Corroded in the Wild

Corroded, April 12, 2016.

Corroded, April 12, 2016.

Today’s the day! You can get your copy of Corroded, a young adult contemporary novel, on all e-reader platforms or in paperback. Last week’s Kindle pre-orders pushed it to the top spot for “Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Christian Social Issue Fiction” category. WooHoo! Ordering links can by found on my BOOKS page. In case you’ve missed the news, here’s what it’s about:

 

Fifteen-year-old Mary Lou Weber is suffocating in her sister’s shadow. Though she struggles to break into the light and claim her own identity—and the attention of the cutest guy in school—something always seems to pull her right back down into the role of Barbara’s little sister.

Down the street lives seventeen-year-old Ben Thomas, a lonely introvert who is captive to a sensory condition that makes it nearly impossible for him to stand in sunlight, much less talk to people whom he thinks could never understand his difficulties.

A new year kindles the friendship between a guy who pushes away a world and the girl who’s striving to find her place in it. Can the relationship help Mary and Ben find balance in a world that frequently seems too much to handle?

 

Like my other stories, I incorporated my love of music into the writing process for Corroded. The following is the complete soundtrack, with songs from both Mary’s and Ben’s perspectives. You’ll see some of my favorite musicians, but also a few surprises. I’m just highlighting a few of them with links, but search the others out yourself—they’re well worth it.

 

Hello, Mary Lou” Ricky Nelson

“The Very Thought of You” Ricky Nelson

“You Are a Tourist” Death Cab for Cutie

“Burning Down Inside” Tyketto

“Dying to Be Alive” Hanson

“I’m the One” Mitch Malloy

“Somewhere I Belong” Linkin Park

“Start From the Dark” Europe

Keep One Heart” Nelson

“Brave and Beautiful Soul” Europe

Life” Rick Nelson

 

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post or any of my books. Comments, questions, and reviews are welcome. Happy reading!

More R-N-R

Last night I was able to catch another Ricky Nelson Remembered concert. This time it was with two of my friends, Lee Ann Ward and Meleesa Swann. We drove more than two hours each way to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, but it was well worth the time and expense.

Gunnar, Lee Ann, me, and Matthew

Gunnar, Lee Ann, me, and Matthew. Thanks, Meleesa!


When I caught the show last year in New Jersey, Matthew and Gunnar had a full band. The current leg of their tour was just the two of them—but they sounded great. Gunnar took lead/electric guitar and Matthew switched between bass and rhythm guitars. And man, the bass lines were smokin’ hot!
My favorite song presentation of the night was “Fools Rush In.” Love the song as it is, but their rendition was flawless.

As I bask in the memories of the good times and fabulous music, I’m still waiting to hear back about the fate of my Rick Nelson inspired novel, CORRODED. If you’re new to the blog, check out the category postings under Corroded and Rick Nelson on the sidebar. And don’t miss the soundtrack!

CORRODED: Mary’s New Years Eve

Hope everyone has a safe and happy night! Here’s a peek at how Mary Weber spends New Year’s Eve:

Mom was finishing paperwork in her truck when I reached the house. I went through the back gate. The old pine boards scraped the concrete path as it opened and shut. I took off my clogs, setting them on the gravel under the faucet and then put my socks, black with dirt, next to them before stepping through the sliding glass door.

My sweaty feet left damp footprints on the newly waxed black-and-white tile floor. The turquoise vinyl chairs at the dining room table were extra shiny, and the straw and napkin dispensers were even full. Dad knew what to do on a day like this: feed Mom’s yearly meltdown with homemade hamburgers, French fries and malts, all spread out on their fifties style dinner table.

Dad was hand-shaping meat patties in the kitchen. I grabbed a crisp piece of lettuce off the platter on the serving counter. “She’s just about done with paperwork,” I warned.

“Then cue the dearly departed teen idol, Mary.” Dad slapped a burger into the hot frying pan, causing it to sizzle and pop.

I laughed at him when he turned around. He was wearing the hideous floral print apron my mom had found at a thrift store. There was nothing like seeing your retired Navy Dad wearing something a housewife would’ve worn in the old days.

“Orange and green are definitely your colors.”

“Just don’t forget the music before you head upstairs.” He shook the spatula at me.

I saluted him with another piece of lettuce and went around the corner to the living room. Dad made Mom’s yearly mourning of the loss of “the original teen idol,” Rick Nelson, bearable. My mom had just been a kid when the singer was killed in a New Year’s Eve plane crash in 1985, but if there was anything she loved more than tacky aprons, it was Rick Nelson. Dad pretended that he did the classic American meal to feed Mom comfort food on her evening of sadness, but I knew it was his way of cooking me a special Birthday Eve dinner because Mom spent most of New Year’s Day in bed.Rick Nelson

As long as I could remember, New Year’s Eve was all about Ricky Nelson. His music and movies ruled the night. I knew all his lines in the Here Come the Nelsons movie before I was six. I used to try to make Mom smile by choreographing dance numbers to his greatest hits as we watched the clock tick closer to midnight.

I plugged Mom’s iPod into the sound system and put her Ricky Nelson playlist on shuffle. I bumped the volume up two thirds of the way and mounted the stairs to the cowbell opening beats of “Hello Mary Lou” in hopes of getting out of earshot before the singing began.

“Great choice, Mary Lou!” Dad hollered.

“Not funny!” I yelled back.

Ricky Nelson Remembered

Last month, I posted more information about the vacation I took in the spring, focusing on the Friday morning I spent at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

This time around I’m going to focus on my night out in Morristown, NJ.
Those who know me—or have been following this blog for long—realize that I love Rick Nelson. Ricky is the King around here, not Elvis. And The Beach Boys trump The Beatles any day.

CORRODED, the novel I’m seeking publication for, is heavily influenced by Rick Nelson. If you haven’t already, check out my soundtrack here. Yes, Corroded begins and ends with Rick Nelson, and noticeably, the main character is named after one of his songs.

The reason I went to NJ/NY when I did was for a Ricky Nelson Remembered concert. As an early birthday gift, my sister bought tickets—Golden Circle, baby! Please excuse my geek moment.

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Before the show, big sister took me to get my hair done at a local salon. At thirty-five years old, my virgin hair was highlighted for the first time. Foil wraps anyone? After the show, I met and collect autographs from bassist Tommy Vee (son of the legendary Bobby Vee) and original Stone Canyon Band member David Morgan (who I called “Mr. Morgan” because a SCB member is HUGE in my book.) After standing in line, I got my turn to chat with Matthew and Gunnar—friendly as always for another fantabutitus moment. Enjoy the goofy pictures.

CORRODED Soundtrack, 2nd Edition

Nearly a year ago I posted my soundtrack listing for Corroded.
After spending months revising the story this spring-summer, I took a good look at my musical influence. I rearranged, deleted similar songs as well as those that weren’t 100% on target, and even added a special song.
It was difficult culling the list, but it needed to be done. I love music, and the songs I had on the original listing did help inspire my writing moods, but they weren’t all perfect matches.
The new song addition was in response to my early readers’ love of a certain character. Team Ben! Everyone who has read the manuscript connects to Ben so I felt that even though Corroded is told strictly from Mary’s point of view, Ben’s voice is strong enough to merit his own song on the soundtrack.

So, here it is, complete with new tidbits and YouTube videos for your pleasure: Corroded, Second Edition!

Hello Mary Lou (Main character’s name, with classic Ricky Nelson.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLkCWT2neuI

The Very Thought of You (He was so smooth and dreamy. This one is from Mary to Josh.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkHu7C3puWI

You Are a Tourist (How Mary feels at school.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM4Mmd2y4nE

Burning Down Inside (Great live version from last year. Love knowing that bands can still rock years/decades after their songs came out.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yImjBG7qFTw

Dying to Be Alive (Enjoy these guys lots and it fits the mood.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjTNACA_VVk

Somewhere I Belong (The deep search all teens go through.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iCtpuQvydk

I’m the One (Mitch Malloy is my absolute FAVORITE singer/songwriter! Check out his other music and enjoy! This is Ben’s song—swoon away!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7KM46JkHO0

Start from the Dark (By my FAVORITE band and this video has a comic book spin that I think Ben would approve of—even if it isn’t The Avengers.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gyg-x1DMHs8

Spirit of the Underdog (For Mary at the Sailor Suzy competition. Love this song and Joey Tempest is a maniac with the mic stand.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpH1-r-JDmw

Life (In closing, I was fortunate enough to catch a Ricky Nelson Remembered concert in April 2012. R.I.P. Rick, and may the twins keep your memories alive for the next generation.)

Corroded Soundtrack

The thing for authors—especially young adult ones—to do these days is to create PLAYLISTS for their novels. I’ve written song lists for SOUNDTRACKS (because I see my stories as movies in my head) for all my writing, beginning twenty years ago.
Yes, with the first novel-length story I began at the age of fourteen, I had an inspiring soundtrack of hair bands. Ever visit me in my teens? My walls were filled with photos from Metal Edge magazine and posters bought at the local Sam Goody’s or Spencer Gifts. I was the renegade rocker—the walking oxymoron. I had a “Youth Gone Wild” Skid Row t-shirt but never skipped school or done anything worthy of arrest. I spent my money on cassettes/CDs, magazines, posters, concert tickets, t-shirts… my teen idols were long haired crooners, beat thumping bass players, and those glorious keyboarders.
But I’d always had a wide range of musical taste. I bought J.S. Bach albums while wearing my denim-and-leather jacket (I was told by the sales associate “you don’t look like the powdered wig type.) It isn’t Christmas until The Beach Boys album is on the stereo. And I still love a little “Motownphilly”, “The One and Only”, “Forever Your Girl”, and “Electric Youth.” Can you name the artists who sing those songs?
To bring my old school soundtrack to the new century, I’m including YouTube links to the BEST videos I found for my odd assortment of songs that express the themes and emotions of Corroded, in chronological order. Yes, there is a heavy dose of Rick Nelson. I adore him—the original teen idol.
Take a few minutes and watch—but more importantly LISTEN—to the songs you aren’t familiar with. Enjoy!
Hello Mary Lou (Main character’s name, with a groovy 70s vibe.)
Young Emotions (Ricky was so smooth and dreamy…)
Weird (Now this is a WEIRD video! First time seeing it.)
The Very Thought of You (He’s so much better than Elvis.)
String Along (Never enough Rick!)
Burning Down Inside (Peppy live version with a bonus song on the end, because Tyketto rocks.)
You Are a Tourist (Song I heard on the local independent radio station last month. It struck me.)
Anybody Listening? (A profound sound with amazing vocals–Geoff Tate of Queensryche is the bomb.)
Tears of the Dragon (I could listen to this song over and over again—and have.)
Dying to Be Alive (Yes, two Hanson songs. They both fit.)
Somewhere I Belong (About as heavy as I get…)
Start from the Dark (By my FAVORITE band. Long live Europe!)
Spirit of the Underdog (They rock and had two songs to fit the mood, back-to-back.)
Right Before Your Eyes (Rick Nelson’s sons.)
Life (Amazing what you can find on YouTube!)
And as a tribute, because I just found this and the hair is awesomely 80s.
Are you ready to read Corroded now? Let me know your comments—either here or on Twitter or FaceBook. Thanks for stopping by!

FANTABUTITUS

I suffer from fantabutitus (fan-tab-you-tie-tus). That’s Wonderlonian (One-der-lone-e-an) for being a fan of fabulous people! As of today, I have not had a bad encounter with someone I’m a fan of who I’ve been able to meet in person or have contact with online. My eldest sister pointed out, over a decade ago, that I was blessed with great experiences. Apparently she’s heard horror stories about egos and rudeness.
Me? I always expected awesomeness from those I like, so I didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary. I’m a dedicated fan, loyal to those who speak to me even when the spotlight has moved on to newer faces. (Speak to me? Yes, speak to me. I shall blog about that next time.)
True, none of the celebrities I’ve met were athletes or “Hollywood” actors—mine are all music and literary related. I’m not big on starlets and such, though I wouldn’t mind running into Ethan Hawke or Brendan Fraser… But the rock and country musicians/singers and authors—they’ve all been friendly, approachable and even humble at times. Some have even gone out of their way to give back. I’ll keep to three varied examples.
Exhibit A: C.J. Snare Lead singer of Firehouse (Don’t Treat Me Bad, Love of a Lifetime, etc) opening act for Warrant/Trixter/Firehouse concert hosted by Pauly Shore (remember him?!) at the Great America theme park in Santa Clara, CA. My friends and I made a day of it and enjoyed the rides before the concert. A few hours before the show I noticed C.J. out in the park with his date. I apologized for bothering him, but asked if he’d mind signing a concert flier (had the flier and my own Sharpie—always prepared!) He graciously autographed it and told me he hoped I’d enjoy the show. Then, he was surrounded by dozens more people wanting the same thing, but not being as polite about it, before he could get behind the safety of the backstage fence. (Yes, I stood back and watched the mini-mob. People can be real jerks at times, like the guy yelling “Hey, dude! Sign my girlfriend’s chest, will ya?” Classy.) A few months ago, I saw a comment by C.J. on a mutual friend’s status on Facebook and shared the story of my encounter with him almost twenty years before. He replied back thanking me for the good memory. Awe…
Exhibit B: Terry Brooks NYT bestselling author for two decades (now more than three) was on a book tour to promote The First King of Shannara in La Jolla, CA. The friend who got me reading Terry Brooks—a HUGE fan, all first edition hardcovers—lived less than two hours away but couldn’t make it to the event. My friend’s birthday was the following week and I told Mr. Brooks about him. I even gave him a slip of paper with my friend’s name and address on it, asked if he could send a birthday note. (Can’t say I didn’t try, though the people in line behind me rolled their eyes and huffed.) Of course, when my friend received a birthday postcard from someone signing himself as Terry Brooks he thought it was a joke. Nope, just the best birthday greeting ever!
Exhibit C: Matthew and Gunnar Nelson Yes, those blond twins—sons of the late, great Rick Nelson. After a sound check before a show in Biloxi, MS about a dozen years ago, they stopped to talk to my husband and I and signed the old school Nelson poster I’d brought along (which Bobby Rock had already signed a couple years previous—another pleasant meet and greet.) Gunnar sat at our table and talked with us for a while before heading out. Even my husband was impressed with that—but maybe it was because of Gunnar’s skydiving and bungee jumping stories.
I could keep going—have a cache of autographs and stories but I’ll spare you the geeky details. And never get me started on Mitch Malloy or Laurie Halse Anderson unless you want to hear me gush over their talents and genuine greatness. Sigh…
Now, I want to hear your fantabutitus (and not-so-nice) stories!