The Soundtrack: 

I love popular music. Classic rock n’ roll, country rock, ballads, Latin pop. I especially love it if the lyrics tell a story, maybe because I like to tell stories. I don’t listen to music when I write. Frankly, I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing if I’m listening to music—unless I’m cleaning my house. :-)

But before or after writing, during those quiet times when the story is seeping into me, I think of favorite songs that could make up the soundtrack for my novels. The musical setting, if you will. In the Arms of a Stranger is a romance heavy with action, adventure and danger. The opening begs a song like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” or Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild.” Action, the road. A man on the run.

To calm things down a bit and establish the setting, John Denver’s “Country Roads” works well, or maybe Brad Paisley’s “Old Alabama.” Neither of my characters is from a big city. JP Blackmon is from a small town. Abby Price grew up in the country, rural South Alabama to be exact, driving those Alabama country roads. She’s on a sorry excuse for one when JP runs into her.

What about romance? Oh, there are so many songs that could apply to that moment when attraction becomes more. Something like Lionel Richie’s “Hello,” maybe the one recorded on the television show Glee.

Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” seems like a good pick when the romance heats up but something holds the lovers back. And the time when they can no longer resist each other? Maybe the old Moody Blues song “Nights in White Satin.” Or something more modern, like Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.”

And for that everything is lost moment? Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” fits the bill.

Then, because it’s romance, despite the danger, the complications and obstacles, the happily ever after begs Rod Stewart singing “Have I Told You Lately.” Sigh.

Do you have a sound track for your favorite book? Or a song that inspires you to clean the house? Leave a comment for a chance to win. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter.

I hope you’ll come along with me on this blog tour and get to know JP Blackmon and Abby Price. You can easily follow along on the tour by checking my Facebook Page. I’ll post the stop of the day there.

Next stop? Tuesday, October 29. A little about the setting of In the Arms of a Stranger at For Whom the Book Tolls.


A dangerous man on the run…
Wounded and accused of treason, CIA operative JP Blackmon is on the run from his own agency and desperate to clear his name. When he finds out his old partner is dead, he’ll do anything to get to the truth…including using his partner’s widow.

Finds a vulnerable woman looking for answers…

Abby Price wanted nothing more than a family and a safe home. But her late husband kept big secrets from her—secrets that got him killed and has government agents watching her every move. And she’s started fearing for her life. The only man who can help her is a mysterious stranger who suddenly appears out of nowhere. But can she trust him?

Together they discover a passion worth dying for.
As danger stalks them at every turn, unexpected passion flares between JP and Abby. But the last thing either wants or needs is more complications. Romance? No. Way. That would involve trust—something neither is willing to do. But in the end, sharing their deadly secrets is their only hope for survival…their only hope to hold onto the love they’ve just begun to share…


“Is JP your real name?”

He smiled, and she realized she hadn’t seen one of his real smiles before. This one lit up his face, made his eyes laugh. There was devilment in the smile. “I don’t know you well enough to tell you that yet.”


The look of him, the timbre of his voice, as if he really would know her well enough to—

Her breath caught. She couldn’t look away. That well?

She wanted to frown, to be outraged. But his eyes… Good heavens, his eyes. Everything about him, from his short dark hair, to his smile, to his broad shoulders, he was all captivating male.

Instead, she laughed. It was a totally unexpected reaction. She’d never reacted to anyone the way she did to JP. If that was his name…

And what came out of her mouth next was a total surprise. “When do you think you will?”


An RWA Golden Heart® finalist, Virginia Kelly’s first book was published as To the Limit and finaled in several contests such as the Holt Medallion, The Golden Quill and The Aspen Gold.

Virginia has always loved adventure novels, but romance is at the core of her stories—romance with the adrenalin rush of danger. Against the Wind, a full-length novel, and Dancing in the Dark, the prequel novella to In the Arms of a Stranger, are about dangerous men and the adventurous women willing to take a chance on them.

Traveling is a passion that came early in life. Her first airplane ride was a trip over the Andes Mountains in Peru at the ripe old age of two months. Her travels provide the settings for her novels, whether it’s a fictitious Latin American country based on Peru, the country of her birth, or Florida and the American South where she now lives.

A graduate of the University of Alabama with a master’s degree in Library Science, Virginia is an academic librarian. She tries to include a librarian in all of her books as either the heroine or as a minor character. Having taught high school and college, she has a great appreciation for teachers and often uses that as the profession for her heroines.

Find Virginia at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Find In the Arms of a Stranger at:


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  1. So glad you could join us today, Virginia! You picked the right blog to do a soundtrack post for! We are all about music here!

    1. Thanks for having, M.J. I really appreciate this great opportunity.

  2. Looking forward to finding out where Janey Blackmon's brother has been.. :)

    1. Okay, Cindy. I have to make a confession. I clicked on your profile to check out your picture. I saw abs, and I had to look. I'm not stalking you, per se, just your profile pic! ;)

      I agree. There is nothing like a hottie trying to solve a mystery to get your blood pumping! Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts!

    2. Ah, you've met Janey :-) Thanks, Cindy for stopping by.

  3. Fun post, some good songs (I tend to be country or old Spanish pop more than rock, but I did at least recognize almost all) and intriguing excerpt. Best of luck to you!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Leslie. I've never done a blog about my playlists for books. Maybe I should do that.

    2. I couldn't figure out how to work Spanish or Latin pop into this, but my old faves just came to mind. I hoped most would recognize them.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. Great post. I love to listen to music as I clean. Usually it's something like AC/DC. When I write, I turn to Loreena McKennitt, or something like Bleed to Love Her, by Fleetwood Mac.

    1. AC/DC sounds good for cleaning. I'm impressed that you can write and listen to music. I start singing along (and, no, no one wants to hear me sing!)

      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. I have a friend whose get stuff done music is The Cranberries. She turns them on and flies through her chores! Isn't it funny how we all have our certain ways of doing things.

  5. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. I love action and romance. Love the name Abby. It was the girl name we had picked out but never got to use.

    1. I love the name Abby. Now I can't remember exactly what our never used girl name was. Hmm... brain cells are not what they used to be or I need more coffee :-)

      Thanks for commenting!

    2. It was almost impossible to come up with names for us. My husband would say, "I knew someone with that name who was a jerk." or "That sounds like a soap opera name." Our Hannah was actually a compromise because he said "they'll call her Hannah Banana." Who cares?! We call her that now and she seems okay with it. And because we had triplets we needed three boy names and three girl names, besides Maggie, which we used for our eldest. Thanks for joining us, Amanda! (I love that name, by the way. And Mandy.)


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