My name is Sandine Tomas and I’m delighted to be here to introduce my first published novel, The Music of Love. I thought I’d share a bit about myself and the two things I love to do most – reading and writing. Oddly, I seem to have similarities in my approach to both favorite activities.
I’ve often wondered if others have certain rituals that make the words flow – either in or out. For me, in order to get to my creative place, this is how I arrange my setting:
- I like a cool room, preferably filled with natural light. Or in the evening, a bright overhead to keep me awake! Blankets are optional.
- I have instrumental music playing in the background. Devising the right playlists to help push a scene or emotion is as much fun as the writing itself. Swelling epic movie themes for climactic moments. Tender piano solos for emotional scenes. Fun pop instrumentals for when both me and my characters need a kick in the pants.
- There has to be a beverage. I don’t eat while writing but I do have to have a drink within reach. This varies by season. Iced coffee in warmer months. Starbucks when the budget allows (preferably with caramel). Hot coffee or tea in cooler months and evenings. If it’s really late night then sharp mint tea, lightly sweetened. And, okay, occasionally a glass of wine for the romance scenes.
- I’m a Windows PC person (although most of my other electronics are Apple). I like a keyboard with a tactile feel. The little clicking noise is like brain candy, driving the thoughts ever forward. Plus it feels good.
- A web window has to be open for on-the-spot researching—Wordnik to help find just the right word, Google for everything else. The truth is, I don’t do well leaving a section of my story blank to be researched later; it leaves me aching to fill it right now. Sometimes this derails me because research is fun! But that’s the way I roll.
And all of that leads to my book. The Music of Love is about a sometimes-annoying but always well-meaning man who falls in love despite himself. Although falling in love frankly, isn’t that hard for Julian—it’s maintaining a relationship while juggling a personal creativity crisis that’s not quite as easy. Julian is a singer/songwriter who makes every effort not to fall for Zachary, a lawyer who believes in the law and the machinations of justice. When their different aspirations collide, Julian is put in the position of having to choose between his passion for Zachary—and his passion for his music.
What rituals do you follow when either reading a book or perhaps writing one? I’d love to trade notes!
Enjoy an excerpt from The Music of Love:
Staring into Zachary’s gold-circled gaze, Julian didn’t catch the query tossed at him until it was repeated with a harsh edge. “I was asking about your future plans,” Marc repeated.
“Plans?” Julian asked dumbly.
With obvious exasperation Marc said, “Yeah.” He tilted his chin toward his best friend. “Zach here has had his future mapped out since we were like ten.” He chuckled, picking up his beer mug and draining the last of it before swiping his lips. “Law school, some time at a medium-sized firm for experience and money, move up to a bigger firm to build a real nest egg, and then pour it all into his own practice where he’ll help widows and orphans who’ve been stamped over by nefarious corporate giants.” The corners of his lips tipped up and his voice softened again despite the teasing. “Picture Robin Hood without the stealing.”
Zachary’s cheeks turned almost plum. It was adorable and Julian couldn’t help the way his heart tightened. But Marc wasn’t done with Julian yet. “What about you? Zach told me you like to fool around with some songwriting.” His tone was dismissive, as if he’d said Julian had been playing with GI Joe dolls. “But, you know, the real world catches up with all of us.” He smiled toothily, and it reminded Julian of a tiger. “Hard to picture Zach with someone who doesn’t have a clear five-year plan.”
The heart tightening now had a distinctly different feel, more like someone was trying to pull it up out of his throat. Zachary chimed in quickly, “Marc… Julian doesn’t need to figure out his future right here during dinner.”
Feeling the need to say something, Julian said, “I have my music. I mean—it’s what I do.” If it was possible to smack himself without someone coming to lock him away, he would have, because—it’s what I do? What was wrong with him? Besides, this was dumb. Zachary wasn’t looking for a five-year plan; he just wanted to be with Julian. At least he’d told Julian that, not that they discussed the future that way, but Zachary was supportive of Julian’s music. Was it true, what Marc said? Would Zachary get fed up with Julian’s nonexistent music career?
Check out The Music of Love today!
Sometimes the music of love skips a beat….
Paralegal by day, musician by night, Julian has an expiration date stamped on his forehead when it comes to love. No relationship has made it past a year, so Julian avoids romance like the plague and concentrates on his music instead.
Which works fine until gorgeous, smart, and funny Zachary joins Julian’s firm. One look at the man and Julian knows he’s dangerous. No matter what, he can’t fall for Zachary. He has to spare Zachary the pain of dumping Julian at the one-year mark. His brilliant plan? Ask a straight friend to pose as his significant other to keep Zachary away. Not surprisingly, his scheme does little to dampen the attraction—on either side.
When Zachary gives Julian a second chance despite his deception, Julian thinks his curse might be broken. But then he’s faced with the impossible choice between a life with Zachary and living his dream of touring with the band….
Sandine Tomas Bio
Sandine Tomas grew up an unapologetic bookworm, making friends with characters from the ancient past to the farthest reaches of the universe. Her career as a marketing writer has given her insight into the divergence between what a person thinks they want and what they truly need. Relationships are at the heart of her writing, and she enjoys creating characters who become so real that their stories beg to be told. Writing allows her to explore people and ideas from all sides, spinning a notion around like a gem until its facets glisten.
Twisting the old adage about writing what you know into writing what you feel, Sandine doesn’t shy away from raw emotions, turbulent circumstances, and above all, deep passions, fueled by humor, honesty, and trust. She enjoys instilling her characters with the flaws, courage, and idiosyncrasies that brings them to life.
Sandine lives in New York with her husband, two daughters and a Golden Retriever puppy named Noodle. An unabashed TV and film enthusiast, she happily binge watches her favorites until her eyes glaze over. Her other guilty pleasures include attending fandom conventions, sleeping in on weekends, and recharging solo by holing up with a caramel macchiato and an amazing book.