Unrepentant Tori Fan #music #toriamos

So, Tori Amos has a new album coming out, and at the writing of this post, I have as yet to hear it. I’ve heard from various sources that it’s a good one and seen many comments that Tori Amos is “back”, like maybe she was gone for awhile. I guess that confuses me. Sure, she’s put out albums that I didn’t love every song or feel like it was an album that I needed to listen to over and over and over again, but every album she’s ever released has at least one song that speaks to me and I feel like it makes my life better by having it exist in the world.

For example, my least favorite album as a whole is Abnormally Attracted to Sin, but I love the following songs from it:

1) Fast Horse

2) That Guy

3) Maybe California

4) Welcome to England

And while for some reason Lady In Blue doesn’t move me on the album, when I saw it performed live, it was utterly mesmerizing. There are others from that album that I also enjoy, but it is also my least listened to album of hers.

I guess what I’m trying to say, though, is that every album doesn’t have to be perfect for it to deserve to exist. I guess I just get sad and defensive, what with being a fan and all, at seeing so people being down on her, and even sort of tainting what looks to be a great new album with implications that her brilliance has been missing in action for some time now. Aside from the compilation records of hers, which never work for me, she’s never put out an album that I didn’t find something amazing about. I’m sure this album will be no different in that regard.

Five Shuffled Songs! Witness, Spoon, Thorn, etc! #music

1. Come On Home to Me by Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl

One of my favorite songs. Wrote a story about this song once.

2. Car Radio by Spoon

3. Another Mystery – Dar Williams

Preach, Dar. Preach. I’ll c/p something I posted to Facebook the other day about this song.

Man, this song speaks to me more and more as I get older. I was thinking about it in the car this morning because I’d read some Tumblr posts from girls who say they want to be like Laura Palmer (the mysterious, beautiful, girl who is loved/wanted by everyone) and another post about how Laura Palmer was a Mary Sue (which, uh, was the entire point of her! She was impossible! Lynch was clearly critiquing society’s expectations of women with Laura! She couldn’t have existed in reality and her monstrosities were due to her Mary Sue-ness — all things to all people, sex machine, goddess, whore, virgin, daddy’s girl, best friend, volunteer, star student, cheerleader, etc, etc). And the posts about wanting to be like her just gave me the shivers. I was like, “Oh, God, no. I don’t want to be a mystery. Preach Dar.”

4. Who Is Like This One? – Hello Saferide

Damn, I love this song. I titled a story after a lyric from it once.
“But you are the only one I’ve met who’s ‘God Only Knows’
I liked you the first time I met you
and it grows and grows and grows”

5. Witness by Tori Amos

I am a weirdo because I like this one and a lot of folks don’t. *shrug*

Training Season can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, ARe, and Smashwords. And also on iBooks.
Unquestionably talented figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream, but his lack of discipline cost him the gold once before. Now the pressure’s on. He needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don’t come cheap, and Matty can’t afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.
When a lucrative house-sitting gig brings him to rural Montana, Matty does his best to maintain his training regimen. Local residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant of his flamboyant style, especially handsome young rancher Rob Lovely, who proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. Just as Matty requires a firm hand to perform his best on the ice, Rob shows him how strong he can be when he relinquishes control in the bedroom. With new-found self-assurance, he drives himself harder to go straight to the top.
But competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, Matty will have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob behind. Now he must face the ultimate test. Has he truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?

Cloud On My Tongue and Decimate: Training Season Extras! #music #davidford #toriamos

As I mentioned in a previous post, I always write to music. The following songs definitely influenced or inspired aspects of Training Season. This first song? Absolutely inspired the meet-cute in the book.

For some reason, “Decimate” by David Ford has always been Rob’s song in my mind. I’m not sure why, but I think this represents how he feels about Matty. I’d listen to this one when I was trying to figure him out. If anyone can figure out what makes this a Rob song, let me know. 😉

Matty’s Skating Music — Training Season Extras! #bach #toriamos

During a crucial scene in Training Season, Matty skates to the following piece. I listened to it, and the Tori Amos variation, on repeat for the entire last half of the book.

Tori Amos Variation

Such a beautiful performance!

Training Season can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ARe, and Smashwords. Coming soon to Kobo and iBooks.

Five Shuffled Songs for Wednesday! #music

Eric Arvin does this on FaceBook and it inspired me to do it daily, too!

Romany Caravan by The Church

I Love You (Me Either) by Cat Power and Karen Elson

This cover of Mercy Street by Ritchie.

When I was writing my short story Falling, which has been submitted to an anthology call and will hopefully see the light of day one day, I listened to various covers of Mercy Street on repeat for hours and hours and hours. This was one of them.

This live version of Tori Amos singing Etienne. It’s a super clear recording. Very impressive.

But, ya know, this Y Kant Tori Read version doesn’t suck balls for a 1980s recording, so I’m going to include it, too. 

Mariel’s Brazen Overture by Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s

Four Shuffled Songs for Tuesday #music

Inspired by Eric Arvin, here’s five shuffled songs for Tuesday!

Diminished by REM

Jennifer Niceley

Truly, the next song was “Monster” aka “Strong Man’s Daughter”, an old original song that Jennifer recorded with my husband in his apartment, oh, five million years ago now. But, alas, no one has that song but me. I’m not even sure Jennifer has that song. So, uh, here, have some random Jennifer performance at The Family Wash in Nashville. You should eat there, by the way, if you haven’t ever. It’s yummy and one of my dearest people works there.

FWIW, none of Jennifer’s best songs seem to be on YouTube. She’s actually kinda fantastic. Check her out on Band Camp. Looking there, holy crap, it seems like my favorite albums of hers aren’t listed. Por que, Jennifer? Por que??

Cornflake Girl by Tori Amos

Hotel Plaster by Nicole Atkins

Settling by Tara McLean

Oh, man, haven’t heard that last one in years. It’s kinda a heart-breaker in that old, adolescent angsty way that feels a lot like autumn to me.

Welp, it’s been fun again! See ya tomorrow!

Music for Love’s Nest: Episode Two #music #soundtrack

In this second episode of Music for Love’s Nest, the following set of songs helped to inspire the characters, their feelings and motivations, and their emotional beats. Again, I tried to stick to music that also supported the world-building, so I preferred epic, magical sounds, music that supported rhythm and dance, as well as songs that felt like taking flight or reminded me of birds.

1.  This song helped me to craft some of what I felt Mateo was going through emotionally.

Love Love Love by Of Monsters and Men


The Dance by Charlotte Martin

3. This performance of Suede–not the album version–was also on the playlist.

Suede by Tori Amos

That’s all for Episode Two! More later this week!

Raisin Girl: A 50th Birthday Celebration for Tori Amos #toriamos #music


I’ve been trying to figure out how I want to celebrate Tori Amos’ upcoming 50th Birthday (!!!) because it seems like a year to mark, a milestone of some importance for a musician that I truly love. I saw on Facebook today an announcement of something I’d definitely do if I lived in NYC. But, alas! So, let me share it with you!

Are you going to be in the New York City area on Sunday August 18th? Are you sort of in the area? Then you should attend this Tori Amos tribute (and birthday celebration) concert!!

The show starts at 9:30pm at Joe’s Pub (one of Rolling Stone’s 10 Top Clubs in the country), featuring some of New York’s best downtown singer/songwriters and caberet artists, performing songs spanning Tori’s entire career. Also, some of the proceeds from the ticket prices will go to RAINN. 



ETA: Also, don’t forget that you can LEAVE A COMMENT HERE between now and August 16th for a chance to win a free copy of Love’s Nest, my latest book with Keira Andrews.