I am…

I am image

I am a girl.

I am the girl who you think you can treat a certain way because my hips are big and my butt is large. The proportions of my body do not give you the right to treat me like a slut because you think I crave attention I’m somehow lacking.

I am a girl.

I am the girl with piercings and tattoos but that does not make me less of a person or give anyone the right to treat me a certain way. Holes in my body or ink on my skin does not demonstrate the strength or weakness of my character.

I am a girl.

I am the girl with insecurities but they are my own. You do not have power or control over them.

I am a girl.

I am the girl who has experienced extreme loss in my life and fights every day to overcome and not let it control my life.

I am a girl.

I am the girl who grew up with trust issues because I was made to feel unwanted and unloved at home during my childhood. The shadows of my past made me who I am but they do not dictate my future.

I am a girl.

I am the girl who has battled depression and anxiety but I am strong.

I am a girl.

I am the girl who sometimes feels like I have no one to count on but I know part of that is my ability to push people away.

I am many things but no one has the right to label me. I am not validated by the charm of wolves in sheep’s clothing. I am validated by how I feel about myself inside and how I treat others. I am more than what can be seen on the outside, my past or the scars I wear inside.

I am a girl.

The Playlists of our Fictional Love Stories

Many of the fictional boyfriends we love are rock gods, lyrical geniuses, or seductive singers and when the authors provide lyrics and music it is one more way for us to connect with the story. We can hear the song in our head or see the sexy male lead directly singing to us through a crowd of people.
 
Music doesn’t just come from the fictional rocker book boyfriends we love, often times it plays an important role as an epic soundtrack of the fictional journey we take with characters through their emotional and physical highs and lows. Authors often add music to our imagination; inspiring an in-depth look into the emotions of their characters and not just for the romance novels featuring rock star leads.
 
For me, music has played a large roll in my life. Lyrics have picked me up when I’m down, kept me company while I simultaneously dance and fold laundry, and come along on a long drive with the windows down while I look ridiculous singing and dancing with the wind in my hair. Songs evoke emotion and thought, sometimes putting you in a memory-lane vice grip.  When songs are added to our favorite reads it adds another element to the story. The lyrics help us see the emotions more clearly, we can imagine the joy and relate to the sorrow more realistically, and we have a connection through what the music helps us feel.
Some authors use song lyrics to help us understand characters that are struggling with oral emotional expression. Hilary Wynne does this for Alexa in the Alexa Reed Series and Katy Evans with Remington Tate (A champion fighter) in the REAL series. Alexa emails songs to Julian (An alpha millionaire) that reflects the way she feels and can’t say, while Remy plays music for Brooke in a playful or deep manor. In my opinion this adds depth and realism to these character. In our real word we often struggle with what we want to say and expressing our feelings, especially when those feelings scare the living hell out of us. Remy (REAL series) uses songs from popular culture to tell Brooke how he feels when words fail him. Evan’s uses music to help us see inside Remy and gives us a relatable reference from our own world.

Any one heard of Travis Maddox? Yah, I am sure most of you have. Fighter, campus charmer, covered in tattoos, and meets his match with Abby Abernathy. Jamie McGuire is another author I love and this series featuring Beautiful Disaster also has a wonderful playlist. For those of you who like to listen to music while you read, author’s like these are doing the work for you. On their websites and places like itunes and Spotify; you can listen to the novels whole playlist. Soundtrack to your reading right there!


We see authors creating playlists for their books more and more.  Samantha Towle uses music for inspiration in her writing. On her website, she has a whole section dedicated to the music in her novels and she tells us, “Music is really important to me. I can’t write without it. Most of my inspiration for my work comes from a line in a song… a music video.” I believe authors feel more connected to their work by adding a piece of themselves with music they carefully handpick for their novels. The Storm series is a wonderful example of a great playlist added to a brilliant book series.  
 
When authors create playlists for their work we are also introduced to new music and find songs that speak to us. I know I am not the only one who has Googled a song mentioned in a book and fell in love. The author is then providing us with an extra gift besides the talent of their written word. We have a new song that means something to us, to dance or cry to.
 

Some author’s even implant music links into our ebooks. In the shattered Hearts series by Cassia Leo most chapters correspond to a song, and at the beginning of each chapter there is a link to listen to each song. Doing something like this in our ebooks gives us a deeper look into what is next in the upcoming chapter and keeps our minds guessing. It tells more than just the chapter having a name and we get a better feel for what the author was trying to portray.

I love this idea of authors creating playlists for our reading and listening pleasure. It is a trend that I hope continues. If you haven’t read any of the books listed in this post I highly suggest you do so, they are all great reads. 

Below I have listed a Goodreads list with books featuring awesome playlists and the playlists of authors books I have mentioned:
  • Katy Evans – REAL – Music: http://www.katyevans.net/books/real/#playlist
From her website:
These are some of the songs I listened to while writing Real. The first two are so meaningful, you might enjoy listening to these particular two songs while Brooke and Remington do. 🙂 
*
“IRIS” by Goo Goo Dolls
“I LOVE YOU” by Avril Lavigne
“THAT’S WHEN I KNEW” by Alicia Keys
“LOVE BITES” by Def Leppard
“HIGH ON YOU” by Survivor
“LOVE SONG” by Sara Bareilles
“IN YOUR EYES” by Peter Gabriel
“KISS ME” by Ed Sheeran
“COME AWAY WITH ME” by Norah Jones
“ALL I WANNA DO IS MAKE LOVE TO YOU” by by Heart
“ANY WAY YOU WANT IT” by Journey
“PULL ME DOWN” by Mikky Ekko
“LOVE YOU LIKE A LOVE SONG” by Selena Gomez
“MY LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT YOU” by Kelly Clarkson
“FLAWS AND ALL” by Beyoncé
“THE FIGHTER” by Gym Class Heroes
  • Hilary Wynne: http://www.hilarywynne.com/
Stay Playlist:
Stay by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko
Again by Needtobreathe
Falling by Tyrone Wells
Red Light by Amiena and Chris Mann
Breathe in Breath Out by Mat Kearney
I’m Sexy and I know it by LMFAO
All ot Nothing by Theory of a Deadman
Brighter Than the Sun by Colbie Callait
Falling In by Lifehouse
Please Don’t Stop the Music by Rihanna
Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
It it Kills Me by Jason Mraz
Watching You Watch Him by Eric Hutchinson
Bailandro Por El Mundo by Juan Magan, Pitbull, and El Cata

Hold On Playlist:


Holding on & Letting Go by Ross Cooperman
Time of Our Lives by Tyrone Wells
Broken by Lifehouse
Say Something by A Great Big World
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
Show me by Bruno Mars
Miss Me by Andy Grammer
All of Me by John Legend
Guarded by Kevin Daniel
Sad by Maroon 5
Human by Christina Perri
Get Lucky by Daft Punk

  • Cassia Leo – Relentless Playlist : http://cassialeo.com/books/shattered-hearts/
 

My Thoughts: Proclamations of Love

A post I recently did, my review on Stay by Hilary Wynne, inspired me, and gave me an idea for this post. I previously stated that I am a fan of the long moving speech; they grab your attention, make you listen, and change lives of characters in the fictional world. Here is a list of my all time favorite moving speeches, proclamations of love and belief. Some of these are from mediums other than books, which is a little off topic for this blog, but that’s okay, right? These are my favorites in no particular order. I’m selecting my favorites, but I can’t pick my favorite of the favorites and you can’t make me!! It’s too hard. 🙂

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

 
Kellan to Keira: “I’m sorry. I was going to be stoic, and say nothing for as long as you wanted me, but then we made love …and I’ve, I’ve never had that … and I just can’t o back to being who I was before. I want you and only you and I can’t bear the thought of sharing you. I’m sorry.” He looked down sadly. “I want to walk into Pete’s with you on my arm. I want to kiss you every time I see you, no matter who’s looking. I want to make love to you without fear of someone finding out. I want to fall asleep with you in my arms every night. I don’t want to feel guilty about something that makes me feel so … whole. I’m sorry, Kiera, but I’m asking you to choose.”

The Vampire Diaries
vd
Damon to Elena:
Elena: “Please don’t leave me.”
Damon: “I don’t have a choice, baby. You are by far the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my 173 years on this earth. But I get to die knowing that I was loved not just by anyone. By you, Elena Gilbert. It is the epitome of a fulfilled life. It’s never gonna get any better than this. I peaked. I love you, Elena.”

Never too Far by Abbi Glines

Rush to Blaire: “Listen to me, Blaire. If you try to go anywhere, I will chase you down. I will become your shadow. I won’t let you out of my sight, because I can’t live without you. I made so many damn mistakes with you I don’t even want to try to count them, but I am going to start making things right from here on out. I swear to you that this won’t happen again. I know now that this is where I’m supposed to be. No more lies. Just us.”

 


Stay By: Hilary Wynne

Julian to Alexa: “I’m so glad you’re that girl, Alexa, because that girl belongs with the guy who couldn’t stay focused on work because all he wanted to do was get back to Miami. She belongs with the guy who freaked out when his girlfriend refused to speak to him and tried to find a way to cut his very important business trip short. That girl belongs with the guy who missed her so much it actually hurt his heart too. That girl needs to stay with the guy, who, despite his best efforts to not feel this way, can’t imagine her not being in his life.”


Grey’s Anatomy  

pick

Meredith to Derek:
Meredith: I lied. I’m not out of this relationship. I’m in. I’m so in, it’s humiliating, because here I am, begging…
Derek: Meredith.
 
Meredith: Shut up. You say Meredith and I yell, remember? Okay. Here it is. Your choice? It’s simple. Her, or me. And I’m sure she’s really great. But Derek, I love you. In a…really, really big… pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me.”

Can you feel the love from these moments?! I can. Some are heartwarming while others are heartbreaking. These are the kind of moments that make it hard to see the screen or read the page. And let’s face it, most of the time they make you ugly cry, no one’s finest moment.

What do you think? Do you like my picks? Do you have your own favorites?