This weekend, I’m attending the Carolina Country Music Fest! A huge celebration of country music with 30,000 attendees, and currently, thirty four artists playing! As a birthday present for myself, I splurged on a three-day pass and my sister-in-law, also a country music fan, is flying in from Philadelphia to go with me. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.
Growing up, I enjoyed pop music — Elton John, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel. But as I reached my middle adult years, I noticed that the pop music radio stations had moved almost entirely to rap and hip hop. I wasn’t relating to that music at all, because I like songs that have “sing-along-ability.” On quick trips around town in the car, I like to turn on the radio, know all the songs and sing along, usually at the top of my lungs. This was a practice that was enjoyed by my kids when they were little. But, suddenly when they were pre-teens, it was “soooo embarrassing, Mom!”
It was actually my son, when he was in high school, who introduced me to country music. A budding “new” country artist named Jason Aldean came to our local town to play a concert. Opening up for him was famous dancer, but new singer, Julianne Hough (from Dancing With the Stars fame). He was interested in him, I was interested in her. So I bought the tickets and we went together. Little did I know that Jason Aldean would skyrocket into country superstardom. But not until much later.
That Christmas I gifted my son with tickets to Kenny Chesney, who was extremely famous at that time. It was a double bonus for me: time spent with my son, sharing his interests, and possibly discover another musician I liked. To prepare, I borrowed several CD’s of Kenny’s music from my son’s collection. It was a loud, raucous affair, the music was great and we had a really fun night together.
Since then, I’ve branched off and identified my own country concert partner friends, and I’ve been to many, many concerts. One great thing about country artists is that when you go to a concert, they treat you to a number of opening acts, many of whom you also hear on country radio. I’ve included pics of some of my concerts (my favorite, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban):
My book Crescendo incorporates my love of country music into an inspirational romance story. It’s a rags to riches story in the world of country music, with a twist! Black sheep in a wealthy family Haley Witherspoon has finally found the career that brings her passion, and it’s with handsome aspiring country musician, Blake Scott. Can they overcome her family’s disapproval, his own internal guilt, and mounting danger from a fan to achieve success?
I loved writing this book! Probably because I was so enthusiastic about the subject matter! I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this book ended up winning multiple awards. It won a bronze medal for Inspirational Romance Fiction in the Illumination Book Awards (Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books) AND a gold medal for Religious Fiction in the eLit Book Awards (Illuminating Digital Publishing Excellence). If you enjoy country music as well as inspirational romance, I hope you will get your own copy!
Quiz for a giveaway: In Crescendo, I sort of “wink at the reader” by including real-life country artists in the story, but fictionalizing their names. To be entered in the drawing to win an e-book copy of Crescendo, in comments, give me your guess of the real life country artists who correspond to these fictional names. The winner will be the one with the most correct answers, or in the case of a tie, I’ll do a random drawing.
- Brook Garthson
- Bryan Lucas
- Radley Ray
- Keith Olson
- Jason Dean
- Bentley Dirks
As a follow up to my last post Is a Wedding the end of a Romance? I told you my son was getting married. I promised a few pics from the big event, so here you go! One of my handsome son with the woman of his dreams and one of me in my fancy duds.