A playlist for you to rock out to while shopping

Or baking. Or dancing. Or whatever you’re doing…

Hi, kids!

As some of you know, I’m super-swamped over at the Women and Words Hootenanny. A couple days ago we gave away 31 books. Every day for 12 days, we give away, on average, 20 books. Why, yes. That is quite a lot. And this year, we’ve included a concurrent Rafflecopter drawing in which we’re giving away two Kindle Fires as well as other cool stuff. For realz. You should go over there and check it out. Because it is happy fun time. HERE’S THE LINK to Women and Words.


I write to music. And for some of my work, I do playlists. I did one for my most recent novel, The Bureau of Holiday Affairs, my reboot of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, which was published on December 19th, actually. FUN FACT!

I post my playlists at Spotify, so if you have an account there, you can find me: andimarquette. Cryptic, I know.

The playlist for The Bureau isn’t Christmasy in the Christmas music sense. That’s because I listen to all kinds of music all the time, and the character of Robin Preston (who is the main character of my novel) isn’t much for Christmas music, either. Rather, she has kind of an alternative/indie/college rock soul that the Bureau is trying to tap into so she can hopefully be redeemed.

My playlists for my novels and novellas also tend to follow the plot arc, and also evoke some of the secondary characters.

See if you can figure out which characters are tied to which songs in the playlist. 😀 Leave a comment with your guesses and I just might send you an ebook copy of The Bureau. WOOOO!

At any rate, here’s the playlist on Spotify:

Happy weekend!

Playlist, Land of Entrapment

Hi, all!

OMG I’ve totally been going nutso over in Spotify with playlists. I just did one for the first in my mystery series, Land of Entrapment. It’s 30 songs (OMG WTF SHE WENT CRAY CRAY OVER THERE)/artists that served as a soundtrack for this particular book.

As I noted over on Women and Words, each one of my projects tends to have its own soundtrack, though some songs/artists have crossover with more than one project. Speaking of Women and Words, I posted the playlist for my novella, From the Boots Up, over there. Here’s the linkie dinkie.

Anyhoo, here’s the playlist for Land of Entrapment.

It may take a little bit to load fully on your device, so don’t panic. Here’s a URL for it, too, in case you just can’t stand it and you have to go to Spotify RIGHT NOW, dang it. If you don’t have a Spotify account, you can log in with Facebook.

And now, here’s some MOAR INFO about Land of Entrapment:

K.C. Fontero left New Mexico in the wake of a bitter breakup to take an academic fellowship in Texas. With a doctorate in sociology and expertise in white supremacist groups, she’s well on her way to an academic career. But a plea for help from her ex, Melissa, brings K.C. back to Albuquerque to find Melissa’s troubled younger sister. Megan has disappeared with her white supremacist boyfriend and K.C. knows she has the expertise to track the mysterious group, and she knows she’ll be doing a public service to uncover it. What she doesn’t know is how far into her past she’ll have to go to find both Megan and herself and the deeper she digs into the group, the greater the danger she faces.

Winner, 2009, Golden Crown Literary Society award, best lesfic mystery
Winner, 2009, Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice award, lesfic mystery

Here’s an excerpt.


Interview with K.C. Fontero, the main character
Interview with photographer Sage Crandall, K.C.’s love interest

And there you go. Happy reading, happy writing, happy listening, happy Friday!

Questions Answered: Music and Writing

Hiya, peeps.

Whew. Another busy week. Got through the edits to Day of the Dead (you can read more about the upcoming Book 4 in my New Mexico series on my “Books” page — cover image and excerpt to come!) and now the manuscript is going through a second edit to make it all sexy-time (one hopes).

So I thought I’d do another quick Q&A. Every once in a while a reader asks me if I listen to music when I write and if so, what kind?

Yes, dear readers, I do. Every book and story have their own soundtracks in particular genres. I listen to a lot of chill and trance when I write the Far Seek Chronicles (as an aside, www.di.fm has some great internet channels in those categories). Some of the artists that I listen to quite a bit when I’m working through particular scenes in that series are Chicane, Blank and Jones, ATB, Hammock, and Psh Project, and JES.

I’ve also got chill channels on Pandora internet radio, and yes, I do pay for the premium services on both Pandora and di.fm because it’s better sound and no commercials.

Each book in my New Mexico mystery series also has its own soundtrack. The Ties that Bind (Book 3) involved a lot of Robbie Robertson and Primeaux and Mike. Book 4, Day of the Dead (forthcoming this fall), involved some chill (for some reason, the character of Chris Gutierrez digs chill), some Robbie Robertson, but also a lot of Jewel, Tristan Prettyman, Rachael Yamagata, Mumford and Sons, Matt Nathanson and, yes, some ranchera and mariachi. If you read it (and here’s hoping you will. . .heh), you’ll see why.

And, yes. My novella From the Boots Up has a soundtrack, as well. Lots of Jewel, Dixie Chicks (if you read it, you’ll see why), and a few different songs from different artists in the folk/pop/Americana genres. The follow-up novel I’m writing to that story has a soundtrack, too. But I’m keeping that under wraps until it’s done. 😀

Anyway. Not all writers write to music. Those of us who do have certain genres/artists we dig. I’m one of those who uses music to evoke a particular mood as I’m working on particular projects, so I do actually put some songs on “repeat” while I’m writing certain scenes. Music has always been part of my writing process.

How about yours?

Happy Friday!

In Memoriam: Etta James

I’ve put this post off for a couple of days because I just couldn’t find the words to express how I feel about the passing of an American legend.

Etta James died this past Friday. Her music has been part of my musical landscape for years. I can’t remember a day when I didn’t know who she was because my parents listened to her music, as well. I finally had the good fortune to catch her live in Nashville in 2007 or thereabouts, and she could still put on a heck of a show.

The quintessential scrappy bad girl, James crossed myriad musical genres. She could sing like a raunchy low-down blues empress one minute, then like an angel with a backing celestial chorus the next. Her personal life was filled with travails, and she did nearly destroy her voice through her addiction to heroine and then cocaine, but battled back so that by the late 1970s and early 1980s, she was opening for the Rolling Stones. She talked candidly about her addiction and rehab issues in her 1995 biography, Rage To Survive.

Etta James isn’t the kind of woman easy to talk about. Instead, you get a sense of who she was through the music she left us. She herself said that

“You can’t fake this music. You might be a great singer or a great musician but, in the need, that’s got nothing to do with it. It’s how you connect to the songs and to the history behind them.”

Indeed. I leave you now with a few of my favorites.

“The Sky Is Crying”


“Love and Happiness”


“The Wallflower” (Roll With Me Henry)


“At Last” (probably the best-known James song)


Music soothes the savage beast

Hi, all–

Hope the weekend treated you well. I wanted to talk about music, because I’m a huge music fan, and I listen across genres and time periods. And yes, I do play a couple of instruments, but I’m way out of practice; I’ve also been a radio DJ and a sometime dance DJ. Anyway, music is one of those things that, as a writer, sets the mood for things that I’m working on. Plus, there’s a soundtrack to your life, no matter what generation you are. There are certain songs and certain genres that can instantly take you back to parts of your past and you’re right there, remembering something that happened like it was freakin’ yesterday. Like smells, music triggers memories, both bittersweet and good.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share this great piece from a recent issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. I’ve been a subscriber to RS for…oh, geez. Too long to talk about without tipping my age. 😀 A while, now.

Anyway, RS does these “playlist” features (and sometimes whole issues) that features various artists who list a few of their fave songs/artists in a particular genre. This recent piece featured Mick Jagger listing his fave reggae tunes; Norah Jones and her Neil Young playlist; John Mellencamp on protest songs; Dave Guetta on dance-floor classics; Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and his fave Stevie Wonder tunes; Merle Haggard and the songs he wish he’d written; Lou Reed on jukebox awesome-ness; Tom Petty on his fave Elvis tunes; Miranda Lambert’s fave revenge songs; Patti Scialfa and girl groups; Billy Gibbs and his fave blues guitar tunes; Cee-Lo on southern hip-hop…basically, a seriously super groovy funkalicious major-ass playlist that will open your brain, dredge up some memories, and maybe even introduce you to some folks and songs you didn’t realize were out there.

I had a blast looking these up on YouTube (easier than doing the iPod thing in this case) and remembering the first time I’d ever heard these tunes. Almost all of the songs you can find easily, and, if you’re like me, you’ll go dig some of your old albums/CDs out, turn on the ol’ stereo (“SHUT UP! You still have one of those???” Um, yes. I do.), sit back with a tumbler of Jack Daniel’s and your beat-up guitar that you haven’t messed with in a while, and have yourself a solitary jam session.

So here you go. The link to the awesome-sauce playlist in the recent issue of RS.

Rock on, peeps.