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Another Country Song: DENTS

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Yes, I have attempted to write another bad country song. I don’t know anything about reading or composing music, so maybe that just makes it a poem. I was kind of inspired by the three books I am working on lately. Hope you likey…

Dents: Full of 'em

Dents: Full of ’em

DENTS
Cars and trucks are an extension
Of our body and personality
That’s why when someone gets
too close on the freeway
We extend them a profanity
Some people baby their cars
Keep them locked away from the elements
But what makes a car special is not
How pristine you keep it
It is the experience

It is not the outside that counts
But the memories within
These dents are displayed
Like badges of honor
From the battles fought
It may look worn and used up
But at the same time it is stronger
From all those miles and those loads
Don’t count me out
Because I will be there with you
Until the end of the road.

I had a car, I called it an SUV
An SRV according to the manufacturers’ files.
I don’t care, it was special to me
Two-hundred and sixteen thousand miles
Drove that car north and south
And halfway west across this great county
Slept under the stars
And president’s heads
It bore the scars
Of two hail storms
And one hail mark slightly larger and deeper than the rest
Where I lost my temper
When a campfire wouldn’t catch.
I never felt bad about that blemish
Because it was part of the history

It is not the outside that counts
But the memories within
These dents are displayed
Like badges of honor
From the battles fought
It may look worn and used up
But at the same time it is stronger
From all those miles and those loads
Don’t count me out
Because I will be there with you
Until the end of the road.

I have fallen down
All on my own
I’ve also had a little push
A time or two
I never wanted to let this hate
Eat me alive
But I regret not standing up for myself sooner
For setting the record straight
That I am more than the names
You chose to call me.
I want you to know, at the end of the day…

It is not the outside that counts
But the memories within
These dents are displayed
Like badges of honor
From the battles I’ve fought
I may look worn and used up
But at the same time I am stronger
From all those miles and those loads
Don’t count me out
Because I will be there waiting for you
At the end of the road.
 

And I say DON’T COUNT ME OUT
Because I WILL be there waiting for you
At the end of this road…

 

For those of you who haven’t heard, I have an event this Saturday from 12pm-5pm at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Lansing. You can click on my Events page for more info. See you there!

 

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It THE CONTINUING ROMANCE!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

The Riley Sisters Mix

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Aw, don't the girls look so good all together?

Aw, don’t the girls look so good all together?

I started writing The Wind Could Blow a Bug with only one song in my head. But as I continued the series, I found country songs, both new and old, helped with my inspiration. While I was raised on country and have always had a fondness for it, I hadn’t listened to it in probably a decade or more. I think when Garth retired, maybe I did too. I don’t know if my country-based stories lead me to the music, or the music fueled the books. Either way, it happened. (By the way, seeing Garth live in concert was part of my reconnecting to country as well.)

Here is my playlist for The Riley Sisters Mix with annotations (some minor spoilers included), followed by the YouTube playlist. Most of these songs give me the good music neck tingle.*

Kick the Dust Up – Luke Bryan: This just makes me think of the Tucker boys romping around the dirt roads of Oakley. It sets the vibe. Plus, Luke seems like a good old boy, which is why a minor character by the name of Luke may appear in Book 3, as well as a character named Blake…

Boys Round Here – Blake Shelton: Take a little ride to the river? Does that make anyone else think about Wade taking Miley down to the pond for a little skinny dipping?

Speakers– Sam Hunt: This song is damn sexy. So is Sam Hunt. This makes me think of Wade and Jane parking on the night of her high school graduation.

Play It Again – Luke Bryan: This is the first song that began my country music resurgence. While it doesn’t correlate exactly to a scene in the book, it seems like an experience that could totally happen between Wade and Jane.

Got Me Wrong – Alice in Chains: You might think this song doesn’t fit with the rest, and maybe it doesn’t, but it fits Jane’s story. When she is getting over her depression in college and hears a song on the radio that just speaks to her heart? That is based off of real events, and this was the real-life song for me.

John Deere Green – Joe Diffie: For the end of Book 1 and Wade’s wedding proposal to Jane; and of course Josh and Kiley and the water tower in Book 2. Oh God, I just teared up thinking about the water tower scene.

I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift: Josh’s song.

Ticks – Brad Paisley: This song is one long pick-up line that Josh would totally use on Kiley, if given the chance, and she would totally fall for it.

South Side of Heaven/What I Got – Mezcla featuring Michael Raymond-James: MRJ is the semi-inspiration for Josh Tucker. It only seemed right that since this was available on YouTube that his gravelly voice should be included in this collection.

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton: Sweet words I can picture Josh trying to woo Kiley with.

Love Me Like You Mean It – Kelsea Ballerini: I confess, this whole song is included just cuz I like where she says “Boy with your hat back, um I kinda like that.”

Red Dirt Road – Brooks & Dunn: Nothing specific, but provides an overall feel of growing up in the south that I hope my book captures some tiny 1/1000th of.

Raised On It – Sam Hunt: This is the song that sort of bridges my growing up in a farm town in Michigan with the Rileys and Tuckers growing up in Oakley, Alabama. I totally know about “sticky quarters”; I used them as the basis of a whole paper on Rites of Passage in college.

Ride to California – Paper Tongues: Miley, making her way out to Hollywood at all costs where she believes are all her dreams are just waiting to come true.

Celebrity Skin – Hole: Miley’s walk of shame the day after she meets movie star Mark.

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus: Fish out of water, or walking the Hollywood walk in the wrong shoes.

City of Angels – 30 Seconds to Mars: Oh God, I just love 30 Seconds to Mars and Jared Leto. This song is all about Hollywood being life-changing, for good and bad.

The River – Good Charlotte: Ya, I love Good Charlotte too; had to work them into here somehow. This song is all about how Los Angeles can eat you alive, as it does Miley.

Holy Toledo – Crystal Bowersox: This is Miley sitting on her couch back home depressed in her flannel cupcake pajamas and being a day overdue for a shower. A song about looking for redemption.

Blank Space – Taylor Swift: I actually think of this as being Mark’s point of view. What an a-hole 😉

Skr Boi – Avril Lavigne: Travis’s song. And I love Avril.

The Climb – Miley Cyrus: Miley Riley climbing back up out of the hole she found herself in upon returning to Oakley.

 

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

What I Learned This Week – 1/10/2016

This week I learned that hot young rising country music star Thomas Rhett is the son of 1990s hot young rising country music star Rhett Akins.

Thomas Rhett is actually Rhett Thomas Akins, Jr., but I totally get why, for business purposes, he would want to be his own guy with his own name; makes for less confusion that way. His voice has been on the country airwaves lately with “Make Me Wanna” and “Crash & Burn”. I especially like “Crash & Burn” because it doesn’t sound like a typical country song. I am sure many other people hate it for the same reason. I’ll admit, he’s a hottie. But the cover of his latest album Tangled Up bothers me. He is standing there in a holey T-shirt. Is that supposed to be like “Hey, I need a new shirt so you should buy this album.”? I am a forty-year old mother now. I just want to call him up and tell him to put on a new shirt.

His father Rhett Akins had several great hits while I was in college, at the height of one of my country music phases. “That Ain’t My Truck” has a great country title and lyrics, but “Don’t Get Me Started” gives me the good song neck tingle (link).

Rhett Akins was cute, but I couldn’t be fully on his bandwagon. Because, you see, I was already taken.

I was way ga-ga over Ty England. I had been ever since I saw him singing behind Garth Brooks on the 1990 American Country Music Awards. In fact, I had it on VHS so that I could watch it over and over again. (Holy hell, how has it been 26 years!) I couldn’t have been happier when he got to step into the spotlight. I bought his CD. I joined his fan club, which afforded me the chance to meet him backstage at the Hillsdale County Fair in 1996. He was my world until I began dating my future husband the next February. I think my mom still has the picture of Ty and I hugging displayed in a frame in her apartment somewhere. A burglar breaking in might assume that Ty was my husband.

My, how young we both used to be!

My, how young we both used to be!

If you wonder how Ty fits into all this, I’ll tell you. Ty’s debut single was steadily climbing the country charts, although not fast enough for me. At the same time, Rhett Akin’s “That Aint My Truck” was charging up the charts and taking over the radio airwaves. “Truck” made it to number 3 on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs chart the week of September 16, 1995, while Ty was only at number 6. Within my head, it was a competition between the two of them. The next week, “Should’ve Asked Her Faster” made it to number 3. That would be the peak spot for both artists for those songs. “Don’t Get Me Started” would be Rhett Akins only number one.

Here is a YouTube link for the song “Don’t Get Me Started.”

It makes my heart hurt just listening to it now, it is so good. Makes me wish I had had a chance to see him perform it in concert. With songs like this and Ty England’s, I wonder why I ever switched over to alternative.

Oh, right. Songs like “Plowed” by Sponge and “Doll Parts” by Hole and “Just a Girl” by No Doubt. They awakened something deep and primal within me with their unique sounds. They helped me realize that there was more to sing about than trucks and dances and tractors. Although, when it came time to write my first book series, I would return to the familiar comfort of those things had always brought me.

Here is Ty’s video. Isn’t he an uber-cutie? If you are interested in purchasing some real estate in Oklahoma these days, give him a call 😉

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a BugAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!
Be Careful What You Wish For – COMING JANUARY 2016!

I Tried to Write a Country Song

In the past six months I started listening to country music again. And while I enjoy a good male singer/group as much as the next chick, all the songs start to sound similar. There is lots of “hey baby, let me take you down by the creek.” Um, ew. There are skeeters down there. Below is a Sam Hunt song that exemplifies my point. (And I also put it on here because it is a very hot song 😉 )

So, somehow all this inspired me to write my own country song, trying not to sound too much like “Girl in a Country Song” by Maddie and Tae or “Guys Do It All The Time” by Shania.

I apologize in advance. Just be thankful you are not here for me to sing it to you…

Country Girl (At Heart)
You drive up to my front porch
A cloud of dust billows up from the drive
All over my T-shirt
I climb up into your pickup truck
You want to take me down
To the old mill pond
For some kissing and cuddling after dark
But let me tell you boy, why that’s just whack

I love NASCAR on a Sunday
I grew up on Jones & Straight
I like to listen to a freight train thunder down the rails on a dark night
But fish are icky
The woods have bugs
Tailgates are lumpy
And I can’t be trusted with a gun
But I am a Country Girl at heart

I wasn’t born in the South
But my neck is red
I grew up in a trailer
But I ain’t trash
I’m not model pretty
So I might as well be pretty weird
Maybe you will find it endearing
But remember I’d rather play Skee ball
Than go skeet shootin’ cuz

I love NASCAR on a Sunday
I grew up on Jones & Straight
I like to listen to a freight train thunder down the rails at night
But fish are icky
The woods have bugs
Tailgates are lumpy
And I can’t be trusted with a gun
But I am a Country Girl at heart

I don’t need fancy parties
I’m allergic to designer clothes
I love a big tractor
As it works long hours on a brown fall day
I love wide open fields
And the sight of a barn with no decay
The simple beauty of a dusty sunset
Shared with a guy in a t-shirt & jeans
And a backwards hat for easier kissing

I love NASCAR on a Sunday
I grew up on Jones & Straight
I like to listen to a freight train thunder down the rails at night
But fish are icky
The woods have bugs
Tailgates are lumpy
And I can’t be trusted with a gun
But I am a Country Girl at heart

But I am a Country Girl at heart

My country heart

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a BugAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!
Be Careful What You Wish For – COMING JANUARY 2016!

My Latest Obsession: Sam Hunt

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People who read this page often may have figured out by now that I like to listen to a variety of music. I like pop, alternative, 80’s country, and white boy rappers (see my past posts on Kid Rock and Vanilla Ice).

But I usually am not that interested in current country music. Once Garth retired and I discovered Good Charlotte and Kid Rock, country pretty much fell off my radar entirely. I knew that I liked Joe Nichols, purely because many of his early songs I kept mistaking for George Strait. But I figured the King wouldn’t sing a song called “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.” And since when did George become the King anyway? He was just another artist (albiet the awesomest one) when I was still listening.

Last fall I found an affection for Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again”. And I played it again and again. But I didn’t search out any of this other songs.

This spring, I was lucky enough to be invited to a Garth Brooks concert. It reawakened my love of the country I grew up on.

While removing wallpaper with pink roses on it (a very long process), I tuned to a country station. I realized they played the same songs and artists over and over again all day long. But that forced me to begin to recognize the voices of Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line. I became familiar with some of Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley’s previous releases.

Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt

But there was one song that didn’t fit with the others. Because it was better. And many of the lyrics were talked, rather than sang.  It got stuck in my head. I heard the artist’s name, then instantly forgot it again. I can still only remember it by thinking of how it rhymes with a swear word.

The song was “Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt.

I watched the video, which is powerful, but doesn’t specifically match the lyrics of the song. I learned that Sam is hot. And I can’t believe they let guys with weird Macklemore hair have hit songs on country radio nowadays. My, how times has changed while I wasn’t paying attention.

Doing a little wiki research on him, I learned he is a pretty accomplished songwriter. I found out that his influences include R&B, but he wanted to write about the themes of where he grew up in Georgia, which led him to country. While I believe “Take Your Time” works on country radio, I thought to myself that it could be played on adult-contemporary as well. And then I found an article where it appears that exact thing is happening in some markets.

I am still mining through his songs on YouTube, but one called “Speakers” is particularly edgy and sexy.

“You Can Leave The Night On” is another good song of his. “House Party” and “Raised On It” are kind of generic to me. I think he excels when he embraces his uniqueness. I realize being different is a big risk in any music genre…but it is also the one that can pay off the most.

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