Throwback Songs

DBYDOD6O96

I’m a huge 80s fan; as in big, even colossal!  I love the movies (Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Flashdance, even the Goonies).  I love the television shows (Golden Girls and Miami Vice, I miss you!)  I love the fashion . . .  OK, well maybe, I can do without big hair, neon shirts, and leg warmers.  But still, I love the 80s!  If I could go back in time (like Michael J. Fox did with his car or John Cusack with a hot tub), I would do it in a heartbeat.  And you know what I love most about the 80s (besides Cabbage Patch dolls and Pac-man?):  I love the music!  I simply adore the “Only In My Dreams, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Like a Virgin, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” kind of music that gets my toes tapping and my hips swaying.

I don’t know what it is about that decade, but somehow it always brings me back to the sweet memories I have growing up (am I showing my age?)  In fact, if I were to make a slideshow of my life, it would be set to the Casy Kasem Top 40 hit songs of the 80s!

It’s amazing. I will be shopping at the mall, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I will hear a familiar melody: Madonna will be singing “Crazy for You” and I’ll stop dead in my tracks.  I’ll smile and have the sudden urge to buy myself a polka dot miniskirt, “Boytoy” belt and fishnet gloves. It never fails. 

And then it hits me; the reason why I love 80s songs so much; the reason why these songs have such a hypnotic effect on me: It’s because songs are just as powerful as books.

Songs are nostalgic, reminding me of places I’ve been to and people I’ve met (I can’t listen to “Is This Love?” without remembering my first boyfriend).  Songs uplift me when I’m feeling down (I’ve been known to belt out “All By Myself” after a bad breakup).   Songs inspire me (I can definitely climb several flights of stairs to the “Rocky” theme song).  Songs have marked important events in my life (my first slow dance, my wedding song, the songs I sang to my children at bedtime).

And as a writer, I’ve come to understand that songs are just like short stories, essays or novellas; truly literary works of art.  Like the books that I read or write, songs paint a vivid picture, tell a riveting story, and transport us to another time and place.

Like the favorite books I love to read time and time again, I also have favorite songs: these, I play over and over and never get tired of hearing.  I’ve memorized verses and can hum melodies absentmindedly.  I sing along to the radio with my friends (while driving to a party) or I sing by myself in the shower (when I think no one else can hear me).

So tonight, instead of curling up in my bed with a good book (as I’m known to do most nights), I am going to put on my headsets, turn to the playlist on my cell phone and drift off to sleep to the soothing voice of Phil Collins singing “Against All Odds.”

Ah, the 80s!  I suddenly miss my Sony Walkman for some strange reason . . .

Erin

If I Could Invite My Characters Out . . .

I’ve always said that the best part of writing has been meeting so many amazing Indie authors.  I’ve become fans of super talented writers with a unique voice and enduring characters.  So, I thought it would be fun to ask some of my favorite chick-lit/romance authors to complete the following sentence:

If I could invite my characters out for a night on the town . . . .

I’m happy to announce that several of them have graciously agreed to the challenge.  So, for the next few days starting tomorrow, I will be posting their responses.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I will!  I can’t wait to hear what they have to say about characters I’ve gotten to know and love through their books!

So without further delay, let the fun begin.

Erin

 

Love is All Around Us

 

Today is the “official” day of love.  It’s the day when you break out the chocolate covered candy (mmmm) and the bouquet of red roses (and from the storms we’ve been having in NYC, any flowers in bloom are welcomed right now!).  It’s when you spend the entire day telling the people you love how much they mean to you; whether it’s your parents, your sibling, your children, significant other, your husband or your best friend.  It’s a day filled with red colored everything and mushy sentimental phrases.  It’s the day I binge on romantic movies and sing love songs at the top of my lungs while driving in the car.

So in honor of this day, I wanted to proclaim my “not so secret” love affair with books.  It’s a long standing relationship, one that started very early in my life and one that continues as strongly today as an author.   I love everything about books.  In hard cover format, I love the smell of the pages and the sound of it as I turn it.  In electronic format, I love the sleek look of each chapter as I download it onto my device.  I love the amazingly beautiful covers.   I love the stories and the characters.  I love the words and the descriptions.  And most of all, I love the journey each book takes me on.  I’ve been all around the world without ever leaving my home.  I’ve met people that I would never have had the opportunity to know.  I’ve learned about different professions and different cultures.  I’ve been to exotic beaches and snowy mountain ranges.  I’ve seen families torn apart and reunited.  I’ve seen relationships mend and strong women find their voice.  I’ve suffered the lows and celebrated the highs.  And most importantly, especially on this day of all days, I’ve watched as two people find each other and fall in love.

So in honor of St. Valentine’s Day and all the love that it brings, here are a few of my favorite romantic books (in no particular order):

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

One Day by David Nichols

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Emma by Jane Austen

Undomesticated Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Plain Fame by Sarah Price

Happy Love Day!

Erin

Photo courtesy of http://www.smartphotostock.com

Beach Reading-Here I Come!

Now that Memorial Day holiday is over and the start of the summer season begins, I can officially proclaim to you all how much I love summer.  And it’s not just because of the weather (hot and sunny and no sign of snow anywhere) or the fact that I can wear my white capri pants and flip flops 24/7 (say good bye to Uggs for now).  It’s also not how much I look forward to a long overdue vacation and sigh with contentment over long weekends feeling the sand in between my toes and hearing the ocean waves crashing onto the shore.

Those are all really good reasons to love summer but one of the main reasons I enjoy this season so much is because of beach reading!  Yay!  As a book lover, I can’t wait to make a dent to the long list of summer reads I have been anxiously waiting to dive into.

Summer gives me the perfect opportunity to catch up on my favorite authors and characters.  It sets the right mood with the irresistible combination of a lounge chair, sun block, a glass of chilled wine and two hours of uninterrupted time with my Kindle.  And there is sooo much to choose from this year that I really don’t know where to begin.

The sequel to The Devil Wears Prada is definitely on the top of my list, as well as, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.  Inferno by Dan Brown, Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight and And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini will definitely check off the categories of mystery suspense and emotional drama.  ‘Insurgent’ by Veronica Roth is a must for the science fiction cravings I often have. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows will take care of historical fiction and One Day by David Nicholls will satisfy my mushy sentimental romantic side.  And if I have time, I may be tempted to re-read my favorite classics such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  And just to add some levity and fluff to my summer months, VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave is definitely on my “to-read” list as well as Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren (Hey, a girl needs her quota of gossip too!)

So there you have it. Only two and a half months to get done with all this reading.  It’s quite a challenge but one I’m so ready to take on.  Now, I’m off.  I hear my books and the beach calling!

Happy Reading!

Erin