Hey, friends! I’m thrilled to welcome Tessa Hall to the blog as we celebrate the release of her YA novel, Unwritten Melody! I met Tessa through an online writers group a while back, then we later realized she has family in my hometown. So one day, we met for coffee…and now we’re on this writing journey together!
I’m so excited to share Unwritten Melody with you, because it’s a story worth sharing. I’ve read it a couple of times already, and I definitely recommend you add it to your reading list.
So stick around for lots of fun stuff…including info about the book, the official soundtrack for the story, and even a giveaway at the end of the post!
About the book
Does breaking free require breaking the rules?
Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.
James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.
As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder—did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?
Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.
The Official Soundtrack to Unwritten Melody
If you can’t already tell based on the title of this book, music serves as a significant thread throughout the story. Its soundtrack is consisted of a mix of country and pop-rock music – both of which represent Cassie and James.
Despite the fact that I’ve grown up in a fairly small and southern town, I was never a huge fan of country music. At all. I couldn’t listen to an entire song without having my skin crawl. But the summer before my senior year of high school, something changed. I don’t even know why or how – but I started listening to a few songs in this genre. Then a few more. Soon, country music became almost an obsession of mine. I couldn’t get enough of this music that I once had insisted I would never have an appreciation for. Ever.
I fell in love with the way country music reminded me of my hometown. I fell in love with the sound of it, and the way that almost each song tapped into my emotions and seemed to tell a story. (I’m not referring to the songs that are only about girls, beer, and trucks. Haha)
I believe this served as an influence for the creation of the Willow Creek, SC – the setting of Unwritten Melody.
When I wrote the first version of Unwritten Melody, the country music station on Pandora played on repeat. I would come home from a day of college classes, make a cup of Keurig coffee, turn on Pandora, open my manuscript, and the music would automatically transport me into the scene I was working on at the time.
Country music doesn’t just serve as the soundtrack to this story; it’s woven into it. Since Willow Creek is a small, country town, the country music station is usually a default in most of the resident’s vehicles. It’s the only secular music that my protagonist, Cassie, is allowed to listen to.
So as you can imagine, most of the songs on this soundtrack are – you guessed it! – country. But since we can’t exactly neglect the style of music that James performs, you’ll find pop-rock music mixed into this playlist as well. (James is, in fact, the hero of the story. ;) )
Here’s a sneak peak into this playlist, featuring songs that, in my opinion, seem to highlight the book’s theme and/or significant moments. Don’t forget to click here for the full soundtrack on Spotify!
- “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
- “Get Out of This town” by Carrie Underwood
- “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood
- “Inside Your Heaven” by Carrie Underwood
- “Thank God For Hometowns” by Carrie Underwood
- “More Than Miles” by Brantley Gilbert
- “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes
- “Invisible” by Hunter Hayes
- “Beautiful Things” by Gungor
- “On a Night Like This” by Dave Barnes
- “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias
- “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol
- “Through Your Eyes” by Jenny & Tyler
- “Goodbye Town” by Lady Antebellum
- “Kiss Me Slowly” by Parachute
- “Walk Away” by Jon McLaughlin
- “Tattoos on This town” by Jason Aldean
- “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry
- “Can’t Get Over You” by Anthem Lights
- “You and Me” by Lifehouse
- “For You I Will (Confidence)” by Teddy Geiger
- “Changed” by Rascal Flatts
- “Something in the Water” by Carrie Underwood
Questions for you…
Do you listen to music as you write? Does it serve as an influence or inspiration to your writing in any way?
Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show others they’re not alone—and because she remembers the teen life like it was yesterday (or a few years ago). The debut novel she wrote at 16-years-old, PURPLE MOON (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a Selah 2014 Finalist. Her second novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY, releases with Clean Reads November 2016. She’s the Founder of PursueMagazine.net, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their calling. She also enjoys helping writers achieve their dreams through her internship at Hartline Literary Agency.
When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, Tessa can be found making healthy homemade lattes, speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website.
Connect With Tessa
Blog Tour Schedule
Don’t miss the next blog tour stop! Be sure to visit the following blogs on its designated tour date. You can also email tessaemilyhall (at) gmail (dot) com and request to receive the Blog Tour Packet. At the end of the tour, Tessa will send you the downloadable PDF that will contain all of the content from each blog tour stop.
Tues., November 1 – Christ is Write
Wed., November 2 – Adriana Gabrielle Writes
Thurs., November 3 – The Depth of My Faith
Fri., November 4 – Sarah Ruut
Mon., November 7 – God is Love
Tues., November 8 – The Bibliophile Angel
Wed., November 9 – Emily Rachelle Writes
Thurs, November 10 – Word Changers For His Glory
Fri., November 11 – Christian Teen Book Reviews
Mon., November 14 – Phyllis Still
Tues., November 15 – In The Bookcase
Wed., November 16 – Girl Meets Publishing World
Thurs., November 17 – Anna Schaeffer
Fri., November 18 – Ramblings of a Writer
Mon., November 21 – Naomi and Books
Tues., November 22 – Reading is My Superpower
Wed., November 23 – Zerina Blossom’s Books
Thurs., November 24 – Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud
Fri., November 25 – Labor Not in Vain
Mon., November 28 – Barbara Bruitt
Tues., November 29 – Katy Kauffman
Wed., November 30 – Jen Pheobus
Thurs., December 1 – Northern Belle Meg
Fri., December 2 – 2Me From Him
Mon., December 5 – Nicole Quigley
Tues., December 6 – The Destiny of One
Wed., December 7 – Catherine Castle
Thurs., December 8 – Rachelle Rea Cobb
Fri., December 9 – Leslie L. Mckee
Enter for your chance to win the Unwritten Melody Prize Pack! Two winners will be selected and announced on Tessa’s blog the final day of tour (Friday, December 9th) and will be notified via email.
This prize pack includes…
- E-copy of Unwritten Melody
- Signed paperback copy of Purple Moon
- Unwritten Melody mug, filled with goodies
- Unwritten Melody swag, including a bookmark, pen, and poster
- Starbucks mocha flavored instant coffee
- Free Unwritten Melody: Page-By-Page Secrets PDF
- Handmade journal
- Typewritten thank you note
Click the following link to go to the giveaway page: a Rafflecopter giveaway