced her to jazz. But Cam is no longer a kid and, as their chemistry grows stronger, Cam has to choose which path her life will take – will she choose love or will she choose fear? 

Dal Segno is a lesbian romance that shows the power of revisiting the past to create a completely different result. Everything changes the second time around….

Dal Segno is a lesbian and bisexual age gap romance between an autistic, butch, Marine veteran and a jazz pianist and teacher.

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Transcript

please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

you are listening to book clips a mini podcast in which authors and erasers do readings from novels check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book dal segno written by Jax Meyer narrated by Stephanie Murphy chapter 139 and back on a college campus well a community college campus to be exact either way Cameron Warren was approaching 40 and surrounded by kids just starting their life while she had already lived a lifetime of love and loss she knew she sounded dramatic but these kids looked like kids maybe it wouldn’t be so bad her intuition hadn’t let her wrong before it was just a few music classes to help her get out of her head she laughed at the irony of being fully in her head now cam opened the car door and reached for her backpack the click of drumsticks shifting inside made her smile God she missed that sound she locked the car and marched into the music building once inside Kym realized she had no clue where to go pulling off her backpack she quickly found the letter with her audition instructions main entrance take a left and follow the hall to the end there was probably a joke in there about keeping drummers away from civilized society but it was a logical choice no one should have an office next to a rehearsal space she took in the building as she walked it was modern and bright with artwork of all styles adorning the walls likely done by students she appreciated the talent behind the art but couldn’t tell what any of them represented cam often said she’d missed the art ship in her brain the one that would allow her to turn the abstract into emotions it was why Dan saluted her as well music was the only art form that worked for her perhaps because math formed the basis of music her brain could grab hold of it and use it Kim thought about the relationship between math and music as she walked deeper into the building nerves were now kicking in so she began to distract herself by observing irrelevant things as she walked the floor appeared freshly waxed the walls were clean she suspected it wouldn’t remain this way for long once the semester began playing music was one of the few times when her mind calmed given enough time it took total focus especially after decades with little practice she needed to focus today to make a good first impression as she reached the end of the hall the familiar anxiety made itself known in earnest Kim tried to remember a time when an audition hadn’t caused her anxiety was that even possible she hated the nervous feeling in her stomach the racing heartbeat that messed with her rhythm it was so illogical this was just a placement audition to help determine what pieces the percussion ensemble would play this semester either way she would get to perform she had a lot of skills to rebuild but Kim still remembered being the top percussionist in high school she wanted to be that good again arriving outside the room with 15 minutes to spare Kim pulled the sticks and practice pad from her backpack and started a playlist of songs that she’d organized with progressively faster tempos the warm-up routine she’d perfected over the summer worked to wake up her hands and calm her mind she wiped the sweat from her hands onto her pants as she stood straightening her black polo shirt so she would look presentable as she heard footsteps from inside the door opened a tall woman with long blond hair about her age stood in the doorway Kamryn Warren I prefer cam are you dr. Miller I am come on in cam dr. Miller led her into a small rehearsal space just like every other music room she’d seen over the years the podium was encircled by a few chairs and music stands a piano drum set and separate snare drum took up the rest of the room her shoulders relaxed music rooms comforted her even when nervous as you know I’m dr. Miller I lead the percussion ensemble and will work with you closely for as long as you’re with us I’d like to start with your audition piece and discuss your goals and interests after if that’s all right with you of course it’s been so long since I auditioned for anything I appreciate getting that part out of the way so I can relax can admitted and was relieved to see dr. Miller’s smiling then I will let you set up dr. Miller gestured toward the snare drum you can start when you are ready Kim set her music on the stand and lower the drum to a comfortable height she focused on her body noticing her shoulders rising with each breath just by noticing it her body shifted to deep calming breaths not satisfied she took one more before she could trust her heart not to race away along with her sense of time the piece was the one she performed in the high school solo and ensemble competition her senior year she’d kept the sheet music all those years just in case and it came in handy with her new adventure over the past year she’d worked on perfecting it through self-study and private lessons all that practice meant her muscles knew what to do if her mind stayed quiet today was better than she had expected her mind allowing her body to do what it did best at the last strike she looked up trying to control a smile dr. Miller motioned for cam to sit in a nearby chair how did that feel great it wasn’t perfect but it felt fantastic to perform it reasonably well dr. Miller smiled and that is more important than whether it was technically perfect of course I want you to play well but I approached percussion from feel first that’s what the audience will remember from a performance that’s what I remember from a performance hmm when I was younger I struggled with feel now it’s exactly what I’m looking for at my advanced age Kim grinned is she the phrase this is about getting out of my head and into my spirit not a career change advanced age huh I might need to take some points off for that comment since you can’t be older than I am cans scrambled to come up with an apology until dr. Miller laughed cluing her in on the joke when she was nervous reading people became more difficult how long has it been since he performed cam well the last percussion ensemble was an undergrad about 20 years ago and you’re right I don’t remember the names of the pieces we performed but I do remember how good it felt when everything clicked cam gazed inwardly her voice becoming more serious I need more experiences like that in my life dr. Miller nodded technique can be taught but passion is up to you we both know you aren’t a traditional student which isn’t necessarily a negative with advanced age comes perspective and appreciation of what music provides the soul dr. Miller grinned at their insight joke besides percussion ensemble do you have any other groups lined up just jazz ensemble at this point I’ve really missed it over the years I didn’t see a professor listed for the class though do you know if anyone’s updated the teaching assignments yet Kim asked confused by the lack of instructor listing hmm apparently someone forgot to update the schedule our newest visiting professor is taking care of the jazz curriculum while a permanent replacement can be found I’ll see if she’s around after we finish here dr. Miller’s comment piqued Cam’s interest how lucky was she to have women leading both ensembles excellent this is so exciting Kim noticed her leg bouncing vigorously but didn’t bother trying to rein it in I spent my summers at jazz camp throughout my teen years and fell in love with being the driving force behind an entire ensemble it’s difficult to find big bands to play with outside of school that’s why I’m here instead of simply taking private lessons I need to play with groups again Kim was surprised by her own candor the adrenaline seemed to make her chatty I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time here dr. Mueller gathered her papers and stood I have two more people to audition before assigning positions I’ll email everyone within a week to schedule a meeting do you have any questions for me not at this moment I’m sure I’ll think of them five minutes after I leave but I can email you if that happens cam said her brain incapable of logical thought with all the Adrenaline’s still flooding her body dr. Miller took a step towards the door then let’s go find our newest faculty member and start rebuilding the jazz program they passed the main entrance and walked to the only open office door dr. Miller knocked and stepped into the room professor Clark I’d like you to meet our newest percussionist and jazz enthusiast Oh cam familiar bright brown eyes looked at cam in shock miss Clark Kemp’s stomach flipped as she gaped at the woman in front of her she was older with fine lines around her eyes but still had the same shoulder-length brown hair and eyes that could bore into you with an unexpected intensity I guess no introduction is needed dr. Mueller laughed as she took a step back miss Clark recovered quickly cam was one of my best students many years ago when I taught high school in Wisconsin how long has it been in 20 years mmm that depends on what we’re counting the first time we met probably 25 years the last time we saw each other around 20 the curious expression on dr. Miller’s face made cam pause and refocus either way it seems like forever ago but I’ll never forget the teacher who simultaneously kept me sane through music and then drove me insane with 7:00 a.m. jazz ensemble rehearsals I was an asshole in mornings though the memory was bittersweet kam smiled she wasn’t proud of how harsh she was towards the other students but she knew why she’d behaved that way then and made peace with it I wouldn’t say asshole so much as passionate and grumpy though we did present the original captain dark Award to you so miss Clark’s teasing smile was irresistible and cam grinned even as the heat warmed her cheeks you kept it going after I graduated it surprised Kim but she kind of loved the idea dr. Miller raised her eyebrows toward cam captain dark award miss Clarke filled in the gaps it was a tradition to hand out funny awards to seniors at the final concert given cams mild obsession with Star Wars and her less than Pleasant demeanor the Captain dark Award was born and yes we continued it for a few years it turns out there’s no shortage of grumpy teenagers at 7:00 a.m. a groan escaped cam as she covered her face with her hands as I said asshole though I hope I’ve matured enough since then and that captain dark can stay in retirement on a beach far away from here the woman’s laughter made her realize no one was judging her in fact today she had been charming more often than awkward that was a nice change of pace so cam what brought you to the illustrious Front Range Community College miss Clarke asked I thought you went straight to college from high school I did and then detoured to the marine corps before returning to college but it’s a long story Kim didn’t want to get into the details while still riding the high of a good audition she learned that people either understood her decision to leave college for the Marine Corps or they didn’t in which camp would miss Clarke fall I’d love to hear the story would you like to get dinner tonight and catch up miss Clarke asked I have a few things to finish first but I could leave in about an hour if you aren’t hungry yet we could grab drinks first cams stomach fluttered nervously at the unexpected invitation dinner meant small talk which cam struggled with thanks to her autism drinks should keep awkward cam at bay a little while longer or make everything worse due to lowered inhibitions the cam was too curious about miss Clark to allow her anxiety to make her decision dinner sounds great I’ll find something to do for an hour maybe familiarize myself with the practice drums I’ll meet you back here cam looked in his Clark for confirmation and when she nodded cam turned to the door practice is never a bad idea I’ll stop in another time professor Clark dr. Miller said before following cam out the door see you tomorrow cam tried to contain her excitement as she walked down the hall with dr. Miller do you mind if I borrow a practice room for an hour or do you need to go oh that’s no problem I’ll get you a key so you can come and go as you please there’s a sign-up sheet online for the drumset room but you can always play in the rehearsal space or move a few drums into an empty practice room they turned into an office at the end of the hall where dr. Miller retrieved a key and handed it to cam have fun an hour later hands vibrating from practice and nerves beaten into submission cam walked toward miss Clark’s office her stomach fluttered again as she walked closer making her pause who gets nervous meeting a friend an old teacher after all the hours they talked during Cam’s free periods or in the car traveling to and from competitions or after school when cam was supposed to be going home miss Clark had been closer to a friend than a teacher suck it up cam there’s nothing to be nervous about she resumed walking and he knocked when she reached the office ready to go miss Clark Kim asked oh please call me Laura she replied as she pushed back her chair at least outside of class will do though Laura will take some getting used to kam admitted with any luck a drink or two would keep charming cam around for the rest of the night dal segno written by Jax Meyer narrated by Stephanie Murphy you have been listening to book clips check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book if you are interested in showcasing your novel then check out the show notes for more information [Music]