Color of Love Blog Hop: Musical inspiration for It’s Been You

Hello, everyone! I am so excited to participate in the Color of Love Blog Hop. We are celebrating multicultural and interracial love, so if you enjoy romance novels featuring people of color, then keep reading.

For me, music and writing go hand in hand. For each book that I have written, I have a soundtrack and the songs selected to embody the theme of the story, the emotions I want to convey, and theme songs for the hero and heroine.

The theme for It’s Been You is love and war. Fire and ice. When I wrote this book, I wanted to fuel the angst of lusting after someone you loathe, and then to falling in love with someone you think may be wrong for you. Below are my top 3 songs for my story.

1. “Love Rollercoaster” – Ohio Players – Do you remember when you first rode a rollercoaster? The slow uptick and clicks of the tracks that made your heart go ka-thump. You squeeze your eyes shut and stick your hands in the air, praying to God you don’t die. Or maybe that’s just me and my dramatic self! There is a scene in the story when the hero and heroine are at the fairground, and it represents the scary, yet exciting start of their relationship.
2. “Ooh Baby Baby” – Smokey Robinson – Confession: I’m a groupie for Smokey. He’s seventy-four, but as my critique partner, LaShon would say “He can get all the dates.” ALL of ‘em. He’s crooning about doing his woman wrong, and I think he properly begs for forgiveness.
3. “It’s Been You” Anita Baker – This is the theme song for the book and is about a woman who realizes the man of her dreams is right in front of her. This song is the “ah-ha” moment. Birds are chirping around the heroine’s head, with Cupid flapping in the background looking on with adoring eyes. And then, of course, he shoots Tiana with her arrow. Nathan didn’t need as much prodding.

I hope you enjoyed my top 3 songs for It’s Been You. Here’s an excerpt from the book.


Praying for patience for the sure to be annoying encounter, she pasted on a fake smile and through thin lips hissed, “Yes, Nathaniel?”

His tongue slid across that luscious lower lip. “Mornin’, Peaches,” he said in a deep, succulent voice like a man eager to take a bite of her forbidden fruit.

Tiana crossed her legs. Silky smooth fabric crept up her thigh. Tugging at the hem of the rising skirt to keep it in place, she needed her hands to stay busy. Nathaniel didn’t need to know how restless she became around him. He didn’t need to know how he always made her insides quiver.

“Stop calling me Peaches.”

He moved closer and leaned across her desk. “I see my little Georgia peach is feeling feisty this morning.”

“Move away from my desk. You’re crowding me.”

Lord knows she didn’t want to be a part of the office’s gossip mill again. She’d once walked in on a whispered conversation among coworkers, debating whether or not she had finally given it up to Nathaniel. Like it was inevitable. Their co-workers thought their prank war was foreplay, but she’d never date him. Not even if he was the last man on Earth.

“Fine.” He leaned back with an unapologetic look on his face. “I’ll leave you alone if you answer my question.”

Reclining in her chair, she waved her hand. “Ask.”

“In between painting the town red with your friends this weekend,” he said in a you-gotta-be-kidding-me voice, “you didn’t happen to find time to work on a counterproposal for the sports car account, right? Because you know Isaac has practically given the account to me.”

“Perhaps.” She lifted her shoulders. She certainly had worked on a bid, not that it was any of his business. Marketing a sexy car, one that was endorsed by a professional athlete to boot, would give her a much-needed boost in snagging a director’s position. She planned on wowing their bosses Isaac and Richard tomorrow afternoon, a few days before presenting the final pitch to Fiete.

As Nathaniel stood, his full lips thinned into a frown. “That account is mine, Tiana. I’ve worked with similar clients and led campaigns that were wildly successful and under budget while you sold doggy biscuits.”

She slowly clapped her hands. A sarcastic clap was better than a swift slap to his handsome face. “Good for you. Now, I’m going to get back to work.” Pulling a key from the desk, she opened a drawer to retrieve her spare headphones. “Then I’m going to polish my proposal that’s going to, if I may boast, kick your testosterone-filled, high-five-bro, greasy-bikini-clad-women marketing plan’s ass.”

His nostrils flared, and she couldn’t gauge if he was pissed off or turned on.

“Game on.” He leaned over her desk. “But be warned, I play to win.”

She tilted closer, her lips nearly touching his ear. “Come and get me.”

She didn’t know what possessed her to whisper something so suggestive, but she did know she wasn’t backing down. His head jerked back, and those sinful eyes seared her with a silent promise. Her heart stalled like a faulty engine.

He would most definitely be up for the challenge.

I’m giving away a copy of It’s Been You as part of the Color of Love Blog hop, your choice of digital or print. To participate, simply tell me your favorite love song in the comment section. Also,  check out the GRAND Prize and wonderful authors participating below.

      • 1st prize $75 GC + 7 ebooks
      • 2nd prize $50 GC + 7 ebooks
      • 3rd prize $30 GC + 7 ebooks
      • 4th prize $15 GC + 7 ebooks
      • 5th prize $10 GC + 7 ebooks
      • 6th prize $5 GC + 7 ebooks

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It’s Been You (Crush on You Book 2) on Amazon
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Rina Gray

Rina Gray is a digital marketer and aspiring romance author, based out of Georgia.

  • Nana Prah

    If music is inspirational for your writing then it’s good. You went old school with the music. I like it.
    Thanks for participating in the Color of Love Blog Hop.

  • It’s been you by Anita Baker has got to be one of my favourite songs. Now, I’ve got to bump up It’s Been You on my TBR pile.
    Thanks for being a part of #coloroflovehop