If you are interested in holding a Sing and Sign event, please contact Kimberly at kimberly @ booksbykimberly.com
Local Bestselling Author Kimberly Lang, Country Singer Cristina Lynn Team to Create Soundtrack for Latest Novels, Plan ‘Sing and Sign’ Events in Early 2013
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Local writer Kimberly Lang prefers total silence when she’s crafting a steamy new romance novel; Huntsville-area country singer Cristina Lynn confesses she rarely has time to read when she’s working on a new album.
But their work habits didn’t stop the writer and the singer from joining forces on a “novel” idea — complementing the latest pair of romance novels from bestselling author Lang with a CD of original music composed and performed by Lynn.
“The Downfall of a Good Girl” and “The Taming of a Wild Child,” will debut in February and March 2013, respectively. They’re the first titles in the new Harlequin KISS line, aimed at a young, smart, hip female readership seeking “sassy, spunky heroines and strong, handsome heroes,” Lang said.
The linked titles, Lang’s 10th and 11th novels, follow the exploits of the LaBlanc sisters, twentysomething New Orleans socialites Vivi and Lorelei. “Good girl” Vivi grapples with feelings for an old flame, set against the backdrop of Mardi Gras and the annual “Saints and Sinners” fundraiser. “Wild child” Lorelei tangles with a striking suitor of her own, a brash young journalist and heir to a media empire, who disrupts her efforts to shed her black-sheep image and live up to her family’s class-conscious expectations.
As Lang began work on the first of the two novels, writing about the tempestuous relationship between Vivi and famous singer/songwriter Connor Mansfield, she realized she needed music — not to inspire her writing ritual, but to underscore the blossoming relationship between the characters on the page, providing thematic weight to their growing love affair.
Immediately, she thought of Lynn, whom she’d met in 2006 while they were both chaperoning a party for the kindergarten class their kids shared.
Lynn, a hard-working country singer who performs live across the Tennessee Valley, was only too happy to help a friend and fellow creative soul. Lang quickly found what she was looking for in lyrics to a pair of original compositions: “Whiskey & Honey,” a seductive barroom reverie, and “Service Your Heart,” a tender love song of promise and protection.
“I hadn’t even heard the music at that point,” Lang recalled. “What struck me was the strength of the lyrics. They just matched the heart of the story and spoke volumes.”
As she was using those lyrics, with Lynn’s blessing, to refine and tighten the tale, her friend was reading the novel’s first draft — and finding herself equally inspired. Soon, Lynn had penned “Sinners and Saints,” a bluesy ballad about unlikely lovers based on the main characters in “The Downfall of a Good Girl.”
“I was unprepared for the emotional impact of the story,” Lynn said. “I’d had an idea in my head of how such novels unfolded, but this was different — cool, sexy, fun. The storytelling spoke to my own creative vibe.”
Lang was thrilled with the results. “If the novel had closing credits, this is the song that would play over them,” she said.
The blend of mutual inspiration, lucky coincidence and serendipitous storytelling in different mediums led the friends to tackle an unusual challenge: To accompany the release of Lang’s new books, Lynn would set out to produce a CD of songs inspired by the novels. The resulting EP-length release, “Sinners and Saints,” will be out in late January, just ahead of the first of the two novels.
The CD includes the songs “Whiskey & Honey,” “Service Your Heart,” “Rainin'” and the title tune, plus and a final song, “Today,” which is integral to — no spoilers! — the conclusion of the LaBlanc sisters’ story. The EP was produced by Lynn and Greg Clements and recorded at the Construction Zone Studio in Huntsville.
In coming weeks, as the books hit store shelves, Lang and Lynn will hold joint “Sing and Sign” events, combining traditional book-signings with live musical performances — and selling the music of the novels alongside the novels themselves.
“It’s a whole new way to enter the lives of a story’s characters,” Lang said. “Readers who enjoy the sparky relationships and romantic encounters in the books now can pop a CD into their home or car stereo and continue that experience anywhere.”
For more information about Kimberly Lang, including a complete biography and excerpts of her books, visit her website at:
Lang sold her first novel, “The Secret Mistress Arrangement,” to Harlequin in 2008. Her most recent title, “What Happens in Vegas,” earned honors from the Georgia Romance Writers and Virginia Romance Writers associations, and was nominated for a 2012 Reviewers’ Choice Award from RT Book Reviews Magazine. Lang has received numerous honors for her other books, including a spot in the USA Today Bestseller List for her 2010 novel, “Magnate’s Mistress… Accidentally Pregnant.” Since then, her novels have appeared regularly on Amazon, Borders and Bookscan bestseller lists, and now are available in 14 languages worldwide. She lives in Madison, Ala., with her husband and daughter.
More about Cristina Lynn
Lynn has pursued her ambition of becoming a full-time singer/songwriter since 2004. A frequent performer in Huntsville, Nashville and across the Tennessee Valley, she previously has released two full-length CDs, “What’s Next” and “From All Sides,” in 2007 and 2009, respectively. She lives in Madison with her husband and son.
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