Feb 23, 2012

Guest Post + Giveaway with Camelia Miron Skiba author of A World Apart

 Music in a Book 

I can’t imagine life without music. I listen to it in my car, at work, at home, in the shower. Regardless of my mood, a good beat, a good melody always makes me see the world in better colors. 

For me each book has its own playlist. It’s like finding the right soundtrack for a movie. Each character has a favorite genre, band, artist. It gives the reader an idea what type of person that particular character is. Does he/she like opera? How about jazz or R&B? Do they listen to music when they go to sleep? How about when they drive, does the music blast through their windows? 

For my latest characters, Cassandra and David, music is what brings them together the first time. It’s how they meet, singing along on an improvised stage at the chow hall at joint-unit base Mihail Kogalniceanu. Two lonely hearts a world apart. She sings and plays the guitar. David plays the piano. I gave Cassandra my love for this amazing Romanian band called Compact. Their music lulls and inspires me still and has since I was 16. Even now Compact is part of all our gatherings. I didn't bring many things from back home when I moved to the US, but I did bring all their CD's. Whenever they release a new album, my parents know to send it over without my asking. To this day their music gives me goose bumps (sometimes makes me cry). Compact's music had been my generation's escape from the Communists, giving us hope of a better day, a better life. It's hard to understand such a concept, but it's true. Their lyrics hold no cursing, no bad messages, just talk of love and being in love. 

About six months into writing the book, I decided to contact Compact and ask for permission to use their lyrics. I also contacted Roxette (another favorite band of mine) for the same reason, but received no answer from them. I sent more messages, but Roxette had never gotten back with me, so I decided to not use their lyrics since I didn't have their permission. Several days later I got a message from Paul Ciuci, Compact's lead singer, allowing me to use their name, the song's title and lyrics. I couldn't be happier! We stayed in touch ever since, and, although we don't talk very often, once in a while we send each other notes. They tour most of the year and so their schedule is incredibly busy. What I love about their concerts is that everyone in the audience knows the lyrics and ALWAYS sings along. Paul has an autographed copy of my first novel "Hidden Heart" and I just sent him a copy of "A World Apart", tying our names forever. He also agreed to do an interview on my blog. Another dream comes true…

In a war that’s not hers, she loses everything. Everything she loses is because of him. Forgiveness is not an option.

Or maybe...

Lieutenant Cassandra Toma, trauma surgeon in the Romanian National Army starts her deployment at a joint-unit air base on a wrong foot, clashing on her first day with her new commander, Major David Hunt. Her rebellious nature and sassiness rival her excellent performance in the operating room—the only reason why she's not reprimanded, or maybe not the only reason.

They meet. They clash. A forbidden passion consumes them with the intensity of an erupting volcano, leaving her heartbroken and him with tarnished honor and pride as an officer. The only way out for David is disappearing into the dangerous war zone in Iraq. Their flame was supposed to be over when destiny brings them back under the same roof, this time with a common goal—to find Cassandra's brother, Maj. Robert Toma, kidnapped by insurgents while on patrol.

To rescue Robert, Cassandra and David put aside their resentments, uniting forces against a common enemy. Trying to forget the painful past, Cassandra opens up to give David—and their love—another chance. What she doesn’t realize is that her anguish is the result of David’s impetuous action—one reckless choice he made for which she may never forgive him.

His mistake, his secret, could cost them both the love they've finally found.
“You need to calm down,” David inched closer to Cassandra, fixing her with such intensity her face caught fire.

“Calm down? You want me to calm down?” she snorted, jutting her chin up, hands on her hips.

“Yes. You need to calm down. What was that all about? Why are you so furious?”

“You want to know why I am so furious?” Cassandra grounded her feet apart and pushed her chin forward. “You really want to know? I’ll tell you why. I’m so sick of your bigheaded attitude, of your ‘I’m an American—I do whatever I want’ arrogance!” She shoved a finger at David’s chest, poking it and leaning forward. Her gaze locked on his, their faces close. “You act like some god on our grounds, like you’re doing us a big favor, honoring us with your royal presence as if we are a bunch of idiots you cannot stand. Anything that comes your way that is Romanian, you dismiss with such vehemence one might think it’s poisonous. Nothing we do or have is good enough for your nose.

“But let me tell you something, my friend. My people might not have everything so technical and so advanced, but they are good and hard-working people. They have good hearts and above all, they have dignity. When you live for generations under communism and are treated the way we were, maybe only then you can understand what it means to be so ‘primitive’. To be given nothing and be expected to work wonders. Your standards and ours obviously don’t match, but who are you to judge us? What do you know about us that gives you the right to treat us this way? Huh?

“And for your information, in case nobody had the courage to tell you, this is not our war.” She made a large circle with her arms. “We haven’t asked for it and we are doing you a favor allowing all of you to be on our soil. And not vice versa.” Cassandra straightened her back, pushed away a curl that fell on her face and held her arms up. “Here you have it, I said it.”

She walked around David, opened the door and before leaving, said without looking back, “And don’t forget to write me up.”
About Author:

I’m Chris’ wife, Patrick’s mom and Bella’s owner. During the day, I’m the assistant to the Director at SESE at Arizona State University, and romance’s slave at night.

I moved to the U.S eight years ago, following my heart and the man who stole it. I love comedies, historical dramas and happily-ever-after stories. English is not my native, not my second, but my third language.

Some fun facts about me: 
  1. Each year I participate in one big event that requires me to physically train. My biggest sportive accomplishment was the 3-day 60-mile Susan G. Komen Walk. 
  2. Annually I pick a color I decree my favorite (this year it’s salmon).
  3. I refused to text until 2010, always preferring to hear voices rather than sending emotionless messages. Politic bores me to death and I have no tolerance for arrogance. 
  4. “A World Apart” is my second book. My debut novel “Hidden Heart” came out March 2011.
Giveaway Details:
  • Open to US/INT
  • ONE e-copy of A World Apart up for grabs
  • MUST leave e-mail address in comments field
  • MUST answer this question: Who/What artist or songs would be on your playlist if you were to write a book?
  • Giveaway ends Feb. 29th 


Sherry Gammon YA Author said...

I loved this book! Cami is a wonderful writer,and this was a beautiful story!

latanya said...

Beyonce songs would be on my playlist.

dlatany at gmail dot com

Camelia Miron Skiba said...


From a Spartacus fan to another:
Thank you so much for hosting A World Apart ;)))

Timitra said...

Aaliyah would definitely be on my playlist!!!


msmjb65 said...

I would LOVE to win this book! I think that Peter Gabriel or Dire Straits would be good music to play when writing.
Thanks for the giveaway!
msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

*yadkny* said...

I would definitely be listening to Adele... love all her music! This story sounds sooo good! Thanks for the giveaway!!!


Ing said...

Waving to Camelia - happy to host another fellow Spartacus fan. How are you loving season 2 so far? I can't wait for Gannicus's return this Friday. Love that gladiator.

bn100 said...

Songs from Adele.
The book sounds very good. Thanks for the giveaway.


Reviewing Shelf said...

Adele- perfect for book writing.


Tore said...

I really want to read this book. It sounds very good. I would love to have country songs for my book. Artist Such as Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Pickler. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Hillary said...

I'm actually working on a book, and so far I only have 2 songs on the playlist. Awake and Alive by Skillet and Your Guardian Angel by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.


Mackenzie Crowne said...

Hello from a fellow Arizonan and author, Camelia.

I've heard other authors speak of having a playlist for their stories, and have pondered the concept. I have never done this myself, though I have had a song hit me during the writing of a story that encapsulated the characters' emotions. Do you build your stories around the music you have chosen, or do the characters themselves bring you their choices?

Interesting post, and the concept of your story sounds fascinating.

Thanks for sharing ladies.

maccrowne at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm so excited I came across this blog! I have enjoyed introductions to so many great books and authors that seem to fall into my favorite styles.

I think there's a great story in Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever"! I've always loved this song and while I don't understand the language of the Spanish version, but the lyrics of the English version are so beautiful and poetic.

luv2readrom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Camelia Miron Skiba said...

Thanks to everyone interested in this book and leaving comments here. Good luck everyone!

Camelia Miron Skiba said...

Ing - I only saw the first episode of season 2. I counted on Netflix to provide it, unfortunately is not happening. Do you know of other providers other than Starz?
Oh, and meant to tell you LOVE LOVE North&South. Richard's fan base just got bigger ;)

Camelia Miron Skiba said...

Mac - nice meeting you! I found at 2 more AZ authors since beginning this book tour.
As for my stories--depending on the scene I'm writing songs just come to me. For instance David, the main hero chooses to clean up his barracks to Bon Jovi's tunes. Mind you, I only know probably two of their songs. I had to stop writing and find more of their songs just to see why he preferred Bon Jovi and not something else.
Would love to hear more from you at
cami [dot] skiba [at] gmail [dot] com

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