I know there have been several posts here on Inspy Romance regarding travel research and specifically cruises. Today I have the pleasure of adding to those posts with a story of my own.
The indie book I’m currently writing, the second in my Last Chance Ranch series, is called Serenaded by the Singer, and it, is about…you guessed it…a singer. Country and Western, to be precise, although I love nearly every genre of music. I haven’t had many opportunities to write about celebs because the line I write for at Harlequin prefers everyday people (cowboys, anyone?). So doing an indie book is super exciting for me.
Especially because I knew precisely where to go for the background research I needed.
On a cruise. Because that’s where I met up with my dear friends The Texas Tenors.
They’ve generously offered to answer any questions I may have as I work through the book. I took copious notes throughout the cruise, but the BEST part for me was listening.
You see, after being nearly deaf for almost my whole life, I finally got hearing aids a few months ago and they have Changed. My. World.
I talked to the drummer about why he has a glass “cage” around him (so the sound guy can turn up the tenors’ microphones without being drowned out by the drummer…even though I ***love*** drummers). I listened to the stories that went along with the songs each tenor sang during a VIP karaoke-ish party on Valentine’s day. AND I watched and listened in amazement to Josh, the pianist who just went with it. Some Enchanted Evening? No problem. Country, pop, opera…you name it, he could play it right off the top of his head. How awesome is that? He’s going to be a hero in a book someday.
I heard stories about how at one venue, the tenors were doing their usual choreography for God Bless the U.S.A., stepping forward to the front of the stage, when all of the sudden a shower of fireworks sparked up from beneath their feet. Whoa, baby. That was a close one, and the story had me in stitches.
No, this exact incident isn’t going into my book, but it sparked (pun fully intended) an idea that will be in a scene. And they use a dog in their show at Christmas, which is where I got the idea for the book in the first place.
Six months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to hear those stories. They would have been nothing more than gibberish to me as I sat smiling and laughing at what I hoped were appropriate times.
But the best part of all for me was my very first concert with my hearing aids. Even mostly deaf, The Texas Tenors are heaven on earth. But sitting in the front row (thanks to our friend Sylvia who saved us seats because my hubby Joe walks with a cane and couldn’t hobble fast enough to get a good seat in a VIP free-for-all) and enjoying every nuance of the live music—all I can say is I didn’t know what I was missing until I was giving the gift of hearing.
We didn’t do a bunch of expensive excursions, but rather just enjoyed the journey…and the music. And for the record? Writing while enjoying the sea air out on the balcony of a cruise ship is ahh-mazing, and I thank God every day for allowing me the privilege of doing what I’ve dreamed of since I was a small child.
And I thank God once again for my hearing. Because I didn’t even realize what I was missing.
Want to know when Serenaded by the Singer and other books come out?
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