Thursday, September 2, 2010

Molly O'Keefe Is In The Lair!

hosted by Beth

Today it is my extreme pleasure to have RITA winner and Superromance author Molly O'Keefe in the lair! The first book of Molly's new Supers trilogy, The Notorious O'Neills, was out last month with THE TEMPTATION OF SAVANNAH O'NEILL. Out this month is the second story, TYLER O'NEILL'S REDEMPTION and next month the final book, THE SCANDAL AND CARTER O'NEILL will be released.

Now, here's Molly :-)

Bruce Springsteen as a romance novelist.

I love Bruce Springsteen. I don't just like him, I don't just have a couple of albums. No. I had Springsteen sung at my wedding (not, Born to Run, though that would be very funny. Should I Fall Behind, for any other Boss fans out there). I go to a Springsteen show and I cry. I try to fight it, but ultimately, I cry like some weird fan/stalker type. It's embarrassing, especially for my husband.

My brother started it - he used to blast The River late at night, keeping me, a young romance novelist, up all night thinking about what those two kids were doing down by the reservoir.

And while those might be the roots - the truth is, to me, Springsteen is the best romance novelist out there. First of all, for those of us who consider category romance a word count challenge, songwriters have to tell a whole story with GMC, with character and setting, with tension in less than...what? Five hundred words? Talk about succinct. Talk about fat free. My head hurts just thinking about it. I need five hundred words to get my characters across a room.

My favourite song is Thunder Road. One boy’s effort to get the girl he wants into his car so they can get the hell out of town. And as far as character and romance – I can’t think of anything better.

Screen door slams

Mary’s dress waves

Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays

Oh, the mood. The atmosphere. And we already know what our hero (dark, broody, leather jacket) thinks of Mary – she’s a vision. One word and we know she’s a little untouchable in his eyes – a dream. She’s wearing a dress which makes me picture a class vice president. A cheerleader perhaps. A good girl. And later when he cuts through the small talk and tells her:

Don’t run back inside, darling

You know just what I’m here for

Oh. Oh man. That’s good stuff, right? Am I the only one whose heart is pounding a little bit? It took some balls to do that. So, when our make- it-or-break- it hero says :

Show a little faith there’s magic in the night

You ain’t a beauty, but hey you’re all right.

He’s got a mad twinkle in his eye, because we know he thinks she’s lovely. And now, with talk of magic and the night, we know he’s a dangerous dreamer. What else can Mary do but get in the car? If she won’t, I will. I totally will.

I’m probably over simplifying it. Others would see different characters, and that’s the beauty of music – we see who we want. We hear, in part, what we want.

Listening to his music gives me the same feeling reading a great love story provides. It’s part hold my breath heartbreak and throw my hands in the air excitement. It’s hope and despair brought to life by great characters.

I’m sure there are some Springsteen fans out there and if so, let’s share the love. But if Springsteen isn’t your cup of tea, what music speaks to you? Who do you listen to and feel they are talking right to you?

Molly is offering two copies of THE TEMPTATION OF SAVANNAH O'NEILL to two lucky commenters!!

Thanks so much, Molly! For more information about Molly and her books, check out her website,


hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh wow, I love the oldies myself, as the song says that rock and roll music just soothes my soul.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Did I get the GR? It is going to be a great day if I did, as soon as I get home from work we are going back to work on my books. I am doing a major overhaul that started last weekend and hopefully will be finished on this long weekend since I am off tomorrow and Monday.

Helen said...

Well done Dianna make him work and after he finishes yours he will be well trained to help me with mine next time he visits me LOL

I love the way you think I too love music and I love Sprinsteen but my favourite is Rod Stewart boy some of his songs from the early 70's just talk to me Madolin Wind and Reason To Believe are such love stories for me maybe that is why I too love romance books so much.

Congrats on the release I will be trying to get them here in Australia. Thanks Beth for inviting Molly today.

Have Fun

Gillian Layne said...

I absolutely love Sting. His music really speaks to me, and I'd probably pay a lot of money to watch him sing.

I think your Superromances are wonderful! Keep them coming. :)

barb said...

Enjoy your day with GR

I like Springsteen but my favourites were a bit before Springsteen... I still like Cliff Richard and all his songs

Congratulations on your books ... I like family series so will be on the look out for these Molly

Molly O'Keefe said...

Ack! You guys beat me to it! I wanted the rooster...I need a mascot in my life!

Dianna - good luck with the book reorganization!

Helen - Maggie May (is that right, that doesn't seem right) is an amazing song. Such a complicated story in five hundred words.

Gillian - thank you so much. I saw Sting with a diehard fan and it was fun watching her go nuts! I love his music too - And he and Springsteen do a lot of music together

Molly O'Keefe said...

Hey - I forgot to put this in my post but I am giving away TWO copies of THE TEMPTATION OF SAVANNAH O'NEILL to two lucky commentors!

Dianna Love said...

Molly -

I love the point you make about music. It has always amazed me how song writers can spin a story with very few words and capture strong emotion at the same time. Wonderful love stories in so many songs.

Congratulations on your Super series. Sounds like something I'd enjoy.

Anna Sugden said...

Hey Molly - welcome to the Lair. Didya bring your shiny RITA statue with you? Congrats on that fabulous achievement. And, how cool you're being hosted by our resident RITA gal!

I love Springsteen too. LOVE Born to Run and Thunder Road and The River. Seen him *mumble* times. (Though must admit, his last concert, the sound sucked big time!).

And, of course, when I found out he not only likes hockey, but loves my Devils - well, his son does, so he brings him to the games - I was totally sold.

I agree with you about his lyrics - to me, he's like a great category romance writer, who can put so much emotional depth into such a few words.

The Dixie Chicks speak to me in similar ways. Goodbye Earl is a classic - though obviously not a romance! Billy Ray Cyrus has some amazing songs that are like watching a movie, the lyrics are so compelling. Can't remember the name of it, but there's a fab one about finding the Dear John letter from his high school girlfriend in an old letter jacket.

I find that individual songs speak to me rather than artists (though obviously I have faves). It may be the words or it may be the tune or it may be the beat, but individual songs really catch me - and I've got an eclectic taste *g*. From Nickleback to Girls Aloud (theme from St Trinians) to Journey to Cher to Meatloaf to Bonjovi to Abba to Clapton and Stevie Winwood and Dean Martin *g*.

Beth said...

Good morning!

Molly, thank you so much for being with us today - great blog *g*

Dianna, congrats on nabbing the GR. Definitely put him to work. You know how he gets if he has too much idle time on his hands :-)

I love classic rock, too! Although I do think it's funny that some of the songs from the 90's are playing on "classic rock" radio stations *g*

Beth said...

Helen, isn't it fabulous how some music just touches something within us? There's nothing better than listening to a song and getting chills or teary-eyed or that little catch in your throat *sigh*

One of my favorite songs is "Crash" by The Dave Matthews Band. Love the lyrics!

Beth said...

Hey, Gillian! Aren't Molly's books fabulous? I'm reading The Temptation of Savannah O'Neill now and LOVING it!!

I would love to see Sting in concert. I think I wore out my cassette of The Police's Synchronicity *g*

Beth said...

Morning, Barb! I adore family series, too. And I just know The Notorious O'Neills trilogy is going to be one of those series that ends up on my keeper shelf.

And while I'm loving Savannah's story, I'm already anxious for Tyler's book thanks to the excerpt of it I recently read *g* Then again, I'm a sucker for a redeemed hero ;-)

Beth said...

Hey - I forgot to put this in my post but I am giving away TWO copies of THE TEMPTATION OF SAVANNAH O'NEILL to two lucky commentors!

Oops! Sorry, Molly, I think that was my fault. I'll add it to the post.

In the meantime, care to tell us a bit about those Notorious O'Neills??

Daz said...

Dianna, congrats on the GR. Have fun with him. He's been exercising yesterday, so he might appreciate a day off. :-)

Molly, I so know what you mean about the beauty of lyrics. One of my favorites is from Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". It goes:

"And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah"

My breath catches every time I hear that line in the song. The imagery is so amazingly evocative.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Dianna - I agree when a songwriter gets it right - there's nothing more powerful.

Anna! I love the Dixie Chicks - the soldier song from the Home album...kills me.

beth - thanks for having me! I know when the songs I listened to in high school are classic rock...ouch!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Daz - Leonard Cohen is a genius, no doubt about it. His songs are poems.

Molly O'Keefe said...

So, here's a little bit about the series:

Inspired by Paul Newman and pralines, The Notorious O'Neill series takes place in Bonne Terre, a fictional town in Louisana. Savannah, Tyler and Carter are siblings who were left on thier grandmother's doorstep twenty years ago by thier con artist mother. Each of the children has spent the last twenty years battling, or in Tyler's case embracing, the notorious reputation attatched to the O'Neill name. The siblings are in danger of falling out of touch with each other - pulled in seperate directions by thier fears and lifestyles - when the fall out of a seven year old jewel theft shatters all of thier lives. For Savannah, the baby of the family, it's a matter of learning to trust again, only the man she chooses to trust ends up breaking her heart. Tyler has to go home to Bonne Terre to face down his father, his demons, and Juliette Tremblant - the girl he loved and left years ago. Carter, as a Baton Rouge politician has been trying to keep his own skeletons in the closet - but when a beautiful stranger publically claims Carter got her pregnant his life and lies begin to unravel.

Throw in a devious grandma with a tarnished past, a couple of stolen gems and a family home with plenty of secrets - and you have the Notorious O'Neill series.

PJ said...

Hi Molly! Congrats on the RITA! That's the ultimate souvenir to bring home from Florida. I'm a fan of Supers and can't wait to read your books!

As Dianna (and Bob Seger)said, "music just soothes the soul." I like Springsteen. One of my favs by him is "I'm on Fire."

My musical tastes are rather eclectic but I came of age in the late 60's, early 70's so much of the music that "speaks to me" is from that era. One of my favorite groups is The Doors. Jim Morrison was like a shooting star: blazing in his brilliance and destined to crash and burn.

PJ said...

"And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah"

Daz, that is absolutely gorgeous.

Nancy said...

Dianna, you got the GR! Good luck with the overhaul. Be sure he doesn't take any you want to keep.

Nancy said...

Molly, welcome! Your series sounds terrific.

I was in the program you did and Moonlight and Magnolias last year, and it was excellent.

I love Springsteen's music. His songs tell stories, and I tend to like that. Back in the days when VH-1 and MTV focused on playing music videos, his were always great.

Janga said...

My musical tastes are eclectic too. Typically my playlist includes a little classical, a little blues, a little classic rock, a little pop, etc., but it always has a heavy sampling of country since I think country has the best story songs. I have a deep affection for Keith Urban's "You Look Good in My Shirt" since listening to it moved my first story forward when I was stuck. A current favorite is "Mrs. Hemingway" about Ernest Hemingway's first wife from Mary Chapin Carpenter's The Age of Miracles:

Living in Paris, in attics and garrets,
Where the coal merchants climb every stair,
The dance hall next door is filled with sailors and whores,
And the music floats up through the air.
There's Sancerre and oysters, and Notre Dame's cloisters
And time with its unerring aim,
For now we can say we
were lucky most days
And throw a rose into the Seine.

I must add that I loved The Temptation of Savannah O'Neill and am eager to read Tyler's book. Redemption and reunion stories are my favorites, and the promise of both in one book has me dancing with delight. I'm looking forward to O'Neill #3 and seeing Carter shaken up too.

Molly O'Keefe said...

PJ! Thanks the RITA was a great souvenier! I'm not sure I'll have a conference that successful again - I'm thinking of early retirement!!

Jim Morrison had to be about the sexiest thing in his time - honestly. I'm not a huge fan of the music - but I love those leather pants!

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats Dianna on the GR. In true Springstein fashion, you rock!

Hi Molly - Gee, I feel like I know the entire O'Neill family just by looking at the covers! Love Springstein. You can really feel the power in his voice - so much so that the fabulous craft of telling a story, tight and in rhyme, tends to be overlooked. Right now, all I can hear in my head is - "Strap your hands 'cross my engine!" (oh yeah - anyday).

Molly O'Keefe said...

Nancy - that was my first Moonlight and Magnolia conference and I hope it won't be my last! It was wonderful!!

I miss music videos - everything on those music channels seems to be about teenagers behaving badly -

Molly O'Keefe said...

Janga! Mary Chapin Carpenter's Stones in the Road is one of my very very favorite albums - she's a great great story teller!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Donna - did you see the Emmy's? With the opening number? Oh oh so many of my favorite things - Springsteen, Jonn Hamm, Tina Fey and the cast of Glee - honestly, I was in total heaven!

Thanks everyone for the kind words about the O'Neills - it's wonderful that people are interested and enjoying the books. I like redemption and reunion stories too - in fact, most of the books I write are variations on those themes. Tyler was by far the most overt case - which is probably why he's one of my favorite heroes to date!

Beth said...

Hi, Dianna! I, too, am amazed by how songwriters can convey so much emotion in so few words. There are so many great stories being told in song *g*

Beth said...

Anna, my taste in music is varied as well. As for songs that resonate with me, I love Brad Paisley's Letter To Me and When I Get Where I'm Going. Both make me cry every time I hear them.

Beth said...

Oh, Daz, I adore Hallelujah and have Kate Voegle's version of it on my iPod. It's so haunting.

Also love Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event. Here's a snippet:

Then she leaves, with someone you don’t know.

But she makes sure you saw her.

She looks right at you and bolts.

As she walks out the door, your blood boiling your stomach in ropes.

Beth said...

Molly, the Soldier Song by The Dixie Chicks gets me every time. So powerful.

And thanks for filling us in on those Notorious O'Neills! If anyone's interested in more about them and reading some terrific excerpts, check out eharlequin.

Beth said...

Hi, PJ! I've always found The Doors' lyrics very interesting. I love when a songwriter tells a story in a very subtle way *g*

Beth said...

Nancy, I miss videos! If I'm not writing (ha) I can usually catch a few on VH1 before they switch to other programming. But I feel really old when I try to explain to my kids that back in MY day, MTV only played videos. And we all loved it :-)

Beth said...

Janga, isn't it funny how certain songs are so perfect for a story? For my YA there are a few songs that just go so well with my protagonist that she's all I can think about when I hear them *g*

Karyn Gerrard said...

Hi Molly, sounds like a great series, I like anything with an Irish theme. All the best for your release!

I like Springsteen too. One of my fav songs by him is 'Radio Nowhere'

I listen to music as I write, usually 60's, 70's and 80's, which I think, just gave away my age!

PJ said...

I love Brad Paisley's Letter To Me and When I Get Where I'm Going. Both make me cry every time I hear them.

I'm with you, Beth. I think he writes some of the best "story-telling" music around. I love his "He Didn't Have to Be." Chokes me up every single time.

Janga said...

Molly, I meant to say congratulations on the A review The Redemption of Tyler O'Neill received yesterday at AAR. They don't give out a lot of those at that site, so yay for you and for Tyler and Juliette! I noticed the reviewer praised the way you handled music in the book too, so my comment is not entirely unrelated to this discussion. :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Molly! And BIG THANX to Beth for inviting you to join us today!

Wow, a pair of Rita winners posting today. Is that amazing or what?!?!

Dianna, WTG on capturing the chook. As Nancy, watch him closely. The cabana boys have their own private stash of books down in their quarters, and I wouldn't be surprised to know that the GR was supplying them with new titles. :-P He's such a scalawag!

Yup, gotta say I do love me some Springsteen! Esp.Born to Run and I'm on Fire. I have pretty varied tastes in music too and have loved certain songs by Sting, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Lennon & McCartney to name a few.

And PJ, I can positively tell you that Jim Morrison was even more hypnotic and sexy in person, since I saw the Doors in concert as a very young teen, an experience I'll never forget!


Kathleen O'Reilly said...


(I just had to say that). And I'm so looking forward to the O'Neil books! I just finished The Christmas Eve Promise and loved it. Sigh.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Beth - Sometime Around Midnight is one of my favorite songs to run to. My husband is a part of a band - three teachers and two contractors - not so much a band as a middle-aged fantasy. But they play that song and the girls go nuts...holds her tonic like a cross... so many great lines in that song.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Speaking of videos - my current obsession is Eminem's latest with Rhiannon... have you guys seen that? So powerful. I think Eminem's an amazing storyteller too - with a very very different and harrowing point of view. It's like he scrapes out his soul for some of those songs.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Janga - thanks for the congrats - those reviewers at AAR are a tough bunch - it feels good to get a good review from them, that's for sure.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Ah Kathleen! You speak to my heart! Thanks for stopping by - I can't wait to read your new stuff!!!

Cassondra said...

Hi Molly!


This series looks fantastic. I absolutely love series like this one.

Music...lessee...I like Stevie Nicks a lot. I do like Springsteen, but I'm not as enamored of him or his music as you are. That's cool though, to be so touched by an artist's work that it moves you to that degree. I think that "movability" is what makes us good writers--we're sensitive people in that way.

And yes, songwriting is more difficult than book writing to me, because it's structure is even more demanding. I did that for a long time, and sometimes I have to make myself open up a little--expand a bit--for the purposes of novel writing. I still don't have that quite down yet. Telling a story in 3.5 minutes or less, with emotion, visuals, and the ring of truth--that's hard. And Springsteen does it brilliantly. I think not too many fans understand the skills and effort involved in that.

Congrats on your string of releases!

Cassondra said...

aka Dianna, congrats on the rooster!

One thing he's decent at--it's sorting books!

Rebekah E. said...

I have never been a big springsteen fan. But one of my favorite songs out there is Listen To Your Heart by Roxette. I just love that song

Cassondra said...

Gillian said:

I absolutely love Sting. His music really speaks to me, and I'd probably pay a lot of money to watch him sing.

OHHHH...I love Sting too! And yes, I would pay a lot to see him in concert.

Cassondra said...

Barb, I love that rooster avatar!

Minna said...

I'm not a great fan of Springsteen, but he has some songs I like. One of my favorites is Streets of Philadelphia. Here are some of my other favorites:

Dirty Dancing - The Time of my Life

The Mountie Song

Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke

Kuorosota 2010 [2]// Kuopio - Paradise City

Kuorosota 2010 [3]// Kuopio - Like A Virgin

Kuorosota 2010// Joensuu - Pohjois-Karjala (North Karelia)

Pave Maijanen - Lähtisitkö

Molly O'Keefe said...

oh Stevie Nicks - the edge of seventeen? Was that the name of that song? I went through a powerful Fleetwood Mac period - I love the Dixie Chicks cover of Landslide.

Streets of Philadelphia is one of my favorites. At a dear friend's wedding for some reason the DJ played it and as much as I love that song - it does not make for cheerful reception dancing. He was a terrible DJ.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Dianna.

Welcome Molly,
Congrats on the new release. I like U2, Coldplay and The Verve. I can listen to any of their songs and not get sick of them.

Beth said...

Donna, that's a great point about Bruce's voice! It's so unique and can take away from the lyrics if you don't pay attention *g*

Beth said...

Mary Chapin Carpenter's Stones in the Road is one of my very very favorite albums

I'll have to look this up, Molly. I'm always on the lookout for new-to-me songs to write to *g*

Beth said...

LOL, Karyn! I think we're all giving away our ages here *g*

Beth said...

I'm with you, Beth. I think he writes some of the best "story-telling" music around.

Right, PJ! And his lighter songs are so much fun and still tell a story *g* Plus, I love his videos - he's too cute ;-)

Beth said...

And PJ, I can positively tell you that Jim Morrison was even more hypnotic and sexy in person, since I saw the Doors in concert as a very young teen, an experience I'll never forget!

Oh, AC, that is so cool!! What a terrific experience :-)

Beth said...

LOL, Kathleen! Thanks for stopping by :-)

Beth said...

But they play that song and the girls go nuts...holds her tonic like a cross... so many great lines in that song.

YES!! Love it! And I'd go wild, too :-)

That white dress she's wearing...

*sigh* So heartbreaking!

Beth said...

Speaking of videos - my current obsession is Eminem's latest with Rhiannon... have you guys seen that?

I'm terribly behind on my videos. And movies. And TV shows. I'll have to look this up, though.

MsHellion said...

I like the Boss. How can you not? He had a lot of great songs! I don't think he spoke to me the way he spoke to you though. Richard Marx was probably my big one in high school, esp the song "Hazard", it had a haunting melody as well as haunting lyrics.

I was also a huge fan of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Tesla--Tesla's "Love Song" was THE SONG. *LOL*

I love pulling inspiration from songs--I like making "soundtracks" for when I'm writing stories. :)

Great blog!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh my gosh Richard marx - now you are taking me back. There was a high school homecoming and one of his songs was the theme song - I can't remember which one. But some boy's sweaty hands on my waist...that I remember!!!

chey said...

One of my favourites is Bryan Adams.

Beth said...

Cassondra, there's no way I could be a song writer. My brain doesn't think that way which is why I'm seriously impressed with people who can do it and do it so well *g*

Also, I love Stevie Nicks. And Melissa Etheridge. I think I read somewhere that Melissa was inspired to become a musician because of Bruce Springsteen :-)

Beth said...

Rebekah, that is a great song! I'm humming it as we speak *g*

Beth said...

Hey, Minna! Great songs!

Beth said...

Jane, those are all great bands. I do enjoy U2's music and I really admire musicians who can make careers out of music as opposed to those who fade away after a few songs.

Beth said...

Richard Marx was probably my big one in high school

LOL, Hellion! I was just telling my husband about when I went to see Richard Marx in concert *g*

Oh, and I got to see Tesla, too. I adore Love Song! So many great rock ballads back in the 80's :-)

Beth said...

Chey, I was a huge Brian Adams fan. Another cassette tape that got played and played and played *g*

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

That Wascally Wooster has been a handful all day at work, but he will be busy this evening for sure, I already have him alphabatizing, if he gets lazy I let him get a good look at the cats.

Molly O'Keefe said...

U2 is another favorite - "you asked me to enter and then you made me crawl. I can't keep holding on." Love it!~

And Coldplay - I have thier songs on my running playlist!

catslady said...

I love a variety of music from opera to country. Just a little rap though (eminem) and no heavy metal. Bruce is great!

flchen1 said...

Ooh, music-wise, I'm mostly a child of the '80s :) These days though, I find myself still listening to lots of kid music--They Might Be Giants and Laurie Berkner :) Some of the lyrics are goofy, but some are very fun to sing ;) "I'm gonna catch you, you'd better run!" is an excellent prelude to a game of chase with my kids ;p

Daz said...

PJ & Beth, those lines in that song totally speaks to the romantic in me. Simply genius.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I have a group blog and we were just talking about Eminem and so many writers admire him. I think he's partly tortured hero we want to save, part genius and all around bad boy - it's a lethal combo.

This has been GREAT! Thank you so much for having me!!!

Laurie said...

Your O'Neill series sounds fabulous!

My BOSS favorites:
Cover Me, I'm On Fire, Dancin'in the Dark, and Born To Run

Other great storytellers:

Dan Fogelburg, Dan Hill, Chris deBurgh, John Denver, Paul Simon
Harry Chapin, Leo Kottke, John Lennon, Paul McCartney

Chris Christopherson wrote beautiful lyrics, terrible voice

Cecilia Grant said...

I'm late to this discussion (that's okay; I already have a copy of Savannah O'Neill) but I have to say that when I look at those Springsteen lyrics, all I can see is a prelude to Tracy Chapman's Fast Car.

Don't get in that car, Mary! Don't get in that car, Molly! It's only going to end in heartache and disillusion!