Do You Listen to Music When You Read?

reading with musicI’m not a person generally inclined to play music while I read for pleasure. I find that it’s distracting and can pull me from the middle of a good book – either because I want to sing along or because commercials came on and are aggravating. Now when I do read for work or blogging, I find background noise to be very helpful. It gives me something to tune out while I give my attention to tasks like scheduling posts. How about you, when it comes to reading for pleasure what do you do?

Reading for pleasure...

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Now how about work/blogging, what’s your preference?

Reading for work...

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If you picked the music option for pleasure reading or work related reading, tell me, what do you listen to? Is it mostly classical or instrumental or does it have jazzy beats and lyrics? I look forward to seeing you in the comments.

Photo Credits: ctsnow

Review: Screwing the System by Josephine Myles

Screwing the System by Josephine MylesReview by Lynn Reynolds

Cosmo Rawlins has an interview with Alasdair Grant. During the interview he lets Alasdair know about his sexual preference. Cosmo also has a musical background and it might help set the mood by putting on some of your favorite music.

There’s a lot of graphic descriptions so don’t be shy. But once you get to know Alasdair and Cosmo, you couldn’t expect anything less. Also, there may be some words that you may not understand – British euphemisms. Don’t be afraid of them. Some of them you can figure out what they are by how they are used. Others, you may have to look them up – that’s what I did.

In one scene, Cosmo goes to a pub and has an interesting drink – you may just want to give it a try. At one point, Cosmo goes to Alasdair’s for a meal and it sounded so good I wished that my e-reader came with smell-a-vision. Or in the future maybe we will have something like the Jetson’s had and we can actually get to taste what we read about in our stories.

Josephine shows her readers why some people enjoy the BDSM lifestyle. She makes me wonder about all the research that must have been involved in having to write the scenes. If you have ever wondered about that lifestyle, this book may just give you some ideas of what you can try – try it, you’ll like it.

One thing that did kind of put me off was the amount of time spent on reminding me that Alasdair has money. When I watch (or try to watch) a romance and they keep bringing that up, for some reason it just seems to turn me off. On the whole though, I did enjoy the book. If you like reading the M/M romances with some BDSM thrown in, you might enjoy this as well.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Screwing the System

Music & Lyrics

TheSystemGuest Blog by Heather Lin, author of The System

Hello, everyone! I’m so excited to be here at Love Romance Passion once again to promote my new release. This time around, it’s for a full-length science fiction romance novel called The System, which was released by Silver Publishing on August 11th. While it’s very different from Westridge, my contemporary romance novella published through Silver last year, I can promise you’re in for a roller coaster ride of a love story with plenty of action and a healthy layer of drama.

Sound like something you might like? Read on to find out more about The System and how music, as always, was a huge influence during my writing process.

Some of my earliest memories involve music. When I was little, my mother used to sing Hush, Little Baby before I went to sleep at night; I had a Disney mobile that played When You Wish Upon A Star; and CMT was on every Saturday while we did our chores. Music has always made me feel something; it’s always spoken to me. I could picture the story the lyrics told and I would immerse myself in that tale with as much enthusiasm as a good book or TV show.

Eventually, I began creating my own stories to go along with the music I listened to. These are the Moments by Edwin McCain became my theme song for Mandie and Joe from the Mandie mystery books I loved as a child. I used to make up and act out sad, romantic scenes in my bedroom to BBMak’s Back Here. And when I began writing, of course music helped me get in the right mindset and mood for particularly intense scenes.

In Westridge, Taylor Swift’s Mary’s Song inspired the sweet, somewhat tragic, story about childhood sweethearts. In my very first ebook, Scandal, hip hop songs like Cyclone by Baby Bash helped me sort out sexy scenes that took place in a nightclub.

In The System, which is the darkest novel I’ve written so far, the music I turned to had to have a dark side. The main song I listened to while I wrote was The Dolphin’s Cry by Live. For those of you who might not be familiar with it, it’s a passionate alternative rock song describing, very poetically, two people falling in love. In the first verse, they seem to come across one another by happenstance, and they make love. They’re separated by fate or by choice, but when they come together again, the singer says “It’s like we never left; time in between was just a dream.”  And perhaps the most poignant verse is the very last one, where the singer states “Life is like a shooting star” and “We are lost ‘til we are found,” clearly expressing that life is fleeting and love can be our salvation.

The relationship between Brody and Capri is passionate and tumultuous. They find one another by chance, and Brody especially hadn’t planned on falling in love. He does everything possible to resist his own feelings, going so far as to threaten and lie to Capri. But eventually, he gives in, transforming from “the bane of her existence” to the one person Capri trusts most in the world to protect her. And although neither of them say “I love you” aloud, it’s obvious they share an ardor that would rival Darcy & Elizabeth—if Darcy and Elizabeth led slightly less desirable lives and lived 600 years in the future.

I also found myself turning to Love The Way You Lie by Eminem feat. Rihanna. But I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was because of the song itself or because of the music video. They both contain so much emotion, so much passion. I know it’s about a completely unhealthy, abusive relationship, but it embodies all of the angst and drama of star-crossed lovers. And although Brody and Capri aren’t exactly star-crossed, their love is certainly flawed. I watched that music video over and over again and just felt the music, and that feeling helped me perfect some of the more emotionally-charged scenes between Brody and Capri.

GIVEAWAY: Is there a song or a band that’s influenced you in some way? Be sure to comment below and leave your e-mail address for your chance to win a custom bracelet, engraved with a quote from The System. Winner will be announced on my blog September 1st!

Thanks for stopping by!

Buy Link

https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/coming-soon-c-2/products_id/924/

Blurb

Capri is an alluring young prostitute with a painful past; Brody is a ruthless mercenary for a crew of thieves from the spaceship Gypsy Lass. When he enters her brothel, the attraction between them is instant, electric, and too much for him to handle. After a robbery gone wrong, the crew takes Capri hostage, forcing her and Brody to remain in close quarters until they see fit to drop her on another planet.

But Capri’s plight and the intense feelings between her and Brody turn out to be the least of their problems. Together—whether they like it or not—they uncover a secret no one in the whole System could have expected.

Excerpt (Unedited)

Year 564 after the Migration

Brody walked along a quiet street on the outskirts of New York on Earth one. A car zoomed by every few minutes. The newest ones were held aloft over the street by opposing magnetic charges; others were navigating themselves as the drivers fixed their hair or ate their lunch; and the cheapest ones necessitated the driver to attempt to handle the controls while fixing their hair or eating their lunch. He glanced over to admire a new Ford Mustang before opening the door to a small, neatly-kept building.

On the outside, it looked like a nice, upscale bar, but the inside would have shocked any upper-class drink connoisseur. There was loud yelling and catcalling, beer splashed out of mugs, and scantily-clad girls sat around, waiting for their turn to dance on poles. Brody grinned and rubbed a hand over the stubble of his chin. This was his kind of place.

“Good evening, sir.” At the intrusion of the male voice, Brody tore his eyes away from the dancing girls. “Will you be needing service tonight?”

“Yeah, how much?” Brody replied to the short, well-dressed man.

“Depends on who you like. Sit down and have a drink.” He smiled accommodatingly. “There isn’t any hurry to decide.”

Brody gave a short nod before heading to the bar. He watched the girls for a while, took in the scenery. There were older girls who were too faded for his liking and younger girls who were too fake. He was well into his second beer before he saw one that really made him want to open his wallet.

She was coming out of one of the side rooms, tugging a heavy-set, bald-headed man by his hand. They were laughing and chatting, and by the flush of their cheeks, they had just finished something hot and heavy. The girl was a young one, barely old enough to be called a woman, with a slim figure and long chestnut curls that were scattered with braids and beads. She must have felt Brody looking at her and met his gaze for a brief moment. Brody gave her a grin and signaled to the brothel’s manager. He came over to the bar with the scheduling window already up on the screen in his hand.

“Have you come to a decision?”

“Yeah. That pretty brunette there.” He waved a hand in the girl’s direction.

“Capri. She’s a very good choice. But I’m sorry to say that was her last customer. Our girls only take five per day. They need their rest. Would you like to choose another one or make an appointment for tomorrow?”

“I think I can handle another one, Guy,” said an alluring female voice.

Capri had escorted her last customer to the exit before approaching the bar. The barkeep handed her a glass of water, and she kept her eyes locked on Brody as she took a sip, examining him, sizing him up. He was keenly aware of his unshaven face, ratty jeans, and the gun strapped securely to his hip. But he was unapologetic. He might not be one of her upper-class clients, but he had the money for her. For now, she was his, whether she liked him or not. And by the way she’d jumped to get his pay, he doubted she was fazed by his rough exterior.

“I like the looks of this one,” was all she said to Guy by way of explanation before beckoning to Brody and heading back to her room.

“That’ll be five hundred,” the man told him.

Brody took out his wallet and opened it. A pocket on one side held blank cash cards and the other side held a small scanning device with a numbered keypad. He entered his password and the amount of money and swiped a card. Then he handed it to Guy and followed Capri into seclusion.

She was sitting on the edge of a double bed, her long, smooth legs crossed, waiting for him. Dark curls fell elegantly over the satin fabric of her red dressing gown, and her hazel eyes gleamed green in the overhead lighting. She was the image of perfection, and Brody could feel desire pulsing within him. He sat next to her and fingered the smooth fabric of her outfit.

“Red’s my favorite color,” he said.

“I’m glad you like it.”

Capri smiled and reached up to touch his face. He sucked in a breath at the tender gesture.

“It’s been a while for you, hasn’t it?” she asked softly.

“Don’t get the company of women much in my career.”

“What career is that?”

“There ain’t one in particular,” he replied, trying to focus on what he was saying as her fingers traced the muscles of his chest and abdomen. “The crew I run with just does… sorta odd jobs.”

“Sounds exciting,” Capri murmured, raising her eyes to meet his. “So how about you tell me your name before we get started?”

“Shots,” he answered.

“Is that your real name?”

“That’s what the boys call me.”

“Well, as you can see, I’m not one of the boys.” She gestured to her modest, but all-too-appealing curves.

“Brody,” he answered after a moment.

“Brody,” she repeated softly, grasping the bottom of his shirt and sliding it up over his head.

Author Bio

Heather currently resides in Delaware with her loving husband and beloved cat. She began writing romance and erotica in 2008 and hasn’t been able to keep her mind out of the gutter since. Like Heather Lin on Facebook or visit her blog at http://heatherlin88.blogspot.com/ for updates, talented guest bloggers, and the occasional piece of free fiction!

Review: The Scent of Jasmine by Barbara Delinsky

The Scent of Jasmine Barbara DelinskyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is a reprint of a book that was written back in 1985. You will realize this when certain music is mentioned.

Pepper MacNeil is a mail carrier in Naples Maine. She loves her classical music. As you are sitting reading this story, you may want to have some classical music playing in the background. If classical isn’t your thing, you could try listening to some music of the eighties. Personally, I fell in love with a Maine folk group years ago called “Schooner Fare”. So I will be putting on some of their music to give me some ambiance.

If you’ve never been to Maine, you may want to check out what that state has to offer. I have to warn you, some of the towns may be few and far between and malls may not be close. This is a state where you go to relax and enjoy the nature around you – unless you’re looking for one of the bigger cities. I also found it interesting that this story takes place in a town that I used to vacation in as a child.

John Smith is outside his house applying shingles to the roof. He’s new to Pepper’s route. They start flirting with each other almost from the first. Ladies, can we say eye candy? He certainly knows his way around tools.

Barbara describes a scene where Pepper has the day off and she’s in Portland. I feel like I’m right there with her. There’s nothing like being in Maine in the summer time. Even when the Portland Mall is crowded, it doesn’t feel the same as walking around my local mall.

There’s another scene where John and Pepper head south of Portland to go to the beach. It’s another reminder of my summers in Maine. We used to spend time up in Old Orchard Beach – I can smell the salt air now. This story just brings back so many family vacation memories.

This book is the greatest type of beach read. It sets the scene during the summer months. It’s set in a vacation state. And even the music is something that will relax you as you enjoy your vacation. Make sure to add this to your list of books when you take off to enjoy yourself – whether at a lake, an ocean, a pool, or even camping.

[Rating:4]

Buy: The Scent of Jasmine

Rock Star Weddings

by Olivia Cunning, guest blogger and author of Rock Hard

With the royal wedding being celebrated later this week, I started thinking about rock star weddings. My latest erotic romance novel, Rock Hard, has a wedding scene. It’s not too out there, as far as rock star weddings go. Here’s a short excerpt:

How was it possible for two people to look that happy getting married by an Elvis impersonator in a drive-through? Brian had pulled into the first chapel they’d found. There wasn’t time for a long ceremony. They all had to be on stage in a couple of hours.

Sed grinned as Myrna and Brian recited their vows and exchanged rings. The size of Myrna’s rock put Jessica’s cheap piece of crap to shame, but Sed was very conscious of the discarded ring’s weight in his hip pocket as Brian slid a platinum band on Myrna’s finger.

They’d put the top down on Myrna’s pink, convertible, ’57 Thunderbird coupe. Brian sat on the back of the front seat with Myrna on his lap. Trey, the best man, sat in the middle beside the happy couple. Sed sat on the passenger side as their second witness. He supposed that made him the maid of honor. Always a bride’s maid…

“I now pronounce you husband and uh wife,” the Elvis, justice of the peace, said. “I say uh you may kiss your beautiful bride.”

Brian kissed Myrna deeply. She clung to his shoulders, the Vegas sunshine making her auburn hair glow like fire. She looked absolutely stunning in her white gown. Sed wondered if they’d even make it back to the tour bus before Brian had it off her.

Eric, who sat behind Jace on the motorcycle next to the car, cheered.

“Congratulations.” Sed reached behind Trey to pat Brian on the shoulder.

The couple continued to kiss. And kiss. And kiss. Tug at each other’s clothes. Kiss some more.

“You guys,” Trey protested. “You’re making Jace blush.”

The newlyweds drew apart and stared into each other’s eyes, both of Brian’s surrounded by dark purple bruises. “God, I love you,” Brian murmured. He kissed her again, before drawing away to stare at her with the stupidest grin on his face. She smiled just as stupidly, love shining in her eyes.

Sed had had that. Once.

But no longer.

Stupid Jessica. Sed crossed his arms over his chest, trying his darnedest to be happy for Brian, no matter how miserable the occasion made him feel.

“Are we going to sit here all day?” Trey asked.

“You act like we’re ordering burgers and fries,” Brian said, glaring at Trey.

“Well, what do you expect? We are in a drive-through. Hey, Elvis!” Trey called at the window. “Can we get ketchup with that?’

“One marriage license is all you shall receive from The King. Move along, folks,” Elvis said, his accent evaporating. “We’ve got a line today.”

They slid down into the white leather bench seat and Myrna shifted to sit on Trey’s lap so Brian could drive back to the tour bus.

****

As you can see, the hero of the book, vocalist Sed Lionheart, isn’t getting married here. His friend Brian, the lead guitarist of Sinners, is the lucky guy. So how do real life rock stars celebrated love and commitment? Stop sniggering. I realize most of the couples I mention below have split up. Most rock stars have traditional weddings. Don’t Motley Crue’s drummer, Tommy Lee, and Heather Locklear look happy together? Sigh. So sweet.

There are those rockers who celebrate a little differently, however.

When Jane’s Addiction’s guitarist, Dave Navarro, married Carmen Electra, they chose a traditional ceremony and attire. Dave’s black nail polish matches his tux perfectly!

Their wedding invitation was anything but traditional.

That has to be the wildest wedding invitation I’ve ever seen. I hear the bachelor party was a bit wild, too. Unfortunately, I wasn’t invited to either. Brian’s bachelor party in Rock Hard got a little out of hand, too. Those rock stars know how to party!

Some rock stars go for shock value when they wed. When singer, Marilyn Manson married Dita Von Teese, they chose a ceremony to reflect their unique personalities. I love how they made the day their own. And they look like they’re having a great time.

Pam Andersen has married more than one rock star, the lucky woman. She married Kid Rock in a bikini on a yacht. Actually, I think she might have worn a dress during the actual ceremony, but it didn’t stay on for long. If I had her body, I’d live in a bikini. I think these two are ready for the honeymoon!

And then you have the rock stars who couldn’t care less what you think of them—my favorite type of rock star. The singer of Nirvana, Curt Cobain, married Courtney Love in his green flannel pajamas. He couldn’t be bothered with a tux. When you’re a musical genius, you can get away with that!

(If you don’t know your rock stars, that’s drummer Dave Grohl standing between the recently married couple.)

I’m a total sap when it comes to weddings. I always, always cry.

What’s your favorite wedding memory? Do you prefer a traditional wedding or something a bit more unique? Will you be watching the royal wedding?

GIVEAWAY: I have two copies of of Rock Hard. Open to US and Canadian readers only. Enter by answering Olivia’s question(s). 1 entry per relevant comment; multiple entries allowed. Last Day to Enter: May 6, 2011.