Friday, February 15, 2013

Heart Bouquets: Stephanie Craig

In celebration of the release of Heart Bouquets, the authors have all created Top 5 romantic lists. Marji Laine gave us her Top 5 Romantic Couples (and those who didn't make the list!); Jennifer Fromke teased us with the Top 5 Romantic Destinations (when do we leave?); Lynda Schab shared her Top 5 Romantic Comedies; Traci Tyne Hilton provided a helpful Top 5 Romantic Gifts on a Budget (I think her titles fluctuated between "for College Sweethearts" and "for When You're Broke! - I think they all apply!); and Peggy Cunningham lists her Top 5 Romantic Movies in General (as opposed to Romantic Comedies.

Today, Stephanie Craig shares her Top 5 Romantic Songs with us.

(And don't forget, Heart Bouquets is FREE for only a few more hours, so grab it while you can!)

I love music.  In fact, when I was growing up I dreamed of being a musician.  No, I didn’t want to be a singer like Madonna or Olivia Newton John.  My dream was to be a member of the Boston Pops Orchestra.  Well, life took me in another direction.  I never went beyond playing music in college.  I became a writer instead.  But I still love music.  In fact, when I try to get into my characters’ heads, I choose a theme song for them.  I even choose a love song for the couples in my stories.


One thing I’ve noticed when I choose songs for couples in my writing is that there are many songs for couples in a beginning of a relationship.  They explore the newness of feelings and the excitement of what may be.  But the selections for long-time married couples are limited.  However limited in selection, the songs for married couples are beautiful.  They sing about the love and commitment we all hope for when we think about marriage.  Today, I have my Top Five Picks for Romantic Songs for Married Couples.


#5 When I Said I Do by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black – In a world of disposable marriages, Clint and Lisa sing about really meaning what they said when they took their marriage vows.  It’s a country song, so you may not like the music if you don’t like country.  But take a look at the lyrics anyway.  They are beautiful.  Here’s a sample:  “Only you and I can undo all that we became.  That makes us so much more than a woman and a man.”  And the great news is that the Blacks are still together.  This song debuted in 1999 and in 2013, you can still believe in the song and couple who sang it. 


#4 One-Eyed Cat by Jenny & Tyler – Yes, that’s right.  I have a song called One-Eyed Cat on Top Five Romantic Songs for Married Couples.  This song is not one made for slow dancing because it’s upbeat with a fun melody.  What’s so great about this song is that married couple Jenny & Tyler list the things that the other has done or given up for each other.  Take a look at your friends with marriages in trouble and you will see that many of them do the opposite.  They list what the other has done wrong instead of the sacrifices or the good things their spouse gave them.  The first line of the song gives you a taste of what the rest is like: “You gave up your one up your one-eyed cat, still makes you sad, but I’m allergic.”  But the part of the song that first caught my attention is in the chorus:  “And our love may not look much like Hollywood’s but I’ll love you with all of my heart.”  The chorus sounds like it was made for my marriage.  My husband and I don’t have a picture perfect marriage.   It’s not one anyone would write a movie about or would use as an example at a marriage seminar.  But it’s perfect for us.  I have a feeling many couples are in the same situation. 


#3 Then by Brad Paisley – Brad takes listeners on a journey of a relationship from the first time a couple met, the engagement, and looking forward to when they grow old together.  After each memory, he sings “And I thought I loved you then.”  It’s a song where he keeps thinking he couldn’t love the woman anymore than at that moment, but he keeps finding a way. I don’t think a woman can listen to the song and not swoon at the lyrics.  I enjoy this song because I know my husband loves me the same way, although he could never sing or write a song about it, and every time I listen, I resolve to make sure my husband knows I love more and more as time goes by. 


#2 As Long as Our Hearts are Beating by Jenny & Tyler – This is not a song for single people.  The lyrics are about the physical side of a married relationship.  The side many married couples don’t talk about, but hopefully are all experiencing.  The melody and the way Jenny & Tyler sing to each other is very passionate.  What’s wonderful about the song is that a married couple’s physical relationship is sang about in a beautiful and truthful way and not in way that will make you squirm or blush. 


#1 I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman – This song sums up what women are hoping for in a marriage.  They want someone who is willing to go through all the up and downs of life with them, even when life goes wrong.  Steven wrote this song for his wife after seeing his parents go through a divorce.  He wanted to assure her that he would be there even when life seemed unbearable.  And if you know the story of Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman, you know that this is true.  Going through horrendous situations, Steven and Mary Beth are still together, still loving each other.  They are still there for each other just as promised over two decades ago.


Those are my Top Five.  Do you have any on your list that I haven’t mentioned?  Even if you aren’t married, what love songs do you enjoy?  I can’t wait to hear about them.  Don’t forget to pick up a copy of our book Heart Bouquets.  It’s still free today.  My story Flowers for Katie is about a hopeful wife and a clueless husband who can still find the time for romance. 
About Stephanie:
Stephanie is a freelance writer from Michigan.  She is a wife and a mother of two young boys.  She has written articles on many subjects ranging from Christian living to pediatric cancer.  Currently she is the FlintChristian Fiction Examiner and shares her love of Christian books and the NOOK on her blog Christian Booksfor your NOOK.  When she’s not writing you can find her reading, crocheting, scrapbooking, or enjoying time with her family.  Stephanie loves romance and wonders why most stories stop when the character gets married.  She believes that is where true love and fun begins.