Monday Music Muse

Happy Monday, everyone!

The weather is warming up in the upper Midwest and the snow is starting to melt. I’m over a hundred pages into the next installation of the Winter Jacket series, and I’m excited about where this next journey will be taking Elle and Hunter.

I’ve written novels in a number of different genres—psychological thrillers like my latest, Fragmented; the military-police drama of Don’t Call Me Hero; the paranormal fantasy in Drained; survival in the frozen apocalyptic world of Apophis; and straight up romance novels whose characters are trying to survive crushing on the one person they’re not supposed to want.

For all of my stories’ differences, however, they have one thing in common: they’re stories about love. Regardless of the genre listed on the book cover, at their core, all of my books are romance stories. I write about love, and about the need to be loved.

And for every couple represented on the page, there’s a song. Music has always been my biggest Muse. There’s nothing like a well-chosen playlist to set the mood for a scene I know will be particularly emotional. It may not always be about the lyrics, but at least melodically these songs set the stage for these characters’ relationships with each other.

If you like my writing, but you’ve yet to read one of my novels because you typically don’t read stories outside of a preferred genre, this is my challenge to you to give them a try. The world or the mental space in which many of these characters occupy might not resemble the one you or I live in, but just like Winter Jacket, they’re all about love. 

Happy reading (and listening)!


Fragmented - Harper and Raleigh, "Run" by Daughter

Daughter's melodies and lyrics always put me in the perfect mood to write. Check out other singles like "Home" and "Youth." 

Will you stay with me, my love
For another day?
'Cause I don't want to be alone
When I'm in this state
Will you stay with me, my love
'Till we're old and grey?
I don't want to be alone
When these bones decay 

Drained - Morgan and Riley, "Strangers" by Seven Lions, Myon, & Shane 54 ft. Tove Lo 

I tapped my co-author of Drained, Nica, for this one. From start to finish, this song’s lyrics are perfection for these two characters. Give it a listen and you'll find out why. 

Second Chances - Reagan and Allison, "Clean Getaway" by Maria Taylor 

There's something really haunting and wistful about this track - like running away from your past to create a new life for one's self, but not being entirely sure that you want to abandon that place and the people you knew. 

Don't Call Me Hero - Julia and Cassidy, "Half about Being a Woman" by Caroline Smith

From the artist: "The other side of strength. As women, we have this wonderfully complicated duality in us - sometimes we feel strong, and sometimes we feel weak. We often resent our vulnerabilities, but have to face them in order to move on and shamelessly accept ourselves. This is what being a woman is all about."

Apophis: A Love Story for the End of the World -Sam and Nora, "Eavesdrop" by The Civil Wars

Although no longer together, The Civil Wars remain one of my favorite bands, particularly to write to. There's something about this single that conjured images of desperation in an end-of-days scenario, but with a kernel of hope for better days because love exists

Winter Jacket - Elle and Hunter, "Clarity" (acoustic) by Zedd ft. Foxes

The lyrics to Zedd's "Clarity" couldn't be more perfect for a couple like Elle and Hunter, and the acoustic, pared down version is powerful and lovely

You are the piece of me I wish I didn't need
If our love's tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love's insanity, why are you my clarity?

Date Night - Sydney and Zabe

Zeds Dead's remix of Massive Attack's "Paradise Circus" is a switch up from the types of songs that usually inspire me. In this case it wasn't so much the lyrics that compelled me, but the combination of ethereal vocals and crunchy bass.