Dee Tenorio Guest Post & GIVEAWAY

Dee2013“It’s not that I don’t like your music,” My husband begins gently while my left brow slowly rises. “But, honey, its the same three songs over and over.”

Best innocent look. “And your point is?”

Yeah, my husband doesn’t buy my innocent look either. I can’t help it. I have to try. He just doesn’t quite get it, though. I neeeeeeeeeed my same three songs over and over. Why?

Because I’m imprinting.

See, I’m one of those folks who is really susceptible to mood suggestions. My moods can be changed by the color of the day, the temperature of the air, and okay, I’m ridiculously susceptible to food commercials. I have no self-control with those things. But above all things, I can literally program my feelings and thoughts to match the theme of a story by giving it a soundtrack. Then, once I have the music in my mind, set to the book I’m working on, it serves as a shortcut to the story. Like mainlining characters. With five kids and a husband who all need something throughout the day, trust me, I neeeeeed a shortcut.

Writing time, or as I think of it, “The thirty seconds between ‘Mom!’s”, is a rare commodity for me. I get as much done in the morning and late at night as I can. Sometimes, the music serves a secondary purpose of waking me up. (If you ever need help with that, you may want to add Nico Vega’s “Beast” to your late night playlist. But, uh, brace yourself. Awesome anthem song but you might blow out your eardrums listening to it.)

I find that every story has a feel. A mood. More than that, each character has a tone, an attitude, a heartache that needs to come across in every thing they do. This was never more true than with my upcoming novel, “Trust In Me”.

This book is intensely emotional, and while it has its generous spots of humor and passion—this is me, so that’s kind of a given—there is also the unveiling of two characters who spend a lot of time holding back their true selves. Getting a shortcut into them was more than convenient. It was imperative.

My hero, Locke Jackman, is a modern day Viking. Quiet to the point of making most people uncomfortable, he’s devoted to his family, the siblings he gave up his dreams to raise. Only now, they’ve all grown up and they’re ready to start their own lives. So he’s a TrustInMe400strong, commanding type, but he’s got a heart that’s as strong and dependable as the mountains that surround his Southern California hometown. Interestingly, all of this screamed “Country” to me. And not the bouncy pop country. No, Locke is all Deep South, deep river to me. Songs like Zachary Brown’s “Where The River Goes”. But he’s also a man longing so hard it’s a constant, burning ache. That led me to two John Mayer songs—”Gravity” and “Dreaming With A Broken Heart”. But the one that really cracked me into the man was a song called “This Time”, by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. A song about a man who lost his love and no matter what he did, he held the hope to find her or forget her.

Susie Packard, the woman who struggles not to love him, had to have a soundtrack of her own too. She has a sassiness, a downright crankiness that I loved, but it also covered a vulnerability and a need for Locke’s love she didn’t know how to handle. A good friend, reading my chapters, found this version for me—”Holding Out For A Hero” by Ella Mae Bowen. Broke the book wide open. It still makes me tear up.

And for those sensual times? Totally listened to “Skyfall” by Adele. Nothing like mental imagery of Daniel Craig to make a gal feel frisky, right?

So that’s my “Trust In Me” soundtrack. What about all of you? Do you set your life to music? What songs change your mood and which ones changed your life? Post in the comments and be entered to win an ecopy of your choice from my backlist titles! Giveaway open until 7-24-13 at 11:59pm EST with winner announced shortly after.

Hugs, Dee


  1. My hubs could set his entire life to music, but I have to admit that for me, music is just background noise for the most part. The only exception is the Journey song “Lights”. I live in the SF Bay Area and at one point had to move away for a year. The whole time I was gone, just like the song, I wanted to go back to my city by the bay, and I couldn’t get the lyrics out of my head.

  2. Howdy Everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I love music, but I’m terrible picky. Plus, I like pop music. *hangs head* My husband has far more ecclectic tastes and he’s always finding interesting music from all quarters. We had to agree just agree to not agree when it comes to stuff I like and stuff he likes, lol. I actually enjoy a lot of what he finds but my music makes his ears bleed, lol. Hey, as long as we’ve both got headphones, we seem to do okay, lol.

  3. I use music to get me pumped in the morning. It doesn’t necessarily change my life but it gets me ready to face life

  4. Hello Dee…so glad to “meet” you today on this blog. You had me riveted to your story blurb when you said Locke was a modern day Viking. Oh boy, do I love the Viking type. 🙂 Locke deserves someone sassy and cranky like Susie, to bring him down a peg or two. I think I’m gonna love this story. As for music to live by, it depends on my mood. At night I like Norah Jones. When I’m working around the house I like old-fashioned rock and roll by Bob Seger…and I can listen to The Eagles anytime. I think best when I’m listening to music.

  5. Lori–Awww, I’m gonna look that one up. Can never have enough falling in love songs. 🙂

    Slinky–OMG, YES! I love her voice. I wrote a whole novella to “One and Only”. Siiiiiiigh. I absolutely love her. 🙂

    Hi Janice!–I love meeting new people too! And lol, yes, he’s kind of all Viking. Very much a towering, get-it-done powerhouse of a guy. (Siiiiigh… My crush on him hasn’t faded in the slightest.) Norah is great for those times when you want to be calm or soothed. (She’s incredible rainy day with hot tea listening!) I’ve always preferred working to music. It quiets that part of me that thinks I should be up doing something when I need to focus and be still. 🙂


  6. I actually prefer the quiet to most music. I will make an exception for some classical pieces – Mozart mainly.

  7. I love love music! I have songs that I like to work out to, songs that put me in a mellow mood and songs that pump me up and I cannot clean my house with out music blaring. Everyone in my house knows when I am cleaning because I have music blasting. One of my all time fav. songs and the one I listen to when I need to unwind and relax is Fast Car by Tracey Chapman. It’s always my go to song

  8. Mary–Classical music is very stimulating to the mind so it has a special place for me. But I’ll admit, I almost never know the names of the pieces. I love the soaring pieces best though, so good for the imagination!

    Jolene–Tracey Chapman is one of those singers I like but I wasn’t always able to say why. There’s something so enjoyable about listening to her, though, isn’t there? 🙂


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