I grew up around music. Shoot, I’m named after a John Coltrane song, my father’s favorite jazz saxophonist. It’s always been a part of my life, whether it was hearing stories about my mother being a member of a ‘60s singing group, or dreaming about becoming the female Donnie Wahlberg in the girl version of New Kids on the Block. Or being dragged into my grandfather’s study where my father would make me listen to a jazz song and identify the instruments in the piece. The first romances I wrote—the ones that will never see the light of day—starred Ralph Tresvant and Donnie, and of course, there was some serenading going on. So is it any wonder that music is an integral part of my writing process? Like a lot of writers, music drags me into the mood of the book either by melody, mood or lyrics. I can’t write without it. Silence actually distracts me. But music? It takes me so deep into the characters and the story that hours can fly by. When I finally lift my head, the music is over, and I have hundreds of words down. Before I started writing The Millionaire Makeover, I created a playlist that reflected the ugly duckling, best friend’s little sister romance. The entire list is below, and here’s why I chose several of them.
Niall Hunter, the hero in The Millionaire Makeover, is Irish. Scarborough Fair by Celtic Woman is one of my favorite songs by the group, and always puts me in the mind of Ireland. So it had to go on the list.
Maybe it’s because I first heard the song while watching The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, but I just find A Thousand Years by Christina Perri one of the most romantic songs ever. Loving someone for a thousand years and loving them for a thousand more? Be still my heart.
Yep, the Pink Power Ranger and Jules on Flashpoint can sing! I first heard Dancing In-between by Amy Jo Johnson while watching an episode of Flashpoint. The lovely music and the singer’s voice caught my attention. I googled it, and was shocked to find out it was her. Love this song. Simple, beautiful, just like the heroine.
Start Again by Illyun is another Flashpoint alumni. Not only was the show awesome, but the music was, too! The melody for this song is beautiful, but even more so, the lyrics are gorgeous. And they fit what my characters were going through perfectly. Here’s a bit of them: “And those mistakes you made don’t make you half a man / There is weakness where there’s pride / A broken heart don’t mean a broken girl within / It’s not a sin to start again.” Sigh. Love them.
Here’s my entire playlist. And don’t judge of New Kids on the Block! That song was the jam! ?
- Scarborough Fair – Celtic Woman
- Why – Annie Lennox
- I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
- Lifetime – Maxwell
- Victorious – Chicago
- If This Isn’t Love – Jennifer Hudson
- If You Go Away – New Kids on the Block
- How You Gonna Act Like That – Tyrese
- Let’s Get Lost – Beck
- A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
- Dancing In-Between – Amy Jo Johnson
- Don’t Come Around Here No More – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- How it Feels to Fly – Alicia Keys
- If You Asked Me To – Patti LaBelle
- Start Again – Illiyun
- I Can’t Make You Love Me – Josh Kaufman
- Unsteady – X Ambassadors
Get The Millionaire Makeover by Naima Simone for 99¢!
Plain-Jane computer programmer Khloe Richardson needs a date—one to make the prince of her dreams jealous. Maybe then he’ll finally see her as a desirable swan and not the ugly duckling in the second office from the left.
But when she bids on a bachelor at a charity auction, the man she wins is millionaire Niall Hunter—who once made intense, passionate love to her and then left without a word. She’s determined not to let her guard down again—among other things—around the infamous Irish lothario.
Niall never imagined his penance for one hot-as-hell night with his best friend’s little sister would be transforming her from a shy wallflower to a sultry siren. Helping her attract another man is torture…especially when he promised his friend he’d stay away. Plus, she wants forever, and he’s not a forever kind of guy. But Niall can’t stop wanting her. Can’t stop touching her. Can’t stop, period. And damn if he can remember why he has to…
USA Today bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Linda Howard many years ago. Though her first attempt at writing a romance novel at age 11 never saw the light of day, her love of romance and writing has endured. Now, she spends her time creating stories of unique men and women who experience the dizzying heights of passion and the tender heat of love. She is wife to Superman—or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent—and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.