#MusicMonday with Kendra C. Highley


My Top 5 #MusicMonday Listens



For someone who studied classical violin for eleven years, I have pretty eclectic taste in music. My number one requirement for a favorite song, though, is that it has to stir something inside me on the first listen. I like a lot of songs, from Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” (no seriously, if you’re a grammar geek, go click on that link) to “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man.  To be a song I love, the music or lyrics have to transcend something, wake my soul up and give it a shake. I always hear it in the first listen, and usually become obsessed with the song. Want some examples? Here are five songs that hit me right in the heart:


“Paradise” by Coldplay

I literally can’t even watch this video without crying. It came along exactly when I needed it most, and every time it hits that first crescendo, shivers run down my spine.

Key Lyric: “The sun must set to rise.”


“Time” by Micky Ekko

There’s something that haunts me about this song. Enduring love…that’s the entire song.

Key Lyric: “Honey, we can run forever, if forever is what’s in store.”


“Counting Stars” by One Republic

So, my son asked me to download this song for him when it first came out. When I listened to it, I couldn’t get enough. I’m a huge One Republic fan anyway (at least one of their songs makes it onto every one of my writing playlists), but this song gives me all the “seize the day” feels.

Key Lyric “Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming ‘bout the things we could be.”


“Up & Up” by Coldplay


I know, I know—another Coldplay song. Honestly, I could do a whole list of just their music. This song is so full of hope. I smile every time I hear it. And the guitar solo is glorious.

Key Lyric: “We’re going to get it, get it together, I know. Get it, get it together and flow.”


“Ordinary Love” by U2


I fell in love with this band in 9th grade, during the release of The Joshua Tree. This song, to me, is everything U2 is about. Full stop.

Key lyric: “We cannot reach any higher if we can’t feel ordinay love.”


How about you? What songs send a shiver down your spine and hold you transfixed?




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Semi-pro SBXer Luke Madison can’t afford any distractions. He’s chasing his dreams in Aspen, not realizing the dire consequences of his actions. Now, if Luke can’t pull off a miracle, his family could lose everything, and there’s no wayhe’ll let that happen.

No pressure or anything.

Charlotte Brown is determined to become a doctor—a neurologist to be precise, and she’s always precise. She doesn’t have time for anything except school, waitressing at a mountaintop café, and studying. Meeting the ridiculously sexy Luke Madison won’t change that plan, even if kissing him makes her pulse race.

Neither can afford to slip up. If Charlotte doesn’t pass the MCAT this time, that’s it. Her dream of saving people—people like her mother—is over. And when Luke risks everything one last time, losing is not an option.

Even if it means losing each other.


Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to three self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most critical job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

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