Posts tagged ‘music’

March 11, 2018

Guest Post: A Perfect Soundtrack by Lela Bay

Guest Blog: A Perfect Soundtrack by Lela Bay

Before I begin writing, I often create a playlist with the mood of the book. Unlike many authors, I don’t mind lyrics. I know I’ve been in the writing zone when I pause and suddenly reawaken of the music and singing that’s been playing all along.

Movie musicals know what they’re doing. They start with a powerful opening number. Just consider the release of La La Land, where an entire Los Angeles freeway becomes a thumping, mardi gras party for those stuck in traffic. It’s an easy daydream to have:

More recently, The Greatest Showman grabbed hold of the audience with its pulse-pounding opening number. The multi-talented Hugh Jackman owns the stage with his presence, and the tempo builds with the marvelous stomping effects.

However, even in non-musicals the soundtrack plays an integral role setting the tone of the movie. If you love music and romance, prepare to be blown away. The opening scene of A Perfect Man, with Liev Schreiber and Jeanne Tripplehorn, is the ideal of using music to set up the story and inspire the audience. It’s a beautiful, mysterious and powerful sequence. When I heard the music, I needed to know more. Hints in the lyrics sounded familiar. It nagged at me. In searching I discovered the opening lyrics were from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 57. The director filmed the movie but ran out of funds and didn’t finish it. Later, he showed a rough cut to a film class, and they were so impressed they insisted he complete the movie.

I couldn’t find a clip of the opening scene from A Perfect Man on Youtube for you. Ideally, go to Netflix and stream just the first 5 minutes of the movie (sorry film students, the movie is good but never lives up to those opening minutes). Alternately, you can hear the music here but it isn’t quite the same without the amazing scene. “For This Sin (featuring Jules Larson)” by Jeff Cardoni.

As a writer, I wish I could use music to instantly tell my audience the tone, genre, and energy of the story they were about to read. I find it entirely believable that our reading devices of the future could come embedded with soundtracks to match the pace of the reader.

Until then, here are a few songs that I listened to while working on my Regency romance novella, Ruined Reputations. Since it’s a period piece, I chose music that didn’t use too many modern instruments (not too much electric guitar and synth for this soundtrack). The two tales, “The Unusual Mr. Aarons” and “Virtue’s Temptation” are sweet and sometimes funny with an undertone of longing.

  • For This Sin (feat. Jules Larson) by Jeff Cardoni
  • Earned It by The Weeknd from 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack
  • The Look of Love by Diana Krall
  • Everywhere by lissie
  • On Less Bell to Answer/A House is not a Home – Glee Soundtrack
  • Issues (acoustic version) by Julia Michaels

Lela lives in a modest house with her husband, children, and pets. Despite living in the far north, she requires a certain amount of sunshine each day or she gets grumpy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys strolling, gardening, reading, and tea time with friends.

She enjoys stories with intimacy and humor.

Blog: http://lelabayblog.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/lelabay

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bay_lela

RUINED REPUTATIONS

“A tantalizing pair of Regency tales.” ~Emmy Z. Madrigal

“Ruined Reputations is a love letter to high romance of the Brontes with the meticulous eye for detail that readers crave like oxygen itself.” ~MJ Sherry-author of the Back Page Babylon series

–The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons–

Rumors of Mr. Aarons unconventional ways are confirmed when he nearly yanks the bonnet off Emmaline’s cousin’s head. Drawn by his charm and good looks, Emmaline finds herself assisting him in his mysterious mission.

His obscure search appears to lead to her cousin, beautiful Catherine Connersfield. She is the more sensible choice, but will she have him? More to the point, will Emmaline let her?

–Virtue’s Temptation–

Experience has taught Eleanor it’s better to be practical than passionate.

When she discovers Bitsy eloping with her French tutor, scandal threatens to ruin the girl.

To keep her reputation intact, Eleanor reluctantly chaperones the rebellious heiress.

Eleanor’s spotless character protects Bitsy, but behaving respectably proves difficult when tempted by the dangerously attractive Mr. Stinson.

If she fails it will end with … Ruined Reputations.

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December 25, 2016

Listen to the Sweet Dreams Series in real-time!

Listen to the Sweet Dreams Series in real-time!

Today Victoria and Rob met for the first time. Whether you’ve already listened to the whole series or are brand new, this is the chance to listen to the series in real-time. Here is a listening schedule if you’d like to listen to their love unfold as our calendar counts forward into the New Year.

December 25th, 2016: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 1 & 2

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

December 26th, 2016: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 3 & 4

Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

December 27th, 2016: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 5

Chapter 5:

December 28th, 2016: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 6

Chapter 6:

December 29th, 2016: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 7, 8, 9, 10

Chapter 7:

Chapter 8:

Chapter 9:

Chapter 10:

December 30th, 2016: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 11, 12, 13

Chapter 11:

Chapter 12:

Chapter 13:

December 31st, 2016: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 14

Chapter 14:

January 1st, 2017: Listen to Sweet Dreams Chapter 15

Chapter 15:

January 2nd, 2017: Listen to Star Struck Chapter 1 & 2

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

January 3rd, 2017: Listen to Star Struck Chapter 3

Chapter 3:

January 4th, 2017: Listen to Star Struck Chapter 4, 5, 6, 7

Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7:

January 5th, 2017: Listen to Star Struck Chapter 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Chapter 8:

Chapter 9:

Chapter 10:

Chapter 11:

Chapter 12:

January 6th, 2017: Listen to Star Struck Chapter 13

Chapter 13:

January 19th, 2017: Listen to True Love Chapter 1

Chapter 1:

January 25th, 2017: Listen to True Love Chapter 2, 3, 4, 5

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

January 26th, 2017: Listen to True Love Chapter 6, 7, 8

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7:

Chapter 8:

January 27th, 2017: Listen to True Love Chapter 9, 10, 11, 12

Chapter 9:

Chapter 10:

Chapter 11:

Chapter 12:

January 28th, 2017: Listen to Undecided Chapter 1, 2, 3

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

January 29th, 2017: Listen to Undecided Chapter 4 & 5

Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

January 30th, 2017: Listen to Undecided Chapter 6, 7, 8

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7:

Chapter 8:

January 31st, 2017: Listen to Undecided Chapter 9, 10

Chapter 9:

Chapter 10:

February 1st, 2017: Listen to Undecided Chapter 11 & 12

Chapter 11:

Chapter 12:

February 2nd, 2017: Listen to Undecided Chapter 13

Chapter 13- End:

More Sweet Dreams real-time listening to come in One More Try this February!

March 21, 2015

Dean Martin and the Meaning of Cool by Elliot Thorpe

Hello, Sweet Dreamers! I know you are all interested in Victoria and her Jazz singing career, but what about the ladies and gentlemen who inspired her to sing those awesome songs? A friend of mine, Elliot Thorpe, is here today to tell us about one of the Jazz greats Victoria strives to emulate, Dean Martin. Enjoy! ~Emz

Dean Martin and the Meaning of Cool

by Elliot Thorpe

 At some point, most likely the 1960s, the word ‘cool’ entered public consciousness as description for something ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

When, then, did ‘cool’ become synonymous with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and a whole host of others? Clearly, they were charming, laid back and smooth, a hit with all demographics – so it seems that the meaning of ‘cool’ was tailor-made for them!

Ironically, it was never a term used to describe them in the 1970s and only really came into regular use towards the end of the 1990s.

When Dean and his contemporaries were regularly performing, they were stars pulling in the crowds. But was it ‘cool’ to go see them live? ‘Cool’ never entered the equation: they were perceived as celebrities, entertainers and a guaranteed good night out in Vegas.

Times move on. Tastes change and the public perception of a ‘celebrity’ in has altered drastically these last few years.  Our digital set-top boxes and satellite dishes are crammed full of reality shows. Unknown members of the public are being shot to celebrity status because of something embarrassing they have done on front of millions of viewers. Worse still, those with just an ounce of fame, and little self-respect sometimes, go and live in a camera-crammed house to become the victim of their own plunging popularity.

But the clamour for public recognition is worryingly alluring. Not so long ago, I attended a convention in Birmingham, UK to promote a ‘Doctor Who’ story that I had scripted. The day before, no one knew me. The day after, I had signed so many autographs I had wrist ache. And I’m not famous. Not in the slightest. But my ‘public’ couldn’t get enough of me. They thought it was ‘cool’ to meet me because I was now linked, and always will be, to a ‘cool’ show. And it was a very surreal and fantastic experience. I had a cool time, you might say!

Dean Martin personally asked my dad to set up his first ever fan club for him in 1960. Cool! Dean Martin used to communicate all the time with my dad. Cool! Dean Martin sent my older sister a doll that he was holding once on a cover of one of his discs. Cool! Dean Martin once sent my dad a very limited edition Sinatra box set that Frank had personally signed it, too, at Dean’s request. Cool! Dean Martin specifically asked to meet my dad face-to-face whenever he came to London. Cool!

I apologise for sounding like I’m in a teen-movie but, when you think about it, all this was pretty cool, eh?

But at the time, we were simply honoured that Dino took such a vested interest in us so I don’t mean to sound big-headed. ‘Cool’ never came into it. It was my dad’s past-time, running the fan club. The additional stuff that came with it, the dolls, the discs, the regular contact, were added bonuses – and gave us a unique insight into Dino himself. Yet my dad never really got to know him, no one ever did, but he got to understand him. And that, both for Dean and my dad, was the most important thing of all in their relationship. They understood each other and knew how each could best benefit each other.

Let’s not beat around the bush, here: Dino knew my dad because my dad helped promote his career. If my dad had remained just a fan back in the 50s and 60s, Dino would have not given him the time of day.

And that’s no disrespect to Dino.

The man was a true celebrity. He held audiences with presidents. He ‘phoned Apollo mission crews while they were orbiting the Earth. He was best mates with Frank Sinatra. But he couldn’t meet his fans, just couldn’t face them. As he told my dad once, “…that’s why you’re here. You do it. You meet them for me and tell them how grateful I am.”

Dino was incredibly shy. And we felt that he perhaps saw our family as opportunities of quiet and down-to-earth normality in an otherwise topsy-turvy life of touring, performing, recording, partying and having hundreds of shallow friendships. He probably took advantage of that normality. My dad was open with him, honest with him. And it was reciprocated.

He was a huge star who had time for us: time he made and found himself, not through his manager or agency. And that’s why my dad has been and continues to be so dedicated to him and the promotion of his career over the last 47 years.

So, if you ask me if Dino was and is ‘cool’, then the answer would be…well, the answer would be: yes – for those reasons, more than anything.

Almost as cool as my dad.

***********

Elliot Thorpe is a writer and jazz aficionado. To read more of his work, go to: http://elliot-thorpe.blogspot.co.uk/

May 6, 2014

Sweet Dreams 4: Undecided, Chapter 12

undecidedIn Chapter 12, Victoria, Cynthia, and the gang travel to a neighboring town to attend a Never Open gig at Alaster’s. Victoria sings with Never Open, Raul reveals his feelings, and Cynthia gets carried away backstage with Ian.

More information at http://www.sweetdreamsnovel.com

Voices by: Emmy Z. Madrigal and Kirk Warrington.

Theme song, “Single Girls”written by Laura Jansen, preformed by Marinda Wijnen.

Speical songs for this chapter, “Again” and “Without You” by Brad Wait.

April 28, 2014

SD2: Star Struck, Now Available on Kindle

 

starstruckStar Struck – Now available in print from Amazon.com.

Or in Kindle format

Now you can enjoy Star Struck in audio, print, or Kindle versions. if you buy the Kindle version, you can loan it out to friends and if you buy the print version at Amazon.com, you can get the Kindle version for just 99 cents!

Three days is not very long, but to Victoria, who’s been away from her new love Rob Malloy, it seems like forever. Returning from Colorado, Victoria reconnects with her friends, finding one particular friend isn’t too happy about her having a high society boyfriend.

Imagine waking from a nap to find your favorite boy band star sitting in the chair across from you. That’s what happens to Cynthia Porter. She can hardly believe she isn’t dreaming when Derek Montgomery shows up at Rob’s apartment.

The initial shock gives way to real mutual admiration as they spend time together. Unfortunately, it seems Derek’s old girlfriend haunts him too much to let go. Will Cynthia ever find a guy who is completely into her? Or will she constantly be the friend and counselor to these screwed up males?

 

July 2, 2010

True Love fans push it to the top!

The 3rd novel in the Sweet Dreams Series, TRUE LOVE, is now available on podiobooks!

And thanks to you loyal listeners, we are at #2 right now after one day. Can we bust out number one?

http://www.podiobooks.com/title/true-love