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Behind the Book: Jade and Ben’s Playlist

Music is the soundtrack of our lives. We all have songs we associate with certain memories–good and bad and in-between. As a writer, the right music can immerse me further into the mood or setting of a particular scene. When I wrote a novel set in Key West, Trop Rock ruled.  Reggae helped me switch creative gears when I dove into a Jamaican-set romance, and, of course, this past summer was all about the Christmas carol when I crafted A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW.

Although a number of holiday  tunes show up in Jade and Ben’s love story, two pop songs defined my heroine’s and hero’s emotions they  wrangled with throughout their journey to happily-ever-after.

Jade’s internal struggle…

After a traumatic experience in middle school, Jade became a people-pleaser. Denying her true self had a devastating ripple effect until, years later, she is confused and frustrated with her path, barely recognizing the young woman she sees in the mirror. She makes a bold move, quitting a lucrative yet unfulfilling career, stops dating men who don’t know the woman beneath the clothes and make-up, and returns home to her Adirondack hometown to recharge and refocus.

While in Starling, Jade’s former best friend, Ben, and the miracle of Christmas help her see what really matters…being true to herself. Only then is she able to move forward with her life and find her happily-ever-after.


Ben’s unspoken wish…

I’m a huge Justin Timberlake fan. One of JT’s recent hits reflects the frustration my hero, Ben, feels toward Jade at the beginning of their love story. She still views him as Benji, the little-boy-next-door she played with in the dirt and the geek who mooned after her during their high school years. She sees him as part of her past–one that included more its share of growing pains she’d prefer to forget. Worse, she’s afraid he’s become a man like so many she’s known before, one she cannot afford to trust.

Ben is a confident, successful producer of educational videos. He knows himself and he knows what he wants. He’s not going to beg Jade to love him, but he’s determined to show her all they could be…if she just gives their relationship a chance to grow.

In celebration of A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW’S release, along with its sister books in the Christmas in New York series, one lucky commenter on this post will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. If the winner resides in the US or Canada, s/he will also receive this beautiful Christmas ornament:

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!
Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

What’s one of your favorite songs?

Remember to leave a comment below if you wish to be entered into the gift card and ornament giveaway! The winner will be announced Tuesday, November 18th.



40 comments on “Behind the Book: Jade and Ben’s Playlist

  1. Years ago my husband and I were having problems in our marriage and I would listen to the song by Shania Twain, Your Still the One. We still listen to it this day and have been married for 32 years!

    1. Oh Shari, I adore that song. What a special meaning it must have to both of you, that you have a mature love of forgiveness, compromise, and respect. I also read somewhere recently that kindness and generosity are two critical ingredients to a lasting relationship. Congrats on your successful marriage of thirty-two years!!

  2. So glad your big brother posted this on FB otherwise I would of never known of your success as a romance author!

    1. I knew that was you over on Harlequin Junkies, Patty! Thanks so much for connecting with me here. I have many fond memories of my childhood in the Adirondacks and hope that those come through in Jade’s and Ben’s story. I appreciate everyone’s support from back home.

      Oh, and I guess I’ll have to thank my big brother for sharing the news of my debut novella. Thanks, Joel. 🙂

  3. I’d never heard it before, Cheryl, but it’s beautiful and sad. There’s a yearning to it, like a plea for someone to recognize the fleeting time. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. I’m so happy you shared this, Jolyse. Music inspires my writing. When I get stuck, I listen to music. When I need ideas, I turn on the iPod. I love Colbie!
    Congratulations to you! I started reading, A Light in the Window, while on the treadmill, after work today. I wish I could call in sick tomorrow to finish…I won’t, but it’s tempting. I’m loving the story!
    I’m so happy for you! All of your dedication has paid off…you’re an inspiration. xo

    1. I’m able to soak up the mood from music and it’s so much easier to write the correct dialogue and POV of my character. I love to read when I’m on the elliptical. I understand wanting to keep turning those pages. I’m thrilled you are enjoying Jade and Ben’s story so much and I look forward to hearing what you think after you’ve finished.

      No, probably not a wise idea to call in sick to work for a romantic read–although so tempting! 🙂

  5. Looking forward to spending some “quiet” time reading the book and then I can give it a proper review … but based on all the good reviews I have seen already it looks like you are on your way. Sorry, but some of my favorite music is by Kenny Rogers (Mom and I both were big fans together!).

    1. Every reader and every review counts. Thanks so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to give this story a shot. I’m thrilled with the response it has received so far, as well as the overall buzz for the Christmas in New York series.

      I love Kenny Rogers, too! One of my favorites of his is the duet with Dolly Parton, Islands in the Stream. I love Anne Murray as well. 😉

  6. I’ve read two of your books now! I’m so glad we connected at a book party! The song my husband and I think of as ours is “Broken road ” by Rascall Flatts.

    1. Hi Cindy! So nice to see you here and what a special song to share with your true love. Wishing you many, many happy years listening to your anthem together. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Susan. What’s so nice about Christmas romance novellas is that you can read them more quickly, yet still get that feel-good feeling. Would love to hear what you think. 🙂

  7. Great song, Debbie. Good for you on achieving your happily-ever-after. I know it’s a lot of work, but so worth it. 🙂

  8. Oh, gosh! Picking a favorite song is like asking me to pick a favorite child! A special song is Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. My husband says that is his song to me.

    1. Awww, such a romantic choice, Angie. I wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite song either. There are far too many, all depending on my particular mood.

      Thanks for entering the contest. Good luck! 🙂

    1. Yes, one of my all-time favorites, too, Pat. I was a Billy Joel fan long before I moved to Long Island and was pleasantly surprised to learn of his roots in my adopted home region. I imagine you’ve seen him in concert. I’ve never been so lucky although I did see his daughter, Alexa, perform at Mohegan Sun many years ago. 🙂

  9. My favorite was Colbie Caillat’s Try. That song really hits a special spot for me. I think every young girl/ women should listen to this and make it their theme song. Awesome!

  10. One of my favorite songs is The Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney. ..it puts into perspective what is important in a relationship

    1. I love Kenny Chesney too. Great song choice, Lorie. Thanks so much for sharing! Good luck in the release giveaway. 🙂

      “It’s the first long kiss on a second date…”

  11. My favorite song for the Christmas seasons is Silent Night… When I was a young girl my church always sang it in German during the candlelight service. It was a beautiful time. 😉

    1. Beautiful choice, Cheryl. That song would fit Jade’s story too. Thanks so much for stopping by to share and good luck in the giveaway!! 🙂

  12. I have many favorite songs, but when our son shipped out at 18 on CVS Saratoga(60) for its last cruise and his first, they played “Sarah” on the loud speakers. I bought it and played it, crying often. I still love to hear it.

    1. That must be such a proud yet bittersweet song for you, Mary . Thank you to your son for his service and for your sacrifice as his family. <3

  13. I have two songs that REALLY make me think of my husband. We don’t really have “a song” as depending on where we are in our lives, different songs mean different things to us. He likes to sing “You Are My Sunshine” to me to make me smile. The songs that make me think of him are “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton and “Keep On Lovin’ You” by Steel Magnolia. Being a military family we definitely have our ups and downs and we choose to face them together to keep on loving, no matter how hard or how much we want to quit.

  14. Those are all beautiful songs, Jenny. And many thanks to your family for your service and sacrifices on all our behalf. <3

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