Inspirational Quote About Music…Plus An Excerpt And Giveaway!

December 26, 2014

It all started with Peter Murphy.

Now, wait a hot second, Piper. You said it started with Doctor Who.

Just go with it.

Playing Hard To Forget all started with Peter Murphy.

I adore 80s music. I really do. But, like most people my age, my knowledge of 80s music came from two places: vague memories from early childhood and VH1’s I Love the 80s. There were large gaps in my education of 80s New Wave. A few years ago I was driving around when an awesome sounding song came on my satellite radio. Indigo Eyes. I’d never heard it before but it immediately struck a chord with me (get it? Chord? Music? Ok moving on). I’d been struggling with the characterization of my two mains in Playing Hard To Forget. They weren’t as easy to create as the characters around them. They needed a depth I hadn’t found yet, but as soon as I heard Indigo Eyes, my Ethan had a new layer almost immediately. I ran home and downloaded the song and played it over and over as I story boarded Ethan’s journey.

And about the same time I had my “Don’t Forget Me” revelation, I was dragged by a dear friend into that terrible, awful 5th circle of hell conveniently located in every suburban mall in America: Hot Topic. It was there I heard the voice of the goddess Siouxsie Sioux singing a cover of Bob Dylan’s This Wheel’s On Fire. And suddenly everything became so clear. “If your memory serves you well.” It was life-changing. Why the fates decided to pause the System of a Down long enough to play some good music that day, I’ll never know.

The third song with a large hand in the plot comes to us from Canada (Now, if you know me well, you know Canada is important in our family. I birthed two French-Canadian children, made with my French-Canadian husband whose Canadian roots go back over 400 years. Our last name is Canadian, forged in the fires of a Tim Horton’s hot oil fryer. He is part Scottish, but, for the most part, I’ve broken the Scottish bloodline. Go me). It’s by an indie band called Folly and the Hunter–Moth in the Porchlight.  The song is incredible. And it’s Ethan and Liam…and Fiona, Ethan’s sister. Hearing it for the first time was, like, boom, cancel my meetings for the rest of the day. I have to go home and write.

Other songs had a hand in the creation of Playing Hard To Forget. I’m posting the list here and a link to a YouTube playlist. If any song here appeals to you, I heartily encourage you to check out the band and support them by buying tons of their music.

Indigo Eyes–Peter Murphy

Wolves–Big Wreck

Dangerous–Big Data

No One Knows–Queens of the Stone Age

Club Foot–Kasabian

Rather Be–The Verve

The Passenger–Siouxsie and the Banshees

Never Let Me Down Again–Depeche Mode

High on a Riverbed–Toad the Wet Sprocket

The Sweetest Drop–Peter Murphy

Never Tear Us Apart–INXS

Born To Ruin–The Wildlife

Space and Time–The Verve

Sick, Sick, Sick–Queens of the Stone Age

Under the Milky Way–The Church

Skin on Skin–Queens of the Stone Age

Burn the Witch–Queens of the Stone Age

Hope–Toad the Wet Sprocket

This Wheel’s on Fire–Siouxsie and the Banshees

Moth in the Porchlight–Folly and the Hunter

Here’s the whole unofficial soundtrack in a YouTube playlist


And now it’s time for an excerpt!


The distant snap of a twig from about ten yards back confirmed his suspicions, but he stayed on his own target and squeezed off the last shot of the round and it effectively left him unarmed. He stood and turned toward the sound, but the dense pine and oak did not afford him the best view. He bent back down to lock the safety and left the edge of the clearing to venture deeper into the forest.

He did not have to walk far before he heard it—the smooth, snarky tone and now familiar voice-over of his new and very explicit fantasies. “Looking for me?”

Ethan whipped around to find Liam leaning against a tree as if he owned the goddamned forest. He put on his best nonchalant face, which of course was going to fool absolutely no one.

“I thought it might be a bear.” Immediate and total regret washed over him. Stupid answers were beneath him. He was twenty years old, damn it.

Liam moved like a cheetah, and he was inches away from Ethan in the span of a breath. “Now, now. Ethan. Ignoring the fact that I can hear your heart and smell your hormones, why would you go after a bear unarmed?”

“I—I wasn’t looking for you, I….” Stammering was also beneath him. How could he let this guy—this wolf—do this to him?

Liam looked amused. “Come on, Ethan. You think I haven’t seen you all week? Walking twice a day through the field where we met? Taking wild detours through the forests? You’ve been looking for me all week. And here I am. And you left your weapon behind. I’m flattered, Ethan, really.”

“You’ve been following me?” His chest was tight, but it was not from embarrassment as much as it was anticipation.

“Yes.” No lies. No stammering around the truth. Liam was unapologetic.

“All this week? Everywhere?” Ethan blushed at the thought of what Liam might have seen in that week.

Liam snorted. “Now, Ethan. I do have a life.” He leaned in close to Ethan’s ear, and Ethan silently blamed the heat coming off Liam reacting with his cold sweat for the long shiver.

“But I’ve followed you enough. Tell me, are you thinking of me when you’re alone in your bedroom? God, I hope so, because that face you make when you come, I’d really like to see that face when you’re under me. I’d like to make you come myself instead of watching you think of me from a distance.” He backed up and blinked slowly, and watched Ethan for a reaction.

Ethan tried to shake the fog of confusion and arousal and opened his mouth to speak, but not before he heard Fiona in the distance yelling for him.


Liam rolled his eyes and sighed. “I guess that’s my cue, isn’t it, Ethan? Can’t have daddy and little sister knowing about our little secret, can we?”

He turned to leave, but stopped short. “Still, it isn’t fair leaving you this way.” Liam smirked and raised an eyebrow as he surveyed Ethan. “No, you need something new to think about tonight.”

And before Ethan knew what was happening, Liam’s lips were on his. It was hot—literally and figuratively—and Liam’s lips were soft and tasted of the same earthy tang Liam smelled of on the day they’d met. Ethan relaxed into it faster than he liked and he let Liam’s tongue explore his own. He didn’t need Liam to tell him his heart was racing. He could feel it kick against his rib cage, and it served to spur Liam on.

Liam’s hands wrapped around the back of Ethan’s neck and he lifted his jaw slightly so Liam could kiss his way down to a spot Ethan’s shirt barely hid. Liam didn’t bite hard enough to break the skin, but there was certainly going to be a mark, more so because Ethan jerked up into it and he did not even care about how weak it made him seem or the noise that escaped when he felt sharp teeth.

Liam came away smiling and admired his masterpiece: red and purple and, in a few minutes from then, in dire need of a quick explanation from Ethan if he couldn’t find a way to cover it up. While Ethan adjusted his shirt as best he could, Liam disappeared beyond the tree line.

I know, right? I’m simply dying to find out what happens next!

Playing Hard To Forget–in Paperback or ebook on Dreamspinner or in ebook at Amazon.

You can find me on Facebook or on Twitter.


Music is such a gigantic part of my life. My next story with Dreamspinner, due out in March 2015, also has a soundtrack with similar revelatory moments behind each song. I was struggling with a plotline for a potential number three the other day when I heard Le Pyromane by Karkwa and my brain went crazy with ideas.

My favorite song ever–my favorite song always–is Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. I cannot imagine a more perfect song existing. What is your all-time, hands-down favorite song of all time? My favorite wins a paperback edition of Playing Hard To Forget!

11 Responses to “Inspirational Quote About Music…Plus An Excerpt And Giveaway!”

  1. Angela says:

    I love 80s music i was a teen in the eighties so it´s fair to say that my music taste was formed in the 80s.

    You ask a difficult question because there are so many songs/bands/singers i like. I love metallica, queen, Aerosmith and the list goes on but i am a hugh fan of Bryan Adams so for my favorite song ever I have to go with Remebrance Day and Native Son (both from Bryan Adams).

  2. Piperdoone says:

    Angela, music is the one category I could go on and on about, so if you published a list a hundred songs long I’d read the whole thing.

    Mind you, there are some bands and singers I HATE. Absolute burning hatred. Old acts and new. Most of those, though, I can at least understand why people may like them, if they are into that (there is a special list of bands and singers, though, that, if someone expresses a love of, it’s a dealbreaker. I feel that strongly about a select few bands!).

  3. Susan says:

    My favorite song is Loosing My Religion by REM. It got me through a very difficult time in grad school, helped me persevere and get my PhD.

  4. Piperdoone says:


    Great song! So much great music came out of Athens, Georgia.

  5. Angela says:

    I can totally understand you.

    For me music is all about feelings and sometimes about moments. For example i have bittersweet memories from a song called Summer Jam 2003 by The Underdog Project. This song was the summer hit in the Netherlands in 2003. That was the year our oldest son was born (10 weeks premature) he had to stay in the hospital to fight for his life and everytime we were in the car going to or coming from the hospital this song was playing on the radio and everytime i hear it now i think of those weeks. Without this happening i wouldn’t have remembered that song at all.

  6. Piperdoone says:


    Exactly! It’s about those moments and how you felt and what was significant when you heard that song!

  7. Trix says:

    I’m pretty sure I can’t pick just one, though Sloan’s “The Answer Was You” has that harmony-laden guitar-driven aspect I love, and it’s short enough to leave you wanting more. But, once I put it on, I start digging out all my other music, and what leads into which song depends on my mood that day…

  8. CJane Elliott says:

    Wow, that excerpt was hot!!!

    Um, what was the question again? Oh yes, music. I love musicals and one of my very favorite songs is “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret. The way Liza Minelli belts that out in the movie version is amazing. I play it on the piano and belt it out in a much less amazing way.

  9. Piperdoone says:

    I’ll have to listen to that one!

  10. Piperdoone says:

    CJane Elliott,

    Thanks! Liam was so fun to write because he comes off as so confident and in control, but his layers are quickly peeled away and we see where his weaknesses lie. I won’t spoil any further, though! You’ll have to read to find out!

  11. Carolyn says:

    Gah! That excerpt. Ayup, I’m in.

    I am so with you on the Bittersweet Symphony love. There’s so many reasons to love it, though I can never hear it and not think about how sad it is that the band just couldn’t make it stick. It’s a bittersweet on so many levels!

    Thanks for the playlist. It was great to see Big Data’s Dangerous on the list, a total new favorite of mine. The first time I heard that song I was like, “I bet I’ll see an author talk about how they listened to it while writing.” Ngh, it so good!

    You’ve had me down a rabbit hole for I don’t know how long with your music question. I have been loading up songs and since I’m not so great with band names and song titles, I’m also doing searches on lyrics (because THAT I am good at). I’m pulling up Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, George Michael’s Faith, Erasure’s A Little Respect, Counting Crow’s Round Here, The Cranberries’ Dreams, The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, Linkin Park’s Breaking the Habit, and on and on… It’s not even pretty how many songs I’ve flipped through. I’m not even sure I can answer this question, but how bought I just spin the wheel and let it stop at My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to the Black Parade and we call it a night. I’m just sad for all the songs that will come to me later.

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