January 22

#MondayMorningMusic – Where the Streets Have no Name by U2

I’m not quite sure why “Where the Streets Have no Name” is one of my favorite songs – I love everything off The Joshua Tree, but when it came time to choose a song from the album for this week’s #MondayMorningMusic, I didn’t even hesitate.

I love other songs by U2, but for this story my choice had to be from The Joshua Tree, because this story involves a road trip to see the band on The Joshua Tree tour, and hilarious shenanigans, some intentional, others not so much.

Let me back up and start from the beginning. Back in 1987, I had just moved back to the States from Germany. I was not particularly happy about the move, but school started and I made friends, as military brats generally do rather quickly – a necessity brought about by near constant moving. You may not be happy about things, but you adapt and move on.

I made fast friends with the other KP and the two of us made friends with another girl – we’ll call her TL – a grade below us, I think, or maybe two grades. The three of us were three-quarters of the school freaks, if you will, the other being a gent who arrived later.

Anyway, the three of us were thick as thieves a couple months after school started. The other KP was the only one of us with a driver’s license, which was great for tooling around Fort Knox and local areas, but there was zero way in hell my parents would let me drive too far with only the company of another 16 year old and a 14-15 year old. Which meant, when I heard U2 was playing I begged my parents to drive us to the closest city they were playing: Indianapolis.

Thankfully, they agreed – though if I’m being honest, it was a huge pain in the backside to go from roaming around Frankfurt, (then West) Germany with little to no supervision to being dependent on other people – particularly my parents – to get anywhere.

Fast forward to November 1 – my parents, the other KP, TL, and I cram into the Saab and make the 2-1/2 hour or so drive. My parents were smart enough to get a hotel room for them to hang out in while us young ’uns were at the show. Not wanting to be cooped up inside, the other KP, TL, and I hung out in the parking lot, smoking cigarettes and being obnoxious, the latter culminating in TL pounding on the door of a tour bus parked in the parking lot of the hotel, and yelling for the occupants to come to the door.

As I recall, we made jokes about it being U2, which, of course it wasn’t – there was no way U2 would be in a tour bus in the parking lot of a budget hotel. It did, however, turn out to be Barbara Mandrell’s tour bus and her (very cute!) keyboard player (whose name I don’t remember and so far have never been able to track down) did open the door and chat with us for a few, including offering us free tickets to their show that night.

We had to turn them down, but it was a HUGE deal to be offered free tickets to a show, even if it was country.

Eventually, the time came to head to the Hoosier Dome, so off we went. My parents dropped us off and headed out, probably off to dinner and then back to the hotel. Us three girls walked toward the venue, each of us growing more and more quiet as our excitement about seeing U2 was tempered by the decidedly country attire worn by the vast majority of people around us. When we got up close enough to the venue, we realized we’d been dropped at the wrong place, which, coincidentally, was the venue where Barbara Mandrell and her cute keyboard player were probably getting ready backstage. I also seem to recall seeing pictures of Kenny Rogers, but I can’t be sure if this is true.

Oh, Lord, you’d have thought the world had come to an end. I remember that TL and I bitched and moaned our way back to the street – and the other KP had enough sense to ask for directions to the Hoosier Dome (I believe the original structure was demolished and was replaced with the Indiana Convention Center – don’t quote me on this…)

In 1987 there were no cell phones, so no way to get hold of my parents to let them know we’d been dropped off at the wrong spot and they needed to pick us up somewhere else. Not much to do about it, so the three of us girls trekked across the city for what seemed like ages until we reached the destination we were supposed to be at.

We got in, found our seats, and hung out (while I got anxious at the slightest scent of marijuana… lol) and waited for Los Lobos to open the show. The lights went out and the crowd roared. The stage lights came on and out came…

The Dalton Brothers.

I was absolutely disappointed – I’d been looking forward to seeing Los Lobos, too – not as much as U2, but still. La Bamba was the first movie I went to see after I came back to the states (saw it in San Antonio the night before I flew up to Louisville… probably not the best movie to watch right before a flight… Ha!) I had developed something of a fascination with Ritchie Valens and by extension Los Lobos since they’d done most of the soundtrack for the movie. As I recall, Los Lobos had missed their flight or something, so they didn’t make it to the show.

The other KP kept saying something along the lines of, “You’re a doofus. The Dalton Brothers… That’s U2, you dork!”

To which I’m sure I replied something along the lines of, “Bullshit.”

(In my defense, we were nowhere near close to the stage, so it’s not like I had a good view of the people on stage. Not so much in my defense, after watching the video and listening to Bono sing as Alton Dalton, I can’t believe I didn’t catch it myself. Good God, it was so obvious!)

I don’t remember with TL’s response to all this was.

I also don’t remember anything else about the show or what came after. I’m sure we enjoyed ourselves immensely, and if for any reason we hadn’t been able to reconnect with my parents, I’m fairly certain I would have remembered.

What I do remember is coming across a newspaper clipping confirming what the other KP had told me during The Dalton Brothers’ act – that the band was, in fact, U2. And despite being a day late for Halloween, it was the perfect prank.

And lest you think I made this up, you can read more about The Dalton Brother’s/U2 prank at the IndyStar. Make sure to scroll down and watch the video – Adam in drag, smoking a cigarette is hilarious! 🙂

So, Happy Monday! I hope everyone has a great week! xo

January 15

#MondayMorningMusic – Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode

No story behind this week’s Monday Morning Music.  Just a song that strikes a chord with me lately.

Plus, it’s Depeche Mode, and who doesn’t like Depeche Mode? 😀 I will, at some point soon, have an actual Depeche Mode story for you. Along with the U2 story

In the good news department, I’m finally on the mend after getting slapped down by the sickness I did my best to avoid over Christmas and New Year’s.

At least it waited until after the year started. I have this theory that however one’s New Year’s Eve goes, so goes the year to follow. After having spent so much time being sick, acute OR chronically, I did NOT want to spend this entire year dealing with being sick. That’s not to say I won’t have health issues to continue to address, but I’m sick of my health being the sole focus of my attention.

The Misfit’s got a brand new bag.

Or at least I hope to. 🙂

(That’s a metaphor, although I did pick up a super cute Betsey Johnson purse not too long ago. Ha!)

Happy Monday, y’all. Have a fantastic week!

January 8

#MondayMorningMusic – Kiss by Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones

I love Tom Jones. No if, ands, or buts.

And no joke. 🙂

There’s something inherently sexy about him. I’ve been lucky enough to see him live twice – once with my mom and once with my parents and a man I was dating at the time.

Neither time did I throw my panties at him.

I’m disappointed in myself about this.

Anyway, Tom Jones brings to mind a snippet of a memory. Summertime in Germany, spending days at the Schwimmbad Heddernheim (Heddernheim is a city district of Frankfurt am Main. You can read more here, if you’re interested), and a schwimmbad is German for swimming pool.

The interesting thing about Heddernhem (which is all we used to call the schwimmbad) was that it was all outside. Lots of grassy area to sunbathe and hang out, a fantastic slide that looked a little something this this:

Freibad Heddernheim – Photo Courtesy of city-residence.de

and had lots of swim related things to do. I honestly don’t remember anything except the slide (which I remember as looking a bit different than the image, but we’re talking well over 30 years ago, so it may have actually been updated OR my memory sucks…) and the grassy area.

I have a snippet of memory of meeting a handsome German guy who was deaf at the slide, and another of sunbathing while blasting “Kiss” by the Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones and a boombox.

With all the cold temperatures – as much as I’ve enjoyed the change of pace – it’s awesome to have a summer memory to warm things up a bit.

So, Happy Monday, and I hope this helps get your week off to a great start!

January 1

#MondayMorningMusic – New Year’s Day by U2

This week I was going to share the story about road trippin’ to see U2 in Indianapolis, but I think I’ll save it for another day. It deserves not to get lost in other revelry.

I’m a homebody, especially when it comes to New Year’s Eve. I can’t think of one time I ventured out to celebrate, even when I wasn’t more inclined to spend my time at home – hence being thankful I’m not among the squash of bodies in Times Square, or any where else, for that matter.

I’m currently binge watching Game of Thrones, trying to decide which New Year’s Eve show to watch. I watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve growing up – and watched it faithfully, even after Ryan Seacrest took over and Dick Clark made only an appearance. But I haven’t watched it since Dick Clark passed away in 2012.

It’s just not the same.

It’s always a crap shoot if I’ll be able to keep my eyes open until midnight to ring in the new year, anyway. Knowing me, I’ll pass out, wake up as the ball drops, say a sleepy “Happy New Year” and pass out again. 🙂

In any case, the first song I always play on New Year’s Day, regardless of whether it’s 12:01 or 9:00am, is “New Year’s Day” by U2.

I don’t know when this became my ritual or why I chose the song – it drives me insane that it’s such an obvious choice. But it’s also the perfect choice. I can’t think of another song better suited to help me ring in the new year.

I have lots of plans for 2018. Some are rehashing of the old (getting my German language skills back up to par, for instance), some are learning of the new (I haven’t decided what, yet), and some are not being such a homebody. Thanks to the chronic illness, I have to pace myself considerably, but I’m pretty well over being house-bound.

In any case, I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a fantastic start to 2018!

I have just the song to get you started… 😉


December 25

#MondayMorningMusic – It’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

By The original uploader was Wikipedia brown at English Wikipedia [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Hands down, “It’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by U2 is my absolute favorite Christmas song.

Because I’m off celebrating with my family, I’ll keep this short, but Merry Christmas!



P.S. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the new year, for sure!

P.P.S. Bono is sexy in this video, but Edge will always be my favorite!

P.P.P. S. Someone remind me to tell the story of seeing U2 live in Indianapolis… 🙂

December 18

#MondayMorningMusic – White Christmas by Bing Crosby

By Trailer screenshot (White Christmas trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Despite living in Florida more often than not for nearly 30 years, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without cold weather and snow. Honestly, if my family wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have stayed nearly as long as I have. And with the nieces and nephews, I probably won’t be leaving any time soon.

I can’t predict what the weather will be like over Christmas, but at least last week, it was cooler than usual at night – dipping all the way down tot he 40s!! – which made for great sleeping weather. And it helped me ignore that I’d rather be somewhere where Christmas feels like Christmas.

Couple that with one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time, White Christmas, with Bing Crosby, Vera Ellen, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney, and you have the clip below. Just lovely.

(Below the White Christmas clip, is the original Bing Crosby version, because, well, it’s Bing.)

December 11

#MondayMorningMusic Winter Wonderland by The Eurythmics

By nemahziz ([{{{flickr_url}}} Flickr]) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I’ve loved Annie Lennox for as long as I can remember… Enough said.

December 5

#TellTaleTuesday with Donna Simonetta and A Sweeter Spot


Welcome Donna Simonetta for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.


My husband and I moved to Baltimore nineteen years ago, prior to that I’d never lived in a city. It was a huge adjustment for me. While we live in the city limits, we were able to find a cute house on a small dead-end street of single-family homes, and I’ve come to appreciate Baltimore’s quirky charm. I’ve never adjusted to the driving downtown though!

We moved here to be closer to my mother-in-law, who was having health issues, and frequently had to drive several hours to see her in Virginia. We quickly learned a route that would avoid D.C. traffic, and would drive west toward the mountains, and then wend our way south. We would enter Virginia by crossing the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, Maryland. From there we meandered through green fields, dotted with hay bales and horses. It was a beautiful area, and I always thought, a little wistfully since I wasn’t used to city living yet, it would be a nice place to live.

So when I got the idea for my small-town contemporary romance Rivers Bend trilogy, I knew that part of Virginia was where I wanted it to be set. It was fun to create a fictional town, with its one stoplight, frequently set to flashing since there wasn’t much traffic, and the Town Green, complete with Gazebo. And of course, throughout it all flows the Potomac River.

A Sweeter Spot is the first book in the trilogy, and the main character, Magda, is a little bit of a fish out of water when she moves there from Manhattan. She quickly comes to love Rivers Bend, and wishes it could be her permanent home, rather than a temporary stop, while she helps out her best friend.




Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?


Here’s a brief excerpt that conveys the beauty and peace of the town, and Magda’s longing for a place to set down roots and call home…


She stretched her arms over her head and turned her face to the sky. “Mmm. Yesterday my life was all turmoil, and today, I’m here. I feel so calm—so right. Thanks for bringing me to this lovely spot.”

“Anytime.” Jeff’s voice was a little rough as he watched her breasts strain against her T-shirt as she stretched. She dropped her arms.

“You’re lucky to live here. To be a part of this land.”

“I am. I never really fit in anywhere else I’ve lived. My roots are here. My family.”

“It’s your home.” Her voice sounded wistful.

He dropped to the ground and leaned back on his elbows, his mile-long legs stretched out in front of him. Magda assumed the same position at his side. One of the horses nickered softly behind them, and the river glistened in the sunlight as it flowed in front of them.

“Where’s your home, Maggie?”

She shrugged. “Nowhere. I’m from Connecticut originally. Stratford. But my dad died last year, and I sold our house there when I moved to New York to live with Pierce. Now I guess I’m just a drifter.”

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B01N1S1K06/

TWRP: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4862-a-sweeter-spot.html

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-sweeter-spot-donna-simonetta/1125338511?ean=2940157374921

Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/14pwrnP

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-sweeter-spot-1

About the Author

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Donna’s Online Playground

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donnasimonettaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15422407.Donna_Simonetta

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Simonetta/e/B06X415TWW/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-simonetta

December 4

#MondayMorningMusic – Last Christmas by Wham

By University of Houston Digital Library – http://digital.lib.uh.edu/u?/p15195coll6,268, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19790429

A song from my childhood, for sure. Back when my Christmas was accompanied by the combined scents of crisp, cold air, gluehwein, roasted chestnuts, and hot bratwrust with warm brotchen. #ChristmasinGermany 🙂

(Can you believe this year is almost over? I don’t know about you, but it’s zipped by insanely fast!)

Wham! “Last Christmas” 

November 27

#MondayMorningMusic – All I Want for Christmas – Love Actually Version


We’ve been dealing with the cooties over two households since before Thanksgiving – this is the second time I’ve been sidelined by the stupid stomach bug going around.

In any case, since Thanksgiving is over, I thought I’d spend the rest of the Mondays in the year, sharing my favorite Christmas tunes.

The first is “All I Want for Christmas”. I’ve seen Love Actually a zillion times, it seems, and mo matter how many times I watch, though, I always cry during the Christmas concert scene. I. Cannot. Help. Myself. 🙂 – one of my favorite movies – so many wonderful actors and stories! I’ll definitely be watching it at least once before Christmas.

So to kick off the Christmas season, here’s the clip from Love Actually.

p.s. Would you believe I had no idea it was a Mariah Carey song?