Giving A Little Love to the Romantic Suspense

Image courtesy of ~ AarStudio

It seems lately my fantasy novel has been getting all the love. It was featured here for the Next Big Thing post, here for the Look Challenge, here for the Lucky 7 Meme, and finally here when I had an interview with Taryn for a Kickass Heroines post.

Today we're showing our ‘Cup of Tea' side on the blog and giving some love to the Romantic Suspense. Instead of a snippet from the book – you can read one of those here – I thought I'd share with you the inspiration behind the story.

As with all of my stories, this one began with a ‘what if' moment. There I was, driving my car, minding my own business, when Kelly Clarkson's ‘Because of You' came on the radio. I started really listening to the lyrics and questions popped into my brain.

  • What if a mother leaves the family, how does that make the children feel?
  • What if the daughter is young, say 9 or 10 years old, how would that affect the way she views the world?
  • What if that girl pushed herself to be the best in a futile hope that if she was just ‘good enough' her mom would come home?
  • What if that girl grew into a woman who was beautiful, brilliant, and broken?

The ideas were swirling around in my head for awhile before I finally began writing the book. I'd made a hasty effort during NaNoWriMo to get the entire story out, but it felt wrong. Something was lacking.

Jump ahead to May of this year. With the fantasy stewing in the dark reaches of my hard drive, I had the time and inclination to give the story a closer look. I trashed what I wrote during NaNo and started fresh. Page One.

The only thing I kept was the name of the book, and even that will probably change. After 98,000 words, this is what Because of You ended up being…


Elizabeth Bradford is beautiful, brilliant, and broken. Unable to forgive herself for her mother's abandonment, she strives to be perfect in her career, at the extent of pushing relationships away.

Liam Stirling wasn't looking for anything more than great sex, but when he meets Elizabeth, he starts to think it's time to put his bad boy days behind him. Too bad Elizabeth doesn't feel the same way. Not one to see opposition as defeat, Liam steadily charms Elizabeth until she gives a reluctant yes.

Unfortunately, not everyone is happy they're together.

A stalker watches their every move, even the most private moments spent in Elizabeth's bed. The closer Liam and Elizabeth become, the more violent the stalker's acts. When their best friend is brutally beaten, Elizabeth blames herself.

Consumed with guilt for her friend's condition and faced with Liam's unwavering faith in his love for her, Elizabeth retreats into herself. She does what she knows how to do best ~ pushes Liam away.

Not satisfied with destroying their lives, the stalker won't stop until someone is dead.

It will take a bullet for Elizabeth to realize what love truly means.


It's a far cry from Kelly Clarkson's song, but that's what music can do to us. Fill us with inspiration which allows our minds to take flight and wander among the stars.

Just the other day I was listening to the radio and heard One Direction's, ‘What Makes You Beautiful' and I thought, that's exactly what Liam would say to Elizabeth! She's a remarkable woman, but refuses to see it because of the damage her mom did when she left.

Here's Kelly Clarkson's video for ‘Because of You. The story changed a lot from when I first heard the song, but the feelings I feel every time I hear it never alter. It's a powerful song. Okay, admit it, who else tears up when they watch this video?

Has a song ever inspired a story that you just had to write? I have a friend who always writes to Incubus, I'm more partial to soundtracks or classical, what about you? When you do something creative, what gets your muse fired up? Share with us!

43 thoughts on “Giving A Little Love to the Romantic Suspense”

  1. susielindaususielindau

    I love this and the premise for your book! Nice! Sounds like a great thriller. 🙂
    I have been influenced by music. It is a great creative stimulator!

  2. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Great premise Tameri! I love a good romantic suspense. One of my story ideas came from Pink’s song, Sober. While listening to it, a scene popped into my head. Not a beginning or end scene, but one that’s right in the middle. I think being stuck in the middle with that character made me want to answer all the questions and write it. I love that curious feeling I get from an idea. Music definitely helps. 🙂

  3. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    Because of You sounds fantastic, Tameri! I love that music helped inspire it. I have trouble listening to music while writing or conjuring up stories, but I’ve been finding that music wants to burst out of me every time I finish a story or meet a career goal. I may even incorporate a musical performance into my first book launch, whenever that happens, assuming I don’t wimp out. 😉

  4. Lissa ClouserLissa Clouser

    I love hearing about the “behind the scenes” workings of inspiration. Songs are great for that! For my current story one of the most powerful songs is “Ballare” from Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion. I’d listened to it many times before, but one day I heard it and was completely overwhelmed with a scene. Ever since then I haven’t been able to shake it (and hopefully this NaNo I will actually be at the point in the story where I can write the first draft of it). In fact, I get to see Dralion performed live in December. But is it bad that during this once act I might close my eyes and just let the feeling of the live music whisk me away? (No disrespect to the performers, of course.)

  5. EmmaEmma

    Sounds like a great story and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it. I love how music can inspire. Bruce Springsteen’s “Because the Night” inspired me to write some of my paranormal romance.

  6. Melinda VanLoneMelinda VanLone

    I can’t listen to any music that has lyrics while I’m writing…I tend to start singing instead of writing! lol. I can do soundtracks though, and often do if I’m trying to capture a mood.

  7. Kate MacNicolKate MacNicol

    Music always, always gets me thinking about storylines and stories. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one! I do love your take on Kelly Clarkson’s, Because of You and I think your book premise sounds terrific. I love to listen to Rob Thomas — lots of longing there— Three Doors Down, The Goo Goo Dolls, Katy Perry and a host of Celtic musicians, some of the Celtic music has lyrics others without. Cool post Tameri! Can’t wait to read this book.

  8. jansenschmidtjansenschmidt

    I love that you took something already out there and twisted it. Same sort of, but different. Your story sounds fantastic!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  9. Julie CatherineJulie Catherine

    Oooh, Tameri, I just love the storyline for “Because of You” – it sounds awesome, and something I would definitely read! I, too, use music for inspiration … mostly classical, especially with my poetry, but almost any music will get my thoughts racing for pen and paper or my computer! Wonderful post, love it! 🙂

  10. MarciaMarcia

    I love the sound of your story, Tameri! Kelly Clarksons song is one my favorites! If I’d had it on an album, the needle would have worn right through! U2’s Don’t stop believin is one that sparked some ideas for me. That’s another record I would wear out! Good luck with your story!

  11. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

    Your book sounds great! And I love that you got the idea from a song. Music is one of the greatest gifts in life, not just because I love to listen to it, but because it does inspire me to think. To start the whole ‘what if’ process. A Hero For Holly was based on He Didn’t Have to Be (Brad Paisley). That video always makes me cry, it’s just that beautiful. And a man who steps in and raises a child like he’s his own…it just gives me chills.

    When will your book be released? (Sorry I haven’t been around lately…a major case of burnout going on again. Sigh…)

  12. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    Can’t wait to read this one, Tameri. and i love the Kelly Clarkson video. wow.

  13. Marcy KennedyMarcy Kennedy

    Fun post. I like both romantic suspense and Kelly Clarkson, so hearing about a romantic suspense inspired by such a great song was cool. The new fantasy I’m still in the plotting stages on was inspired by a song. I’ll share it when I get a little closer to being done 🙂

  14. gingercalemgingercalem

    Wow, what a powerful song, (Clarkson’s). I can see how that moved you. Because of You sounds fantastic. I adore a romantic suspense and haven’t read one in a long time. Looking forward to reading yours.

  15. Debra KristiDebra Kristi

    I’m totally grooving to the music right now. 😀 I totally LOVE this book. Now that I know how it ends I want to read the rest of it! Send it to me! Knowing you, I know the rest of the story will match the end and it will be a mistake for agents to pass it by. You will be represented soon. Just wait and see. Soo excited for you!

  16. Angela WallaceAngela Wallace

    That sounds awesome! Sometimes a song will piece together scenes like a movie trailer, but I’ve never had one carry me quite as far as yours did. 🙂

  17. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    The story sounds incredible!!! I love it Tameri and can’t wait to feast my eyes on it! 🙂

    I am not sure if music helps me conjure story’s but it certainly can feel me with such an emotional response that the creative output is intense and amazing. There’s nothing like a powerful song to POWER one up!

  18. goddessmecagoddessmeca

    Your story sounds like a winner Tameri. I am quite fickle when it comes to music, loving an album until it bores me rigid and then moving on. I do however return to classics like Vivaldi’s four seasons as the range evokes deep feelings, which can be transferred to a character’s mood. Similar to you, I love Snow Patrol and Celtic music, my choice of the latter being the amazing Loreena Mc Kennit. The Beatles and Paul McCartney are also my evergreens.
    I started crying one day as I listened to ‘Fool on the Hill’ because it reminded me of a man who was scapegoated in the town I grew up in. He had been the butt of jokes and suddenly I could see in hindsight how he had been set up in an era when adults were afraid to use taboo words to warn their children of possible dangers. Thankfully the world has opened up since then. I did however sit down to write that as a short story.
    Yes music certainly can evoke the muse.
    Thank you for this great post.
    Mary E. Coen @goddessmeca

  19. Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

    That Kelly Clarkson song always gets me too. 🙂 Great post, Tameri!

  20. Lena CorazonLena Corazon

    Oooh, your novel sounds really intriguing, Tameri. Can’t wait till I can get my hands on it!

    I LOVE writing to music and using it to fuel my stories. Each of my WIPs has a different soundtrack, ranging from bluegrass/americana/folk (lots of Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars, Gillian Welch) to celtic/Irish folk (Cara Dillon, Loreena McKennitt). I have playlists for specific characters, romantic relationships, individual scenes… *grins* Yeah. I really, really like music.

    One of my best moments, though, was a realization that Ravel’s “Dapnhis et Chloe” captures a really pivotal moment in a fantasy novel I’m working on. I haven’t been able to translate all those feelings and sounds into words quite yet, but it feels amazing to have a touchstone that I can return to for inspiration.

  21. patriciasandspatriciasands

    I am so late to this party but I’m glad I didn’t miss it entirely! Sorry, Tameri, I’ve been acquiring a bit of a blog backlog and I never want to miss one of yours. I often write to music too and, coincidentally, a Kelly Clarkson song (What Doesn’t Kill Us) features in my next novel. I’m so excited about Because Of You! *waiting eagerly for launch details*

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