This month, our excellent authors are giving us their list of the 5 songs they must have on their iPod (or iPad or phone) or songs that they can’t help but dance to when they hear them. I bet you’ll find some surprises here!


Previous 5 Things Posts:

June – Favorite Vacation Spots

May – Rules for Life

April – What They Like Best About Being a Writer

March – 5 Must-Haves for Writing


(Click on any author’s name to see their website!)



Ginger Ring

1. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke

2. Get Lucky by Daft Punk

3. Come & Get It by Selena Gomez

4. Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake

5. Mirrors by Justin Timber lake I don’t have an iPad or phone so I am usually listening to music in the car or as I read or write. I do like to have a ‘soundtrack’ for what I am writing, so I try to find music that matches that time period, location, or theme of the story.



Lexi Post

Unlike many writers, I need absolute silence to write, so my song list is about taking a break from the writing. I relate to music through dance, probably due to twenty years of dance lessons 😉 My list is also a bit dated as it takes years for a song to move up into my “favorites.”

“You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Joe Cocker is my theme song. What can I say, I write erotic romance and I wear hats, always. Check it out and you’ll get it 

“Play that Funky Music” by Wild Cherry. There is just something about this song that makes me move. Absolutely love it for happy dancing after completing a draft, signing a contract, or receiving an awesome cover.

“Walk this Way” by Aerosmith has always been my favorite song and is great for getting some exercise after sitting in my chair for hours on end. I can sit for two hours straight without getting up!

“Old Time Rock N Roll” by Bob Segar. This is another song I use for getting a little exercise. I especially love to dance to it in public because people expect me to prefer country music because I wear cowboy hats, but I’m a rocker from way back.

“Man I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain. I do like country as well as rock and this is another great song to dance to and puts all the control in the woman’s hands. I like that  Which is why “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy” is slowly creeping toward my top 5 list, but not yet.



Megan Hart

The songs change all the time, but currently the top songs on my playlist are:
1. Canto della terra (Live) [feat. Alessandro Safina] — Sarah Brightman

2. I’ll Follow You — Shinedown

3. Cross that Line — Joshua Radin

4. Not as We — Alanis Morrisette

5. Hesitate — Stone Sour



Marcia James

The (Most Recent) Five Songs I Must Have on My iPod/Computer

I enjoy listening to music that sets the tone of the scene I’m writing. Here are five of my current favorites:

1. Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason” (featuring Nate Ruess) — Their voices are perfect together, and this song sets the mood for writing about a reunited hero and heroine finding their HEA. I love these lyrics in particular: It’s been written in the scars on our hearts That we’re not broken, just bent And we can learn to love again

2. Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” — This song is great for scenes following the Dark Moment, when the hero is pining for the heroine, usually because he did something stupid to wreck the relationship. Here are some of the lyrics:
When our friends talk about you, all it does is just tear me down Cause my heart breaks a little, when I hear your name

3. Train’s “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” — I write humorous contemporary romance, and this song makes me laugh. I like the YouTube video, which has a mariachi band, David Hasselhoff, the Grim Reaper, a rabbi, and an ex-girlfriend who is “killed off” in crazy ways by the singer who won’t admit he was dumped. Here are some of the lyrics: She was caught in a mudslide, eaten by a lion, got run over by a crappy purple Scion Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes! She dried up in the desert, drowned in a hot tub, danced to death at an east side night club Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies and ways to say you died.

4. Goyte’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” — This song is about a dysfunctional love, but it gets in your brain and won’t leave. I like some of the song’s spoofs on YouTube and Facebook. These lyrics would work for an estranged couple after the Dark Moment: But you didn’t have to cut me off, make out like it never happened and that we were nothing And I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough.

5. Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” — Can you tell I’m writing the Dark Moment in my work-in-progress? This is another lost-love song, with great lyrics like these: You cut me open and I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love…


[one_fourth]Shyla Colt[/one_fourth]

Shyla Colt

5 random must haves for my Ipod

1. Swim by Jacks Mannequin. … because every now and then you’ll have time when you want to give up and you’ll need an anthem that makes you push forward, and reminds you sometimes its okay to just focus on keeping your head above water. I have lyrics from this as my tattoo.

2. Young and Beautiful Lana Del Reye This song inspired me very time I heart it and right now Im’ kind of obsessed. I go through phases with songs directly realted to the current wip I have open. This is one of those occasions.

3. Simple Man : Lynard Skynard Duh, its Skynard. * laughs. Seriously, I love this band and this song is something to remember. They pretty much laid out what you need to be happy in my opinion.

4. Laugh, I nearly Died : Rolling Stones Goes with one of the characters I’m writing right now, and it’s just an amazing song. Who hasn’t felt a little lost from time to time and wondered where they’re really headed? The riffs, lyrics, Mick’s voice. *sigh.

5. The Cramps: Garbage Man This never falls to get me grooving.



Cat Johnson

Since I’m in a summer mood right now, I made this my 5 Must Have Beach/Drinking Songs…

Jimmy Buffet “Margaritaville”

Zach Brown “Knee Deep”

Alan Jackson “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”

Florida-Georgia Line “Cruise” Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” is tied with Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” for #5



Cristal Ryder

For the summer of 2013

1. Blurred Lines

2. Scream and Shout

3. If I was Your Man

4. Stay and an oldie but goldie blast from the past and my youth…..the BEST Sunny Days – by Lighthouse The first para rocks! Sittin’ stoned alone in my backyard Askin’ myself “Why should I work so hard?” Sittin’ dreamin’ ’bout the days to come Half-undressed, just soakin’ up the sun Yea, I was a 70’s teen



Em Petrova

Top 5 Songs I Need to Write or Die

1. Hell on Heels–the Pistol Annies because I want to be the fourth member of the Pistol Annies.

2. Machinehead–Bush this is so bad ass.

3. Cleveland–Jewel. The world is a better place with this song. Never go to Cleveland without singing it.

4. Datura–Tori Amos–for a million reasons, but mostly because it reminds me of my daughter who passed away.

5. Dirt Road Anthem–Jason Aldean. Get in your truck and drive! (and write about hot Wrangler-clad heroes!)



Shayne McClendon

I listen to music often. Some books – like “Yes to Everything” – have an extensive “playlist” that I build as I go. If I’m simply “working things out” for a plot, I have a mix called “Mellow” that helps me focus. Here are a few of my favorites on it:

1. Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo”

2. Nikka Costa “Push & Pull”

3. The Black Crowes “She Talks to Angels”

4. Enigma “The Principles of Lust”

5. Matchbox Twenty “Bright Lights”

Lots of Adele, Train, Dido, Tori Amos, Jason Mraz, and classical selections make their way over time into this list – currently, there are more than 300 songs on it.

Songs that make me dance and sing along? That’s an entirely different list.



Mia Downing

Shameless plug! Spy Games: Endgame will be released Friday, 8/2 to Amazon first. To celebrate, TWRP is putting the first two books in the series on sale at ALL distributors for .99! If you haven’t gotten a chance to get invested in the Spy Games series, now is your chance!

Amazon author link:

Now for the music stuff!

I only listen to music for writing, editing and working out. The work out songs stay pretty much the same unless I add to them, but the writing songs change from book to book. However, there are a few songs I would have to have and work for any book.

River Flows In You by Yiruma
This is my angsty writing song that I go to for most of my books. It fits for the really sensual sex as well as deep moments.

Try by Pink
This song is my second most played song and I’m using it for my work in progress.

When You were Young by The Killers
This is an awesome song for working out AND I use it to format and edit. I also could play it in Guitar Hero on Hard at 98% Huzzah!

With Or Without You by U2
This is my default sex writing song. It’s got a little angst in there, too.

Animal (or Photograph) by Deff Leppard
These are my favorite workout songs and though there are others I like, I can also edit or do formatting to them. I couldn’t be without them!



Lori King

I have a really eclectic taste in music, so my top 5 songs stretch across genres.

1. Beethoven’s – Fur Elise. This is my go to when I’m trying to write because the whole thing is very relaxing for me. I’ve also used it to help me sleep or to meditate.

2. Johnny Cash – Hurt. This song has powerful meaning for me because I went through a serious battle with depression and anorexia years ago. Every time I hear this song I am reminded how strong I am and I find myself motivated to be more.

3. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Fishin in the Dark. Okay I know this one seems odd, but it gets even weirder. This was my wedding son. No joke. Mr. King and I walked back down the aisle to this song, and believe me it fits our relationship perfectly. In fact one of our first dates was midnight fishing, and if you figured fishing wouldn’t be sexy-think again!

4. T.L.C. – Waterfalls. This song takes me back to days when I had to be reminded to find myself, and not try to be anyone else.

5. The Band Perry – Better Dig Two. This song is just fun, and I’ve had it on repeat lately. Since I couldn’t think of another song that meant so much to me I’m adding this one in.



Mia Ashlinn

1. “Rocky Top” (the Pride of the Southland Marching Band version) — Hello? I’m from East Tennessee. My blood runs orange!

2. “This I Promise You” by NSYNC — (Go ahead and get the crackers because I’m bringing out the cheese.) While it is slightly embarrassing to admit, this is ‘our song.’ Yes, my husband and I danced to it on our first date. And again, we danced to it on our wedding day. Even now, when we hear it, we whisper sweet words to each other. We’ve been known to dance to it, too. It’s sentimental. I know, but it is what it is. And it’s ‘our song’ so it is at the top of my Must-Have’s.

3.” Fireflies” by Faith Hill — This song talks about being a ‘fairy princess’ and believing in ‘fairy tales,’ ‘dreamers dreams,’ and ‘Peter Pan.’ It talks about catching frogs and calling them ‘prince,’ sleeping in castles, falling in love, and making one’s self a queen. That sounds like my daughter. She’s imaginative. She’s a dreamer. And she’s believes in the unbelievable. But most of all, she was ‘taught to dream.’ And we hope to keep it that way. So this song means the world to me.

4. “Love Remains the Same” by Gavin Rossdale —I’m one of those people who remember completely random things. Well, the story behind this song is one of those random things. Love Remains the Same was playing on the radio when I came up with the idea for my book series, Sweet Serenity. While this song doesn’t have a particular meaning to the series, it has stuck with me. Now, whenever I struggle with a scene in Serenity, I play this song. And it revives my creativity like the series was created yesterday, not nearly two years ago.

5. “Who’s They” by Daughtry — (I hope you didn’t put up the crackers. There’s more cheese coming your way.) This song is the anthem for my series, Love in Luscious, Kansas. Why? Well, that’s easy. I have always felt like I wasn’t good enough because some unknown person said so. I wasn’t skinny enough or pretty enough or rich enough or smart enough or whatever. I didn’t fit this perfect mold that somebody, somewhere created. Because of my self-doubt, I wanted to find a place that I was accepted—warts and all. While I couldn’t actually find that place on a real map, I can make my dream home in the fictional realm. So I did. And for that reason, I have a very big soft spot for this song.



Samantha Pleasant

Pink’s Give me a Reason so I know that I’m not the only one having full out fights with my husband even though he isn’t involved. Yes I do sing her part…sometimes his if I’m understanding that I’m a freak.

John Legend- Tonight (the best you ever had). It’s John Legend I’d love to have him to sing to me as I straddle him. Not sure if I want him, but he can sing anything at anytime to me and I feel better.

Pink’s Blow Me-Sometimes I really need to sing and be angry and Pink, obviously, is my big in my iPod rotation.

Jill Scott- A Long Walk- it chills me out instantly. And as you can tell I need that more than a few times a day.

Michael Franti-Say Hey (I love you) Cause a girls gotta dance.



Kasi Alexander

My choices are a little odd. My all-time favorite song is “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers, which ironically is not actually on my MP3 player at the moment.

Another favorite is Rhapsody in Blue, also not there.

But I do have something I listen to almost every night. It’s called “Getting into the Vortex” and it’s a meditation thing from Abraham.

I also love “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (yes, the song from Shrek). I actually memorized that song because it’s really kind of deep. There were some really good songs on the soundtrack of Shrek, come to think of it.

“I’m on my Way” by the Proclaimers, “I’m a Believer” from Smash Mouth, “My Beloved Monster” – those are all on my play list!


How many of these are your favorites, too? Share your must-listen-to songs and why you crave them.


7 comments to “Your Favorite Authors Share Their Favorite Music”

  1. Mel Bourn
    July 30th, 2013 at 1:08 pm · Link

    What a great top 5! Lots of good songs on there. I gotta admit, I love Robin Thicke’s song, Blurred Lines. However, when I hear the “Hey, Hey, Hey” part, my silly mind hears the Fat Albert version. Yea…I know that dates me a bit too.

  2. Gail Siuba
    July 30th, 2013 at 6:30 pm · Link

    Wow I’m so impressed with everyone’s picks!
    Lexi’s pick of Joe Cocker’s “You Can Keep Your Hat On” is a long time favorite of mine.
    My go to tunes are as varied as all these top 5’s. I love Led Zeppelin, Band Company, Shinedown and a host of other eclectic music. I was surprised to see Nikka Costa on Shayne’s list.
    You Ladies know how to jam. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Clare O'Beara
    July 31st, 2013 at 4:38 am · Link

    Starship – We Built This City
    Ricky Martin – Living the Vida Loca
    Hot Chocolate – I believe in Miracles
    Boney M – By The Rivers of Babylon
    The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian
    Great fun!
    Can I get a shameless plug in here too and say I have just released six books on Kindle.
    One SF and five mystery.

  4. Michelle V
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:09 am · Link

    I LOVE this post! So much fun and I love getting to know more about my favorite authors!

  5. Cristal Ryder
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:11 am · Link

    So many great songs that made me go “oh yes!”

    Leave Your Hat On, Tom Jones version is in my book No Fantasy Required where the heroine does a sexy strip 😉 LOVE that song.

    And, I”m a Parrothead so anything Jimmy goes just fine with wasting away the summery days.

  6. rebekah
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:19 am · Link

    Can I just say that yall have some kick ass music playlists!

  7. Marcia James
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:41 am · Link

    I just tried to leave a message and it didn’t show up, so I apologize if I end up commenting twice. I always enjoy reading the other authors’ lists. Thanks, Randi, for including me!

    By the way, for those who enjoy country music, have you heard Brandy Clark’s “Stripes” or seen the music video? It’s great! 😉 Here are some of the lyrics about a woman who is reluctant to shoot her cheating husband:

    There’s no crime of passion

    Worth a crime of fashion

    The only thing saving your life

    Is that I don’t look good in orange

    And I hate stripes

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