retreat, Edens Fall, celebrate, Winters Thaw, Venus Rising, blogging, playlist, Frankie Winslow, music

Not a martini and not on the patio (sadly none of us thought to get pics of that LOL), but part of our “We have a book! It’s happening!” celebration.

We’re back! As we hoped, our retreat was reinvigorating and productive. We three have much to share with you in the coming weeks. I’ll start with this. A discussion about music, had while we sat outside on C.C.’s lovely patio, enjoying the gorgeous view, the unseasonable warmth and a well-made martini (or two), led to a discussion of our characters’ inner lives and what kind of music they listen to.

Long-time readers of our blog know that Francesca “Frankie” Winslow is one the three main female characters in the Stilettos, Stoli and Scribbles trilogy of romantic suspense novels. She features in book no. 1, “Eden’s Fall” as well as the upcoming “Winter’s Thaw”, and will get to star in book no. 3, “Venus Rising”.

Frankie is the only child of Senator Lyman Thayer Winslow and Lucinda Eliot Winslow Reuben Quinn. She grew up in upstate New York at the Winslow family home and in Georgetown where the Senator and Mrs. Winslow kept a townhouse. They often summered in Maine where the Winslow family also had a home.

She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology and was on her way to a Ph.D when she gave up academia to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Currently, Frankie free-lances for some online and print publications. This gives her plenty of time to work on her latest version of the “Great American” novel.

All that provides an outline, a sketch, of who Frankie is. If you want to get to know her better, music will provide a bit of a map. Frankie believes everyone has a soundtrack. Hers reflects both her life-experiences as well as her wide-ranging tastes.

Frankie still listens to the vintage French pop songs that one of her roommates at Institut Villa Pierrefeu, the Swiss finishing school, introduced her to. They’d sit in the window of their dorm room and sing along to France Gall.

France Gall – Il jouait du piano debout

Other times they would drink red wine, smoke Gauloises and listen to Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin pant urgent, heavy breaths at each other and consider themselves sophisticated. (Her roommate’s mother had had an affair with Gainsbourg once upon a time. Neither Frankie nor her roommate quite saw the attraction.)

Jane Birkin et Serge Gainsbourg – Je T’aime,…Moi Non Plus

She likes Cole Porter and adores Gershwin and the American standards. She learned to appreciate Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday by listening in the kitchen with the Winslow Family Cook.

Ella Fitzgerald – They Can’t Take That Away From Me

She likes Katy Perry and Lady Gaga because they remind her of teenage summers spent in Maine.

Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl

Lady Gaga – Poker Face

Frankie likes to tease Will about his love of 80s Brit Pop and New Wave. That’s for another post, but if it’s all Will, how does she know all the words to all the songs?

New Order Bizarre Love Triangle

This is one of Will’s favorites. (She won’t tell him it’s also one of hers.)
Level 42- There’s Something About You

When she needs to get some work done, she’s got a head-banging, chair-dancing list of tunes that includes Imagine Dragons, The Foo Fighters, Bastille and The Killers.

…unless she’s writing a love scene. Then it’s often Ravel’s Bolero. This might seem like an obvious, even clichéd, choice to you and me, but Frankie’s never seen the movie “10”. She just knows it makes her feel alluring and sensual. It’s good that she lives alone. She’s been known to dance around her home office in her underwear brandishing whatever’s handy as a cape, with a flower between her teeth.

The closer she gets to a deadline, however, it might be “The Rach 3” (Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.3)


Holst’s The Planets: Mars

(Jupiter is for bubble baths)


Both Frankie and I hope you enjoy this sampling of her soundtrack and the brief glimpse into her life that it provides. I’ll get Will to share his at some point as well.

See you next time!
– S.A.

*A situation that’s cool, exciting or crazy, as in “This party is so freaking lit right now!” –