In case you guys didn't know, I'm a bit of a music head. I come by it honestly; my father used to sing and my younger brother produces music in Nashville. I guess you could say we all have our own little talents. But talented or not, music touches every one of us in one way or another. It inspires and provokes. It lets our emotions breathe. Also... you all know how I LOVE making playlists for each book.
So with that being said, I've decided to share a song with you every Monday that speaks to me for whatever reason. It doesn't even have to be associated with my writing. It could be what's going on in my life at the moment or something that touches me just right.
Today's song is called "Peace" by O.A.R. I love their sound - a mixture of Passenger and Train, but unique in their own way.  And the song itself.... beautiful. Who hasn't had trouble in their relationship but loves the other enough to make it want to work? 
 
 
 
Everybody needs a place, somewhere that's warm and safe
For shelter from this crazy world we're in
But tonight I let the rain inside, I took away your place to hide
I'm sorry that I made you cry again
Earned It
 It’s Monday (unfortunately), and if you’re a nine-to-fiver like me, you need something to propel you through your first day back to work. My Mondays usually consist of sifting through emails, voice mails, attending meetings etc etc, so needless to say they’re hectic, and who better to soothe me than The Weeknd? Ironic, huh? The Weeknd gets me through my Mondays. Hehe Okay, sorry that was cheesy.
ANYWAY… let’s take a minute to appreciate one of my new favorite songs hot off the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack - Earned It, by (you guessed it) The Weekend!!! I've had it on repeat all day long, and ooooooh is it delicious and smooth and sexy. *sigh*

Enjoy 🙂

 

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!!!

 
I'll be unplugged for a few days as I spend this time with my family.  Leaving you with my current musical obsession.

Love to all!

What an Inspiration!
I usually don't post about things like this, but what I saw last night moved me to tears! 
As I settled down to watch TV before bed, my remote stopped on the American Idol auditions toward the end of the show. Their last contestant was a man named Lazaro Arbos who's originally from Cuba. My first impression of him was "wow... handsome" and he had such a sweet spirit about him.

When he began introducing himself, you could tell he struggled with a speech impediment (it brought to mind when I watched the King's Speech, but a lot worse) and it broke your heart to watch him standing there in front of the judges and millions of viewers, vulnerable and humble. I found myself rooting for him, wanting so badly for him to blow them away with his singing... and boy did he ever!

See the video below to see what I mean! It just further proves how therapeutic and cleansing music is for the soul. Amazing.

Captivate Me Playlist

On top daydreaming who I would cast in the movie version, I also like to put together a soundtrack of sorts to go with it. I'll hear songs that hit me just right and listen to them over and over again as I'm writing. These are my picks for Captivate Me, along with YouTube videos if you'd like to have a listen. 🙂
Much Love and HAPPY NEW YEAR! xoxo

 

"Everything has Changed" by Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift
(Kat's song to Gabriel)
 
'Cause all I know is we said "hello,"
and your eyes looking like coming home
All I know is a simple name
Everything has changed.
"Say Something" by A Great Big World
(Levi's song to Kat)
 
Say something I'm giving up on you
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
Anywhere I would have followed you
Say something I'm giving up on you

"Day is Gone" by Noah Gunderson and The Forest Rangers
(Gabriel's song to Kat)

 
 Take it back
I would take it back
For just another minute
Just another chance with you

Give it up
I would give everything up
Every last breath
Every first taste, for you
Just to make it all right
Just to make it all right

"Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
(Kat's song to Levi)

 
 
 Looking at you makes it harder
But I know that you'll find another
That doesn't always make you want to cry
It started with the perfect kiss then
We could feel the poison set in
"Perfect" couldn't keep this love alive
You know that I love you so
I love you enough to let you go



"Red" by Taylor Swift
(Kat's song to Gabriel)

 
 
Losing him was blue like I'd never known
Missing him was dark grey all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know someone you never met
But loving him was red
Loving him was red
 
 

"Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey
(Kat's song to Gabriel)

 
 
Oh, my God, I feel it in the air
Telephone wires above are sizzling like a snare
Honey, I'm on fire, I feel it everywhere
Nothing scares me anymore
 

"Burn" by Ellie Goulding
(I envisioned this song playing at the end - the prom scene in the gym)

 
  
We, we don't have to worry 'bout nothing
'Cause we got the fire, and we're burning one hell of a something
They, they gonna see us from outer space, outer space
Light it up, like we're the stars of the human race, human race
"Stars" by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
(Gabriel's song to Kat)
 
 
All those times we looked up at the sky
Looking out so far, it felt like we could fly
And now I'm all alone in the dark of night
And the moon is shining, but I can't see the light
 

"I Won't Go" by Jimmy Real
PS- ironically, the lead singer looks a little like Gabriel, and they both play guitar. Go figure. 🙂
(Gabriel's song to Kat)

 

 

So breathe and show me light
If we can bring this back to life, I won't go

 

 
"Human" by Christina Perri
(Kat's song)
 
 
I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part, if that's what you ask
Give you all I am
 
I can do it
I can do it
I can do it
 
But I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up, and then I fall apart
'Cause I'm only human
 
 
 
"Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri
(Kat's song to Gabriel)
 
 
I know I can't take one more step towards you
'Cause all that's waiting is regret
Don't you know I'm not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most
 
I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time
Mumford and Sons - Consider me a fan for life!
I'm a sucker for many things, music being one of them! Sometimes I can't quite articulate why certain songs touch me the way they do, but I'll try with this one. First off, I'm also a sucker for folk rock, so when I first heard of Mumford and Sons a few months ago (I know, I'm a little late to the party! They've been around since 2007) I knew it would be a love-at-first-sight kind of thing, and boy was it ever! My first introduction to their work was with "I Will Wait", and holy cow, what an awesome song. Like any great piece of art, it can be interpreted in many ways, but knowing Marcus Mumford's background and that he cowrote the song, I'll assume it has to do with faith. 
My favorite lines are the the first ones:
Well I came home like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust, which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun
Who can't relate to being "heavy" with burden and needing a "new sun" for rest and redemption? What beautiful similes and imagery he uses. As a writer, I'm smitten. My second favorite lines?
So break my step, and relent
Well you forgave, and I won't forget
To relent is to give in, yield, surrender yourself, but why? The power of forgiveness, in any form, is transcendent; it's a selfless act to relieve another of their transgressions against you. I like how he follows "well you forgave" with "and I won't forget." Beautiful.
And last, but certainly not least, are these lines:
But I'll kneel down, wait for now
I'll kneel down, know my ground
Raise my hands, paint my spirit gold
Bow my head, keep my heart slow

Again, with the imagery! "Raise my hands, paint my spirit gold" I interpret that to mean purifying and cleansing. For me, it ties into the "new sun" from the beginning. I also like how he ends the song with the humble words of "bow my head, keep my heart slow." That is the nature of worship - self-humbling.

Quite frankly, no matter what this band chooses to sing about, they know how to write and convey the condition of their hearts exquisitely... this is the mark of a true artist. Consider me a fan for life! 🙂
 
I won't elaborate, but the last few days have been SO overwhelmingly bittersweet... I'll let Sam Smith take it away with one of my favorite songs. His voice makes everything right. <3

xoxo
SJ

Iris Playlist
As you know, playlists are my thing. I have some for when I'm writing, editing, working out and cleaning. And even though I typically don't put together an official playlist for novellas, today I've decided to come up with a mini-playlist for Iris because, well... it's fun. 🙂
Enjoy!
xoxo
SJ
Latch by Sam Smith
(Kai's song to Iris)
 
 
You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down
You, you enchant me even when you're not around
If there are boundaries, I will try and knock them down
I'm latching on, babe, now I know what I have found
 
Dark Horse by Katy Perry
(Iris and Kai's song)
 
 
So you wanna play with magic
Boy, you should know what you're falling for
Baby, do you dare to do this?
'Cause I'm coming at ya like a dark horse
 
She's a beast, I call her karma
She'll eat your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer
Be careful
Try  not to lead her on
Shorty's heart is on steroids 'cause her love is so strong
 
Try by James Shealy/ Jimmy Real
(Kai's song to Iris)

 
You said yourself it's best to fall and crawl than never try at all
but has your heart been broken way too many times to open up and try
Try, we could just try
American Kids by Kenny Chesney
Been listening to Kenny Chesney's "American Kids" over and over lately. I'm usually not much of a Chesney fan when it comes to country music, but this one has such a lighthearted feel-good kind of sound, it's infectious!!! Exactly what I need on Mondays. Enjoy 🙂

xoxo
SJ

God Made Girls by Raelynn
I heard this song on the radio this morning and instantly thought of Kat and her friends from Captivate Me. Love it!!!
Enjoy 🙂

"He needed something soft and loud and sweet and proud,
but tough enough to break a heart.
Something beautiful and breakable
that lights up in the dark."

God Made Girls by Raelynn

 
 
 
Stand by You by Rachel Platten
The most recent song that's captured my attention for my novel, Fight for Me  is one that fits perfectly with this novel - Stand by You by Rachel Platten. If you've read Captivate Me and know anything about what happened to our sweet baby angels at Midland Pines High, you know they've been through hell, so what else can they do but stand beside each other in Book Two? Have a little listen below. 
Love to all
xoxo
SJ
 
Powerful by Major Lazer and Fix You by Coldplay
I wanted to share some songs that go pretty dang perfectly with the novel Fight for MePowerful and Fix You. The lyrics in both pretty much sum up the feel of it - Kat and Gabe's connection as well as dealing with loss and change after trauma. Not to mention, Ellie Goulding has telekinesis in the video.... how friggen perfect!!!
So plug your headphones in, turn up the volume and have yourself a little listen 🙂
xoxo
SJ

Powerful by Major Lazer featuring Ellie Goulding and Tarrus Riley:
 
 
Fix You by Coldplay:
Vice by Miranda Lambert
I wanted to share a song that fits Lilliana pretty dang perfectly with a small piece of who she is. We see touches of it in Iris, but this time around we're getting up close and personal with not only who she is as a person, but what she's been going through in the wake of losing her sisters, as well as with some of her vices... like men and alcohol. Devastation has a way of making us want to escape into something else, even if it isn't the healthiest. Miranda Lambert even has blonde hair like Lilliana and has that 'bad girl' air about her. Too perfect! So have yourself a little listen below...
Love to all
xoxo
SJ
Another vice, another town, where my past can't run me down
Another life, another call, another bed I shouldn't crawl out of
At 7AM with shoes in my hand
Said I wouldn't do it, but I did it again
And I know I'll be gone tomorrow night
Another vice
 
 
Deep End by Ruelle
 Okay... so there's this song I found on You Tube by Ruelle that I've officially dubbed as the theme song for Lilliana. Just LOOK at these lyrics:
 
Like lead in my veins,
Darkness is sinking
Darkness is sinking me
Commanding my soul
I am under the surface
Where the blackness burns beneath
 
WHAAAAT? How amazingly appropriate for Lilliana's journey. Now have a little listen below 😉
 
xoxo
SJ
  
Deep End by Ruelle
(Written by Jeff Bowman, Ruelle, and Josh Williams)
 
Running From the Night by GAIT

Today I have a treat for all of your pretty little ears - the song I've officially dubbed as the theme song for Book Three of the Captivated Series. 

Why is this song so perfect, you ask? Because it's about deciding not to run from the dark anymore and face it head on. How incredibly perfect, right???

So have a little listen below, and don't forget to hop on over to my Facebook page and check out the giveaway for it (you'll have to scroll down a bit)! GAITS is offering over a free download of the song! How amazing are they?

Love to all
xoxo

SJ

Running From the Night by GAITS

 

Spectacle - Official Playlist!!!
 One of my favorite things when releasing a novel - releasing the list of songs that inspired me as I wrote!!! Here are my picks for Spectacle. (COMING SOON!)
 xoxo
SJ
"Fight Song" by Rachel Platten

  
 
 
 
"Brother" by Need to Breathe
 
 
 
 
"Bright" by Echosmith
 
 
 
 
"See you Again" by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth

 
 
 
 
 
"The Lonely" by Christina Perri
 
 
 
 
"Tragedy" by Christina Perri
 
 
 
 
"Mary" by Patty Griffin