Celebrity Author Playlists: Ruth Valley Missing

Welcome to Wednesday’s Blue Light Special.  Today, I am hosting Amber West who will be sharing the playlist for her recent release, The Ruth Valley Missing.

I met Amber when I started this blog in May 2011.  She made me laugh, but she also made me think.  Amber is not afraid to speak her mind.  She is good hearted.  She is interesting.  I found myself drawn to her, even though we don’t “hang out.”  I like reading what she has to say.

Amber and I have had several discussions about music.  Her wide range of tastes in music impressed me.  When Amber launched her debut novel, The Ruth Valley Missing, I knew I had to ask her to do a Celebrity Author Playlist.  Luckily, she agreed.

First, let’s talk about the book:

The Ruth Valley Missing



Jameson Quinn is sick of trying to find herself in the big city. After a gallery opening ends in a trip to the ER and an argument with her self-involved boyfriend, she decides to take off for the peace and quiet of a small town — Ruth Valley.

The small town has everything Brooklyn lacked: simple people, peaceful surroundings, and a feeling of safety. Jameson even finds the perfect house to rent from the town’s most eligible bachelor, Sheriff Jack. Life is finally headed in a promising direction.

But something isn’t right. A young man is mysteriously injured, then disappears — and Jameson finds he isn’t the only person to suddenly vanish. The suspicious behavior of an abrasive nun and a creepy priest set her off on an investigation of what’s really happening. Will she figure out the secrets of Ruth Valley before she’s the next to go missing?

Sounds great, right?  Click here to check it out on Amazon.com.

Without further delay…

Heeeeeere’s Amber!

There is always music playing around me. Whether I am handling the day job, taking care of household chores, cooking, or writing, I’ve always got something playing. My musical tastes are pretty varied, so when I write, the playlist can be all over the place.

The songs here are a just a few that played while I wrote. They are the ones that stood out for creating a mood that worked for the scenes and settings in my novel, and in some cases, they even tell a bit about some of the characters.

1.  Tesselate by Alt J

When I first heard this song, the mood – both set by the music and lyrics – really struck me. But what really made it perfect for my “soundtrack” is the fact that I found two versions. The original by Alt-J is totally suited to Jameson’s city days, particularly her evening at the art gallery. The cover by Mumford and Sons maintains the mood, but I think it fits better in the small town setting of Ruth Valley.

(Click here to listen to the Mumford and Sons cover)

2.  Cottonwool by Lamb

You could stay here

Make your home here

Hideaway here

I could wrap you up in cotton wool

Here’s somewhere you could let your love run free

Come and give your soul a resting place

Finding someone is like finding yourself a home

If the key fits, just open the door

While The Ruth Valley Missing (TRVM) is often referred to as a mystery, a big part of the main character’s story is how she is trying to find a place in life where she feels like she fits. Where she feels home.

There’s a scene in the story where Jameson is playing her music rather loudly when some unexpected guests drop by her new place in the small town. This is the song I imagined her blasting.

3.  Intro by XX

Simple explanation: Jameson likes to run (we do not share this trait). This is her running music.

4.  When in Rome by Nickel Creek

Where can a sick man go

When he can’t choke down the medicine the old doc knows

A specialist came to town

But he stays at home

Saying no one knows so I don’t

Honey when in Rome

There were quite a few Nickel Creek songs in rotation. They are progressive bluegrass, for those who don’t know, which felt right for the small town. Since I don’t really listen to country, bluegrass was my go to for getting my head in that small town mode.

Again, this is a case of more than just the music reminding me of the little town. (For those who are wondering, Scotch and Chocolate and Beauty and the Mess were also in my playlist.)

5.  Duende by Delerium

Scraping as I crawl (Your heart can’t hear me)

Tearing bruising fall (Your hands can’t hear me)

Thirsting raging blind (Your eyes can’t hear me)

Racing against time (Your arms can’t hear me)

…And then there were times when I wanted something a little creepy.

6.  Little Bird by The Weepies

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the truth from the lies

Nobody knows what’s in the hold of your minds

We are all buildings and people inside

Never know who walks through the door

This song really resonated with a particular character. But I can’t tell you anything more than that. You’ll just have to read the book and see if you can figure that one out.

7.  Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford and Sons — I did mention that I listened to a lot of Mumford and Sons, right? This is another one that I really loved for several of the characters.

8.  Falling In Love at a Coffee Shop  by Landon Pigg

I think that possibly

Maybe I’ve fallen for you…

This story does have romance in it, so if I had to choose a song for that element, I’d have to go with this one.

9.  Golden Slumbers by Ben Folds — My final pick for the playlist had to be from another artist that is always in constant rotation in my playlists, writing and otherwise. Golden Slumbers is actually a cover of a Beatles tune that I always found hauntingly sweet.

There you have it! The songs probably seem to be an odd mix, but that suits my novel (and, well, me) just fine.

Thank you so much for hosting me, Catie, and giving me an excuse to share my playlist with your readers!

You’re quite welcome, Amber.  I loved hosting you.  One of the things I love about doing Celebrity Author Playlists is that my guests’ music choices are like a window into their souls.  I enjoy seeing that not-quite-secret but sort of hidden part of people.

Okay, folks.  Amber’s novel, The Ruth Valley Missing, is on sale right now for $2 off the regular purchase price.  Please click here to check it out.

Remember: Amber is donating all proceeds from January’s sales of The Ruth Valley Missing to Kids Need To Read. So your purchase price is going to a good cause.

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