Archive for the ‘Aural Pleasures’ Category

Aural Pleasures

The Soundtrack to CITYWIDE by Santino Hassell | Writer’s Playlist

CITYWIDE, the newest standalone addition to my Five Boroughs series, is a collection of three novellas about three very queer relationships. There is a M/M/M, a NB/F, and a M/F story where the heroine identifies as bisexual. The stories all take place during a massive New York City heatwave, so tempers and passions are running high between the characters as they find refuge in different parts of the city.

As I wrote, I was picturing the city but also thinking of the music that would be playing as each of the characters moved throughout the city. Here are some of the songs that would go on my Citywide soundtrack.


Princess Nokia, Excellent

 

Well baby, my day was good

I worked hard and knocked on wood

I skipped meals and got no sleep

But this was the life for me

 

This song is amazing for a variety of reasons, but it’s really Stephanie’s song—the heroine in my very first M/F novella. Excellent is about being proud of who you are, of working hard and finding success and not letting people bring you down while always remembering where you came from. It fits Stephanie perfectly. She practically raised herself but managed to put herself through college, is successful in her career, and has an awesome apartment. She has everything but a romantic happily ever after, which she finds in her story.


Lorde – Royals

 

My friends and I we’ve cracked the code

We count our dollars on the train to the party

And everyone who knows us knows that we’re fine with this

We didn’t come from money

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Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Aural Pleasures

Songs for Romance Fans, Edited by an Editor

I never used to be a music listener when I was writing or editing. Give me silence or the innocuous buzz of conversation at a coffee shop, but music always distracted me. Until I met a greater distraction: the open-plan office.

I edit Romance and YA over at Diversion Books, big sister of EverAfter. Our office is awesome, but it’s also completely open, so I often need to plug into headphones to avoid getting sidetracked by phone calls, meetings, or constant debates on the best flavor of La Croix. Here’s a sampling of the songs I like to edit Romance to. Hopefully they can inspire you music-listening writers out there, or at the very least provide an outlet for anyone trying to work on sexy scenes while surrounded by coworkers.


Spinners by The Hold Steady

This song reminds me of the way a lot of romances start: with characters who feel lost, who are moving through unsatisfying relationships, who may be trying to escape something. It’s emotional but upbeat, and makes for superb writing or editing music.

Recommended for: Those moments at the beginning before our protagonists have met.

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Portland ME Freya Barker sale July
Aural Pleasures, Guest Post

Aural Pleasures: “The Magic of the Sexy Mix Tape/Playlist” by Harper Kincaid

Girl Breaker Harper Kincaid

Confession time: I’m one of those chicks.

I’m the type that, when you compile a playlist for me, I’m going to analyze the fa-shizzle out of it. Admittedly, being married for as long as I have, I don’t get many dedicated playlists anymore (don’t worry, he’s a man of many other talents – ahem).

So I make them for myself.

I compile playlists for each season of the year. I make playlists when I’m on vacation, so I can remember exactly how I felt while experiencing the away-game-happy. And I design playlists for the people I diggity-dig. Sometimes they actually know about them – oftentimes, not so much.

When I’m trying to write a steamy scene, I admit I have some go-to songs in my archives, but I’m also constantly on the look-out for new ones to add (got any suggestions?).

Writing Girl Breaker, the last novel of my Break on Through series, was definitely an adventure and having the right music certainly enabled good girl, Jessica, and rough-around-the-edges biker, ‘Mad’ Max, to find their way to each other. Their sexual chemistry was off the charts and I was tickled hot pink to sit back and watch them do their thing.


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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Aural Pleasures, Giveaway

Aural Pleasures + Giveaway: Kim Redford’s BLAZING HOT COWBOY

Blazing Hot Cowboy Kim Redford

I’ve always enjoyed second chance love stories, so in Blazing Hot Cowboy, I paint a vivid picture of former high school sweethearts Kent Duval and Lauren Sheridan getting back together. But when these two aren’t all over each other, how do they pass the time?

Both enjoy listening to music! What tunes are their favorites?


Kent Duval’s favorite musical playlist includes:

Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”

Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”

Waylon Jennings’ “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”

Leon Russell’s “A Song for You”

Garth Brooks’ “Standing Outside the Fire”

 

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Aural Pleasures, Exclusive Excerpt

Aural Pleasures + Excerpt: SUMMER INDISCRETIONS by Tamara Mataya

Summer Indiscretions Tamara Mataya

 Ready to get hot and heavy? We’ve got something to chase the winter blues away. Reading with a soundtrack! Don’t miss this taste of Summer Indiscretions!


This book is set in Miami, so I wanted songs to bring the heat, but also give me something to groove to. Fun, flirty, sexiness, and nothing too dark. I definitely listened to some more than others, but they all got their turn in my headphones.

Summer Indiscretions Playlist

  1. Keep You by Wild Belle
  2. Days Like That (Radio Edit) by Sugar Jones
  3. No Way No by Magic!
  4. Smooth by Santana feat. Rob Thomas
  5. Prayer In C Robin Schulz Radio Edit by Lily Wood and The Pricks
  6. The Walker by Fitz And The Tantrums
  7. Buttons by The Pussycat Dolls
  8. Get It On Tonight by Montell Jordan
  9. Let’s Ride by Montell Jordan
  10. Say it Right by Nelly Furtado
  11. Crazy In Love by Sofia Karlberg
  12. One Step Forward by Max Romeo
  13. Made Of by Sizzla
  14. I Am The Best by 2NE1
  15. Berlin Acoustic by Sofia Karlberg

EXCERPT

The breeze rolling off the ocean hits me, counteracting the heat with a deliciously salty tang, and I put my cell away, determined to be fully present in this moment. If vitamin D is the feel-good vitamin, I’m going to soak up as much as I can. I need to feel good right about now. I’m doing the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done, and no one can take that away from me.

Walking up King’s Point Drive to the beach felt like an adventure in a foreign land. People are friendlier and wear less clothing in Miami—clothing in a dazzling rainbow of colors—and a lot of women seem to wear bikini tops instead of real shirts or tank tops. Is this why they seem happier in Florida, or is it all the space? Maybe it’s just because it’s so close to the beach.

Without the tall buildings reaching high above like back home, the sky is nearly oppressively open, and I squint up at it for a moment before my eyelids pinch shut against the brightness of the sun. Shelby’s condo is on a little almost-island surrounded by water, with the Oleta River State Park on the west and the ocean a couple blocks to the east. I’m in Miami, but somehow I feel like I’m in an oasis away from it all.

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Aural Pleasures

Aural Pleasures: “Why Are You Listening to THAT?” by Lisa Wells

The Seduction of Kinley Foster Lisa Wells

Hugs and thanks to EverAfter Romance for having me on the blog!

EverAfterRomance

Today I’m dishing about the songs that inspired key scenes in my romantic comedy – The Seduction of Kinley Foster.

If you have teenagers in your life, at one time or another, they have probably demanded to know, ‘Why are you listening to that?’, in a tone that clearly states their opinion of whatever that is.  If you haven’t heard this statement, you must be one really cool dude or dudette.

My daughter knows I’m a 70’s music fanatic.  When we go on long runs together, it’s what I listen to for ten plus miles on my playlist.  It’s what I listen to in the car whenever we’re going someplace: be it to the grocery store, to a shopping mall or on a cross country road trip. You see, I have a simple rule: my car – my station.  🙂

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Aural Pleasures

Aural Pleasures: Music to Storm the Castle from Avery Flynn

His Undercover Princess Avery Flynn

There was absolutely no way in the world that I was going to write a book featuring a princess  (His Undercover Princess, out now) that didn’t involve storming the castle. Nope. Wasn’t gonna happen.

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So in prepping to write the climactic scene, I had to get in the right mood. How better to do that then to watch The Princess Bride?

Princess Bride

It was wonderful! But it didn’t quite get there. I needed more. I needed music. Here are the five best songs I found if you’re in the mood to storm a castle.

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Aural Pleasures

Aural Pleasures: The Soundtrack of Caleb’s Heart

First and First Santino Hassel

It’s no secret that many authors are inspired by music. There are times when I’ve sat in the car while stuck in traffic and briefly focused on whatever song was playing only to be hit with an idea for a scene, plot, or character.

This happened to me with After Midnight (“I’m Mad” by The Deadweather), Stygian (“La Lugubre Gondola, No. 1”, composed by Liszt), and there have been several songs that struck a chord within me while I’ve worked on the Five Boroughs novels. “The Hills” by The Weeknd not only inspired me while writing First and First, but a character in a future novel as well.

First and First is the story of Caleb Stone—a thirty-six year old gay man with a life that’s envied by most. He was born into wealth, he’s a brilliant financial analyst, and lives in a gorgeous penthouse in the Financial District of Manhattan. To others, he has everything. However, Caleb’s point of view is very different. He doesn’t think he’s accomplished anything to be proud of. He’s repressed. And he’s afraid of never being loved.

The book is sexy (probably my most erotic romance to date), but it’s also very emotional. The songs in my First and First playlist reflect that. Below, you’ll find my top five Caleb songs and explanations as to why they’re so revealing about what’s in his heart.


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Aural Pleasures

Aural Pleasures: TORQUE by Charley Descoteaux

Torque Charley Descoteaux

I’m thrilled to be at EverAfter Romance to chat about the playlist for my new release, Torque. Thank you so much for having me!

Every time I start a new story I get to know the characters through music. I’m a huge music lover and listen to a variety of genres, depending on my mood and the story I want to tell. It usually takes me a while to figure out the right music for a story but once I’ve created a playlist I listen to it on repeat. A lot. So much that when a song from a book’s list plays on the radio I’m instantly in that character’s head again—which is a big help during edits!

Torque started with a cool old car and at first I thought the soundtrack would be the Eagles. The car is from the 70s and I like the Eagles—I could listen to them on repeat for three or four months!—but it didn’t feel quite right. I’d written half the book before I knew Mick well enough to realize he wasn’t an Eagles fan.

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Aural Pleasures

Aural Pleasures: “Is It Possible To Be Castrated By A Playlist?” by Samanthe Beck

Emergency Engagement Samanthe Beck

Massive thanks to EverAfter Romance for having me on the blog today!

Did the title of the post catch your eye? I hope so, because Beau Montgomery, the hero of my latest Brazen, asks himself this very question in the opening lines of Emergency Engagement. He’s a paramedic, so he knows the strict medical answer is no, but a man can only take so many breakup anthems blasting from the apartment across the hall before he starts to lose his grip.

I can also attest that the spouse of a writer working on a scene involving a heroine hosting her own, personal men-suck music festival can only take so many repeats of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” before he digs up a pair of ear-buds and hands them to the writer. Or throws them at her. Either way, message received.

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