MJ Monday: MJ’s Music–BEWARE OF THE MOON Soundtrack

As is my practice, I created a playlist for Beware of the Moon.  I listened to it while writing, while commuting–any time I needed a connection to the story.

One caveat–some of the older tunes on this list are from pre-music-video days, so I had to rely on live performances.

  1. “Girl From the North Country” (Bob Dylan)
  2. “Losing My Religion” (REM)
  3. “Set Fire to the Rain” (Adele)
  4. “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” (Bob Dylan)
  5. “Like a Hurricane” (Neil Young)
  6. “Riders on the Storm” (The Doors)
  7.  “Take Me To Church” (Hozier)
  8.  “Breath (2AM)” (Anna Nalick)
  9.  “Dust in the Wind” (Kansas)
  10.  “Fire and Rain” (James Taylor)
  11.  “Common Bond” (The Kennedys)
  12.  “I Bring You to My Senses” (Il Volo)
  13.  “Drops of Jupiter” (Train)
  14.  “Guiding Light” (Mumford & Sons)
  15.  “Shelter from the Storm” (Bob Dylan)
  16.  “Leather and Lace” (Stevie Nicks & Don Henley)

MJ’s Musings-Book Bingo: Pets & Romance: Ready for Love

One of the squares on my Book-Reading-Bingo board is Pets & Romance, where at least one of the main characters is a pet owner and pet ownership is a central theme to the book. Pets can include horses or other livestock, but not in a farming or ranching context. Thing “furry friend” vs. “making a living.”

The third book of Marie Force’s GANSETT ISLAND series fits the category to a tee.

Ready for Love is the story of a woman healing from the loss of her husband and children in an automobile accident. All she has left of her family is the dog.  One of the other characters has always wanted to be a veterinarian and has a pack of special needs dogs. No, the second character is not the love interest, but she plays a crucial role in the story.

I started reading the GANSETT ISLAND series because the author was a guest speaker for my local RWA chapter.  By about the fifth book, I realized I wasn’t reading a series of romances so much as I was reading a soap opera.  When I went to Goodreads to see what other people thought (and I never do this until I have my own opinion in place), I wasn’t surprised to see several others had come to the same conclusion. GANSETT ISLAND is a soap opera.

In the beginning of the series, the individual books more or less focused on one couple. As the series continues, each book tells the story of one couple, but there are multiple scenes involving past couples (usually having  sex) and scenes setting up future books.  I’m not saying I don’t like this. Heck, I’m on the 13th  or 14th book in the series. It’s just…different than what I usually read.

MJ’s Musings: Book Bingo: Nerd Girl-DOUBLE TROUBLE

The purpose of Book Bingo is to force us out of our reading comfort zone. I might have read DOUBLE TROUBLE whether or not it fit into once of this year’s categories because I do like the author, Claire Cross (who also writes as Claire Delacroix). Many years ago, Claire turned me on to a research book that has become an invaluable tool, so I have a soft spot for her. But I digress.

What makes DOUBLE TROUBLE a nerd girl book? The heroine writes computer code for a living. She uses shady deep net contacts when she needs information. She’s no Lisbeth Salander, but she’s still a  computer geek living illegally in a converted factory loft.

I found two “ick” factors going into the book, but Cross made the fact that the hero happens to be the heroine’s brother-in-law work for this reader.  The second “ick” is the heroine’s sister happens to be an identical twin, so one wonders what’s going on in the hero’s head. Cross made that work, too.

Good secondary characters, too. I recommend this book.


MJ Monday: MJ’s Music-Dylan Says It Best

Welcome to the debut of MJ’s Music, which will be posted the third Monday of every month as part of MJ Monday. I will be sharing my somewhat eclectic taste in music with you.

My favorite artist is Bob Dylan. He has always been my favorite and probably always will be. I joke around that I married my husband for his bootleg collection of Dylan music.  When we started dating, my husband asked me who my favorite artist was and my favorite album. When I said, “Dylan, Blood on the Tracks,” TV Stevie’s face lit up. Blood on the Tracks is usually in the top ten of anyone’s compilation of Best Albums of All Time.

Dylan is an artist people either love or hate. He is a lyrical genius, as far as I’m concerned. And if you’re like me, and love to crank the music and belt along with it, you never have to worry about being on key.

Since the age of making our own music mixes, I have a custom one I call Dylan Says It Best. It’s angry music, with sometimes  vicious lyrics. There are days when a person needs to vent, and this mix is my venting sound track.

  • “I Shall Be Released”
  • “All Along the Watchtower”
  • “Stuck Inside of Mobile (With the Memphis Blues Again)”
  • “Like a Rolling Stone”
  • “Positively Fourth Street”
  • “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”
  • “Watching the River Flow”
  • “When I Paint My Masterpiece”
  • “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
  • “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”
  • “Shelter From the Storm”
  • “Idiot Wind”

Do you have mood music?

Happy First Day of Summer

Summer is my favorite season. Late spring and early autumn are nice, too, particularly since they bookend summer, but summer rocks.

Here are ten reasons I love summer:

  1. I love “summer” songs–the poolside music of my youth.
  2. Flowers. I love flowers. This year, I have coleus, too.
  3. Patio time. There are few pleasures greater than coming home from work, plopping on the patio with a glass of wine, and absorbing warmth.
  4. No boots. No jackets. No gloves.
  5. Driving. I don’t need to shovel out or brush off. The roads aren’t icy. I can open the sunroof on my car and enjoy the rush of warm air. Crank up radio and sing along.
  6. Summer foods. I love summer salads (if they don’t contain eggs or mayo). Fresh veggies and fruits. Herbs. Grilled meats. Ice cream.
  7. Baseball. Hanging out at the local minor league stadium with TV Stevie on a warm summer night is perfection.
  8. Bare feet/flipflops/sandals. I hate shoes. I  hate socks even more.
  9. Being warm. The heat doesn’t bother me the way it does some people. I am blessed.
  10. Summer casual attire. My workplace has a summer dress code that is more comfortable than the usual professional attire that is required. I think summer attire in general is more casual, even out of the work place.

What are some of your favorite things about summer?