Hello, everyone! Before I continue, the release date of Cold Dark Night has been delayed a few days. I’ve had some unexpected personal things come up and need a few more days to prepare. Anyhow, instead of May 24, the new date is Tuesday, June 1.
Most of you who have followed my blog a while know at least a couple of things about me. (1) I’m fascinated by full moons, and (2) I love music. Enough to create playlists for most of my books.
This one is likely the most eclectic – a haunting ballad, a cheerful song from the movie Grease, selections from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and more.
Like my other playlists, the songs all fit a particular scene or capture a mood.
If you’d like to see the playlists for my other books, click here. In the meantime for your entertainment…
Hey, everyone. It’s been ages since I’ve done a WIP Wednesday post. The past few weeks, I turned my focus from Cold Dark Night toward finishing the short story prequel. Originally titled Woman in Black, it has a new name, House of Sorrow.
As is often the case, the story took me in a slightly different direction than I originally expected. But I had so much fun writing it. Many of the scenes are set in the late 1960s. Let’s say I was able to relive some of my childhood while writing and doing research.
When I neared completion of the first draft, it dawned on me that I was missing a golden opportunity by not creating a playlist. I did that with all my Driscoll Lake novels and often listen to them on Spotify while driving. I was quick to create one for this story.
There are hundreds of songs I could have included, but the ones I picked symbolize the time or follow the storyline. I’ve included a couple from the late seventies, as I have a scene written during that time.
Here’s a photo of one popular group from the sixties. Eight Miles High, anyone?
And now, here’s the list. Quite a mix, wouldn’t you say?
Turn! Turn! Turn! -The Byrds
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
Abraham, Martin, and John – Dion
Get Together – The Youngbloods
Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine – Fifth Dimension
Time of The Season – The Zombies
Woodstock – Matthews Southern Comfort
All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
Let it Be – The Beatles
Spirit in The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Deacon Blues – Steely Dan
Lonely People – America
This is a video of one of the songs. Don’t you “dig” their clothes? Pardon my use of the sixties term.
I plan to release House of Sorrow in late December and Cold Dark Night in February 2021 (a little later than anticipated, but there’s a reason for the February release date). I’ll post more about both projects in the upcoming weeks, including cover reveals.
Hey, everyone. Once again, I’m participating in Soooz’s weekly flash fiction prompt. Each week she shares a photo and invites writers to participate by writing a fiction or non-fiction piece not exceeding 750 words. For more information on how to participate, visit Soooz by clicking here.
And now, here is this week’s prompt and my contribution.
Dylan walked onto the darkened stage. As the lights came up and a machine began emitting fog, thousands of fans started to scream. He was in his element. He’d dreamed of this life since he was four years old when his parents gave him a karaoke machine for Christmas.
He took the microphone as the band began to play. This was the final stop on his Unwind Tour, so named for his latest album. All in all, it had been a success. Sold out crowds every night. Standing ovations. The album was his biggest one to date, having sold over a million copies. What more could a rock star wish for?
Peace. Quiet. Relaxation.
No time for that in his world.
But I’m tired. Tired of touring. Tired of the screaming fans. Tired of… this lifestyle.
Dylan finished the concert. Went backstage with his band members. A month off. No touring. No rehearsing. No sessions in the recording studio. Everyone talked of their vacation plans. The drummer had booked a trip to Tahiti. The lead guitarist planned a vacation in Europe with his family. The bass player, Dave, was catching the next flight to the Virgin Islands.
Nice but he had no interest in visiting any of those places.
“What about you, Dylan? Going anywhere special?” The keyboardist asked.
He shrugged. “Not sure.”
“Are you kidding?” Dave said. “He’ll hole up in the studio or at his house writing music. We’d better enjoy the next few weeks. It’ll be a while before we get any time off again.
Had he become so predictable? Dylan had heard of workaholics. People who slaved their lives away while climbing to the top of the corporate ladder. Never having time for anyone or anything else.
Was his life as bad? Dave’s words had touched a nerve. He had planned to spend his time off writing new songs.
You need to unwind. You’re on a fast track to burnout.
But where would he go? Exotic locations held no appeal for him. But there was one place…
There he would find peace and quiet. He could relax.
“Dylan? You never told us what you planned to do,” Dave said.
“Going to a place where I can unwind. I’m going home.”
Hey, everyone. For today’s WIP Wednesday, I’ll share the third and final playlist for the Driscoll Lake Series. For this one, I began selecting songs while still brainstorming the plot. I shared in a post a few months ago, where Lyin’ Eyes inspired the storyline. (You can click here if you’d like to read that post.)
Two or three of these songs are mentioned by name in the book. There’s a scene near the end where Brian’s band plays Tom Petty’s “Refuge” at a local club.
As with the first two books, romance plays a role.
They sat in silence for a while, watching the flames dance in the fireplace. Even with the awkward moment earlier, Christine felt safe. Content. She could get used to this.
“Think you’ll ever marry again?” Vince’s voice was so low she almost didn’t hear him. Even so, she wasn’t sure she’d understood.
“What did you say?”
“Probably shouldn’t have been so blunt. I tend to say what’s on my mind.”
“I don’t have a problem with someone being frank, but your question caught me off guard.”
“Why? You’re an attractive woman. It’s been a while since Kyle’s death.”
“Guess I haven’t thought a lot about it. I’ve only been out on a few dates.”
“Easily changed. I’d like to make sure it does.”
She offered a tentative smile. “You don’t mince words, do you?”
“Everything that has happened the last few weeks has made me realize how short life can be. If someone has a chance at happiness, they should grab onto it and not let go.”
“Someone recently reminded me of that.”
“So, what do you think? Interested?”
Christine smiled. “I’m more than interested.”
And now for the playlist.
One of These Nights – The Eagles
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
Lyin’ Eyes – The Eagles
Let’s Live for Today – The Grass Roots
The Last Worthless Evening – Don Henley
Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Shame on The Moon – Bob Segar
We Have No Secrets – Carly Simon
Refugee – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Someone to Lay Down Beside Me – Linda Ronstadt
I’m In You – Peter Frampton
So there you have it. Will I create a soundtrack for future works? I’m already thinking about which ones I’ll use.
Hey, everyone. It’s time for another WIP Wednesday. This week is another “work in publication.”
The idea of creating a playlist, or soundtrack for my novels didn’t occur to me until after I had published Unseen Motives. Given the main character in Unknown Reasons was a part-time drummer who loved music, it seemed fitting for that book.
But Stephanie Harris, the protagonist in my first novel, also has a love for music. She was largely influenced by her father. Unfortunately he died when she was only fourteen, but she never forgot the times when the two of them would go for drives in the car with the radio tuned to a Classic Rock station and the volume loud. (Her mother’s taste leaned more toward classical music, but that’s another story.)
I began putting together a list of songs. As with Unknown Reasons, the songs follow the book’s timeline. The only song mentioned by name in the book is Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” but I tried to select others that fit the storyline. And yes, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is relative to a scene near the end of the book.
Before I began writing this series, I didn’t intend for romance to play a part. It didn’t take long for me to discover Stephanie and Driscoll Lake Police Chief Matt Bradford were meant to be together. But they both have things from the past to deal with. Here’s a snippet from one of the scenes.
Matt and Stephanie lingered in the parking lot after the others departed. “Sorry about the crowd,” Matt said. “I should have known. Mary’s is always busy on Friday nights after games.”
“It’s okay. It was nice to visit with some of my high school friends.” Stephanie took a deep breath of the night air. “I’m glad I went to the game. I wasn’t sure how it would be, but I felt a sense of freedom tonight. Maybe I’m finally getting over the past.”
“But you still have questions. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have asked Kyle to write a second story.”
“Yes, I do. I realize the outcome probably won’t change, but I have to try.” She tried to blink away tears that threatened to fall. “I didn’t mean to get emotional.”
Matt wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. “Look, I know tonight wasn’t a real date, but how about dinner tomorrow? Just the two of us. We can go someplace in Brewster.”
Stephanie smiled. “I’d like that.”
“Good.” He leaned down and placed a light kiss on her lips.
Impulsively, Stephanie took her finger and traced the scar on his chin. “How did you get this?”
Matt took her hand and pulled it aside. Something flickered in his eyes. Pain? Hurt? Anger? Something else?
“It happened a long time ago. It’s getting late. You’re probably ready to go home.”
She jerked her hand away from his. “Maybe tomorrow night isn’t such a good idea.”
“Stephanie, I—” The ringing of his cell phone interrupted Matt’s words. He took it from his pocket and looked at the caller ID. “Damn. It’s the station. I’d better take this.”
Will they overcome their past and move on? You’ll have to read the book to find out. In the meantime, here is the playlist.
Out in The Country – Three Dog Night
Over My Head – Fleetwood Mac
Wild Night – Van Morrison
Somebody’s Baby – Jackson Brown
Drive – The Cars
Magnet and Steel – Walter Eagan
Moonlight Feels Right – Starbuck
Who’s Crying Now – Journey
Tell It Like It Is – Heart
Walk Away Renee – The Left Banke
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
Words – The Bee Gees
Next week, another snippet from my upcoming short story collection.
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