Saturday, March 29, 2014

Songs for the Soul

By: Leslie P. Garcia

Congratulations to "Karen J.", the winner in Leslie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

            My father was evil incarnate.  I don’t say this lightly, proudly, or to garner sympathy. The truth is that there are horrible parents out there, and I’m sure we’ve all seen or known some.  The least of my father’s evils—a very minor one—was that he demanded our tastes conform to his.  Rock ‘n roll was forbidden, and although we lived in rural Georgia—country music was “low brow” and beneath us.

            Beneath us?  That’s a whole different story.  The point is, I grew up listening to Broadway show tunes, which I love, and opera and classical music which I tend to avoid.  Even when I broke free, rock still sported a dangerous aspect that I never dared approach.  My knowledge of rock music is Beatles’ songs, performed by others and “Spinning Wheel.”  I suppose since it mentions a pony, it qualified as okay somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind.  I’d claim a knowledge and love of Carpenters, but once, when I offered that to a rock-digging friend of mine, she almost laughed me off this planet.  Rock, apparently, is a little stronger than the Carpenters offered.

            Country music, however, became my hidden addiction, my guilty little secret—my sin.  My mother, usually under my father’s thumb as we all were, pushed me along the path.  Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”  A couple of Eddy Arnold and Ray Price songs that she slipped into my awareness somehow.  When my childhood love John Davidson released a country album with songs like “Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast,” the dam broke.  Country flooded me with new awareness that even living in rural Georgia, down the hill from the Hesters—good old boys if there ever were any—couldn’t.

            Some of the earliest country songs I ever heard surface in His Temporary Wife, even if only because they still exist in my memories. 

            My whole life hasn’t been all country, even though there’s definitely a country song for every situation.  When I was disowned for falling in love with and asking to marry my husband of thirty odd years, I discovered Spanish pop.  Some of the most beautiful, piercing songs around were written, in my opinion, by Diego Verdaguer, and he sang—well, he became the inspiration for Love’s Lasting Song.  (Don’t buy it, though—I need to rewrite it.  I was young and not as good as I thought—just totally in love with an imaginary hero.)

Because no marriage is perfect, I learned the best ‘leaving’ songs—poison by the likes of Lupita D’Alessio and Amanda Miguel (Diego’s wife!) and happy leaving songs by Angelica Maria. My Spanish period lasted for quite some time, and then when a Tejano singer, Emilio Narvaez, introduced “It’s Not the End of the World” in English, and I discovered country music television—I fell right back into it.

And some of that shows up in Esmeralda Salinas.  What do I wish for Esme and Rafael of HisTemporary Wife?  That someday, fifty years from now,  they’ll choke up over Alan Jackson’s “Remember When.”  That they’ll have children and cry over Trace Adkins  “And Then They Do.”

What do I wish for my treasured readers, who have made my dreams come true and let me drop a few tune titles along the way?  Rich, rewarding lives.  The freedom to listen to your music, no matter what genre.  And much love along the way, with a song for every second.

HIS TEMPORARY WIFE

When Esmeralda Salinas left her childhood home, she left behind the judgmental lectures and cold, unaffectionate parents who never found her good enough to compete with her brother Beto. Esme fashions herself into her own woman, and refuses to let others dictate her behavior or her dreams. After a love affair goes wrong in Rose Creek, Texas, she packs up her horse and moves to even tinier Truth, Texas.

When Esme finds herself singing country karaoke in her aunt’s bar, she can deal with that. But when Tía demands that Esme consider a job offer from devastatingly sexy Rafael Benton, Esme realizes that the small town of Truth might harbor some horrific lies
revolving around Rafael and his recently deceased sister Cody, who had reached the pinnacle of the country music season only to crash and burn.

Still, Esme listens to Rafael’s sales pitch and can’t believe what he offers: almost a quarter million dollars to marry him for the summer.


Rafael talks a good game, and Esme knows she could enjoy the benefits of marriage to him, with or without the formalities and pre-nuptials and pretense. But sleeping with a man for the thrill is one thing. Marrying him for money is another. Can she accept a job that would make her rich but might destroy all she holds sacred?

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Giveaway:
Leslie will be giving away e copies of His Temporary Wife, Wildflower Redemption, and Unattainable to one lucky reader leaving a comment or email entry.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 30th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

21 comments:

  1. I haven't always been a fan of country music but have really come to appreciate this music genre as an adult. The premise of your story sounds intriguing and I imagine a part of you is in it.

    Thank you for sharing it here!

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Jonetta. I think we can find ourselves in many stories, to some degree. Good luck with the giveaway!

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  3. This story sounds great! Definitely adding it to my tbr!!
    kdjohnston 73 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank, Karen. I hope you enjoy it and appreciate your visit. Good luck in the contest.

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  4. I have rarely seen a book with a country music theme and since I really like to listen to it, this book is particularly appealing to me.

    joanneboykoATyahooDOTca

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    1. Hi, Jo-Anne. I enjoyed writimg it, but keep thinking of songs that should have been on my playlist, like, Elvis with "Honkytonk Angel." Good luck in the contest and thanks for commenting.

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  5. I have rarely seen a book with a country music theme and since I really like to listen to it, this book is particularly appealing to me.

    joanneboykoATyahooDOTca

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  6. Great post, Leslie. And this seems like a really fun read.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I appreciate your coming by!

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  7. Didn't Tammy Wynette do the answering song to Honky tonk Angels?" It wasn't God who made Honkey Tonk angels, like you said in the words of your song. Too many times, married men think their still single. That has caused, many a good girl to go wrong."

    I don't think I ever heard Elvis's song.

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    1. Hi, Lynn. Tammy may have done it, but the version I saw first was Kitty Well's. I hadn't even heard of her until I heard the song on the radio years ago. I double checked (although I didn't look for a version by Tammy) and was amazed at how "decorously" the poor first women country singers dressed. The dress she wore (black and white, of course) looked like it would be a nuisance!
      I imagine I heard Elvis's song on the same radio station. "How long has it been since you kissed me? And I don't mean a kiss now and then..." Elvis had a wonderful voice and grew up on country.

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  8. I do like some Country music. George Strait, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Dwight Yoakam, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum

    yenastone at aol dot com

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    1. Tammy, thanks for dropping by. I like many of your favorites, and there are very few artists in the genre I just can't listen to. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting! Good luck in the giveaway.

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  9. I didn't grow up with country music. My parents preferred classical. But I do enjoy it now. This book sounds good, Leslie. I checked into the other books you linked to and wonder if these form a series? I noticed that one of them was also set in Rose Creek.

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. Hey, Marcy. Thanks for visiting and looking at my books--you made my day! Unattainable is a stand alone, and Take Me Out is an anthology, but Wildflower Redemption and His Temporary Wife are books one and two of My Texas--Heart and Soul Series. Good luck in the giveaway, and I appreciate your visit.

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  11. The book sounds interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  12. Thanks for stopping by, bn100. Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  13. Great post, Leslie!
    I can't live without music surrounding every aspect of my life and I love it all. When I sit back and read The Temporary Wife, I will set Pandora to my favorite station, a mix of the best of George Strait and Garth Brooks.

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  14. To all of the readers out there, please run, run, run to your favorite online vendor and buy Leslie's novels. They are wonderful reads, so filled with life, suspense, and romance. I can't wait to read her latest, Temporary Wife - I adored Unattainable and Wildflower Redemption. Leslie set up Esme's story in Wildflower... and it promises to be a real treat (she is one heck of a character). Oh, and since I already have your novels on my Kindle, Leslie, I will bow out of your contest. Thank you. :)

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  15. Thank you so much for dropping by, Deborah! I'm always a little overwhelmed by your support and hope you enjoy Esme's own story! Take care, and I appreciate your time--I know how busy you stay!

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  16. Maureen, thanks so much for letting me hang out here this weekend--I had fun! And thanks to all of you who came by--I appreciate the time and had fun with your comments. f thought I'd leave some perfect song to prove there's a country song for every situation, but--my mind went blank. So I will date myself and tie everything up with that old Roy Rogers classic--"Happy Trails to You." (And in 15 minutes when I'm trying to think, I'll remember the song I really wanted to sign off with.) Good night, folks.

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