Dive Into iTunes, Climb Out With Tuscan Heat


The black hole of iTunes sucks me in every time I load it up. “I’m just going to look up that one song and get back to work,” I say, and two hours later I blink at the screen wondering why I just bought a love song sung in Chinese by Jackie Chan. (Seriously, it’s called “Jia Xiang de Long Yan Shu.” It’s kind of awesome.)

One night in early 2011, I got online and in this order, I purchased:

– Jonathan Coulton’s remake of “Baby Got Back”
– Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli’s remake of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
– Andrea Bocelli’s “Con Te Partiro”
– The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ “The Impression That I Get”
– Husker Du’s “Too Far Down”
– Rodney Atkins’s “If You’re Going Through Hell”

At that point, I snapped out of it. It was a little insane, but not as insane as the night I bought six versions of “The Way You Look Tonight.” Anyway, “Con Te Partiro” lodged in my head like a tattoo on my brain.

I suppose I could say I bought it because it appealed to the theater major still inside my skin. It’s a lush and romantic song, and well, theatrical. And sure, it’s in Italian, a language with which I am totally desperate to learn even though I’ve been stuck at the “dove il bagno” stage for two years.

The truth is I bought it because when I heard it, an entire book took form. The story thumped around in my skull until I got it down on paper. The song was in heavy rotation through most of the first draft and I never got tired of it, though my preschooler now hears the opening notes and says “Mama, pleeeeeeeeease play something else.” There was something about the lyrics (scroll down for the translation) that made me dream of travel and sex with handsome men and happily ever after on a motorcycle. The result of that dream is Tuscan Heat, and I sure hope you like it.

Will you share your worst iTunes binge or craziest MP3 purchase and keep me company here in the black hole? Ooh! Annie Lennox! You know, I’ve got a great idea for a book….


Tuscan Heat is Kathleen’s third book with Carina Press. Check out two brief excerpts from the first chapter over here on her website. Let her know what you thought of it on Facebook, Goodreads, or @KathleenDienne on Twitter.

9 thoughts on “Dive Into iTunes, Climb Out With Tuscan Heat”

  1. I love iTunes :) I had a Stevie Wonder binge not long ago :) Who doesn’t love Stevie Wonder? Good luck with your release, Kathleen :)

  2. Rae Renzi says:

    Oh, you had me at “Tuscan”! But I love your story of inspiration. (into inspiration today). Can’t wait to read it!

  3. Diane Dooley says:

    I have to find the songs my young son wants for his player. I’ve been searching for something he says is called ‘Numa Yay Ay’ and he says its in a foreign language. I’ve spent hours trying to find the darn thing for my baby boy. Unsuccessfully.

    Anyway, I’ve been waiting for this book to come out. I’ll be in my bed with my Kindle and this book on Saturday night. Can’t wait!

  4. Zee Lemke says:

    Diane: That’s the Numa Numa song! Numa numa ay… he got the title wrong. It was a big deal when I was in college.


    Aaaanyway, I really like opera and the poppier yelling rock (think Disturbed), which makes for less strange one-time downloads and really bizarre playlists.

  5. Diane Dooley says:

    Thank you, Zee! I have one very happy ten year old jumping around singing.

  6. Oh I am an absolute iTunes junkie! My daughters are constantly amazed at what pops up on my iTunes. Yesterday the younger was surprised at Ramalama Bang Bang by Roisin Murphy (ok not sure what mood I was in when I downloaded that one). I collect versions of The Desert Song, I love bagpipes, Lady Gaga, country and anything rock n roll with a pounding bass beat! Very eclectic. Never bored on the morning commute.

  7. This is where I admit that I have both Mai Ai Hee (Dragostea Din Tei) from O-Zone, and the English lyric version Ma Ya Hi (Dragostea Din Tei) the Dan Balan/Lucas Prata remix.

    Thanks for the good wishes and the company here in the hole :)

  8. Moth says:

    The Lord of the Rings Musicals. It sounds horribly kitschy, but it is actually QUITE good. And I bought the whole thing even though I was a broke college student at the time.

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