Love at First Note: The Music Inside the Book

12657436_797790563687230_806852708837214012_oI’m sure you couldn’t tell from the cover and title, but Love at First Note is a pretty musical book. And if I do say so myself, it’s got an incredible playlist. I never could have written a book all about music without the help of my older sister, Emily, who happens to be a professional musician. She answered so many questions and helped me land on the pieces that were just right for Emma and Elliott. She sent me links. She suggested concertos and nocturnes and movements and never hesitated to pull back the curtain on the inner workings of the symphony.

So I’m proud of this playlist. Emily and I worked hard to make sure it was an accurate reflection of my characters down to the  very last note. And so I want to share that playlist with all of you! This is all classical stuff. Great for studying. For writing. For lounging on the grass and staring up at the clouds as they float across a Carolina blue sky. I hope you’ll read the book, then come back and listen! (Even better . . . listen as you read?)

Without further ado: The music of Love at First Note


Now, I can’t pretend like the book is ALL classical, not with Elliott and his rock star edge. After all, what made him famous was “pianos in weird places” a la Piano Guys or William Joseph.

A piano in the middle of a lake? Um, sure. Why not?

Happy reading . . . and Happy Listening!

Love at First Note – March 2016

12657436_797790563687230_806852708837214012_oConfession? I’m not a great musician. I can struggle through a few songs on the piano, and I played the oboe for two years in middle school. Hardly noteworthy. But I did grow up in a musical family. With parents that taught us to appreciate and find inspiration through music. And I’ve pretty much got that part nailed. I am inspired by music. ALL. THE. TIME.

Which is why this book was so much fun to write. But before we get into that, a little history:

Last summer, my publisher called and asked if I would contribute a novella to a collection they were looking to publish. I said I’d love to and set out to plotting what my mini novel would be. As I walked my dog through the streets of West Asheville, I decided I needed my story to happen right there on those streets. With the old funky houses and the wide roads and the huge Maple trees shadowing the sidewalks. It was the perfect setting.

My daughter’s violin teacher lived in West Asheville at the time so I decided that would be a fun career for my character, Emma, to have. After drafting a few chapters, I realized that music was going to be a central theme in the story and I better find a way to make sure, if I was going to write about music, I was going to do it right.

Lucky for me, my sister, Emily, is a professional musician. A symphony native, a music teacher in her own right, and the perfect consultant. For hours we searched scores of classical music, looking for the right song for the right moment. Emily’s knowledge is extraordinary and she didn’t disappoint! (I’m working on compiling a soundtrack of the classical pieces mentioned throughout the novel. Stay tuned!) At the end of the day, there’s no way I could have written, nor would I have enjoyed writing this book, without Emily’s help.

Except, it wasn’t a book quite yet. Twenty four hours before my lovely novella was due to my publisher, I decided I might not ever be satisfied with just a novella. I loved my characters. I wanted them to have their own book–a full length, full blown, nothing held back novel of their very own.

I’m sure my editor loved that email. You know that novella you were counting on me sending in tomorrow? Yeah. That’s not happening.

Lucky for me, (again) she was wonderful and supportive and encouraged me to take Emma and Elliott’s story to the next level. And so I did.

I love this story, guys. It’s funny and flirty and romantic ( I hope, I hope, and I hope). And the music! I love all the music.

Here’s a little blurb about the story.

Concert violinist Emma Hill has left her high profile career as concertmaster of one of the nation’s premiere symphonies and moved home to Asheville, North Carolina. Career suicide? Maybe. Dating suicide? Absolutely.
But then Elliott Hart, a pianist famous for crazy YouTube videos and contemporary mash-ups moves in next door. He’s handsome, at least he’s got that going for him, but Emma is convinced he’s nothing but a giant ego that clearly plays the wrong kind of music.
Of course, Emma and Elliott have more in common than they first realize. Their connection through music (and kissing) is intense, but dating someone famous brings challenges Emma doesn’t expect.Will sizzling chemistry and a little bit of Rhapsody in Blue be enough to keep her hanging on?

Love at First Note will be available on bookstore shelves and on Amazon in March, so stay tuned for links and purchasing info. Plus, I’ve got a great giveaway planned for book release week, full of books and chocolate and music. I’ll post it on the blog, but be sure to like my Facebook author page for up to the minute updates.

Lastly, and most importantly, thank you always for your reading and for your support! I couldn’t do what I do without all of you.

Books! (Plural!)

A friend of mine posted this photo on Facebook this week–my two books, newly purchased, together side by side.

books together

I admit, it’s been a bit of a low key book release. I moved just weeks before release day and was a little overwhelmed getting kids settled into new schools and finding the routine and rhythm of our new home. Then, all of a sudden, there was a box of books in my kitchen and release day came and went and my second book was officially born–sent out into the world to be read and (hopefully) enjoyed by others. But it didn’t really hit home, I think, until I saw this photo. This is the one that made me all sappy and happy.

I’m not sure I could ever actually quantify all the heart and energy and love that goes into the writing of a book. It’s an emotional experience, a taxing experience, an experience that often makes you want to bang your head against the wall or scream from the rooftops or worst of all, chuck your laptop off the side of a mountain. That’s not to say it’s always cupcakes and roses after publication. Marketing is hard, and bad reviews are hard, and the sheer vulnerability that comes with knowing your words are out there for anyone and their cousin to read? It can be hard too. If I think about it too much, it still freaks me out a little.

You know what though? It only takes one person saying “Hey, I really loved this” for it to all feel worth it. I know I can’t speak for all authors. I’m only me, and I may feel differently than many. But you want to know why I do this? Mostly because it just feels really good to write things that make other people happy. Even if it’s a temporary happiness that only lasts for the four or so hours it takes to read the book. If I can do that? Give someone four hours of happiness? I’m totally willing to endure the trials that accompany getting there. (Also, writing is the only thing that tames the voices in my head. Sometimes they talk like I’m not even in the room. Rude, right? They won’t shut up till their stories are written, so, you know, what’s a girl gonna do? I don’t know though. This might be a conversation we should save for another blog post. You think? Yes? Okay, me too.)

And here is where I say THANK YOU, because really truly, I feel so fortunate that I get to do something that I love so much and share it with others. It is an honor and a privilege and it makes me happy and I so hope it makes you happy too. That’s all.