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Covet Playlist Explained: Why Did I Choose These Songs?

  • January 10, 2014

Hello everyone!

I wrote a post a while back for Penguin UK and I thought I’d share it here, too. My UK editor wanted to know if I could explain the reasons behind the songs I’d chosen for the Covet playlist. In case you’d like to know, here they are!

1. “Her Diamonds” by Rob Thomas  – The opening line of the song is, Oh what the hell she said I just can’t win for losing. When I first heard those words I thought they perfectly captured how Claire was feeling when she tried to help Chris through the stress of losing his job and the depression that followed. She wanted to help, but nothing she said or did seemed to be right.

2. “Daniel” by Elton John  – Somewhat self-explanatory, since Daniel is one of the main characters in Covet. But because of a decision that was made in the book, this line especially hit home: Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much.

3. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police  – At one point in the drafting of Covet, I had Daniel tell Claire that he’d assigned this ringtone to her. It was a not-so-subtle way of letting her know that he thought she was pretty special. The song is performed by The Police (get it?). I later took it out of the book, because it seemed a bit juvenile, but I love this song and it remained on the playlist.

4. Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson  – *Sigh*. These three lines say it all: Don’t you wanna stay here a little while? Don’t you wanna hold each other tight? Don’t you wanna fall asleep with me tonight?

5. “Bring It On Home” by Little Big Town – I love this song. I listened to it over and over while writing the ending to Covet (so it really should be last on the playlist). The theme of this song, at least to me, is that home is where you need to be when things are really tough. It’s where your spouse is. It’s where problems can be fixed. When things are at their worst you still have each other, so don’t shut the other person out.
When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
The weight of the world is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me.

I also love these two lines: 

Baby let me be your safe harbor
Don’t let the water come and carry you away. 
Claire was very close to being swept away, and Chris had some work ahead of him to convince her that he could be that safe harbor for her.

This last one just makes me teary-eyed because of what it conveys:

You got someone here wants to make it alright
Someone who loves you more than life right here.
It reminds me of what Claire and Chris have at home.  

6. “The First Cut Is the Deepest” by Sheryl Crow – The opening line of this song is, I would have given you all of my heart. This is especially significant because Claire tells Daniel, “If things had been different, I would have given my whole heart to you.”

7. Good Is Good” by Sheryl Crow – The song opens with, Good is good and bad is bad, You don’t know which one you had. I chose this song because that line sums up how conflicted Claire was throughout much of the book. She knows she is lucky, and that she has a lot to be thankful for, but there’s a part of her that wants and needs more. But she doesn’t want to rock the boat too much and risking losing it all.

8. “Say” by John Mayer – Oh, this song.
Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead,
If you could only . . .Say what you need to say.

Claire had tried to talk to Chris in the past – and been shot down – so she stopped trying. Chris internalized everything and never shared the way he was feeling with Claire. Their lack of communication almost ended their marriage.

9. Mockingbird” by Rob Thomas  – These two verses highlight the way Claire felt when she knew the marriage was on shaky ground. She knew something had to change, but she needed Chris to work with her, not shut her out. This one was one the darkest times for her.
Here we stand
Somewhere in between this moment and the end
Will we bend
Or will we open up and take this whole thing in?

Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
We can’t move on and we can’t stay here
Maybe we’ve just had enough
Well, maybe we ain’t meant for this love.

10. Whatever It Takes” by Lifehouse – This whole song applies to Claire and Chris’s marriage. I can picture him saying the words in the first verse to her, and her saying the words in the second verse to him.  
I’ll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what’s at stake
I know that I’ve let you down
And if you give me a chance
Believe that I can change
I’ll keep us together whatever it takes.

She said if we’re gonna make this work
You gotta let me inside even though it hurts
Don’t hide the broken parts that I need to see
She said Like it or not it’s the way it’s gotta be
You gotta love yourself if you can ever love me.

So, there you have it! I played that playlist so often my kids know the words to every song (my daughter has become quite the Rob Thomas fan). I love being influenced by music when I’m writing a book. 

Here’s the playlist for my new book, which I’m sure I’ll be adding to as I go along. All of the songs are relevant to the story in some way (I’ll be sure to explain why I chose them after the book has been released). If you’re on Spotify, please follow me. 🙂 

Happy Friday, all!

Fiction Friday – A Cover, Some Jacket Copy, and a Playlist

  • September 2, 2011

Happy fiction Friday (and Labor Day weekend) everyone!

I wanted to show you the awesome cover my blogging bestie Penne made for me (blogger wouldn’t let me upload the PDF, so I had to settle for the JPEG. It looks much clearer on my computer screen so I’m not sure why it doesn’t show up better here, but you get the general idea). You can also click on it a couple times to make it bigger.

Here’s the jacket copy/product description:

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family – and a stack of overdue assignments – instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

Next up is the playlist I listened to while I was writing On the Island. I used to play “Roll With the Changes” on repeat, especially in my car, and I wanted to use the first verse as an epigraph at the beginning of a certain chapter but you can’t unless you pay for the right to do that and, even more daunting, get the members of REO Speedwagon (or whoever owns the rights) to say it’s okay (hello? *waves hand* Kevin Cronin? I have a question for you). That sounds like a lot of work and money. So no epigraph.

I wonder if those of you who have already read On the Island could guess where I would have put the epigraph. It might surprise you.

The rest of these songs all have meaning and it’s strange how much a playlist can influence the writing. For Covet, the book I’m writing now, I’ve been in an adult contemporary phase which is weird because you know I’m a 70’s girl.

“Long, Long Way From Home” – Foreigner
“Fins” – Jimmy Buffet
“Island Girl” – Elton John
“Sweet Child ‘O Mine” – Guns ‘N Roses
“Roll With The Changes” – REO Speedwagon
“Coconuts” – Widespread Panic
“Changes In Attitude, Changes In Latitude” – Jimmy Buffet
“Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd
“Don’t Drink The Water” – Dave Matthews Band
“Don’t Let Him Go” – REO Speedwagon
“Have You Ever Seen The Rain” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
“I’ll Be” – Edwin McCain
“Ridin’ The Storm Out” – REO Speedwagon

I received my ebooks from the book formatter last night and I’ll be able to upload to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords on Sunday when there will be a break in our weekend festivities. It will take anywhere from 6-48 hours to go live (although I heard it’s usually closer to 24). Next week’s focus will be sending everything to Amazon’s CreateSpace for the paperback version. I’ve heard that process can be…difficult. But ignorance is bliss so for now I’m assuming a couple mouse clicks and woo hoo, paperback!

I’m also planning a virtual launch party on Facebook (date: TBD). I am hoping for sometime next week, maybe Friday? A virtual launch party is just a fancy way of asking my Facebook friends to copy the link for my blog post announcing the book’s release into their status update so that their friends can check out the listing on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you would like to participate in this launch, please let me know. I’d be honored and I would appreciate it so much. I will be holding a random drawing for some fabulous prizes for those who help me launch. If you’d like to be included, please let me know, either by commenting on this blog, or replying on Facebook.

It’s a good feeling having this preparation behind me. After 18 months, I’m ready to move on and immerse myself in the new book.

Thanks to all of you who have helped me along the way. Your kind words of encouragement mean a lot. More than you’ll ever know, actually.

Have a good weekend!


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