Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tamara Ireland Stone

Huge thanks to Laura at Novel Magic for hosting me today! I’m honored to be here to talk about the music in Time Between Us.

While Anna and Bennett both have playlists of their own, I think of Anna’s as the primary soundtrack to Time Between Us. And it is a soundtrack, with each song mapping to specific chapters and scenes in the story.

I’m a total purist when it comes to this music. I wanted to be sure that these songs truly represented the music that would have lived on the shelf in Anna’s bedroom in 1995. So the music not only had to exist in 1995, it had to exist within the timeframe of the book: March to June 1995.

I spent many, many hours on Wikipedia, iTunes, and lyrics sites, listening to every line, mapping it to the right scene, and making sure that each song would have existed in Anna’s world.

It was the best, most enjoyable research I could imagine.

Here’s a little background on why these songs matter so much to me, which lines spoke to me most, and where they tie to the story:

1. She, Green Day. (Chapter 1)
Right in the beginning of Chapter 1, you’ll find this line: “…I turn up the music so Green Day is loud in my ears”. In my mind, the song “She” is what Anna hears. It’s a great tune to run to, and the line,“Are you locked up in a world that’s been planned out for you,” would have resonated with her.

2. Corduroy, Pearl Jam. (Chapter 2)
This is the song that plays as Anna and Emma are driving to school. I've always loved this song, and these lines were especially fitting, especially when Anna hears it the second time around:“Everything has chains. Absolutely nothing’s changed.”

3. Nightingale Song, Toad the Wet Sprocket. (Chapter 4)
This has long been one of my all-time favorite songs. It’s short and catchy, and perfect for the moment in this story when Anna’s realizing that her world where “little ever changes” is changing before her eyes.

4. Name, Goo Goo Dolls. (Chapter 9)
A Boy Named Goo came out in March ’95, and “Name” was the most popular song on the album. It’s a perfect tune about keeping someone’s secret. “You can hide beside me, maybe for a while. And I won’t tell no one your name.”

5. Floaty, Foo Fighters. (Chapter 12)
I love the dreamy, floaty qualities of the music and lyrics in this song on the Foo Fighters debut album. Fun fact: This song is a tiny bit of a cheat. Sort of. After Kurt Cobain’s death, Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl, recorded this album entirely on his own. It didn’t come out until July 1995, but the demo was circulating big-time in early 1995. My college radio sources assure me that Justin would have heard in March. “…we float, float away. On the ground we come back down. That's not as big as what's flowin’ around here.”  To me, that “floaty” feeling is time traveling. And eventhat’s not as big as what’s going on between Anna and Bennett.

6. Walk on the Ocean, Toad the Wet Sprocket. (Chapter 13)
This might be in my top five all-time favorite songs. It’s a beautiful, perfect way to kick off Anna and Bennett’s adventure: “We spotted the ocean, at the head of the trail. Where we going? So far away. Somebody told me that this is the place, were everything’s better, everything’s safe.”

7. Today, Smashing Pumpkins. (Chapter 14)
Originally from Chicago, Smashing Pumpkins had to play a role on the playlist, and I had a hard time choosing the right song because I love so many. But the line, Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known,” spoke to me most.

8. Anna Begins, Counting Crows. (Chapter 15)
I’ve always loved this song, but I hadn’t heard it in years. And once I did, in the context of this story, I was hooked. Bennett starts off protecting himself, trying not to care about Anna. She's completely unexpected. He's not ready for her. But in the end, none of that matters. I love so many lines in this song, but I get chills every time I hear: “And Anna begins to change my mind... Every time she sneezes I believe it's love.”

9. Nearly Lost You, Screaming Trees. (Chapter 24)
On the surface, it might seem like this song is about Anna and Bennett. But map it to Chapter 24 and you’ll understand who Anna’s thinking about with the lyrics, “Drag me far enough to know, I'm blind every mile that you burn. There's a rider that's fallen and it's clear there's no time to return.”

10. I’ve Been Waiting, Matthew Sweet. (Chapter 26)
I’ve always loved this sweet and catchy song about being swept up in a new romance. This was a popular song in Anna’s 1995 world, but this is really one of Bennett’s songs. I imagine this is how he’s feeling at the very beginning of Chapter 26: “I didn't think I'd find you, perfect in so many ways, but I’ve been waiting...”

11. Fade Into YouMazzy Star (Chapter 27/28)
One of the most beautiful love songs of the 90’s. And there isn’t a better song for the adventure Anna and Bennett find themselves beginning in Chapters 27 and 28.  “I want to hold the hand inside you. I want to take a breath that's true. I look to you and I see nothing. I look to you to see the truth.”

12. Comedown, Bush (Chapter 29)
Bush was such a big band in the 90’s and I just love Gavin Rossdale’s voice (he’not bad on the eyes either). This song just feels like happiness and not wanting it to end. “I don't want to come back down from this cloud. It's taken me all this time to find out what I need.”

13. Ray Ray Rain, Bettie Serveert (Chapter 30)
It’s an obscure song, but I’ve always liked Bettie Serveert. And how could I ever ignore a song that included this line: “Time and time again it seems, we're always somewhere in between.”

14. Fell on Black Days, Soundgarden. (Chapter 34)
We can all relate to those moments when everything seems perfect and the rug gets ripped out from underneath us. “Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile, sunspots have faded, and now I'm doing time.”

15. If I Could, Phish. (Chapter 38)
I thought this song was so perfect for one particular scene, that I licensed the lyrics from Phish so I could reprint them in the story. They had to be there. “Stay with me till time turns over. I want to feel my feet leave the ground. Take me where the whispering breezes. Can lift me up and spin me around.”

16. You Learn, Alanis Morissette (Chapter 40)
Alanis writes songs about strength, and this is one of my favorites. No matter what we go through in life, we learn from our experiences, and they each impact the people we become. “You live you learn. You love you learn. You cry you learn. You lose you learn.” Anna Greene goes through a lot in this story. And even though she starts out strong, she ends up even stronger.

I hope you enjoy listening to this soundtrack as much as I enjoyed making it! And thanks again to Novel Magic for letting me share some Music Magic from Time Between Us!

You can find Anna and Bennett’s playlists here:

About Time Between Us

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.

Please check out Tamara Ireland Stone
On Twitter: @tamaraistone


Thursday, October 11, 2012

One Pink Line by Dina Silver

One Pink Line takes you on a roller coaster of emotions.  Told between two POV's, you get to experience both characters thoughts and emotions through the story that is One Pink Line.  

We start with Sydney studying for her last finals of her college career.  She's stressed and ready to move on.  From the title, I'm sure you can see where the storyline goes.  Sydney suddenly realizes it's been a while since she had her period.  She races to the drugstore to buy a test.  She goes home and takes it.  And so the story begins.

Ms. Silver writes a fascinating novel of love and despair through the eyes of two different perspectives. I found that Ms. Silver was able to capture her characters thoughts and emotions beautifully and made me feel the feelings along with the them.  

I also enjoyed the guessing the author puts us through.  Just when I thought I knew something about what was going to happen, I was wrong.  I like that in a book.  I like it when I have to think and wonder where it's going.  

I am also a sucker for a good romance and this didn't fail.  Ms. Silver created a beautiful female main character and an oh so amazing male main character.  Ethan is every girls dream man and once you read it, you'll know I am not exaggerating one bit.  He's amazing.

So I definitely recommend reading One Pink Line.  You won't be disappointed.  It had me interested in Sydney's story from page one to the end.


Friday, September 14, 2012

When I was approached to be a part of a blog tour for Jessica Brody, I didn't hesitate in saying yes.  This book looks like a really fun read.  I will be putting my review up for it soon.  In the meantime, please enjoy learning more about it all below:
52 Days of 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books
1 of the 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books….for 51 other reasons, visit Electrifying Reviews(September 13th) and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer (September 16th), and stay tuned for more!
Though she loves all of her covers, Jessica is super-excited about the cover of her new book, Unremembered, due out in March 2013. Hop over to her website to check it out!

About 52 Reasons to Hate My Father (FSG, July 2012)
Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.
Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.
In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

52 Reasons to Hate My Father Excerpt:

52 Reasons to Hate My Father Trailer:

The Making of the 52 Reasons to Hate My Father Book Trailer


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Eleven years
A lot happens in eleven years
On September 11, 2001 I had two small children and was expecting my third
On September 11, 2001 we were in Anaheim, CA taking our girls to Disneyland for our oldest child's birthday
Waking up that morning, we had no idea what we would see, watch, learn
That is a day etched in our memories forever
I remember walking in the hotel lobby, everyone was in a daze
I passed a woman on her cellphone, frantic
She was trying to learn if her boyfriend who worked in one of the towers was okay
I never found out if he was
I've always thought of her and hope she didn't lose him that day
Many did lose loved ones
My heart breaks for them
We will never forget
Now, I have a 14 year old
a 12 year old
and a 10 year old
They have grown up so fast
And the past eleven years have gone so fast
It seems like yesterday this happened
But it wasn't
Eleven years
Our country may have its differences and its citizens don't agree on every issue
We can agree that we are one and we will never forget that day.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Writing - Who Knew?

Seriously, who knew the experience of actually writing a book would be like this?

Like what, you ask?




Yep, that's how it's been for me in many ways.  

I tend to be hard on myself.

I tend to think the worst of myself.

I tend to think I can't do this.

And you know what I've learned?

I'M the only one holding me back.

Yep, it's true.

It's me.

It's not you.  It's not her.  It's not him.

It's me.

We all have issues we deal with.  And we all have our ways of coping, or not coping, with them.

I was bullied in school and twenty plus years later am realizing how much of it still affects me and my relationships to this day.


Do I still talk to those boys who bullied me?  


Do they still mock me today?


So why am I letting them hold me back?

Why do I assume that everyone else will feel the same way they did?

It sucks and it's stopping


So, what are the joys in writing?

The fact that I'm actually doing it now

That I'm not allowing my demons to get in my way anymore

That I'm going to prove to myself I can do it

I have a few stories that won't leave me alone

I'm finally writing the one that speaks to me the most

It's coming along nicely and I'm really excited about it

Of course I'll have my moments of pure doubt

and some freak outs

But that's life

I'm not going to allow the past to haunt me and my life anymore

I'm better than that



Thursday, August 30, 2012



Hey you

Yes you

I want to tell you something

My friend Melissa has written a brilliant post on her blog.  I want you to read it.  It's great advice and words of wisdom on reviewing books.  It definitely will make you think.  

Go over and read it okay?

Click here to read it

Thank you!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Review and an Interview

Hey all!  I am finally posting my review of Ariana Zamora's book, The Dreamer, and the interview I did with her.  Ariana is a really neat person I've had the pleasure of getting to know the past few weeks.  I'm really excited for her and her book and for what the future holds for her.  So without further adieu, my review is first, then the interview. 
When Ariana reached out to me to review her book, I was really excited!  I had no idea what it was about but once I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it.  We start out meeting Anjaleena, Leena for short, waking up from one of her recurring nightmares.  She's been having them since she was a small child.  We move on to some heartbreak for Leena and the adventure that lies ahead.
Leena's parents move them to her grandmothers childhood home, a place they didn't know existed until recently.  Leena chooses the bedroom she wants and there meets Julian, a man from the past.  Without giving everything away, Julian asks Leena a favor and through that, the adventure of Leena's life, and her nightmare, begins.
Through this story, we also meet Leena's family and her friends, old and new.  Leena's life is in quite an uproar and one of her friends ends up paying a price simply for being mistaken for Leena.  I never quite knew what to expect with this book and that is something I really enjoy.  The mystery of the book is something that keeps you guessing until the end and believe me when I say I never saw what really happened coming.  Ms. Zamora completely surprised me with the truth of what occurred. 
And the ending?  Um, what?  I had to message Ms. Zamora right away to see if she was planning a second book because if not, I would have been extremely ticked.  Luckily, she is writing it so we won't have to be perplexed for the rest of our lives wondering what happens.
Overall, this was a very entertaining read.  I liked the story, the mystery, and being kept in suspense.  I am eager to read the next book and the future works of Ariana Zamora.  I highly recommend you read them too.
And now...
The Interview

1.  First of all, please introduce yourself to us and tell us a little bit about you. 
Well, I'm a 23 year old chick from Vancouver, Washington who is a former Navy sailor. Writing is a passion of mine, and I'm glad to finally be able to share a bit what I can do with the world. I've recently discovered that I adore exercising, and will spend whatever time I can in the gym - which is something I never thought I'd hear myself say. Ever. I'm a zombie killing fanatic on Xbox - again, something I never thought I'd say. All in all, I'm just another weirdo who wrote a story and wanted to share it. I'm just glad that people actually liked what I wrote. Haha!

2.  How long have you wanted to be a writer?
There was a time when I was convinced I was going to be a princess. Of course I was only six years old at the time. Then I wanted to be an artist, at age seven. Around age eight I remember telling my family I wanted to be an author. I wanted to publish! I wanted to be famous! Then came ambitions of being an actress, a lawyer, a doctor, an airline attendant, and then back to author. Writing has been something that I've enjoyed doing for a long time. I've only now mustered the courage to publish, and I'm glad I did. I'd hate to live out the rest of my life with the regret of an unfulfilled dream. 

3.  How long did it take to write The Dreamer?
Haha! Actually, THE DREAMER has been a three year process. From original partial rough draft, to the trash bin, to a revised draft, to the bin, to the forgotten file on my computer, to yet another revised draft, and then to its final form. I continuously doubted myself and was terrified to show my work to anyone, which is why it took so long.

4.  Where did you get the idea for your book?
Funny story. I was home alone in my first apartment. I'd just finished watching a creepy movie and I became paranoid, thinking that my place was haunted. Insomnia mixed with paranoia equals extreme creativity.
5.  What advice do you have for potential authors?
Honestly...Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't set publication dates...they'll only stress you out. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!!! I cannot stress this enough. Your eyes are trained to read what you want them to read. Give your story to someone fresh to read so they can catch grammar and punctuation errors. Then do it again. And again. Trust me, each time someone reads your story, they'll catch something. As an Indie Author, readers expect your writing to be sloppy and unedited. Why don't you surprise them with your attention to detail? I did, and it really paid off. 

6.  Who is your favorite author and why?
I adore J.K. Rowling. That woman can paint a picture like none other. She is a master storyteller and I hope to be able to produce work of a similar quality, someday. 

7.  What is your next project going to be?
I'm currently working on the next book in THE DREAMER SERIES called, THE SHATTERED. I know a lot of people had a problem with the way THE DREAMER ended, and I think it's because I wasn't clear on my intent for a sequel. I could have written another two hundred pages with the material I had at the end of the last book...which is why it seemed to drop off a bit. I'm hoping that readers will stick with me in this journey to find out what happens to Leena and Julian next! 

8.  What do you hope to accomplish in your writing?
I hope to accomplish my lifelong dream of simply being an author. If one person enjoys my books, then it was worth it. All the heartache, all the time spent, energy, etc.. For every bad review I receive, I know I will grow more. For every good review I receive, I will also grow. I'm just thankful to even be here in the first place. 

9.  Who has been your biggest supporters for you and your writing?
My big sister, definitely, has been my biggest supporter of me throughout this process. She is amazing. I would never have had the guts to publish if she hadn't been there pushing me. 

10.  Do you have any quirky habits you do when you write?
I lock the door and turn on old soundtracks and movie scores. I listen to music from The Titanic, Moulin Rouge, The Labyrinth, Peter Pan...basically, anything smooth and relaxing. Most of the time I have to turn off my phone and disconnect from the internet, otherwise I'll never get any work done!

Isn't she awesome??  I hope you all will go read her book and let me know what you think.  To find out more about Ariana, please visit her website at