Baseball and Other Lessons

The hardest lessons are a lot like a line drive to the heart.

Texas Wranglers’ ace Matt Roberts had it all: fame, fortune, his dream job. Until one line drive to the head ended it. Well, at least that was the case according to Twitter. Needing time to let his fractured skull heal—along with his psyche—Matt heads home to Del Rio, Texas, with one goal in mind—getting back to baseball. Unfortunately a certain redhead keeps driving him to distraction.

Seventh grade English teacher Jenn McDonnell is not happy that Matt’s come home and is staying with his brother—aka her best friend—while his thick skull heals. And she certainly could do without all the questions their group of friends suddenly has, like, “Why do you hate Matt so much?” Yeah, she totally has no desire to answer that one.

Unfortunately for Jenn the questions aren’t letting up, and unfortunately for Matt he can’t get Jenn off of his mind. Can Jenn put past hurt aside and teach Matt that there’s more to life than baseball? Furthermore, can Matt convince Jenn that this relationship isn’t doomed to strike out?

Baseball and Other Lessons Playlist

When you look at the playlist for Baseball and Other Lessons, you’ll probably notice something pretty quickly: the first 12 songs are all (mostly) from 2000-2009. After that, most of the songs are from 2010 and later. That’s by design; the first 12 songs are ones that inspired flashback scenes between Matt and Jenn (if you haven’t read the book yet).

It’s funny, because music tends to influence my writing in all kinds of weird and wonderful ways. In some cases I’ll hear a song and a scene will pop into my head. Such was the case with “Dancing All Around It” by Mike Ryan. Every time I heard that song on the radio or streaming on iTunes or Spotify I would just get this picture in my head of Matt and Jenn at April’s Bar, Jenn dancing and laughing and having a good time while Matt watched, brooding, trying to figure out why in the world he was so fascinated with her.

And yet other songs just seemed to fit so seamlessly into scenes, and help set the tone. Like the Civil Wars’ “The One That Got Away.” That scene was actually harder to write than you might think, because in that moment Matt and Jenn’s emotions were so very, very raw.

I also loved using Kelly Clarkson’s “Heartbeat Song” for these two, because it just worked. If you look at my other book playlists you’ll figure out I’m a Kelly Clarkson fangirl, and there’s good reason for that–amazing song writing (not to mention that voice, though, and the fact that she seems like she would make the best BFF ever).

There’s also a love scene that might not even exist if I hadn’t had Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” on repeat while writing it. That song definitely helped provide the creative inspiration and emotional backdrop.

So, yeah, I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I do. It’s probably my favorite book playlist to-date (okay, if I’m being honest, Baseball and Other Lessons is probably my favorite book I’ve written to-date, too, but don’t tell my other books).

Baseball and Other Lessons Pinterest Board

Also in the Devils Ranch Series