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July 10, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway with author Laura Kaye! (18+)

The Music Behind Her Forbidden Hero

I’m so glad to be back at Good Choice Reading to talk about my recent contemporary romance release, Her Forbidden Hero, a friends-to-lovers and brother’s best friend story with tons of heart, a heap of sexual tension, a healthy dose of angst, and a dash of laugh out loud! *grins*

From the first inklings I had of this story, music played a huge role. The very first thing I saw was the image of a damaged man sitting in the near dark and struggling to play the guitar. Right away, I knew much of the story was set at a music venue, what became Whiskey’s Music Roadhouse, a fictional bar/venue located in Frederick, Maryland. So today I thought I’d share some of the music that inspired the characters, tone, and scenes from Her Forbidden Hero.

The first song that inspired me was “Hammers & Strings” by Jack’s Mannequin. This is the song that put Marco in my head. So many of the lyrics are just him, maybe because the band’s lead singer, Andrew McMahon, had survived a recent diagnosis of leukemia and a stem cell transplant in the period before writing it, and therefore the song embodies the fear, sadness, and longing the singer experienced—emotions Marco is also struggling with.

The next song that inspired me was The Beatles’ “In My Life.” The Beatles had a knack for writing seemingly simple melodies and lyrics that in fact are often quite profound, and “In My Life” is a great example of that.

There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All this places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life, I love you more

These lyrics have always resonated with me. I think they would for anyone who has lost people they’ve loved, or moved on from a difficult situation to find the love and happiness they worried they’d never find. And that’s why this song is so key for the heroine, Alyssa Scott. Now, Alyssa and Scott always bonded over guitar playing, and when I found this acoustic version of the song, I knew it was just right for a scene in which Alyssa plays for Marco:

Perhaps the main song that influenced me and inspired my writing of Her Forbidden Hero was “Your Love is a Song” by Switchfoot. In fact, this song inspired me so much that I did something I’d never done before—write an entire manuscript while listening to music. I never do that because I like to sing too much (not that I’m great at it, mind you!), but that generally makes music too distracting for me. And, not only did I listen to music while writing this time, but I listened to the same song for almost the entire manuscript! According to my iTunes play counter, I listened to “Your Love is a Song” over 500 times! This song just so perfectly encompassed the tone, the feeling, the deep connection between Marco and Alyssa. It just was their song:

Another important musical influence for me in writing Her Forbidden Hero was Skylar Grey’s “Love the Way You Lie,” especially the line, “But you’ll always be my hero, even though you’ve lost your mind.” This song really captured Marco’s dark side and Alyssa’s struggle to come to grips with how he’d changed:

Now, there was a fifth song that played an important role in inspiring Her Forbidden Hero. But, I can’t share it without going full-on SPOILER! So to figure out what the last song is, you’ll just have to read!

GIVEAWAY!: Do you enjoy knowing the musical inspiration behind a book? Why or why not? Share your thoughts by commenting with your email address to be entered to win an ebook of HER FORBIDDEN HERO or a Whiskey’s Music Roadhouse T-shirt (sizes L or XL available)! Open to international! Good luck!

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

About Her Forbidden Hero:

You always want what you can't have...

She's always been off-limits...

Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend's little sister, but her return home changes that...and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco's not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he's not about to let her see the mess he's become.

...but now she's all grown up.

When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can't stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa's not looking for protection--not anymore. Now that she's back in his life, she's determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time...

About Laura Kaye:

Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of over a half-dozen books in paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Hearts in Darkness is the EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Novella and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit Winner for Best Romance Novella, Forever Freed is the NJRW Golden Leaf Winner for Best Paranormal of 2011 and is a finalist for two GDRWA Booksellers’ Best Awards, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, is a finalist for a FF&P PRISM award, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


  1. Awesome guest post. It was very interesting and thanks for putting this book on my radar!

  2. Woot! Thanks Shane! And thanks for kicking off the comments!

  3. What a great interview....I read with music playing in the background so I absolutely love getting an idea of what songs inspires a story!! Thanks and love your books!

    jlkg102961 AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Nice post. IN MY LIFE is one of my favorite BEATLES songs too.
    The music behind a book is interesting to look at and see if I agree :). Thank you.


  5. I do like to know if books have a song that inspired them. Besides, it is always great to be exposed to new music and maybe find some great new artists to check out.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

    1. I totally agree, June! I'm always looking for new music to love!

  6. Great post. Love seeing what inspires you ro wait great stories. This book looks awesome and will be adding to my must read list. Thanks for writing another book and for the great giveaway.

  7. I love hearing about the music and being able to listen to it. Really gives you an idea who the author sees and feels it. Loved the interview and you book sounds really good.
    Sue B

  8. I do enjoy hearing about what an author likes to listen to as he/she is writing a story. It's funny how authors who write in the same genre have such different musical inspirations.
    mce101 AT aol DOT com

  9. Great post. Music is so important in out lives. I always want to know what music influences people. I can relate many important events in my life with certain songs. Even today when I hear certain songs it will bring back memories.

    Love to win a copy of your book. Tortured heros are one of my favorite themes. Love the HEA. Gator_trish at msn dot com

    1. Trish - I totally identify with your thoughts on music! Woot! Good luck!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. It doesn't bother me either way; I'm not a fan of music more a TV person and usually have it on even when I'm reading. In the car I have audiobooks on all the time too.

    dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

  12. I love to know what music inspires a book. Please enter me in contest.

  13. I do like to know what music inspires writers because music is an integral part of life, at least my life! Thanks for the great post!

    valleyreader at gmail dot com

  14. It's always interesting to hear the musical inspiration because it helps me figure out the mood of a book. I've discovered some of my favorite musicians through author references. (extemter at hotmail dot com)

    1. Oh, yes, I totally agree about the connection between an author's idea of the music and the mood! Thanks!

  15. Yes I like to know the music inspiration behind a book, sometimes it makes me understand the book better...well the characters exactly.

  16. LOL I match music to books so this is really great!! I cant wait for WOW to come out!! GL

    1. That's awesome, Kerry! I do too sometimes! And me neither on Wow! :)

  17. Music is a wonderful inspiration for everything including writing

  18. I grew up in a very musical family but am the least musical person I know! I love to listen to music but it doesn't inspire me at all. So honestly I skip over the tracklist for books. My brother totally digs them though.

    Thanks so much!
    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

  19. I enjoy learning about what music influenced the story.

    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  20. Nice songs. I think it's nice to find out the musical inspirations behind a book.



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