The defining song

For me, every book I write has not only a playlist of music, but one song that defines it. It’sWWWUReleaseTeaser#2 that song that gets me through every block as I’m writing the story, the one that just so perfectly fits this set of characters and circumstances, it’s as though the music was written for this book.

Scanning the playlist of When We Were Us, one song jumps out at me as an obvious choice for the defining song. Shouldn’t it be the song that gave the book its title, We Were Us by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert? Well . . . maybe.

But I have to admit, the tune from this list that I listened to most often was really We Belong by Pat Benatar. This one is a special sentimental favorite of mine; it’s been on more than one of my playlists, and deservedly so.

Many times I tried to tell you
Many times I cried alone
Always I’m surprised how well you cut my feelings to the bone
Don’t want to leave you really
I’ve invested too much time to give you up that easy
To the doubts that complicate your mind

This is so much Quinn, so much the cry of her heart, and yet, there’s some Leo in there, too, and even some Nate.

I can always count of Pat.

Check out the entire When We Were Us playlist right here!

Daddy’s Music

Today is very special: not only it is #MusicMonday, it would have been my daddy’s 73rd birthday. And it’s been ten years today since I was able to celebrate with him.

He’s been on my mind a lot lately, for many reasons. First, of course, because his birthday is today. And then there is a scene at the end of my just-finished book (WHEN WE WERE US) and again at the start of the next book (HANGING BY A MOMENT) that brings his loss back to me.

And today being a Monday is perfect, because when it comes to music, my father was my biggest influence.

Most of the music I love comes from a place that was part of my daddy. He introduced me to rock n’ roll, to R&B and to pop, as well as country. He told me stories about songs–gave me history and a real connection with the artists and their lives, too.

Today’s playlist contains my father’s favorite music, or songs that were significant in his life. For instance, I know that he did a lip sync to Stagger Lee when he was a freshman in high school. He loved Buddy Holly, too–always. When he was a plebe at West Point, he heard echoes of the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight in upperclassmen’s rooms and was intrigued by the WEEM-oh-wep. And he was so excited about I’m Into Something Good that he made an unheard-of middle of the week phone call to my mom to play it over the phone.

When I was older, he often came home from work excited about a new song he’d heard on the way home. I think that’s how I first heard The Tide is High and Mickey.

He suggested True Love Ways as the first song my husband and I danced to at our wedding. And he also chose Disney Girls as the song he and I danced to–our father/daughter dance. I still can’t hear it without crying.

I hope you’ll check out Daddy’s Play List–and that it makes you smile.

Happy birthday, Daddy.


The One Trilogy Box Set Music

The One Trilogy is definitely set to the tune of country music. Some of it’s fun, some it’s heartbreaking, but with a few exceptions, it’s country.

But when I look at the set as a whole, this song is the one that speaks to me.



Tell me,
Tell me that you want me,
And I’ll be yours completely
For better or for worse.

I know,
We’ll have our disagreements,
Be fighting for no reason.
I wouldn’t change it for the world.

‘Cause I knew
The first day that I met you
I was never gonna let you,
Let you slip away.

And I
Still remember feeling nervous
Trying to find the words to
Get you here today.

You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down.
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong.
That’s how I know you are the one.
That’s why I know you are the one

It’s easy to be scared of.
With you I am prepared for
What is yet to come.

‘Cause our two
Hearts will make it easy
Joining up the pieces
Together making one.

You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong
That’s how I know you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one

When we are together you make me feel like my mind is free and my dreams are reachable, whoa
You know I never ever believed in love, I believed one day that you would come along and free me

You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong

That’s how I know you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one
That’s how I know you are the one.

Music Monday: Always For You Play List

Always for You ebookI’m so excited to be back in Burton, Georgia for the new Always Love Trilogy!!

The first book, Always For You, is about Maureen Evans. You might remember her as Flynn Evans’ sister, a close friend to both Meghan Hawthorne Reynolds and Ali Reynolds. Now it’s time for Maureen to have her own love story.

Maureen Evans has had a crush on Smith Harrington since they were in college together. She always knew he didn’t see her as anything more than his best friend—just one of the guys—but that didn’t stop her from weaving sexy fantasies about him.

Now, after years of maintaining a long-distance friendship, Smith’s moving to Burton, Georgia, Maureen’s hometown, to become her partner at the veterinary clinic. After all this time, she should be able to handle working with him without getting hot and bothered.

Or maybe not.

The more determined Maureen is to maintain their just-friends bond, the more Smith seems intent on testing those boundaries. And when flirting crosses the line into something more, it ends in a night neither of them can forget.

When friendship is no longer enough, there’s always love.

The music for this book is so much fun–it’s all about friends becoming lovers. Sigh.

You can preorder your copy here:


And you can find the play list (minus Taylor Swift) here.


Sleeping With A Friend     Neon Trees

You Belong With Me     Taylor Swift

Complicated     Carolyn Dawn Johnson

My Best Friend     Tim McGraw

Teardrops on my Guitar     Taylor Swift

Say Goodbye     Dave Matthews Band

Whenever I Call You Friend     Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks

Can’t Help Falling In Love     Ingrid Michaelson

Falling In Love (with my best friend)     Matt White

Summer Lovin’ on Summer Nights

You’d think that this IS the theme of my summer–ahem, summer BEACH lovin’–I’d have talked about this song before now. But I was saving it.

I was a child of the ’70s and ’80s, and as such, Grease was a hugely defining movie for me. I remember when it came out. Since my parents played oldies all the time and talked about growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, and since we loved shows like Happy Days, I was really excited about to see Grease. Plus. . .John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John? How could it miss?

I’m pretty sure my parents saw it first. I was in middle school, so VCR’s had just become a thing. I don’t remember seeing Grease in the theater; I think my parents let us watch it on video–and they fast-forwarded through questionable parts. Didn’t matter though; I was totally in love with the music, the clothes, the characters. . .I related to Sandy, though I have to admit I was disappointed with her decision at the end. (Hey! I was only 13!)

But the music. . .it was perfect. Who can forget Hopelessly Devoted To You? (It became my theme song, played over and over, when my own heart was broken.) Or Beauty School Drop Out? But my favorite number of the whole movie had to be Summer Nights. It made me think of my own summers (which did *not* involve lovin’ of that kind!), and I loved the interplay and the lyrics.

I won’t go into detail about how much I also loved the much-less-appreciated Grease 2, or about how my sister and I both had Pink Ladies T-shirts. Instead, let’s sit back and listen to the memory of some summer nights.